A Campaign for Coke

This week’s class assignment is one that took some preparation and a lot of thought.  We were to study the new Coca-Cola ad campaign, “Taste the Feeling”, and then create two images that could have been used for that campaign.  It was to have the vintage look that Coke is known for but with a modern twist.  It was also to represent my region of the country in flavor.  Since I’m in Texas, it seemed appropriate to create an image using a western dressed model and add a horse or two for good measure.   Here is the first of the two images that I submitted for critique:

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In order to meet the requirements, I went to three stores in search of a glass coke bottle.  I did find some little 8 oz. bottles at Kroger but they certainly didn’t look vintage so I continued my search.  I finally found 12 oz. bottles at a Mexican Grocery Store in Denton, TX.  I also learned that Mexican coke is made with cane sugar instead of the high fructose corn syrup that is used in the United States.  I bought 4 bottles of Mexican Coke along with fresh guacamole and some tortilla chips (not necessary for the assignment but who cares).

Take a look at the horse in this image.  That is Reyanna, my buckskin quarter horse.  During this photo session, she discovered that coke is really good.  Once she discovered that, she wouldn’t leave my model, Julee, alone.  Reyanna was after that coke in this image.  Julee was such a good sport and it was great to catch the interaction between them.  The day was windy and very overcast but so I added a little fill light from a strobe in a strip box.

The second image includes a second horse, Safari.  The interaction created a casual, fun image with coke right in the middle of it.  The images that were used for the real campaign all have a color cast added to give them that vintage look that we have seen over the years in the older Coca-Cola ads.  I added an amber cast that I added to both of these images.  I think it carries the vintage idea but is also subtle.  Here it is:

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All in all is was a successful photo session and a fun one.  The horses decided that that hat might taste even better than a Coke and they played right into my hands when they did that. My goal was to make sure that these images looked casual, unposed and showed Coca-Cola as an integrated part of them.

I decided not to use these last two images for my critique but I like them so much that I thought I’d include them in this blog. I love Julee’s hat and that coke bottle really shows up.  The last one showcases Reyanna’s new found love of coke.   She was trying to remove that bottle from Julee’s hand so she could slurp it up!

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A special thanks to Julee’ Kula, Reyanna and Safari for being great models for this week’s assignment.  See you next week!  In the meantime, enjoy a Coca-Cola and think about fun times.

Ellie’s little girl!

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Meet Bella!  She arrived over a month ago just when we were about to give up.  Poor Ellie was so big that I started worrying she would have trouble foaling.  After checking over and over again, Ellie managed to have this little girl when I wasn’t around.  Isn’t that just the way it happens.  She is darling and has a delightful personality.  Right after she was born, I hurt my back so badly that I couldn’t go to the barn for 3 weeks or keep up with my blog.  Since she needed to be handled and socialized, my husband, Patrick, took over for me.  He did a great job.  Bella is so friendly, that she chases after us when we start to head back to the house.  Apparently Patrick is the best scratcher of all time as far as she is concerned.  We have integrated her and Ellie back into the herd and everybody is getting along very well.  The next baby due will be to Dora.  She is getting big but definitely weeks away from presenting us with a new one.  I’ll keep you posted.

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Bella is brand new in this picture.

 

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No wonder poor Ellie was so big.  Look at those long legs and ears she was carrying around.

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IT’S A BOY!!!

Ellie has explored every single part of her new son.
Ellie has explored every single part of her new son.

After a long “baby watch”, Ellie finally had her foal sometime yesterday afternoon during a rain storm. Doesn’t that just figure?! I have had the monitor on in the house watching her off and on for 6 weeks and many times got up to check her in the middle of the night. True to the animal world, she had him in her own time and with nobody watching. He is healthy, full of energy and loaded of personality already. I suspect he is going to give his mom some trouble along the way. He was so curious this morning that he left her in his dust and ran full speed over to me this morning. Ellie was none too pleased but decided it was OK as long as I was under her watchful eye.

Ready to take on the world!

It was quite a surprise last night to see four extra legs in Ellie’s paddock as we headed down to feed. At least we didn’t have to worry things wouldn’t go well. It was all over, he was up and running around and she was calmly grazing. It always amazes me how quickly a mom and foal recover from a birth. It does look like it may take Miss Ellis a little while to get back her girlish figure, however.

Ellie is such a good mom. I went down this evening and sat on a bucket in the paddock and just watched as she taught her little one the ropes. She guided him with her nose, nuzzled him when he came close, and pushed him when she didn’t like what he did. He spent all of his time mimicking her. She was grazing so with no teeth he managed to pull up some grass and “chew” it. I actually worried he would choke but he managed. He appears to have a good appetite. I felt sorry for Ellie as he rooted around with absolutely no finesse until he got the milk he wanted.

Mother and Son

Enough for this evening. I will keep you filled in as we watch “junior” grow. Stay tuned. I am going to take a poll for name suggestions.

Ellie’s Previous Foal and “Baby Watch” is closer to the end!

Meet Blackjack!  He was born in April, 2012.
Meet Blackjack! He was born in April, 2012.

Well, I finally have something new to report on our ongoing “baby watch”. For weeks now, Ellie has had an enlarging bag. Over this last week-end it looked larger than it has but still no milk to be expressed. This morning when I checked her, she had a tiny amount of clear fluid that I expressed from each of her two teats. Now that is progress! Since she is apparently the slowest donkey on earth when it comes to actually foaling, I have no illusions about it coming tonight. However, I do believe that this change indicates we won’t be waiting for another month. At least I certainly hope not.

I promised you some more general donkey information in the last post. The following details I found on Wikipedia regarding donkey characteristics: Donkeys have quite a range of size. It depends upon the particular breed as well as their management. They range from 31″ (7.3 hands) at the withers to as much as 63″(15.3 hands) at the withers. Their weight ranges from 180 lbs. to 1,060 lbs. Their life expectancy depends upon their care and their access to quality foods. In very poor countries, they generally live from 12 to 15 years. In more prosperous countries, they have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years. Since our 5 range in age from 2 years to 6 years, our children may inherit them some day. I am guessing this won’t be very exciting news to either of them since both of our sons are city dwellers!

Well, that’s the day’s information. I hope to be writing soon with a photograph of Ellie’s new foal rather than this image of her last one. Thanks for hanging in here with me!

Donkeys, donkeys everywhere!

Dude, soon to be a Daddy!
Dude, soon to be a Daddy!

Did you know that there were about 41 million donkeys reported worldwide clear back in 2006? Back then, China had the most with 11 million followed by Pakistan, Ethiopia and Mexico. By now, I am quite sure that number has gone up. Gosh, the two babies we purchased last year and the one we have due along with the other two Jennies expecting (we think), we are doing our part!

Since we STILL do not have our new foal born yet, I thought a little donkey history might be in order. Much to my amazement and horror………according to Wikipedia, the gestation period can be as much as 14 months although usually about 12. What a range….from 11 to 14 months. If human mom’s had that kind of range, we would all go crazy waiting!

Believe it or not, the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System listed 189 breeds of ass in June, 2011. Ah yes, the other common name for donkey is ass since the wild ancestor of today’s donkey is the African wild ass, E africanus. Donkeys have been used as working animals for at least 5,000 years. They were first domesticated around 3,000 BC, probably in Egypt or Mesopotamia and have spread world wide since then. As time passed, donkey has gradually replaced ass as the choice of terms. From the 18th century on, this happened due to a tendency to avoid pejorative terms in speech.

All of the above information has come from Wikipedia.org. As we all await the arrival of Ellie’s foal, I thought that I might add donkey info for a while. I have plenty to learn about them. I am particularly interested in the commonality with the horse as well as the differences. Watch for more information in the days to come.

Enjoy the rest of your week-end!

Blimp with helicopter ears!

I should have called her copter instead of Ellie!
I should have called her copter instead of Ellie!

I can’t believe that it has been this long and “still no baby”. Apparently, I really jumped the gun when I thought Ellie was due. Since our Jack is with the herd all the time, it is impossible to know when these jennets get pregnant. That and a 12 to 13 month gestation really put me in the dark. She looked so big but in retrospect, she wasn’t nearly as big as she needs to be. I am used to looking at 1,000 lb. pregnant mares not little donkeys so that, too, helped fool me. I do finally see changes in her udder but I don’t think she is quite ready yet. So, hang in there with me and one of these days I will have pictures to post of a new baby donkey. I am trying not to worry that she is having twins or that there will be trouble because the foal is too large. I actually think she is coming along just fine so keep watching. I suspect from the picture above and the image below you will see differences from the first images that I posted so long ago. Cheers and keep your fingers crossed for a healthy, happy little one to arrive sooner rather than any later!

Narrow hips and giant belly.
Narrow hips and giant belly.

No baby yet but here is a sneak peak ………………………

This is Princess and her mother, Dora.  She was 5 days old when this was taken
This is Princess and her mother, Dora. She was 5 days old when this was taken
Par for the course these days, I have nothing to report except “no baby yet and huge mom to be”. Since you are all anxious, I decided to put up some older photos so you can at least see what we expect soon???? In the photograph, Dude is in the foreground. He is our jack. The new foal arriving soon (I hope) will be his first offspring. Behind Chocolate is his mom, Miss Ellie. Watch for more photographs of our little herd.
This is Chocolate.  He was just the sweetest fellow ever.  He was sold to some local people who gave him a job protecting their fainting goats.
This is Chocolate. He was just the sweetest fellow ever. He was sold to a local family who gave him a job protecting their fainting goats.

Wow………this is a never ending story!

I am writing yet again to continue the “Baby Watch” saga. I keep thinking it can’t go on any longer and I am always wrong. Miss Ellie is bagged up (udder) but is not waxed up. She is huge and getting bigger. She is eating like it is her last meal and groans when she is laying down. But………….no baby. I tried to get a decent angle for a picture this morning with my cell phone but the camera just isn’t good enough to let you see the difference from the rear. When I try to take one from the front she comes immediately towards me for brushing so I can’t get decent a front view. She must be hoping that one of these days I will get her out of this mess. If this foal continues to refuse to enter our world by the week-end, I will take my good camera down there. It is so dusty down there I have avoided taking it down there much.

So, gang, yet again I have no news. I am a bit concerned about the size of the foal but, hopefully, all will go well when the time really does come. I feel badly that I moved Ellie away from the rest of the herd so early. Who knew??? Next time, I will have a better idea of the progress of donkey maternity.

With any luck, I will update you with pictures of a new little jack or jenny sooner rather than later. Gee, I think I have said this before………..

The Queen Mary on Toothpicks

For those of you who are wondering, Miss Ellie is still waiting her bundle of joy and SOOOO am I. It is astounding to me that just she continues to get bigger and bigger. I thought that she would have the foal last night with the severe weather we had. With horses, that often gets the show on the road. Alas, even that didn’t work. She is bagged up and now looks like the Queen Mary on toothpicks. She doesn’t move any more than she has to and looks at me like she wishes I would do something. I haven’t taken a recent photo to post today but I thought those of you who are wondering would want an update.

With any luck, you will be hearing from me soon with the big announcement. I have been checking the monitor two or three times each night and going down to the barn between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. to check on her. I am as tired as she is so maybe this week-end will be the time that we can both get some needed sleep. Keep watching for foal pictures. Until then, the countdown continues……………..

All Belly and Ears!

How much more can that belly stretch?
How much more can that belly stretch?

 

Well, just when I think Miss Ellie is going to foal, she gets up and eats some more.  I must admit the thought has crossed my mind that she isn’t pregnant but fat!  Of course, I know she really is getting ready to foal.  I have even seen her side pop with three quick kicks from the inside.  I think this foal is going to be quite a character and certainly ready to enjoy life on the outside.  Ellie must be even more impatient than I am but she is far more stoic about this entire situation.    I have a great new wireless digital camera installed in the barn which has less interference than the analog one.  Sending a picture clear from the far end of the barn through trees and over the length of a football field is no small feat.  My analog camera really worked well and needed zero light to watch everything clearly in the dark.  However, wind blowing trees interfered more with it than this new digital version.  I must say it sure saves me a lot of middle of the night walks to the barn to check on Ellie.    I never know what I might encounter on the way down there in during the night.  I saw a skunk the other night but there are also coyotes, fox, racoons, possum and armadillo around.  I don’t see them often but who knows at 3:00 in the morning?!  More on Miss Ellie’s progress to come……………..