Apr 18, 2009

I love weekends!

Especially when they are sunny! Kade starts swim lessons today. This will be his first time going in the water without Jer or me. I am just hoping that he actually WILL go in the water!

Look what I found last night- it's my Green Dino on the front page of the gift guides! Woohoo, thanks Etsy! :)

Hey, check out -->this!<--
Tami from So Anyway... did a feature and a little interview on my shop! It turned out great, and she is so nice and has a really fun blog!

I also just introduced three new Bunnies and one Elephant into the shop, here are a few pictures!

I'm going to try to find something fun to do this afternoon... maybe hiking at Wallace Falls, or a picnic at the park? We've got to take advantage of this nice weather while it lasts!

Apr 13, 2009

Girly girly

Last week I had a customer buy all three of the sock monkeys in my shop! They are all going to be for baby girls, so I made a few changes and additions to girly them up. For the striped monkey, I made a very soft plush minky scarf, and a sweet little bow is sewn securely on her head.

Maybe you remember this winter sock monkey:

She is now prettied up with a french beret and matching scarf, pink with green polkadots! Very fashionable!

This weekend I was putting together some baby shower gifts for a few friends of mine (OK... I know about 5 new babies and 4 pregnant women... almost all the girls I know are pregnant or have just had a baby!). I went shopping at Fred Meyers to find something to go along with my Green Dino toy. Oshkosh makes the *PERFECT* design... it looks so much like my dino you'd think I designed it after the shirt! Even the colors match!

So, I snatched a few up, and am very excited to give these away! :)

Apr 9, 2009

Hello and Goodbye

...to this little elephant! I didn't even get a chance to post pictures here before it sold. So here is a picture... I'm going to make another one like it, plus a bunch more, if I have time!

Here's a custom order I finished up. This special all red Dino is for a vision impaired baby girl! The solid bright red color will help strengthen her tracking muscles in her eyes. This Dino even includes a jingle bell hidden inside!

A new sock creature is for sale in my shop now! I just love this turtle, he's got the sweetest smile :)

Kade and I went on a field trip with his class this morning, to the Imagine Children's Museum. It was so much fun! This was the first time we've been up to the rooftop exhibits, because usually it's raining whenever we go. This gigantic yellow slide was Kade's favorite part of the whole trip:

I had no idea when I chose an Albert Einstein shirt for Kade to wear this morning that we would actually be stopping by his house! What a coincidence!

I'm off now to work on some more custom orders, woohoo!! :)

Apr 7, 2009

How I do it: photos for my Etsy listings

I have been asked before what kind of light box I use to take my pictures. I thought I'd share my "secret" with you all! I spent a lot of time in the beginning trying to figure out the best way to photograph my items. I do not have a really fancy camera, or photo editing program. I have to rely on lighting and backgrounds to make my photos look good from the start, so that I don't have to spend hours attempting editing them! (There are many free photo editing programs out there on the web that work quite well, but I find it saves me time to start out with a good picture and just use what my computer already is equipped with- cropping, brightness/contrast, saturation, sharpen, etc.- the bare basics.)

I have used many different backgrounds, from nature, to fabric, to poster board, and more. Some pictures did not turn out- the ones in my kitchen against my white walls were all washed out and the wrong color:

The ones outside were too bright or had shadows across the item. The ones on tissue paper were alright, but the paper was at times not big enough, and then I had messy lines that I had to erase digitally (because yes, the lines bugged me!):

I have finally found a method that works for me- I spent no money trying to make a light box that I'd have to store somewhere, and best of all, it's easy!

The key for me is bright indirect sunlight, for whatever background I use. This ensures that the photo is well lit but has no harsh shadows on the background, as well as no glare. I grab the roll of white paper from the art easel, unroll about 3 feet, set the roll on top of some chairs, and drape the paper onto the floor. Notice my very professional paperweights holding the corners down.

Then I get down in front of the paper and snap away! Here are some pictures from the above photo shoot.

The only thing I did to edit them was crop them into squares and add a little edge blur. The color of the white paper is a little off because the day was very cloudy and gray, but the color of the bunnies turned out perfect, so I chose not to change anything. This method also works well with nice smooth fabric (for my Dino's), poster board (for my elephants and owls), and probably a few other things.

For those of you with amazing cameras and PhotoShop, this info will most likely be useless to you. But to those of you who, like me, needs to use what they have and still hopefully get somewhat professional looking photos, I hope this info will give you some good ideas of your own! :)

Apr 2, 2009

The prodigal hamster (v.2)

As most hamsters do sometimes, ours (Po) escaped last week. I was worried he had hurt himself on the fall from the cage down to the ground. I set up a trap (cheese and peanut butter on a cracker, set on some bedding material in a bucket, with a ramp outside the bucket) and put seeds on the floor. I set his cage on the floor too, with the door open.

The first night, he didn't come home. Kade was distraught. I tried to comfort him with stories of Po becoming a pirate and going adventuring, looking for treasure, wondering what was outside his little caged in world, feeling the need to explore. We went to work for the day. Upon arriving home in the afternoon, we checked the trap- cheese gone, cracker halfway gone, hamster.... gone. Sneaky guy!

I then looked at the cage and found a cute little black and white ball curled up top in his nest. He came home! We were so excited and just had to get him out to make sure he was OK. Luckily, it looks like he is in great shape! The only thing I'm worried about is what he did/where he was while he was gone... at least it was only 2 days and not 2 weeks! Here are some cute pictures:

This is blurry but so funny... Po crawled up Kade's shirt and started to lick his ear... silly!

Cleaning his face!

There is your fix of cuteness for the week! I hope you enjoyed it! :)