Tuesday, 30 August 2011

selling on GroovyCart

I use GroovyCart for my main selling site - it's where I have most stock and is the most successful.  I've been with them since their early days and started with a free bronze shop before upgrading - I now have a gold shop which allows more stock and photographs.

The GroovyCart shops are really easy to set up - choose your template and layout, add all the necessary information and then start listing stock.  You can keep your shop a secret until you are ready to publish it which allows you time to find your way around and get your shop exactly the way you want it. The Groovy team are brilliant at customer service - emails are answered really quickly and they are so friendly and helpful.  One of the most important things for me is that they are really good at all the techie stuff - html, seo etc and they upload my stock to Google on a daily basis.  They also have really useful statistics in the admin area of the shop.

It's really important to have good photographs - including a few close ups.  The customers can't pick up and look at the jewellery so I have to show them - including size/perspective as the close up photographs sometimes make the jewellery look bigger/smaller than it actually is. I've got Dolly the Dummy who sometimes acts as my model but I usually include a photo of the jewellery in my hand in these instances.  (You can take a photo with one hand but it takes a bit of practice!)

It's taken me years to get to a position where I'm fairly happy with my photographs - bearing in mind I'm an amateur working with a little inexpensive digital camera.  I'm in the process of working through all the stock in my GroovyCart shop and retaking the photographs I don't like.  As I was clicking away this morning I thought I'd share the process I go through...

I use a Sony Cybershop digital camera that cost less than £100.  I've got a selection of backgrounds that I use - a variety of different coloured and textured sheets of card that I bought in my local craft shop.

I lay the piece of jewellery on the card on my windowsill and make sure it is arranged so that it looks attractive. 

 The above photo is taken without adusting the camera.  I use the ISO setting on my camera with the macro setting on.  The macro setting allows you to photo close up - it looks like a small flower.  When you take the photo you depress the shutter button slightly and the image will change from being blurry to sharp - then you press the shutter to take the photo.
 I change the EV setting by a couple of notches - so it is brighter.  I also change the White Balance - on my camera I use the cloudy setting. The above photo show the difference after I've done this to the first photo.
 The next stage is the edit the photo on the PC.  I use Photoscape which is free to download.  I crop the photo to a square and resize it to 400 pixels.
 Then I adjust the brightness and contrast - it usually only needs a small adjustment.  It's best to do as much on the camera by adjusting the settings and then just a few tweeks on the PC.

This is the bracelet I've photographed today and I've also taken some close up photographs.  I usually take about 20 photographs and delete the ones I don't like after I've edited them all. 
Click here to see the bracelet in my GroovyCart shop

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Jelly Tots Jewellery

my jelly tots keyrings are very popular - especially the personalised ones - and I love the different words and messages I'm asked to embed in the resin.

 As I have to mix a batch of resin for every layer I make other items at the same time as the personalised order.
 These are a few items of jelly tot jewellery that I make that aren't keyrings.
 This traffic lights pendant is in the Just K Jewellery shop on WOW Thank You
 All the other pieces are in Just K Jewellery on GroovyCart
 Even though I say so myself they are definitely unsual and fun pieces of jewellery
 and I bet everyone who wears them are asked about them
and while they might not be to every persons taste I bet they raise a smile and become a talking point

Monday, 8 August 2011

Memories of Childhood Holidays

gosh, I can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged!

Today I want to feature one of my fellow crafters Shoogly Beads

Shoogly Beads specialises in gorgeous jewellery and original handmade polymer clay beads and buttons.

Pat also paints and recently I saw a link to this fabulous little original ACEO painting which I had to buy.

 It immediately transported me back to our family holidays as a child.  We used to go camping in Croyde Bay in North Devon - in the days before it was a trendy surfing centre.  We camped in Farmer Brown's orchard behind the farmhouse - there were no facilities apart from one cold water tap and we used the public loos in the village (we didn't have a bath or shower for the entire holiday) but it was bliss, we had wonderful holidays.
I know there is a family photo of us on the beach walking towards the sea trailing buckets and spades which this little painting reminds me of as well as photos of us shrimping with fishing nets in the rock pools - but I don't have any copies of those photos.  Maybe these photos will give a flavour of those holidays...

I can't believe these photos are nearly 50 years old - where did the years go!