Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Happy Happy Hippy Swap…

Each year I organise the Hippy Swap over on Craftster. It’s become like a tradition; I finish school, I have more time for crafting and sitting for hours staring at a computer screen trawling through crafty sites…you know how it is! The weather has been quite nice here, so I’ve spent alot of time in my garden, digging and planting, and moving stuff around. Look here, this is the first ever water lily to grow in my tiny water garden (big water filled bowl) and it’s soo pretty! It’s a dwarf water lily.

I’ve also done a little bit of crafting for me. This was an old t-shirt that’d been sitting around waiting for me to finish. I’d done a little bit of re-fashioning on it, cutting on the crew neck (which I’m really not find of) and creating a v-neck, trimmed with pink and gold gauzy ribbon. And then I ran out of inspiration….it sat there for quite a while waiting for the right idea. Anyway, after doing a couple of refashioning workshops, I decided that what this t-shirt needed was a bit of appliqué. And so the butterfly t-shirt was born. Or rather, sewn.



I freehand drew a butterfly outline on some paper, transferred it onto Bondaweb, ironed it to some pretty pink fabric and cut out the butterfly shape. Then I ironed it onto some purple fabric and cut round it so that you could see the purple round the pink. I made a body and some spots out of the purple fabric too and ironed them on.

Then I embroidered round them using a blanket stitch and some pink and gold threads. I also added some gold sequins for a bit of sparkle. Much better!


So then I concentrated on my hippy swap package. I can now post photos because my partner’s received the package and I’ve received hers! Because my partner was in the UK, I knitted a nice warm hat for the cold weather which is very practical for this country. This is the Meret by Woolly Wormhead, it’s one of my favourite patterns. I made it a slouchy hat…  


with a combination rolled/ribbed edge.


I used a lovely warm brown…

I also needle felted and embellished this felt brooch, made from an old fulled jumper. It has green sequins and beads along the edge. I love needle felting, it’s so therapeutic stabbing away!!


Since my partner is a beginner belly dancer and wanted a coin belt, I decided to make her one. Her favourite colours were very autumnal, greens and browns and golds. It’s wonderfully jingly!


I also used some decorative ribbon and sequin strands for some sparkle.

I made sure that even the ends looked good!

And because you just have to wear flowers in your hair when you’re dancing, I made this lily hair clip. I used a flower from a cheap ‘pound shop’ artificial ‘bouquet’ and coated the edges in glitter glue…


Then I glued a spring clip underneath, making sure to hide alot of the clip in the leaves. I like to tuck flowers in my hair by my ear and I find the flowers on clips stay better than on bands.

My partner likes to write notes and lists in a notebook, so I also made her a felt notebook cover which she can take off when the notebook is full and change to another notebook. I covered it using the ‘paper fabric’ technique I learnt at a workshop a couple of months ago, and then embellished it using embroidery threads, flowers and sequins.


Hopefully using felt will make it quite durable…


I also used Angelina Fibres on it which are such fun to work with!

The notebook is just a cheap and cheerful A5 hardback notebook.


I sent along one of the rainbow light bulbs from my shop, because they are just so damned hippy-ish!

And in the spirit of eco-friendly hippy crafts, I upcycled an old Ferrero Rocher plastic box, and decorated it using glass paints.


It looks lovely in the sunshine.

I’m kind of an overachiever and I do tend to spoil my swap partners, and well, hippy crafting is such good fun, that I had to make some extras for the package, but I’d agreed with my partner that we’d do extras, so that was fine and dandy. I made a green and brown beaded necklace with a Celtic pendant, since my partner loves all things Celtic, and greens and browns….


I had planned to do a bit of hippy-like appliqué, but I just couldn’t find the right image, then I noticed that I had some green fabric left from my belly dance costume that would go really well with this top, and some green organza that complimented it really well, and the top sort of morphed and became a sort of woodland fairy type of top instead.

I made some ruffles by tearing two strips of fabric which were much much longer than the bit that I wanted to embellish. I sewed a running stitch along the middle of each strip and pulled so that it gathered it up. Then I sewed it into place. I did the organza one first, then the satin ruffle, the I sewed a faceted bead every cm or so. The fabrics  should fray and look pretty…. 


I also painted an ash catcher green, then decoupaged it with a sunflower and sparkly Modge Podge. I varnished it to make sure it was durable. This didn’t photograph so well, so you’ll have to take my word for it that there’s a sunflower on it!

To see what I received in return, click here. We were both very happy hippies!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Happy Hafla and Bellydance Superstars!

So I finished my costume just in time! The Hafla was on Thursday night and I finished my outfit at lunchtime on Thursday. My bra was covered and embellished with ribbon, lace, sequins, part of an old earring and some coins. I took the straps off the bra and replaced them with ribbon, covered the back straps with ribbon and replaced the hooks with D rings and voila!

I made a coin belt using the same fabric I used to cover the bra with. I sewed ribbon, bells, sequins and coins on it. I also made an overskirt from embroidered organza, I cut two panels and sewed them onto two pieces of ribbon, which I tied, one back and one front, over a plain black skirt.

Here’s the finished outfit!

The shoulder straps crossed over and the back and fastened through the D rings!

And another shot just for fun!

The Hafla was so much fun! This was Demi’s first ever solo performance…

The Cairo Cats performed this beautiful dance that kept everyone entranced…

Cairo Cats

Louisa did a cheeky little Egyptian dance…

Fulya was fabulous as always!

There were so many fabulous dancers

Truely inspirational

and all shapes and sizes..

A couple of nights later, we went to see Bellydance Superstars at the Raqs Britannia in Sheffield. Sadly we weren’t allowed to take pictures (boo!) but again, it was a great night, although a bit too polished and choreographed. I did feel like it had been choreographed to a format, even the tribal sections. It was all very slick, and dancing to die for, with immaculate performances, but I felt it was just that, a performance. There was no soul in it, no heart…maybe I’m being over critical, but the dancers were all very young, very slim, and very similar. Their personalities didn’t shine through. And to me, that’s what dance is all about!



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