Tuesday, July 30, 2013

First State of Mind


     To whomever vandalized the street downtown, I thank you from the depths of my heart. I needed this sign that day...a reminder that love will always prevail, and that ugliness and animosity never does in the end. Love is the only thing that is real.
     Small town life has its many charms. I've embraced my life here and the lovely people I see every day with smiling, welcoming faces...I find comfort in the familiarity. But there are times, when this small town existence feels very very small. Rumors spread. People talk about each other and believe the hearsay. I'm not one to believe a rumor, or perpetuate one. I like most everyone regardless of their faults, because I have insight and self awareness.
I am as flawed as the next person.
     I've been bothered by something that I experienced here recently... The last time I experienced this type of treatment, I was married to an abusive man and I have done my best to forget the way I felt all of those years ago.
     The encounter still brings some sadness to me as I write. My faith in humanity was truly tested. I was made aware that there are still those people in life that will not be satisfied until they see you fall. I was looked down upon like I was a piece of garbage. I was told with a sneer to "just sit down", as I tried to explain my feelings. And as the tears came, and as I sat, the person who resurrected those old, buried feelings of no self worth actually smiled with satisfaction, seeing the pain I was in. I could not believe what I was seeing.
     I was once again, in that place of abuse. The feelings of helplessness and anger and sadness rolled over me like waves, that I had forgotten ever existed, for over 20 years.
I became allowed myself to become, a victim....a cowering shell of the woman that I have spent the last 20 years "working on" to become whole and ok with my past and with my life here in small town, USA.
     My experience that day had me wondering if all the work I have done means nothing...if one person could tear me down so easily. If one person could determine my self worth in just a few minutes of time.
I allowed myself to become a victim again instead of staying strong in my faith that God is always with me and that I am worthy of love and acceptance. Worthy of being heard and seen. Supported by his hands, always.
     All of this from a conversation that was less than a few moments. It stemmed from a misunderstanding that I had already long ago forgotten, but one that had obviously been seething and bubbling in the mind of another who could not wait to get justification and revenge.
     Call me a fool, but I am one of those who believe that even the worst, hardened criminal still has that tiny flame of goodness inside of them. I am one of those who believe that God is present even in the "worst of the worst" because we are all of our creator...I am one of those people who believe that everything that happens, happens for a reason...and that all will be understood in God's time.
     I am not angry with myself anymore for breaking down. For crying as I sat there in public humiliation. Especially laying my vulnerability out only to be laughed at with such smugness and the kind of mean that existed in my life so long ago that I had forgotten how it felt.
     I guess what I am trying to convey is that I can only get up, dust myself off and get back on the horse. Just when we think we have overcome so much, done all the work and covered all of the "stuff", there is always more learning and more growing to do.
And so I am reminded to be gentle with myself, and be continue to be more forgiving because the others that I encounter in this life don't have it all together either. We are all only human. We are humanity. We are all works in progress.

I am a Canon Rebel

 So, you think you need an expensive Canon Digital SLR with all the fancy-shmancy buttons to take a good photograph of your assemblage jewelry? This camera was my camera for almost all of the years I've been photographing jewelry to put "out there" in my Etsy shop, Sacred Cake. Yup. This is the one I've used. And it was used when I got it.
Old Betsy Blue

She's been dropped, bopped and treated very poorly by my grandchildren...she's had amateur sand removal surgery and when I got tired of the blue showing up in the reflections of my photos, I hurriedly tried painting her with white nail polish...over the red polish that was on her when I bought her...I even hid her behind a blank page with a hole cut in it for the lens so her color would not show...
and I still got photos like this
whitepicketfences.etsy.com, handmade assemblage earrings
photo of bridal earrings taken with Old Betsy Blue 
And this
aqua blue necklace, jennifer valentine, sacredcake
aqua blue collet in silver
Now (thanks to the three easy payments plan on HSN) I have a brand spankin' new Canon Camera...but reluctantly purchased and only because the lens shutters on Old Betsy Blue had to be removed in order for the lens to retract. And it is still NOT a Canon Rebel digital SLR (cue angelic heralds and boy-choir music wafting in  from above). It is a basic Canon camera like I had, but with a better zoom. Drawback for photographing jewelry, once again, is the COLOR. Will I paint my new camera with white paint or nail polish? Probably not.
Will I make a white paper with a lens sized hole in it and hold said white holed paper onto front of camera while trying to take a decent photo? Most likely, if it is a super shiny thing that I don't want to see a big black blob in when reviewing pictures.
this is me zooming with new camera
I never thought I'd be one of those old sticklers that doesn't want to try "new technology", you know? But I was resistant to learning a whole new camera all over again! What I had worked. If the lens had not gotten scratched from it having no lens doors from it falling in the sand at the lake while taking pictures of those meddling kids...none of this would have happened... Me and Old Betsy Blue would still be working together after almost 4 whole years.
Would you like to know some of my secrets? I'm going to tell it all for you right here. Because I really like to teach. I like to share what I know.
Here are a couple of non touched up photos from my new basic Canon~ on automatic....not too shabby eh? You can take good photos with whatever you have. Trust me. Can you see a huge difference between the photos above and below?
photo of earrings taken with Big Black 
Come back soon because I'd like to share with you some simple tricks to use to take better photos for your online shop.