Tag Archives: fairytale

Persephone: Welcome to the dark side!

9 Jan

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Wow- hello, new readers! I had a wave of subscriptions since my last post, so thankyou for the nice messages and interesting discussions I’ve had since then. πŸ™‚

Before I go all mythological on you, I just want to clear some confusion over a particular term and an oversight on my part which I’m planning to fix in a very exciting way. The term β€œstripper rates” has been used for as long as I can remember and (as far as I have ever heard it) refers to rates that increase per hour according to the amount of skin on show. It is not meant as derogatory to models or strippers. I stand by my original point that there should be no rates increase between fashion and art-nude because it places the value on your nudity rather than your skill… BUT… it had not occurred to me that adult models may also be reading my post and that is a different matter.
Adult models (here, meaning models who pose to open-leg and beyond) charge higher rates depending on various factors and as this is not my area of expertise, I’m currently speaking to some well-known, very well-regarded adult models about appearing on this blog! This will be the first time I have asked other models to guest post so I’m very excited! πŸ™‚

As I expected- life’s getting busy and I’m almost completely fully booked for my studio weekend at Joel Hicks Photographic in April! If you would like a place, I still have a little time free on April 22nd/23rd but otherwise, February 11th/12th is my only other weekend there and there are spaces aplenty! I would love to use some of the grey atmospheric trees and surroundings before Spring comes along and re-greens everything… πŸ˜‰ Each hour is just Β£50-all inclusive- get in touch for a place!

As you can see from this photo by Liv Free, Winter is a good time for photo-making…
(Headdress and make-up/hair by Liv Free)
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There are also just two hours still available on my first ever shibari studio day in March! Click here for more information.
NB: You do NOT need bondage experience- all the ropework is done for you by a trained rigger.

I’ve updated my travel page- some of the ‘possible’ places have become definites and I can’t wait to start zooming around the world again. Do let me know your interest as soon as possible as I’m booking as far into the future as I can- or ask me to add you to my ‘short notice’ mailing list. No need to keep checking back- I’ll let you know if I’m available nearby.

Though I’m definitely noticing the lighter evenings, Winter is still very firmly here- the canal’s frozen over and ducks go skidding hilariously past my window every morning! In Greek mythology, the reason for everything being cold and barren is this (simplified massively*):
Once, the earth lived in eternal summer, watched over by Demeter- the goddess of harvest. One day, her daughter Persephone was gathering flowers in a meadow when Hades, lord of the Underworld surprised her and snatched her off to be his queen. The grieving Demeter turned the earth cold and lifeless and in fear for the earth’s survival, a rescue mission was mounted. The ‘rules’ in almost every legend involving an underworld or faerieland say that you can return home if you don’t eat or drink anything while there and Persephone, apparently, held out for as long as she could but finally ate six pomegranate seeds in her hunger and so when Hades was finally forced to answer to the other gods and goddesses, he used that fact as leverage (or another god ratted on her) and it was agreed that Persephone would belong to the Underworld for six months of the year and return for the remainder. That is why Demeter retreats and freezes the earth for the months in which her daughter is no longer with her and brings back the flowers and warmth when she returns.

I don’t know about you but something about that has always felt ‘off’ to me…
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(I seem to be replacing Lord of the Rings references with Disney at the moment. I’m not going soft, I swear!)

Anyway, here’s another version…
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She had lived in the tower for so long she was almost used to the vertigo. She had lived with the imposed fragility until she had almost forgotten her strength. She had lived eternally planting flowers that she had almost accepted she would never wear. She hadn’t lived– and all because the key to her door lay in the hand of her mother, Demeter.

Seeds upon seeds, in pots upon pots, the little girl Persephone had treasured her work. The child planted, the mother grew, and the seeds were sent out into the world to flourish. Decades passed and yet the woman Persephone remained surrounded by the embryos of flowers she could only see blossom from her window. It had become an irritation, a complaint and finally an argument of the kind that tells a mother her child has grown.
Demeter took the key she should have handed Persephone, and turned it in the lock. Persephone smiled an innocent accepting smile and bided her time. When one is pushed to the light by force over freedom, one learns to think rather dark thoughts.Β 

There had been suitors but all had been banished. “When you live alone, you may do as you wish” had been her mother’s refrain. It would be pointless gesturing to her earth-strewn, seed-scattered solitude in the tower. Better, by far, to wait for the retreating footsteps and then lean backward out of the window, balancing and swaying until the sun god (who had already been cautioned about looking at her) couldn’t help but go to her aid. Just a favour, she asked. A quick word with the god of messages.Β 
The god of messages (who had been banished twice from the gate for asking after her) entered through her window. Tell anyone who will listen that I need to get out! The words were on the tip of her tongue but the footsteps of Demeter were already echoing on the stairway.
“Let the earth swallow me”, she had muttered to herself as her messenger fled, but he had heard and prepared to convey the strange request to somebody who could fulfil it.

Her plan shattered, Persephone took the unexpected way out- through the window. It was not as far a fall as she had thought, even without the assistance from various winged forms (who had been snapped at for attempting to talk to her). She came to her feet and ran. Free!

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Wishes have a habit of granting themselves at the strangest times and Persephone, having made her way across eight fields, a river, one and a half woodlands and somebodys garden, enjoyed the feel of grass under her feet and flowers in her hair for less than a day before her request was honoured.

Fear and flight have been added to every story concerning the events that happened in that meadow, Persephone reflected later. There certainly was none. Perhaps her status as a flower goddess in training had misled people about her fragility. Perhaps it was inconceivable even then that an innocent daughter with blossom in her hair could want anything other than the sun on her skin and birdsong in her ears.
Certainly when the earth opened up before her and he stepped out, she felt many things but fear wasn’t one of them.

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The lord of the Underworld has been painted enough times. Enough songs have been sung about him. Enough people have made up their minds on who or what he is. All Persephone will say is that sooner or later, we all meet him and can judge for ourselves. Only she and the dead truly know, and the latter are in no position to speak on him.

It would be easy to claim that she had merely been picking a bouquet to bring home to her mother when this man split the earth in two in order to steal her but the fact is, when one is forced toward the light, the darkness becomes very, very appealing indeed.
Persephone smiled a smile that made even the lord of the Underworld take a step back. She waited the split second it took for him to recover, waited a second more to enjoy the moment and then descended to the Underworld, shedding her cloak on the stairs. She kept the flowers for she had picked those herself.

Of course, her mother was never going to be happy with the state of affairs. As the earth and stone formed a cocoon around the lord of the Underworld and his new friend, who was learning quickly that flowers could bloom underground if they really set their minds to it, Demeter scorched the sky.

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The other gods and goddesses could never agree on whether Demeter grieved mostly for the loss of her daughter or the control she had wielded but either way, people began to die shrivelled and empty as the earth now was. Only Demeter retained a fraction of her former strength and despite threats from the other deities, the earth yielded nothing. The sky remained black.

The sun, who usually saw all, was blind to the goings on below the darkness and had to rely on his hearing and guess at the despair below. It was in the middle of the starless night- which now looked much like the day- that he heard the decision made by the gods council; happy or not, willing or not, Persephone must be found. And he had seen her. Demeter may have cautioned his god, but she had never told the sun himself that he couldn’t look at her daughter- and so he had seen all. Softly, coughing through the smoky blackness, he called Demeter to him and asked her to listen.

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Had Demeter gone to the underworld herself, it is likely that Persephone would never have been found- the Underworld has its own ways of hiding what it holds. Instead, she sent a man who had once guarded her orchard. He flew through the gates in the form of a black owl and found Demeter’s daughter wearing a black dress and a smile. When he tried to persuade her to return, she asked him simply for a good reason.

The man who was an owl thought for some time and took out a pomegranate he had saved. They were messy and fiddly to eat but he was hungry and Persephone was scary.
“Your mother is, after all, family. Blood is thicker than water…” he offered.
“That saying is incomplete”, Persephone told him gently, taking a seed. “It is ‘the blood of comradeship is thicker than the water of the womb’. But I suppose one conversation with her wouldn’t do much harm.”
“The food up here is tasty when it grows?” he offered her the pomegranate and Persephone ate another seed.
“So is the food down here. But you are right.”
“You would be less lonely up above.”
“Don’t confuse being alone with loneliness. I’d like to catch up with some people though.” She took a seed and looked at it. It was pretty. The man who was an owl almost reached out to pat her arm but thought better of it.
“You could escape and return to the glory of the sun. And lastly, your mother would, I’m sure, let you entertain a better suitor!” Persephone took two more seeds, crushed them between her thumb and forefinger and flicked the sticky juice back into the messenger’s face.
“Let? I chose my own suitor and I don’t need, wish, or want to escape. You have given me four tenuous reasons to return to the above and two reasons to kill you and remain lost,” she snapped at the man who was an owl, who flew from the Underworld and returned in minutes with a guard.

Persephone’s rage was terrible but the old rule stood- taking the food of a world to which you do not belong binds you to that world and she had taken six seeds from the above, which was no longer hers. As she prepared to spend the rest of her life divided, she cursed the man who was an owl to remain jet black and live only in the dark of the night from then on. Don’t look for him- you’ll never see him.
Demeter kept her job as harvest goddess but only just- the summer comes once a year now, and other gods and goddesses have taken greater precedence. She and her daughter still talk from time to time though half of Persephone’s life remains a mystery that even Demeter would rather not know. Persephone still remains goddess of flowers, but these days her tastes have changed….
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Photo by Lisa Waud

Other images by Leigh Eros (who I am greatly looking forward to working with again this year)
Pink corset by Orchid Corsetry
‘Metal’ corset made by me.

I waited a while for the perfect story to write that would go with the images and was cursing my writers block… and suddenly I realised I was stuck because the story had already been written and it fit so perfectly. We didn’t go out intending to illustrate a myth but somehow it happened- even down to the six main balls of light in the last picture.

I’m excitedly writing something to go with the rest of the set by Liv Free so I’ll show you those pictures as soon as I can as well… πŸ˜‰

It’s now 3am and I just poured coffee into my cup of tea. Definitely bedtime…

ROSWELL x

P.S. Is there anything you would like me to write about? I’ve had a lot of flash fiction requests and am making a new website for my non-modelling writing, but anything industry-related you wish I’d burbled about long ago? Let me know.

* strictly speaking, being Greek mythology, there’s a lot of cheating, rape, abduction and incest in the long version.

The Dimholt Road

16 Dec

The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead, and the dead keep it.
JRR Tolkien (Lord of the Rings)

That sentence got into my head the same way songs do when I shot with Amelia Roslyn and Sam (aka Sjambok) in this ancient Roman ironworks which looked exactly like somewhere in Middle Earth. πŸ˜€

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My pictures don’t really do justice to the scale of the place, which was huge! In fact; for various reasons I need to get myself a ‘proper’ camera, as my phone really isn’t the greatest and I have certain exciting plans involving my own camera…

Anyway, there’s a beautiful expression in (I think) Mexico: “el bosque del corazon” (the forest of the heart), which refers to your spiritual home, rather than the place in which you live. Well, English woodland and forest is mine, so I was very excited when we arrived here- not to mention awestruck, as the light was shining in perfect fairytale shafts through the leaves and down to the mossy boulders I started posing on.

Photo by Sjambok
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Look at the dark looming trees behind me too!! ❀

We’d spoken beforehand about the ‘mood’ we wanted from the pictures. Art-nude is often a very dreamy, ethereal genre but this time I wanted something different. There are so many legends about what happens to young wayward men who see faeries and dryads in the woods. Mostly, they’re never seen again- or turned into something four-legged.
So… I wanted the pictures to look as though they were taken *just* before the action happens. As though I know the watcher is there and I’m just deciding what to do about them…

Photos by Amelia
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These were smoke grenades (below) as sadly we couldn’t capture the very real strands of mist just above the forest floor!
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“Legends can be now and forever, loved by the sun…”
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The photo above might have been taken just after I burst out laughing at a Lord of the Rings similarity (I promise my next blog will have NO Tolkien references.)
We were halfway up a very steep boulder here- there was Amelia being Frodo, with the most important thing (the camera) hanging around her neck, Sam managing the lights and extra equipment, often leading the way (snd already a Sam) … and then there was me, naked and covered with bits of moss crawling up rocks after them. “My precioussssss!” πŸ˜›

After a cookie break we moved on to some beautiful, slightly creepy cave entrances for a bit of bondage, which I was very excited to shoot. Although I’m known as a fetish and bondage model, I am actually very selective about who I shoot ropework with as it can be dangerous.
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Often our mythical dryad creatures are bound to one cave or tree… so here I am. πŸ™‚
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We drove back to my hotel in the beautiful not-quite-sunset. That little dot you can see in the lower middle is the moon!
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Obviously, it’s Winter now and far too cold generally to pose nude outdoors but I am available for bookings from late January onwards. Now, I’m on holiday for the next few weeks and planning to get all crafty with making things, and doing a LOT of writing as I have missed doing articles! I haven’t properly decorated the boat yet but I’ll be getting some seriously tacky tinsel in and may even make a Christmas tree fairy. πŸ˜‰
As a pagan, my Winter celebration is Yule aka the Solstice, which is on the 21st. However, I grew up with Christmas, am more than happy to be told Merry Christmas and I celebrate that with my mum too. Yay for festival sharing… and yule logs.

I have a lot of seasonal festive blogs to share with you soon but right now there is a silver flowery accessory that needs to be steampunked up. πŸ˜›

Take care everyone, speak soon,

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. Outtake time! This will be my face when I can pose in the forest again! πŸ˜›
The watermark was on all the raw photos so I didn’t accidentally post unedited ones but I do have permission to post these two.
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Sam is taking this lighting test very seriously… πŸ˜›Β 

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20 Feb

So I’m back on the Mothership and catsitting now I’ve returned from a mini tour, and what a fantastic week it has been! πŸ˜€

– I went to visit a friend’s new home, full of curiosity cabinets, tea, skulls and wood/glass sculptures… and stroked a chinchilla for the first time. They’re strange little things- like living marshmallows!
– I did a photoshoot in a tranquil, friendly yoga studio, with yet more tea and artwork everywhere. On the pinboard was the yoga students ‘weekly thought’ and interestingly it was something I needed to read:
Aparigraha: Greed rooted in jealousy. For example, wanting more than you need just because someone else has it. I’m proud to have very successful friends and of course I’m happy for them, but often evaluate my own accomplishments as not being enough, so it was nice to see a reminder that this is a thought pattern I need to let go of.
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– I met a couple of friends I’ve spoken to online regularly but never actually met in person! It’s always a bit nerve-wracking but we got on like houses on fire and I hung out with a gigantic dog too. πŸ˜€
If you have a sense of humour, do check out my friend’s creative endeavour: The Beezly Street Gazette. It’s a Daily Mash-esque satire and really very funny.
– I attended an engagement party for my beautiful Kitty Wood Photography and “Beardy Stu”… and I’m now a bridesmaid for the first time! During that weekend, I became a mermaid, dressed like an 80s rockstar, ate my bodyweight in sausage rolls, lost a French Fry crisp between my boobs and got the hideously early coach back home then flopped into bed. Congratulations to the happy couple! πŸ˜€
Here I am with the bride- who has a great blog HERE:
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– I nipped up to Manchester for a quick shoot (the hostel made me feel very at home- on a riverside with Canada geese and boats) and arrived back to a very cuddly, very clingy Mog.
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Today’s been a day of chilling and though I will be answering emails etc over the next week, I’ll be a little slow as I’m enjoying some much needed downtime. Hope you understand. πŸ™‚

In my last blog, I hoped that the preview would work and bring some Spring warmth… and it’s worked! There are snowdrops everywhere, daffodils are peeking out above the earth, catkins hanging on the trees and though it’s still chilly on the boat, I’m not as deathly freezing as I was and my hot water bottle is sulking redundantly in the corner. I even went for a long riverside walk and had a ‘singing’ conversation with a robin.
So here are some more pictures from the awesome Follyhouse team, who I’m planning my next shoot with. Hooray!

Autumn…
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Winter…
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Spring…
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Summer…
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I didn’t notice the seasonal parallels until I started uploading them here!

A few more:
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For the latex and heavy rubber people, why not check out Marquis Magazine on the 25th? There’s a feature and several pages of yours truly wearing the shiniest of latex. I’m so, so excited to show you those pictures (and my new shoes). πŸ˜‰

Now, I’m going to have a Zen-stretching session in front of the fire I just made . I shot with Sense8 Photography the other day and for the first time on camera, achieved this!!! (In yoga, it’s called the Compass or Sundial pose). I cannot wait to shoot this pose in latex and may have the chance at Dominatrix Weekend next month, where I’m stomping the catwalk again!
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Speak to you in five days! πŸ˜‰

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. behind the scenes in my own shoes:
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Tales from the Riverbank

24 Sep

Hello again and happy Autumn! Though the weather’s been lovely and sunny there’s a definite chill and the pavement near me is covered in spiky conker cases. The swallows are gone (bon voyage, little ones- enjoy Africa!) I realy believe in the influence of the seasons- if it’s winter and you feel like hibernating, do it. 99/100 hedgehogs recommend it, after all. πŸ˜›
BUT… I seem to be nesting instead! I’m doing DIY, I’m painting Tolkien quotes (“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door…”) and I’m making my room into the sci-fi boudoir of my imagination. It’s a really lovely feeling- making your home into a place that you want to return to. I’ll show you some pictures soon.

The fashion show I mentioned last blog went wonderfully, even with three outfits to wear in 11 minutes! There is a video and as soon as I have permission I will post it here, but for now here are some stills from Elysium photography:

Walking for Lady Allura. Check out my wings!!
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Quick change and I’m trotting for Fabulously Fetish, with Constance Peach (who has a farm!) and Dominatrix Joyce in the middle.
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And another lightning change- back to Lady Allura latex with harness by JuJu Jezebel.
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I love concepts, editorials and fairytales so when photographer Emma-Jane asked me to work on a project with her, it was the squeeeee heard around the globe! πŸ™‚ It was an early start and the grass was dewy when we set up our little world. Papers flying, material stretching and me balancing on one thigh to save the broken and valiant tiny chair Emma had serendipitously found discarded shortly before our shoot. Sudden ideas and half-formed stories discussed between shots. Roping in a stranger to help hold the set together. An adventure on a bus, pastries, curious pond birds. A stalker(!) Much, much pondweed…
Our shoot “Mizumi” was published in Most Magazine, so I can now share it with you…

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Speak to you soon, everyone- I have wings to make and things to sculpt… πŸ˜‰

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. My sale pieces are flying off the blog as fast as Autumn leaves. If you would like to grab a bargain, look here and mail me if there’s anything you’d like. Also, extra brownie points and love go to people that share the page- everything MUST go!!!