Saturday, 29 August 2009


OK, the hafla is on tonight, and I am officially ______ myself (insert your own verb in the blank, I think you know what I mean!) I don't think it's so much because things need organised - they don't. Me and my friend (the main organisers) have had so much help from people around us. People have been incredibly generous with their time and energy, it's surprised me just how lovely people can be! I'm more nervous because it's a social event that I will have to be social at. (i can haz soshul ishoos!) Normally, I'm not stressed about haflas because someone else is doing all the organising and I just have to sit there and enjoy myself. Tonight, I'm sure I'll be running around like a headless chicken doing stuff :)

We went to the house of the people we're borrowing the sound system off, and they were very reassuring. They've organised tons of events, and have lots of practice at this sort of thing, so they had lots of ideas to help.

Getting all the dancers and the sound system seems to have been the easy parts, it's all the little things. It's a "BOYB" event, but we're putting out little bowls of bombay mix (we were going to put out nuts, but didn't want to set off anyone with an allergy), and candles on the tables, little decorations like that. We're getting a bunch of veils and saris and putting them on the wall, so it doesn't look like a bare hall.

I had to get all the music and short intros for each of the dancers, so that was a challenge for me. I opened my inbox the other day and there was all these emails from REAL PEOPLE! Not just the crap I've signed up to to make myself feel popular! So I had to read them all and answer them all, and that's one of my social issues, is that I tend to put off that kind of thing. But I made myself do it that night instead of closing firefox like I wanted to, and I'm very proud of myself for that! It's a small thing, but for me, it's quite an achievement! :)

We've learned a bunch of things from organsiing this first hafla. First, the end of summer is maybe not the best time cos everyone's off class and hard to get hold of! We just thought that nobody has one in August, so that's when we'd have ours. :) Also, next time (if there is one!) we'd invite more classes to dance as groups. We've got a lot of solos and duets, but only a few groups. I made up the running order too, and it's quite hard deciding who to put where. Especially the very first act! We're going to have a follow along dance for that, to an upbeat song, to get things going. I just couldn't decide who would want to be on first!!

(To any other hafla organisers, what kinds of acts do you put on first? Solos, duets, groups? It's something I had never even noticed when going to haflas, but it's really quite important to setting up the whole night)

We're going along to the hall early to set up. I thought at first that it would be too much time (1.5 hours before start) but now I'm thinking it's probably about right. I need to practice my drum solo before I go as well, and make up little fliers for the tables with the running order. Oh, and have a bath and do my hair :) Leaving everything to the last minute as usual!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Update On The Hafla

There has been a lot of organising going on to do with the hafla (which is now less than 2 weeks away, eek!). Me, and two friends in particular, have been busy little bees, but we've emlisted help from lots of other people, which has made it much easier.

We've got all of our dancers booked (around 15 acts). This was actually the easy part, just walk up to people at class or wherever and ask "do you want to dance at our hafla?" Worked amazingly well ;) We have a nice mix of new and experienced dancers, which will be good to see. We emhpasised the casualness of the hafla, so that newer people, or people who haven't performed so often, wouldn't feel intimidated. I like to encourage new people to perform. It's good to see different dancers, and I get such a buzz from it myself, that I just want everyone to feel that way :)

We've got a sound system, lights and MC, all from the same source, yay! As we're having the hafla in a church hall, the lighting that is there already isn't great for performances, just flourescent light strips on the ceiling. So we've arranged for some standing lights. Just need to find out where all the plug sockets are in the hall, lol!

We've got an idea of how it's going to be laid out with the tables and chairs etc, and have made sure they're in the hall and available for the night. It's going to be an informal night, bring your own food and drinks, so it's nice to have tables for everyone to sit at, instead of just rows of chairs.

We went to Glasgow last weekend to get raffle prizes, lots of sparklies and goodies! And we've put the word out that we're looking for donations, so hopefully there'll be lots of stuff for people to win.

My friend made up fantastic fliers and tickets! We've been distributing fliers locally, and now the main thing we have to do before the night is sell all the tickets. That seems to be the hardest part in a way, pinning everyone down and getting them to commit to coming, and obtaining their tickets! But there seems to be enthusiasm for it, it's just pinning everyone down, like I said.

The proceeds are all going to a charity run by our dance teacher - confidance for life. It's about encouraging self esteem through dance, and building confidence. Belly dance really is amazing for building confidence, I'm a very, very shy person at heart, but over the past five years, I've really come into my own (if I do say so myself), because I feel more comfortable in my body and myself, and I have a way to express myself now. I'm a bit rubbish at expressing how I feel verbally, so it's wonderful to have a way to do that without having to speak :) And really, five years ago, would I have been so involved in organising anything like this? No, I would not! I'd have been hiding in my room, trying to think of an excuse not to go, because I wouldn't have been able to face all those people. But recently I've had to talk to people to organise things, and it's not been that bad, actually! So, if belly dance has been so good for me, I'd like to encourage other people, and that's why the proceeds are going to this charity.

So yeah, mostly just selling tickets to go. Oh, and we have to get everyone's music off them so we can prepare as much as possible before the night. But the main organising seems to be done. Yay! I'm getting very excited about it now :)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A Whole Month With No Posts :/

I wish I could say that I've been having a wonderful summer holiday somewhere, lazing on the beach, swimming in the sea, and generally travelling around all sorts of wonderful places, but . . . no, I haven't. I've been lazing in my house, starting many projects and not finishing many of them. The hafla we're organizing is getting a bit further along (only 2.5 weeks now!), but I'll write another post about that.

Honestly, this past month has been taken up with startitis (not just knitting, all sorts of projects and hairbrained schemes!). I just haven't been able to concentrate on anything. I have three (!) patterns on the go that I want to publish, I just have to write them up, lol! And take pictures. But the samples are finished. :)

There is another pattern which is probably to blame for my lack of concentration - a design I was working on till it kicked my ass! Here's a sneak peek of a part of it

Sneak Peek

The design seemed simple enough in my head, but working it out has been an ordeal! It's currently sitting on the table at the side of the couch just now, where I'm trying to ignore it, and pretend it doesn't exist. The three other patterns are completely different from this, and that's the only reason they're finished, lol!

Even my Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup projects this month were quite uninspiring. I made wrist cuffs for Potions (something sparkly to show the use of Felix Felicis (lucky potion))

Sparkly Wristwarmers

and more for Charms (to represent the workings of a duplication charm)

Blue wristwarmers

Blue wristwarmers

Oh, sign ups for the new term of the HPKCHC are open now, if anyone wants to go over and join in the fun! Rav page here:

I made a pair of Glynis socks (from Cookie A's book Sock Innovation)

Glynis socks
Glynis socks

It's just a random yarn from my stash. I'm not even sure if it's a washable wool or acylic, it seems to have tendancies of both. I got a big bag of it from a charity shop ages ago, and was lookng for something to make with it. I still have enough for another 2 pairs of socks, lol!

So, I guess I have actually been doing stuff. I also have a bunch of WIPS on the go, which I'll write about later. I think it must just be the heat and that dratted design which made me unable to concentrate, even to notice that I was doing things, lol!