Thursday, June 29, 2006

Crafty ADD

Well, it's definitely been a while. So much has been going on lately that i haven't have a chance to sit down and think about it all. I took a brief break from knitting to begin yet another crafty obsession: counted cross stiching. Oh my, it is tedious. This is an old picture of what I am working on, where old is what it looked like on June 20th.

It looks a lot more complete now and has more colors, but I am too lazy to pull out my camera, take a picture, upload it to the computer and then to the web site. So.. old picture it is! Even though I did get quite a bit farther in the 9 days since the picture was taken, for the past few days things have been a little too hectic for me to really make much more progress. So what do I do? Become inspired to start new knitting projects. I think my hobby is to start and never finish anything. I like beginning things and imagine what they will possibly (never) become. :o) So this time it is the kitty pi for the cats since they like to sleep on my clothes, bed, knitting, sewing.. pretty much anything soft that smells like me. I am hoping that when I make this and throw it on the floor they will instantly find it a more than perfect place to sleep/shed. ie, not my bed. I cast on for that at knit night after having a felting discussion with Papaya to make sure my chosen yarn will have a high tendancy to felt instead of... not. Hooray!
I also chose a substitute yarn for what was called for in a pattern for an item that I am making my mom. I *finally* found one I can succeed in even beginning!! And since she has decided that she wants it to be a surprise, the gift is now being referred to as "item". I bought Cascade 220 as the substitute yarn; I figured W wouldn't carry the yarn that the pattern called for, but was more looking for advice on what to use as a substitute; another something that would felt well. As soon as I finish and yes, I will finish!!) Kitty Pi, I can begin item. It doesn't look too complicated, and felting fixes everything, so I am confident in this one. I emailed mom to ask if she wanted to know what it was I was making for her, saying " And this is something that even if I didn't make it (because anything I make even if it is ass ugly you will like) you'd still get a kick out of and like. Do you want to know what it is, or do you want to just find out when you get it?" Her response (cut to the amusing part, of course) "The buttass-uglier, the more I'll love it. Of course, if it's breathtakingly beautiful I'll love it every bit as much." Awesome. Ass-ugly gift, here I come!

In other crafty-ish hobbiness, I managed to get myself quite sunburned this weekend despite my attempts to avoid such a fate. Bahh. Oh well. I had planned on going to dance as I usually do on Monday evenings, but seeing as how I had to wear a strapless bra to work all day because my shoulders couldn't handle thin straps with pressure, I decided that wearing normal dancing garb + fast movements and lots of crunches would not be too favorable that night. This is the beginning of the 10 week rotation schedule, so in Dance Movements we were scheduled to work on plies and in Belly Dance we were going to be working on Singles. Easy stuff, right? So I thought it would be a good idea to take it slow on Monday night and resorted to drilling by myself for about 30 minutes on Tuesday eveing, while doubling up on classes on Wednesday night. So, Dance Movements 7-8pm and Belly Dance 8-9:15pm. I can handle it! It's the easy stuff! ....except not when Tif teaches. And she taught both classes. Holy bajeesus! I have never been to the point of so much pain and strain and trying so hard that I was laughing and crying at the same time while trying not to do either. We had to do a set of passe, degage (or battement) front, back to passe while plieing and then back into ballet first position. Then doing the same thing while degageing to the side, then back, then the set of three repeats until Tif decided our torture session had been complete.

*Note: for those not familiar with the evil dance terms, we were supposed to stand with our heels touching, toes turned out. Then bring our right foot up, toes pointed so that the knee was bent and the heel was touching the side of left knee. Then we keep proper turn out in our leg while bringing the foot front (or left or back behind us) and about 6 inches or more off the floor, still keeping the toes pointed. Then we bring our foot back to touching our knee, turned out (the turn out is what makes it painful) while we are plieing (plee-ay) or.. bending our knees. Finally, we could bring out foot back down next to the left one before we started the whoel thing over. Sound fun?*

So, yes. While doing the last of many sets I was in such pain that I couldn't stop giggling. I was forcing my turn out with my hands, my foot was beginning to refuse to touch my knee, my degage was turning into a slighly elevated tendue, and tears were beginning to pour. This happened both with the right and left foot, but a little worse so on the left. Yep... supposed to be easy week. Ha! It was quite a work out, and it was only the first of the two classes! Belly dancing went decently. I didn't feel like a duck! I am debating on how much I have improved since entering level 2 .. 20 weeks ago. I am using my glutes better and am actually starting to see it visually. I am however still not as flexible as I would like to be and still can't flex and release at double time. I finally got a good handle on full time, and have *just* gotten 3/4 time as long as I slow it down to .. 3/4 of half time instead of 3/4 of full time, if that makes sense.
Today was planning on drilling again, but since it still hurts to even walk down stairs, I think I may save the drills for tomorrow.. or Saturday. It's a long weekend. I am planning on dedicating 2 hours on Tuesday for drills. Oof! And so begins my training in order to be good enough to take the Level 2 workshop where I'll actually be in a class with Suhaila!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Betty Crafter Completed


This afternoon I finished designing my last postcard! Just in time for the June 15th deadline. Tomorrow I get to stick them in the mail and off they go. :o) I was really excited about making these since I don't get to be artistic much anymore. It was a fast way to splash some soul onto paper.

I got Mr. A to scan these into his computer since I figured it would look better than me trying to take pictures and them potentially come out.. shakey and well.. bad.
The scans are pretty good aside from the color backgrounds being slightly off. Most of the post cards had a different color background than the scans are showing. There were two of each color: purple, blue, green, creme, and white. Other than that, they seem pretty close to the real cards.

The bellydancer, cherries, and vines were done in pen and ink. The cherries and vines were freehand, while the belly dancer was a little more planned.

The faerie was also slightly planned. The faerie, kiwi bird, india, and flowers were done in colored pencils. Those were also for the most part freehand, with the exception of the faerie where I drew it out before cloring it.

The knitting and grapes were the most difficult and left me with super glue stuck on my index and middle fingers. I actually knit the items of the knitting card with string and US0 needles, and the needles were made of twisting string and glue together.The grapes were made from gluing the string in the shapes and sizes of grapes and the leaves.

Hooray! I am proud of the cards, and I can't wait for people to get them. :o) I received my first two the other day. One was a print out of corn adn the other was a photo of a forest cliff scenery. Eight more to go! As much as I really enjoyed making the cards, I think the anticipation of seeing what creative ideas others came up with is the most fun part of it all.

Friday, June 09, 2006

More Dance and Knits

K tried working with me to better access my glute muscles. I was pretty much told to do the opposite of ballet first position and to point my toes inward and touching and my heels were out. And from here, I was to contract my glutes. I couldn't help but laugh and tell her she wasn't helping me with my duck complex, quickly followed by "I don't belly dance, I duck dance". Once again, I have succeeded in making K crack up laughing. That may be due to my comments, or the very awkward look on my face. Either way, it did seem to work some.

I got off work a little eary today and stopped by this little yarn shop down the street from my apartment (Sheep City, USA). I couldn't resist, I really wanted to check it out. It was a very small Mom & Pop shop, and not a huge amount of yarns. Most of them were hand spun and died by the woman who owns the store. The man who was there was the husband of the owner and seemed very friendly and almost seemed excited that someone had come in. The shop wasn't in a high traffic area and you'd really have to pay attention to find it. I only knew it was there because driving by the tucked away plaza I saw a sign "Yarn Shop Sheep City, USA". So yes, this place was very cute and quaint. Will it replace Marin Fiber Arts? No. Although I may support the Mom & Pop aspect of it and occasionally buy hand spuns from them.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Betty Crafter

I feel accomplished. I have been working on the postcards for my BettyCrafter recipe swap, and am very proud so far. i am making up the card designs as I go. So far, one has a belly dancer that I drew on the front of it, and the other is going to have knitted string glued to the front in a knitting mosaic. I have just finished the 2" long scarf and will soon make a mini hat and other knit items to go on it. Yeah, so I've only made 2 and the post mark date is June 15th. But I have 9 days and have almost 2 finished in a single night. I can even dedicate some of knit night working on my mini-knitting. Heh. As soon as I finish all 10 post cards, I'll scan the pretty side and post the images. :o) Hooray crafty excitedness!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Dance and Cats

As I expected, Wednesday's dance class kicked my butt. It was Passe week in Dance Movements. My releve is not strong enough to hold me through some of those movements, and it was especially worse since we were working on jazz passes (toes, feet, knees pointed forward) while my feet wanted to have their turn out, creating ballet passes. I think perhaps the ballet is slightly easier than jazz, so that's why I kept slipping into it. After passe work, we started to work on our turns. Mine... sucked. I blame the releve and lack of dancing for a week.

Belly Dance II was interesting. We were working on twists, which I guess I seemed to be okay on when we were just walking with them in releve (funny how in this class, the releve makes things easier). Once we starting doing things like adding paus de bourette or chasse to the foot work, I would get all screwed up. Pretty much because of timing. The two mentioned foot patterns are done on three beats with the fourth resting, while the twists are done on all four beats. That means that one the last beat, you're standing on one foot and still moving with a twist. But then because with that off beat the foot pattern changes, my twists wanted to start going the opposite way once I started the next 3 foot patterns. And that probably made no sense. Baiscally, it was confusing. And my glutes were lagging on the twists, so I'd have to stop and play catch up with my body. The classes were agreat work out. I was sweating and exhausted when I left.

There are two Suhaila workshops in the near future that I am considering signing up for. Of course I am only going to do one of them, but which one I still need to decide. There is a weeklong workshop August 7-11 that I might want to do. I need to ask about what will be in it, since I am not sure I'd be able to handle a Level 2 workshop. It doesn't say much about what will be involved other than Level 1 and 2 option certifications at the end. The other I am thinking of attending is the 3 day Level I workshop September 8-10. I think this one might be okay to try since I have already been Level I Certified and feel comfortable with what will be covered. In this one, I would also only miss one day of work instead of having to balance the dancing during the day and working at night with the week long. Doesn't that sentance sound backwards. :p

Knit night was quiet last night. For most of the time there were only 5 of us (plus M and W). I spent the whole time fiddling with the Touch Me yarn and what I wanted to do. I also managed to twist my center two stitches around the whole thing, so I had to frog and start again. I think it is going to be garter stitch all the way. I'm also finding it a slight PITA that in order to keept the verticle stripes, I have to twist the colors over each opther. Which means that after a few rows, my four balls are all tangled on each other and the yarn is twisted and I need to take breaks every now and then to untangle everything. Mmmmm but it's so soft feeling. Oh! I also noticed that when I was packing my knitting this morning, that one needle was poking out of my bag. And yes, the cats found it. And yes, the point was chewed off. I bought new needles, needless to say. But the good thing about everything is that I have decided how I am going to do the scarf and it is already all on the needles.