Well hi welcome to my little blog. Just my little corner of craftiness, sewing, and refashioning. I am also a newly gluten free eater so you have a little bit of recipes mixed in here.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The sensuous Workout #2: Pure technique with Shamira bellydance DVD Review

Happy Shimmy Saturday! Today I am trying out a DVD that I actually got from someone else. I have never done it before.No Worries I have not reviewed Sensusous workout #1, and probably not planning on it.
Yes so say this title 5 times fast, I dare you....
Bellydancing: The Sensuous Workout 2 with Shamira "Pure Technique" DVD Cover

When I first turned on the DVD and saw the dancer, I thought this lady must be from New Jersey. I don't know why I just felt it.

Turned out after some looking up, yup she is based in New Jersey. Just call it jersey girl intuition. ha!!

The curtains, the statues (which in different scenes change!), being filmed at a house. Were amusing. However, the sound was not that good. She was miked so that helped. And yes you could see her dance.

At the end, she does 3 dances to different music rhythms. The costumes were a bit crazy. She does try to tell you what she is doing so you can TRY to follow along. This costume just, er, blew me away. LOL

She does 22 sections of moves. It is all hips really. There is no chest or arms really. Actually she has a LOT of upper body movement in her teaching. So there is some lack of isolation. Her dance vocabulary is different than mine. Each section she does go over a basic move and sometimes offers variants to it. She does offer good explanation of the moves but her technique is not clean. She does show video from the back so as we say in the bellydance teaching world, "follow that butt".

Verdict: Toss, I found myself bored with the tempo. I did get some different ideas for moves which was a plus. It is not bad. I just didn't care for her dancing with the choreography. It was to basic even tempo music. Nothing I could really garner or take from. I like a little spice and drama to my music and choreography. Although, the drum solo was not bad. There was also no warm up or cool down. This is definitely geared towards the beginner dancer looking to expand their move repertoire.

Curious, I looked her up as her DVD (which had chapter divisions for each move- thank you btw!!) had her website. She has actually danced for Christina Aguilara for the 2000 Music Awards. I watched some video on youtube also. I had mixed feelings about the youtube. Some are lackluster even though she is a good dancer. Then I saw her perform at a birthday party and realized something. She was so good at the birthday party, I mean entertaining and engaging. She was a good dancer. So I think what we have in this case is a dancer who is a phenomenal improv and audience-engaging dancer but ok at teaching and doing formal choreography. Her arena is the live arena.

Not all bellydancers are good improv dancers. Not all bellydancers are good at choreography. Some are better as solo dancers while others are better at group dancers. Some are good teachers, some are bad. Where do I fall in this category? I'll tell you- I am a formal choreography dancer. I hate solos, I like groups. Not always the best at improving or live small group performances, I can't always get audiences to participate with me. My strengths are also staging for groups. I also think I am a decent teacher, tho I like teaching those who have already learned and are looking to clean up technique. So I am a better intermediate/advance teacher then beginner. My background in anatomy has thoroughly helped breaking down moves in order to clean it up. I also have the "eye". LOL so there you go! :)


Friday, November 29, 2013

GF Cheese Biscuits and thanksgiving review!

For thanksgiving this year I decided to try out this mix for cheese rolls.

The mix was so easy to make and I used fried grated sharp cheddar cheese. Really easy to knead the dough. And easy to make the rolls.

Here is the end result... these were super yummy!

I would definitely do again. Next time I would flatten the balls out. This would give a better cook with evenness. There were some spots that were doughy. Just small spots. But definitely again!

I made my own stuffing using some of the frozen breads I had. I cut them into small pieces, tossed with oil and seasoning and baked for 20 minutes. The next day I sauteed some peppers, onions and mixed up. It was great for the turkey but too dry for eating. I attempted to make crockpot mashed potatoes but I got my ratios wrong. So I added this to it and it was fabulous!


Easy Blouse Pattern 1690 Part 2

Happy Black Friday!!! Today I am going to tell you how I made the brown shirt I am wearing with my red coduroy refashion I posted on Wednesday. Actually super easy.

Actually it is another option of the plaid overskirt I did with the purple chiffon. This is the top you can sew with it. And really easy to make! It fits well. Easy to understand. Covers me well that I can wear it to work. It does have side slits. Definnitely will make again. Perfect, which you don't always get in patterns. This one is for the win.

The fabric is some sort of satin-y material.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Red corduroy skirt refashion

Time for a refashion! It is the red corduroy skirt.... oh it is stretchy!
 For some reason when I wear this skirt I feel like I should be reading a thick book and I am possibly a librarian...

No matter what I do with that skirt it is ugly and too short and you see my ugly feet which I hate, hate, hate! Time to shorten it!

What I also noticed  was the button holes were a bit stretched out. I also didn't care for these brown tortoise shell buttons. Remember this simple red sweater refashion?

Remember these buttons? From this sweater refashion? I saved them, perfect time to use them.

So I swapped out the buttons. With a quick cut, some of my problem was gone. I realized cutting above the last button would be a good length for me.

Next just fold up and sew. But the bottom button was in my way!! Remove and finish sewing!

Done! A nice fall skirt my way.

Love easy refashions. BTW I made that top that I am wearing with it! Stay tuned, I'll tell you how easy it is to make!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Anthropologie Inspired Plaid Skirt, simplicity 1690

It is funny how when you want to make something and then you see it being sold for a lot of money. Take this Kenley skirt from Anthropologie. $148 for just the skirt. Really

As you can see there is an overskirt sort of looks like a bow.

Here is how to knock it off, for a fraction of the price. Check out this pattern from simplicity. It is similar to the anthro skit. Simplicity 1690

Now I got all fancy. Or out of my league. I decided to make this skirt with purple and black plaid CHIFFON. Yes you heard me right. Chiffon. And plaid. 2 really hard things to sew with. But hey things were shut....

While I was sewing, which has a black chiffon lining. I got really excited when the 2 overskirts matched each other. Like the Gevalia coffee commercial..... TOOT TOOT

In all actuality I knew the overskirt would match but the under skirt will not. I am totally fine with that. Here is after the pleating. I pinned and basted the heck out of this skirt!!! 

Next add the waistband. This I actually modified for myself, I needed a bit longer. Sew to the skirt. Prettyyyyy.....

Here it is on... drool

I paired it with some boots and a black shirt.

Hey I would also like to point out that I sewed an exposed zipper (and not invisible) and the cat didn't look like she attacked it. And the plaid relatively matches.

Love. I think I can totally remake this with a modified waist to even look more like the anthro skirt. Which is really a small rectangle to sort of gather it. Easy. This was not the easiest skirt but part of it was due to the chiffon and the plaid. Plus it had lining. Which made it thick. I think I may have broke a needle in one part of attached the waistband. Really happy with the results. I would definitely try again with other fabric that doesn't require lining. I think it would lay flatter.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Drapey Maxi Dress: Vogue Pattern V8241

This is probably one of the dresses I am super excited about this dress!!!

So let's start from the beginning! I used this Very Easy Vogue Pattern V8241.

And let me tell you it was super easy to sew. Now cutting it on the other hand, was super hard. See that cute fuzzy little grey "angel"? Hovering around the cutting table and wanting to mess with the tissue paper??

I still see you..... You are not hidden. Actually you hide very badly.

The material is a polyester interlock. Actually, it was meant to be a full half skirt for a choreography I was part of but never made one. Then I moved! So it just languished but I realized I had just enough to make this dress. I was super excited. The only part I had issues with was sewing the back slit. I mean I was confused on this part badly. I actually sewed it at one point so badly that it was wrapped around the bodice. No pics. I was so frustrated. I had to walk away and let my brain settle. I got it after a bunch of practice parts. I was not going to give up. So that picture could have been better. Also I promise you for the elastic part in the waist, I called to sew elastic bigger than your waist. I actually made the elastic smaller to make the bodice drape a little more. Actually, I think I could have went in an inch more.

I love my dress... Love it. Here is with a belt.

There is a back leg slit, so you can walk. And also a back slit so you can put it on. Oh yeah, I modified the pattern to not do a button. I actually put in a snap. Way faster and easier. Plus I got to use the hammer with the tool. LOL Don't ask me why I was excited. 

With out the belt so you can see the dress

Easy, breezy, and OMG I just love this dress. I would totally make another one. Seriously. The fit is perfect. I did my normal size 12. Perfect. Highly recommend too.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Instructional Bellydance with Jillina Level 3

Ok last part of the Jillina 3 part series (no worries she actually has another 3 part series that I am reviewing). Again 2003, same sort of setup like all the previous DVDs. It is an advanced choreography to a Hakim song. Ahhh Hakim, I love Hakim.
Again stretching is small. Technique is clear. Combos lead to choreo. I had issues with these combos
4- gets vertical 8s mixed up again
9- hits were hard to understand which hip and it up, up or up, down, or down, down
(there are 10 total combos btw)

There are a lot of turning in this choreo. Drilling combo 10 may be hard for some people. Again way too much zooming. I just want to see the choreo. I need to see feet and direction I need to face. I really hate that. Stop zooming!!! You are not helping the choreography!!!

Definitely an int/adv dancer choreography. Lots of turns. Live performance at the end. But again some of the camera zooms on her abs/hips really is not what I want to see. I almost feel it is inappropriate.

She always has really great interaction with audience, she is truly an outstanding performer. Which with the zooms you miss. As a dancer I want to see all of her dance from head to toe. Because she truly performs head to toe.

Verdict: Keep. I never get tired of her choreography. :)


Friday, November 15, 2013

Bellydance DVD Review: Jillina #2

Ah another Jillina DVD. Oh how I love Jillina. I can watch Jillina all day. This again from 2003. The Song is Warda.

As you know this is part of a 3 part DVD series. I reviewed #1 here, go and check it out. The second is supposed to be a intermediate geared DVD. Again she talks while she instructs in front of the mirror. Just like a class.

The warm up is little like the previous DVD but the technique is clear. Combos led to choreography.
I had issues with these combos
2- has R/L vertical figure 8s backwards
7- too many zoom ins, I felt like I needed more feet and not hips
8- too many zooms, also too short

Even in the choreography part I wish less zooming would happen. I get confused with what direction I'm supposed to face. I got confused on the hip circle part. But man she can flick that hair fall like its nobody's business. Watch if you have neck problems, this area can be problematic. You also have floorwork, but little of it, but if you can't come to the floor you will have modify this entire section. There is no cool down. Overall I thought the choreography is cute. It is not super county so if you are one of these people who need counts, you will have problems. She performs the choreo in front of a live audience but modifies it. Still good.  BTW I love the outtakes on the credits.

Verdict: Keep. Love the choreo. The video and sound is good. The content is good and useful. I would say this is definitely an intermediate choreography.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bellydance DVD Review: Queen of Flowers

Ok another Neon DVD, this one is the queen of flowers. All about tray dancing. Which she does with flowers on which is lovely.

This is the menu. A bit crazy. I'll explain in a bit. 

And WTF about the neon green mini skirt she danced in the entire time. 

Ok let me start from the beginning, I am done ranting about that mini-skirt. The majority of the DVD is about dancing with a tray on your head on top of a veil. I do not condone this, too dangerous and really it sort of creaped me out. I have yet to figure this one out why that creeped me out. Why can you not dance with a hip belt, yoga pants, and a sports bra like the rest of us?

The music is very general and not to a specific song. She teaches 2 choreographies: Queen of flowers and secret garden. it is 130 minutes. So buckle up this is a long DVD. Both honestly when I had issues with the menu I thought were the same. Tho after studying it is a different dance but that was only b/c I did the DVD. They both started out the same way.

Now don't get me wrong she has serious skills and technique with a tray. Much better than I have. And the graphics do help you learn as she teaches you step by step. But she talks to you so you have to mirror her. After a while my brain hurts. And that black background, but I understand why it is there for the diagrams, which help a lot. I still think her dancing is a bit choppy like with her reverse undulations. I would like to see more flow to her moves.

So the difference also between the 2 choreographies is how she looses the veil from the head underneath the tray. Now there is actually a 3rd dance but she doesn't not teach anything. She just performs to it. It is a bit of a more advanced dance. At the end she does give logisitics and pointers for trays, veils, flowers, lip makeup.

Verdict: Toss. I do not see a need for this in my future and I need the space. I say this is for intermediate and advance dancers just b/c of the technique that is required to dance with a tray on your head. Now if you want to learn how to do this I would recommend this for you. However, if it isn't your future I say save your money.



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