Category Archives: Photography

Clickity Click

I did it. I splurged.  I BOUGHT A NEW CAMERA!!

I’m beside myself I’m so excited.  Now I cannot promise that I will miraculously be able to take stunning photographs overnight, but I do promise to work on my photography.  I know next to nothing about photography and, to be quite honest, up until now I wasn’t really interested in learning.  I know people who are very talented photographers but when they start talking f-stop and aperture my eyes glaze over and my brain shuts down.

It’s not that I’m not interested but rather that it seems HARD to understand.  I’m not good with things I don’t understand quickly or don’t feel I have an instant aptitude for.  If it feels like work, I’m just not that interested.  It’s a mental laziness I recognize in myself, and I’m not proud of it.

In buying a new camera I’m hoping that it will force me to figure some of this stuff out.  Perhaps it will prod me to figure out the Greek gibberish that is white balance and ISO so that I’ll be able to do better.

This is a photo taken with the new camera.  It’s pretty much auto-everything except for the Macro setting.  It’s much clearer than photos I’ve done in the past.

THIS makes me happy.  This is so clear you can see the glitter encased in the glass.  It’s so clear you want to reach out and touch it….or drool on it.  This is a necklace that I received as a Christmas gift and I’m totally enthralled with it.  I can’t stop touching it.  It’s smooth and silky and has this warm weight to it that makes it a pleasure to wear.  I’m so glad the photo does it justice.

So now I’ve just got to memorize the owner’s manual and take pictures….tons and tons of pictures.  There’s no better way to learn, and learn I must.  I’m no longer able to be a whiner and complain I don’t have the right equipment.   Hmmm…..not sure if I like that.  *grin*

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Living Up To The Name

When I named this blog “Just Make a Mess” I meant it.  I meant to be willing to show the chaos that can ensue as a result of the creative process.  Now I know there are artists that create magnificent works while their studios remain pristine.  Their paints are carefully organized according to colour family, their pencils are all neatly sharpened and stored with their tips protected.  Their palettes could be sold as colour-wheels.  These kinds of artists do exist.  I personally believe them to be alien life-forms, but I do believe they exist.

Unless you have the luxury of a studio completely separate from your house, or you have a house with tons of storage, keeping a studio tidy and dedicated to its intended use can be difficult.  I live in a house that was likely built in the 40’s or 50’s and it is woefully lacking in storage space.  The end result of this is that most of my spaces must be multi-functional.  Which sucks for the studio.

Over Christmas, the usual happened.  This kind of thing……

led inevitably to this kind of thing…..

That’s my poor studio, buried underneath the remnants of our holiday.  Everything that needed to go “somewhere” ended up here.  This mess enabled the packaging of soap, the storage of yummy Chrismas baking, the taking of many blog photos, the printing of jewelry packaging and the final polishing of tons of new jewelry pieces.

So tomorrow, this room stops living up to this blog’s name and gets a mucking-out.  It’s a new year and I’ve tons of new projects I’m just itching to get at.  This is one of them:

From Away

This is a painting I started a long while ago that I kind of abandoned to get some jewelry done.  The plan is to spend more time on painting.  Until this is done, it’s going to be one day painting, one day jewelry, during the week, Monday to Friday once the studio is in working order again.  I have big plans for this painting.  I want to take it somewhere I’ve never seen a painting go before.  Stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated on that, AND the exciting new direction I’m going to explore with my jewelry.  It’s going to be a great year, isn’t it?  I’m excited and inspired and all of you are a big part of this journey.  Let’s see what’s next, shall we?

Deader than a Doornail

I hate batteries. I hate the waste, I hate my dependence on them, I hate the total environmental impact they have.  But more than all those things, I hate when I need them and they’re dead.

If you own a digital camera, you know how much juice they draw.  I’ve known for a while now that I needed to switch to rechargeable batteries for mine but I’d heard that they don’t do all that well in cameras and that Lithium batteries were recommended.  Problem is, Lithium batteries are about $15 for a pair, out of which I get maybe 20-25 pictures if I have to use a flash.  All I could find the last time I needed to change my batteries were some cheapie 7-11 AA’s.  Out of those I got 4 pictures.  That’s right.   4.

I actually had something to photograph and talk about for the blog today, but my camera is dead.  I refuse to spend another penny on disposable batteries.  I mean, seriously……4 pictures.  Give me a break.  No more landfill fodder for me.  I’ll be back with pics as soon as I can get my hands on some rechargeables.  Or a better camera.  Or both.

Back in the Day

This weekend’s Craft Fair was the first one I’ve participated in since probably about 1996.  When I had my consignment craft store in the mid-90’s, and even before that, I had a table almost every year.  The first time I put in these cool harlequin clowns I had made.  I sold out and made about $700 that day.  I was flabbergasted.

In subsequent years I had all kinds of different products, with varying levels of success, but I always did pretty well.  I stopped going though.  Do you know why?  It wasn’t just that I wasn’t doing much “crafting”.  It wasn’t even that “crafting”, as such, had gone out of vogue a bit.  It was that I just started feeling that there was a lot of…. well, here’s me being totally honest…. a lot of junk out there.  Things that were over-priced and of poor quality.  Things that were ugly.

It was like everyone on the planet had decided they could build stuff because they bought a hot-glue gun.  Problem was, they could.  And they did.  And it was not a good thing.

Having participated in  the Trade Shows here, however, I knew that you couldn’t get much better advertising.  Advertising was what I was really after, both to introduce the bath line and to let people know where the jewelry is now that I’m building again.  For a $50 table fee, you just can’t beat it in terms of being able to communicate with people.

The most important thing I want to stress in this entry though is that things have changed at the Creston Craft Fair.  Boy have they changed.  As I wandered around checking out the other booths, I was extremely impressed with the calibre of the products being offered.  Gone were the ticky-tacky, lace and ribbon-ridden froofy-thingies.  No more rose-embellished toilet-paper holders.  No more crocheted necklaces and knitted-skunk bathroom-spray covers.  Not at THIS craft fair.

Instead, there were lovely photography displays, warm felted slippers, wreaths made of fresh pine and balsam.  Chocolates to make your mouth water and your fillings ache.  Hand-blown glass and lots of sumptuous soaps, lotions, and salts….not just mine.  Gorgeous original artwork. And the pottery.  Oh wow.  The pottery.  Raku pieces to die for.  Innovative glaze applications, intricate pressed-patterns, glass frit on porcelain.  Literally To. Die. For.  And yes….I came home with some.  I had to.  It was talking to me.  It would have been wrong to leave it there.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll show it to you.  You’ll be glad you did.  In the meantime, here’s another shot of my table.  Thanks for visiting.  See you tomorrow….remember….tomorrow is Pottery Day!!

Mad About Plaid

Being of Scottish heritage means one thing in my family.  We’re Scots.  Spirit of the West’s lyrics “There’s none more Scots than the Scots abroad” ring strong and true for those of us who are scions of the Auld Sod.  But make no mistake, we’re Scots….not Scotsmen (I’m a lass, don ye ken?), not Scotch (though we may tipple a wee bit), and most certainly not Scotchmen.  Lass, remember?

That being said, plaid is kind of like Magnetic North or Brad Pitt.  We’re attracted to it.  It whispers to us in the night “Come hither into yon heather and wrap yourself in tartan”.   It doesn’t really matter if it’s OUR plaid or not.  It’s worn to marry and to bury, in love and in loss.  It’s about clan and kin and the ties that bind.

Some dear soul went to a ton of trouble to make this glorious little bit of plaid.  Working with dichroic glass is something I hope to do in the near future, but I’m positive that it will be a long while before I’m anywhere near proficient enough to produce something like this.  The next pic is taken with a flash just to show you the shimmer this glass produces.

It really is quite lovely, and quite large.  The whole piece measures 7.5 cm x 6 cm and has a sparkly cz at the top for just a bit more glitter and glam.  My heart will not break if it doesn’t sell….just don’t tell my hubby.

I’m off now to explain to the Swedish side of the family what the “big deal about being a Scot is anyway”.  Again.  It never gets old and it’s ALWAYS fun.  Usually involves intricate descriptions of various recipes for haggis and the waving of a Scotch bottle. Sláinte!