Hello, lovelies! Here’s another year-end post on the performances and costumes I wore in 2016. It’s a little late since I was waiting on the Vintage Belly Dance Brunch performance video. Like the previous year-end posts, this one is image-heavy and light on text. The costumes where I posted a full post will have a link – just click on the title to view the full post and video.
I hope you all enjoyed seeing our costumes and pictures. I’ve included a video below my signature. I must admit, I had a lot of fun editing these year-end videos. There are other belly dance performances in the works for 2017, so stay tuned.
Hello, fellow darklings! Today’s look is inspired by January’s birthstone, Garnet. While garnets come in a range of colors, my favorite color (and the most popular) for garnets is blood red. What goth doesn’t love blood red? The color itself is beautiful, but when it’s paired with black, it can give a look a bit of mystery. “Garnet” is believed to come from the Latin word granate, which means “seed”, like the seeds of a pomegranate.
GARNET INFO & SYMBOLISM
TITLE: The Stone of Health
ALTERNATE NAMES: Arizona Ruby, Carbuncle, Cinnamon Stone
COLORS: All except blue, including colorless and multi-colored
MOHS SCALE HARDNESS: 6.5-7.5
CHAKRAS: Root (1) and Heart (4)
ZODIAC SIGN: Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)
SYMBOLIZES: Regeneration, Vitality, and Order
Here’s what I wore. Everything is long, flowing, and lacy. Very comfortable and very feminine. I purchased all of my clothing on Amazon.
Here’s my face. Again, I went simple with the makeup but I did go a bit heavier on the eyeliner. Of course, the garnet-colored bindi completes my face:
That’s it for now. I’ll be making changes to my blog and blog posts this year. For instance, I’ll still create blog posts on birthstones, but I’m taking a break from the birth flowers this year. The information on birthstones have also been condensed. If you wish to see more information, you can check out the birthstone posts from 2015 and 2016. Of course, you can also click the link to Crystals and Jewelry (under the title pic) for more in-depth info.
Belly Dance Brunch poster courtesy of Sahara Dance. Used with permission.
Hello, lovelies. Last month, the ladies and I performed for the Sahara Dance Vintage Belly Dance Brunch at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. This dance was inspired by flamenco dance, and our costumes and music reflect this influence.
First, here’s my makeup and costume for this performance. I missed wearing my usual bindis, big hair, and over-the-top accessories, but since the theme was flamenco dance, I had to do without them. I wore a big ass flower to make up for my lack of accessories.
Here are the ladies of Raquettes Amira
Our lovely, flamenco-inspired costumes:
The performance went pretty well. It was a faster piece than we’re used to, but I think we pulled it off nicely. I still need to work on my arms and posture. Sigh.
I’ve included a video of our performance, courtesy of Sahara Dance Productions. I hope you all enjoy it. This Spring, we’ll be dancing with swords! It’s been 4 years since I last danced with a sword, so I’m very excited about the Spring show. Stay tuned for more belly dance posts.
Today’s post is my lookbook for the birth flowers of this year. Just like the birthstone lookbook, this post is mostly pictures and not much text. There’s a video at the end that shows my outfits and the ATS® dance moves for each month. To view the full post on each birth flower, just click on the name of that flower.
Hello, lovelies! Here’s the year-end post on what I wore for each birthstone. Since this is a lookbook, there is very little text but a chockfull of pictures. There’s also a video at the end. To view the full post of each birthstone, just click on the name of the birthstone.
That’s all for now, folks. I actually enjoyed looking back on what I wore for each birthstone. Some looks were better than others, but each one was fun to wear. What will I come up with in 2017? We shall see.
Hello, lovelies! Today’s post is the last birth flower post for 2016. Woo hoo! My look is inspired by one of December’s birth flowers, the Poinsettia. Poinsettias are not flowers, but modified leaves (bracts). With its red and dark green leaves, this plant is popular around the Christmas holiday. The other birth flower for December is the Narcissus. Also known as daffodil, narcissus is also the birth flower for March.
Poinsettias originate from Mexico and Central America. The plants can reach to heights up to 16 feet! Both poinsettias and narcissi are poisonous. The plant’s name comes from Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was the first US Ambassador to Mexico. Poinsett was the person responsible for introducing the plant to the United States in 1825. For the ancient Aztecs, poinsettias symbolized purity. Today the plant symbolizes celebration, good cheer, and success.
POINSETTIA INFO & SYMBOLISM
TITLE: Christmas Star (also Christmas Flower)
TYPES: Holly Point, Tri-Color, Plum Pudding, and Winter Rose Red
ORIGIN: Mexico and Central America
TYPE: Perennials in Mexico, annuals outside of Mexico
COLORS: Red, orange, pink, pale green, cream, white and marbled
ZODIAC SIGNS: Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21) and Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
USES: Mainly used as ornamentation, but also used for pain relief and antimicrobial properties. Their latex is used for depilatories.
SECONDARY BIRTH FLOWER: Narcissus
Here’s what I wore. We had an office Christmas dinner and it was a perfect opportunity to wear my new, kimono-style jacket. I decided to get it as an early Christmas present to myself. Ha ha. This jacket was purchased on Ebay.
Here’s my face. I wore heavy eye-makeup along with burgundy eyebrows. Unfortunately, I forgot about my red and pink hair so the poinsettia I wore blended in with my hair. Oh, well. At least you can see the black feather.
Well, this is the last birth flower post for 2016. Are you ready to start the new year? Stay tuned for a couple of year-end videos, which will be posted this week.
Hello, lovelies! Today’s look is inspired by one of December’s birthstones, Tanzanite. The other 2 birthstones for December are Turquoise and Zircon. Out of these 3 birthstones, my favorite is tanzanite because of it’s gorgeous blue color, so that’s what this post will focus on.
Tanzanite is a rare gemstone and is highly prized. The most valuable tanzanite is a deep, ultramarine blue with a slight purple edge. Tanzanites are mined in Tanzania, East Africa. Tanzania is the only place where tanzanites are formed, hence its name. Tanzanites are “celebrated as the Gemstone of the 20th century”, in which New York’s Tiffany and Co. created and showcased its faceted form.
Blue tanzanites symbolize spirituality and wisdom, and along with turquoise and zircon, symbolize Winter. Zircon and turquoise are the traditional birthstones for December. Due to its popularity, tanzanite was added as a birthstone by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA).
TANZANITE INFO & SYMBOLISM
TITLE: Gemstone of the 20th Century
COLORS: Shades of lilac-blue, deep ultramarine blue, and blue-violet. Also found in shades of brown and yellow in its raw form
MOHS SCALE HARDNESS: 6.5
ZODIAC SIGN: None, but is sometimes associated with Pisces (February 18 – March 20) and Aries (March 21 – April 19)
DEITY: Athena, Greek goddess of War and Wisdom, honored for her intellect and logic. Also honors Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom and contradiction personified.
DIVINATIONS: “Trust you intuition – it is guiding you in the right direction, even though others may be blinding you with facts and figures to the contrary”
CHAKRAS: Throat (5), Third Eye (6), and Crown (7)
HEALING PROPERTIES: Strengthens the immune system, detoxifies the blood, and promotes the regeneration of cells, hair, nails, and skin.
SECONDARY BIRTHSTONE: Turquoise
TERTIARY BIRTHSTONE: Zircon
Here’s what I wore. It was FREEZING with a high temperature of 25° F (-3.9° C). It was windy, too. I hate cold weather, but it’s a great opportunity to wear heavy velvet.
My makeup was minimal because of the cold, and I definitely did not feel like wearing false eyelashes. I had a perfect bindi to go with my outfit, but I couldn’t find it. Oh, well. Boring face, basic bindis.
This post concludes the birthstone looks for 2016. Woot! I can’t WAIT for 2016 to end, and apparently I’m not alone. Was 2016 a good year for you? Stay tuned for the last birth flower post and a couple of year-in-review posts.
Hello, lovelies! It is Month 19 of my freeform locs. I finally re-dyed them and they look 100% better. They’re also getting longer and I’m definitely pleased with that. I’ve added some things to my office decor and I’m very happy with the results. New hair color, new office.
Here are few pics of my office, with the office light on. It looks cool, but it looks a lot snazzier with the office light turned off, and the colorful lights turned on. The skull lamp, bony hand candelabra, and “lightening ball” were purchased on Amazon. The rest of the items were purchased at CVS. These purchases were made last year during Halloween season, so these items were bought at a reduced price. The battery-operated candles were purchased online.
Here’s the progress of my dreadlocks. Thanks to the hair dye, you’ll see a dramatic difference between Months 17 and 19:
That’s it for now. Be sure to check out my office decor video below. You’ll see how my office looks when it’s darkened and lit up by my spooky lights. TTFN!
Hello, lovelies! Today is the last day of November, so today’s look is inspired by the Chrysanthemum, November’s birth flower. “Mums” are one of the most cultivated flowers around the world, beginning in China in 15th century B.C. Chrysanthemums are a diverse flower, ranging from “puffy poms to the spindly spiders and quill flowers”. Chrysanthemums are a member of the daisy family and are related to zinnias, dahlias, marigolds, and sunflowers.
The word “chrysanthemum” comes from the Greek words chrysos, meaning “gold” and anthemon, meaning “flower”. Chrysanthemums are next to the most popular flower, second to roses. “Mums” are traditionally given on Mother’s Day, which symbolize optimism and joy. Many of us Americans call our mothers “Mom”, whereas some of the British call their mothers, “Mum”. I’m pretty sure there’s a connection there.
Chrysanthemums have a great deal of symbolism in Asia, especially in China and Japan. The Chrysanthemum is considered one of the Four Gentlemen in Chinese art and “The Festival of Happiness” in Japan is a celebration of the “mum”. But in France, Belgium, Spain, and Italy, chrysanthemums symbolize death and are often placed on graves and used in funerals.
CHRYSANTHEMUM INFO & SYMBOLISM
TITLE: Gold Flower
TYPES: Poms, Thistle (or Brush), Spoon, and Quill
ORIGIN: Asia and Northeastern Europe
TYPE: Mostly Perennials, but there are also Annual varieties
COLORS: Pink, red, yellow, white and green
ZODIAC SIGN: Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
USES: Mainly used as a tea to assist in eyestrain, dizziness, and to lower cholesterol, and adds flavor to Korean rice wine. The leaves are boiled and steamed to be eaten. Also helps to reduce indoor air pollution.
Here’s what I wore. This look would of been perfect with the long skirt I was going to wear, but it decided to rain. So I changed gears and wore a knee-length skirt, leggings, and flat shoes.
I wore my eyeglasses, so makeup was basic. The bone necklace and large mums were the highlight of this look. I did go heavy on the blush, though.
That’s all for now, lovelies. Last day of November and I manage to squeak out the birth flower post. For a short month, this month felt like it would never end. Strange.
Love & Shimmies,
ATS® dance move (fast): Shoulder Shimmy w/ Hip Bumps