About Me

My photo

Actress.  Artist. Muse.  Creative Human. 
IG @elisabeth_donaldson   

ElisabethDonaldson.com
365daysofthrift.com
ElisabethBDonaldson.com

Sunday, December 15, 2013

White Warrior Goddess

I created this overdress for a collaboration with The beautiful and talented Tara Mackey and her Travel Look Book.  I wanted to design a piece that captured what I considered to be the essence of Tara.  We had never met in person-  just connected through the magic of the internet by a mutual "e-friend"  and artist.  But through our conversations and my careful study of her blog and Facebook-  I could tell that Tara was an Eco Warrior.  The kind of girl on a mission to fill the world with beauty and awareness.  I looked around my studio and grabbed all the white remnants I could find-  including some vintage lace handkerchief from my lovely grandmother- and started pinning them onto my bodice.  The piece is entirely hand sewn- save one or two straight seams in the back and just glorious to wear.  

I recently was invited to the local Nossi College of Art to share my designs as a part of their photography class and these are the incredible photos captured by theses talented students.  

Photo by Antinio Fajardo


Photo by Antinio Fajardo

Photo by Caitlin Harris

Photo by Caitlin Harris

Photo by Caitlin Harris

Photo by Dusty Draper

Photo by Dusty Draper

Photo by Dusty Draper

Photo by Dusty Draper

Photo by Kelcie Arnold

Photo by Jonathan Simmerlong


Photo by Jonathan Simmerlong
Photo by Jonathan Simmerlong

Photo by Kelcie Arnold

Photo by Sarah Abell

Photo by Sarah Abell


Dress:  Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch
Photography: Nossi College of the Arts
MUA Hannah Burford
Hair:  Denikka Danyell


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Queen Antonite


   If you travel past the sun and light-years back in time through whispers of a past so haunting it chills you, you will meet a queen.  She was a great beauty, tall enough to look upon many worlds, yet not so large that she could not understand the hearts of those she lead and served.  Her eyes glowed like soft bright moons and she radiated quietly like a sky filled with sparkling stars.  Hers was a universe filled with beauty and light.  
Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch
The Darkness sees light as a thing to be smothered and it sought to destroy the Queen and her kind- if only to sustain its own existence. It was silent of course and not noticed by a soul, but the Darkness, crept into this world like a slight insidious wind.  It whispered into ears like a distempered dream and bred the first tiny seeds of doubt and fear.    
Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch

In spite of the Queen’s grand love and reassurance, her kind began to tremble and shake.  The Darkness shadowed over them, cloaked in sleep, and filled them with memories of sadness and regret.  They were simple, so simple, too peaceful and untouched, and soon, lead by a force they could not understand, their fear swelled up.  Stabbing at shadows they could not see- they began to know the taste of blood.

The queen stumbled upon this in her travels and felt her heart- wretched and squeezed and choked and emptied- rise into her throat like a stifled scream. Weakened by the dismantling of a peace that she never predicted would break- she knew she must find the strength to learn to fight.  She painted her face with stardust in the traditional design of the ancient protectors, and put upon her back a robe comprised of the lost souls that she could not defend.  This remembrance kept her safe.   Cloaked in the lost- she fought.

Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch

For eons to come she was known as the most beautiful warrior on the south side of the galaxy.  Fiercely radiant, she flew through space – particles of energy and light exploding in her every move- her weapon was her passion and her desire to protect the light ones from becoming the very thing that had come to destroy them

She fought until she could barely move- she fought until her face lost its glow and became filled with dust and skin that was stretched and torn.  The darkness crept- it slaughtered her children and burned her worlds, turned stars into stones and still, she fought.  Her kind turned against her, charged forth to steal and destroy the little light she had left but she carried forth to protect them.  Although it drained her to stand tall and shine bright enough for them to still see their own decency- she did so.  And when she had looked in their eyes long enough to bring forth the tears of truth and redemption-  She went forth and fought.  Each breath became heavy, each step more human, each war cry more fragile and strained.  The keepers of light had long since left her as the sole protector of her universe and the weight of her own lonely integrity rushed upon her like the ocean upon a sinking ship.

Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch

The darkness finally became too much the universe too hard and the people too sad and weak and the queen, using every last ounce of strength rose high into the sky overlooking her ravaged lands and began to weep.  You could feel the sound of her despair-  it was empty and hollow and paralyzing and deep- deep into the inside of all existence.  Her chest heaved one last labored cry and then down from the sky she fell, body torn and heavy crashing down into the dust and ash that remained of all that once lived.  She lay in the middle of all she had fought for and lost-  small and mortal,  clutching to her own body as if it was the last possible thing left to save. The minions of darkness- with the pathetic victory of overtaking one who is already broken on their breath, seized upon her and squeezed her sad emptied soul into a stone which was thrown far far away into a long forgotten corner of a word that had long since burned.  There she was left.  To sleep and to die.

Now darkness is darkness and, being the insane thing that it is, forgets

Eternities passed.  Suns were born and suns would burn until they exploded into Supernovas and then faded.   Even the darkness faded (as darkness often will- as his has not the integrity and strength of light) turning into dust until a new evil comes along to replace it.

And the darkness forgot

Even the queen forgot.  Sleeping can be like dying if you’re afraid to face all you have left behind. Now a soul is a soul and it is a power that cannot be killed; and the queen’s was a soul that could not be broken

The frivolous pressures of the aimless chaos of time wore away at the rock, small cracks and splits seeping into its shell once every million or so years. It was forever and an instant all happening at once- but eventually the queen was released, drifting in sadness like a dream among the stars

The lords of darkness, small minded as they were- unaware and unsure of their own power, could never have known that this warrior queen- released into the universe as she had become-  would come back to find them and to rid the world once again of the darkness that had killed her kind

Until one day

The Queen came back…and this is where the story begins.

Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch


For Lauren on her BirthdayWritten by Elisabeth Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved 2013
Photography by Toy Elephant Photography
Clothing by Monarch



Monarch.  Clothing by Elisabeth Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sometimes...




Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch
 Life.  Is strange and beautiful and sad and unfair and magnificent and magical….and you hope you find the dreams you've been seeing when you sleep and the wishes you made with your eyes open.  And I wish I could hold on to everything that I loved and carry it with me always-  but no one needs an anchor like that.  They say it’s good to let things go…I think… I guess that what hearts are for- to hold everything you love….  If you opened mine up- there’d be so much inside- it would be like when the universe was formed from nothing.   From something so small- comes something so great.

Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch

Before I met you I didn't dream so much- now every night I wake up into a new world.   Now that you’re gone it slips through my hands like steam off the water and I’m fighting not to let it go.

Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch

Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch

Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch

Photo by Toy Elephant Photography.  Dress by Elisabeth Donaldson of Monarch




Photography by Toy Elephant Photography
Clothing by Monarch



Monarch.  Clothing by Elisabeth Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved 2013

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Golden Glitter Vortex



Photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant Photography. 2012 All Rights Reserved

Photography by Toy Elephant .
2012 All Rights Reserved


Facebook isn't life-  but it feels like it sometimes. Being a start-up means milking this social networking thing for all it's worth so I'm constantly in the feed.  Sometimes it feels like I'm getting pulled into the Ocean by the undercurrent.  Too often, it's 2a and I've checked up on a new post, then back to etsy, then back to facebook, then back to etsy, and now instagram only to find myself lost in the photo-stream of some long lost classmate while my phone vibrates next to me alerting me to some sort of update.  I feel hectic, I feel a bit lost.  I need a walk.  I'm wishing I could tear away, or go to sleep or get to work-  my real work of folding and pinning and sewing, or maybe just have an undistracted conversation.   But the screen pulls me close with it's hypnotic grip, so I do the best i can  to make it a useful experience.  After all, I am making connections never before possible, and sharing my art and ideas with an ease that did not exist in the past, but the feeling and sensation I wish I could get from this picture screen, is something distinctly human and tactile-  something I can only get by actually moving my body around to create real physical action and interchange.  Pretty wild stuff.  It's an electric light Jungle-  I hope to make it out alive.


Photography by Toy Elephant .
2012 All Rights Reserved  

Photography by Toy Elephant .
2012 All Rights Reserved 



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sleeping Dolls and their Tea Parties with Friends



                                                                           photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights reserved
I love Goodwill.  I love the friendly staff, even when they are grumpy. I love the funk music station which is always playing. I love the people you will find, I love so many things about it.  I could write an entire blog about my love of goodwill-  but alas that is not today's story.  However, Today's story begins in goodwill.
                                                                  photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights reserved
I have parked my scooter in the parking lot and I am on the hunt for something wonderful:  Stuffed animals.  White stuffed animals to be exact.  I walk briskly to the toy bins at the front of the store-  immediately I find two large white Teddy bears and I am overcome with excitement and joy.  This is good, this is really good.  So many white teddy bears in there today.  It's like they knew I was coming and were waiting for me (or perhaps nobody understands the joy of a stinky dirty crusty used white teddy bear but me.)  I start pulling all the white toys out and lining them up together on the conveniently placed bench in the middle of the bins.  There is a headless white doll-  but she doesn't make the cut-  I'm not going that route.  The bunnies don't make the cut either- well- one does- he is just too cute to be denied- he can stay.  As I stand there looking at all of my new friends lined up on the plastic goodwill bench, I have the best realization ever:  We are going to have a tea party.
                                                                      photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights reserved
I grab all of my bears and head to the housewares isle.  I am excited as hell.  I don't even have a cart-  just six white bears of varying size-  I'd like to think that this is more excitement than goodwill has seen all week- but you never know...

As a side note I must mention that In my travels to the housewares isle-  the first people  encountered were to Hispanic men with a vintage lamp in tow.  It was made from 70's looking vintage glass panels and on each of these panels was a wolf.  Effing dreamy.  I was one part jealous, 1 part super happy for them and their golden find.  Wolf lamp.  OMG.  Must be mentioned.

 photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights reserved 
So back to  housewares I'm carrying my six bears and looking for white teapots and teacups.  i come dangerously close to breaking some sort of white religious mini-statue when I hit it with a bear-  so i retreat and throw my bears in a basket. A wonderful, amazing, and helpful employee of the good good will is so kind as to get me a cart.  He even brings me some teacups.  I love this man! The woman next to me is salty like the Earth.  Overhearing that I am on a hunt for teacups she tells me, "there is a tiny tea set right there."
IT'S TINY!!!!!! IT'S WHITE!!!!!!! IT'S 99 CENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I want to attack this woman with a joyous hug but i am quite certain that this wold be far too much for her to handle.  All I can say is, "Oh My God!  Thank You!!!  You have no Idea how great this is!!"  She doesn't seem to understand the magic in her being the one to discover this tiny magic tea set for me.  She was the key to it's discovery!! She is a Magic Tea Set Woman!!!!!!  If only she knew the perfection of having a tiny magic tea set for my all white tea party with my new bear friends!!!!!  I tell her a few more times how great she is.  She asks me if I am a teacher, I tell her no, I am a fashion designer, she looks confused.  I love her all the same.
                                                                    photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights reserved
The man at the checkout is kind enough to give me $1 off of a bear that I left in a basket in the back.  Oh Goodwill-  you are your name! My bill comes to $25.49 and since I spent over $25 I get $5 off!!  This is a Win!!!  Six Bears and One bunny and 3 teapots and cups and saucers and a magic mini tea set all for $20!!!!!  I want to run through the store and hug every employee there.  I thank my cashier 5 or so times.  I am very excited. This expedition has cut into my already lean grocery budget for the week, but it's well worth it.  I put one bag of Bears in my basket, one at my feet and the ceramics under the seat of my scooter.  I can't wait to get home and show Sally.  She is going to love this!!! It's Tea Time!
                                                                   photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights reserved
We step out of the car into the hot humid air.  It's nearing 100 degrees and sweat is dripping down my face in sheets. I'm starting to worry that I'm not going to look like the porcelain  doll that I imagined when I covered my face with loads of foundation and white clay instead of powder, but i just hope that Sally's photographic skill and the wonders of lighting and waterproof mascara will be my saving grace.
    photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights reserved   


We step up to an abandoned house down the street with a wildly overgrown yard.  I have had my eye on this house for a few months now.  We walk through the overgrown path of weeds to the front porch that is covered in broken glass.  The sign says no trespassing, obviously this has not been honored by us or whoever smashed the front door.  Sally looks at me with some concern.  "I hope nobody's in there."  "It'll be fine."  I say, "I'll handle it."    Broken Glass and crackheads aside, there is one final concern.  Sally looks down at her pants and  shrieks.  It appears as if she is covered in hundreds of tiny little bugs.  Oh dear.  I look down at my outfit- which I might add-  is all white and lace and it appears I am afflicted with the same strange condition.  Weeds!  I don't know what they are officially called, but we are both covered in hundreds, if not thousands of tiny brown prickly things.  I start trying to pull them off and realize it's going to take far longer than what we are working with.  "Fuck it!"  I say, "lets just set up the shot."  I step back into the small overgrown path and lay down a white blanket.  It too becomes attacked by prickly plants.  I grab the bears and tea pots and start placing them around.  I'm sweating like a football player and I've got a blue kerchief tucked into my underwear so I can mop up my face without ruining the shot.  There are ants crawling near my feet and on the bears and this is feeling waaaay less exciting than when I was in the clean- unweeded, friendly and air conditioned Goodwill. 

Photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights Reserved



I step back to scope out the shot and that's when I see him.  A big fat bright orange wasp.  My mortal enemy and greatest fear.  He is less than a foot away and he likes my bears.  This is not good.  "Just be cool, he's not going to bother you." says Sally.  Then she screams a little.  It seems there is, "a big fucking spider"  in the bushes to her right.  I can't take it  I run into the street.  The cars driving by must wonder what a scared looking girl is doing in a white tutu in front of an abandoned house.  News of the day, I'm sure.
 photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights reserved

The wasp eventually gets bored and we pull ourselves together and get back in the weeds for the shots.  We do all we can and then drive to a familiar hilltop for some safety and comfort.  Here we can shoot unmolested by glass, bugs and attack plants.  It's far easier to take a blissful nap with bears here.  A breeze has started to kick in and it feels like heaven.

That night when I see the shots I know that our adventure was well worth it.  These photos are my favorite so far of all of our collaboration.  They inspire me to continue taking my clothing in the direction I'm most passionate about-  not a direction heavily intertwined with the world of fashion, but one that is heavily intertwined with art. The final shot posted here is my absolute favorite. I'm happy to have a friend and a roommate who is such a fabulous creative conspirator. I'm thrilled to see where our newest imaginings will take us :)



 photography by Sally Matsukawa of Toy Elephant 2012 All Rights reserved



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good Morning

photography by Sally Matsukawa of  Toy Elephant 2012 all rights reserved



Morning Friends.  I thought i would start the day with some words.  The dictionary is always a fun ride. 


fan-ta-sy

  
noun
1.
imaginative power  the creative power of imagination
2.
mental image or dream  an image or dream created by imagination
3.
impractical idea an unrealistic and unpractical idea

art

  
noun
1.
the creation of beautiful things  the creation of beautiful or thought-provoking works, e.g., in painting music or writing
2.
beautiful objects  beautiful or though provoking works produced through crative activity
3.
creation by humans creation by human endeavor rather than nature

fash·ion

  
noun
1.
a prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing,etc.: the latest fashion in dresses.
2.
conventional usage in dress, manners, etc., especially ofpolite society, or conformity to it: the dictates of fashion; to beout of fashion.
3.
manner; way; mode: in a warlike fashion.
4.
the make or form of anything: He liked the fashion of the simple, sturdy furniture.
5.
a kind; sort: All fashions of people make up the world.



The definition of Art I found in the dictionary, although lovely- left something to be desired.  So here is my all time favorite definition of art by L Ron Hubbard:

"Art:  The quality of communication."    He goes on to say, "Perfection cannot be attained at the expense of communication."

Says it all.

So here is the beginning of me trying to share and document my current artistic endeavors.  I have no clue how to breach the subject but somewhere in the dictionary as I looked to find the definition of the word fashion, I stumbled upon the word Fantasy-  and fell in love with the definitions I found.  I am embarked upon the adventure and the struggle of having art be the means by which i make my living but finding out how to keep the adventure and discovery alive and my personal integrity and desire to above all things, create art that communicates and-  no matter the form- is art.  This is going to be interesting. And never fear friends-  Although I am in a contemplative mood on this particular Thursday night-  I promise that sometimes i am funny ;)  Welcome to the adventure.  I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I do.

xoxo