Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wearing the Photographer Hat

It's true, I love taking pictures. Of flowers, and water, and mountains, and my cat, the dog... anything colorful, yes. And I especially love taking pictures of my kid. But taking pictures of beads? Well, I can only think of one thing that is worse - taking pictures of finished jewelry. Seriously. It's not that fun. Sitting there, bead after bead, getting a crick in your neck, hoping that they are going to turn out and you don't have to do them again. Trying to get the light right, trying to avoid the glare. Getting just the right angle... stretching out your neck so it doesn't stick crooked. Trying to make sure there are no fingerprints. No cat hairs. No dust. You know the drill.

Well, several weeks ago I broke down and bought an EZcube kit. Yes, it's very expensive. It took me seven years to get around to caving to this want, to decide it was really a need. Seven years of trying to make my Tupperware box studio work. And then? I let it sit in a box for a month! I know, I know, crazy. It's not that it's hard to set up - it's Very Easy (or Very EZ), in fact. Part of it was I had nothing to photograph, and part of it was, it's very expensive, and what if my pictures were no better than before? What if it wasn't the miracle I was looking for? was the day, for some reason, I was ready to test it all out. Here it is - isn't it overkill? Apparently the smaller cube is on back order... so I set up the monster one. Look at how little my big bead looks!

And here are two photos of my latest bead. One with the gradient background setup and one with the black.

The glare is gone, yes. I'm happy about that for sure. But. They are still missing something. The magic. Where is the magic? I hold my bead, and it's there. I look at the picture, it's missing. Am I asking too much? Perhaps it's a lesson in letting go of the inner perfectionist? I don't know. I *think* it's possible, because I see other bead artists with magical photos. But maybe their beads are even MORE magical than the photos, maybe they are still wishing for more too? Maybe.

I'm going to figure it out though. Because it's not the day to tell that inner perfectionist to take a hike - she's been with me way too long to just walk away now. She's never given up without a fight before, so there's my hope. I'll find the magic one of these days. You'll know when I do, too!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Good Stuff

OK, OK, I can do good stuff too.

First of all, there is this "April" Treasury that Patty Lakinsmith put together - she included my bird egg necklace. April is one of my favorite months, probably because it's my birthday month, and this treasury really does make you *feel* April, doesn't it? See, that's a good thing.

Visit Patty's Store to see her great beads, if you like my beads, you'll love hers! And don't miss her "Meanie" series - those things are so cool!

What else? I have a ton of good stuff about my kiddo. You should see what a great reader he's turned into! All that hard work, and now he's just zipping through chapter books, reading some of the good parts out loud to me because he thinks I'll like the good parts too... and planning what he's going to read when he's done with the series he's on now. And you should see him crack the ball in baseball! Batting lessons are paying off. And you should hear him play the recorder! The kid can read music and really has an ear for which note is which. He did NOT get that from me! And... yeah, I could go on for ever about him, but I won't, because I'm sure you don't want to hear me braggin' on my kid for an hour.

Let's see, about the garden, you know, the weed jungle out there... well there are also tulips popping up in places I didn't plant them. I like that. And my Madrona tree is almost as tall as my house now, I bet she gets there this summer. I love that tree. And the magnolia tree has put on the best show this year, and now is sprouting leaves. And the rhodies are about to explode too. All kinds of good stuff out there beside weeds, it's true.

The diet thing. Eh. What can I say about gaining weight? Not much. But I don't really think it's the diet, because Frank and Luke both seem to be slimming down since I've been doubling up on the veggies and backing off on the starches. And I've been learning some tricks to make the veggies taste better, so people are actually eating them instead of pushing them around on their plates. So that's a good thing.

The technology bit? I love my iphone. That thing is the best thing since sliced bread. And my computer works great as long as all Apple programs are deleted... a working-great computer is nothing to sneeze at, right? I'm thinking of giving this one to Frank, and buying myself a mac book. That would be a Very Good Thing, don't you think?

Oh and speaking of buying things, I love my new Italian espresso maker! That thing makes the smoothest, yummiest coffee ever. And my new shoes, even though they are not flip flops, they are making my feet happy. And the new bag I got to go with them - love! (It's my birthday month, didn't I just tell you that? I go a little crazy spending in April. I'm not going to feel bad about it either, so there.)

Ok, that's enough good for now, I don't want go all Pollyanna on you or anything... besides, I need to go try to find that Muse of mine. She needs to get to work so I can start saving up for that new computer.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering

I haven't been around because I don't have anything good to share. Everything right now is a big fat fail. For example:

My beads are not going into space. Space Bead Fail.

My muse has deserted me and there are no new beads to show off. Creativity Fail.

My bead sent to Germany never arrived. Mail Service Fail.

My first ever non-payment sale happened. Etsy Buyer Fail.

My computer and iTunes hate each other. Technology Fail.

Every time I put on flip flops, it gets cold again. Weather Fail.

The weeds are choking out my flowers, and the moss is taking over. Gardening Fail.

I started my first ever diet and get this, gained weight. Body Image Fail.

I colored my hair to hide the gray and the gray is still there. Hair Dye Fail.

My *oh so new and exciting* retail display is spread all over my house and should have been done two weeks ago. House Cleaning Fail, but also Big Time Procrastination Success. Oh wait, that means FAIL too.

So, as you can see... it's probably better off that I stay away from blogger until things improve... because who wants to read about these kinds of things? Which means I can add another: Blog Post Fail.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Beads in Space!

I'm so excited about this! How cool would it be to get your beads out into space and back? And even cooler for the lucky kids who get one of these special beads that they can say went to space? Of course I'm talking about Beads of Courage - the program that rewards kids with special beads for things like going through tough cancer treatments and procedures and the like.

So here's the deal: Beads in Space in case you also make beads and want to get in on it. The deadline is SOON, so check it out right away.

I'm heading out to the studio now to try and make some Keith Graves inspired alien pet beads. I think I'm going to have fun with eyeballs. Wish me luck!