Friday, June 11, 2010

Construction completed... maybe


Notice anything different? Heh? Heh? After several days torturing myself, I've finally found a new blog background that I think I like, and one that kind of compliments my new header! Stunning isn't it? Heehee...

What do you guys think, you like? I'm really in need of some honest feedback here because I've literally tried on about a hundred different backgrounds the last couple of evenings, enough to give myself a headache. If' you've visited me within the last few nights, you may have seen any number of backgrounds whilst I've been twirling in a virtual dressing room. It's a little overwhelming. How do you guys choose your backgrounds?

So today on my lunch hour, I dashed over to the park and took some photos of my freshly stitched header for A Cuppa Tea With Me, I really like the way the stitching came out, if I do say so myself. But I think people might have thought I was a nutter this afternoon. Broad daylight in a park, sitting alone on the grass, taking a trillion pictures of  a few inanimate objects. In the sun, in the shade, on a table, on the grass, a nudge here, a slight shift there.

I really wanted to make the header a vignette, but I've come to the conclusion that, 1. I need a new camera, and 2. I am no photographer and vignettes are really hard to do... I think I need to buy and learn to use photo shoppe.

Here are a few other snap shots that were contenders for the blog header. This kind of gives more of a feel of what I was trying to accomplish. Again... tips, advice, feedback... all welcome!

Gah! This is hard... I think I need professional help.

I think I'll try again tomorrow with soft morning sunlight. That's when I've had my best results. These were taken at high noon and the light felt harsh and bleachy... does that make sense?

Anyhoo, I've missed you guys! Talk again soon! And thank you so much for all your kind comments and well wishes for Ana!! She's in Texas now, spending the summer with her sister who's in the US Army and stationed at Goodfellow AFB. She'll be back just in time to start college... I sure do miss her.


p.s. SO excited about tomorrow! I get to meet my first bloggy friend in person! Can't wait!!


Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Lisa,

The trick to good photography does come from proper lighting but also the use of a reflector to kick light back in and soften the shadows and a gobo to block light. The best light souse is northern light and if you have a room with a northern exposure, you can set up a table in that room and do a table top shot of what you which to capture. Just remember to use a tripod because your exposure is going to be about 1-2 seconds at ISO 200 and an f-stop of at least 16.

If you would like your masthead to fit into the border of the two lines, it needs to be 12 pixels small than the outline. Your header measures 660 pixels right now, so your image needs to be 648 pixels wide.

Warmest regards,

Jill said...

OMG!!! I LOVE your new header so much!! Love, love, love it! I love the other photos you took also. Of all the vignette photos, I think I like the 3rd one down. It's closer-up. I think that's also why I like the one you actually used. Your stitching is so awesome-- you inspire me! I would like to try doing some applique sometime. I like the dimensional/texture thing goin' on there.

I'm so excited about tomorrow too! I'm so looking forward to finally meeting you, scooter girl!


Beedeebabee said...

Oh Lisa!

This is sooo beautiful! Both your design and your stitching are GORGEOUS, and I love how your banner goes with the background you chose! Wow, just look at all those fancy stitches and your stitched lettering is sooo perfect! I LOVE IT! I think you picked a perfect picture for the's so you!

I get such a kick out of you...I always have a good giggle when I'm here!

Have fun tomorrow with your bloggy friend...I wish you were on my end of the country!

I love this Lisa, is just GORGEOUS!!!

xoxo Paulette ;)

tongfengdemao said...

I absolutely love the header and I think the background goes well with it. That quilt is gorgeous, too!

I think maybe you're right about needing to use photoshop to create the vignette. Maybe set a table for tea and delete the background and use the header as background. Or just keep trying different things.

I can see what you're trying to do and I had some ideas, but they didn't work when I tried them. [Oh, gosh! You've turned on my problem solving gene!! Feel free to ignore the following. I'm just brainstorming.] Maybe if you hang the stitching a little above the table the teapot and cup are on, that would help. You could use the quilt for a "wall" if you still have to do it outside. And maybe if you have a taller teapot or smaller cup. I love your cup, but it is almost as big as the teapot and the problem strikes me as a scale thing. What might work: switch the teapot and cup. Hang the picture so the flowers in it are just above the cup (although the cup should be slightly to the left -- your left-right positions look good to me). Put the teapot on something (put a can or box under the tablecloth/quilt--not too high) so that it's higher than the cup -- kind of next to the writing in the stitching. That balances the flowers, I think. (I'm really only guessing!) Your photo #3 has the right idea, but should be a landscape rather than portrait. Based on the what the stitching says, maybe two cups would work. In that case raise one of them, but not as much as the teapot. Or maybe you have the teapot and cup in the right place to carry the line of the stitching, but the teapot still needs to be raised and just to the left of the flowers (visually, from the front, not literally). The cup should be in front of the lower right corner of the picture. Play with it. Take a gazillion photos (That's the beauty of digital camera!)

My photographer friends all say that cloudy days are actually the best light, so if it's sunny, early morning might indeed be better.

OK. I'm done brainstorming. I hope I wasn't too annoying.


All things nice... said...

Really really pretty, i love it! I know what you mean about the photographer, I find if I take a photograph of any item indoors like a book cover, a picture or drawing there is always something wrong with it. Wish I had a good camera! I think your header and background are lovely :)

All things nice...

Shirley said...

Hi Lisa, I like your new header and blog color. I can give you a name of who designed my blog header. She took what I had and added to it. She is very helpful and she will give you suggestions to what you could do. You might want to talk with her just to get some suggestions. Have a wonderful weekend.

Harriet said...

I love your header and the colors are great. I'm also a tea lover. I can appreciate your comments on the photography. I'm always trying to learn how to take good photos.Harriet

Bossy Betty said...

Gorgeous! I love the image of you sitting in the park stitching away!

Genie Robinson said...

Lisa....I am new to the “real photography” scene so cannot give you any feedback other than I LOVE the one you chose. I think it’s beautiful, and I especially like the Mary Engelbreit cup and saucer. You need to bop over and check out Vicki’s blog:

She has started "ME Mondays" for all of us that love Mary and her sayings products, art... etc, etc.,etc.

Hugs, Genie

Genie Robinson said...

OOPS...I forgot to add that I LOVE Chelsea’s blog creations at Aqua Poppy. Your background is just perfect. I got her to design my:

I wanted a background and all the other goodies that go along with it that reminded me of Mary Engelbreit. Then when I joined the “Blessings” group I went to her free backgrounds for that one:

She is sososooooo talented and wonderful to work with. I think you made a great choice. It matches your header perfectly :-)

Hugs, Genie