Birthday present and learning curve

I am always a bit “squirrely” around the time of my birthday.  I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because I don’t enjoy being the center of attention, and any celebration of my birthday puts me there. One of my least favorite questions is, “What would you like for your birthday?” I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but figuring out what someone could give me for a birthday gift is uncomfortable work. I like gifts, but I’d rather not think about them and then be pleasantly surprised.

Bruce usually doesn’t ask, but this year he said, “Well, do you have any ideas of what you would like because the guys and I are drawing a blank.” (Last year my husband and sons gave me a new 3 speed bike for the island. That’s a hard act to follow!) I was actually prepared, thinking of something I might not buy for myself, but that would be great to have.

I wanted really good lights and a pop up photo cube so I could set up an area to take photos of my work. I have managed to do okay so far, with a variety of arrangements by the large window in our dining room, but it would be great not to have to wait for the right kind of sunny day to take photos.

Thanks Bruce, Fritz, and Robin. No more chasing sunlight through the house, or frustrating myself by waiting until too late in the afternoon to start taking photos. I have to confess it took me a week to unpack the lights. I get a little stuck by my lack of self confidence when I face a learning curve.

Tonight I gave everything a try and I know these lights will make a big difference. Just being able to set something up and leave it to resume tomorrow, regardless of the weather, will be a big improvement in time management for me.

I started with photos of earrings I made from some of the translucent polymer clay components. I didn’t think I would like the plain white background that came with the photo cube, but with the colors in the polymer clay, it seems to work the best. (Good thing it detaches. I’ll take an iron to it tomorrow.)

So much to learn, but at least I got started. The ability to take photographs at night, instead of stopping work to catch the light in the middle of the day, is a birthday present I’m going to enjoy for a long time.


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8 responses to “Birthday present and learning curve

  1. Happy belated birthday!
    I know what you mean about birthdays. I haven’t celebrated mine in so many years that many close friends don’t even know the date.
    But, your photography set-up looks fabulous. Eric (husband) takes my photos and we use a make-shift box made with tracing paper and a cardboard box along with two Ott lights. It will do–for now! I know nothing about digital cameras and really miss film cameras. I suppose I should learn…


    • Barb Fernald

      Hey, that sounds like the same set up I was using! Also, the gallon plastic milk jug with the bottom cut out still may be my quick set up for really small things. The Ott lights will be great to have in the studio, now that I have these big guys.


  2. Happy Birthday!
    Now how do I fit a painting in that contraption?


    • Barb Fernald

      Thanks Henry. You can fit your small paintings in here! (Maybe your local gallery will invest in some lights for photography….)


  3. Happy birthday. What a great gift. I wish I had room for something like that. The earrings are wonderful.


    • Barb Fernald

      Thanks Roberta. I think I’ll get a lot of use out of them. I’m excited about spending more time with the translucent clay. More components to come after I get stuff settled in a few galleries for the summer season.


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