I？was going to title this post –； The Joy of Routine， since today feels like New Year’；s Day to me， or the first day of the rest of my life， but it really is not about that.
It is a little peek or behind-the-scenes look of what it was like to have my Christmas decor photographed to be in the 2014 Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication Christmas Ideas issue.sofa pillow cases
I was contacted by the editor， Ann Blevinspersonalized gifts for dad， about a week before Christmas. ？I knew then that for the magazine photo shoot that I would have to take all the fresh greenery down， including the tree and buy new and put it all back up again closer to the photo shoot date. ？My house has very dry air， so I waited until last week to redecorate my house for Christmas with fresh greens， which were not too easy？to find in the middle of January.
I took these photos with my iPhone so they are not the best， but they will give you a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes.
This is how my foyer looked. ？The only fresh garland I could find was 75 ft in length. I only used a part of it.
Donna Talley was the stylist for the shoot and came to my house the afternoon before the photo shoot to get a look around and to buy fresh flowers. We went to my local garden shop to pick up a few. ？Donna， a.k.a. magazine photo stylist extraordinaire， did her magic when we returned to my house. The rooms were soon ready to go and Donna left for the evening.
Ed and I went out to dinner since I did not want to mess anything up. It is bitter cold here in PA and we went to a cozy little Italian place. ？It felt nice to walk away from the scene for a bit. ？We also kept the pets upstairs in one of the bedrooms so they would not jump on the furniture and to keep a certain cat named Trax from chomping on the flowers.
The next morning the photographer， Michael Parenio and his assistant， Dave McCaughan came and set up all their equipment. This is only a little bit of it. They bring a lot of stuff!
This wheeled table and computer were where the decisions were made after each photo was taken.
They darkened almost every room with black sheets or put up white sheets to bounce light. They did not use any lights or camera flashes.
After taking a shot， Mike would bring it up on the big screen. He and Donna could then see what needed to be moved， taken away， or tweaked. ？ Once they liked what they saw they took a few shots and then moved on to the next room or area that was in the photo order.
I learned quite a bit by watching them and asking Dave lots of photography questions that he happily answered when he was not busy setting up what was needed for the next shot. ？They were done in about 6 hours.
After they left， it was all about clean up and getting my house back to normal. ？My studioffice was quite a mess.
I took all the decorations down and packed them up. They still have to be taken to the attic.
One bonus –； lots of new fresh flowers and plants to keep and decorate with.
？The cyclamen looks perfect in the sunny spot behind the kitchen banquette.
The paper whites look nice framed against the snow outside.
I moved a few other items around and bought a few new things too. I will show you them next week.
Right now， I plan to get back to？my normal routine， something that I have not been able to do for the past 3 months. ？As boring as “；normal routine”； may sound， I am craving it and am looking forward to being able to get back to doing what I love to do best –； create and share with you.
When it comes to style icons, we can officially say Barbie rules the world of (extremely micro) microfashion. After hearing Oscar de la Renta teamed up with Mattel to create a bridal look for the fabulous doll, we were on the edge of our seats waiting for the end result. The final product is more than we could have hoped for and the perfect collaboration between two style legends. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Barbie took to Instagram with @barbiestyle to share her new bridal ensemble.
We've all heard the story of “If you give a mouse a cookie,” right?? One thing leads to another and it's never as simple as you give the cookie and go on about your business.? Then it needs milk, then you've got to read it a story and fluff its pillow and let it draw a picture.? (Side note…who would?do any of this with a?MOUSE?!??I would die.? I. CAN'T. EVEN.) ?So things have played out similarly with my mom's recent projects….
Despite the vast selection of printing services and canvas manufacturers found on the web, customers still find it inexplicably hard to find a decent platform on which to acquire their new personalized piece of art. And, who could blame them? Sometimes, a rich and varied selection is all it takes to make the matter more confusing. Add a mind-boggling interface and the customer may find it impossible to actually order a canvas even if they’ve decided to go for it.