StudioPress theme and WordPress plug-ins speed website development
With the help, encouragement, some coding and advice of John DeUlloa, one of the founders of the site hosting company regiSTAR.com, Don Astras took over the design of ladyofwheat.com in April. Using the Enterprise-Pro theme from Genesis, the site began to take on its current form. Once the outline and content needs were understood, Don began assembling photos and compiling Ursula’s history for the project. Don’s family, friends and supporters helped refine the theme of ‘Folk Art into Fine Art’ because Ursula’s works elevated the simple, centuries-old techniques into a unique, innovative style of straw applique.
Once the true objective of the site became clear, the focus of the writing, the quality of graphics and aesthetics gelled quickly. Don chose Photocrati NextGEN Gallery Plus plug-in to display lower resolution photos in Ursula’s portfolio. The longest delay was touching up the photographs taken since 2008, after Ursula passed away, to provide the best possible fine art reproduction. Camera Raw filters in PhotoShop CC 2015 provided the best vibrancy and true-to-life color adjustments of her art.
The launch of the website was timed to coincide with this year’s opening of Christmas and Holiday Traditions around the World Exhibition at Frederik Meijer Gardens. To help promote the launch, at the bottom of the blog posts, we activated the Sharing buttons from Jetpack by WordPress.com (see Ursula Astras’ Straw Christmas Ornaments at Meijer Gardens). In less than one week, there were 284 shares of the post on Facebook.
View Ursula’s online straw art picture gallery
Last week, Don launched ladyofwheat.com with links to her gallery at ursulaastras.imagekind.com, where the high-quality prints of her best works may be purchased. Don personally examined each one in sizes larger than the original to ensure the quality was high enough. Ron Wilson, a local graphics professional, also scrutinized the prints and claimed that they were top notch.
Today, you can enjoy her art and connect with your global culture.
Website features Lithuanian Folk Art News
You can read more about upcoming exhibits and projects in the Lady of Wheat blogs:
Ursula Astras’ Straw Christmas Ornaments at Meijer Gardens
Astras Family History at Balzekas Museum
Astras family teaches Lithuanian Folk Art Classes for everyone
In addition to building the website, Don has accompanied Ursula at demonstrations and workshops, participating as translator and instructor. He helped stage her art shows, served as her critic and passed on the Lithuanian folk arts to his children and to the public – teaching thousands to design and etch eggs at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in Chicago, as well as create straw Christmas ornaments at Camp Dainava, the Grand Rapids Public Museum and Frederik Meijer Gardens.
Also, our family would love to show you how to create beautiful, Lithuanian straw Christmas ornaments or Easter eggs in our Folk Art Workshops. Give your group an experience they will never forget.
For questions about the Lady of Wheat website, creating your own with StudioPress themes for WordPress or ordering prints of Ursula’s art, please contact us.
In our next article, we’ll discuss how Tempest added sales training and change management to its services.