Alchemy & Lace



I've had an eventful week so far. I began a massive cleaning out of my studio on Saturday. Lots of getting old roommates and random people their stuff back. As if I don't clutter it up enough myself! Unfortunately I haven't finished it yet, I'm bad about not finishing what I start. I tend to nitpick about little things when I clean, and get tired by the time I get to the big stuff. Maybe later...

Sunday, my brother helped me make a big planter for my herb garden. I wasn't able to plant my seedlings until this morning as last night I filled one of my tires up with too much air and blew it. Yay. This cute little old man helped me put my spare on and by the time I commuted home it was dark. Soo, Johnny cooked smoked burgers & bratwurst, while I made my dog a toy. It took me an hour and she destroyed it in 5 minutes :p

I've begun working on this leather choker design. Super-excited about the spikes. I'm still fiddling with it's final appearance, but I need to pick up a few things to finish it. Smaller beads and saw-toothed washers. I'm worried the spikes may be too heavy once it's on, but I really have no other way of figuring it out. I'm happy with the rose, it's surprising light, so the whole thing might just work.

I have a shoot Thursday with one of my old college-mates. Haven't even begun to think of what to do. I'm basically trying to teach Johnny how to assist me on shoots with lighting, etc. At least I have an assistant & mua. What I'm super nervous about is where I'm going to shoot with Apnea. I don't like the typical studio setting, so I really need to pull something amazing together to make it appear otherwise. Not sure I can afford more furniture rental...although I did buy this amazing 60's yellow hanging light I'm going to use. I've got to get concept sketches going on that, I've just been so busy. I'm really excited about shooting with her and I'm sure I'll get something great, no matter the setting. I just have to buckle down and make accessories/clothing/etc. by next Monday. Did I mention my birthday is this Saturday? Like I have time for it...



The result of Kelly Harrison-Gunn shoot. Still have film left to develop, but I'm pretty happy with the results. She was a great model, so glad the slip fit! I tried using a fog machine, and it just blew up all the security alarms for like 15 minutes. Talk about nerve-racking. I feel like I wasn't at my best. She brought the photog that flew her into Little Rock, and it just messed up my flow having him around. He started taking pictures of my set when I was messing with lights, which made me want to throttle him. New rule: unless I'm collaborating, no photographers I don't know on the set. I think it went very well other than those few bumps. Props to Trishia, my mua for helping me on her birthday!

Sunday, I drove to Heber Springs and spent the day with my mom. We went out to lunch, then to Van's Fruit Market where I bought chocolate mint, pineapple sage, a few other herb plants, & wasabi peanuts. Mr. B & I cleaned the house later that evening watched Dario Argento's Phenomena. Good movie, bad acting, amazing cinematography.
I've begun experimenting with spice mixtures and using friends as guinea pigs. I now have my own cocoa masala chai recipe & toasted middle eastern spice rub. I'm looking forward to my week off coming up! It would be nice to focus all my energy on my work for once instead of someone else's. Another photo shoot to prepare for on May 3rd, so I have lots to prepare for. I think I'm going to draw a wallpaper background with prismacolor pastels. I'm thinking blue padded walls with pale yellow highlights, with buttons in the corners.

Speaking of padded walls, now I'm thinking of how amazing Lisa Yuskavage is...



Ashlee did an amazing job on our labels! I am so over-excited about them. I need to perfect my Indian spice rub & spiced chai recipes so we can start testing them on friends to get feedback. I have so much to do, but I'm having fun. Feel like my life is finally going in the right direction (career-wise). I'm lucky to have good friends & family that support me, no matter how few, it's the quality that counts, right?

A little inspirational art by Erwin Olaf:



Trisha - Shot with Phase 1 P30+ & Profoto lights, with a blue filter from the side.

Productive day today. Kind of. I had a little time to waste on Assasin's Creed II. My chamomile & coriander has also gained a second set of leaves, and my mint sprouted. I thinned the sprouts out, paid some guy to mow my lawn, and took my dog on a walk.

Now I'm at work, trying to get our system of computers in perfect order, backed-up, & without incident. Working out with Ashlee after work - I can't wait to see the new labels Ashlee has been working on for our jars. I have a lot to do preparing for the shoot with Kelly Saturday. Trisha did a great job on our test shoot, making up Ashlee & getting a feel for being on the set in general. I need to go thrift shopping for a slip to appropriate, and I have to go to Home Sweet Home to rent furniture for the shoot.


So today I woke up at the crack of dawn (okay so around 9...) and picked up Trisha for our test/practice shoot. We did portraits of her plus images of her applying make-up to Ashlee for self-promotion purposes. After the portraits, we went to ZaZa's for lunch and had pizza, salad, & gelato! It took us longer than expected to finish, but I think we got some good stuff.
On the commute home, my car started smoking and we had to call a friend for help. After waiting on the side of I40, semi's flying by, in a baking truck, help arrives in the form of people I once knew when I first met my Johnny at Waffle House 4 years ago. Turns out it was my air-conditioning belt. It would've been fine, but with my luck with cars, it was best not to leave things to chance.
Totally exhausted, but very productive day.



Design sketch for Kelly Harrison-Gunn shoot.

I have a shoot early in the morning with my make-up artist & Ashlee. Haven't even packed for it. Awesome! Things are off to their usual start.

My boss is off to Africa & Europe for the next month, so I've been busy helping him prepare and getting everything with the book squared away before he's out of touch. I went in today to help him finish packing, which is usually really f'n stressful right before [international] trips, and it actually went smoothly (for once). I have all the Profoto gear to myself + privacy for my shoots.
For those of you who don't know what that is, Profoto is only the most bad-ass lighting gear EVER.

On another note, my basil & chamomile sprouts have gotten their second pair of leaves!



Preview of hand-made leather cuffs, soon to be featured in Alchimia e Merletto.