Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tribal Union 2010

Seana, Misha, and I packed up costuming, makeup, dance clothes, notebooks, and made our merry way to Milwaukee for "Tribal Union" - a day of bellydance workshops culminating in an evening Tribal Bellydance showcase.  The event was hosted by Tamarind Tribal, an American Tribal Style bellydance troupe.  It was a fun day of ATS workshops lead by Jen Nolan, Tamarind's leader and teacher, during which I alternated dancing and taking notes to rest my legs and gluts, which are still incredibly sore after my fall on the ice on Friday afternoon.  However, 4 ibuprofen and lots of stretching throughout the day kept me going strong.  Our performances, though still not perfect, were good and very strong - perhaps even the best we've ever done the pieces! 

Today though, I woke up with a stiff back, sore everything, and a tummy ache.  Too much medication caused the stomache pain, and not enough stretching post performance is to blame for the muscle soreness.  Yikes!  I can never get motivated to stretch post performance.  For one thing, I'm tired, and for another, I feel like I deserve to get out of uncomfortable costuming to rest!  Usually there's also a time constraint as well - friends waiting, a show to see (in last night's case), or money to pick up (in the case of bellygrams).  Nevertheless, I still need to start stretching after dancing because today I am going to need to take the first class's warmups just to be able to dance!  :P

Last night there was the added stress that I felt really lonely for J.  He's been studying for the comprehensive exams to pass his graduate program to get a Masters in philosophy, and it's been incredibly stressful for him.  So much so that I haven't seen him in 3 weeks!  We both feel like this is too long to be without each other, but there's nothing we can do now.  He has to study, and I had been madly preparing for this show at Tribal Union.  Last night, I felt a little bit of a let down post-show.  I wanted to celebrate, but had no one in the audience.  This is one of the first bellydance performances that Jase has missed since we've been together!  This, coupled with Misha's incredible happiness and adoration for KJ, who was able to make it last night due to her own modelling gig in Milwaukee, made me feel really sad.  It is almost a post-partum feeling after a performance, and it comes more quickly when I don't have a way to celebrate the successes of a gig. 

All in all though, it was a day worth the pain.  I got lots of compliments on our costuming and choreographies - both of which were designed by me, so that was very gratifying.  I woke up early this morning (again!) feeling better emotionally, motivated to work on improving the choreographies and finish choreographing for my classes today.  What more can one ask for?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Abilified!

Lately my insomnia hasn't been such a bad thing.  I've been remarkably able to focus on projects early in the morning, and despite the fact that sleep is necessary to ward off insanity... I seem to be doing well on 3 - 5 hours a night!  Hopefully there are no long term ramifications of this, but for now the immediate gratification of finishing TONS of projects during the wee hours of the morning has really overshadowed any downside to not sleeping.
I made these armwarmers to match my "Ashar Dance Company" tank top in red:

Now, 6:15 am, I've already straightened my hair, taken a shower (reverse order), painted my nails, picked out my outfit for the day, gotten dressed, and finished adding trim to Mike's new belt.  I still have to pack food and pack up my costuming, and then I'm good to go.
Wow... a wave of sleepiness just hit me.  Maybe I'll go lay down for a while...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wrapped up in Red

More creative packaging... and the last of my cool halloween discount ribbon.  *sadly uses last of ribbon*

*happy packaging turns my frown upside down*

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Up and at 'em!

After starting a new medication a few weeks ago, my normal sleep-in sleep schedule has been completely overhauled!  As if a little google calendar gnome went into my head and adjusted my biorhythms so that I'd wake up early instead of late - I absolutely cannot sleep in anymore.  This morning I was up at 6 am, which, if you know me, is an astronomical feat!  Not that I was someone who couldn't get up early, but I abhor being up before the sun, and usually wake up with an alarm if I have to get up before 9 am.  My natural rhythm of life and sleep used to get me up pretty regularly at 9am - week day or weekend.  Now my body is up and at 'em at 5 am or 6 am without fail! 

The good news is that I've been incredibly productive these mornings; usually working on crafts, making breakfast, cleaning my house, and doing things that usually fall to the wayside in the busy tides of life.  The bad news is I go to bed at like 10 pm now!  Lame!  I hate to go to bed so early, but I'm completely exhausted like an old bitty by the time evening comes. 

Today I'm going to clean my apartment and put the finishing touches on a bedlah for a performance this weekend.  Will post pics tonight or... perhaps tomorrow morning.  Well, off to get up and at 'em!  Who knew that days were so long when you're up before the sun?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sick Day

Sometimes coming down with a bad cold is a blessing... I spent a stolen day watching TV and putting the finishing touches on this halter bra in the afternoon.  Feeling really tired now though, and I hope I didn't put myself back by crafting instead of resting. 

Right now, I'm trying to motivate myself to either rehearse a little or get some work done on the two other costumes I need to work on this week...

Ironic considering that I feel exhausted, so I take a sick day, so I work all day... 

*sigh* At least I'm feeling a little better (albeit emotionally) after all the craft-therapy!  :)

Treasury Feature!

I'm so honored!  Check it out: Badgers, Badgers, Badgers Treasury List by Irvingplace from Madison, WI. 

Here is another photo of "Marvelous Musings"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hey good lookin'...

More yummy deliciousness from the aphrodesiac cookbook.  The aphrodesiacs in this dish were honey and hot peppers.  Yum!  Wish I was eatting this tonight, rather than sitting at the security office eatting frozen vegetables...  :P

V-day 2010

Well, my honey and I had a great Vday this year.  It actually ended up being a whole weekend o' love - complete with aphrodisiac cookbooks, flowers on Friday afternoon, laughter, staying up till dawn, and "Rocky" movies.

Although I didn't get much crafting in, I did go shopping to JoAnne's fabrics and bought some absolutely LUSHIOUS rayon jersey blend fabric that will make stunning arm warmers for Mahela and I during our gig on Friday night. 

I also knitted furiously on my bamboo beanie.  Black and grey stripes and all mine!  :)  It is turning out beautifully soft and seriously eco chick!

Lastly, though crafting was at a minimum, I did do a great deal of cooking this weekend.  The aforementioned aphrodesiac cookbook came in handy this weekend.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Waltzing...

Tonight I'm sitting at work, kind of sick of knitting so I'm choreographing a new steampunk-bellydance fusion duet for Seana and I.  I am super glad that it's going so well!  It is coming together so fast thought that I feel like I hardly have time to map out the song and make sure I get all the sections in that I want to...  I'm afraid of reaching the end and not really having done anything... Perfectionism I suppose...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Store Logo

Check out my new store logo!  Is it readable enough?

Recharging through Mania!

After many nights of insomnia (due to waking up early, early in the morning - ugh!), and several rehearsals already this week, I was nearly extatic that my bellydancing classes were canceled at Dance Fabulous tonight.  Not that I don't love teaching dance, but the classes have been frustratingly empty lately, and I was glad to take a break from the hustle and bustle of my busy schedule.  Because class was canceled due to snow, I took the opportunity to ask Mahela, my troupe mate in Ashar Dance Company, about cancelling rehearsal tonight as well.  The chance to have a stolen evening at home was just too good!  Aside from that, she and I are not in a crunch for rehearsal in any way.

Anyway, what that all adds up to is a free night for crafting!  With projects on a hold (waiting for payment for my last wedding), shipping and packaging done for now, I'm happily free to work on whatever I whimsically choose!  :) 

Tonight, I decided to let fancy take me into the dangerous but exciting rhelm of clothing alteration.  I was quite successful in taking in a beach dress, which was transformed into a slinky evening gown, and I also had good luck with separating an unflattering wrap dress - creating a bellydance choli and a wrap skirt.  I didn't completely finish the choli, but I DID make some very kick ass arm warmers out of remnants from the dresses. 

Both of my alterations tonight, one of which I'm sitting at my computer wearing at this moment, were red dresses that I felt inspired to work on because of the looming holiday -- Valentines Day.  I find myself too excited about it - making plans, spending money, and fantasizing about getting a ring from Jason.  I know that I let myself get caught up in making holidays PERFECT, which they inevitably don't turn out to be, which ends in disappointment or depression.  I'm trying to be reasonable about Valentine's Day, but I also am clinging to whatever source of joy and excitement I have right now.  Winter really is wearing on me this year, and although I usually like the cold, I am less than enthusiastic about it right now.  :P

*sigh*  I'm off to finish some more projects and continue watching "Rocky II" while I craft.  Wheeee!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monthly Special

I've decided to try out a monthly special in my etsy store.  I am looking to get some more blog followers, so I'm willing to trade - follow my blog as an official "follower" and I'll give you 10% refund on your order via paypal within three business days. 

I think it sounds like a deal, right? 

We'll see how it goes.

Tutorial: Rumba Ruffle Pants for Bellydancers

Recently I had a request for a tutorial on how to make ruffle pants for bellydancers on my Ayperibellydancer's Souk Tribe.  Since it's not an original design of mine, I felt completely comfortable sharing the way that I've figured out how to make them.  There are many ways I'm sure!  These pants are inspired by the beautiful pants made by Kathleen Crowley. 

Materials:
Yoga pants that are stretchy and boot cut
3 different kinds of lace in 2 yard sections
thread
scissors for fabric
pins
fabric pencil/chalk/marker
tape measure







1. Assemble materials.

2. Put on the pants to determine how high you want your ruffles to start - above or below the knee? With a fabric pencil, marker, or chalk, mark this spot on both legs. Take the pants off, and using a straight edge, draw a line across the front and back of your pant leg at the mark where your first ruffle will go.
3. Measure 4 inches down from that spot, and make another ruffle line (be sure to go all the way around the pants because sometimes lace can get slippery on the machine and you'll be negotiating a lot of fabric, so you can lose your place easily).
4. Continue making ruffle - lines until you're 10 inches from the bottom of the pants. If it doesn't line up exactly, that's OK. Make sure your last ruffle line is 10 inches or less because this affects your pant's inseam, and you can always remove more easily than adding back on...!
5. Now, take the lace you want to use for the top ruffle, and cut into a ten inch wide strip (along the long side of the 2 yard fabric piece).

6. Cut out four of each different type of lace (I'm assuming you'll make 6 layers of ruffles on each leg).
7. With a sewing machine, rouch or gather one of the long edges of the lace on each strip of lace fabric - this is what will attach to the pants, making the flouncy ruffle.
8. Using pins, line up the rouched lace edges with the lines on your pants. You will have to adjust the tightness of the rouching/gathers so that the lace is the correct length to travel around the pant leg. (NOTE: if you use tapered leggings, you must allow the leggings to stretch as you sew on the lace otherwise the legging will be too tight at the bottom and will feel uncomfortable.).
 
Good Luck!
 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

DONE, finito, terminado, fini

Last night in a flurry of creativity, I finished wedding flowers for Sara334 and Shotdoc.  Sarah's fascinator can be seen at left - complete with real baby ostrich feathers in creamy ivory, hand curled biots in almost-white, and tufts of white marabou.  Into the feathers nestles a beautiful vintage button from Rubfig.

I also finished Shotdoc's Aussie steampunk wedding set - bridal fascinator and three maids' fascinators with gears, cogs, brass flowers, hand curled peacock spears, and lots o' love! 

So exciting!  Tomorrow will be a fun day at the post office!  I have 3 different orders to package and ship.  Guess I'd better get up early.  : D