Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Entry woes part 2

The good news is that I decided what to call my knotted sculptures.  The ones coming out of the tea balls are called "Infusions;" the ones coming out of the spools are called "Unspooled."  No "Specimens" in sight.

fabulous photo of tea ball -- knots a bit out of focus

The bad news is that it took me the better part of an hour to do the online entry, and that's not counting the hour or so that I spent getting the photos ready to upload.  I know that online entries don't have to be difficult -- several shows that I have entered in the past have made it painless, even pleasant.  But CaFE, the online entry service that Fiberart International uses, marches to a different drummer.

I neglected to document all the frustrating parts along the way, until I hit about the fifth one, at which point I took screenshots.  I may have forgotten one or two of the bad parts.

It was confusing to navigate around the site; it was confusing to figure out what kind of information they wanted.  You discover only after logging in and starting the application that they want an artist statement (but I've entered two very different kinds of work, and I guess I have to provide a statement for each one, and label each one.  This requires searching through my past files to find relevant statements and edit them down to fit into the 1000-character-limit box.  And one had to be written from scratch.

I'm a fast writer, but still....  I finally finished everything on the page and was wondering "where do I upload my images?"  Scrolled down to the bottom and was trying to read the directions (save the application, then go back to the portfolio page, then come back later...) and was about one second away from hitting the SAVE button when the session timed out.


Fortunately I had had the foresight to do all my writing into a Word document and copy it into the website -- been burned too many times in the past when my writing disappears from a web window -- so logging back in and doing the whole page again didn't take very long.

But now to upload those images.  You had to select a file, then fill in the info about it.

What would you fill in for that "Medium" field?  Would you just write "fiber"?  Or would you list materials?  I wasn't sure, so I picked one and hit SAVE.  Later on there was a field called "Description (optional)".  What if anything would you put in there?

Then I selected the detail shot -- and got the very same screen!  I tried to type in the title of the work and leave the rest blank -- heck, aren't they filing this stuff by title? -- but that didn't work.  I had to type it all over.

Since "series" needed two detail shots, I got to type it in yet again.  I'm a fast typist, but still....

Finally got to the last entry.  I was surprised to find that the piece I was going to enter here was already in my CaFE portfolio; apparently I entered it in another show last year.  But I had taken a better photo since then.  I tried to simply delete the previous version so I could upload the new images.  Sorry; can't do that.  After a bit of thought I decided to type in the title with extra spaces and see if I could slip it by the computer.  That seemed to work.  Typed in the info twice....

Time passed....  the sun went down....   I'm glad I didn't wait till 11:30 to log in in advance of the midnight deadline.  Every time this happens to me I wonder whether anybody from the show committee ever sits down to pretend to do an online entry before choosing which service to use.


  1. There is always the option of doing the entry before the deadline, but where is the challenge in that? ;-) I am like you about deadlines.
    Sandy in the UK

    1. since I didn't tie the last knot until Friday, my options were kind of limited