Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Recent additions... Yeah, another dance-related post

A month or two ago, I bought these, unfortunately for me, even with my narrow shoulders, they're too tight across the front to use in dance... unless I want to slice through a lot of embroidery and lose several tiny mirrors. These are all loaded with glass mirrors. The embroidery is beautiful. It's a tragedy that none of the choli fit me.

Black Banjara choli

Close up of part of the black choli

The red-yellow-'P' choli

Close up of the 'P' choli

The yellow 'triangles' choli

Close up of part of the yellow 'triangles' choli

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A headband idea

I've been thinking about a new dance headband for a while. The trim arrived and then more of the metal pieces arrived. Today was the day to stop thinking and actually get the pieces and lay them out and see what it looked like instead of trying to imagine it.

Here's my result. Nothing is sewn in place, it's just laid out and I go look at it, go away, come back. I want to be certain I like this before I commit myself to the sewing.

The trim I'm using is a woven band stitched to a black satin strip and white rick-rack sewn to it. That's how it comes, I didn't have to do that part. Once the metal is sewn in place, I'll be mounting it to another piece of black fabric which will have the tie straps.
I have no idea WHY Blogger and FB insist on putting this vertically when I processed it to be HORIZONTAL.

Closer image of the left side.

Closer image of the right side.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

A productive Solstice

Today, I was going to do so many things, I did none of them. Instead, I ended up working on the 'mark 2' dance bra that's been sitting with the straps cut off for months. I've had the metal rings to make the alterations, but I've let whatever silly thoughts distract me from getting on with it... until today.

Bra front - in progress

Bra side - in progress

It's not how I originally envisaged it, but it works for what I need and want. I wanted something on the sides, since we spend so much time with our arms and elbows up at shoulder height or higher.

I'm waiting on some extra DIY bits to arrive, so I've stopped where I am with this until those bits arrive and I can play with more ideas. As it is, I can wear this for a performance, it's 'done enough' to do that. However, I want more bling... even if this bra already weighs a kilo.

Most of the hardware came from The Red Camel or Tribal Souk; but the brass chrysanthemums on the sides are from TribalMart.net

Where the rings are at the top, I intend to cover the exposed stitching with some metal bits, that's part of the DIY bits that are in transit.


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

New necklace

I recently acquired an Asyk pendant from Red Camel and after consideration of what to do with it, I've come up with this:

Sterling Silver and Red Coral necklace

Closer view of the Sterling Silver and Red Coral necklace
Other than the Asyk pendant and the red coral beads, I've had the other sterling silver beads and plaques for close to ten years (if not longer). Everything's been sitting and sitting in my jars, boxes, and containers, travelling from the US to the UK. The large sterling silver bead near the clasp is the longest-in-my-possession bead of probably twenty or more years. The real vintage piece is the Asyk pendant.

I'm pleased with the design and I of course, had to do my prime numbers play with the red coral beads. 5, 7, 11, and 1.

Not for sale.

I made this for me to wear for tonight's dance. I'm quite pleased with my results.

I think the two spiral plaques, the two fish plaques, the small nobbly beads are from Fire Mountain Gems. The two spiral cylinders might also be from Fire Mountain Gems. The large nobbly flat spiral bead near the clasp is from Friends, in Louisville, KY. The red coral beads could be from any number of bead and craft stores I've visited in the UK and the US.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Cosmetics experience...

I had a dance performance yesterday; I made a few serious mistakes in the second set, I was better in the first set. Anyway, this post is not for castigating myself, but is about some new cosmetics I tried out and what I learned from them.

New products: Urban Decay's "All Nighter" makeup setting spray, 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil ("Perversion"), and Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner ("Distortion"). Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer. Sleek Makeup i-Divine "Original" (#594) Palette eyeshadow and True Colour Lipstick - matte ("Russian Roulette" #795). Barry M's glitter lip gloss (#3 "Strawberries & Cream"). TRESemmé Salon Finish Extra Hold ("4") hairspray.

One: Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencils are insanely expensive for 3mm of eyeliner... you can't sharpen the pencil, all you get is the tiny tip, that's it. It's beautiful stuff, but not at £20 for 3mm of material.

Two: the Urban Decay's makeup setting spray worked well, except for my chin, where yes, it did smudge. Guh. I'll still use the fix to help keep things from sliding off.

Three: Urban Decay's Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner? Works very well, pleased with it.

Four: the Too Faced eye primer will destroy any brushes you use to apply the eye primer; I use hand soap to clean my brushes and that usually works... or did; it doesn't budge the eye primer and make up remover pads/cleaners never worked well for cleaning my brushes, so I didn't bother trying. I might try them to see what happens. However, it will also make your eyeshadow stick in place, and make it pop/sparkle. Note to self: use a disposable swab or fingers to apply the eye primer.

Five: Sleek Makeup's eyeshadow colours that I used was the purple with some of the pale golden wheat and a tiny bit of the black. The colours weren't named, but it was the first two on the top left, and the first one on the bottom left. I used mostly the purple with a little of the wheat up above and toward the inside of my eyes, and a tiny bit of black on the outside of my eyes. Then I lightly blended, while keeping them distinct.

Six: Sleek Makeup's lipstick, deep and rich, wow! I still use a lipstick brush to make sure it goes in the right places, but wow, the colour! Don't forget to blot so it doesn't coat your teeth or get everywhere else.

Seven: Barry M's glitter lip gloss has a very faint pink tinge to the gel, but the glitter itself is silvery/iridescent and it seems to have stayed on... at least until I drank from my water bottle. Carry with me so I can reapply as necessary. Yesterday was hooooot, humid, but sunny.

Eight: hairspray. I cannot recall when I last used hairspray, maybe thirty years ago when I was mucking around my mother or sister's stuff as a child/teen. Last month, when someone did my hair for me for a performance, they used hairspray on me; but that was someone else. I digress, I used the hairspray *cough-gag-eye-watering* and it held what I wanted it to hold. My hair is just barely long enough for a 'duck-tail'. It's not yet pig-tail or ponytail length, so I couldn't use the smallest hair doughnut I have (maybe my hair will be long enough at the end of summer, we'll see).

End result? This:

Post Dance at Rhiannon's Mystic & Holistic Fair

Blue cotton printed yukata (it's a kimono, but less formal) around my forearms; black cotton choli by Flying Skirts, and M&S altered bra with kuchi dangles. Choli chain (that I've tweaked up since my last post about it); my Blackpowder/Fur Trade re-enactor crescent moon necklace; gilet metal large loop earrings; sterling silver faux septum ring from Tribe Zuza. Sequined black headband and purple, pink, etc hair flowers all by Claire's. Bindi is from IndiaBazaar.net

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Busy year.

Jewellery work

I've been learning to dance ATS® belly dance. As a queer-gender person, I'm not overly fond of the coin bras, so I'd been thinking about another way to 'bling up' the choli. My mind had been mulling over it for probably a year or so; before I saw Kae's choli decos. I have done jewellery work off-and-on since I was a child. I come back to it at various intervals as another of my creative expressions. So when I saw one of Kae's choli decos worn by Jesse, at a dance residential, I thought 'I could do something like that'. When I saw Jesse's choli deco, I had no idea about Kae's choli decos.

Anyway, fast forward a few months. I had a Hafla we were performing at; I created this 24hrs or so before the performance. I wanted to come up with my own idea and my own method of execution, so while Kae's choli deco is an inspiration, I tried to go my own way, so I wouldn't be plagiarising her work.

I had all these chains, bits and bobs and decided, it's time to start using them. I did the performance without the two coins on the front. The back is a little too heavy for the front, even with the big circle piece, so I added the two coins to add a little more weight to the front. I've danced in classes whilst wearing it, it's still too heavy in the back, so I may end up removing the long kuchi piece and replacing it with something else. Overall, I'm very pleased with my creation.

Oh, and people are telling me I should create more of these, I might, if I can get more chain... that's my difficulty, is finding different costume jewellery chains in 2m lengths that don't look tacky or excessively cheap. I'll make more of these choli chains, if people want to supply me little bits and bobs to decorate their choli chains. My supply of objects is limited. The little gilet silver poppy seed heads are one of those limited items; I don't have anymore of them. If someone has kuchi bits and bobs they want repurposed, I'll try to use those in a design. I still have several of the tiny Chinese luck/felicity tokens, so those are an option I can use in other choli chain designs.

Again, I would find my own way to do these, I will not copy Kae's designs.

Choli Chain Front
Choli Chain Back
I might replace the current kuchi piece on the back with this:
Lapis and silver asyk pendant


I've also done some sewing; in the past week, I've started on two pairs of pantaloons and I've finished one pair. I realise I need to tweak some of my process for the pantaloons as well, so the second pair is 'on hold' until I have more thinking done.

Olive crepe back satin pantaloons
I used the official FCBD® Folkwear® pattern as my guide/direction for making the 'loons, with a few of my ideas. Tuesday night, I finished the olive 'loons and got to dance in class with them. No serious issues, though they're quite long and drape over my feet; I need to open the waistband and remove about 5-10cm from the elastic, as the waistband is looser than I thought. I'm otherwise satisfied with my first pair of handmade 'loons.

Second pair of 'loons in progress

Close up of the wrong side of the 'loon fabric; it's very shiny and slippery.

I'm very much looking forward to finishing the second pair of 'loons, I rather like the pattern printed on the fabric. I think instead of gathering to the waistband this time, I'm going to try pleating. This crepe satin is as thin, or thinner, than the olive green fabric. Like the olive fabric, it frays like mad. I'm so glad I have the overlocker to control the raw edges. I may have to curve the bottom half of the legs, as trying to cram 45" wide fabric around a 7" ankle is difficult.

Hair Gardens

Right now is the season to get hair flowers from the shops such as Claire's. It's late Spring/early Summer here, so there is a huge assortment of colours and flower-types.

Flower hoard from Claire's.
I was overjoyed to see large sunflower and daisy hair flowers; a year or three or more ago, I bought two small sunflower clips. I did buy another two small ones, as well as the larger ones. I went back and bought more hair flowers, so now I should be set for the next several years of dancing. "Hair gardens" are typical of ATS® costuming.

Dancing in a park.
This is me, dancing for a photo shoot. Banjara skirt atop two 25yd tiered skirts; and a black velvet and lace choli. I have some vintage tassels tied to my plain black headband. I did the shoot before I made the choli chain.

Bobbin Lace 

I did say it's been a busy year. The lace butterfly is the 2013-2014 Easter class project. My tallies are still ropy -.-

Butterfly in bobbin lace.

I'll try to update/blog a little more frequently. I'm mostly writing and focusing on lace, dance, lace, dance... oh and I just started learning British Sign Language.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Knitting and crochet... and new glasses.

First off, if you want to see any of these links, you'll need to be logged in to Ravelry as a member. Otherwise, they're not going to show up.
More about knitting. The Baktus is finally finished. Ends dealt with and I put in a tassel at each end as well.
Then I did a hat in Rowan Bamboo Tape. I also finished that one with a tassel. I put myself as less than enthusiastic about it because it's too loose around the band, it's a terminal issue I have with ribbing... my ribbing is always larger than the actual plain stocking stitch when it's supposed to be smaller. I think it's because when I switch from knit to purl that it takes up two stitches of space. Meh.
I started the Magical Cosy Warmer and finished the actual knitting; I haven't sewn in the ends because I'm still trying to decide if I'm just going to frog it and maybe do it again with 200+ stitches instead of the 160 of the "medium"; which according to their instructions ought to have fitted me. It fits... tightly... Too snug to actually wear with anything else. No. I don't like tight garments. I'm too pudgy for tight garments.
I was steaming long with the Sycamore Poncho but I stalled. I stalled because of several factors, or excuses, whichever you want to call it. I got the main body done, but the third part where you start doing the netting isn't adding up or I'm not getting it lined up correctly and at the time, I couldn't figure out why. I think I have to go ahead and block it, whilst still incomplete, and then attempt to count rows and be certain I actually have the 60-odd required rows for each panel and then maybe mark where I should be putting in the dc's (US sc's) for the mesh/netting stitches to go in.
I want to do more crochet, found several new items, but the truth is, I'm having guilty thoughts about all the crochet pieces started and are 99.9% incomplete, but for things like sewing together and dealing with loose ends. It's the putting together and dealing with the loose ends that I dislike.

New glasses... I think I'll have to ask for an alteration with regards to my pc glasses. Otherwise, I now have to sit with my nose practically up against the monitor to get clear vision with them. I'm sitting at arm's length from the monitor and it feels far too close, but that's the only way I get a clear vision with these things. I usually sit about 3' to 4' from my monitor. My knees are banging into the computer desk with the new glasses. :( I've already waited two weeks for the lenses. Ugh.


Projects now in progress:

"One skein stole my Noro" it's a one-skein of Noro sock yarn to make a scarf. Wrap-n-drop stitches throughout with a row of 'yo, k2tog' lace every nineteen or so rows. I've got to do ten repeats of the 19 rows and so far, I've got part way through the fourth one. I'd like to have this completed before Autumn.
The other is one that's been on my 'get started on it' for a few years is a "Knit mesh top". It's the kind of top I'd wear. Loose, simple and not overly complicated. Suitable for wear over a tank top. Another one I hope to complete before Autumn.

Looking ahead:

Winter's projects, assuming I don't completely stall, will likely be several hats >.> It's a good way to burn up surplus single balls of yarn... or balls of yarn over 100gr. If they're under that, I'll have to consider either a crochet or knit poncho/wrap/thing to use up single yarn balls of similar or complimentary colours.
I might give gloves a go as well. We'll see. I have the "Purple Sparrows" for fingerless armwarmers as well as "Wizard City Gauntlets" to muck about with.
Crochet... "Wrap round my shoulders" is calling to me. Though I might use the Yeoman cannel yarns instead of the other stuff, I like how the cannel holds up.
Shawls and wraps are jumping around at me, ones that I've been sitting on for years. Am trying to get enthusiastic about some of them and the rest that aren't, I might look at donating both pattern and yarn to someone for their benefit.
As usual, 'We'll see'.