Sunday, December 20, 2009

But We Will Stand Tall - Photo Art Show

On December 3rd, a young photographer held his first public art show in Hamilton at The Freeway Cafe & I had the privilege of working with him to set up and decorate the venue and to help him organize all the planning details.

Jason Matos (yup - he would be my son!)has been working on series of photos for a few months now. They are all photos of people who attend our church, Grindstone Valley Bible Church in Waterdown. What makes these photos unique is that they all tell a story about the person - depicting in photos a struggle or difficult time they went through in their life - and then photos depicting how they are now stronger and stand taller today because of how they grew and learned and matured through that hard situation.

Jason photographed 12 people - some with just one photo, others with two, a few with 3 or 4 photos - and each person wrote out their "story", which was printed and mounted by their photos.

The Freeway Cafe was set up with lots of candles on tables as people came in to enjoy a cup of free-trade coffee or tea or specialty beverage, some great snacks and then sat around small tables or on comfortable leather sofas and enjoyed the acoustic music of 4 different musical sets. And throughout the evening, people mingled around the photos, reading the stories and often being moved to tears.

About 180 people came through the Cafe during the 3 hour show - and it was a resounding success for Jason.
Congratulations Jason on an excellent photo art show!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wedding Florists & Decorators

Last month, I took a course in Toronto offered by "The Wedding Decorators" ( It was a very informative and educational experience. But the main thing I learned from it was that brides & grooms should only hire professionals for their florals & decorating needs!

The morning of this training was all about wedding florals - bouquets, boutineers, corsages, and centerpieces. The guest florist was Shelley from Wedding Wows ( and she created some beautiful arrangements for us. There's certainly a lot to know about dealing with fresh flowers - how to properly wrap & tie them, treat them to keep them fresh, and arrangements to WOW any wedding!!

After a quick lunch break, we learned all the techniques of draping a head table, a backdrop and an archway. There are some beautiful ways to simply but elegantly spruce up your reception hall. Nothing looks more elegant than a head table draped with boile or satin - adorned with florals or greenery - and lit from underneath with spotlights. Adding a backdrop of matching or coordinating fabrics is a wonderful way to complete the look - and works great to hide a plain, boring or even ugly wall!!

Thanks to Shelley & Sherisse & Ali for a great day of awesome ideas, useful tips and a simply fun experiences!