2012: a Retrospective

My New Years Resolutions are going to be quite pared down this time around. I’m actually not keen to change a huge amount. I’m feeling happier than I’ve felt in a while and am gratefully aware of it. This last year has been hard in certain ways, but I’ve got through it by frequently reminding myself how much I have to be grateful for, how independent and capable I have become, and also relying on my (full of questions, full of curiosity) spirituality. I am extremely lucky in so many ways and thankful for it! On top of that, I feel like I’ve finally found my ‘tribe’ in terms of dance classes, which are very important to me (missing them terribly over the Christmas break, but I would like to officially announce that I at least went on my exercise bike ON CHRISTMAS DAY, in between fistfuls of ferero roches), have made lots of new friends in the last few months by putting myself out there and meeting up with people based on shared interests, and am feeling more confident that I will be free to finally focus on what I want to focus on, now that upset and confusion are out of the door. I also have a lot of very exciting possibilities to look forward to!

Anyway, enough of all that. I’m shamelessly copying something Ivory Flame did last year, and showcasing some of my personal favourites from my 2012 year of blogging. What an amazing year it’s been!!!

From Happy New Year, by Ron Skei, Vancouver:

From Rich Caramel Chocolate, by Cam Attree, Mexico:

From Mosquito nets, Metaphysics and Mississippi Mud Pie, by Mel Brackstone, Mexico:

From Pottery, Petals and Peach Sunset, by Cam Attree, Mexico:
From Luxury Strikes Again, by Keith Cooper, Cheltenham Film Studio
From Natural Women, by Stephen Billups, Mexico:

From Bug Off*, by Cam Attree, Mexico:

From Dance in the Studio, by TarMoo, Eye For An Image Studio, Oxfordshire:

From Trips and Leaves, by Robert Farnham, Mexico:

From A celebration, some wedding princessing and some Lions (and a monkey), by Mike Croshaw, Cheltenham Film Studio:

From The Edge of the World, by Billy Sheahan, Mexico:

From Costume Changes, by Mike Croshaw, Cheltenham Film Studio:

From Spring Flower Portraits, by Richard Tuckett:

From Technicoloured Earth, by Billy Sheahan, Mexico:

From Silk in the Dark, by Barry Barker:

From Let’s Dance, by Jeremie Nassif, Paris:

From Mean, Moody and Magnificent Muse in Montmartre at Midnight (post macaroon), by Jeremy Howitt, Paris:

From Strength in the Dark, by Eric Kellerman, Nijmegen, Holland:

From Swathes of Lavender, by Imagesse, Gloucestershire:

From Paris by Day ~ Travelogue, by Jeremy Howitt, Paris:

From Portraits, Box, Stripes and Lightning, by Eric Kellerman, Nijmegen, Holland:

From Postcards – an Exhibition, by Robbie Wraith, Oxfordshire:

From On the Plank, by Vanijzen, Amsterdam:

From Fairy Paintings, by Philip Malpass:

From Lioness Lightplay, by Neil Snape, Paris:

From Trees and Bicycles, by Jules Photography:

From Riverdance, by Britalicus, Edinburgh:

From Extreme Eiffel Tower Exploits, Etc, by Jeremy Howitt, Paris:

From White on Black, by Klaus Kampert, Dusseldorf:

From TWO ~ Ella Rose and Ivory Flame, by Karen Jones, Eye for an Image Studio, Oxfordshire:

From Yerbury Fine Art Nude Masterclass, by Max Operandi:

From Pebbles, by Jeremy Howitt, Brighton beach:

From Public Service Announcement ~ A Book! 😉 (And I’m hoping to start putting together a massive book for myself in 2013, covering various styles) Cover image by Keith Cooper, digitally magicalised by Moonmomma:

From Bedroom Glamour, by Tony Ornstien, Oxfordshire:

From Clouds and Poppies, by Rayment Kirby, Sussex:

From Colouroids, by Steven Billups, Black Forest, Germany:

From Lions, Points and Window Light, by Nige W. Hallam Mill, Stockport:

From Gypsy Dance, by Frank (Pangolin). Gregory Brown’s LoftHouse Studio, London:

From Red Jellyfish and Black Tutus, by Richard Spurdens. Hallam Mill Studio, Stockport:

From Painting with Chaos, by Terry Joslin, featuring Ivory Flame. Eye For An Image Studio, Oxfordshire:

From Sunset, Candle, Tree, by Rayment Kirby, Sussex:

From When We Had Summer, by Max Operandi:

From Hands and Roots, by Steven Billups. Black Forest, Germany:

From Peaches and Cream, by Richard Lund, Buckinghamshire:

From Purple Haze, by Keith Cooper, Cheltenham Film Studio:

From Mr Cupid, by Karen Jones, Buckinghamshire:

From Enchanted Forest, by Calandra Images. Fife, Scotland:

From Solarised, by Zoe Wiseman. Palm Springs, CA:

From Beetroot and Rocks, by Bob Freund. Joshua Tree National Park:

From Cracked Earth, Sleek Fashion and Tumbleweed, by Jeremy Howitt. Lucerne Valley:

From Ourania Ascending Mount Wilson, by Jeff Wack, featuring Anoush Anou. LA:

From A-flitting and a-fluttering, by Brian Martin. Fife, Scotland:

From Mirrors, by Neil Snape. Paris:

From Otters, Rocks and Water Lillies, by Imagesse. Pembrokeshire, Wales:

From Running in Heels, by Tony Ornstien, Oxfordshire:

From Underwater Fires, by Zoe Wiseman, featuring Meghan Claire. California:

From Grapes and Ferrets, by Vincent Rijs, Amsterdam:

From Thinkin’ About Your Body, by OnePixArt, LA:

From Guide us to Thy Perfect Light, by Karen Jones. Eye For An Image Studio, Oxfordshire:

Back to the New Years Resolutions thing, I’ve realised that, for me, black and white decision-making is liberating, though it’s definitely not something that comes easily to me. With that in mind, one new thing is that I’ve decided I will probably no longer drink any alcohol – not because I think drinking is bad (it’s not!), or because I don’t like the taste (I do; wine and cocktails especially!), or because I have a problem with alcohol (I hardly drink as it is!), but because I’ve finally acknowledged the fact that, for as long as I can remember, I’ve shown signs of alcohol intolerance. I looked it up on Christmas Eve when one drop of sherry made my face red, and apparently most of my Mum’s side of the family were tee-total for reasons unknown (hhhmm….); and I’ve since learnt that alcohol intolerance can be hereditary. Ha! Thinking back, as a teenager, there are a few things that stand out: I only started wearing make up on my face to pre-emptively cover up the extreme ‘flushing’ I’d get over my face and chest after just a couple of sips of wine, and I remember sitting with my friends and wondering whether I was wearing the wrong size underwear because my chest felt painful and tight after a few drinks. I also know that the ‘depressant’ aspect of alcohol, especially after drinking wine, is a real thing for me, where a party high is followed by feeling really down the next day. So I’ve decided not to bother drinking alcohol at all. That’s not really a ‘resolution’, though, as it’s not something I feel compelled to do for moral or health or other reasons of self-improvement (and I won’t be strict about it); it’s just a new, official validation of what I’d suspected all along. So bring on the lime soda and cranberry apples! Or something. I can still dance and have fun; I just won’t feel like my cheeks are on fire, and can drive home at the end of it. 🙂

On the other hand, I’ve also learnt that black-and-white goal-making is not so helpful for a person who is already extremely ambitious and has high expectations of herself. So sometimes ‘I will do a bit of x every day, and just so long as a bit of x gets done, I will have succeeded’ is more helpful as a goal than ‘I will do precisely y amount of x everyday, so that by z (where z = an unrealistically short term), x will be completed’. You all know I’m talking about my writing. And that I will probably still aim to do y most days. It’s just that I’ll be kinder to myself if I don’t manage it, so long as I’ve ‘shown up’ and done something. (But see ‘free to finally focus on what I want to focus on’, above.) 🙂

…Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful final few days of 2012… and a fresh, bright and hopeful start to 2013!

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Guide us to Thy Perfect Light

Evening! I’m bringing you a special Christmas Edition of blogginess today, courtesy of photographer Karen Jones who booked me recently at Eye For An Image Studio in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and subsequently got an image accepted onto the excellent 1x.com photography site. With no cheesy Santa outfits in sight, here are some of the shots from our festive 2-hour session:

‘Ice Prom Princess’; with my bridal net underskirt and Karen’s beautiful crown tiara.

‘Merry Christmas’; with Karen’s stunning berry extravaganza:

‘Laced Light’; My vintage Victorian-style wedding dress, plus some lights weaved into my hair!

‘Self Doubt’; All done with one exposure:

‘The Powder Room’; Karen wanted to do something a bit ‘different’, so I made asked her to bring some flour so we could make a mess. In the end we used talcum powder, and I smelled utterly amazing afterwards! I love how well the fine powder shows against the black; it looks a bit like smoke, floating in wisps around me!

(I liked then in colour too! Or are they best in monochrome? Hhmm.)
Thank you so much Karen for always being such fun to work with and up for trying new ideas. We did so much! Just shows what can happen in two hours, with a bit of creativity, forethought and fun effects/props! 
I’m really hoping more photographers will want to try ‘different’ things with me where they can, whether that involves stylists for distinctive themes and strong ‘character’ work, make up artists for close up beauty portraits, fun ideas for textures or effects, interesting locations, crazy hair dos… whatever. Why not make 2013 the year you vow to do something a little unusual…? It doesn’t have to be expensive (and the model often has contacts who are willing to collaborate!), but starting with a theme and asking a model what they might already have and can contribute can work wonders!
On that note, I hope all your Christmasses are filled with joy, love and wonder. I’m back from a carol service (Christmas isn’t Christmas without one; ‘We Three Kings’ being a firm favourite), after having decorating the Christmas cake (my traditional contribution; involving some worse-for-wear plastic festive characters, reindeer and edible golden balls!), and then we all decorated the tree together with German wooden decorations, baubles, bells, bows, candles, etc. etc. I absolutely love this tradition of waiting until Christmas Eve to do it; until now the tree has been simply festively green. We have two new cats this year, fresh from a rescue centre, and one of them would win awards for her potent blend of fearlessness and clumsiness. All eyes on the (quite controversial in this house; is it disgustingly tacky? Or does it pick up the candle-light beautifully?) silver lametta.
Merry Christmas everyone! X

Thinkin’ About Your Body

Although modelling is my ‘full time income’, as I usually put it, writing is my long-term dream, and my time is split into two professions, realistically (though the two work very well together). I always write on the days I’m not modelling. This morning, instead of banging out 1000 words of my current work in progress (which is actually going quite well at the moment!), I spent an hour accidentally banging out a poem instead. I have told myself that this can justify the static word count of my novel, since I haven’t let myself do this in a very long time.

Probably needs some changes and polishing (some stanzas in particular definitely need some whipping), but I’m quite pleased with it as a first draft:

Mapping Renewal
2-3 weeks for the lungs.
About a year for the alveoli to regenerate.
Nothing on the surface; forever, deeper.
24 hours for the cornea. Which explains
why I can see you so clearly now.
20 years for the heart. Perhaps four times
in a lifetime. Three if repairs are slow. Scars
can’t muscle. Intestines; 2 or 3 days. Fighting to rid;
stomach acid sears through. Gargle, spit:
taste buds; every ten days. I am not
so enthused by your wanderlust now.
6-8 weeks for an eyelash. Mine
are doe like, defined by black; don’t bat for you.
3-6 years for hair and your indecision.
I bleached mine; I am getting it cut.
The skeleton takes ten years. Osteoclasts.
Osteoblasts. Break down. Build up. I am cast
as beauty. My closet is empty.
Fingernails twice as fast as toenails.
Keratin, circulation, tissue supply.
New skin every two weeks.
Less elastic. Still waterproof.
We won’t touch again. The liver, flushing
away cruel toxins; just five months a round.

The brain ages alone, coughing notes in the dark
through dreams and organs; imagines its own future:
conjures decision; the belief that it can thrive.
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And because I thought Mosa (of OnePixArt) might appreciate this kind of thing, here are some images he took of me in LA. I have admired his artwork for a long time, and it was certainly interesting to be let in on his philosophies about women. I think the third is my favourite.

*********************************************************************************

And finally, a song about bodies I’ve been enjoying by Bobby McFerrin… Love this guy. I’ve finally joined the modern age and have all my music on my phone. Well, not all; do you have any idea how much music I own? It’s quite shocking. But anyway, along with some questionable beauties (the most questionable being Take That’s debut album, teach-yourself-spanish, and the Sister Act soundtrack – all choices I personally stand by, however) I treated my studio day attendees on Saturday to such gems as:


Off now for a round two of responding to emails before meeting up with new friends tonight. Excited to see lots of my ‘old’ friends in the next week or so too. You gotta love that about Christmas; everyone gathers. 🙂

Grapes and Ferrets

…And here are some actual modelling shots again!

These were taken by Vincent Rijs in Amsterdam. I think they have a very Dutch feel to them!

I very much hope to work with Vincent again during my trip to Amsterdam in June 2013. After that hefty travel retrospective in the last blog post, it’s time to look forward. I’ve recently updated the travel/schedule page on this blog (see the tab at the top). I’ll be in Brussels in February, Scotland in May, Vienna, Prague, Berlin (and northern Germany) and Holland in June, and South Germany (Black Forest/Bavaria/Baden-Wurttemberg) and probably Zurich in July. I hope to visit Paris sometime in March or early April.

(Interlude: this is all assuming the world won’t end on the 21st. That said, anyone who’s anyone surely knows that the Mayans only predicted the end of a cycle and the start of a new one, a shift in human understanding and an apocalypse only in those ‘end of an era’ terms; and whatever repercussions will be involved are supposed to occur in the surrounding days, months or even years. 🙂 From what I’ve read (and I bought a book on the Mayans last year so that visiting the pyramids would be more fun), they never actually claimed that the world will end on that date; they are only aligning meaning with astronomical fact, as was their way of doing things. Gotta say though, the parties in Mexico at the ancient Mayan sites around now must be brilliant.)

I will also be travelling for shoots around England as well as obviously being available locally in the south/midlands, but really this depends as always on people getting in touch with me to make the bookings that kick start arrangements. 🙂 At the moment I’d like to schedule in a few more mini-trips of 1-3 days in various places around England, for early-mid 2013, and possibly with a few studio days in the mix, but I won’t know where to visit if you don’t let me know! Email me at ellarosemuse@live.co.uk and I’ll do my best to make a shoot happen!
Below is a poster for Vincent Rijs exhibition, running this month in Amsterdam.

Travel Diaries: A 2012 Snapshot Medley

This blog post has been building for a while… Now that it’s December I feel justified in reflecting back officially on some of the opportunities I’ve had to travel around this year! The following are all snapshots taken while out and about… no actual modelling shots, I’m afraid, and most taken only on a phone camera, snatching moments where I could, so quality will (ahem) range…

Feel free to skip this blog post if you don’t mind what I get up to in my spare time when travelling around!

First, there was Paris in March, with photographer Jeremy Howitt:

Books in trees – brilliant! (No idea why; if anyone knows, do tell.)

Dusseldorf in April:

 Just running by the Rhine… Too cool.

 Kunstpalast:

The avenue of weird, spindly trees I walked along about twenty thousand times a day to get anywhere. Some beautiful houses across the road, and green park on the left.

Followed by Holland – mostly Amsterdam:

Pretty train murals (a unicorn! And a German girl I hung out with briefly):

Pulling the bicycles out of the canals… this caused quite a stir!

Tulip museum!

A little courtyard a friendly local stopped me to tell me to go and look at. So I did:

Gorgeous cafe stop in De Negen Straatjes:

A mini medley from some of the excellent art galleries I visited in Amsterdam:

My favourite; the bright white and light just pings out of it!:

A hilariously girly hostel I stayed at for some of my time in Amsterdam – only girls are allowed to stay there! So obviously they installed a hello kitty toilet seat and the Sex and the City film was on in the lounge when I arrived to check in.

Classic windmill scene, courtesy of a photographer who de-toured me there en route to a shoot, and to see the AMAZING tulip fields, below:

 Flower market!

The most brilliant museum; Katten Kabinet, celebrating the depiction of cats in art and culture! There was a cat fast asleep on the reception desk, content and adored (largely by me):

(Those tulips I was banging on about…)

Swans on the canal at night!

Wonderful Edinburgh and Fife in May:

I met up with Roswell Ivory, once we discovered we were both in Edinburgh at the same time, and this is her snapshot of us gathering things to try on when shopping! Yes, I bought that disgustingly fluorescent dip-dye handkerchief hemmed sundress, and it is brilliant. Flower garlands galore, too!

Kilts, marching and bagpipes at the castle!

Supposedly a grave that inspired J K Rowling’s ‘Voldemort’ character, Tom Riddle… (Yes, we did the Harry Potter walking tour…)

Complete with wands!

May is pretty impressive blossom-wise, it turned out:

Some interesting remnants of a crazy happening, taken during a woodland shoot in Fife:

Quick stop at Robbie Wraith’s exhibition at Messums in London:

Followed by a very quick trip to Ireland:

I took this while out on a jog one morning – pretty!

 Eamonn Farrell’s kitchen art… (love it; I hadn’t seen this take on the classic slogan before!):

Followed by another trip to Paris with Jeremy Howitt:

The scene of a quite marvellous photo, taken during a long wait for the all clear:

At The Crazy Horse:

Getting back on the Eurostar in Paris. Such a nice station:

South of Germany, Black Forest for a couple of days mid-July with Steven Billups:

Pembrokeshire, Wales with Imagesse at the end of July:

This is a three-legged cat who jumped on my lap over breakfast at the B&B. She was very cute and impressively plucky!

Some of Perry’s snapshots (including the otter I shared a posing pool with!):

And finally a trip to California in October:

(A few shots made with instagram, before instagram crashed, killed my phone and deleted all my data…)

Road trippin’:

Vegas:

LA:

This was scrawled on a bunk in a hostel I stayed at in Santa Monica. Brilliant. I love that the author suggests I ‘google’ the country. Aaah, South America, I will get to you one day soon.

Just turning on the fire next to the hot tub, as one does:

Santa Monica Pier:

El Mirage:

Look how much it really is a mirage – looks like water near the horizon, does it not? It kept fooling me!

Road trippin’ again:

Lycerne Valley:

Back in Hollywood (erm, these must have gotten a bit out of order):

That cracked earth again:

 View from my hotel room:

3rd Street, Santa Monica, home of dinosaur hedges, impressive street performers, and excellent spaghetti primavera:

Joshua Tree National Park:

Back at that hot tub:

These Cholla Cacti like to seek people out and kill them, basically. They’re pretty though:

Giant creepy Marilyn:

Plane to Vegas:

It hits you immediately; you can gamble upon arrival. (No thanks!)

Route 66:

Hoover Dam:

Informative:

The Grand Canyon! Impossible to do justice, sorry! Amazingly amazing.

Dressed pretty strangely, but we didn’t care:

Funny little place we stopped at for snacks, run by a German:

Vegas, land of immorality, neon fakery and interestingly decadent nights out:

Red Rock Canyon:

I found this couple having sex in the middle of the road one evening. They were pretty pleased with themselves. I am proud to say I did my best to pull them out of immediate danger. (Earlier that night the boy had bashfully told me he couldn’t possibly express his feelings for me because he hadn’t felt that way about anyone before, etc., and later that night he forgot the girl’s name. I tried to give him an education about respecting women (and himself)… I do what I can… Vegas, eh? Jamie, if you’re reading this, BE GOOD.) 

Fancy Dress Shopping!

Getty Museum (much needed after Vegas):

Et voila! You have made it through an insanely long blog post. I’m glad I got it out of my system! Congratulations, and I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Underwater Fires

I have so many images queuing up to be shown here as always but am interrupting that flow with some excitement caused by this morning’s inbox arrival – some underwater adventuring shot in California by Zoe Wiseman.

I loooove these. Wow!!! Thanks Zoe!

I think I may have referred to this shoot already on here, mentioning that it was a fun challenge – my first underwater shoot. Meghan Claire (who features alongside me in most; we were also joined by Carlotta Champagne and Titania) was great at pulling me down, as I have the world’s most buoyant butt, I think. The flowy hair and dreaminess of these, with the bubbles everywhere and upward reflections, and the light daggering and darting down through the water in ripples just makes these so amazing. I think my favourites are the ones in colour, and I also love the chaotic group shots at the end, with limbs and torsos all entwined at different depths and distances from the camera, with magical creatures falling beautifully in the foreground and far away mermaids swimming past alongside…. 🙂 I so want to try some more!

I’d love to hear your favourites!

Do a Good Thing; WaterAid shoot

Hello all!

It’s time for some annual do-goodery, and this year I’m making myself available for a shoot sometime between now and Christmas, with all of my modelling fee going towards WaterAid (see info about them below).
I’ll be hoping to hear from photographers between now and the end of this week, and it will be on a bidding basis, whereby you let me know your offer of budget and shoot proposal, and I will pick the most suitable offer.

Email me at: ellarosemuse@live.co.uk
In a nutshell, please state in your message:
  1. The price you would be able to pay (for WaterAid) for a 2-3 hour shoot (and let me know if you’d like to go for 1, 2 or 3 hours). It’s totally up to you what you say you can offer, but as a guideline (in case it helps) my normal UK rates are £45 per hour or £150 for four hours. I imagine I will get widely varying offers, so it’s up to you what you state, and I’ll pick the best offer.
  2. A list of dates you would be available on, between now and Christmas.
  3. The type of images you would like to shoot – just a vague idea so I know what you have in mind. (I’m available for all my usual styles: fashion, portraits, art nude, dance, wedding, lingerie, etc.)
  4. Your location; I’m based in Oxfordshire so will probably need to prioritise offers in the south east, though not necessarily.
Other info:– You will need to arrange the shoot location yourself, whether it be a studio or home set-up location. If you’d like to shoot with me longer than 3 hours, that’s great, but I will probably (guiltily) need to pocket the extra money myself, just so you know. 🙂
– Being (technically) a paid shoot, you will not be required to send me any of the images you edit after the date, though as always it would be appreciated if you wanted to.
– In return, you get kudos and a good feeling. And some brilliant shots!
– Think that’s it! 🙂 
Get in touch!
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Here’s some info about WaterAid, from their website:

Vision

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.

Mission

WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. We work with partners and influence decision-makers to maximise our impact.

What we do

WaterAid enables the world’s poorest people to gain access to safe water and sanitation. Together with improved hygiene, these basic human rights underpin health, education and livelihoods, forming the first essential step in overcoming poverty.
We work with local partners, who understand local issues, and provide them with the skills and support to help communities set up and manage practical and sustainable projects that meet their real needs.
We also work locally and internationally to change policy and practice and ensure that water, hygiene and sanitation’s vital role in reducing poverty is recognised.

Our values

Inclusive
WaterAid aims to be inclusive in all that we do. We work with economically poor and marginalised people who often miss out such as women and girls, those living with HIV/AIDS, minority ethnic groups, older and disabled people and those who face discrimination. The needs and voices of the communities we work with, our staff, volunteers, partners and stakeholders shape our policy and practice.
Always learning
At WaterAid learning is central to our practice. We continually evolve to make sure that our work is sustainable, innovative, relevant and effective.
Collaborative
The water and sanitation crisis will only be solved by collaborative action. Our engagement with other organisations, communities, staff and supporters underpins our success. We value their diversity.
Accountable
We believe that we should be accountable, responsive and transparent to those we serve and those who support us.
Inspiring
WaterAid is a passionate champion of the role safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation play in improving health and education and reducing poverty.
Courageous
We set ambitious goals, raise challenging questions and speak with courage and conviction. We are assertive yet humble and respectful.