Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Woo Hoo - I'm in two treasuries today :)

Over in Etsyland that is - a selection of 12 items chosen by an individual (usually with a theme or colour choice) and with the added possibility of that list being chosen for the front page. Both these are gorgeous and a bit different so fingers crossed one of them makes it to the front page!

A big thank you to Flandersfield and Matchstickgirl for including my prints in their selections.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Day2Day - Flying through!

Hubby is treating me to a spa day for our anniversary so I'm just gonna post and run on this weeks shots - bit of a mixed bunch again as I've just started a new job and have run out of time to be organised every evening this week.

Monday - light tent again - this is a tiny lava pebble with peridot included.

Tuesday - light tent semi permanently set up at the moment - constant reminder to shoot some stock and really quick grab shots for project365! - This is the back side of the dried sunflower I posted last week but just as interesting in its own way.

Wednesday - the weather started to improve so I took a lunchtime walk up the road a bit - this crane is near the little quayside within a few minutes of the office.

Thursday - not quite such a nice day but the tide was out and this is the mud flats of the river estuary - not the prettiest place in the world but definitely different and interesting :)

Friday - more light tent work with the macro - a morning glory in blue - not photoshopped - it really is this gorgeous colour. I saw a kingfisher down by the river this morning - will definitely be taking my camera to work again next week - telephoto and tripod too this time :)

See you next week - wish me luck with the kingfisher!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Day2Day - restarted :)

Well, I've started on the Project365 challenge on Flickr which is 1 photo a day for a year so I thought I may as well continue with the Day2Day at the same time. This week, they are one and the same but sometimes I do want to take more than one shot so this way I can do 1 shot for D2D and one for Proj365 :) See, I'm not just a pretty face!
Monday - I set my light tent up to shoot some stock and this is one of my favs.

Tuesday - Harry, the neighbours cat sitting on my dusty car roof.
Wednesday - tea at Mum's and she pulled this out of the oven as we arrived! Mmmmmmm :)

Thursday - a little bit of traditional British street furniture - not so common these days unfortunately.

Friday - More stock to work on and upload but these are 2 of my roses from last Valentines Day from hubby.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Mum's Apple Cake - Scrummy Yummy!

Popped over to Mum's for tea this evening and arrived just as this heavenly creation was emerging from the oven. I wish you could smell this - warm appley/cinnamon - just like a Mum's kitchen should be :)So we had to eat all our tea before Mum would let us tuck in - it was still warm so very crumbly but with a dollop of creme fraiche - mmmmmmm :) Are you drooling yet? Well, here's the recipe - I snaffooed it out from under her nose! LOL

225g softened butter

400g Bramley apples, cleaned & died to about 1cm (0.5inch)

2 tablespoons raisins

1 lemon - zest and juiced

225g golden caster sugar

3 eggs

225g self raising flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

25g ground almonds (optional)

1 tablespoon demerara crystal

Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade/gas mark 4. Line the base of a 23cm (9inch) cake tin and lightly grease the sides.

Put diced apples, raisins and lemon juice in a bowl.

Cream together caster sugar, butter and lemon zest until pale & fluffy, add the eggs gradually then fold in the flour, baking power and cinnamon (and almonds if you are including them). Drain excess lemon juice from the apples and raisins and add to the cake mixture.

Tip the whole lot into the cake tin and shake gently to level, sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top.

Bake for 1 hour, cover the top with tinfoil if it starts to brown too much. Leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes then turn out onto a serving plate.

Enjoy :)

Monday, 15 September 2008

Shout Out for ClaireLaraine :)

This lovely lady is on a one woman mission to highlight all the fabulous UK indie crafters, makers and designers she can find. She has room for advertising and regular features and this week my Etsy mini is on the sidebar :) I've only just started keeping track of my views on Etsy so hopefully I should see a little spike this week - keep your fingers crossed - I could really do with some sales as the outlook on the job front seems to be pretty bleak at the moment :(

So if you like handmade, well crafted items, pop along to ClaireLaraine's blog for her latest 'finds'.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Bang Goes the Diet!

I have a very sweet tooth and when Marmalady got into her fudge making, I was sunk! I bought some vanilla fudge from her a couple of weeks ago and suggested a chocolate version at the same time. Her vanilla fudge is to die for but the chocolate version must be handmade by angels, it is so sublime. I can also highly recommend her fruity flapjacks, her millionaires shortbread and now, she's just listed coconut ice - we are so sunk!
And in the same week, my cake swap goodies arrived from Deepa at LazyGiraffe - another few slices of heavenly chocolate cake-y goodness. Now this didn't last long, once hubby started drooling, it was pretty much a-goner! Just managed to shoot them both before they disappeared although I have to admit, it wasn't just hubby that scoffed them :) LOL

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Woohoo! I was featured on a blog :)

One of the lovely photographers on the POE team (Photographers of Etsy) has included my 'Three Boats' photo as one of her picks for todays feature with a theme of Boats :) Pop over to her blog and say hello - or you could pop to her Etsy shop where each 15% of each purchase goes to a childrens charity - lovely Allie, thank you :)

On other news today - You may have noticed a new face over there on the sidebar - that is the new team logo for the Etsy UK Street Team. We are busy getting organised - the new blog is up and the team shop is being revamped.

I've also done something a bit silly (well, sort of) - I've joined in on Project365 over on Flickr and started a new blog to keep track of it. It's a photo a day for 1 year and with my track record, I'm not sure how long I will last! I'm hoping the challenge of picking my camera up everyday will get the ol' juices flowing again and I should certainly manage to shoot some stock while I'm at it (also sadly neglected at the moment).

So, that's it for now - I may be back later as I've been shooting this morning. I haven't actually downloaded them yet so if I get all happy and excited about them, I'll pop back to show you :)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Treasury Madness

Etsy has a feature called a treasury - individuals can put up a page of 12 items (with 4 in reserve) either on a theme or just items they like and it's stays in the lists for 2 to 3 days then expires. It's a form of promotion that is very popular and there is always a mad rush to get one when the window opens (the window opens when the number of treasuries reduce down to a specific number).

Until now, that number was 333 but when I popped in yesterday evening, it was up to 700! It seems there was a technical problem so admin decided to give us some extra spots to play with :)

So I popped into treasury west (a testing area but still functional) and up popped the window so I grabbed a spot. Many people have a list already prepared, just in case but I don't seem to be around at the right time very often so I usually grab one then find stuff to fill it with. This time, I decided to go with photography (now there's a surprise! and based it on my own current favourite, 'Just a Whisper'.

There is some mighty talent on Etsy and especially in the POE team (Photographers of Etsy). We are slowly getting organised to promote photography on Etsy and there is a lot going on behind the scenes. They've recently started a blog to showcase our talents which makes for some good reading if you are 'into' photography or just like looking at fabulous photos.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Just a Bit of Fun

Well, after such a busy week, I've been in a 'bleh' mood today so I've just been pootling around the internet, reading blogs, randomly following links and finding all sorts of fun/quirky or interesting little tidbits. The picture for today comes courtesy of Wordle, a clever application that takes all the words in your blog (or any other piece of text) and makes a picture out of them. It's a bit like the tag cloud but this one allows you to change colours, fonts, orientation etc. I found one here but I have vaguely heard of them before.

I had a bet with hubby that photos or photography would be the biggest word but no, it wasn't and I'm very surprised about that. It's so pretty too and best of all - you can put it on a t-shirt if you want - have a look through the gallery to see what other people are doing with their wordles. I might try to write a few more posts without using some of those words and see how it changes - could be fun to try not to use words like day or weeks. I supposeI could just do a whole post with one word but that would be cheating! Have fun :)

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Life Just Got Busy!

Well, how embarassing! There I was in the last post, congratulating myself on keeping up with the Day2Day theme and promptly missed the next 2 weeks! Oops! Well I do have a good few reasons - straight after that last post, I found out the following week would be my last on my current temporary assignment. Lots of calls to various employment agencies, talking things over with hubby, trying to work out what to do and obviously, a daily photography challenge that didn't rank very high in my priorities.

The week ended quietly after one of the busiest weeks I can remember and the lovely people I have been working with for the last year bought me a huge bouquet of flowers and got me a lovely funny card - one of the noisy ones - which made me jump out of my skin when I opened it!

The following day, I had arranged with the lovely ladies of School House Arts to try to teach them how to photograph their products and projects. I loaded my studio kit into the car, charged camera and laptop batteries and tried to think of everything else that we might need and then set off for a day of playing with my camera. We're all fairly outgoing so although I don't really know them very well, chatting and explaining camera stuff took care of any nerves I had.

Nickie has the most amazing quilted, handpainted, embroidered artwork thingies (not sure of the correct technical term, sorry) I've ever seen, Debs does wonderful things with fabric including little felt doggie brooches, Sharne had a beautiful quilt which she said has a minor imperfection so it just sits in her attic (!!!) and Margaret quilts, patchworks, character dolls and makes bags too. So much talent in one small old village school - and they all managed to get some improvement in their product photos at the end of the day, except Margaret who definitely needs a new camera (are you listening Margarets' hubby?? LOL).

I also showed them some basic photoshop bits that would help once they got home to practice but I've a feeling we were all a bit tired by then so I don't know how much sunk in. I know Debs has been having a go at home, keep going Debs, it just takes a bit of practice :)

So for the last week, I have been at home all day - not lazing around, eating sweeties and watching daytime TV - oh no! My to-do list has grown considerably over the last few weeks so I have been working my way through that.

I've written and submitted 3 blog feature interview questionnaires, ordered new cards and envelopes (square this time), printed 40 mini cards and a pile of bookmarks for promo items, ordered card display stands, designed and ordered new business cards, taken a couple of orders on Etsy (yay!!), started work on my tax return, organised my stock photo records and had lunch with Mum several times.

I've also been working on Technorati ratings and getting links organised for a new project I'm involved with (details coming soon) and for several other things that are going on behind the scenes, as it were.

What I haven't done, is take any photos (of anything), written any blog posts, listed any new items on Etsy, written anything for the UK Etsy Street Team blog, done any housework or tidying, got dressed everyday or done any gardening!

Oh well, nothing has turned up for next week so it looks like I'm going to have to make a start on the housework :( but I have promised myself to get some new photos up on Etsy but also to print a load of cards and re-photograph them for existing listing - good practise for easy listing in future.