Friday, March 21, 2014

Natural Room Scents

Natural Room Scents 

After seeing numerous little pins on Pinterest about natural scents, I thought I'd give it a shot--after all, how bad could I mess up? And apparently I was right. You can keep on dumping just about any gourmet items into a pot, let it simmer for bit, and your house will smell like a giant cookie. Heck, I bet bacon could even smell peachy for a while.

So, here's a simple base that I started with: 

- - Water
- - Vanilla Extract 
- - Lemon Wedges
- - Thyme 

Turn that on low and just keep it going for however long you like. 

As the days went by, I kept tossing in more goodies. Cardamom, cinnamon sticks, ground ginger, and some clementine skins went in when I was waiting for some leftover soup to heat up. As you can see from the photos, I have a pretty sturdy stock going right now and it smells amazing. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Model + Product Photography Tutorial.

Model Photography: A Mini Tutorial
A quick and incredibly basic guide to snapping a few good product photographs using stunning and lovely models!

Step No. 1- Find A Pretty Face, Or Wrist, Or Foot.

No, they don't have to be supermodels--in fact, Etsy seems to really adore the natural beauty that everyone has. Ask around in your circle of friends and family members, perhaps bribing them with pretty handmade goodies.

Step No. 2- The Lighting.

There may not be a lot of sunlight in Michigan during the winter, but the ten feet piles of snow and overcast days really make for stunning lighting and reflections. A large window with a neutral wall near it can be all the backdrop you need. Aim for the late afternoon on a cloudy day.

Step No. 3- Staging.

Create an atmosphere with just small touches that won't take away from your gorgeous products. Everything from the model's make-up to how the hair drapes can make all the difference in branding and product recognition. So, play around with different feelings in photographs.
Here, we went for a very natural and ethereal mood, that's maybe just a smidgen whimsical. Stray hairs? Perfect!

Step No. 4- The Photos.

Finally with everything set up and ready, take a couple steps back, adjust your camera settings--I used aperture priority at F 7, about four or five feet away from my model. Steady your hand or use a tripod to make sure nothing gets blurred and then snap away!
Remember to do a few different angles to see what works best with the lighting, product and model.

Step No. 5- Have Some Fun!

Don't take it too serious--and don't forget to treat yourself (and the model) after!

Step No. 6- Editing.
This is where all the magic happens. Find a good editing program that's free, and play around with all the settings it has to offer. I personally like to mess with the exposure and saturation until I get the product looking exactly like how it does in real life. But also keep in mind how the model appears--you don't want a rogue pimple distracting from anything. Just retouch all those little imperfections away.


And voila! You have brand new and stunning images to use in your shop--now just sit back and wait for the sales to come in, you photography maverick you.

Brought to you by The North Way Studio on

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Morning Feature: The Blooming Hare

There are a few reasons why I adore The Blooming Hare.
First off, they are outrageously talented and have a beautiful imagination.
And secondly, they're fellow Michiganders--which automatically makes them amazing.

So for this Monday Morning Feature, I am extremely honored to introduce The Blooming Hare. 


1. Share the story behind your shop.

 We are a mother and daughter who have many interests that we share in common. We were always dreaming together, so opening a shop and channeling our art into The Blooming Hare just seemed natural. We both share in the creative process, I do the paintings and illustrations of our little characters, Mum helps immensely in the idea stage, and in the marketing, as well as keeping the kettle hot and the tea coming! Every little creation, every piece of art becomes an old friend, we love what we do!

2. Tell us a bit more about the creative process for you. Is there anything that just jump-starts the inspiration?

 We work together on all of our pieces. Sometimes a painting will come about from a quirky idea that is presented while taking a walk together, a face and personality will present itself in a cup of tea, a bowl of soup can be a surprisingly good place to find an idea. The creative process is always going for us. The ordinary can be the surprising revelation.

3. What materials do you find the most challenging to work with?

 Lighting. When painting there is nothing like the effect of natural light, and it's only out there so long every day; which is unfortunate because we like to work well into the evening. We're slowly making friends with that newfangled electric version of light. Every bulb in the house gets a chance to shine after sundown.

 4. Right now, which piece is your personal favorite?

 We love all of the items, but right now we’re really hopping with excitement over our jewelry, it’s so fun! Our illustrations are beautifully captured under a glass dome, which gives them a wonderful three-dimensional effect! Quite vintage looking and very charming, they’re our little pieces of wearable art!

5. Any pieces that seem to sell quicker than others?

There has been a lot of interest shone in our animal pieces. Those are the most curious, I mean you just don’t see a fox in a yellow cotton dress every day!

 6. Do you have any tips or tricks for fellow Etsians on how to promote their shops more?

Probably the same things that we are telling ourselves; the worth of your creation starts with how you yourself value it. So each morning sip on a strong cup of perseverance, and take a good healthy dose of faith and believing in yourself and what you do!

Visit The Blooming Hare's blog.
And the shoppe.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Morning Feature: Cbiji Collection

Another Monday and another gorgeous shop to be featured! Up this week is Cbiji Collection by Christine, a melody of stunning metals and gemstones, with just a splash of the what I like to call high-end-tropical-boutique-ness. Really, her items are just so fresh, delicate and feminine, but go ahead and take a look for yourself!

Cbiji Collection by Christine. 
Everyday Chic with a twist of adventure.

1. Share the story behind your shop.

I absolutely love to travel and have always been passionate about jewelry. Wherever I travel to, I always look for that one special piece to bring home with me. At times, it’s quite difficult to find a simple piece to take home, so I decided to create pieces inspired by places I have traveled to! I call it my travel jewelry journal! All pieces are influenced by the textures, colours and designs of certain places.

2. Tell us a bit more about the creative process for you. Is there anything that just jump-starts the inspiration?
Since all my pieces are based on my trips, I’m always on the constant look out for colours, designs and themes that can be incorporated into my collection. I can’t pin point one particular thing that inspires me as I am always on the lookout for inspiration!
I am one of those tourists that loves taking photos of absolutely everything. Sometimes, I go through my photos and will remember a story that I want to include in my pieces as well.
I also use the jewelry pieces I purchase on my trips to help inspire the type of materials I use. For instance, I use pink coral for my “pink rose” necklace because Capri was full of hand carved coral rings!

3. What materials do you find the most challenging to work with?

Seeing as I am fairly new to jewelry designing, most things are challenging for me! Through trial and error, I am able to work through the challenges.
Aside from challenging materials, the next hardest part of opening up an online shop is marketing!

4. Right now, which piece is your personal favorite?

I have two favourites at the moment!
The first is a pair of earrings named sky. This is actually one of the newer pieces (part of my summer collection). The blue is such a lovely colour – so perfect for the summer! It is such a simple piece that is chic enough to wear everyday!

My second favourite item is the Turkish Delight bracelet. This piece was influenced by my time in Turkey. I have my fondest travel memories there and every time I wear this piece it puts me in such a great mood because I just think of the amount of fun I had there!

5. Do you have any tips or tricks for fellow Etsians on how to promote their shops more?

Being new to this all, I would say read about SEO (Search engine optimization). Finding the correct words for others to type in the search bar is truly a challenging experience. Also, join teams and become an active member. Finally, make treasury lists and add people to your circle!