A Flat lay Experience

Flat lay photography is where objects are laid flat on a surface and photographed from a bird’s eye view by standing directly over the display.

It is a simple way to create a clean visual display of items.


Wrapping Paper against White poster board


Here are four tips on how to create a remarkable flat lay display.

  1. Versatility and Simplicity all rolled into one.  A variety of backgrounds can add a striking dimension to the display and the cost involved is not of breaking the bank proportions.  The dollar store or local arts and crafts store carry poster boards and cardboard sheets and you may even find a few props to boot at a reasonable cost as well.  You can never go wrong with the basics: A clean solid white sheet of cardboard or poster board.  Even within the home are a variety of resources to tap into such as, an accent wall, or exposed brick wall or even the wood planks of the deck.  These can all add a different texture to the display.  Colors and patterns add a striking dimension to the display making some items pop even more.


2) Stick to your Good Side – Select a space that allows the most natural light or other bright light without casting shadows on the flat lay.  This may require moving things around or even moving to a different section of the room or building that has large windows.  The time of day will also determine the quality of the natural light.

3) Keep the Creative Juices Flowing – Flat lays allow a lot of room to be creative.  First identify what the underlying theme is and then lay out in a manner that balances out for shape and size.  The bulk of your time should be directed towards selecting the items and the background and mapping out the layout of the chosen items.  Standing on a  step stool or a chair will give the photographer additional height.

4) Just a click away – Even a phone camera can get the job done.  Most smartphone cameras have user friendly interfaces that allow for sample shots to be captured and reviewed and the layout tweaked accordingly.  Experiment with different backgrounds to see what makes the items pop, what takes full advantage of the lighting before shooting off the finished image to a social platform of your choice  – Do I hear Instagram calling?

Wallart Sharp Bangles-5

Blue and white Striped background

Have fun in the process!


Priceless -the Power of Synonyms

Synonyms are words or phrases that mean exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language.

Adroit use of synonyms can transform the mundane to phenomenal. The objective is to conjure in the mind of the reader a certain mental imagery, feeling or sensation.


Same image – different emotions.

Commenter 1 – Nice one!  Great angle that draws in the viewer.

Commenter 2- Captivating composition! The richness and intensity of color of the red peppers is mouth watering.

Analysis – Same subject evokes (bring to mind, conjures up, summons (up), elicits, induces, kindles, stimulates, stirs up, awakens, arouses, calls forth😉 different descriptions in the mind’s eye; the human ability to visualize, to “see” things with the mind.

In this day of social media marketing or branding using hash tags that are synonyms can be of great application.

Hash is short for hash mark, which is the pound sign(#).  Hash tags are words or phrases preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.

For the image of the peppers, here a few synonyms that can be used as hash tags: #capsicum, #peppers #piquant, #spicy, #fiery #smokinghot #fierce #pungency #redhot #peppery which could make it easier to search for.

When next you come across an image of an ALLEY, beyond the obvious descriptors such as  #backstreet, #walkway, what other descriptors come to mind?

Dictionaries and Thesauri are valuable tools for identifying synonyms that can serve as hash tags that make it easier to locate content or information of interest to the searcher and inevitably boosting social media traffic on the source site.






…In the land of cruciferea

Over the holidays, I tried so many yummylicious dishes but one that made an immediate and lasting impression on my mind and palette is the massaged (with extra virgin olive oil) kale salad.  This salad of fresh, crisp greens with the right touch of salt was or is heavenly.

That meshing of textures and flavors was all the inspiration I needed to embark on my next kitchen mission, to replicate that salad but this time with a twist of my own.  The best part, preparation time is under an hour!

Kale is in the cabbage family which falls in the cruciferea classification.   Cruciferea means cross bearing because of the shape of its flowers whose petals resemble a cross.  Kale has green and sometimes purple leaves.  It is high in soluble fiber, vitamins A and C.  Per calorie cooked kale has more iron than beef.

Although a winter crop, it is available all year round.  However, the winter makes it sweeter.  A staple in most vegetable smoothies, Continue reading

The Writer’s tool kit

Learning about a device that is portable enough to allow for easy writing on the go, got me thinking of the many other  ways to make the best of my ideas and observations even in my sleep.

“What’s in your wallet? (in my best Samuel L Jackson impersonation) Not exactly.  How about, what’s in your Writer’s tool kit?

Here are a few that come to mind:

  1. Speed Writing Devices – Michelle Stimpson talks about the Alphasmart, for  speed writing.  It is a word processing device that has a full size QWERTY keyboard and display screen and saves your typing as you go.  It is good for writers on the go because it is portable, offers distraction-free writing (no internet connection needed) and uses batteries.  Following attempts to successfully recreate or transfer from mind to paper some ideas that came to me smack in middle of my subconscious sleeping moments, I realized with a quickness that waiting is not an option.  Before then, I had grappled with the frustrations of coming up empty, because I waited until I was fully awake to write down the “light bulb” bright idea which by then had gone POOF!!.

 2) Journals, Notepads, Pieces of Paper — Putting pen to paper.   Having something to write on by my night stand or in my handbag rather than having to wait until I am at my desk helps in capturing my fleeting thoughts and observations on the spot.

3) Phone Applications –  My phone is one item I carry along with me most of the time.  I have several applications on it, one of them is Color Notes, a virtual form of the sticky notes.  It has been a tremendous help even during my “in between” full consciousness and sleep moments. It has the option of text or creating a check list and comes in a variety of colors.   The best part is that you can share those notes as an attachment or even in the body of the email and transfer that into a word document.

4. Reading List – Signing up wit a a writer’s group or workshop and in addition to the classics, reading a lot of other books within and outside the particular genre are good choices, a few of which may be available for free.  One advantage of expanding one’s reading list is that it exposes the reader to different writing styles, vocabulary and in itself may offer valuable tips on character development and description.  One book on my reading list is a guide that somewhat reinforces some of the time-tested practices of a lot of writers, The Observation Deck.

             The Observation Deck – A Tool kit for Writers – It offers tips on the different stages of the creative process from conception to completion with the aid of a deck of cards.  “It gives you the opportunity to experiment with different ways of working and relieves you of the anxiety of having to constantly decide what to do next” (Introduction).

The card “watch for Gesture” reminded me of one of my trips in which the lady in the window seat glanced away from the white tablet, stretching her free hand to receive the Irish cream and cup of coffee” from the flight attendant.

The guide also talked about looking through photographs including old picture books for inspiration for character development.

20151202_055354-2If you are well acquainted with the public transportation like myself, this is spot on, the Eavesdrop card.  Some of those discussions can be quite interesting.  The suggestion is to eavesdrop for about 15 minutes, writing down every word or tape record the discussion and type it up word for word and read the transcription.  This reveals the disjointed nature of real conversations and gives the writer, the opportunity to edit the transcript.  The Rearrange card highlights the fact that moving chapters or events or parts around or even beginning with writing the end or just starting anywhere may be the most logical next step to take towards creating a polished product.

What tools do you use to craft your art; your masterpiece(s)?

Abandoned…now what?

In the Recipe for Protection post series, we identified the different types of Intellectual Property: Patents (inventions);  Trademarks (symbols, names and images) and Copyrights (literary and artistic works).   In What you should know before you Reverse Engineer Grandma’s Mouth-Watering Oatmeal cookies we compared different kinds of IP.

These protections are an incentive to innovators or and inventors to share their works with the general public thereby fostering a healthy environment for creativity.

Creativity, Innovation, Invention, Experimentation

This *post will focus Continue reading