A peek into my photos

Hey lovelies,

One of the things I feel I have struggled with with running an indie business. Is photographing my pieces. I only really sell online (with the occasional market) so my product photos are super important. I have to try and get the feel and product over in photos as well as having them look professional and like I know what I’m doing * SPOILER - I DONT KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. I’M TOTALLY WINGING IT *

So I though I’d just do a little post to show you guys what actually goes into photographing my pieces. During winter it’s super hard to get photo of my pieces as I work full time and it’s dark by the time I get home. So I only really have the weekends. But in summer time it’s not too bad.

The camera I use to take my photos is a Nikon Coolpix L3300 (I think) I bought it a few years back now for about £100 and it’s fab for what I need it to do. It takes lovely crisp photos and isn’t too pricey either.


Up until literally last week I would hunt around for a nice clean white background to take photos against. But it didn’t occur to me that I had a white table cloth in a cupboard which does just the job! I’m lucky to have really good lighting in my utility room of all places. So I normally take my photos there.

For smaller items I lay the table cloth on the window sill. But for larger items I will lay it on the floor.

I love incorporating greenery in my photos. I just love how it contrasts against the white background and the colour of my pieces. So you will probably find some greenery in most of my photos. I either forage this from my garden or if I’m feeling adventurous. I’ll take a trip to the florist to pick some up.

Adding props to your photo just adds that little bit extra.

This little guy is also normally close by. This is our rescue Siberian Husky “Snowy” and he gives the best cuddles!



Once I’ve taken a gazillion photos….I normally get some snacks and a big mug of tea and start editing them.

I use photo shop to edit my photos. But you can get some awesome free photo editing software out there. My first step is to whack the brightness right up! Even though I take my photos in a fairly well lit room. They still need a lot of brightness to bring them up and to make them look pro.

Next I usually adjust the contrast. Some photos need it and some don’t. It depends on the shot and the light. Sometimes it’s easy to up the contrast too much and for it to look over edited.

I occasionally need to use the clone tool to edit out any imperfections or marks. But not very often. Sometimes I also crop the photo to.

Next up I just add a little text saying my business name. This is so if someone sees the photo elsewhere then they know where to go to get that product. Or if someone re posts my photo without credit, then people can still see where it comes from. Unfortunately it’s also for copyright reasons. The internet is a big place and sometimes that means that people like to pass your work off as their own. Adding my business name just adds that little bit of extra security.

1 cropped.jpg

And that is pretty much it guys. If I’m having a taking photos day it normally takes a good few hours to photograph and edit them. But this depends on how many pieces I need to photograph.

It’s pretty amazing the difference a bit of photo editing makes…..


Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival

Hello my lovelies!

Hope your all fabulous!

As promised to you lovely lot over on my Instagram. This blog post will be all about my experience of holding a stall at the craft fair section of the Cowbridge Food and Drink festival. I'm going for realness in this post.....A lot of people don't see the behind the scenes stress and mess of running a small craft business.They just see the final polished photos.But I want to show you guys the reality behind the polished Instagram photos.g

I was a big anxious stress ball. But I thoroughly enjoyed the event. ( I'll be doing a little deeper on another blog post about my feelings personally,but for now I'll focus on the event)

When I applied for a stall at the festival I honestly just did it on a whim and didn't think I would get accepted. Fast forward a few weeks and sitting in my email inbox was an acceptance email for a stall ( more on this in a later blog )

So it was all systems go. I through myself into making new products | planning my stand display and working my way through my endless "to do" list.

Fast forward a few weeks and it was the last few days before the festival. As some of you may know I also work a 9 to 5 as well as running Eastern Sapphire. So I took a day off of my full time job to get ready. My folks were coming all the way from Norfolk to help me to and were arriving on the Friday.

We went full pelt into sorting my stand design and getting all the products all labelled up and tying up all the last bits on my to do list. With snacks to keep us going of course ( we may have also had a few glasses of prosecco to ) We had my studio assistant also on standby ( the little furry guy to the left )


I had a rough idea of how I wanted my stand to look. But didn't really know how to tie it all together. I sourced some reclaimed scaffold boards from a local reclamation yard and decided to make a stand for my larger pieces to hang on.


All of the money I spend on Eastern Sapphire comes out of my own pocket. I'm not wuite at the point where I am using my profits to buy bits for Eastern Sapphire. But I'll get there :-) So I wanted to spend as little as possible on my stand and any other bits I needed. So I was quite chuffed when I managed to make this stand.

I sourced my trestles and table top from Ikea. I found the table top in the discount corner! If your ever in Ikea it is always worth a quick look. You never know what your going to find!

After doing a dummy set up of my display. I was finally happy with my stand. 


I turned up at the event the next day full of anxiety. But I was there and ready to go!

The room we were in was lovely and rustic. I was greeted by a lovely lady called Lucy. Who was so supportive and helpful.The other crafter's were also lovely and friendly to!



The event was amazing! Well organized and the foot fall for the venue was perfect for my first Wales craft fair. I was slightly apprehensive as the craft fair venue was quite a way from the main event. But we had food and drink stalls outside to. Which tied the whole event together.

The venue we were in had live music in the beer garden for most of the day which added a lovely lively atmosphere. 

I met some lovely people and had some fab feedback and encouragement. It was a 2 day event which I think helped massively. As there was quite a lot of different events and demos going on. So it gave visitors plenty of time to see everything.

If your reading this and thinking about attending next years festival as a stall holder. My advice is do it! The organizers are lovely and the event is very professional and welcoming. The only thing I would say is that maybe some more promoting regarding the craft fair section or more signage would have been fab. The location was lovely to. But it would maybe benefit more from being in a larger venue so there is room for more stalls.

I can't thank the organizers of the fair enough for giving me the chance to have a stall. It was a big step for me to put my work out there and attend my first proper craft fair. I also wouldn't have been able to do it without the help and support of my family. Thanks to my Ma and Pa for coming all the way from Norfolk to help me and always supporting me and encouraging me. Also thanks to my partner for ferrying me around and letting me fill his car with lots of wood and for putting up with my stressy snaps and grumpiness. I truly couldn't have done it without any of you. 



So now Iv'e done one...I guess I should get looking into booking my next one! Watch this space!

Rach x


January Shenanigans

Hello! Only me again!

Just dropping by to say hey! And share what I've been up to!

I have been pretty busy over here at Eastern Sapphire Designs HQ in South Wales. If you treated your peepers to a read of my last blog post then you will know that I've been working away on some newbies for the shop and have relocated to good old South Wales.

We are settling in quite well. And there may soon be furry little pooch joining the Perriss-Smith household. But don't worry....I will formally introduce you all when he/she arrives!

So in my last post I showed you some drift wood I rescued from my local beach....What did you make I hear you say.......


Once I had sanded the wood down it came up lovely. I decided to burn a pretty little welcome sign. You can get your hands on it in the shop :-) If you look closely you will see the rain drops on the stones...this was officially the quickest product photography I have ever done...It was also a pretty windy day and I nearly got blown over.



You can also see a couple more newbies in the photo to! Since I have been living in South Wales my creative ideas have just been flowing. It's surprising how much the environment around you can inspire you.



I have some pretty cool ideas floating around in my little noggin.....I'm hoping to bring them to life soon! So make sure you pop by to check out what I'm up to.

P.S Don't forget Valentines is coming up and also mothers day! I am currently open for commissions so drop me a message if you have an idea you want to bring to life!

I'm off to work on a wee commission I have on at the minute.

Ta ta!

The big move!!

Hello :-) 

It's been super quiet over here in my little corner of the internet. It's been a bit of whirl wind since September...

As some of you may know, I used to be based in the Midlands.But due to work commitments myself and my partner have upt sticks and moved to South Wales right on the coast. It's been a bit of a change moving from the centre of a city to the rural fields of South Wales.It's a super big step for us. It was a scary one...but hopefully in the long run it will be better for us and our future...South Wales is absolutely beautiful and I have found so much inspiration around me.I'm originally from Norfolk so I have always loved being outside exploring. I kind of missed having that in Leicester. You couldn't really just go out the door and go for a walk through fields or a walk along the beach. Whereas where we are based now. When I walk out my front door there is a field of cows just round the corner. And an amazing beach just down the road.


The big move means we have space for a craft room! (currently doing a happy dance) My partner enjoys making model airplanes ( we both work in the aviation industry) so we share  a little room in our house. I think it's lovely that we both have a craft we enjoy doing :-) We also have a garden!In our old place I was quite restricted to what I could work on because we had no outside space.....But now the garden is my oyster :-) haha!


I have been busy working away in the back round on EasternSapphireDesigns. Iv'e kind of given it an over haul and tried to pull the look and feel all under the same boat...I hope :-/ 

Iv'e been pretty busy working away on newbies for everyone! And the beach down the road makes the perfect setting for product photos. I packed up all the products I had ready to photograph and lugged them about a mile down the beach to the perfect spot. It was absolutely covered in driftwood!!

I was quite proud of some of the photos I got. And I really enjoyed being out in the fresh air.I even managed to score some driftwood for some new projects!


I'll be updating the shop soon with the new little gems! I'm hoping to launch some new colouring pages to! One of my aims for 2018 is to utilize my website and blog more. So you may find me hanging about here causing trouble a bit more often! Have a lovely weekend!


"Always smile when you can.It is cheap medicine"

Hey folks!

Just checking in and sharing what Iv'e been up to recently.

I may have mentioned before that I scored some lovely wooden rounds from a tree surgeon in Kent.This is thanks to my partners lovely family :-) 

I only really have time to burn on the weekends now.I'll create on the odd week day night but my current job is pretty full on so all I want to do when I get home is relax with a big brew and some biscuits :-)

But I have been working a few little pretties which are now available on my shop!


This little piece was quite spontaneous. But Im a little in love with it.Something so simple but so complex at the same time!

I also made this little bee...


The wood I created these 2 pieces on is Ashwood.I scored a massive plank of it from a local DIY shop in my hometown. Ive probably managed to spread it across about 5 different projects.


I'm also working on something I'm a little excited about!Im hoping to launch a range of these soon!But they may need some tweaking first! Here's a sneaky peek.......

For starters I need to invest in a drill.....unfortunately im not strong enough to get the screws all the way in.......Thats a job for next weekend! Im hoping to get a few of these in the shop.All on different pieces of wood making each piece different and unique!

Im hoping to get a review post up soon to.I'm going to be talking about the difference between using a fixed tip burner and a wire tip burner.Keep your eyes peeled!

Anyways.....I'm off to tackle my washing up and cook dinner..........Enjoy the rest of your weekend! And be back soon! xx

Remember me??

Hello people!

First off.......sorry for my quietness. I changed full time jobs back in October and Iv'e been struggling to get back into the swing of things.But I have slowly started making new little pretties to pop in my shop.

One piece I recently finished is this pretty little gem.......


I sourced the wood from a tree surgeon in Kent.I think its Apple wood.It has a lovely colour and grain.I must admit......I have a sofrt spot for this one....

Iv'e also been dabbling in a bit of painting.But I wasn't too happy with the results.I got too excited to start painting and didn't sand the wood smooth enough (rookie error I know) and just couldnt get smooth lines and coverage.But I think it's still pretty :-)


So I am still here and I am still creating.Regretfully I have had to take a few steps back from Eastern Sapphire Designs. I will still be making and creating.But just a bit slower and less frequent then before :-) 

If anyone has any artists or creators they are loving at the minute.Then please feel free to share with me! I'm looking for some fresh inspo!!

Ta Ta for now!!

Rach x