Sunday, August 8, 2010

DIY, recent random happenings, need an opinion on a new picture idea

I decided to break things up tonight and post a few pictures of recent happenings (particularly of non-jewelry DIY projects) before I post about one jewelry picture idea that I would like some feedback on.

I've been perfecting the art of the self French manicure for the last few months.  Yes, those are my real nails.

As I've mentioned before, I started making my own thank you cards this summer for my Etsy package.  I put a few of them in my light box today while I taking some other pictures.  Pink is not my favorite color, but I made a pink/green baby card for someone (who loves both of those colors) and decided to make this set with the scraps from that little project.

Jake and I started watching Man v. Food this summer.  We saw a few episodes on cable while we were in the Dells and now watch it on Netflix.  For those who have seen the show, we got inspired by the Minneapolis episode and decided to make our own Juicy Lucy burgers.  They turned out pretty well.  Yes, each burger does consist of two 1/3 pound burger patties, and no, I did not eat the entire thing in one sitting.

Also on the subject of food, I'm sure that many of you already know this, but I like to bake even more than I like to cook.  I made pumpkin muffins last week.  I got the recipe from this cookbook which is written by Billy Joel's wife.  That cookbook is still one of the most random things I've found in the new nonfiction section of the library since I started browsing there regularly last year so I wanted to share that.

A picture of Angel that I took while Jake was setting up some of his Warhammer models in the light box.

I took a few dozen pictures of some of Jake's newest models yesterday.  I won't post all of them here, but I'm pretty happy with the way that they turned out.

And finally, while I was taking jewelry pictures today, I experimented with a new idea.  Jake doesn't like the way that it looks because he thinks that my hand ends up looking distorted. I think that a lot of people have trouble determining how a piece of jewelry is proportioned without a human model or a mannequin.  I don't provide any sort of model in my pictures currently so I thought a shot like this might help my shop viewers.  I have pretty small hands, but they will still provide a clear visual for how wide the bracelet is, how large the embellishment is, is it a long or short bracelet, etc.  I like the first shot better than the second.  I did not shoot any with a white background, but I could experiment with that if you think it would work better.  Let me know what you think.  Please be honest.  I am open to the possibility of using a plastic hand mannequin, too.  I just don't own one currently.  Thanks in advance!


  1. Your nails look great. I've been experimenting with french manicures myself.

    Your work is beautiful! I love the colors.

  2. How does the French mani hold up with your jewelry making? I have long nails, but any polish gets chipped & scratched with my wire work. Looks great though! I usually make pumpkin muffins for Christmas morning! As for the jewelry photos, both look great to me! I sometimes have a hand in pics - not sure if it is helpful, or a turn off though, lol ;)

  3. Thanks Leslie and Beth!

    The French manicure holds up pretty well with jewelry making. I have to be careful when I'm making charm bracelets, but I'm fine when I'm doing bead work. I have to be really careful with glue, though. It's not a good idea if I work on cards or magnets when I have a manicure.

    My mother-in-law makes pumpkin bars for Thanksgiving. I love making pumpkin muffins any time of year, though.

    Haha I know what you mean about hands. Sometimes it looks great to see a piece of jewelry modeled, but other times it's definitely a turn off. Your hand looks good in your shop pictures, though!

  4. I love the manicure. I popped in the Friday afternoon shop critiques only to hear that jewelry should be on a live model. Also taken outside, but not in the sun, nor where you can tell it's been taken outside (need a back drop), taken either early a.m. or late afternoon. And all shots should be taken from the same angles, something about shop branding if all the items have the same shots. Personally I don't plan to redo my photos to conform to the latest person's "rules". Congrats on your etsy sale!

  5. I agree about where jewelry pictures should be taken. However, I'm not shooting all of my photos outside on the weekends during the school year to meet those conditions, particularly in the winter! Plenty of people get by shooting indoors.

    I do think that there's some truth to the angles. I've been working on that this summer as I've taken new pictures of older pieces. I think that it's a gradual process, though. Even if you go into the photo taking process with this in mind initially, it takes a while to develop your style and figure out what does and doesn't work for your pieces.

  6. Angel is just so cute! Love the french manicure! I like the photos of the bracelet on you but prefer to see it on the wrist since that's where it'll be worn. It does help give size reference.

  7. Your nails look awesome! I miss having pretty long nails...had to trim them when I went back to work...otherwise they break like crazy!

    I like the hand shots. It does show nicely how big the piece is in reference to your hand. I do think the white back ground might be worth a try though :)

  8. Thanks for your feedback Sharla and Edi! I'll keep experimenting with the hand shots. :)


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