Thursday, July 31, 2008

In America ?

Our Adult Sunday School Class recently had an interesting (though a little depressing) subject: "Breaking the Chains" - about modern slavery. It exists in foreign, poor countries as you would expect but also here in America. However, it reminded me that jewelry can have its problem with slavery too. If not real slavery, as such, many of our beads are made in "sweatshops" and just generally poor conditions. The first clue, of course, is really cheap beads. Most often they come from India but not all beads from India are made in poor conditions. I've been trying, as best I can, to purchase my supplies from places that buy from places that do not support such poor conditions. I've contacted most of my suppliers to check where they get their products. To my surprise, one said that they had been meaning to check that out and appreciated my concern. They then proceeded to contact their supplier who was pleased to show off his good conditions. They found that while the conditions would not be great, compared to the US, they were treated well and payed a decent wage. (So, see one can do something!) In the scheme of things, it really doesn't add much to my costs if any.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lexie's choker

I've been mentioning Lexie's bracelets but need to remind you of the other pieces in our Lexie line. This is the choker. It is on a .019 inch silver coated wire with each of the five Swarovski pearls found in the original Lexie bracelet represented. It is 15 inches long with a 2 inch sterling extender. Most people seem to enjoy extenders because it allows them to wear the choker with different necklines. The larger focal pearl is in Mauve (purple) which represents Lexie. The other colors significance are: Rosaline (Pink) = Love; Blue = Cure; Gray = Courage and White = Hope. Lexie herself came up with these designations. She is an amazing girl and recently celebrated her 10th birthday. Check out the rest of Lexie's jewelry at A portion of the donation goes directly to Cancer Research.

Outside our window

How exciting is this! New camera that takes video and a blog that allows me to share it.

This is from our living room window. The large backhoe is right outside the window. Look at the curtains and then the cars that are going by to get some perspective. I'm too new to all of this to get a good video but you get the idea. Maybe better ones later.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Machines all over!

We are sort of getting used to the very large backhoe in our side yard. The hole is very large. Our town inspectors came yesterday and told our contractors that the hole was not deep enough. So, more digging. Apparently, our contractors are wondering if the large backhoe is too large. It almost takes up the whole hole. How do you maneuver when you almost take up the whole hole? They discussed bringing some smaller equipment. So, this morning when we were awakened by a truck with two small machines, we thought they were doing what they planned. NO! The town decided to repave the street in front of our house.

Our contractor was excited since they then would not be responsible for hiring a Police Detail for the street. However, the machines all over the place!!!

So far, the very large backhoe is still here moving a large load of sand dumped in the hole this morning, around in the hole. (Maybe making the hole smaller so he can get out?) Then, to my grandson's delight they moved in an orange "tunnel". He was supposed to be getting dressed but just had to stay and look out the window at the "tunnel" Our contractors are being amused while they work.

We still plan on going to NH for Balloon Weekend on Thursday. So, we will probably miss some of the fun here. My daughter and her family will leave on Friday. So, hope for no rain or wind in NH this weekend. We can see first hand the tornado damage in the area. My niece and sister-in-law were just 1 1/2 miles away from the tornado but all are safe.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Jewelry Photography

Well, I know this is not a good picture of Lexie’s bracelet. However, I’m posting it to make a point. Taking pictures of jewelry is not easy to say the least. The jewelry pieces are apt to be shiny, small and if you want to isolate the pieces on a (really) white background so the piece seems to have no background - forget it! Well, not really forget it but it is very hard. That is especially if you want a true picture of your piece. See you can get a white background, if you don’t really care if the picture looks like what the piece really looks like.
I’ve learned most of my picture taking information from the Internet, my husband and my son-in-law. Somehow, the latter two have given me some help but apparently they don’t know exactly how to get a white background either. They have helped me to understand ISO, depth of field and shutter speed. Good things to know for a person who is usually just a point and shoot picture taker. Well, my Internet exploring has lead me to one conclusion, even professional photographers don’t know or will admit that taking a picture of jewelry with a white background is very hard.
I found a series of videos on the Internet by Michael Seto, a professional photographer in New York City who explains how to take photographs of jewelry. Thanks Michael. Now I just need t make a “set up” as he suggests and take more pictures. I’m still working on finding the equipment I need to work with. (See, it isn’t easy! Especially for a point and shoot photographer)
As I progress, I’ll share more pictures. Assuming I get good ones.