Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Studio: packing and shipping

When you work from home sometimes space can be limited. Since we moved from Utah to Florida, I no longer have a large basement studio space so I'm thankful that I have a decent sized office space to work in. I'll show you more photos another time, but I wanted to show you my packaging/shipping/receiving station today.

My Shipping and Receiving station in my home studio

The quilt on the wall is one that my mom made and I hand quilted. The colors look nice in this room.  It is called "Peppermint and Sassafrass." The rug is one my husband purchased while stationed in Turkey. The picture on the wall to the left is one we purchased in South Korea when we lived there and it shows plum blossoms and has a Bible verse (I Thess 5:16-18) written in Korean.

Notice the bed risers that I've used to increase the height of the table
It is such a luxury to have one clear flat surface to pack outgoing orders and to unpack supply orders on. I raised the table up to waist level with inexpensive bed risers. I placed small pieces of non-slip mat in the top of the bed risers to keep them from sliding around. When I do a show I use this table and the bed risers so it does double duty then. It's a 5 ft folding table so it's easy to take with me. On the table I keep a paper cutter to trim down the shipping labels/postage that I print off of my computer to fit on my small jewelry packages. I also have a postage meter, some customs slips for International orders, business cards, packaging tape and a few other supplies. On the metal shelf unit to the right I keep all of my tissue paper, boxes, padded envelopes, jewelry boxes, pouches and everything else I need for shipping.  Inventory fits underneath so it's handy to ship as well as some boxes that are packed with lights, tablecloths and display items for shows.

We tend to move a lot so I've never bothered to invest in permanent office or studio furniture. This will have to do until my husband retires and we stop moving. It is very functional. I hope you enjoyed the mini tour.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Items: tiny post earrings

I've been making these teeny, tiny post earrings. They are all made from pearls or gemstone beads that range from 3.5-4.5mm in size and are all wire wrapped by me with either copper, sterling silver or gold filled wire. Tiny earrings are perfect for young girls, ladies who prefer the dainty look in earrings and second piercings. The pearl styles especially are suitable for bridesmaids.  Pictured are a few that I already have listed in my shops and I'm in the process of photographing and listing more.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Camera/Old Camera and Soapmaking

I just got a new camera! I've been using a little, cheap old point and shoot to take all my jewelry pictures for years. I've maxed out its few capabilities and need to move on. I admit I don't enjoy photography and don't understand it very well. I've been playing with my new Samsung NX100 and have just barely begun to understand what all those little icons are for in the menu. This is probably not the go-to camera for the "Photography for Dummies" crowd, but I'll see what I can do. The manual claims to be in English, but I don't believe it.

These are some before and after photos using my old and new cameras and taking photos of the handmade soap that I just made for my family. Photographing small sparkly objects like jewelry is gonna take some more study. All of these are completely unedited and taken on automatic without a tripod in somewhat dim light during a rainstorm . . . and . . . I don't think I held the camera very steady.

New. The new camera can be set for square format
New. Much truer color--same type of soap as above.
Old. All the soaps look kind of grey.
New. You can see the subtle color differences in the soap.

New. My soaps curing on the windowsill.
About the soap:
For more information on how I make my homemade soap, read this blog post I did a while back. My soaps aren't particularly colorful or pretty. I like a big, chunky, hand-cut, rustic bar with natural ingredients.

These are the types of soaps that I just finished making. These should last us a while:

* honey oatmeal (last photo)
* lavender with bentonite clay marbled (photo 5&6)
* sandalwood/patchouli with red Morrocan clay marbled (second photo)
* cedarwood/lime leaf with green French clay marbled (second photo)
* Caleb's sensitive skin shampoo bar with neem, green tea and calendula (top photo)
* grapefruit/hybiscus with poppyseeds (photo 5&6)
* vanilla bean spice swirled (photos 3&4)