Monday, 30 December 2013

Photography Tips: How to Photograph Glass

The main goal of product photography is to make the product look good and desirable, regardless of its material properties. Glass, which is both translucent and reflective, can be one of the most challenging subjects to shoot; when you are shooting glass, getting some good looking reflections is the key to producing an image that will flatter the subject best, but it is not always as easy as it looks.

Glass Hanging Heart by DayDreamGifts

1.Start with your setup. Make sure you have a lot of light and try not to interfere by using too much color.

2. Use a lot of white in your setting or backdrop and reduce the amount the amount of darkness as much as possible. By doing this you allow any unused light to navigate towards the glass and bring out the expression you're trying to give.

3. Try to use as much light as you can from whatever source possible. This will enhance the object giving it a more cynical look.

4. Add an extra detail to the class, like a ribbon around the top of a jar. This adds a little effect to the image and gives the viewer more to see. Try not to make it a large amount of detail; but by adding something small you will create the effect of a bigger picture and the object will come more to life.

Seascape Drinking Glasses by Eccentic Ella

5. Find a way to reflect light through the glass. This is important as you want to try and get as much endurance out of the light into the glass to express an emotion of the image and create a lightened mood. The reflection also allows the glass to seem more detailed and more attractive.

6. Keep your setup small so less light can escape. The larger the setup, the more light you will need.

7. If you use a dark room, get as many lights from different perspectives as you can, but don't over do it because the surrounding darkness can create a tone of mood for the glass, seemingly making the picture more vibrant.


Twitter: Using the Other Features

  1. 1
    Send DMs. DMs are direct messages. They go straight to the intended person that you are messaging. The DM feature uses an inbox and outbox system, but you are still limited to using 140 characters; you are also limited to sending DMs to only those users who follow you. DMs cannot be seen by anyone other than yourself and the chosenrecipient, and are thus more personal. To send a DM, go to the page of the follower you're sending one to, and click on the "Message" box.
    • Be aware that some people really dislike DMs on Twitter because they reason that Twitter is an open conversation and a fast one, not a disguise for sending each other private messages. Also, DMs are not appreciated when they involve marketing or advertising.
  2. 2
    Use third-party applications for ease of mobility and account sharing. Third-party applications such as TweetDeck and Twitter for iPhone (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad), or Twidroid (Android) can help you to manage your Twitter account(s) better. If you have lots of followers and if you follow lots of people, at which point it can be difficult to keep up with everything on Twitter's official website, you might want to try something a bit more advanced like Hoot Suite or Blossome.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

6 Ways to Protect Your Twitter Reputation ~ Part 2

Do you use Twitter to market your business?
How’s your Twitter reputation?
Twitter’s short form messages require the same care you put into Facebook and other longer-form social media platforms.
In this article, I’ll show you six tips to help you protect your Twitter reputation by avoiding some common mistakes.

#3: Respond to Customers Quickly

Twitter is not email. People who reach out to you on Twitter expect that you’ll respond promptly, especially when they have problems with your service or the issue is time-sensitive.
Fans and potential customers will interact with you once you have a presence on Twitter. When they do, it’s important that you respond very quickly to their questions and requests for help.

If you don’t have a complete answer, acknowledge the sender’s tweet immediately and let him or her know you’ll follow up with a complete answer as soon as possible.

Shoot for a 20- to 30-minute time frame for responses.

#4: Post Consistently

Tweet 20 times per day for a month, then disappear for 3 weeks and the pattern will send a message of inconsistency to your audience.
Nothing outlined in the previous three steps will work unless you manage your Twitter account consistently.
Set a frequency for posting; for example, at least 3 times per day—and stick to that as closely as possible.
Use online services like Buffer to schedule your tweets and retweets at certain times of the day and week. Any content you place in your queue will automatically share from your account throughout each day.

Maintain a steady flow of tweets to create confidence in your comfort with the medium.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Quickly add Bling to your Desk Supplies

DIY Bling Office Supplies
If you haven't noticed yet, I like shiny things.  The quickest way to up the glam factor on an inexpensive item is to make it shine with paint or with bling.  I decided to transform my office supplies quickly and inexpensively by using bling on a roll, a mesh that has rhinestone like "stones" on it.  The mesh makes for a quick and inexpensive way to "bling" ordinary items.
DIY Bling Stapler
Project estimate:
  • Stapler, on hand
  • Tape Dispenser, on hand
  • Bling on a Roll, $2.00 and up
  • Glue, on hand
Step one:  Cut a strip of bling on a roll to fit one side of the stapler.
step 1
Step two:  Put glue (I used E-6000) on the side of the stapler and adhere the bling.
step 2
Step three:  Repeat until all sides are covered.  You can fill gaps by cutting individuals facets off the mesh and gluing them on.
If your glue is taking too long to dry or the bling is slipping, use a dot of hot glue to hold the bling mesh in place while the glue dries.
DIY Bling Tape Dispenser
I think my desk supplies look so much more chic now!  Why not start the new year with a bling and a bang?  It would be fun to make a few of these to slip on co-workers desks over the holidays, so they can start the new year with some sparkle and a smile.  Next on my bling list:  my pencil holder!
Blinged Stapler DIY

Twitter: Set up your profile.

  1. Add your name, location, and website. Under your profile picture, you have the choice to enter your full name. Adding a full name allows you to keep a professional aspect regardless of your username. You can also enter a location to let people know where you're tweeting from and link to your homepage or blog if you desire.
  2. Work on your pithy 'bio'. Make it eye-catching and interesting. Do it just right and it will help you build up followers; people thinking of following you do read the biographies to see if they have reason to follow you. Bear in mind that a biography can be up to 160 characters long, so you'll have to keep it short and to the point. Don't worry about typing your real name or website URL here—those can both be entered separately (as shown in the previous step).
  3. Decide whether you want your tweets to be posted to Facebook. This can give you more view per tweet. If you so desire, click the "Posts your Tweets to Facebook" button at the bottom of the profile page.
  4. Edit your language and time zone. Under the "Account" tab of settings, you have the ability change the language and time zone that your Twitter is in. Do so by selecting the desired language and time zone from the drop down menus. You can also change your username and email address here if you ever need to.
  5. Check the box below time zone to add a location to each of your Tweets. This is different than the location on your profile—it is specific to each tweet and can be as general as a town or as specific as your exact location. Even when this feature is enabled, you have the option to turn it on or off with each individual tweet.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Countdown: 1 Day ~ 5 Reasons We Love Christmas

Christmas is a time of giving and sharing; it is by far our most favourite time of the year. There is so much that we love about this holiday. This Christmas, we have decided to share a list of things that we enjoy the most of this merry season.

1. Listening to Christmas carols. The joy of listening to Christmas carols with a cup a cocoa is one that is matched by very few other things in life. Snuggling in a blanket with family and friends, and humming these tunes can cheer one up immensely. It encourages a feeling of closeness, and leads one to feelings of joy no matter how bad things in life may be.

2. Fairy lights and pretty decorations. New lights and fresh decorations mixed with old ones give a feeling of warmth and happiness. When these are up, everyone knows that Christmas is near, and this is enough to brighten even the most gloomiest of moods. Decorating a tree is a pleasure worth experiencing in life. This joy is compounded when you know there is a gift waiting for you under the tree. 

3. Buying gifts for your loved ones. If anyone tries to convince you that ‘retail therapy’ does not work ,they are dead wrong – well, at least at Christmas time. Shopping for friends and family in this season, is extremely exciting. What is even more exhilarating is trying to keep their presents a secret from them.

4. Family get-togethers. This is the time when all your favourite and not so favourite chachas, mamas, nephew, nieces, and cousins gather at your place for a big feast. With all the traditional dishes and sweets, the house full of festivities, and we feel like one big happy family. Yes, there is the occasional family drama, but hey, that’s what Christmas is all about.

5. Keeping a secret stash of holiday sweets. Okay, it is time to come clean! Keeping  a secret stash of all the traditional sweets made at home before Christmas time is one of the joys of the holiday season. Trust me, sneaking some of these while your mother maintains a fierce guard over them, is no mean feat. Maybe this is why pre-holiday treats taste much better than they do on Christmas day.

Have a Merry Christmas!

3 Keys to Being a Successful Craft Seller

The world of selling crafts can be so competitive. Especially in the online universe where it is so easy to set up a shop and sell your wares. So, what are some keys to becoming a successful business person?

1. Be professional.  In order to be considered seriously, you must look at yourself as being serious.  You are now a professional crafter. Say that to yourself a time or two. “I am a professional crafter.” And when someone asks what you do for a living, respond, “I craft, professionally.”  Actually believe it. Of course there are other tidbits involved when being a professional (like conduct, dress, etc.), but the first key is to believe that you are, indeed, a professional.

2. Quality products.  I don’t think that I can stress this one nearly enough.  People are willing to wait for a surprisingly long time to receive a quality product.  Crafting something that will withstand the test of time is far more important than crafting enough to sell to the entire state of Rhode Island. Besides, good quality products often serve as advertisement all on their own!

3. Persist.  Like I said, it is a super competitive market out there. So many people are selling the same things.  Either have a super unique craft, a craft that not everyone and their grandmother makes, or continue persisting and outlast everyone else!  Build your loyal fan base, and continue building on it, loyalties CAN and several times DO change.


Monday, 23 December 2013

Crafting Tips: Increase Your Creativity!

Your handmade craft business/shop is built off of creativity. Here are some tips to boost your creative juices.

1. Ignore everybody – If you care about what people think, you won’t get anywhere creatively. Most people shun new ideas because they are comfortable with the way things are and change makes them woozy. When you create something you have to do it solely for you. Feel free to ask the opinion of those you respect, but don’t live by their words. When it comes down to it, your creativity is sacred and no one else should touch it.

2. Relax – Stress and constant worry leave no room for innovative thought. Your constantly racing mind doesn’t have time to think constructively. Be sure to take a few moments out of your day to relax. Sit in silence, focus on your breathing or full on meditate. Practicing yoga is another great way to relax and clear your mind for creative thoughts to emerge.

3. Don’t think – Stop rationalizing. Stop trying to figure out “how it is done”. Just get and idea and make it happen.

4. Make things better – As you go through your day, make note of the things that aren’t working as well as they can be.  This might be a policy at the bank, your dishwasher, or the highway. Brainstorm ways to make these things better for you and everybody else.  The sky is the limit with this. For example: I think that all waiting rooms should have live entertainment, like a juggler or contortionist.

5. Have fun – If you are working on something that drains your happiness and excitement then drop it, because your creativity will get sucked away right with it. The purpose of being a creative person is enjoying the act of creation, including all the hard work involved.

Happy Crafting!

Christmas Countdown: 2 Days ~ Mitten Holiday Crafts

Check out these 6 amazing DIY Mitten Crafts for all those knitters out there!

1. Mittens from Jumpers

Give new life to an old Christmas jumper with this crazy-cute DIY mitten tutorial. Read more

2. Small Mitten Ornament

These little 2 1/2 inch mittens are perfect to hang on the tree, decorate packages or hang from that bottled hostess gift. Read more

3. Gift Topper

Sweater Mittens make great gift toppers. Tie them onto gift boxes, bags or even money envelopes for a special touch. Read more

4. Kids' Mitten Sweaters

Make a one-of-a-kind sweater for your child using these simple guidelines. Read more

5. Mitten Holiday Cards

These Mitten Holiday Cards are the perfect DIY to make for loves ones this holiday season, and the best part is: the kids can help with this craft!  Read more

6. Felt Mitten Pattern

This is one of our favorite mitten patterns, because it literally takes a minute to make each mitten. Then, depending on the time you have you can decorate as much or as little as you'd like. Read more

Happy Holidays!

Find and Organize People You Follow

  1. Figure out who to follow. You will probably find that you know quite a few people on Twitter. Using the menu tab on your page click on 'Who to Follow', and there are several ways to find people on Twitter, as follows:

    • Use the 'Find Friends' link to find people you know through your various Gmail,AOLMSNHotmail and Yahoo! accounts.
    • Use the 'View suggestions' link for a wide range of possibilities that may, or may not, connect with your interests. (Twitter is also working on personalizing lists of suggested followers, so keep an eye out for the feature.)
    • Use the 'Browse Interests' tab to find people by interest.
  2. 2
    Look for people from organizations that you are in or for those that share a common interest. There are many business, companies, celebrities, and non-profit organizations on Twitter, ranging from Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) to Greenpeace (@greenpeace).
  3. 3
    Create lists. If you're following lots of people, it can get hard to sift through all the tweets. For easy reference, you can organize the people you follow into a list. To add someone to a list, go to their profile. Then, click the person icon in the toolbar and select "Add to List." A menu with your lists will pop up; you can choose to create a new list or add the person to an existing one.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas Countdown: 4 Days ~ 6 Table Decorating Ideas

Check out these 6 dazzling Table Decorating Ideas for sparkling inspiration when hosting get-togethers for family and friends this holiday season.

1. Rosy Pink

Create a sweet place setting by sandwiching a round of pink scrapbook paper and a red sticker-dot border between two glass plates. Personalized candies indicate where guests should sit. (source)

2. Animal Accessories

From a deer and moose shot glass to frosted pinecone candles, these entertaining accessories read party animal—in an elegant sort of way. (source)

3. Tree Place Card

Plant a forest of place cards on the holiday kids' table. Read more

4. Winter Wonderland

White on white makes a simple yet striking table setting during the holidays. Stack ceramic white plates and finish each setting with a wrapped gift box for a striking touch. Read more

5. Opt for festive touches

Make your table the centre of attention in your dining room this Christmas by hanging bright red baubles on pretty ribbon above it. (source)

6. Alternating Apples

Red and green apple wedges stand out against the white china backdrop. Dip the apple wedges in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. (source)

Happy Holidays!

6 Ways to Protect Your Twitter Reputation ~ Part 1

Do you use Twitter to market your business?
How’s your Twitter reputation?
Twitter’s short form messages require the same care you put into Facebook and other longer-form social media platforms.
In this article, I’ll show you six tips to help you protect your Twitter reputation by avoiding some common mistakes.

#1: Verify Everything You Tweet

False information spreads like wildfire on Twitter. Celebrities die and resurrect daily, inaccurate news gets exposure, bad links get passed and misattributed quotes receive thousands of retweets.

The cornerstone of a thriving Twitter account for your business is a reputation for being a reliable source of information. Before you tweet or retweet a link or story through your account, it’s important to make sure the link leads to a genuine article and that the story or news you tweet is accurate.

Select the content you share from reliable resources. Tweet from your account only when you’re 100% confident the content you share is true and accurate.

#2: Form Relationships Before You Sell

One of the most common mistakes you can make as a business owner or manager on Twitter is to try to sell to your followers and audience before you make a connection with them.

If you want your brand to be perceived as valuable and interesting to customers who are interested in your services and products, you need to use Twitter as a platform for making and nurturing connections with a long-term perspective.

Share useful content, enter conversations where you can add value, help people out whenever you can and @reply more than you tweet.
Engage first, sell later.