Thursday, January 29, 2009

new technique - taspestry crochet

OK, so it's only new to me, but it's exciting to learn a new technique. I had seen photos of tapestry crochet on Ravelry, and it can be really beautiful. There are some gorgeous mandalas and colourwork pieces. Check out the Tapestry Crochet group if you're a Raveler, or the Tapestry Crochet site.

My first attempt was the Kitty Bag, and the first row of kitties was waaaaay slanted! I figured out what I was doing wrong and the second row was correct. But I didn't learn, because the pattern slanted in my next project too! Luckily, I had more yarn, so I immediately started again and did the colourwork correctly.

Here's the final version:

I am excited to try some more interesting colour combinations! This was a stash-busting/technique-learning endeavour.

rowan sweater

I started this sweater for the Knit Girls January-February KAL. It's chunky yarn worked on 10 mm needles so it's knitting up fast!

Sorry about the crappy picture - I took one with the flash and one without, and both versions looked like poo! The yarn is a lovely light green. I tried to colour-correct, but.... um... FAIL.

Pattern: Jess from Rowan Bigger Picture (designed by Kim Hargreaves)
Yarn: Rowan Big Wool Fusion in Gooseberry
Needles: 10 mm (pattern calls for 12 mm)
Started: January 13, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 28

  • bellydance class (1.25 hr)
  • troupe rehearsal (1.75 hr)
Class was great. We're working on choreography for an Om Kalthoum song. I'm a little lost since I missed class the past 2 weeks, but I'll catch up! :) In rehearsal, we worked on zylls and ran through all our choreographies, which was fun, then we polished up the class choreography a bit.

Total on Day 28: 31.5 hours

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 27

  • warm-up, basic drills, shimmy, zylls, layering, stretching (1 hour)
Total on Day 27: 28.5 hours

Monday, January 26, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 26

  • NYC Ballet Workout DVD - one last time before I returned it to the library
I wanted to do some drills or improv or something more bellydance-related, but 24 was about to start and TV trumped dance practice. Sigh.

Total on Day 26: 27.5 hours

belly dance rehab - day 25

OK, so I missed a few days due to a migraine, but not all was lost.
  • Friday: 1 hour yoga practice (counts as half)
  • Friday night: I went to a house party and danced till 4 am. (house music in a club, not a party at someone's house) It was so much fun! It doesn't really count as "dance practice" but it was great to just let loose and dance without thinking about technique or posture or stage presence. I'll count it as 1 hour. :)
  • Saturday: New York City Ballet Workout 2 DVD (1 hour)
Total on Day 25: 26.5 hours


On Wednesday afternoon, I was attacked by a migraine and was fully out of commission for a day and a half. I missed belly dance class and troupe rehearsal for the second week in a row. Gah! I haven't felt that terrible since I got my first migraine/tension headache in university, and that was ahem a number of years ago.

But I am back to my regular, semi-lively self. And back to posting about my thrilling belly dance rehab haha. And I have some fibre related posts too!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 20

I am posting a day late - I meant to update the blog last night after I practiced, but got distracted by knitting and TV.
  • 30 minutes of Masala Bhangra video
  • 1.5 hours of bellydance practice: Virginia choreo (without the DVD - I know it well enough now), basic drills, layering/isolation drills, shimmy
Now that I'm getting to know the steps for the Virginia choreography, I want to start refining it. My plan is to video myself and then critique it - scary! I feel sloppy dancing it, so I imagine it looks pretty bad.

I've also been thinking about how I can make dancing more fun... what do I want out of it, and how can I get it?

Total on Day 20: 24 hours

Monday, January 19, 2009

belly dance rehab - days 17 and 18

  • 3 hour Kathak workshop with Joanna De Souza
  • 1 hour practice: Virginia DVD choreography and going over Tigi Nigsim Il Amar choreo
Kathak is a dance form from northern India, and Joanna has been studying it for 30 years. She is so knowledgeable and I felt like a sponge trying to soak up what she was teaching us. There is so much to learn! It was an amazing workshop and although I didn't come away with any specific moves to incorporate into belly dance, I have a new appreciation for another art form. (but not a new obsession - only one at a time please!)

Here is Joanna performing:

Total on Day 18: 22 hours

Saturday, January 17, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 16

I've totally been slacking off this week. :( I didn't go to class or troupe practice on Wednesday, and although I was planning to work through a DVD or do something on my own, I didn't. Very bad.

Today was better - I wouldn't say that I'm back on track, but I did something and that's better than nothing. Actually, it's a very decent something!
  • private lesson with Roula - we talked about the different elements of a set and listened to music, then picked out an opening song to choreograph (1.5 hrs).
  • I spent about an hour choreographing. And it's only the first few bars! I was trying to figure out footwork, which directions to turn, and practiced with the veil.
Lately I feel like I'm all in my head, thinking and planning, and I don't feel like moving and getting into my body. At Roula's I was quite happy to sit and take notes. Uh, this is supposed to be a belly dance lesson!

I'm going to a Kathak workshop tomorrow, so I'd better get out of my head and get moving...

Total on Day 16: 18 hours

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 13

  • 1 hour Masala Bhangra "Bollywood Style" workout DVD
  • 1 hour of Michelle Joyce's Drills! Drills! Drills! belly dance DVD
The Bollywood workout DVD was tough! It was pretty fast moving and definitely raised my heart rate. There was a lot of bouncing and jumping, and my knees didn't feel great at the end of it. :(

After I cooled down a bit, I went right into the Drills DVD, and I was too tired to do the whole thing (2 hours). But I got through isolation drills and zylls. (Boy, my zylling is awful!!!)

Total on Day 13: 15.5 hours

Monday, January 12, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 11

  • 1 hour of rehearsal with E. for a tentative show this week
I was (still am) sick, and we didn't practise very intensely, but we went over some choreography yesterday afternoon. I hope to do Michelle's Joyce's Drills! Drills! Drills! dvd today, which I finally received in the mail. :)

Total on Day 11: 13.5 hours

Saturday, January 10, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 9

Technically today is day 10, but I'll post again after I do something today... :)
I took a rest day on day 8 since I was feeling overworked.
  • 1.5 hours of dance classes at Mayada's studio open house: salsa, bellydance boot camp, Celtic, folklore and circuit training
Total on Day 9: 12.5 hours

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 7

  • 1.5 hour bellydance class
  • 1 hour troupe practice
Troupe practice seems to be getting shorter, and yet I feel more tired. Actually, my body feels beaten up - I might be overdoing it with the belly dance rehab. :\ Maybe I'll take a rest day tomorrow, or just take it easy.

Total on Day 7: 11 hours

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 6

  • New York City Ballet Workout 2, 1 hour
Another Youtube find: Part one. This version is better produced than the first NYC Ballet Workout, which I borrowed from the library on VHS. The narration is more clear and he cues right/left so that you can mirror the dancers on screen. (in Volume 1, the narrator switched between cuing your left and the dancer's left and it was confusing.) It's a nice workout, and I'm really considering buying the DVD.

Total on Day 6: 8.5 hours

the secret afghan project

Back in July, Bohoknitterchic started organizing a project to knit/crochet an afghan for Madam Knit Girl, the lovely lady who started the Bad Knit Girls group. I was honoured to be given a chance to participate! I ended up knitting three squares:

Anchor, inspired by a design in Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments:

7x7 afghan square #3

Skull, chart from Hello Yarn:

7x7 afghan square #2

Vintage swimsuit, from Knits by Rachel:

7x7 afghan square

You can see the finished afghan on MKG's Flickr. Hooray to everyone involved! We did a great job!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 5

  • 1 hour belly dance class at Arabesque

I was really tired today after yesterday's yoga class and extended dance session, but mustered the energy to go to Saba's class and I'm glad I did. It was fun! And they had free VHS tapes available, so I nabbed a drum solo video by Yasmina. :) Afterward E. and I went for falafel, which is always a great way to end the evening!

Total on day 5: 7.5 hours

Sunday, January 04, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 4

I totally skipped day 3 - no belly dance or other workouts! I organized my dance and choreography notes, if that counts... um no, it doesn't count. BUT I made up for it today! I actually got up in time to go to yoga classs and I practiced with E. for 2.5 hours!!

  • vinyasa yoga 1.25 hours (worth half)
  • learning Virginia choreography 2.5 hours
Total on day 4: 6.5 hours

Friday, January 02, 2009

belly dance rehab - day 2

I'm still motivated on day 2.... I just need to keep it up for 19 more days and it will become a habit! (that's the rule, right? 21 days to make something a habit)

I did cardio Tae Bo for an hour (worth half) and 1.25 hours of belly dance practice:
  • warm up and arms from Aziza's Ultimate Bellydance Practice Companion dvd
  • daily practice drills
  • zylls for 15 min.
  • re-learn choreography to Ramsa (hope to add zylls eventually)
  • Basic Class Combinations I from Mahsati Janan's site (she has a lot of great articles!)
  • Cool down, stretching

I'm very happy that I found the Tae Bo video on Youtube (part one is here). I most likely wouldn't buy it but I'm quite happy to do it occasionally. Thanks XxSweetLady!

Total after day 2: 3.25 hours

belly dance rehab - day 1 (again)

Allrighty, I re-started my belly dance rehab with the new year! Yay for me!
  • warm up
  • lots of drills
  • shimmy drill
  • went over notes from my private lesson with Zahira
  • veil
  • stretching
Total after day 1: 1.5 hours

And I bought Michelle Joyce's Drills! Drills! Drills! dvd from a Bhuzzer, which should arrive next week!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

how to clean makeup brushes

Here's a recipe for make-up brush cleaner that I found on Youtube:

happy new year!

Happy 2009 to you!

I have 12 new year's resolutions, and so far I've worked on two of them: I did some yoga today and I finished reading a book! I don't know if I'll count the book, since I read most of it in 2008. Hmm who am I kidding, of course I'll count it! It was The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and I borrowed it from T-man's mom while we were visiting for Christmas.

Another resolution is to reduce the time that I waste on the internet, and on that note, I am off to do something useful!