Monday, September 30, 2013

Patio Spinach

This is the worlds easiest and most satisfying thing to grow, and you can grow it anywhere you can fit a window box.  All you need is a little sun, and some spinach seeds, and you can have fresh greens in the early spring and through the late fall.  They like a coolish ground temperature for germination, like around 60-65 degrees, so depending on where you live you may only be able to grow them in the transitional seasons.  Or if you are in the mid-atlantic you can probably grow greens right through the winter. 
The trick is that you thickly plant a pot or window box with seeds, don't bother with rows or anything, and then as the leaves get big enough to eat you snip them with scissors leaving the root system intact.  Then the smaller leaves below grow to take their place.  And if you keep snipping and watering they keep on growing.  And the greens really do taste a whole lot better when they are home grown than the ones in the box from the store.  It works with other types of baby green too.  So if you have room for a window box you can have a tiny garden with really very little effort.  And they grow so close together you don't even ever have to weed them.  It is truly no fuss.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Baby is 4!

And I guess he isn't a baby anymore.  No more diapers, no more crib, a new school, some great friends, and some long, long legs.  A lot can happen in one year.
Tom Hutten outdid himself again this year with an amazing cement mixer cake.  Emmett has already wished for a cold planer cake for next year, which may well take a whole year of planning. (Curious what a cold planer is?  Click here)
We had family and friends visiting from out of town for the big birthday, so we decided to forgo the big kid party this year, and wow am I glad we did that! Emmett was already completely emotionally wrung out from the family celebrations and school celebrations, that I think one more thing might have put him right over the edge.  Being the center of attention can really be exhausting, poor little dude.  And us grown ups were pretty tired too.  Celebrating for four straight days is a big undertaking, I don't know why I didn't realize it would be.  Am I the only Mom who feels this way?  But it was wonderful to have all of Emmett's special people here for the weekend, and see him so celebrated by people who love him.  What a wonderful thing a loving family is.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Autumn at Fiddleheads For Fiona

I'm shipping out this lovely set of teal pieces today, and I just had to take a picture of them all together.  I love seeing how customers choose to put together little collections.  And while I am here, showing off these four cuties, I figured it is a good time to give you all a little peek into what in new right now in the FFF shop.

And of course there are lots more new designs as well, so if it's been a while, click here to head on over to the shop and take a look! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Favorites From The Winter 2013-2014 Lookbook Shoot

Featured pieces:

Additional pieces will be added to my website shortly. If you are interested in something you don't see listed please feel free to get in touch with me. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Elusive White Background

As a jeweler, and I bet this happens to all types of crafters, I am often asked for photos of my work on a white background.  But as an amateur photographer this is often one of the hardest types of shot to achieve.  The white never looks white in the picture, even if to the naked eye the set up looks clearly white.  It always looks grey, or pink, or yellow, and often the surface isn't uniform, with lots of shadows and just generally other troubles.  So for years I have been trying to figure out how to do this.  And I need to do it at home, without a professionally lit studio and thousands of dollars of equipment.  So I have scoured the internet looking for clues and cobbled together a set up.  And if you want to start doing the same the Etsy Blog is a great place to start reading.  

So let me give you a heads up that my photo set up is really nothing to look at.  It is almost hilariously low budget.  So much so that last time I was taking photos I thought that the set up itself, nestled around strewn toys and and Ikea tent in our playroom, really needed immortalizing.   So let me first show you one of the photos I took in the middle of that mess so you won't close this window without reading any further.
 Not too bad, right?  Ok, so here is the set up.  Note the mostly eaten bag of jelly beans in the right hand side of the top photo.  These white background photos were fueled primarily by jelly beans.
 Ok, so what you want is bright, but diffused natural light and a seamless background.  So I found the sunniest spot in our house, which happens to be the playroom.  I placed some clean white poster board on a table and propped it up on that kiddo bench so that it made a gentle arc up from horizontal to vertical. Then to diffuse the sun I taped up some white tissue paper, which lets through most of the light but eliminates sharp shadows.
Doesn't that look nice?  Of course I don't have any unused tissue, so this came from a recent online purchase.  I'm very eco-conscious.  Yeah, that's it.
 It is also very helpful to have a tripod so that you can open up the aperture on your camera to let in the most possible amount of light before the item itself gets too washed out.   The sun had moved a bit by the time I took pictures of the set up, so originally the sun was directly on the poster board without any bright or dark spots.  Here are a few of the other pieces I shot that day.  I have had to play with them a little in Photoshop, but there is only so much you can do in Photoshop, so you really need to start out with an original photo that is pretty close to how you want it to look in the end.
Although I am absolutely no expert I am happy to answer questions if you have any.  Just leave them in the comments or get in touch directly through one of the contact options on the right.  And to see more jewelry photos you can head over to my website, or to see collage product shots you can head over to my Etsy shop here.  Happy shooting!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lunch Idea

Good tomato season is so short, especially here in Vermont!  And even if you don't have your own garden there are still so many (probably way better looking than my funny looking ones) heirloom tomatoes at the farmers markets.  This is the only time of year that a plain old tomato sandwich with salt and mayo on crusty bread is a really appealing option.  You could even make this for yourself at work, all you need is a knife.  Fast, easy and delicious, and so fleeting.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Caught Up

Phew! What a weekend.  Pretty sure that working all weekend is not the intended purpose of Labor Day Weekend, but sometimes that's the way it goes.  But there sure are going to be a lot of check marks on my to-do list once I get back from the post office!