Shimmering Sequin Signage #DIY

12:33 PM 2 Comments A+ a-

I had an idea to make a sign that I could bring with me when I teach at Jai Dee in Tampa, 801 E. Main Street in Lakeland or any other place that I might get the opportunity to teach at in or around the Tampa Bay area. I've always loved the way sequin signs catch the sunlight and move with the breeze. The parts are available online in 12x12 plastic pre-pinned boards, but they're very expensive. I decided I would use a "handypanel" 2x4ft section of pre-sanded plywood and 1x2x8 strips of wood from the local hardware store and get to work on making my own custom 'pinned' wooden A-frame sign.

I ordered the bags of 20mm sequins from Aliexpress, 8 boxes of WIRE BRADS 18X 5/8 and used a big sheet of packing paper to grid out the proper spacing of the nails to keep the sequins from overlapping. I used a center punch to put a small divot in the plywood sheet at each intersection of the grid (where each nail would go) and then used a pair of flat tipped pliers to hold each nail an equal length from the plywood surface and hammered each nail in.

This is of course after building the sign and painting the surface white with three coats of outdoor rated paint.

The total number of nails used = 3600.

To keep the sequins at a distance from the wood backing (so they'd shimmer in the breeze) I used short 1/4 inch sections of cocktail straws cut down to serve this purpose. After nailing in all the nails, each nail had a cocktail straw spacer placed on it and then I could begin to pop the sequins into place over the wire brads nail heads.

Created with flickr slideshow.

What I had not initially planned for was a safety border around the edges of the sign to keep the nails from getting impaled into the grass when the sign would take an inevitable face plant on a windy day. I'd made the front facing edge of the sign a bit larger (1/8 in) than the underlying frame which made coming up with an edge framing solution a little tricky. Eventually I settled on using small strips of wood to bring the underlying frame out to the same edge as the front of the sign. Then I used wood trim painted white to create a top and sides frame for the sign fronts which will keep the nails and sequins from coming into contact with the ground when the sign falls over.

I finished the protective edging in time to use the sign outside of Jai Dee last weekend. It was a really windy day and the sign fell over a few times with no damage to the sequins. Several people commented on noticing the sign as they drove into the studio and that they could see the sparking sequins from a great distance. I'm thrilled that it came together nicely even though from beginning to end it took about a month of intermittent work (nails/spacers/sequins) and then another couple of months for me to figure out a protection frame and the time to put the framing on the sign.

If you want to make your own sequin sign, it just takes some time, patience and keeping your eye on the finished goal while you do the work that gets you to that goal.

The Great Yoga Mat Bake Off: BMAT vs. Manduka Black Mat Pro

11:38 AM 2 Comments A+ a-

A quality yoga mat is a key component of a regular yoga practice. Too often the mat is chosen in haste or purchased based on price. The yoga mats sold at department stores are not what you want to use for a daily yoga practice. They are thin, smell of chemicals and break down and begin to fall apart within months of purchasing. Do yourself a favor and try out a couple of mats before you make a purchasing decision. Your local yoga studio may have loaner mats you can try or you can ask other students in your classes what made them choose the mat they have. The type of yoga practice you prefer will also influence the type of mat you choose. Hot yoga will most likely require sweat absorbing yoga mat towels (Yogi Toes towels) or extra sticky mats (BMAT, LululemonJade, Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip).

I came across a BMAT at the Baptiste Level Two training I attended in July of '17. I'd never experienced a mat as sticky and grippy as the BMAT. Level Two training is a very sweaty experience and I never felt my hands or feet slip as I practiced asana on the BMAT. I asked the owner of the mat a few questions about where they got the mat, where it was made etc as I'd not heard of it. I reached out to BMAT once I got back home and asked about an ambassador program to spread the word about BMAT. They sent me a discount code and I used that to get 50% off of a BMAT Strong mat. I'd already purchased a BMAT Everyday but I felt that mat was too thin for my preference. The B MAT is made of 100% rubber (which I think smells good) and initially is a dust magnet (this lessens over time). Cleaning it is as simple as spraying it down with water with a few drops of tea tree oil in the water and letting it dry. The BMAT doesn't roll up super tightly for storage, so you may want to use a mat strap to keep the BMAT contained when not in use.

I'm a fan of my BMAT, and it is so grippy that you must fully commit to jumping back to chaturanga on the BMAT. There is no toes-sliding-into-place wiggle room on the BMAT. If you land short, you land SHORT. The BMAT surface does not offer any sliding at all (which is great!). When I practice at a headed studio with my BMAT, I don't need to use a yogitoes towel on my mat. It doesn't get at all slippery like my Manduka Black Mat Pro has a tendency to do. Less laundry, more BMAT.

All this being said, I'm a BMAT ambassador because I know their mat is amazing and so grippy and everyone who tries it LOVES it. You can get 20% off with this code (which is a great deal!)  AMB20JHUBE -->