Carol Heppner Updated Website

Looking for creative inspiration? 
Make sure to visit my updated website and check out my new look.  
You will find free digital publications to download and a lot more too.

Waiting to see you there! 

Fresh Floral Jewelry by Wendy Andrade

Love flowers?  Yes, me too.  So, when Schiffer Publishing asked if they could send me a free book, Fresh Floral Jewelry by Wendy Andrade, to review, I was delighted.

The first thing that struck me about the book was the quality of the book itself.  Yes, I love digital, but the quality construction of this book really stood out to me.   I noticed the high quality of the paper and printing immediately.   You will too.  The projects in this book are sophisticated, so the book construction really adds to the subject matter.   The layout and photography are wonderful as well.

We often talk about mixing mediums in art, but Wendy Andrade takes it to a whole new level by adding fresh flowers to her beautiful designs.  This book is great for those who love to make jewelry and those who love working with flowers.  It’s the best of both craft worlds.

Like most jewelry-making books, the book does a great job of explaining the different materials and techniques that are used in the projects of the book.  The book is broken out into the different seasons and flowers which you find throughout the year.  They even give you the names of the flowers that are used in each project.   

The step-by-step photographs and instructions in Fresh Floral Jewelry are easy to understand.  The project instructions are well written and some even include patterns to follow.   Many of the techniques will be easy to master and once you are familiar with the techniques, you will be able to use different color wires and flowers to really make the jewelry your own.

These 32 individual projects are statement jewelry pieces that will really add to a simple dress.  As you will see by these beautiful photographs that are in the book, these projects are perfect for proms, dinner parties and even weddings.   

With all the different colored jewelry wires in stores these days, you will be able to create a custom piece of jewelry that will work with any dress.  

Make sure to visit the Schiffer Publishing website at and check this book out for yourself.  You’ll be happy you did.

Summer Baking

It is always fun to make chocolate-chip cookies and Pillsbury just made it more fun for me.  They now have gluten-free chocolate-chip cookie dough.  So, I can make cookies in a snap.

While they are delicious, my goal was to make cookies for a photo shoot.  The cooking took very little time and I was ready to take my photographs as soon as the cookies cooled.  I wanted to share my top tips for photographing your baked goods so these cookies, while they lasted, were my photographic subject for the day.

Photographing food is an art and if not done right, it can look unappetizing.  Many stylist have tricks they use to make the food in magazines look wonderful.  You do not have to go to great lengths to share your home-baked goods with your friends on the internet.

Here are my five tips for photographing your baked-goods for the internet.

  • Get in close.  You want to make sure your baked items are front and center as I did with these cookies.  There is no mistaking that the cookies are the main subject of this photo.
  • Photograph your best baked item.  Pick out the baked goods that look the best and work with them.  If it means that it is only one cookie, then work with the one cookie.  After all, if the baked item doesn't look great before you take the photograph, it will not look great after you take the photograph.
  • Avoid cluttered backgrounds.  You want your friends to focus on the food and not what you have on your table or kitchen counter.   A simple background will help you keep your baked-goods the star of the show.
  • Photograph in natural light when possible.  Natural light brings out the beauty of the subject and you won’t have to worry about adjusting the light balance of too yellow a light from kitchen lights.
  • Keep shadows light by making sure your light source is filtered.  If you are photographing your work near an opened door and you are getting shadows that are too harsh, move your photo shoot father away from the door so the light isn't as strong.  The stronger the light, the harsher the shadows. 

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