Today is one of those ‘in between’ days. You all know what I mean. I’m kind of finishing up one thing and starting another. I have been working on the pattern packet for the new ornaments yesterday and that took up most of my time. I played around with the pictures for the bulk of the day, trying to get them just right.
There are so many things involved with taking pictures. I find that I am always learning and as we all know, learning something new takes a bit of time. I would have loved to just ‘snap away’ at them and get them done in an hour. But it didn’t really work out that way.
I sometimes get a picture in my mind as to how I want things presented. I am learning that the photography and presentation of my work is very important in sales and advertising. If I can present thing in an appealing way, then naturally people are more likely to try to make the items themselves. It sounds like it should be a given, but it was only a couple of years ago that I just put stuff on a white towel to shoot pictures and called it a day. I think I have come a long way from that.
So anyway, I had a picture in my head of what I wanted these ornaments to look like. I pictured a soft and swirly background in shades of pinks to accent both the stained and also the maple Valentines. When I looked at my stash of background fabric however, all I had that was even close was the bright red fabric that I used for some of my Christmas candle trays.
While I could have used that and it would certainly had a Valentine’s feel to it, I thought it would be too harsh and didn’t want to. However, I looked at the accumulating snow outside and I didn’t really feel like asking for a ride to the store to pick through and see what fabric would be appropriate. Besides, it would just be more to store here in our little place and I didn’t really feel like adding to the pile if I didn’t have to.
I then got the idea – why not see what would be available as a ‘digital background’? After all – these ornaments were quite small and I could print out a sheet of card stock and use that.
I immediately Googled ‘background wallpapers’ and found a wealth of free downloads for my enjoyment. There were several sights that had vast selections and was further able to pinpoint my search just by typing in the word ‘pink’. I soon found a suitable pattern and brought it up in my own Photoshop program where I was able to further tweak it to exactly what I was picturing in my mind. (Now that was something that I wouldn’t be able to do with fabric!) I printed out a sheet on some nice card stock and was in business, as I was able to easily fit the ornaments onto a normal sheet of paper.
I mention this because I think that it is something that you should consider if you are looking for a nice way to photograph your work. I think it is a nice and economical way to show off projects in a professional way.
I played around a bit with lighting and also tried to use the light box that Keith uses for his pens, but I just wasn’t getting nice pictures. Again, I don’t have a lot of equipment (or room for a lot) so I use the limited resources that I do have here. It was a somewhat dark day out and the colors were just not cooperating with the available light. I finally thought that I would give it a try in the scanner and that gave the best results. I was very happy with how they looked.
Once that was figured out, it was just a matter of scanning in and adjusting the 24 pictures. I find that when doing ornaments such as these, I like showing them individually best.
I now need to complete the written instructions and the assembly of the packets and they will be ready to go. I realize it seems like a long process, but I found that when I take time and do things right, I feel much better about my work. I have rushed through things in the past and not felt happy about the outcome.
I also decided that I am going to make another set of ornaments that will be somewhat easier than these to cut for Valentine’s day. While I do think that most people will be able to accomplish these with a little practice, I realize that they may be a bit difficult for new comers to scrolling and I want to have something to offer them also. So last night instead of writing when I was tired, I began drawing up another set. Hopefully, since they are simpler I will be able to work on them quickly and get them up on the site very soon too. I really don’t want to delay the site update because Keith has some nice new stuff to add up there too. I may have to do an initial update and then add the second set in afterwards. That won’t be tragic.
I found out that the third and final calendar overlays are going to be due in a couple of weeks to the magazine, so I need to get busy on that too. Things are beginning to come fast and furious and it is time for me to kick into a higher gear and finish working on some of these ideas I have.
Thank you all for the positive remarks regarding these ornaments. It really makes me feel good and your cheering me on helps me tremendously. I am glad you like them and appreciate all your comments and suggestions very much.
Have a wonderful Friday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"