Monday, March 31, 2008


what do you think about these for greeting cards? i will post before and afters again.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

fine art greeting cards

how do you feel about fine art greeting cards? i'm thinking of taking some of my photos and making greeting (blank inside) cards out of them to sell in my shop. what do you think?

which one do you like better?



Friday, March 28, 2008


so, i did ask around in the forums about offering up my photo skills to those etsy sellers in need, but i think it would be more of a hassle than it's worth for shipping etc. plus, the items are my responsibility while they are here...and being shipped back and forth. so, scratch that.

what about if i offer my photoshop skills for your photos? i see on etsy people have listed photo retouching from $2 and up. i would be interested in doing bulk for people. if the photos are in focus generally i can snazz them up (is snazz a word? i know jazz is, but snazz?) in no time flat. just an idea.

kim from CapeBags mentioned to me about doing photoshop before and afters here in my blog and sent me a seller that needed a little help. i have convo'd her to see if she minds if i use her photos. i have them edited and ready to go we're just waiting on here. so the blog is taking yet another won't be long now! until then i guess i could leave you with a few of my own before and afters. or rather pre and post-editing photos. i will use my latest listing - the copper bracelet so you can see what my photos look like straight out of the camera and then after i edit them.

after seeing these i realize my photos are a little dark sometimes...i will have to work on that. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


so, i'm entering this contest for save the date designs. i have three couples photos to choose from and i can submit three designs. i get a few basics about each couple and then have free reign with the design.

i wanted to share my designs and get feedback from my readers to see what you all think. i only have two done so far. and i did the special effects on the laurice and alex save the date in photoshop - please feel free to critique away! i would LOVE to win! do you think the definition on the second save the date is out of place? their theme is funky fonts, libraries and east asian flair (i skipped the asian flair - i could just see too many cliches...)

Monday, March 24, 2008

just thought i'd share

an interesting photo article. well, two:

Table Top Photography 101 with Professional Photographer Christopher Gentile courtesy of


another blog you should read: Robert Socha Photography he has some great info about photography and DOF and aperture, etc. he went into much more detail than i did. maybe it will help!

also, about the first article - it mentions maybe finding a photographer who is willing to photograph your work for you within your budget. this is a novel idea. i could offer this service to people if they're interested? what do you guys think? should i offer up my talents for those of you who would like to utilize them?

the newest addition

to my etsy shop!

just a little fun-guy!

i'm not sure what to write about for the next photography post. do you guys have any ideas? anything you need help with in particular?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

oh my gosh!

aren't these the most adorable baby booties you've EVER seen?!?

the crochet pattern is available for sale in sylver's shop on etsy.

i am trying to convince myself that if i bought the pattern and made them for my son that my husband wouldn't notice that they look alot like little girl shoes...

they're just so stinking cute!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

new on etsy

last fall i planted (i use that term loosely - i scattered) texas wildflower seeds and they started sprouting immediately. they've been blooming pretty good so yesterday it was overcast here and i headed out with my macro lens in tow to get some new pics.

here they are! i've only listed three on etsy so far. not sure how well they're going to do as none of my photography (other than the art blowout ones) have sold at all. :( i dont know why other than because it's been a while since i've listed any photos. hopefully things will start to pick up in the photo department.

Monday, March 17, 2008

basic photography 101 - composition

our third lesson is on composition.

creating an interesting photo is one way to get, and keep new buyers. an interesting photo isn't just what the picture is of, but how the photo was set up and taken. sound complicated? don't worry. it's really very simple.

the simplest way to create an interesting photo is to follow the rule of thirds. now, since i know you didn't just bail, jump ship, leave my blog right in the middle of the lesson, to go read that link (and if you did...hmmm) so let me explain how the rule of thirds works.

imagine two sets of lines horizontally and vertically in your photo frame (where, you say) here, let me show you:

these lines divide your photo into thirds vertically and horizontally. along these lines and where they intersect especially is ideal placement for the subject of your photos to achieve interest in your photos. now, this article is obviously not for people who don't follow rules...this is for people who are looking to increase their views, and subsequently sales in their etsy (or any other) shop. along with the rule of thirds we have backgrounds to think about when photographing items for sale.

let me show you (my pictures) good examples of the use of the rule of thirds. and remember - that first pic on your listing will show as square. so, why don't you crop that first one down to a square so you can see what it will look like? make sure it's still interesting. don't just upload any old picture of the item. (and i'm sure that the any old picture will be in focus and have good depth of field...) :) you can still use the rule of thirds and have a square image.

ok, get it? also, an interesting angle doesn't hurt - try looking at something and photographing it from eye level from time to time. you might be pleasantly suprised.

i think you might get it now...and if you don' is the time to read that article i posted earlier :) one of my biggest disappointments is seeing a beautiful item that someone didn't showcase to it's highest potential. i know that it is because alot of people think they don't have the know-how to take a good picture - they just throw the bag, earrings, etc on the floor, carpet, etc and snap away. never thinking about the composition of the image and normally squaring the product up in the dead center of the frame. i know it's because people don't know...but, now you are empowered with the know! NO MORE pictures of purses, earrings, etc sitting in the middle of the picture all boring-like.

i look at many different items on etsy and one of my favorites is bags and purses. i love them. and i am so disappointed so many times to see what could potentially be a gorgeous bag flopped down on the floor and photographed. or hung from a hook on the back of a door. or...or... and let's not get into the distracting backgrounds. i dont know how many times i've skipped over listings because i couldn't tell from the tiny image what the purse looked like. so, i've contacted a couple etsy sellers whose photos caught my eye and they've allowed me to use their photos on my blog for the purpose of this lesson! so, make sure you click on their links and go to their shops!

i dont make purses or bags, but since it's something i like to look at online, let me pass along a few 'guides' for photographing them.

1) stuff them with something. those plastic bags that are filling our landfills, bubble wrap, an old blanket, packing peanuts...anything. fill out the bottoms of them just like if they were filled with actual 'purse stuff'
2) do not (at least not for that oh so important first picture) take the photo squared up to the front of the bag. turn it a little. take the photo from the end looking down the bag. (see examples)
3) make sure you take photos of the inside of the bags. the pockets, the lining, put something in the pockets if you want to show the scale of them. (take out the filler for this :) )
4) don't - i mean DO NOT - take your items photograph on anything that might be distracting. no chairs with slatted backs, no patterned carpet, no tacky floral sheets you're using as couch covers (hehe). two words (ok, four) white fleece (or black fleece) it's cheap, and it makes a great backdrop for photos. it will absorb light and make a good background without being shiny in photos. (3-4 yards should cover most anything you want to photograph)

so, if i were going to photograph a purse, i'd do it like this: get said purse that i dutifully stuffed with something so it's not just sitting there all floppy-like. also get said fleece. now, go to your dining room table (any table that's taller than your item) a chair might work, sofa, bed, anything that gets good light. you want to 'drape' the fleece off the item you're working with (table, sofa, etc) and onto the floor smoothing out *most* of the wrinkles. i know it's not possible to get them all out. now, sit the bag - at an angle of course! on the fleece in front of the table, sofa, etc... then i'd take the picture. you might have to get on your knees to take the photo, you might have to lay down on your stomach. you can try the flash on the camera, but be careful it doesn't throw a huge shadow back behind your item. oh, one more thing. if your bag (or whatever) has a white background, please, DO NOT photograph it on white. it gets lost. it's not interesting. even with the best use of rule of thirds, depth of field and's BORING!

so, now i've told everyone how to photograph a bag (when i make jewelry - hehe) i'm going to show you items from etsy sellers who've photographed their bags very well.



Pay attention to her use of backgrounds in sarahjanedesigns shop. she photographs her bags very well and they really 'pop' against the backgrounds. i know, she didn't use a white or black background, but once you get the hang of it you can use color too! (tee he he)

and i really like the way alamodestuff has showcased this particular bag.

ok, enough rambling. i hope you understand... if you don't, that's what the comments are for!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

and one more

one more necklace...

more new stuff

i will be listing these today and tomorrow on etsy. :) the handful of you who read my blog get to see them first!


oh, and the next photography lesson will be on composition. i will start working on it today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


today is my birthday!

i will give a 'special prize' (could be a freebie, could be a coupon for my store, could be a couple of different things) to the first person to correctly guess my age!

go me! go me! go me!

now if i could just get a decent nights' sleep i wouldn't feel so darn old! :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

new favorite picture

i took this earlier this morning while i was trying to photograph some cardinals out in our yard. the bird photos were a bust, but this...this turned out fantastic (if i do say so myself)

this is the first time i've gotten a good picture of the color of his eyes...

isn't he precious? (don't all moms say that?)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

basic photography 101 - depth of field

welcome to the second lesson in basic photography 101.

depth of field (dof) goes hand in hand with focus, which was our first lesson. you will see many sellers on etsy who use depth of field to their advantage. i will show a few as example in a minute. first off let me explain what depth of field is and how it works.

dof is the blurry areas around (front and back) the main focal point of the photograph. sometimes these areas are just a little bit blurry, barely noticeable, and sometimes they are extremely out of focus. DoF is your aperture value (f/2, f/2.8, f/3.5, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22). the aperture controlls the lens opening on your camera. the smaller the number the larger the opening (and the smaller the depth of field) the larger the number the smaller the opening (and the larger the depth of field). when photographing with a large DoF (f/5.6 and smaller) then you will need a faster shutter speed to compensate. if you aren't shooting in manual mode then you won't need to worry about it.

controlling DoF is pretty simple. if you want a small DoF (alot of blurry spots and very small focal plane) then you need to be much closer to your subject. if you want a large Dof (most or all of the photo in focus) then you need to be farther away.

the following three pictures are examples of DoF. keep an eye on the shiny silver eyelet. it was the focal point for all three photos.




since i have a macro lens i can achieve much greater DoF than your standard point and shoot digital. normally i do not photograph jewelry with this much DoF i just used it as an example for this article. normally i have my camera set to f/5.6 with my shutter speed adjusted to match. (obviously i take photographs in manual mode, we will get into this in a later lesson).

well, i'm not sure where else to go with this lesson on DoF. I will leave you with links to a few etsy sellers who use DoF to their advantage.

Sterling Silver Forged Sticks with Hammered Half Domes byasymetry

Tying The Knot save the date byInvitaPaperStudio

and fabulous examples here:

The Colors byreyaveltman

another necklace

so, i'm still working on a few things here and there. i will be posting new earrings tonight, but in the meantime, here is the second necklace i've made. i made it with a 'freebie' bead from BelleBeads and i had every intention of selling it, but i've changed my mind. i really love it, so i guess i will be making another one with different beads to sell :)

just wanted to share:

and this necklace was totally inspired by anna-karin's cradle necklace here.

and no, i've haven't forgotten. i'm writing the next article! :) blogger was down yesterday when i wanted to post so it had to wait a little while. this afternoon while i was photographing my necklace and new earrings to list i did a couple photos for the article too.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

me, in a treasury?

thanks kim! you're so awesome

visit kims shop here: CapeBags

and see here for proof!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

basic photography 101 - focus

hello, welcome!

i'm starting a new direction for my blog. i want to help people! in this new beginning i will be focusing (no pun intended) on photography basics and featuring etsy sellers who have great photography, along with what makes that particular photo (or photos) great. all of this for my wonderful friends on Etsy. If you've stumbled on my blog for some other reason, that's great! these helpful hints can help you too, just remember my main agenda here is to help other etsy sellers.

today's lesson: focus, focus, focus

do i need to say it again? FOCUS!

say it with me now - F-O- ok, i'm sure you get the point now

i would have to say that without a doubt focus is the number one most important aspect of taking photographs. you can have every other aspect right and if your focus is well, out of focus, then the photo is useless (unless you're into fine art photography and your intention was for it to be out of focus...if this applies to you, then stop reading here :) )

as for the other 99.9% of us who just want to take better pictures let's get moving along now. there are a couple other things that go hand in hand with focus - like depth of field and exposure, but those i'm saving for a later post so i can elaborate on them without getting off topic here.

so, how do you tell if your photo is in focus? well, for starters, look at it. i mean seriously - LOOK. is the item you're trying to sell sharp? is the photo a little shaky? is one part in focus but the rest isn't? let's address these things. i will be using my own personal photos for this lesson today.

first off, is the item you're trying to sell sharp? what i mean is. is it a little blurry? is there something distracting about the photo? a blurry spot that bothers you? this is the beauty of digital photography - the delete key and the ability to take another photo. your photos tell a story about your item. customers can't touch your merchandise, they can't smell it, they can't hold it. you have to do your best to photograph it in the very best way possible so they can fall in love with it and buy it!

here is an example of a few different pair of earrings i've photographed:

these small pictures are deceiving. if you click on the images you will see that all three of them are out of focus. not by much - but just enough to really matter. what you say? they look in focus in the small image, so can't i just use them? NO. you can't. your sellers don't just look at the small images. they click on them. they make them bigger. they will see that it's out of focus. this could be off putting to some buyers. i mean, you, as a seller, can't take the time to make certain your photo is in focus??? then how do i know, as a buyer, that you took the time to make sure your item was crafted carefully - no loose beads, no frayed edges, etc etc?

enough about how important in focus images are. now, i will give you a couple of pointers for how i focus my images. let me say that i have a dSLR and a standard digital point and shoot. so i know that my methods work with either camera. i photograph in manual mode, no flash, natural light only (unless i'm using the flash as a fill - more on that later), and i use the center focus on my camera.

that means that i set my camera's auto focus to Center-Weight - not Multi-Zone. center-weight means that when you push the button down half way to focus on your subject it focuses on the center of the image. now, the idea here is to NOT center every image (again, more on that later) so what you do is press the shutter half way down, focus on whatever you are photographing, then without moving your camera much at all, simply recompose your image and finish the photograph. now, keep in mind, any changes you make toward or away from your subject will affect the focus, but you can move left, right, and even up and down very carefully while maintaining focus. it takes practice. use an apple. orange. book. whatever. just practice. make sense?

i think maybe that's enough for today. any questions? comment here and i will get back to them. i'm not sure what the next lesson will be yet - we'll see where this gets us!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

branching out

so, i'm attempting to branch out from just earrings to necklaces, and maybe a bracelet here and there. while i'm at it i wanted to also 'punch' up my photos. i mean, i'm a photographer. what am i missing in my jewelry pictures? i think a little pizzaz maybe? i'm not sure. heck, maybe i'm not missing anything, i just think i am.

i'm dying to be featured in someone's treasury, but...alas, nothing.

so, here's my latest attempt at "pizzaz" and a necklace. all in one! :)

and check back often, because i have a few ideas rolling around in my head about where to take this blog. a) do i want to feature other sellers (my favorites) or b) do i want to feature sellers with great photographs and use them as inspiration to upgrade my photos and write tips for other sellers?

i think maybe option b...

still pondering this. any ideas?