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Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'll be doing a jewelry show this weekend

Thanks for the nice comments, Janrik!

Unfortunately I still feel like photographing jewelry is like trying to trap smoke with your bare hands. Once in a while, I do get lucky, and I love those moments. What people see as my “really good photos of jewelry” is merely ten years of research and practice.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if you can’t have things flow as smoothly as you want and even if your photos aren’t up to whatever personal standard you’ve set, you can still come up with a VERY usable photo by just following a few common practices (a lot of those are covered in my upcoming ebook, but there’s also a TON of info on the internet… google is your friend).

In my research of SRA jewelry offered online, I’ve noticed there are two things that really stick out like sore thumbs in a way that will ALWAYS take sales away from the jewelry maker. And one of them is sub-par photos.

As to my equipment and set-up… I have a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS. But that’s a recent acquisition… for the first ten or eleven years of my jewelry selling career, I used a Nikon CoolPix 995. That camera was a 3.1 megapixel … and took photos like this:

So don’t ever let anyone tell you that you need 10 megapixels to have good online photos. Hogwash!

My set-up varies… depending on what I am shooting, my time constraints, my location constraints, and my mood.

For the majority of shots I use a light-diffusing photo cube:

The camera is always on a tripod.

I also show a way to make a $6 photo cube in these two blog posts:

Entry 1

Entry 2

Anyway, wanted to stop in here and explain why I’ve been rather scarce. I’m doing a show this weekend. I know… totally surprising, huh?

I hope to have updates and photos for you by early next week. Oh, and I’ll have be launching the new line next week too (as soon as I get photos and time to list).

All very exciting.

Well, here are some photos to entertain you until then.

funny pictures of cats with captions
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funny pictures of cats with captions
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funny pictures-Hurry n clean d'box!  I gotta' go!
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funny pictures of cats with captions
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funny pictures-cat rule 67#  whats yours is theres and whats theirs is theirs
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Getting ready for the launch of a new line

As I mentioned, no new listings for a couple of weeks as I prepare to roll out the new line ("Auspicious Gemstone" Jewelry). Hopefully, I'll also have more of the Quote in a Pendant jewelry as well as the Gratitude Necklaces from my Law of Attraction line.

Monica leaves for Ohio on Thursday (well, Wednesday midnight), so we're making sure she's all ready for that... and there's a practice with the boys' team tomorrow, so really hardly any time left (I'm doing her laundry while she's out playing tennis with Gabe at the moment... I encourage them to spend time together in case he leaves soon).

I'm very tired/sleepy. I was thinking about that week this summer when both kids were gone... I was going to bed at 9:30... alseep before 10:30.

I wish Monica would get more sleep. Well, so far she's working very hard to keep her grades up... to one end only... getting into a D1 school. Good thing she has hockey as a motivator... for everything in her life.

Okay, that's it... just wanted to touch base. Going to clean up a bit then go to bed.


funny pictures-PUSH... a liddle higher!
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funny pictures MONDAY MORNING
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funny pictures-Yer stoopid plant wz blocking my vue.
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funny dog pictures-Alright, I'll walk wiff you, just don't try an push any of yer Hippie Agenda on me
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Friday, September 17, 2010

New Jewelry Listings and DPI vs PPI


Yesterday was the first day I didn’t ship something.

I listed some new items, but three of them are already sold. Yay!

Here’s what sold:

And here’s what’s still available (click the photos for more info):


"1001 Nights"

"Night Life"

So anyway, there may not be anything new listed for a few weeks. Big project coming up and then a new line unveiled.


Chad (a forum member on LE posted the following information and graciously allowed me to repost it here.

There is so much confusion about these kinds of subjects. I find Chad’s explanation really helpful.

DPI is dots per inch. PPI is pixels per inch.

DPI actually has nothing to do with what you see on the screen. It determines how the image is translated to whatever output device it is sent to. When you take a picture and send it to a printer, the resolution of the image should be at least 1/4 the resolution of the printer. So if you have a 1200 dpi printer, the image should be 300 dpi (which is industry standard for color images anyways). A printer converts data into "dots" (for lack of a better term) when it prints it, so the more data, the clearer the picture.

PPI is just a relationship of total pixels to inches. So, if you have a 1000 pixel wide image and set it at 100 ppi, the image will be 10" wide. If you set it at 10 ppi it will be 100" wide, but only on the screen. A pixel has no size in reality. It's just data.


funny pictures-*aargh!!!* itz tuching me! itz tuching me!
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funny pictures-even kitteh doesn't like  your cooking
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funny pictures-Finish him!
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funny pictures-Okay then we have a deal, you keep the dog out of my yard and I'll hide the shotguns,
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funny pictures of cats with captions
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funny pictures I kilzed him wif my laza visin! Pew Pew!
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Jewelry Listings

Just realized I never told you the outcome of the tournament. They won three and tied one, which was good enough to get them into the championship game. It was a good game but the other goalie stopped 36 out of 37 shots, giving the other team a 2-1 win over our team.

This is going to be an exciting season. This team is going to develop like crazy, I can just tell.

I listed new items and have been busy with already shipping some of them out. I love it when new listings sell within 24 hours of posting.

Anyway, here are the new items. The ones that you can click on are ones that are still available:

"ATUM" One of a Kind Sterling Silver Chain Maille Bracelet with Patina and Bronze Metal Clay Scarab Charm

"Gustav's Girl" One of a Kind Bronze Metal Clay Textured Pendant Frame on Sterling Silver Rolo Chain

"Ares" One of a Kind Necklace of SRA Lampwork Glass and Sterling Silver from the Fidget Jewelry Line

"Orbs" Necklace and Earring Set of Small Turquoise Cabachon Set in Sterling Silver Circles on Rolo Chain

"Blue Quad" Lapis Lazuli and Blue Chalcedony Briolette Gemstones on Sterling Silver Rolo Necklace

"Purple Quad" Small Faceted Amethyst Briolette Gemstone Beads on Sterling Silver Rolo Necklace

"Baby Blues" Tiny Turquoise Raised Ovals in Unique Settings Sterling Silver Rolo Chain Necklace with Earrings






The other day, I took one of my email accounts and pared it down from 4354 emails to 236. Whew! I also unsubscribed from another 15 places that were sending me newsletters I never asked for.


Oh, speaking of newsletters, let me tell you something that’s actually cool about being on mine. First, I only send out ONE email a month. In that email I tell you about sales I’m having that month. I also sometimes talk about jewelry care, tips, resources, etc. Second, on the last day of each month I have a random drawing from all the names on my email list and present one lucky winner with a $25 gift certificate to be spent on any purchase(s) in my Bracken Designs website store (including on my sale and/or clearance items).

If you want to be on my email list, send me a message by clicking here.


I’m one of those people who get a lot of email in a day. Sometimes I read a message but I’m not in a place or at a time where I can respond, but by the time I *am* in a place where I can respond I’ve had so much more email that the other one got buried and… sadly, I occasionally forget to respond to one I really wanted to respond to.

If you feel this may have happened to you, please email me a reminder. I don’t ignore people on purpose.

Also, I’ve noticed that sometimes I delete emails that I probably shouldn’t have, but in this I feel I have little choice. If I don’t recognize the “sender”, I go by what is in the message line. If it’s something that makes no sense to me, I will delete it without opening the email. I do this because of the massive amount of spam I receive in my public email accounts.

So if you want to get my attention, it’s probably best not to just write “hi” or “order” in the subject line or to leave it blank. I didn’t used to delete these kinds of emails… but a few years of opening them only to see URLs to online pharmacies has taught me better.

Not sure this is entertaining or scary as heck.

"There are no facts, only interpretations." Friedrich Nietzsche

funny pictures-I never knew you had  an indoor pool !
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funny pictures-Look lady, I'm just saving  *someone*  from an  "Ugly Christmas Sweater"  predicament.
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funny pictures of cats with captions
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Goin’ to my happy place…
funny pictures of cats with captions
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funny pictures-Well, if you'd move my kitty bed into the sunbeam,  I wouldn't have to sleep on the cold, hard carpet.
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funny pictures-Yu push it owt an' I'll grab teh floofy bed
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funny pictures of cats with captions
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Long-Tailed Macaque Adopts Abandoned Kitten

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

In Southern California

Hello all... Monica and I are in Valencia at the Endless Summer hockey tournament.

They won their first game (5-1) and tied their second game (2-2).

Two games today.

Talk later!