Friday, November 4, 2016

My Etsy Studio

Okay, first off, I often dream of having the perfect studio: white walls, tall windows with great natural light, lots of room to store all my items and pack them up when purchased,,,,,

However, that's not what I have, not even close. So: you gotta make do with what you have, and this is what I have:
Now, it's a cozy little room and I'm lucky to have it. Once upon a time it was the children's playroom. Later, it became a "hang out" room for teens. But, unless we need another bed for visitors, now it's all mine!  

Actually this is an upgrade from the "studio" I used to have when the children lived at home, which was simply a stairwell with white walls (to read about that, go here).

Off to the right of my studio is a bathroom, which is super handy, especially for cleaning items before photographing them.  I have a desk with a computer and printer, and an old table that serves as my "photography studio":
To tell you the truth, I don't know a lot about lighting, but did the best I could, using cheap clip-on work lights from the hardware store and bulbs that had been recommended to simulate, as much as possible, natural light (6500K Daylight GE energy smart compact fluorescent bulbs, 26 watt--100 watt replacement or equivalent bulbs). 

(Natural light, oh natural light: I only dream of you!)
On the walls above my photography table are magazine clippings for "staging" inspiration:
I have two pieces of white matte poster board on which to put my items. And when there's too much glare from the lights above, I put this white screen over them to keep out the glare:
It's actually part of one of those folding "light box" kits you can get on Amazon or eBay, but the lights that came with it didn't really work well for me, so eventually I took it apart and just use this folding nylon screen.

I keep a box handy with potential props:
And close by I have stacks of old books and bread boards, which are particularly helpful when photographing white items.

(By the way, this note for other vintage or Etsy sellers: I run ALL of my photos through Pic Monkey before posting; if that still doesn't get the look I'm after, I run them through Foto Fuze.)

Also in this room are packing materials--brown paper, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, plastic grocery bags, etc.--which I keep in a chest of drawers as well as big old baskets:
My scale is here, too, along with a measuring tape, ruler, and Scotch tape:

and my cards to include when something is purchased (I always add a "Thank you" and personal note in my own handwriting):
Bubble mailers are stashed under my desk, and poly mailers in some drawers. 

There's a door in my studio that leads out into the garage, and my unruly stash of boxes, which my husband is very patient about (well, usually):
Finally, there are also shelves in my studio where I store some of the items I'm going to photograph and list in my shop:
Of course, since the "hunt" is part of the fun in being a vintage seller, there are lots of other items, too (probably enough to keep me listing for another lifetime), which I keep in a separate shed out behind our house--a building that is definitely "Off Limits" to everyone except me. 
But that's a story and a tour for another day!

Kris McLaughlin sells vintage on her her website and in her her Etsy shop. She's a writer, photographer, and grandmother of 5 who lives with her husband in the beautiful hills of New Hampshire.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Browsing Brimfield


Our first trip to Brimfield can be summed up in just that one word.
We went the last day, Sunday, September 11. I'd heard comments online that great bargains were to be had the last day. I was hoping that was true....

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Brimfield Bound!

Looks like it's finally happening, and I'm getting excited.

Even though I used to be an antiques writer and I've been an Etsy seller now for several years, I've never been to the Antiques and Collectibles Capital of the U.S.: Brimfield!
Since 1959, Brimfield, Massachusetts has been the site for three annual gatherings of antiques and vintage dealers--thousands of them--who come from all over the U.S. to display and sell their wares: 6 consecutive days (Tuesday through Sunday) in May, July, and September.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Farmhouse Decor: White, White, Wondrous White!

Before getting onto Instagram, I had no idea how widespread the White on White Farmhouse decor had become. If you're on IG, just put "farmhouse" into the search bar and see the incredible numbers of sites, plus their followers--pretty amazing, right?

You can find the same thing on Pinterest. Although the Farmhouse crowd can get much more interactive and chatty on IG.

Being an Etsy seller who wants to keep up with the trends (my home is rustic Country, which still has its thousands of followers, but not to the extent of the current Farmhouse rage), I started tracking some of these sites and their devotees and checking out how they liked to decorate their homes. Here are some examples:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Etsy Changes: New Shop Look, New Seller Websites

Changes abound on Etsy today.

Well, they were rolled out a few days ago and most of the sellers are still reeling from the shock of  so much newness confronting them all at once: new shop looks and now "Pattern," a previously un-announced "stand-alone" website being offered, for a monthly fee, to sync in with each seller's Etsy shop. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Vintage Hats and Etsy

This week some of my vintage hats were featured in "50 Gorgeous Vintage Hats" in a fun blog
called "We Heart Vintage," written by Mary, who--according to her bio--is "a mum, web designer and vintage-addict from a small village in the UK":

You really should take a look at the amazing array of hats featured here--such a wide variety of colors and styles, really interesting!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Celebrating Three Years on Etsy

Three years ago this month I took the plunge and put my first items up on Etsy.

Actually I joined in December 2010, but it took me months to figure out what was going on. If you want to read how it all started, you can check out my first post titled "What's Etsy?"

Which was followed by my second post, titled "First Listing," and then "Filling Up My Shop Little by Little."

In April 2011 I finally made my first sale, a Beacon Hill Staffordshire dinner plate:

which I recount in a post titled "Life So Far on Etsy." Today I wouldn't take a photograph for my shop like that, because I now prefer to shoot against a white background--for a lot of reasons, one of them being a consistent "look" among the listings and another the fact of being more often picked up in treasuries, which hopefully gives the seller more exposure to a wider buying audience.  These things you pick up and learn as you go along. Not every Etsy seller agrees with photographing against a white background, but I've become a die-hard about this.