Friday, March 27, 2015

Exploring Creative Photography

Photographing products can be a tough task.  Too basic of a color, too busy of a background, poor lighting conditions and shaky hands can produce less then stellar product photographs.  Most designers put careful time in creating a piece and are excited to share its completion. Your photographs of it need to be just as creative as the piece and showcase your design style.
A clever way to showcase your jewelry designs and brand message.
Here I created a heart from my jewelry designs and filled it with
photos that paint my story. Explore, Create, and Live Free Spirited. 

Choosing the right colors and themes can be overwhelming.  If you create fun and flirty jewelry, your backgrounds need to reflect that mood in order to compliment your piece.  With the rise of social media, designers of every degree are utilizing the benefits of social platforms to promote their product and create a brand awareness.

Instagram is a great visual platform for capturing everything we do in the current minute. Clogging your IG feed with more then 3 or 4 pictures of the same thing at the same time can be shunned upon by fellow Instagramers, who crave varied inspiration to retain their commit to follow.  Its very important to choose "the perfect picture" to capture your message to your audience.

Blogging, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, You Tube, Vine, Flickr, and Websites are some of the larger social media platforms designers are using to get their brand across.  Smart phones are replacing the everyday camera at a fast pace. Why, you might ask? Because you can instantly download to one of these sites and share that current moment.
Pay attention to the details you want to showcase. This dress
screamed vintage prom and the focal point was the fabric and
the center details. One photo was enough to portray that point.

Thinking out of the box is essential. Having great photo enhancing apps is key. Mix these two together and any photograph can be creative and eye catching.  I have been an Apple Iphone lover since the beginning.  I currently use it to take most of my pictures for social media.  After I select the set I want to share, I load them to my fave social media sites and tweak. Then I caption and upload to social media.

I play with colors, textures, props and lighting to get the look I want.  Frames, chalkboard prints, scrapbook paper, and signs play big roles in my product photography sessions.  If the lighting seems dull, I load the photos into editing apps and correct them.

Details, I love up-close details, they are in themselves a work of art when photographed. Details almost always get pinned to my inspiration board in the studio.  Scraps of fabric, trims, and broken jewelry.  Snippets of ephemera, tags and event badges.  Photographs of vintage things, and magazine cutouts line my inspiration boards.  I layer them with the things that inspire me.  I think inspiration boards and detail photos are always a must.

The Selfie! I've been doing the selfie for decades.
Here's a selfie I recently took at my best friends
bridesmaid dress gala. This headband is so me.

Some of my recommendations:

  • -Chalkboard or rustic black backgrounds for leather, distressed, metal, and industrial vintage pieces. Try chalkboards, chalkboard paper or spray paint foam board with chalkboard paint. (I will post my homemade chalkboard paint recipe next week). 
    A chalkboard rustic background to showcase my authentic
    baseball necklaces
  • -Try paper bags, parchment paper, old sheet music, wicker baskets, maps, metal signs, books, globes and wood for additional rustic backgrounds. 
    Earrings I made for a friend, layered onto a
    piece of scrapbook paper from My Minds Eye.
  • -Kitschy wrapping paper, wall paper, scrapbook paper, or fabric for sweet, sugary products, baked goods and dolls.
  • -Furniture, trunks, dress forms and candle bases work wonders for height and dimension.
  • -Take photos from the bottom up, angled or upside down for some creative fun. 
  • -Look for eye catching reflections in glass windows or elements.
  • Don't forget the selfie, sometimes its all about the selfie.
  • -Outside props work fabulous. Think rustic barns, house siding, trees, benches, pools, lakes.
  • -The beach. Gotta love the photographic properties that the beach has to offer. Sun, sand, shells and  water. 
  • Inspiration boards! Make an inspiration board of the things that inspire you and inspire your brand. Add to it or take away from it the further along you go on your journey. 
  • Never steal someone's background or imagery for your own work.  Remember copyright is essential. Always respect other designers works. 
    Layering a piece onto a photo greeting card.  I used a greeting
    card and necklace I received for Valentine's day, photographed
    them together. Worked like a charm. Card from Taylor Swift,
    Necklace-Francesca's Boutique.
Next week I will post some creative backgrounds and paint recipes for you to use and create.

xo
Lisa

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Day at Simplicity


With building the new blog format (not yet released), the website and creative work, I have neglected blogging for over a month, after returning from VK Live. During this time so much has happened and lots to share.  I'll start with a recap of my day in NYC at Simplicity and the girls.

After getting our schedules together, I ventured into the city to see my friend Michele at Simplicity Creative Group, along with a friendly lunch with Michele Muska, Laura Kelly and Laura Neiman at Pera. You couldn't ask for a better group of girls to spend the day with. Being creative, fun and exciting.
 
Traveling to the city is just a train ride away for me and one I enjoy.  I always grab my coffee and start walking to my destination, first off Simplicity Creative Group.  Okay, I have to say, I just love it here.  I'm always excited here.  The ribbon room is like eye candy for the soul. I mean how do you choose your favorite ribbon, or trims, you just can't.
 

Exploring through the sewing department and seeing everyone hard at work to bring you the latest simplicity patterns and products is exciting.  Vintage dress forms still in use, fabrics draping down off tables, glimpses inside Ek Success Brands and chatting with creative types adds to your time there.  I love the staff and their creativity.

Before we left, the four of us exchanged gifties, hugs and love, then we were all off to enjoy a wonderful lunch at Pera.  Can you say fabulous? The food at Pera is divine, Mediterranean cuisine at its finest.


Relaxing with Michele and the girls was incredible, a complete pick me up for the month.  We all left happy, inspired and shall I say, full? lol.  I returned home with a bag of goodies and a fabulous memory with good friends.  Can't wait to see my girls again.

This bowl was a gift for my new dog "BO" from Laura Kelly, created in her signature style, along with personal heart ornaments for my momma and me, plus a stash of her buttons. The trims below are from Simplicity. These will grace some projects soon.

I will keep blogging here for all adventures and creative fun. The new blog on word press will have mostly projects and creative ideas.  It should be ready first week of April, I will keep you all posted.
Till then happy crafting!

xoxo
Lisa

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

VK Live 2015 Recap, Part 2

Welcome to my second recap post of the VK Live Show held Jan.16-18, 2015 at the Marriot Marquis in NYC. This show is a yarn enthusiasts dream, a mecca for yarn style and creative bliss.

The second day at the show was incredible. We weren't at the booth more then a few minutes before shoppers combed the DMC Threads booth looking for their favorite products and looking first hand at the gorgeous yarns that lined the shelves. From Natura Yarns and Woolly Yarns, all the colors are gorgeous, natural and happy.  The use of these yarns are endless. Again, the quality of the yarns are incredible just like DMC's threads.

My post before covers the difference in the yarns, but I will recap that again for any first time viewers. DMC Woolly Natural Knitting Merino wool is wonderfully soft. Its unique quality comes from long, thin fibers that give superior softness to touch and a feeling of comfort when against the skin. Sourced from Australia, it is 100% natural and renewable. Woolly yarn weight is "Light" size 3, making it ideal for all seasons. Fabrics knitted with Woolly have a fine even appearance with a nice drape and crisply defined stitches. Knitting with multiple strands produces a bulkier fabric. Using multiple colors creates interesting blends.  Available in 48 beautiful colors.


DMC Natura Just Cotton is a beautiful matte knitting and crochet yarn made with 100% combed cotton. Natura Just Cotton produces a soft-to-touch, drape-able fabric with good stitch definition. The weight is fine size 2.  The extensive range of colors is designed to blend together. Natura Just Cotton is appropriate for infant, children, adult, and home decor projects. Available in 60 colors.


Top This was a show favorite among our shoppers and DMC loyalist.  Elephants, giraffes, owls and monkeys are just some of the stuffed animals that live large on top of the finished knitted hat.  The continuous textures make it simple to knit and an ideal project experienced knitters can use to teach beginners because they never need to change yarn. FREE knitting hat pattern included with each ball. Just pick your favorite animal and knit.



On Saturday at 11:15am attendees come experience the DMC fashion show, getting a first view of the beautiful clothing and accessories created with DMC patterns and yarns.  Watching models wearing them live on the show runway was so exciting. I couldn't wait till the show was over so I could try some on and experience wearing the glamour that the models did.

With a rush to the booth after the show, the DMC crew worked hard to answer questions, assist customers and help with the products.  All the attendees were fabulous, such a pleasure meeting so many new people and preparing for new adventures.

Later that evening, a few of us attended the Saturday night gala.  One word to describe the gala, Incredible. From the speakers, to fellow gala goers, the food and the swag bags, everything was Incredible.  I left feeling inspired and re-charged, ready to begin creating something fabulous.

The whole weekend at the show was once again, Incredible.  Lots of excitement and inspiration. Good energy, synergy and new friends.  Incredible products, projects and patterns.  Leaving is always tough, always wishing for another day of the show to exist.  But alas, VK Live will be back in NYC next year and we will be waiting to go.

For more info on new products from the DMC line of yarns.  To shop for DMC products including the yarns, patterns, kits and handmade items visit: ShopDMC.com

xoxo
Lisa 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

VK Live 2015 Recap, Part 1!

I finally have a moment to share my experience at the VK Live Show held Jan.16-18, 2015 at the Marriot Marquis in NYC.  All I can say is what a show, everywhere you turned something was draped in yarn, glorious yarn.  Something so surreal about the texture and flow of yarn.

No show can start in NYC without some exterior sightseeing, it's apart of the journey to the show.  The city itself is a work of art, telling a story every minute. Then follow up the trip with some coffee, an early morning pastry perhaps from Zaro's and you are ready to go.

This year I worked the show with DMC Threads who launched their gorgeous yarns to the consumers at the show in booth 715.  Seriously yummy textures and softness from Natura Yarns and Woolly Yarns.  The colors are so gorgeous, natural and happy.  The use of these yarns are endless.  The quality of the yarns are incredible just like DMC's threads.


For those wondering the details of the yarns, DMC Woolly Natural Knitting Merino wool is wonderfully soft. Its unique quality comes from long, thin fibers that give superior softness to touch and a feeling of comfort when against the skin. Sourced from Australia, it is 100% natural and renewable.
Woolly yarn weight is "Light" size 3, making it ideal for all seasons. Fabrics knitted with Woolly have a fine even appearance with a nice drape and crisply defined stitches. Knitting with multiple strands produces a bulkier fabric. Using multiple colors creates interesting blends.  Available in 48 beautiful colors.
DMC Natura Just Cotton is a beautiful matte knitting and crochet yarn made with 100% combed cotton. Natura Just Cotton produces a soft-to-touch, drape-able fabric with good stitch definition. The weight is fine size 2.  The extensive range of colors is designed to blend together. Natura Just Cotton is appropriate for infant, children, adult, and home decor projects. Available in 60 colors.

In addition to Natura and Woolly, DMC Italian yarns were available. Inside the Neo Vintage Collection were Goa, Groovy, Janis, Mia and Sharon.  Metal Chic Collection included Tiara (Love this one), Marquise, Estella, and Belinda. 
If you roamed the outside floor you would have been lucky to experience the yarn tasting bars lined throughout.  At the DMC yarn bar you could experience knitting with some of the yarns and see what all the excitement was about.
Friday night ended with a burst of energy and excitement. Meeting fellow yarn enthusiasts was incredible. Re-organizing and prepping the booth for Saturday was amazing.  Exploring a bit after the show was inspiring and heading to Michael's Crafts for some prop supplies in NYC was so much fun. (Best Michael's Store I was ever in).
Tomorrow I will recap Saturday and Sunday's part of the show and share more new products from the DMC line of yarns.  To shop for DMC products including the yarns, patterns, kits and handmade items visit: ShopDMC.com

xoxo
Lisa 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Crafting With Lisa Kettell Designs

Valentine's Day is almost here, just a few weeks away. Inspiration is popping up all over the place and my creative mind is whirling with ideas to create some sweet romantic fun.


Over at ILoveToCreate, Jennifer Perkins created the most fabulous Chenille Valentine People using chenille stems and Carnival Cupie Doll Head embellishments from Lisa Kettell Designs.  These Chenille dolls are beyond fabulous, I just heart them. Jennifer Perkins rocks.

Julie Cottrell made the cutest set of Valentine Banners that I have ever seen. Julie used a variety of fun supplies including the Cherry Soda Pop Charlotte Doll head embellishments from Lisa Kettell Designs. These embellishments are some of my fave in the line.  I just love what Julie did with them in her banners.  Visit her instagram feed for more inspiration.
Over at Craftside, Stefanie Girard shares an Almost No-Sew Quilted Heart Decoration for Valentine's Day, I just love it. Even her display vignette filled with pink and red spine books from the Rockport/Quarry/Craftside family of books, the finished quilt and decor is fabulous.  I spy a Lisa Kettell Designs original doll: The Two Headed Charlotte, straight from the circus.

Over at Sparkling Scrapbooks, Deb Famularo is just bursting with inspiration. Everywhere I look is something fabulous, I just love visiting her blog. Her recent post is a project called Love 2 Party which she created a sparkling frame vignette for Valentines Day using Party Girl Heads from Lisa Kettell Designs. The project is on her blog.

Deb is a LK Designs team member and has contributed to many LK Designs projects and articles.  Her artwork is so inspiring and we just love what she does with the products.

Scroll through her blog and check out all the inspiration. Here is a peek at the Love 2 Party project. So sweet, so romantic, so elegant.                              
Stay tuned for more inspiring projects for Valentine's day and everyday.  Special thanks to all who have created with LK Designs products and their wonderful projects, inspiration and posts.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Lisa :-)


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Love 2 Party By Deb Famularo

Here is a fabulous project from Deb Famularo, a LK Designs Team Contributor.  Deb has created tons of fabulous creations using LK Design products.  For this project Deb used the "Party Girl" embellishments and the "Charlotte Party" sticks. I just love it!


Below is the list of materials that Deb used to create this fabulous piece which is perfect for Valentines Day or party event.

Materials List:

  • pink wood frame (Hobby Lobby)
  • various flowers including paper and ribbon roses
  • vintage cluster earrings and bracelet
  • pink lace trims
  • Prima Say It in Crystals angel wings
  • pearl adhesive border
  • rhinestone appliqué from A Gilded Life
  • three heart shaped vintage doilies
  • scrapbooking paper
  • Lisa Kettell Designs candy party girls 
  • Lisa Kettell Designs Charlotte party cupcake toppers

Visit Deb's blog for more fabulous ideas armenian-princess.blogspot.com 
To purchase your own LK Designs embellishments and products visit my Etsy Shoppe:

xoxo
Lisa

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recycled Halloween


Recycling items we already have or saving items from the trash can open up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to creating.

For years I have always loved old frames. They are just so timeless. Whenever I head to a thrift store or rummage sale I go right for the frames. There are always so many of them left over, I usually take the whole lot of them and get a great price as well.

Last Spring I received a lot of 12 big wood frames w/o the glass for $2.00. Then 2 days after the sale there was Spring clean up week in my town. As I was walking I found a bunch of discarded frames waiting to head to the dumpster, so I rescued them. Now I had a bunch of open frames waiting to turn into some kind of art and this Fall they did.

A few weeks ago I mounted the open frames onto the wall and decided to create a Halloween scene in each of them using black paper owl cutouts from the dollar store. There are about 18 in a pack, just attach some scotch tape to the back of each owl cutout and attach inside the frames to create a scene.

This whole project cost about a $1.00 for the cutouts and the free frames from cleanup week. You could do this for any theme, holiday or family silhouettes. Fast and easy project with an artsy, vintage feel. Recycling is a great way to preserve our past and to bring discarded items back to life again.

Happy Recycled Halloween!
xoxo
Lisa