Hello and welcome to All things card and paper at Evelyn Mae. A place where I get to wax lyrical about all things to do with card making. From stitching to glitter, to history to whims of fashion ...

Thank you for visiting

Shelly X

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Interview ... a little more about me

Recently I was interviewed for http://libroediting.com/

For those of you that have been following my blog, I thought you might like to hear a little more about me and my business ....

You can check it out here ....

Let me know your thoughts

Shelly X

Friday, 8 February 2013


Today's post is about Pinterest and how I use it ... 

For those of you who have never used it before, it is like a virtual pin board.  Imagine that you put pinboards around your office, and every time you saw something interesting on the internet, you printed it out, and pinned it to the relevant board.  

That is what Pinterest is, but online.  Your boards are stored on the internet, rather than physically in your workspace.

You can fit many many more boards online than you ever could in your workspace, and it is easy to fill them up from the websites that you visit or from other peoples boards on Pinterest. 

Pinterest can be used in two ways ....

Firstly, you can follow other peoples boards ... When you see someone board that interests you, you can follow it so you will see all their new pins when you visit the site.  This is a handy tool for when you find fantastic boards, and when you want to keep up to date automatically with others peoples inspiration.

Secondly, and this is how I personally use it, is that you don't follow any boards, and you just re-pin images that you see to your own boards.  I prefer this, as I use Pinterest directly for inspiration for my work, and I like to control what I see when I visit Pinterest.  I do however search Pinterest  when I fancy looking for new ideas and themes, but when I log in I only see my pins.  I find that this works well for me.

In terms of my business, and how I use it for networking and promoting my colleagues over at the The Penguin Network and the great support team of businesses that are behind the Network - I re-pin their work onto my boards - I therefore see their creations in my inspiration, and I share their work too.  It means when people see my pins, their work is also seen.  

If you fancy visiting my Pinterest to see how it all looks, you can visit here:

I think for those who are in a creative industry it is especially helpful, just be warned  you may lose hours, as once you start looking ... time flies!!

For those already on Pinterest, there is a link below that you might want to click ... it takes you to a button which people are pressing to vote to allow boards to be merged ... After spending an hour the other night moving images from one board to another, I think its a worth while thing to ask the Pinterest Bods to provide!!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Photographs - revisited

Well, after yesterdays stresses with taking poor photos, I set to it this morning, cup of tea in hand, fuelled with poached eggs on toast ...

I moved the frame, adjusted the camera settings, wedged the daylight lamp under a box to get a jaunty angle, and this is the result. ...

Although it is not perfect, I certainly think that its a huge improvement.

This is how it looks with the close ups ready to go out online ...

The lovely Carly, who is a blogging buddie of mine and who runs the beautifully looking Crafted by Carly, suggested a book, as did fellow #irasb er Marie, who runs Marie Louise Hall Photography so its a fab recommendation especially as shes a photographer!! .. Marie says that its packed with tips on using a lighting tent.  Perhaps one for me to look at once I am more happy with my own set up, and my homemade lighting area!  

You can find it here ....

On the whole, its been a great experience in not getting a great snap first time, its really got some great dialogue going with buddies on what works for them, and has made me realise that I MUST take more time on presenting my work.  Not dissimilar to what I used to get on my school report!!!

Thanks for stopping by,
chat soon X

Sunday, 3 February 2013


Technology has not been my friend this week - not only does my printer not like dealing with card, but I am still having trouble with my photography.  I made another butterfly frame, this time bigger, and in my opinion, better than any frame I had made before.  It will be just in time for mothers day, and I was anxious to get the ball rolling early this year, seeing as Mothers Day completely passed me by last year!!

But when I took my snap, this is what happened ...

It was a really flat, grainy image, and just does not sell my work.  The most frequent comment I get back in customer feedback is that the photos don't do my work justice -and its frustrating. I am sure its losing me sales and sending customers to other FB businesses who have the photography cracked. I am getting better though, and my new camera is certainly helping, but I still have a ways to go.

I happened to air my frustration on the I run a small business forum ... as I have mentioned before- its a great place of support, and a place to talk about your business which keeps it away from your customers! (And I am sure that Mr.T is pleased that I don't whitter on all day to him about it either!!)

Anyhow, within an hour three of my irasb friends had taken my photo and tweaked it to show me how they could improve it!! (Told you they were a great bunch of people!)

Firstly Jennifer who runs the handmade cake topper business Twinkleballs ...

Jennifer used Picasa to do the editing ... I have not got to grips really with Picasa, but I am sure that once I took some time on it I would find my way around.  What I especially like about this is that Jennifer managed to get rid of the black marking where my cardboard back finished!! I am DEFINITELY going to be figuring this out!

Next is Julie from the gemstone jewellery company,  Treats & Trinkets

Julie used Pic Monkey which is what I use.  I like how Julie really got the overall colour brighter, and without too much over glare.I have found, out of the photo software I have seen, Pic Monkey the most straight forward and user friendly for me.    I like the text options they have as well, and I intend to use the text I used for the watermarking of the pictures, for all my website banners etc.

Lastly, Caroline, who owns Candy Parade (if you want bespoke bedding that you will find nowhere else, go here!) used Corel Paintshop Pro ...

Caroline really got the definition between the frame and butterflies, I like how they are the main feature!

I had one really thought provoking comment though from Jon, from Round Partner, who told me to play around with the shutter speed! So simple, to go back to the equipment and try different settings .... but I hadn't even thought of it.  Sometimes I think I am in such a hurry to get my frames and cards photographed and up online, that I forget to play around with the camera.  Considering during my training,  I covered a  module in photography and developing, you'd think I'd have thought about it.  I think it shows me that I do need to pay more attention to what I doing, and how I go about doing it.

Some of the irasb bunch have also been playing around with their photography ... its been a theme over the last two months.  Light tents have been popular, and on the whole very successful.  Here are some images that demonstrate peoples development with the light tents:

Carolyn of CoolJoolz did a whole selection of photos that shows off her handmade bespoke wedding rings ... the image which had the consensus of being the best was the bottom right ... and this one used a light tent.

Jennifer of Twinkleballs did a really tricky bit of photography- her cake toppers in a clear plastic ball.  The glare is hard enough to deal with, but using her tent she managed to get the detail inside the ball.

Fiona at little dragon jewellery did some experiments with the tent and using the lighting from different angles. You can certainly tell the difference.

Lastly, and really interestingly is this photo by Anastasia from Jelly Bean who used a terrapin lamp to light the item... and its fab!!  The light tent she used was the tent that I had, but didn't get on with. I am glad to see that it has gone to a good home and is working well for her.  

I think it is so important to play around, and see what works for you, from equipment to software, and also to not be afraid of getting rid of what doesn't work.  The tent didn't work for me, so onto new experiments and trials. :)  If you fancy visiting my FB to give moral support.. feel free!!!! www.facebook.com/evelynmaedesign

This is my starting point: 

One daylight lamp (i dropped and smashed the other one), a raised surface infront of the window to get the most light, and a white card backdrop to spread the light.  My next plan of action is to replace the broken light, create some tin foil reflective surfaces, and play around with the settings on my camera.

I will report back soon!!!

Lastly, after venturing a few months ago onto twitter...(https://twitter.com/ShelAtEvelynMae) ... More and more of the irasb group are getting on there, and we are all beginning to link up and network   If you fancy hearing from the others  search for the hashtag #irasb and you'll find us!

Right, time to cook stir fry and put the kettle on, and maybe crack open the stash of smarties!!  

Thanks for stopping by :) Shelly X