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May 14, 2011
...and my ongoing struggle to produce good pictures!Today in an effort to get my website shop and Etsy shop stocked with beautiful new beads I have mostly been taking photographs. In actual fact I have spent the last three days taking bead photographs without much success because although it has been really quite sunny here there have been clouds scooting across the sky and giving me a real headache trying to get the exposure right....I use a Canon G11 which is a fairly decent camera and although I would give my eye teeth for a DSLR my G11 is more than good enough for what I need it for, assuming I know how to use it that is.Anyway I have been struggling with setting the exposure as well as getting a hideous green cast when I try to set the white balance and then finally today, I did it, I read the manual. I have had the camera for 18 months and to date have managed by randomly poking at buttons - quel suprise there were a couple of really simple solutions for my problems, who knew that the manual would have all the answers? Not only did it have the answers to my problems but I found a handy dandy little button that previously I didn't know what it was for, apparently it automatically adjusts the exposure, magnificent. I try to do as little post production as possible on my photos to keep them as close as possible colourwise although I realise different monitors show pictures differently, Georges computer monitors are both completely out of whack and all his colours appear more or less luminous but I digress...I had been struggling with pictures of some pinky/purpley/magenta silver glass beads which have a gorgeous irridescent mother-of -pearl sheen I was trying to capture. I had photos from every angle and in every light setting imaginable, I was trying to bring out the luster and it became clear while trying to edit them it was an epic fail! I rocked back on my chair and studied the offending beads sitting on my laptop, I looked and looked again and realised that in the late afternoon light by the window with the blind down I could see them perfectly, I grabbed the camera and took the shot and voila...perfecto!So here we go...the first photo was taken outside and shows some irridescence and some mother of pearl shine.
and the second photo... a quick snap taken on top of my laptop next to the window with the blind down...lookeeeee all that shiney mother-of-pearl.. yay!
So todays lesson is...scrap the fancy schmancy tripod, light tent, outdoor set up and just plonk beads on laptop and take a couple of quick down and dirty snaps.
January 23, 2013
I am on the horns of a dilemma... The sign ups for the 7th Bead Soup blog are fast approaching and I really, really want to take part again. I absolutely loved the last one, if you remember I was paired with Elaine Robitaille of Too Aquarius who sent me a package of her spectacular polymer clay beads. I loved working out how to use them and I only got slightly stressed about posting my final piece. I also loved visiting the blogs of the other particpants and seeing their bead soup ingredients, reading about their inspiration and process to their final pieces.
But....I am somewhat over subscribed at the moment...I have several Facebook Groups which I signed up for in a flurry of new year enthusiasm but it's looking less and less likely that I have time for.I am commited to my once a month blog circle, which doesn't sound much but I really try to take time over writing, reading and commenting on it.I am already doing the Art Jewelry Earring challenge.I have an exciting e-course starting in the next week or soMy mothers house is due to exchange and complete over the next 4-6 weeks, which means I have all sorts of packing and organising shenanagins to sort out.not to mention various teams and forums that I am active inand mostly not forgettinglampwork!I want to make some beads, I really want to make some beads and there just aren't enough hours in the day.So I think that I need to scale it down a bit and work out what I can sensibly achieve. I am still undecided but it is looking unlikely that I will sign up for Bead Soup 7 however just because I can't doesn't mean you shouldn't. Lori is accepting all applicants this time with 3 different reveal dates so click on over to Bead Soup 7 and check it out. Sign ups are from 25-27th January that is just four days away so mark your diaries.Oh and don't be surprised if I suddenly show up over there having had a last minute attack of the sod it, I just fancy a bowl of soup.
January 20, 2013
I recently signed up for the Art Jewelry Elements blog Earring Challenge to make one pair of earrings every week for a whole year, the earrings have to feature at least one artisan component. Every two weeks there will be a reveal with some of the earrings being featured on the AJE blog. There is also a Pinterest board which is looking fantastic already with challenge participants.Both my first and second pair feature gorgeous polymer clay beads by Elaine Robitaille of Too Aquarius. Elaine and I were partners in the Bead Soup challenge last year and I have been waiting for an opportunity to use these wonderful beads since last autumn.
My first pair are Flower Fairy Earrings with Elaine's flower beads, gemstone beads and Swarovski lilac opal crystal beads wire wrapped with Bali silver headpins.
Check out some of the other blog hop participants below there are some wonderful earrings out there.
January 17, 2013
I love the start of the year, a clean slate bursting with the of possibility of adventure.The start of this year finds me deep in family stuff. My 76 year old mother has sold her house and we are currently packing up the last 48 years of her life and all that goes with it. Layers of the lives of the people who lived there are being trawled through and sorted out. Tons of crap punctuated with bright sparkling jewels of memories, photographs, books, the occasional treasure which has lain forgotten about for decades, it's an emotional roller coaster, heart breaking at times.
I can't imagine how hard it must be to be leaving the scene of your entire life for nearly 50 years. The memories and ghosts of the people you loved most and other, bit part players you were rather less fond of. I do know mum, although sad, is really looking forward to finding somewhere smaller, easier to keep and cosy, her new beginning.
It's not just mum leaving, it's me too. When the removal van pulls away from the house where I lived from the age of 3 I will be leaving behind the house I left for school every morning waving to mum through a gap in the trees, the house where I experienced the highs and lows of being a teenager, the house I first I left for a bedsit in Dulwich at 19, the house where I set off for my wedding at 24, the house where my father and brother both passed away. It is a place packed with so many of my memories I know I will be overwhelmed with sadness.
On the other side of that though I can already see a gleaming new path, liberated from lifelong fears and expectations. It feels as if I really am throwing out the old to bring in the new by exposing things that have laid under dust for years and actually deciding I don't want or need them.
My new beginning is a big one it involves business plans, travel plans, new beads, new jewelry, lots of things I dreamt about for years. Finally, as Howard Jones once sang, I will be able to throw off my mental chains and I am beyond excited as to where it's going to take me!
This post is part of a "New Beginnings" blog circle, if you would like to step this way and follow the link the next blog is by Jean Wagner - New Beginnings