Well, Well, Well.

I think I deserve a little bit of a scolding for the terrible (and unjustifiable) absence I’ve taken.
In order for a blog to be a blog there kinda sorta hasta be something for people to either read or look at, right??  Right.

So.
This isn’t a tutorial sort of post (as promised from my last post), BUT, there will be things to read and there will be pictures to look at.

As you may or may not know I run an etsy shop (www.ellebeetree.etsy.com) and have gone though a lot of ups and even more downs when it comes to taking pictures of my products.  For those of you who buy or sell (or browse) on etsy I think it’s fairly safe to say that you’re drawn to pictures that look professional.

I wanted to share a little bit of my photography journey with you and most importantly show you an easy way to beef up your own photos.

When someone takes the plunge into selling items online (especially if they are their own handcrafted bits of wonderful) you think…
OKAY! Here goes! I’ve seen a lot of photos on a white back ground soooo… White Card Stock- Check!  Camera- Check! Product- Check!  The Lights are on… Check!  AND GO TIME.
Well… My friends- This how your photo is going to turn out:

Wait a second.. !? What?! Everything I needed I had.
Nope.  Let me tell you. Pictures like this won’t get your pictures looked at and they won’t get your items sold.
Your eye sees light differently then a camera does. So even though your eyes see nice white and bright- your camera sees yellow.. yellow… yellow.

You so some research and this is what you come up with next.
Natural light. Turn off the light switch and move that cardstock and product in from of a window with some good natural light pouring through (Not direct light either..)…
This is what you look like.. and this how your picture turns out:

Better! Butttt, not quite what you had in mind.
Why are those shadows there!  Why, not matter what angle you’re working form shadows seem to be there.
Because solid objects make shadows when light is shining directly at them.

This is where I plateaued for awhile within my shop and it’s photos.  Infact… if you look real hard- you can probably see the photos that suffer from the dreaded shadow.

After doing a little more research I found out about a light box.
There are a ton of diy websites and blogs that show you how to make one so I won’t get into that here- but I will tell you I used a clear rubbermaid storage container.. tissue paper and three 40watt lamps (and of course the needed white cardstock).  A tripod helps for stability.

This is what you look like using a light box and this is how your pictures turn out…
(you can use it with the lights on or off, depending on the look that you’re going for with your photos…)

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JACKPOT!
That.. in my opinion is the money shot!  Obviously needs a little bit of editing (for my site I use picasa.. It’s easy to use).

By surrounding your image by light you’re eliminating shadows.

Here are a few facts:
You can’t  just use any old light bulbs.  Trust me.
Here are the light bulbs gone through before finding the right ones- which are pictured on the right:

Philips Daylight bulbs. These give off the most “natural light”…

As you may or may not be able to tell my camera is old. Like- really old.
I’ve been looking at buying a new one- HOWEVER, with the use of the lighbtbox I think I can get a few more photoshoots out of this one.
Always keep your camera on a macro setting for this type of photography- it will pick up all sorts of things in the photo that are appealing to look at!

Quick Recap.. Three Pictures of one product- all with the same camera, all with the same prop, all with different lighting and at the same time of day…
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The choice is clear.. 🙂

And to finish it off- this is the face behind the camera- a genuine view from the product being shot….!

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Hello fellow bloggers and blog readers!
This is a quick post as I am looking for some opinions out there!
I am changed the look of my online shop and am struggling with the look of a new banner.
This is my shop http://www.ellebeetree.etsy.com, just so you can get a feel for it!

This is the original banner:
Image

This is New Banner #1:
Image

And this is new banner #2:
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Tell me what you think!
I will be making the change of the next couple of days.
As for my next post:
A sassy, sexy fun tutorial! Check back later!!

Hello again!
I thought as a follow up to my previous blog I should maybe give a little bit of insight into what one does (or maybe it’s just me?) to get ready for a mass crafting vendor event.

1. After I pay for my space and make the commitment I get super excited.  I start thinking about all of the things I want to make and all of the things I want to try to make. This usually takes place 2 months before the actual date.
2. After a browse online for potential items, a leisurely stroll around the local crafting store and a detailed look at the fabric store I feel inspired and ready to take on the world. For some reason I gain super powers when I am at these places and can make anything and everything.
3. This feeling fades really, really fast.  I sit at home in my 8X7 room staring at my new purchases.  Um, WHAT was I thinking?  Just because the fabric store has buy 1 meter get 3 free on as a weekend sale, doesn’t mean I need 4 meters of off white cotton.  I need .3 of a meter for most projects. Yeah. POINT 3.  That means 4 meters is 3.7 meters too much.  I start to feel overwhelmed and like I may have made some poor choices. 
4. About a month away from the day I start to make lists. Lots of lists.  What do  I want to sell? How many of each item do I want to sell? How much should I sell them for?
This helps keep my on course and also helps me reach mini-goals with each project completed.
Along with lists I draw pictures diagrams.  Of what my booth will look like, where things should go.
5. I start giving up sleep to think about table setups.  This is also the point were I close down my online shop to keep stocks at a good level. (my shop, by the way is http://www.ellebeetree.etsy.com, and is currently on hold as I still have 7 days to the big day!). I stop selling to friends and family and I put custom orders on hold!
6. I sew, I order last minute items, I make jewelry, I panic, I count, I get new ideas that I just have to follow through on…. panic, panic, panic.
7. T-minus 1 week:
This seems like an appropriate time set up mini-displays all over my house to make sure things are looking the way that they should look. I start making changes to displays and I start questioning if I have enough room to actually display everything that I’ve made.
(by the way… we are one week away from my one craft show a year. Here’s a snippit of what I’m talking about):Image
This is  just one of the many displays that I am talking about.

8.  I start to load items up in my car. This seals the deal for me. I make the commitment to putting them in my car, which means I am doing adding to them and if they’re in my car, I sure the heck and not bringing them back into my house.

9. The Big Day.  Which a roller coaster of nerves and pride.

So. This is it. This is me over the course of getting ready for a craft fair.
Maybe I should do them more often as an attempt keep the nerves in check.
Ah, Well.
We’re close to the big day and it will all be over soon!

Oh, and step 10:
Re-open online shop, stop telling friends “NO! You can’t have that until Canada Day!” and re-gain some control of my sleeping patterns.

🙂

Crafting is bitter sweet. Honest.
If you’re a person who has a whirlwind of ideas and the constant need for change, crafting might just be for you! This is the sweet side…
There are a) SO many crafts out there and b) SO many different ways to do them.  (I am hoping that a lot of this blog will morph into tutorials and new ideas we can pass around the table).
The bitter side? Your house turns into… well… something out of this world. My boyfriend (jokes?) that there are little landmines everywhere.  I guess between the pins that have gotten themselves lodged into the carpet deadly side up and freshly cut paper with a razor sharp edge laying around, there may be a little bit of truth to that.
I’ve given up a room in my house to harbor my habit. (it’s started to creep into the second spare bedroom too)…
In all fairness- I am getting ready for a huge event- you know, like a crafting event.
It’s the wonderous Canada Day… It’s about 3-5,000 people who stroll past your booth, which makes for awesome exposure.
I’ve done this event for the last few years with different items being for sale- and of course this year is no different.
I have some of the same items from last year but mostly new creations and this year I am all about volume. Go big or go home, right?
As an example- I start making envelope back pillows.  I decide I would like to make a few to “see how they go” on the big day.
Well… A few.. Me?..A few??? Yeah right..
So… “a few” pillows later this is what my front room looks like:
(there are some clutches and “a few” makeup bags there too.. you know, just to be fair…)
Image

Ummm, Yeah…
I only have 3 more to make!!  And for some reason it seems very important to me to make these 3 more.
See,
If I sell 5 pillows on Canada Day I will.. STOKED!  For something I’ve never sold before in a public venue like that, something I’ve never SEEN before in a venue like that… Yeah, I would be happy with 5.
But, if I only have 5 pillows set up on the table, I wouldn’t sell 5, but If I have 30 out on display, then I might sell 5.  (even if they were all the same design, which they’re not.. but even if..).
If anyone out there does craft shows or artisan set-ups, can you confirm this for me?
Maybe that’s totally out in left field, but that’s the excuse I am using to justify my excessive pillow disorder.

Well, now I’ve gotten far off topic!
Although, I guess that’s really all that I had to say.
Hopefully some tutorials to come.. I am still figuring out wordpress…

xo,
LB

… Or whoever is reading this…
There is a first time for everything and now is my turn to try a stab at blogging.
This, however will not be my first official blog.
Being unbearably unsavvy when it comes to “this sorta thing”, I will be figuring at the site and posting properly in the days to come.
Yes.
Okay.
I think I’ve got this.