A Batch of Deliciously Flavored Hoops!

I got to make a whole bunch of fun custom hoops this past week, I will try to keep the chit chat short and get STRAIGHT TO THE PICTURES since I know that’s what you’re really here for. 🙂

We’re not in an apartment with a balcony anymore, and by the time I took these pictures it was dark outside anyway, so instead of being beautifully highlighted by the natural light of the setting sun, they are accented by glowing fluorescents on the stunning backdrop of our refrigerator.

HOOP THE FIRST: Delicious Orange Chicken THE SECOND.

When I first made the delicious orange chicken hoop, I made it as a way to play with some of the metallic bronze tape I had a huge roll of, and I thought no one would really dig the results. Turns out I was SO INCORRECT. It sold almost immediately. When I was recently approached by a new hooper-to-be, she had already perused my Etsy store. I asked her what she wanted in a hoop, and she said, “Orange chicken!!!” with great enthusiasm. So I guess there is a special place in this world for hoops that look sort of like mushy brown Chinese food dishes. 🙂

HOOP THE SECOND: Under the Sea!

I feel like I should come up with a special name for the people who own or will soon own my hoops. This will make them feel special, like they are in an awesome club. But I can’t think of anything.

Anyway, a future hoop-owner approached me and said she wanted a hoop in “sea colors”. I sent her a picture of all the sea-colored tapes I had, and she picked her favorites but said she didn’t mind some surprise thrown in. I am quite pleased with the results!

HOOP THE THIRD: The Donatello Hoop!

This hoop came to be out of a haphazard collection of exchanged text messages back and forth over a series of days between myself and a future hoop-owner. She wanted green and purple, and I only had thin green and purple grip tape. So I layered it over ninja-turtle colored shiny tape, for a hoop that reminds me quite a bit of the weird-mini-Poseidon-esque-weapon wielding turtle. I know those weapons have a name but I never bothered to learn them because I was a Michelangelo girl and Donatello bored me.

That doesn’t mean I don’t like this hoop. I think it’s quite awesome and I kind of want to do an entire TMNT themed hoop set. WE’LL SEE.

HOOP THE FOURTH: The Slytherin Hoop!

Melissa, my good friend who has probably bought more hoops from me than anyone else, wanted to get a hoop for her friend as a SURPRISE. (Hoops DO make great gifts! Just sayin’.) She informed me that her friend was a Slytherin and would like a hoop with a Slytherin theme. I couldn’t bring myself to just make a green and silver hoop, so I added a special little secret surprise to the hoop: A snake head and tail where the ends of the green grip tape met. I love it so much I’ve been thinking of doing an entire Hogwarts house themed hoop set. WE’LL SEE.

HOOP THE FIFTH: The Gypsy Hoop!

This one was made very, very special for my friend Gypsy. I went a little nuts with it because I wanted it to be unique and special, because she played quite a big role in my hooping journey. So I made it like a crack hoop on crack, and I added a bit of fabric wrap to it, just for a bit of extra Gypsy-ness.

Some detail shots:


Metallic tones


Jewel tones


Fabric wrap and Autumn tones


Bits o’crack

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My Favorite Hoops I Have EVER Made!

After a drought of hoop orders, I suddenly got five orders all around the same time. All of them needed new tape, so I had to place a HUGE tape order before I could get to the fun part of actually MAKING them.

The tape arrived on Monday and I was like a child on Christmas day. After giggling happily, tearing open the box and examining every roll of the largest hoop tape order I’ve ever gotten to make, I set about taping and spent the rest of the day making hoops. I made four hoops, and I got to do something new and unique with all of them.

It was the happiest and most productive I’ve felt in a while. I truly, genuinely adore the process of making hoops. But these were a particular blast to make, because they had each been special requests, and I loved making them knowing that these hoops were each unique to the people who would soon own them. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the process of creating something special for very special people. I really hope I get to do this more often, because this kind of customization filled me with an incredible sense of joy and fulfillment.

Since I’m the type of person who will leave the mashed potatoes on my plate for last because they are my favorite, I’m going to present these hoops to you in the same way. I love all of them, but I’m saving my favorite for last.

New Something #1: New color combination and a collapsible hoop with only one connector

I was excited about this color combination from the moment it was originally suggested. Blue, green, and brown. Normally, if I heard these colors suggested for a hoop, I’d go for the blue or the green as the shiny colors and the brown would be a grip.

However, my tape supply was dwindling and I had to work with what I had. Luckily for me, I had a gorgeous metallic brown that I don’t get to use very often, so I suggested the brown be the shiny and the blue and green be the grips.

The result, I think, came out GORGEOUSLY (Is that a legitimate adverb? Because it is now.). As soon as I snapped pictures of it, I named it “Electric Chocolate”, because that’s what it looks like to me. Delicious chocolate infused with a zap of bright, electric color.

Again, thanks to dwindling supplies, I had only one connector for a collapsible hoop. My original plan was to go ahead and make the hoop using the one connector (because I was having so much fun making hoops and I didn’t want to let a silly thing like lacking connectors stop me), then when I got more, I would cut the hoop for the new connector, put it in, then trim the edges.

But after I’d finished taping, I remembered seeing a hoop one of my friends had that collapsed with only one connector and I decided to see if it would work with this hoop.

IT DOES. This is incredibly exciting to me, because in my opinion, it makes the hoop look nicer since it’s not broken up in two places, and it also will help keep the collapsible hoops from forming a more oblong shape (as opposed to the circle they are supposed to be). Not only that, but I wouldn’t have to wait for more connectors to deliver the hoop. It could be delivered as-is!

New Something #2: Using two tapes I’ve never used before, but have eyed forever, on the same hoop

One of my friends and favorite clients came up to me at the weekly spin gathering we attend to ask me if I could make her a new hoop. She’d previously purchased the black and yellow hoop from this batch, named it Bumblebee, and proceeded to love it into a beautiful battered pulp. She wanted a new hoop, something special, pretty, slightly bigger, something shiny she could love and enjoy, a hoop to indulge in.

I showed her my sample tape book, which has not only tapes I presently own, but also tapes that I can order if someone wants them. Among those tapes was a jaw-droppingly opulent holographic tape called “Fire Opal”. In the sun, it refracts in the most incredible shades of pink, blue, magenta and orange. (The pictures of it on the hoops above DO NOT do this tape justice.) I’ve seen it on other hoops and have been dying to use it myself for ages, but it’s a pretty pricey roll of tape.

She saw it and immediately said, “That one. I have to have that one.” She then proceeded to point a tape with little hearts on it, slightly raised from the metallic surface. “And that one.”

I don’t normally make hoops with double shinies. And when I do, they don’t usually have two super-special-fancy tapes like that.

Nine times out of ten, when someone is ordering a hoop from me, they will pick a tape they like and when I tell them I’ll have to order it, they drop it and work with what I have. They want their hoops quickly, and I don’t blame them.

Not this girl. I told her I’d have to order her chosen, and she said, “That’s fine!” She also decided she wanted another hoop, with a different grip accent, for her friend.

When I got the tape, I spent a while just staring at it. Then I took a picture of the tapes and sent it to her. I knew she’d be just as excited as I was about it, and she did not disappoint. When I finally got to deliver the hoop to her, she was literally bouncing around with joy. THAT is exactly why I love making hoops for others. She knew exactly what she wanted and I was able to provide it to her. Happiness. 🙂

New Something #3: Drawing inspiration from something special to the owner; new taping techniques

I got a message on Facebook that said, “A little bird told me you make hoops.” She then went on to tell me she wanted a hoop to match her favorite pipe. I’ve never created a hoop design from something specific before, and I immediately jumped at the challenge of doing so. I asked her to send me a picture of the pipe, and she sent me an image of one of the coolest piece of glasswork I’ve ever seen:


Piece by Mike Fro

My initial instinct involved using metallic tapes for the colors and white and black for the grips. After mulling it over more, however, I remembered that the company I order my tape from had sent me samples of a high-gloss vinyl tape in solid colors. Colors that are bright, but also slick and shiny, like…GLASS.

I was so excited about this idea that I went ahead and ordered a roll of tape in every color. I also wanted to capture the way the pipe had swirls, stripes, and solid chunks of black. I decided to try something I’d seen on other hoops but never tried before myself, making stripes of colors.

The hoop that I produced from this inspiration source, tape, and design technique is easily the hoop I am most proud of to date:

New Something #4: Making a big hoop/minis matching set

The same day I got my tape, I also got a message from the girl who ordered the pipe hoop asking if I could also make her a set of minis in the same design theme. I said OF COURSE. I’ve never gotten to make a big hoop/minis matching set before! I made them the next day.

When she came to pick up her hoops, she saw them and said, “Oh wow, they look just like my pipe!” I heard that and knew I’d done my job. Creating these hoops using a unique and creative inspiration, and attempting to make them look like the source material while still utilizing classic hoop designs, I felt like I got to truly be an artist. It may sound strange, given the limitation of having a specific model to work from. But that was oddly freeing. I could create the hoop however I wanted to, and the process of coming to the final result is the most fun I have ever had making something for someone else.

I hope that this is not the last project I get to do that way. In fact, it would be thrilling to do nothing but super exclusive, incredibly customized orders from now on (though I love making hoops regardless of the amount of customization involved). I loved the uniqueness of this hoop, and more than that, it was a rush to know that it would be all the more special to the person that ordered it.

Creating for others is a fantastic feeling. I think there is an extra thrill in making something as simple as a plastic circle into a magical work of art that lights up people’s faces.

Torus Hoops on Etsy!

I’ve been posting pictures of the hoops I make, and I’ve had a few people ask where they can buy one from me. It’s taken me a little while but I’ve finally set up an Etsy store!

It’s small right now, but I intend to grow the crap out of this sucker. You can use the store order from me if you live outside of the DFW area, to get an idea of the types of hoops I make, or to just see a gallery of fun hoops. If you have an Etsy store too, let me know and I’ll add you to my circle! 🙂

Hoops & Other Delightful Stuff

First thing’s first: I want to start out with the AMAZING and SUPER YUMMY food Green made us for dinner last night:

All organic, free-range or farm-fresh. The zucchini and green beans actually came from the garden of the hoop student I drove to teach this week! SO. GOOD.

Second: I’ve got a bunch of little bits of spare tubing from the ends of rolls, and I’ve also got little bits of scrap tape, as well as some samples I get when I place orders. I decided to take those bits and pieces and make some mini-samples of hoop sections!

They’re about two inches long. I’m not entirely sure how to carry them around yet. Green suggested putting them on a string. Any ideas? I love the idea of getting to show people an actual sample of color combinations on hoop tubing, rather than just a bunch of random flat samples of tape!

AND NOW FOR THE HOOPS:

This one’s a custom I made for someone that’s getting delivered today!

And the rest are hoops I made for Arts Goggle but haven’t posted yet:


A hoop of many colors!

That’s it for now! Happy Saturday everyone!

AN EXPERIMENT and Some Hoops I Made Today!

Today I decided to try something a little different in my routine. Normally I wake up and go to yoga. If my alarm goes off at 8:00 AM and I don’t immediately feel like going back to sleep, I will get up and go to 9:00 AM yoga. If I feel like going back to sleep, I will go back to sleep. And then get up later and go to 11:00 AM class.

I like to go to yoga first thing in the morning for a couple of reasons:

#1: It’s a good way to start the day

and

#2: It’s out of the way, and I have the whole rest of the day to say to myself, “Even if I do nothing else the entire rest of today, at least I went to yoga.” And then I high-five myself.

TODAY, however, I decided to EXPERIMENT. I’m not a scientist, mind you. This could easily be proven by the Science Fair “experiments” I was forced to do in elementary school and Jr. High. They were usually thrown together at the last minute and it was embarrassing to even put them on display. I used to wander around the gym trying to find display boards and data that looked worse than mine, just to make myself feel better. It was really hard.

Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is, I graduated a while ago and there is no need for me to compile data and display it in an appealing way, I can just babble about it here.

Here’s what I did today: I woke up at 8:00 AM, ACTUALLY GOT OUT OF BED (this is the key to the experiment), and then I ate a little bit of breakfast and drank a lot of water and went to 11:00 AM class. I wanted to be up for at least three hours if I was going to have breakfast, because you’re supposed to go to yoga on an empty stomach. So when I was going immediately upon waking, I’d go with no food in my belly whatsoever. TODAY, HOWEVER, I had a LITTLE BIT of PRE-DIGESTED food in my belly, and three hours worth of hydration.

I am calling this experiment a SUCCESS because class was AWESOME, I did every posture, and at the part of class where I have the tendency to run out of energy, I did NOT run out of energy. SO YEAH. I think I will keep doing it this way and see how it goes.

ALSO, I managed to get some stuff DONE before I even left for class! I felt very productive and important. Suck on that, 5th grade me who always waited until the last minute to work on your science fair project. LOOK HOW PRODUCTIVE AND IMPORTANT I AM NOW.

*ahem*

Before class I put together some bare hoops and taped one, and after class, I taped four more. I MADE FIVE HOOPS TODAY. Would you like to see a picture? Good, because I’m going to show you one.

Would you like to see another? A close-up, maybe? GOOD. HERE YOU GO:

The orange and purple one is the only one that was special ordered, the rest I made for FUN. And to have on hand should someone approach me and say, “Hey, if you have any hula hoops, I would like to purchase one from you!” Which happens more often than you might think.

Oh, but anyway, the orange and purple one is collapsible and I took a picture of it all collapsed:

I’m giving away one of the smaller ones in my class tonight in celebration of my BIRTHDAY. 🙂 (Here’s my official hooping stuff website where there’s information on my classes AND my hoops because I am a PROFESSIONAL.)

Have a fantastic day! *HIGH FIVES*

A Hoop and a Kitty!

I got some hoop tape in the mail today which is AWESOME. I love getting hoop tape in the mail, it makes me feel like a well-stocked PROFESSIONAL HOOP MAKER. Which I AM.

I was waiting on this tape to fill an order. This is the hoop I made today:


It’s collapsible!

I really like the way this one turned out. It looks like a circus-themed candy cane. 🙂

I love making hoops for people, I never get tired of seeing how excited they get when I give them their new toy! This one will get delivered on Tuesday.

IN OTHER NEWS, THIS IS MY CAT.

He was sleeping in the middle of the floor and it was FRIGGEN’ ADORABLE. LOOK AT HIS PAWS. THEY ARE SO SOFT LOOKING. ❤ ❤ ❤