Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Photographing with close up filters

So I bought a 15 dollar set of close up lenses for my Canon DSLR camera this week. At first I was pretty disappointing because I couldn't figure out how to screw them on to my camera. Of course I was doing it backwards and I felt pretty dumb. Obviously I'm not the most camera savvy person, but I've had a lot of experimenting with this camera, and I can at least take some decent bead pictures.

I'd love the have a macro lens, but those are a wee bit pricey for me, so I went with these close up lenses. I read that with these lenses you do sacrifice sharpness a little, so on to experimenting.

I took a ton of pictures to show the results with the various lenses. Each picture was taken in a light box with a tripod and given a 2 second timer (for my wobbly button mashing fingers). I had it set on f20 so each time the camera took a picture, the lens was open for about .6 seconds. I'll let you all be the judge of which one is the best.

Here is +1
Here is +2

Here is +4
Here is Macro

Here is Macro with the +1 screwed on top of that one

I'm still not quite sure which one I'm going to end up using. I think it would look different with sets of beads, so I'm sure I'll try that, but for those of you with focals I hope this experiment is helpful.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


So when I first started selling on Etsy, I didn't really have a method of organization. I didn't really think that far ahead. I had this napkin on my desk where I put all my beads. Very professional eh?

That evolved to placing them in sandwich baggies, but I ran out of those fast and I needed them for packing my lunch, so that didn't last long. Next I bought some cute little gift bags, but they don't work that well for storage. I found that while I do sell pretty often, I sit on a lot of inventory, and it is a waste to buy fancy bags for everything when everything isn't selling.

I finally bought some simple little 3x2 inch plastic Ziploc baggies. I should have done that first thing! I really don't know why I didn't. I got a thousand of them for like 15 dollars off of ebay.

Anyways, the moral of this story is to invest a little time and money into organization when you first get into selling. Otherwise you have this....
on your desktop every day until you get some organization going.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lots o Lentils

This week I seem to have gone back into lentil mode. I don't know what it is about lentils. They're nice and smooth and flat. They make such a wonderful canvas for scrolls and other surface decorations. I like that you can make a giant lentil without as much weight as you would a giant round bead. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I love my lentil press. If I were made of money I'd surely purchase more.

Anyways, enough of me babbling about my love for lentils. Here's some of the lentils I've been playing with this week. Scrolls and lentils do make an excellent combination. Add some gold fuming and yum :)

I've been working with a new color for me called apricot. I'm sure it's been around for a while, but fall colors are not usually what I play with. I love this warm swirly color though. Top it off with coral scrolls (cause we all know how much I love the scrolls), and very yummy.

And then there's this awesome tutorial about making "storms" in dots by Amy of AKdesigns. You can see them really well in this bead. They're multicolored and awesome. If you're a lampworker, this tutorial should definitely be in your arsenal.

Anyways, I'm off to go exercise, eat dinner, and go make some beads. Wooooo!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lots of distractions

So the past few weeks in Rochester have been a way too quick transition to Fall. It's been cold and wet and miserable. Blech! I don't have a fireplace, but at least I can stay nice and toasty in front of my torch and kiln. The leaves have been beautiful to watch change color, but other than that, I really miss summer already.

With the weather being kinda yucky, I've been glued to my computer lately. You'd think I'd be doing more productive work, but really I've been addicted to a couple new games. My husband built me a new computer a month ago and I just HAD to buy a few games so I could....test out the new graphics card. Yes....that'll be my excuse.

Batman, Arkham Asylum is so awesome! I watched the animated series all the time as a kid. It's so nostalgic for me. It's also way too fun to have all those bat gadgets at my disposal. I've also been playing Left 4 Dead a bit. It's just a nice simple zombie game. Sometimes it's fun to just shoot zombies for a half hour (or a few hours) and then get back to work (or not).

Time for a Change

When I first started this blog I told myself I would post twice a week. I was determined that these posts would be about lampwork and beads, not my personal life so much. Ambitious huh? Lately I've been lucky to do one post a month. That's horrible isn't it? I tried thinking about the blogs I read regularly. What do these people write about that I find so interesting? I realized that they wrote about daily life more than their craft.

When I stick to writing about my work, I'm really limiting myself. So from now on I'm going to try to post weekly, but this time there will be some posts about daily life in Rochester. Maybe it will be interesting, maybe not, but I'll be writing and hopefully getting a chance to interact more with anyone who reads this.