February Contest Winner

Whoooops. I posted this on insta and totally forgot to post it on the blog. I just started a new job so the new hours are something to get used to. The winner of February’s earrings was an instagram user and she picked out a lovely pair of studs. March’s giveaway is a $5 gift certificate!

Confused? Follow and comment on any and all posts made in the month to enter to win a monthly prize. Discounts, gift certificates, free shipping, stuff..!

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Studs For Days

I love these little studs. They’re just so charming! Tiny little bronze hearts are painted and resin coated, with stainless steel posts. I’ve got a few pairs I’m keeping to myself, and these ones are getting listed in the shop throughout the day. Mostly hearts, but there’s a few stars as well. Next time I get supplies I’m going to make some more shapes as well. I’m feeling geometrics like circles and triangles might be next…

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Which are your favourite?

Get your stud fix here.

Monthly Contests Start Now!

Who’s ready to win stuff!? I know I’m ready to start giving things away. Starting today, I’ll be holding monthly contests across all my social media platforms (blog, instagram, and facebook.) It could be for coupons, discount codes, or items.

This month will be…

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Your choice of any pair of earrings in my shop!

How to enter? It’s easy.

  1. Be following me.
  2. Comment on any post made by me that month.

That’s it! At the end of the month I’ll tally up all the comments, use a generator to pick a winner and make a post announcing who won.

Now for some rules to clear up anything:

Open internationally.
No giveaway/spam accounts.
I have the right to decide what counts as a comment (essentially, I don’t want comments consisting of ‘.’ or ‘follow for follow’. Heart and thumbs up emojis are totally valid though!)
Must be 18+ in cases where I need your address (like for this month).
Winners have 48 hours to get back to me with any info needed otherwise another winner will be picked.
If you comment on the blog, you only have to be following the blog. Same goes for facebook and instagram. But feel free to follow everything ;P.
Only one comment per post counts, but you can comment on any/all posts across all platforms for multiple entries.

I think that’s it, but I’ll announce if I remember something else or need to make clarifications/corrections.

Mixed Metals

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I love getting requests for custom pieces! That extra bit of outside inspiration leads to some of my most favourite pieces! A friend asked for mixed metal earrings and a matching necklace to go with. The necklace is reversible, having all the same colours but a different brush stroke pattern on the back more akin to what’s on the earrings.

This is off in the mail now, and I think I’ll need to make more similarly patterned pieces in different colours before I get my fix!

Cashmere Cowls and an Update

I know, I know. Who are you? Where did you go for months? I’m sorry. I’ll try to not let it happen again, haha. I’ve moved twice in the past few months, and am only now finally working on updating my online shop, though I have been crafting many goodies lately, I promise I’ll share them with you soon. I’ve been speaking to a few shops about wholesale and consignment and have had a few bites, so I’m also preparing for those. It’s been a pretty exciting time back in Canada!

I’ve been sewing non stop for the past few weeks and it feels so good. Combine that with hiking and discovering a new area, it’s been super exciting. Plus, getting to speak English everywhere, that’s something special that I’m still not all used to.

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Just look at this place! My new favourite hiking spot.

I’ve been hoarding these two pieces of fabric for quite some time and finally combined them into super soft, super stylish cowls. I made two of slightly different sizes, but personally this wider one is my favourite.

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100% wool outside, 100% cashmere inside.. It’s just so soft! I’m definitely going to need to go through my stash soon and make a few more of these. And maybe find some more cashmere because that’s all I had left. It was a dream to work with and feels oh so snug around the neck!

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Available here for purchase 🙂

Transparent Photo Pendants

I’ve had this idea in my head for ages and while most of the pieces I’m working on are curing upstairs, I couldn’t wait to share these almost finished pieces with you!

Transparent photo pendants

transparent photography pendant

These gorgeous pendants are made using my own photographs and are my first try at Little Windows resin. Let me tell you, I’ll never go back to Crystal Clear after this! It’s a fantastic resin that makes me sad about all the pieces I’ve wasted bad resin on. Oh well, live and learn…

transparent see through jewellery

These ones are totally transparent as you can see, though that means the image isn’t showing up very well over dark colours… I’m trying a few more ideas so that I’m not doomed to wear white every time I want to wear one :P. I’m itching to get the others finished but resin takes time and you cannot rush it! So tomorrow I’ll get to take a look, flip them over, and finish the other side. Fingers crossed everything works out or I’ll be back to the drawing board.

I’ll be sure to update with the finished pieces as soon as they happen!

Magical Rainbow Unicorn Jewellery

Tamed Raven colour shift jewellery preview

I just wanted to share a sneak peek of what I’ve been working on. These just need a bit of cleaning up and assembly, and they’ll be ready to find new homes. I can’t wait to see these all finished, in their colour shifting magical glory!!!

Tamed Raven colour shift jewellery preview

A Work in Progress: Product Photos

Oooooh, the bane of every seller’s existence: product photos. How to show off your product, look professional, and show your personality? What kind of background, what colour?

I figured it could be fun if we looked at all the horrible different photo styles I’ve gone through in the past 6 years, and explain my train of thought behind them.


Harness chain necklace by Tamed Raven

The first thing I ever sold on Etsy. A dainty harness necklace thrown over a wrinkly shirt on my dress form in my bedroom. The curtain and bookcase were cropped out in this picture, but in many they weren’t.


Skeletal arm warmers by Tamed Raven

I call this the “I’m a person who keeps too much stuff so the only clean clear spot to photograph is my floor”.


Tamed Raven Ribcage, handcuff and die necklace

…And then we hit the “Hold the necklace up against the wall with one hand and take the picture with the other” part of my creative process. This one held up next to a picture I took from a magazine.


Real shell pendant with swarovski crystals

Here things are starting to get better. I’m using the same mirrored platters that I used for craft fairs to display products, which helped with the light. Props also started being incorporated. It’s about this time that I started learning how to use a non point-and-shoot camera, and learned about natural light and exposure. These are still some of my favourite pictures because the shells went so well together. I haven’t yet found such a good prop to accompany my other pieces.


hand painted galaxy earrings by tamed raven

Here we’ve got to the point where my packaging is simplified, and my windowsills are dark green so they needed to be covered for shots.. It works, but it’s not my favourite, but when you’re virtually living from a suitcase you do what you can with small areas. I think I would rather not have the business cards in the photo, but once they’re on the cards I can’t be bothered to take them off…


Silver and green glittery earrings by TamedRaven

And here we are now. I’ve since purchased a macro lens which allows for some great closeup shots. For context, these are the same size as the ones above. I’ll probably stick with a white background (a few pieces of fresh printer paper usually), but on occasion you might see something different (like the blue and silver filigree necklace hung on my cutting board in a previous post.) I think I won’t go AS close as this for most shots, simply because it shows things you can’t even notice with the naked eye that to me are distracting. It’s such a pain to go back and blow off invisible pieces of dust before taking the pictures again…


Tamed Raven spoon pendant

My favourite tips for photographing jewellery:

  • Natural light is your friend. If you don’t have a flash setup/lightbox, get yourself near a window (or outside) during the day. Then make sure your shadow isn’t in the shot!
  • If the shadows are too harsh from your light source, diffuse it a bit with paper, tissue paper, kleenex. Tape it to your window if you have to. This also helps reduce reflections on shiny pieces (like the tiny little trees you can see in my pieces, thanks to my bedroom view.)
  • Learn to use what you’ve got. If you only have a small camera with a tendency to blur, find something to sit your camera on and set a timer so you’re not touching it when the picture goes off. If you’ve got an SLR/mirrorless/higher end camera, learn to use more than the auto function. You can blur out distracting backgrounds and make sure your whites look white, not grey, with a few changes to the settings.
  • If using props, use ones that fit your aesthetic. Seashells work with seashells, but they would have worked much less with that ribcage necklace up there. If you make a variety of things, maybe skip or simplify the props so things are consistent across the board.
  • The camera adds ten pounds… Of dust. Even if it doesn’t look like much in person, it’s amplified in photos. Same goes for smudges on your background and fingerprints.
  • Finally, don’t do too much processing. A filter on Instagram is fine, but if someone wants to buy something and they can’t tell what colour it really is (or see details that have been faded out) you’re gonna have a bad time.

What do you prefer when seeing a product? Do you want to see it on someone, in a box, or photoshopped to look like it’s in space? Let me know what you do, or what you like to see in the comments 🙂

A Gift With Meaning: Spoon Theory

 

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Today I wanted to share with you a lovely story I received from a client and now friend, Kristin. She had ordered one of my spoon pendants last year, and in her review she included the reason why she bought it.

First, I have to be honest. I bought this for a fellow “Spoonie” Sister. (You can look up Spoon Theory on the internet. It is a thought provoking article on people with chronic illnesses). This amazing friend bravely fights fibromyalgia every day. The purple color is for Fibromyalgia, the spoon is for being a Spoonie, and the gift was because she just finished a 5K run!!!

I had never heard of the Spoon Theory before, so I did a bit of looking into it. It’s a straightforward and easy to understand way of explaining what it’s like living with a chronic illness, thought up by Christine Miserandino of www.butyoudontlooksick.com. She explains (in my very simple paraphrasing) that you only have so many ‘spoons’ of energy a day when you’re sick, and everything you do uses one. Unlike healthy people, who have virtually unlimited spoons, people with different illnesses have to pick and choose their daily activities knowing they only have so much to work with, and don’t want to run out. Get dressed? That’s a spoon. Make yourself breakfast? There goes another. Maybe by this point you only have 5 or 10 left to make it through the day where you need to commute, work, run errands, etc.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow to think that this woman who received my spoon pendant, who lives with limited spoons of her own, completed a 5K! It is absolutely amazing. I never thought when I first started making these pieces that they could ever hold such a special meaning behind them. Since the first one, I have since made a piece for Kristin in her own syndrome’s support colour, and she recently told me she is interested in getting more for other Spoonie friends. I’m honoured to be building these pieces now knowing the stories behind them!

You can read the full explanation of the Spoon Theory through the link above. It’s very interesting and worth a read if you know anyone with any illnesses, especially the invisible ones we tend to forget about.