Credits & Testimonial: the making of www.SandraEpstein.com

“One remarkable moment I will never forget was when Sandra was a guest teacher at an international workshop I was translating.

When she entered the room and started talking, even before any slides were shown, I could hear and feel the full presence of the Atlantic Rainforest with its sounds, temperature and fragrances: she would bring it all with her, in a subtle yet powerful way!

This strong connection with the Rainforest, coupled with the creative way through which she brings these transformative forces to help people and environments, is what inspired me to take on the task of building this website.

Over a period of almost three decades I have watched Sandra’s journey. I have seen her evolve from a super booked practitioner/consultant (that she continues to be to this day) to the creator of her own line of essences and products, that we would come to sell at the essences distribution company I co-owned for many years.

And of course, it was not a surprise to hear, in our yearly encounters (busy women we have been for all these years) about her work having crossed likely and unlikely frontiers! And of how she spent years commuting between hemispheres, where remarkably different cultures have embraced her work with passionate enthusiasm.

It was a rich creative adventure to work with her concepts, images and more, bringing it all together in ways people from all over the world can navigate and explore.”

Ruth Toledo Altschuler
Web Creativity Consultant, Photographer, Designer
Flower Essence Educator & Practitioner

A Creative adventure: conveying the multilayered vision of a multitalented professional
It was a natural that I would enjoy bringing to life a website that embraces and conveys multiple aspects of who Sandra is and offers, emanating the power and beauty of the Atlantic Rainforest.

I am Ruth Toledo Altschuler and I have been a witness of Sandra’s journey for almost three decades. Our encounters, over the years, have always been exciting exchanges on cutting edge concepts on consciousness, evolution, healing, as well as on creativity, love of Nature and artistic expression.

This website you are visiting is the result of knowing the person, diving deep into the materials offered and mastering the use of very good tools. In this page, that is a “making of”, I share with you the main tools I used to build this site, woven with some history on my connection with Sandra.

Sandra Educator digital collage

This digital collage combines an excellent portrait by a Czech photographer, with snapshots revealing the unique and powerful atmosphere of Sandra's Workshops, the connecting lines also being extracted from actual class snapshots.

At first, she asked for something along the lines of an HTML site she had seen, but my vision was very different: I wanted to explore the many tools of contemporary dynamic content website crafting, and I knew she would fully understand why when everything finally did come together.

Sharing Sandra’s work and the Atlantic Rainforest’s powerful presence

Sandra Epstein’s Original Photography is now extensively displayed on the web!
Sandra has herself produced, and is constantly adding to her own amazing wealth of visual material – all plant and forest images are hers – optimized for the web and now viewable by all. Don’t miss the Essences, Photographer pages), as well as the reproductions of her beautiful watercolors!

The few contributions from others include two remarkable portraits (Home and Educator) by the studio photographer Anna Mrazek Kovacic and an ocean and forest aerial view by Theo Ribeiro in the Rainforest Wisdom page. We also want to thank the authors of the studio photos of the Araretama products, all portraits of partners, snapshots on Social Service, Araretama Classes for Children and other descriptive pages that have been gently offered as contributions for this website.

Visuals: editing photos, blending and creating composite images
Combining all these many images into one site requires fine editing, color adjustment and optimization, so that everything can blend together into an organic and functional whole.
The selection and first editing of images was done in Aperture with layered and all other images for the web built or optimized in Photoshop. Text and images inserted into WordPress in the excellent Pagelines framework: what a pleasure to have al this plasticity at hand!
All Applications open on a large screen, I have spent weeks crafting page by page…

For the special fields programming in the About page, What I offer and Workshops, I have been expertly helped by my daughter Julia Ribeiro: on the About page, click on the mosaic blocks to enjoy Julia’s programming bonus. And make sure you check the Essences, Photographer and Artist pages: it is mostly there where you will fully enjoy the wonder of Sandra’s healing imagery!

From the choice of fonts, colors and style, I have woven in what I have known of Sandra for almost three decades: her personalized jewelry suggested the choice of the header font, the forest determined the site’s frame color (as a good frame for all the plant photography), etc, etc.

Sandra’s content and these tools made this such a creative and dynamic mosaic to piece together!

Text editing, content organization, translation
For this part of the project I have received agile and competent help from Thalita Maiani. Thalita was acutely perceptive of the site’s needs and competently worked with Sandra on whole pieces of web friendly text (originally in Portuguese), always making sure I had everything I needed.

I have consolidated all received materials and have been the planner / architect of the overall structure. Editing text by natives of different languages has required a combination of respect for the original content, paired with the need to adapt expressions and restructure phrases.

It has been particularly interesting to edit and insert so many Testimonials coming from Sandra’s clients and from the array of individuals who are part of Sandra’s network of Partners.

by Ruth Toledo Altschuler for Sandra Epstein © all content, text and photos – Summer of 2012