Thursday, February 17, 2011

V is for Valentine's Day!

I know you'll forgive me for this belated post, as we just moved and I'm lucky if I can find my toothbrush! But I wanted to share our Valentine's gifts with you! I'm still excited about them.

I gave Chris a vintage tie - his favorite movie star is Fred Astaire, and a while ago a friend showed a picture of this tie to me because it's just too perfect for him! I randomly searched on Ebay last month and the same tie popped up! It was a promotional tie for Philco Radios, probably given out to top sellers as an incentive gift, so there are probably a few more floating around out there.

Chris gave me a wonderful little piece of sweetheart jewelry, my favorite! This one is two gold hearts, attached to an expandable gold band. The best part is that the center of the hearts are still blank, so I can have our names engraved on it. I think I'll wear it to the Air Raid this Saturday!
And I love that Chris has his own Etsy account so that he can surprise me with the cute things I want! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Air Raid Picnic!

I finally remembered to buy my tickets for The Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942! It's coming up next weekend - it snuck up on me! You save $10 if you buy them in advance, and I'm all about that.

I better go get my picnic basket out of storage! (I mean, right after I move the contents of my whole house 30 miles south tomorrow. ;) In case you were wondering, there was not yet US government rationing of food in February of 1942, so if you want a period-accurate picnic you don't have to skip the meat and sugar! I'm glad - I've tried a couple wartime ration recipes and they aren't very good. I quickly learned why people hated rationing so much!

Sugar was the first food to be rationed in the US, starting in the spring of 1942 - but tricky homemakers found ways around the rules, like using marshmallows to make desserts instead of plain sugar.

If you're interested in more info about WWII ration cooking, check out Grandma's Wartime Kitchen: WWII and the Way We Cooked. It's out of print now, but I found a copy at my library. It's interesting reading even if you don't try the recipes!

I think we'll probably have sandwiches and cookies in our picnic. I think that's about all I'm up for cooking this week!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Swivels: Practice that Shoulder Stuff

How you hold your shoulders during swivels and switches has a big impact on the overall look - for the classic LA style swivels, it's important to pull your shoulders back and center them over your core (don't hunch forward and don't lean back - your shoulders should be directly over your hips). This technique is functional as well as stylistic - you're building a solid foundation in your midsection, so that your bottom half can relax and let your feet do more than just hold you up.

Go look in a mirror and practice this. Hold onto a doorway and bend your knees a little, and check your posture in that mirror. You don't even need a full length mirror - your bathroom is fine, because you're only looking at your shoulders. If you feel wobbly, try to use your stomach and back muscles a little more. If you can't find those muscles, go do a couple stomach crunches to show you where they are!

Got that posture figured out? Now here's the tricky bit. While doing your footwork*, isolate your shoulders and don't let them rotate forward & back/left & right as your hips move. Hold them steady. Don't let them wiggle and flop around and distract from your nice turnout you've worked on. Pay extra close attention when you rotate to the right - keep that left shoulder in place!

Okay, here's your inspiration clips - you've earned it!
"Chool Song", Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan dancing
In her switches at 1:00, Jewel holds her top half up and steady, and her shoulders barely wiggle - even with those giant sleeves that accentuate everything! Notice too that she opens up from Dean a little - she's not perfectly parallel to him (which makes this a better angle for the audience), but she still holds steady.

"One Girl and Two Boys" from Swing Fever, Jean Veloz dancing with Don Gallagher and Lenny Smith
In this clip, Jean does some sassy ups and downs with her shoulders, but still keeps them back and doesn't let them rock in as she swivels. Notice too how her arm does different stylings, but she still keeps her posture.

If you feel inclined, go back and watch the last clips I posted, and this time watch their shoulders. I'm trying to post a variety of clips (and not just Buck Privates every time!), but if you're into this, go watch them all again!
*Footwork- still planning a post on this, but that one will take a little more time to write, so I'm stalling! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pickwick Vintage Expo

Finally found time for an update! Well not really, since I should be packing for our move...but I need a little break, right?

Last weekend I headed out to the Pickwick Vintage Expo that I posted about previously. Chris decided to skip it, since there isn't usually much menswear at this event. Good call - even our favorite vendors didn't bring menswear - they have it, but it doesn't sell as well so they don't bother bringing it.

I was hoping to find some sewing notions and magazines, but didn't find either. I did get a couple new pieces though!
Deadstock 40's Wedges with a coveted ankle strap - so they don't fall off while dancing!

Navy Swing Coat. I really really really am going to stop collecting coats soon. But I don't have a navy coat, or a swing coat, so how could I pass on it?

Don't worry, I was a good girl and walked away from the 30's silver and green brooch, even if she did knock $100 off the price...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...