Monday, October 29, 2012

DWTS season 15: week 6 performances.

Despite my being in the middle of sandy, I still have power. Let's hope it lasts through the rest of the show.

Gilles. Hardest cha cha ever? Far from it. His feet were sloppy and his solo was nothing to talk about. Was not a hard routine. Too high.

Sabrina. It was pretty good but the steps seemed like she was running too much. I didn't see much hip movement and the footwork in her solo was unclear. Too high.

Kelly. A few places she seemed a little unclear on the steps. I could have done without the feathers on the bodice of the dress. Maybe a little high but I think this routine deserved it better them the others.

Melissa. Pretty, simple, elegant. I'll agree with the scores.

Shawn. Cute routine but there was no cha cha in her solo. I'll give them the scores.

Kirstie. Not as much hip action as I thought she was going to do, at least in the actual steps. Bonus points for not having Maks' thigh giving out this time. Some of her arm positions looked awkward. Maybe a little high?

Apolo. Pretty and sad at the same time. I'll agree with the scores.

Emmitt. Odd song for a foxtrot and his solo didn't match the rest of the choreography. Overall: meh. Scores ok, but Bruno a little high.

Group. Ha ha. That was silly.

Whoo hoo! Made it through the show with power. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

End of October update

OK. So it's not the end of October until Wednesday, but it's close enough. Plus I have Hurricane Sandy approaching which could possibly mess up Halloween and other events.

I got more done on In the Garden this week. I did most of my scarf making at work. Oops. I'm almost done with page 2.

I have started stoning my rose dress, I have 3 of the roses 2/3 done. I'll have a picture next update.

Just a few more days until the beginning of November which means NaNoWriMo starts. Yay! Or should it be Eek? As much as I have the beginning scenes and the general plot and arc, the middle/end is still really foggy in terms of action. I hope this won't hinder me too much. My main concern is Sunday. I have a competition that day which doesn't lend itself well to writing 1667 words. I'll try, but I'm most likely going to try and boost my word count on other days. I've also been mulling over giving the story I wrote my first year, Lost Princess, a good edit and see if I can get it published. The one I wrote last year needs a lot more work.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DWTS season 15: week 5 performances part 2

Hello second half of the performances. Let's see who's over scored tonight.

Melissa. She looked a little unsure of some of the steps. I could see some were taken just to keep up with Tony's lead. Her frame was pretty good. Better than most. Heel leads may have been missing. Maybe a little high.

Shawn. Turns, tricks, and something that looked partially bolero-ish. But no rumba steps other than a few of the spins. No hips. No chance to use her hips, there were no steps. Kinda of like Emmitt's bolero. Where was it? Highly over scored.

Apolo. Lots of content but there was something off about the technique. Maybe the white pants accentuated the lack of hip movement other then the thrusting. Tad over scored? I would have given 8.5. I like her dress.

Sabrina. It reminded me of a viennese waltz rather then a waltz. I blame the choreography. I like the fact that she couldn't be hard and fast but I think they still didn't go as far as they could given the style. Lots of fast turns. Too high.

Team gangnam style. Excuse me while I pick myself off the floor from laughing. Was it as technical as the other? No. But it was probably as crazy as the video. I'll take it.
Just a note, if you switch Emmitt and Cheryl for Tony and Melissa, you get team dance with me. ;)

Monday, October 22, 2012

DWTS season 15: week 5 performances part 1

Two nights of performances. Tomorrow's may be a little late as I'm dancing myself tomorrow night.

Kelly. Really odd song for a samba. Ignoring that, it was a lot of fluff but what I did see wasn't that bad. It was really slow tempo wise. Her feet weren't too bad on the rolls. Weight was a little too back during the runs. Bounce wasn't really there. I'll give them the scores. We'll see how much other people are over scored our under scored tonight.

Gilles. Could have used more hip movement and it was a lot of Peta dancing around him. But the emotion and performance was there. The a capella at the beginning was risky given lack of a beat. Her dress gives me an idea of how to drape that blue/silver sequin material I have. Over scored.

Kirstie. Frame needs work. She shouldn't be that perpendicular. She did keep up with the steps and there were a lot of them. I'll give them the scores.

Emmitt. The hips weren't there when they should have been. Barely any bounce, and what was there wasn't correct. Lots of Cheryl dancing around him again. Over scored. I don't like her dress either.

Team call me maybe. Somehow the head bops at the beginning were off. The outfit was not flattering on Sabrina. It was fun though. I'll give it to them but maybe a tad high.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A little more progress

I've made some more progress on In the Garden. I've completed one of the 'magic wisps' that are floating around.

I also completed a few more scarves, including this one. It's really soft. I also have a fuzzy red one.

Why do I come home to find my cat sleeping on my pillows? I'm jealous. Silly kitty.

While fleshing out my story for NaNoWriMo, I've come across a problem. One of my characters, seems to be lacking a motive. He's seems to be a plot device despite the fact that I plan to write some scenes from his POV. I need to somehow figure out a sub plot and a motive of his. Protecting his sister is kind of weak. I have a little over a week to figure this out.

In the meantime I have a competition on Nov. 4 to prepare for. My rhinestones for my rose dress came on Friday. I have 5 different colors in 3 different sizes. I'll work on it a little during the coming week.

Monday, October 15, 2012

DWTS season 15: week 4 performances

Oh boy, what an odd week it is. Although I don't dance some of these styles, I at least know what they're supposed to look like. Let's see what happens.

Kirstie. The ending was a little strange but they had me laughing the entire time. She could have danced some places a bit better but she did something different with her arms. I don't think she went to her default position once. I'll agree with the scores.

Bristol. She messed up a few times and if mark was dancing at level 10, she was at 5. I feel the choreography was safe. Too high.

Sabrina. Fun, disco-y. I've seen better routines on SYTYCD though. I'm surprised she stayed in her top. Little high, but I'll allow it due to Bristol's score.

Emmitt. Four choreographers? The shirt is not flattering on him. Lots of Cheryl dancing around him. The half basic I saw was not very good. Not smooth enough or lowered through his knees. Lots of lifts to cover the lack of steps. Did she really need four extra people for that? Too high.

Gilles. Meh. I've seen too many better ones on SYTYCD. I think Peta danced it better then Gilles. His facial expressions at times were a bit odd. Too high.

Melissa. I liked the tricks although one seemed to almost go wrong. Now Bristol's routine should have looked more like that as rock and roll and jitterbug are closely related. I'll agree but should have been higher then Gilles.

Shawn. Ok. That looked like a mambo. Derek pulled Shawn through the first spin sequence though. I'll agree with the scores.

Apolo. I could do without Karina's reactions at the end. It was ok. I'm not a fan of the style. I'll agree with the scores.

Kelly. Completely different take from the SYTYCD version. I liked it. It reminded me a bit of a rumba I saw Val and Valeria dance [watch here]. I'll agree with the scores.

Kirstie may be in trouble. I wish I could say Bristol is going but she seems to keep escaping. Somehow...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Scarves and other things

My progress on In the Garden for the week. Not as much as I could have done but I did work on something else for a few days. Namely scarves.

Aren't they pretty? I'm planning on selling them and a few other crocheted items. Currently building up some inventory although I will do custom orders if possible. I made a crochet spider for Halloween too.

I ordered the rhinestones for my rose dress and will hopefully be able to stone some of the roses prior to the competition. Still need to make a new smooth dress, but still figuring some things out. I would love to use the purple velvet but I was having trouble finding a good color match for the skirt. I do still have the black charmeuse I can pair with various fabrics. Maybe these?
I did pick plot 2 for NaNoWriMo. Plot 1 hinged a bit too much on what powers the Fae possessed and nothing was coming to me. Now I just need to try and finish my plot outline in the next two weeks.

Monday, October 8, 2012

DWTS season 15: week 3 performances

Week 3 with a double elimination tomorrow night. Let's get started shall we?

Drew. I felt like Anna was dancing around drew a lot tonight. He seemed flat footed on what I was seeing of the cha cha steps. They weren't too good. The spectacle was done well, but the lack of technique brought the performance down for me. No hips either which didn't help. I think the scores are too high.

Gilles. I liked the performance, but he looked like he was missing his heel leads on the forward steps. The scores are still a tad too high, but it was better than Drew's.

Melissa. Not much samba, lots of shaking and tricks. The few steps I saw were not that good on the technique, tony dragged her through the rolls. Too hoppy, your head should stay on the same plane during the dance. I just spent two lessons on samba technique. It seems everyone is over scored so far. I love the two of them but I'm being honest.

Apolo. Karina's pants are distracting. Very fluid, rise and fall was a tad too sharp for my eye but not bad. Maybe a tad high. 8's for me.

Kelly. Competition song, competition routine. She held the character but looked a bit lost at one point in time. Finally, a high score for them.

Kirstie. Maks got into the role. Technique was pretty good. She could have been a little crisper, but they did slow the song down. I'll take the scores.

Sabrina. I liked Mel's costume better. It looked like a redo of Mel's with few changes. Maybe I just know that routine too well. The dancing was strong, but that is typical of her. Maybe a bit high, but the first few dances were really over scored.

Emmitt. He kept the posture and character of the dance but I'm not surprised given his profession. He kept up with the steps. I'll take the scores.

Helio. I don't particularly like this routine for some reason. I also found the bottom of her dress odd. tad high in the scores.

Bristol. Interesting concept, but slow, basic, and not aggressive. She was too far away from him at times and her shaping was wrong. The judges are being too nice. I would have given 7's at best.

Shawn. I liked the performance but they did break hold, did lifts and also had lindy hop in it. It was more a freestyle. High considering all the rule infractions.

Bristol can go home tomorrow. The 2nd is a toss up.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Page 1 of In the Garden finished and a few other things

Well, I finished the first page (out of 16) tonight. Onto page 2 tomorrow.

Onyx's birthday was the other day, she's now 8. I figured I'd post one of my favorite picture of her.
My dance teachers are going through another mix-up/change. Who knows what's going to happen now... I worked on samba for a hour and a half today.

I currently have two stories floating about for in my head for NaNoWriMo, I'm going to outline both for now. Not sure which is calling to me more or if I can even reach 50k with either of these.

Plot 1: A human FMC is a ballroom dancer on Earth. MMC1 and MMC2 are both fae princes living in different kingdoms within the fae realm. MMC1 is a light fae and is constantly watching FMC with his powers. MMC2 is on the edge of the dark fae realms. MMC2 sets up an elaborate scheme and kidnaps FMC to his castle. MMC1 confronts him and tries to get her back, but teleportation magic doesn't work within certain perimeters of the castles except for those allowed. So he has to fight his way into the castle. Meanwhile, FMC manages to get out of her cell and is trying to get out. They meet up halfway, teaming up together. Secrets come out.

Plot 2: FMC is an orphan living in the country in a medieval kingdom. She's had to take care of herself and thus is lean. The kingdom is one who praises a woman's beauty by how fat she is. FMC has had to put up with bullying, persecution, and discrimination her whole life because of this. One day, the prince (MMC1) and his best friend/right hand man (MMC2), come to the area to investigate the tax collector who has been rumored to have been over taxing the area and keeping the extra money for himself. While in the local market talking with the people, FMC throws a tantrum and says everything she's been keeping inside, unaware of the two extra people. It turns out MMC2 is her twin brother and figures it's time to take her back to her rightful place in society. FMC travels with them back to the capital.

I kind of know how Plot 1 ends, but not Plot 2. Help and/or opinions?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Speakeasy tour of the garment district

After having looked forward to this trip for quite a while, the day had finally arrived in all it's wet glory. Donning my rain jacket and an umbrella, I hopped on the train for grand central. I arrived with time to spare so I looked around the food and bought a magnolia cupcake. Holding my treat, I headed out to 42nd street and into a light drizzle. All was OK until I reached 7th avenue, then it started to come down. I saw the big button at 39th and ducked into the overhang of an office building. I still had time so i put my umbrella down and ate the cupcake. I decided I prefer crumbs. At about 10 to 10, people were gathering so I braved the rain, threw out my trash and joined the congregation.
We chatted for a bit as we waited for other people and got drenched by the rain. One person came all the way from Hawaii. We ended up being 12 in all with two guides and split up for the first two stores.

My groups first stop was metro textiles or 'Kashi's'. Bolts of fabric filled the shelves and a good portion of the floor. I meandered my way down the aisle glancing at the patterns and textures in the fabrics. Something near the back caught my eye and I pulled it out, a grayscale leopard velvet burnout. I fell in love and a possible dress was already floating at the back of my mind. When I went to take the picture, I noticed the burnout was in a floral pattern.

Near it standing up was another interesting fabric. A strange mesh that I should see as a jacket or something to pull on during the cooler weather.

I also discovered a navy blue stretch lace, most stretch laces being either black or red.

Now time to find some fabrics for patterns I already had. I found a medium weight burgundy knit for this outfit, the color doesn't show right in my photo, it's closer to the finished pattern:

And a light weight soft emerald green knit for this dress:

I continued to look but nothing else jumped out at me. It was almost time to move on to the next store so I paid (very reasonable prices, this was my largest purchase in terms of yardages and it wasn't the most expensive) and had my purchases shipped which was a good idea given the state of my bags later on.

We stepped outside and it seemed to have stopped raining. I rolled up my umbrella and stuck it in my purse as we walked a block to c&j.

This store had a much more business feel, nothing was on the floor and everything was neat. There was a depleted sale rack where I found another velvet burnout. I'll probably make a skirt from this.

I also came across this fabric. Corset anyone?

Not much else caught my eye here but apparently they will always keep a supply of fabrics of certain colors if you want to purchase their color cards.

The next store was Fabrics and Fabrics (formerly Lace Star). This place is huge. Aisles of fabrics, lots of silks, brocades and beadded laces. Cotton which seemed to be missing from the previous two stores was at the far end with the knits. There was a pretty white with red/pink floral design but I wasn't paying 49/yd for it. I found a solid purple to use for this dress:

I found two other knits as well. I thinking this dress for this dark blue fabric:

I'll figure something out for this one:

The next store was Rosen and Chadick. This store has two floors with the heavier (it seemed to me) fabrics upstairs. I found a leopard print silk I'm going to use for a top.

We took the subway downtown two stops to the last store, Manhattan Wardrobe Supply. Browsing the store, I came across everything from dyes to double sided tape, irons to colored Velcro. I picked up a pair of fabric scissors and a gross of hook and eyes.

Finally, it was time for lunch and we headed over to Mustang Sally's. We talked, ate, and asked where to find certain items. As this was the end of the guided portion of the tour, we parted ways. I headed back up to 38th street to visit Stretch House (218 W 37th St). They didn't have a fabric I had seen on their website, but I did find something else. Also picked up a nice black fabric. I can always use black and it will help tone down the pink zebra and orange tribal I have in my stash.

I walked up to 39th to Daytona Trimmings (251 West 39th Street) and picked up some lace pieces to use later on. They had the color fringe I was looking for but not the length. I then walked over to M&J Trimmings (1008 6th Avenue) and they did have the fringe, but not enough of it. At least I know where to get it. By this time my legs, arms, and shoulders were hurting from walking all day and carrying 26 yards of fabric. Good thing I had the first 13 shipped home.

Next time I go fabric shopping, I'm taking a rolling suitcase.

Monday, October 1, 2012

DWTS season 15: week 2 performances

Week two is here, the person I thought should go home did, and we get to watch quicksteps and jives.

Melissa. Neat and clean. The kicks and flicks could have had more retraction. The song is not a jive. As upbeat and fun as it is, it didn't have the correct rhythm. I'll agree with the scores.

Bristol. The theme was really far away from a traditional quickstep and they broke hold. Her frame wasn't good. She messed up a bit. She didn't pick her knees up as far as Mark when they were side by side. Ok scores but maybe a bit high.

Helio. I could have done without his arms pumping at the same time as his kicks but they weren't bad. His hip should have gone back with the back breaks and his basic chasse was lacking the closing of the feet. I'll agree with the scores.

Apolo. I actually don't have much to critique about this dance. It looked like a proper quickstep. A little low? We'll see how it holds up through the night.

Sabrina. She was in proper frame for most of the dance but came out at times. Song was odd for a quickstep and had previously been used for a paso doble (karina and billy ray). I'll agree with the scores.

Kirstie. Not her best dance. Kicks and flicks were not very good but neat and she kept up with the choreography. At least she got it out of the way early. I'll agree with the scores.

Emmitt. Some of his forward steps looked a little flat rather than a heel lead. I do like the song and her dress but I'm surprised at the lack of elastic to keep the neckline closed. I may have given 7s.

Drew. I liked the routine but I'm not used to hearing that song so slow. The sneakers probably didn't help the technique. It's not easy to dance these dances without a small heel. I'll agree but maybe a bit high.

Joey. Strange song lyrics for a quickstep. His ballroom technique (frame, footwork) needs work but it was entertaining. High compared to other better dances.

Shawn. Lots of tricks, what was derek trying to hide? Looked like something you might see in hairspray. I'm ok with the scores but maybe a little high.

Kelly. First off, val with the bra and water balloons was one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. Frame could've been better but footwork was decent. I liked the spin at the end. A tad low on the scores?

Gilles. I need a pair of fringe pants. He looked like he kept up with Peta. Doing jive with anything wrong with your legs is not easy. I'll agree with the scores.

Bristol can go home. I have a feeling she may not though.