Sunday, June 18, 2017


June 16, 2017

Home-made headdresses, past and present.

As regular readers of this blog know, it’s both rare and difficult for me to take a vacation. Unlike dance (which I miraculously do despite being sick), my attempts at travelling have so often backfired, or simply left me exhausted beyond all reason, that I’ve come to accept it’s beyond my reach. (Car camping being a nice exception.) Nor do I have much variety in what I do from day to day, even when at home. Being sick means having limitations, daily ones, so I tend to faithfully stick to a routine that keeps my symptoms in check, that allows me to do as much as possible in the place where I live. And yet, can I complain? I live a full, rich life in Seattle.

But this week, I’m declaring a vacation. It’s that beautiful, dance-filled time of year. When May and June roll around, my samba group is all about preparing for the wonderful, goofball, homespun Fremont Solstice Parade. The parade is a summer Saturnalia, and very much a neighborhood tradition. Over the years, I’ve seen some amazing art in motion, coasting through the streets of my neighborhood. I’ve also had moments at the parade, when I’ve looked around and it’s all been so goofy that I’ve thought—really, we’re doing this?—but then it seems half the city has crammed the sidewalks to watch. The parade is one of my favorite days of the year, and the preparation is half the fun.

My classic tomato pin cushion, a gift from my sister-in-law.
Other dancers glue their costumes with a glue-gun, but the fumes
make me sick, so I make mine the old-fashioned way, by sewing.
Preparing means taking time to make costumes, and extra hours learning choreography. It can come down the wire, and people often stay up late to get things done. But since I can’t skip sleep... well, I’ve decided to do something radical and give up writing for a few days. Usually I hate anything that stops me from writing, and this year more than ever I’ve felt how urgent it is to keep working. Nonetheless, with a few days to go, I’m taking time off to get my costume done. I am declaring a vacation!

Our group did color blocks this year. I was in the red/orange block.
These are my "raw materials": red bra, rolls of feathers.
I bought red dance shorts, too. 

To make my headdress I started by wrapping a frame from floral/millinery wire.
See below for how the frame looked on my head. (Held in place with strap!)

One more shot of the frame. I'm ready for communications
from the space aliens!

But actually, not that interested in talking to E.T.s, so I sewed on feathers.
(Selfie in the bathroom mirror.)

But wait, I kept going....
My outdoor workspace later in the week. That feathery object
at the back is an epaulette-wing. The orange fabric
behind the radio is an old dress from the thrift store. 
My costume in progress. I cut down an orange
dress I found at the thrift store. Added some gold adornment.
Sewing the corset top of the dress onto the red bra, including cutting down
the back dress straps to fit, and sewing on hooks. Plus some more gold.

Almost ready...

Secret ingredient. Yes, all the gold on my outfit is gold duct tape. 

JUNE 17, 2017:

Headdress, wings, plus orange dress transformed into dancing-girl costume.

One more selfie at home.

Out with friends...

In the parade

A shot of the parade. I was dancing next to Ashley, and she's totally upstaging me,
looking fabulous, but stop looking at her for a second! Look to the right of the photo.
 That's me, in my orange, home-made costume, from behind. (Nice gold sunbursts!)
And Marian is behind me, in magenta. So much fun!

No comments: