Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crystal AB Teaser

Here's a picture of one of the bracelets that I'll be wearing in Mujeres Tres, an annual belly dance/flamenco show, on Saturday, April 9th.

This bracelet was given to me by my 93 year old Grandma.  Her memory is a bit spotty, but she thinks she bought it somewhere back in the 1950's.  Unfortunately there are no hallmarks on the clasp so I have no idea of who made it, but the lack of a hallmark also makes me feel safe in restringing it.  It's lasted this long, but I'd really rather not take a chance on it suddenly breaking, especially on a dance stage.  

I originally wanted to make a 3-strand necklace to accompany this, but I just don't have enough of all of those yummy vintage Swarovski crystal AB beads.  So much for Plan A.  Plan B had me taking a shopping trip through my bead stash where I found this! 

It's actually a chandelier earring finding.  Yikes!!!  At roughly 1 1/4" long & wide, it's much too large for me to even want to wear it as an earring, but it does make a great pendant.  I do have some of the beads that are in the bracelet in my stash so I'll be able to whip up a little something in no time. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Just Don't Know What To Say

 Recently I came across a blog post about belly dancing with the title "Belly Dance Aficionados" and a secondary title of "The Underbelly of Belly Dance."  I've read this through three times now and I'm still dumbfounded.  This is probably the most vicious attack on Belly Dance that I've ever encountered.  

This isn't the usual "Belly Dance is stripping" tirade.  I'm actually used to that and for the most part I just calmly walk away from that sort of encounter.  No, this blog post written a few months ago by Kidist Paulos Asrat, considers belly dance a "limited art form" in which "The hype (sequins) is much bigger than the content."  

Miz Asrat studied belly dance for two years as first an exercise and then "as a way perfect a dance form" before quitting because she "realized the limited art in the field."

She refers to belly dancing movements as being overtly erotic, likening them to feats of contortionist, especially where the abdominal region is concernedThis leaves me thinking that she quit because she was frustrated by her own limits within the art form.  But that is just my opinion, you'll have to read her post for yourself and make your own decision.

Her final sentence is what confuses me the most.  I thought about quoting it here in it's entirety, but I don't want to spoil the surprise.

P.S.  I deliberately chose the picture for this post because I love the arrogant and slightly amused look on her face.  I like to think that she doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks.  Sort of like me.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Get While The Getting's Good

For a limited time, April 15th to be exact, Margie Deeb is giving away free instructions for my Dolphino Beaded Beads when you purchase a copy of the Spring/Summer 2011 color report.  Those are the little beauties you see in the picture above.

She's also continuing to give away her bead weaving patterns until their all free.  This month it's "Freida's Callas" in both loom and square stitch as well as brick or peyote stitch.

That's all the beady news for now! My package of crystals arrived today so I'll be working up something fabulous for myself to wear in Mujeres Tres, a belly dance/flamenco show I'll be performing in on April 9th at the Tempe Arts Center.

I'll post pictures sometime next week, but in the meantime I'll leave you with a hint.  Crystal AB, a little bit modern, a little bit vintage.
Also, keep a look out for 2 belly dance related posts that I have brewing in my head. Hopefully I'll be able to get to those next week as well.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's A Helluva Time To Have A Fever!

Spring fever, that is.  Flowers are blooming, roses are blooming, the air smells like orange blossoms, and the grass is turning green.  This is what I half-jokingly call "Hammock Weather."  And I love it. seems to be creating a bit of havoc with my practice.  Lately my shimmies have gone from leftrightleftrightleftrightleftright to leffffft.......riiiiiight.......leffffft......riiiiiight and my clean, sharp pops & locks have turned to mush. 

My brain says "Get busy, busy, busy!  Summer hibernation is just around the corner!" but my body just isn't responding.  I think I'm twitterpated.  But, sleepy spring laziness aside I have faithfully managed to keep up my belly dance practice every day since Dec. 14th for a total of 4,422 minutes or 73 hours and 42 minutes.

Is anybody else experiencing Spring Fever?  What are you doing about it?  Fighting it?  Going with the flow?

BTW, I forgot to mention in my post about color that my Grandma will be turning 93 in July. 93!!!! And she still lives in her own house and is mostly able to take care of herself. 93!!! She would scold me something fierce if she knew I was revealing her age, but I think it's something to be proud of.
*Purple Tulip image provided by Tom Curtis of FreeDigitalPhotos

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Color, Color, Color!!

 I've been writing so much about my belly dance practice lately that I'm feeling a bit guilty about neglecting the beady side of my blog.  So here it is, at long last, a bead related post about color. 

I love color!  Ever since I was a little girl I've been obsessed with color and the desire to "collect" it and I have my Grandmother to thank for my color fixation.  She used to crochet, embroider, tat, sew, and quilt so she always had bags of scrap fabrics, odd bits of yarn and embroidery threads, etc. for me to play with.

Her own love of color was reflected in the way she decorated her house.  After living with one particular color scheme for a few years she would redecorate every single room.  And I'm talking drastic changes!  She went from green, yellow, and tan to cream, peach, and turquoise; followed by a cream, gold, and pink phase that was patiently tolerated by my Grandfather; to somber and moody burgundy, navy, ivory, bronze, and dark brown after he died.  When her house burned down she rebuilt with a painted desert color scheme and recently she has moved on to red, black, gray, and white.  If people could be inanimate objects in another life I strongly suspect that she was a kaleidoscope.

I don't have my Grandmother's flair for interior design so I satisfy my color craving with beads, yarn, embroidery floss, nail polish, and my latest obsession......paper.  I  recently started an art journal and My!  Oh, my!  There's a whole new world of color available to me in the form on fancy journal papers, stickers, stamps, inks, markers, pencils, and about a bazillion other things I have yet to discover.

And what does this have to do with beads?  Art journaling with beads!!!  Just think of the possibilities!!!  

*watercolor image provided by FreeDigitalPhotos

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Enough Already!!!

For some people the hurdle in their 365 Days of Dance could be something like boredom or lack of time.  But for me, my personal hurdle seems to be injuries.

At the beginning of February I pulled some muscles in my back and before the month was through I had done some funky, weird, painful thing to my left foot when I tripped while cleaning the house.  February is the shortest month of the year.  Just think of the damage I can do to myself in a longer month!  And if I am going to hurt myself it could at least be some sort of dance related injury instead of silly, little everyday mishaps.  That way I can feel satisfied in knowing that I am suffering for my art.

On Monday my belly dance troupe filmed some audition DVDs and I made it through that okay.  But now I plan on trying to stay off my feet as much as possible for the rest of this week and possibly the next. 

That means I'm going to have to modify my practice again. While I'm letting my foot heel I'll be adding some seated yoga postures and some floor-barre to upper body isolations and arm work.

I'm also seriously thinking about getting a few Zena Rommett DVD's, and maybe her book, so I have so a few more injury recuperation options.  Zena created a unique program of ballet exercises that allows dancers with injuries to safely and effectively work their technique while lying on the floor.  I still have a copy of the first VHS she ever released of her method.  I'm hanging onto it thinking that it maybe a collectors item, but it's sort of useless since I don't have a tape player. 

Lucky for me this is National Crochet Month so this will give me plenty of time to finish up some WIP's (works-in-progress.) 

Injuries aside I've been dancing now for 78 days and 3,790 minutes.