Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fan Veils!



This has been one busy and crazy week!!!

It took two days to dye 24 fan veils; what a project! It would not have happened if it hadn't been for my friends Gail and Debbie. The fan veils turned out awesome!

The first day we dyed the fan veils being extra careful not to get the fan part wet. This is no easy feat I must say and there were a few casualties along the way. Gail is an excellent teacher and I let her do her thing with the dye colors and create what ever she wanted to. Debbie and I did alright not creating any "mud" dye jobs :-) My one experiment using 3 basic colors red, turquoise and yellow turned out to be a pretty psychedelic flash back to the 60's tye-dye fan veil. Sorry everyone I'm keeping this one :0)

We started at 8 a.m. and broke for breakfast around 10 a.m. After eating it was back to work cleaning up everything and letting the fan veils sit over night in the dye. Next day we were back at it around 8:30 a.m. It's still warm in AZ so the earlier we get started the better.

We rinsed, washed, rinse and conditioned 2 dozen fan veils and hung them out to dry and broke for lunch at 11:00 a.m. We were quite the sight walking in the restaurant! We were wet, dirty from my swamp of a backyard from all the rinsing and to say the least our hands and feet were very colorful :-) After lunch back to work wrapping up the fan veils and bringing them inside.

It was a very successful two days learning, getting dirty, sweating, laughing, and creating some pretty awesome fan veils; all one of a kind. Thank goodness my backyard will turn back to green again after I mow the yard. Right now the grass looks like a rainbow; very pretty but not natural :-)

A huge Thank You to Gail and Debbie you both Rock!!!

These fan veils will eventually be listed in my eBay store. I'm teaching double fan veil to my intermediate cabaret class and they get first pick. Classes start on Sept. 9th.

Back to work listing more goodies on eBay. Its Labor Day weekend and I'm running a sale on skirts. I will be listing belts, cholis and hopefully metal buttons today. So much inventory so little time!!! :-)

Everyone have a fun and safe holiday...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Dance Weekend

It has been a great weekend for dancing!

I performed Friday night at Fully Fusion Night at Memo's Cafe a new place in Tempe. When my friend Debbie and I arrived at Memo's Cafe the place was packed!!! We made it in just in time they started to turn people away at the door they were at full capacity. Debbie and I stood by the front door for the first 3 performances when Gina waved at us to come and sit on the floor by them. After the first set a lot of people left due to the smoke from the hookahs and the very loud music, so Debbie and I along with Zahira got a table to sit at.

There were 14 performances that night and they were all different. The theme of the night was Fusion no Cabaret or Tribal style dancing. It was nice to see new dancers I hadn't seen before and dancers that I haven't seen in a long time perform. Some of the styles that night were Bollywood, Hip Hop, Tahitian, Latin and Spanish, Jazz, World Mix and Indian. I have no photos or video from this performance but Santa Joe was there taking photos and he had the best seat in the house. Hopefully he will post them to his website; I'll keep you posted.

Saturday night was Maui Wowi with Egyptian Cartouche. What a great time!!! This is such a supportive atmosphere to dance in. The dancers are all levels and put together a great show. Egyptian Cartouche performs group numbers between the guest dancers and it's always fun to dance with everyone in the open dance sessions. It was so much fun to see everyone from Phoenix and Surprise who I don't have a chance to get together with. You can't beat the chocolate strawberry smoothies either :-) I performed 2 numbers but only one came out on video, the fan dance. This fan dance I taught awhile ago and I haven't performed it in awhile. It was nice to dust it off and perform it as a solo.

video


I'm attempting to perform most of the dances I have taught in the past to post them on my "student page" on my Joy of Belly Dancing website. Here students will find the written choreographies and a performance of the dance. It may take me awhile to get the video up but it will be a fun process :0)


I received an application to perform at the State Fair and this year I'm offering it to my intermediate classes to come and perform. The State Fair is always a fun place to dance.

I checked my class registration this morning and now 3 of my classes have already made minimum. I'm two and three students away for my other 2 classes to go. This is amazing classes don't start until September 9th & 10th!!! Last session both my beginning cabaret and tribal classes were full and I had a wait list; looks like the same thing may happen again.

I put Kuchi belts up for sale in my eBay store for the next 3 days. I will be having more sales this week and over the holiday weekend. It's so nice to have new inventory in stock again. Check out my store for great deals this week, http://stores.ebay.com/Shimmy-Bliss-Costuming-Co.

I'm off to go work on the kitchen...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Skirts, skirts, skirts and more skirts!!!!

Yeah another order came in today!!! I'm so excited!!!! I have been having problems getting my shipments in from overseas and have not had any new inventory for months.


Well you know what they say, "when it rains it pours"!!! This statement is so true :-)


As you can see from the photo I have a lot of skirts in inventory right now most of them arriving today. Thank goodness my lovely model will be stopping by in the morning so I can take pictures of them and get them listed in my eBay store and my website. I was able to list some of the multi panel skirts and some flirtie skirts on my website today along with some of the new Kuchi pendant belts I received in last week.


You are probably wondering why there are glasses and kitchen items in my dance room it's because we are in the process of remodeling our kitchen. This project is going so slowly but when you do your own sweat equity it does go really slow! :-) I will be posting lots of photos when the kitchen is done. Right know I not only have belly dance costume inventory all over the house the kitchen is also in several rooms of the house; yikes!


I will be performing at two venues this weekend. Friday night at Mahin's Fusion Night at Memos Cafe in Tempe and Saturday night at Maui Wowi in Phoenix with the lovely ladies of Egyptian Cartouche and other feature dancers.


Memo's Cafe is a new location for the Fusion Night and all the details are listed on my events page, http://www.joyofbellydancing.com/events2.htm. Mahin needed to find a new location due to the overwhelming response of audience and performers for the show. Should be a great night of dancing and spending time with friends.


Back to checking in more of today's order.......

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What a crazy day!

Today was totally a crazy day. It's now almost midnight and my day is not over with yet.


It took me most of the day to check in my last order and I haven't had a chance to list any of the skirts from my previous order. My friend Rukshana even helped one day last week and modeled for me. Here's an example of the patchwork Jaipur skirt that came in.


Here's one of these beautiful skirts in action. These skirts are really full, light weight and move really well; a joy to dance in. This performance was from the show in Sedona on August 16th at the Rock Cafe. This dance I taught my Intermediate Tribal class last session at the Mesa Art Center, enjoy.


video


One of my vendors emailed me to let me know I have two boxes on the way so I should have more new inventory next week. Cross our fingers and hope they go through customs with no problem :-)


I was able to list beaded medallions today, 28 pairs which are difficult to get. Check them out in my eBay store, http://stores.ebay.com/Shimmy-Bliss-Costuming-Co. They are listed in the Costuming Supplies catagory.


I hope to have more items listed this week now that I have lots of inventory. I now have Kuchi pendant belts in both the shoe string style and embroidered belt base style. Earrings, spike cuffs, shell belts, Jaipur skirts, cholis and metal disk pendants to name a few.


I checked registration on my classes today and it's going very well. My classes start Sept. 9th and 10th at the Mesa Art Center (MAC) Both of my tribal classes have gone I have made the minimium number of students and all my cabaret classes also have registrations; I'm so happy!!!!!! This session is going to be 13 weeks long and I'm choreographing all new dances. For more info on my classes check out my website, http://www.joyofbellydancing.com/classwrksp.htm.


Back to work for me...so much to do so little time :0)

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Order!

I'm so excited I finally received in my order that I have been waiting for since June!


My poor vendor has been having so many issues with shipping and finally was able to ship my order via air cargo. I'll tell you this was an experience to say the least.


Before my order was shipped I had to find a custom broker to be my go between to receive my order in from customs. I located one via the Internet, AZ Customs Brokers in Phoenix and they helped me through the process; they were awesome! Normally I receive my orders via DHL and they do everything so this is all new to me.


My order was shipped via British Airways on August 11th and it arrive Wednesday night. I emailed the custom brokers that my shipment arrived and that I was leaving town early Friday morning what were the next steps. Of course it was after 5:00 p.m. so they were closed.

AZ Customs Brokers responded to me Thursday morning to give me good and bad news. The good news was my shipment was here but I couldn't get it until every item was marked "made in Pakistan". Customs would not release my shipment until everything was labeled!!! My order should not have left Pakistan without being labeled.


So I made up over 500 labels went to AZ Customs Brokers and paid the duties and other charges, went to US Airways and sat there for hours labeling every single piece.

I must say the guys at US Airways at the Phoenix Airport were awesome and helpful. It was very entertaining watching them do there job and the highlight was the bomb sniffing dog checking out all the packages.


Once I finished the labeling one of the guys from US Airways loaded my order in the back of my car; thank goodness for fork lifts this thing was over 92 pounds. I headed to customs so they could check my order and clear it so I could take it home.


The customs agent was very helpful and enlighted me on a lot of things so my next order will go much smoother; I hope :-)


I left the Customs facility just before 5:00 p.m. and headed home to get ready to teach my dance class at 7:00 p.m. and than start loading the RV after my class so we could leave in the morning for Sedona for a mini vacation and to teach a dance workshop and perform in the show on Saturday night.


It's Monday morning and I'm finally getting a chance to check in my long awaited order of Kuchi pendant belts, metal disk pendants, metal fringe, beaded medallions, cuffs and more.

The photo is what an order looks like when I get it in. It still amazes me that not more items are damaged since everything is put in a plastic bags inside a metal container. I can image how everything inside gets rolled around during transportation.

I had a chance to uploaded some of my performances on YouTube last night from the show in Sedona. Take a look when you have a chance. You'll see the veil eating poles that we had to naviagate around :-) http://www.youtube.com/user/shimmybliss


There are also videos of my summer classes performing routines they learned during the summer session at the Mesa Art Center (MAC). That was a very fun weekend performing two nights at the Playhouse Theater at the MAC. All the summer dance classes were invited to perform and we rocked the house especially on Saturday night the audience was fantastic. Thanks to my hubby for filming that night. Enjoy the video clips.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sedona Weekend

Hi, I'm Yasmina and welcome to my blog.

I'm new to this and don't have a clue on what I'm doing, so here goes.....

My husband John, my dog Ratso and I just spent an awesome time in Sedona this weekend. I had the pleasure of teaching a dance workshop sponsored by Holly and the Gypsy Chicks. The ladies were so much fun and I was honored to perform with the Gypsy Chicks, Carrie and Patrick in a show that night at the Rock Cafe in Cottonwood.

We started our trip on Friday the day before the workshop just in case we had RV problems. We have an older RV and you just never know :-) Luckily it was smooth sailing up and back.

It was so nice to get out of the heat from the Valley of the Sun to a nice cool climate. I don't know what the high was in Sedona the 3 days we were there but it rained every afternoon and evening! The weather to us was fantastic!!! We had the windows open in the RV at night and Saturday night I even had a blanket on the bed!!!

We stayed at the beautiful Rancho Sedona RV Park along Oak Creek in the trees. It's so peaceful and quiet there and we got the best spot in the entire park; the hilltop. Every morning I woke up to the squirrels chasing each other in the trees in our secluded spot and the birds singing their songs.

We took our scooter "Stella" along so we could get around and not have to take our 30' RV into town or drive around Sedona and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Riding a scooter is so much fun!!!

Saturday morning we woke up early and took Stella into town and had some breakfast. I knew I wouldn't be eating much that day with teaching a workshop and performing that night and who can pass up a good breakfast out? :-) When we left the restaurant that morning it started to sprinkle so we took a ride into the canyon to see the scenery before heading back to the RV. It was a great ride in the cool and rainy weather.

Holly was so nice to pick me up and take me to the workshop. I taught the class 7 combos and we put them all together in a dance. The combinations I taught were a little bit of tribal fused in with cabaret style of dance. The last part of the workshop I talked about how to put your dance together with a discussion. The 2 and half hours went so fast; just to prove when you are having fun time fly's!

Holly brought me back to the RV Park so my hubby and I could get ready for the dinner show in Cottonwood. Carrie was so nice to pick us up and take us to the restuarant that night. It was really raining and the thought of riding Stella in costume and not having a clue on where we were going was crazy.

The dinner show was held in the banquet room, a nice large area to dance. It was a bit challenging with the poles that looked like tree trunks down the middle of the dance floor but very dueable.

Holly surprised me with 2 press releases from the local newspaper about the dinner show. How cool is that to be in the paper!!!!

I started the show off with a Spanish fusion set and the audience was fantastic; great crowd. The Gypsy Chicks did a set after a short break; awesome set. I really love their fan dance!!! Carrie started off the third set with an amazing Raks Sharqi dance and looked astounding in her pink costume! I ended the evening in an Indian fusion set with open dancing at the end with Patrick playing drums.

What a tremendous evening; great friends, incredible dancing and excellent food; it doesn't get any better than this!!! :-)

Thanks to Pamela for taking John and I back to the RV after a marvelous day of fun.

Of course after a day of such fun I can not wide down right away still on clould nine :0) We watched the Olympics when we got back. We were just in time to see Michael Phelps and the relay team win gold!!!! Every chance I get I'm watching the Olympics just can't get enough. Thank goodness the RV park we stayed at had cable!

Sunday morning I took Ratso for a nice walk, poor little guy really needed some outside time. We loaded up the RV and headed back down to the Valley. Thank goodness the trip back home was uneventful. There was road construction along the way and we had to exit the freeway so it took us a little longer to get home that was the only distraction; not bad!

A humongous thanks to Holly, all the Gypsy Chicks, all the workshop attendies and Carrie for a spectacular time in Sedona. I felt so welcome and part of the group. You all Rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!