Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Weekend of photo–shoots

Wow all I can say is that I am completely broken!

We have just completed all the photo-shoots and OMG it was a challenge, but thoroughly enjoyable and I would do it again without a second thought.

Over the last few days I have worked with some of the most talented and friendly people ever! and I feel totally inspired and am honoured to have met them. My only disappointment is that Ruth could not be there to share the experience as she too has worked hard on this project.

This weekend I worked with;-

Photography - Deborah Selwood from Gecko studios –  https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Gecko-Studios-Photography/115300968481172

Model – Ronny or Captn Ron -  https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/CaptinMaximus-Ron/280059882060695

Make up for Fox Shaman and Red – Kimberly Champman - https://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=631780710

Make up for Willow and Florence – Josie Clarke - https://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=854225404&sk=info

Video – Chris (sorry I didn’t get your surname). Chris cam on Sunday to film the ‘behind the scenes’ of the shoots. I will post a link as soon as I get it

on average each shoot took approximately 6 to 7 hours to complete.

On Saturday we used the Fox Shaman and Red costumes. Kimberley Chapman did the makeup and was fantastic, she also came out and helped with lighting.

Here is a pic of Kimberley covering Ron’s tattoo and Ron being her cheeky self


Sadly I forgot to take a photo of Kimberley doing Ron’s ‘Red’ makeup, but once Deborah has edited the photos, I will put one up.


On Sunday Josie kindly came to do the makeup for both Willow and Florence. Both shoots required a lot of makeup and she did a fabulous job. You would be amazed how much makeup was involved!

Here is the Willow Makeup



And here is Florence. At one stage poor Ronny had Josie, Deborah and myself all working on her.


I also want to stress how fantastic Ron was this weekend. She is  AMAZING!!! she  is currently studying at Bournemouth University and came all the way up to Nottinghamshire just for Deborah and myself. She is  a fantastic model who knows what she's doing and easily interpreted what both Deborah and I wanted from the shoots.

The weather was cold all weekend and the studio where she was being made-up was freezing and some of the poses we put her in must have been very uncomfortable, but not once did she complain. At one stage the poor girl got stuck in the car due to how big Florence’s horns were.



Throughout the weekend we all took turns filming each other doing our different jobs for the shoot, it was a fantastic experience and it made me realise how important everyone's role was throughout the weekend, also how hard people worked and also how well we all worked together. Deborah has put together a lovely team of people who are very talented and supportive…

I will post Deborah’s photos ASAP

Meet the Family…

Deborah and I agreed that there would be 4 photo-shoots. These are to take place over a weekend.

Each shoot will have a different location and a different personality and feel.

I’d like to introduce you to my ladies and also say a massive THANK YOU to Ruth who as well as helping me make the outfits has had to constantly strip down in my freezing cold studio to check the fit and movement of them……Ta Honey, you are a star!

Firstly let me introduce you to Florence. She is a goddess in her own right… A proud and powerful being who a long time ago fought against the constraints of her race as  peaceful beings who were constantly preyed upon. She is the last of her kind and to survive she has become a warrior and hunter.

Florence will have strong/fierce eye makeup, but also softer Deer-like markings.



Red – Lost innocence

This is Red, she is lost and all alone.


Red’s coat has been made from approximately 25 recycled Jumpers and Cardigans.  One of the categories for the papercut Magazine is Post-Apocalyptic.   I like the idea of up-Cycling clothes into a different fashion garment. The idea is that Red’s makeup will be doll-like and the location cold and stark. The coat will be the only vibrant colour in the shot.


Fox Shaman

The Fox Shaman is a wise creature who lives in a deep dark woods… she is a prophet and healer, but only the bravest dare take the dangerous journey to her den.


This is a costume I made last year and is one of my favourites, its my own personal costume and I love it! I decided to use this costume as I know both Ron and Deborah will transform it into something fabulous and also different from how I use it.

I envision the Fox Shamans makeup to be a single block colour from the nose up to the forehead.

Here is a picture of me wearing it (photos by Dug @ Unit24productions):-



And lastly, Let me introduce you to  Willow…

Willow is a tree sprite that is full of love and life, she is at her happiest in spring, where she will dance all day and night and entertain weary travellers that pass by her tree.


For me, Willows costume is manly about the wig and headdress.


I have many layers for the foundations for this costume, I want Willow to look like a dancer. I have velvet dance trousers, dance belt and also I have hand dyed 2 25yard dance skirts in green and blue. I also have made a green up-cycled coat in various shades of greens.

Willows makeup will be quite intensive. In airbrushed shades of greens and blues.

Busy, Busy, Busy….

OK its official, leatherwork is bad for your health! all the hole-punching and stamping has resulted in major RSI.

I can barley move my hand and wrist…..Grrr its so frustrating.  Even a week later, I am seriously restricted to what I can do with my right hand and wrist.


Due to my wrist injury I’ve had to change the design. I’m going to have to leave the leaves off the costume as I can’t tool the remaining 35 leaves that Ruth and I carefully cut out as I cant tool them at this moment. I hate having to compromise a costume design, but in this case I have no time as I’m working to such a tight deadline.

Here is the bra and belt/skirt for the Horned Warrior costume (I have nicked-named her Florence, due to the colour of her hair)


Now that the leaves aren’t being put on the costume, it looks a bit more ‘Barbarella then ‘Woodland Fairy’, but that may not be a bad thing. I want this character to be strong and proud, so losing the softness is not too much of a problem. I’m still gutted I’ve had to change the design Sad smile



The final Leather piece is the Vambrace. Originally I was going to make one. But now the leaves are not going onto the bra and belt, the costume has become very symmetrical, so I thought a single  Vambrace  would help.


Ron (the model) has very short hair so I thought it would be easier if I mounted the dreads onto a wig to make it easier for her and me to get them on, for the shoot.

I bought a cheap red wig and some beautiful custom-made synthetic dreads from Kaminoke.  The wig was then plaited and dreads sewn on.. Its a brut of a wig, but the horns are large and it balances them both out. It took quite a while plaiting the wig and due to my hand my plaits where shoddy so Ruth then spent an entire day re-plaiting them


Here’s the beautiful Ruth, wearing the headpiece and bra


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Nearly There…………


OK, I have 15 finished leaves and need to get a move on as the photo shoot is next week ….Eeeek!

I want to make a bra & Belt combo with a small leather skirt, so that Ronny (the Model) can  be body painted (I’m currently thinking ‘Bambi/Deer’ makeup).

I have to tell you, making a bra out of 3mm Veg-Tan is not easy. My standard bra patterns didn't work, so I spent a day making cardboard bras and then trailing the studios in my building looking for a willing victim to check the fit… after 4 attempts I got something I was happy with.




This is what I came up with… (poor Ruth once again gets told to strip off…sorry Ruth)



And here is the matching belt WIP…



After a week of sewing, dyeing and gluing this is where I currently am.. Thankfully Ruth has came in on Tuesday and hit the ground running, which helped, she is now a master a hole punching!



….And the headdress (once again..sorry Ruth!)


Thursday, 8 March 2012

At one with Nature


Leading on from my last post, I want to make a ‘Creature’ costume for the Papercut Mag competition that I’m working with Deborah Selwood from Gecko Studios.

One of the categorises is ‘Animal instincts’. I want to make a horned headdress and a feminine huntress costume.

I like the idea of the hunted being the hunter, so want quiet a feminine feel to a hard material. I’ve decided to use heavy Veg-Tan leather which I normally use for leather armour and to make the outfit  look more natural . I also am planning to use the curly Goat horns I made for the Horn Tutorial (see older posts) for the headdress.

I’ve started to make leather leaves for the costume

After spending an afternoon playing around with leather I came up with this :-



They are quite time consuming to make and after cutting out 50, both Ruth and myself can barely move our fingers, also I now have so many cuts on my hands I look like I’ve been bareknuckle fighting Smile




I found a pretty leaf which I liked the shape of and used it as a guide.From that I drew a template on tracing paper,


Wet the leather and traced the design onto it then cut out the leaf blank.



Tooled the veins and on some of the leaves added shading, so they all looked slightly different.

I then moulded the shape by manipulating the leather with my fingers and then allowed it to dry overnight (patience is definitely not my virtue)


I then painted/dyed the leaves with leather dye and then oiled and polished them



And Daa! Daa! Daa!



OK…… I’d like to say I’m finished but I only have 15 completely finished. Only 35 more to go!