Saturday, July 24, 2010

treasury feature, August EBW Challenge piece, light box up and running

I think that this week I've set a record for the number of new treasuries that I'm included in during one week!  Chris Maj (beadn4fun) included my green button embellished right angle bracelet in her "Bead" the Heat treasury tonight.  16 beautiful EBW items that are on sale for Christmas in July.

You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

As promised, I listed my August EBW Challenge Gold and Silver piece tonight.  It's my gold and silver wrapped skinny peyote cuff.  I've had this idea for quite a while.  This challenge was the perfect opportunity to finally make it happen.  It also pushed me to create my skinny wrapped peyote cuff pattern that I'll be listing tomorrow.

I really love the button on this cuff.  My mom gave me a stash of vintage buttons for Christmas that she'd purchased in bulk from a fabric store, which included a large number of metal buttons.  This is only the second one that I've used so far.  There will be more of them in my pieces in the future.  You can search "ebwc" on Etsy for more challenge entries that have already come in.  I'll post more about the challenge as voting approaches.

I got my light box up and running today.  I'm really pleased of how well everything is working so far!  I  followed the instructions from this DIY tutorial on the web site.  The only things that I did differently are that are used two lights instead of one (on the recommendations of many Etsy blogs/forum posts about light boxes) and that I used Ott lightbulbs (on the recommendation from this Etsy forum post).  For those who are interested in doing this themselves, here's my breakdown of the materials/costs:
-1 large cardboard box (I had this at home because I don't throw out boxes when we'll almost definitely be moving within the next 2 years, otherwise you can probably get one from work)
-white poster board (I already had this at home from my craft fair sign project, but poster board is less than $1 a sheet at Wal-Mart or Target)
-white fabric (I spent $2 on a 100% cotton fat quarter at Jo-Ann Fabrics, but I know that many of you probably have this already...FYI the fat quarter was almost the perfect amount for my box)
-2 desk lamps (I got mine for $10 each at Target, make sure that you get lamps that will accommodate 60W bulbs...a lot of desk lamps are only 40W)
-2 Ott bulbs (I got this kind of bulb at Lowe's for $5 each)
I also used scissors (both paper and fabric), masking tape, and a ruler, all of which I already had at home.  I did not use a knife or glue like the web site tutorial suggests, but you can certainly use these materials if you choose.  The only other thing that I purchased is my tripod, which was this tripod from Target for $15.  It had by far the best reviews out of all of the cheap tripods (under $30) that I browsed this week.  No, it would not be conducive for professional shooting or extended outdoor shooting, particular in areas with uneven footing, but for limited indoor shooting, it's great.

So as you can see, the costs were pretty minimal.  Here it is all set up.  I ran a power strip over to the desk so the desk lamps could reach.  I weighed the bases of the lamps down so that they could angle down this far.  Jake has pretty much moved his main painting area to the living room so I should be able to leave my box set up on this desk in our second bedroom.

I did a small shooting session when I got everything up and running to make sure that it works.  I used a single page from a version of Fur Elise that I got free from Dover online last year.  It doesn't look as classy as my Chopin book, but until I run off some single pages from Chopin (the large book doesn't fit when it's open in the box), it will work.  You get a sneak preview of my newest button bracelet here.

I shot a handful of of pictures with white backgrounds, too.  It doesn't really feel like me haha, but I am pleased with how it looks.  Maybe I'll get used to it as I get more comfortable with the box and the tripod.  As I wrote earlier today, I'm definitely not giving up the music background, but I might experiment with 1-2 white background shots for a listing.

Jake got excited about the light box and had me photograph a few of his Warhammer models.  I had the lights aimed more directly overhead when I started, then switched to the side angle that you see above.  These couple shots are from the side angle.  The detail is much better.  The top of the models, especially the faces, got lost in the dark (even with editing), when the light came from overhead.

My crafty work also inspired Jake to work on his next storage box for his models that he's had the materials for for quite a while.  This was another great DIY tutorial that we found online a few years ago.  This is Jake's third DIY box.


  1. Love the white background! It really makes your bracelet pop!

  2. The box looks great! I keep telling myself I'll make a light box, and never do. Hope the cat doesn't tear it up - maybe face it down and cover it. Good luck!

  3. Congrats on all the treasuries! Thanks for the info on the light box set up! Glad it worked out for you! Has Angel checked it out yet? Kitties are the best snoopervisors around!

  4. Thanks Anna! I may start incorporating some white background shots like that in my Etsy listings.

    You should, Deb! You can purchase and assemble everything in just a couple days' time.

    Thanks Sharla! Angel gets her name because she really is extremely well behaved. I'm not at all worried about her getting into the light box. She may "help" me when I take pictures, but the box will be fine.

  5. What a great light box! Congratulations on the treasuries! Your skinny cuff looks great! Glad to hear that Angel is not a threat to the box.

  6. Looks a lot like my light box! Sometimes I aim the light inside, but I bounce it off the top of the inside of the light box. I have taken my box outside sometimes - works just as well out there. Fun treasuries and lovely bracelets!

  7. Thanks Kathleen! I'll have to play around with some new options when we set up the new desk. :)

  8. Looks great! It would be so nice to have a permanent place to keep a photo shoot area...enjoy :)

  9. Thanks Theresa! I'm lucky that I have a permanent space for my light box. There's no way that I would take pictures nearly as frequently as I do otherwise! The box is easy enough to move, but the lights are kind of pain to set up.

  10. Just saw this blog on creating a "light box" I had copied the instructions so long ago - going to copy your blog and give it to my son to create - he loves to build things - so here's his chance! With this terrible winter - it has been difficult to get good outside lighting!

  11. Sounds good Pam! Let me know how it goes. There is NO WAY I would have taken half the pictures that I did the past 6 months without my light box. I'm sure that it will still help enormously in the spring and summer, too.

  12. Awesome! Thanks for sharing this. :D


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