Thursday, July 28, 2016

Making a workspace for Amelia

This post isn't actually new but I left time pass without posting it. I thought I'd post it once I have the "after" photos taken but, you know how I roll, time just went by and i haven't taken them!

We have actually finished this project now and it was really fun to make. This room is like an open office room that we have in a level between the living room and the basement and since we moved here has been used to basically throw in Amelia's toys. If that sounds like a big mess, well, yeah, it's usually the messiest part of the house for sure! But at least now we have proper shelves and storage space to hide most of the things and a desk for Amelia to do her homework or just fill it with her legos instead of the dining table!

Before assembling the furniture. just an empty space. 
How cute is Ronbon? Such a handsome boy. 

OK, so basically photos of Rombon! 

Back to the room, I'll show you the after photos soon! 


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

FOLIAGE: the lookbook.

When I was thinking about what I wanted for the lookbook of the FOLIAGE collection, there was one thing I was sure of: I wanted to use pink. This was a very curious thought for me because, well, I don't usually like pink, but the idea was in my head and other ideas couldn't overthrown it.

I think the main reason of me wanting a pink-based lookbook is because I'm obsessed with Noemiah's Emma dress from her latest collection and as I intended to use it on the photoshoot, there wasn't any other way-out to include pink. And you know? I love how it came up!

The beautiful images are the work of a photographer I got to know recently and whose work I completely fell in love with: Naomie Tremblay. Not only she's one of the most professional persons I had had the honour to work with, but her unique take on fashion photography is amazing. She uses 35mm to shoot and a very artistic, poetic vision.

The team was fantastic, too: so professional, energetic, helpful. I only have great things to say from them, so, a huge thanks to Léonie Levesque (makeup), Lily Beauregard (model), Noémiah (wardrobe) and of course, Naomie for the wonderful photography! 

The photos:

For more details about each piece, please click on the images or visit my on-line shop, The Angry Weather!

Thank you for visiting,

Introducing: the FOLIAGE collection.

It's all about renewal and hope.

A cold and wintry day, while I was sulking and complaining about winter probably, I saw a photo that I had taken the year before in the middle of summer. Hmm, it this real? I thought. Have we ever lived in such a paradise? Does so much green ever exists? Those where the silly questions I was asking myself while trying to remember what was like not to be cold and to look outside the window and see green instead of endless white. 

And although all this can seem quite negative, something positive was happening in my mind at the same time: Spring and Summer are real and, they are coming (how Game of Thrones Spring-edition, of me). Yeah, living such a long Winter makes things to your mental sanity but it also make you appreciate the beauty and promises of warmer times.

So this collection was born somewhere there, when stretching myself to reach the happy thoughts of the upcoming warmer months, the blooming of the flowers, the coming out of the leaves. I was filled with hope and I wanted to celebrate it.

And what better way to celebrate than with a new line of leave-inspired jewellery, something to remind us that, even in the darkest  winter hour, spring is coming and with it, all that's green and colourful and warm. And we can apply this to everything, really, specially in these times of so much violence and intolerance. We are the change, things may be dark but we can bring out light, all may look barren, unforgiving, cold but life is there, and while there's life in this world, there's hope for humanity. The leaves and the flowers will bloom. 

Click on the photos to know more about each piece.

I used sterling silver and bronze to make the pieces and with the exception of the Foliage necklace, didn't mixed the metals together, rather giving two options to choose. I'm very proud of this collection, I love it from start to finish: the designing process was a joy: I was planning to make a small, quick line with the idea of the tulip brooch and the leaf earrings but as I started working on the prototypes, more ideas kept coming and it was so awesome to explore them. At the end, it was hard to left out some ideas, but probably they come up someday anyway! 

The Foliage bracelet is so much fun to make, I'm using a technique that is quite basic but that I hadn't used it before, so yay! is nice to keep exploring new ways to make jewellery, that's the exciting part in making new things, the learning that come with the creative exploration.

Also a piece different from what I've done before is the Foliage climber earring design! the look lovely on, I didn't know at the beginning if i would enjoy wearing them, but I wanted to make some anyway, and, surprise, surprise I love to wear them, plus I receive so many compliments on them when I have them on.

Oh, also important to mention, the Tulip necklace makes a 180 degree turn! the kind of piece that you'll be mindlessly playing with when you wear it, just the kind I like.

Well, I hope you like the new Foliage collection, I absolutely loved making it and love wearing it so much! Visit my shop for more details about the measurements, prices, process and more! 

Thanks for reading my blog!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Something new...

Things have been pretty busy lately, like, the perfect kind of busy. You know, the absolute fun things. The best part of my job is when an idea suddenly takes shape in my mind and I sit on the bench and it just FLOWS. 

I'm working on a new collection! I was supposed to launch it last month but you know how these things go and I decided to just invest the time I need on it and let the work flow organically. But having said that, I do plan to launch at the beginning on May. Exciting times.

In other exciting developments, I received the awesome news that I'll be part of Puces POP spring edition happening at the beginning of May!! So, as you can imagine production has begun and the days at the bench are pretty interesting, with all the making of new things and old favourites.

Anyway, what do you think of the little sneak peek I just gave you with that GIF? You like what you see?! Wait until you see it finished, it's lovely! 

I still owe you the last instalment of the IG for creatives series, don't think I've forgotten is just that time on the computer right now is limited! 

Thanks for reading this.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Instagram for creatives: Interview with Norma Andreu from Cara Carmina

As part of the Instagram for creatives series, I made a little Q&A with 3 of my favourite Canadian Instagrammers. Last week was the turn of amazing Natacha Castonguay and this week, I'm honoured to present you the one and only Norma Andreu from Cara Carmina!

Norma is an illustrator and doll maker that, like me, is originally from Mexico and now lives and loves Montreal. I meet her a while ago when I found her gorgeous dolls on Etsy and we became friends, relating to each other's stories about our native country and finding our way in the creative community. 

Following Norma on Instagram is delightful and kind of comforting: she cover you in a blanket of familiarity and looking at her photos turns into a daily ritual for the soul. Her posts are a mix of her works in progress, current projects and peeks into her daily life and her cats, of course! One of the things I find more inspiring about Norma's IG story is her capacity to create content and post steadily, some of the most important aspects to grow a loyal following. So, come meet her!

Norma Andreu
Illustrator, doll maker from Cara Carmina

What do you love about IG?
I love the visual instant impact of it.  I'm a very visual person, I love illustration and photography, instagram is my favourite social network due to this, is so inspiring to see all this images of all over the world of so many different things!

How do you use IG, as a lifestyle or business account (or both!) and why?
I use it as both.  I love taking photos, I love the beauty contained on an instant.  During our daily life we have so many beautiful moments, memories that fade away and that we can capture with a photo.  Of course as an illustrator and designer my images and my work can be showed and shared in IG so easily and also my process and behind the scenes process plus my daily inspiration.  I love it for both!

For you, what are the basics to have a successful IG account?
Style, consistency, honesty and narrative.  You can talk about anything you want in IG, food, art, travel, DYI, books, ANYTHING! everything can become a successful IG account if you give it the right amount of the 4 things I mentioned.  Also tagging properly and interacting with other IG people you like, admire or follow, is a 2 road street here too, #sharingiscaring :)

What is the best advice you could give to an independent designer that wants to use IG to grow their business.
Work on a style and be creative.  Share with your followers part of yourself that are not ONLY part of your work, let them know your journey, is very inspiring and shows the person behind the work, gives the work a soul, a humanity that we all have but not all show to others, that's the HONESTY  I'm talking about!  :)

I particularly admire that you always find content and keep your account moving by posting often. What would you advice to an independent maker that struggles to find content or/and don't post often on their account?
I personally LOVE taking photos and don't discriminate, it is part of my day, taking photos, collecting moments, keeping memories, I love doing it! but if you are not like me try to make it a habit, start with 2 daily photos and keep doing it until you find yourself in this exercise, is a creative outlet! and of course a great marketing tool for you work, and is FOR FREE!!!! plus is easy, you just post a photo!  there are no rules, you make your own rules, some days I don't post and some days I post 8 photos, I try to do it daily but I don't have rules... you get your own style to do things and people will start liking your style as long as is honest.

Thank you Norma, for sharing your experience and advice!
Follow Cara Carmina at:
Or visit her Website!

Stay tuned for next and last part of these series + interviews! coming up on Instagram for Creatives: Key points to improve your Instagram account and reach a bigger audience.

Thanks for reading this!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Instagram for creatives (part 2): Three basic techniques for great phone photography.

Welcome to the second part of my Instagram for creatives series! Last time, I took you on a little starters trip about Instagram and how to set up your account neat, nice and ready to present yourself to the IG world. This time, I'll let you know about my techniques for great phone photography, which are the very foundation for a great IG feed. Pay attention because this is the stuff that comes before all those fancy editing tools!

Truth is, no fancy filter can transform a bad photo into a nice one. Period. That's why this post is very important, as you'll learn to take a great photo to begin with, a photo that it's worth editing and post it to Instagram. Your smartphone is an amazing, easy to use, and always available tool and regardless what most people might think, you ABSOLUTELY CAN take amazing photographs with it.

People often ask me if the photos on my IG feed are taken with a regular camera, and the answer is that 99% of my photos are taken/edited using only my iphone (the occasional 1% is lookbook shots from my jewellery, taken with a regular camera by professional photographers). How do I do it? I just make sure to always apply these 3 super simple techniques:

1.- A clean lens.
This is such common mistake that I see happening all the time and it's truly a shame because is so easy to avoid! The thing is, you can be showing a gorgeous landscape, a lovely portrait or a beautiful piece of jewellery but if your lens was dirty when you took the photo, it’s going to be difficult to overlook the smudge and truly appreciate the image behind it. So, step number 1: make sure your lens is clean.

I use alcohol swabs to clean and tissue paper to dry when my lens is very dirty (having a messy 7 year-old grabbing my phone with food on her hands makes the affair a pretty common one!). For less messy situations I use a micro fabric and gently remove the smudge. Somewhere I read that using any sort of liquid to clean the lens is not the best way as it can damage it but so far, alcohol swabs have always worked fine for me. If you want to stay on the safe side, use only a microfibre tissue and steer off of any liquids near your lens. At the end, no matter how you do it, the important thing is to make sure you keep it clean and ready!

Let me show you a quick example of how things look when your lens is dirty vs what it looks like with a clean lens:

As you can see, the difference a dirty/clean lens make is HUGE. A clean lens will let you capture even the smallest details and create a neat, more interesting image, while the smudgy one, well, is just embarrassing.

2.- Focus. 
Unless it's one of those dreamy #BlurryOnPurpose pics (LOL!), you want to steer completely away form posting a blurry image. Blurry photos come up mostly due to movement or lack of use of the focus feature in your camera. Taking a clear, neat shot it's basic for making the image reflect the beauty of the object/moment you are shooting. But don't get me wrong, I do love a bit of movement in my pics, it adds deepness and life to them, but I always make sure I can control that movement by making it happen just in the part of the image I want to, by using my focus target. 

Take a second to steady your hand before taking that photo. If you are doing a product shot with your phone, I recommend to place your arm, elbow, hand or your phone to the table, wall or whatever you have close to help you keep as steady as possible, lightly tap your finger on the screen on the spot you want to focus, wait a sec for it to adjust and then shoot. This will make the image very clear and your be amazed at the quality you can get with your phone!

Let me show you some examples of a few of my photos where I used the focus target to get deepness, movement and even the smallest details of my subjects. 

Foreground and background. I wanted to show the details and the colours I got after soldering this piece and although I wanted my hand to show, didn't want to put any attention on it. The focus target helped me get the deepness I wanted by tapping on the jewellery piece and steady my hand for it to adjust properly before taking the pic. 

The light shone beautifully on the cedar leaves and I wanted to get the most of that backlighting glow. I used the focus feature for deepness and to get all the little details on the leaves by focusing on the illuminated branch while taking the photo. The leaves in the foreground became blurry and gave a cave effect on the photo, which I love.

This image is just so alive to me. Photographing Lune (my little pet bird) is always very difficult because she won't stop moving of course! But the fun thing is that I got to get her shaking her tail and wings, but her head was steady so I focused on it and got this lovely image of her feathers "trembling". So as you see, by using the focus feature you can capture movement.

3.- Mind the light. 
I will never be able to stress how important this subject is. No matter if you prefer clear and bright images or dark and moody ones, you should follow one simple rule: always use natural light! Natural light will make the absolute best of your photos, whether they are landscapes, vignettes, studio/home photos, portraits or product photography.  

If you want to take a photo in a rather dark space or if it’s a cloudy day, get a little help from your focus target by placing it on the darkest part of your image, that’d make the camera automatically adjust the brightness a bit. If the image on your screen becomes over exposed, just move the focus target on different parts on the screen until you like the brightness. Your photo might still be a bit dark but then you can fix it by playing with exposure or brightness when editing it. Here I must mention that I always use the app VSCOcam to take my photos and that these features may not be the same on other apps or the regular smartphone camera. For the regular iphone camera, you can adjust manually the brightness by dragging up or down the little sun icon that comes up when you tap your finger on the camera screen.

But what about when you can’t possibly use natural light (because it’s night or you are doing bench work for example)? What I often do when shooting work on the bench (artificial light) or at night is to fix the image with editing tools or filters. Use a black and white filter or lower the colour saturation on the image to reduce the colours that artificial light gives to the photo. What you want is to keep away from yellow-ish or blue-ish images. 

Let me show you an example of how I try to get the best of natural light when taking photos, even on a cloudy day!

This is the shot I got in my studio on a rather dark day. The light from the window overpowers the light inside and makes all even darker, plus there's much going on outside which I'm not interested at all in showing as what I truly want is to focus on my bench. So the photo doesn't give me much to work with. 

But then look what happens by simply placing my focus target on the darkest part of my scene, which is the bench: the light automatically adjust and compensates giving me a much more workable photo. I don't regret loosing the trees and branches outside (which are the sad remains of my tomato plants that stayed there the whole winter!), on the contrary! 

This is the same last photo but here, I used editing tools to make it more compelling. I used a filter that amp up contrast and I made it a bit brighter to get rid of distractions and make the bench stand out. 

A note about editing and over editing 

Now, before we finish this chapter, I want to talk a little bit about editing. Having the means of photographing every bit of life in our pockets the whole time and so much creative minds all around, the amount of beautiful, truly beautiful images out there is something amazing. So in order to make your photos stand out, you gotta use a bit of editing. I mean, is not just editing for the sake of 'standing out', editing or using filters makes the image more you, more compelling and it's just so much fun. 

Whichever tool you use to edit or whichever style you have, be careful not to over do it. Go easy on the contrasts, cropping and use of colours. Most of the time, natural looking pictures work best. Unless you are doing some kind of fantasy imagery, of course ;)

The apps I use

When it comes to editing apps, my motto is the less, the better. On an ideal day, editing is actually just adding a filter. But of course just adding a filter sometimes is not the only thing you need so I have a few apps that make my photo-life much easier:
  • VSCOcam: This app is LIFE. I do most things here, from taking the photo to cropping, fixing and adding filters. It has a lot of great editing features for any need + the filters are the most beautiful thing ever. Best thing, is free! Free version comes with a limited number of filters. If you decide to purchase more (quite cheap), you won't be disappointed. 
  • PicFrame: to make collages!
  • Squaready: To crop or post entire photos on IG without cropping (if you don't want the image in your feed to look cropped even when individually they are not).
  • Easy Eraser: erase unwanted details in your pics, yeah. 
  • Font Candy: to add text to your images.
Do you have apps you love? share with me in the comments bellow!

So that's it for now! Next, check for an interview with one of my faves IGers whith her advice for a successful IG account, identity is a surprise for now, stay tuned! And later next week, the third and last par of my Instagram for Creatives series: Key points to improve your Instagram account and reach a bigger audience. 

If you have an questions, share away in the comments bellow. Thanks for reading!

Instagramming Ronbon, of course.