Saturday, 26 May 2012

Queen of the Flatpack!

We recently decided that the last bits of our student furniture should probably be replaced.  Kind of sad, but also, shiny new furniture yay!  I love looking at furniture.  Especially the Dwell catalogue - I could buy EVERYTHING from there!
In the end, we went for a rather lovely computer desk that we'd been eyeing up for ages online.  Here it is:

Given that it was quite expensive, I was slightly put out when it arrived in a flat box and we had to put it together.  I sulked.  The boy mainly put it together by himself in a unprecedented display of practicality. 

Next, old studenty bookshelf had to go.  It was quite tall and got in the way of everything.  So, I replaced it with this:

Which looks terribly grown up (except for my awesome pineapple lamp sitting on it, obvs).  Redeemed my previous flatpack failings by building it ALL BY MYSELF whilst the boy had abandoned me for a weekend of poker.  He didn't even win me shoes.  Outrageous!

Anyway, I pottered about with a glass of wine and the TV on and it took me all of Friday evening to build, but it turned out really well I think.  And I had no screws left over!  Managed to redistribute all of the books, tetris style, and everything looks much tidier now.

I also built a little Ikea desk to bolt my polising motor to:

I think that's all the furniture we'll need for a good long while, although I'm currntly trying to persuade the boy into a giant swivel armchair.  Watch this space...

Monday, 14 May 2012

New Photography – Silver on White Background

The question of how to photograph silver on a white background has been troubling me for some time. It seems that a lot of websites, craft fairs etc ask for white background pictures, whereas I’ve always preferred dark.

So, now that I have my fancy new lens, I thought I’d have a go. It has been a rather headache-inducing experience, as if you just plonk the silver on a white background and take the shot, the background always comes out grey.

But, after much faffing about with lighting (and a few tweaks in Lightroom) I’ve managed to get them almost white.  Well, white ish.  Or cream.  Beige?

This was the whitest I could get it, but then it overbrightens the silver and I had to attempt some Photoshop faffery.  Bum.

Not really sure how to get it any closer to white without extensive photoshop faffery involving different layers, so these will have to do for now.

The jewellery is a new collection I've been working on for a while.  It's all baroque and fancy, with lovely little swirly bits everywhere.  I like swirly bits.  

Here's some more earrings:

Some especially swirly ones in large and small - I think these might be my favourites:

And some necklaces:

Everything is designed to co-ordinate with the other pieces, so it's going to be perfect for weddings - in fact I've been designing it for the boy's sister's wedding this summer! 

There's also a couple of larger (and rather fancy) bridal necklaces


I was going to wear them for some pictures so you could see what they looked like on, but I never got round to putting any make up on yesterday and no-one needs to see that really!

Must move away from the computer and back to the workbench now - I have new versions of my shiny skate that need finishing and some shiny weather orders to complete!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Shiny Machines

 I have finally got round to building my little desk that my polishing motor will be bolted to.  Tada!

Now I just need to drill some big holes in it to bolt it down.  I wasn't going to bother, until I pushed a piece of metal too hard on one of the wheels, and the whole machine shifted 45 degrees whilst spinning very, very fast.  This is definitely not a good thing!

I also got an unexpected bonus from work, which made all the times they've made me cry this year almost worth it!

So I've also treated myself to this little beauty:

It's an ultrasonic cleaning machine, which means that I no longer have to spend hours (and create much mess in the bathroom) scrubbing polishing compound off of small shiny things with a toothbrush, yay!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

New Lens!

So, it's been a while since I last posted.  Everything has been a tiny bit manic the past month.  I've been working super-hard on some wedding jewellery, which I finally finished yesterday, and an exciting new derby-related collaboration, which is also nearly done, hurrah!

In between all the madness, I took a couple of days off to go home and see my family.  Whilst I was there, I picked up the Canon macro lens that I've been coveting for the past year (they were offering £60 cashback on it - how could I refuse...?)

Suspect that the lens may currently be wasted on me, given that I've only recently learned what an f/stop is, but I'm hoping I'll grow into it!

Took a few shots just to play with it - all handheld, but you'd usually use a tripod with a macro lens.

Started off with mum's gorgeous little cat, Pudding.  She looks a bit startled here, as I forgot to switch off the flash.  I had this picture open in Lightroom filling the screen of our big monitor, which scared the boy as he walked past!  He was all like "why is there a giant evil-eyed cat head on the computer?"

I was also using auto-focus, so the camera picks the bit it wants to focus on, rather than what I would have chosen.  Look how it picks up all the tiny detail of her fur though - amazing!

The cat eventually grew tired of being my subject and hid her face in her paws, then also turned her back on me for good measure!

So I retreated outside to take pictures of Mum's plants.  It was a bit windy, which made it slightly difficult, especially without a tripod.

Some leaves:

An ugly fly.  Lens managed to capture the detail on it's wings though.

I liked this one - it's a closeup of a dandelion.

And my favourite subject - a bee!  Mum has this plant/bush thing at the end of the garden, which attracts these MASSIVE bumblebees. They were weighed down with so much pollen, they were struggling to fly and I had to duck several times as they accidentally divebombed me on their way out of the plant!

Again, this was handheld with no flash, so the focus is a bit iffy, but you can see all the detail on its stripy fur.  I did spend some time stalking the bees round the garden, but they were even less co-operative as subjects than the cat.

Also took some shots of my nanny's swarovski crystal ornaments.  I love how it throws all the background out of focus - can't wait to try it on some jewellery shots.

This is a super closeup of a glass ashtray on a patterned rug:

So far I am loving the lens, even just playing with it.  I'll post some more pictures once I've had time to shoot some jewellery with it.  Exciting!