Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Picture-Taking - The Ups and Downs

Let me just say that I am no photographer. I never wanted to BE a photographer. However, when you plan to sell your wares online, excellent pictures are not just nice, they are imperative. My jewellery is going to be mixed in with thousands of other pieces on etsy (why did I have to pick the most saturated category?) and they need to stand out. So often I spend more time behind the camera than I do making jewellery.
I have seen a lot of improvement though, which keeps me motivated. (Look at my early blog posts if you don't believe me!) As soon as I got a light box, hauled out the tripod and the remote, and got to work, my photos started to look so much better. However, it was the addition of a crummy little worklight from Scott's garage that made the most difference. Now I can move it around the jewellery, taking shots at different angles, to see what makes the gems truly sparkle. I hope he knows he's not getting that worklight back.
So above are four shots I took the other day. I'm not sure which I will use; etsy allows five pictures for each listing, but one will be of my packaging, so I have four to choose from. I also will allocate one photo to show the earrings hanging, and one taken directly overhead. That's the other thing I spend an inordinate amount of time doing: sorting, deleting, editing and cropping.
I have a newfound respect for photographers. It is a LOT of work (at least for me), and truly and art form in itself. Now, back to the camera!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fast-forward 7 Months!

I can't believe it's been seven months since I started this blog. When I first wrote, we were looking forward to Christmas - now summer is here and school is (gulp!) almost finished. Of course, having the G8 Summit here right now is forcing a lot of kids, my daughter included, to take a mini-holiday. We watched President Obama fly over us this morning in Marine One - very cool.

So while a lot of time has passed, my dedication (okay, addiction) to making jewellery has not ended. If anything, it has become even stronger. Every spare penny - and let's face it - there are very few pennies these days - is spent on gemstones and findings, and every spare moment is spent in my craft room. If I'm lucky, Lauren will be here with me, drawing and colouring and playing on the computer. If I'm not lucky, she is whining, "Momeeeee! Play with meeeee! from another room. Ah, the joys of working from home.

So my latest creations featured here are Swiss Blue Topaz and Moonstone earrings, and Rhodolite Garnet and Iolite earrings, both in gold vermeil. Because I only wear sterling and white gold, I never thought I would make yellow gold jewellery. But I learned quite quickly that some stones just look so much better with yellow gold: garnet, pink topaz, blue topaz, peridot, citrine - the list goes on. So I do some of each, and will offer to make the same style in the other metal, should my customer request this.
Right now (in fact, at any given moment), my work table is full of half-finished pieces. These pieces are waiting for a clasp, or a link, or a stone, or else they are just lingering there, waiting for me to make a decision. The funny thing about any project, I think, is that sometimes you can put something aside that's not working, only to come back to it a few weeks later and know exactly what to do! It's like your brain needed time to hash it out while you were sleeping.
I wonder if I'll write again before another seven months have passed . . .