Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Welcome to the Studio!

Today is my day manning the store and studio today, so I figured I would take a moment to introduce (drum roll please)…… our studio!

This was originally just a typical store back room but we recently renovated it. Now it is a fully functioning glass and metals studio where Michael and I work on our own projects as well as teach classes.

It also can be turned into a mini-kitchen of sorts because we host parties quite frequently here and need a place to assemble platters of food and such.

On top of that it also serves as the general back room for the store and gallery.

So there is a lot going on back here! When we were working on plans for the studio I was adamant on really thinking through the organization for the space. With so many things going on I was just picturing a disaster waiting to happen as far as clutter goes.  We needed to make sure it was very easy to CLEAN the space up.

Here is how we chose to organize in this space. It is working wonders for us. Obviously a studio/kitchen/backroom is a fairly unique room, but these organizational techniques would work well in any room: a standard kitchen, a bedroom, bathroom, etc.


I love bins. It gives you the ability to thoughtlessly toss things where they go and everything gets tucked away and out of sight. Bins make cleaning up go much faster. We also went through and meticulously labeled exactly what is to go in which bin. This makes it fool proof and very difficult to let get cluttered.


This keeps the countertops as clear as possible and makes great use of otherwise unusable space.


Everything has an exact place to go. Really refine exactly what belongs in each drawer. As with the labels on the bins it makes it pretty hard to mess up and avoid confusing clutter.


We always make sure we have MORE than enough stocked in our cleaning supplies drawer. This makes certain we will never run out. Also, having the cleaning supplies right in the same room as where messes are happening makes cleaning that much more convenient. When things are easily accessible you are much more likely to use them!


These adorable little votive holders just came in. I keep admiring them on the counter here.

 They are hand painted pottery. We have carried them previously but this new batch is just so vibrant I cannot get over it!)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Awesome Lighting

The new lights came today, Horray!

Michael had been anxiously awaiting their arrival and was really nervous that neither of us would be home when the UPS man came because we both had busy days. The packages required a signature and he did not want to wait any longer than we needed to. That is always the most frustrating thing in the world when you keep missing the UPS man and do not get that package you really want. We all know how it is…

Luckily, we were both home when they came, and now we have some really awesome professional lighting.

I thought this picture was priceless. Michael looks like a kid on Christmas morning.

It took a bit of fiddling with, and many more test photos of thumb pianos, but we got the hang of it.

Shooting during the day was giving a few unwanted shadows, so we waited until it was pitch dark outside and shut off every single light in the house besides the photo lights (I tripped in the dark, no surprise there) and that seemed to solve the problem. Shooting in the living room is obviously not ideal. Eventually we will move the set up to the studio at the store because that just makes more sense. We are just testing things out at this point.

I say “we,” but the photography is really Michael’s forte. I more moral support.

 You’ll have to wait until the webstore goes live to check out the photos, but take my word for it, they look really nice.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Playing with a Green Screen

We have been hard at work getting our new webstore,, up and running. We have a brick and mortar store that represents over 125 artists and artisans and decided that it was time to add an online store into the mix! It will be up and running soon but in the meantime...

By far the hardest thing is taking the product photography. You would think it would be as simple as point and shoot, but we tried that and were not thrilled with the results. So obviously, we needed to turn our living room in to this monstrosity:

Just kidding, we propped the green screen up to play with the computer program and put ourselves in all sorts of exotic locations for fun.


 I will say this much, I did not realize how easy these things are to use and how great the quality is. We still have yet to figure out a set up that is not quite so massive and intrusive on the living room, but the green screen does make a much nicer quality of photo with the proper studio lighting.

And a final product...
Big mishap with the green screen: Photographing clear class dishes… I won't even post the images but trust me, the edges were awful and we had a good laugh.

 No worries. We figured out a primitive but oddly almost flawless fix for this issue. Tah Dah!
Not perfect, but we are getting there. We ordered some new lights that will be arriving soon, so we can play with those next!

and eventually this webstore will go live...