The Wool Company

Despite roasting in a studio yesterday along with 5 other models for an exciting shoot involving ghosts, cliffs & scaffolding(!!!) I feel like autumn is considering stopping twiddling its thumbs today and sadly, yet beautifully, hitting us with some cooler air…

To get over this shock (and also because I was, quite frankly, knackered, after non-stop shoots galore plus the horrible news that my doggie suffered heart failure while away; she is now on 3 different medications per day, poor thing (and we are grappling with the trauma – for all parties – of having to shove little tiny pieces of ‘make-you-better-I-promise’ down her little throat), and she is dealing incredibly well with her gorgeous little heart beating at several million miles an hour to cope with all that’s going on in there; seriously, I know it sounds weird, but the X-rays of her tiny little body were adorable!), I decided to take a nap this afternoon and make the most of a recent purchase: welcome The Wool Company’s mattress topper.
Wow. My entire bed is anew. Not that there was much wrong with it before; but seriously, I feel like it has new soft, floaty depths!
Gorgeous, afore-mentioned piglet certainly agrees (click to enlarge):
(yes, I have a rose on my pillowcase!)
Anyway, back (more directly) to The Wool Company. I’m delighted to be able to say that I’m their ‘face'(/body), having recently shot for the second time around the moors and beaches of Cornwall, and finding their lovely website adorned with pictures of my mug and windswept hair. It’s such a huge pleasure to shoot for them and I’m already looking forward to next season’s photoshoot. After spending a couple of nights at the family’s farmhouse I felt very much at home, and loved chatting to Harry and Sarah in the evening about music and life as much as snuggling up to the wool capes and cashmere scarves on little bridges and next to lakes. Definitely my cup of tea, that sort of thing! 🙂
I obviously had to make the most of the discount I was kindly offered and purchased a few things of my own after the shoot, one of which I’m wearing below (clue; I look particularly happy in it!). I just think it’s so nice to own things that feel so beautifully made and of the kind of quality that has you dreaming of autumn/winter nights by the fire…
Some shots and screengrabs:

 And in other news, I duck into La Galleria in Picadilly last night after a shoot in London to have a quick look at the painting ‘Access to Justice’ by Andrew Brady, which I posed for (as Justice herself!). I was pleased to get a text from Andy just beforehand telling me he’d won the ‘People’s Choice’ award! The exhibition, ‘Injustice’, was run by London Legal Support Trust in association with Arts for Justice and you can see the entries here.

Here’s ‘Access to Justice’:

About the artwork:  ‘Painted especially for this exhibition, this piece is an  allegory for the way in which the disadvantaged in society find it difficult to gain proper access to justice. Justice here is represented by the figure on the right; she is blind, which traditionally represents her impartiality.The bejewelled figure in the centre represents those with money, influence or power; able to gain the ear of Justice while at the same time obstructing the figure on the left, who, with her threadbare blouse represents the disadvantaged. Making cuts to Legal Aid is one of the greatest injustices in our country today.’

Pedal boats & Bikinis

Evening!

I’m back from a gorgeous ‘sunshine shoot’ in Portugal – lots of images to show soon, I hope, and in the meantime, the results of some more local (south coast of England) beach frolics, courtesy of a last minute road trip with the excellent Gary Sandy, and the fine Great British weather. Gary’s so much fun to work with – I’m sure I’ll be shooting with him a third time at some point.
These were great additions to my ‘Bright’ gallery on my new website.

Romance

I really love these shots taken by Kev at London’s Beltcraft Studio. We had a really fun shoot trying all sorts of things, and I think/hope there will be more images to show in the near future. For now, though, sometimes you just need to lie down with the roses….

And..

Pipe Cleaners and Autumn Leaves!

Evening! The owl-eyed among you may have noticed my rapid pulling-down of my most recent blog post, ‘Firebird’, which featured some extremely cool dance-y studio stuff. Unfortunately I was told that the designer needed her pieces to be kept under wraps until June, so the blog post will be reappearing around then, by which time the shots will be a fun and fresh surprise again if your memories are as terrible as mine.

Today, I’m bringing you some fun and cute stock shots! It’s always nice working with photographer Paul Viant at Belmont House. Such a gorgeous, shabby chic country house; I feel quite at home there!! The main theme was ‘crafts’, so out came the pipe cleaners, the scissors, the wool and ribbons, the dried leaves and the upholstery projects.

Behold the autumn crafting, day dreaming and the blowing on windows to draw hearts on the glass! 🙂

We did lots of other little sets as well, including one where I was asked to lie outdoors on a huge, damp (but blissfully comfortable) bed of leaves, acting as though I was taking pictures of myself on my cameraphone. So I did…

Also, just a little thank you to everyone who is so patient when contacting me. I’m working a 7-day week at the moment, doing my usual impression of being more than one person at once, with several projects on the go, and my correspondence speed is far from ideal (it’s never something I’m amazingly proud of, I’m the first to admit – though it’s not through lack of effort, I assure you); though I do always get things done! 🙂

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

EDIT:

A little while later: inbox zen.

Screengrab:

I would like to thank: my friends and family, the tiny dog that sat on my lap for most of this 6-hour email session, the chair for supporting my bum (though it got a bit numb at times), my brand new polka-dot 2-person teapot WITH INBUILT FILTER (full of, variously, Earl Grey, Orange Blossom and English Rose) and my own sheer unadulterated determination to be good. Exquisite!

Vitality

Sometimes half the fun of keeping a blog is trying to out-do yourself in contrasting the style of images shown from one blog post to the next. It’s a bit like writing a novel, playing the piano and going for a lovely countryside walk, then having an evening of body-popping/winding to slickedy-slick Justin Timberlake, who I think I might slightly fancy again, maybe (despite not actually fancying him).

(‘I can’t wait to get you on the floor, good looking’ is currently all I can hear in my mind. ‘…Going out so hot, just like an oven…oooooowww’.)

(I’m sorry.)

So here, in total contrast to the previous post, is a shot or four taken by Chris Lloyd at Eye For An Image Studio recently. Loved doing these!

House of Flying Daggers

Hello from Belgium! I’ve just completed my final shoot and am relaxing now here in Brussels. Below are two quick behind-the-scenes shots taken on my phone from a shoot with the lovely Johan Verlust and the excellent make up artist and hair stylist Fraukje Van de Wiele.I’m looking forward to seeing the proper images from this shoot (this was just one set we did, but I rather liked it!). 🙂

Highlights in this rather multi-lingual country have so far included free plates of radishes, free limoncello and ouzo(??) (I didn’t have the heart to tell the enthusiastic waiter I don’t drink, so I drank), a successful foray into the world of the waffle (I quite liked it!), restaurants that claim they have ‘no legumes’ after I settle in and  order the one vegetarian thing on the menu, pasta legumes… Seriously? The entire restaurant has no vegetables? Slightly worrying. (I left, obviously, and stumbled instead into an AMAZING restaurant that made me very happy (goats cheese served on a bed of apple, scattered with honey, strawberries, raisins and walnuts), so if that’s not evidence for the ‘it’s meant to happen’ brigade, then I can’t possibly think what is.)

I have also done some non-foody things here in Belgium, I promise – e.g. I spent a lovely, lazy afternoon dawdling around art galleries – including Magritte’s crazy surrealism – (this was my first trip to Belgium, so I left myself a little bit of free time), and topped up my postcard collection by a humble 47. Yep, I don’t buy shoes (though I am hoping to stumble across a new pair of trainers soon, as my super dooper spin spot dance ones make me just a tad too spinny during planking, etc., and really shouldn’t be worn when driving), I buy art postcards! Seriously, though, it really excites me. I’m going to create my third new massive board of them for my room. I even had a practise run on my brand new hostel-friend’s bed, when I got back. (I’m too cool.) I’ll probably blog a picture of the results, along with my previously made board, in case anyone else shares my joy of ‘I get a print of this amazing amazing amazing painting for 1 euro’. And the Grand Place is beautiful, and somehow reminds me of the incredibly brilliant main square in Mexico City. (Though maybe that’s just because that’s the last ‘main square’ I saw. I don’t know.) I also went to Bruges yesterday with a lovely American girl I met, and we had fun jumping around in front of the windmills on the outskirts of the old town. I think I’m going to have to do a bit of research to find out if the vial of blood we saw really is likely to have belonged to Jesus or not; if so, that’s really quite amazing.

Anyway, I get to wander around Brussels a bit more tomorrow before getting on the eurostar, partly on the search for some statues of some kids (and a dog) pissing, or something. I’ve been promised an equal mix of delight and anti-climax. Haha. On my next trip (I might possibly come back sometime in the summer), I’m going to also look around Ghent and Antwerp, I think, as I’ve heard that Ghent in particular is a great place to visit.

And now, I’m blogging some images I’ve been excited to see and show you! There’s something a bit ‘House of Flying Daggers’ about these images, I think (despite that beautiful film being set in China, not Japan). I was asked to model for a photographer on behalf of his friend who is submitting a design project on Japanese modes of dress set in a western context. This kimono was the one actually worn by Ally on her wedding day; so it was such an honour to wear it! It was so beautiful – and very heavy! – and I learnt that, while the western fashion is generally to show off a woman’s waist, the opposite is true in Japan, or at least in this context; my waist was padded to be in line with my hips!! For what I’m used to, that’s not the most flattering stylistic decision, but it’s interesting, isn’t it? Different aesthetics for different cultures… It was such a fun shoot, and I think the photographer, London-based Will White, made them so stunning! The make up was by Ema Doherty. We got quite excited about all the jumping around… and as soon as Will handed me the parasol, we both immediately knew without speaking that I had to do a ‘caught in the wind’ jump. I’m looking forward to a second shoot sometime soon. And I CANNOT WAIT to go to Japan later this year; I just find the culture so fascinating and beautiful, and there are so many different contrasts and aspects to it. I’ve been wanting to go there for so long!

Which are your favourites?

…And if anyone cares to educate me about some beautiful Japanese films I should watch, please do!

Paint, Feet, Magalazine Cover!

Sorry for being a bit quiet – things are a bit crazy in my personal world at the moment with a massive upheaval caused by having to very reluctantly remove myself from a situation I’ve been in for 8-and-a-bit years (my entire adult life thus far), and I think I need to clamp my head together to keep all my thoughts from spinning off in different directions. Incredibly annoying to find that I can’t harness myself into writing at the moment, having put aside time especially; seems I’m best at writing when things are peaceful, not dramatic, and otherwise I have the attention span of a self-doubting, mourning-for-something-that-seems-only-to-have-existed-in-my-head-anyway hamster. 
To ‘make up’ for this, I have been buying myself jewellery and being frivolous; spending more on one piece (vintage, rubies, pearls; rose gold being my weakness) than I ever have before. I really want to buy myself a ring next, but we shall see (and currently the ring I want does not exist). I actually rang my Mum from the shop (a little place in Oxford which makes me very happy) for reassurance, asking if I was mad to be spending so much on the very opposite of what I’d gone in for (I went in hoping to find a silver/white gold SIMPLE pendant), and she said it was fine… haha… and that at the very least, gold was an investment… (And I remember my old painter friend telling me gold was the way forward, not that I’ll be buying any big chunks any time soon!!) so obviously my little burst of jewellery buying was highly rational and clever… Jewellery has always been very meaningful and emotionally important for me, especially when either inherited, or ‘worn before’… or bought for me… or bought as a gift for myself… who am I kidding – I just love it. And I don’t really shop very often. (There I go again attempting to justify my splurge!).
Anyway, this is my personal blog, so I can write what I want, but while the urge to express upset and rantings is one I can definitely identify with, I always find it a bit of a shame when people bare their souls online/on facebook etc rather than among friends in person. So, here are some updates I should have posted a while ago, from my ‘to blog’ folder.
First, a painting by Kristian Mumford, recently shown at the Loreto Art Exhibition, 113×78 oil on linen (courtesy of John Evans, who photographed the original image in a crumbling mansion): 

By Holly at Jewelled World, yet another book cover featuring… well, my feet again. Haha. It amuses me greatly that my little tattoo seems not to have been edited out by the relevant department at the publishing house; the absolute testament to the fact that no one ever notices it. I will have to see this in real life to be sure. Well done Holly!

Finally, my mug on the cover of Digital Camera Magazine recently, shot by a competition-winning reader up in Manchester. We had a great day; there were lots of sets and beautiful images made that I really wish I could have seen finished versions of after the shoot, but trust me that there were some absolute beauties! My hair and make up was stunning, I thought, and done by Zan, who was excellent!

I’ve also been told I’m featured in a book out at the moment, ‘Practical Photoshop: Creative Projects’. Someone spotted it in WHSmith for me (thank you!), so I emailed the editor and he’s kindly sending me a copy. I’ve got some lovely shots in waiting which I’ll be excited to show soon, but bear with me if I do disappear for a little while. Thanks for reading!