Monday, 24 June 2013

Countdown to the Kentish Wedding Fair at Darenth Valley Golf Course on June 30th

9ct Gold Freshwater Pearls
This Sunday will see me join my very first wedding fair! I'm really excited about it as I love working with the organiser Helen from Kentish Wedding & Food Fairs  . The buzz looks great and the event promises to be a one stop shop for Bride's and Grooms of Kent and surrounding areas to find the perfect accompaniments to their wedding. From gorgeous wedding cakes and treats to photographers, musicians, limousines and of course jewellery, it will all be there! I've been working on a number of special sets for brides, from simple and elegant to WOW! I'll have something for mum's and Bridesmaids too.

Sterling Silver Filigree Heart & Silk cord
Every Bride will receive a special goody bag at the door and there will be free ice cream, music and champagne for visitors. I'll be giving away a special gift to the first 15 Brides to place an order with me on the day (pictured at right!). And one of my favourite wedding suppliers, Bethans Beauty Treatments will will also be offering free manicures on the day. Beth provides a mobile beauty treatment service that is bespoke to her clients and she offers an assortment of pampering treats for anyone, not just Brides to be! Beth is a highly skilled beauty therapist having achieved numerous qualifications and certifications in manicures and pedicures as well as massage from West Kent College and Kent Beauty School. And most of all, she is lovely.

So there we go, just a taster of what's to come. If you're a Bride to be, and in the Kent area, you can pre-register here. And even if you don't pre-register, you can register at the door. So don't forget, Sunday June 30th from 11am - 4pm at Darenth Valley Golf Club on Station Road nr Shoreham, Sevenoaks TN14 7SA. See you there!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Photographing jewellery - a complete idiot's guide

I often get asked if I use a professional to photograph my jewellery (now whether they are just being kind, is a different question!). And the simple answer is no, I do it all myself. I'm no expert by any measure and I rely on tools and a little bit of experimentation to get an acceptable shot. So I thought I'd share a couple of tips on what I've learned and what I use.

Firstly, as I mentioned above, I am no expert. But I do have experience of fiddling! So any guidance I offer is strictly fiddling expertise!

Probably the most important thing I've learned about photographing my jewellery is lighting. It's critical to get a decent shot. Sunlight is fantastic, but it's not always available and you can't always control for shadows or unevenness or unwanted tints etc. Then there's ordinary room lighting, which is seldom bright enough to adequately light your pieces - it's surprising how much light you need to be honest! I've tried various light boxes/tents, lights and assorted domes et al, but the one thing I've found that has given me consistent lighting has been my lightbox that I found on ebay about six years ago. I'm a big fan as it's small/portable with the lights integrated into the box and provides even and consistent light and light balance every time I use it. (this is the one I bought, but there are a few others slightly less expensive available too). My work space is very compact so I really couldn't afford set-up that was space consuming. And I wanted to be able to photograph at any time without having to set up the box and lights etc. This one is as simple as turn the switch on and let it warm up. Plus, ss I mentioned I bought it nearly six years ago and have not had to change a light in it yet, it's been very cost effective.

The second thing I've learned is white balance. If you don't know what that is, take a little time to learn. There are lots of resources online to read up (here's one I just googled, no endorsement). Basically white balance let's the camera "see" true colours, so that, for instance, white appears white rather than the yellow you sometimes see in photos taken under "normal light". Most digital cameras will have a manual white balance setting - learn to use it. It's also useful to understand a little bit about shutter speeds and focal lengths and iso - adjusting these can help give you greater depth of image. Though strictly speaking you probably could get away without them.

I use an old minolta digital with 2.1mp resolution. So it's not a high spec camera, but it does have the ability for manual adjustments to shutter speed and white balance. So you don't have to spend a lot of money on a fancy camera, just one that give you a bit of control of your camera. So there you have it, a coupe of tips. Hope they're useful!!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Yes another disaster!

The webserver crashed yet again. So once again, I am in the process of rebuilding. Thankfully the backups of the catalog and webpage seem to be intact, it's just the infrastructure that I need to fight with. So cross your fingers, the site should be back in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, enjoy the snow!!

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Jelly and Ice Cream!

Inspired by the hot weather and a desire for jelly and ice cream, I've just finished making this latest piece. A bit of festive fun for the summer months with handmade Razberi lampwork beads, swarovski crystals and silver swirl beads. All in gleaming .925 Sterling Silver. Yum! Still having some problems with the server, very annoying, but I think we're almost there. And as someone once said, it's all character building ... not sure what kind of character though!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Beautiful Baroque Pearls ... oooohh ahhhh!!

I've recently come across some simply gorgeous Baroque Freshwater Pearls drops. These mismatched pearls are beautiful with loads of lustre and iridescence. I've been having a wonderful time crafting pieces with them. I'm hoping to find more, but for the moment, what I have is all I have. I've had so many requests that I'm afraid I'm very nearly out! So do take a look, I hope you like them as much as I do!