That's what I feel I've been doing this week! I'm teaching quite a bit this month, both privately at home (including tomorrow!) and at college, so I've been sorting out the workshed after the pre-Christmas, making lots of last minute orders, rush. It definitely needed a good tidy, but I've also taken the opportunity to do a couple of jobs that I've wanted to do for a while, including putting together a new photography set up.
Not the most exciting photo I've ever shown you!
For the last few years I've been using a table top photo tent that I wrote about here. I've been wanting to change it for a while though as it's not big enough to take decent photos of long necklaces, and the backgrounds I've made for it get creased really easily. Putting up the new roller blinds in the window of the workshed gave me the idea of using one to take photos on, and I finally got it set up this week. It's not really anything fancy, I've just fixed the blind to the wall above the table, but it draps really well, it's not going to get creased (I hope!), I can roll it up out of the way when I need to and I love the texture of the material. I still need to perfect the lighting for it though as the lights I've been using seem a bit dark for it. I can turn up the exposure on my camera to compensate for that, but as I hold my camera rather than use a tripod so that I can get the angles I prefer turning up the exposure can result in some rather shaky photos!
The first piece of jewellery I took photos of using it was the pair of earrings above. They're my first pair of earrings for the Art Jewelry Elements Earrings Challenge - we're challenging you to create a pair of earrings a week during 2013, making sure that each pair includes art beads or art components. The challenge is broken down into 13 week sections, so you can just do part of the year if you wish. You can find the full details of the challenge here, and if you'd like to see how I made these earrings head over to the AJE blog for a step-by-step tutorial. And if you really like the earrings you can find them here!