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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finally--Online Registration and Payment!

Hi there.  We've been having some trouble with our regular website lately, so we are adding a few features here that really belong over there.  Does that make sense?  I hope so.

On our regular Chidwick School of Fine Woodworking website, you can find all sorts of information about who we are, what kinds of classes we offer, what the CSFW experience is like and how it is unique among woodworking schools.  What you can't find there, however, is a simple online registration form or a way to make a secure payment for a class.  For now, those things are here, in the side bar.  Scroll down and you will find all kinds of goodies.

We hope to see you out here at our school in Montana one of these days for an unforgettable woodworking vacation!  

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ever Wish You Could Pet a Grizzly?

Really nicely done video by the Montana Tourism folks.  Shows off the beauty the state well and makes me wish I had a pet grizzly named Brutus who likes to be scratched behind the ears.

Montana Stories: Casey Anderson from Montana Office of Tourism on Vimeo.

So Much To Do...

So, we leave for our time with The Woodworking Shows in only a few days, but I am spending huge blocks of time figuring out how to better market our business through Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, LinkedIn, Trip Advisor and a variety of other social media sites.  When our students get here to the school, they have a great time and an excellent experience all around, but getting them here--at least until we have built up a longer-term reputation in the industry--has proven to be a challenge.  Thus the social media push.

Which brings me to the reason for this post...What social media sites (like the ones I just listed above) do you use regularly?  Are you a Facebooker?  Are we officially 'friends?'  Do you Tweet?  Would you like it if I became one of your, ahem, I mean 'followers?'  Do you even bother with blogs when you are researching a product, brand, organization, etc.?  Do you use LinkedIn?  Is it important to you?  How about Trip Advisor?  Do you write reviews?  Do you read them?  Are there other sites that I should be paying more attention to that I didn't even mention here?

I'm curious, and would love to hear your thoughts.


Oh, and if we're not officially 'friends' and you'd like to be, or if I'm not currently stalking...I mean following you on Twitter and you'd like me to (and maybe you'd like to follow me, too), then please mention that, along with whatever cool names you've chosen for yourself, in a comment here or in a private message.  Thanks.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

That's Going to Leave a Mark...

Ouch!  This is what can happen when a table saw kicks back.  Yikes.  If you get queasy easily, you may want to skip this one.

Fly Fishing on the Bitterroot River Montana by Carl Mann

Just in case you need a break from making sawdust while you're taking a class at Chidwick School of Fine Woodworking...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Rebirth of a Blog

I've had this blog for quite a few years now, mostly just because I liked the name, but now I think it's time to actually do something with it.  I've got so much to tell you all about (next year's class schedule, some new pieces of furniture I'm working on, my fun new Women In Woodworking class, etc.), but first I have to get ready to take this show on the road.

Yes, once again, Chidwick School of Fine Woodworking is going to be at some of The Woodworking Shows.  I will be teaching two different seminars: "Introduction to Sculptural Woodworking" and "Chair-building Techniques for the Beginner."  We hit the road next week for the Sacramento show (Nov. 5-7) and then head back north for the Portland show (Nov. 12-14).  We'll do some sightseeing along the way with the family, taking in the Redwoods, Oregon Caves and the Oregon coast; and we'll catch up with a lot of extended family and friends, as well.

One of the coolest parts of my job is that, after spending a week or two in the shop with them, my students and their spouses become my family's friends.  When we travel to the shows like this, we actually have a hard time seeing everyone!  What a great problem to have!  So, we look forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks--you know who you are.  So to all my former student/friends in the Sacramento or Portland areas, if we don't already have plans to get together outside of the show this time, then please at least come see us at our booth.  We'd love to see you again.

And for those of you I've yet to meet, I look forward to someday meeting you, too.  Come see us at the shows.  Better yet, come to CSFW and let us treat you to some fine Montana hospitality while you make something beautiful.