Friday, May 24, 2013

Fashion Friday Is Taking a Break

...and so am I. My mom will be having hip surgery in two weeks. She is 90 and a pistol! She still cuts her 3/4 acre yard with a push mow and bone on bone pain. She wants to cut it pain free! And I have to be by her side during her recovery and therapy. My pup and I will be headed to Louisiana soon.

With all I have to do, I can't continue Fashion Friday for a bit... I'm not sure how many beady things I will have to say without my torch or on going sales to motivate my thoughts.

In the meantime, I'm around for a bit if you have some beady needs... the last shipping day is on June 2.

I will have limited internet access there but I do hope to get a few posts you don't forget me. Things should get back to normal mid July is all goes well with Mom. Prayers for her quick recovery are greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two Posts in One Day! What's up with THAT?

Sorry for the double post yesterday but some hack seller on Facebook was STEALING photos of work from actual artists and trying to get sales off their photos! I don't know if this was a scam to get money and never actually make the product or just a lack of imagination on her part but...either way, IT'S WRONG! I won't go into more detail here but you can see more on the website of one of the artist's hit by this image stealer!

Hence the article on watermarking....

 This will be listed on my glass bead site soon.. HAD to have a photo...

And in other news.... I hit 400 fans Monday! WHOOOO HOOO. In the interest of not posting twice today, the Fan Page flash sale will begin this afternoon.... Stay tuned!  And... My etsy sale is already on... again, details on the fan page!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tutorial: Creating Watermarks

Someone pointed out that my other tuts for marking your photos are really signatures, not a true watermark. So I thought I would write another tut!

This is the photo we're going to be watermarking. It already has a signature

Tools Palette: The tools we'll be using are: (not in order)Move Tool,  Eraser, the Type Tool, Colors Palette.  The tools palette appears along the left edge of your screen.

Type your text: Chose the capital T on the tools palette (left side of screen) and click onto your photo. Type your text.If you want a color, highlight and click on the colors palette... the box on top. This allows you to choose from a palette.
Move the Text: Click the Move Tool (upper left of Tools palette). Make sure your text layer is active in your layers palette (lower right), click over the text on your photo and drag it where you want it to appear.

NOW, here's where you have to make some choices!

  • What size should it be?  
  • Do you want your watermark to be solid or transparent, so your item shows through? If you sell on eBay, your listings can get pulled for doing this... BE AWARE! 
  • What direction do you want / need your text to appear?
  • Do you want it on top or behind your item? 
Size: Size should be proportional with your image. That being said, there are several ways to change it.
  • Select a clean large font and font size before you type OR
  • After you type, make sure your text layer is active in your layers palette and click CTRL and the letter T  (Edit Menu / Free Transform).  Click and drag. Drag top / bottom to make it taller. Drag either side for wider. Drag corners both! TIP: Hold your shift key while dragging on the corner to keep it proportional!

Solid vs. Transparent: Solid makes a statement but again some selling venues are disallowing this... the thought being that the buyer could say they didn't see the WHOLE item because it was covered.  But if you want solid, you are done!

For Transparent Watermarks: Make sure you have your type selected in your layers palette (horizontal arrow). Just above your layers, you should see the word "opacity" and  "100%"  further to the right (DOWN arrow below). Click the arrow by the 100% and slide it back to a lower number... Here, mine is on 25%... See how the type is allowing the background of the bead to show?

Text Direction: Let's say you need your text to be vertical. You can make text appear many ways in Photoshop bu let's not get too complicated here.  For vertical, again, make sure your text layer is active in your layers palette and click CTRL and the letter T  (Edit Menu / Free Transform).

A box appears around your text and you can turn it, using your move tool, to face another direction. You can invert it by dragging one end across the other! Once you are happy, hit enter. Use that move to to place it exactly where you want it.

Vertical Text: If you prefer actual vertical text, make sure your text layer is active in the layers palette, and from the menus choose Layers / Type / Vertical:

 And this is what you get:
In Front / Behind: All examples above place the watermark in front of the image.

Open the photo you want to watermark. In the layers palette (lower right), drag the layer over the new layer (paper) symbol to create a new background.

Alternate method: Layer Menu / New / New layer from Background.

Hide the top layer. Back to the layers palette / lower right.  Just turn OFF the eye ball next to the top layer by clicking on it.

Type your text and use the Layers palette to drag the text between the two photos:

 Take the eraser from the tools palette and erase the edges to reveal part of your logo:
 The downside is... the whole logo doesn't show... but this is one way to make photo thieves lives REALLY difficult... Spread your logo around! Simply drag the text layer to the duplicate layer icon (paper) and make a bunch of copies! Use your move to tool to line them up:

Now, that will take a bit of time to remove! You can even take the transform tool we used and make some of the layers smaller...see the tiny one on the lower right above???

This is a pain to do every time but... you can SAVE YOUR TEXT LAYERS! Just delete the image layers and keep all the text.  Create a group for all the layers by clicking on the file folder at the bottom of the layers palette. Drag every text layer into that group.

From the photoshop file with the saved text. Make sure the group layer is selected in the layers palette. From the top menus, select Edit / Copy Merged.

Now, open another image you want to watermark. Paste the text. Mine is a bit big and messy:

But I hit CTRL  and the letter T for the transform box and size it down and hit enter:

Now, it's still too opaque and on top of my bead.

I hit the opacity slider in the layers palette. This one is 21%. And I make a copy of the background layer and put this new layer on top. Use the eraser to erase the edges of the top layer. (TIP: You can also use the Magic Wand Tool to select and remove the background.)

By saving your test file as a PSD (not as a jpeg...this flattens and creates a background, making your text invisible!) you can save yourself lots of time. If your products have several different shapes as mine do, you may need to create 3 or 4 of these in the beginning but a little set up can save loads of time later!

Final image:

I write tutorials on a variety of subjects from beading to web marketing. As a struggling artist, I appreciate your support to keep these tutorials going!
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Price Reduction and Other News

Well, I hate to say this but it had to be done...I've lowered all my glass bead prices in my glass bead shop. It HAD to be done. After seeing an artist I love, respect and admire selling her big beautiful baubles for what I consider to be pennies on the dollar, I had to ask myself, "If I were a jewelry designer, would I pay my prices when I could get those for less?" The answer is a resounding no.

So I spent yesterday reducing. Some money is better than none, right? I have not hit Etsy (and may not...Etsy is such a joke in my book!), but if you see something you like, send me a convo...


TWO BIG  pieces of news:
  1. I will not be shipping for up to six weeks this summer! If you see something you like... please, buy now!
  2. My fan page is thisclose to 400 fans...if you are one...check in for a flash sale THIS week!
  3. I put out a newsletter with more details on all of the above!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fashion Friday - The Gilded Lily

Whew! Fashion Friday is back! This fashion layout was inspired by the gorgeous peyote necklace featuring a glass bead lily by Sheila of Stone Designs by Shelia Davis . Shelia makes some gorgeous beads too. Be sure to check out her links!

Have a lovely weekend my pretties... I'm hoping to torch! Don't forget to check in over at Glass Beads Daily... so many amazing beads to love!

Friday, May 10, 2013

New Beads | No Fashion

I'm taking Fashion Friday off. I took a nasty fall in my own front yard this past week and have been drained from the pain! I've been losing all my momentum by 1 in the afternoon. I'm so bruised up... just black and blue from tatas to knees! So painful!

I have an interview at a new community center to teach come fall. My one remaining college has cut my classes back so, it's time for some fresh blood. Wish me luck.... I'm taking cookie bouquets, kumihimo and fused glass projects.

When I realized yesterday that I still hadn't chosen a piece of jewelry for Fashion Friday, still had two blog posts to work on (Glass Beads DAILY and I'm doing a photo essay on CreekHiker all month long!) and still had to make cookies for that interview...sigh... I opted out of this one! So sorry!

But I did want to say, I've managed to post a few new listings in my glass bead shop. And I have more scheduled for the weekend. So stop on by and take a l@@k!

I can't seem to stop making the bead above.... I'm so mesmerized by the colors!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mind of Her Own

I've participated in the making of many glass beads that I swear have a mind of their own! I wanted to make a ghost once...she drooped into a heart every time I reached for orange transparent! And so...I cased her pink and she became one of the largest most dramatic hearts ever!

Such was the case with the 1st base for the Wardena bead! Before adding cremains, I ALWAYS check the base bead: Is it the right size, shape, is there enough glass (volume control)? And how's the bead release behaving? Can it handle all the layers it's about to receive?

The first base bead that I was hoping would be a Memorial bead had some tell-tale cracks in the release and I simply didn't want to risk it with cremains! So I strated grabbing for stringers. See??? It pays NOT to clean off your desk every year day!

I really LOVE this bead!

The way the Opal Yellow blushed...

The moody flowers

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Memorial Bead - Wardena

I was recently asked to make a Memorial Bead for a dog named Wardena. She has such an amazing story! I always find knowing some things about the animal or person I make Memorial Beads for is really helpful in the bead design. Wardena was a pure breed Canaan and was born in Iraq. This is what her human dad had to say about his girl:
A friend found her, as a puppy, getting shade in the wheel well of a nearby tank. He brought her inside for food and water and before long, she was sleeping in a box at the foot of his cot. She essentially became the mascot of his unit. In fact, that's how she got her name --  _________ was a captain and his troops called him "Warden" because he was strict. So.. they just tacked on an "a" for his little sidekick.

Eventually, he wanted to get her out of there to a loving home.. so we worked with a rescue mission in Jordan to bring her to the states. Before she was cleared to leave, she was quarantined in an empty lion cage at the Baghdad zoo. Then flew to Jordan, Paris, Los Angeles and Phoenix before landing here. Picking her up at O'Hare was one of the best days.

It's funny -- she didn't bark for the first 2 weeks that we had her. That would soon change. Perhaps it was the stresses of being born into war.. but she was one heck of a guard dog. Constantly watching the neighborhood thru the front window.

She loved people, but loathed other critters and chased them at every opportunity. She amassed quite a trophy case of squirrels, mice, birds, rabbits and even a few skunks. Since she's been gone, moles have already wrought havoc on the backyard.

Later in life, however, Wardena really settled into her role as a sweet little lover. Above all, she loved cuddling, loved her certain blankets and pillows to be set up just the way she liked. The only time she would ever give kisses was first thing in the morning, right when [we] would wake her up.. she would stretch her legs and lick our faces. I miss that so much.

I just couldn't imagine this sweet pup being quarantined in a lion cage at the Bagdad Zoo! How scared she must have been and yet, she clearly hit the jackpot - finding people who loved her so and took her so many places!

The Wardena Bead:
For the bead, Wardena's folks wanted a large soft yellow base and visible cremains. Green and blue accents since she loved being outside and a touch of dichro. As I prepared Wardena's cremains, I was amazed that they were the darkest I've ever seen.... I wonder if that is a white dog trait?

I had one false start - never good when making Memorial beads! I got the long skinny bead made and was preparing to add cremains when I realized the bead release was about to get fussy with me! I grabbed some colorful stringer and made one of the most interesting beads!! (I'll show you that one tomorrow!) I was so glad I did because it was spinning on the mandrel by the time I was done! NO WAY it could have handled cremains and all that encasing!

The second bead just flowed. I got the long, thin base made and added Wardena's cremains and quickly cased with dichro. And she blasted right through all that pretty glass!  This is the 2nd time I've had that happen. I feel like the personality is just determined to show. As I worked and cased them, they added most lovely shading to the opal yellow looked like sand! Finally, they seemed to be happy and I added another strip of the dichro!  I always have a few extra pieces ready, just in case now!

Wardena's cremains were also worked into the grass / leaf stringer and the top layer of flower stringer.  They just glisten in the light!

I finished the bead and made a few spacers just to clear my head. It's always a bit emotionally draining making these large Memorial Beads.... and I glanced over at Wardena's photos and back at her stringers sitting in a cup. Something told me to make a heart with her glass.

I've never felt this before and her pawrents hadn't asked for one but I did it anyway! Luckily it was well received! I just had the feeling that Wardena wanted someone to have a little extra love from her.

It's always such an honor to work on these beads and get to know the people and animals and help them along on their final journey together. They are truly the most rewarding beads I make!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fashion Friday - Let Me Call You Sweetheart

This layout was inspired by the gorgeous glass bead necklace, Victorian Garden, by Bastille Bleu Lampwork. Bastille Bleu is having a tax relief sale this week on Facebook.  There is more info on the sale on the  Bastille Bleu Blog.