Thursday, April 30, 2009

Willkommen bei Europe Artfire Guild!

Willkommen bei der „Europe ArtFire Guild“!

Was ist ArtFire?

Hierbei handelt es sich um einen Online-Marktplatz für handgemachte Produkte von Kunsthandwerkern aus der ganzen Welt, aber auch Künstlerbedarf von der handgearbeiteten Glasperle bis zu Draht, Stoff oder Faden.

Was ist eine Gilde oder Zunft, wie man das englische Wort gleichermaßen übersetzen kann?

Laut Wikipedia war eine Gilde im Mittelalter ein genossenschaftlicher Zusammenschluss von Kaufleuten einer Stadt oder einer Gruppe fahrender Händler zum Schutz und zur Förderung gemeinsamer Interessen. Eine Zunft war eine Handwerkergenossenschaft mit der gleichen Zielsetzung.

Jetzt fällt es auch leicht, den Namen Europe Artfire Guild zu deuten. Unter diesem Namen haben sich nämlich Kunsthandwerker aus Europa, die auf Artfire einen Shop haben, zusammengeschlossen, nicht nur um ihre Interessen gemeinsam zu vertreten wie zum Beispiel durch diesen Blog, sondern auch um die Welt darauf aufmerksam zu machen, dass Europa, was Kreativität, Professionalität und Vielfalt und auch die Lust am Handgemachten angeht, seinen Vorreitern wie vor allem den USA in nichts nachsteht.

Wie langweilig wäre diese Welt, wenn sie in den billigen Massenanfertigungen ersticken würde, jeder das gleiche trägt, am Fließband hergestellte Produkte den Alltag beherrschen, Produkte, die man leichten Herzens wegwirft, wenn man etwas anderes möchte, denn irgendwie sind sie ja austauschbar.

Ganz anders ist dagegen doch ein handgemachtes Stück, sei es ein Schmuck- oder ein Kleidungsstück, eine Tasche oder ein Kuscheltier. Ob man sich selber oder jemand anderen damit verwöhnen möchte, ist egal, immer steckt dieses Bisschen extra Liebe und der Stolz des Handwerkers in jedem Stück. Viele Produkte sind Unikate und selbst mehrfach Hergestelltes unterscheidet sich meistens doch ein wenig voneinander.

Sehen Sie sich doch einfach einmal in unseren Studios um, Sie sind uns jederzeit herzlich willkommen. Auch wenn Sie Fragen haben sollten, nur zu - denn Europa muss sich nicht verstecken!!

Cat von CatsWire

P.S. Für Interessenten, die sich etwas schwer mit der englischen Sprache tun, findet sich auf der rechten Seite im Blog jeweils ein Link für verschiedene Sprachen und die betreffenden Ansprechpartner, ausserdem ist dort der Link, der zur Liste unserer Studios nach Land und Produktkategorien führt.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Did You Know.....Tencel ?

As many people are becoming more ecologically aware, there has been an increase over the last few years of other natural fibres used for making yarn and textiles. One of these products is tencel.
Tencel is a cellulose fibre made from wood pulp. These special trees are grown in the U.S.A and are constantly being replanted. There are no toxic chemicals used in production so it is not only a natural fibre, it is environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
Tencel can be combined with other fibres to enhance their properties, or on its own, and is used in yarns and fabrics. These fabrics are used for clothing, bedding and upholstery. These fabrics are easy to handle, soft, durable and absorbent.

Known as an "eco textile" for it's environmentally friendly production, it has been awarded the "European Award for the Environment" by the European Union

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Item of the day: Dolphin lampwork necklace

This lampwork bead is made of blue glass in three shades. It's decorated with a silver dolphin and than encased in clear glass. The back of the bead is flat to rest nicely on your skin.

The focal hangs from a sterling silver ball chain. For more information click on the post titel.

Amber: the Jurassic Gem

Amber: the Jurassic gem


Dinosaurs have been more popular than ever since their starring role in the film Jurassic Park. A more surprising result of the film's popularity has been a worldwide surge in demand for amber jewellery. Millions of people learned from the film that amber, which is fossilised pine tree resin, is ancient and valuable, like an antique from history. While amber's use in adornment is probably as old as mankind itself, in recent times it has had a limited market. Of course, that was before everyone saw dinosaur DNA extracted from a mosquito trapped in amber in the film. Since the screening of Jurassic Park interest in the mineral amber has grown significantly. Demand is especially strong for amber with insects inside it. Unfortunately this has increased the quantity of fake amber coming on to the market. Some of these pieces have insect inclusions skillfully placed in the body of the matrix.

The British Natural History Museum recently discovered that a fly preserved in amber thought to be one of the oldest known examples of this particular species was in fact a fake and probably no more than 150 years old. (More of this fly later). Evidence of this nature, that even the best can be fooled should alert all collectors to the possibility of being misled or simply cheated.
"Amber is like a time capsule made and placed in the earth by nature herself," said David Federman, author of the Consumer Guide to Colored Gemstones. "It has helped paleontologists reconstruct life on earth in its primal phases. More than 1,000 extinct species of insects have been identified in amber."

Made by the sun


"Stone Age man imbued amber with supernatural properties and used it to wear and to worship," says Mr Federman. "Amber took on great value and significance to, among others, the Assyrians, Egyptians, Etruscans, Phoenicians and Greeks. It never completely went out of vogue since the Stone Age. Between 1895 and 1900, one million kilograms of Baltic amber were produced for jewelry."

There are many myths surrounding the origin of amber. Ovid wrote that when Phaethon, a son of Helios, the sun, convinced his father to allow him to drive the chariot of the sun through the heavens for a day, he erred too close to the earth, scorching it. To save the earth, Zeus struck Phaethon with a thunderbolt and he died, plunging out of the sky. His mother and sister turned into trees in their grief but still mourned him. Their tears, dried by the sun, are amber.

The Greeks called amber 'elektron', sun-made, perhaps because of this story, or perhaps because it becomes electrically charged when rubbed with a cloth and can attract small particles. Homer mentions amber jewellery - earrings and a necklace of amber beads - as a princely gift in the Odyssey.

Another ancient writer, Nicias, said that amber was the juice or essence of the setting sun congealed in the sea and cast up on the shore.

The Romans sent armies to conquer and control amber-producing areas. The Emperor Nero was a great connoisseur of amber. During his time, according to the Roman historian Pliny, the price of an amber figurine, no matter how small, exceeded the price of a healthy slave.

The ancient Germans burned amber as incense, so they called it 'bernstein', or 'burn stone'. Clear colourless amber was considered the best material for rosary beads in the Middle Ages on account of its smooth silky feel. Certain orders of knights controlled the trade, and unauthorised possession of raw amber was illegal in most of Europe by the year 1400.


What secrets might amber hold?

So could a mosquito trapped in amber really contain dinosaur DNA? Most amber just isn't old enough, having had some 25 to 50 million birthdays at the most. The dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The Jurassic period was 144 million years ago.

Determining Authenticity


If the British Museum can be fooled into purchasing a piece of fake amber how can we as non-specialist jewelry buyers be sure we are getting the real thing. A common fake is copal or ‘modern amber’. In some case copal, which is tree resin which has not yet fully fossilised to amber and may be anything up 3-4 million years old is described as true amber. Debate still rages in the UK about certain Kenyan deposits as to whether they should be called copal or amber and I have heard of similar arguments concerning deposits found in South America.
Here are ten simple do-it-yourself, do-at-home tests that you can do to determine if your piece is genuine or not as explained by Garry Platt. More sophisticated and complex tests are possible but they require access to laboratory equipment. These more complex tests include Refraction Index, Precise Specific Gravity and Melting Point.

When examining a specimen you should try at least 3 of the following methods detailed here. If the item in question fails any one of the tests, it could well mean the piece is not true amber.

(Test 1) HARDNESS.
Amber has hardness on Moh’s scale in the region of 2 - 3. Using appropriate scratch sticks it should be reasonably straightforward to test the sample under question.

(Test 2) HOT NEEDLE.
Heat a needlepoint in a flame until glowing red and then push the point into the sample for testing. With copal the needle melts the material quicker than amber and omits a light fragrant odour. Amber when tested does not melt as quickly as the copal and omits sooty fumes.

Copal will dissolve in acetone. This test can be done by dispensing the acetone from an eyedropper onto a clean surface of the test specimen. Place one drop on the surface of the test piece and allow to evaporate, then place a second drop on the same area. Copal will become tacky; amber will remain unaffected by contact with acetone.

(Test 4) UV
Copal under a short-wave UV light shows hardly any colour change. Amber fluoresces a pale shade of blue.

Rub the specimen vigorously on a soft cloth. True amber may omit a faint resinous fragrance but copal may actual begin to soften and the surface become sticky. Amber will also become heavily charged with static electricity and will easily pick up small pieces of loose paper.

(Test 6) TASTE
An antique trader who specialised in amber beads introduced this test to me. She explained that one of the most reliable tests she used was to taste the amber specimen after washing it in mild soapy water and then plain water. Whilst she could make no distinction between copal and amber, she could easily identify plastics and other common substitutes because of their unpleasant or chemical taste. Amber has hardly any taste at all. As a method for identification I have not seen this procedure recorded elsewhere. I can vouch for its effectiveness as a non-destructive method of differentiating between amber and certain other substances often misleadingly labelled amber.

(TEST 7) FLOTATION (Specific Gravity)
Mix 23gms of standard table salt with 200ml of luke warm water. Stir until completely dissolved. Amber should float in such a mixture and some copals together with various plastics sink.

Infrequently amber contains Flora or Fauna inclusions. Correctly identifying the trapped Insect or plant should be an excellent indicator of a piece’s authenticity. Most inclusions from ancient amber are of species that are now extinct or significantly changed. Frequently present in Baltic amber are tiny stellate hairs which are release by oak buds during their early growth and some time after,

Place the suspect piece of ‘amber’ between two sheets of polarising glass or plastic. (Kokin Filter Systems who sell lens accessories for cameras sell such products). Rotate one of the polarising lenses slowly through 360 degrees. In the body of the amber a display of rainbow colours should cycle through the transparent parts of the material. This is due to interference patterns being induced in the polarised light because of the internal strains and stresses within the amber itself. My general experience with this method is that genuine amber and copal always show these colour changes, where as some acrylics, polymers and certain plastic do not. Amber, which has been drilled and then later filled with a contemporary inclusion and resin also, reveals its self via the clear disruption of the colour display. Essentially; an amber piece which does not show interference patterns is unlikely to be true amber.

With a sharp knife try to shave off a tiny piece of the amber from an unobtrusive section. Real amber fractures and splinters. plastic and polymers actual cut and tiny shaved pieces can be removed without any splintering of the material.

In this article are a few pieces of genuine amber and non-genuine amber that you can find in our Arftire booths

Monday, April 27, 2009

Meet Mary V from True Colours

1. Please introduce us to who you are.

My name is Mary. My registered business name is 'True Colours’. My first love is to help people recognise their gifts and live life more fully. This interest came together with colour for me when I studied the Aura-Soma® Colour Care System® - which I also teach. The Aura-Soma® system has been aptly described as a ‘non-intrusive, self-selective soul development system’. In my picture, you can see some of the gorgeous dual-coloured, jewel-coloured Aura-Soma® Equilibrium bottles.

Working with this system helped me to recognise that I had an unsuspected gift of creativity which I eventually began to explore. Mainly self-taught, I learned the rudiments of silk painting, painted scarves for friends and facilitated workshops for others to have fun making their own scarves, then some years ago I began to hand-paint silk ties for men to bring their true colours into everyday wear; my label was, of course, ‘True Colours’.

My love of semi-precious stones and crystals ('solidified light'), which awoke about the same time I discovered Aura-Soma back in 1992, eventually brought me to jewellery-making, and in the past few years I have begun to concentrate on that aspect of working with colour.

At present I major in freshwater pearls and semi-precious stones; all are energetically cleared of residual trauma-memory, then enhanced with the energies for peace and harmony. I use sterling silver, 14k gold filled, vermeil and natural brass, and handknot my pearls on silk. I am especially fond of interlocking 'C-clasps' or 'ring-ring' clasps as in the pearl necklace below. I make my jewellery with much love and with a clear intention of enhancing the energies of the wearer.

I also make designer rosary beads in semi-precious stones chained with silver or natural brass. If people are going to pray and praise the Divine, why not do it as beautifully as they can?

2. Where in the world are you and what is the best thing about where you live?

I live in Dublin, Ireland. The best thing about where I live is having a view of, and access to, both sea and hills, so I can be deep in the countryside within ten minutes drive of my house, and yet I have access to the best bookshops and cultural facilities in the country. Having grown up just outside a small town where everyone knew everyone’s business, I also value the relative anonymity and privacy a city can offer!

3. Tell us a little about your craft and why you love it.

I love the visual aspect of the materials I use as well as the texture and cool, solid, smooth feel of pearls and natural semi-precious stones, they carry beautiful reflections of light and very pure colours. I am having colour therapy while I work! I had the same experience while painting on silk, that the pure colours were doing me so much good. I especially love to tune in to my clients and make something that really suits their energy. Having felt uncreative for so much of my life, the act of creation fills me with great joy.

Pearl knotting and rosary chaining are restful, meditative activities. Best of all is doing bespoke work, where clients select from a wide range of strands the stones or pearls that call to them the most; because clients select on that unconscious basis of ‘sympathetic resonance’, the stones or pearls when placed on their skin work so well with their subtle energies, it makes my hair stand on end and sends shivers down my body. And they look so right, so wonderful, the clients get tons of compliments.

4. What is the most expensive supply you have purchased for your craft?
A strand of good quality rhodochrosite large beads, the 16” strand cost a little under $200!

5. Could you please tell us about a person in your life that has inspired you?
My greatest inspiration to be myself and overcome my shyness is my husband, who helped me build my confidence and self-belief. He helped me to move, from being too shy to say anything at a meeting of colleagues, to the point where I am relaxed and confident addressing an audience of five hundred. Likewise, he has encouraged me in following my creative dreams...

6. If there was only 24 hours left before the world ended what would you be doing?
I would have gathered my family and loved ones and their loved ones around me, and would spend the time enjoying the company of people who felt so close to my heart, making sure that they knew how precious we were to each other. We would probably have a few wonderful home-cooked meals in the course of the day…

7. What is your favourite meal?
Well, this is hard. I love good quality food in great variety. As a child I loved my mother's cooking and baking, from homemade steak-and-kidney pie to her delicious light and fruity Christmas puddings. Today my family and I especially enjoy lamb cooked according to a recipe from the now departed Theodora Fitzgibbon, who mingled and modelled in artistic circles in Paris in her earlier life: leg of lamb cooked in white wine with tarragon. Succulent, moist, with a delicious sauce, and SO easy to prepare! We like it so much that my (now adult) children insist we have that for our Christmas lunch rather than the traditional turkey. Simply yummy, very more-ish!

Artfire shop
Etsy shop
True Colours blog
Flickr photos

Little bit o' wisdom

Bag with freehand embroidered text: "Joy is not in things! It is in us!" - detail of bag no. 222

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Item of the day

A handmade one of a kind poly felt brooch embellished with sequins and hand dyed wool. To jazz up any summer night.

Quote of the day

Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

So I hope all of you had a good volume to bind together with this Sunday ...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Item of the Day

All the colours of spring and growing green things!
A ceramic pendant with a double strand of kambamba jasper, czech glass and green mongo shell.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New on ArtFire: Green Grass

I was woken up this morning by the sound of the lawn being mowed for the first time this year. I love the smell of freshly mowed grass, don't you? It just screams Spring.

Take a look at these grass-colored lovelies I found on ArtFire. Each item is handmade in Europe.

Baby Cardigan 0-3 months - Loopylou

Amazonite Rosary - True Colors

Card Making Kit - Jackson

Lampwork Ring - Gwendoline

Item of the day

Flowery Spring Bag (no.227), perfect to bring on a stroll in the sun!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Item of the Day: Thursday

From the True Colours Artfire Studio:
Did you know that ametrine is a stone where amethyst and citrine occur together? And that citrine is formed when amethyst is subjected to additional pressure and heat?

Opulent chunky ametrine for drama, interspersed with classy vermeil spacer discs to bring out the sunny citrine tones; bracketed by a pair of 'tree of life' domed vermeil beads connecting to a vermeil long-and-short chain, with vermeil lobster claw clasp and extender chain ending in another wirewrapped 'tree of life' bead drop. Just the thing when you want to make a statement!
See more of my work at my True Colours studio.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I wish I could do that

One thing I've always wanted to do is create these incredibly detailed tiny fairy and mermaid dolls out of polymer clay.
The artists that make them take hours of concentration and skill to perfect them. But for a beginner wanting to start; a good place to visit would be Fairy Heaven run by Satsumamoon on Artfire.
Not only does she offer books and tutorials on these closely guarded secrets, but she has a whole range of supplies too. Here you will find alsorts of amazing things from the polymer clay itself to a full range of tiny doll eyes in a choice of 34 colours to these amazing real butterfly wings specially treated so that they can be wired and attatched to your little creation.

To use her own words...
Preparing the wings is a very delicate, painstaking and time consuming process, during which 5 out of 10 pairs dont survive :-( I have spent about 2 years trying out lots of different combinations of artist products suitable for stabilising and protecting the wings These prepared wings have been sitting out their test period for over a year now so you can be sure they will last you and wont go disintegrate and become tacky. Some of my other butterfly wing experiments have ! ************ You may like to know that either the butterflies' bodies or antennae were broken and so were rescued from going in the collectors trash and given a new lease of life!
Where else could you get such specialised tools and supplies? Well worth the visit.

Europe Trivia : Germany

Maybe you think you know a few things about my home country. Well, you may know that Germany has a population of roughly 82 million people, that there are 16 federal states, that Goethe and Einstein and many other celebrities were Germans, that Angela Merkel is our first female chancellor and that at the moment „we are pope“ like a German tabloid put on its front page in giant letters and even that we Germans do NOT run around in dirndls and lederhosen all the time, but did you also know these following facts (not in order of importance)?

Germany won the 1st prize in the Eurovision Song Contest only once in 1982 with „Ein bißchen Frieden“, sung by Nicole.

In 2008 Germany was in a shameful 3rd place behind the Czech Republic and Austria concerning the beer consuming per head with 108 litres.
There are about 1,200 breweries in Germany that produce over 5,000 brands of beer.

German inventions include the coffee filter (1908 by smart homemaker Melitta Bentz), Aspirin (1897 by chemist Felix Hoffmann), curry wurst (1949 by Herta Heuwer), tissues (actually I found out a prototype was invented in my home town of Goeppingen!) and of course the car (1886 by Carl Benz and not an American as Barack Obama claimed in a speech a while ago!).

The Stuttgart zoological and botanical garden „Wilhelma“ holds the world record for the biggest bloom of a titan arum at a height of 2.94 m or 9 ft. 6 in. in 2005.

Germany was the first European country to establish a system for health insurance for its workers, based on a law from 1883 constituted by the Bismarck government.

The world famous Oktoberfest in Munich exists since 1810 and has only been cancelled 24 times, mostly due to war or cholera. In the last years the Catholic priest Rainer Maria Schießler has worked as a beer tent waiter in his yearly vacation, the earnings go to different projects like an orphanage.

I admit it, I knew only some facts myself, but it was fun to collect them all and I hope you will have as much fun reading them.

Not trivial at all is that Germany and of course all of Europe has some very talented artists that are just waiting on ArtFire to show you their creations. So why not have a look?

Item of the Day: Wednesday

"Sparkling Breeze Earrings" - Elegant design made with Swarovski crystal and sterling silver. Very eye-catching and sparkling.

The lenght of the earrings is 0.9 inches (24 mm).

For more information click on the post title.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Crafty Tip: Cleaning Silver Jewellery

Many people ask me how to take care of their silver jewellery.

When you first purchase an item of silver jewellery, it has a beautiful shine, but in time silver tarnishes, turning a golden hue and then eventually, black. In time silver tarnishes from the interaction of silver and sulfides in the air. This is a natural process. Higher sulfide levels are associated with humidity and/or air pollution. Keep in mind that the more humid the climate, the faster sterling will tarnish.

So what is the best way to keep that silver shine? There are two main methods:

(1) Sterling silver will polish up by rubbing or buffing it with a soft cotton cloth. You can buy chemically treated cloths which work a little faster.

(2) Sterling silver dips are fast and easy. But, be careful to read the small print before putting any piece of silver in a dip. Many dips will take the color and polish off gemstones and pearls. Also, when using a dip, if you leave the piece in too long, or don't rinse it well enough with fresh water, white residues will be left on the piece when it dries. The residue is difficult to rub or pick off.

When using a silver dip, dip the piece quickly in and out of the dip. Then immediately rinse it in clean water. When the piece dries, buff it with a soft cotton cloth. The buffing brings out more of the shine, helps take off any residue left on the piece. A dip should only be used when a buffing with a dry cloth does not work.

The simplest way is usually the best way. Get a clean, soft cloth and polish your silver. It will be beautiful again!

Once you've used some elbow grease to obtain the perfect shine, you will want to keep it for as long as possible. Storing your silver carefully will help preserve that shine!

Use a jewellery box with many compartments for storing silver jewellery items separately. Each piece of silver jewellery should be kept in its own box or pouch. It should not be stored together, or with any other types of fine jewellery; gems scratch and damage silver jewelry. Silver chains should be laid flat or hung up, to avoid knotting and tangling.

While you are cleaning the house, it’s wise to take off all your silver items. Some cleaning chemicals, including ammonia and chlorine, may discolor, damage, or cause a film to form on your silver and dull its appearance. Also, when you go to bed or play sports, remove your jewellery to avoid kinking, scratching, and breaking.

Taking these steps will allow you to enjoy your jewellery year after year!

Item of the Day : Tuesday

Today's item is a bright bracelet from The Sheriff's Daughter.

Loaded with wonderful lampwork glass beads, this bracelet is perfect for the sunnier days that are just around the corner. The bracelet fastens with an adjustable silver toggle clasp.

For more information, click on the title.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Do you like animals?

Item of the Day -- 27 April 2009 -- Monday


Genuine Baltic Amber with Bali Silver Bracelet

This large bracelet is handcrafted using genuine Baltic Amber and Bali Silver beads from Bali Indonesia.

Anyone up for a little visit to Jurassic Park?

The link:


Item of the Day: Monday

I know many of you are pet lovers, and as a cat lover, I knew I had to make something for my little kittie. Having this cat motif fabric was the purrfect inspiration for the catnip pouches.

Each stuffed pouch has a bell inside and a smaller pouch filled with catnip. Both my kitten and our 'old lady' loved them. The lady over the road even came back for some more, her cat loved them so much.

You can find them by clicking on the title of this post .They are easily made to order.

Little bit of wisdom

Wisdom and fun in one embroidery! What more can one ask?
( Freehand embroidery that will probably be made into a handbag.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Item of the day

Genuine Baltic Amber with Bali Silver Bracelet

This large bracelet is handcrafted using genuine Baltic Amber and
Silver beads from Bali Indonesia.
Anyone for a little visit to Jurassic Park?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quote of the day

Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.

Robert Frost

To all Earthlings - have a wonderful Sunday full of love :-)

Inside Europe : it's Blue

Item of the day : Saturday

A cluster of berries - this pendant is crocheted from sterling silver wire with beads of hematite, tiger's eye, garnet and aventurine. Got appetite?

For more information click on the post title.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Item of the Day : Friday

Today's item of the day is this pretty Crumpled Silver Ring from AliBaliJewellery.

It is made with Precious Metal Clay which is created using tiny particles of recycled fine silver. When the ring is fired, the clay binder burns away leaving the fine silver to bind together to form 0.999 fine silver.

It is a great environmentally friendly and pretty choice!


New on ArtFire: April Showers

April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. We've been getting plenty of showers and flowers here in western Germany. It's so nice to see the colorful flowers and green grass after so many months of grey winter.

Here are some pretty handmade items I found on ArtFire that remind me of those showers and flowers. Click on any image to find out more about the item and its maker.

Felt Covered Buttons - iheartcrafts

Tea Tree Peppermint Eucalyptus Soap - Saffron Barr

Lily Saddlebag - Ella Osix

The Little One - Trinket Tree

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Item of the day : Thursday

This necklace is made with porcelain beads and silver colored jasseron chain. 
Doesn't it remind you of summer and Holland?
click on the title to find out more.

I wish i could do that

Tired of trashing photos because they don't cut it? Tired of re shooting again and again and still get crummy photos?
You can still use those not so perfect photos by tweaking them a little thus avoiding re shoots.
Every program has a layers tab and there is where you are going to perform some tricks.
i use Ps so the nomenclature will be theirs, but it is pretty similar in all programs.
Here's a quick and dirty mini tute:

  • Make a duplicate of the layer
  • Go to Image>Adjustments>Levels
  • Move the first slider on the right until you get the whites
  • Adjust the colors with the middle one
  • If need be increase the contrast with the last slider
  • When you get what you need click ok.
Now flatten the image. The overcast is gone! The white background is white!

If you need to fine tune the colors.

  • Duplicate layer
  • Go to Image>Adjustments>Curves
  • Adjust the RGB channel by clicking on the line and adding points. Move them until you get what you want.
  • Click ok then flatten the layers.
i usually treat each color separately on it's own layer one at a time merging after i finish each color and duplicating the resulting layer for the next color adjustment.Then i crop the image,and perhaps touch up a resilient shadow:)
You will be surprised how much you can improve your photos.
Now, out of focus is not so easy to improve it means re shoot sorry:) !

neki desu