Monday 23 October 2023

Moving Blanket Labels

 Two unrelated things happened this summer.

1. ‘im outdoors bought some big blankets for keeping his furniture safe when sending items to customers.  He now has a courier who can deliver the furniture for him, so it’s likely the blankets will spend some time with them too.

2. My next door neighbour June asked if I’d like to see how to free sew.  She used to do this for a living and was a well known artist, so of course I said yes.  I spent a lovely hour or so in her studio where she showed me how it works and let me have a go.  So much fun.

The special free sewing foot

Following on from my morning with June, I bought the sewing foot for my machine, but then did nothing more as I got busy and didn’t have a project in mind.

And this is where those two unrelated items suddenly come together.  ‘im outdoors had said something about marking his blankets so he would get them back from the courier.  And I’d been thinking about ways to do this.


And then suddenly he sold a chest of drawers and they needed to get to London by the end of the week!

So with no real prep and no time to practice I found myself having a go at free sewing.  It took a little time to get my machine set up.  I had to swap feet and cover the feed dog as mine aren’t retractable, then I had to have a practice and play with the tension etc.  



Then, running out of time, I just got on with it.  The design was drawn in pencil on an old sheet we didn’t need any more and I free stitched the logo and then the writing.  Then I stitched the whole thing to the blanket.

At the time I made two, but there were another 8 blankets to mark up, so I did those the following weekend.



They aren’t perfect.  But they don’t need to be.  They just need to show who’s blanket it is so that ‘im outdoors can get them back after a job.  And actually I quite like how they turned out.  

I’ve put everything away for now, but I definitely want to have another go when I’ve got time.  It's a really interesting look and quite fun to do, if you can get over trying to make it perfect.



Thursday 5 October 2023

Tips For Better Smartphone Photography For Your Business

This week I spent an evening at the British Library after work.

I had spotted a workshop on the Design Trusts newsletter about a smartphone photography workshop coming soon, and as I've been struggling to take photos of tiny beads I thought I would see if they could help.

The workshop was run by Sam Lane, who is the official photographer for St Pancras station.  In 2 hours she didn't have much time, but she managed to cover a lot!

She started off by talking through the settings on our phones.  While most people had an iPhone the settings on my Samsung were similar.  There were so many things I'd never even thought to try.  I wish I'd know I could take panorama photos when I was running the South Downs Way!

She then talked about what makes a good photo.  Light is key!  I already kinda knew this, but she reinforced the message plus talked about how to make the best use of it. Natural light is best, but sunlight can be too harsh, so make use of shade and don't face people into the sun!

And she talked round things like the rule of thirds and how you can bend them to work for you.

She also talked about how important planning your shot is.  I'd never really thought about it, although it makes sense.  She asked us to think about what story we're trying to tell and plan how the photo can do this.

Lastly she talked about editing and storing our photos.

Of course I took some beads with me to take photos of

It was a great class with lots of discussion and questions.  She had loads of example photos to show us which I loved.  They really got her points across.

It's given me loads to think about and ideas on what I can change to maybe create better photos of my beads.  I might not have a business just yet, but I'd love to create glass items that people might want to buy...

The thing that amused me most about this workshop was out of all the classes and workshops I've taken in the last couple of years, this was the one I took the least photos on!  But while I might not have photos, I do have lots of notes.  I hope you can see the improvement as I try things out.