Saturday Stuffs

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today was pretty busy. I had to go to the post office to drop off orders from my supply shop, listed a few new pieces in the shop, worked on some Christmas gifts for family (nope, not jewelry!) and listed a couple new pieces in my new shop Prolific Adornments.

I tell ya what. Sometimes we see other's crafts and think, hmmm, that looks easy. Not everything is as easy as it looks. Like my Christmas crafts. I wish I could say what I am making but my Mom and Daughter do read my blogs sometimes. lol

These are the necklaces I listed at Prolific Adornments.

Working, Working, Working

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I have been so busy this week! I opened 2 new shops, started a new blog, renewed my Sweet Georgia Beads godaddy domain, (It is forwarded to my Etsy supply shop) bought a new domain for Prolific Adornments, created new jewelry for all my shops... and on and on.

I've been wanting to open a new shop. (see here) One reason for this was that the domain "DesignsByDebi" .com was taken. I wanted to be able to brand myself more and own the domain of my jewelry shop. So I finally choose a cool name- Prolific Adornments. :) I love the name. I made sure I checked everywhere before choosing it- the web, Etsy, Artfire, gmail, blogger. No one had used that name. Surprise Surprise! lol. So now I have it all! weeeeeeeeeee.

Another reason I wanted to open a second jewelry shop is because my jewelry style can vary so much. Sometimes I create what I would call cutesy jewelry ...and sometimes I create hmmm... darker stuff. More vintage-y kinda stuff. Dark colors, tons of patina, worn out old jewelry reworked into new pieces. I wanted to open a shop more in that direction, so Prolific Adornments was born.
The Secret necklace is still in my DesignsByDebi shop at the moment. That's a problem I seem to be having. I have a lot of jewelry at DBD that I want to move to PA, but a lot of it has hearts on it already! I hate moving pieces that people have hearted and may be actually planning on purchasing! Argh

I did also register the shop on Artfire, but I am using it in a different way at the moment. I have some jewelry that I am just tired of seeing in my DBD etsy shop, so for now, I am using the Artfire shop to sell that jewelry. I'm going to give it a couple of months and if it doesn't sell, I will give it away to family and friends, destroy it or just chunk it out the window. LOL Then I want to fill up the artfire shop with pieces more on the line of Prolific Adornments on Etsy.

Lorelei's Michaels Blog Challenge

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yay! I finished my necklace for the blog challenge. I know it's early, but as soon as I get up Sunday morning I have to get ready and head out for my granddaughter's birthday party, so I won't be able to post in the morning. So without further ado, here it is!
I was able to get most of the beads just as Lorelei chose them, but had to make a couple of substitutions. There were no tiny green freshwater pearls, so I had to get larger ones. I'm not sure if the 10mm beads were the exact same shade as Lorelei's. They sorta looked green in her photo, but I could only find blue ones that light. For my focal, I chose this sweet peacock pendant from Blue Moon Beads -Enchanted planet line. It has the same green as the pearls and blue as the glass beads For my "extras" I used wire and sari silk. The blue glass beads are wire wrapped and I made the hanger for the pendant. I tied little strips of sari silk to the hanger.
Of course one rule was making your own clasp, which I did with silver wire. I prefer to attach my clasps to the side instead of the back, so I made the clasp pretty large and hung a pearl from it.

This was such a fun challenge! I do love the cinnabar (I already have a lot of it) but the rest, especially the white chain, was definitely "out of the box" for me! Thanks Lorelei for the challenge, please give us more!!!

Here is the list of participants for the challenge. Please continue your blog hopping with the next person on the list, Sweet Girl Design. :)

~Debi :)

Mary Harding
Hilary of Fryestyle
For My Sweet Daughter
My Life Under the Bus
Kristie of DreamSomeDesigns
Linda's Bead Blog & Meanderings
Copper Diem

Andrew Thornton
Raida of HavanaBeads (I need a correct link for this blog!)
Erin of Treasuresfound
Molly of BeautifullyBrokenMe
Beading by Malin de Koning

Deborah M Purdy
Spirited Earth

Erin Siegel Jewelry
beads by breul
Beads for Busy Gals
Cynths Blog
Nayas Organized Chaos
Crafty Hope

Rosebud For the Love of Beads
Jamberry Song
Peacock Fairy
Elysian Studio Art
Designs by Debi
sweet girl design

Photography Tips for Jewelry or other Small Items

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Great pictures are a critical part of listing and selling your items. If your pictures are bad, you may sell your items, but great pictures can make or break a sale. If your pictueres are blurry, dark or not at a good angle, a buyer may pass your item up!

First things first. The Camera. You don't have to spend a lot of money on a camera. The main things to look for in a camera are:
1. Megapixels- Most cameras out there will have a good number of megapixels. A megapixel is one million pixels, and refers to the resolution of your camera.. The more pixels, the clearer your or image will be. My camera (a canon Powershot A1000IS) is a 10.0 megapixel camera.
2. Macro Setting- To get good, close up, detailed images, you need to set your camera on the Macro setting. If you have tried to get close up pics and they come out blurry, it may be because you are not using the macro setting of your camera. Some cameras even come with a super macro setting. (mine does not)

Secondly, you need to have good lighting. You do not want to be taking pictures with a flash. When I am taking the pictures on my mannequin, I use natural sunlight. Alexis (yes I named my manequin) stands in front of a window. I know I must look insane to my neighbors, but hey, you have to do what you have to do. lol

You can also use artifical lighting, if you do it right! My pictures of jewelry laying down is taken with two OTT lights shining over the item. Of course you can also use a light box. I do have a homemade lightbox, but honestly, the thing is just too big and irritating to work with. OTT lights are about as close to natural light as you can get and they produce great light and colors for me.

Third, Props! I just lay my items on either a sheet of white cardstock which I have from my manic scrapbooking days or another prop. I have three flooring tiles that I bought at lowe's which I used in the pictures below. I have the OTT lights shining over them. I also have a few other props such as rocks (found outside) and just cute things I found at a secondhand store.

Once you have these things down, there are a few things you should consider when taking your pictures.

Details! People like seeing the wonderful colors, textures and details of your items. Yes, you know there are tiny flecks of gold in that bead, but your customers don't know how wonderful they are if you don't show them! Take close ups! (again, macro setting)

Size matters! Yes, you know how large and in charge those beads are, but your customer doesn't unless you show them. Yes, you should take pics of the item just laying down, but take a pic that shows the size also. This can be accomplished by taking pictures of the piece on yourself or a mannequin. You can also add props to some of the pics such as a ruler or object.

Watch those backgrounds! In the picture below, I made two mistakes. In the first one, I overshot the tile and got part of my work area in the picture. No, its not a kill the deal mistake, but it is not professional looking. The second mistake is just odd. I did not get any of my hand in the picture so it just looks strange. Yes, I know it's my wrist and your customer may as well, but it just looks weird.

Remember, people don't want to see your wastebasket, dirty laundry or dishes in your pictures. So watch those backgrounds.

Always take more pictures than you need. Those 5 shots might look great on the camera screen, but you may get them on your computer then find out that 2 are out of focus or taken from a bad angle. I usually take around 10 pictures at least of every item. I can always delete some, but taking more means having to unhook your camera and got back to your photography area.

Take a lot of angles of your pictures. I always try to get the following 5:
1. Full shot overhead
2. Cool angle shot
3. Shot either on my mannequin or myself
4. & 5. Close up shots

Ok, so you have lots of pictures at different angles. Now what?

Your pictures might be perfect at this point, but there may be times when the colors or brightness are not quite right. This is where your editing software comes into play. Good software should give you options of hue, saturation, brightness, RGB controls, and resizing at the least. I have a Canon SLR camera, so I got a program called Digital Photo Professional with it. That's what I use and it is available here. I have used it with pictures from different camerals, so I think it will work for you even if you do not have a Canon camera.

I'm not going to go into editing your pictures. You can play around with the settings and find what you need.

There are plenty of other programs out there such as Photoshop also. I really like DPP because after I am finished working on my pictures, I can do a "batch process" and save the new changes and resize them all in one step. My pictures are 3848X2736 right out of the camera. I set the width to 1000 and process them from there. To get the clearest pictures, you should take them at a high resolution and then size them down to 1000 pixels wide. This is the width limit for Etsy pictures.

I'm sure I left some things out, but my wrists hurt from typing. lol I hope this helps someone out there! Feel free to ask me questions. I will answer them if I can.

Thanks and Good luck!

It's Pumpkin Time! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My beautiful granddaughter on the front page of the newspaper today :D

Lorelei's Reader Challenge

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So here Lorelei issued a design challenge to her readers. Today I went to Michael's and purchased the beads to complete the challenge. They were out of the small green pearls that she bought, so I purchased some that are a little larger. I do have a couple tiny green pearls. Not sure which I will use. If I need more than 2, I have to use the ones I bought.
Now I just have to get my rear in gear and create something before Sunday.

Seriously though, Michael's is evil! I cannot go in there and spend just a little bit. I always see other things I want/need/lust and end up spending too much! lol

Flea Market Finds

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I went to our local flea market today and got some cool junk jewelry to make into new things.
Some of it was in larger bags, so it's not all "good junk" but there are some cool things in what I got.

A tip for flea market sellers. When you have a customer that has been standing there sorting through items, don't sell the whole batch out from under them. I had been standing at this table a good five minutes going through a suitcase full of old jewelry. A man walked up and wanted to buy the whole thing. Instead of letting the customer that was there first (me) finish shopping, then wheel and deal with the next customer, they sold what was left for one price. They told me I could buy what I already had set aside.

I mean seriously! That was R U D E! If I had not really wanted what I had already, I would have given them a FU and walked away. They saw how ticked I was and gave me what I had for almost half price, but still. If I see them again, I will just keep walking.

Seriously.. you need to read this blog!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A friend of mine on facebook posted a link to a hilarious blog. You really need to check this out!

Hyperbole and a Half

Saturday Fun

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I created this necklace today! It's made from black quartz beads, lava beads, black cinnabar and some lovely brass. I think it's done but I have to look at it a bit longer before deciding it is ready to be listed.