alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (belly dance icon)
I've posted a lovely Turkish leopard costume on Bhuz, in case anybody is interested...  Another one I hate to let go, because it is so beautiful and it does flatter me, but it doesn't suit my music choices and style any more and so it sits in the cupboard sadly missing being worn.  Also selling a blue crushed velvet mermaid skirt.

New costume is even better in real life than in the photos--it's more of an antique gold than a bright gold, with more copper and amber in the fringe.  Plus every diamond shape is outlined in rhinestones so it will be super shiny.  A good exchange for the one I just sold.

Must exercise and dance now.  So not motivated.  Costume shopping and swapping is more fun!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (belly dance icon)
According to the UPS site, my new costume is waiting at home for me!  Yay!!!!

I suppose sparkly gold pharoanic would be the wrong theme to dress in for Old Cold and Slow... 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (belly dance icon)
I just posted this truly lovely Turkish bedleh on Bhuz, post there if interested.  This was my first real costume purchase--Amina Dalal helped me pick it out, back when she was vending for Anatolia Imports out of her house--and while it's hard to say goodbye, I never wear Turkish style any more, and it should be seen and appreciated in all its sparkly glory, not sit in a bag on a shelf.

I had an *amazing* time at the Red Fez last night, more on that later.  The band played Batwannes Beek for me, and sang me my very own exit song!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
The ferrets were adorably bonkers this morning, bouncing off the walls, the furniture, each other, me--it took me three tries to get out the front door without a little furry shadow.  I ended up tossing them into the couch so that they'd pounce on each other and making a run for it.  That's what I like to see!  When Ianto's having an off day, it's clear how much Sisiutl misses her playmate's regular activity level.  I've thought about getting a third ferret now to give her a buddy/take some of the play stress off Ianto/help bridge things when Ianto goes, but it would be awful if a new ferret didn't treat Ianto well because of his illness, as animals can sometimes do.  So I think we'll keep things as they are.

Tonight I need to put my new costume through a test run, having made a bunch of alterations to it this weekend.  The arm gauntlets were so loose and huge I could have worn them as shin guards, and with my bred for potato farming and coal mining legs that's really saying something.  Everything seems to fit well now though.

I am reaching the conclusion that I should sell my Turkish style costumes, because they just don't suit anything that I do now.  That means saying farewell to my very first bedleh--it's served me well, but it's time to shine on someone else now.  And probably my Turkish leopard as well; it too has been well loved, but in the course of trying to figure out what two costumes to bring to the Red Fez with me this Saturday, I've realized it doesn't have much place in my wardrobe any more.  I'll have to think about that one a little more though.  Probably will have a few skirts going up for sale too.

What I really want now is one of those Egyptian mosaic-style bedleh in bronze and copper colors, as those are good colors for me and would match a bunch of the skirt sets that I have. 

Ooh, but then there's this... that would be an acceptable replacement for my leopard...

busy busy

Jan. 11th, 2009 10:40 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Got home from helping plan a friend's wedding on Saturday and then sewed, glued and otherwise crafted for four and a half hours straight.  Then I got up today and did it all over again.  But my Arisia costume is basically done, apart from some glitter spray (meant for fabric--it seems to be awesome!).  I cracked myself up practicing in it.  I am really going to enjoy this show!  And the best part about the costuming is that when you take away the silly bit, it's actually a rather nice costume that I could definitely see wearing again for more conventional performances.

Took down the Christmas tree today--on the one hand I will miss the warm cozy glow of its lights in the living room, but on the other hand I really wanted the living room back to normal at this point.  Our town's tree pick up is this week, hence the wait.  I swept most carefully, but I'm sure my feet will be picking up pine needles for months to come when I dance.

Now I am waiting for a pizza to finish baking.  I made it from scratch.  I do rather wish I had made it a few hours ago, though.  This weekend has been like that.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (belly dance icon)
One Dahlal Customer Appreciation sale email later, the Hanan Evening Illusions is on its way to me!  Ha!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I just made a mermaid skirt in two hours--I think that's the quickest I've ever made one.  Though a straightforward mermaid skirt seemed simple in comparison to the last one I made, which had a fishtail train on it.  My rolled hem on the bottom of the skirt even came out okay, thanks to the velvet fabric's natural propensity to roll.  I'm starting to feel like I almost know what I am doing with this sewing thing!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
I have concluded that really I do three types of belly dance, not just two:  raqs sharqi, raqs gothique, and raqs silly.  Bought a bunch of craft supplies for the costume and props yesterday and I giggle every time I look at them :-)
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (belly dance icon)
Things to say to Najmat only if you *really* mean them include: "Can we work on drum solo stuff?" Oof my glutes. And hamstrings. And hip rotators. And all the rest. My foot remained partially numb throughout class, which was odd. I kept thinking I was stepping on something, and then realizing it was actually my own toes that I was sensing as some inanimate object. Wierd.

Just watched more of my last DVD purchase, and I am captivated by Shushu Amin. It's the performance where she's wearing a multi-colored bra and belt set over a rather hippie-ish skirt, including a wonderful Leylet Hob and a saxophone taqsim. At one point she does these rapid-fire vertical figure eights that are so strong, her belt fringe is whapping her in the elbows. Must find more of this lady! Also watched another Aida Nour orientale number which was much better than the other one, in a glamorous dress. I have decided I need a glamorous dress. Evil Dahlal has a Pharaonics sale, with several costumes that sound like they would fit...

Also, a meme:
Your rainbow is shaded violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at


Nov. 8th, 2008 03:35 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (belly dance icon)
I think I have defeated the tendency of the green leopard Hanan's skirt to slide by sewing strips of denim exactly as long across the back as I am at that point into the back of the skirt.  I couldn't budge it downwards even by shoving at it, nor by jumping around the house to saidi music.  So I think it's good to go for tonight.  Because there's nothing to make one less anxious about a performance in a new place than to wear a costume that has malfunctioned before :-/  But I really think I've fixed it for good...

You know you are a dancer for real when you find yourself thinking "what I really need are legwarmers."  I do though, I hate dancing in socks but our floors are very cold, so legwarmers would help warm up my blood as it heads into my feet.

It seriously annoys me that people are saying Lacey Schwimmer is overweight in any way shape or form.  How is this woman (photo from this season of Dancing with the Stars) too heavy?  She looks strong, awesome and sexy.  And, heavens forbid, healthy.  I've never been her biggest fan but this is repugnant. 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (shinymaia)
I just spent 8 hours sewing.  I can still hear the sewing machine in my head and my fingers are dyed black from all the thread, fabric and feathers I've been working with.  But I made a lot of progress today:
  • re-hemmed my trumpet skirt, dutifully using 8 million pins and thereby doing a significantly better job of it this time.
  • Made a darted straight narrow belt using denim, a layer of felt padding and glitter velvet.  
  • Made feather ornaments for the hips of the belt and sewed/glued them on.  I did a lot of combination gluing/sewing today, as this costume is somewhat sculptural and getting needles through stuff wasn't always an option.  I snapped a needle in half learning that lesson.
  • Attached wings to bra.  You would not believe how difficult such a simple little sentence turns out to be when taken from theory to practice.
  • Ditched the idea of having a swan's neck wrap around my torso, as I felt it would have had the optical effect of shortening my torso, something I do not need.  Instead, the swan's neck comes down from the middle of the front of the bra, and I think looks much better than my original idea.  It's more integrated into the wings now.  The swan's neck is constructed from heavy needlepoint fabric (I like using it as a base for things as it is sturdy yet flexible) and more glitter velvet, with the beak in some of the wet look spandex that the skirt and bra are made from.  Ultimately I think there will be a pearl hanging from its beak, but I'm not 100% sure on that.  I used a red crystal for its eye and made little velvet eyelids to make it look more mysterious and swanny.
It seems like I should have done more than that in 8 hours, but I guess I can be happy with what I've done.  I'm definitely done for the night, that's for sure.  What I have left:
  • Make pearl strands for loops on belt, probably also loops on bra.  I hadn't planned on doing the bra so hopefully I ordered enough extra pearls to make that happen.
  • Make headband and gloves from glitter velvet.  Somewhat kicking myself for not ordering these from L Rose when I placed an order over the summer, but ah well, one can't foresee everything.  I had no way of knowing then that the glitter velvet I ordered is exactly the same as her twilight velvet.
This is a good learning project for me.  I'm learning that yes, it matters if you take the time to measure twice and use many many pins when sewing, no matter how long it takes to put them in the pattern pieces.  I'm learning about designing for my particular body.  I'm learning about the construction of skirts, particularly with regard to trains.  And my biggest "yeah, ya think?" lesson learned today is that the fabric goes through the machine much easier if you aren't resting your elbow on the stuff you're trying to sew ;-)


Oct. 9th, 2008 05:30 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Last night M and I went to Halloween stores to look for a costume for me--I'm being Sekhmet this year.  After looking at horrible cheap yet dearly expensive Cleopatra costumes, I decided I could improvise well enough out of my own closet, with the addition of a few accessories.  I put what I've got so far together last night and I like it much better than any of the pre-made costumes.  Ha!  I've got a white dress that will do fine as the base and an awful gold lamé dress I can cannibalize for bits and obviously I've got belts and jewelry galore.  Also, my lion mask is covered in glitterdot!  Mock it and I will unleash the wrath of Ra upon you!  Not sure what I'm doing for footwear.  I think Sekhmet would wear big Fluevog boots, don't you?

This is all for a party M is invited to on the 17th, but we don't have plans for actual Halloween weekend at this point.  What are people generally doing, just going to Bloodfeast?

My parents gave me a pair of Skel-o-mingos for my birthday last month:

I would keep them out year round but I'm not sure how the upstairs people would feel about that.  We'll put them out for Halloween evening for sure.  If we stay put for another year and turn the back porch into a seating area, they can live out there.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I just went out and lit the grill, and noticed the underside seemed to be more brightly illuminated than it should have been while the burners were not going as strongly as they ought, and there was rather a lot of gas smell in the air--I looked underneath and the whole ignition assembly was engulfed in flames!  I reached in and turned the gas off, as that seemed like the best thing to do in the moment.  Now of course I am shaking realizing that it might have been a dangerous and stupid thing to do, but the fire did go out, after a disturbingly long wait.  I should probably disconnect the assembly from the tank but frankly I'm scared it will bite me and the valve at the tank end of things seemed to be working fine, the problem was up by the grill.  M isn't home, he'll freak when he finds out.

I think I'm afraid to turn on the oven now to roast the vegetables I've already prepared.  Raw corn and sweet potatoes at my house tonight!

Well, in more productive news today I went to Green Street Studio to work with my wings.  I booked two hours, and after 45 minutes started to think that was a dumb idea.  I tell you I will have awesome arms and upper back after a month of this!  But I forged on through and got some work done.  It was great to have enough room and not worry about knocking the light off the ceiling or scratching the tv.  Next time I go in I'll bring a video camera so that I have instant feedback.

My mermaid skirt pattern came today, so I calculated my pattern and cut my fabric pieces.  I'll sew them later; I can only deal with patterns for so long before I get hopelessly muddled, so I'm thinking if I do this in stages it will be okay.  I also made lots of progress on my little swan wings.  The only thing left is to make a little cover bit to run along the top of the wing (where the bone would be) to cover all the cut off feather ends.  The kitchen is infested with bits of feather as I was cutting and trimming them to suit the wing shapes.  Thing learned:  it's easier to clean up feather fragments with a wet paper towel than it is to clean them up by sweeping or dusting them.

Man, I'm still freaked out by the fire.  Wah!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I wanted to make the trumpet skirt for my swan costume today, but my trumpet skirt pattern is nowhere to be found.  At least, not in any of the places where I would have thought I might have put it, like say with other patterns or with belly dance books or even in the plastic bin that contains all my skirts.  Feh.  Guess I'm ordering another one.  I remember there was a lot of math involved and so do not feel comfortable just experimenting.

Instead I am working on the bra, which is coming along well.  It somehow hadn't occurred to me that black feathers do not show up that well on black fabric, so I'm debating whether I should use some other color.  Maybe I'll just do a single layer of another color of feather, pale silver if I can find or manufacture it, between the black feathers and the black fabric to make them pop out a little more.  I could always hit the black feathers with some glitter spray too.

Had a very informative discussion with my massage therapist this morning about trigger points for some of my various aches.  I'm looking forward to seeing if this new knowledge is helpful; the bottom end of my sartorius muscle is keeping me from doing much level changing in my dancing at the moments. 

Pretty sure Sisiutl needs to go back on antibiotics again.  If she could get them via injection I swear it would be easier to drive to the vet's twice a day than to try to make her ingest something she does not wish to ingest :-/  Somebody needs to manufacture little ferret straitjackets.


Jul. 2nd, 2008 10:40 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
My L Rose meleya dress arrived today, and OMG it's perfect.  I wasn't totally sure when I tried it on, but then I added the meleya and immediately started prancing around the apartment, it just looked so exactly right!

I'm too sleepy to do my SYTYCD rundown tonight, but I will say Katee knocked my socks off and in her first routine was my favorite of the night.  Also, Kiss Kiss, ha!

Am already getting performance requests for the next Raks Spooki.  Suppose I should get my arse in gear with that.

Ianto ate his medication nicely tonight.  The pharmacy made it beef flavor, of which I was skeptical, but he seems convinced.  For some reason, though, we were only given a five day supply with three more refills, i.e. 20 days total.  That makes no sense, as he's supposed to be on this for the rest of his life.  And a five day supply just makes no sense in the first place.  Guess I'll be calling the vet tomorrow.

I'm on a mini vacation now but my brain is too full to accept it.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (shinymaia)
Having just bought a shamadan on June 30, I have volunteered myself to dance with it on August 2.  Better get video-watching and practicing!  At least I know I've got a bunch of good music already. 

Good fake taper candles are expensive.  Yikes.  These look like about the best deal I can find online for candles that take small watch batteries (AA batteries add a heck of a lot of weight so I want to avoid those).  I need 8 9 total, so four  five pairs, which will put me at around $50 $60 after shipping.  I repeat, yikes.  Anybody know of a local place that might have them, so I could at least save on shipping?  I know the China Fair has good votives, maybe they'd have the tapers.

(the show is outdoors so I suppose I could use real candles, but it's in Salem where it's likely to be breezy and I don't want to get wax on my costume, as would happen with even dripless candles in a good wind.  Plus they'd get blown out.)

alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
...for recommending Santogold some time back--her album just became available at, I remembered you mentioning her, I downloaded it, and loved it!  A couple of the songs definitely have that M.I.A. sound (especially Creator, which is currently in some beer commercial) but really the album is very diverse.  Influences I hear strongly would be Siouxsie, the Clash, a bit of Daniel Ash type guitar work, Depeche Mode, some singer-songwriter a la Michelle Shocked or Tracy Chapman, plenty of reggae and other world influences, a little splash of industrial in a hip hop kind of way.  It's quite the mishmash but it all works.  (she also reminds me a bit of [ profile] amadea  vocally speaking)  I definitely recommend her album!

In unrelated news, I ordered a royal blue holo on purple metallic meleya dress from L. Rose. It will be glorious!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Good idea or bad?  I bought a white silk veil from Dharma Trading Co. and this iDye stuff.  The lazy part of me thinks using the washing machine sounds like a wonderful idea.  The pessimistic part of me worries that the next few loads of laundry will smell like vinegar and possibly be tinged olive green (though since most of the laundry is black, that may not be much of an issue), and that the veil will be splotchy (though splotchy might not be terrible since it's to match the new green leopard print costume, which contains many greens in it).  Anybody have experience with fabric dyeing in the washing machine? 

I've heard varying things about the quality of Dharma Trading's silk veils for belly dance, but just swishing around the dining room with it, it seemed quite nice.  There's a sort of rolled hem all around it but I didn't find it interfered with the rippley, floaty quality of the silk.  I can see how these veils might not be the best for vigorous old school veilwork due to their light weight, but for Arabic entrance veilwork I think it will do just fine.

I quite enjoyed the new Indiana Jones movie.  I think it's key to remember that these films are an homage to pulp fiction, not intended to be great art or even particularly good art.  The pulp fiction aspect also helps some of the more bizarre plot bits more understandable, as they were in line with the themes of pulp fiction in the 50s, when this film takes place.  I definitely appreciated the reliance on stunt work rather than CGI; you could feel the difference in the chase scenes.  It's more visceral when you know it's for real.  It was excellent to see Marian again, she was an important childhood role model for me, which probably explains a lot.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
The thought of going to the plant nursery and picking up herbs and annuals is far more enticing than the thought of going to the laundromat and watching our comforter spin in circles.  Leaving the comforter at the laundromat while buying plants isn't really an option, unfortunately--maybe if I had a car, but not when traveling by bus.  Decisions, decisions.  I have to do some housecleaning today too, as we're having my parents over tomorrow for a belated mother's day dinner.  Oh!  I should go to the plant nursery, because then I could get my mom a planty present!  All I could get her at the laundromat would be boxes of cheap detergent.  Then again, if that's my plan, then perhaps I should go to the nursery tomorrow so whatever I get for her is nice and fresh.  Plus, there's the Preakness to factor in.*

I picked up my new costume from the post office yesterday and it is stunning.  The photos at the website didn't begin to do it justice; there's fiery green metallic foil throughout the fabric and it sparkles even when you walk by it in regular lighting.  It will be dramatic under stage lights.  It is as expected a couple of inches too long, so I think I will have our local tailor's shop do the hemming for me.  I want to roll up the excess material rather than cut it, and I think doing that with slippery stretchy fabric is beyond me and my sewing machine's abilities.  There's also a couple of rhinestones missing, which I think is inexcusable for expensive costumes, but I've got an email into the Belly Dance Shop to see if they have any extras.  If they don't, Playtime is a Swarovski dealer so I'm sure I can find something close enough there.  For some reason the waist strap is enormously long, it goes around me one and a half times, enough to make me think that perhaps part of it is supposed to go somewhere else, but I can't figure out where.  But all these things are trivial--I'm enormously pleased and can't wait to wear it!

Thursday at the Athenian Corner made me realize how much I really, really miss performing regularly.  I don't think I can reasonably commit myself to more performances yet (and I promised myself not to take on more obligations before a show at the end of June), but I'll be raring to go once my foot is under control!

*an autopsy was completed on Eight Belles, btw.  There were absolutely no pre-existing conditions or any discernible factors that could have led to her fatal accident.  The owners and trainers are sensitive enough to public opinion that they ordered complete drug screens, etc on her.  The article I read mentioned that horses with her long, low running style have a tendency to trip over or knock together their own feet, and it's thought that this is what happened to her, combined with extremely bad luck in how each foot landed as she tripped.  So, while there are lots of reasons to criticize horse racing, her death is really not a rallying point for that, and I plan to watch the Preakness.  Think about this--the more people who watch racing, the greater the public scrutiny of the sport, and that's a good thing.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Was working on my cane piece for Shimmies for a Cure this afternoon, getting very frustrated and feeling like I'd forgotten everything I ever knew about cane.  Practicing cane is also pretty awkward in my living room (half the time when I go to tap the floor, I have to tap the couch, and not smashing the tv is always a concern), which didn't help.  So, I thought I would try out my white galibeya, pretty much the whole costume, coin belt, saidi hat, anklets--everything but jewelry and makeup.  Lo and behold, once I took a look at myself and saw I resembled exactly what I wanted to resemble, it all came much more easily and I liked what I did in that run through.  It's going to be a ton of fun to do at the show, that galibeya puts me right into character.  I think I will see about renting space somewhere in the next couple of weeks, though.  I think we don't have Najmat's class the last Tuesday of the month, so I could rent our classroom space then.

Yesterday M and I went to Flora, just down the street from us.  We've lived within a mile of the restaurant for years now and somehow never made it over there.  The building was my bank when I was a kid, though.  We were quite impressed with our meals and enjoyed the atmosphere.  We were offered the Restaurant Week menu even though the participating restaurants aren't required to offer their special menus on Saturday.  I had cod cakes with puttanesca sauce and watercress for an appetizer and an absolutely delicious wild mushroom risotto with acorn squash and some kind of greens.  M also had the cod cakes and some beef thing that he said was excellent.  I also had a good cocktail called a 1794, I believe equal parts rye, campari and sweet vermouth.  They are one of the very few places in Arlington with a full liquor license, and I think we might perhaps make a habit in the summer of walking over and having cocktails and light snacks (crazy Arlington by-law, you can't order just booze, you have to order food with it, otherwise you might think you were in a bar and cause mayhem and anarchy). 

Tonight I will be bad and order pizza for dinner, I do believe.


alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)

December 2016



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