Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I guess I wanted to make sure I didn't run out of pins ...

Well, I do have a lot of sewing to do over the holiday break!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

some exciting news...

time to get down to business...

Friday, December 11, 2009

note to self...

in the future, no matter how cold it is in the house, please refrain from wearing giant fuzzy sweater while gluing tiny houses onto scrabble tiles....
you will avoid fuzzy black fibers sticking to every surface you are working with...

{{ edit }}
also pick a garment without bell sleeves, so as not to repeatedly knock aforementioned tiles off of work table with every arm movement.

I'm trying to be a christmas time sweat shop here people!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

tis the season

had a lovely weekend so far....
spent a chilly evening with my bff trying to sell our wares at a new artsy warehouse. Heard some cool music from a lone guitarist, but it was kind of humorous too. If his amp was plugged in at the same time as our space heater we were huddled around, we lost power. Fun Friday nite, huh?
I actually enjoyed myself though :)
Then had a Christmas shopping trip today, but Sasha and I decided not to hit the mall, but rather a really old, cool hippy boutique I used to go to 15 years ago. She loves hemp necklaces, tie dyes, and interesting beads, and she said she actually remembered going there with me when she was little. It's called "Cool Stuff" and she already has a plan to take her friends there. She got a cool room tapestry and promptly hung it up as soon as we got home.

I didn't sell too much at the show last night, but at least I have a lot of new inventory since I made a bunch of new things to sell there. I think I'll call this one 'snowflake':

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

turkey day

hmmm, planning thanksgiving menu...
I have only made thanksgiving dinner once before, so I don't really have tried and true items that I've made a hundred times before.
** turkey, of course (I used a recipe last time where you stick lemons and oranges inside, and it came out great, so I'll probably do that again
** homemade rolls, I found a recipe with onions in it, in a cookbook called 'guilt free cooking'
** stuffing (or dressing as some call it) - I saw Rachel Ray on 30 min. meals make one with apples and onions, and she put mounds of it into a muffin pan and baked it, so it's already in individual portions and gets crispy, so I think I might try that.
** something with sweet potatoes, probably a dessert. I had 'sweet potato pie' as a kid that I've never been able to find a recipe for, but I keep trying different things.
** green beans, but I don't know if I'll do the regular old green bean casserole. I might blanche them quickly and then saute them with garlic
** Sasha is going to make a dessert. She wanted to make a tiny cake like the one she saw on the "CAKE BOSS" on TLC, (he made it in an easybake oven!), but then she saw a yummy looking picture of sugar cookie type bars with melted chocolate and m&m's on top, so she is making that.
** Potatoes that my sweet friend is making and bringing with her, so I don't have to worry about that
** cranberry something!!! I usually make this raspberry jello mixed with cranberries combination that has whipped cream and cream cheese mixed together on top, with nuts, but no one seems to like it except me, so I'm looking for something different.
I think that about covers it, plus I have to make the house look presentable.
I have had all these ideas lately like I want to empty out all of my cupboards and cabinets and clean them all, and put all my rice and grain type food into jars, and re-do all of my flour and sugar containers, but that will have to wait until after turkey day :)
fall cleaning, I guess?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

giveaway winner~

sorry I'm late with my drawing guys, it's been a crazy weekend! We drew Becky's name out of a cute litte doily basket, (sorry we did it late in the evening and I failed to take a picture!)
Congrats! and thanks for playing everyone. Last time I did a giveaway there were a lot more names in my basket, but maybe everyone is away from the computer lately.
Please contact me Becky and I will get your address. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

time for a giveaway :)

ok, dear readers.... I haven't done a giveaway for a while now, and I was thinking now that I was able to get my 'followers' box to show up in sidebar again, I'm a little obsessed with checking to see who my new followers are each day.
To be entered into this giveaway, you must:
1. click to 'follow' my blog
2. leave a comment on THIS post, telling me which of the following goodies you would like:

(choose any color available in my shop: pink, red, cream, latte, espresso, gray, black, yellow, aqua, etc. - pretty much any color you can think of, I have it.)
a little house ornament to hang from your Christmas tree, or sit on your mantle : (yours will be made at time of drawing, so may differ slightly from the ones in the picture)

oh, the excitement!!!!
Contest will run until Nov. 13 (Friday the 13th!!!)

Monday, November 02, 2009

my daughter took these photos, and I love the textures!

I'm going to come up with some photography assignments for her since I home school her half time. I think she has an eye for composition~ I know, I know, I'm just the mom :) She did get some gold stars on flickr though!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

home for the holidays

getting geared up for the holidays:)
I love this time of year, although we haven't seen too many pretty leaves yet and it got really cold really fast....
I'm excited to be cooking thanksgiving dinner this year (I've only done it once before, about 3 years ago), and I'm practicing my recipes and we got our oven fixed! That's helpful when cooking things larger than 4 or 5 ounces. Hopefully friends and family will all be able to make it, and I'll be able to get my island finished before then. It's feeling a little neglected at the moment, but it will get some lovin' soon.
I must be in the mood to work on wood lately, because the little holiday ornaments from last year are making a comeback:

last year I made a lot with little vintage children peering out of windows, this year I can't get enough of the tiny bunting banners made from postage stamps!
You can never have enough bunting strewn about~

Friday, October 09, 2009


just a little wrist jewelry for fall~

I'm a little gaga over the tiny mother of pearl vintage buckles I found.
also, yay! I figured out how to get my followers to show up again on the sidebar! I'm glad to see all of your happy shining faces again :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

clothing = sculpture

....and I thought I liked ruffles....

"Garden of Delight" by Steven Meisel (2006).
Vogue : http://www.style.com/vogue/feature/112206VFEA/

Friday, September 18, 2009

one persons trash...

believe it or not, this is going to grow up to be a kitchen island:

and from the side:

and the lovely top:

This dresser that someone discarded (pictures of drawers later) is actual real wood. I have a keen eye that is able to spot real wood on the side of the road that has lots of potential but somehow no one else has been able to see.
This particular specimen ended up being within 1 inch of the size we had planned to build, since we couldn't find anything the size we needed prebuilt.
so.... after chopping it's height down, changing the drawer slides to shelves, re-doing the top, putting nice wood on the back, and stripping, sanding and staining (the BIG "3"), and depending on my work load in the next week or so, there hopefully will be pics of our brand new kitchen island.
I have a lovely credenza that is the sturdiest piece of furniture I've ever owned that was in an alleyway, with the legs falling apart. A thorough cleaning, a light sanding, a nice paint job, new legs and some nice nickel knobs, and it is sleek enough to almost pass for ikea (although would probably weigh much less if I'd bought it there).
(I'll post pics later since now I know you all have a fantastical visual image in your heads of this amazing transformation, and you'll suffer aesthetic withdrawal if I don't show you.) ---found one on flickr, but it's hard to see:

oh, and let's not ever forget the infamous 'zebra chair' as we refer to it now. (All the former trash to treasure pieces were taken with one of those historical devices using FILM of all things, so the original photos are in a beautiful coptic bound notebook with those adorable little photo corners, rather than being in digital format on my hard drive somewhere.) I did find one picture of it on my flicker - you can see the living room is in a different arrangement here:

The zebra chair is my most beloved furniture overhaul to date, and was previously a bedraggled - shredded 'cat nail sharpener', and I found the tag inside the real horsehair tufted cushion that said 'chicago - 1926'. This was a chair that was in my husbands apartment before we got married, and rather than set it on fire or throw it off the side of a cliff like a normal person, I chose to spend a good 30 - 40 hours of my life completely fixing it. One of the arms was broken and hanging off the side, and the upholstery fabric that still had a few threads hanging was so hideously mustard- ugly, I can't imagine how it was ever a beautiful piece of furniture even when new.
And after many hours of sewing, hammering, re-attaching, staining, etc, it was finished. No visitor in our home has ever failed to notice it! {There were a few hysterical tears when beloved cat previously mentioned decided to consumate the back of the completed zebra chair with her nails.} The chair was then unceremoniously wrapped from top to bottom in duct tape and every wool blanket and piece of thick fabric I could find was piled on top until you could no longer tell it was a chair.
But since that kitty is no longer with us (not because of her affinity for zebra print, but due to natural occurences) the chair now holds a place of honor in front of the TV.
lucky for me my honey enjoys going on these scavenger hunts with me to pick up trash I've seen around town :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

oh the cuteness!

I found this on flickr, and love her blog and so many adorable creations:

btw, sorry I've been a bad blogger lately! I'm back at school and really enjoying it. I've learned that working at home is an awful lot of work, and I like the balance of being home and being at work, flip flopping back and forth. I have some really nice classes this year, and I'm excited about some new projects I'm working out.
I'm really into watercolor lately for some reason, {or at least really into daydreaming about it}, so I'm planning some lessons around that. I think I'm fascinated with the medium (although I'm really not a painter) because it's all about control. (my middle name, some would say).
I go into great detail every year explaining to the kids how the amount of water in the bristles directly affects the intensity of the color and how easily you can control it on the paper. I'm sure they are sitting on the edge of their seats trying to glean every kernel of knowledge from my vast experience as they possibly can.
For some reason it's a lot easier planning a lesson and inspiring others than it is to sit down and actually do it myself. I'm thinking of taping the paper into a grid- like this wonderful artist
so that I'll have some squares to work in, since I'm so used to doing 1 inch scrabble tile collages, apparently I'm not one of those people who likes to work 'large'. Back in college it seemed like in order to be a 'real' painter, you had to make canvases (sp?) about as large as the side of a house to be taken seriously. I am perfectly content making tiny artworks, though, there is something so 'cozy' and 'cute' and makes everyone exclaim..." that is the most ADORABLE thing I've ever seen!"
I think that's my new goal with my etsy shop (that has suffered much lately due my lack of 'gusto' and 'mojo): to make some ADORABLE tiny things that people simply MUST buy, not because they need them, but because they are so darn adorable.
p.s. I'm sorry to all my followers, I've done something to my blog layout and your 'adorable' little profile pics in the sidebar have mysteriously disappeared. But have no fear, I love you all, and you are most appreciated!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

in the pink

new picture of my studio... rearranged slightly with a new curtain. I don't know why I have the urge to rearrange every couple of months, but I do. must be feeling 'pinky' lately. Hard to tell, but the walls are a light lavender. It's so cool that I can have all this pink and purple in my living room and my man is totally ok with it. I love it when the people you love give you the freedom to be who you want to be, unapologetically.
sewing away, working on orders, kind of wishing I had more time to get to the new ideas in my sketchbook... such is life!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

making something from nothing

Just a quick note to let you all know I'm still alive (I know you were worried :)
busy, busy, busy, teaching art camp.
Today we are making these:

tutorial here at a little hut's lovely blog.
I also might try this modge podge bowl version with the kids.
It's not possible to use earthenware clay with them all week, because there will be no time to fire all of it, so I thought why not make pottery from recycled magazines? my friends often say I have the uncanny ability to make something out of nothing, which definitely helps with the camp budget I'm sure!
Even though I have about 400 magazines in my current collection, I had a hard time deciding which ones I could part with. I love them so much! I know as we are working on the bowls today I'll probably find several pages that I desperately need to save because I can't bear to part with the information.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

wide open spaces

I spent all afternoon yesterday dying slips. I'm sure my neighbors are wondering why I have so many slips, and several of them in repeat colors. I love being an alchemist! It's so fun seeing how the colors will turn out, and mixing and stirring.
I wish I had a giant yard, with no houses nearby, and a huge old-fashioned clothesline. I'd love to look out of my kitchen window and see the slips sprawled out across the green, with the big blue sky behind. And of course a gentle breeze to make them flow even prettier.
And then I could walk down to the creek at the end of my property, and collect acorns and leaves on the way back to the house.

Friday, June 26, 2009

summer strolls

I'm taking the time this summer to stroll through Omaha's lovely 'old market', feelin' light and lovely in my new slip skirts:

I'm going to keep wearing them in the fall, over jeans, but for now I'm trying to enjoy the muggy summer air. Someday I'll live in a place with weather that is awesome more than 2 days out of the year....
At least these lovely shops are about 1 minute from my house:

enjoy the rest of this photographer's photostream and your summer strolling!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

he's quite perceptive, you know

there's something so liberating about not wearing make up for days at a time, and piling my wild hair up on top of my head to get it out of my eyes, and wearing pajama pants and big cozy sweatshirts that may or may not have stains on them. Aaaahhhh, summer. Actually since I started working (crafting, playing, etc. ) from home 3 days a week during the school year, my darling husband probably sees me like this more than I care to think about.
Although the other day he looked at me straight in the face, and said "you know, I was just thinking the other day how you are so beautiful lately". I was a bit shocked, to say the least, but he's not one to add fluff or make meaningless statements, so I'm going to believe that the 'no make up, wild birds' nest up-do' is actually a good look for me :)
I used to never ever in a million years leave the house without make up, for fear that I would for sure see people from my past and they would wonder what the heck happened to her?, but I think as we get older, we learn to enjoy ourselves more, and care less about what others think. Although I would be absolutely mortified to run into anyone I know looking like this.
I'm trying to force myself to take a day off for lounging and reading, but so far I haven't managed to do it. I guess that's what happens when you love what you do!
I've got a few fun, patchy ruffly skirts that I cut out ages ago, and am now finally having the gusto to piece them together. I wonder how many of my readers would get the following question right:
I spend __________ hours per week deciding on whether zippers are the way to go, or debating on if substituting elastic is a more comfortable and easy choice. (And defending the decision back and forth in my head)
A. 2 hours
B. 4 hours
C. 6 hours
I really don't know how many hours, but it's a lot. Plus, elastic is soooooo much better if you've indulged in a few too many everything bagels lately~
The skirts have really cute vintage-y ruffles though, and another funny thing my husband asked yesterday, (and quite perceptive as well), is "Are you in a ruffle-y period, like you know how Picasso had his blue period and his rose period?"
I was a bit stunned! that's what I get for marrying such a smarty pants. Hopefully pics of the new skirts tomorrow, and I'm trying to post a few tutorials for you all too.

Monday, June 08, 2009

stormy weather

I love the rain, and it's been raining a lot lately. It's great for sleeping, even when the thunder gets really loud. I'm enjoying a few weeks off from work before I start teaching summer school, and even though I don't really take days off from sewing, it feels nice to stay up and sleep in late. I know it's good for the farmers :)

lovely storm photo found here
Although there is a weird smell in my new (used) Jeep, so I have to figure out if there's a leak or something. ??? It's so nice to drive something that you don't fear is going to break down at any given moment - my poor saturn had a few miles shy of 200,000, so it's ready for a rest.
I've had a ton of deadlines lately, for various things, but it feels good to cross things off of my list. Upcoming goodies in Somerset Studio - Belle Armoire to be exact, although I don't know what issue yet. Those ladies over there are the sweetest people imaginable to work with! So kind and thoughtful, and willing to help... I just can't say enough good things about them, really.
work in progress:

I'm still creatively pulled in soooooo many different directions, and I'm still learning to accept that it's just 'my way' I guess. I love to do so many different things.
There are also many other things I'd like to know how to do, but I guess someday during retirement I'll work on those~ crocheting (is that a word?) lace, mastering photoshop and fancy cameras, making my own website, fixing cars, playing the piano.... on and on. There's so many things to explore in life!
But I can't stop thinking about that one line of advice in that post about photography awhile back - "You can't specialize in everything".
That phrase has run through my head so many times in the last month, because I am so guilty of trying to do that! I think focus is very important. They don't call someone a 'master carpenter' or a 'master teacher' , etc., for nothing.
Note to self: Learn to master one thing, and do it well. One can hope I guess.

Friday, May 29, 2009

photoshop trials...

sometimes I love photoshop, and sometimes I don't. grrrrr....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

summer love

from the summer love collection....

the 'frida dress'

inspired by the amazing frida kahlo

I'm so in love with Danita's adorable version:

more colorful variations of this to come~

Monday, May 18, 2009


today I feel a surge of hopefulness, that soon I will be doing what I love every day (not just part time on a do-everything-myself basis), and that there will be a purpose for what I'm doing. I love doing every aspect of the design/ production process, but it's so hard to be practical that way, because I can't compete with the prices offered by clothing manufacturers. My lovely customers do know what goes into a handmade garment, and they appreciate it.
It's strange that at this point in my life I'm still trying to find that path, but I know there must be reasons why things have taken longer for me than others.
I don't know exactly what form it will come in, but it will happen.
some lovely little clothing tags printed onto one of my favorite summery vintage-inspired fabrics:

wee garden

I love this idea!

I've been racking my brain trying to find a place for some plants, and I really want to try this!
check out the story here.
If it's too late for this year, I may try it next spring!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I'm always thinking about color, and I'm doing some summer dresses and working out some dye patterns for them. My friends and I use to tie dye a ton of stuff in college - yes, I admit, I have a serious 'boho hippie' streak in me. My hair was always super long, especially back then. I remember hanging out in memorial park at age 18, and someone was putting a hair wrap in for me, using bright embroidery floss colors. It took 4 months to get it out!
I also made teeny tiny newborn sized t-shirts for S when she was a baby, and put hairwraps in her hair quite often too. Of course friendship bracelets. My dear friend Lori sat patiently teaching me all that she had learned as a camp counselor. I don't know why I didn't learn as a kid, but it's such a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
We made so many- some were even collars for our cats. This shop has some amazing ones:

anyway, aqua will be a prominent trend for sure in the upcoming summer line, right now I'm just trying to find the time to sit and work on it. Later this week hopefully, major progress will be made.

from an article written by Patrick McMurray...

On the subject of psychology: Colour affects your bottom line in branding, packaging, web design, interiors, product design and fashion.

Understanding your personal palette and how to surround yourself with your best colours, in your clothes and your home, will make you feel good about yourself and send your confidence soaring. Looking great is an inevitable by-product.

Black is the colour of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. Black outfits can also be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof or evil. Villains.

The most emotionally intense colour, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It is also the colour of love. Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Since it is an extreme colour, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations.

Red cars are popular targets for thieves. In decorating, red is usually used as an accent. Decorators say that red furniture should be perfect since it will attract attention. The most romantic colour, pink, is more tranquilizing. Sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy.

And finally Blue; the colour of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colours. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.

I'm yearning for backyard barbeques and days lounging on the patio, for a chance to wear some of these new dresses! pics coming soon!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

pretty spring

my bustle shop was on the front page the other day, which doesn't happen as often as my other shop, just because I don't have enough items in there. It usually sits at around 20 items, whereas deciduoussoul is usually around 100.
It's just a baby still, but it's going to get a lot of love this summer.
I've finally gotten my serger back from the repair shop (who kept my manual and an actual piece of my machine! After 4 months of being in the shop and several phone calls from me reminding them they still had it, I'm surprised I even got part of it back)
The missing piece does not affect the functioning of the machine, though, so I've already made 2 skirts in 2 days with it.
Oh how I've missed the speedy whirring of that machine!
So, lots of new kids dresses and ruffle pants coming, maybe I shouldn't say 'lots', because I don't know how much time I'll have.
I haven't seen my little model since last summer - she's probably grown 3 inches at least!
More bridal slip dresses are in the works as well.
It's finally nice weather here, so I'm off to take a walk on my lunch break and enjoy the sun and the exercise. I've sat through so many freezing soccer games in the last month I thought it would never get warm again~ ta ta!

Friday, April 10, 2009

my dress form has all the fun!!!

Madame coco, which is what my curvy metal dress form was named, gets to wear the prettiest little lovelies:) She now has a new sister, who we'll have to have a contest for soon to give her a name befitting of her beauty, and she is pink!

Madame Coco won't be jealous though, because she is beautiful in her own sculptural way.
Finished another vintage slip skirt today, and the studio is trashed. Every time I get involved in a project I love, there ends up being snippets and piles of tons of things strewn about. No pics of the studio for you, but some of the skirt.

there have been some lovely spring brides lately!
ta ta

Monday, March 30, 2009

vintage goodness

My next door neighbor for the last 8 years is approximately 100 years old, give or take a year~ She recently moved in with her son, and her grandson moved in with his family. So they were purging the house of some of her old vintage linens...
She had given me some in the past, and I spied a clear garbage bag full of them sitting outside by the garage only a few days before our garbage day - I immediately flew into action. I put a purple sticky note on their door so that when they got home they would see it for sure. It was raining a bit, and I took a nap. I actually had a nightmare that when I got up the bag was gone!
I know, so silly. But fabric is so special, especially soft old cotton with pretty flowers on it!
So when I got up for real, it was still there... whew.
After all of that, they did give me the bag, and I found a few cute things to keep, but most of it was... not so cute. Oh well. The things that I didn't want to use or sew with, I still felt bad about ditching the rest. So I thought I would use the old sheets that I didn't want to put on the bed as pattern pieces. Whenever I draft patterns, I use muslin rather than tissue, but at times I have used other fabric that I don't want to make things out of. So I thought, why not use the sheets?

now the sheets will have a new life, and I will think of my old friend every time I use them!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

knowledge is power

photoshop power that is.... I love learning how to do anything on this powerful tool, and I have expanded my very limited knowledge just a little more tonight. My daughter showed me how to put a lot of pictures onto one document - don't know if this has a special term or not... Anyway, I've been adding a 4th or 5th picture to my clothing listings for a long time, to show customers what other prints and colors they can get things made in, but I wanted to show more.
I already knew how to add text, so it was pretty easy to do. I may need to tweak it a bit more, because I like how it looks like a beautiful quilt, but the two dark prints in the upper left corner seem unbalanced with the rest of it. It's kind of like a mosaic on flickr; it shows you what colors you really like by having so many repeated in that palette. Apparently I love greens and pinks (no surprise there). Grass green has been fascinating me as of late- I got the cutest terry cloth summer dress in this color and I can't wait to wear it. My plan is to wear pretty things this summer whether I weigh what I want to or not. so there!
So, if you want to make one of these pretty quilt grids of your own, and you have some sort of program that will let you do it, here's my simple (hopefully) explanation:
1} save pictures of fabrics you like~
2} in photoshop, FILE -> NEW -> choose the pixel size you want - I chose 1000 x 1000 so it wouldn't be too big, press OK --this is your NEW, UNTITLED DOCUMENT
3} in photoshop, FILE -> OPEN -> choose the one you want to start with and select it
4} you'll need to change the image size of your photo most likely, I changed mine to 200 x 200 so that I could fit five pics across each row, and five pics top to bottom (( if you wanted to do bigger pictures, just make the pixel size fit into the 1000 equally, like 250 x 250 if you want to end up with 20 photos total))
5} select the rectangle marquee tool ( top left, dotted lines square shape), then use it to drag across the photo you just resized from the top left corner to the bottom right.
6} under EDIT, click COPY
7} I then click on the MOVE tool (right next to the dotted line square you just used) and put the cursor on the new untitled document you created at the beginning..... then click EDIT - PASTE and your little image should now be on the blank document. You can move it around where you want it.
8} FILE, OPEN - choose next picture, repeat above process. Continue until all pictures are on blank document.
9} Use text tool to add alphabet letters on each picture
10} SAVE AS.... name your file - I've noticed it won't upload to etsy unless I save it as a jpeg, although I know I've uploaded png's in the past. It kept saying the file size was too big until I saved it again as a jpeg.
I don't argue with it or rip my hair out wondering why, I just keep clicking stuff until it does what I want. If all else fails, I call my teenager and she fixes it :)
But seriously, this was really easy! Maybe you all already knew this, but I thought maybe it would help some technologically challenged soul like me.
ta ta!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

good advice...

I found this on melanie mauer's blog (a lovely photographer), and it credits the original author at the bottom. It's advice about aspiring to become a photographer or run a photography business, but I really love how it applies to other creative endeavors:
- Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don’t look outward for your style; look inward.

- Know your stuff. Luck is a nice thing, but a terrifying thing to rely on. It’s like money; you only have it when you don’t need it.

- Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a concensus.

- Say no. Say it often. It may be difficult, but you owe it to yourself and your clients. Turn down jobs that don’t fit you, say no to overbooking yourself. You are no good to anyone when you’re stressed and anxious.

- Learn to say “I’m a photographer” out loud with a straight face. If you can’t say it and believe it, you can’t expect anyone else to, either.

- You cannot specialize in everything.

- You don’t have to go into business just because people tell you you should! And you don’t have to be full time and making an executive income to be successful. If you decide you want to be in business, set your limits before you begin.

- Know your style before you hang out your shingle. If you don’t, your clients will dictate your style to you. That makes you nothing more than a picture taker. Changing your style later will force you to start all over again, and that’s tough.

- Accept critique, but don’t apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so. Critiques are opinions, nothing more. Consider the advice, consider the perspective of the advice giver, consider your style and what you want to convey in your work. Implement only what makes sense to implement. That doesn’t not make you ungrateful, it makes you independent.

- Leave room for yourself to grow and evolve. It may seem like a good idea to call your business “Precious Chubby Tootsies”….but what happens when you decide you love to photograph seniors? Or boudoir?

- Remember that if your work looks like everyone else’s, there’s no reason for a client to book you instead of someone else. Unless you’re cheaper. And nobody wants to be known as “the cheaper photographer”.

- Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.

- It’s easier to focus on buying that next piece of equipment than it is to accept that you should be able to create great work with what you’ve got. Buying stuff is a convenient and expensive distraction. You need a decent camera, a decent lens, and a light meter. Until you can use those tools consistently and masterfully, don’t spend another dime. Spend money on equipment ONLY when you’ve outgrown your current equipment and you’re being limited by it. There are no magic bullets.

- Learn that people photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human connection.

- Never forget why you started taking pictures in the first place. Excellent technique is a great tool, but a terrible end product. The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject.

- Never compare your journey with someone else’s. It’s a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never “arrive”. No one ever does.

- Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacence.

- Cheryl Jacobs

via Beyond Images

***what wonderful words of wisdom. I've been working hard on my photography skills for the last couple of years, and they are about to be seriously tested in some upcoming photo shoots (if you can call them that) for some of my new casual wedding dresses. My husband listens to my 'unsureness' ?? ( he used to have a darkroom in his old house), and just says, "keep taking more pictures", so I guess like anything else, I must practice.

as soon as I have time, my goal is to play around in photoshop by burning the edges of some images, and adding digi frames. I guess it won't change the actual image itself, but at least it will look prettier!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

spring awaits...

aaaahhhh, these sun-filled days of 50 degrees tease us into thinking spring has arrived, but I know the cold hard truth that winter has not finished it's nasty reign of terror... Bring it on, midwest, because I've got my arsenal of wool mittens, warm hand-knitted scarves and leather boots waiting in the wings.
Anyway, spring has made it's arrival in my studio! Lovely chartreuse green, vintage baby blue, hot fuchsia pinks... mmm I love silk. I actually love heirloom cotton too, but it's twice the work, because I have to line it with voile or some other sheer dreamy fabric so that it doesn't become lingerie.

I'm just a fabric addict, always have been.
I've had some wedding sashes on the back burner for quite awhile, and some of my brides come up with the coolest color combinations :) I've had a few weeks of rest, after not taking any days off for a long time, and it's nice to actually have a weekend here or there where I don't work. Novel concept, I know. Here's a peek at a few of the satin ribbon sashes I've been making. The new ones are so vintagey special and colorful, with lots of lace, ruffles, and the most beautiful colors.... images of those are coming soon. Some of these sashes available here-

happy spring everyone!