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Adult-sized Professional Hula Hoop Tutorial

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

In this tutorial, we'll be going over the basics of creating your own custom adult-sized hula hoop, used in hoop dance for recreation or exercise.

Did you know that an hour of hoop dance will burn 600+ calories an hour? Plus, they're fun and exciting, and you know you already want one!

Let's get right to it, shall we?

Poly tubing, from 3/4"-1" outside diameter, between 100 psi and 160 psi
Internal barbed tubing connector for the size of tubing you're using
Utility knife
Sand paper, 200 grit
Hair dryer
Gaffer's tape in your color selection
Electrical, metallic, or any other thin decorative tape in contrasting colors to gaffer's tape
Optional: Helper Cat

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

First, let's talk a little about tubing. You have a lot of options in this department once you get the idea of what works, but you're going to want to start off with poly irrigation tubing until you have the hang of it. Irrigation tubing is slightly more rigid than drip irrigation tubing, be sure to not mix up these two.

The bigger the diameter of the tubing and the higher the pressure per square inch (psi) rating, the heavier the final hoop will be. Be aware, a heavier tube is great for exercising, but you may see a little bruising on your hands and legs as you adjust to it.

In this tutorial, I'm using tubing with a 3/4" outside diameter, 100 psi. This makes for a slightly lighter hoop, but it really is a personal preference and what works best for you.

Hoops can be cut to custom fit your height and diameter. Smaller hoops require a bit more effort to keep up, while a larger hoop can be a bit easier to learn on in the beginning. Most people will be comfortable with a hoop between 132" and 134", though I have hoops that I use that are as small as 130" and as large as 136". If you are a taller person, lean toward the 134" mark or even a bit higher. Children's hoops can be made to fit as well.
Measure out your desired length of tubing, then cut cleanly with a sharp utility blade. Watch your fingers, and work away from your body!

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Using a medium-to-fine-weight sand paper, even the ends of the tubing. Sand both ends.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Sand the very center posts of the barbed connector so they are flat on the top instead of rounded. This makes it easier to smooth out the connection point on the hoop later on. Don't sand the barbs on the ends, just the center.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Holding the ends of the tubing in one hand, begin heating up the ends with a hair dryer. Keep the heat moving, and be careful not to burn your fingers! Once the tube is sufficiently heated, we'll be inserting the barbed connector into the ends.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Moving quickly, insert the connector into one end of the tubing. Ready? Now push, quick, quick!

Try to keep the connector centered between the tubing ends. If the tubing cools down, heat it up around the outside edges with the hair dryer for a few seconds.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Here's how the ends will look once we get them put together. See the raised edges where the tube is covering the center barbs? Flatten them out flush by sanding with medium-to-fine-weighted sand paper. Take a little time to do this step, it makes for a much prettier base for wrapping the tape if it's nice and even.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Using gaffer's tape in your choice of color, place tape at an angle over the edges of the tubing. You want to make sure you're using gaffer's tape, as it has the right texture on the outside to help the hoop grip. Don't substitute with duct tape! You'll not only be really mad by the time you finish, but the resulting wrap won't be as smooth or fitting either. Gaffer's tape is made from fabric, so retains a flexibility that duct tape cannot. Gaffer's is used in theater though, so it's available in lots of colors!

This initial angle is very important, so take your time in getting it right! You want the edges of the tape to just barely touch as you go around, but not overlap or gap. If you're overlapping as you go around, the area overlapping will get larger and larger until you can't get your tape going at an angle anymore at all.

Take your time, because laying down a smooth gaffer's tape wrap will make the difference between an ok hoop and a great hoop!

If you want a little extra weight, wrap another layer in the opposite direction as the first.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Wrap base-taped hoop with electrical, metallic, glitter, or any other decorative tape in any manner you choose. Or, leave plain. You may want to ask you helper cat for suggestions here.

Enjoy your new hoop! Practicing for 30 minutes, 4 times a week is enough to help you burn calories, get in shape, have fun, and feel sexy!

Cupcake Themed Swap - June 2008

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I recently participated in a cupcake themed swap on I was partnered up with jadegreen of Australia, and we had a great time crafting for each other!

Here's the goodies she made for me, starting with the little guys first!

There's a great little hand-drawn card, a hand embroidered felt pouch, and mini cupcake pin cushions made of recycled soda bottle tops!

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

One of the pin cushions is a stand up cushion, and the other is a ring cushion. Jade also sent me a set of sweets-topped shrinky dink pins with my lovely cushions. I keep these in my travel craft bag!

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Next up is an awesome awesome awesome cross stitch! Need I say more? It speaks for itself.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

My favorite: Super awesome reversible apron with the cutest cupcake fabric! I can't tell you how much I love this thing. It's funny too, because I make aprons myself, but do I ever wear any of the ones I make? No, of course not! But I do get a lot of use out of this little guy, especially with my cookie making extravaganza earlier this week.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Goofy-grinned action shot: making mini muffins!

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

And here's what I sent to jadegreen!

This is a kitchen textiles set. The towels were embellished with the fun fabrics the rest of the goodies were made with, and the pot holders were a last-minute addition since I had the perfect amount of fabric left!

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Here's Jade modeling the pot holders (she didn't have any, yay me!) and the matching reversible underbust apron. Don't you love them? The reverse side of the apron are the same fabrics, but reversed in placement.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Jade has a cupcake blog, so I sent her some purchased cupcake supplies as well. There's assorted sprinkles in different colors and shapes, some lavender colored sugar crystals that are big and very refractive, a magnetic refrigerator shopping list, and some cute sweets-themed decorations.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I also picked up some great decorative cupcake liners. Aren't these styles cute?

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I also sent her a set of two matching fabric shopping bags. Here's Jade modeling one of the bags.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

A close-up of the bag bottom so you can see the shape and the adorable fabric! Yes, those are BUNNIES and CUPCAKES!! Can life get any more cute?

I had an incredible time with this swap, it's going to be a hard one to top!!
Thanks so much JadeGreen, you did a fantastic job!

Pimp my Username Swap - June 2008

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I participated in a swap on a few months back called the Pimp my Username Swap. I was partners with FluffyPants, a great girl from Canada. She sent me some pretty cool stuff, and was totally fun to craft for.

Here's a set of earrings she made for me. The swirly drawings inside the stars are from a set of ATC's I made. She found the image on Flickr, then made them into a neat set! Love these!

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Next there was a decorated journal. This view shows the front and back. The tag says The Art of Megan. How did she know I was out of paper in my last craft journal?

Pretty cool, huh. Great colors, too.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

FluffyPants also sent me a selection of yummy Canadian candies! We were really good about spreading the candy consumption out over a few weeks, but we loved everything! Yum yum!

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The final present from the swap is amazing! She did a pop art drawing of a photo of us from our wedding night. The frame was decoupaged, and the drawing is ink and colored pencil. How cool! It's going up in my craft office.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Now, onto the things I sent the lovely Ms. FluffyPants!

Look, it's the first things I've made with my own handmade yarn! I figured, any girl with fluffy pants needs some fluffy wrists too! I handspun , dyed, and accidentally felted this pink and black mottled yarn, and plied it with pink and white variegated crochet cotton. These were knit up sideways in garter stitch, which makes them thick, warm, and stretchy. Perfect for a Canadian Fall day. With the last bits of left over yarn, I made a flower hair clip to match the warmers.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

A mini tote in 80's colors with crochetted flowers and the phrase "...the IDEAL Fluffy Pants Girl" stenciled on. The origin of ms. lovely's fun little username.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

A bonus: tiny pink knit fluffy pants. Shown with spool of thread for size comparison.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

FluffyPants modeling the wrist warmers, flower hair clip, and bag.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Here she is again, modeling the pink and black hooded sweatshirt I made for her. It's black fleece and hot pink double knit cotton. Just wait until you see what's on the pockets!

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Look, I embroidered the pockets on my sewing machine with the word "fluffy" on one and "pants" on the other! The stitching is cute and decorative around the edges, and the handwriting is mine. :)

All in all, I had a blast with this swap. Thanks FluffyPants for a great swap and an awesome crafting experience!

Adventures in LED Hula Hooping

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

My friend Rachel recently took a hula hooping class in Berkley or Oakland or something, where she learned a lot of hula hoop dance techniques, fun tricks, and eventually did a routine where she set her hoop on FIRE! Rachel kicks ass, yo.

Anyway, we were out seeing her boyfriend Carl's band Level 12 play at a jet ski competition out near Angel's Camp. She brought her (and quite possibly my) new favorite toy, the light up LED hula hoop.

Mark had his camera at this show, so he had the opportunity to take some great shots, and I'm excited to show them to you now!

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

Oops, dropped it!

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

This is the result of a .77 second exposure of standard waist hooping. The LEDs change color at an interval of a few seconds, and you can really see where the hoop goes most by the areas where the lighting gets brighter.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

A one second exposure of some basic handwork.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

Another angle of pretty handwork.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

A 5/8 second exposure, this one just looks super trippy.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

The guys even had a shot with the hoop, this thing was really the hit of the party. We were on the shore of the reservoir, so there was plenty of room for people to move about safely.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

It got a little harder to keep a strapless bathing suit top up when I started getting more into it! Time for a tank top and some faster paced hooping.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

Rachel showing us how it's really done!

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

It looks like she's made herself a ball gown from light trailers. The move she's doing is one of my favorite, and I actually learned how to do it a little last night!

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

Did I mention that an hour of consistant hula hooping will burn around 600 calories?

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

More handwork, but at a very pretty angle. 1 second exposure.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

Pop those hips, beezy! Heck yeah, this is my absolute favorite move right now, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. Look at the angle at which she has the hoop spinning, it's pretty much 45 degrees. She leans back into the hoop, and hops while popping her hips forward. It takes quite a bit of coordination, but I'll get it eventually.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

Putting her hands in and out of the rotating hoop through the openings while it spins.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

Can I tell you how much I love this thing?

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

Figuring out the trick Rachel showed us earlier. You pass the hoop around behind you until there's a little momentum, then spin it around your palm as you lean out in front of yourself.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

The yarn ball of lights, if you will, is me successfully spinning the hoop in front of me for a few, then starting the rotation back around me. 2.3 second exposure.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

More dresses made of lights for Rachel.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

This is the trick I was trying to learn when I showed myself dropping it earlier. It makes an INCREDIBLE effect with the exposure set as long as it was; 6.7 seconds. Awesome picture, Mark, really.

So this move begins by rotating the hoop around your midsection, and placing your hand at the small of your back. The complicated part comes when you simultaneously put your free arm through an opening in the rotation and pull up on the hoop with the hand on your back. Then, to complete this move successfully, you rotate the hoop around your palm in a seamless transition.

Easy? No. Beautiful? Yes.

Originally uploaded by nerdymark

One more pretty one of some angled handwork.

What do you think? Looks pretty cool, right? Leave me a comment with your thoughts! Wanna try sometime?

The First Two Sugar Snap Peas

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

They may look small, but let me tell you, these were the most exciting thing to happen to me all week!

I couldn't believe that when I thought I had only two peas on all the vines, I moved some things around and there were these lovely fellows. At that point, they weren't quite so plump.

A few days and some good waterings later, they filled out nicely to these lovely, full pea pods. The best part about sugar snap peas is the crunchy pod, so I was glad to see they were meaty and waxy - sure signs of moist beans.

We had company, so I actually dissected each bean so we could all have half of one, but I was so pleased with my half bean! They were sweet, oh man. And Crunchy! Yum yum, I can't wait for the rest of them to grow grow grow!

Hair Modeling - February 2008 - Rachel and Samantha

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Early this year, I had an audition with my Matrix managers. I needed to put together a color design presentation that would show them I was worthy and capable of becoming a Master Artistic Educator.

My friends Rachel and Samantha were great models! They were both willing to let me do pretty much whatever I wanted, and the designs turned out gorgeous.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Both colors had diamond shaped panels of peek-a-boo color in the back of the head that made itself more visible as the hair moved. I cut soft textured layers that exposed a bit of this color, allowing just a hint of what was there to show through when the hair was down.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Both girls were excellent models, and we had a great time shooting! Also, the audition went well, and I'm currently in the process of training for my Master Artistic Educator position. Thanks again ladies!

Hair and Jewelry Modeling - June 2008 - Courtney

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

My friend Courtney and I decided to do a day's worth of modeling recently. We spent most of the day running around, getting fun outdoor shots.

This is an overpass walkway near my apartments which connects my street to the street on the other side of the freeway. The lighting is always great up here later in the day, since we're way up in the air.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I liked how the curls in this half-up style show off the definition in color caused by Courtney's highlights and lowlights. I accented her blonde pieces with a rich warm brown tone, adding contrast and depth.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This view shows the different sized curls, the larges made on a 1 1/4" curling iron, the tiny ringlets made by spiraling small sections onto a metal tail comb and then lightly pressing with a flat iron while wrapped around the comb end. This creates the effect of a tiny curling iron barrel.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This location really was fun to shoot. We had the space to ourselves, and it overlooks not only the freeway but a section of pretty trees as well. I love the contrast between industrial and natural.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Earlier in the day, we shot at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. The light was a little harsh, but I still managed to get some pretty shots. Here's Courtney with my favorite roses in the whole garden, an ivory and peach tone blend. So pretty.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The great thing about the rose garden is that there are so many textural backgrounds to shoot against. I love the contrast of the hard brick against the soft lines of the upstyle.

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Fun and playful ends poking out from between the curls lighten up the seriousness of this style. Swooping angles create lift and visual movement, and a little height in the style helps add glamor.

I had a lot of fun working with Courtney for this shoot. It's not very often that I do hair, makeup, and photography all myself, and I also had the added bonus of getting to show my jewelry during this shoot. Every piece of jewelry in the shoot was a HomeGrown Fashion piece.

Thanks for looking!

Paua Shell Necklace

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Sometimes simplicity is nature's best compliment.

This paua shell necklace is supported by doubled wax linen cording. A simple loop and tie closure keeps the piece lightweight. The shell has a darker side, and a more ivory side, darker side shown here.

View the listing for this necklace at my store, HomeGrown Fashion.

Red and White Floral Half Apron

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This apron makes me long to be a 50's housewife. Isn't the vintage style floral print so cute? I really love a good underbust apron too, especially for doing dishes, since i always get myself while leaning against the counter. So much fun!

View this listing in my store at HomeGrown Fashion.

Orange Paisley Half Apron

Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Here's another adorable half apron from a set I've been working on in the past few days. I love the pinks, oranges, and yellows together with the fun paisley print. Bright, cheery, who knows... maybe it'll make you want to do chores!

View this listing in my store, HomeGrown Fashion.

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