questions of identity

I’ve had a host of bloggy bees buzzing in my bonnet for the last wee while, but no time to stop and set them free as I have been too busy hemming mug rugs. Now, thanks in large part to Petite Noel, the mug rugs have almost all departed for their new homes, so I can sit down and write a post or two. (Not that I wasn’t sitting down to do the hemming, you understand.)

First Bee, then, is the title of this post: questions of identity.

Buzz part 1

When I first started my blog I didn’t know what to call it. My main concern was that I didn’t want to come up with a name that would sound brilliant when I first thought of it and then cringeworthy forever after. As my most overused phrase is “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time”, this was not a negligible risk. So I settled for the plainest URL I could think of: my own name. I suppose there’s a chance I might eventually start cringeing at the sound of my name, but in that case I’ll have far more serious problems to worry about than blogging. As a bonus, I was able to give my blog any title that I wanted — independent of its address — and that worked just fine.

Buzz part 2

When it came to trying out an etsy shop, however, I decided it was time to get a bit braver. I didn’t want my etsy shop to be designated “callybooker” because I wanted to distinguish between myself,  “the weaver”, and the products I make, “that which I weave”. The name I came up with — and haven’t started cringeing at yet — is Bonny Claith, which is simply Scots for “pretty cloth”. A bit of googling reassured me over two possible concerns: nobody else seemed to be using it, and it didn’t appear to be moonlighting as a euphemism for anything embarassing. I haven’t actually used it much except on my etsy shop — and to be honest I haven’t used my etsy shop much either!

Buzz part 3

More recently I had to decide what domain name to register for my website and that made me pause for a while — before I decided to get both names: and At the moment everything is built in the callybooker space, while the bonnyclaith name simply points to it. However, the intention is to maintain and develop that distinction between the weaver and the woven. If you want to know what I am up to, if you want to ask me anything, then you need Cally Booker. If you are primarily interested in buying something which I have woven, then you need Bonny Claith. In the first case, I suspect that you are also likely to be a weaver, while in the second case you are probably not a weaver — another reason for aiming to develop two distinct spaces.

Most recent buzzing

I can see potential for getting muddled; I can also see potential for developing each space on its own and in relationship to the other, and that is quite exciting. My first moment of muddle came when I set about ordering new business cards with the new web address on. Which new address should they carry? Well, it depends on the purpose of the cards. My business cards get an airing here and there, but mainly they come into their own when my work is on display somewhere, so it made sense to use the bonnyclaith address associated with the work. This led me to thinking a bit further about the cards’ function. If they accompany the work then perhaps they could be tailored to go with specific pieces of work?

Many of you have used moo cards, as I have, to feature lots of different photographs in a single set. I decided to try and manage this aspect of the moo production process to get a mix of business cards: some would be straightforward business cards with my contact details on one side and a photograph of my work on the other, while some would take it a step further and be purposely designed as swing tags. These would have the same contact details side, but the other side would be half photo/half “product details” — fibre composition, care instructions and so on. Planning them in this way reinforced their identity as bonnyclaith cards, which is what I now have.

Ooh, look. There’s one right there.

Next bit of buzz

The architecture of my site is evolving in my mind, but it seems to me that it is likely to be a place which has several different front doors. At some stage I would like to host my own online shop, for example, but there are all sorts of other possibilities percolating as well. In the meantime I am playing around with some of the formatting — you may occasionally notice changes (sometimes swiftly followed by changes-back-again) — and getting used to the powers suddenly bestowed upon me as webmaster.

Another bee coming up shortly.

questions of identity” was posted by Cally on 16 Dec 2010 at

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5 Responses

  1. Dorothy Stewart

    Hi Cally – things have got a bit complicated ! No wonder it took you a while to sort it out. I appreciated the link to Moo cards, I haven’t seen that before. I looked at your Etsy shop and wondered if this would be helpful. I looked for a link from Etsy to your website and when you click on the picture to get your profile your URL comes up but I didn’t get it as a live link. There might be times when someone wants to reach you from the Etsy shop – can you make a link more visible ?


    • Cally

      I haven’t found etsy very friendly about linking to other sites – one of the reasons why I’d prefer to host my own shop. There may be better facilities now than there were, though, and I plan to nose around there over the next few days as I upload some new items.

      Moo cards are brilliant but addictive – beware!

  2. Meg in Nelson

    I did something similar a few months ago, and I decided to keep everything the same old, same old – just nicer paper and print job. Funny how that works.

    Now that it’s out of circulation, kind of, how does one pronounce t’katch anyway?

    • Cally

      Just like that: t’katch. Russian likes to give you a whole mouthful of consonants rather than doling them out one at a time. Can’t remember why I added an apostrophe, but I wrote tch rather than just ch so that it didn’t look like the sound you get at the end of Loch.

      I knew I didn’t want that as a business name – because it would cause too much trouble! – but I liked the way it gave me my subtitle “the language of weaving”.

  3. Meg in Nelson

    Unless, of course, you get mistaken to be two people, or a weaver named Bonny… I’m just messing with you – your card makes it very clear.