Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Take Better Photos: The Ott Lite Difference

So I just got an Ott Lite lamp... and let me tell you - WOW! The difference this light makes in my Etsy pictures is unbelievable. It totally blows me away. I am a completely amateur photographer, and haven't a single clue what I am doing. However, I can tell you that this light has made all the difference in the world and makes me look more than amateur. I know that natural light is the way to go, and I could have set-up shop outside to take my pictures... but, no thank you. I mean, there a many reasons why I would rather use an Ott Lite than go outside. For one, I'd rather not hang out getting a nasty farmer's tan shooting multiple angles on various surfaces in this Texas heat; there are times I spend a significant amount of time taking pictures. And for two, I don't have the patience to constantly set-up and take-down my backgrounds and props, especially when I already have an area in my studio specifically designed for taking photos. Besides, the weather is finicky and unreliable - especially in Texas. So, the Ott Lite investment: well worth it. If you don't believe me, see for yourself.

Ummm, yeah. The first picture is the before - otherwise known as: Pre-Ott Lite, or pre-historic. Pretty shabby, huh?

The glorious second picture is the after - otherwise known as: Dr. John Ott rocks my face off. I wonder if he is on Facebook? I would totally friend him.

I use such vividly colored beads in my jewelry with so many different finishes, and before using the Ott Lite, I constantly found that these characteristics were never properly showcased in my pictures. These features were dulled and hidden by incandescent lighting, regardless of whether or not I used the correct White Balance. What was worse, is that even when I Photoshopped the pictures to look "better" they just looked washed-out. Using the Ott Lite, however, I can now actually portray my brightly colored, shiny, iridescent, and transparent beads! It is so wonderful!

So, I don't know if this does it for you or not, but it definitely did it for me. And, if it does, you may be wondering, "Where exactly do I get myself one of these glorious Ott Lites?" What a great question! I got mine at Micheal's (the craft store). Just so you are not alarmed when you see them, they are pretty pricey. But, never fear, my dear! Just go purchase yourself something cute and little (aka, cheap), upon which you will receive a "50% Off Any One Regularly Priced Item" coupon for the following week and can then go back that following Sunday to purchase your new best friend at half the price.

So, in summary - The Ott Lite: If it doesn't turn you on, it will at least be the light of your life.

I hope this helps! As always, check out the ever-changing stock of photos and jewelry at LOVELiNSY!

Have a great day!
Love, Linsy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Handmade Tutorial: How to Make Earring Display Cards

Nothing makes a pair of handmade earrings more personable than a handmade earring display card to hold and display them. Sure you can put your earrings in a small jewelry box with cotton batting - but that just feels so "department store" and so much less special. Why not add the extra touch of a handmade accessory for your accessory? Follow the instructions below to see how easy it is to add that special flare to a pair of handmade earrings.

*The earrings shown in this image are The John Payne and are some of my personal favorites. As always, you can find my collection online at http://LOVELiNSY.etsy.com.

1. Cut two pieces of cardstock to the appropriate size - here I have cut the larger of the two pieces (black) to 2.5" x 3.75" and the smaller of the two pieces (white) to 2.25" x 3.5". I find using two pieces makes the finished product much more sturdy than a single sheet of cardstock. Here I have used the classic combination of black and white, but you may choose any color of the rainbow. Further, I choose to cut them to slightly different sizes and let one act as a border; you may choose to cut them to the same size, however.

2. Once cut, take your top piece and stamp a design using a rubber stamp and a pigment ink pad - check for "Embossing is optional" on the back to make sure the ink can be embossed. Before the ink dries, sprinkle your embossing powder over the stamp design and gently shake the excess powder onto a clean sheet of paper that you can later use to funnel the powder back into the container (same as you would glitter). Here, I have used Stampabilities Pigment Ink in Bright Pink and Stampendous Stamp-N-Stuff Embossing Powder in Translucent White Pearl.
Using your embossing tool, emboss the design until it becomes 3-D and has a soft, puffy look. (Below, the picture on the right shows the progression of the ink as it becomes embossed. Towards the rear, the ink that appears shiny and has a glare has been fully embossed, while that in the front which is darker and grainier has not been fully embossed.) I use the Marvy Embossing Heat Tool (Model 2500). Be careful with the embossing tool, however - they get EXTREMELY HOT and can burn your skin and cause burn marks on the paper if left in the same area for too long. To avoid such burn marks on your paper, do NOT concentrate on one area at a time and instead move the embossing tool around in a circular motion. To avoid burning yourself, never touch the head of the tool and never lave the tool on unattended.

3. Glue the embossed top piece (white) to the bottom piece (black) using a glue stick.

4. Using a pushpin, mark four holes. In my examples I have marked holes in the following manner: The first set of holes is marked in the upper corners at 5/16" in (from the edge and the top) of the largest piece of cardstock. The second set of holes is marked 3/4" from the sides and 5/8" from the top of the largest piece of cardstock. The first set of holes will be used as a guide for eyelets; the second set of holes will be left alone and is where the earring posts will hang. When making multiple earring display cards, I suggest marking a "guide card" with the holes and subsequently using it as a template for the rest; thereafter stacking other cards below the "guide card" and using its holes to quickly and efficiently mark those of the remaining cards below it.

5. Next you will put eyelets in the top holes of the card. Using the pin-holes from the top-most (first) set of holes as a marker, use an eyelet tool (or a hammer and punch) to make small holes for eyelets. Position your eyelets in the hole (flat side up) and use your eyelet tool (or anvil and hammer) to secure the eyelet in place.

6. Thread through the eyelet holes a nice piece of ribbon (shown in this example is a piece of thin satin ribbon) and tie a bow or square knot.
7. With your pushpin, make sure the lower (second) set of holes is punched all the way through by punching from both sides. You will not need to do anything else to these holes, as this is where the earring posts will hang from.

8. Finally, sign your name at the bottom and hang your earrings from your card!

I hope this helps spark your creativity so you can start making your very own handmade earring cards!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Citizen Kane Collection is here!

Finally! I have posted the first of my new collection: The Citizen Kane Collection. Named for the classic and highly-influential movie that was ahead of its time in using unconventional film-making techniques, this collection features my version of what an artist can do with a playful eye. The necklaces in this collection are what the fashion world refer to as "bib necklaces" - a name I can only assume stems from its baby-sized counterpart. In this collection I am making hand-sewn flowers from re-purposed (and pre-washed!) shirts - adding a touch of eco-friendliness to their already fantastic appeal! I have a true love/hate relationship with these necklaces - I LOVE what they look like when they are done, but the labor involved in putting these things together is quite intense. I hope with time I will get faster at making these necklaces so I can post even more...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Designs Coming Soon!!

So I have been working on some new, SUPER FUN designs for my shop! I am WAY excited about these new creations. Keeping (as always) with my favorite chunky style, I am incorporating textiles to make a completely different necklace line! I am working on a bib-style necklace with hand-sewn fabric flowers that will sit above chest-height and hang by an adjustable sterling silver chain. I think these heavier chunky necklaces will be a perfect fall accessory and cannot wait to reveal them in my shop! Each necklace takes at least a day to make - most take two days - and have done a number on my fingers with all the hand-sewing. But, complaints aside, I think they are "sew" worth it. :) Anyways, stay tuned to LOVELiNSY.etsy.com to see the reveal! I hope to put them up later this week!

Love, Linsy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Elizabeth Taylor

I just posted a new necklace - named The Elizabeth Taylor. I just love this necklace! As soon as I finished laying out the stones for it, I stepped back, took a look and was instantly reminded of classic 80's aerobic wear! The vibrant colors just screamed high side-pony with layered multi-color headbands, bright folded socks, a workout top with funky neon geometric shapes, and hot pink "wind shorts." You know you see it too! As crazy 80's as that image may be, however, you know it's wild, fun and makes you want to party all night long! Just the look I was going for with this necklace - super spunky, wild, and fun! You may not sport they high pony or the folded socks, but who says you cannot sport those classicly fun 80's colors? Besides, they have started to reappear. And for the total package, you could complete your look with the matching earrings!

But if 80's colors just are not your thing, no worries - I have plenty other necklace and earring options in my store! As always, check it out at:


Have a fab day!! And don't think you are alone when you feel like listening to Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical" all the sudden.

Love, Linsy

My first blog!


So I am making a blog to go along with my fun and chunky jewelry designs so I can keep you up-to-date on all the latest in my store! Which, by the way, can be found on Etsy at: lovelinsy.etsy.com.

I have always had a passion for wearing things that, dare I say, stand out... so when I got my first supply of beads, I began making myself a necklace that would do just that for me. And upon wearing it, found that everyone else liked it as well. My funky chunky necklace was a hit! So I decided to make more and share them with the world! So, if you too like to stand out, or wear fun and animated jewelry that will get people's heads turning - or perhaps know someone who does - then check out my stuff!!

And, for updates on what's going on in my store, keep up-to-date with my blog!


Love, Linsy