I just spent five fabulous days with my sister, Sheila, and friend, Patti (the great gardener featured in my previous post), who came for a visit from Ile des Chenes, Manitoba. The girls were anxious to test out Sweet Pickins milk paint and Patti's van was packed full of furniture that we planned on painting. But in all honesty, we didn't even pick up a brush. Instead we spent time just hanging out and chatting, and a wee bit of shopping. The gals are now gone, my home is quiet once again and it is time for me to start working. Catching up with blog posts is number one on my list.
First, I would like to acknowledge some wonderful ladies that assisted me with my website.
Thank you to Kathie McIlvride, a Winnipeg artist, for her door illustrations (as seen above and elsewhere on my site). I basically told Kathie I wanted some illustrations that would include both gardening and doors and I was thrilled with the designs she came up with. Kathie has also designed lettering and many other images for me that I will adding to my site as time permits, as I am still tweaking that sort of stuff. Kathie is one talented lady.
I would also like to thank my sister, Sheila Beauchemin, who is a graphic designer and one heck of a creative gal. Sheila spent endless hours with me on the phone answering all of my "web-based" questions and kept me from having complete meltdowns when I did not understand something. I sent Sheila many screenshots of my site and she provided input. And if she hated something, she told me, as only a sister could.
During all the craziness trying to get my site up and running, I received a Christmas package in the mail from Sheila that included these bath salts.
Really? Only a sister could.
A few days later I was talking to my Mom and she mentioned to me that Sheila was helping her with Christmas shopping this year, as she was not feeling well. This e-gift card was my present from my Mom and I can only guess that my 80 year old, computer illiterate mother was not the sender of this. Yup, only a sister could.
So, Sheila, I would like to thank you for all your help. When your garden is as beautiful as Patti's garden, I would love to photograph it for my website. Keep on working it, Sunshine. (Payback - as only a sister could). Just kidding! Sheila's garden is amazing.
The last gal I want to thank is my friend, Sharlene Bourdeau. I had chosen about 70 small items that I wanted to paint with Sweet Pickins milk paint and was just getting started when Sharlene called and wanted to make a lunch date for later that day. I told her I was completely swamped with painting and we would have to do lunch another time. Sharlene said she would be at my house in an hour and she painted like a trooper for two solid days!
Once we finished painted, I still had to photograph all of the items for my shopping pages. Sharlene said taking photos would be so much easier with two of us and she came back again for another day or two to assist me.
I am more of a people, landscape and abandoned building type photographer and I had never done any product photography before and things did not always go smoothly. I needed about 100 product shots and it was challenging!
Sharlene and I started out being very creative in showcasing the beautiful milk paint colours. After it took us about 15 minutes to take the shots as seen below, we changed our mind and went with quicker and easier ideas.
So, to any new photographers out there, you really need to know that most neat shots are not fluky or beyond your abilities. Try different angles, try getting closer to your subject with your camera and keep on taking photos until you get the shot you want. Persistence is what makes you a better photographer.
The photo below is always going to be one of my favourites. Not because it is a wonderful photo, but because of the memories that go with it. As soon as Sharlene and I mixed up the "chocolate brown" milk paint, we both knew that when we took photos we had to include real chocolates. We used fishing line to hold up this letter M and taking the shot was quite the production. As soon as we had the "money shot", I mentioned to Sharlene that I had washed my floor earlier in the day. She knew exactly what I meant and we threw the 30 second rule out the window, made a fresh cup of coffee and proceeded to eat the entire box of chocolates.
Thank you Sharlene for all of your help and support. Your kindness and our friendship mean a great deal to me.
I would also like to thank my wonderful son, Brendan. He is no doubt the creative one in our family. He is a student in the Film Production program at Confederation College and I am very proud of him! I love the fact that we have so much in common. Both Brendan and I always have a camera of some sort in our hands and love to talk shop.
I texted Brendan when my site went live and later that day I spoke to him and asked him if he had seen my site. His answer was "I don't know". Really? He didn't know? Had my only son turned into an alien or did he bang his head and was now suffering from amnesia.
I later realized that he didn't know how to answer my question as he was trying to keep it a secret and surprise me by being my first customer. As soon as my site went live, Brendan had ordered black milk paint.
The next day he asked for a refund because he didn't really want the paint. Only a son could.