Sunday, April 28, 2013

excuse me ma'am, i think there is something on your head

I'm still here, just crazy busy getting ready for cool things this week.

Friday, April 19, 2013

my very own spinny rack

I used to sell my cards at Objects Found, but i pulled them all when I re-opened the Etsy store last year.
Today marked the return of NikCo to Objects Found. This time, however, instead of being on the main card rack next to the register I have a dedicated card rack across from the cash wrap.

I will be adding cards on a regular basis, including holiday specific ones.
By the end of the month I am going to be installing some of my art, jewelry and housewares in the store as well. Plus, i will be moving things into the Arbutus location of Objects Found around mid-May.

note: yes, i know that rack header is terrible, but it is temporary; i need to laminate the real one, but right now i need to go sew a fairy godmother costume cause that is the kind of week i'm having

Sunday, April 14, 2013

the answer is light

A friend recently started an Etsy account to sell vintage housewares and has asked me to help her get started. She wants to know how i get my photos to look good, so A. this post is for you.
I could spend paragraphs talking about staging and height and props; in fact, i have so here is the link to that post.
The most important thing to know, in fact probably the only thing you really need to know, is that the answer is light.
 Light is everything.
Finding the right location with the right light at the right time of day is hard, but once you do everything else is a cinch.
My first shoot for Etsy took hours and hours and days. Some things i shot at 3 or 4 different times. It seemed like it took forever to find the right combination, but now that i have, the actual photography takes almost no time at all.
Now all i have to do is wait for the correct conditions. If light is the number one answer, patience is number two. Be ready to wait. These three pictures were taken 4 minutes apart:
too dark

too much sun

ahhhhh... just right
On Etsy you are allowed up to 5 pictures per item so i will take anywhere from 15 to 30 snaps to edit them down to the ones i want.  It is a personal choice that i will not correct, filter or use any effects on my Etsy pictures; every picture on my site is straight out of camera. I do crop them square because that is the format Etsy uses, but it is important to me that customers see exactly what they are buying. I'd rather spend the time going though hundreds of pics to find the right one than spend the time correcting a not-quite right one. But as i said, it is a personal choice.
Be sure as you are taking all those pics that you are changing your angles, perspective and distance. You don't want 30 pics of the same thing, but rather full shots, close-ups, up shots, down shots and even some crazy shots.
As for the question of shooting indoors and using non-natural light, well... good luck to you. I did a bunch of my card pictures indoors and the lighting was too frustrating. I would rather wait for a sunny day then play with white boxes and spots. Some people do really well inside, but not me.
Finally, practice, practice, practice. Don't get discouraged, it gets easier.
To bullet point it for you:
and, of course,


Thursday, April 11, 2013

a new quote

My beloved BFF told me the other day that i HAD to change my quote because it has been up for over a month so i looked and looked for something that spoke to me.
There has been a dearth of new quotes in the commonplace book as i think the last time i read a book was on vacation in February (and don't think that isn't making me kind of more insane than normal).  I had to resort to the internet and finally came upon this gem from Orison Swett Marison:

Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them... they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

this is good luck how?

I am working at my friend's store and there is this figurine on the counter that has been transfixing me all day.
It is a Goebel, so the figure looks like a Hummel, but not so terrifying.
It is a chimney sweep.
He has a ladder over one shoulder, a rope over the other and a big pocketwatch/clock in his hand.
And he is riding a pig.


Andrew swears it is good luck, but i can't get past whether the sweep is really wee or the pig is enormous.

Riding on his pig,
the lucky chimney sweep boy
rides into battle.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

why i don't draw

There have been several people in my studio over the last few weeks that asked me if i paint or draw.
Yes, i paint abstracts but not figures and no, no, no, i do not draw.
My mother drew really well, but i didn't get that particular talent.
There are folks who believe that if you are taught the principles of drawing (line, shape, shading, perspective, proportion, negative space, etc) and practice that you can learn to draw.
Okay, maybe some people just need some instruction and practice, but not me.
I know about the principles of drawing and goodness knows that i've tried, but something happens between my brain and my hand and the paper.
In my mind i can see what i want to draw and intellectually i know where the lines should go, but something happens when i try to put those lines on the paper.
Today i was at Jason and Kate's and had forgotten my notebook so Jason handed me a pad of paper.
Why is the circle at the top empty?
It looks like there should be a cameo there, right?

After i'd been doing some NikCo work i decided to draw in a profile cameo with side-swept bangs like mine. Honestly, i could SEE it; i knew just where all the lines needed to go.
It looks like a zombie lion with a weak chin and a pompadour.