I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with costuming, needlecraft, and other handiwork when I’m not painting. Mostly it’s just an entertaining hobby, but sometimes bits and pieces find their way into my Etsy shop where they are, theoretically, for sale. Usually they just sit there, since I’m too busy painting to figure out how to successfully promote an Etsy shop.
In the past year or so, I’ve also picked up belly dancing as a hobby. I take classes with Nina Amaya and I’m in her student troupe Belly Dance Delight. This is the first time in my life that I’ve found exercising OR performing fun. I also really enjoy art forms that combine new and old traditions and different cultures.
Of course, it’s also a good excuse to have fun making costumes, too.
Recently, I decided to experiment with combining painting and belly dance costuming. I made this belt decorated with painted red and white art nouveau style poppies, rhinestones, and hand beading:
(Click the thumbnails to see the rest of the photos full size)
I know there are a few dancers who read my blog, so I’d especially love to hear any feedback from them. I’ve already posted photos on a belly dance-specific forum and gotten a lot of great suggestions for what I might improve on or experiment with in the future. One issue pointed out to me is that this piece isn’t quite typical cabaret OR tribal costuming. That might be appealing to some dancers, but if I make more of these, I might want to go in one direction or the other on some of them.
I really would like to experiment with making more pieces like this, so I decided to go ahead and list this one on Etsy to raise money to earmark for more costume supplies. Here is the listing if you’re interested: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24130311