The Cottage Girls 2015 Calendar: March

Here’s March’s “Calendar Girl” which happens to be Miss Pat Beagle! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then read this post here.


It’s March and I may be starting to sound a little forged very shortly, but this is one of my favorites as well. (translation or heads up: there’s more “months” ahead that are my favorites…)

The basket for the month of March was woven by Pat Beagle and when I was deciding where to shoot everyone’s baskets, I knew I wanted hers to be staged simply sitting on this exquisite area rug on the property, outside Atlanta, where I was shooting all the baskets.

For a calendar, rather at least for me, I usually need to keep it very organic and not decide, while on shoot, which baskets will be for what month. Instead, I chose to look at the piece in front of me, and decide what “background” would work well with this particular craft.

Nonetheless, as I initially processed Pat’s sewing basket in my head, I knew I needed to have it for March. Let’s say it was an instinct, or a feeling, or something I can’t explain. But I simply knew it was going to be featured for that month and I planned accordingly.

However, and as every designer knows, you need to have a “backup plan, just in case my instincts were inoperative that particularly sunny November day.” So I actually set up two shots for this basket… the one on this gorgeous carpet and another, outside in front of a red barn. The “carpet” shot won. But then again, I had great clients for this project and they pretty much left it up to me on what I thought looked best. So there really was no debate on what image would be used for March.

Below is March’s Calendar Girl, Miss Pat Beagle!


Note: I heard the little bird image used for the First Day of Spring, on March 20th, happens to be Jud M.’s favorite image… could this be true? Also, I don’t know who wove and created the basket I used for St. Patrick’s Day! (Bad me.) If anyone knows, please inform me here!

The Cottage Girls 2015 Calendar: February

Almost forgot to share the month of February from the Cottage Girls 2015 calendar!

If you missed January’s post, I was hired to photograph and design a calendar for the “Cottage Girls” of Georgia. You can find more info about that project here if you missed it last month.


One of the issues that I needed to solve for the calendar was how to feature everyone’s basket when there were more ‘girls’ than months.

Previously, they simply added pages at the end of the calendar to place photos that were not chosen for any of the months. It was a good solution, but these ladies are all so talented that ALL their baskets should be treated special.

So I decided to use the month of February as a sort of “We Love Baskets” page and feature a group of photos. But how to do that?

Outside of Suzanne’s Cottage is a little sign, “Basket Lovers Gather Here.” I thought that would be perfect for the February page, however I needed to figure out how to utilize it and incorporate several other photos.

And then it came to me…

Most of these ladies are also obsessed with quilts. Why not make a collage of sorts on a quilt background?

Initially, it wasn’t working as I envisioned in my head and then the answer popped in my head…


Create Polaroids of all the photos, including the Basket Lovers sign and “pin” them using an image of quilt pins! Perfect!

In addition, it was a great solution for the baskets I was not able to shoot at a specific size, thereby not having the images in high enough resolution or sized properly in the layout. For those images, I could put it in one of the polaroid squares and still have the same importance given to these basketmakers as all the others.

I also liked this month’s date page because of Suzanne’s folk art Abe Lincoln. A little difficult to photograph but it looks great on the page! Breaks the white space nicely.

I will try hard not to be so late with sharing March’s pages!

Note: Jane and Gwen provided their own pictures. I photographed Diana and Hannah’s baskets.

All Data Will Be Lost!

You know what I did? I was going through my menu on my camera and hit “Format” in error and instead of hitting the menu key to go back to the main screen, I hit “yes” to format!!! And “yes” again when it said “Are you sure? This will erase all data and cannot be undone.” What was I thinking?

Sadly, yes. I erased everything I had stored from the last two weeks. Including a bunch of pics Mr. Basketmaker took. And quite a few for this blog. Ugh!!! I’ve never ‘digitally’ done that before. I hope I never do it again.

This is the screen AFTER it formatted and erased everything!


I’m sort of sad to miss all those pics I took! And missing the ones Eric shot as well…

Reminds me of the time when I was hired by my college newspaper to shoot a local fashion show and my roll of film didn’t ‘catch’ in my old 35mm and I ended up taking pictures of nothing! And the next day, I had to show up to the news office and tell my boss. All I remember is standing outside his door listening to one of the editors yell, “She did what? Who takes pictures without any film? How incompetent!”

I was so humiliated…

But I soon bounced back. A year later, one of my photographer professors asked if he could mail me back my final project since he wanted to get my whole series on film because he was so impressed. I was like “Hell yeah! Take all the time you need.” Then walked out of his office, with a huge grin, feeling pretty damn good! And wishing that my old editor was nearby so I could tell her to “stick it”!