Sunday, 19 April 2015

Kiwifruit & Public Personas

So, I've been having a really hard time lately. I've had many days this week where I've barely been able to get out of bed. I'm going through both a positive yet very rough patch in terms of my health, where I'm finally able to taper off the high-dose prednisone I've been on for 3+ years. This is a good thing - my Takayasu's is finally less active - but also very difficult as my body is now going through some pretty intense medication withdrawals and I am very unwell as a result.

Something that I've really been struggling with as a result is the disparity between my "public persona" and the reality of what my day-to-day life is like. Sure, most people probably display a different public persona to that of their actual lives. I mean, whose facebook timeline is a truly accurate depiction of their everyday lives? (Also, nobody wants to know what you're having for breakfast every morning. Sorry.) But I think that this struggle is particularly profound for people living with chronic or mental illnesses.
When I'm out, socialising, or posting pictures on social media I give the appearance of having bucketfuls of energy, effortlessly doing it all and accomplishing amazing things. I try to be (or at least look like) superwoman. This is the public me.
But in reality, I take several hours to get out of bed each morning because of my chronic pain, I am usually able to do about 1 thing per day because of intense exhaustion, I often spend hours crying and feeling sorry for myself and most nights I collapse in bed by 8pm. That's a particularly bad day for me, but I really struggle. This is the private me.
What freaks me out most about this is that most people know me as the "energetic, bubbly superwoman" that public me appears to be. She doesn't have struggles or stresses. She's totally confident in herself and able to do almost anything. But private me has different plans, and it's gotten to the point where I fear going out and meeting up with people (other than my closest friends) and then suddenly having to leave due to exhaustion, taking a whole bunch of pills for pain, or suddenly going silent and forgetting what they've said to me. Being asked why I only study part time, or why I can't climb a flight of stairs, or why I'm using a pensioner's card (but you're only 22??). Even small things like why I have to avoid sunlight, caffeine, and people with colds like the plague (um, I could die). It can be embarrassing, scary and downright awkward to have to explain such personal things about myself to people I've only just met or don't know very well.
But one of the things that has been stressing me out most lately is disappointing people. When people reach out to me and I have to say "I can't meet up with you", or I flat-out ignore their messages or emails - hell, even if I ignore people's sewing questions on youtube because I simply don't have the energy to answer them - I worry that people will think I either don't care about them, or that I'm lazy, or I'm brushing them off, because they only know the public me and public me is superwoman. She has time for everyone and can do everything.
I guess the point of me talking about this is because it's something that's been weighing heavily on my mind lately and it's also something I want to raise awareness of. When you live with a chronic illness, there can be such a disparity between your public and personal lives and this can sometimes become completely overwhelming. I also really want to reach out to anyone else also living with a chronic or mental illness to tell you this: You are not alone and you don't have to be superwoman (or superman!). It's okay to take some time to yourself, to be a little selfish and indulge yourself in the things that you love. It's okay to take life more slowly. Whether this is working less, not going out as much or dropping a subject at school or uni - it's okay to take life at your own pace. (Honestly, this should apply to anyone going through any kind of a tough time).
So right now, I'm working more on looking after myself, not being so productive, and not feeling so guilty about it or worried about disappointing people. If I have to reschedule plans, ask for help, take time off uni or even take some time away from blogging (though blogging actually makes me super happy so don't worry too much about that one), that's okay. It actually doesn't reflect on me as a person.

And for people who are fortunate enough not to struggle with these things, I urge you to be kind and understanding with everyone - because everybody you meet could be battling something you cannot see. Lastly I'd encourage everybody to read this article from "But You Don't Look Sick", particularly if you have or know a person with a chronic or mental illness.

But some days, dressing up and taking photos is exactly what is needed to help me feel okay. So here's what I'm wearing today!

Outfit details:
Top is thrifted
Earrings are from Wanting Collection
Skirt is thrifted (The Red Cross)
Socks are from Tutuanna
Shoes are Naot Kedma's

Much love and stay happy,

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

DIY Strawberry Two-Piece Dress (tutorial)

LOOOOOK. I made the BEST dress! ^_^ This whole project took me a good couple of days to sew, film and edit, but it has been so worth it - because not only do I now own the best dress in the world (true statement), but I can also teach you all how to make your very own!
Grab yourself 1.5 - 2 metres of cream one-way stretch jersey (or rayon) fabric, some strawberry patches (here, here or here) and your sewing machine - and you're ready to go!
The dress that I attempted to recreate is this gorgeous thing from Candy Stripper, one of my favourite ever brands (their new collection is food-themed and it's AMAZING). However, I don't think that they sell this dress anymore - and if they did, it wouldn't be for cheap.

So, here's my video explaining how to make this dress - enjoy!

And here is a great tutorial video for neck binding (the one that I mentioned in my video):

p.s. episode 3 of my new science-y podcast just came out :) Have a listen!
p.p.s. I have an interview in Labelled Magazine which I really enjoyed doing. It's all about ethical fashion and body image. You can read it here.

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Friday, 3 April 2015

My Week In Outfits

Last week, I filmed my outfits every single day from Monday to Sunday. I also roped various people into filming me while I was out and about - at uni, doing grocery shopping or out at dinner with my friends - to give you all a little glimpse into what I was doing whilst wearing these outfits!

I know I haven't posted any outfits on here for a couple of weeks, but here's SEVEN - I hope that makes up for it! :)

p.s. just in case you were wondering, I don't spend all of my Saturdays just rolling around carefree in grass & I actually had to go to uni 4 days this week ;__;

Have a beautiful weekend everybody!

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DIY "Half Circle Skirt" Tutorial (with zipper) & 3 Ways To Hem A Skirt!

I uploaded this tutorial to Youtube just 3 days ago, and already SO many people have tried it out & gotten in contact to tell me how well it worked out! So if you're wondering whether you should try this one out, it's been pretty well vetted already :)

p.s. I'm just about to upload another video in a couple of hours ;)

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