Experimentation has occurred…

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I have finally had a chance to sit down and play with those lovely buttons that I took delivery of last week.  Alas I discovered that my wire work is a little rusty so some of the products I was planning to trial will have to wait a while longer.  I did though come up with some potential products that I am quite happy with and which I think variations of will probably make it onto my Etsy shop in the not too distant future.

I made the rather lovely button bracelets above – the top one I tried out different spacing on to see what effect I liked the most so the variation on gaps is intentional!  Both of these designs will certainly be making their way onto my shop.  After the success of my Christmas tags amongst my family and friends, I decided to try out some ideas for Valentine’s Day and made some tags.  Am not completely sure about all of the designs – I will definitely be making some to sell though.  Last but not least, I had a go at making double button earrings.  I used up an old pair of buttons with writing on to make them (something I wouldn’t do if selling them) and was really pleased with the end result.  Now I need a good stock of base buttons in order to make these to sell….oh dear….more button shopping!

 

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Artistic Interpretation: Red

Red heart in dirty window

After my original idea for this week didn’t work out (the post box I was planning to use was for some inexplicable reason wearing a dead hare that day), I cast my eye around my home for inspiration.  It was a good chance to play around with some close up shots and I ended up with a few photos I was quite pleased with. The photo above was the one I selected as my winner and here are my two runner ups.

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So now for this week we are back to the people photography…and a head shot. Not really knowing any people in our new area, my victim…I mean model..will be my husband.  It will be odd taking a photo of a photographer!

New ideas and products

A few posts back I shared my rather fantastic drawing ‘skills’ with you and wrote about how I was spending time planning some expansion to my current range of products.  Well my planning led to shopping which led to this lovely lot arriving through the post.

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Some new buttons also somehow made it into my shopping…this seems to happen quite regularly!  Am quite looking forward to making some lovely earrings with these beautiful heart buttons in time for Valentine’s Day and some bright happy jewellery with the stripy buttons.  Keep an eye open at my Etsy shop for some new arrivals in the next week!

 

Snow Break

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Since we moved to the north of England and the time of year moved into winter we have been eager for it to snow.  Living down in the south we used to watch the weather forecasts for snow in the north with envy…now it was our turn to be under the snow icon…or so we thought.  Our move timed with the near constant rain that has hit Cumbria since the beginning of November last year.  Finally though the snow arrived last weekend.

Taking the advice of my mum on one of my previous posts (see comment here), I took a break from making products for Mr B’s Button Jamboree and went out to play in the snow.  This part of the country is such a beautiful place in any weather conditions and the snow just made it even more stunning.  Not sure the local sheep were enjoying it as much as we were though!

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Dogwood Week 2

 

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Traditional Landscape

Here is my photograph for week 2: traditional landscape.  The weather had been against us here in ‘sunny’ Cumbria in terms of landscape shots.  There was a break in the rain so we ventured out to see what we could come up with in less than ideal conditions.  Found this shot on the edge of Miltonrigg Woods just up the road from where I live.  I love this shot more and more every time I see it.

The theme for this week is Red.  There are a few ideas pottering around in my head…nothing as yet decided on though.  I think I have a good idea germinating, just decided how to carry it out and what part of my photography skills I want to focus on developing this week.  Check back later to see what I end up with!

Feeling a little discouraged…

Now the initial excitement/nervous energy has worn off, I must confess to feeling slightly downhearted about things.  Logical me knows that building up a customer base and getting orders takes time and hard work.  Illogical, anxious, doubting me though is finding it hard work at the moment.  All the social media time spent going ‘hey look at my amazing products’ is not in my comfort zone at all and the fact that so far my orders are still below the number 10 has allowed the negative me to have a slight wallow in the miserable mud.

I am determined to shake this off though and soon!  The hard work will continue and in time I am sure that I will reap the rewards….okay I am not feeling sure of anything at the moment…trying to keep the positive hat at least near my head if not actually on it.  I have been spending time drawing up plans for how I want social media to work for me and planning some expansions to my range.  Going to start working on these soon – fingers crossed they ignite both my happiness and sales!

Showing off my 'amazing' drawing skills. Good job my business isn't selling my artwork...

Showing off my ‘amazing’ drawing skills. Good job my business isn’t selling my artwork…

52 Week Dogwood Challenge

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Over recent years I have found myself exploring my artistic side more and more.  It has always been there yet I think I pushed it aside thinking that it was not something for someone like me, I was supposed to have a sensible career where I achieved many great things.  Seems so silly to me now looking back on it.  Struggles with illness, anxiety and depression lead me to explore who I was and to find things to occupy my overworked little mind.  I started trying out many things of a creative and artistic nature and this is where Mr B’s Button Jamboree came from as well as new found hobbies such as knitting and sewing.  Photography had always been something I had enjoyed doing, though it was mostly point and shot photography of quite a typical nature.  Over the last few years though I have been developing more of a sense of the style and type of photography I really enjoy doing as well as making tentative steps away from the automatic settings on my camera!  Here is a small selection of some of the many thousand that I took on our travels…

 

Phillip aka Colobus Yeti (check out his blog!) bought the 52 Week Dogwood Challenge to my attention.  It is designed to challenge and develop photography skills both technical and creative.  Despite my misgivings over the fact that about one third of the weeks focus on people photography – an area I really am not keen on, give me inanimate objects any day of the year – I have decided to go for it.  Developing my photography was on my list I drew up in the New Year mentioned in my post on 7th Jan and so this seems such a thing to help drive me on to do so.  Is quite tough putting my photographs out there for people to see, hopefully the experience will help me to develop as a person too.  So here goes…my entry for week 1 in the 52 week challenge was…

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