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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Announcing the birth of Fiona Lily Rose

I'm so happy to announce the birth of my daughter Fiona Lily Rose. She was born on December 14, 2014 at 5:40 PM. She was 8 lb 12 oz, 20.75" long, healthy and beautiful. We had a natural birth in the birthing tub, at the midwife-run birth center in Rogers, Arkansas.

It was a stark contrast to the birth of my first daughter, which was a hospital birth with many interventions... I was induced with Pitocin at 41 weeks, had an epidural, and had a very fast labor, lying on my back with baby in the sunny-side up, position. The doctor wasn't there for most of my labor, only arriving to catch the baby and give me an unnecessary episiotomy, which led to 4th degree tears. My recovery time was over a month and was very painful. I had residual pain for several months afterwards. It was several years before I felt ready to even consider having another baby, because I was scared of labor.

During this last pregnancy, I had two doctors recommend that I have an elective C-section because of the fourth degree tearing my first time. They said it would happen again, that I could end up with permanent damage, and it was better to just avoid it by having a C-section. My husband and I both very much wanted to do a natural birth and sought another opinion, that of the midwives at the birth center. I'm so glad we did. We had a truly amazing birth experience this time, drug and intervention free, and it was so much better for me and the baby. Not only was the birth much more peaceful than our first time, but my recovery time was much faster. I walked out of the birth center 4 hours after having the baby. It was less than a week before I was feeling like myself again.

My labor was very fast this time as well, less than 3 hours total. It was a Sunday afternoon and my husband Chris had gone down to the car and was fixing the brakes, which he had waited as long as possible to do because he didn't want to be stuck in the middle of a brake job if I went into labor. I was lying in bed half-asleep when I felt a sensation like a little *pop* in my belly, a little different than the baby's kicks and also in the wrong place, too low. I  realized it was my water breaking. I grabbed an apple on my way downstairs to tell him, thinking I'd better eat something now since I might not be able to eat for a few hours. When I got down to the car I asked him, "How much more do you have to do?"

"I'm done!" he said.

"Good," I said, "Because my water just broke."

He took the car for a quick test drive and I went back upstairs and called the midwife. This was at 3 in the afternoon. She said to wait until I was truly in labor (contractions about 1 minute long and 4 minutes apart) to call her back and we'd go meet her at the birth center. By the time I was getting off the phone I was already starting to get some cramps. By 3:30 I was having minute long contractions just a minute or two apart. Chris quickly packed the car and got our four year old ready to go. We dropped her off with my cousin just before 4 and started driving to the birth center. By that time I was having very strong contractions. I lost the ability to really talk at all because the contractions were taking all my energy and concentration. Every bump in the road was extremely uncomfortable. I kept wondering if everyone else was hogging the road or if Chris was driving very fast but I couldn't ask him. He told me later that after I dropped the f-bomb during a contraction he started going 90 mph.

We got to the birth center a little after 4. The midwife, Lauren, asked me if I wanted her to check me. I couldn't fathom the idea of getting up into the bed at that point. I just wanted to get in the tub. I told her, "No, the baby is coming really soon." She said later that she didn't think I could be so close because I was still so calm. I was very focused. In between contractions I had Chris get my headband, chapstick, and put on music (Kula Shakur, his pick, turned out to be perfect).

I think by the time I was getting in the tub I was already in the transition phase, and it wasn't long before I knew it was time to start pushing. My instincts completely took over and with just a few encouraging words and instructions from the midwife I felt I knew exactly what to do. After changing positions a couple of times I felt at some point I needed to get back on my hands and knees in the water and wordlessly did so with a little help from Chris. Lauren coached me through slowly pushing the baby down the birth canal, then a couple of big pushes that took all my strength to push out her head, and then right away another big push and her body came out. Fiona was born in the water at 5:40. I will never forget seeing her for the first time, a dark shape moving through the bottom of my vision and then she was on my chest. I had dreamed that she would have a full head of dark hair and sure enough she did. I looked down at her and just thought immediately how tiny and sweet she was, such a tiny helpless face. And I felt tremendously happy and protective of her.

I had some very minor tears that required a few stitches but nothing like the first time. My body, when allowed to give birth naturally, performed much better than when forced by drugs and strapped to a table... (not surprising is it?) The entire experience was very empowering. I encourage other women to research natural birth, specifically the Bradley method and the principles of Lamaze were both great resources for us. Though I don't plan to have any more children I am no longer scared of childbirth. It doesn't have to be painful or scary, it can be a truly beautiful and amazing experience.

Fiona is almost two weeks old now and doing great. She is very sweet and laid-back. We feel very lucky.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Apunkalyptic Volume 2, featured model AMY RADLOFF

Featured Model: AMY RADLOFF

About Amy:
"I had always wanted to model when I was in high school but never pursued it. I joined the Army and was deployed and came back with PTSD. It took me 8 years to finally pursue my passions. I have now been modeling for about a year. I started by attending a ProScout event and not one agency picked me. I didn't give up though so I attended another and two agencies requested to meet with me. I am still signed with one but left the other. The agency I left had gotten me work the first few months I was with them but then it felt like they forgot about me. I was paying them monthly to have my photos posted, and I do have a friend that owns her own agency in NY, and she said that no agency should charge to represent. I left them and have been pursuing jobs as I see them. I must say that networking is HUGE in this business. With doing a variety of shoots I have met so many designers and photographers that they contact me at times to do other shoots. I recently created a Facebook page and have been posting some of my photos and people have reached out to me and asked me for jobs. I also just signed with two agencies in the past month due to my site. Modeling isn't just about having a pretty face or a perfect runway walk, it's a business! What you put into it is what you'll get out of it."

Dresses by Rosie Rose
Amy's Hair by Kristin Lillig
Amy's Makeup by Katrina King
Jewelry provided by Bjorn Olaf Nasset
Stylist Heather Stern
Concept Production by Colour Law
Location: Jackson Concrete, Milwaukee, WI

Tidy Photography by Brett Stoddart

Shanna Koltz, photographer

Photographer: Jeff Dostalek
(Male model is Chris Draper, hair by Renee Romito, makeup Stephanie Duaime, shoulder pauldron by Rosie Rose, fashion by Twig Noir, jewelry provided by Bjorn Olaf Nasset) 

Photo by Patrick Jauquet

Photography by Brett Stoddart
(Male model Brian James Dickie)
Gena Appleby Photography

Photo by Patrick Jauquet
Cape by Rosie Rose
Outfit provided by Bjorn Olaf Nasset
Photographer: Kevin Bailey

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Apunkalyptic volume 1, featured model TWIG NOIR.

From the Apunkalyptic photo event in Milwaukee. The theme of this is based on the idea of what the survivors of an apocalypse might look like as they emerge from the wreckage, salvaging what they can and ready to fight for their survival, whatever the cost. I had a lot of fun creating costumes for the event--- this is the first of several blogs I'll be posting featuring different models from the event.

Featured Model: TWIG NOIR
Twig is known for her striking appearance and modeling prowess. She has been published many times over as a model. She also is an artist, creating unique jewelry and fashion designs. It was such an honor to be able to work with her!
Dresses by Rosie Rose
Twig's Hair by Shane Adam Webb
Twig's Makeup by Maryam Bokhari
Jewelry and Accessories by Twig
Styling by Heather Stern
Male Model: Brian James Dickie
Brian's Makeup by Colour Law
Location: Jackson Concrete in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
Concept by Colour Law Designs 

Gena Appleby Photography
Gena Appleby Photography

Shanna Koltz, photographer
Shanna Koltz, photographer
Tidy Photography by Brett Stoddart
Tidy Photography by Brett Stoddart

Matthew Sperzel Photography
Matthew Sperzel Photography

Harryl Harryl, photographer

Harryl Harryl, photographer

David April, photographer

David April, photographer

And here is one from behind the scenes showing how the last two shots were lit.
David April works his magic. Photo by Amber Sha. Ottoz Kustomz on lights (thank you Otto!!!!)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Whirling into Fall

It's been a while since I updated my blog, so I thought I'd write a short recap of what's going on in my life and studio lately.

I'm 27 weeks pregnant now and doing really well most days. After feeling sick, tired, emotional, and apathetic for months, I am pleased to be feeling much more energetic and more like myself than I have in a while. I'm full of creativity and finding the challenges facing me--- getting ready for child #2 as far as home, child #1's needs, my work, and the need to find our family a bigger nest as we are outgrowing this apartment--- are just fueling my ambition even more.

Oh, and it's another girl! My first daughter is so happy she's getting a sister. No name yet, we're just referring to her as Little Sister. She is a wild thing, I can tell already. Year of the Horse. Her kicks are hard enough to jolt the laptop if it's next to my belly. The other day as I made my husband feel her kicking he said, "Wow," and I said, "Oh no, that's nothing.." then she really kicked and he said "WHOA!" Hahaha. Oh yeah, she's going to be a handful. Couldn't be more excited.

We managed to sneak in a trip to Houston for a couple days in August to see my brother's family. Here's me, the hubs, and our little rascal (who didn't want to stop chasing seagulls for a photo) on the boardwalk in Galveston.

I just finished my Zombie Couture collection of Halloween costumes and the photoshoot was a few days ago. Photographer Brett Stoddart was in charge and wrangled up 4 very lovely models to get all zombie-fied and show off the new collection. I have only seen some behind-the-scenes shots so far but I'll post edited photos as soon as I can, and I'll be adding the costumes to my Etsy shop ASAP. For any of you unfamiliar with Brett's work (a.k.a. TIDY Photography), take a moment to check him out. He does some fabulous dark fashion photos, as well as landscape/building photography of abandoned asylums, hospitals, etc. Add to that he's one of the nicest and hardest working dudes I know--- you definitely want to take a look at his page! Awesome stuff.

Here's a couple pics from my studio as I worked on the collection:
SNEAK PEEK of the 2014 Zombie Couture Collection

I also collaborated with the super talented photographer Luz Lutamendi at the beginning of August, and I can't post the photos yet, but here's a shot from another collab we did a couple years ago, featuring the beautiful Jane Love modeling my Byzantine queen gown. For more of Luz's very polished and stunningly beautiful photography you can check out her Flickr page...
Photographer: Luz Lutamendi
Model: Jane Love

Head piece designer: Dynamic Duo
Hair: Joe Paciorek
MUA: Chrystina Marye
Captured at a Michael Rosen workshop.
The APUNKALYPTIC shoot in Milwaukee went awesome... I've seen a lot of the photos but.... I can't share any of those yet either! (Read: you will be positively inundated with photographs in the next few weeks. Prepare yourself. You might need sunglasses to protect you from so much blinding beauty all at once.) I'm waiting to find out if some of those photos will be published in magazines and possibly also in an art book before I can share them publicly.

I recently rebranded my line, btw, if you haven't noticed the new logo yet! I even got new clothing labels... they're super soft red ultrasuede that is laser-etched with my logo. Swaaaanky.

More updates soon, with some fresh photos next time! :) And very soon also, Winter 2014 collection coming, featuring lots of earth-friendly fashions using bamboo fleece, cotton jersey, and upcycled fabrics. And SCARVES! The scarves approacheth. I love Fall.

-xoxo- Rosie

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Call For Photographers for Two Photo Projects

Call For Photographers:

I am looking for photographers for two different projects. For both shoots I can provide a small stipend, which you may either keep as compensation for your time, or use in part for supplies for the shoot, or use part of it to pay the H/MUA for the shoot. But essentially these are glorified TFP shoots. 

What I need to get back from the shoots: 1-2 edited photos of each look I send you. Also, willingness to share the photos via your social media and tag my page, and I of course would do so as well, so we get some good cross-promotion. I would also be posting the photos here on my blog and also in my Etsy shop, which gets traffic from all over the world. Clothing to be returned promptly after the shoot with no stains or tears.

Arranging the shoot: Ideally photographers would want to arrange the details of the shoot such as location, models, etc. If you'd like my help locating models or H/MUAs I would be glad to help, but imo it is much easier if you just used people you have worked with before, and just check with me first and make sure I like the models.

Themes: I can give some suggestions as to theme and what I'd like to see, but I think when the photographer has some freedom they are more creative and inspired, so I don't plan on giving super detailed guidelines (more information below with each collection description).

*Publication*: I am using these photos for my website and will need to post them in a timely manner, so seeking publication for these collections in entirety, is not going to be an option. However if there are one or two looks from a collection which end up having some really spectacular photos you would like to seek publication for, I am willing to potentially hold off on posting those specific items/photos until we find out if we can get published somewhere. Obviously it would be terrific publicity for the collections, so I think it would be worth it, I just can't hold back all my inventory for months waiting to hear back about publication, since that is my form of income; I hope you understand. Since most publications only accept submissions from photographers, the ball would be in your court as to where you want to try to submit, just keep me posted so I know what's going on.

Contact: If you are interested in learning more, email me at or send me a message on facebook (Rosie Rose or Rosie Rose Designer page) and we can discuss details. If you have never worked with me before, please include two references that I can contact.

These are the two collections:
1) Zombie Couture Collection -ready Sept. 1st, need photos by Sept. 25.
Just what it sounds like, zombie/apocalyptic costumes with a high fashion twist.  It will include gowns, skirts, tops, belts, jewelry, and crowns/headpieces.This one is on a tight time-frame so keep that in mind before you say yes. I need to have edited photos back from this shoot BY September 25 so I have time to post them in my Etsy shop for Halloween. I can send off the collection to you as soon as it's done (you would receive the clothing by Sept. 1st at latest but hopefully a little sooner). This collection will be approximately 15 looks which will be in two sizes, so you would need to have two models: a small (standard size) model as well as a size M-L (plus-size) model (so it amounts to about 7-8 looks per model). Alt models are fine. I am not really wanting extreme makeup or SFX... I would prefer it has more of a Zombie Glam/Evil Queen sort of look, a little glamorous and sexy. We want to sell the costumes, not completely horrify people. Scary, spooky, edgy, creative, are all fine, just nothing really gross or terrifying. ((However if you want to do some really scary/horror shots using the costumes while you have them, you are welcome to do that as well.))

2) Fairytale Winter Collection  -ready mid to late September, need photos by October 31.
This collection, in progress now, will be ready to shoot by mid to late September. This is more of a standard editorial/commercial style shoot. It will include glamorous, fairy tale high-fashion pieces.... one-of-a-kind dresses, coats, jewelry, and scarves. There will be about ten looks in this collection. Sizes will vary slightly but they will be versatile enough that one model can model everything. I am picturing a standard size model who is a little curvier than normal, more of a medium size, with a curvacious body that would accentuate the narrow-waisted coats and gowns of this collection. Hopefully she would be a very striking beauty who can give the impression of regal, queenly elegance. Again, alt models are fine with me. I am hoping to be getting back edited photos from this shoot by the end of October so that I can have them for sale by the time winter weather starts to hit.

If you are interested in learning more, email me at or send me a message on facebook (Rosie Rose or Rosie Rose Designer page) and we can discuss details. If you have never worked with me before, please include two references that I can contact.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Leaf Costume

Around 300-400 plastic and handcut silk maple leaves went into this project.

A few months ago I was contacted by a young woman about making a pageant costume. She was going to be representing Canada in an international beauty pageant in the Dominican Republic and needed a costume for the talent portion of the show. She asked me to create a maple-leaf themed costume with a headpiece. The costume counted for 30% of her score so she wanted it to be really over-the-top fabulous.

Initial Sketches.

Finalized Sketch.

Cutting the skirt, marking darts.

Making the base of the costume.

Adding eyelets for a corset style back. (Snaps on the right side)

Making spaghetti strap to case the wire.

Finished base of the costume with wire "whirlwind"

Stitching leaves to the bodice.
And the skirt.

Finished skirt outside and inside to show stitching.

Headpiece made with wire.


Finished costume. Copyright Rosie Rose 2014.

Closeup to show detail of leaves.

Here's the lovely Jennifer Perrin wearing the costume on stage
 in the Miss Beauty International Pageant in Santo Domingo.
                                              Congrats to Jennifer on winning First Runner-Up in the Petite Division!

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Four Generations Dress

"Four Generations" on to learn more about the meaning behind the dress.

I've been meaning to post this for a while now and just had trouble finding the time to edit photos and write. My body solved that problem for me, as I have been back in morning-sickness-Hell this week, and I have been able to do little more than work on my laptop between running to puke (gross, I know, sorry). On the upside, since I was confined to bed today, it gave me a chance to catch up.

I was invited to create a piece for The Artist Impression of the Mother, an art show in Eureka Springs featuring local artists. Unfortunately between my ill tummy and getting behind on orders I couldn't finish my piece in time for the show (which was on Mother's Day last month). I made a good effort of trying to finish up the day before the show but my sewing machines were working against me, breaking needles left and right and thread tangling, all kinds of trouble. I resigned to finishing the dress for my own satisfaction... I was sad to miss the show though (sorry John & Janet!).

"Four Generations", by Rosie Rose, Ezra Rose, Frances Gies, and Jenny Gies.
My piece is called "Four Generations" because it incorporates textiles created by four generations of women in my family; from my grandmother, Frances Carney Gies, my mother, Frances Jane (Jenny) Gies, myself, Frances Rose, and my daughter, Ezra Frances. The style of the dress itself is inspired by my mother's love for saris and fascination with Indian culture. I wanted it to have a simple elegance reminiscent of an Indian sari, but with a modern feel to it as well.

"Four Generations"

Closeup of "Four Generations"

My grandmother, Frances Carney Gies, was a prolific knitter and created beautiful sweaters with intricate patterns. The textile I used from her is actually from some socks she knitted for me about 15 years ago, probably very near to the last things she knitted before she wasn't able to anymore. For years they have been my favorite socks, one pair stripey and one with hearts, but after years of mending they were worn down to rags with giant holes in the bottom, so I didn't feel bad cutting them up to use in the dress. It was a good re-purposing, I think Grandma Frances would approve.
knitted heart by Grandma Frances.
Waistband repurposed from knitted socks by my maternal grandmother.

My mother, Frances Jane Gies, who went by "Jenny", was a batik artist and silk painter (among many talents). She created hundreds of beautiful scarves and wall hangings in her lifetime. I have a lot of scarves of hers still, including many that I have used as wall hangings and they ended up with tattered edges, and didn't wear them anymore. So, into the dress they went. Her scarves and my own hand-dyed silks comprise the majority of fabric in the dress. The bodice is made of two of her scarves cut into strips and woven together (over a muslin lining). You can see her distinctive "Gies" signature on the back of the bodice. The shoulder closes with antique glass buttons.
Mom and I in Southern Living, circa 1987-8, and one of Mom's scarves in the dress.
Mom's signature on the back of the dress ("Gies", her last name)

Closeup of Mom's signature.
Mom's kitty cat scarf surrounded by sea green Habotai and charmeuse silks I dyed.

My daughter Ezra Frances is only 3 but she is already well into in her own artistic journey, spending several hours a day drawing. She recently has begun, completely on her own initiative, to do artist studies of art that interests her. I gave her this piece of muslin and told her to go crazy with it, and she had a lot of fun decorating it with fabric markers.
Ezra, age 3, at the drawing table. 

I plan to keep the dress as a family heirloom which we may add to over the years. When Ezra is older I'd like to teach her to do embroidery and beadwork and we can add some more details to the dress. I can't wear it now because, duh, pregnant, but hopefully next summer I'll have a chance to show it off a bit, and of course I hope Ezra has a chance to wear it one day as well. Thinking about her wearing it is making me get all misty.

Mom's fish scarf and purple silk charmeuse I dyed.

So there you have it.... Four generations of art combined into one dress. I hope my mother and grandmother would approve. I miss them both dearly and it was a wonderful exercise making the gown and being immersed in their beauty and wisdom. I am very proud of my heritage from these amazing, strong, and gifted women. They may not be here but they left me plenty of gifts to last a lifetime and beyond.

My mama and grandmother in the late 70s; Mom was pregnant with my brother Nate.