Thursday, February 23, 2012

Photo-Shoot Prep: Chalkboard

I had the idea of including a chalkboard as part of the set design from the beginning. I liked the youthful and playful element a chalkboard would bring to the set.

I remember everyone oohing and ah-hing  whenever I mentioned the dimensions of the chalkboard I had in mind: 4ft by 7ft. Yep, it was big! At first, I searched the net for a chalkboard of that size but could not find one. With most craft projects, if I cannot find it, I will try and make it myself.  I had a plan and a vision of exactly what I wanted so it was actually a fun project for me. 

I went to Home Depot (gotta love Home Depot) and asked their very friendly staff about the types of hardwood boards I could use for my project. After talking to the lumber department about the type of board I needed, and after talking to the paint department about the type of paint I could use for the board that was recommended, I went with 3/4 inch plywood good-on-one-side. The  board came in 4ft by 8ft measurements, so I had them cut it down to 7ft. 

To turn the plywood board into a chalkboard, I needed chalkboard paint. I had read on Martha Stewart's blog about making your own custom color chalkboard paint by mixing regular wall paint  with unsanded tiling grout. I was excited about trying it. The paint department at Home Depot mixed a custom color that I chose to go with the wallpaper. Following how to make the custom chalkboard instructions was quite easy. I painted the board with 2 coats of paint and waited for it to dry. I tested the board as soon as it dried and I was ecstatic. It works y'all! It really works. I had my 4ft by 7ft chalkboard! It was now ready for its next phase with the super amazing and talented florist Lisa from Sweet Woodruff; who prettied it up with flowers. Yes, flowers!!! I will blog about that tomorrow :)

Here are pictures of my chalkboard project. Once again, I will not reveal to you yet how it actually looked when it was on the photo-shoot set. It want it to be a surprise if you haven't seen sneak pics of it yet :)
Selecting the board

Sanding the board

Custom Paint Mix

First Roll

Second Roll

All Painted!
Image Credit: All images taken using my Blackberry phone.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Photo-Shoot Prep: Wallpaper

After hearing that the wallpaper Cristina and I had found was out of stock, I had to find a replacement. Because time was ticking, I decided to commit to another full day of seriously looking for the decor items. 

I went around to so many shops snapping pictures to remind myself of what I saw. I knew the first place I had to start was wallpaper. I went to a Benjamin Moore paint dealer on Queen Street to search the vast collection of wallpaper catalogs. I was there for 45 minutes thumbing through books looking for pretty wallpaper. I had to narrow down a new color scheme and decide what would work with the: chalkboard I planned on making, the flowers I'd asked the florist to arrange, the headpieces...I thought about everything and how it would all come together. 

I decided on a particular wallpaper in one of the catalogs. I inquired about the ordering process and they told me it would take about a week to get the wallpaper with a $40 rush order fee. I needed to think about the wallpaper I was falling for without the pressure of other gorgeous wallpaper options around me; so I took the catalog home for 48 hours. I knew I'd found the wallpaper I wanted but needed to be sure...I needed to think about it a little bit more.

Soon after leaving the wallpaper store, I decided to head over to Home Depot to check out one more time what wallpaper options they had. You won't believe what happened then. I went to the wallpaper section in Home Depot and found the exact wallpaper I was falling for. They had it in stock and in the color I was strongly leaning towards. It was a sign! I had to get. The debate was over. I had my wallpaper. I order 4 rolls and walked out of Home Depot a happy camper :)

I am not going to reveal the actual color I chose...I want that to be a surprise when the collection launches. I will however, show you the design in three colors and leave you guessing which color I went with :) 
Wallpaper Option A
Wallpaper Option B
Wallpaper Option C
Image Credit: All images taken by me with my Blackberry phone

Friday, February 17, 2012

Photo-Shoot Prep: Sourcing Decor

I'm sorry for not blogging yesterday. I am in the process of changing my website and moving my domain name to my online that IT aspect of running a business is keeping me pretty busy.
Now, to continue on with the photo-shoot prep recap. After I placed the booking for the Gladstone Hotel, the next step was to source the decor elements for the photo-shoot. I asked if Cristina wanted to join me on the shopping trip, and she said yes. We spent a whole Saturday going from shop to shop. We were in: Mississuaga, Etobicoke, Downtown Toronto, and back to Etobicoke again. I picked up Cristina at 10:00am and dropped her back home at 6:00pm...yep, it was a full day of window shopping.
We managed to get a couple of samples of wallpaper as I knew I wanted to have wallpaper for the set. We saw a whole bunch of beautiful chairs and tables. I knew that I wanted a table and a chair in this set. I had already asked the lovely Connie from Connie Cupcake for some custom creations and I needed a table to place them on.
It's funny but the shopping trip did not yield anything other than reinforce the fact that I needed a chair, wallpaper, and table/s as part of the decor. I will blog about how I took another shopping trip and actually found items we did use for the shoot. For now, I'll share with you images of items and design ideas that did not make the cut. Please forgive my poor Blackberry images (my fault, not the phone's):
Antique Chair

Wallpaper Sample (turned out to be out of stock)

Chair 2

Birdcage and flowers
Image Credit: images are all shot with my Blackberry.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Photo-Shoot Prep: Where to do the shoot?

As promised to give details on the prep work that took place for the shoot, today's post is about choosing the location for the shoot.
During my first meeting with Cristina Alt from Geminie Photography, we agreed that the shoot had to be held at the Gladstone Hotel. I had thought of a couple of studios in the downtown Toronto area I had used in the past but Cristina highly recommended we use Gladstone. I'm glad she did because it turned out to be the best location.

Cristina and I made a date to go and see the studio rooms available for rent at the Gladstone Hotel sometime in January. We decided to do this on a Sunday and threw in a brunch as well. We brought our hubbies and our little girls along and we had a nice brunch listening to a local folk band at the Melody Bar inside Gladstone Hotel.  

We managed to slip away to check the available rooms whilst the guys and the babies got more acquainted with each other. The first room we saw was okay, but it wasn't what we were looking for because it didn't have enough natural light. The second room we saw, studio room 207 was perfect! It had two large windows on the south-side and the west-side. I was pleased to find out it was available for our chosen date of Feb. 11th. As soon as I got home, I sent an email to book the room.  

Tomorrow, I'll continue the story of how we pulled of the best shoot ever!

Here are pictures of room 207:

 Image Credit: Images taken with my Blackberry

Monday, February 13, 2012

Photo-shoot done!

After weeks of little to no sleep, I am so happy to report that the 2012 collection photo-shoot at Gladstone Hotel went superbly. This collection is my best yet! It is filled with tons of pretty...just wait till you see it :) 
For this shoot, I decided early on that I was going to design the set for the shoot. Not only was I working on the collection and fulfilling orders to be shipped, I had to come up with the overall decor concept for the whole shoot.  I knew from the start that I wanted the set to be beautiful, fresh, and feminine. After a couple of set sketches (with my grade three drawing skills), I narrowed down that I had to have: flowers, a chalkboard, and vintage elements. 
For the next couple of days, I will be blogging about all the prep work that was put into the shoot. Stick with me and I'll show you how we pulled off the best shoot ever!!! It was filled with great energy and really wonderful people.