December 14, 2010

Have You Had Your Indie Fixx?

I subscribe to very few blogs by e-mail...My inbox is overflowing without adding any more to it! (one reason for not posting lately, sorry!)  But Indie Fixx is one of my exceptions! I get my daily dose of "indie life" to "inspire, entertain and inform me" from "indie like a foxx", Jen Wallace! Her stylish and beautiful blog has everything I love about the indie world! Creative ideas, articles, resources, and amazing PHOTOS! Jen's posts are full of high quality, well composed product photos, that I truly envy and aspire to create myself! Her love of photography is common knowledge to her readers that enter her "Weekly Photo Challenge". She appreciates and, sometimes, rewards a good pic! The Weekly Photo Challenges are a new feature calling for readers to upload photos around a particular theme to the Indie Fixx Flickr Group.

Indie Fixx - View this group's most interesting photos on Flickriver

The Indie Fixx challenge this week is: Sharing! And she's offering a prize! One winner will be chosen to win a copy of Craft-In: 12 Project Booklets for Your Own Crafty Gatherings, edited by Kathleen McCafferty (Lark Books) as well as a necklace & earrings set made from one of the projects featured in the book.

So join in the fun and follow 'Indie Fixx' for your own daily dose of Indie! Get something you'll actually look forward to in your Inbox, or should I say: Indieboxx?

November 10, 2010

Never Leave Home Without It!

My camera isn't very fancy, but I love it, and it's small enough I can tuck it in my purse and never be without it. The rare times I forget to put it back in my bag after unloading pics is when I have kicked myself for missing an opportunity for a great shot! Like the other morning around 6:30am on my way out of Lowe's and the ducks were swimming across a foggy pond with a brilliant white heron in the background. Damn.

I've had a Canon Powershot SX100 for a couple years. I'd love another, namely a Canon Rebel XS DSLR. But my beer budget won't afford my this champagne camera! So imagine how tickled I was to find out Artfire is giving one away...not that I ever win anything but it doesn't hurt to try. And like my sweetie says, you can't win if you don't.

Their contest is really cool too, just share your handmade holiday stories with them. How nice is that? I love a handmade, homespun Christmas, and have always made a lot of the gifts I give. The whole economic meltdown is a great motivator for this option too.

Now the selfish side of me wants to keep this contest to myself, but then I wouldn't be serving my fellow photographers very well if I did. And you don't have to buy anything or belong to Artfire, but I wish you would check Artfire out, and not just because I have a shop there, of course!

The rules are simple and you can enter three times, three ways. So head over to the contest page and get started! You'll have to get a little creative and think back to those stories you wrote back in school: What are your plans for
a Handmade Holiday? Write a blog, share on Facebook and subscribe to Artfire's Newsletter, simple enough and the reward could be way better than getting an 'A'!

Vintage Kids Digital Collage Sheet by Needful Things

November 1, 2010

Stalking the Real Florida

It's easy to find the tourist version of Florida, just follow the billboards! But to find the "Real" Florida, you'll have to dig deeper: Into the backwaters, the hardwood hammocks, cypress swamps and meandering spring-fed rivers. You'll need to trek along the Heartland ridge, through scrub oak forests and under the vast shade of age old oaks. And walk the crystal clear, sand-bottomed, shallow creeks along pristine banks of palmettos and ferns.

Yes, the beaches are lovely, and theme parks are fun. But the hidden treasures of Florida, the pioneer's version of the "Sunshine State" is what challenges the imagination and captures the poetry of a photographer's lens.

Take a walk on the "wild" side...

October 23, 2010

White Balance is Giving Me the Blues!

Countless articles, 
blogs, links...
I have trekked my way across Google in search of the secret to good photos for Etsy. Give me a flower macro, landscape, even kids to shoot- no problem! But let me try to take a good photo of a product in natural light and I start drooling like an idiot, babbling nonsensical cuss words --- then comes the mind-numbing headbanging.
I want to give credit to the articles. They were great. They made it seem so clear.
Crystal clear.

But my photos still suck.

Even editing software can't color correct with a natural look. After a process of elimination I have narrowed down some of the hurdles I'm dealing with.

First:  My home is surrounded by shade trees. The only side without a tree has a big detached garage next to it. Boo-hiss!
Second:  My patio has dark screens that filter the light- Great for keeping it cool.
Bad for pics.
Third:  Finding the white balance. Well, since I can't get a true white reading anywhere with natural light, that's not happening. The auto setting wants to be blue. Which makes me blue.


So I have pretty much said to hell with natural light and I'm getting back out my trusty gooseneck lamps, ott lites, white foam board and going back to the drawing board. I will wait for a while to build my patience levels back up before attempting to find the elusive white balance.

Now what I did fall in love with in my search for truth was using props, great advice from some Etsy sellers with eyecandy photos in their shops. This is completely opposite from my first photos which were devoid of color, props or interest. I tried a dreamy, pretty look for my vintage costume jewelry which isn't too bad looking but when I compare them to front page products they just don't measure up. You can use the Etsy Poster Sketch Tool to do this, it basically lets you paste your listings in a workspace with other well taken product photos to see them side by side with yours. Definitely not an exercise for the weak, it is brutally eye-opening.

Props bring out the imagination of buyers, they can see the item in use, or in a home setting. Sometimes they evoke a mood, whimsy or nostalgia that will trigger an impulse to buy your product. One of my recent favorite shopowners, Twirlie Whirlies, told me of her gorgeous southern exposed window she shoots by. Of course, I was jealous but my how her products pop! Mouthwatering, eh?

And is it any wonder that Fairyfolk's little
Fairytale Wedding Acorn and Oak Leaf Favors have sold? Pure white, and it looks lovely in its place setting prop.

And how can you resist this little fawn?

So when they say a picture is worth a thousand words, I say it's worth a thousand sales.
I may get a little slap happy but I'm going to keep snapping away until I get it right!

Links I loved:

What you need: Tapletop Photo Studio on

How to set White Balance by Ken Rockwell

10 Resources for Taking Better Product Photos

Free photo editing from

October 19, 2010

Last Summer's Wildflowers...

 One of my new found friends on "an uplifting and helpful community for Etsy Sellers" owns the Etsy shop: Redford Glass Studios and while I was browsing her shop I saw her location...the North Country of New York, namely the Adirondack Mountains! This happens to be not only one of my favorite places to go in New York, but also where I spent my summer vacation. What always amazes me is the millions of wildflowers growing along the roadsides, trails and river banks. We have lots of flowers here in Florida, but something about going north and seeing the abundant buttercups, tigerlilies, dandelions and daisies is a different kind of paradise for me...

Featured items from Redford Glass Studio:

October 16, 2010

Sunrise on Sandspur

Camping has been one of my passions for years, sleeping in a tent on a beach is more appealing to me than a five star resort! A favorite spot I've found in my travels around Florida is Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys. You can set up camp right on an oceanside beach...Paradise! 

Waking up in the morning and rolling out of the tent to the most spectacular sunrise imaginable is the best part of all...

October 15, 2010

The Little Ghosts of Vintage Photos

When I find old vintage and antique photos in the little shops I scour, I often wonder about the little ghosts from the past...who were they, where might they be now, were they someone famous? I love to imagine little stories about them and there is always a happy ending...


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