Sunday, August 21, 2011

studio time

I had a breakthrough with my photography issues tonight, and after a long session I do believe I'm gaining some ground! I knew my main problem was lighting, and I had been experimenting with that unsuccessfully for the most part. I like moody contrasty photographs, but they don't work too well for product shots. With product photography you want to say "This is exactly what you're getting, and it looks pretty awesome, doesn't it?" As opposed to "This is what ___ looks like laying on your floor in the waning sun, as you contemplate the meaning of life".

So anyway, I had some help, from my old friend the internet. I started looking up mini photography studios that I could set up quickly to diffuse the light. Amazon had some for around $50, with mixed reviews. They looked pretty simple, so of course I thought, I bet I could make this. Googling came up with this awesome blog entry, with a practically free way to make the same set up. Um, yes.

Here it is, a humble cardboard box with modifications. And the result:

Woo-hoo! So much better! It's not perfect, but geez...that's a vast improvement. I'm totally excited, and I already updated all of my pics on facebook and etsy. Whew! It was a lot of work, but photographing my stuff will be a lot less painful and time-consuming going forward.

On a side note, can you tell I'm addicted to making treasuries lately? I'm not sure that it's helping my shop views, but it's fun! I made this one the other day:

I sang some Fleetwood Mac at karaoke the other night, and I think that gypsy sensibility worked its way into my head (with a modern spin, naturally).

It looks like my next project is gonna have to be cleaning up my apartment...ha.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I made a fall treasury. Yes, I know it's still hot. But I'm gonna go ahead and start thinking about it early, before it sneaks up on me!

I've been reading a lot of helpful business articles on The Storque lately. I'm trying to do a thing or two every day to get my visibility up. Maybe it's just a couple of clicks, but that still makes me feel good. I feel my biz brain getting bigger!

I also followed links from The Storque to this article about the design of the original American spacesuits and the seamstresses who worked on them. VERY impressive... I might have to pick up a copy of the book. I found the part about designing the airtight zipper to be interesting. All of these little details that we take for granted! And it still came down to some old-fashioned elbow grease to get it all put together.

P.S. -- I think the Etsy Blog is now called just that, and not The Storque. Where have I been?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

joie de bois

Holy moly. It was a long, tiring, but fruitful day today, friends. I finally set my little pet project free into the world, via my Etsy shop. I still suck at photography, but I hope that people can see these necklaces for what they are, little gems. And bear with me while I work on improving my pictures (it's gonna take some time). So... what do you think?

I got a rush of ideas after a long, long dry spell, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I've always loved textural play, combining materials, and learning a bit about random crafts. These pendants are kind of a culmination of those ideas, and I really love how they turned out. I've been wearing the prototype for months now, and people ask me about it all the time. It packs a lot of punch for such a tiny package. I feel like there's a lot of room for play with these too, so hopefully I can expand on the designs!

I have some other projects in the pipeline that are mere musings right now, so expect me to be a bit busier as I start working on those. The goal is to produce more, and stop hoarding my handmade. ;) I know the geometric thing is getting to be cliche, but I'm not tired of it yet! So if you like that sort of thing, clap your hands. And for those of you who don't, there's something for you too. I'm so excited!

I made these necklaces shorter because they layer so well this way with an 18" necklace. See what I mean?

Have at it, and spread the love!

Monday, August 1, 2011


I learned something today! I learned that I really SUCK at taking photographs of my MischaLee wares (above is one of the ok shots that I slaved over). Actually, I shouldn't say I just learned that, because I did know that before. But I guess it's been so long since I tried to photograph my stuff that I'd forgotten just how dreadful my skills are. I used to have access to an SLR with a macro lens, which might have helped before just a smidge. My little point-and-shoot Canon isn't as ill-suited to this sort of thing as I expected, but still. I gotta WORK on this.

One reason I'm always slow with my Etsy shop is because of this very issue, and how long it takes to edit photos and post things. I dread doing it, which doesn't do me a lick of good. Because what's the point of making this stuff if nobody can see it or buy it? I'm determined to get over this hump somehow. I believe I'll just have to slog through and hope I get it eventually.

I also redid my banners, tweaked the tags and titles, and made some other little adjustments. I'm kind of changing things to see if it makes any difference with sales, hearts, or views. The shop is still sort of in transition, so it's not completely cohesive yet, picture-wise. This was all very impromptu today, and I'm (happy? frustrated?) to say that I spent several hours fiddling with it.

On a side note, here is a sneak peek at something that is months in the making. I have a bunch of people bugging me about this project, so I'm trying to get on the ball. I'm being very secretive about it because I feel like this is one of my better ideas, and I'm very proud of it. But it's also quite labor intensive. I've been wearing one for a while now and I get compliments all the time (yes, you wear it, imagine that!).