Thursday, February 10, 2011

A hooping good time

For about a year now I have been "getting serious" about hula hooping. I fell in love with hoop dance (as the hooping community calls it ... yes, there is a hooping community) at my favorite music festival Shakori Hills in North Carolina. Watching these women (and even some men) dance to music in a field while decorated hoops seemed to spin effortlessly around their bodies, was quite mesmerizing. I sound like quite the creeper don't I? But seriously, it is a beautiful form of dance, just as ballet or hip hop is. Haven't you heard of a little bump N' grind? (that joke is for Anna).

I decided that I wanted to learn how to hoop dance. I have taken a few classes/workshops and now attend "hoop jams" on a regular basis. I have drank the red cult cool aid of the hooping community and it tastes good!

Maybe if you are lucky I will post a video of me hooping. That should give everyone a good laugh ... I don't quite hoop as effortlessly as the festival hoopers yet. But I'm getting there!


Last summer we attended our friends outdoor wedding on a farm in Orange, Virginia. We camped at the wedding site and partied the night away. A few people, including myself, brought hula hoops for the reception and they were a big hit with all the guests. That is when I decided that our wedding reception would also turn into a big hoop jam!

So, as one of my bridesmaids gifts (the other bridesmaid gift is a surprise) I decided to make hula hoops for them. I had the instructor of one of my hooping classes cut and connect the pvc pipe for me. (She had the tools to do all that, I didn't). I ordered the tape and began decorating my first hoop.

Step One: I covered the whole hoop with a yellow base of gaffers tape I ordered from Tape Brothers. Gaffers tape has a fabric like finish and is not slippery so it has good body grip while hooping.
Note: I think when taping my next hoop I will angle the tape more while doing the base, like step two. I got a lot of air bubbles and tape folds doing it this way which I did not get when I applied the blue tape at more of an angle.

Step Two: I angled blue gaffers tape as a candy stripe around the entire hoop.
Warning: The photo you are about to view, exhibits a scrappy, exhausted-looking me. I was sick this day, as evidenced by my tissue box, cup of water and mismatched house-bum outfit. Although, this is not much different from my usual after-work attire.

Step Three: For the last layer, I applied glow tape at the same angle as the blue tape. This was a little difficult getting it to match up perfectly but with a slow and steady hand it went on just fine. This final tape is a glow-in-the-dark tape that after being charged by the sunlight it is "supposed" to glow for 10 hours of hooping fun! I tested it, and it does indeed glow. Not sure about the length of glow time yet.
Super Fun Game: Can you spot Snookie and Splinter, our kitties, in two of the photos? They enjoy hula hoops too!

My hula hoop is now decorated and ready for action! This was a test hoop for me. I have four more to decorate for my lovely bridesmaids. Glad I did a test run because I think my next hoops will have a smoother finish.

The wedding is sure going to be a hooping good time!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wine in the center

I'm trying to do all my wedding decorations on a budget. Meaning, I will not be purchasing any flowers from a florist and I'm trying not to purchase any random containers, expensive fabrics, chair covers etc. I can do this frugally gosh darnit! I can right?

Since our wedding colors are yellow and blue, my idea was to use a blue wine bottle from one of our favorite local wineries, Chateau Morrisette, for part of the table center pieces. Since Our Dog Blue is one of Dan and my favorite white wines we though it would be easy to drink 20 or so bottles before the wedding. I mean, we had 11 months that's two bottles a month. The first few months went great, friends and family were helping out and we collected quite a few. But then it got cold and white wine is a warm weather drink and well, we got pretty sick of Our Dog Blue. But luckily being the "Chatty Kathy" that I am, I managed to corner a Sommelier at a Christmas party at the Holiday Inn, explain to him why I was a good customer but wanted to drink some red wine for a change and convince him that he should give me free bottles left over from the tasting room at the winery. Actually, he offered and it didn't really take much convincing, but it just goes to show that being friendly to the right people and asking them the right questions, can often get just what you are looking for.

A week later I had a case of blue empties delivered to me at work. Now that is service!

Now for the hard part, scraping those pesky labels off so it is just the pretty blue bottle.

Step one: I gave them a bath.

Step two: I used a spoon to scrape all the soggy labels off.

Step three: There was still sticky residue on all the bottles so I just gave them a little squirt of googone and rinsed them with soap and water again. Rubbed them dry to get any remaining stuff off and ta-dah ...

Pretty blue bottles all in a row!

Now, all we need is something to spruce them up a bit. How about a yellow flower?

Next task: Hand making the yellow flowers. I found this template for beautiful DIY flowers on one of my favorite blogs designsponge.

Yes, I'm going to hand make all of the flowers for all the tables center pieces from coffee filters! Think I'm too ambitious? I've got a secret ... I have enslaved my bridesmaids for a weekend of wine and crafts where we will complete all of the ridiculous projects I have set out to do for the wedding. Hopefully the wine doesn't spill all over the crafts after a few bottles.

But at least we won't have to be drinking Our Dog Blue.