Monday, 13 February 2012

Fancy Dress

On Saturday night I went to a gangster themed salsa night and in fancy dress tradition, we made time for a photo shoot before I left the house.  Luckily I live with Paul Kelly, who knows how to take a good photo:

This costume was no trouble at all to come up with - I had most of it in my wardrobe and only needed to buy a few pearly accessories - unlike some other fancy dress costumes I've donned in the past:

From left to right:
  • Little Miss Muffett with a halloween twist, for which I had to make a dress, and bonnet, and then hand sew 50 odd plastic spiders all over.
  • Rubiks cube, for an 80s themed party - I made the skirt which was, by the way, solvable.
  • Rudolph - for fake Christmas one year - my first attempt at making a dress.  It was way too short.
  • Sheep - for another Fake Christmas - this time, the nativity scene - it was slightly less labour intensive, since I just had to stick a photo of my head to some cotton wool and pipe cleaners.
  • Lost - not for any particular reason - just a cold winters night when we thought it would be fun to get into some summer clothes and pretend we were in Lost
  • Wizard of Oz inspired Witch - low maintenance, only back-combed hair and 'ruby' slippers required.
  • Dangermouse - another 80s party, thought of and made on the day of the do - I won the fancy dress competition
  • Rock chic - no party, just for fun, using the clothes I already had in my wardrobe
  • Gangster - my first incarnation as a gangster, with a corset made out of a pair of pinstriped trousers.  

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


I spent the entire weekend, and the two evenings so far this week working on a top secret creative project.  Somehow it has taken over my brain for the past four days, but I think I've finally reached saturation point.

As I was clearing away the creative chaos that I exploded in my kitchen tonight, I had the definite feeling that I need to put it away an out of my mind until the weekend, when I hope I'll be able to make some more progress.  I still have an epic task ahead of me, but at least I've started...

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Leading the Way

I spent last Saturday at an all day beginners tango workshop... as a leader.

My introduction to tango was attending the very same course as a follower and I heartily recommend it to anyone. My lasting memory from it is less about the tango I learned, and more about the people I met there and the friendships that started on that day a few years ago.

It's been a while since that first workshop with White Rose Tango, and I have to say that this time I was even more wowed by it than before.  The warm welcoming atmosphere played a part in that, but the quality and volume of useful things that I was reminded of during the day was what really struck me this time.  I'm sure that if I had been there to follow, I would have taken just as much from it - even as an 'experienced' follower. The advantage of revisiting basic workshops two years on is that I'll (maybe) be able to retain more of it as it's not so much of a shock to the system.

As far as my leading is going - it's been 5 weeks now and it still seems way out of my reach to be anywhere near competent (which is probably about right for my following too!) but I'm really enjoying having the opportunity to see things from the other side.

On the plus side, it turns out that tango really is fun.  When it's not frustrating and annoying and impossible.

My First Shoe Bag

The first shoe bag I ever made, and the second thing I ever made using a sewing machine looked like this:

At the time I never dreamed that one day I would be making shoe bags that people would actually want to buy - in the same way that I never dreamed I'd ever wear short tight dresses, tiny shorts or animal print. - I guess dancing changes your life in many ways.

How has dancing changed your life?