Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dancing–it’s the light of my life

Dancing has come to mean a lot to me over the past 12 years.

It’s brought me joy – the joy of movement, the joy of music, the joy of completing some tricky choreography, the joy of winning a competition, the joy of performing.

It’s brought me a huge circle of friends and acquaintances all over the world.

It’s taken me to places on the globe that I would never have otherwise visited.

It’s given me the opportunity to teach and share my love of dancing with others.

It’s given me the chance to write choreography myself – something I never thought I’d do.

With all of that in mind, I wanted to share some of the videos that make me smile – think of it as my Christmas present to you. :0)

First up, a video that I have watched a LOT over the last few weeks. It saddens me that these two geniuses of dance did not perform together more often. I love the steps, the choreo, the execution and the humour. Just brilliant and never fails to raise a smile from me… and I love showing it to other people

Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire–The Babbitt & The Bromide

Second up is a video taken at the Swing Patrol Christmas party in Melbourne last year. This group contains such a talented and passionate bunch of individuals, all of whom I’m proud to call friends.

Echoes Of Harlem–Everybody Loves My Baby

Next is a video that was taken at this year’s Melbourne Swing Patrol Christmas Party.

Harlem Shout– Boys’ routine

Another video that I love to watch is this next one. It features two world-class dancers – Bobby White and Kelly Arsenault – competing in a Jack & Jill competition. I’ve written about those before but basically you are randomly paired with a partner just before you go on, so it is testing your leading and following skills. I just love the musicality that they both extract from this piece of music, all the while continuing to do their jobs of leading (him) and following (her). Great stuff!

Kelly & Bobby – Lindy Focus 2011

Finally, this is a video of the first piece of choreography I have ever written (with some extensive help from my dance partner John, who figured out who to turn “I want them to do this” *wavey hands and cheesy movements* into something actually workable).

This was performed at the Swing Patrol Performance Ball at the end of October this year and is our level 1, 2 and 3 students.

Swing Patrol’s Balpit 2011 students

We had some last minute problems on the night which meant we had to do some quick partner changes just before we went on, but everyone handled themselves beautifully, despite the changes plus the usual nerves and just got on with the show. So proud!

I hope this post brings a smile to your face and maybe even inspires you to seek out a local dance class or hire a DVD or even just put on a favourite track and bounce around the room for a few minutes. Personally, I can’t dance and be in a bad mood – I might start out that way, but the feeling just goes away. I hope that’s the same for everyone.

Season’s greetings everyone – may your December be full of love, happiness, music and dance!



Monday, October 17, 2011

I’m back!

Oops… that was one heck of a long absence… my apologies.

I have actually been trying to write a post for a while now, but I had a major computer rebuild a couple of months ago and Windows Live Writer disappeared completely.

Now, I know that its kind of a weak excuse but I love the simplicity that Live Writer brings to writing a blog post… and to demonstrate my commitment to simplicity I have spent… oh, I think maybe 8 or so HOURS trying to reinstall it!

Firstly the computer told me it needed me to download a ‘service pack 2’ and a “platform update’.

Sounds simple huh? Thirteen downloads and COUNTLESS computer restarts later… including one very detectivey-sleuthy download that turned into four separate downloads when the one click version wouldn’t work… and I have Windows Live Writer!

VICTORY! I feel a little “ALL THE THINGS!!” right now.

Hyperbole And A Half - This Is Why I'll Never Be An Adult

I do love this blog.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another brilliant Aunty gift!

Looking back over my last few posts of last year, I realised that I didn’t write anything about the emotional turmoil that my family was going through at the end of October.

My Aunty Patty – sister to seamstress Aunty Bub and to my Dad (as well as Aunty Bonnie, Uncle Johnny and Uncle Bernie) – had been fighting lung cancer last year and sadly she passed away on October 23… which is my Dad’s birthday and last year was the day Uncle Johnny was getting married.

Of course there is never a good day, but this one was particularly unfortunate.

Her funeral was held on November 1 – which is my birthday… like I said, there’s never a good day.

Anyway, she was a wonderfully warm and happy person and I miss her dearly.


I recently caught up with my cousin Carol, Pat’s daughter, and she was so very, very kind as to give me one of Aunty Patty’s books – an innocuous looking red-covered book called The Universal Measure: The Golden Rule - Lutterloh


BUT… what an amazing bounty lies within its pages!!

 CIMG2607 CIMG2608 CIMG2609 CIMG2610 CIMG2611 CIMG2612 CIMG2613  CIMG2614

There are some beautiful outfits in this book including, as you can see, wedding dresses, suits, day wear, dickies, collars and cuffs, overcoats, swimsuits, nightwear and childrens clothing.

The truly amazing thing though…?


Yep. 307 patterns included in the book!!! MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED!

It is an incredible book – not the least of which are the illustrations. The clothes are just beautiful.

The only bugger is that the Luttersloh rule isn’t in the book, which is what you use to scale up the patterns… but hey, I’m a creative person, I’ll make do. :0)

I have to confess, I’m feeling so conflicted right now – I have such an amazing family that I am so grateful for, but at the same time I am watching the devastating news footage coming in from Christchurch in New Zealand. My thoughts and prayers are with the city and indeed the entire country.

Australia and New Zealand have certainly been through some trying times of late with devastating floods, bushfires, hurricanes and now earthquakes.

Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something?


This post is dedicated to the memory of Catherine Patricia. 8/8/28 – 23/10/10

Friday, January 7, 2011

Butterick 8084 – made up

That heading feels like such a lie… but it isn’t!

Butterick 8084 is definitely made up – and how – but I cannot tell a lie, it was not my sewing skills that got the job done.

Lovely Aunty Bub made this one up some years ago – quite some years ago – and once again its lucky old me that gets to benefit.

Aunty Bub wore the dress for a while, then passed it on to her daughter Yvonne, whose daughter Alicia wore it once before she grew out of it… so its been handed to me… and I just love it.

It’s a tight squeeze but I think its worth it.

So, to refresh your memory (and mine) – here’s the pattern… its the ‘my hips, my arms, my boobs’ one, where Ms View C’s head is bigger than her waist…


And here’s what happens when Aunty Bub gets hold of some beautiful pink cottonish material that has pink flower sprays embroidered on it. You can just see one near my knee.

Butterick 8084

But seriously – check out the shoes. Original 1940s WHITE suede pumps. The arch in these shoes is out of control but you do get used to them.

Here’s a shoe-tastic Christmas flavoured shot, with two-day-old pincurls and my summer-no-show ghostly tan… :0)

Butterick 8084 christmas

I’ll make sure if I make this one up myself to add a little length to the skirt panels to hide those knees away, but overall it’s a lovely fit.

I really am very lucky – and appreciate the heck out of my family! :0)

Aunty Bub also passed a couple of sweet and simple shift dresses to me when I was about 16 and they are made of a very similar material, again with embroidered flowers on them. Sadly they no longer fit me but I still have them so tomorrow I will dig them out and take some up close and personal shots of those flowers. They are simply lovely.

As are talented, generous Aunties with great taste!!