Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Performing Sunday in Shimmy 4!

Shimmy 4 - Pittsburgh's annual student & teacher Belly Dance Event!!
Hosted by Sadiqa

Sunday, October 4, 2009 ~ 6 to 8:00pm (doors open at 5:30)
Father Ryan Arts Center

$10 entrance fee
$5 for children 12 and under (ticket must be purchased directly from Sadiqa)
and for cash or check purchases, please contact Joanna or Kari at

Hope to see you there!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Upcoming Super casual Haflas (Belly Dance Parties)

tonight at the wvu belly dance club meeting, we talked about a possible super low key Halloween hafla (party). Maybe some performances, definitely some party dancing, come in costume (Halloween, belly dance, or the super best- combination of the two) if you like. we'd reserve a university room so it would be free. October 23rd through October 25th are good possibilities. I suggest picking either the 23rd, a friday or the 25th, a sunday so it doesn't interfere with any other plans you may have leading up to the best holiday ever. (IMHO, of course ;-) )

Also, we need to know know what Sunday afternoon is good for people to get together for a super casual belly dance picnic at Chestnut Ridge Park (off the Cooper's Rock exit). We're hoping this will be free, and to just show up at the park with blankets, a dish to share, music (hopefully by drummer, but if not, by boom box), and ourselves in costume or pieces of costume and casual clothes, or pajamas, or any combination of these. We're thinking we'd show up around 3:30 and stay until 7 at the latest (that's when the park's day facilities are available until). It's going to be really low key; just hanging out and belly dancing as we feel like it. I have to check out more details with the park, but we can probably just plop down our blankets and do our thing. There are playgrounds throughout the park and this is intended to be family friendly. Don't worry about a baby sitter. Bring the family and have fun! It's not too many hours in the day, so if you have laundry or studying to do, there are plenty more hours to get that taken care of. Obviously, we want it to be fairly soon so we aren't cold out there. :)

post your thoughts here or at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=48497370029&ref=ss!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Next WVU Belly DAnce club meeting

Just got this message from Genevieve and thought I'd pass it along:
Next meeting is Monday 9/21 at 6:30pm in room 3306 of the Life Sciences Building. Sorry for the short notice! Any requests for a topic? We will also be doing some planning and discussing Halloween stuff.

Join the WVU BElly Dance club Facebook group and get these messages as soon as they're sent out: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=48497370029&ref=ss

This group was formed to help build the belly dance community in Morgantown.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Train Bag

It became clear that the train bag for Angelo had to take top priority. So, I made it! It was really fun and I think it turned out pretty cute. The pictures pretty much explain it, but I'll add some details.

I haven't measured the pieces, but I used a paper bag/lunch sack as the inspiration for the shape and size. I cut off a bit of the length and used half of the side for the width of the sides and bottom of the bag. Using the other side of the lunch bag, I free handed the geometric shapes for the train and used those pieces as the pattern for the engine and cars. The wheel I traced is from one of the many wheels Angelo's taken off of his wooden name train. I took a measuring tape across Angelo's shoulder to his hip to get an estimate for the strap length. It is made from wool felt I got from A Child's Dream Come True. I got the wool felt quite a bit ago and am so happy to be making use of it. And I'm really glad that Angelo is enjoying the bag so much. I had plans of doing a decorative whip stitch around the edges, but he grabbed it as soon as I brought it back from the sewing room and put his trains in right away. :)

Speaking of stitches, I appliqued the train on first (tacked the pieces on with non-toxic tacky glue). The stitches around the train on the front are whip stitches around the window and wheels and a fake blanket stitch around the rest. (I did a whip stitch one direction and a running stitch the other direction. If you want to learn how to do a real one, here are directions. I've never done a blanket stitch and thought this might be quicker than learning a new stitch and getting enough practice in for it to look nice. I was right. I tried the blanket stitch a few times, and it wasn't looking so great, so I went with plan A. I'll practice the blanket stitch for later... :) )A chain stitch makes the connections between the engine and cars and the smoke.

I'm sure there are other ways to go about this, but I machine sewed the sides to the front, then the bottom. Then I sewed the back to the other three pieces. I overlapped the two pieces for the strap and zig zagged around in a square for strength. I did the same zig zagging in a square to attach the strap to the sides.

Need to get going...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Inspired and Encouraged

My toenails are painted orange to celebrate the Halloween season! I included the picture with Angelo's toes because they're just too adorable not to share. :)

I always love this season- Falloween as the newspaper called it last year. Every year after Pennsic, I get so excited about Halloween preparations. I used to restrain myself and wait to decorate or make things, but the last couple of years I've given in. Why put off Joy? Besides, with all the creative energy I have around this time, I think it's actually bad for my health to resist the urge to make things involving witches and bats.

This has been a life-long love for me. Besides loving to dress up (apparently it was my first game; gee, who'd have thought I'd become a professional belly dancer? ;-), I've always loved things that were kind of creepy. Not necessarily gory or bloody (though I did have a few years of bloody costumes ... ), but dark and mysterious. I like ghost stories and my favorite part of the sunrise Children's museum was the upstairs section with all the antique toys, which would give everyone else the creeps.

For Angelo's first Halloween, I was so excited to have a baby to dress up that he had about 5 costumes. We sought out all the kid friendly Halloween parties we could to take advantage of it. But, I definitely bit off more than I could chew. I was still trying to sew my matching Kanga costume to his Roo costume about 10 minutes before we left for Trick-or-Treat in our friend's neighborhood. So, the next year I started finishing that costume with what I thought was plenty of time. I even vowed to take any and all shortcuts, fighting my nemesis, Perfectionism. Well, I finished mine early and figured that since I now knew what I was doing with this sort of thing, it would be easier if I finished my husband's Tigger costume. Of course, that put me hot gluing stripes right until we frantically left for Trick-or-Treat in the DeHaan's neighborhood. I'm pretty sure I dressed in the car on the way over. So, I promised Angelo and Eric both that I would not do that again. I will start on the Halloween costumes right after Pennsic so we can enjoy and celebrate my favorite day of the year instead of running around like mad people. I have my costume ready to go and have all the materials for Angelo's. I've even drawn out a plan for his costume pattern and done a body tracing (it's so hard to believe he's that tall!) Last night I took some more baby steps toward getting his costume made. I'm relieved to know that I have enough material and won't have to order more. Things are laying in the right direction, waiting for that first oh-so-scary cut. I trimmed up the body tracing to help make the pattern. When I got too scared, I started working on more Halloween cards.

Speaking of Halloween cards, I'm considering selling some. I think I mentioned that... Well, I'm still considering it. It has been fun, so I will keep you posted. I'll start by posting here and link to FaceBook, I'm sure.

As if I weren't doing enough already, I have been reading Amanda Blake Soule's "Creative Family". Reading about her and the other creative Mamas in Mothering magazine was what gave me the final inspirational push to start a blog of my own. I love the book! I have already been doing some of the things in the book, and that's what I connected with when I read the Mothering article. It was exciting and encouraging to read about someone else doing them. I had plans to do some of the other things (like make cloth blocks) and found simple, easy to follow directions for those ideas. Since my husband is busy building a pirate ship (see pictures above) to play on in the yard, I decided that it was absolutely necessary for me to make Angelo pirate dress up clothes. When I read Amanda's section on dress up, I was excited about my original idea and encouraged to make even more costumes; especially since I loved dress up so much as a kid ... and still do. I also really loved the section talking about making as many gifts for the holidays (and other occasions) as you can and buying handmade when you can't make them all. I've made handmade gifts over the years, but could only do so much. Committing to buy handmade will not only be fun, but more love and artistry goes into each gift, less commercialism, less materialism. I'm glad I've been buying natural toys for Angelo for this reason too. I also love her projects for making reusable cloth banners and party crowns for birthdays. How cool is that! And the ones she made are so cute! How great to put love into something that celebrates your child and also protects the Earth they'll be living on long after we are. And the "bed time bags" that hold pj's and bedtime stories? Adorable and ingenious! I'll be making one for Angelo in the future, I'm sure. Can't wait to see what else is in the book!

Also on the "make things" docket- a bag for Angelo to carry his trains in (he's in that stage where he has to have certain things, usually trains, in his hands most of the time and not being able to hold them all can be frustrating for him), business cards and a new halter, maybe a silk gauze blouse for Shimmy, New dance bra for the performance at Patty's, more Halloween decorations and costume accessories (I've done some fun stuff with antique photos lately), perhaps to sell, a tiara because I think the fairies who put the fairy ring at the entrance of our door may have run off with mine, costumes for FaerieCon ... I guess I start on those holiday gifts mid November. :-) I'll probably be setting up auxiliary work stations around the house so Angelo can be set up with crayons, pencils and paper while I create too. He's liked that a bit more lately. Or Daddy can play pirate with him while I sew, glue, paint, etc.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Beginner Bely Dance Session starting Sept. 8th is full, but sign up for the next one starting immediately after.

the upcoming Beginner Belly Dance session is full, but we've added another session that starts October 20th and runs to November 17th. So sorry if you tried signing up and couldn't get in. There are 22 people in the class right now and that's the max we can fit in that room. Be sure to sign up for the next session soon so you don't miss out.

Upcoming performances and events I'll be at:

Oct. 2nd Arts Walk, Morgantown, WV (performance)
Oct. 3rd Sadiqa hosts student and teacher Belly Dance show at the Union Project, Shimmy 4, Pittsburgh, PA (performance)
Oct. 8-11th TribOriginal Asheville, NC www.Triboriginal.org
Nov. 8th Patty's Art Spot's One Year Anniversary party (performance)
Nov. 14th WVU Belly Dance club hosts workshop with me (probably layers) and hafla with performances that evening