Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Etsy Featured Shop - Labelstone

While reading through the forums on Etsy, I came across a wonderful shop with such a huge variety of beautiful images that I couldn't help but keep looking through everything they have to offer. Of course, they graciously accepted my request for a blog interview, so today I am happy to share with you the interview with Labelstone!

Why did you start collective vintage ephemera?
Printer's ink is in the blood, having come from a family who owned a printing company from 1879 to 1990. My father's company did not print labels, but I always enjoyed going down to the plant to watch the printing presses in action. I saw my first crate label about 5 years ago and was awed by their sheer color, beauty, intensity, as well as the myriad of themes used. From there I started attending estate sales and auctions. My collection of cigarette cards is from an album I purchased at an auction in Richmond, Virginia.

Where do you find the images that you use?
Most of my images are from my personal collection of crate labels, cigar labels, cigarette labels, trading cards and other paper ephemera. Some of the images are in the public domain.

What inspired you to combine those images with coasters?
Really, I started out with the intention of making complimentary sets as I thought it would be rather neat for people to pass around the coasters and get a different image on each one. Good conversational pieces!

Do you prefer creating a set based on one image, or finding complimentary images?
If I have a set of different yet similar themed images, then I will use all four images to create one set. If I really like an image, yet have no good complimentary images to go along with it, then I prefer to have one image on all four coasters.

What is the process from finding an image to modifying it into a coaster?
I scan my images into an image/photo editing software. I have to decide if all the image is going to be used or just part of it. After cropping the portion I want, I set about improving the color, brightness, contrast, sharpness etc. After that, there are always artifacts that need to be removed - sometimes one pixel at a time. Rarely, I have to move some lettering to the left or right to improve the symmetry of the overall design. If I need to add a background and/or border, I do so. I find this portion of the process very relaxing!

How long does that generally take?
From 30 minutes to hours upon hours. If I really like the image, I will persevere. There have been plenty of times that I have just abandoned an image because I know it will not improve no matter what I do!

What is the story behind this set?
This set is from 4 vegetable can labels that I have, which date back from the late 1890's to the 1920's from the canning factory, Olney & Floyd. They used local produce as their goods, made their own cans and hand applied their own labels. The labels convey a sense of freshness and goodness, which is a good selling point for their product. Can and crate labels were used not only to identify the product, but advertise them as well. These labels are truly a work of art with intricate butterflies, beautiful flowers, ornate frames and interesting lettering.

What other hobbies/crafts do you enjoy?
I love to cook!

Do you have a day job? If so, what is it?
In my previous life I was a nurse and then returned to college to become an accountant. Unfortunately, ill health forced me to retire.

What about your surroundings inspires you?
I live in the country and love the woods, wildlife and peace.

You can find more of these gorgeous coasters at Labelstone's Etsy and Cafepress shops.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A preview of what's to come

I was inspired over the weekend to finally get off my butt and set up my website properly. I've had concepts in my head for a while now as to what I want it to look like, in particular the shop section. Seeing as I popped out of bed early on Saturday morning, I started fiddling around on the computer and several hours later, I had the start of my shop going.

Right now I'm getting into the stage of trying to place my photography into categories, which is easier said than done I think. However, I'm happy to present a preview of my site. I haven't set up the shopping cart properly yet, or finalized the banner that will go at the top, but here's an idea of what the finished result will look like.
Comments on the format are welcome as I'd like it to be something that is easily navigated and fun to use!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

They said YES!!

I've been on edge all week waiting to hear whether the offer we put in on our potential new house was accepted. Our realtor was getting a little x-eyed with all the counter offer back and forth that the sellers were doing, but we were staying firm and not budging on our offer. We hear back this morning that it's been agreed upon!! The escrow process is now to begin but I'm already dreaming of window treatments and art displays. =)


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A sneak preview

I've been really busy working on my new sock pattern in the last couple of weeks. The yarn designed by Carissa from The Cupcake Factory arrived on Monday and I'm busy knitting up samples right now. Meanwhile, my test knitters have been hard at work making sure everything adds up like it's supposed to.

The yarn is such a beautiful fit for the pattern and really embodies the fall colors that match the leafy lace design so perfectly. I can't help but give a sneak preview...but of course, no full pictures yet. I have to keep something a little secret! =)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Something pretty for house-hunting woes

As I mentioned a while back, the husband and I have been house hunting. We found a place we really like that would be perfect for us and we're currently in the phase where an offer was put in, a counter offer received, and we're countering their counter...and on it goes. Of course, having read a previous inspection report for the property, we're looking at a place that needs some repairs done. There's a ton of information being thrown at us right now and reading a 55 page document on plumbing and electrical circuitry is enough to make anybody cross-eyed.So, while my crafting has been put somewhat on the back burner during all of this, I was happy to find the time to create a little ACEO that makes me smile because it's bright and happy (and will look great in our new house...if we get it!) I took an image from a digital coloring book and went to work. After deciding upon the colors for each section and painting them, I then applied various filters to the piece as a whole, giving it the look of a small piece of stained glass. There's two staircases in our potential new home and I would love to line one with ACEO pieces. A miniature, but highly effective way to show off art!

Pheonix is available as a limited edition ACEO in my Etsy store.