Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter In Ruins

I planted this little bitty garden last summer and put it on my deck railing.  I made a little rock path and added a little ceramic  house I had gotten a few years back.  I managed to give it a drink now and then.
And it began to grow.  And each time I found a golf ball, I'd find a little spot to add it to the garden.
The collection is growing and so are the plants.
Lush and blooming, and I quickly lost count of how many golf balls were in there.  I had no idea these plants bloomed, that was a delightful surprise!  And then fall...
And then winter.  I looked at it the other day and took this photograph.  It looks like it's a ruin... a little house reclaimed by the earth and gravity.  It's been a tough winter, this is perfectly fitting.
I could pick up the pieces, clean it out and start over in the Spring... but I like it this way.  It's very beautiful in it's own ruined and broken way, like an old Scottish castle ruin.  Plus... it is authentic.  

Spring is coming, it won't be long now... until then the garden is exactly as it should be.  And even if I can't put the pieces back together, it is ok, it was only a house.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

She is... Growing

Some early shots are back from the photo shoot with Lindsey. I designed her costume, hair and makeup. It all began with a very ordinary long green dress that we deconstructed and then began adding some very earthy elements.
We began with two kinds of mosses, added some silk leaves, feathers, seed pods, twigs...

I tucked some fresh ivy, violets and leaves in here and there.
I had no idea she had those amazing *green* eyes!

Lovely profile shot.

Charles included this photo with the captain: "Mother Nature Calling."  LOL!
Her makeup is airbrushed foundation, and natural green oxide on her eyes with some dots and I added a Marilyn Monroe beauty mark.  She had green oxide on her arms and shoulders as well to complete the look.

It was a pleasure to work with Lindsey, she and I go way back.  It's a gift to have her for a friend.  She gets the award for coming the longest distance to model for me.  Thanks to Lindsey for being such a great model, and to Charles for the excellent photography as usual.

All images 2010 (c) Charles Garratt Photography
Makeup, hair and costume design by Carmen Rose

"She is... Growing"
Number six in the series "The Art of a Woman"

Happy Creating,
-Carmen Rose

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Sneak Peek

Today's shoot was number six in the series "The Art of a Woman."  This is Lindsey, and she is... growing!
And check out those green eyes of hers!
I continue to learn what works and what doesn't and Charles took 180 photographs in pretty short order.  Lindsey was loaded up with moss, feathers, pods, pine cones, branches, fresh violets and fresh ivy.  It was fun to see it all come together! 

Photograph 2010 (c) Charles Garratt
Costume, hair and makeup by Carmen Rose

Happy Creating,
-Carmen Rose

Saturday, February 20, 2010

She is... Organic

Some early shots are back from the photo shoot with Diana. I designed her costume, hair and makeup. This costume idea started when I came across some leather scraps in a large bin in a fabric store. I picked up a piece of cow and a piece of buffalo leather, then I came across the feather trim (necklace and arm band) at the same store and that became the top and belt of her costume.
The skirt and cami are hand dyed in a combination of browns and grays with a touch of orange thrown in.
I used some hemlock from the tree in my back yard and some seed pods from the rose of sharon bushes by my house for her top over the layers of leather and fabric.  I used a small oak leaf to airbrush some organic shapes on her skin.  Her eye makeup is a combination of airbrushed color and mineral makeup in an earthy green to match her eyes.
I cut some pieces from the hem of her skirt to layer with the leathers on the bodice, I don't think I have any photos of the hem of the skirt yet.
I think this one is my favorite photo from the shoot so far.  
I wired and glued some things into a branch from my dogwood tree for her hair.
Diana was a riot to work with!
"I am woman, hear me roar!" 
It was a fun evening and we got some great shots.  Thanks to the amazing Diana for driving over to work with us and the talented Charles Garratt for the photography.  All photos 2010 (c) Charles Garratt.
She is... Organic
#5 in "The Art of a Woman" series

Happy Creating!
by Carmen Rose

Another Sneak Peek

The lovely Diana, She is... Organic.
Model #5 in my "The Art of a Woman" series and I used the airbrush and a leaf to create cool camoflage patterns on her skin.  More photos coming.

I dozed while the olympics were on and then once I turned off the tv I perked up a bit and could get a little work done.  Now I'm finally headed off to bed.  Pleasant Dreams Blog world.
-Carmen Rose

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sneak Peak

A quick photo from Thursday's shoot:  This is Ashley and it was a pleasure to work with her.  More photos coming when I get a chance.  It seems like I've been fighting off a bug for a few days now so I'm trying to take it easy on myself, eat right and hopefully I'll be feeling better soon.  So with that in mind I'll be going to bed very early tonight (again!)

Nite nite,
-Carmen Rose

Thursday, February 18, 2010

She is... Mysterious

Some preliminary shots are back from our photo shoot with Barbara, what a fun woman she is! 

I designed her costume and did her hair and makeup.  Barb brought some things with her, mostly vintage things.  The top she had and I pinned the flowers on it.  I'd found these great pearly flowers and pulled them apart, and glued them back together in a way that all of them could be different sizes.  Then added a large pearl in the center of each one to finish it off.  I also added some beaded pieces of beautiful lace to finish the line of the flowers.
I think this must have been an early shot because she's not holding anything 
and the key on her neck ribbon is missing.
I love the far away look.
Skeleton keys, they are full of potential for adventure and mysterious possibilities!  And I can't believe how much fun that necklace was once I put it on her, it was a perfect fit and she had those great ostrich feathers in her collection. 
I think that may be the only prelim shot where you can see that skirt I hand dyed in various shades of gray.  I love how it turned out!  

Now these two are my favs:
With a smile
And just Barbara being her really beautiful self!
That's my favorite.

Thanks to my great sidekick Charles for the excellent photography!
Thanks to Barbara for being such a beautiful model!
All photos (c) Charles Garratt 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bird Watching in the Snow

Another low key day here, I am enjoying some alone time. I wrote to a bunch of State delegates, senators and the governor this morning for my boss, that was fun. Later on I drove up to the 'Burg to meet an artist to touch base on a project we are working on, only she didn't show. Silly me, driving all that way to be stood up. I made it back in time for band practice at church. There were two guys on guitar, a guy on drums, and me playing the keys. The leader and I have voices that really work well together, so it's fun to harmonize with him.

I sent some freshly dyed skirts, cami's and scarves through the wash, I ironed them when I got home this evening and I'm pleased with how they turned out. I'm curled up watching some Olympic figure skaters. The costumes interest me sometimes as much as anything. It sure is a sequin and sparkle kind of sport. I am loving the feathers on the hands of the one contestant.

I have some more costumes to get finished up before the photo shoots later this week. I need to find a few more models also. I was delighted to hear that a local paper has expressed interest in a an article on my "The Art of a Woman" That should be fun. (Photos from earlier in this week when I was bird watching in the snow.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Home Alone

Finally, and ready for some peace and quiet. So once I got home from work I curled up on the sofa to watch the snow fall and the birds eating birdseed from the planter I set out. It was a peaceful afternoon, and good for the soul.

Take some time to recharge your batteries, or eat some birdseed... whichever comes naturally.
-Carmen Rose

Dinner Time

A friend of mine mentioned Chicken Chipotle Bacon Chimichangas this morning... and suddenly I was hungry.  So I found and printed out a recipe and stopped by the store on my way home and picked up some chicken.  I popped six large chicken breasts in the slow cooker and turned it up on high.  By afternoon the house was starting to smell good and I sauteed up some onion, garlic and some beautiful long skinny red peppers I found at Martins on Sunday.  I threw in some seasonings and shredded the chicken and threw that in.  I rehydrated two ancho chilies and chopped them up and threw them in.  
I stuffed eight big tortillas with the chicken mixture and some monterey jack cheese, brushed them with canola oil and popped them in the oven.  While that was baking I made some Spanish Rice, some guacamole and some pepper gravy from the leftover chicken broth.  The house really smelled good at that point.  I broke my garlic press, so I'll be keeping my eye out for one that isn't so difficult to clean. 
I'm not a big fan of food in general, just good food.  Simple, honest ingredients and simple techniques, sometimes it takes longer to make but it's always worth it.  It seems that good food that is hot and fresh and full of great flavors is far more satisfying.  And then one doesn't need as much, isn't that interesting? 

The Chimichangas were ready, the rice was nice and hot and the gravy and turned out nicely.  The guacamole was fresh and I pulled the sour cream out of the fridge and popped some of that on top. 
And it was gooood.  I couldn't even eat the whole thing though I gave it my best shot.  I like cooking these days.  Far more than I did when I was young, I cooked for my family and later on I cooked professionally and never liked it much.  But these days I really enjoy it.  It's like I've discovered food all over again.

As Paula Deen would say: "From my kitchen to yours, Best Dishes!"
-Carmen Rose

A Sneek Peek...

A little sneak peek at our second photo shoot. This lovely woman is Barbara and she's most comfortable in vintage clothing and since that seemed so perfectly "her" I went with it. (Though nothing in this shot is actually vintage except for those amazing gloves.) Each woman in the series has a different phrase and hers is: "She is Mysterious"
She brought a lot of herself to this project, and brought along some great props as well. I think this photo may have been taken while she was waiting on me to finish up the necklace she wore for the shoot. More photos to come!

I'm still looking for six more models for this project and the publicity stunt in March. Everything is "weather permitting" around here since we're gotten so much snow and more is in the forecast for tomorrow. *Please* let there be school tomorrow!

Looks like I've been nominated to be on the board of a local gallery, that's interesting. We'll see how that goes. I'm also doing makeup for a local theater production of "Saving Grace" which is a cute little show that will be put on in March by Waynesboro Players. The cast is only five people and it should be fairly simple as far as the makeup and hair goes. It will be fun.

I ran across an interesting quote and am curious what you think of it:

"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine. And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night." It's from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet and I stumbled upon it here. Perhaps it is an overstatement of a principle that we should not ignore. Interesting food for thought, right?

I'm loving what I'm doing right now with this project, it's work that feels right to me. Wishing you the work that feels like play to you. This project is just playing "dress up" for adults, and who wouldn't love that?! (More photos coming!!)

With Gratitude,
-Carmen Rose

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunflower in the Breeze

Some photos from Friday's shoot. Here I am getting her petals on:
We started off with her hair down...
Sunflower in the Breeze
Mossy bracelets
Vines on the legs
A little visit from a cardinal...
Sunflower and Rose together
Thanks to the lovely and patient Jill, this was fun!

Friday, February 12, 2010

She is... Beginning to Bloom

Some floral inspiration:

That's some great inspiration, right?
Great inspiration and some great raw materials:
A beautiful woman, her name is Jill.

A couple yards of hand dyed fabric in a color gradation from yellow to fuchsia.

Some olive (about five different shades of greens and earthy tones) procion dye for the clothing...

A little time and attention to making petals...

Plus a handful of sunflower seeds, some moss covered wire, some spirit gum and mineral makeup

And then a very patient model who let me put it all together...

And a funny little red cardinal who sat on her shoulder for a moment.  (And then fell off!) 

I don't have any photos back from the photo shoot yet, that will take some time.  This was just one I snapped when I had the chance.  So... more photos coming.  I think one of my favorite parts were the jewelry on her wrists and ankles/feet which you can't even see.  And another angle would better show her head gear, but patience... photos are coming.

Nothing like a creative day in the studio hard at play...  If I could give that to you as a gift, I sure would.  Because there is nothing like loving what you do!  Nothing like it!

Playing hard,
-Carmen Rose 
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