Giant Holiday Jewelry Sale – Ends Friday

Rustic Souls has so many new one of a kind jewelry and accessory pieces and they are all on SALE right now. You can find items up to 45% off through Friday November 27th.  Just enter the codes below for checkout.

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Get 35% OFF at www.rustic-souls.com with code TurkeyDay35 and also get 45% OFF at www.therusticsouls.etsy.com with code TurkeyDay45
Start shopping now!

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Cheap and Easy Product Photography

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I own a small business and at this point I still do it all myself. And when I say all I mean everything but file my taxes. I run the budget, shop for new products, materials and vendors, design and run marketing campaigns, balance the budget (most of the time) make the products, and shoot and edit the product photos. Some of my best compliments from customers comes about when they see my product photos. I often get “These photos are awesome, who does them?” To which I reply, “I do.” I usually get a furrowed brow and a “Seriously?” when I make that statement to which I reply, “Yes, it’s actually pretty easy.” And to me, it is. I took photography II every semester for 3 years in high school because I loved it so much. Sadly in college I chose business over art but the foundation of what I learned has stuck with me. All you need for a good product photo are 3 things: bright natural light, product composition and a decent camera.

The easiest of three tools you probably already have, the camera. If you have a new phone that came out in the last year or two, then your covered. Don’t believe me? Most of my instagram shots are done from my iphone.

Next, natural light. You have some in your home, somewhere at some point during the day you will have a great FREE lighting source. Most often it will be mid-morning or noon when light is softest. You don’t want any harsh light coming in at angles, you want soft bright light. I use my dinning room since it has a bunch of windows and it never gets any direct light. My best photos are taken between 10-12 each morning.  If its an over cast day, even better that breaks up harsh light and makes shooting even easier. If I see clouds coming in I set up my stuff and get ready.  The one tool I have that helps soften harsh light is a light diffuser. You may roll your eyes saying I thought this was supposed to be a cheap tutorial! It is, I spent $12 on a light diffuser umbrella– yes umbrella, not a light box- and that is it.

And lastly composition and editing. This is the hardest skill for people to learn but once you find what you like it’s so easy!

Setting up your shot. When you start shooting use a white background, and if not white a light colored background will do. Think simple and clean, no textured paper or paper with patterns on it. Light colored backgrounds help reflect the light and create a natural contrast to your photo. Which means less editing.

I use a wood board and then change out a few props and all of it were things I had laying around my house. A vintage book, a sea shell, some burlap. Whatever you choose, make sure it is simple, not flashy you don’t want it to detract from your product. It should only show in a small portion of your photo.  Also, make sure it fits with the theme and feel of your product. I make electric bohemian jewelry so vintage items in neutral colors work very well. If I used some neon paper flowers it would throw my whole look off.

Camera angles. I go for two to three different angles. Top down, 45 degree angle and a close up of detail. But this also depends on your product. Is it two sided? Then you’ll need a shot of both sides. Does it have an interior like a purse? It needs and interior shot. Can it be worn in different ways? Make sure you show us how. We are visual shoppers and if your selling online the more we can see of the product the better since we cannot pick up and touch. But to many photos gets tedious, make the most of what you shoot- every angle should be different giving us new information about the product. If you have three shots of the same thing just at slightly different views, who cares your not selling me anything I’ve already seen in the previous photos.

One last tip- focus, where is the focus on your product? The whole item should be clean and clear unless your trying to focus on one detail of your product and the focus should sit in the center of your photograph. There are other composition rules like the rule of thirds but you can look those up on your own if you want to add more variety to your shots.

Now it’s your turn. Try it.

*** All pictures posted are completely unedited except for the Rustic Souls ad at top. These are the results I get with the rules above. All I have to do is add a touch or contrast or saturation and crop before my photos are ready. ****

 

April Birthstone- Diamond

April

Birthstone Facts: Colorless

Sign: Aries, Taurus

Traditional: Diamond

Modern: Diamond

Mystical: Opal

Diamonds are a spiritual stone, a symbol of perfection and illumination, activating the Crown and Etheric Chakras. It enhances inner vision and stimulates creativity, imagination, and ingenuity, opening the mind to the new. Diamonds have been known since antiquity as a “Stone of Invincibility,” bringing victory, superior strength, fortitude and courage to its wearer. It is associated with fearlessness and for its properties of protection.

The Diamond, in its rarity and beauty, is a symbol of purity and innocence, of love and fidelity, and embraces strength of character, ethics, and faithfulness to oneself and others. It is indicative of the loving and open nature with which one came into the physical realm, and encourages the aspect of truth and trust. It is a love-bearing crystal, regarded in antiquity as dependable in its virtues only when received as a gift. Making it obvious why we present an engagement ring with a diamond center in modern times even if we don’t know remember symbolism behind it.

If you can’t afford a real diamond try a Herkimer diamond, technically a crystal but becoming very popular in jewelry in the last year. Herkimer Quartz “Diamonds” are the high energy seekers of the crystal world. Unusually transparent with a brilliant sparkle, they manifest pure, solid Light and are powerful amplifiers of spiritual energy.

If you prefer the mystical stone, opal then know your options of stones and colors are numerous. Opal acts as a prism within the aura, bringing a full spectrum of Light energy to the system, soothing and clearing the emotional body, and boosting the will to live and the joy of one’s earthly existence. It enkindles optimism, enthusiasm and creativity, and allows for the release of inhibitions inspiring love and passion. Opal enhances cosmic consciousness and stimulates flashes of intuition and insight, yet is a protective stone for deep inner work, meditations, and lower world shamanic journeys. Opal is most known for its ability to bring one’s traits and characteristics to the surface for examination and transformation. Just as Opal absorbs and reflects light, it picks up thoughts and feelings, desires and buried emotions, amplifying them and returning them to the source.

 

For more wonderful information about the meaning behind stones visit http://www.crystalvaults.com/

March Birthstones

March Birthstone Facts:

Sign: Pisces, Aries

Traditional: Jasper

Modern: Aquamarine

Mystical: Jade

Aquamarine, the traditional birthstone of March, has a color range from pale blue to deep blue and has long been a symbol of youth, health and hope. It is calming, soothing, and cleansing, and inspires truth, trust and letting go. In ancient lore, Aquamarine was believed to be the treasure of mermaids, and was used by sailors as a talisman of good luck. Today it protects all who travel by, or near water, and opens the channels of clear and heartfelt communication.

As a stone of symmetries, it is conducive for meditation and revelation, a stone of prophets, shamans, healers, and mystics. It also allows us to explore the darkest depths of our souls, face to face with ourselves. Associated with the Throat chakra, Aquamarine helps overcome the fear of speaking, and is an excellent stone for teachers and presenters of all types.

If you prefer the mystical stone for March Jasper, an elemental Earth stone, Jasper’s frequency is slow and constant. It enables one to be more present in the physical body and conscious of Nature and one’s surroundings. It encourages one to celebrate moments of isolation to absorb, reflect, and connect with these energies and enkindles an awareness of the spiritual connection we hold with all living things.

Known as the “Supreme Nurturer,” Jasper is a stone of grounding and stability, providing comfort and security, strength and healing. Its presence balances the aura to a level of wholeness and peace, and acts as a reminder that one is not here on the physical plane simply for oneself, but to bring joy and substance to others.

Historically, Jasper was worn by shamans, priests and kings, it was considered sacred and a powerful protection stone. Amulets of Jasper were carved by the Egyptians with symbols and inscriptions from the Book of the Dead and buried with mummified remains for safe passage in the after life.

What I love most about jasper is all the different color combinations it comes in. It is one of my favorite stones to work with and always reminds me of the gorgeous red and beige landscapes of the southwest.

These healing jewelry pieces made of jade can be found at http://www.therusticsouls.etsy.com:

A Real Girl Fashion Blog

Ladies, are you tired of reading the same boring fashion blog? You know, the ones that only talk about high end designers, posts of all the new hit stick thin, unrealistic models? Blogs that constantly remind you of the things you lack or cannot obtain? Yeah, me too. I go through fazes where I read a bunch, drool, feel sorry for myself then promise myself no more. Then start all over again once a new season approaches. As a jewelry designer I kind of depend on checking out the trends. It doesn’t mean I particularly enjoy the process much anymore.  I’m a curvy girl with a boho style and as you know boho models are wispy long-haired beach goddess beauties. It gives a girl a complex. However, regardless of your style and how you feel about your body I can tell you I found a blog you have to follow. The Drs Klassy and Fab are two lovely PhD Divas with a love of fashion. They are realistic  everyday girls who talk about all kinds of fashiony things. Current trends, how to make your own clothes, how to shop on a dime, fashion faux pas and much more. The best part? They do it with real world experience and a good sense of humor.  They make you feel good about your self and promote beauty and a healthy does of self-esteem. Not to mention they have a very good taste in jewelry (Wink Wink). Here they are in some Rustic Souls pieces.

img_0464What are you waiting for? Click the link and start reading!

 http://thedrsklassyandfab.wordpress.com/

 

Color Trends 2015

What colors are inspiring me this year? Taking a page from Patone, here are the popular colors for 2015

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What color is your favorite? Mine? The toasted almond and Marsala catch my eye every time. I just got back from the Tucson Gem Show with this color palette in mind and let me just say I think I picked out some awesome stones that I cannot wait to work with. I stuck with a lot moonstone, white quartz, agate, amazonite, citirine, garnet, and lapis lazuli to fulfill the above color palette.

Here is a sneak peak of the fabulous finds I came home with. I couldn’t leave pearls, labradorite or the dark jewel tones behind, they are too timeless to pass up.

What will I use on my inspiration board while I work this year? Take a look…

What will your inspiration be this year?

February Birthstone

February Birthstone: Amethyst

Aquarius & Pisces

Mythical Birthstone: Bloodstone

Amethyst, or the sobriety stone, works to provide calm, patience and peace. Amethyst is also an amplifier for mediating and dreaming. Helps with grief while promoting happiness and contentment.

In ancient Rome, the amethyst was believed to prevent inebriation and was placed in water down wine bottles to help the wine retain a darker color. As a healing crystal, amethyst is believed to help with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and immune system deficiencies. So in other words, for all the #fibrosucks fans out there, you should be wearing amethyst on you at all times! I know I will be.

Here are some simple pieces that make a statement with amethyst for very affordable prices.

 

Stationery & Gift Sale!

If jewelry isn’t for you or your trying to find something with a different flair, try stationery. At Summer Time Design there are plenty of holiday tags to make those wrapped gifts look fabulous, or card sets for that someone who is hard to buy for, or a man pack for that guy who always forgets to give cards on holidays. There are over 100 items to choose from so stop buy and do some holiday shopping before the Black Friday mayhem!

Get 30% off all the stationery available at http://www.summertimedesign.etsy.com, including card sets and sale items! Just enter TurkeyDay30 when you check out to receive your discount.

 

Handmade Sale!

Did you know that the average American family spends over $700 on holiday shopping per year? If you were to spend just $64 of that budget on handmade goods made in the USA that would be the equivalent of creating 200,000 new jobs. This year don’t spend all your money at those big box stores. Shop at the small stores in your local community, go to holiday bazaars or find websites like Etsy that host artists who make and sell their own creations.

My Black Friday sale goes all week long so you don’t have to stress about getting your holiday shopping done in just one day. Enjoy 20% off all my jewelry items at http://www.dlightedjewelry.etsy.com, including the sale items. Enter Steal20 at checkout to receive your discount. Below is a sneak peek of just a few of my new store items.

Happy shopping!