Sunday, December 20, 2009
The floral part of the project was going to be easy, but I couldn't figure what the base would be. It had to be rigid enough to hold it's shape, but flexible enough to bend as the dancers moved their arms. They also had to be long enough to jump rope with. I searched the hardware store for a hose or pvc that would work but everything was either to limp or two rigid.
I hate reinventing the wheel, so I posted on some discussion boards hoping to find someone who had constructed these before and found no luck there.
I found this image of "portugese flower arches" but using search terms related to that didn't get me anywhere. Eventually I came across this website on Phillipine folk dance with pictures of girls using similar flower arches. Luckily though, this wasn't a picture taken by a tourist or an observer, but the website of the dance school that choreographs the dances. I emailed the dance school instructor listed on the website and asked her how to make them. She sent me a very friendly email explaining exactly how she made the arches by cutting apart hula hoops and wrapping the ends in tape.
From there the arches were all a question of design. I wrapped them in garland and then wove holly, ribbon and battery operated twinkle lights through them.
On a side note during the holidays you can buy small strands of Christmas twinkle lights (some standard, some LED) attached to battery packs. They are invaluable for creating wireless lighted effects for endless uses, but they are only easily available during the holidays. So buy them while you can and keep a few in stock.
There are two strands of lights in each arch. The packs are tucked into the greenery close to the handles at each end. The batteries were placed at the end because I wanted their weight to effect the swing and movement of the arches as little as possible.