Vintage Glass Jewels – and Photographing Silver…Yikes

Silver is beautiful. It’s also – how to put this politely – okay. Call it a Challenge to photograph 🙂

I have some lovely vintage glass jewels in my Jewelry Supplies Shop on Etsy:

Vintage Glass Jewels in my Etsy shop

I’ve recently gotten some silver plated settings for my pretty vintage jewels – and I’d forgotten what a challenge silver can be to photograph! If it’s clean and shining (like these settings) – it reflects nearby colors almost like a mirror. Place the settings on a wood background – which is usually a good choice – and guess what? The silver looks tan, beige or bronze – the color(s) of aged brass! Well brass is wonderful – I use (and sell) a lot of it – but the point here is to show the silver!

I’m working on it. The composite above shows some of the pics that worked – and as you can see, those silver settings are highlighted by a lot of colors besides just “silver”.

This is going to be an ongoing project – better pics, more silver (plated) settings, more silver all around – and more of a learning curve. So – stay tuned, this will be continued!

The Power of Love, or maybe Grapes

So the stress the last couple of days has been Zini, our Sun Conure. Normally she’s loud and sassy, superactive and playful. But since the 3rd she’s been slowing down and getting tired all the time. We thought maybe she and her buddy, Willy the Quaker Parrot, had gotten stressed by all the Loud Noises and Smells of the Fourth of July (which around here lasts from, say, 2nd July to… well, it hasn’t stopped yet, and today’s the 7th).

Zini the Sun Coure and Willy the Quaker Parrot

So off to the vet’s yesterday. Yes, we should’ve taken her a day earlier – but it was a federal holiday and, well, we hedged because she was eating better and we thought, maybe it’s okay. We shouldn’t have waited. Turns out she has an infection and is maybe anemic, and she spent last night in hospital.

She’s been with Willy for 5 years now (since she was 3 months old) and they have only spent one night apart, in all that time. So this separation was MAJOR stress for them. We brought her home today, tentatively, with firm instructions on how to administer her medicine. We just thought – well, we can give her bunches of attention, more than the vet possibly can, and make sure she eats. She only weighs 100-102 grams average when she’s healthy and she’d lost over TEN GRAMS – a huge and scary loss – in just two days.

She was at 89 grams when we brought her home this morning. This evening she’s at 97 grams and still eating (pellets, apples, and grapes – lots of grapes) 🙂

So: the power of love. Ours – and definitely Willy’s.

Zini grooming Willy

Repurposed Dress – Recycle in Style!

Here’s a great example of indie design – fab style – and recycling too! This dress is from Amanda Vaughn-Redmon on etsy.

Repurposed Dress from amandavaughnredmon on etsy

First and foremost of course, is that it’s a great-looking dress – it would be fun and flattering to wear!

Equally important in my book – she makes her garments in the U.S. (North Carolina) and she uses recycled/repurposed clothing for all or part of them. Of course that makes each garment one-of-a-kind, which is terrific too 🙂

Think about it – this is style at its best. It looks great, those fabrics would feel good and be super easy to care for (here, she’s used an old t-shirt, and slinky drapy poly knit) – and she’s taking what would otherwise be tossed away, and turned it into something fabulous.

Talk about a feel-good dress! Love it 🙂

Wallpaper as Art – and a new DIY Idea

I found another great example of wallpaper-as-art and wanted to share it, especially because there’s an extra bit of food-for-thought here. First, here’s the inspiration photo:

Wallpaper as Art - DIY Idea from Style Files dot com
Wallpaper as Art – Inspiration from

Now there’s a point to all this. First off, this is (part of) a great-looking room (and Style Files is full of inspiration, truly, go look around!) But even more – here’s the bear-with-me idea.

I happen to think this is a great looking vignette. I also think that the wallpaper they’ve used in this pic is totally unremarkable – in and of itself. It’s okay. It’s not fabulous. But the way they’ve used it, as a strong graphic statement, framed AS ART, really does look terrific.

Okay, that’s Idea Number One. It doesn’t have to be priceless art. It has to say something to you, or be a color you love, or whatever. Treat it as art, be bold with it – and it IS art.

Which leads me to my second point. I took the photo from Style Files and fiddled with it – excuse me ladies, it was just to try something out. What I did, was grab what I consider a totally inappropriate graphic from my own files (inappropriate meaning, it ain’t “art”, it’s just a graphic). This particular graphic is of a pair of earrings on my site – and yes, I do think the earrings are terrific (you can find them here). But as wall art? No, I wouldn’t choose this graphic.

But in my doctored-up-photo, I took the earrings image. I copied it a bunch of times – just like you could do if you took any image you liked and made 20 copies at your local copy shop. Then group the images together on the wall (put pasteboard or something behind them if you don’t want to paste directly on the wall) and presto: you’ve got strong wall art.

Altered Wall Art Graphic - a Do It Yourself Idea

See what I mean? This isn’t priceless art. But because it is a strong image, and the repetitive idea makes it even more graphically interesting, and because it’s framed on the wall like “real art” – it works. It looks good. It makes a statement.

It costs practically nothing if you use images from magazine pages. Or maps. Or wallpaper samples. Whatever. Use *recycled* images, that’s even better.

Try it. It works.

Pet Photo Jewelry – with a twist

I’ve started doing “pet photo jewelry” lately and people are so enthusiastic about their pets, furbabies, fuzzy kids, whatever you call them – I have a feeling these are going to be fun!

There’s a twist though. I don’t just use straight pixel-for-pixel photos (well I can, but that hasn’t been the focus so far) – instead, I make a sort of portrait of your furbaby, and use that as the basis for the earrings (or pendant). For example, look at these sweet beagle earrings:

Custom Pet Photo Earrings or Pendant
Custom Pet Photo Earrings or Pendant

These would be fun anyway, because this is a much-loved pet and her human really cares about these earrings – and the extra fun part is that, these aren’t copied from an “exact” photo. At my customer’s urging, I played with the photo a little, I changed it, stylized it, turned it into a mini-portrait. (Yes, I photoshopped it!)

I think it’s going to be interesting to go down that road a little more 🙂

The earrings are a great conversation starter, if you’re into that. And they’re a great keepsake gift for someone you love (hmm, can we can “paper anniversary present”?) For someone who loves their pet!

PS I’m going to be putting up some new and different examples soon – stay tuned for further developments!