Category Archives: camera

Jessamyn Not Jasmine? Please, y’all- I’m a SELF-HOSTER now!

It’s been a very busy 24 hour period in the world of Jessamyn Not Jasmine.

1. I finally cleaned my kitchen counter and moved my lightbox into its semi-permanent kitchen counter locale. This probably isn’t a big deal for anyone but me- since I still haven’t changed the overhead lamp in my kitchen, the addition of three 100-watt lightbulbs has made a once dungeon-like kitchen into a mini-photo studio.

2. My canon lens arrived. Therefore, I’ve been snapping pictures of every individual item in my apartment (it would probably be a little embarrassing if I didn’t lack self-respect). The definition of the EF 50 mm F/1.8 Prime lens is blowing my point&shoot mind to smithereens. Of course, since my camera usb cable is still in the mail, I can’t physically share any of my ridiculous photos yet. But just know that this is pretty much what I look like:

amelie

3. I am officially a self-hosting presser of words- jessnotjazz.com is live! However, if you actually go to this website, you will not see anything worth noting. Therefore, I am taking a planned weekend break from jessamynnotjasmine in order to put in the necessary elbow grease for a fully functioning .com. Also, I have a weekend cooking project in the works, so look forward to a recipe post by the start of next week.

Is that all? Yes, I think so.

Good-bye, April. It’s been sort of nice knowing you.

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Jessamyn Makes a LightBox!

We all have secrets. Sometimes the secrets aren’t particularly scandalous or intriguing. In fact, a lot of the time they’re not even meant to be secrets. Maybe they should be called ‘little known facts’. Well here’s a little known fact about Jessamyn: I spent three years of my life working in an arts and crafts store. Basically, this means three things:

1. I’m a master multi-tasker, and can fix a broken cash register while reorganizing an arsenal of same size paint brushes.

2. I am an unlikely resource when it comes to framing jigsaw puzzles.

3. I’ve been known to talk about the most mundane scrapbooking techniques for hours without realizing the passage of time.

In my post-arts and crafts store world, I try to keep my crafting to a bare minimum. In fact, the craftiest thing in my everyday life is the inevitable winter knitting itch which hits me in mid-October and (always) fizzles out by late January. Therefore, I’ve been knitting the same black and white striped cowl for over two years (but for the record, when I finally finish it, y’all are going to be so jealous.)

Anyway, while I rarely feel the crafting itch, I was very intrigued by Ashley and Stephen’s (of the fabulous neverhomemaker) light box project. Because I don’t take my photography seriously, I didn’t think making a light box was a reasonable use of my funds. However, with a new camera in the mail and armed with a new outlook on my potential photography skills, I decided it might be worth it to give myself a space for creative education. Therefore, this morning I decided to build a light box from scratch.

For those of you who are not photographers, familiar with photography, or don’t spend hours of your day on the internet, a Light Box is an excellent way to diffuse soft light in a contained space, creating a malleable space where light and shadows can be manipulated. Basically, for someone who wants to become a better food photographer but lives in a lighting dungeon, a Light Box is a fairly good investment. Obviously, like any other item in the world, you don’t need to make one- you can buy a Light Box. However, if you’re not a professional photographer and don’t mind spending a couple of hours hanging out in a giant cardboard box, making a Light Box with household items might be right up your alley.

So, armed with a fresh cardboard box, tissue paper, velcro, and a hell of a lot of packing tape, I got to work.

(Of course, since the camera isn’t actually here yet, I only have a rather crude camera phone photo. Thank you, verizon.)

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Isn’t it lovely? It looks way more complicated than it actually is- it’s really just a cardboard box covered with tissue paper. The process took a little longer than it probably should have- I managed to watch two episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (my new, ever-so-slightly embarrassing obsession) before taking this photo. All in all, it was not a very expensive project, though I did have to buy three utility lamps at ~$7.00/each. Also, I bought three different swatches of fabric for backdrop- two patterns and one solid black. I haven’t found a permanent home for my new box. At the moment, it’s housed under my kitchen table (which also doubles as my desk and lives in my living room- yes, I try to be as unorthodox as possible.)

Since I didn’t have the patience to take a thousand process shots of this project, I must insist you check out the neverhomemaker instructions in order to actually learn how to make one of these babies. I followed their instructions to a Tee, but I definitely didn’t do any of the steps they deemed unnecessary. That probably sounds a little silly, but trust me- you’ll understand after you check it out for yourself.

What random crafts/activities have you attempted lately?

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How My Life Turned into The Gift of The Magi

Obviously, I’ve read the Gift of The Magi. I mean, my man Willie Porter was born in Greensboro, so I’ve been learning about him since I was a baby thumbsucker. I understand the story’s significance. I just didn’t think the significance would make such a profound appearance in my personal life.

Remember when my wallet was stolen? Well, my camera was stolen as well. Even though I secretly wanted a new camera, I couldn’t actually afford to buy one. Thereby making the theft of my only photographic device a pretty big bummer. There are so many events in my life which desperately need to be photographed and, as of the present moment, I can’t Sad smile. I’ve been wanting to write the story of Jessamyn’s First DSLR, but I couldn’t see where the money was going to come from. All in all, the last few weeks in my personal blogging and camera land have been a modern adaptation of  an Edgar Allen Poe story.

Until O.Henry decided to get in the mix.

You see, I’ve been planning an April trip to NYC since February. And it’s not just any old trip- this upcoming weekend is Fat Girl Flea Market, a veritable mecca for fashionable fat girls. I’m tearing up just thinking about it- Saturday is the market, but the weekend will be filled with fun and frolicking around the city with my Fat sisterhood. I’ve been pumped about this for months. Literally, MONTHS. However, when my camera went missing, so did some of my excitement- what if I couldn’t film Fat Girl Flea Market? Thus began my two week long existential crisis.

Until I was offered a choice: I could own the camera of dreams, made for capturing the unstoppable memories of Fat Girl Flea Market (like meeting some of my Fat idols- Gabi of Young Fat and Fabulous, or Marianne and Lesley, my Two Whole Cakes mamas). But, in order to purchase the (VERYEXPENSIVE-OMG-MYHEADJUSTEXPLODED) camera, I would not be able to afford a spring trip to Jay-Z’s hometown.

Well, Jay-Z, you know me- I’m a rebel.

canon rebel

Hello, lover.

Yes, I’m definitely sad about not being able to go to Fat Girl Flea Market. Really sad. I mean, I’m going to miss A LIVE RECORDING OF MARIANNE AND LESLEY’S FATCAST! But I’ll be in the city this summer, so it’s not like I’ll be gone forever. And this purchase was actually a necessity, unlike the clothes I would have had trouble schlepping home from NYC. Anyway, I can’t wait for my camera (and new lens) to arrive. In the mean time, I’ll just waste hours of my life on ups.com, tracking the hell out of my purchases.

On an unrelated note, if anyone would like to donate money to the cause of Jessamyn Can No Longer Pay Her Rent, please e-mail me (jessamyneatspraysloves@gmail.com) for more information Winking smile.

(Yeah, I used a winky face, buttttttt…the rent sitch is kind of real life.)

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