Friday, December 31, 2010

It"s Shimmy Time!!

Yes, folks!  Tomorrow is the first day of the 365 Days of Belly Dance commitment started by Lisa Zahiya

In case you're wondering what this is all about, well, I'll tell you.  It's a commitment to practice belly dance for a minimum of 30 minutes every day in 2011.  

I decided to give my 365 days a trial run by starting on December 14th.  In the past 18 days I have experienced a cold, a few migraines, holiday craziness, a funeral, publishing deadlines, assorted Mommihood duties, and I still managed to squeeze in 30 minutes of belly dance, as well as a home yoga practice every single day.  I'm so proud of me!!!  

And if I can keep it up for 18 days solid, I can do it for 365.

This trial run also gave me a chance to fine tune my practice.  For the most part it is going to center around classes and performance schedules.  And because I'm passionate about all forms of dance, and believe that one type of dance benefits another, I've decided to include any dance class I take in the coming year as part of my commitment.  Princess Farhana wrote a wonderful article about the value of cross training for all dancers which you can read about by clicking here

A few belly dance instructors like Ansuya and Suhalia Salimpour offer on-line classes, and may give those a try this summer when there aren't too many belly dance happenings going on here in sunny Arizona.

Of course dancing for the sake of dancing and letting it be it's own reward did cross my mind.  Manicures?  Pedicures?  Chocolate?  New practice clothes?  Those are all so tempting, but decided to take a page from AJ Reardon's book and reward myself monetarily.  I'm going to put $2 a day aside for every day that I practice and put it towards an extra special costume.  I already have a general idea for it in mind, but I'll tell you more about that later. 

So, are you ready to join me and shimmy on into 2011 and beyond?  It's going to be a fabulous journey!  

Monday, December 27, 2010

Birthday Bead Booty

A few posts ago I promised I would show you a picture of my birthday bead booty.  With the exception of the Linda Roberts dichroic cabochon everything here was bought from local bead shops like D&I Beads and Beads Galore.  I decided to keep my shopping local this year to do what I can to help my local bead economy.

The faceted free form rhyolite slabs are more beautiful in person than what you see in the picture.  So at this point I have to apologize for my lousy photography skills and promise that I will be improving them in the new year.  To start with I'm going to either invest in or learn to make a light box.   

I'm thinking of using some of these curved glass tube beads with the Linda's cabochon, but with me you just never know!

Something Margie Deeb said in an interview had me rethinking some of my color report projects so it looks as if I'll be pulling a few all nighters in order to make her deadline.  In the meantime you can read the interview for yourself here.   

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

                       HAPPY HOLIDAY HUGS TO ALL
                         AND TO ALL A GOOD LIFE!!!

P.S.  Blogging will resume in a few days when I've recovered from excessive consumption of eggnog and chocolate chip cookies.  Maybe I'll experiment and make chocolate chip cookie eggnog.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Links to Enjoy and Share

I'm absolutely loving all this lovely, gray, chilly weather we've been having, but it does make it hard to photograph anything since I rely on the sun coming through the big bay window in my kitchen.  I'm thinking I need to invest in a light box, either homemade or store bought, in the near future.  I bought some fabulous goodies for my birthday and I want to share them with you.

So, instead of sharing bead purchases with you today I thought I would share some of my favorite websites and blogs:

That Is Priceless:  Art's greatest masterpieces, made slightly funnier.
The Straight Dope: If you want to know why we drive on a parkway and park on a drive way, this website can answer that, and whole lot more, for you.
Mildly Creative:  Meet Ken, a mildly creative guy, a humble guy, with a fantastic sense of humor, and more creative ability than he gives himself credit for.
Kristina Nelson-Crayon Artist:  Ever wondered whether or not fine art could be created with good ol' Crayola Crayons?  Guess what?  It can!
Prophecy of the Flame:  "Every good book should take you to a brand new world....Enjoy the journey."  My cousin, Lynn Hardy, and the first two books in her own amazing journey. 

Happy Holidays hugs to all and to all a good life!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Just Like I Promised

Last week, when I told you about Pantone's Color of the Year "Honeysuckle," I promised I would post progress pictures of my final project for Spring 2011.

To start, I thought I would spark your interest by showing the colors I'm working with.
In the photo above you see Silver Cloud, Blue Curacao, Regatta, Peapod, and Lavender.  Nice, cool, refreshing, tropical, but a bit sleepy, in my opinion. 

So I decided to liven it up with Honeysuckle!  A little bit here and a little bit there has had a big impact on the bead embroidered pendant I'm making. 

I've got a super busy weekend ahead that includes brunch with my 92 year old Grandma and a trip to a few bead stores in the way of a belated birthday celebration for myself so I'll post progress pictures next week.

Until then, happy beading, and happy dancing.

P.S.  I'll also try to find some time to photograph and post my pending bead haul.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

365 Days of Dance-Part Deux

The 365 days of dance started by Lisa Zahiya is picking up steam.  Some of my belly dance buddies and a few more of my troupe mates have signed on.  Lisa has also started a new blog devoted to her commitment.  Reading the comments has been fun.  It's interesting to see how people are taking this commitment and making it their own. 

There are so many different ways to create your own commitment program:  Studio classes, DVD's, on-line classes, video drills, troupe rehearsal, improv dancing, combinations, a whole choreography, technique and drilling, ballet, modern, flamenco.  The list just goes on and on!

I've you're looking for some fun video drills, then shimmy on over to Samantha Bordelon-Karim's Inner Dancer website.  Or click here to go directly to her video drills.  You can also search for her on Youtube under "samanthabordelon."

P.S.  That's not me, that's Samantha smiling at you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

365 Days of Dance

Devoting a little bit of time each day next year to dancing...Are you ready for it?  Do you think you can do it?  I'm doing it!  

After reading Lisa Zahiya's newsletter article and blog post about her commitment to practice belly dance for at least 30 minutes a day, every day, for the next year, I decided to do the same.  I've even convinced a few of my troupe mates to join along with me.

Like Lisa, I'll be breaking my practice down into three 10 minute segments throughout the day.  I'm a work at home Mom, so finding 10 minutes here, or 10 minutes there, is a helluva lot easier than being able to consistently find 30 minutes.  I'm also planning on some sort of reward system for every 45, or maybe 30, days of dance;  I'm thinking a manicure, a pedicure, new practice clothes..... 

I'm also thinking of starting early.  

So whose with me?  

P.S.  The free clip art belly dancers was provided by Me'ira.    

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pantone's Color of the Year for 2011 is.....

....."Honeysuckle!"  It's a fabulous reddish-pink, a geranium pink, and unlike the Color of The Year for 2010, "Turquoise", which was hugely popular, people either really, really like, or really, really don't like this color.  

I'm in the really, really like category as long as it's in small doses.  Paired with chocolate brown, or honey yellow, or as an accent to champagne peach this would be lovely.  It would also be stunning with olive, black, and hints of gold.  

So far, I've used this color as an accent with two of my color report projects.  First in a rivoli necklace of "Beeswax,"  a honey yellow, "Blue Curacao", a green tinged turquoise, and "Coral Rose", rich orange.  

Another project is a retro beaded amulet bag in "Silver Peony", a lovely champagne peach, "Silver Cloud", a glowing gray, "Russet", orange based brown, "Coral Rose", and good ol' "Honeysuckle."

Sorry, no pics available, but I'll be starting my final Color Report project soon so I'll take pictures of that as it progresses.  

In the meantime, click here to see "Honeysuckle" at work in the fashion world, read more about the Color of the Year on the Pantone web site, or click here to see how to not wear "Honeysuckle."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where I've Been & What I've Been Doing

I'm not really going to be giving you a run down on what I've been doing for the past 6 months since my last post, but I will tell you why it's been such a long time.

I hadn't been feeling good for a long, long time and was finally diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue in early July. If you're curious about what that is click here to find out more. In a nutshell, I've been a walking zombie, but now, over the past few month, I've been starting to feel more like my usual self again.

I've been beading, dancing, crocheting, doing all the things that Mommyhood entails, and learning all about the newest addition to our household, Jenny Cat.

About the time I started feeling like I wanted a new kitten in my life I stopped by the pet food store for dog food on a Saturday when the Az. Humane Society was there. What a coincidence! I read the bios of all the cats and kittens, picked up some food and treats for the dogs, and ran a few more errands. But I couldn't stop thinking about this one cat.

Her shelter name was "Gemini" and she's the same age as my almost 3 year old daughter. Her owners were forced to give her up when they lost their house because of the lousy economy and had to move into an apartment that didn't allow pets. Her bio also said that while she was good with children her previous owners had no idea of her personality or even what sort of toys she liked because she spent most of her time hiding from their other cats and dogs. The shelter recommendation was that she be adopted by someone with a quiet house without any other pets.

There was just something about her. So I said to myself that I would go back on Sunday and if she was still there I would adopt her. And well, of course you know she was. My daughter didn't like the name "Gemini" and immediately renamed her Jenny.

She spent a few hours hiding behind the couch or behind the toilet, and I briefly had some second thoughts about my decision. But, when I was reading a bed time story to Indigo Lynne, Jenny came out from behind the couch and stretched herself across the back of it, which is now one of her favorite sleeping spots.

Jenny is sweet, loving, cuddly, and mischievous. She likes to bite my toes when I'm doing yoga, snuggle next to me when I'm beading or crocheting, and chew on my hair when I'm reading in bed at night; small, fluffy stuffed animals are her toy of choice; and she loves hanging out on the couch with my daughter.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pink Punk

At least that's what I'm calling this necklace until I can come up with a different and better name. I'm also open for suggestions.

I actually have an idea for a pink punk necklace. I came across some enameled steam punk style charms, beads, and findings in all sorts of candy bright colors, and that got me to thinking......

But, I digress.

This is an unfinished project that I came across while looking for something else in my bead closet. As to what my original idea was I am completely clueless. And I also have no idea as to what the finished necklace is going to look like. It's so rare that I ever plan a project out from beginning to end. I start with beads, needles, and a vague idea of what I will make and let the project evolve from there. I love improv beading!

The part that may not be so improvisational is the neck strap. I've been toying with the idea of either a tubular herringbone strap or a silk cord that I can carry some sort of embellishing up onto. Then again, I could always do the embellishing idea on the herringbone strap with some beaded bead end caps and a button toggle.

Then again....I could do a multiple strand of seed beads; or a single strand of glass & crystal; or this could be the focal piece of a multi-strand necklace.

See what I mean? This is why my work is rarely ever planned out. There are just so many wonderful options available.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Moving On

Here's an almost, but not quite finished, photo of one of my color report projects. I debated back and forth as to whether this should be a pendant or a brooch until a FB friend mentioned wearing brooches with scarves and sweaters. Now that got me to thinking! If I make this into a brooch then I can crochet a scarf or shawl to go with it. It's the same as making a necklace then buying an outfit to go with it, or vice versa.

The brooch is finished, the shawl pattern has been found, now I just need to hunt up the yarn.....

My color report projects are at Margie's house waiting to be photographed and I'm moving on to my next beading project. Think fuchsia, chartreuse, gold, and black. Think Swarovski!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Project Progression

The Oyster Gray project is moving slowly along. At this point I can't decide if this is going to be a pendant, a brooch, or as a FaceBook friend suggested, a bracelet.

I definitely wear more pendants, but at this point I have about a bazillion necklaces. A brooch would be fun, interesting, and a bit different for me. Jan, another FB friend, mentioned that she wears brooches with shawls & sweaters in the winter. Now, that has me thinking! I started teaching myself to crochet back in October so maybe it's time I crochet a scarf or shawl for myself in teal, reddish purple brown, or maybe lipstick red!

Friday, June 4, 2010

No Stone Unturned

I'm not actually turning stones over, but I could use some help in possibly identifying the stone doughnut that I'm using in my current color report project. It's a warm putty gray with a slate gray matrix.

Could it be an agate or some sort of jasper?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm Ba-aaack!!

It's been a while. It's been a long, long, while. It's not that my life hasn't been busy or exciting, but quite the opposite, just about every second of every minute of every day is jammed packed. But, I've decided to take some time to revive this blog and tease you about my color report projects.

The picture above shows my 3 choices for the Fall/Winter 201o Pantone Color Report. When I'm making my choices for the report I like to pick 3 colors; one for fun, one because I know it will be an easy color for me to work with, and one for the challenge.

Lipstick Red: I love the color red, but rarely ever use it as the main color in my bead work, so I thought this would be a fun and sexy color to work with.

Oyster Gray: I'm not sure how this color is going to like on your monitors so I'll describe it as a warm putty gray with greenish-yellow undertones. I like cool grays with blue or green undertones so this has been the challenging color for me to work with. After 3 false starts I think I'm finally on track with a "sand & sea" theme, but we'll see......

Woodbine: Second to purple, I find greens to be the easiest colors to work with. To give it a bit of interest, I paired it with Endive: a very yellow green; Living Coral: bright, happy orange; Lagoon: a slightly dull teal; and Burnt Sienna: a deep earthy orange from the Fall/Winter 2009 report.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spring/Summer 2010 Color Report

Everyone in my house has a cold and I'm completely exhausted. "What has that got to do with the Color Report?" Well, being too tired and brain foggy to write about it myself, Margie has generously provided me with the following in order to tell you just how wonderful this color report is.

Being on top of today's color trends keeps your jewelry stylish and fresh. And there's no substitute for great color. You can be a brilliant designer, but if your color is weak, so is your jewelry. Because it's based on Pantone's fashion color report of the season, the Spring 2010 Color Report for Bead & Jewelry Designers connects beading to contemporary fashion forecasts and trends.

No one knows and explains color like Margie Deeb, author of The Beader's Guide to Color. Her latest book, The Beader's Color Palette, was named the Best Craft How-To Book of 2009 by the prestigious Library Journal.

If developing your color artistry is more your goal than fashion-forward thinking, download the Spring 2010 Color Report for Bead & Jewelry Designers and get inspired by color harmonies you've never seen. You'll have 10 new ideas by page 5! And you're work will take an exponential leap in creativity and originality.

23-page PDF pages of palettes, descriptions, photos, and color suggestions based on Pantone's fashion color report of the season. And revel in a gallery of jewelry inspired by the colors themselves.

Margie will guide you through this season's colors and show you how to use them. Color schemes that are daring, snappy, elegant, subtle, glamorous, and flamboyant... they're all in the Spring 2010 Color Report for Bead & Jewelry Designers.


  • Seasonal inspiration for your contemporary designs

  • Forecast information designated by the individual PANTONE® Color #

  • Suggested gemstones, Delica® and Swarovski Component colors

  • Color swatches are referenced to the PANTONE for fashion and home color palette

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Belly Dance Busy

I've been too busy to post lately so I thought I would take a few minutes to get the world out there up to speed with what I'm doing.

The troupe is getting ready for some really big shows in the next few months. First there is Rakkasah, which I won't be going to, followed by the "WEI Dance For Change" show on March 6th, (for more info click here), and after that is "Mujeres" in mid-April.

So far we are working on a classical piece, a finger veil routine with lots of crazy spins, a Saidi, a debke, one super fun Bollywood choreo, and today we'll be learning a drum solo. That means we'll be rehearsing 2-3 times a week for the next few months. Whew!!

Somewhere in all of this I need to find the time to make some jewelry for myself and some Valentine's jewelry for my daughter. Housework and laundry be damned! I'll be a dancing and a beading!

*As busy as I am, I do feel a little sad that I'll be missing Tucson this year. Oh well, there's always next year.*

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hello 2010-Belly Dance Goals

This post has been sitting in the "drafts" folder for 3 days now so I'm taking a quick break from house work to throw this out into the universe.

Now that my color report projects are finished and in the mail, it's time for me to concentrate on my belly dance goal for this year. It's short, sweet, and to the point.

Intensive study of belly dance technique.

Steps and combinations are easy and just about anyone can do them. I'd like to spend the year studying the technical aspects of belly dance and elevate my dancing from good to spectacular.

Private lessons and regular classes with Ava, troupe rehearsals, a fairly decent collection of DVD's, and on-line classes with Suhalia will get me started.

Yup, short, sweet, to the point, and unedited for content. Back to cleaning! :-)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hello 2010-Beading Goals

Happy New Year everyone!!! Did you make any New Year's resolutions? If you didn't, you're not alone because I didn't either. Resolutions seem too stern and inflexible to me. I prefer the forward momentum and flexibility of goals.

My main beading goal for this year are is to continue reducing the mountain of PIPs (projects-in-progress) to a small hill.

Two beading contests that have piqued my interest are "Haute Couture" and "Use the Muse." I'd like to unofficially participate in at least one of these before this year is over. I say "unofficially" because both of these are jewelry related contests. I've been making beaded jewelry for about 20 years and it's time for a change. And as an unofficial enterant I don't have to worry about a deadline.

A few years ago, when Margie Deeb held a violet and yellow color challenge, my entry was a liquid dish soap bottle that I covered entirely in beads. "Mannequin" took 1st runner-up. I had one helluva good time making it and it is one of my favorite pieces of beaded art.

More! I want to do more!

Even though this isn't a goal, and as much as I enjoy doing bead work for publication in books and magazines, I've decided to postpone that until the Toddler Tornado is in pre-school. Assuming I send her to pre-school. Educating my l'il darling is a whole 'nother issue. To home school or not to home school, that is the question. Oh! But I will continue to participate in Margie's color reports. I can't give up my color challenges!

But, I digress.....So, what am I doing this year? Making beady mountains into beady mole hill and recycling interestingly shaped plastic and glass bottles into beaded art work!