Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
My mother had gotten a Project 365 (an earlier version) kit a couple years back, but couldn't keep up with it. My New Year's Resolution is to keep up with Project Life (and From Plies to Pirouettes) all year long. Think I can do it?
Project Life is an amazing kit that includes a three-ring binder, scrapbook paper, cards, and more! On Becky Higgins' site, there are tons of suggestions for a theme of the scrapbook, but I chose to take a photo everyday (with my new Nikon Coolpix S4000).
So I just wanted to brag about MY stuffy stuff, instead of posting things from a new Ipad.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
All YOU have to do to enter is follow these directions.
Since I love you (and hopefully you love me) I am entering the contest! All I have to do to be nominated is to get a whole wheelbarrowful of supporting comments ON THIS POST from you guys! The blogs with the most comments will be nominated for the best dance blog of 2010!
Let me say it again:
Leave a supporting comment on THIS POST to help me get a little further in the contest.
One more time:
Supporting comment ON THIS POST before December 22 to help me win the Top Dance Blogs of 2010 Contest!
You can find the link here:
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I could use one of these..............
Not really. The thing about the South is that Fall is gorgeous. The bright leaves, the crunchy grass, and all the colorfulness of the season! Winter is another story. Most years, winter is cold, but not unbearably cold, like up North. And there is NO snow. Not even on Christmas.
Occasionally we will have a little snow for a few days in January or February, but instead of light, fluffy snow, we get hard, icy lumps that leave marks for weeks when you get a snowball thrown at you.
Strep + Flu + No Snow = Time to watch White Christmas ;)
Monday, December 13, 2010
I've never done it before this weekend, when the Woodland Fairies participated in the most memorable party of my life.
This year, our studio is putting on the production of Snow White in January. I was cast as a Woodland Fairy. This weekend, our ballet teacher took us to a quaint house in a small subdivision to have a tea party. Before we stepped inside, I thought it was just going to be a rinky-dinky tea party with store-bought cookies and cupcakes.
But when we walked into the house, we were surrounded by vintage decorations of all sorts. No matter where you turned your head, there was something new to look at. In the grand entrance (front hallway), there were things for sale, anything from dainty teacups, to loaf candles.
In the room to the right, our table was set up. the room was lovely, with a gorgeous garland above to doorway, and several china hutches filled with antiques. Our table had a beautiful centerpeice; dazzling flowers with tiny fairies snoozing among the leaves.
In the next room, several more tables were set up, each one with a delicate design. Some seated five, while on ewas set up for two little girls. Although we were the only people there, my mind was incredibly noisy, with thinking about all of the wonderful things.
Sonn after arriving, it was time for tea. We sat down at the table, all 10 of us, and began the first course. Scones with tiny chocolate chips on top were served, along with pomegranate-blueberry sparkling water and "Christmas in a Cup" tea. With the scones, clotted cream and lemon curd was served.
When we were finished, a double-sided platter was brought out. This course was called savory and sweet. As you can imagine, one side of the platter was filled with savory treats, while the other side, sweet. The savory side had three delicious snacks. The first was an apple-quiche, and how good it was! The next sandwich was a cucumber acorn; a small acorn-shaped sandwich stuffed with cream cheese and cucumbers. The last part of the savory side were tiny sandwiches with ham and a special sauce.
After finishing the savory side, small plates of fruit kabobs were placed on the table, "to ready the taste buds for the sweet side". The sweet side was delightful, but even though there was very little (it was high tea, after all), I could hardly finish. The sweet platter consisted of three more treats. The first was a little red velvet cupcake dipped in a creamy chocolate ganache and topped with a light cream cheese frosting. Next was a spritz cookie in the shape of a Christmas tree and covered in green icing. And last but not least, a Victorian treat. A small pie completely made of cake crumbs and jam was my favorite part of the meal.
Afterwards, we walked around the house and looked at the beautiful things. I had to leave to the bathroom (or, "powder room", as it was labeled), an wipe the tears off my face. Everything was so beautiful, I was crying.
Well, that's how I spent my weekend. Or, Saturday, at least. Sunday I got Strep Throat and I am still suffering. As I am coughing out these last words, I am wondering what you did this weekend......
The real reason I started this blog is when I first started ballet, I felt clumsy and awkward. I tried to find resources on the internet, but I never found quite what I was looking for. I created From Plies to Pirouettes to express what I WAS looking for.
Every week, I say to myself "UGGGHHH! I have to sit down and schedule my blog posts for the week!" and "This is so annoying. I hate doing Wednesday's Ballet." So I decided to make some changes.
I will no longer post the weekly things. But I will keep posting. The new posts will be fewer, but more heartfelt. And without random (and really long) breaks.
So, the post above will be the first post of the new From Plies to Pirouettes, telling you a little something that I did this weekend.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
I love these whimsy paper mache Christmas ornaments!These ornaments are just plain gorgeous!
I have fallen in love with these vintage music sheet ornaments!
These elegant curly wire Christmas balls will look so pretty on your tree!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Today, I am not only presenting an uplifting photo to you this week, I am going to go into a bit more detail......
Take a look at the picture below. She's not in a 180 degree angle arabesque, a perfect split, or lifting her leg to her ears. She is in a simple position, with her legs low, and arms poised in an angle. Look in front of the mirror, and try her position. If you have little or no ab strenght, you will a) not be able to do this at all or b) the position will look awkward.
LaVilla Party Planning
Let's look at the picture in more detail.
Let's look at the lifted leg. While the leg muscles are used for height, the core muscles are working to hold it there without slipping down. Both play an important part in ballet.
Take a look at the torso. You can see the purple spot in the middle, representing the core muscles. Right outside, you can see two lines around the body. Creating this slant in the body takes skill - and strength.
The arms are holding themselves in place, but also creating weight, putting more pressure on your core muscles.
If you feel that you may have weak or no strength in your core, visit pre-pointe week, if you already haven't. Girl who are already en pointe may do these exercises, too. Especially the crunches.
Hot Cocoa Mix and many others from LollyChops.
We always make thumbprint cookies for Christmas.
These coconut wreaths look so pretty!
These chocolate-peppermint cookies look so delicious!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Sixteen years later, the royal family begins to celebrate Princess Aurora’s 16th birthday. Since the night of her birth, the King had ordered that all sharp objects be kept out of the kingdom so she could not hurt herself. His rules were broken, however, on the night of her party. During the celebration, Carabosse disguises herself again, this time as a beautiful seamstress, and presents Princess Aurora with a beautiful tapestry. Enchanted by its beauty, Princess Aurora grabs the tapestry and pricks her finger on a needle that Carabosse secretly embedded. Carabosse laughs in victory and runs out of the castle. Remembering the spell she had cast before, Lilac Fairy appears to make sure Princess Aurora fell asleep. Lilac Fairy casts a spell on the entire family and court to fall asleep ensuring them of their safety.
One hundred years later in a dark forest, a Prince by the name of Florimund is hunting with his friends. He leaves his friends and insists on being alone. Lilac Fairy hears the commotion and ventures out to Prince Florimund. He tells her that he is lonely and is in need of love. She has the perfect idea. She presents an image of Princess Aurora to him and he instantly falls in love.
She leads him to the castle to rescue the beautiful Princess and put an end to the evil fairy, Carabosse. Lilac Fairy reveals the hidden castle to Prince Florimund. Just when Prince Florimund steps into the castle doorway, Carabosse appears before him. She will not let him pass and a battle quickly follows. Prince Florimund finally overpowers her and he races into the castle. Knowing the only way to break the spell, he quickly finds Princess Aurora and kisses her. The spell is broken and Carabosse is finally defeated. Princess Aurora and her entire family wake up from their deep sleep. Princess Aurora accepts Prince Florimund's proposal for marriage and her family approves.
The castle is filled with music and laughter as the family and maids clean the dusty old castle for the wedding. The wedding is attended by the Prince’s family as well as the fairies. And like every great fairytale, they seal their marriage with a kiss and live happily ever after.
Synopsis courtesy About.com, found here
Don't these look comfy? I made one and I added a band of colorful fabric to the bottom.
These make-up brush holders are super-cute, and super-easy.
I am loving this little cuff bracelet!
Ucreate has a few tutorials on her blog with ribbon and lace jewelry.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Today, we are revisiting a former Tuesday's Tips post, featuring BallerinaBlogger from A Dancer's Days!
No really, it's important to "time" when you wear your shoes and how long you wear them. Especially during summer camp.
Your shoes typically last a few hours. Mine have been lasting longer and longer as my feet have been growing stronger. It's important to know how long it takes for your shoes to "die" so by the time your shoes are dead, you have another pair ready to go. Believe me, you don't want to end up with a pair of extremely dead shoes and brand new ones. Can you say "ow"?
Ridiculously enough, that is EXACTLY what happened to me this week. Save yourself the trouble of learning this the hard way and take my advice! :P
Keep a notebook that tracks how long your shoes are lasting. Record every time you wear a specific pair and how long you wore them. Also put in notes about how soft/flexible they are. I would do this for about four pairs of shoes to know for sure what the average time-line is.
By doing this, you'll know when it's time to start breaking in a new pair of shoes. When it comes to pointe shoes you ALWAYS want to be prepared! I'd keep at least three pairs with you at all times. That gives you plenty of options depending on what your feet need or what would work
best with the dance you're rehearsing.
BTW: BallerinaBlogger wrote this article HER blog for HER readers, not specially for this blog. I had nothing to do whatsoever with the article.
BallerinaBlogger has been very kind and has answered these questions that I put together. Thanks so much BallerinaBlogger!
I got my first pair of pointe shoes almost five years ago. I was ten years old and was super excited! I was aware of those dangers as the teacher putting me on pointe had taught us a lot about pointe shoes before taking us to buy our first pair. And plus my mom had spent some time doing research about pointe shoes in order to know how to properly take care of them. I'm so glad my mom had gotten so involved with my dancing and although she herself never did ballet, she knows practically just as much about it as I do.
When you started summer camp, did you realize a change in your pointe shoes, they were wearing out faster, hurting your feet and ankles? Is this what gave you the idea to write this article?
The first summer camp I had ever done en pointe, I immediately noticed them softening faster and the many changes in their shape as they softened. Now that I have been dancing/doing summer intensives for so many years, I know what to expect and how to deal with my many shoes. I actually made the mistake of not lining up very many shoes before beginning my summer intensive and ended up with a pair of extremely worn shoes and brand new ones. They KILLED my feet! I was so frustrated and wanted to precaution everyone to come prepared like I use to. Really dead shoes tend to be more dangerous because you have much more flexibility in your shoes and it makes "rolling" over your ankle much easier. That could lead to so many different injuries.
Define "Your shoes typically last a few hours". By "dying" do you mean becoming soft, and the box begins to wear down? If so, when shoes "die", are they "dead" or are the done for the day?
Haha! Your pointe shoes "dying" is a term that dancers use to say "my shoes are getting very soft and worn". When shoes are "dead" they are DONE. AKA: it's time to store them away or put them in the trash. I personally like to keep my old shoes in a giant chest; it doesn't feel right to throw away something so special... And expensive! When I say "your shoes typically last a few hours" I literally mean that. I once had a pair of shoes that only lasted me 4 1/2 hours. It depends on how long you're wearing your shoes, your brand of shoes and the moisture they're obtaining. I couldn't tell you how long a certain brand of shoes lasts because every situation is different and every foot is different. It's impossible to know until you've worn a single brand and size for a fair amount of time.
Can you suggest a way to organize your pointe shoes in you notebook? (i.e. filing under brand, type, or feel)
When I organize the information (Which I don't really need to do anymore because I am so use to my shoes) I would write it out kind of like this:
Brand: Russian Pointe (Example)
Original shank hardness: (Pointe shoes typically come in soft, medium or hard shanks)
Shoes have been worn for: (Record how many hours shoes have been worn. You can record your hours each day and then add them up when your shoes have fully died)
At what "point of pain" do you suggest to start breaking in a new pair of pointe shoes?
Firstly, if there's a lot of pain going on down in those feet, I would get them checked out! There's a clear line between the "ow" kind of hurt and the "oh-my-gosh-I-think-I-just-
Breaking in pointe shoes is all about their hardness or stiffness. It also depends on how many pairs you want at once. If you want two pairs to wear at once, then I would break in a pair until they got getting slightly soft. So they're flexible enough to dance with in the center but still on the newer side. That's when I would start to wear the brand new pair at the barre.
It's really a process that you have to figure out on your own. That's why it's good to know how long it takes for your shoes to break in/what their lifespan is. Then you'll know right when to start breaking in the next pair.
Thanks for answering all of these questions. I've found the information really useful. Do you have any final words for budding ballerinas?
My last piece of advice for the day is to experiment. There is no harm in trying something new to find exactly what works for you. I myself have tried countless different brands of shoes. (No joke) Ask your instructors for advice/tips but always remember that it's your dancing career, your life and your body.
And lastly, I have a surprise tutorial for you........
Pointe Shoe Notebooks!
Unused Composition Book
2 pieces scrapbook paper
Old Paint Brush
Find an old composition note book.
These paper weights are so sweet! What a great stocking stuffer ;)
If you are looking for something a wee bit more sophisticated....... you might want to make some of these bottlecaps!
How about painting a pas de deux with dad on the front of this mug?
For those sewers out there, create a tie for dad!
Monday, November 15, 2010
This week, I am going to brag about a girl named Ashley, and her blog, ballerina by day....
Here are some of the things that she blogs about: