Easy, Inexpensive Photography Set-up

Setting up for a photo session at home can be a pain in the butkiss!
Which window? What time? Sunlight? Cloudy? And at that point you're usually pulling your hair out and thinking that washing the dishes piling up in your sink would just be far preferable!

Here's a very simple set-up that can help you during most daylight hours. It can even be adapted to night time shooting by adding a couple of inexpensive desk lamps and some OTT Lights.

This is more or less what you'll be needing.
- A piece of cardboard sized as you prefer. You can actually have several different sizes to use to bounce light off each other.
- Aluminum Foil
- A clamp. You can get these at any hardware store. They come in different sizes and range in price from 2$-10$
- Tracing Paper or Velum. As many sheets as you like depending on how much light you want to diffuse. Tracing Paper is thinner. Velum would be best if your area is particularity sunny.

A tripod of some kind is essential in getting crisp photos. Today, I used my little Joby table top tripod. What I love about this little guy is his flexibility. You can twist him about to just about any position. You still need to help keep him steady though. I would actually recommend a combination of traditional Tripod with a table top model for close-ups. The traditional tripods are often sturdier and steadier.

Take a sheet or two of Aluminum Foil and wrap it onto your piece of cardboard. Tape is a good idea to help keep it tight.

Take the clamp and put your foil-covered cardboard into it. You can now place it wherever you need to bounce the light without it falling down on you. As you can see, I just ended up needing one sheet of tracing paper, I could have put up as much as 4 though if I really wanted to diffuse the light.

I used my grey background, but you can use any color you like for this set-up. If you're looking for a bright white background, you can try this set-up. My set-up is basically a modification of this one...:)

A note on the table. I wasn't happy with where I was able to place my foil-covered bouncer and so I ended up dragging my dining table to the window...;) It's a good idea to be using a surface that actually surpasses the size of your photography area so you can really fine-tune your lighting.

With this set-up and my little Canon PowerShot ELPH100HS I was able to take these shots. For editing, I just had some small color adjustments because my light was a little on the blue side. There were very little lighting and contrast adjustments.

If you want to check out more awesome tutorials, you can check out my fellow Aspiring Metalsmith teamies' teaching skills!

♥ VCArtisanOriginals – artisanoriginals.blogspot.com
♥ Sylvia Anderson – sylviaanderson.blogspot.com
♥ Metals Addict – www.metalsaddict.com
♥ Lilian Ginebra – girllovesglitter.blogspot.com
♥ Esmeralda – jewelry-by-silverblueberry.blogspot.com
♥ Stacy – formandfunktionaccessories.blogspot.com
♥ Mary Anne Karren – silverpearlmetalworks.wordpress.com
♥ Pennee - allwiredupjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com
♥ Jessica – www.abellablue.com/blog
♥ Elizabeth Brown – resurrectionsilver.blogspot.com

I hope this little setup could help...:)


The Market - Wrapped, GD Packaged!

*dusts off the screen*

Gee, it certainly has been a good long time since I posted...almost a year! A lot has happened in that time and I will be sharing some of it with you all...:) I have pictures...;)

I thought an excellent way of kicking this blog off again would be to show off the packaging for my goodies. The examples below are basically how I always package though there may be ribbon/tissue paper color & width variations depending on the size of the jewelry box.

I worked very hard on my branding. I wanted something that reflected both whimsy and elegance and so my logo is both crazy and refined. The colors I chose are a pure personal reflection. Pink and Aqua are two of my fav colors...;) Along with this lovely bundle, customers also get a simple silver envelope with my business cards inside and a SECRET item! hehehehehe

I want my customers to feel special and so I go out of my way to give them special packaging reflective of the quality of their purchase...:)

All wrapped up and ready to go

Up close

Business cards

If you want to see more, you can check out my fellow Aspiring Metalsmith teamies' packaging solutions...:)

♥ Beatriz Fortes – cjbf.blogspot.com
♥ ArtistiKat – artistikat-scratchingpost.blogspot.com
♥ Claire English – brightstar109.blogspot.com
♥ Mary Anne Karren – silverpearlmetalworks.wordpress.com
♥ Lisa – glenshire-shop.blogspot.com
♥ Stacy – formandfunktionaccessories.blogspot.com
♥ Amy Estelle – amyestellemetalworks.blogspot.com
♥ Morgan MetalAdornments - metaladornments.blogspot.com
♥ Jason – happytortoisedesigns.blogspot.com

I hope you enjoyed looking!


It's Personal - My Second Montreal Gem Fair Visit

I almost COMPLETELY forgot about the Gem Fair this year and I managed to get there this afternoon. I'm so happy I did! I found some beautiful stuff and I reconnected with a lot of awesome people...:)

I didn't get to take photographs this year inside, but I did sneak one of my buddy Mike, a super sweet rockhound...:) There was a such a crush of people that even if I would have been allowed, I doubt I would have gotten anything else BUT people in the photographs! LOTS more people than last year, though it seemed like there were less vendors. I honestly wouldn't mind trying my luck at selling my pieces there as there were jewelry enthusiasts as well as stone and mineral lovers...:)

So, on to what I nabbed! These are awful pictures...I'm probably gonna retake them in daylight.

This is my buddy Mike, I got the following three pieces from him

A really pretty piece of amethyst that Mike handed over, I will probably make a pendant out of it...:)

This little beauty was hiding amongst some of Mike's slabs he had behind the counter...I had to have it and I'll probably keep it as is as a mineral specimen. I have a special place in my heart for Eudyalite.

This stunner was just sitting there looking pretty and I fell in love. It's a Picture Jasper the size of my palm. I bought this one for myself...;)

Mike always has fascinating stuff and he's a great hugger! You should have seen the MASSIVE 200lbs rock he had at the back and he had some beautiful petrified logs. I shoulda taken a pic of that rock...it was HUGE!

And now for beads...:D

I've been looking for small rondelles of moonstone for a while and I got these at a very good price. They are not the flashiest, but they still have good color and clarity. They are not faceted and are considered pillows.

Also known as Rainforest Jasper, this is Ryolite. I just loved the shape and color of these. They'd look great with copper although I have a marquis-shaped chain in sterling that would also be fab with these.

Are these not just gorgeous? They are Dendrite Agates. They are the size of my thumb! I saw them and fell in love....weirdly enough, they haven't spoken to me yet beyond telling me I think they're gorgeous...*lol* But a design...or two or three...will come!

Last but not least, my first mineral purchase...:D

This is Amazonite taken from Lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada. Amazonite is my favorite stone and I saw TONS of specimens at the fair. So many were beautiful, but none tempted me from my promise not to buy minerals...until this little guy. Why was it so irresistible? Well, Canadian Amazonite is the quiet variety. It's similar in look to Russian Amazonite with white striations, but it's MUCH, MUCH paler. Most have just a blush of aqua color. Very soft and quite lovely in it's own way though the brighter varieties are far more popular these days. This particular specimen is quite rich in color...there are even some areas that are almost as bright as the Colorado variety of Amazonite. On top of that, this piece has gorgeous golden Pyrite crystals on it. I didn't see any other specimens with nearly so many...the few I saw that did have some only had tiny spots. And so this beauty came home with me and will get a nice display box along with the Eudyalite as soon as I have a shelf to put them on...:D

I left so much stuff behind that I just drooled over. Gorgeous raspberry-colored Garnet beads in hexagon shape and some small, lovely, flashy Labradorite smooth freeforms. If I would have been more confident in my faceted gem knowledge, I'd probably have taken home some of those too! There was an Indian dealer who was super nice selling some of the most gorgeous beads I've ever seen. He had this 16" strand of enormous Rose Quartz that was out of this world. Not a single inclusion to be seen with the naked eye, and so clear you could see right through them...1500$ for the strand...O_o OUCH! But I was convinced they were worth that price! He had some beautiful sapphire brios and other just beautiful things, Kunzite and stunning Smokey Quartz and colored Moonstones and Labradorite and the list goes on an on and I'd be surprised if he had anything less than 50$ a strand...:D

And that was my trip this year...I can't wait for next year!


It's Personal - My baby turns 16!

Kaleeka checking out her new buddies August & Jessica on their first day with us.

On November 3rd, 16 years ago, I was witness to a beautiful thing.

My sister's beautiful, TINY, blue tortie kitty, Puce, went into her very first labor. My sister rushed to my mom's house to tell us about it. I ran downstairs as fast as I could, of course, but my mom being my mom and not the most fond of kitties took her time.

I was there to watch first Junior, then Storm and finally Kaleeka come out into a world.

Kalee being a model...:)

There were no issues with Junior and Storm, both were quite big and Puce was able to get them out of their birth sacs and get them all cleaned up. Kalee was an other issue. We're not sure why but it took her much longer to release Kalee and by the time the tiny kitten emerged, she was so exhausted that we had to step in to save the runt...definitely the runt! Eric and I reached in and gently removed the membrane around her and cleaned her up. We cleared her tiny mouth and nose of the mucus and waited for her to take her first breath.

It's relaxing time...


It didn't come. Eric and I panicked and in a moment of genius, Eric picked up the delicate coin-sized baby, put her head gently in his mouth and breathed into her nose.
She suddenly gave a great gulp and let out one heck of a howl for one so tiny.

My mom arrived just before Kalee came into the world and so was there throughout the whole drama of Kalee's first breath. EVERYONE in the room was crying in joy to see her breathing and seemingly healthy!

She always cuddles up to Tobee...:D

Alas, our happiness lasted only about three weeks. Suddenly Puce refused to let her drink from her. She was half the size of her brother and sister and there was no way she'd have survived on her own. I was drafted to be her nanny seeing as I had the time to help wean her.

We took 3 weeks to slowly wean her to solid food going from mostly milk pablum, to mostly pablum to soft kitten food to hard kitten food. I flew by the seat of my pants as I had no clue! I tried to ignore it, but I fell in love with this tiny, needy little girl. She would follow me around the house, sleep with me in bed, cuddle, play and do her best just to be around me. Knowing I could never have her because my mom doesn't like kitties, I did my best (obviously not good enough) to remain aloof thinking I was doing this so someone else could have her.

Did you say treats????

By mid-December, she was basically weaned, but she was still very small and so my mom said it was OK to keep fostering her until she was big enough to be offered up for adoption. Look at her, do you honestly think it would have taken a long time for someone to gobble her up? Ok, maybe I'm biased...:D

Come New Years, she was almost at a normal kitten weight and she was finally roly-poly. I started to detach even more because I knew her time with me was over and she'd be going to her new home. And then she was still with us all the way until January 9th, my birthday.


And the laughter continues...:D Pardon my voice!

That's when my mom did the unthinkable.

She told me Kalee was mine to keep, that we would finally call her something other than kitty. I thought my mom was joking! Little did I know that a bond was created when my mom watched her be born. For the first time my mom liked a cat. Not just liked but loved. And she hide it from me. She had planned on giving Kalee to me from the moment I started weaning her. My mom calls on Kalee's birthday to talk to her every single year since I moved out...:D Isn't she adorable??? :D:D:D

We spent hours brainstorming a name for her. We wanted something that played with her beautiful calico coloring and so we came up with Kaleeka. Mind you, we have a bunch of nick-names for her too...;) Kalee-kalee, Miss Priss, Puty-tuty and Brat to name a few...:D She was the only calico kitty out of three litters by Puce.

I walked into this in my bedroom in our new apartment.

I truly, deeply believe that the bond we have is a result of me being so closely connected to her in her kittenhood. She has a dog's personality. She's friendly, affectionate, loud, boisterous, demanding, a true drama-queen. We have such closely meshed personalities that it's scary sometimes. She's also incredibly communicative. It's often difficult to know what a cat wants when they are sitting there meowing at you but Kalee has quite a few tones and levels to tell you what she wants and she'll even lead you to it to make sure she gets her point across. Feed me, clean my litter, let me in the tub, water please, cuddle please, sleep time please, I'm pissed at you, enough with the grooming, and you're moving me why?...all these have different sounds and so I almost always know what she wants. Of course there are moments where I just think she wants to piss me off...;) She is LOUD and I think that's because she was the runt.

I had forgotten something on my way to work so I came back to get it and found them like this...awww

Well, runt....that honestly didn't last very long. She VERY quickly grew. At one point, she tipped the scale at a whopping 19.6lbs. She was definitely overweight, but not as much as one would think seeing as she's larger than your average female. In fact, the vet said she had the bone structure sizing of a large tom! Not that I'm surprised, her daddy was a HUGE boy. He's one of the biggest cats I've ever encountered and he didn't have an ounce of fat on him.

Kalee has just turned 16 and she's doing wonderfully...:) She's arthritic, but it doesn't stop her from jumping on the couch or bed to be where I am. I also helped her lose the weight she needed to lose to help her move around better and she's at a healthy 14.2lbs.

None of my girls are active and so my solution to make them move around was to use these treat balls that get batted around as feed balls during the day. They get their night feeding in a regular bowl so the rolling won't disturb the neighbors at night.

I'm so very blessed to have had the opportunity to raise and love this special kitty. She truly loves me without reservation and conditions and she's a constant source of drama and amusement.

Kalee being her cute self

What more could one want in a special friend?

Hidden Treasures - Citronella & Blueberry Punch


Citronella and Blueberry Punch

Another Nonteam Challenge, this was conceived to highlight the beautiful filigree objects that abound on Etsy as well as focus on the color of Citrine, November's Stone...:) It used RogueButterly's beautiful and vibrant gypsy filigree earrings as a starting point...:) I wanted bright color, contrast and elegance and I think I got it...:)

Interested in finding out more about the Nonteam Challenge? Check out this blog.


Honeymoon in Blue

This is so refreshing and pretty. I was really happy to be included in TreasuredDetails' collection...:)

I actually didn't forget to make a treasury this week. Work has been very busy and I have been busy preparing for a few things that I'll be talking about in an announcement this week...:) So my own treasuries are on hold and I'm doing my best to get the Nonteam treasuries up as well though I may need to forgo a few!


Hidden Treasures - Say it ain't so!


Say it ain't so!

This is my second entry for the Nonteam Challenge...:) It used FlutterbyeNotes' super playful blank cards as a starting point...:) Playful was what I wanted for this and I also wanted to make a little bit of a statement about how we perceive our own abilities with speech and how we use them.

Interested in finding out more about the Nonteam Challenge? Check out this blog.


Thank you Curators

Isn't this just wonderfully soft and serene? A gorgeous thank you for sure. AwakenJournaling chose to thank the curators of the treasuries she liked best by making her own treasury for us...:) I'm so glad she enjoyed my collection! Thank you!

I completely forgot to do my own treasury this week! So stay tuned for next week's...:) Thanks for looking!


Hidden Treasures - Nonteam Challenge!


Hot Pink Tamale with Olives

The weather has been absolutely dreary and so I wanted to brighten things up. I haven't used hot pink in a while and so I took flight! Enjoy this spicy little collection...:)

The Key is...

I've recently chosen to participate in a really, really cool treasury concept called the Nonteam Challenge. The premise is to build a treasury around one common item. The first Challenge has netted about 125 treasuries! I want to include this along with my weekly treaury building...:)

Interested in finding out more? Check out this blog post. This week's item was Awakenjournaling's gorgeous leather key journal.


Art Deco

Talk about a gorgeous and funky collection! I love the geometric emphasis in here. Gorgeous color too! Thanks to kitkingdesigns for including me in this wonderful collection!

Cozy Weekend at the Lake

I am really honored that out of all the participating Nonteam challengers, WickedDarling chose one of my pieces to be in her group of 16. It's a beautiful, rich curation and my earrings look fabulous in it!

If you comment on my weekly treasury (first one posted above!), you get the chance to be in next week's Hidden Treasures!
Thank for looking!


Announcemnets - And the Winner is.....

As many of you know, the lovely Nicole of Lillyella was kind enough to use me for one of her Spotlight featurees last week!

I got to talk a little bit about myself and I got to do a Giveaway for one of my pieces (shown below. Don't worry, I'm not wearing the earrings; it's a print!) or a gift certificate worth 20$!

Well, we have a winner!

Congrats to you Jesselyn! You have already left me some sweet comments on my FB page which made me feel better. I hope you enjoy accompanying me on my journey and I can't wait to get to know you better!


Hidden Treasures - Chain Mesh


Chain Mesh

This collection was inspired by my two friends Stephanie and Julie who both make beautiful chainmaille jewelry. Both are featured in the listing as DoskasDeisgns and LunargentWorkshop.


Feline Fun!

Meeeoooooww! This is a gorgeous collection full of warm yellow tones created by Art2ArtColorado.

October Rains

Cool and elegant and fresh all in one. This makes me anticipate the coming rains and snows...:) Created by TickledPinkKnits.

If you comment on the treasury, you get the chance to be in next week's Hidden Treasures!


Announcemnets - Gifted Designs featured on Lillyella!

The lovely Nicole of Lillyella has been kind enough to use me for one of her Spotlight featurees!

I cannot tell you how exciting this is for me...:D

Lillyella is my favorite blog and to be on it in this way is a huge honor for me. Nicole is a huge source of inspiration in everything that she so creatively does.

Please show support by checking out the feature HERE.

You'll notice I'm doing a Giveaway to compliment the interview and so feel free to participate. Good luck to those of you who do!

I'm sick as a dog and I don't care. This feature has me on Cloud 9!
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Gifted Designs Copyright © 2009 Cookiez is Designed by Ipietoon for Free Blogger Template