My booth at the Ephrata Arts and Crafts Fest

Craft Show Post Mortem

The Ephrata Arts and Craft Fest did not go well for me.  Despite me being well prepared and very enthusiastic, the turn out for the show was horrible due to the 91 degree Fahrenheit temperatures that day.  No one wanted to be out in the heat, and the people that did come didn’t appear to be buying much from anyone.

I sold one tape your own hoop kit.  One thing.  I didn’t even make back what I spent on the booth space.  To be honest, the whole thing wasn’t worth my time and effort.

I guess on the positive side, I did get my name out there, and people had fun watching me perform from time to time when I decided to do it. The booth on the right side of me didn’t show up, so I had a little extra space to perform.

I was also right near a dumpster, on the down side.  It’s sad when the people passing by are more interested in the dumpster than the booths, but it was true for Saturday.

I was packed up and ready to go by the time the show ended.  I know they organizers don’t want you to do that until the show is scheduled to end, but I didn’t care.  Neither did a lot of people who also had booths, too.  Three o’clock rolled around, and I was ready for Sam to pick me up and head into the air conditioning.

I was honest with one of the fest’s organizers who came around to see how we everyone was doing towards the end of the show.  I told her it was not a good day.  I know she can’t control the weather and they did all they could for advertising, but, hey, it still wasn’t a good experience.

So, that’s my post mortem on my time at the Ephrata Arts and Crafts Fest.  I’m not sure if I’ll do it again next year.  Probably not.  It’s just not worth the hassle.

 

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Craft Show Flyer

Ephrata Arts and Crafts Fest

I will at the Ephrata Arts and Crafts Fest on September 10, 2016 from 9am-3pm in Downtown Ephrata, PA.  That’s on 322/Main Street.

Going to be there?  Great!  Come and visit me. I’ll have hoops for sale, hoops that kids can decorate with sticker packs that I put together for sale, as well, and other cool things to purchase.  I’ll also have a big hoop that people can try their hand at hooping with.

Support me and the other vendors by coming on out.  There is going to be music, a classic car show, and plenty of talented artisans and crafters there showing off their wares.  It should be a great day!

Final Feathery Fascinator

How To Make A Feathery Fascinator

Fascinators are a great way to add hair flair to your costuming for hoop gigs!  I’m going to show you how to make a feathery fascinator that won’t get in the way of your hoop routine, such as twirling the hoop over your head.

Let’s get started!  You will need a few simple supplies.

Supplies

Fascinator Supplies

All of your fascinator supplies are easy to come by.  Some can be bought at a craft store, some can be bought at the grocery store, actually.  All of them can be bought online.

Here’s what you need:

  1. A clean, flat work space.
  2. A paper plate or paper towels to contain and protect your work.
  3. Assorted colorful feathers in different sizes.
  4. Good craft glue, such as Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue.
  5. Sequins.
  6. A metal barrette.  I like using a barrette better than a large bobby pin because it’s easier to attach the feather to, and seems to stay more securely in your hair.
  7. Colored glue pens.

Play With Feather Arrangements

Play with feature arrangements

Play with your feathers to see what pretty arrangements you can come up with.  Think about layers when it comes to your selection.  Larger feathers should go on the bottom, while smaller ones should go on top.

Once you have an setup that you like, it’s time to make it happen!

Glue!

Glue strip

Remove your feathers and lay down a line of glue with your craft glue.  Now it’s time to set up your feathers!

Adding Your Feathers

Adding feathers

Now, start layering your feathers on your glue strip.  Remember, larger ones on the bottom, smaller ones on top.  Keep going in this fashion until you have an arrangement you like.

Feathery Set up!

Final feathery arrangement.

Here, I have feathers ready to go.  They are all attached to the glue.  Now, you could stop here, but why?  You need some sparkle!

Sparkly Glue

Glue sticks

Now, you need to glue some sequins on, right?  The problem with the craft glue is that you may see some ugly lines underneath your sequins, but by using the colored glue pens, you get adhesiveness AND sparkle!  Lay down a few lines LIGHTLY on your feathers.  Don’t go to heavy on the glue, or it will weigh down your feathers and may stick to the paper plate.

Sequin Sprinkle

Sequins!

Carefully sprinkle your sequins over the glue.  Not all of them may stick, but most of them should.  Press down lightly over your glue to secure your sequins.

Final Product!

Final Feathery Fascinator

There you have it!  You now have a feathery fascinator that will with your fabulous hoop costume!  Just let it dry for 24-48 hours before wearing.

There!  How did you like this tutorial?  I hope that you are inspired and encourage to give this a shot, and perhaps make your own variations!  I’d love to see them.  Post links and photos in the comments.

 

Group Shot of Recital Particpants

Recital Photos

All photos were taken by Andy To. Thanks, Andy!

Photographer Andy To was on hand to take photos of the 2nd Annual Student Recital and Instructor Showcase on August 6, 2016, which I performed in.  Andy took a lot of great photos, but I want to share the ones that he took of me and during the act that Jen C. and I did.  If you want to see all the photos, and I encourage to to look at them, head on over to this Facebook album.

Me #1

Me #2

Me #3

Me #4

Me #5

Me and Jen C. #1

Me and Jen C. #2

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Me #5

Jen C. #3

Jen C. #3

Me and Jen C. #3

Again, these great photos were taken by Andy To.  Thanks for viewing!

Jen C. and Me. Photo by Jenny Hill

Student Recital Outcome

Saturday was Studio Spin’s second annual Student Recital and Instructor Showcase.  I performed to “Starlight” by MUSE, and did a hoop duet with another hooper, named Jen C., and we did our act to “Fever” by Peggy Lee.  You can see us up there after practicing in a local park with Jenny Hill, who choreographed and taught us the routine.  She also took the photo.

Overall, things went really well!  Of course, there were mistakes, and I am especially hard on myself after a performance, focusing on what went wrong, rather than look at the smiles on the faces of the people congratulating me on a good performance.  My husband Sam told me before I went on stage “to have fun,” and I did.  I usually do when I perform.

I ended my number with the following pose.  Yay!  Part one was done!  Jenny took that photo, too.

Me in my ending pose.

In the second part of the show, Jen C. and I did our sassy little number. Now, Jen C. has only been hooping since June.  And for her to get on stage and perform is awesome!  Well done, Jen C.!  To celebrate the momentous occasion, I made us fascinators for our hair to wear for our performance.

 

Oh, and my husband took this photo of Jen C. and I after the show.  It’s not the greatest photo, but you can still see our smiling faces.

Me and Jen C. after the show

There was a professional photographer there taking photos during performances, so I’ll share those once they come out.

Overall, all the performers rocked, and the audience loved the show.  We are awesome!

 

My own backyard!

My Own Yard To Hoop In!

See that photo up there?  That’s the backyard of the house I just bought with my husband, Sam!  I officially have my own backyard to hoop in!

We bought a nice little house last Friday, which is one of the reasons why posts have been scant here lately.  I’ve been overwhelmed and busy, so blogging had to take sort of a backseat to other stuff.

But, yeah, we’re now homeowners, and have our own backyard to do stuff in.  Eventually, we’ll get a fence.  This is exciting stuff!

On the hooping front, I’ve got circus style class tonight, and the recital on Saturday.  Yikes!  Tickets are only $7.00, and you should totally come.

 

Triple Threat

I preparation for the second class in the series of circus style hooping classes that Jenny is teaching and I am attending, I decided to make what I am dubbing the Triple Threat Hoops, which are basically just a set of three polypro matched trio of hoops that I whipped together last night.

I didn’t use really expensive hoop tape on them, mostly because the sparkly ones are too wide and I’d have to cute them down anyway, so I decided to use electrical tape, this transparent colored tape called Plexi Deco,  and what gaffer grip tape I had on hand, which wasn’t much.  I stretched it across all three, so at least they have some grip to them.

The tubing I used wasn’t normal polypro, but rather it was repurposed polypro, i.e. recycled, tubing from hoopsupplies.com.  It only comes in 5/8″ outer diameter size, but it’s decent to handle, though it is a little harder to get the connectors in.  I recommend getting an appropriately sized HDPE connector rather than a polypro one.  It seemed easier to insert using the one I had.   The tubing only comes in black, but it still is san-dable and tape-able.

I’m anxious to give these hoops a spin tonight in class, and am looking forward to another hard workout.  I have a lot of steam to blow off tonight.  I’ll tell you about that next post as to why.

Until then, keep on hooping!

 

 

Photo by Ava Dae Photography

Starting Circus Style Hooping

My first thought this morning was “Crap, why do I hurt so much?”  And then I remembered why.  I started taking Jenny Hill‘s class on circus style hooping the previous evening at Studio Spin.

Circus style hooping is different than most of the hooping many of your are familiar with.  First, it’s mostly on body, specifically your core.  Second, it involves multiple hoops.

Jenny is a circus style hooper.  Here’s an example of her doing multiple hoops in her hoop reel.

Yes, she is that awesome!

We started off a circus warm up drill that I’ve probably have written about before, but as a reminder, it an exercise that starts at the top of your body and you work your way down.  Here’s a great video by Kristin McQuillen, who is also Jenny’s sister, that explains and demonstrates how to do it.

It’s a pretty hardcore workout.  Give it a try.

Then we worked with hooping with two hoops at the waist, and then Jenny added a third for each of us.  We did multiple (haha) exercises with that, and worked with placing a second hoop on different parts of the body while maintaining one at the waist.

Now you see why hurt even as I write this.  It’s not as bad as it was when I woke up, but my abs are gently reminding me of the workout I got last night.  And, it reminds me that I’m out of shape.  Oi.

I recommend checking out circus style hooping if you need to try something different in your hooping life.  Core hooping is the base of what we do, anyway, and circus style hooping seems to be a great way of exploring the multiple (tee hee) ways and variations of how that can be done.

Now, go do those drills!

 

 

 

Photo by Ross Sieber

Hoop Photos by Ross Sieber

Many of you know I am also a photographer, but I also like to ham it up in front of the camera, too, especially when I have some hoops with me.  That’s just what I did at a recent Omni Lens Studios cosplay photography event.  I didn’t go as anyone in particular, and I took a few photos, but Ross Sieber of Photography by Ross Sieber took a few photos of me with my hoop, such as the one above here.

Here are the other two shots that really stood out to me.

Photo by Ross Sieber

 

Photo by Ross Sieber

 

Make sure you head on over to Ross’ website and see the other great photos he took, too!

 

Two teeny tiny hoops!

Hoop Duet

Not only am I doing a solo act in the upcoming Studio Spin recital, I am doing a hoop duet to the song “Fever” by Peggy Lee with another hoop student, Jen!

Jen has only been hooping for about two months, but she’s quick study and is doing great.  She and her friend Lori joined in for Jenny’s hoop choreography series that was held last month.  We did a group routine to the same song, and it’s really cool!

Hoop Choreography Class Fever! from Jenny Hill on Vimeo.

Jen and I are the only ones from the class that are able to be at the recital, so Jenny modified the routine to be a duet.  We had to change a few things, but it works, and it works well.

So, it will be fun to do a hoop duet at the recital.  Jen, we are going to rock this!