Thursday is fashion show day!
You can win two free tickets, details HERE
I dropped off a few Peggy Davis items to be featured at the show
Couple of videos I recently made.
Laboratory Dancers algae a big show this weekend at 1804. I cannot believe the generosity of the tenants letting us use their home as rehearsal space and a performance venue. Traveled there 5 days last week. It’s been a while since my choreography had been out there for people to see. I forgot how nervous it can make me feel. I’m the kind of designer and choreographer that can continuously edit my work.
Bus ride down Ashland
Setting up frames for Ally Subaks dance piece.
Creating stage for Scarlet Monk
Behind Scarlets stage
Michael planting flowers around vegetable garden. Certain flowers supposedly help keeps rats and animals away. Can’t wait to cook with our home grown veggies.
A few weeks ago Laboratory Dancers had a photo shoot with our dear friend Bjorn at his amazing space – 1804.
I brought a ton of clothing options for our spring themed shoot. The photo shoot was a blast. After our more ‘formal’ photos we put Whitney Houston, Mirah Carey, Salt n Pepper, and Destiny’s Child to spice things up and get in dance party mode. The photos produced from the dance party segment really show the personality of our company. I of coarse went into the photo shoot saying I wasn’t going to participate due to my foot recovery. But no one can resist dancing with these girls, I just did some ‘mini motions’.
So pleased that every outfit in this final photo was brought in by me, and 3 of them are part of my Vintage Re-worked collection. My closet is becoming a collection of clothes I am drawn to, maybe no to wear, but to rent out for dancing, photo shoots, and fun. Moments like these make me smile knowing we are paving the way for ourselves. The company started at the ground having only one evening length performance in a year. Now we are aiming for 3 big performances a year and sprinkles of just as important performances at bars and festivals. This May we will be teaching classes at two different studios in Chicago! We’ve come a long way baby.
Bjorn is a great friend and photographer. Laboratory Dancers is very lucky to have him part of our team!
In other new…
Next weekend is ‘Catch’. An evening of 4 pieces choreographed by Kate Corby, performed by her beautiful dancers. There is an original sound score and costumes by me!
I’ve figured out the theme of this year, “moving away”. Why can’t we keep all of our friends and family tucked away in our pockets? Because everyone yearns to spread their wings and fly. Betty Blurrr has left the country to South Korea, Think Epic has set up shop in Boulder, CO, SR is still in India, Mitten Paws has been eyeballing Portland, Josh (Laboratory Dancers member) moved back to Atlanta, my cousin and his family are taking off for Houston, Texas this week, and come June my aunt, cousin & husband + baby will be heading to Carbondale, IL. Of coarse I’ll spread my wings and fly further than Chicago, perhaps to San Fran-Paris-Seattle-NYC-Colorado-Spain, but that time isn’t right yet. I’ll of coarse know when it is right… right?
It’s going to be strange seeing my family disperse. I grew up deeply embedded with all of them in my life. We’re a tight-nit group.
Yes, I used the same photo twice. My family is pretty tight. For a while we had family parties every weekend, or so it felt like. We like to celebrate birthdays, hang out in kitchens, drink-dance-karaoke to classic 80′s music. These are from the “birthday/going away party for a division of the Russell family”. Some family members are missing, but I think you get the gist.
Really digging this Adele song. I love songs that inspire me to sing out loud with all my heart and soul, even though it sounds absolutely terrible coming from me. Love the shot in the video with all the glasses of water vibrating from the sounds of her singing. Aren’t we all just glasses of water vibrating and reacting to each other?
I started choreographing this week. Whew! Generating movement is such foreign territory these days. With my surgeries and recoveries dance/choreography has been pushed to the back burner. But I’m finally able to turn up the heat and boil my creativity to put forth a delicious dish for Laboratory Dancers Experiment #3.5. Which will be served Saturday, May 21st at 1804 (1804 S. Racine, Chicago, IL). I had my first rehearsal on Friday, due to lack of space, in my apartment. Luckily only one of the girls was able to make it that day, and it was a pretty tight squeeze – not sure how I will fit hopefully two more bodies in it this week. The rehearsal process tends to feel like a big Tetris game. Organizing and working with people schedules and then figuring out a space to bring all these Tetris pieces together and finally lining/fitting them in right so everything connects and you beat the level.
All the dancing, or attempting to dance, this week really took a toll on my new left foot. Yesterday it was red, swollen, and very angry at me. I pretty much had to keep an ice pack on it all day – of coarse taking breaks after 20min.
Saturday my friend Erin was selling her lovely handmade earrings at a Handmade Festival at the Empty Bottle. I took my first public transit voyage since my surgery (stairs are pretty difficult for me) to attend because I’m always in the market for handmade inspiration, and I needed a bday gift for my sister, who is coming to Chicago this month!!. The Empty Bottle always smells of booze and cigarettes, even though there is no smoking inside Chicago establishments anymore, the years of smoked out shows has left its mark in certain venues such as this. Really stellar stuff from these artists and I can’t believe I didn’t take a single photo inside. Sometimes I get camera shy and feel invasive taking peoples photos without their knowledge or OK. Mostly jewelry at the fest, which is fine by me, but I feel guys get left out of these things. Had I brought Micheal with me he maybe could have walked away with handmade soap? Who am I to talk, it’s not like I make anything geared towards men. Just looking for some variety I suppose.
I did find a gift for my sister, which I wont mention because she might be reading this.
And I picked up a lil necklace for myself.
This item I bought from Rhea D, owner of MBH Mafia. If I were to get a tattoo it would probably be an underwater sealife mural around my arm, full of fish like this, a sea horse, octopus, and perhaps a shark. I love sea creatures.
After the Handmade Festival I hit up the Village Discount down the street from me for it’s STATE-WIDE Half Off Weekend! I found a great brown jean skirt for myself, and 3 button down shirts for Michael. Earlier that day I made Michael change his outfit because I felt I had seen him in the same grey t-shirt and purple plaid shirt for a few days in a row… he claimed he had no clothes so I marched up to the closet and brought him down a shirt he got for Christmas, still with the tags on it. I’ve come to realize he only wears two kinds of shirts: t-shirts and button down plaid shirts. I found him 3 new plaid button down shirts with slightly fun colors. He wore one to the family party. Go me!
It’s going to be a while before I can get back into my Logan Square studio and let the creative juices flow. I had my final bunion surgery Friday evening. This recovery will give my hands and machine a much needed break. But even as I crutch around I can’t help but think of all the fabric and vintage items waiting in my office for me. This recovery break is a good chance for research and inspiration by watching movies, tv, and reading. Many of my old fashion design books from school are still at my parents house (where I’m recovering) and I plan to brush up my fabric and textile knowledge.
This recovery already seems more painful than the right foot was back in September. The surgery itself felt longer and more drawn out. It was supposed to start at 2:45 but due to a patient back up, I was pushed back to 4:15, of coarse they don’t tell you this until you actually get there. I hadn’t eaten since 8:30 am and was starving in the “holding cell” waiting to get in the surgical room. I remember trying to keep my eyes open as long as I could while laying on the operating table and thinking it seemed like there were too many people in the room for one little bunion surgery. When I finally came to, the whole thing was over and there was a slipper cast on my left foot and I was in terrible pain. The surgery and cast wrapping took long and the medicine they pumped through my hand was wearing off fast. One of the Dr.s put a shot in my leg he said would help with the pain and shortly after the shot a nurse gave me an early vicodin. It was like living in a glimpse because it felt like no time had passed, but really the day was almost over and I had no memory of where it went.
My ankle is black and blue and swollen. It’s extremely difficult to sleep with one leg lifted up on 3 pillows. But the worst part is over and I no longer have the thought of surgery hovering over my head. Which feels pretty great. My right foot, which was operated on in September, already feels 1 million times better. When I wore heels to a wedding last month my right foot surprisingly didn’t hurt for hours but the left bunion was throbbing within an hour of putting on the high heels. They weren’t event that high!!
I guess some Dr.s do both feet at once, but my Dr. refused to to operate that way and I’m actually thankful now. I couldn’t imagine not being able to at least crutch around and feel some type of dignity and independence.
So far I have worked on a lot of photos from some of my photo shoots and watched Godfather I & II. I’m really into the new 4 image/collage layout. I like being able to include detailed shots next to full image shots and have it viewed as one image alone. I’m still learning so much about photoshop and figuring out what the different filters, erasers, and buttons do.
I actually really enjoy the Godfather movies. The first two are the best and most interesting, I like seeing a young Al Pacino and Diane Keaton too. I’m not fond of any recent movies with Diane Keaton, but I think she is good in the Godfather movies and after watching them I want to see Annie Hall again. I’ll have to add that to my movie list.
My dance company, Laboratory Dancers, is having their end of the season concert at the Viaduct Theater Thursday, January 13- Sunday, January 16
The Viaduct Theater is located at 3111 N. Western Ave. Show starts at 7pm Thursday – Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Tickets are $10! Such a great price for a great night of modern dance in Chicago!
I’m president of the company and worked on some of the costume design….
In other news…
It’s great to see photos of people in my designs! They look so happy and beautiful. I’m so proud to be part of Kate Corby Dancers. These girls are not only beautiful dancers but a pleasure to work with.
Finally, I ordered some business cards. I checked out both Vistaprint.com and moo.com. It came down to the image quality and moo.com won me over. My neighbor also got her cards through moo.com and the images and print quality. I went the small 50 pack and used 4 of my own images. There is also a great site – couponsformoo.com I think was the name of it- they have different online free coupon codes you can punch in when you check out, I got an extra 30% off my order! $21 for 50 cards, including shipping. Not too bad, we’ll see how they turn out.
Business cards is definitely something I’ve been putting off for a while. But it’s a new year and my resolution was to simply make it the best year ever. Simple, right? The best year for myself and for my business.
Floral Tori is a “still in progress” piece. So far I’ve cut the ruffles off and evened out the first hem line, re-attached the ruffles after I cut and ironed them out, fixed some holes in the side seams and waistband, and hand sewed gold sequins on the top bodice from and back - there is a good chance just a few more sequins will find their way to the skirt.
I’m adding a new element to the blog – before and after
I can’t attack all the before pieces at once so check back often to see where things end up
There are all the before items…