Our 2011-2012 Catalog and Calendar has been printed and posted and should be arriving in your mailbox any day now. You may be seeing it for the first time, but I've been working on it for the past 11 months! Of course, like any big project, I didn't do it alone. I had help from my family and friends. It all started with the front cover: I'm lucky to have a Mom who is a talented seamstress and knitter. She's quite accustomed to my crazy requests, so she didn't bat an eye when I asked her to knit 7 miniature winter hats in colors that matched our bon bon foils. Did you notice? Each flavor and it's signature color foil is represented. From left to right they are: Cafe au Lait, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cookies 'n Creme, Coconut, Fudge Brownie, Peanut Buttah, and Pistachio. Those little hats are so cute, don't you think? Mom did a fantastic job!
My dear friend, Millie Holloman, is the uber-talented photographer behind all of these gorgeous bon bon vignettes. I arrived at her photography studio with boxes full of miniature props and materials that we would need during the shoot (an iron, tape, lots of bon bon "models", knives, towels and more). Millie spent most of the shoot lying on the floor in order to get the proper perspective on the world of bon bons, as I worked to prep each shot.
The final result may look effortless, but the process is anything but. Our July centerfold, for example, is featured lying on a hammock. The hammock sits on top of wheat grass (purchased by Pascal at Tidal Creek co-op). It is supported by two bamboo chopsticks. The problem? Getting a rather plump bon bon to balance in the middle of the hammock without rolling off of the hammock and into the grass. It took many failed attempts before we got the shot that finally ended up in our catalog.
Another challenging set-up proved to be our December shot of two bon bons sitting around a fireplace. In this case, "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care" is a huge understatement! The miniature garland for the fireplace coupled with the two custom-made stockings (did you notice Bon and Bon embroidered on each one?) proved too heavy to stick to the resin fireplace with any of the tapes we had in our supply kit. I ended up chewing a piece of gum and sticking it into the back of the garland to get it to stay. Even then, Millie had to work fast to catch a shot that didn't include drooping garland!
Each month has its own story, its own unique details, and its own "inside messages". For example, take a close look at the December scene, and you'll see a shopping bag from the famous Parisian department store, Galleries Lafayette. In February, the books on the nightstand are Harlequin romances with actual miniscule text printed on each page! March (an autobiographical month) features my favorite brand of bottled water, Volvic. And, April is a nod to two of my own nicknames--my girlfriends call me "Bon Bon"; my Mom has always called me "chick". The miniature vintage refrigerator for November and December 2012 was borrowed from my friend Matt. (It is a part of his extensive Hallmark ornament collection.)
As the year continues, I'll share more behind the making of our calendar. Meanwhile, we hope that you appreciate this gift from "our house to yours". Like our bon bons, it was a labor of love, made with plenty of thought, heart, humor, and personality.
Thanks to you for being a part of the extended South 'n France "family" and thanks to my immediate "family"-- Pascal, Mom, Millie, Matt, my brother Chad, and the others--who played a role in making our calendar come to life!