Thursday, July 29, 2010

Macrame Hoop

Last night I hit the ¼ mark of a monumental macramé project: a hemp-covered hoop! This is going to be marvelous when completed. The macramé section has amazing grip and texture. Plus is has that sun-flower seed smell of hemp twine! I’m excited to soon spin an earthy, organic hoop into the Circle.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lighted Lifestyles Review

In the winter of 2009, with my one year hooping anniversary on the horizon, I began my search for the perfect LED hoop. At the time I was spinning a friend’s Heady Hoop and was less than impressed with the quality. I’d already sent it off for repairs after the lights inexplicably died. It was also large and cumbersome with a distinctive rattle. It broke a second time around New Years. So while I’ve known folks who have happily used their kindly priced Heady Hoops for years, I needed something different. I wanted the craftsmanship promised by high-end hoop makers like PSI and Harmony, but couldn’t justify that much money. Then I remembered some spinners I met in Columbia, Missouri, that fall. “Hadn’t they told me they made LEDs?” So after asking around online, I rediscovered Lighted Lifestyles.

My Lighted Lifestyles hoop is 38” with 24 LEDs in blue, green, and UV purple. I chose solid lights, because the strobe LEDs make me really dizzy. While the purple is a little dimmer than the other lights, the hoop as a whole is very bright. It’s still heavier than a regular hoop (of course), but feels very compact. There’s no pull caused by unevenly spaced, loosely packed parts. Nor is there any distracting rattle. I love, love, love, my hoop! Kurt and Misty (who no longer works with the company) were both very helpful. They answered my questions in detail and even drove the hoop to me so I had it for the holidays. My only regret was choosing an internal switch. Over time, the frequent opening and closing wore the connector loose and it became a challenge to close the hoop completely. Once it opened at the wrong end of the connector and pulled the hoop’s “guts” out about an inch. A couple days later--9 months into the hoop’s lifespan--it died.

I was seriously disappointed. After spending over $100 on tool, I expected at LEAST a year without problems. However, Kurt immediately offered to repair the hoop and explained he’d since phased out the internal switch design because of problems like mine. In about a week my new hoop arrived in the mail. I’d scaled down to ½” tubing to reflect my growing fondness for smaller, lighter hoops. The external switch is more accessible than the original switch and is actually sunk down into the hoop so it’s flush with the outer surface. Thus no switching off or breaking mid-spin--my two original worries about external switches.

Once again I’m happily slinging multi-colored light. I’ll keep everyone updated as my remodeled hoop ages.

Spinning a friend's luminous white Lighted Lifestyles hoop at Zenfest.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mandala Monday # 2

All along the lake yesterday I saw these wonderful signs. Attention: be alert to changes in flow. They spoke, of course, of the currents along the water. However, the dancer in me read them as a reminder that the flow of creativity is a barometer of spiritual wellness parallel to the physical flow of breath and blood. Thus changes are expected, but never without cause. Like rippling water, flow can be followed back to its source, rediscovered, and purified. Blessed be the water.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Quick Wick Review

I just started using a set of 5 Hoopdrum quick-wicks on my 1/2" hoop. I wanted more freedom for off-body tricks without hitting the ground, so I ordered the 5.5" length, rather than 6." It's CRAZY what a difference that makes! Having the fire just a little bit closer is super intimidating. They do, however, make a continual vertical step through possible, so I'm very pleased with the additional range of motion shorter spines offer. Now I just have to readjust to isolations with fire at my fingertips! As other reviewers have mentioned, quick-qicks very light, as well as reasonably easy to attach. The clear, step-by-step instructions helped me both attach the wicks and understand how they work. I was able to attach four of the five by myself, but needed help with one, as the ring was just a tiny bit bent and more difficult to get into place. All-in-all quick-wicks are obviously a well crafted, well design product. They're definitely a world of improvement from my bulky old fire hoop whose long, rigid spines severely limited my dance. Quick wicks have brought flow and versatility to my fire dance. I hope to use them for years to come.