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  • Carolyn Atkins

When Winter Came

Organising our Winter Workshops is such a fun time of year. Having an exceptionally talented filmmaker for a partner is such a wonderful treat, not just because he loves to dabble in photography, but because he always holds me to a standard when we come up with photo ideas for social media, particularly event promotion. Imagine how our creative minds began styling this shoot, sharing our ideas with a cuppa in bed, to the immensely fun day we had bringing it to fruition.

The result is too many incredible photos, and not sharing more of them would not be fair. Hence this blog.

Creating exemplars for workshops is when I take an idea and make what I had stirring in my mind. It helps me to be clear about what I would love to teach crafters to create with me, and I can tease out any problems or make adjustments as needed.

In this instance, I decided to make two different looks. One over the top, colourful piece full of plump rosehips, callicarpa and privet berries, lichen, oak leaves and twigs. Spikey Boston Hawthorn twigs became antlers, and small brown peacock feathers represented ears.

The second crown was much more paired back. A simple circlet of forsythia, feathery phragmites and bunches of bunny tails. They fluttered shyly in the wind and the golden brown tones sat with a sense of familiarity in the landscape.

We had envisioned a look for our models, ethereal, somewhat dark and tribal. Blessed with two little sisters who are respectively 'dark' and 'light', allowed us to indulge ourselves in makeup fun, and costuming, with the occasional prop. Such a wonderful time spent with Brooke and Danieka.

The cold, wet and breezy day set the scene for us. One of the most wonderful things about my life is I am totally blessed to live on my family farm, third generation, and fourth in the Dunorlan area. Nothing makes me feel so good, as I travel home and hear the familiar clunk over the cattle grid, driving up our lane to my lovely home. And I knew one of the prettiest spots would be in a large copse of Hawthorns, with aged swamp gums rising high from their mossy, tangled branches.

Ash had his own ideas, so we moved across the paddock to use a long dead, stoic blackwood, lonesome and sombre, yet unbroken. Interchanging the crowns for different looks, Danieka became the Alpha.

I had another location in mind, this time a gnarly, tortured pine. A pine whom I have known intimately my entire life. It become a cubby house, with old post and rail fencing layed along one side, and for years I made my own little home, just here. A ravaged scar burns down one side of her, and standing Brooke right in front was striking to behold.

A barren, recently logged hill was the next scene, and I love how menacing Brooke looks with her hatchet. Ready to make a sacrifice and light the pyre beyond.

The rain ruined our fun, so we headed to the garden, with the house ready for us if a downpour was to come. My Mum created much of the bones of my garden, cleverly planting trees, such as Golden Elm, Beech and clambering vines of wisteria and vitus. So many little garden rooms to discover and take a moment to sit.

The old milkshed has been entrapped within the perimeter of my garden, so I can steal the weathered walls as part of the gardenscape. We were going for 'dark maidens awaiting fates', but I think we ended up with something more like 'I committed murder in the shed', and 'I'm going to help you cover it up'. Brooke and Danieka did a stellar job of pushing down the laughter, for the most part.

So, if creating a beautiful piece like this appeals to you, please come along to our Pagan Flower Crown Workshop. Tickets available via website, email or phone. 63622144

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