Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Backgrounds: Black or White

I have been playing around with pictures recently and have had some of my images cut out from their backgrounds (see the post below for the results).  This then leads on to the next question which is the best background to place the images? Black or white?  White appears to be cleaner and crisper, but black seems to show off the silver better;

As you can see here, in isolation the white gets a little lost, but the black really stands out. Put together on a neutral background shows the difference a little better. So I asked my lovely facebook friends as a little survey, so far its an overwhelming 'black'. You can see the responses here

As was pointed out, for print purposes the black would be a non goer really as it is so ink heavy, but I also know that for line sheets etc white is preferred, but it really is true that black shows it up best. Or is that because its a masculine product? that came out in a lot of comments, the black looks better because its for men, so where does that leave us with stuff for women? My dilemma now is I am in the process of changing my website over, do I go black background or white? I see most are white and it is true that it is much easier on the eye, but there is no denying, black has more impact. So... what do you think? Black or white?
Would love to hear your comments!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Away from it all....

For Valentines and my birthday we have come away into the Dorset countryside with our lovely friends. To see how lovely they are, just have a look at this - isn't that the sweetest thing?

So, after the Christmas rush, you start work again and feel slightly 'depleted'. This break was suggested and I have to say it is proving the absolute perfect opportunity to blow the cobwebs, come up with new ideas, clarify plans and just relax and connect again. I feel like I'm in 7th heaven, the view from our room at the bottom I think shows you why!

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Sunday, 10 February 2013

To cut it or not (and who has the scissors)

I went and hired an accountant this year, I asked him whether I was on track for doing jewellery full time. His advice was to start outsourcing the time consuming stuff. Inwardly I laughed, as though I could afford that. He suggested the local University as a place to find people to help with stuff, however I didn't want anyone else touching my stuff (control freak here - I admit it).
So, I started following a course on jewellery design as a business and hey presto they said exactly the same thing. Now the one thing that sucks the life and time out of me is photo editing. There is a lot of talk of cut outs for jewellery,  I'm not convinced its really the image I want to project, however there was certainly a need for some things I do to have cut out images,  it's not that I can't do it, I can, it just takes me forever. So I took the advice of one of the other people on the course and signed up to an online outsourcing site. And this is the result. Oh my word I am so impressed. The work was done quickly and very reasonably priced, and now I've found it I will most definitely be using it again, and the guy who did my pictures.
Below you can see the difference in using cut outs and not.

And to show the immediate difference here is my Facebook timeline page before and after.

If anyone is interested in who I used
the site is
the guy I used was Razaur Rahman


Sunday, 3 February 2013

To Twitter or not to Twitter / Does Twitter HAVE to be so boring?

I joined twitter about 4 years ago. I have a jewellery business, I have a website and also sell on Etsy. Everyone told me that I needed to 'do social media' to succeed. I followed their advice, got me a facebook page and got me a twitter account.
I did as I was told and followed all the people I was told to follow, other sellers on etsy, people whose blogs I followed, other crafty types - I did it all. Any crafty type I went and looked to see who they were following and followed them as well, and slowly my followers grew, got about 700 followers. I tweeted about all the things I could think of that were to do with my craft and as etsy told me to,I always tweeted when I posted something new. Sometimes I was a bit canny and even tweeted when I was just renewing. I would try and start up conversations, try and engage and you know what? I hit a big fat wall of void. I hardly ever heard back from anyone. Yes sometimes I would get a retweet, but by and large it was the most depressingly boring thing I have ever done. People raved about twitter and I could not understand. All I had in my feed were tweets with new Etsy listings or adverts saying 'buy my crap'.

And then a wonderful thing happened. As I do blogging (I actually have about four blogs and write for another one), do facebook and twitter, I also trained as a journalist, I ended up being the person to start up the twitter account for the school I work at. Well of course you then have to start following a brand new breed of tweeter. Other schools, Universities, local newspapers, publishing houses, people of note. Hey presto twitter suddenly got interesting. Yes sure, some of the celebrities are promoting themselves, but not all, in fact what I see in the news feed now is just interesting facts, latest news, stuff that is actually worth reading. It is a totally different ball game. I am suddenly engaged, I love opening twitter up, I devour all the interesting stuff and retweet like an idiot because it is just so interesting. Of course the school I work at also has a lot of interesting things to say as well. So, if you recognise yourself in the top of this post, have a go and look around for some interesting people to follow, you can't go far wrong following your local paper, in fact just enter your local city in the search and see all the interesting accounts that come up. Newspapers and entrepreneurs are good as well. The more discerning and intelligent celebrities are worth having a stab at, although do get ready to unfollow them, some of them are right narcissistic idiots, but some are just lovely creatures. I deleted all the boring people from my own account ages ago, and was following about 20! That has changed now and I have started following all the same ones I follow for my works account. It's a much more pleasant experience. No idea whether it will do anything for my business, but it sure didn't do that much before anyway, so at least I'm enjoying it now.
Anyway, just thought I'd share.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad