Saturday, November 26, 2011

Serving it Up, Retro Style!

It's that time of year.  Potlucks, office parties, progressive dinners.  I've been on a retro casserole kick these days and can't wait to show up at the next shindig with something really cool!

Check out these beauties currently listed in my Etsy Shop:

My favorite is this Mid-Century Danish Modern gold leaf number by Fire King. The pattern looks a little bit like snowflakes or sunbursts. The tapered legs are especially stylish and classic Danish modern. Perfect for swedish meatballs sprinkled with a bit of green parsley.

This beauty from Glasbake has great style!  The base and lid are stunning copper with black handles.  The glass insert has a beautifully delicate pattern.  Perfect for mac-n-cheese with bread crumb topping.

I love this elegant California Pottery with fluted lid.  The soft tan goes with any decor and the brass trivet is simply beautiful.  Perfect for mashed potatoes or bread pudding.

I've featured this beauty before, but felt it was worth mentioning again.  I LOVE the creamcicle colors of orange and cream!  This is the perfect for your sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping.

This green glass divided dish isn't exacly a for casseroles, but I love the sophisticated look to serve up relishes, or perhaps after dinner mints.  The little etched glass starbursts add a touch of "Mad Men" style to your holiday table.

I hope you've enjoyed these vintage serving dishes as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you.  Whatever you choose to serve up your holiday cheer in, do it with retro style!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Goodbye Photoshop, Hello Picnik

If it's not one thing it's another!  My desktop computer finally died.  Fundage is a bit low right now, so a new computer is out of the question.  So, what to do about editing photos for my Etsy Vintage shop?  We have a family laptop, but it can't handle Photoshop.  After some research, it looked like Picnik would be a good deal. 

First of all, Picnik is free!  Second, I don't need to download anything onto the laptop, so the Hubby approves.  Third, Picnik does everything I need that Photoshop does like adjusting exposure, cropping and resizing images.
Vintage Fire King bowl photo shoot.
I like to use a white background for most of my items.  A roll of plain white paper and 4 shop lamps work just fine.  Natural light is supposed to be best for photographing, but after I get home from work and the kids are finally in bed, it is quite dark ouside.  100 watt equivalent daylight flourescent lights are the next best thing.

Original, un-edited photo.

The images start off a little dark.  I've tried endless combinations of settings on my camera, but auto-focus point and shoot with flash seems to give me the best results.  I like to add a prop to give the item a sense of scale.  These fake lemons from Michaels are the right color, size, and are always ready to go.

Basic Edit:  Sharpen

The next step is to upload your images into Picnik.  If you are using the free version, you can upload 5 images at a time.  The first thing I do is sharpen the image.  Under Basic Edit, select "Clarity" and move the slider to the right.  This tool will isolate the edges of objects and make it easier to apply contrast in the next step.

Basic Edit:  Exposure

Next, go the the Exposure tool.  You will need to play around with the sliders until the image looks good to you.  I like to lighten up overall, and then add some contrast.  The background doesn't always completely turn white, but some gradient shades of gray are a nice effect against some lighter objects.

Basic Edit:  Crop
You will need to crop the image to a square.  Thumbnails and listing view appear square on Etsy.  Gallery view is rectangular and will crop off the top and bottom portions of your image, so you want to leave some space accordingly.
Basic Edit:  Resize
According to Etsy, 1000 pixels is an optimum image size.  Use the resize tool to change your image to 1000 pixels square.
Now the photo is ready to list on Etsy!  Editing your images takes a little work and practice, but the results are definitely worth it!
Thanks to Picnik, I don't need to rush out and buy a new computer.  Maybe I'll spend the money on something fun a new range with an oven that works.  Oh the possibilities!