Calendar Girls Style Photo Shoot March 30 2014

Incredible, Inspirational and Emotional

Earlier this week I took two days away from my workshop to take part in something amazing!

About 10 years ago I met Sally Veck at a craft event . Sally loves my jewellery so her partner ordered her an 

Ivy leaf necklace as a gift  for Christmas. Her daughter, Eleanor, who was about 15 at the time ordered a matching pair of earrings to surprise her mum at Christmas. In April 2007 Eleanor was killed in Iraq serving her country. This beautiful girl was only 19 years old.

Sally has become an active member of SSAFA Bereaved Families Support Group. Members are from all walks of life, and have all lost a close family member whilst serving in our forces. Sally has raised thousands of pounds for SSAFA through her 'Big Brew Up' events . Her role in SSAFA has seen her take part of the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013, attended countless dinners and garden parties  and she has even met Prince Charles!                                                                   

Charlotte making Sally more gorgeousA 'Calendar Girls' style calendar is Sally's latest project. In a short period of time she persuaded  mums, dads, aunts and uncles of the support group  to model for the calendar.  Steve Docks  agreed to do the photography and the fabulous wedding venue Hill Place, in Swanmore, Hampshire was made fully available for two days of photography. Owner of Segais Hair and beauty salons ,Charlotte Falkenau kindly donated her her time and expertise to make the models look even more glamorous. I took my  jewellery  to the venue so that the models could choose  a statement piece so they had something to wear!  

When I arrived at Hill place on Monday morning I was greeted by a glass of champagne (which flowed liberally throughout the two days) and offers of food. Sally's mum had a mission to ensure that everyone consumed their weight in food over the two days. The food was fabulous. Sausage and bacon for breakfast, cottage pie, rhubarb crumble, a whole fresh salmon and salmon and cake……..lots of cake. No one went hungry, but  amazingly everyone stayed sober!

Eleanor's regiment cup cakes

Eleanor's regiment on cup cakes

No one had modelled  before so modelling was a challenge and posing nude took everyone way outside their comfort zone. There were emotional times during the two days; it would have been surprising if there hadn't been considering the reason why the group had been formed, but we had so much fun. I can honestly that I haven't laughed so much for ages. We used lots of rooms in the house and it always seemed that there was more laughter coming from the a different room!


What is Sally Hiding? What is Sally hiding?

Memories from the day:

Photographs of beautiful young men and women taken before their time; the courage  of parents & relatives baring all for the cause; Sally's mum's false eyelashes, the bikers who brought their fabulous bikes for the  photo shoot; red knickers; the need for BIG teapots; the bottles of champagne; laughter; amazing cakes and 'The Laugh' - one that makes you smile just to think about; the lovely people; new friends.

I write this early on Mothers' Day morning. I spent yesterday evening with my mother who I have  just had breakfast with. My 20 year old son is asleep safe in bed having come home late after a night on the town celebrating a friends birthday - he will be off to work later shortly. My 23 year old daughter is getting ready to take me out for to town for lunch. Both my children are the age of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I feel very blessed to be able to spend time with them and talk to them when ever I want to. I feel great admiration for all those men and women I met earlier this week who have bore the unimaginable pain  of losing a child and having face life without them.

What next?

The calendar is for 2015 and so will be available for sale later this year. Simon Gregory of Clear and Creative Communications Limited has already agreed to produce the artwork for the calendar .  

We need amiable printers to help print the calendar and a good PR expert to help spread 'the word'. Can you help?

Please email  Sally directly with offers of help and donations

Thank you for reading this post . Please share and spread the word to show your support for our forces and their families.