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Pro-Am Fiesta results

25 Jun

So happy with our results this past weekend!  We came 2nd in Senior III Gold, only one mark by one judge behind our good friends, Terry and Candy.  Here we are getting our medal.  I am pretty sure that judge, coach and all around great person, Beth Knoll is standing behind the judge’s table describing my height.  Just kidding!

But the result we are extra excited about was 4th in Senior I Gold, where we had to dance with youngsters of 35 and over and also dance through quarter and semi finals.  I don’t know if this photo shows action from one of those heats or not, but it is pretty nice.

Now a bit of a break in the competition schedule until Seattle Star Ball so time to work on the gowns, hair and, oh yes…the dancing!  We are pretty sure the coach will have one or two things to fix up between now and then.

It really has been five years.

18 Jun

Island Fantasy Ball 2009 was technically our first competition, but River City Ball in Portland Oregon was the first time we packed up  and ventured out on our own to attend a competition. We had a couple of good reasons for going there, not the least of which was that I could wear my gown without Bill having to buy a tail suit.  We weren’t sure how well this competition thing would go and didn’t want to invest in the suit if he wasn’t going to wear it.  Ha!  If only we had known…  Another reason was that we thought it would be useful to practice doing small comps out of town and get a bit of experience – preferably where nobody knew us.  Well, that lasted about 5 minutes, as we were grabbed by some lovely people who almost instantly became great friends!  Anyway, River City is now firmly on our annual competition agenda and it continues to be as fun and friendly as it was that first year.  Five years and 7 gowns later.  Whew!

Our annual photo in the hallway:


Thanks to Joe, who, in addition to helping organize and run this event, took photos for us while T and C ran to change for Latin, found us the location for the next amazing photo and danced up a storm himself!


This will be the venue for the Northwest Dancesport Championships this year, as well, so if you would like some great photo ops and friendly competition, join us there in October:-)

Results – very good!  Second in Senior II Gold, first in Senior III Gold and first in Senior III Novice.  Ready for the Pro-Am Fiesta now!

Another Snowball come and gone

29 Jan

It was a great competition and we danced really well.  No leg pain, no serious nerves, great hair (photos in a bit) and soooo much fun with friends.  No, the judges were not on our side so much this time, but surprisingly it didn’t matter that much to me.  Every semi final we missed was more about missing the opportunity to dance again than a disappointment in our performance.  The competitive fields were deep and only a very few of the couples who finished ahead of us made us think : “whoops, we should have beat them.”  The Coach had some advice, which was heeded, and we felt even better on the floor.  We can chalk it up to not enough practice and not enough competitions and start getting ready for the next one!

I admit to a few serious errors in choreography.  *blush*  Completely lost it in Quickstep at one point and just could NOT get it back.  Luckily, it was near the end and I am sure all the judging was finished by then.  Eeesh!  These things happen.  The good news is that when the Guy Who is Supposed to be Driving (let’s call him Bill) lost it and started throwing in whisks, which we do so badly I don’t think we have ever intentionally included them in competition choreo, his beloved and glamorous partner (let’s call her Me) followed along as if we did this routine every day.  Yay me!

OK – hair:  Side view.  I clicked “auto correct” but the wrinkles are still there.


Hair piece from The Head Shop Online  where I just bought a scrunchie style hair piece and styled it myself


Hair glue and freeze spray by Got2b.  Amazing stuff!


Earrings from a thrift shop back for Gown #2.  They may be dyed or nail polished to be closer to the colours of this gown.

Rhinestones from the Rhinestone Guy.  Fast and friendly and always have the colours I need, even when the whole world seems to want fuchsia at the same time.


Lashes from Winners, (I added the rhinestones – who wouldn’t?) makeup from my amazing Avon lady buddy Kathy and the real hair (with NO gray!  I will tell you the story next time, AM…) from Glo Hair and Body in beautiful downtown Brentwood Bay.  Since I am plugging everyone today, body work by the wonderful Linda Walker at Brentwood Massage and Physiotherapy and the remarkable Erin Reidel at Saanichton Massage Therapy.

Exhausted!  I will post links to more photos when they become available.



Bathtub caulk and a few rhinestones – magic!

23 Jan

I have seen some gorgeous ballroom jewelry like this lately at competitions and had an inkling of how to make it myself but it took Stitches and Sparkles Blessing Bennet to show the details.

Once the gown was done and those darned floats made, it was time to guild the lily.

I started with  a paper cut out pattern:


The cutting board is covered with Press n Seal to keep the goop off it and no, those lovely scissors were not used on the paper!

Traced the pattern onto power mesh:


Cut it out, and added some silicone bathtub caulk.  It dries clear:


Did this for a few layers, adding sheets of power mesh.  There are 4 layers, I think.  I let each one dry for quite awhile – over night or at least several hours.  After adding the new sheet, I pressed it down with a plastic knife, then I put the pattern back over it all and taped it down:


Cut it out with scissors and a bit of sharp blade work to get into the tiny bits in the pattern:


You can see my amazing blue tooth speakers in the background.  They are nice and compact, wireless Bluetooth and run off my iPad or phone, charged with a USB connection.  They are good enough quality to play Stuff You Should Know or This American Life or Q with Jian Ghomeshi podcasts while the noisy old serger is going!

Add a few rhinestones and voila!


Full ballroom:


All this work for a 90 second demonstration at half time of our local university basketball game!  More photos to come after Snowball this weekend!

Here it is with floats!

14 Jan


I like the back view best out of this batch of photos.  The Photographer needs to move the camera a bit lower so I don’t look so much like a dwarf.


Side view.


Front view.  You can see that the trial of competition hair has been relatively successful.  The “bun” (which I have significantly changed since this photo was taken) is too low on the back of my head.  I need all the extra height I can get!  And because I usually have my hair in a short, sort of fluffy bob, the sleek hair plus removal of the glasses caused at least one friend to ask who this was that The Photographer had taken pictures of!

We have a very short demo to do this weekend to advertise our club, so with any luck I will have finished the necklace that is still in the planning stages and we will get photos of the full meal deal.

Results and photos

18 Nov

Well, not a stellar comp for us at The Grand Ball this year.  I was extremely nervous about how my leg would feel and because we didn’t do run-throughs of our dances, I blew the choreography a LOT.   I would prefer to blame the weather!  Bill says that if Grand Ball weekend isn’t the first big, nasty storm of the winter, it is because it is the second or third.  How could we compete well when the sun was shining and the temps were ridiculously high? LOL

The photographers are starting to get the pictures up so here are a couple:

Tango face but why are my shoulders attached to my ears?

Wind chime floats  Don’t like them but couldn’t get matching chiffon in time

Apparently I slept through this tango but you can see the stones on the skirt

Finally, one I like! Smile!

Sunday and there is some movement here

Not bad

Will post more links as they become available.

Oh – and I should mention that my leg was okay.  A few twinges and I spent a LOT of time stretching both leg and back.  So far, so good.

Done enough to wear

7 Nov

Some photos!

I know what you are thinking – where are the floats? Well, I worked hard on them, go them completed and attached and flat out hated them!  So it is on to plan C, I guess.  I do not like the twirly “wind chines” floats, but until w can find chiffon to match this gown, that is what we will have.  And they have to be done this evening, as I will NOT be up in the wee hours Thursday working on finishing them.  I can make plenty of stupid mistakes sewing in the middle of the day without complicating things by time pressure and brain fog.  LOL.

Good news x2. Coach likes the gown and no pain at our lesson

5 Nov

I have never been so nervous about a dance lesson!  Debuting the new gown that was specifically created to make our coach, Young Ryu happy and the first time dancing in a week.  Actually, in my head I was fine, but my body betrays me at times like this and I get sweaty palms, bubbling tummy and generally shaking all over.  Years ago I had this happen when I was going to do a speech somewhere and I was so mentally calm about it (I have almost zero fear of public speaking) I thought I must be coming down with a bad stomach bug! Now I know it is a mind/body disconnect and just try to tell the body to calm down:-)

So he took a look and said “now THAT’S a ballgown!” so we are good to go from the coach front.  Dancing also went quite well, with just a few twinges but no “zings” of pain.  Yaaaaay!

Still lots of work to do on the gown to get ready for the Grand Ball on Friday, but I will try to post some pics tonight.

Pretty plus applique plus a little glue and…

24 Oct

Voila!  The beginning of the decoration phase.  Also known as the sore shoulders phase.  When I mentioned to my massage therapist that she was digging pretty hard into one spot that really hurt she kinda barked at me that it was from putting on all those rhinestones and I should smarten up!  She was nicer before she became a mom.  Now she has that moral authority and that combo of  “I’m hurting you for your own good” and “if you would do what I would tell you it wouldn’t hurt so much” and “what am I gonna do with this kid?”  Luckily she is a good mom, so it also has that “oh honey, I’m sorry it hurts.  You’ll feel better soon.”  🙂

We won’t even go into what she did to my calves…


12 Oct

So the horsehair braid has arrived, not without pain. UPS, customs, duty and I bunch of I-told-you-so from the Design Consultant who lives here.  Actually, he only said it once, but still….
The good news is that the colour is perfect.  Hats By Leko has the most amazing selection of crin, which is what the cool kids call horsehair braid these days.  Great browsing just for the fun of it and a great tutorial on making a crin hat.

Stones and appliques should be here any time. But while I am waiting I have been having some fun putting bits of fabric together to make cute bibs for work.  Not, this is not the “q” word.  Just recycling.

I think I promised a tutorial for wine bags, too.  I see I have photos all ready to go so we will see how the weekend goes and maybe that will appear soon.

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