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A whole lot of fused glass and then some …

The last of the Cremation Memory Pendants

A couple of years ago I used to have a website where I sold pet cremation pendants or memory pendants.
They were made from the same glass I use on all my jewelry but contained a very small portion of ashes or cremains.

I have to admit, the cremation pendants were not my idea. A colleague at work made me develop a pattern because she wanted something special for her cat that had just pasted. I believe she had looked around on the internet and found someone who fused ashes into glass and since she knew that I was fusing glass, she came to me with the request.
It took me more than four months to come up with a pattern that would reliably yield the same results pretty much every time (I would say about 95% of the time) and still display the ashes in a way that looked nice.

Then, about a year ago, I finally decided to shut down the website and stop selling the cremation pendants. The main reason was that I just couldn’t deal with asking  people for money anymore at a time when they had just suffered a great loss. It always felt so petty, greedy and entirely inappropriate.
The whole thing was just very stressy and emotionally draining.
For the past year I had still made some for friends and colleagues (basically people that I know and that I wouldn’t ask for money anyway) but it’s time now for me to altogether stop making cremation pendants. The emotional drain is still there and maybe even more than with animals I didn’t know and I realized that I am starting to really dread making them.
So these are the last of the cremation pendants. They are in memory of Ali’s “Sunshine”.


If you are looking for glass pet cremation pendants, here are two websites I found:

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Fused Glass, GlassFancy Jewelry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Product Photography Gone Wild

Today, I am having a bit of a lazy kind of day. I just can’t come up with enough energy to do anything productive and the same goes for anything fun or entertaining.
I’m just sitting here on the couch with my laptop and I’m fiddling around with this and that while watching my husband play Fallout 3.
So I was looking through all the “discarded” product photos I still have and was contemplating deleting them all. But since I am in a fiddling kind of mood, I grabbed one and started tweaking it with my graphics program.
I am not the type of person to read instruction manuals. I learn by pushing buttons and seeing what happens. So that is what I did with the photo and it’s actually quiet amazing what can be done with something you consider garbage when you change the intent and purpose of it. And it’s even more amazing how much fun it can be.

So here is the original photo that wasn’t good enough to use as a product photo.

On a side note:
You can see some of my make shift photo setup here. In the upper right corner you can see the diffuser panel I use between the light sources and the object. They are called acrylic light diffuser panels for fluorescent lights and you can buy them at Home Depot. I clamp them with two steel spring clamps (like this one) and I am then able to simply stand the panels up on the hand part of the clamps.
I take most of my product photos on mirrors. It enables you to quickly and without a fuss change the background color by simply standing up a colored foam board behind the scene (as you can see in the upper left corner of the photo). You can get these boards in many colors at stores like Michaels. Also, the mirror diffuses the light further and reduces the amount of light you have to shine on the object to begin with.
In this photo I placed a textured clear sheet of glass on top of the mirror. This trick creates neat relection effects without eliminating the merits of the mirror and if you take the photos from an extreme angle, it almost makes it look wet.

OK, now that I have gotten all side-tracked, let’s get back to what I actually wanted to show you.
So, here is the first adjustment I made, which is simply cropping the photo to something that looks nice with an interesting composition. In my opinion, it always helps if you include parts that are out of focus that either lead towards the object in focus or away from it. In my case here, I had to place the unfocused part of the photo into the foreground because the background is taken up by undesirable elements that I needed to get out of the picture. So I ended up with quiet the extreme composition but I think that only makes it more interesting.

Next, I started playing with some of the effects my program has to offer. First I turned everything except for the rainbow in the pendant and the rainbow reflection on the glass into a black and white photo. 

Then I applied some light burst effects to the chain and pendant. It looks like there is some kind of spell on it now =)

The next one has the weave effect applied. It’s not good to see the object very well but it does look rather funky.

And the last one is even more funky. This is the chrome effect of my program and it works really well on photos that have a lot of contrast to begin with.

There are many many more cool effect to play with but I would run out of available memory here.

I actually just wanted to show you the photos and now this has turned into some kind of how-to article.
Anyways, it’s just lots of fun to hit all the buttons and get entertained by the results. It might not sound like it, but it’s a form of learning.

December 18, 2009 Posted by | Fused Glass, GlassFancy Jewelry, Photography | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

New Fused Glass Donut Listings on Etsy and 1000 Markets

NOTE (Nov 2010):
Unfortunately, the 1000 Markets venue has sold out and any of the related links in this post do not work any longer!

I finished all the fused glass donuts that you saw in the last post and listed them with Etsy and 1000 Markets.
Here are some photos and links:

December 13, 2009 Posted by | Etsy, Fused Glass, GlassFancy Jewelry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A kiln full of color


There is lots of color in this kiln.
It’s going to fire over night and then these new donuts are going to be ready to have the sterling silver bails attached.
After that, all that is left to do is take some photos and list these new beauties on Etsy, Artfire and 1000 Markets.

Ali, if you read this, these are your three pendants at the bottom. Sunshine is almost back home with you =)

December 7, 2009 Posted by | Fused Glass, GlassFancy Jewelry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your cat’s dream house!

Have you ever seen a more content cat as the one in this photo?

I’m not a cat but my hunch is that Smelvin (not sure whether the name is correct) really likes this wonderful tree house.
Little does he know that Amelia is about to smack the crap out of him because she also very much enjoys the tree house, just in a very different way.

Well, how can you not?! It’s just absolutely awesome for your feline friends to either snooze, climb, hide, ambush or pounce and it also has a really nice decorative value to it. It doesn’t have this awkward look that says: I know I should put this ugly scratch post into the laundry room but I have to put it here so they don’t scratch the back of the couch instead.

So you should really take a peek at the different models of cat trees from PetTreeHouses on Etsy.

And if you don’t have a cat, no problem! Either adopt one from your local shelter or get a tree house for your bird instead. Or maybe just talk to Shelley and Joe from PetTreeHouses to make you a custom one that fits your need.

December 5, 2009 Posted by | Etsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My new high-tech toy

December is always the month of presents for me (woohooooo!! yeehaaaaa!!!! muuhahahahaa!!!) First comes my birthday and then Christmas of course.
This year, my BESTEST half really outdid himself.
I am writing this post on my brand new HP Pavilion dv7 laptop.
It is absolutely awesome, lightning fast and very powerful.
I took some photos of the laptop and worked them over on the laptop and it’s doing anything I ask of it faster than my desktop computer. (Looking at the photos I took, maybe I should send in my resume to HP, lol.) 
I am most impressed!!


December 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment