Saturday, 30 August 2008

Challenge review

A little review of the Challenges that the European Street Team has had till now and our entries.

The Purple Challenge:

The Summer Challenge:

Picture inspiration Challenge:

The Starry Night Challenge:

The Wasp Challenge:

The Elizabethan era Challenge:

These challenges are so much fun and inspirational, can't wait to hear what the next one will be!

Friday, 29 August 2008

Friday Findings: Peacocks

VaniteDeLaMort-Monstre Extraordinaire gothic lolita top hat

webbpottery- Peacock Feather Bottle Raku Pottery

FLYoungStudio-The Bluest Eye

VieModerne- Peacock Feather and Leather Flower Headband


Stevester-Peacock Poofy Sleeve Top

redrubyrose-Gold silk peacock feathers

OSSMedicineJewelry-Strutt Your Stuff with Peacock Earrings

leighannkline-Peacock Feather Bag

gothfoxdesigns-Beautiful Satin Peacock Baby Burlesque Nipple Pasties

CitrusTree-Paon de la Delray


wildspirits-Beautiful Peacock and Parrot Barrette

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Lovely Package

A while back I was again lucky to win a give away, this time at Fleurfatale's blog. I won a beautiful handmade booklet with gorgeous paper and a great eye for detail.

Beside the book, the packaging was really smashing reminds me again that packaging is almost as important as the inside of it! I can imagine that Fleurfatale is also doing a great job in packaging her lovely jewelry! Thank you Fleur, I love it!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Struggling with Pictures

It took me a long time to find a way to take decent pictures. Not only the correct light, but also background and position of camera and item. It still happens often that some pieces are harder to capture as they are then others. It always stays difficult to show the piece truly as it is and give it justice.
First I started with a white background, but I found it very difficult to keep the white truly white and not grey or blue plus I was not familiar yet with photoshop or how to position the camera or piece. Uhhh looks horrible...

I always take at least 15 shots of a piece, as there will always be some out of focus or just has not 'it'.
The 'it' part is hard to explain, it is something that you see as soon as you see the picture. It has sensation, deepness and drives your attention as soon as you see the picture.

After (trying) to sell on Rubylane for almost a year and (trying) to sell on Etsy for six months and experiment with other colors as background. I found the grey background I use now the best. As we are with this together, my mum and I, and we both design in a different style the shop needed something calm so that it wouldn't become a messy color mix soup. The grey is warmer then white but does not take the colors away from the items and makes a good basic background.
As I didn't (and still hardly can) manage Adobe Photoshop, I started to use ACDSee and found it quite easy to manage pictures there. Of course you need good pictures as basic, but without the managing it will not 'pop' as it should. Here are the steps I go through with pictures, for our shops and blog. I take the pictures at early afternoon, when the sun is shining, but in the shadow.
Natural light is simply the best. I manage the light manual on my camera and make it +3/4 lighter (+/- Comp.) and of course on Macro setting.

This is the 'untouched' picture:

First thing is to crop it, usually, if I can, I make it square but keep in mind the Gallery mode of Etsy to keep some space at the top and bottom from the object.

Then I add Shadow/Highlights. This makes the picture not only sharper but also more 'real', touchable plus gives deepness.

Then at 'Colors', I change the Saturation, of course looking at the real object to avoid that the colors do not become as they are not in real. You have to be sure that the colors you show are truly the real colors. As you can see, the differences are very small, and look not worthy the work, but they really make a difference and each picture takes about maximum 1 minute of my time.

Finally I remove the distracting flaws of the background with Photo repair and with this picture I also cleaned the urchin a bit. Of course the cleaning job is very useful, sometimes it happens that a tiny tiny dust piece is on the piece that you can only see in the pictures but not in real. Removing a tiny dust and distracting background flaws makes the picture neat and complete.
Here another example, this time a jewelry piece, again the same steps except the photo repair. Tiny changes make a difference.

Hope this information can help others who struggle with pictures, and if I can do this everyone can, I'm sooo not technical!!

Friday, 22 August 2008

Friday Findings: Angels


TheHouseOfMouse-Angel Mouse

thecupcakeprincess-Angel of Hope

SaintsAndSinners-Sexy Blue Angel Wings

PamelaAngus-Chateau Angel- in Stained Glass

MichelleSM-Moon Angel

lunaticart-Black Wings

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Knock, knock, knock... who's at the door?

Every summer gets here a bit hotter than the one before. Creatures living in the hills cannot find any water and descend to the town. Three times now we have found one or two turtles at our garden gate. Do they feel that in this house two animal lovers live? Do they communicate with the dogs in the yard who tell them this is the best place in town?

It must be something like that, because this little one has been here three times, waiting for us to come home.

We give him/her a dish of water and letucce.

It drinks and eats, and than desappears again, surprisingly swift, till the next visit...