For the Birds

I love birds. We love birds. Let me explain.

My Grandmother loves birds. Ever since I was a little one we were careful and curious about examining her collections when we visited her house for sleep-overs. “No jumping!” I can hear it now as my two boy cousins and I ran around the sleeping bags on a Friday night. We were careful no to wake Grandma by shaking the den floor or the figurines representing her collection.

Many were gifts and I suppose milestone markers for special occasions, but they always perched in the case and held a special memory, especially now. I never knew I liked them so much until now, being around the artifacts in the house. Binoculars are always in reach for new species spotted on the feeder or bath, that is if the squirrels don’t leave a mess after their wild garden parties. When a visitor is spotted we can always run to the closet and find some Audubon reference for advice.

Perhaps the best thing about them is their song. Their appearance can brighten the dullest of days and their voices bring more sunshine into the yard. Caged or free, they adapt and set a good example of faith and spirit.

Many a poem or song has been given to them or inspired by them, art and jewelry being no exception. This post is not “for the birds”, but instead “FOR THE BIRDS”.

 

Art, Literature, Music and Poetry Inspired by Birds

Psalm 55:6,7

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest…

Caged Bird

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)
Bird on the Wire

Leonard Cohen

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
Like a worm on a hook
Like a knight from some old-fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee
If I, if I have been unkind
I hope that you can just let it go by
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you
For like a baby, stillborn
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me
But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, “you must not ask for so much”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, “hey, why not ask for more?”
Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
Songwriters: Leonard Cohen
Bird on the Wire lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Flee as a Bird

Flee as a bird to your mountain
Thou who art weary with sin
Go to the clear flowing fountain
Where you may wash and be clean
Fly, for the avenger is near thee
Call and the Savior will hear thee
He on his bosom will bear thee
Thou who art weary of sin, oh
Thou who art weary of sin
He will protect thee forever
Wipe every falling tear
He will forsake thee, oh, never
Sheltered so tenderly there
Haste now, the hours are flying
Spend not the moments in sighing
Cease from your sorrow and crying
The Savior will wipe every tear, oh
Haste now, the hours are flying
Spend not the moments in sighing
Cease from your sorrow and crying
The Savior will wipe every tear, oh
The Savior will wipe every tear
~ McGlamorous

Discount Dance Supply :: Shop Here

You can now use our teacher code to apply a one time 10% discount on supplies like shoes, leotards, tights, and other supplies. I hope this will help you out a bit for Nutcracker seasons and for new students who need Ballroom shoes or Dance Sneakers. Please see the links below, either click on the picture or the title, and let it to take you to a form where you can fill out and search for McGlamorous using the Discount Dance Supply Teacher Code TP46155 .

Discount Dance Supply

 

DDS

 

Use McGlamorous to get 10% off your order! Nutcracker is around the corner. Stock it up. Just click the link on www. mcglamorous.com. It’s on the bottom right of the site and links straight to your dancing supply destination.

 

Maleficent :: Most Glamorous Villain

Mirror Mirror on the Wall,

Who’s the best villain of them all? I ask you…who would you choose? On a recent frolic through the YouTube feed, my Mom and perused through video clips of top rated Disney dames that caused the most havoc and yes, we still returned to one. Malificent

She is part of a story that has a bit of a background for us. Being one my Mom’s favorite movies, Sleeping Beauty has always represented many of our favorite things. A beautiful waltz, fairies, and dreams, all of which appeal to a former ballet dancer and a costumer and musician. I do believe that it was one of the first animated movies that she and my Father saw together. He was not too much into these things as we are, but also being a musician, I am sure that his was awakened to Tchaikovsky’s sound. Maybe in subconscious, at least.

But back to the great dame of this movie. Her name is Maleficent. We agreed with the fact that that she is a bit more wise and calculated. Not at all a dumb criminal or buffoonish lady. She even has that old movie glam that does not seem prevalent in today’s characters. But forgive me if I am getting older and joining the ranks of “The Good Old Days”.

Research showed the original actress that voiced the part as Eleanor Audley, ironically having the same name as my Grandmother! She also voiced Cinderella’s stepmother, but quite a different aura to that part as compared to the glamorous but evil dragon lady in Sleeping Beauty.

Under all the evil you mat still see a bit of fashion. She wears the right makeup, holds a cool staff, and has her own bird. Maybe a bit of the dark side of glamour, but fashionistas can adapt the look to lean towards the light.

{ So here you go Malificent. May this post be a fun Halloween salute to you. }

 

In honor of my Mom’s favorite villain-ess I have created a necklace with said name below.

Maleficent

Friends of Fall :: { And Some Roger Williams }

 

Each fall calls for a newer and brighter color scheme for us, this one being no exception. We don’t do drab. (Life is hard enough). It is all about cuteness and color! Hopefully this will spread as far as the Autumn Leaves in this post of friendly fall critters (and a famous songs). Halloween is just around the corner as well, and maybe it will inspire a gift for that favorite teacher or maple latte loving friend.

What makes you love fall the most? I used to not be a fan but it is growing on me a bit. I think of new coffee drinks, cozy long sleeved shirts, finger-less gloves, and fire pits. I love the glow of lanterns or warm lights in the windows and pumpkins mysteriously and quietly posing on the porch.

All of these things and more have become visions coming to life in jewelry form. Today I would like to share a few of my favorites in celebration of a cute and happy side of  F A L L.

For further information or purchase please click on pic.

NUMBER ONE ::
Red Fox Blog
The Little Red Fox
NUMBER TWO ::
A Festive Fall
A Festive Fall
NUMBER THREE ::

 

NUMBER FOUR ::
Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice
NUMBER FIVE ::

 

White Owlets
White Owlets

 

NUMBER SIX ::
The Great Pumpkin
The Great Pumpkin

 

NUMBER SEVEN ::
Fox of Fun
Fox of Fun

Hope you have enjoyed this preview to fall through the eyes of McGlamorous. Please share if you feel inclined.

~McGlamorous

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Tap Dance :: Crazy Socks Tap™ :: Shuffle with Bandy Twist

Shuffle with Bandy Twist

 

Here is the continuation of the Bandy Twist combo. I added a few shuffles and ball change for rhythm and fun.

 

With Counts: Part C. (With Shuffle)

1-Step R

and 2-Shuffle L fwd

and 3-Ball change L-R

and- Pivot on R for 1/2 turn R

4- Step L

 

Song: Rhumboogie by the Andrews Sisters

http://www.mcglamorous.com

Hope you enjoy playing along, and thanks for tapping with me!

You can subscribe to these and more at TheAMcGlamorous channel.

~McGlamorous

It’s Just { Beautiful } Hot Air

It’s Just { Beautiful } Hot Air

 

This year I was grateful to finally experience the joy of the annual Hot Air Balloon Event, a vein of our town’s Watermelon Festival. This was a big deal to me as I have never seen them up close and personal. It reminded me of a huge birthday party as I watched them slowly hover over the city’s landscape. They seemed to float through the air like colorful jellyfish in a sea of air, bobbing up and down for a rest now and then. Like sleeping giants, they rose with the sounds of a fire breathing dragon as their power. Flashback Wizard of Oz…Where were the going? When would the return ? It didn’t matter at the moment as long as you stayed lost in the magic.

Imagine my surprise as I left the park and headed back to a my Aunt and Uncle’s house and saw them descending for a photo op in the field right in front of the house. Double jackpot blessing!

 

Hot Air
Stairway to Heaven Balloon

The sun was setting and lighting was magical enough to catch some shots. We were also trying to remember songs like Up Up and Away in my Beautiful Balloon as we took photo video ops.

 

All in all, it’s just beautiful hot air…..Here are a few for the sharing ::

 

Hot Air
My Personal Favorite :: The Balloon and the Moon

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air

 

Hot Air
Sleeping Giant

 

~ McGlamorous

 

 

Tales from the Garden :: A New Love Featuring Iris

Tales from the Garden :: A New Love Featuring Iris

 

A newly found love. Gardening! Here are some pics from our garden this Spring. I’ll start with Irises and pleasant thoughts of a ballet instructor with such a name. I don’t have much to say so I’ll let them speak for themselves.

 

 

~McGlamorous

 

How to Tap Dance :: Crazy Socks Tap ™ :: The Abe Kabbible

 

The Abe Kabbible

 

Part of being healthy is in the exercise, and what a great way to achieve this through dance. That is why I have begun to re-post some older ideas here using basic tap moves for beginners through advanced. The idea of this is to get those people inspired to learn to tap, or for those who always wanted to learn how to dance. The rhythm in this art form is hard to resist and loads of fun for the heart and soul. No impressive moves here, just the basics based on a great tap dictionary book that I have had for years, as well as a funky pair of socks (just for fun).

Here is an interesting article on the author Glenn Shipley, and a link to the book The Complete Tap Dictionary.

I have not included everything in the book, mainly exercises. There is a load of interesting information in it about the art form, including definitions from his extensive background in so many styles of dance. If you are partial to the old days as we are then you will really enjoy the read.

First exercise is below with a description. I hope to keep them coming.

Please enjoy.

 

 

Published on May 1, 2014 (Theatrical Term) – A commonly used movement in tap and jazz dancing.

With counts:

Part A

1-Step L (to L side)

2-Step R (XF of L)

3-Step L (to L side)

4-Heel tap R (to R side)

Reverse

Part B :

With the And Count Added

And-Step L (to L side)

1-Step R (XF of L) And-Step L (to L side)

2-Heel tap R fwd (to R side)

Reverse

Part C :

With the Leap

And-Leap fwd to L ft (to L side)

1-Step R (XF of L) And-Leap fwd to L ft (to L side)

2-Heel tap R fwd (to R side)

Reverse

 

Song : Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar by the Andrews Sisters

http://www.mcglamorous.com

Hope you enjoy playing along, and thanks for tapping with me!

You can subscribe to these and more at TheAMcGlamorous channel.

~McGlamorous

Pastel Art

 

 

After several requests from family to list examples of my pastel art, here they are. As you can see I enjoy drawing birds. As explained in a earlier post, the colors and textures they provide are a perfect playground for the senses. Medium used here is pastel. Brands that I enjoy are Sennelier, Rembrandt, Canson, NuPastel, among others.

Saffron Toucanet

Male Indigo Bunting

 

Indian Ringneck

 

Rainbowbird

Cardinal

I Love Color

I Love Color

 

A cool photo that requires a little rhyme…

 

I Love Color

 

I love color.

And wonder how it can be,

That a never ending blue sky

Can bring such joy to me.

 

A flame above a candlestick,

That flickers blue and red.

Colors in my garden.

Colors in my head.

 

A name for every color,

Time held, tried, and true.

A gift to every one of us,

Especially for you.

 

~Alison McGlamry

 

How to Make a Magic Fairy Dust Bottle Necklace

 

Holidays make us all sparkle, even into the New Year, and this year was no exception but instead a reminder of past sparkles in my history. Being a performing artist for so many years had quite its fair share of the wonderful invention we call G l i t t e r. Glitter on the eyes, chest, hair, body, and eyelashes was just a regular routine for a dancer and her friends. And as the B52’s sing….on the mattress and the highway too!

I was taken back to the old days of high school and ballet classes circa 1990’s lately, and remembered a wonderful and fun gift exchanged during performances. The Fairy dust package, or bottle. To some it was simply enchanting. Mysterious and fun. Maybe just a mess to parents, but we ballerinas and dreamers loved it.

I decided to bring the enchantment back to life this Christmas in the form of a gift for my five year old cousin. While making it again this inspired me to do a tutorial which I will complete below. Hope you love it a much as we do.

Long live the glitter!

Here is what we will be making:

 

Fairy Dust Bottle Necklace

 

Materials used:

 

Fairy Dust Bottle Supplies

Fairy Dust Bottle Supplies

 

  • One glass bottle pendant from your local Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or online bead shop. Some have cork tops like this one shown, others may be screw on or pop top.
  • Some sort of stringing material. I used ribbon but substitutes may include leather, silk, rayon, waxed linen, strung beads or even chain.
  • Finely dusted glitter. The finer the better since it is a magic dust, but once again anything may do.
  • Charm, crystal, or other embellishment. I’ve used a Swarovski glass crystal as a choice in this tutorial.
  • Jump Rings, Spring Rings, Wire.
  • Jewelry tools. Scissors.
  • Small piece of folded paper for transferring glitter.
  • Fray Check.

 

Fairy Dust Bottle Supplies

 

Step One:

You are not restricted to any order here, so have fun. I started with the bottle because I looked forward to filling it with glitter.

Take the folded paper piece and pour a liberal amount of dust / glitter into the crease and into the bottle. Make it as full as you want, or whatever is pleasing to the eye. You have the option of either leaving the bottle open if it is a cork or removable top, or gluing the top securely.

 

Pour

 

Step Two:

Next we want to embellish the bottle with either a jump ring, spring ring, or simply wire some sort of looped piece that we can run the ribbon, cord, or leather through. If you use a flat or thin ribbon, be warned that it will slip through the ring. In one completed versions I chose a larger jump ring. This also gives the advantage of adding other components or charms later. In another I tried a spring ring, which works like a keychain. You may also want to experiment with wire for a more organic look.

 

Opening

 

Open the jumpring with jewelry pliers, either round nose or flat nose. There are many tutorials on techniques, but most importantly, you do not want to separate the ring by pulling the ends away from each other. This will ruin the natural shape of the ring. Instead you want to pull each end away from the other. For the spring ring I use something to create enough opening that will allow the ribbon or cord to pass through, like loading a keychain.

 

To find lessons on technique and beginner tutorials and supplies, I am supplying a link to Fusion Beads. Love their service and site.

 

Opening

 

Step Three:

Now it ‘s time for the Swarovski heart to be added. Here I have used a sterling silver wire here, 22 gauge. Openings in glass charms can break easily with force, so I carefully run the wire through and create a twist of of two or three swirls, clipping the tail end off with my wire cutters. This dabs into wire twisting technique a little bit. You could double the wire here, even cage the heart with a wire wrap.

 

Wire Twist One

 

Wire Twist Two

 

I want to attach this wire to the jump ring, so I run it through and secure another twist.

 

Step Four:

Lastly, we string the ribbon through the loop and secure the ends with a knot. I then add some fray check to the tips to prevent stray hairs. You could go with a clasp or anything on the ends. This was an easy solution for the wearer, who puts everything over her head.

 

Strung

 

Voila! You’re done. Now enjoy your little morsel of magic, and don’t hesitate to put your own twist on this. Ideas are endless when you think of all the colors of glitter and ribbon, leather, clasps, and more. Please check back to my site for added information and links to additional resources. And just in case you would like to purchase a pre-made creation, please link to the store and original product here.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

~McGlamorous

 

Rock On

 

Those from the eighties generation may remember the song. It kept playing in my head while making these fun little necklaces for the last two years so I just made a combo post out of the two. A big seller at craft shows, especially amongst the teen category, they are a simple mix of imperial jasper, Swarovski crystals, and bronze chain. Best of all though, they were inspired by music, one of the strongest gifts a person can be inspired by.Boho Orange Feathered

Music is so precious, so uplifting, calming, and emotion moving. My Dad used to say how the soul was completely moved by it, and it certainly has been a great part of my family’s life. We listen to music while beading, drawing, thinking, and relaxing. It is there like a rock, soothing the soul.Plum Rocks

These little guys are part of the experience with there bright shades and simplicity. They are also done with charms and leather, and probably will morph into different places as long as I can keep making them.

I am working on posting the many that are available for purchasing, plus some in the archives collection. They’ve earned their own place here.

And just to jog your memory….

Hey, kid, rock and roll
Rock on, ooh my soul
Hey, kids, you boogey, too, did ya?
Hey shout, summertime blues
Jump up and down in my blue suede shoes
Hey, did you rock and roll, rock on
And where do we go from here?
Which is a way that’s clear
Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
(James Dean)
And where do we go from here?
Which is a way that’s clear
Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
(Jimmy Dean)
Rock on
Rock on
Rock on…

~Alison 

 

 

Birds of Paradise

 

RainbowbirdIf you asked most artists what inspires them to draw, or create anything, what would you figure to be the most popular subjects? After shyly joining a pastel artist Facebook group last week, I have been pleasantly surprised at the knowledge gained in such a short period of time. One post addressed the question of what three subjects you like to paint the most. There were several replies, animals being very popular, probably to no one’s surprise. Flowers were the list as well as portraits, and of course one of my favorites……birds.

Indian Plum Headed Parakeet

It seems as though the beauty of the feathers and color variations create a great challenge for the artist. A very large artist create them in the first place. I guess we just like to see if we can come close to interpreting that! Overall, it’s fun.

Male Indigo BuntingWhat do you like to draw and why? I am posting a few of my favorite pieces that have been exciting challenges to work on, with a little caption info about each bird. Leave your comments below if you like. Love to hear from you!

~Alison