Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Powhatan's Festival of Fiber, Journey to the Golden Fleece, and More!

Hello.  I've been on shutdown mode for awhile, and I apologize.  Not a good way to keep followers.

I was working very hard to be prepared for Powhatan's Festival of Fiber.  It was very stressful for me, as I was hoping I'd have some sales.  Yes, I did all right last year, but there were going to be more vendors there this year, and a couple of very well-known ones to boot.  I was very stressed about the entire thing.....but I needn't be.  We had the BEST customers come in, and I got many compliments on the way the tent looked and the setup.  A lot of people told me they were very excited to see the fiber in 4 ounce braids.  It was extremely organized, especially with all my new grid walls.
From the front.  Yeah, my sign is missing.  It dawned on me after I took the pics, that I had forgotten to put my sign up!  Duh.

From the side.  The way the tents are organized, they are in a quad.  So I had 2 sides open, and a person on each of the closed sides. The grid walls fit perfectly!
Some close ups:  Dream catchers and hand spun yarn, with commercially dyed fiber in the background.
 My hand made spindles.  Sold a few of these.  Taught a couple of people some tricks and tips.  It was fun!
 These are the add-ins I sell.  Some Milk fiber - yes, it's made from the protein of the milk; some batts that I made; and some other stuff.

It was a beautiful day, except for some wind gusts.  That made things.....interesting!  lol

The ETSY shop is being updated, slowly but surely.  I had to place an order to restock after the fiber festival, and then, I had a big sale on ETSY, and had to reorder!  Not a bad problem to have!!!!!  :-)

There have been a lot of things going on in the house too.  Two weeks ago, we had a very hard rain storm, and we ended up with water in the basement!  We have lived in this house over 9 years now, and this is the first time we had water seep into the basement.  The good news is, I found it immediately.  And, our basement isn't finished.  Concrete floor.  The other good news is, we had most of our stuff in plastic bins.  I don't think anything important got wet.  I'm not a fan, nor ever have been, of cardboard boxes.  I'm glad of that!  We store a LOT of stuff in the basement, including my fiber, but nothing got ruined, thank goodness!  We also have a wet-vac so we were able to vacuum up the water.  We went out the next day and got a dehumidifier.  It didn't work right, returned it, and got another one, and it's working fine.  I really like how dry the basement feels now.  My fiber dries extra quickly too!  Win win win.

On the same note as the water seepage, is the fact of WHY it was seeping in.....so dear hubby called a couple of people.  They said it could be the runoff from the gutters.  We had our siding guy come out, and put a larger gutter on the front, and add larger downspouts.  They also made the gutters slant from the center out, and that should help with the runoff.  Geesh.

Meanwhile, we had another hard rain (no seepage even before the gutters were fixed, thank goodness) and we noticed that part of the water that was in the driveway wasn't drying up.  Dear hubby went out with our little tractor, and he was leveling out the driveway because we thought the water was just hanging out in the ruts.  Nope, that wasn't the problem.  The well is near that part of the driveway, and there was water seeping up through the ground.  What the heck!!!!!  We called a well repair company, and they came out the next morning.  They were great - they dug by hand, and found there was cement down there (they don't put cement down there anymore, they use a more flexible product) and they found that the connector to the well from the pipe, was corroded.  There was a hole in it!  Blah.  Luckily it was an easy fix.  So we had the well guys and the gutter guys here at the same time.  Talk about stimulus overload!

Today, we are having the hot water heater replaced.  Ours was from 1991.  A bit old.  So many repair people (including the gutter guy and the well guys and they plumber we had here a few months ago) told us that we shouldn't let it go that long.....eventually, it would rust out and we'd end up with a leak.  After hearing so many people say that, we decided it would be wise to be safer rather than sorry!  So the new water heater went in today.  I hope it works well.  I always worry that after the workmen leave, something will go wrong......and leaks we don't want!

Tomorrow, I have a dental appointment, because I have some sensitivity issues...not fun.

Next week, we have our Master Bathroom shower replaced.  Not the entire bathroom as Bath Fitters doesn't do that.  But the shower is as old as the water heater was - 1991.  Awful.  We have hard water, so we have a lot of mineral deposits and the caulk just doesn't work anymore.  That will feel really good, to have a new, walk-in shower!

So, on to the Journey to the Golden Fleece........I haven't done mod II yet, have you?  I just haven't had the time, or energy, to put into it.  But, I'm getting ready to prepare my fiber, and start spinning.  The good news is, I just got a new e-spinner, which can handle the speed I like to spin at, and the bulkiness of the fun art yarns I want to get better at doing, and it can still handle fine, thin yarns.  It's very exciting!   Mod III is out, but I want to get Mod II done, even though we're supposed to keep up.

Well, that's about it for me.  I want to get this posted.  When I get some yarns done on my new e-spinner, I'll post them here!
Take care and be good to yourself.

Martha










Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring, Glorious Spring.....

Hello there.
It's Spring.  Thank God.
Winter was rough.  Spring has been rough too.  But I'm here, and I'm moving forward!

We just had our grand daughter for the weekend.  She's amazing, smart, beautiful and I love that child more than life itself.  She's something!



Isn't she cool, with her sunglasses on?  She's making bows for Minnie Mouse on her Leap Pad.  Smarty pants!  I hated taking her back home. I  tell ya, if I could keep this kid, I would!  Of course, I had to take a nap every day when she took one.  I'd never get anything done, because she keeps me hopping!  So far, a weekend is all I seem to be able to handle, but I'm sure I'd get used to her being here.  :-)



Meanwhile, last weekend, we opened a little store....right here in my house!  I had received an email from a shop that I used to go to, and they were closing.  They had grid wall for really cheap, and I JUMPED on the chance to get them.  Of course, I spent almost $200 getting the feet and more hooks for 6 new grid wall panels, but hey, the panels were cheap!  LOL
Here is a photo.  This is before it's all set up, which in fact, I'm still working on.

So here it is.  Not finished yet, and by the time I do finish it, I will have to take it all down for the Powhatan Festival of Fiber.  I've already had one customer come in and she loved it - so easy to shop for what she wanted.  We weren't digging through plastic bins to find what she needed.  She actually bought more because she could see what she wanted!  Win win!  After the festival, the shop will be open for business to everyone.  It's not my "dream" shop, but it's my dream come true.  I have wanted a shop for a long time.  Until I can afford a separate building, whether that be here on the farm, or an actual retail spot, this will make me happy.  :-D


Speaking of the Powhatan Festival of Fiber, that's coming up on April 26th.  Powhatan is a small community near Richmond, VA.  Last year was the first year for this festival, and it was fantastic weather, and a fantastic turnout.  Everyone from organizers to vendors were elated with the turnout.  Come join us if you can.

Previously, I had posted that I had become a dealer for Spinolution.  I decided that I didn't like the stress of being a dealer for a company like that, so I have relinquished my dealership.  I like dealing with the fiber, and making my own spindles, much more.  So I'll be sticking to that for now.

I've been experimenting with new yarns, and have made a really crazy coiled yarn. I'll have to set it and take pics.  It's CRAZY!

Well, that's about it for now. I have a LOT of work to do, and only 19 days to do it.  So I'd better get busy. I'll try to post updates here more often.  Even the Journey to the Golden Fleece is going to have to take a back seat.  I have to spend the next 19 days preparing for the fiber festival, then I have to recuperate from the festival, then I have to do inventory to see what's left, set up the shop inside the house again, update my ETSY store (which will be on vacation for 2 weeks prior to the festival) and open it back up again, and hopefully, I'll have to place another order with Ashland Bay for more fiber (because I'm hoping I sell everything at the festival!!!).
 Take care!
Martha

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Heart....

While I'm enjoying the Journey to the Golden Fleece (see that post here), it has made me think, and thinking is what I do a LOT of.  I took a test this morning (on FB so who knows the reilability of it) about right brain/left brain.  It said I use both sides equally.  Well, that explains a lot....it's why I hold these arguements inside my head over absolutely EVERYTHING!  I'm such a mess some days that I get in my own way, and then I can't create anything because I can't decide what to do, or I think that if I want to do that, then I would be using something that I should be selling (a supply), and then I would lose money because I used it....and what if what I use it for doesn't sell?  Boy, do I get complicated. 

All that to say, I've come to realize, I don't use my heart, I use my head.....WAY too much!

I'm going to work on changing that.  It's not bad to use you head a lot, but when it gets in the way of DOING, then yeah, it's something I need to get out of.  Get out of my head.  Get into my heart.  That's what I'm going to do. 

My heart actually stopped back in 2007.  Luckily, by the time it stopped, we were already at the hospital.  I don't remember anything happening once I'd died.  No white light.  No angels.  No Satan.  No anything.  Just darkness.  Blackness.  Then back to life and light and the living. 

A lot has happened to me since then, including the fact that I never really coped with having a heart attack that killed me.  I've never really dealt with the fact I had it, or the fact that I died.

I have, however, had this NEED to do everything I want to do.  My poor loving hubby has been SO good to me.  He really changed.  I think it scared him beyond belief, and I believe he hasn't dealt with that either....

We just kept going, moving through life, trying to make the best of things, but always being cautious.

I hate being cautious.

I gave up horseback riding and gave up my horse because I was tired of being nervous every time I got on my horse, and I was tired of hitting the ground.

I did find fiber, finally.  Yeah, not the kind you eat.  The kind you play with.  Wool, in particular.  I NEVER thought I'd ever have anything to do with wool!  LOL

Now, one of my favorite yarns is in a photograph in my header on my blog.

I love playing with the fiber.  Dyeing the fiber; blending the fiber; adding shiny stuff to the fiber; making the fiber everything from lumpy bumpy, to traditional looking yarn.  

I bought a small loom because I have this NEED to make some wall hangings.  I haven't done it yet though.....I keep holding back, wondering if it will come out how I see it in my brain.

Yeah, there's the brain getting in the way again.

I colored in my Journey coloring book.  Yep, we get to color.  It's FUN.  The first page is a sail boat, that is taking us on our journey - sailing away, or sailing to?  Hmm, that just occurred to me.....

Anyway, then I colored the Mod 1 shield.  I was really into it with my pencils, then I noticed a few colored markers in my box....so used some of those too.  I like it but I chose weird color combos.  Don't know why and I'm not going to over-think it.  But, I did notice, more after I was done, that there is a small heart, dead center of the shield.  Yep, there's that heart.  Reminding me, once again, that I need to follow my heart...........

I tend to live in the future.  I refuse to live in my past.  It wasn't all bad, but it wasn't the greatest either.  I forget to LIVE in the NOW.  I forget to LOVE what I'm doing NOW.  I'm always thinking about what else I can do, even while I'm creating.  Funny thing is, when I'm spinning, I hardly do that.  I pretty much Zen out.  That's something that doesn't happen when doing any other craft.  I could literally spin all day, every day - well, except that the arthritis in my thumb joints don't really let me......

The Journey has already taught me that I'm not paying attention to NOW, and I'm not following my heart.

Oh, I so wonder, where else this Journey will take me.

I'm off to gather the things I will make my first yarn out of.  Then, I will let it keep me company in the house, around me, whatever I'm doing, for a few days.  I will contemplate as I have been doing for the last week, and I will start spinning next week at some point.

Meanwhile, I'm off to take care of some things around here and leave in about an hour for my massage, which I'm SO looking forward to..........

Take the time to enjoy what you are doing, right NOW.  Live in today. Love what you do.  Be who you are!

Take care,
Martha

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What's Happening!

A lot has been going on around here - mostly in my head.  Hahahaha.  There's ALWAYS a lot going on in there!
I previously said that I'd joined a group called The Journey To the Golden Fleece*.  It's a journey that is created for fiber folk, that want to explore their journey into the fibery goodness of their lives.   I haven't been into fiber for that long.  It has been interesting this far, and I'm excited to be involved, and continue on.

At first,  I was a bit nervous, and not really sure I wanted to delve into this.  I'd realized, from watching and reading what those that had gone before me in the first offering of this course (for lack of a better term), and many of them seemed to have gone into their pasts - their personal pasts, emotional pasts, not just their creative pasts.  If there is one thing I'm sure of, it's that I never want to go into my past.  Been there, done that, don't have any desire to return to it, and don't need to.  What's done is done!  Going back, would only cause me pain and depression, and I try not to do anything that brings either of those two feelings into my life!

We received our Mod 1 on Friday.  I was excited, but I soon got a glazed over look on my face when reading.  I was SURE I'd done the wrong thing, getting involved in this.  From Friday to Tuesday (today), I was sure that I would struggle with this.....

This morning I got up, and I was in a good mood.  I decided I would be working on some inventory this morning, then I would move on to re-reading my Mod 1 of the Journey*.   I did just that - I worked on (and accomplished) quite a bit of the inventory, and then I picked up my Journey* booklet and started re-reading.  It all started to make sense and fall into place!  I would make this about my creative journey, not about my personal life journey - after all, they ARE two separate things to me.  My creative journey is happy, and my personal journey has it's ups and downs. 

I've come to realize that even though I'm exceptionally happy with my creative journey, and where I am right now working with wool and spinning and dyeing, I am not where I envision myself.....  Right now, I'm basically a retailer - I buy items at wholesale, and I sell them retail.  That is somewhat a fun part of what I do and want to do, as I do like retail and I LOVE helping others accomplish what they want to do.  For example, someone found me on ETSY and asked if I minded a local pickup.  Heck No!  I don't mind that at all!   She and I are about 15 miles from each other.  Out here in the country, that's spittin distance!  LOL.  She makes soap, and is starting to make felted soap, so she's looking for specific colors.  I can help with that!

On the other hand, I really want to find that artist side of me.  I want to spin more, weave more, make wall hangings, make art.  I have much inspiration in my life.  My own photography makes me happy - and I photograph the things I love.....like this: 

Leo, the cat.
It was 54 degrees the day after a bad storm, see the snow in the background?  My cat is beautiful.  He's a terror though.  He terrorizes the 2 small dogs we have.  He is not a cuddler unless it's totally on HIS terms.  He is, a C.A.T.  True sense of the word.  He was born feral and I adopted him from the veterinary clinic I worked for.  He's 12 now.  So hard to believe......

Anyway, there are many other photos I love.  I dream of them being transferred into my interpretation of wall hangings.....I just need to get out of my head, and get moving with my heart and hands!

This journey is going to be amazing for me, I feel, and I'm excited to continue on.

Stay tuned....oh, and I don't have my wheel yet - I think it's getting shipped on Friday.  I hope it doesn't take another entire week to get here.

Take care,
Martha

*Journey To The Golden Fleece

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I'm a New Dealer!

I am a new Spinolution dealer!  YES!  I'm very happy.  I've been wanting to become a dealer in spinning wheels since last year.  I contacted many companies.  Part of the problem is that a lot of them require a store front.  Unfortunately, I haven't got one - yet.  Some day.  The other problem is, some of them require you to be a certain distance away from other dealers of the same wheels.  I have two very established studios within 35 miles of me - one North West and one South.  Besides, it takes a good sized investment. And you don't always get a good return on the money - what you pay and what you sell it for, isn't that far different.

I've looked at and tried the Spinolution wheels.  I've done a lot of reading (like I do with anything I am thinking of delving into).  There are many people who love them, and some who hate them.  They are unique.  And they are made in the good ole' U.S.A.!!!!!

If you notice the treadles - not your traditional treadling system.  These treadles are pushed with your toes.  It takes very little effort to spin this wheel.  The treadles are also a good distance apart from each other - which means you don't have to sit with your knees crammed together.  Great for the hips, knees, and ankles.

Do you see that ginormous bobbin?  Yeah, this wheel (the Mach III) comes standard with the 8 ounce bobbins, but the very awesome cool part of this is, they also make an Over Sized Art Yarn bobbin and let me tell you - it's BIG - a whopping 32 ounces!  That's TWO (2) pounds! 

This wheel has great ratios and can be used for everything from lace weight to the biggest chunky yarn you want to make!  How versatile is that?

No, I haven't gotten my wheel yet - but it's on it's way.  I can hardly wait.  I've used my Lendrum for about a year and a half now, and it's okay.  But I usually feel like I'm struggling with it - either with the treadling (my legs get tired), or with the tension - I'm always fiddling somehow.

If you're interested in the Spinolution wheels, you can find their website here.  Or, you can contact me.  The specials aren't listed on the website so if you're interested in more information, contact me by commenting on this post.

On other news, we had a snow storm today. 
Small dogs, big snow
I was really hoping I'd get through this winter and not have snow.  For me, that's a HUGE statement.  I don't know what it is, but this year, I just don't want to deal with the cold or snow or anything.  I am SO ready to move.  Of course, for me, that's not unusual.  Nine years in one place is long enough for me. I do love our little farm and having the horses here at home.  But I think know I'm ready for a change.  I'd love to move to California.  I want to get an RV and visit every state in the lower 49.  But - that's not feasible.  I have my business I'm trying to build, and I have a husband who's allowing me (by supporting me financially) to do this business.  He's working.  He's making money.  I'm working.  I'm spending the money....if I gave up EVERYTHING else, I'd be able to save for an RV and the traveling.  He can work from anywhere there is a signal - even on the road.  I love to drive, and I wouldn't mind driving while he worked!  I would at least be able to stop at every stop I wanted to.  lol

Meanwhile, I did some spinning today.  I've not been spinning regularly and I need to get some yarns done before the show in April.



On the left is the roving, hand dyed by me. It's Merino and Silk.  On the right is the single.  I have 3 of these 4 ounce rovings and I'm deciding if I want to spin them all myself, or spin one, and use it as an example of what the others could look like. 


This very fine (for me) spinning is time consuming and makes me a bit crazy.  I love my thicker, chunkier yarns.  But I want to make some "traditional" yarns for the show to see if they sell.  I spun for a few hours with a few breaks.

Now it's almost dinner time for us and the dogs.  So I'll get moving for now.  If you have any questions about the wheels, please feel free to contact me.  If you want to visit my shop (always love visitors), go to www.etsy.com/shop/Spinningmywheelfiber  

Thanks for checking in and thanks for reading.
Take care,
Martha

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Year Of The Horse.....

2014 is supposed to be the year of the horse....according to the Chinese calendar.  I own horses.  I love horses.  But, I'm not Chinese. 
I have in the past, made the decision to try to improve myself.  I'm 58 this year (in May) and I have decided that "improving myself" means that there is something wrong with myself, and I really don't believe that.  I don't think there's anything "wrong" with me.  I mean, there is nothing wrong with improving ones self, but I don't like the negativity of it.....if that makes sense.

Therefore, I've decided I'm going to be GOOD to myself.  I can be very good at negative self talk.  I'm very good at giving up on myself. I'm also very good at thinking I don't deserve things that I want.  For example, today we went to Staples.  I had a 15% off coupon, and hubby had some points he'd gotten because we turn in our empty ink cartridges.  He needed to get a ream of paper (we don't buy it by the box, but next time there is a sale, I'm going to suggest we do), I needed tape for my desktop dispenser, and I wanted Uniball pens.  They are the only pens that don't seem to give up easily on ink, they don't blotch, and I never have to clean off the tip to avoid a big smear of ink.  We got the tape (it's for my work) and he got the ream of paper, but when I looked at the pens, I thought they were too expensive.  Not that they really were - a box of a dozen pens was $7.99.  I just felt like it was an extravagance for me.   So I put them down and just told Honey, "let's go."   When we got to the checkout, Honey mentioned to the sales person  that we had the coupon and the points....and I said, heck, I should get the pens while we have the coupon and the points....so I ran back and got the box of pens.  We got all that stuff and spent a whopping $5.  Not a bad deal.....

Yeah, I know, that seems trivial, but I have a really B.A.D. habit of doing that to myself - like I don't deserve to have the pens I like.  Or I don't deserve to be able to order something on a menu because it's a little more expensive.  Another example is that at Christmas time, I felt like I shouldn't get anything special, because Honey is the income maker, and I'm busy spending it trying to start up my small business (in case you don't know, it's my fiber shop at www.etsy.com/shop/Spinningmywheelfiber)  so when Honey kept asking me what I wanted, I said, "you've spent enough on me and my business this year.....so I don't want anything."  In reality, there was something I'd been eyeing.  It's a ring.  Black and white diamonds.  Yes, I'd been eyeing the chocolate diamonds also, but I really love the contrast of the black and white diamonds.  Like this one here:

It's a vine, with white diamonds on one vine, and black diamonds on the other vine and they intertwine.  Yes, that's on my left hand, where my wedding ring should go.  I don't wear my wedding ring - haven't in years - except on special occasions, because I get it caught on everything.  I wear rubber gloves when dyeing fiber, or washing dishes (sometimes) and when I was riding horses, I got my ring finger caught once and had to grab the ring off it before it swelled so it wouldn't have to be cut off.   The diamond sticking up on the wedding ring was kind of a pain.  So, I told Honey, that I wanted this ring.  We went searching in every jewelry store in the mall the weekend prior to Christmas.  We finally found it at Zales.  That is where my wedding rings are from too.  Mind you, my wedding ring isn't huge (I guess it's actually my engagement ring but they are one in the same - it's complicated).  So we bought the ring.  Then it had to be sent in to get sized - as you can see from the photo, I have a chubby hand...which matches my chubby (not being negative, but being truthful) body.  We got the ring back the first week in January.  I love LOVE my ring.  I can wear it all the time, and it's really pretty, not huge, and it doesn't get caught on most things (it has little sharp edges though and sometimes they catch a little).

So, now I have an opportunity to join in something called "The Journey To The Golden Fleece."  Here is a link http://fiberygoodness.com/golden-fleece-certificate/ and it explains a bit of what it is all about.  Basically, it's a course to delve into your journey in fiber and fleece.  I think being fairly new (just over a year) into this journey, it sure wouldn't hurt to do this.  Only it costs $250.  Yes, there are less expensive ways to do it, but I want the FULL experience.  The first group of people have really seemed to enjoy what the journey is about, and have posted on FB about it.  It seems exciting.  It could be because I love joining in a group like this - to belong.  That is something I had to think long and hard about - is that the only reason I wanted to do it?  Is it that I don't want to be the one on the outside?  Justifying the cost was huge for me - I really don't give up $250 easily.  Especially since I am not the one MAKING money right now, but the one spending it.....

 When someone mentioned it on Facebook, I responded and said I was trying to justify the cost.  Her comeback was, she justified it as an educational cost.  Insert another head slap here!   Yes, it IS educational.  I'll be guided through this journey by people that have a LOT of experience in this field.  It certainly can't hurt to IMPROVE myself.  I can't really go anywhere to seminars, or classes, and yes, it's a lot of money, but I'm NOT going to classes and traveling, so why not take advantage of having mentors (something I've really wanted along the way) and having help with figuring out what MY journey is about?  Instead of floundering around like a fish out of water, I want to swim with the rest of the fish, big and little, in our little school. 

However, because this is the year of me being good to myself, and treating myself like I deserve to be able to have good things, nice things, and things that will help me through my life, I wanted to really belong to this, join in this, and learn something about myself.

See, I seem to get very lost in my "business."  Someone recently tagged me in a post on FB, and said that this blog she read here reminded me of the struggles I go through, and what I consider "success."  Yes, I do struggle - a LOT!  I think I'm not successful with my business because I'm not making a ton of money, and people aren't buying my fiber in droves.  Well, guess what?  People ARE buying my fiber - maybe not in droves, but I get a couple of sales a month.....and that's better than nuthin!  Well, I get a couple of sales most months, after all, I have to be truthful.  LOL

That blog post really hit home with me.  I realized that I make this all about the money.  You know what the Universe says, right?  It says, if you think about NOT having money, you'll never have money.  If you think about how UNsuccessful you are, you'll never have success!  Well, duh!!!!  Insert head slap here....

So, I am working on being good to myself this year, right?  Here I am, trying to figure out what makes me happy, and what I can do to make myself happier, and be better to myself.  Here it is - BE HAPPY with what I'm doing!  When I'm happy, I tend to get a sale in my shop.  When I'm doing what I love, I get compliments and I get attention (and I seem to like attention). 

Therefore, I am getting better at being better to myself.  I'm going to be going on a journey that excites me.  I'm working harder on my business, and I'm being a better business person by keeping better track of everything as one of my goals for this year. 

There is certainly nothing wrong with being good to yourself.  Whether it be to be healthier, feel better, treat people around you better, or treat yourself to things you deserve -- as long as I don't go overboard, I think I'll be fine.  And I am happier than I've been in a long time!

So be good to yourself.  You DO deserve it.  If you work hard, and you have someone supporting you, then you're half way there.....

Take care,
Martha
P.S. - I wanted to add photos but something happens between blogger and Internet Explorer and my computer - they don't like each other.  I'm having a really difficult time with photos on my blog. :-(  So I'm sorry there weren't more pics.









Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Photography

I love photography.  I love outdoor photography the best, but since I have a business, I'm working on getting better photos of my items for sale.
Most of the time, I can get decent photographs inside, in natural light.  In our office, we have double windows facing North/Northwest, and a single window facing North/Northeast.  The walls are white and reflect a lot of light. In fact, right now, it's really bright in here, and that's partly because it snowed yesterday and the sun is out, so LOTS of natural light. 
I invested in a better camera, a DSLR, last year, finally!  I have wanted a DSLR for years, but couldn't justify the expense, but needing it for "work" was a better justification for me.  I LOVE my DSLR.  It's a Nikon D3100. I did some research and read that it can be very good in low light.  With a lot of Oak trees on our property, this place is always darker than if we had no trees.  So low light is something we live with ALL the time, even in summer.....

Here is what my setup looks like. I took these photos with my IPhone 4S because I wanted my camera in the pictures, and it can't be in 2 places at once.  It was night time, the overhead light with daylight bulb was on, and the camera used the flash.

Here, you can see one of the windows - this is the single window.  You can also see the sheet on the wall, and the back of the mirror (the brown in the front right of the photo).

 Here, you can see a straight on shot of the setup - sheet on the wall, bowl I place things in, a small vas for smaller items to be up against, and the tripod with the camera.  Please don't pay attention to the messy bookcase! 
 Here is a closer version of the setup. You can see the mirror better and how it reflects the light.  It is one of those mirrors you hang on a door, or hallway, to see yourself full length - not really expensive either.  It leans up against the table.
I have tried other setups.  I've tried making light boxes, using the 3 sided cardboard setups kids use to display their stuff in school. I've tried the cardboard box, cutting out the sides and top and placing tissue paper in there and using lights.  The only thing I haven't tried is a real light box, and that's mostly because I think it would be too small for most of my stuff.  I've tried lights of all sorts, and it's never right - the colors don't come true at all, and all the playing in the world with editing programs, never makes it come out right.

I had to download the instruction manual from online, for this camera, but I only printed the pages I needed to tell me how to set it up for the best indoor photos.  This camera has settings on the dial, one of which is an M.  Right now, I can't find the pages I downloaded (not unusual) so I can't tell you what the M stands for, but with the other settings on the camera in the right places, this setting reads the light when I push the button down halfway, then when it's done reading the light, I finish pressing the button, and it takes a GREAT photo.  The only thing is, I have to use a tripod because if the camera shakes at all, the photo is blurry and ruined.  The lens stays open a LONG time, and any movement will cause a blur. 

Mind you, I haven't perfected this whole process yet.  I have a long way to go to really LEARN what I should be doing.  Having a DSLR isn't always the easiest way out and it's not cheap.  But I'm learning and I'm having more success with my photos.  I'm learning to use a bowl and a vase and other props to help make the photos more interesting.

I know a lot of people that have the huge setups - with the professional reflectors, and the extra flash that extends away from the camera, and even fancier backdrops.  I've read reviews of the smaller light boxes and the lights that come with them, and people have said the lights are worthless.  They don't add enough light to really help.  I think natural light is SO much better to work with.  Even if you have to take things outside, in the shade.  My problem is, there is way too much shade on our property and the photos come out too dark.  Or it's too hot outside, or too cold, or raining.  Virginia weather can be fickle......

I'm also learning that running an online shop is a LOT of work, and can be frustrating when I don't get views and sales.  The sales are few and far between.  I've recently had to raise my prices a bit, and add shipping, which previously was included in the cost of the items I sold. 

Pricing is such a tricky thing.  But I'll get into that in a separate post.  :-)

I'm glad you stopped by today.  I hope this helped you out if you've been struggling with a photo setup.  Not everyone can do it this way.  But not everyone can afford the large light reflectors and fancier camera, and fancier lights either.....

Thanks, and take care.
Martha