Thursday, May 31, 2012


On of the biggest challenges of selling online is trying to get good photographs.
It was one of the main reasons I signed up for the photography class I'm taking.
I have wanted to retake the pictures I have of my bibs forever,
but struggled with exactly how to do it.
I wanted to make them stand out from the crowd but still be clear, sharp and not cluttered.

When I was out garage sale-ing one Saturday (the one time a year I go),
I picked up this frame that I thought would be perfect.
I'm not sure I like it.
For sure the white fabric background has got to go.
I've always used white tagboard but I didn't have enough on hand for a full background.

This is what I've had before.
While I loved having a baby pose for me, it is about impossible to get my toddler to cooperate.
As you can see, my coloring is slightly off here.
As soon as I get my act together, I'm going to send some bibs down to a friend of mine.
I'm going to have her take some stock photos to use as the last picture in all the bib listings.
I like being able to show what they look like when worn.

After a few hours of trying different photos, this is what I ended up using.
Not my fav, but it'll do the trick until I figure something else out.
Some day, I'll get it right.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The winner of the giveaway is...

Amy said...
Definitely the bib set... with my messy little one you can never have enough of those! Thanks!
May 25, 2012 9:08 AM

Contact me here to claim your prize.

Thanks to all who entered.
It was fun!
I'll definitely be doing it again,
but next time, I'll increase the amount of the gift certificate. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Giveaway Day

It's Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama Sew.
able mabel is giving away a $20 gift certificate for my Etsy shop.
If you win, what will you use it for?

To enter, leave me a comment.
If you'd like an additional entry, "like" able mabel on Facebook.

This giveaway ends on March 25th at 5pm PST.
Open to US residents and International residents as well.
I'm getting in on this giveaway a bit late, so your chances of winning are much better than usual! :)

Week 5 Assignment

It was another two part lesson this week.

Part 1 was White Balance.
With a cooperative subject, we took a picture in each of our white balance settings.

I'm not sure a 3 1/2 month old with her arms flailing 90 mph
can be considered cooperative but she sure is a cutie!!
This picture was taken when I set a custom white balance.
(I didn't have anyone around to make her smile so she's be grinning at me but as soon as I put my camera up to my face, her eyes would get huge like she was trying to figure out what it was. :) )
 To do get a custom white balance reading, I set a grey card on her belly and took a picture.
That caused her arms to go even faster! :)

We had to post two pictures. Our favorite and our least favorite.
 My least favorite. Need I say anymore?
Judging by the look on her face, she agrees.
It's downright scary!
(Tungsten lighting is what my white balance was set to.)

Part 2 was In Camera Processing.
Basically changing the coloring of the picture using the settings on your camera.

 Neutral setting.

 Vivid setting.
I'm still not sure which one I like better.
Each has it's pros and cons.
I like how her eye color show thru on the top one.
Yet, I like how she "pops" in the second one.
Maybe if I had set my exposure a bit lighter while in vivid,
 I could have gotten her eye color.
What do you think?!

When I was taking these, I was writing down which pictures went with what setting.
When I was done, my model said to me,
"Oh! I know why you are writing down all those numbers!
It's your speed shutter!!"
Apparently the whole family is taking the class with me.
Or at least picking up on some of the terms,
even if they can't get the words in the right order.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


 Stack of packages ready to bring to the post office.
My 22 month old and my baby have been tag-teaming each other since last Friday.
When one goes down for a nap, the other wakes up and is "needy".
I feel like all I've accomplished in the last few days is to hold babies.
It's not necessarily a bad thing, I just fell behind in the other areas of life.
I had this afternoon all to myself and was able to get somewhat caught up on orders.
It feels wonderful.
 Look what the UPS man delivered today.
An improved product is in the works.
I won't tell you what it is in case it's a flop.
If it is a flop, it won't be an expensive flop. :)

On Saturday, I took advantage of the arms of my oldest daughter and
snuck outside for a bit to start on my veggie garden.
This side of our house has always been pretty ugly.
Just a hose reel that is never rolled up, two window wells and rocks.

I was going to build raised beds on the other side of the house,
but my husband suggested using this area.
Great idea! Less work for both of us!
There is also a circular bed in the middle of the yard that we are using as well.

The space between the window wells and the edging was just enough for a row of beets.
I ran out of dirt after I got both wells planted.
I picked up more today so we'll see when I get the middle part done. 
So par for me to underestimate how much I need. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


This week, I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon. What a hoot!
It's eye candy all in one place!

I love that I can organize all the neat ideas and inspirations all in one place instead of bookmarking them. My favorites folder on my computer is a mess.

I created a board called "Board of Good Intentions" with a description of "I can dream of doing these projects, but I know I'll never get them done. :)". Are you surprised?

I'm not trying to steal ideas or pretend I'm going to make them and sell them as my idea.
I just want to give kudos to those greatly talented folks out there.

Here is some of what you can find on my board.

A ruffle shirt

Bookmarks for teachers

A felt trivet.

If you'd like to follow my pins, my boards can be found here.
Being that I'm new to Pinterest, toss me some links of boards to follow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Week 4 Assignment

We had three different assignments for this week. We were given two weeks to do it because we had a week off last week.
After trying a few different times on our assignment for exposure compensation, I finally gave up and just posted something.
I use exposure compensation quite often, but we had to post a picture of what our camera suggested we set our settings to and one where we thought it was better when we used exposure compensation. I kept getting it where I liked the camera setting better, not when I used the exposure compensation feature. :)

Our next exercise was shooting in full manual mode.
This was a totally impromptu picture. The girls had rescued an old phone buried deep in the toy box. I found them out in the back yard "taking pictures" of each other with it.

As I mentally ran thru everything I needed to think about (composition, lighting, etc), I knew the background would be an issue. For a split second, I almost asked them to move to a better location but decided that if I'm going to attempt to capture real life as it happens, I have to learn to work with what is taking place. I can't always be asking people to move when taking candids.

 Instead, I moved myself around, trying to get the best possible angle. In trying to blur the background, I had to lower my aperture. It meant that Kyra and the phone are blurry too but I'm okay with that. I still chuckle when I look at this picture. :)

I only wish our fuzzy, blond haired 22 month old was still posing by the time I started taking pictures. She was being pretty funny but had lost interest before I got out there.

This one was on focus points; using the focus points on our camera screen or focusing on a subject and then moving the camera to recompose the shot.
I do prefer using the focus points without having to move the camera,
but it doesn't always happen that way.
On this picture, I set my focus points to her eye that was closest to me.
I ended up having to scoot over a bit so it was lined up right with her eye.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What I've been working on

Way back in 2009, I started a pillow cover that I never finished.
It has sat in a tote since then.
Every once in a while, I pull it out and think I should finish it but I never do.

Last week, I turned it into a baby blanket and gave it as a gift.

It sat in it's tote with just the flower tops sewed on. Nothing else.
I kept getting stumped at what to use for the stems.
Ric rac didn't quite have the right feel or look, so back in the tote it went.
Obviously I didn't try very hard to finish it and by the able mabel didn't sell pillows anymore.
Yet, I didn't want to throw it away.
 After I had my baby, I decided to turn it into a blanket for her.
I got as far as to sew on brown satin ribbon for the stems
and to figure out the border.
But then it sat on my "good intentions" list.
A step from the tote. :)

As I fell farther and farther behind on baby gifts, I decided to finally finish it
and give it away. I spent a good part of one afternoon plugging away on it.
It was fun to do something different and a bit more creative.
 I used iron on paper to attach the leaves and then sewed in the "veins" (whatever they're called) to make them look a bit more realistic.

I used a coordinating charm pack (pieces of fabric already cut into squares) for the border.
Using the same technique as the light weight blankets I backed it all with a pink polka dot print.

Who knows, maybe someday I'll make some for the shop. :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Creative Sightings

Isn't this a cool idea?! Tedious, but eye catching!
I found it here.

I'll file it under my "Things to do when I'm bored" file.  :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Week 3 Assignment

Can you tell life has been busy around here?
The blog is the first thing to get neglected.

Our assignment for Week 3 was depth of field.
Here is what I turned in:
 This one was a creative way to show depth of field.
I could not resist taking pictures of this sweet baby girl.
I love how she holds her hands!

Typically on our assignments, we're given an exercise to do and then for the second part is taking what we've learned and using it in a creative way (as in the picture above).

Here is the exercise we did.
We had to find two cooperative subjects and place them 1-2 feet apart and slightly to the right of each other.
We then had to adjust our aperture up and down, taking picture after picture.

My cooperative subjects were my daughter and the green chair to the left.
I liked how blurry the background is here but I don't like the house coming out of the side of her head.

I moved her a bit and then had to choose between the house or a stop sign coming out of the top of her head. I chose the house. :)
By now though, two little rugrats spied what I was doing and didn't want to be left out.
They were jostling for position on the chair, screeching at each other.
Definitely not cooperative.
This is the one picture that looks like they are sitting nicely so it's what I turned in.