Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ott lights

I'm still developing all of those ideas I told you about yesterday.  I showed the designs to a few friends, and it caused a huge upheaval in my plans.  It seems that my rope is not completely unique.  It looks a lot like what two other designers have done, but on closer inspection of one of them, my technique is a little different.  It might be the case with the other designer's rope, too.  I'll do a bit more research and get back to you with the results.

The other design I was working on has also possibly been done.  A friend said she saw it on Etsy, but I can't find it there or anywhere else online.  I'm going to keep designing and hope that it's different enough that no one gets upset.

So while I've been working away like a busy little bee, I don't have anything new I want to show you at this time.  Fortunately, my friend Karen from Virginia (hi, Karen!) asked me a question about Ott lights in an e-mail yesterday, so I'm going to talk about that.

Before I do that, I have an addition to Sunday's blog post on good online sites for bead shoppingMarilee Rockley, a friend and a world-renowned (I assume) tatting authority, recommends Bello Modo.  She said, "I like their selection of Vintaj and their steampunk buttons! They also have many kinds of beads and crystals."  I've added all that to the list.  Check out this steampunk tatted belt she just made with items from Bello Modo!  If you have any sites to add, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Now, finally, here's Karen's question:
I hope that you are getting rested from your bead retreat. I really enjoyed the pictures. I see a lot of the attendees have Ott lights. I've heard about them but I don't really know a great deal of information. Are they wonderful?
She's referring to the picture I had on my Spring retreat day 1 post:

Outside the mound of snacks is a ring of Ott lights.  Cords and extension cords are everywhere, and it's a lovely mess.

Here's what I replied back to Karen with a little more tossed in now that I've had some more time to think about it and to do some editing.  I'm including some pictures of my own lights.  Be warned - even though I've done a lot of cleaning, my desk is still a "lovely mess".  From what I understand, it's good for creativity to have a messy desk, so I'm not fretting about it, especially since now I have lots of space to work.

See?  Pixel in all his enormity is lounging comfortably on my desk, and I still have lots of space to work.  Wow.  That picture really does look like he's huge with a tiny, tiny head.  That can't be right.

Back to the topic!  Yes, Ott lights are really wonderful, especially in a room where there isn't a lot of light, like an open beading room or a living room.  It reduces eyestrain, and the colors are true to life.  Other lights cast yellowish tints, and it's harder to pick colors if you can't see how they'll really look out in the world.  You can read more about Ott lights and the difference between the different types of lighting here.  You can see the biggest difference in the "white" backgrounds.

The lights in the retreat pictures are the best ones for taking places because they fold up.  Here's mine folded and in use:

It's compact with a great light, and this model has a handle that folds down if it bugs you sticking up like that.  If you're going to bring a light like this to a group outing, you might want to put your name on it.  The same goes for your tools and your beading triangles (which tend to get tossed around from person to person in beading frenzies).  You want to make sure you're going home with what you came with!

There are battery operated LED Ott lights, but those tend to be too dim for many people.  They're great in a pinch - dim light is better than no light - but I wouldn't rely on them for heavy use.

There is quite a range of Ott light styles from desktop versions to ones that sit on the floor.  A few have a bit of storage (like this one), and a few have magnifiers (like this one).  JoAnn Fabrics has a really good selection of Ott lights on their websiteThis one is what I have on my desk, but I had to tape a piece of paper around the dome because I have problems with unshaded lights shining in my eyes.  It works well, but it's not really portable.

Even that much light is too hard on my eyes.  Fortunately, the dome swivels, so when I work I swivel it down so my eyes are happy.  The base is good for stashing various items that I don't want to lose in the maelstrom my desk usually is: loose beads, finished pieces, things that need to be fixed, tags I need to put back on jewelry for sale, and other miscellaneous things.

If you're going to get a new light, I'd wait until you have a 50% off coupon or when there's a sale.  They're high quality, so they're pricey.  It's not something you'd buy without a little bit of planning.  Make sure that the light you buy is an Ott light, because the JoAnn site's desk and table lamp page lumps all the lights together.  There are some non-Ott lights that say they're good for crafting, but I can't vouch for them.  JoAnn Fabrics frequently has Ott light sales, so you wouldn't have to wait long.  Ooh - it looks like right now they're having a 50% off sale!  Double ooh - look at this purple portable one!!  I wouldn't have to put my name on that one, would I?  Hmm... my birthday is only 5 months away.  (hint hint)

Another option is to get a daylight bulb at the hardware store and put in a lamp you already have.  I bought a few $10 desk lamps at Target and light bulbs to go in them so I can (hopefully, eventually) take good pictures.  I'm still struggling with that, but it's not the light's fault.  The one thing to keep in mind with desk lamps is to not get bulbs that would go over the recommended wattage.  You can, but monitor your lamp closely (so it doesn't get too hot) and only use it for short periods of time.

Here's my Target $10 desk lamp with a daylight bulb in it:

Lately I've been using both desk lamps for taking quick pictures:

It's not ideal, but I think the extra lighting has helped.

Oh - if you're going to buy an Ott light floor lamp, I recommend reading the reviews.  I've been beading at night while we watch TV, but it's far too dim in there.  I went searching online and really liked this one - it would have gone really well with the new colors in our living room, but after reading the reviews I decided to not get it.  A number of people loved it, but a number of people said it was too top-heavy and kept falling over.  Oops!  I was saved by further searching by my mother.  They had an extra floor lamp in the attic, and the color of it was perfect!  Steve bought a new lampshade at the Fleet Farm of all places, and it's gorgeous.  I need a three-way daylight bulb for it still, but even without that it's been a big improvement.

If you've been reading this and wondering if Steve and I get checks from the Ott light folks, I'm sad to tell you that we do not.  Our name is Otte (pronounced Ottee), not Ott.

Oh, geez.  I've been blogging so long that there's been a "changing of the cats":

This is why my floor is so messy.

1 comment:

  1. I've been reading the "The Iliad", and was interested in a description of a pair of earrings that the goddess Hera wore: "And in her pierced lobes she put a fine pair of earrings, Glowing and graceful three-drop clusters." The Greeks used gold and rock crystal. I issue a challenge to create a pair of earrings that a goddess could wear to seduce Zeus! Sewsoon