Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Joys of Photographing Jewelry

I've been taking pictures of some of my jewelry so I can list it on my website and my Etsy shop.

You can really see a piece clearly when it's in digital form. Like these earrings below.

Does anything jump out at you?

There's another pair exactly like this out in the world somewhere!

Don't ask me how I missed this when I mailed the earrings out. If you have a pair just like these, send me an e-mail and I'll send you the pair above free of charge. I'd rather you have two pair than two mismatched earrings!

As I said earlier, I've been taking new photographs of jewelry, and editing photos with my new Windows photo program that came with Windows 10. I'm also listing some new things on Etsy and my website that haven't seen the light of day before now. Here's a teaser:

Cleaning up photos is a full time job! I'm no photo expert, so sometimes I spend too much time trying to get the tint and light just right so the photo truly represents the colors as well as possible. Sometimes I tinker too much and the photo becomes a lost cause.

I have yet to figure out a good background for photographing light stones like Aquamarine, Light Amethyst and Rose Quartz.  I like to use scrapbooking paper, but there are times even that doesn't work. I've also tried vinyl flooring, black vinyl material, real wood, ceramics, and even one of those storage boxes that looks like a book (which is what I used for the gray mismatched earrings in the first photo).


Sometimes I want to pull my hair out and give away my jewelry just so I don't have to waste another minute taking and editing photos. 

And then I get a few good shots and I think maybe I'm getting the hang of it.


And then the day is over and the next time I want to photograph jewelry I have to start all over again.

Hope you have a bright and wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Surgery Update

Not sure how to explain this without being very graphic. Last week on Tuesday, 4/21, I had a craniotomy; this means the neurosurgeon opened a hole in my skull in the right temple area to reach the tumor that was compressing the optic nerve and causing some peripheral vision loss.
When you think of peripheral vision being impaired, you don't immediately think they will have to open your skull and move your brain out of the way to fix the problem. But basically, that's what they did. The sort of tumor I have is fairly common and usually non-cancerous; it's called a Meningioma. It was just in a bad spot where there wasn't much room for it to exist. This is my second time around, having had the exact same surgery in 2008. This time the neurosurgeon removed more bone above the optic nerve to give it room. He wasn't able to remove any more tumor or scar tissue under the nerve because the nerve itself was too fragile and could have been destroyed by further manipulation. I am able to see, but it will probably take a visual field test to determine if I have any loss in my peripheral vision.
Yes, I'm on some very good meds, so no, it doesn't hurt. Mostly my head is numb. Mostly I'm really doing good. Mostly I'm amazed by medicine and what we're capable of doing to the human body.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Woo hoo I can open my eye!
No, it doesn't hurt, but it sure looks gross.

And I have a zipper on my head.

Hope you're having a great week!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Free-for-All

Hangin' out at Caribou with Donna G. 
I'm going on vacation soon.

Not a real vacation, mind you.

Not even a sta-cation.

But I will be absent and away from home for a few days, and then I'll be house-bound for a while.

I'm having surgery on Tuesday to remove a very small Meningioma that sits at the base of the optic nerve canal. The tumor is small, but it is causing me to lose some of the vision in my right eye.

I've had this done once before, in 2008. Different surgeon. Same hospital. Could be the same tumor as far as I know. This type of tumor is usually benign and slow-growing. It's actually compressing the optic nerve and is affecting my peripheral vision on the right side. I don't see cars that come along side of mine unless I turn my head, which sometimes I forget to do. The impact to my vision is easily discernible on a visual field test which has shown a slow degradation on the entire right side of my vision in my right eye.

My vision will slowly get worse as time goes by and will go away completely if I don't have this surgery.

Since I've been through it before, I know what to expect. That is both good and bad. Good because I won't be surprised. Bad because I know what's involved and how long it will take to recover.

When I mention my vision being impaired, most people think this is some kind of eye surgery, or that they'll go through my nose or my eye to remove the very small tumor.


In order to resect (remove) the tumor, the doctor will actually remove a portion of my skull and move the brain out of the way.

It's amazing what doctors can do these days. And with technology like the internet and Youtube, I've actually watched a few videos of this type of surgery being done on other people. I wasn't freaked out or grossed out at all. I thought it was fascinating.

But maybe that's just me.

I have a cute little diagram that shows what they're going to do. I've also seen images that are a little more life-like. You probably don't want to see any of them.

Anyway, I'll be in the hospital for 3 to 5 days, and will be somewhat limited in mobility for a week or so. Last time, my husband banished me to the living room and bedroom level of our 4-level home. I expect to sleep a lot, but I also need to walk more than I did the first time around. I would like to be stronger sooner. Thankfully I'm not working right now so I don't have to worry about taking a leave of absence, but I also don't want to drag it out any more than it needs to be.

While they don't actually call my tumor a "brain tumor" because it isn't attached to the brain, basically I am having brain surgery.

So keep me in your thoughts and prayers on Tuesday, April 21st at 12:00 CST.

Hopefully I'll be back soon!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Muffin Tin Challenge

Here are some bead mixes that I have ready to work on.  This is for a bead challenge over at Humblebeads with Heather Powers. She called it the "Muffin Tin Challenge."  Should be fun!

Below are close-ups of all the beads in each tin.

Blues and Lavender 

The Peacock Pendant is one of Humblebeads polymer clay and water color pendants.

Love the irridescent glass beads in the center.

This group features lampwork squares by Fairhill Designs LLC, Patricia Thielman.  The larger focal bead was from a destash that I bought on Etsy. It's matte instead of glossy, but I'm hoping it will go well with the other beads.

Porcelain, pearls, and Ruby rondelles; the ceramic square is from ktotten on Etsy

Here's the matte Black Onyx nuggets, porcelain and matte seed beads from above. I added the black add red leaves this time around.

The porcelain flower pendant (in the center) from Marlas Mud on Etsy was the inspiration for the colors in this group.

Another ceramic piece from Shaterra on Etsy that inspired the beads in this group

The Ryolite faceted ovals on the right were the inspiration here.

I love aqua, and the glass dragonfly focals on the bottom from Stinky Dog Beads started this group

As did the dragonflies on the top right with this group. 

I've done these beads together before; the freshwater pearls are diagonally drilled which makes them really fun.

So hopefully I'll have more to post when I start making the jewelry!


Designs I Love

I sold a necklace, bracelet and earrings last month in Turquoise, Coral and Wood, then needed to make a new pendant for the necklace.

While I had the beads out, I made another necklace with wire links and chain.  I love this combination.

There are some combinations of beads that I love so much I'll go back and make something else with them.  Here's a couple of other necklaces where I want to do something new based on the colors and design.

Rhodonite rounds, blue flat round ceramic from Michael's, and the blue pendant from ktotten and the ceramic gears from Captured Moments both on Etsy

Love the matte black Onyx nuggets. The red ceramic came from a local bead store that went out of business a couple of years ago.

Apatite nuggets, rhodonite rondels and yellow jasper drums.  I love the chain that I made for it. Its a little tedious to make, but looks and feels really great.