Gimp Update

I’m pleased to announce that after a couple of days of googling, watching You Tube Videos, and many false starts, I am now able to process multiple pictures with one click in Gimp.  I probably will be able to get more items listed in my store each day because of this leap in intellectual technology.

I had to update my gimp program and download a plugin named “BIMP”.  Then I had to figure out how to save and then figure out where to find that saved settings file for the curves function. After that it was a piece of cake.

There does seem to be a bit of pinkish tinge in the photos as far as the background goes, BUT the background is mostly white AND the beads seem true to color, at least on MY monitor and so hopefully it will on your monitor, too.

I suppose I could have made this change quite a few years ago because that BIMP plugin has been available for a number of years. Whoosh …. well, live and learn. Thanks for stopping by.

Delicate Scroll Textures and Other Important Photography and Etsy Facts

 A few months back Etsy kindly gave all its artists the ability to post up to 10 photos of our artistic endeavors.

Previously it had been five, which I thought was a bit excessive, but I complied because the All Knowing Algorithm determines whether or not my product shows up in ‘search’.

Since then I’ve been doing my best to get 10 pictures up of new listings.  Going back and adding to hundreds of items already listed will take years of work, and frankly it took a long time just to get the 200 or so listings on Etsy.

What usually happens is that I take 10 or so photos and as I’m processing them (I use Picasa and Gimp) I find one or two that are blurry or where the bead has rolled out of the picture frame.

Basically SOMETHING happens and I end up with 6 or 8 photos, but 10 has been difficult. I mean, when you’ve spent years doing 5 photos …..

So to photograph one bead, I arrange the photos like this:  TOP and UNDERSIDE (so you can clearly view the holes) and then three views of the side, which if lined up properly shows the entire bead. But 10? 

I have to figure out how to get 5 more unique photos. Etsy suggests, “Hold the item”. However, I’m at the age where I have these ugly huge age spots on the back of my hands and my fingers retrain water ….it’s not an attractive hand for holding beads and I don’t know anyone I can drag over here for hours just to hold my bead(s) in their hands.

Come to think of it my daughter is always coming over …wait … no …. not nice to drag her into the studio and use her a prop.

I suppose I could put in the proverbial coin …or put the bead on pretty paper … I don’t know. I suppose if I thought hard enough about it I could get that bead uniquely photographed 10 times instead of 5.  I am not usually so quick to give up so easily.  I’ll give it some more thought. In the meantime, I have the entire photo processing process.

Picture this (ha ha) : I am sitting at my desk with Picasa open and photos imported:  click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close) …repeat 9 more times.

click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close)

click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close)

click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close)

click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close)

click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close)

click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close)

click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close)

click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close)

click (crop, arrange), click (save) click (export) ….open Gimp, import photos … click (curves) click (apply so the background isn’t so dark) …. click (sharpen, because pictures always need a bit of that) click (save) click (close) 

Then list 4 more items, that’s 40 pics to systematically click click click click click …..No … I won’t repeat that 40 more times.  You get the idea … yes?

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!  Shortly after announcing this new and wonderful policy, designed to get customers more interested in clicking about my Etsy store and staying there longer, looking at my 10 (instead of 5) beautiful photographs, Etsy decided that it was time to raise our rates on each item sold from 3.5% to 5%.

 I suppose they need more server space now that they are having us work twice as hard just to get our items into our store and ONTO their search algorithms.

About this same time, Etsy also decided it sure would be nice if their sellers offered free shipping. In order to facilitate that idea, Etsy decided that if they ALSO charged 5% on all shipping charges that sellers would decide to offer free shipping.

Now …if I sell one bead for $6 …. it costs me about $3.50 to send it pretty much anywhere in the United States (that includes envelope and shipping materials, like soft fleece to keep the beads from chipping during shipping).  I figured out that Etsy is going to be charging me an additional 20 cents per $6 bead sale (that includes item sold rate as well as the extra 5% they will charge me for having the audacity to actually charge for shipping).  So I should offer free shipping and charge $9.70 for each bead?  What if a customer wants two $6 beads?  Right now that would be (with secondary shipping costs) $15.70 ..but with Etsy’s policy which they want me to implement it would be $19.40. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love Etsy.  I have tried to put all my beads on my own website (nkpdesigns.com) and sell them all by myself but I am not a marketing queen. I don’t do a hard sell or track down interested parties and make sure they have all of my beads that they may ever want. I like making the beads and I actually enjoy photographing them (maybe not 10 times).  It’s terrific having a record of most every bead I’ve ever made available online.  And if it were NOT for Etsy it is a fact I would not have had the success I have had.  So I am doing my very best to comply with the new 10 picture policy as best as I can.  I will do a google search and figure out that batch photo processing thing. I can do that.

As far as the shipping goes …well, I haven’t come to any hard or fast decisions about that. I did raise the secondary shipping cost of a second item from 20 to 30 cents (a 10 cent difference).


 In the meantime, have you been checking out my beautiful Cobalt Blue Delicate Scroll Slightly Nugget Shape Beads with 1 mm stringing holes throughout my entire post.  Aren’t they pretty?

 Thanks for stopping by!