Thursday, January 20, 2011

In Over My Head...In Yarn

Oh, I'm not complaining.  I love having new projects to keep me engaged and entertained.  I currently have two commissioned projects, one just because, one past due Christmas project, and one that the boy has been asking me to make for a couple months now.

Problem is four out of the five are time-intensive projects.  The fifth isn't time intensive in itself, but I'm applying a new technique (cable braid) that requires I stop and start over frequently.  One of the four is complex. Yet another is going to be made of the sexiest yarn I've had an opportunity to work with (hand-spun and hand-dyed from Anzula Luxury Yarns).  That one I'm a little daunted by because I'm afraid the intended owner won't get to enjoy if for a full season by the time I finish which makes me kind of sad.

Oh, I forgot to include a quickie project I'm in the middle of because with my new, short 'do I found that I am in need some wide headbands.

My desk at work has a pile of yarn on it (and needles).

My side of the couch is covered in half-worked projects I keep alternating between.

My craft area in my bedroom has knitting needles and other notions splayed out so randomly, I'm surprised all my pretty bamboo needles are still in tact (and free from kitty chews).

On top of everything, I promised myself I would come up with one new item to post on my Etsy site.

I better get cracking because I still have dozens of projects I want to get to before summer sets in!  Oh, and I need to learn to sew costume bits before Ren Faire season is here.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back to the Dance

I first started belly dancing in January 2000.  For Christmas, my mom had purchased a gift certificate to dance at Cory Zamora's studio in Fresno.  I was super elated.  My mom would take me to class and sit in the back of the dark, converted garage attempting to keep busy with a crochet project.  The class started off with eight girls about my age.  Within three or four months it dwindled down to three.  After nine months I was taking private lessons.  I had an opportunity to finally perform at a Renaissance Faire (Kearney in Fresno in November 2000).  Unfortunately, I never really felt apart of the troupe.  That combined with a lack of cash flow forced me to depart the studio sometime in 2002. 

In 2005, I stumbled on a video of Rachel Brice.  I was reinspired to dance.  I found a monthly belly dancing night at Full Circle Brewery and dragged all my friends along.  I re-enrolled at Zamoras, this time studying with Bay'la.  She had to be the quirkiest lady I ever met.  She was also one of the most beautiful veil dancers I ever had the opportunity to watch and work with.  Again, the class started off with 8 and dwindled down to just me and my friend, Kathy.  I loved Bay'la but I couldn't reconcile with her desire for strictly choreographed dance.  My first couple years belly dancing was completely improvisational.  With Bay'la, every class seemed like a rehearsal for some group performance.  There's nothing wrong with that, in fact I thought I wanted to do performance dance, but I just didn't feel challenged.  Again, after a year I had to walk away due to financial issues.

The following year I enrolled in a tribal belly dance class at Cynthia Merrill's.  The class seemed overly crowded, and I didn't stay past two classes.  I was also having some major issues with my weight and was just too embarrassed to spend an hour looking at my fat self.  I just didn't come back.

Fast forward to the last year.  I told myself when I finished school I'd get back involved with yoga and belly dance.  Jeff tried to help me with the yoga part, but the timing was bad and I just couldn't find a groove with it.  I decided after the first of the new year, I'd enroll in belly dancing classes if I could afford it.  It was a stretch, but I went back last night.

The class was unbelievably small.  Just four girls.  I'm not complaining, though.  I love the small class size, it was much less intimidating.  Unfortunately, we showed up at the wrong time.  The class was published incorrectly online.  It's not Mondays, but Tuesdays.  I'm a little bothered by this, but I'm going to try to make it work.  Hopefully Tuesday night class isn't overly crowded.

My first class back was surprisingly hard.  Not because I'm out of shape or lost muscle memory of the steps, but because I found it difficult to not just TAKE OFF!  I was even amazed Lydia (the instructor) recognized me after all these years (she was a member of Zamora's troupe when I first joined).  I still struggled with staring at myself in the mirror, but I did have a great time.  Since I paid for the whole session, I have no excuses about not showing up.

Monday, January 17, 2011

January Goals

I know!  I know!  It's kind of silly posting goals half-way through the month.  Things have been super, super crazy around here since Christmas and I haven't made blogging a very serious part of that.  I'm regretting that a bit now, but all I can do is try to be better moving forward.

First a recap on December: I totally failed!  No, seriously, I gained some weight and I was so over-stretched on last-minute holiday crafting that I didn't get to make any progress on my Etsy store.  I had hoped that after Christmas I'd get on the ball in overdrive or something, but it never happened.  I did finally post my first item today though and I'm super excited to see where I can go with it.

While I did not post my goals here, I had them written out before December was over.

Goal One: Get back into bellydancing.

I'm already half-way on this one.  I enrolled after the 1st of the year at California Arts Academy for tribal bellydancing lessons with Lydia of Tanjora.  My first class is this evening and I'm a little nervous.  It has been so many years since I've been in a bellydancing class.  I just hope I can keep up with the more spry girls.

Goal Two: Start eating better, goddammit!

It's really essential now.  Really, really essential.  I've written up some guidelines on this I'll save for a future blog post.

Goal Three: Post one item on my Etsy store front per week.

I know, I failed at two last month, why the heck am I adding a third?  Well, I know that the time it takes me to knit accessories is not so considerate that I cannot meet this goal.

Goal Four: Work up to include10 minutes of meditation and 10 minutes of yoga every day.

Wait, four goals this month?  Yeah, four goals.  Twenty minutes a day towards my well-being is not an unreasonable thing to ask of my time.  So that means 20 minutes less wasting my time watching television shows.  Big whoop.  While I haven't been consistent every day, I am up to five minutes of yoga most mornings and taking five minutes in the shower meditating.  It's relaxing and steamy and warm.  More importantly, the cats don't try to walk all over me when I have hot water pouring on me. I'm already experiencing tremendous benefits just doing that small amount of yoga everyday.  I hope in the next year I can resume formal classes (maybe after my bellydance classes are over in late May) or take a couple private lessons when I have the extra cash from my Etsy store so I can continue to be challenged.

No New Years Resolutions.  Frankly, I don't see the point.  This system of setting goals has been a mostly successful venture for me.  I know what I want to accomplish with my life right now.  I don't need a resolution to feel guilty about.  Plus I have lots of exciting things coming up, why feel derailed later?