A couple weeks ago, my daughter Katie accompanied me to the Serbian Festival in Phoenix to celebrate my birthday.
Serbia is located in southeastern Europe on the Balkan peninsula, east of Italy across the Adriatic Sea. In 1918, Serbia, along with Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Slovenia, merged to become Yugoslavia. They disbanded into independent nations in 1991 (I am greatly over-simplifying their struggles).
The festival took place at the beautiful (and colorful) St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, which was open to the public. We went on the second day of the two-day festival.
One of the missions of the church, besides worshipping God in the traditional manner of Serbian Christians, is to preserve and pass on the culture and heritage of Serbia. The church also sponsors folklore groups for children and teens to teach and keep alive the traditions, music, and dances of Serbia.
The foyer to their Cultural Center was open as well, featuring educational exhibits, including these authentic Serbian costumes.
When we arrived, Srbija, a three-piece band (keyboard, accordion, and drum set) was playing Serbian music. I recognized some of the songs and joined the line of dancers doing the lesnoto step.
No ethnic festival would be complete without food, and this one was no exception. Katie and I split a palacinke (Serbian crepe) filled with nutella and ground walnuts.
The band played some more Serbians songs, and a bunch of teenaged girls (and an older woman) got up to dance.
But for me, the main event was the church’s Serbian folk dance groups. First up were the little kids:
Next were the Juniors:
And finally the Seniors:
Below, the girls dance in a circle while the boys grab onto the girls’ belts.
And here, the boys and girls are arranged like spokes on a wheel…
In the photos below, the dancers are linked together by holding on to each other’s belts:
As the program went on, the dances grew more and more complex. The girls always smiled. They were so beautiful, and the boys, so handsome. Aren’t their costumes gorgeous? Many of them were made by hand by their mothers, including the embroidery.
For Inktober, I often defaulted to concurrent Zentangle challenges, and completed fourteen drawings in all. I posted some of them on ARHtistic License, and all of them on my Instagram page. Here are some of my favorites:
On the book front, I still have no representation for the three picture books I’ve sent out to agents. I wish I were an illustrator; I think if agents could see what I’m visualizing, they’d love my books for sure. Sigh. I’ve started rewriting two of them to submit as short stories.
Starting November 15 I’m running through The God of Paradox with my Bible study group. I know the third lesson is too lengthy. I’m actually thinking of taking most of it out and writing a second Bible study guide out of it. Anyhow, after this dry run, I should be able to fine-tune it and start submitting it in early 2018.
I’m still rewriting The Unicornologist. It keeps getting shorter, but it needs to be meatier.
I’m still practicing the same last 11 pages of The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book, and I’m still up to p. 59 in Essential Elements for Guitar. My tone and facility are improving, even if it looks like I’m not getting anywhere. I’ve been pretty good about practicing on piano, recorder, and guitar, but I’ve missed a few days due to lack of energy.
I’ve hardly done any dancing this month. The last Tuesday in September, I landed funny on my right foot and heard it crunch. It hurt really bad. I danced on it an hour and a half two weeks later, but that was probably a bad idea. Until recently, it ached something fierce if I spent more than half an hour on my feet. I think I’ll be able to resume dancing next week.
Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on December 1, 2017, to share your progress during November. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.
Twelve sips of creative juiciness to inspire artistic vision.
- Total cuteness.
- Why bloggers blog.
- It’s not too early to start some Christmas quilting projects.
- In honor of the coming 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, here are Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. I confess I haven’t read them yet, but I’ve printed them out with every intention of studying them.
- Awesome prize-winning photographs from the National Geographic contest.
- Epic ink landscapes.
- For the writers: best books about writing. I only know half of these—I’ve got some reading to do!J
- A cute and easy little weaving project for kids of all ages.
- I’d love to see a resurgence of interest in embroidery. Here’s what you need to get started.
- There are still a few days left to enter this photography contest. Check out your competitors.
- Homage to the doily.
- It’s almost time for the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
Sharing twelve artsy articles to juice up your creativity:
- Street art.
- A sculptor turns a fallen tree into a sculpture.
- Super Converse kicks!
- The truth about corsets.
- What happens when Helen Keller goes to a dance studio? No, I’m not making a tasteless joke. Martha Graham was a friend of Keller’s.
- This one might make you cry. It’s about the death of a mother. Skip it if you must.
- Amazing award-winning quilts.
- If you have the ability to snap a picture of your pet doing something silly, you may want to enter this contest next year. If not, you can still enjoy this year’s finalists.
- Pages from a Zentangle sketchbook.
- Shipping containers never looked so good.
- How a unicorn makes music. (Because I’m dedicated to bringing you all the unicorn stories I can.)
- Quirky ceramics and a podcast.
Beautiful, unusual, entertaining, fun, and creative:
- Still more beautiful quilts from Springville.
- Beautiful vases.
- Ansel Adams took most of these photographs of Japanese internment camps.
- Slightly creepy portraits.
- Hygiene through the ages as recorded in art. (Warning: some nudity.)
- I love when Nathalie takes her camera with her on her walks.
- If you find cults fascinating, this is the reading list for you.
- Designers giving amputees an “unfair advantage.”
- Interesting zentangles.
- Botanical gardens enhanced by stained glass.
- What if you could go to summer dance camp with the Rockettes?
- Introspective portraits.