fireandearth: (strictly ballroom)
Lots happened this weekend, like Madicon, and an interesting scene. However, it was the tango lesson at the end which has needed lots of processing.

background )

Once again, we're reminded that tango is hard. I was the only one there who hadn't taken tango lessons with this teacher, so I got thoroughly picked on by the instructor and his partner, in that "we're not going to let you get the basics wrong" sort of way. Yeah, that's a good thing. I was pushed really hard for about 3 hours, and was impressed by how much time the instructors spent working just with me on what would have been remedial to the rest of the class, had they not been working on other things.

Processing this now, I'm becoming aware of something vitally important. Throughout the lesson I had both the instructor and a couple of other students repeatedly telling me to relax. By which I mean, in some cases, every single step. "Relax, relax, relax." Why? Here's what I've figured out. In ballroom, and just about everything in open position, in order to clear up the communication between partners you firm up your frame (the way you're holding your arms).

details )

Guess what happens in close embrace if you firm up the way your body and arms are held? You destroy the signal instead of making it clearer. So here I have this instructor telling me to relax with every step, while at the same time scolding me for waddling if my legs aren't close enough that my knees are brushing, scolding me if my feet aren't right next to each other between each step, scolding me if, in the process of leaning, my butt sticks out at all or my head leans forward, or I lift one foot as I'm swiveling on the other or turn an ankle to the side to make crossed ankles easier. Meanwhile, he's doing moves I've never followed before and scolding me every time a mistake or my own tension causes my upper body and arms to stiffen. Oh, and did I mention that when I wasn't being told to relax I was being told to reach farther backward for each step, and commit to each step without hesitation or doubt (including in those brand new moves), and getting my hand smacked for not laying flat on my partner's shoulder. I'd get my upper body relaxed for about two steps in a row if I was on a roll. That didn't happen much.

Yeah, I loved it. Well, when you ignore the fact that I was exhausted (from staying up until 5am the night before) when I started and near falling down when I finished. The instructor was very good, pushed me to the limit of my abilities, and was enthusiastic about working with me. He also told me that I was could be really good if I kept working at it, pointed out two women who I should be watching to the exclusion of others, and by mid-class was grabbing me to demonstrate relatively simple moves to other pairs. So I'll be going back on those Sunday afternoons when there aren't waltzes (waltzes are more aerobic, less stressful, and pure joy for me - no way I'm giving them up despite missing every other class in his two-month series). My next challenge. And I'm not even fabulous at Blues yet.

cloak

Nov. 27th, 2005 08:54 pm
fireandearth: (Default)
I finally took pictures of the cloak today:
http://pics.livejournal.com/fireandearth/gallery/0000egt9

No one's claimed it yet. Want it? )
fireandearth: (Default)
I went contra dancing last night, despite feeling lazy and wanting to stay home. I had a great time, but not because of the contra, though my body is definitely feeling better for the workout. A dance buddy introduced me to a new kind of dance that's danced to Blues music (I think it's called slow blues dancing)- which apparently happens at the park every other Sunday evening, but isn't on the website anywhere(??). Very sexy, very improvisational. We ended up talking until 2:30am about everything under the sun, which was delightful, but cold. I got home at 3:30am and slept until 1:30pm. Making good use of my last day of freedom, I guess!

Part of my problem getting to dances lately is that contra just doesn't challenge me anymore. It's fun, but no longer fills me with a fiery joy. New challenges would be good. Waltz is still a challenge, but I've been restricting myself to only going to the waltzes put on by Waltz Time (only on the 1st and 3rd Sundays) because I enjoy them more than the other two companies who put on Sunday afternoon waltzes. I think I may have to stop being so picky if I want to actually have time to dance. And I think I shall try this Blues thing. Besides, it's a lot easier to get out on a Sunday evening than a Friday evening lately.

The new job starts tomorrow. Time to go find out what I signed up for. You may start the countdown to disillusionment...now. I'm not sure how much internet time I'm going to get, so I may not be as much of an lj-presence in the future. We shall see.
fireandearth: (Default)
Finishing the cloak seems to have sapped my creative energy. *grumph* The only thing I really want to sew right now I can't start on until a discontinued Simplicity pattern arrives from Canada. At some point today while the basement is filled with gamers I'll pick up the Victorian and work on that. And then, I think I'll go dancing. Meanwhile, I think I'll read fairy tales in the sunlight with my kitty.

sewing

Oct. 22nd, 2005 02:53 pm
fireandearth: (sewing)
I finished the cloak today. It's gorgeous! All it needs is a clasp - where can I find one outside of internet land, anyone? I think that my problem with making stuff for other people is that I'm too much of a perfectionist. I could have just made a nice, simple, easy, inexpensive cloak. But Nooo, I had to create something fabulous. *sigh* It's wonderful, and I'm very proud of it, but I'm impatient with myself over it. I'll be posting pictures soon...probably after I've found a clasp. If it were in my colors I'd be tempted to keep it.
fireandearth: (Default)
My body is finally realizing that this is a vacation instead of a long weekend. Yay. I've mostly been reading and sewing. I finished the Tricksters novels, read the new Octavia Butler (vampires!) - that woman does not disappoint. I just hope she keeps writing. Then I read Dead Until Dark: more vampires, but cheesier. Actually, everything was okay until we ran into "Bubba" - Elvis, the brain-damaged vampire. Jim, did you say there were more? I'm a sucker for a bad vampire novel. Teehee.

I finished Scott's shirt, made some migraine-soothing accessories, and I've been working on the cloak, which is coming quite well, and is turning out better than I thought it would. I wanted to jump into making dresses out of my batiked quilters cottons, but it seems the pattern that I used back in college is now significantly small on me, and Simplicity has discontinued it. So I grabbed it on ebay this morning, but I don't know how long it will take to get here, so who knows what I'll do next.

Per [livejournal.com profile] loringil's request, I've scheduled another sewing weekend for December. Tonight I will chat with my mother and clean up the basement. Having three evenings at home this week has been almost as refreshing as a couple additional days off would be. I'm looking forward to starting the new job on Tuesday. I think when it gets here I'll be ready for it, though I'm sure I'll still have plenty of sewing I don't have time for.

kittens

Oct. 10th, 2005 05:45 pm
fireandearth: (cat & canary)
I have a bit of a conundrum. It seems that we have four (possibly more - the neighbor said last week he saw six) young kittens living in our backyard. I'm not good at judging kitten age, but they're very fluffy and about 8" long, not including tails. They're clean and look healthy. We have yet to see a mama-cat. My conundrum is this: were it not October, I'd probably leave them alone. But I really don't think feral kittens are going to last out the winter if they're still this young. I know of a no-kill shelter in Fredericksburg, but I am entirely unsure of my ability to catch people-shy kittens. [livejournal.com profile] dreamhawk suggests setting out a saucer of milk, but isn't cow milk bad for cats? Or is that just older cats?

Should I even try to catch these kittens? Is it physically possible? Will they be fine or better off on their own? Last year there were several kittens growing up in the neighborhood, and one by one I saw them become road kill. I do not want to clean frozen kitten corpses out of my back yard in the spring.
fireandearth: (Default)
I’m cleaning out the cube at work. Here’s my pile of "word of the whenevers". They’re all pretty obscure, and all but the first one are useful. Libraries have such lovely dictionaries. Yes, I get excited when I run into new words.

Read more... )

tidbits

Oct. 4th, 2005 03:40 pm
fireandearth: (Default)
Yes, incredulous IT guy, I can (and did) map a network drive.
"All by yourself?"
Uh-huh.

sewing

Sep. 21st, 2005 05:31 pm
fireandearth: (Default)
I have a dozen projects clambering in my brain right now. Sew me. Stitch me. I feel like I'll never have time for all the things I want to do, no matter how much time I'm given. Yeah, sometimes this leads to me being a little distractable. Next, I will sew this! No, wait, this first, and then that! Then, in between... But I simply must learn to make an X! Now! Remind me not to plan ahead. Or to enforce my planning ahead, either one. By the way, I'm getting the embroidery itch again. This is usually followed by the hand-stitching itch.

The muslin for Scott's shirt is ready for him to try it on tonight. We'll see how much work has to happen to get it fitting right then. I'm crossing my fingers. I still have to finish up the underskirt for the Victorian dress, but I'm ready to start on the overskirt as well. I'm looking into buying a quantity of solid black, dark green, or dark blue twill (and probably flannel too) from ebay for a cloak or two...maybe there's a place I can get large chunks of it for less than ~$2.70/yd including shipping...I'll look into that.

I've finally figured out what to do with 3 lengths of gorgeous batiked cottons that I seized at JoAnn a while ago. A formal dress pattern that I made up in brown velour 6 years ago taunts me. Mmm, long skirts. Now I'm itching to get started on that project/3 projects, but I must be strong! I will work on Scott's shirt, the Victorian dress, and then make a cloak. The rest of my planning ahead will probably be ditched for more shiny projects though. Like Ooo, batiked cottons. *drool*

weather

Aug. 24th, 2005 09:01 am
fireandearth: (Default)
This summer has been too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too sunny, too grey, and full of people who are endlessly grumpy about the weather. This has been a wonderful summer. It feels like summer in Virginia, like home.

Oh, and just in case you're still confused, August is supposed to be warm. Deliciously warm, heat that soaks in through your skin until you can feel it pushing on your organs warm. Out of breath in a hot car feeling the first sweat slide between your breasts and crawl over your scalp warm. Cozy blanket across your shoulders holding your head in its lap warm. Heat so tangible that it fills your stomach and stands between your mind and your body, rendering you into a Being that is Now, that basks, that shimmers like blacktop, that fills and empties with sensation, time, mercury, light. Heat that makes a person into a sundial.

And by the way, it cold in the library.
fireandearth: (Default)
Tales from a community college library.

"I'm sorry, I know you're wearing headphones, but your music is still too loud."
*grumpy disbelief*
"You're listening to Evanescence, Bring me to life."
*sheepishly turns down cd player*

~~

A student hands me a pile of old textbooks that he wants to donate to the library.
"Would you like a receipt for these, for tax purposes?"
"No, thanks. I don't get taxed much these days."

~~

If you are polite, earnest, and listen to me, you can ask as many stupid questions as you like. But please stop picking your nose while you do it.


cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] amused_library
fireandearth: (Default)
Stitch & Bitch weekend and sleepover
Next Weekend

details )

people I think are coming - if you're not on this list and you want to be, let me know )

If you're coming, you don't know the way to my house, and directions haven't appeared in your in-box tonight, send me a note at [ljname]@livejournal.com.
fireandearth: (Default)
Working on bustle dress. Flatlining was kicking my butt, but I pulled out the hand-basting whoop-ass on it. It really does change the feel and drape of the fabric though. Ooo, ahhh.
fireandearth: (Default)
August 26 - 28th!

Sewing weekend, open to all (and all skill levels), with crash space, at my place in Dumfries, VA.

Here's the deal. Come over to my place any time from 6:30 on Friday to Sunday afternoon. Stay as long or as short as you like. Bring a project (or several). It doesn't matter if it's something you can breeze through easily, something so challenging it's been sitting in the back of your closet for years, or that mending you never get around to.

Bring your sewing machine if you've got one (or two! we will have more people than machines). Here's the main idea: If you know what you're doing, come ready to help people out. If you don't know what you're doing, we'll help you. I'm happy to take on complete beginners and start you with a simple project. We'll be making at least one trip to the fabric store during the weekend for supplies.

If you're interesting in getting started with corsetry, I can start you on the pattern-making/mock-up process, but DON'T expect to get it all done in a weekend. I'm not an expert, but I'll do my best to share what I've been learning.

We'll socialize, we'll sew. We have crash space, and even a bed or two for the first couple of people. Scott has offered to make at least one meal for us, and last time we had waffles for breakfast. ^_^ The rest of the food we'll figure out as we go.

PLEASE RSVP. We'd like to know who/how many to expect, especially so Scott can feed us. Last time we ended up with a revolving door of sewers, and so had plenty of room for everyone. Just let us know when to expect you. We had a fabulous weekend last time, and I'm really looking forward to doing it again.

Questions?

sewing

Aug. 3rd, 2005 03:32 pm
fireandearth: (sewing)
I'm planning another sewing weekend, and I was going to announce the date today, but now work wants me to work that Saturday, so I'm going to sort things out here before I put the word out. But it's coming!
fireandearth: (Default)
I'm back, and alive. More later.
fireandearth: (Default)
Gone backpacking.

Back Tuesday.
fireandearth: (Default)
Here are the pics of the new corset:
http://pics.livejournal.com/fireandearth/gallery/0000c75h

I'm wearing it today, because I can!
fireandearth: (cat & canary)
I had an amazing weekend. Any weekend that is made up of all four of my top priorities has got to be fabulous. I started on construction for the grey rose (underwear) corset Friday, and went contra dancing in the evening. Saturday I had really delightful Scott time, worked on the corset, and then had fabulous Jim time. And Sunday I worked on the corset more. Scott, Jim, dancing, and sewing. What could be better?

Actually, I know the answer to that...I finished the corset Sunday night. Yes, start to finish in one weekend, taking about 20 hours - more than half of that was on Sunday. It looks...just incredible. First time on it cinched more than 4" without effort. I had intended it to be curvy, but I didn't think it would be THAT curvy. There are a couple of places where it could have used more boning, but that's a lesson for the next one. I intend to bring you pictures tonight. I, at least, am very impressed. ^_^

I rocked my weekend.
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