Category Archives: DIY

Attack Panic

Growing up has more to do with battles fought on the inside than with the passing of time.

There are events that came with what I thought was ‘growing up’.
With birthday parties, graduation ceremonies, a wedding and a first baby, a lot of life has flown by to make me feel properly ‘grown up’.

Smaller events that mark my road add to this feeling. Getting a driving license, opening a savings account (to, y’know, actually SAVE money from that first salary I got so excited about), buying insurance and using a kettle with a lifetime warranty. [<<How did this happen?!]

The list of roles I play(ed) in the greatest show of my life grows.
To my family, a baby girl to middle kid to rebel child to arrogant youth to girlfriend, fiancée, wife and now to someone new, a mother.
To friends, a sporadic friend.
To my employers, a resource.
To the economy, a consumer, a driver, an asset and a drain.

What am I to myself?
Now there, in defining that, is where the growing up happens. It’s in that honest exploration of my innermost Self that I realise I cannot be me without faith.

Stay with me.
Faith is seeing what is real but invisible.
Faith is trusting.
Faith is pushing past fear and doubt.
Faith is courageous acceptance of something greater than what is staring me in the face.

So, you see, faith for me is an essential part in the process of growing up. Faith helps me to see what I am because it attacks the fear that drives me to be someone I’m not. Growing up is learning to be myself without fear.

Attack panic.

{But HOW?!
If you want to tell me how you attack panic or want to know more of how I attack panic, leave me a comment and let’s talk}


Reverse Engineering

Eat. Work. Sleep. That’s my routine, I think. While I go through another day of what I imagine is / I begin to envy people who have routines and predictables in their lives. My ‘breakfast’ happens halfway through work, sleep comes and goes as and when I need it and non-work fits around it all. In my head, everything is organised. I think it’s good to work hard and be a 110% person but recently, my life has started to resemble a textbook case study for sleep-deprivation.

Pushing myself through tiredness, with barely enough time to shower, eat and relax, I became more prone to colds, migraines and overall rattiness. There have been so many good things happening in every sphere of my life, that I just felt compelled to put my fingers in too many pies. I get caught in the moment but sadly that’s not always a good thing.

I have to do a bit of reverse-engineering to figure out what my priorities are again and realign my lifestyle to fit those goals. Look forwards and then look back. Where do I want to be in x-amount of time? Working backwards, I can see what I need to do by when, foresee problems, factor them in and learn more about the process. My favourite part: Setting my own deadlines and doing things with more focus.

I made this dress for a darling niece in the middle of one of the most intense but fulfilling months. I had to be organised. I reverse-engineered for this dress and it worked out perfectly. I knew what I had to do by when and had a realistic time-scale for it. I was so into the whole process once I mapped it out that I decided to make the dress reversible too.

Turned out that I could make two dresses in the SAME time it would have taken me to make one.



Maybe I don’t need much of a routine afterall. Just a good plan. A plan that includes sleep.

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Ode to a Dumpling

The World Foods Section

You know that bare concrete bit in soul-less shopping centres where one usually finds the loo and other such unglamourous things? Well, this mall I was in today decided to do away with that and instead, place the facilities right in the heart of little China/ Morocco/ Italy.

I have no idea which precise country they were trying to victimise in this space but I came away inspired to have Chinese food for dinner. Take-aways are bad for post-Christmas resolutions, so…

[Cue: Slide 2.]

The dumplings were born.

O dumpling,

How little I know of thee.   [Warning: Ode in progress.]

You beguile me,

Skin so fair, meat hiding beneath thee

No ginger,

Soy sauce or Chinese ancestry

Came to me

So I went

To Morocco and Italy

And came up

With something like a pasty.

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Sewing Days Together

On my way home today, I thought about all the amazing things I could do with the weekend. Always a slippery slope but I indulged my overactive right-brain anyway. I got so excited that I started the very hour I came home. My sewing shelf was soon emptied onto every available surface as I chose my materials for my first project. In an attempt to curb my enthusiasm and be realistic, I decided to reinforce something I learnt at my friend’s Sewing Sunday event: how to make the ‘Buttercup Bag’.

Stephanie did such a great job hosting us novices in her home last weekend. She even made some delicious berry muffins to top it all off. We all had the pattern and instructions emailed to us in advance but somehow, we ended up needing professional supervision and patient coaching for a variety of sewing problems. Not least how to work the all-important iron. After demonstrating like Martha Stewart, unpicking our hasty stitches and several gentle prods in the right direction, she was able to show us the Magic of the Bag. Turning it right-side out is that wonderful moment, when the seamstress sees her success; “I made that and it looks like it should!” Nothing beats that feeling.

Even though we used the same pattern, our bags were so unique. We had lobsters, a cheerful floral print, cute apples and mine, the black and white creation. I took my bag home with a massive smile on my face, inspired and happy to have met more craftsy ladies.

I like my mustard with some black and white on the side.

I felt a bit more cosy comfort than chic today so I wanted to make something with woolly fabric and a bit cuter i.e. smaller. Downsizing the pattern and snipping away at some fun plaid and tweed I used for my Three Blind Mice, I had autumn in my hands before long.

It even goes with my favourite mustard yellow jacket!

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A Page Out Of Glamour

In an effort to put off lesson-planning, I decided to découpage my rather ugly lever-arch file with a bit more sophistication than a teenager into Gary Barlow. Flicking through my small stack of German magazines brought up some real treasures that I will display on my masterpiece of organisational stationery at a later date. I was getting impatient with all the tiny snips and neck crick-inducing accuracy, so I whipped up something small and fun for the meantime.  [Note: I have attempted to learn German by reading ungrammatical chick-lit. Mission impossible.]

A page in Glamour Magazine featured some summery shades of eyeshadow cracked beyond recognition by some rebellious teenager. Maybe one who would découpage her school folder with rebellious icons I can’t name. I thought these splashes of colour looked like flowers so with a few strategic smile-shaped cuts, I ended up with a page full of roses. My fascination with doilies and light filtered through interesting patterns came out to play this afternoon so I prettified our bedroom lamp.

Unfortunately, it is too girly for a boy-girl space so it is only temporary. I feel inspired to take this idea to other things in my path. Vases, tea light holders and of course the whole legion of sorry stationery in my cupboard that is begging to be customised. This is a perfect activity for a bored afternoon when procrastination cannot accomodate any more trips to the fridge. Do it and share!


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