How about a few more to fill out your weekend?
Marble gold earrings
By The Lake
Sterling silver aventurine earrings
Flower jade hoop earrings
Carnelian gold earrings
How about a few more to fill out your weekend?
Marble gold earrings
By The Lake
Sterling silver aventurine earrings
Flower jade hoop earrings
Carnelian gold earrings
I owe you an update - here's a few new items from the backlog, with many more to come. Stay turned for more later this summer!
Agate gold dangle earrings
Carnelian dangle earrings
Glass dangle earrings
Quartz gold dangle earrings
You've spent a lot of time with your old camera, but everything was auto. Now you have a dSLR in your hands, and the options are overwhelming. You want to use M (Manual), but isn't there a way to baby step into it? Yes.
You can start your transition with A (Aperture priority) or S (Shutter priority). Aperture controls how big the hole is that lets light into your camera. Bigger number, smaller hole (think of it as a fraction, and the number you see is the denominator). So an aperture of 5.6 is letting in lots of light, and an aperture of 36 is letting in only a tiny bit of light. Bonus - aperture also controls your depth of field. Do you want ALL THE THINGS to be in focus, #anseladams? You need a bigger number. Do you want only one thing in focus, #portraits? Get a smaller number and prep for pretty bokeh in the background.
Maybe you don't care about depth of field. What you care about is capturing motion, and shutter speed is your tool of choice. Cool. Larger numbers mean faster shutter speed - 500 means 1/500th of a second. Are you looking to purposefully blur your images, #aftermyownheart? Slow your shutter to 1/10 or slower. I've used 10 second exposures on the highway (I wasn't driving, promise), 1/3 second for koi splashing around, and 1 second for walking texture images. Play!
High ISOs mean noise in your image, so I aim for super low ISOs (400 or less). If you've set your ISO to auto, check your images every so often to see what you're getting. If your ISO is over 400, give your images more light to get that number lower.
With me so far? Good. A few more:
I use auto-focus as much as possible. What if your camera wants to focus on the center of your viewfinder, and you want to focus on something in the corner? Move your corner subject to the center, press the shutter halfway to focus, then move the subject back where you want it and press the rest of the way. That should keep the object of your desire focused. Want to focus on something super close, and your camera is just obsessing about the background? Try manual focus. If that doesn't work, you might just be closer than your lens is capable of focusing. Move your feet to fix that.
5. Watch Your Borders
Borders can separate a decent image from a good image. If you've found something worth shooting, check the image after you shoot, and let your eye circle the border edges. Is there anything distracting? A bright spot, a dark spot, a smudge - anything that distracts from your subject? If so, reshoot the image to remove that. (Or worst case, remove in post-processing.)
Where is your light source? In front of you, giving you a backlit subject? Behind you, giving you a front-lit (#boring) subject? Straight to the side? You can do a lot with light - do it on purpose.
Remember the rule of thirds, then remember that rules are meant to be broken. (But don't think you can break a rule you never learned as well as someone who learned the rule then broke it.) Look for triangles, patterns, and don't decapitate.
What's most helpful to you?
A few of you have asked how I name my pieces. Just kidding - no one has asked, but I think it's pretty interesting. So let's go!
Lila I have to start my saying I've been pining after these stones for weeks before I found and purchased them. Wouldn't mind if they were a bit more saturated, but in this case, it works really well to let the garnet be saturated and let the glass just chill in the background. To name these, I typed "purple" into google translate and did my normal strategy - clicked to a random language translation. Who knew? "Lila" means "purple" in Filipino.
Viola You guessed it - "viola" means "violet" in Italian :) I love the tropical colors in this pair, including my favorite shade of chartreusy green. Can you smell the summer breeze yet?
Kima I'll be honest, I don't write down my methods, so I'm literally piecing together memories as I write this post. I remember starting with "goldfish" on this one, because the large glass bead looks like a fishbowl with an ornate goldfish inside. And yes - when you translate "goldfish" into Amharic, you get ወርቅማ ዓሣ which sounds like werik'ima asa. And I liked the "kima" part :)
Pilar No translation story for these guys - it's more the matching color palette and personality of these hoops and the name "Pilar" (which I love). Excited to find more homes for this set of recycled glass stones.
I'm not sure how to shoot Shida to capture what I love about them, without hiring a model (seriously considering this...). The best of boho SoCal chic, with the push/pull of warm ochres and cool sage greens. Gemstones top to bottom? Nope, you'll find four glass beads included :)
Jadine (already sold, #sorrynotsorry!) I adore the color combination here, the warmest chartreusy green (garnet, believe or not) having a visual conversation with an equally warm peachy pink. Why not let the two hang out alone? Because they would just compete - both lighter tones, both very textured, both similarly sized. So we add a dark (not light), smooth (not textured), small (not medium) bead to the middle. Since the bottom is slightly larger than the top, you want to go with that color family, to give it even more weight. Otherwise, you're just making the fight worse (picture if I'd used a dark coral instead - doesn't resolve the tension).
Sadiya You've heard me go on and on about asymmetrically cut stones, so I'll spare you. You've heard the spiel about these ochres and sage-y blues too, so let's just move on to the next piece, agreeing that you understand how I feel about these :)
Summer Rose Many thanks to my Mom for helping me name these and Jadine. You'll see I'm bringing back the three-part earring, just like Shida at the start of this post. I like the movement this allows, plus the extra length, plus the reliability of wire rather than thread to achieve this effect. (Trust me, if I could figure out a reliable way to pull it off with thread, I'd do that too...) We'll see if this cream quartz / garnet combo resurfaces later, I'm a bit fascinated.
Spring Moss I can't let myself go into my local favorite bead shop anymore, unless I have a specific mission. No matter what, I will buy something. I allowed myself to go to stock up on some jump rings this week that are difficult to find anywhere else, and even with the single-minded purpose, I just, you know... got diverted... and picked up some blue quartz. Because they didn't have the angelite I wanted. None of this is relevant - except that I was looking for another set of moss quartz, since I love how the moss quartz worked out in this piece. No luck. The moral of this story is, if you like something I post, you should definitely get it while the getting's good - I work with a lot of suppliers and the local ones have unreliable inventory. Might never see a pair like this again!
I've been hanging onto these stones for months, so naturally am SO pleased that they found a home in this piece. You'll see the agate is rooted in a tiny moonstone, paired with sterling silver ear wire that fades into the background - a soft tone that doesn't distract from the central stone. Allie
You should have seen my face when I found the display of geometric metal shapes at one of my local vendors. Toddler at Christmas - overwhelmed, delighted, unsure what to pick first. Of course these squares... but also the gold tone squares, right? and the larger kind? and do I get the rectangles too? The cream quartz and aqua terra "jasper" (trade name for soft onyx marble, for your trivia stash) were born for each other. The larger cream quartz in a soft pale peach, and the jasper also translucent, near transparent, but in a slightly sturdier sage green. I'll come play with these colors again later... :) Charlotte
You've heard me rave about these stones before, I'm sure. The best purchase I've ever made, stone-wise? Let's see... top five for sure. I adore the asymmetrical cut, the smooth flow of the line, the painterly patterns that vary SO MUCH (see Sara below)... And of course they're jasper, my shop's namesake. Make them black and white I just melt into a puddle of be-still-my-heart. Maisie
Sara! The soft neutrality of these remind me of the book title Sarah Plain and Tall, which probably inspired the naming of these earrings. Subtle, yet not lacking in detail. Notice the striations as if illustrated with graphite. Notice the way the moonstones - tiny orange and larger grey - bring out the best in these larger jasper stones. I could go on and on about the elegance of shapes here, but I'll save that for another post about composition. Love these.
One of my best-selling pieces, Beach Vacation, made me realize that I don't have to Beyonce every piece (give a one word name) - I can use a non-name or phrase to evoke what I feel in making a piece. And thus, Tonight! These feel like a night out on the Lower East Side when your friend is in town from the UK and playing her new set and you need earrings that are just as ready as you are to stay out til the sun :)
Mmm, it's been too long! I'm making a pile of all the new stuff you haven't seen, and will post in the coming weeks. The lovelies above are called "Blue Moon" - I'll be honest, I've had the blue apatite for months and happy it finally has a home.
I call these "By the Lake" because they remind me of a hot summer afternoon at Lake Michigan. Don't worry - you'll see those oval curved aventurine stones more often in weeks and months to come!
I *adore* these carnelian earrings, framed by blackwood jasper (the name even tastes good, they're so beautiful) and fossil coral. I picture these with a camel wool pencil skirt, but obviously other options abound.
Nora... I'm sure you've noticed that I can't walk past a good asymmetrical stone without adding it to my tray (the carts of jewelry stores), and this was no exception. Maybe I paid too much for them. But just look at 'em, I mean, how could I walk on by?
In case you're like me, and can't get enough blackwood jasper, well, here's to you. *clink* These "Winter Woods" earrings make me want to wear navy and cuddle up by the fire :)
You can see influences from the mood board here - squash blossoms, vines and leaves, and squash skin patterns in the far background. Do you also see the squash silhouettes?
In a few weeks it will be easier to take it all in, once the color gouache is done.
I'm working on a collage about squash.
As you may have noticed, I get a lot of joy from progress in life. Starting new projects, seeing results, learning new things, trying challenges, etc. To the point that it can be hard to take a break - if I'm not careful, I work all day then come home and keep plugging away at my constant to-do list. (I like lists, so it's not as bad as it sounds.) So it takes work to remind myself to do something else - follow a passion that isn't one of my Etsy shops, explore something new without looking for a way to implement it, just play.
So tonight started out that way - a little window shopping on Thredup. (Shameless plug: use my referral link! http://www.thredup.com/r/EY5DX4) They're an online resale store, which means they're a great way to save money on quality clothes while feeling eco-friendly. Woohoo! As I was browsing, I drifted into thinking about fashion and putting together color palettes and patterns... and decided to create some ideas of my own for pinterest.
Then - then I realized I could center these outfits around my online jewelry shop, Jasper & Love. (Ok, so it turned into a work-related activity - but give me a little credit, I started in an innocent place.)
So - I'm launching my new pinterest board today! Tell me what you think :)
One of my goals for this year is to become comfortable with both Photoshop and Illustrator, so I hope to have many more posts like this - with much improved technique - as the months roll by. I was struck by the LOVELY rust on the subway platform today, and snapped a pic about five seconds before my phone died. (Poor thing.) So I've spent some time playing with the palette and composition in Photoshop.
I think this is strong, but hard to digest in areas. Does your eye rest? Does it have a clear journey, or just bounce around? This is a good start, but it's not making a clear statement.
Ahhhh... Am I right? This is digestible, but not boring. The overlays give structure, without eliminating the textures we had before, which allows it to keep the depth. I would use this palette for housewares (soup bowls!) or as a pillow case design.
While I normally avoid dyed gemstones, these match my favorite lipstick and I couldn't say no. Plus 50% off, LBH. As a bonus, they're drilled in such a way that stones overlap each other ever so slightly when stacked. If I were remaking these, the only think I'd consider changing is switching to slightly thicker 23 or 22 ga gold headpin at 3", and adding another stone. Could only fit 4 with my 2" wire :)
Sun fire! This is my first of many explorations with carnelian gemstones - in this case, topped with aventurine. I adore the coloring on these stones (every one is different), so the only thing I'd change is switching to a marquise cut instead of oval. Or, if we're dreaming aloud here, an asymmetrical faceted cut, chunky but not so much that it becomes heavy.
Snails! Yep, those patterns you see are snail fossils from Wyoming. (Read more, it's really fascinating: http://geology.com/gemstones/turritella/) So how did I find a tiny bead to match as a topper - is that agate too? Nope. It's glass, actually, from a mixed set that I use WAY more than you would expect (Elyn, Eva, Beach Vacation, Sadie, Abode, Moxie, they're just surprisingly versatile beads. Check it out: jasperandlove.etsy.com) This particular pair is blue shot through with tanny golds and cooler indigo.
Since my first round of glass pendant earrings went over so well - Siara - I had to go see what other options were available. And I'm thrilled with these. The color, the simplicity, and that first photograph that is so perfectly abstracted. Look for more riffs on this theme soon.
These make me feel like New Year's Eve!
The equivalent of a reversible jacket, these Julia earrings can be worn two ways - with chain to the side, or chain split symmetrically to either side. Flip through the photos to see what I mean. If I were remaking, I might try two different types of gold chain to add another layer of texture. Or I might add a third, or see if I can find a less symmetrical shape than square, or see if I can stretch the square into another shape...
Enough about me - what about you? What do you want to see?
Well, hello then. It's been awhile. I feel like an elf, busy working away in preparation for the holidays!
These lovely asymmetrical earrings are jasper from head to toe - three different kinds.
My very first lapis lazuli earrings! They seem like going-out earrings, but actually pair well with laidback sweatshirt weekends, too.
Never bored of playing with this shape.
You'll have to let me know if the concept is coming through on these. Do you see a flower at all? Is it working?
Let's call this a "Making Of" or "Behind the Scenes" story. You know me, I don't like stuff. I like multi-purpose objects that store nicely, not bulky one-use-only things like studio lighting or elaborate photography props.
So how do I shoot my product photos for Jasper & Love, like this one?
Simple! First, use natural light ALWAYS. This is more difficult half the year when I'm only home during daylight on weekends.
Second, white reflects light. I keep a light source on one side and a piece of white paper on the other, to keep the shadow from getting too dark. As below, white paper below the set is also helpful.
Third, glass! I love glass backdrops, because the surface abstracts whatever is actually there. This will become more interesting in following images.
This is what's next - glass and 100% semi-precious stones :) For now, I'm including glass shots in each shoot, but I want to get to 80% glass for all listings. Most of my work is both semi-precious stone and glass bead, but these are both complete semi-precious stones and gold. Love the texture that brings, and uniformity of sheen.
Mmm, new photos! I really enjoy the glass backgrounds, and would like to (eventually) replace all the black earring stand shots with glass compositions.