Friday, January 28, 2011

It feels good to be featured!

WooHoo! reFinds is featured on Heather's nifty blog The Gift Closet today. If you haven't discovered The Gift Closet yet, do yourself a favor and drop by. There's always something fun going on. Heather showcases a lot of unique items (many handmade). There are great gift ideas and more often than not, stuff I want for myself. Be sure to check out "Win it Wednesday" for unusual and lovely give-aways.

Special thanks to Heather for featuring reFinds! Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, January 24, 2011

My favorite place to be

For the last several days, I've been inspired like crazy to make stuff, so my favorite place to be right now is at my battered old work bench, wiling away the hours gluing, stringing beads, wrapping wire and totally destroying my manicure as only making jewelry can. It's been awesome! 

I had an online conversation recently with other jewelry makers and we all agreed that we tend to create in chaos -- the messier the better. So, although I considered tidying up before taking the pics, ultimately I decided it was more fun to show my desk in all its cluttered, creative chaos. After all, the mess is one of the reasons it's my favorite place to be right now. 

Got a picture of your favorite place or your work space? Share a link in the comments... I'd love to see it! :-)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting with the Groove

I've got a Facebook page for my Etsy shop! I know, I know...what the heck took me so long? Well, I don't have a good answer for that. Fear, I guess. Which is just silly. It was a lot easier to set up than I expected. Anyway, check it out (here) if you feel inclined... 

Like it if you like it, or don't. No pressure. But if you all like it, it would make me feel all warm and squishy. :-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tips from the World's Worst Photography Student

I admit it. I stink as a photographer. Since getting really great photos is one of the biggest factors in succeeding on Etsy, that's a problem. You'd think photography talent would go hand in hand with being a graphic designer, but I'm living proof to the contrary. I appreciate great photos, and I certainly want to showcase my products to the best of my abilities, but when it comes right down to it, I'm just not interested in learning all the ins and outs of photography. It's too technical and (this is going to sound weird since I make jewelry) a bit too fiddly for my liking. I'd rather be making jewelry than figuring out how the aperture setting on my camera works.  

So, lucky for me, I have a husband with a great eye and an interest in photography. Even so, up until now, his interest has been landscape and wildlife photos. That doesn't translate terribly well into product shots. Getting good photos of my jewelry and other small items for my etsy shop had been pretty hit and miss over the last couple of months. Practice really does make perfect, I guess, because I've noticed a real improvement as of late. Amazingly, I've been learning along the way as well, despite my lack of interest in photography. Who knew this old girl could learn some new tricks after all!

One thing I've learned is that the right lighting is the single most important factor in getting a good picture. And, getting the light right can also be the most illusive and frustrating part. But, as evidenced by the before and after pictures below, I think we (and most of the credit really goes to my wonderful husband here) finally have it figured out! Yay!

Before - I just couldn't manage to capture the vibrant gold colors in this necklace, even using indirect natural sunlight as many photography blogs and forums recommend. It just looked flat.

After - The right light makes all the difference. Just look at the rich colors! I'm so happy to finally have a photo that does this beautiful necklace justice.
Stay tuned over the next several weeks for a series of posts on product photography tips for non-photographers, specifically those who'd rather spend their time making and listing things than playing with their cameras. I plan to share all the tricks and secrets I've learned to help out others who are struggling to take better pictures like I was. More soon...