Friday, July 31, 2009

Troy Collar....almost finished

Just 3 strands to go and I'll be finished with the fantabulous Troy necklace I'll be wearing to Cirque Du Soleil tomorrow.

Hopefully I'll have time to take a picture of it tomorrow morning.

The yucky dark photo above doesn't really show too well what colors I'm using. The Czech glass is olivine and the fire polish is two-tone olivine-tanzantine. I also used gold washed forest greens seed beads and vermeil findings. Purples, greens, & golds (or yellows), is one of my all time favorite color combinations.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm in Gryffindor

I'm not feeling very bloggy today. So I give you this fun little quiz Harry Potteresque quiz: What Harry Potter Hogwarts House Should You Be In? Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find this quiz.

I'm in Gryffindor. Go, go Gryffindor!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Belly Dance Goodies

I'm having issues with my camera, as in, it's broken, so I can't take a picture of the belly dance goodies that came in the mail today. But I can tell you what I ordered:

-Sagittarius belly dancer t-shirt.
-Sagittarius belly dancer journal: I like to write class notes & combos in purple notebooks.
-Pisces belly dancer tea mug: My daughter is a Pisces.

All featuring artwork by Lacy Chenault. Grab a cool drink and undulate on over to her website for a look-see.

Back to house work. Blecch! And no, I did not clean the toilets with a banana.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Belly Dance Monday-Belly Dance & Bead Envy

For today's "Belly Dance Monday" post I was going to review a DVD, but I decided to postpone that after reading what Marcia DeCoster's wrote in her blog over the weekend. Here is an excerpt: (To read the entire post click here.)

I also get anxious when I see a colleagues work and I feel that feeling that Rachel has coined so well as project envy (Speaking of whom, have you seen You and Eye? Awesomely beautiful). It happens, you're in awe of what someone else did with the beads and begin to question your own work and then I step back and realize that is what they are meant to be doing and I am doing what I am meant to be doing. Don't get me wrong, I celebrate what my colleagues are doing, there is so much incredible beadwork being done, so much pushing the limits and exploration and creativity. And I celebrate being a part of that world.

The timing of Marcia's post is absolutely perfect. Over the weekend I watched a DVD (not the one I was going to review) that left me with belly dance envy and I can relate to what she is saying.

I find this to be refreshingly honest because Marcia is an incredibly talented bead & fiber artist. I've run into a few artists, be they dancers, beaders, or otherwise, who wouldn't ever dare to admit to having moments of self-doubt. That's much too human and, or course, true talent never doubts itself.

Hogwash, balderdash, and just plain ol' bullshit!

I think true talent does question itself. If you don't occasionally question yourself then how can you possibly grow as an artist? No growth=stagnation. I find stagnation to be appalling.

I'll climb off my soap box now before I stray too far off the subject......

Like Marcia, I sometimes find myself so in awe of another person's work, or in this case dancing, that I start to question & compare myself.

"Why can't I move like Ava or dance like Helena?"

Being one of the heavier dancers in class there are times when I wish I was thinner. Or was taller so that I would be able to carry my weight better. Sometimes I wish my breasts were smaller & my hips were bigger. Yeah, I know. Most women are the opposite and wish for smaller hips & larger breasts. Go figure.

So.... in class tonight if that niggling little voice of mine begins to lead me down the road to self-doubt I will silently, gently, & lovingly chant either one of these two mantras that was taught to me a few years ago by a fellow belly dancer & yoga instructor.

"In this moment I am at my most perfect."

"Beautiful, bountiful, blissful am I."

Or perhaps my own mantra, which is:

"Find tadasana."

Tadasana is Mountain Pose and for those of you who aren't practitioners of yoga, what I mean by that is to find your own place of balance and strength. It's not as poetic as the first two mantras, but it works for me.

I celebrate the fact that I am in both the belly dance and the bead worlds.

And yes, I do occasionally experience bead envy.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm Green & I'm Busy

SaraBeth completed the quiz "Which color best suits your personality?" with the result You are Green! .
You are Green! You are a cool yet energized person. You probably tend to be a little more introverted than extroverted - while you love being with your friends, you still need your "you" time. You are probably a rather laid back, zen sort of person, unless you get a good kick of energy; then you can be crazy fun! You are probably insightful and smart; logic comes easily to you. You tend to be a balance between red and yellow. Reds are passionate and intense, and tend to walk over people. Yellows tend to be the walked on, because they like to keep the peace. You, however, are a balance of both. You know when to lie down and let someone take the lead, but if you feel strongly about something, you're not afraid to stand up for it! You are probably compassionate as well, and like animals and plants. You may be a little off-beat, and feel like not many people really see the depth in your personality. You would probably rather keep things on a superficial level that other people can understand than show the deeper side of yourself. You, in a nutshell: Cool, energized, balanced, strong, funky, zen, deep, intelligent, logical, compassionate. GREEN! .

And it ain't easy, being green. Busy, busy, busy today, no time for a real post so this will have to do. More thoughts on these types of quizzes later.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Too freakin' funny!

This is from LOLCats! I keep it on my desk top for whenever I need a good laugh.

That is one tiny baby and one very very patient cat.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wiilow Weekend Workshops....

....and chocolate cake!

Calling all Arizona belly dancers!!

The weekend of August 1st & 2nd Ava Fleming will be hosting three belly dance workshops featuring Willow Chang at Al Moro Dance Studio.

Sat., Aug. 1st is "New Moves, Different Groves" followed by an open dance night (not sure of the start time) and Ava's famous chocolate cake

Sun., Aug. 2nd is "The Willow Way" & "Comboville"

I have tickets for Cirque Du Soleil on Saturday, but I will definitely be there for the Sunday workshops.

Somebody please, please save me a piece of cake.

Also check out IAMED's buy "4 DVDs get the 5th one free" sale.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Looking To Improve This Blog

I'm looking to improve the look of this blog. Any suggestions? I'm so very tech-not savvy & I don't know what to do to make this look more like *me*.

Some of the things I would like to do is change the color, add a belly dancing avatar, add my own banner.

Of course all of this will have to wait because I'm off to see a new endocrinologist later today. I'll post about the Thyroid Saga some other time, when I start to feel better.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baby Toe Withdrawal

*sigh* That's what I've been dealing with for the past few weeks. Baby Toe Withdrawal. Indigo Lynne has been walking for quite some time and that has lead to fewer and fewer opportunities for baby toe noshing.

I can still get a really good nibble of those delectable little raspberry gum drop toes right after she's had her bath, but sadly, I think the baby toe nibbling days are coming to an end.

*sigh* I'm going to miss those adorable little sweet meat feet. A tasty little treat that just can't be beat.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Save The Barn!!!!

The Dairy Barn, that is. This came to my attention by way of Rebecca Starry.

For all my readers who are beaders I am sorry to say that the Dairy Barn will no longer be having it's bi-annual Bead International juried exhibit.

Here is a partial quote:

Attention Bead & Basket artists.
The Dairy Barn Arts Center will not be offering a juried exhibit for 2010. This decision was made due to lower artist entry in 2008, lack of attendance in 2008, lack of interest in the Bead International & Beyond Basketry '08 tour and catalog, and lack of sponsorships and/or funding.

I find this to be heartbreaking. There just aren't too many venues out there for contemporary bead artists to showcase their work and now we'll be losing one.

I'm blaming the economy. Damn you, stupid economy!!

But I also say let's do something about this. If 2010 is out, what about 2012? By contacting the Dairy Barn and letting them know that we still want this maybe we can convince them to reinstate the exhibit for

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sultry Sharqi-Belly Dance Monday

Tonight is another session of Sultry Sharqi with Ava. Yippee!!!!

I am just soooo loving this session. Sultry Sharqi is my kind of belly dancing. I also like Ava's new teaching format. Each month the focus is on a different technique. Obviously, this month the focus has been on slow, sultry, sensuous, snaky, sinuous movements.

You might think that practicing just 1 or 2 moves for an entire class would get boring, but it really doesn't. It allows you to see where your mistakes are. For me, when I'm doing Maya's & Serena's I have a tendency to twist my hips a bit. Working slowly has allowed me to correct that.

Last month the focus was on hip shimmies. And well, let's just say I'm still working on them. I know why I'm having trouble, but.... I'm still struggling. My problem is that I have natural "turn out" compounded by all those years of ballet which has further developed my hip & leg muscles to help maintain that turned out position that is so necessary for ballet. I have to work so hard at holding my legs parallel that it makes it difficult for me to keep my legs & hips relaxed enough to execute a good shimmy. If it let my leg turn out just a little bit then my shimmies improve dramatically, but I look sort of like a duck when I start to move across the floor. I am determined to master them with parallel legs. It just might take the rest of my life.

So Ava, if you're reading this I'm putting in my request to keep the monthly focus format with the possibility of revisiting hip shimmies.

But, enough about me.

For all you Phoenix & Tucson area belly dancers looking to escape the heat this weekend why not head up north to Sedona for these wonderful workshops sponsored by Levant Al Sonora.

Carrie Konyha: Graceful hands & arms
Terri Walden of Troupe Salamat: Tribal combos
Mahin: Zill techniques
Jazmine: Sword & props

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Name That Crystal

What started out as a search for 15'0 Charlottes (aka True Cuts) lead to Suzanne Cooper naming a Swarovski crystal after me:

SaraBeth Summer Super Sparkle Shine Shimmer Surprise

I see this as violet with Titan as the custom over coating.

BTW, Crystal Titan is my new favorite Swarovski crystal color. A few weeks ago I bought some from Fusion Beads and I love it, love it, love it! I also bought some Purple Haze bicones, but was a bit disappointed in the color.

But, I digress. Back to naming new crystal colors. My name for Suzanne's crystal is:

Suzanne's Sultry Succulent Seductive Shimmer Glimmer

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Decisions, decisions

Jeanette Cook is selling patterns! I did not know that until today. It's been a while since I've been to her site or had a newsletter from her so really, I had no idea

So first I have to decide....should or shouldn't I? I already have 2 large binders full of instructions and a box of approximately 30 kits (2 of which I just recently purchased from Marcia DeCoster) all waiting for that ubiquitous yet ever elusive "someday".

And then I have to decide which ones I would like to have? Crystal Pagoda? Jewels of the Empress? Should hold out for Geode Goddess?

I'll meditate over it as I'm working on my version of the Troy necklace from Margie's color palette book.

We have tickets for Cique du Soleil next month and I need something spectacular to wear.

Friday, July 17, 2009

IAMED's Belly Dance Essay Contest 2009

Dombek rolll please!!!!

The winners of the 2009 IAMED Belly Dance Essay Contest are:

Emily Andrews-1st Place
Robin "Shalimar" Kelsey-2nd Place
Adriane-3rd Place

With "Honorable Mention" going to:
Rachel Allen
Pam Emerson
Kristina Moseley
Mia Serra

To read these wonderful essay as well as the winners from 2008 click here.

I laughed, I cried, and in some cases I laughed & cried at the same time. A few of the essays are a bit rough, but they are all entertaining.

My personal favorite was written by Kristina Moseley. I can so totally relate to what she said about the brain understanding what the body does not. That sums of my relationship with hip shimmies.

Congratulations ladies! *zaghareet*

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shimmy: In The Spirit of Belly Dance....

...that's the name of a new belly dance magazine recently launched out of Sedona, Az by publisher and belly dancer Holly Luky. Sometimes premier issues can be a bit rough around the edges, but this particular magazine is delightfully well polished.

The first thing I read was an excerpt from The Belly Dancer, a new novel from writer DeAnna Cameron. A second excerpt will be in the next issue. To say "I can't wait!" wouldn't be true because I'm going to go out and buy the book for myself before then.

This first issue has 13 well written, witty, informative, and useful articles.

I put Tip #3 from "Top 10 Tips For Living The Good Life" to use right away. This particular tip has to do with a 10 minute fitness routine of your own making that can be especially refreshing after a long stint at a computer.

Just to tease you I'll give you the titles of 3 more articles.

"Cairo-Mother of the World" by Robert G. Bauval
"Belly Dancing For Pregnancy And Birth" by Carinne L. Casazza
"Tribal Style 101", by Hilary Gioval

Some of the regular features of the magazine are "Transformational Astrology" and "Wise Woman Corner."

I like playful, intimate, informal format of the "Question & Answer" interview with belly dancer extraordinaire and cover girl Ava Fleming. I'll leave with with another teaser in the form of two of her answers.

"Desert. (I'll take desert over dinner any day.)"
"Muuhahahahahaa! If I told you that I wouldn't be mysterious, now would I?"

Now, in the spirit of belly dance, shimmy on over to the magazine's website to learn more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Too Darn Funny For Words

Real honest-to-goodness consumer products with some unfortunate names. Just too darn funny! Click here to see for yourself!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Creative Jewelry Magazine-I'm In It!!!

The latest edition of Creative Jewelry magazine is on newsstands, in bookstores, and is available from Interweave Press and I'm in it! Well not *me*, but I do have three pieces of jewelry in there.

I do love seeing my bead work published.

In addition to all the fabulous jewelry, there is a 6 page article about Studios & Storage that I especially liked. If I ever have a room that I can devote to just being a beading studio and not just a belly dance-yoga-computer-bead room I would like it to look somewhat like Chrysti Hydeck's studio. It looks light, airy, & spacious. My dream studio would be painted pale violet, mint, & creamy yellow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Belly Dance Monday

It's belly dance Monday.

Tonight is Sultry Sharqi class with Ava. Last week the focus was on doing Figure 8's & Mayas very, very sloooooowly. And by that I mean taking as much as four full 8-counts to complete just one Figure 8 or Maya. Intense! A few days later the sides of my waist and glutes were soooo sore. But a good, "Damn, I worked hard!" kind of sore.

What will Drill Sargent Ava have in store for us tonight?

Local tribal belly dancer, Yasmina, has an amazing website chock full of all sorts of belly dance information; a dancer/troupe spotlight (Myryka of Phoenix is the featured dancer), an events schedule, and teacher directory, just to name a new.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Updated myself

I added a few updates to my profile. I admit I cheated by coping, pasting, & editing my profile from

But so far, no pictures. But, if you'd like to see some of my bead work click here to see my gallery over at bead-space.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spot Light On Color Article

Color guru and incredibly talented artist (including bead artist!) Margie Deeb has partnered with Soft Flex to write "Spotlight on Color" articles. If you have a few minutes check out the article I wrote about Margie for the July Designer spot light.

July '09 Designer Spotlight

Also drop by Margie's website and be inspired and delighted by "The Muse."

Hello & Welcome

Hello and Welcome to my Belly Dancing Bead Blog!

I'm new here so basically this is a test post.


I'm a belly dancer and bead artist living in the Phoenix area. For more about me view my profile. It needs a bit of work and as time goes on I'll be adding more tidbits to it. And photos! I'll be adding photos, too. Maybe even a picture of myself or some of my bead work as my avatar. For right now the pic of my cat, Tia Sushi will have to do.

As time goes on I'll be posting about belly dancing events around the Phoenix area as well as photos, etc. of my current bead projects, and any other miscellaneous dance and bead related musings I might have. I'll try to keep to the subjects at hand and not ramble or rant too much.

I promise I won't tell you all the little details of my life , such as "Today I went to the grocery store and bought some bananas, then came home and cleaned my toilet." Unless, of course, I cleaned my toilet with the bananas. That might be blog worthy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Namaste, Happy Beading, & Happy Dancing!