Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Made It Through.....

I've made it through the past couple weeks. It is beginning to look "fall-like". Our hill is beginning to turn from green to shades of gold and green. I fear it will not be the best leaf peeping season because of the drought. 

I had my last retreat of the 2016 season the last full weekend of September. It seems so long ago but it was only 2 weekends ago. I had a lovely group of knitters and we had a great time getting to know one another. I enjoyed sharing my love of color, steeking, and embroidering on knits. I was so distracted with things on my mind that I didn't take any photos except this one of the students projects in progress. 

Most of the past few weeks have been spent on getting ready for my first book photo shoot which was yesterday and Monday. I've been working like a mad woman, making things, painting and creating. It has been a whole lot of fun if not a tad bit stressful. Creating under pressure for sure. As I was working my way through my to do list, I kept thinking that if I didn't have the deadline, a lot of the work I was making would not have materialized. I am a deadline driven woman and thrive on them - even if I do exhaust myself eventually. 

As I work on a book, it is a real building process. Nothing happens overnight. I start out with raw concepts and then begin making things. Part of the process is also visualizing how and where the photos will be taken. I knew I would be working with the lovely and talented Rikki Snyder. I have such confidence in her abilities to make my designs look their best. She has a great Instagram feed here. 

Two of the larger projects in the upcoming book are "she-sheds". I have been sharing progress here on my blog over the past few months. This was their big moment. Besides all of the physical work on the two sheds, I also had to plan how they were going to look in photographs. That included planting flowers for optimum bloom time for the photoshoot. A week before, we were supposed to get frost. I couldn't sleep all night knowing that the morning glories and zinnias I was counting on to be in the photos might not be there in the morning. Luckily, we only got a light frost and the plants and flowers made it through. 

Here are few photos from the 2 days of the shoot. 

Flowers and vases awaiting their big moment

My friend Gail Callahan, aka The Kangaroo Dyer, joined us for Monday and was an amazing help. There is so much hauling and moving of things involved in a shoot - especially when you are working outside. It is really physical work and by the end of the day I am always plum exhausted. Thank you Gail. BTW - Gail has a new website. Check it out here.

Here are some pretty shots of the gorgeous sky and the morning glories that are planted in front of the newly decorated Garden Shed. 

On Day Two, Rikki and I were working outside on two different scenes. We headed down into the lower orchard with a cart full of props, projects, food and a ladder. The sheep looked so pretty grazing in front of the house.

We set up and did one product shot. Then we set up the next. Here is what happened next.....

There were the sheep and lambs trying to nibble on one of my projects. Then they decided to get closer to us and came through the gate to inspect the cart that was loaded with food for the picnic. I quickly realized that they smelled the bread and fruit and panicked. In a split second, they could have quickly made a royal mess out of all my projects, eaten all the food, and trampled the dishes and other props. I began waving my hands and yelling to scare them off. (I have past experience doing this.) It took a couple minutes but they realized they were not wanted and headed back up the hill into the main pasture. Thank goodness. We got very lucky.

We had to act fast and improvise two gates without string. Using the bread knife, I cut some broken electronet fencing that was sticking up out of the ground. We secured the pasture and spent the next couple hours creating a dream picnic scene. As Rikki was styling the food, we were chatting about how beautiful it was going to be in the photo. But we also both agreed that neither of us had the patience or the time to go frolicking in the orchard with real dishes, silverware, tablecloths, bread, cheese and fruit. We both thought it would be a great event to attend - as long as we didn't have to do the work. 

Here is Rikki making the fruit and cheese plate. She is both a great photographer and food stylist. Her work is frequently featured in the NY Times Food Section.

Here is the orchard setting.

I suppose book photo shoots are a lot of smoke and mirrors but they sure are fun to do. This book will not be out until 2018 which seems forever away but as Rikki says - it will be here before we know it. 

We have 2 more photo shoots scheduled. More chaos for sure. I've got to keep whipping out the projects. I expect posting here to be rather sparse in October. I hope you all will be able to get outside and enjoy autumn if it is a thing where you are living. 


Auntie Shan said...

Next time you do "food", you might want to check the wind direction! Not to mention, to remember the bit about your flocks having had the "PHOTO-SHY"-GENE completely breed OUT of them!

Anyhoo, GREAT PICS! THE BOOK will no doubt be AWESOME as usual! -- BTW, Love the colour constrast of those MorningGlories against that yellow... As well as the bloom's "lines" complimenting those of the shed boards... [yeah, I "notice" that sorta stuff!]

oh, and can that orchard be more HALLOWE'EN worthy?! - I'm still half expecting some 18th-Century caped-HORSERIDER to come galloping through! - You might want to put the TEA-Kettle on...


Sally said...

Cannot wait for this book!!!!! Good luck!

Adaliza said...

Wow - such a huge amount of work. Glad your workshops all went well. I'm just starting to run my own here in Winchester - but have to wait for my 'She Shed' aka my Garden Room Studio to be built first. It's a huge project for me and I'm really excited about getting back into teaching - it's been a while. Good luck with all your upcoming projects and enjoy those leaves ...