Monday, August 05, 2013

The Importance of Choosing the Right Color

When you are taking pictures of items you plan to sell online, it is important to choose a proper background color.  You want a color that makes your product stand out and look good.  For example: I normally photograph items for my Etsy stores against a white background, but there are certain pieces that get way too washed out with white.  Take a look below at the same hat, first pictured against a white background, and then against black.  I haven't photoshopped anything, only the background colors were changed.  The white background washes out the white feather on the hat, practically making it disappear.  On the black background, the white feather stands out boldly, and the darker background also seems to make the red felt POP out.

Just something to keep in mind the next time you do your photoshoots!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Seeing Red: 2nd Version of the Mad Hatter Tea Cup Hat

I had some requests to make a different version of the Mad Hatter tea cup hat in red felt this time.  I made a few other changes to the design as well.  This time, instead of using the black & white-striped antique ribbon (which was a gift, and I cannot for the life of me find ANYWHERE that sells more of it!  I only have enough to make two more hats with it, and I am saving that for any custom orders I may get), I found the most adorable antique (slightly narrower) ribbon with red and green poker clubs on it.  I thought this was perfect for the mad hatter theme!  

I also decided to use a larger, single curled peacock feather for the steam, instead of a cluster of smaller curled ones.  It makes it more striking this way, I think.

The hat is available for purchase as an in-stock item and as a custom order.  The in-stock is a lower price because I was able to utilize materials on hand, as opposed to having to order new materials (and meet the expensive minimum order requirement) from my supplier.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

In An Effort To Take My Mind Off Of Things...

I loathe being stressed out.  I really, really do.  And having wildfires rage all around me, with my animals choking in smoke and me unable to do much, really stresses me out.  In an effort to try and get my mind off of things, even just for a minute, I wanted to share some items I scored at a yard sale last weekend.  We haven't had many "decent" yard sales this year, so I was quite excited at all of the goodies I snatched up.  Most are already listed in my Etsy store, so be sure to check it out!

1920s Rare Size 40 Negligee/Lingerie/Teddy

1920s AS-IS sheer dress with absolutely adorable novelty print (made for a junior or else petite small woman)

1950s Bullocks-Wilshire Honey Tourmaline Mink Fur Swing Coat (AMAZINGLY soft condition)

1950s SAGA Norwegian Blue Fox Fur Wrap in practically pristine condition

1960s gold sequined cardigan

Vintage brooch of a knight mounted on a horse

I also scored a lovely vintage coral linen suit set from a local antiques store the day before the yard sale.  My knight pin goes quite well with it, too!

Smoky Conditions

We had a BRIEF spell of clearing in the early evening yesterday.  It was as though God opened the heavens and let the sun through!  I could take off my respirator, and I could even see the trees on the western mountain.  Then, after about two hours, the smoke rolled back in again.  *sigh*  Yesterday, on my way in to Medford, visibility was down to a little less than a mile due to smoke.  Air quality conditions have continually remained in the unhealthy to hazardous levels.  It's been a nightmare.  EVERYTHING smells like smoke - your clothing, hair, house.  Your eyes burn, and you can taste it in the back of your throat, no matter how much water you drink.  The animals are lethargic and miserable, and I'm even more stressed out, knowing that there is nothing I can do for them (except provide lots and lots of fresh, clean water).  We are re-living the 2002 Biscuit Fire here.  The only silver lining to any of this may be another stellar batch of red wines coming out of the Applegate Valley this year.

We have also decided to close the inn to any new reservations until there is significant improvement in the air quality.  You can't go outdoors without a respirator, and even then, I get dizzy and sick and come down with pounding headaches due to the fact that I do have to be outside for long periods of time each day.  This means that trying to summon up the willpower to clean the house and prepare everything for B&B guests is nearly impossible.  All across the valley, events are being cancelled due to terribly unhealthy air quality, and it's even grown bad enough to close off the wild & scenic portion of the Rogue River.  The tourism industry is definitely taking a huge and painful hit this year, but it's not as though there is anything you can do.

So, I've been staying inside, working on hats, trying to maintain a positive outlook on life.  Sometimes, that is the best any of us can do.