Our Premiere of The Hard Hat Belles

Hi Y’all!

Whew! I finally got a few minutes after the Christmas holidays to chat with y’all.  It doesn’t seem like it was a month ago that we held our premiere.  We had so much fun that we wanted to share some of the fun details with you.

On November 21st, 2015 it was a very snowy day in the Michigan Thumb area. Of course a fun time was had by all as we wouldn’t allow it otherwise – snow or no snow.  After all we are The Hard Hat Belles and where else can you have fun laughing your head off and learning something in the process.

A LITTLE SNOW WASN’T GOING TO STOP US!

We started our event off worrying about the weather as the snow was coming down pretty fast.  Our shoveler could not keep up with it, bless his little ole heart! Seriously, he was shoveling constantly.  By the end of the evening when we finally headed home after clean up there was 11″ of snow on the ground.  Honest to goodness we drove home going about 25-35 mph.

Autographs anyone?
Autographs anyone?

Wiebke and I were stationed in the front foyer as our guests came into the event.  At this time we were not in our infamous costumes.

KUDOS GO OUT TO OUR BRAVE ATTENDEES

After every one of our attendees (who braved the weather) showed up and were seated our emcee got the show started.  First came the introduction of “ourselves” and our staff (those important little people behind the scenes, we just love them).  Who would have ever thought that we needed a whole staff of five besides ourselves.  I have to tell you that God has been very generous in placing the  exact individuals we needed in our path to fill in the gaps.  Each one of them is as committed to our adventure as we are and we are sooooo grateful.

       NEXT WE GOT THE STAGE READY TO FILM OUR VIDEO

Now let's see, do I have everything?
Now let’s see, do I have everything?

Talk about filming in advance.  We really wanted our audience to feel the full effect of an actual film session.  Yes, our filming session.  Especially as this is where we have so much fun and laughs when we goof and do retakes.

When we first talked about this, Wiebke and I decided we needed something that our audience could actually do or create this year. Some ideas they could take away with them and use them this holiday season.  But we also wanted to be able to film for next Thanksgiving season.

Checking on the video editor
Are you ready? Not sure who is asking who.

Still it had to be something they could get their teeth into (well, not really, but you get the meaning).  After banging our heads together and rattling out some ideas we came up with some simple centerpieces with items everyone has on hand.  We even surprised ourselves with what we were able to come up with – yay!!

FINALLY THE FILMING

Hopefully, no one noticed, but we were so nervous filming in front of a live audience. We just stayed focused filming, going through our process, that at first we didn’t notice that NO ONE was laughing with us. We looked at each other, but of course we couldn’t say anything – we were live after all!

Memorizing our lines
Memorizing our lines

What in the world was going on?  We couldn’t figure out why no one was laughing at our antics.  I was in front of the camera performing (or trying to) thinking, what is wrong with everyone?  Are you serious, no laughing?  No clapping?  Y’all know that background laughing you hear on live taping of shows you’ve watched?  Well, imagine total silence from the audience.  I thought we were funny.  Wiebke/VeeBee thought we were funny.  But there were no laughs or clapping…hmmm (stay tuned as we found out later what and who the problem was and you will just crack up).

SO VERY THANKFUL

After we completed taping of the show we thanked all those who helped us along the way.

Those brave souls who drove home in 6-11" of snow.
Those brave souls who drove home in 6-11″ of snow.

Fick farms kissing ballFick Farms (located on the way out of Lapeer going north), provided decorations, Cakes by Ashley supplied – oh yea – the cake and Shanon provided the yummy take away cupcakes (oreo filled chocolate).   We also thanked our staff, helpers and family members (for putting up with us).  By the way can you see in the background of these pictures all the snow? We got 11 inches, but  within the next two days it all melted.

Move this, move that, quiet on the set!
Move this, move that, quiet on the set!

Then it was time to schmooze with our guests and serve them cake and beverages.  It was during this time that we found out that our video editor had told everyone while we were on the set that no noise please.  He didn’t say, “no talking, however you may laugh and clap.”  Nope. No, he did not.  He said NO noise….well that explained it.  It was definitely VERY quiet on the set.  You couldn’t even hear a pin drop! For a minute or two we thought maybe we didn’t have what we thought we had… to make others smile and laugh while learning.  Whew, that was really weird and scary for a few minutes.

Yep, it’s official – we are here to stay!  So stay tuned at our youtube channel (link below).

Thanks to all of you for attending our premiere via in person and virtually!  Remember our first episode will be aired on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 with a blog referring to the video on the following Monday.

Please enjoy the video below “Behind the Scenes with The Hard Hat Belles.”

Please like and subscribe to our blog and YouTube channel (y’all will see a little red tab that says “subscribe” to the right) to receive notifications of the latest releases.

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke
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In The Beginning The Hard Hat Belles

Hi Y’all!

We are so excited that you decided to stop by our small area of the web.  Grab a coffee or tea (coffee for me, please) and sit a spell as you get to know us just a little bit better.

Time for tea with THHB
Time for tea with THHB

I promise this story on how Wiebke and I gave The Hard Hat Belles it’s start has a happy, ongoing ever after.

September 1, 2014 – Labor Day.  A day I personally will never forget.  It is the day my loving husband of 32 years, Bill, passed away from prostate cancer.

I can’t remember exactly, but it was either the day he passed away or the next day that Wiebke called and TOLD me, yes told me (wait until you get to know her better), that she was coming over to help in any way she could.  At this time Wiebke and I knew each other through the North Branch Wesleyan church I attended.  She was nice and I was nice, but it was more an acquaintance type relationship; not really close.  You know the kind, right? She didn’t know much about my family, nor I hers.

Later, she shared with me that she felt she needed to be with me during this time, so she couldn’t give me an option.  You see, the previous year in September Wiebke had lost her Mutti (mother).  She was still grieving, yet she came to me and served me during my time of sorrow.  She prayed with me,  helped get the house ready for relatives and gave me a few chuckles along the way. I love that woman!

Thereafter, we would get together on Wednesdays and console and help each other out.  We felt we could be ourselves with each other during our grief.  For some reason Wednesdays worked for us; so Wednesdays were “our” day.  During the first few months she would come to my house, but after that we switched between our two homes.  Goodness knows we had enough projects that needed doing between us.

Replacing a motor coupling on my washer
Replacing a motor coupling on my washer

There would be a lot of laughter as we tried to do things on our own, which we didn’t always know how to do.  We did a lot of Google and  Pinterest searching and YouTube watching.  Sometimes we couldn’t find any help and we would make it up as we went.  And sometimes we had complete failures….but always laughter.

Do you remember the I Love Lucy Show?  Ethel and Lucy would get into the most unusual hysterical fixes.  Yep, that was, is, and probably will always be – us!

Our unknown beginning at a women's retreat we both attended.
Our unknown beginning at a women’s retreat we both attended.

As we continued this way, we kept saying to each other, “if anyone saw or heard us right now they would laugh themselves crazy.” Laughter is healthy – right!  After saying that about a hundred times we both thought – why not?  Why not make others laugh while learning?  Why not do something that we could glorify God with?  We both have bachelor degrees and are intelligent woman (okay, most of the time), surely we could figure out how to do this YouTube video blogging thing.  Oh, and by the way we were going to be ready to roll out in May 2015.  NOT!

That was all in February of 2015, this year.  Little did we know how little we really knew.  We were ambitious and we were going to roll out our little video world in May and stay sane – not happening, wasn’t going to happen and didn’t happen.  Yep, just a few months after we decided to launch a YouTube channel and blog site.  Ah…..nope, I repeat – that didn’t happen!!

As May approached we realized how little we actually knew.  We filmed our very first episode all by ourselves and it STUNK!!  No kidding and laughter aside; it was pretty bad.  With the little knowledge we had (enough to know we didn’t have it) we still knew it was bad….really bad…..really, really bad.

So, back to the drawing board.  What do we need to do to make this happen?  We did research and more research.  We took library video classes.  We read books. We watched a lot of YouTube videos.  That’s where we met our VB (virtual boyfriend), James Wedmore.  He taught us a lot and he is definitely easy on the eye (wink, wink).

It began with two women
You gotta have your Sweet Belle tools!
You gotta have your Sweet Belle tools!

We started buying only the necessary items we needed to produce a semi-sort of-hopefully professional video – you guessed it – on a zero budget.  Wiebke started focusing on the video portion and I focused on the blogging.  We figured we could cover twice as much ground twice as fast.

However, we did not factor in that we are both menopausal and our memories also stink.  So we did a lot of note taking…stay tuned as we might do an episode on how to avoid carpel tunnel…and moved forward.

Our go-to photographer
Our go-to photographer

We met Tyler, our video editor, through a very good friend, Danielle (our unofficial photography consult – nope she didn’t know it at that time).  I contacted Danielle because she owns her own photography business that also produces wedding videos.  She had to know more than us or at least we hoped so.  And she did! She knew Tyler, a freelance videographer , who worked through her business; Danielle Leach Photography.   Danielle contacted him for us and gave us his phone number.  Poor guy, he just didn’t know what he was in for.

Well, I gave him a call and set up the appointment to meet at my house with him and Wiebke.  That young man was awesome, he took us right under his wing and showed us how to use video and audio programming and equipment.   I remember our first filming session where he laughed as hard as us and shaking his head said  “man’s greatest asset gone feminine.”  Five months later we do most of the filming of our shows all by ourselves.

Peonie Barbie Wannabee
Peonie Barbie Wannabee

As we continued to gain steam in our new adventure (and our creative juices started flowing) we added Peonie “Barbie” Wannabe to our team and she can really get in some fixes! Just you watch and see.  Peonie has a story all her own about how she became a part of our team, but that’s another blog.  And of course we needed JC, who does her own interpretation of the southern belle voice over for Peonie.  Sidney is our animator for Peonie and supplies more laughs with his stop motion antics. He is hysterical.   We recently added Ashley to our team as our Social Media Expert  (she likes to be behind the scenes) as us “wise woman” (we never say old),  would be lost in the world of social media, (another challenge for another day).

As we look back on where we started and how far we have come we are amazed!  It truly is a God thing, as there is no way in this world we would  ever have come up with this idea or done this all on our own.  When we would get discouraged our mighty God came through for us and provided the help we needed each step of the way.  Each person on our team was absolutely placed there by the grace of God and has been a true blessing to The Hard Hat Belles.  Never think you are too “wise” to learn, because each person on our team has taught us  a lot in their own creative area.

Cupboard Organizing
Cupboard Organizing

By now our creative juices are really flowing and we kept rethinking, “what else could we do or add to make The Hard Hat Belles special.” We knew we wanted to find a way to glorify God and share His love with others through our videos in a sharing caring way. But we also didn’t want to be obnoxious about it as we really have good things to share with others.  So, why not do something special for God as He has blessed us in so many ways. So, we added a Bible verse to every video we do.

During this whole journey we have both felt strongly that God has led us on this very special path which has been a mantra for us;  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD.

God's Work Jeremiah 29:11
God’s Work Jeremiah 29:11

It really is a fun way to close our videos with.  We pray and hope you will continue to enjoy our videos with laughter that will encourage, educate and brighten your day.  For tons of laughs keep in mind that we will add our Menopausal Retakes at the end of each video.

Well, that’s our story.  We are so glad you stopped in and would love to know what you think.

To continue to receive notifications about the next roll out of our videos and blogs, please share and like our video channel TheHardHatBelles and sign up for our email alerts  in the top right corner of this blog.   This allows us to let you know when we roll out new videos.

ADD SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS HERE

COME CHECK OUT OUR PREMIERE

Behind The Scenes
For a taste of The Hard Hat Belles, click the link below to view our “Behind the Scenes” premiere video

We would love for you to attend our premiere, but we know you are a super busy person — so you can view our video premiere right here.

Please enjoy yourself and we’d love to hear your comments.

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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