Impromptu Autumnal Shoot

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  Well, I do love autumn – it is by far my favourite season – not too cold, not too hot, stunning, ever changing colours, varied weather… Love it. And one day  coming back from a hack in the fields around Thureigh Equestrian Centre, I was struck  by the mesmerizing quality of light  sifting through the yellow gold leaves  of the birches in the compound. Dreamy and magical.  And so, having obtained permission for a few quick snaps from the owner, I decided to have a quick shoot in a a few hours time – true, the light would be changed a bit, but since Lucas was not available till  the afternoon, I had to wait. No photographer, no fun.

 I used the  time wisely – had a rummage through my own historical costume wardrobe, the bridal samples and the stock items and  quickly cobbled an outfit together.  I didn’t want a historically correct shoot – but a fantasy one, combining different elements together, simply having a play:-) After an hour of mixing and matching i had the following motley ready:

 1. 12th century bridal gown in silk satin, a sample – too small for me really, but could just put it on and simply not lace the sides.

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2. an Edwardian style corset I wore for the New Year’ s Eve last year –  satin and brocade creation, with about 500 freshwater pearls

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3. a long red wig I used for the Spirit of Autumn  Leaf dress project

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 4.a silver wire tiara, elven style

 Quick make up, and I was ready. Seconds before we left I grabbed my harp and a medieval chair and Lucas grabbed a staff… props are good.

 We arrived at the centre and yes, the light was different, much lower, so the blazing glory of gold was slightly subdues, more nostalgic. Still – very pretty.

 It was time to have some fun –  for Lucas it was the  composition of each shoot, the light etc – for me – it was trying to hide my wellies.  Yes, forgot nice shoes…

 First sitting  shoots with the harp.  We had a bonus sensory experience  – the gentle breeze stroke the strings and the harp sang by itself. rather cute!

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you can almost see the wellies….

Then I was handed the staff and we had some fun pretending I was Gandalf on the bridge of Khazad Dum. Minus the beard and the pointy hat.

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  We were almost about to leave but we decided to take a few more shots on the other side of the paddock – there is rather delightful birch alley that was just too tempting….

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alas, the wellies have made an appearance here… 😦

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I am an angel! Ha! as if…

Needless to say the residents started to get interested at that point. First a pony trotted over so see what all that fuss was about…

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Don’t be deceived by that innocent smiling face –  at that point he was deciding whether the pearls on the corset are edible…

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and then decided to go for it. His clever ploy was avoided with an adroit maneuver and the pearls survived.

 Then a distinct sound of galloping horses was heard – it was only Blackie and Elgar running across the paddock,  no doubt eager for another apple – I gave Elgar one in the morning  after our hack and he was obviously hoping for seconds. No luck thins time, boys!

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  Then it was time to pack up and go  – though I did manage to sneak a few restive moments on the bench!

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Yep, wellies fully exposed here….

Shortly after I was freed from the clothes and wrapped warm ( it was rather cold….) and we  got back home – me back to stitching, Lucas – to editing the pictures!

Many thanks to Beth from the Centre  for allowing us to use the premises!

The Spirit of Autumn Dress Project

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Autumn Spirit dress

Well, that was something different.  One week I have an idea, next week the outfit is ready….   absolutely loving the  result of the friendly/professional cooperation on this project – it looks like the other seasons will be represented by organic, ephemeral dresses as well.

But – the Autumn. A detailed  article on how to make the outfit will soon appear on the Foundations Revealed website, but in the meantime a few pictures and a bare bones here…

The original sketch

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 A week on, the leaves and other autumnal bits were gathered…

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conkers!!

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naughty Merlin kept dive bombing the leaf pile…

the dress base was made up of cotton  and the fun begins…

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 The leaves are first stapled on ( only the first layer/ and then glued with copious amount of glue…   a few hours later, having run out of glue and the leaves,  the skirt already looked rather splendidImage

Second leaf gathering mission took place on the next day, and at last the skirt was finished. all together it took roughly 350-400 different kind of leaves ( maple, oak, birch, copper beech, chestnut, hawthorn etc) and 4 packets of glue sticks…

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  Leaves preservation – well, since waxing or treating each and single leaf with glycerin was beyond the time scale allocated for this project, I did not preserve the leaves at all – I simply made care I collected freshly  fallen leaves – and keeping the thing outside seemed to do the trick admirably – and almost a week on, the dress is still ok, though a few leaves look a bit tired. the idea is to  do the skirt cheaply and discard it later – however, for a lasting garments artificial leaves can be used.

And since the corset to go with the skirt was to be a lasting creation, that;s what got stitched on it – artificial leaves, vines and beads pretending to be berries:-) then only a few real leaves were added on the day of the shoot. it is now available to purchase in out online shop, btw…. 🙂

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The wig and contact lenses turned up on time, and Lucas even managed to make up some autumnal jewelry too….

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 On the day of the shoot the usual team  turned up just in time for a cuppa and a breakfast muffin – and got to work. Lucas and Paul drove to the location – we decided to shoot in the sample place that inspired me – Harrold Odell Park. And so the boys went over early to look for a fitting spot  and set up the light etc.

Sarah unpacked her goodies and started working on the make up – a very different look for me, but went well with the wig and the contact lenses –  my first time as far as the lenses are concerned, but really liked the effect and will invest with more funky ones in the future…

Then it was time to get the wig on and drive over to the location.  The boys were ready with their gear and special effect ( the ‘mist generators’ )  so i just needed to change and Sarah styled the wig and the crown on …

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all ready!

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and the work started – most of it was getting the light – both artificial and the fleeting sunshine, and the smoke right. so lots of waiting for the sun to appear for a few seconds, upon which the special effect team would get the mist sorted and Paul was shooting.   Lucas took a few photos as well – and the result of the work below….

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Autumn Spirit dress in its glory…

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 and a few ones from Lucas

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 and more piccies here

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  and the job done, team happy, things were packed and we drove back. I liked my look so much i wore it for a bit longer…

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  and the credits –

Photography – Paul from Mockford Photography – fb page:

Make up and wig styling  Sarah Dunn –  Sarahfrom Sarah’s Do Whoop Up does 

 costume: – Prior Attire  the corset is now available on sale at a bargain price – get it here!

 model – me! Izabela Pitcher:-)

 wig from http://www.wonderlandwigs.co.uk