Your Senses Will Guide You

I don’t know about you but when I look at things to buy for myself or materials to create crafts I usually look, feel and smell different materials. You senses will usually decide if you love what you buy or what you are creating. Let’s face it if something does not feel right in your hands, look nice to your eyes or even smells off you will probably not buy it or want to use it to create something else. For instance, I love the feel of satin materials and most if not all have great “eye” appeal. They are heck to work with because they have a tendency to ravel when they are cut or wrinkle if not handled properly. I love the feel of real silk material but depending on how they are processed may smell a little off even brand new material. I work with different kinds of beads in my jewelry making crafts. The beads, no matter what they are made of, have to feel right in my hands and be “eye-catching”. You can get inspired by the things you like to see, feel and smell.

Who doesn’t like to smell of a fresh-cut orange? It brings to mind holidays during the winter and looking forward to the spring. Citrus smells when making homemade soaps and bath oils should be “light” smelling and not heavy. The same goes for other kinds of oils or essences uses with making homemade bath products and candles. They shouldn’t be over-powering or trigger an allergic reaction. Some people have a more acute sense of smell than others. If you want to make bath products or candles you need to either have an acute sense of smell or have a helper who does. There are too many products being made that over-power the senses of your buyers and may put them off from buying. I worked in the medical field, as an office worker, for over 25 years and I can tell you some horror stories our patients shared with us about products having too much smell it sent their sinuses into a tail spin. Just keep that in mind.

Getting back to the feel of things. A smooth feeling bead that has sparkle, shine or even luster is a joy to work with, display and eventually will catch your buyer’s eye. The problem usually comes from packaging and the pictures you take to showcase your merchandise. Since we sell our items online we have gone through a trial-and-error phase trying to get the best pictures that honestly show the piece, in the right light, with no distracting backgrounds and looks good on a computer screen. We have read through the seller’s help section on ETSY.com and a few of the blog entries on COPIUS.com and they do have some great helpful hints on taking pictures of your merchandise so that they represent the product and appeals to the “EYE” of the customer.

They have to see it and feel as if they are right in front of the product. Which is hard to do with just a digital camera. The most important thing they recommend is using white backgrounds, in a sunny place and using plain props, if you choose to use one such as a piece of drift wood to hang a necklace across, and to have the highest resolution camera you can afford. Digital cameras work best in daylight but not too much direct sunlight or you will have problems with shadows obscuring your merchandise. This is a greater problem if the product is shiny or has a reflective surface. I have taken pictures of the metal pin buttons and found that a couple of shots had me in the shiny surface of the button. Needless to say I had to retake those pictures. Generally, what you see on your little LED screen just after taking the picture is a good gauge of whether you should reposition your piece and try again or not. But the true test generally doesn’t come until you have taken the pictures off the SD card and see them on your computer screen.

Until Next Time. Keep On Crafting!