Friday, 30 November 2012

Warm Afternoon Photoshoot

All photos other than the third are un-edited
(Sorry if I'm frowning a little in some of these photos)

In my last post (which was three weeks ago - I've been a little neglectful of this blog) I mentioned this Yves Saint Laurent dress I found at a charity shop. Well, here it is in all it's splendour and glory! The photos were taken yesterday afternoon in a nearby cow paddock, although the fact that it was nearby didn't stop my sister Ireland and I from borrowing the car to get there. She drove and I hopped out to open gates, or, like in the third photo - sit on them. Then skillfully we avoided weeds and climbed through fences in impractical outfits. Once we were there it was an afternoon of quoting Monty Python, laughing, scaring off cows and kangaroos, soaking up the warm afternoon sun, posing, pulling silly faces, and wielding a camera.

Summer is only a day away, and I'm longing for Winter. I'll pull out my corduroy 60's mini skirt and wish I could pair it with the maroon tights it almost always seems to end up being worn with, or have to wear a lightweight singlet instead of knitted jumpers, and sandals rather than my converse or boots. I'm even thinking that an undeniably summery teal silk dress I have would go well with a black wool cape for Winter. I guess with most of the blogs I read being located in the Northern Hemisphere, it's kind of hard to be thinking about sun-dresses and bare legs.

But our horses have their sleek summer coats, the mango trees are fruiting, mosquitoes biting, and the sun is burning within a couple of minutes. And I'm spending my days hanging around in my sister's room (she has air-conditioning.) As well as doing lots of sleeping, and at one point I woke up at six in the morning due to the bloody rooster coming into my room, jumping onto my bed, and crowing in my ear. I wish I could say that was the worst way I've ever woken up, but not when you have an older sister. And of course, lots of reading (currently on five books) and my mum just bought about six new books the other day - along with a season of Absolutely Fabulous which I'm looking forward to watching.)

My impractical outfit is comprised of the silk YSL dress, a charity shopped vintage felt hat and vintage watch. A 60's flower pin and handmade cuff - gifts from my mum, and she made and lamp-worked the purple glass bead bracelet and mermaid lariat necklace (both of which I borrowed from her.) Rings, one of them being my grandma's and the other was a gift from a close friend. The 80's boots were my mum's.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Trips to the beach

Photos taken by me. Ireland is wearing a dress from a shop called 'Destiny Boutique'.
The water was just a bit cold.
Photos by Ireland. I'm wearing Supré shorts, and the silk top is second hand 'Bluejuice'.

Photos by me. I'm not sure about where the shawl Ireland's wearing is from.
All the photos are un-edited (except for the third photo which I changed to black and white.) 

My weather update for the past couple of months is: mostly sunny, and very hot. The temperature makes me want to slap the back of my hand to my forehead and fall down dramatically, saying: "Oh, the heat!" Imitating Keira Knightly in a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean (the movie that gave my sister and I our wonderful stick-fighting techniques). While it's not yet Summer, it feels like is has been since Spring. It really gives the temptation to go and live in the freezer when it's 34 degrees Celsius. So regular trips to the beach are necessary - although sometimes the weather decides it wants to be cold and windy as soon as you arrive at the beach. On the bright side, I enjoyed running after the 'beach tumble-weed', something that became a game between my sister and I - which I won (my beach towel made an excellent winner's toga.)
All the shoots above were taken on various trips, the last one wasn't pre-meditated but I had my camera and my willing model, and could not resist that glorious light.

Along with the beach trips, I'm trying to go on walks regularly, as well as doing yoga. I recently finished doing a yoga thing for teenagers which was about an hour and a half of yoga every Monday afternoon for four weeks - it was amazing how much better my back felt afterwards. I think the yoga's definitely helping my back, along with Bowen therapy (my Bowen therapist did some kind of respiratory move and my ribcage  is now significantly less twisty.) It was also great being able to visit the charity shops before yoga started, I picked up some great things including: a silk Yves Saint Laurent dress with a rayon bodice for four dollars (which I am eager to feature after the size is adjusted for me), an apricot silk button-up shirt for two dollars, a completely new Yves Saint Laurent scarf for one dollar, and my sister found a silk Stella McCartney top for three dollars (although it's kind of strange, and has wings of some sort.)

Well, I hope everyone's great, and that the weather for you is much better than the weather here.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Tea Parties, Light, and Making Things

Here is the third (and last) shoot I did with the gorgeous Jazz when she stayed over. The first photo was taken by my mum, the photos of Jazz by me, and the photo of me was taken by Jazz. All the photos are un-edited. You can see the first shoot here and the second shoot here.
Jazz is wearing a dress that was previously owned by my grandma, the faux pearl bracelet and vintage watch are from a charity shop, as are the vintage shoes and silk scarf. The necklace (and glass bead pendant) was made by my mum.
As for me, I'm wearing a vintage watch (something that I wear on a regular basis for some reason, it's purely for decoration, as it doesn't work - which is very awkward if someone asks you the time!) And the dress was from a charity shop, it had big yellow plastic buttons on it, but I removed them, lace was added, and then I sewed on different buttons (still need to add the fourth button, and then a ribbon bow.)

The yellow dress was just one of the many things that are stacked up on benches and next to the sewing machines. With promises of being shortened, lace added, made to fit, dyed, or being turned into something else. I might come across a pair of shorts that I like and there would be the "I'll just make something similar."
It's quite hard to get on top of it - the piles of clothes, folds of material, large collections of doilies, ribbons, and buttons.
There is so much that I want to up-cycle, make from scratch or using some of the gorgeous vintage Vogue patterns my mum has collected. I found an amazing 70s Karl Lagerfeld pattern for a beautiful shirt, that was the most stunning cut with gorgeous sleeves - but is way beyond my skill level. I have to accept that for now it's just making Pyjama bottoms and cheesecloth shorts for the summer. It's hard to have patience - for both sewing something and just keeping practice until I'll finally be able to make more complex things.
I've found that while some things in sewing are quite laborious, others are meditative, and some lead to a lot of cursing, frustration, and wanting to kick something. A result that I'm happy with gives a feeling of accomplishment and prompts so much motivation to create more. Although of course, if you sew something and make a big mistake..well, cue more cursing and wanting to kick something.
Something far less frustrating is dying (clothes and fabrics, of course.) It's actually quite fun, mixing the dyes, putting it on, squeezing and scrunching. I've been getting some great colour results, especially from a pair of socks that I dyed orange, and the silk dress Jazz wears in this shoot was dyed teal (it looks great, and perfect for summer.)

Big thanks to Jazz for being my willing model, and to my mum for helping us with the tea party set-up (and taking the first shot.)

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Red Shoes

Photos and Styling by me
Model: Jazz
 A self portrait Jazz took.
For everyone's wardrobe, I think at least one pair of classic red shoes is needed. The perfect shade for such shoes being cherry or hot red. Whether they are thrown on casually with jeans and a shirt, or tucked away and only brought out on special occasions and donned at parties. While the only red shoes in my possession are the ones worn above, ideally I'd have about ten pairs - making sure red gumboots, converse and pointy-toed pumps are included in the mix, and of course, red dancing shoes. I can't think of red shoes without provoking the images of full skirts, tea dresses, tulle, dancing girls and swishing underskirts too. As well as the line of lyrics "put on your red shoes and dance the blues" from David Bowie's song 'Let's Dance.' And not to forget the gruesome tale 'The Red Shoes' by Hans Christian Andersen (which gave me the title for this post.)

The above photos are from the second shoot I did with my beautiful god-sister, Jazz, when she stayed over. After all the shoots my room was such a mess - clothes everywhere! My entire collection of silk spread out on my bed - we both have an obsession with silk. And my silk hoard is ever-growing in size (the other day I picked up a gorgeous lilac silk slip with a rayon lace bodice for $4 from a charity shop, in great condition, and afterwards I discovered it's YSL!) 

You can see the first shoot here. And back in early June she wore a gorgeous Alice-esque dress in this post.

In this second shoot she's wearing a vintage (seventies?) sun-dress, a vintage cream silk scarf (worn as a sash) from my large hoard of silk, the faux pearl bracelet is from a charity shop, a flower headband from a cosmetics store, and of course, red shoes.

Big thanks to Jazz for being my willing model, I hope she didn't suffer too much! It's always a tough job being my photography subject; I can be very bossy! With my demands to jump, look up, lie down in the grass, run, twirl,  'stand over there', 'chin up and put your shoulders back' - poor Jazz was so tired after all the shoots! But she didn't seem to mind. 

The third shoot (possibly my favourite) will be shown in either the next post or the one after that, I'm really happy with the photos as we had some glorious afternoon light to play with. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Clouds like silk in the sky

Photos by me.
The only editing was a mild contrast adjustment on the second photo.
I mentioned in my last post that I did some shoots with the lovely Jazz (who dresses up as 'Alice' in this post.) Well, lo and behold: the first shoot!

Most of the photos that we took are of us laughing at ourselves when we felt awkward about serious poses. There were also many laughs when we quoted Monty Python and scenes from 'The Quest for the Holy Grail'. Jazz and I mused about the feeling of dressing up and walking through paddocks in heels, skilfully climbing under electric fencing and holding apart barbed wire fences for each other to climb through. She agreed that it was the best part of doing the shoots, as well as giving nearby cows quite the shock!

Jazz is such a wonderful subject, lovely company, incredibly clever and like a sister to me. There's a year's age difference between us, and she has been in my life since the day I was born. We don't get to see each other that often any more but we're still very close and are trying to make sure we get together more regularly. It's a bit of a trip in between our houses, and quite often my mum, sister and I will listen to just one album over and over in the car drive, and then play it again for Jazz and her mum. Introducing our latest discoveries such as Regina Spektor, Florence + the Machine, etc. Jazz's visit was only very brief, but we managed to squeeze in three shoots, as well as consuming large amounts of sugar, talking, and exploring the wonders of  my ever-growing collection of silk.Which brought us to the above ensemble.

I bought the blue silk bias-cut Victoria's Secret dress for $4 at a local charity shop a couple of months ago, it was new with tags that showed the price was originally $57 - what a find! It doesn't fit me around the hips but it was a perfect fit for Jazz, it's also a darker purplish colour but looks light blue in the photos - which I think ties well with the sky. Underneath is a vintage Christian Dior silk slip from a charity shop (in fact, the whole ensemble was comprised of charity shopped clothes - the dress, the slip, the vintage T-bars, and the vintage watch - all from various charity shops!)

We'd planned the shoot the night before, but I forgot to try on what I was going to wear, so I announced that it was just going to be a one-way shoot. But ended up wearing the 80s Alice-eqsue dress Jazz wore in a previous shoot, not for photos but for the enjoyment of wearing such a fancy dress for twirling about in a cow paddock.

This last photo is one that I just had to share, Jazz took it after I asked her to get some photos of me jumping, and this was my favourite. 

Alongside the dress, I'm wearing charity shopped vintage satin T-bars, and a vintage silk sash.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Portraits of Ireland

Photos by me. Model is Ireland. Taken in early June this year. She is wearing vintage velvet gloves, vintage felt hat, and charity shopped top.
Portraits would have to be my favourite kind of photography (especially black and white portraits.) The first two photos above are photos that I'm really proud of, despite Ireland's demands of in colour full body photos, I was sneakily taking black and white portraits! And am so glad I did.
I am so fascinated with people's faces, and I love to explore that with photography. I'm also really interested in natural effects with light, shadowing and reflections. I recently did some shoots with the gorgeous Jazz (who modelled a beautiful vintage Alice-esque dress in front of the camera for me in this post) and have some photos from a couple of the shoots with some great effects from shadows and lighting. We did three shoots that will all be posted on this blog soon.
I'm really happy with how her hair catches the light in this photo, even if you can see the washing line in the background!

Photos of Ireland taken by me in a week or two ago.
These photos are ones featuring Ireland's new fringe/bangs. I had planned a sixties themed shoot (which I briefly mentioned in my last post) but it ended up getting too late (and my sister had to leave to go and stay with our grandma the next morning) so we only squeezed in a quick shoot with me wielding the camera and my lovely willing model smiling and posing with flowers.
Ireland is still away and has been gone for over a week now - the longest we've ever been without seeing each other. I think I have separation anxiety, I'm really missing this gorgeous girl! I'm sure we'll have a dramatic running-hug when she comes home tomorrow.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Older Shoots

Outfit: hat from my sister, Dotti top,  Supré skirt, vintage Doc Martin shoes, vintage leather backpack (from a charity shop.)
Photo by my mum. The lizard on the table is real, he's a bearded dragon and named 'Gadzooks'.
My stunning sister Ireland wearing a velvet dress from a charity shop, not sure about the earrings.
Photo by me.
Ireland, wearing a vintage velvet dress and bow tie.
Photo by me.
I'm wearing a silk 'Bluejuice' dress from a market stall and vintage boots (previously my mum's.)
Photo by Ireland.
Ireland, wearing a vintage velvet backless dress from a charity shop, unknown earrings, and a bracelet made by my mum.
Photo by me. Hasn't she got just the most beautiful back?
I'm wearing my sister's vintage hat from a market, floral 'maisie' shorts, and a vintage lace bodice from a wedding dress.
Photo by Ireland.
I'm wearing a handmade lace bow tie, Supré button down top, second hand waistcoat, vintage watch and gloves , unsure about shorts.
Photo by Ireland.

I decided to add some photos that have been sitting in 'My Pictures' since early this year (some even from December last year.) They were all photos from when I was twelve, and (other than a bit of cropping) are un-edited (except for possibly the fourth, but it could just be that we had a really bad camera then.)

Well, it's the School Holidays (hooray) I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to be doing, my sister's going to be staying with our maternal grandma soon, to see friends and live music, and pretty much just get out of the house.
So far I've been going to the beach - trying to get exercise and work the muscles around my spine. My Bowen therapist said that while I'm still growing, exercise and regular Bowen therapy could completely fix my back (she also said I was the worst she'd ever seen - yikes) I had a Bowen about three weeks ago and my mum said afterwards that I'd gained height! Going to the beach might even give me a bit of a tan (as you might have noticed: I'm very pale.)

I've also been doing a lot of sleeping, eating sugar, and being grumpy - basically, being a teenager. I made a cubby-house, well, more like a cave or a den. I made it by putting a mattress in the hallway next to our big book shelves, adding big couch cushions and sheets to make it like a den, then threw in some pillows, a vintage tartan mohair blanket, and I was done. I had a camper lamp, a dog, and a bearded dragon (as well as stacks of books) for company. I read children's stories, Oscar Wilde stories, a bit of Roald Dahl and Virginia Woolf's 'A room of one's own' (which since I got to the second chapter, I've found it sort of hard to put down, I'm not sure why. So far, it's really interesting.) My cubby-house/cave/den was especially great for a thunder storm we had, during which was when one of my dogs came in and joined me.

Well, anyway, might go pester my sister to do a photo-shoot with me (she recently got a fringe, and I've got many sixties themed ideas!)