Friday, June 29, 2012

The Perfect Wedding

The Barn where the ceremony and reception were held. 
I was so excited to attend Bonnie and Adam's wedding on Thursday. Not only would we be witnessing two wonderful people being joined together in wedded bliss, but we would be sharing the day with old friends whom we don't see often enough (isn't that always the case?!) at the beautiful Ball's Falls in Jordan, Ontario. 

We arrived an hour early, which gave me a chance to wander the grounds and take some photos. 

I have loved this conservation area, the huge historic barns and outbuildings, since Mike introduced me to them, when we were first dating. It's a gorgeous spot. I was beyond thrilled that the wedding was going to be there!

A table near one of the open windows. A welcome breeze flowed through.

Doilies noted seating placement at the front door
Bonnie and Adam opted to take advantage of the many photo opportunities abounding at Ball's Falls and met one another before the ceremony. The love and adoration in their eyes upon seeing one another was evident. This was going to be a very special day.

I felt like a bit of a stalker, but couldn't pass up the chance of getting some pictures of the wedding party  on these historical grounds. I asked the professional photographers if they would mind if I tagged along behind them. As long as I stayed well out of their way, I was welcome. I left Mike to chat with some of his friends and excitedly ran to catch up with the happy couple and photogs.

His first look at Bonnie in her wedding dress. ( I am hiding behind a bush)

So Happy!

Beautiful hydrangea bouquet

In front of the Grist Mill

A painting of the Grist Mill, I painted, in watercolour, years ago. 

Sitting on the wall, overlooking the waterfall
(which, with the lack of rain this Spring, was sadly, very dry)

This was actually a group shot, but I couldn't resist getting a close-up
of Bonnie and Adam holding hands. 

Bonnie and Amy, being normal. LOL

I couldn't resist taking a picture of Hally's hair (Bonnie's Niece/the flower girl) while she waited for the
professional photographers to set up another shot. (Shh! She doesn't know I took it!) 

The Flower Girl, Bride and Matron of Honor, with the bags Bonnie made for the occasion

The Best Men and Groomy, with the controversial "one-hand-in-the-pocket" shot

I headed back to the Barn, to find Mike and be seated for the ceremony. 

I have attended many weddings, all special and lovely in their own ways. This wedding was unlike any I have ever been to. There was just as much attention to detail as any other wedding, everything looked beautiful. The only difference -- it seemed so relaxed and carefree! Every person you looked at, whether they be a guest or member of the wedding party, wore radiant smiles. It was the most cheerful, comforting wedding I've attended. 

There's something enchanting about sitting in an airy barn, built in the 1800's, surrounded by a small group of friends and family. I wondered about all of the events that have happened there over the years. A guitar strummed and the sublime voice of Amy's daughter filled the air, along with that joyful anticipation, waiting for the Bride. 

I put my camera down for the ceremony and was carried away by two people who genuinely honor each other and the new life they are making together for themselves and for Logan, Adam's 11 year old Son. A very emotional moment in the ceremony was when Adam surprised Logan with a personalized leather cuff, a symbol of their love for him and the new family they have become. I will never forget that moment and the look on Logan's face as his Dad and Bonnie embraced him. Why didn't I bring Kleenex? 

Bonnie's Family From Left: John (Brother), Jim and Mary Hildreth (Mom and Dad)
Bonnie, Adam, Laura and Ron (Brother), Jenn and Dan (Brother) 

Bonnie and her Dad

Adam and his Mom

Adam and Logan 

A bouquet with one of the bags Bonnie made for her wedding party

Heading back for more photos after the ceremony

Can't resist a funny mustache shot

Hors d'oeuvre?

Bonnie's sweet hair pin 

The Cake Topper. Bonnie Owl, Adam Owl, Logan Owl and their dog, Ollie

Detail from Bonnie's dress

Bonnie. One of the sweetest people I know. 

Paparazzi ;)

The barn was decorated with these lines of photo memories -- great idea

The most peaceful little spot. 

Here we are, child-free for the night. (Thanks, Oma and Opa for babysitting!)
Thanks to Laura Hildreth for the pic!
After an amazing meal and some great, heartfelt speeches we were free to roam the grounds, enjoying the company, the surroundings and a dusk that was made all the more perfect by the live band. 
What can be better than a fab live band in an old barn - - breaking out the Johnny Cash? They blended seamlessly into the night, the icing on the proverbial cake.

Sarah and Jeff

The program promised a sweet surprise at 10 pm. Sure enough, at ten minutes to Ten, an ice cream truck rolled up, out of the darkness, into the light of the barn doors!

By this time I had been drinking and dancing and my camera was safe in my car. I can't wait to see some of the photos other people have taken.

Bonnie climbed aboard and served Adam and vice-versa. Let me just say, that if you are looking to impress your friends (big and small) having an ice cream truck at your service with unlimited trips up to the window- - this is the way to go. One of the children actually went up and hugged the truck.

While enjoying one of many frozen treats, Murray (one of Bonnie's nephews) remarked that this was "probably the second best day of my life".

I'd say the ice cream truck was a success. Soft serve ice cream cones, rockets, banana splits, slushies, ice cream sandwiches, spongebob or spiderman ice cream treats...we all hit the dance floor again afterwards with a sugar high.

Look at that barn! 

I would like to thank Bonnie and Adam for letting us celebrate their special day with them. We enjoyed ourselves wholeheartedly and are so honored that we were invited! 

We wish you all of the best for this new life together. Lots of adventures to come, in your move from Colorado to Alberta! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jordin Sparks

Jordan Sparks in the Press Room at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards
Photo Copyright:  Helga Esteb

Recently I had a great opportunity via The Artisan Group. I was one of a small group of members chosen to gift the very talented Jordin Sparks!

Passion, Style, Talent
Traits Jordin embodies 

For those of you not in "the know", Jordin is one of those triple threats - - maybe quadruple even. LOL.
She's a recording artist, songwriter, actress, philanthropist, spokesperson and designer! Amazing!

At seventeen, she was the youngest winner of American Idol.
Her debut album, which was released in 2007, produced 2 hit singles "Tattoo" and "No Air" (the latter featuring Chris Brown). The album then went platinum, and Jordin earned her first Grammy Award nomination for the song "No Air".

Jordin has gone on to win many awards, including the following : 2 Teen Choice Awards, a People's Choice Award, an American Music Award, an NAACP award, and a BET award.

Recently, Jordin performed an emotional tribute to Whitney Houston at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. It's hard to imagine what meeting one of your idols would feel like. Jordin, not only met Whitney Houston, but performed with her, acting alongside her in the film "Sparkle" which is set to debut in August.

You can imagine the pressure I felt in creating something for this talented starlet!
I wanted to paint some of my feather studies for her - - feathers have been trending lately, but I think they're transcendent and appeal to everyone. I painted three different feathers and associated different traits that I think Jordan embodies to each one.

This is the Red Carpet feather that suggests her Drive and Passion for her work 

This polka-dotted feather evokes her  Style and Personality to me. Classic and Contemporary.
Did you know Jordin has created her own fragrances?
The final feather for the Songbird, Jordin. To me, this one illustrates her Talent.
Also, I read that her fave colour is purple, so I thought that was fitting!

Passion, Style and Talent Print

Would you like a glimpse at some of the other things made especially for Jordin? You're in luck! Here's a peek at some of the fabulous things made by some of my fellow members!

The Artisan Group
Anna Grace Designs

Enamel, Copper and Sterling Earrings - Quite possibly my favorites of all of the swag Jordin received. These, to me, are so perfect! I would wear them all of the time, and I'm sure Jordin will be sporting them often. So gorgeous and unique and versatile!! The companion pendant is totally fab. I would definitely wear it with my fave tee and jeans and feel A-mazing. (Don't you just love the amethyst cabochons?)

Enamel Copper and Sterling Earrings

Companion Pendant


This luscious Passionflower and Acai Berry Gift Set by bodyspell sound amazing! Exfoliating Foaming Sugar Body Butter and Cashmere Dreams Lotion created for Jordin, personalized with a "J" on the lids. Packaged in a lovely black cosmetics case for traveling, with a darling bodyspell charm on the zipper.

Gift Set by bodyspell

The Black Star Boutique

This is a romantic and sweet locket from The Black Star Boutique! Perfect for a late summer afternoon with her Honey, I think she'll love this necklace.

Butterfly Pocket Watch Locket by The Black Star Boutique

Nature's Images By Design

Check out this beautiful Note Card collection from Nature's Images By Design  Who wouldn't want to receive one of these cards?! Frame-worthy!


The Glass Lily Pad

How could anyone resist this dainty beauty? I can almost smell those lilacs, can't you? So sweet!

This is a lovely sterling silver pendant with the artisan Tracy Kavanaugh's photograph featured and a tiny purple, czech glass bead, dangling at the bottom.

Purple Lilac Photo Necklace

The Glass Lily Pad

Signature M Inc.

William Morris lived by this ideal, "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful". I love that quote, but it makes me think I need to de-clutter my own home. LOL.

This clutch was hand crafted using vintage William Morris wallpaper! It includes a zipper pouch and vintage button closure. Also included - - a pair of gold spiral wire wrapped earrings with Citrine stones.

William Morris Vintage Paper Clutch

Meant 2B Cherished

I would love to see these in person. Dichroic glass has an amazing look to it, like a fiery opal, it seems alive. I'm sure these earrings and pendant flash in the light.

Meant 2B Cherished

River Valley Jewelry

This personalized jewelry from River Valley Jewelry is so touching.

The bracelet reads "Be the Change You Wish to See in the World" and the necklace has her birthstone, initial and other personal charms included.

Custom Stamped Cuff

Here's an adorable pic of Jordin and her sweetie, Jason Derulo. They've been inseparable, lately!

Jason Derulo and Jordin Sparks arriving at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards
Photo Copyright : Helga Esteb
Bead Indulgences

How about these show stoppers? These earrings are statement pieces in themselves. Made by Deborah of Bead Indulgences. I think these will be perfect for her next Red Carpet event!!
Black, faceted spinel, jet and clear swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, expertly wrapped in 14k gold filled wire? Yes, please! :)

Black Spinel Earrings Created for Jordin Sparks 

Simply Caprine

After any event in high heels a woman needs to pamper her tootsies. What better way to do that, than with a Simply Caprine Blissful Foot Scrub and Blissful Foot Balm ! Made with simple, natural, fresh ingredients to nurture your body. I personally can't wait to get my hands (and feet and elbows) into some Blissful Balm!

Angies Jewelry Design

Sugilite Pendant

This stone was a bit of a challenge to cut, but, Wow! Was it worth it! Wrapped with Argentium Silver wire, this is a stunner!

Angies Jewelry Design 
 Laugh Love Photography

Here's a 5 x 5 Metallic photo mounted to a maple board (ready to hang) paired with a matching, double-sided photo pendant. (So cute!)

Laughter and Love Photography

Designs By Tenisha

Personalized State Prints of Jordin's Home State of Arizona and California. Great typography and so meaningful, with special Dates, Names and Places.

Personalized States
AnCar Photography

The Unicorn Dancer at the Masquerade photo tile is a romantic, mysterious and dreamy gift from AnCar Photography.

The Unicorn Dancer at the Masquerade

Kiki Bird Jewelry

Check out the great earrings and necklace set from Kim at Kiki Bird Jewelry! I LOVE them!!

So, I hope you've enjoyed taking a quick look at some of the lovely things made for Jordin! If you're interested in The Artisan Group, please check the group out here:

I would like to wish Jordin all the best as she promotes her new film "Sparkle". There's probably no end to her travel schedule at the moment. Here's hoping she has a chance to kick back and relax with family and friends this summer!

Thanks, Jordin, for sending this pic. :)
Here she is, opening up her Artisan Group bag!