lunch break larks with my ballerina colleague Marina Kanno
photo by Alice Williamson
flying in the corridor [amongst the tutus] in the 'designed by alice' BIRDS ballet skirt print
lunch break larks with my ballerina colleague Marina Kanno
photo by Alice Williamson
I have meaning meaning to run DBA 'workshops' for years, but somehow other things always happen instead.
However, after creating this DIY dance top tutorial, that my colleagues heavily coveted, this happened:
A spontaneous event.
because they wanted to craft;
I wanted to teach,
and creating things with your hands is brilliant.
[we rarely hang out in such large 'ballerina groups' outside the theatre]
We talked, I taught.
They sat in silence, or sang old songs [at the whim of our spotify playlist] engrossed in their work.
We never discussed theatre life,
which was funny,
I have never taught a group of so many industrious workers,
that 'ballet focus' and years of sewing pointe shoes: shining evident.
I was overjoyed to see what they produced AND even happier to see their excitement in the dance studio today.
Poised with my camera, half stretching on a foam roller, I captured Callie, Dani, Mari, Cecile and Marina in their new creations.
A couple of them look rather tired [I think the crafting bug had kept them awake most of the night] and Callie insisted on finishing hers whilst 'warming up' for class this morning, but that seemed to do little to dampen general enthusiasm:
This is definitely going to 'happen' again!
AND if this has inspired you to get 'making' again I encourage you to use this #inspiredbyalice hashtag and share the 'crafting creating love'!
Make your own DIY #designedbyalice dance top here
[warning : very spontaneous 'post']
I live with a cat, or rather a ballerina who thinks she is a cat:
who is incidentally also my colleague become friend Patricia Zhou
[the ballerina chef]
Patricia had her life realised onstage this week as she premiered as the white cat in Nacho Duato's Sleepy Beauty at Staatsballett Berlin.
she did a bit of baking to celebrate,
[as she does]
and she's blogged about it this time too:
taken some lovely photos. created some funny prose.
she's a particularly entertaining writer,
[quite notable for a cat]
I woke up from a exhausted pre-performance 'face down bed sleep' to discover
a kitchen full of icing sugar, pots, bags and general chaos,
[and I didn't complain]
it was an exciting happening sort of mess,
squinty eyed I lent against the door picking and eating fondant icing,
quite a bit of fondant icing.
after being presented with a particularly magical flower cake:
I took these photos of the cat I made for Patricia a few years ago in it's newly created 'white cat hat', sitting next to Patricia's spectacular fairy cakes
[which are on her blog]
all in the spirit of sharing creativity,
and happy stuff,
and because you can never be too silly,
and it never happens often enough.
[never usually one to struggle finding words] I do however find it frustratingly difficult to articulately express what 'I do.'
thinking, dancing, creating.
for, with and because of people
so had a go at trying to explain it.
hope this it makes it easier understand, work with and employ me peoples!
HOW DESIGNED BY ALICE looks like right now *JUNE 2015*
[perhaps I'll create a new one each year...]
plant your seed
remember to exposure germinated plant to full sunlight
you'll need an abundant supply of water; nutrients
and you'll need space too*
*they are a rambling vine
they like to go wandering
illustration and photography : Alice Williamson
in celebration of summer
(and our new watermelon ballet skirt print)
I am quite excited (admittedly a rather common state) to share this latest idea with you all : hoping that the sun that's radiating here in Berlin, as I create this tutorial, will seep into the greyest of days and provide fun inspiration in the form of a D.I.Y #designedbyalice
so the basic thought was this. I have a new wonderful ballet skirt fabric, but I don't really want to shoot the promotion in a leotard again. so I should make something, but what?!
I was then re-minded of my plan to create something channel inspired after being totally mesmerised by their Spring couture show. this was combined with another reminder in the form of sisterMAG's designer Evi Neubauer and her recent crafting exploits: prompted to search through the bags and bags of fabric scraps that I have in my studio and under my bed ... *ting* an idea came!
I should create a tutorial that you can all create and be inspired by. you may even choose to shoot your own photographs in the new 'floret' ballet skirt and your recently crated DIY top #inspiredbyalice ?! [wishful thought perhaps] But the really brilliant thing about this tutorial is that its made from re-cycled leotards. you know those dear friends you really love, they just don't fit anymore, but you just can't bring yourself to throw away? Perfect!
so here you go, a DIY top for ballet dancers and enthusiasts alike.
I think it would look really cute styled in so many ways.
can't wait to see yours!
you will need (please refer to DIY photo: top of post)
old leotards: these will become your flowers
fabric/ sharp sissors
sewing machine, optional
and that's about it, it's all up to interpretation.
can't wait to see what you create.
don't forget to email me your creations or share them on social media
prizes for the best ones!
I'd Like to introduce you to Lola Crist.
A new and very sweet 'digital dancing friend' and the first pre-professional brand ambassador for Designed by Alice!
I thought you'd be just an interested as me in learning a bit more about the person behind these beautiful photos.
I'd love to know how and when you started dancing?
I started dancing ballet when I was three years old and I instantly loved it! Later I decided to quit and do other activities. I started up again when I turned 10 and imeadiately fell back in love with it again after getting cast in The Nutcracker.
That's interesting. So obviously your love for dancing didn't dissipate!
Now I have to ask you what were the 'other activities'?!
I went to a ‘normal’ elementary school and kind of forgot about dancing: I was even interested in horse back riding for a short while!
So does that mean we may see photos of you dancing on a horse sometime soon?!
Haha, I doubt it although it has crossed my mind!
And how it is to balance learning and a more general education with your dance training?
I am homeschooled, so I usually do my schoolwork in the morning before my afternoon dance class. Most days I dance from 12:30 to 16:30, and then 18:00 to 19:30 (some times more.) I also have to do school work at night before I go to sleep.
That must require a lot of discipline on your part, I am intrigued to know whether you have you always been home schooled , or was it a step you and your family made to support your dance education? I remember wishing I had more time to dance when I attended my 'normal school' when I was your age, it was so difficult to balance the academics and the dancing ... so I ended up going to a vocational ballet school when I was 16 ...
Yes, my parents and I decided after 6th grade that I should start doing ‘homeschool’ to support my dancing. I am very lucky that they support me, and I plan on continuing with homeschool. It gives me more flexibility in my schedule to do ballet.
Following you on instagram I know that you have a beautiful classical line, and as a digital voice you are a fan of the sweet but minimal use of emjoi description to describe your portraits!I wonder what encouraged you to ' share' your talent on digital media?
For the longest time, I didn't want to get an Instagram, and now I can't even remember why, but my brother convinced me to start one, and that's when we started doing photo shoots together in my neighbourhood. I thought it was so much fun and I then decided to make my account public! I try to keep my account very professional however and only post high quality photos!
Well, I am very pleased you and your brother started your 'fun' project.
Your instagram account is lovely and your brother is talented with his camera.
I find it interesting how in this age of social media ... its possible to make digital friends and experience opportunities and collaborate with people we would have never have met a few years ago. There are so many possibilities!
I wonder what's the most interesting thing positive thing you have experienced through your social media success?
Probably being able to work with other dancers and collaborating with designers, like your self, has been the most rewarding :)
Haha, well I am very happy to hear that and flattered too (of course)
May you meet many more 'interesting' people!
Now I think all I have left to ask you is the obligatory DBA ballet skirt question ... how do you in find yours?!
I love my DBA skirt !
It's such great quality!
I can't wait to get another one!
I also, love my #paperdollselfie
ALL these images are curtsy of Miles Crist [Lola's older and very talented Brother]
DIY moths [Designed by Alice created for sisterMAG]
I was really excited about this project, as digital friends may have already gathered, a chance to work with the wonderful sisterMAG team again and create something fun and hopefully inspiring for you to make at home.
Of course I was also greatly enticed by the possibility of genuinely igniting a digital crafting, moth loving fest of wonderfulness #inspiredbyalice and #sisterMAG18
I know the hashtag gets a lot of wrath but I'd truly love to see what you create ...
so here are some pictures ...
and here you can download the latest digital issue of sisterMAG with the aforementioned tutorial inside (pink for english)
sisterMAG is a fast growing german digital magazine ... but they do have an english version, the translation is really very good (bar the odd charming german quirk!)
It is however the content and originality of each issue that really makes sisterMAG stand out from it's competition, of both the digital and non digital variety.
With a huge range of interesting articles, original concepts, ideas and photo shoots, the sisterMAG team work with a plethora of equally talented and intriguing humans.
They also brilliantly link up everything (really so many things) seamlessly to their source, and it's in this moment, as you excitedly click over a link, that you can appreciate the strengths of a digital magazine. I must admit I didn't really 'get it' before. In the digital world of sisterMAG when you like a persons work, a dress, a recipe, or place you can click on the link and imeadiatley find further information.
Now I think that's rather brilliant!
.. and whilst you are painting eggs [see post below]
why not paint other Easter shaped objects too?!
I found this bunny crudely painted yellow and orange in a 'euro store' and whilst I am saving up for a real erzgebirge rabbit this #designedbyalice make over will have to do.
show me your creations!
this is going to be my third year in Berlin, and as of yet, and perhaps disappointingly so, I haven't really got stuck into the 'egg frenzy' that seem to take over the city each year.
a lover of spring [both the real thing and that commercial creation]
... walking round parks, stores and gardens absorbing the sweet smells and pastel colours that bring such relief and joy after the grey of winter...
I can't think of a more exciting time of year!
and so this spring I am embracing this brilliant German tradition and going 'all out' for egg painting and decorating, perhaps I'll go native and hang my newly spruced up eggs on the pot plants on my windowsill (in the absence of any garden shrubs) maybe I'll even put them on my bicycle...
hoping to have inspired you all with this oh so subtle hint to my profession, the most 'ballerina like' flower, the fuchsia.
I bought plastic eggs, which are easily available in Europe although I think 'blown eggs' would look far prettier. the plastic eggs were first painted with a black 'chalk board' paint before the details were added in acyclic, then ribbons were attached to the tops for hanging. so easy. have fun!