Wednesday, 28 January 2009

scrappin' again...

While going through some photos on my laptop, I came across one taken in Dublin. I think it captures the fun that we experienced during our weekend there that I just had to create a layout for it.

Layout created using Scrapbook Flair software
Papers & Elements: freebies from
Photo: D.R. Jones (c) 2008

Sunday, 25 January 2009

the light box cometh

We now have a light box! thanks to my very kind, generous, gorgeous (can you spot the ego massaging going on here?) husband. I think he got fed up waiting for me to get on with the construction of it and decided to do it himself. Thanks Babe :-)

The making of it was pretty straightforward, following the instructions I've linked to in an earlier post. We managed to source all the materials from stuff we had kicking around the house (see, I knew my hoarding instincts would pay off in the end). The only thing we bought was a large sheet of white stiff paper to act as a sloping background to eliminate shadows. Unfortunately the paper wasn't stiff enough and so creased somewhat. But nevermind, that issue can be resolved at a later date.

Anyhoo, on to the testing out of the light box. My husband took photos using two different digital cameras with the light source in different positions, i.e. from the top, then coming in from either side. I've posted some sample shots below. As you can see, not all shadows were eliminated but the most interesting revelation was the difference in using 2 different cameras. My husband's camera [Panasonic DMC-FX12 with a Leica DC lens] produced very white, almost clinical shots showing lots of detail. Whereas my camera [Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6] came out with softer, sepia-toned images, giving a moodier feel. This was probably in some respect down to the exposure settings so will need to play around with that to get cleaner results. This could well explain why my earlier jewellery shots came out rather pink-tinged; I had put this down to a previous poorly designed lightbox and the use of a patterned background. I will re-shoot some jewellery in the new lightbox and experiment with the camera settings to see what, if any, improvements can be gained.

Another thing we are going to try is to make use of 2 light sources and try different lighting configurations, e.g. top and side or both sides etc. I think it will take a while to work out the optimum combination of lights, camera settings and angles.

Picture A using Konica Minolta camera:

Picture B using Panasonic camera:

photography copyright (c) Woodwose Carving 2009

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

knitting & jewellery alterations

I've actually been getting on quite well with my scarf. Since my last post I picked up the knitting needles, decided the scarf was too wide so ended up ripping it out and starting all over again casting on fewer stitches. So far I'm happy with how its turning out and should have it finished by the weekend - at least I hope so as its so blooming cold here at the minute that I need it!!!!

Have also (this morning when I should have been making packed lunches for school) altered a necklace I made a while back but was never really happy with it. Will post up a photo in due course - light box not quite constructed yet - but basically it had too many "dangles" on it which made it look rather cluttered. So I removed some of those to give the necklace better balance. I then decided that I could do with a pair of earrings to match, so I added a dangle on each one of a pair of ear wires and Ta-Dah!!! instant matching earrings. Was quite pleased with the result. Is this the beginning of the end of my creative block? We shall see...

Monday, 12 January 2009

creative block

Hmm, today sees me somewhat lacking in design ideas. It hasn't help trawling through other blogs and seeing the fantastic work that others are producing. There are just so many talented people out there that it makes me feel somewhat inadequate! I guess I need to do something a little different for a few days - I have a scarf sitting in my craft bag which I started before Christmas and have not picked up for about 3 weeks now. Maybe I'll get on with that for a while.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

how to make a light box

Looking back at my previous posts with the jewellery shots, it struck me that the light box I had made perhaps wasn't ideal for obtaining really good photos of the objects. Perhaps the light was in the wrong position or maybe the background paper was too pink as the shots have a lot of red in them. So I decided to see if I could find a better example of a homemade light box. I came across the following website: which has a lot of positive feedback so I'm going to give it a go and will report back in due course with some, hopefully, improved jewellery shots.

Friday, 9 January 2009

aqua necklace

This necklace is fashioned from aqua faux suede thong with pale blue organza ribbon knotted to it at even intervals. The dangles are individually hand strung glass beads in a variety of shades of blue. These have been secured to the thong in groups of three using jump rings. The necklace is secured with a toggle clasp. A nice lightweight necklace ideal for Spring and Summer. I also created a matching bracelet and earrings to complete the set.

red glass bead necklace

This necklace was designed some time ago using red seed beads and a variety of red glass beads and clear crystal beads. These were strung on 7-strand tigertail with a lobster clasp to secure. The drop is a large matt red glass bead fitted on a headpin (I cut off the head and created a loop - I don't believe in spending money on eye pins when it is so easy to create your own!) with 3 smaller matt red glass beads hanging off it.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

scrapbook collection

I don't want this blog to become overrun with scrapbook entries (as the whole point is for me to blog about a number of my craft interests), so I thought I'd post up a link to a website where I'm publishing all my digital scrapbooks. Check out: to see my 'collection'.

Scrapbook Flair is a great resource for free template and design downloads. There is also a free-to-install application for creating digital scrapbooks - well worth trying out before spending out hard-earned cash on commercially available software. I have used this software for the scrapbooks created to date and haven't encountered any problems with it.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

phone charms

Phone charms can be quite expensive to buy but are easy to make. Buy phone lariats in bulk (ebay is a good source of craft supplies). A pack of ten can be obtained for less than £2 = 20p per unit. For one phone charm you will need:
  • Mobile phone lariat
  • Jump ring
  • 3 head pins (use long ones to vary the length of dangles)
  • Selection of beads in variety of designs / colours to your requirements
  • Round nose pliers
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Wire cutters (to alter length of head pins)
Fit a jump ring to the barrel of the lariat - this is where the "dangles" are attached. Take a headpin and thread on some beads in the colours of your choice and close off with a loop. Repeat twice, altering the length of the remaining head pins to suit your requirements. Dangles look best when hung in odd numbers, so carefully fit the 3 on to the jump ring and there you go. One mobile phone charm for a fraction of the price that you pay in the shops!!!


These photos were taken at a Hatherley Park, Cheltenham last Sunday. It was a really cold and frosty day and while we were there it began to snow (very lightly). The boys decided this was their cue to make snowballs. They were pleased with their efforts even though there was only enough snow to make tiny small ones!

Design credits:
Photos - Emjay Designs
Layout - Scrapbook Flair
Theme - Sooze "Winter Fun" freebie download from

Monday, 5 January 2009

a walk up a hill

Some images taken on a (rare) sunny day during August 2008. We packed a rucksack with provisions and headed up Cleeve Common near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. A wonderful walk with amazing views and the chance to observe the local wildlife - well, some cows!!!
The layout used for this page is "Spontaneous Delight" from Shabby Princess. Photos by Emjay Designs.


I've been interested in scrapbooking for a couple of years now but have only just discovered digi-scrapbooking. This is my first layout using a free piece of software from Scrapbook Flair. I'm quite pleased with the results and I'm looking forward to experimenting some more.