Sunday, November 13, 2011

Have tree, will climb. The Playlist.

What is it about trees and climbing that kids find irresistible?


The adventure?

The thrill?

Or a quiet place to hide?

Master R was outside climbing 'his' tree yesterday, before he had even changed out of his pyjamas. He has been climbing this tree in our backyard from the day he was big enough to pull a chair to its base, for a leg-up to the lowest branch. Miss A had a bit of a climb, but she usually prefers to stay on the ground and keep an eye on her big brother...She does however have a huge fascination with tree-houses, and if there was a house nestled up in that tree I don't think you would get her down!

The Playlist is all about encouraging outdoor, imaginative free ranging play.
For more tree climbing fun, or to join in with The Playlist, visit 1000 Homes of Happiness.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This morning I am...

wrapping up cute packages for the mail....

and punching out lots of little Christmas trees ready for the afternoon's crafty project!

What are you doing? Have a nice Saturday xx

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Stuff, GOOD Stuff!

New stuff! The above bags were listed in my shop yesterday and today. Cute crochet for little girls, and lovely vintage fabric for big girls!

And the very first issue of Good Stuff is out now! Have you seen it yet? Go and have a look...Good Stuff was put together by Pip Lincolne from Meet me at Mikes, and it is a huge online magazine full of REALLY good stuff! The first issue is a Christmas / Holiday Guide and is packed with Christmas craft, gift ideas, food and lots more. My shop is advertised in Good Stuff, (yay!) and I am offering 10% off all online purchases between now and January 31st 2012. Just enter the code GOODSTUFF12 at the checkout. How good is that! xx

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In the mudpie kitchen for The Playlist

Miss A and Master R got to work in the mudpie kitchen this weekend.
Cooking utensils were assembled, ingredients were sourced, water was added, and mixing, pouring and slopping took place.



Mudpie Cafe was opened for business, and mummy was served a lovely treat, complete with Ice-cream container lids for plates and an extra special drink on the side.  Mmm...delicious x

The Playlist is all about encouraging outdoor, imaginative free ranging play.
For more fun in the mudpie kitchen, or to join in with The Playlist visit 1000 Homes of Happiness.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Photography issues

One that worked out in the end...I think!

Earlier this week I was feeling a little disheartened. While I love what I do, with my craft, my online shop and this blog, there are a few sides to it that are quite challenging for me. One particular side being the photography of my handmade products. And really, what is an online shop without awesome product photos? My customers cannot pick up the items, turn them over or feel them, and so they need to be able to see the detail in the photos, to help them imagine what they feel like, and see the real colours and textures. But with some of my products this can be really hard to achieve.

I am not in any way a photographer, I have never been taught how to take photos, and I don't know a lot about the many functions my wonderful camera is capable of performing. The camera was bought by my husband a few years ago, and I had barely picked it up before I started selling on Etsy. And then, all of a sudden, I needed to know as much as I could about taking great photos. But I also needed to learn what I could about Etsy...and Blogger...and flickr...and pinterest...and oh my goodness!! AND not forgetting the most important thing I needed to spend time on - MAKING THINGS...or there would be nothing to photograph anyway!

I like this pic, and have used it on Etsy, but it is still lacking in colour and detail

So even now, after 10 months, I still haven't learnt a lot about the camera or photography. I am busy with making and blogging and trying to keep up with all other things 'online', and what I want is to be able to set the camera to auto, point and shoot, and instantly get the shot I want, without having to edit! (Surely that is not too much to ask!) Sometimes it actually does work, because some of my photos turn out great and I am happy with them first go. But others just won't turn out no matter what I try, and this gets me down, as I feel that this is what it's all about.

Earlier this week I was struggling to get any decent photos of some of my gift tags, and my fold up tote bags. I tried over and over again to achieve clear detailed photos, but it just wasn't working. So I took a break, from the photography and most of the 'online' stuff I do, and just spent a couple of days hanging out with Miss A, playing toys with her, and doing kids craft. I came back to my own crafting with a simple project - a card for our friend's new baby boy.

Taking photos for Blogger is so much easier as the photos can be more natural.

Miss A and I made cute wrapping paper for Baby's present. And a gift tag to match. How cute is the elephant?

And then after all of this I had another go at the photos for Etsy....and lo and behold....they turned out ok! Obviously still not as good as what I could achieve if I took the time to learn more, but they are photos that I can be happy with. I think with any creative project that isn't working out, putting it aside for a time, having a change of scenery, maybe working on another less complicated project, and returning with a clear mind, can really help. I still think the photography is going to challenge me for a while to come yet though!

What do you do if a project isn't working out?
Are you an Etsy shopper, or do you take photos for an online shop?
Are photos 'everything'?