Paragraphs 1&2 taken from a poem somewhat inspired by Lara Cameron from the book “Stars will Shine Down” by Sidney Sheldon
Monday, April 13, 2009
Happy Easter y'all!!! It's interesting that I am concluding my 3-part reflection mini-series on Easter Monday, the day that reminds us all of the hope we have in Christ. And yup, y'all know where there's life, there's hope.
Ok... so where was I? Oh yeah, I was telling you how my luck suddenly changed after I paid my tithes.
It's interesting how people take the Bible literally and think that once you pay your tithes you suddenly become rich from nowhere. Whilst this may be true for some people, from my personal experience, I realise that no matter how bad my financial situation may seem, I always manage to get by somehow. Last year when I needed to furnish my place, the perfect recruitment job came along at just the right time in the perfect organization in a perfect location, with the perfect work hours and work load and the more-than-perfect pay. This year, it came in the form of an unexplainable though logical increase in my disposable income.
Ok, lemme explain.
I paid my tithes right and it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I suddenly felt lighter and suddenly things became clearer! I now had a definite plan on how to execute my final collection. No more panic buying! Outfit 1, Trial 4 and Outfit 2 had to be made with the perfect fabrics because I really didn't have the time, money, energy to re-do any outfit. Besides, it was a waste of resources and definitely not an efficient way of doing business in the real world.
So the following weekend, I went round to fabric stores to look for fabrics and came across (in my opinion) this STUNNING embossed tafetta fabric! I didn't buy much, like I would normally do. I bought 10cm and took it to my teacher to confirm the appropriateness of the fabric for my look. I got a thumbs-up! Sigh.... a step in the right direction!
2 days later, I went to my favourite fabric store in Woodstock to source for more fabrics, particularly one I had my eye on. Why is Studio 47 my favourite store? Simple. Apart from buying amazing fabrics at half the price and still getting a discount on the already cheap fabrics, I have such an excellent relationship with the store owner and the staff that I took them cupcakes on my birthday and have dropped some of the staff off at the train station a few times. Well people, my perfect relationship with them paid off!
I was told I could return ALL the fabrics I had already bought if I didn't like them and exchange the value for anything else I wanted in the store. I was ecstatic! Like WOW!!! This has NEVER happened in any other store. In fact all stores have the sign "no returns or refunds on cut fabric" or something along that line and here I was told I could return fabrics I had bought almost a month earlier. And I didn't even ask them, THEY suggested it because I was such an excellent customer. See people, paying my 10% paid off!
So I returned all the fabrics I had previously wasted hundreds of rands on and replaced them with the perfect fabrics and other materials I would use for my collection. The implication of this? I didn't have to spend more money! The effect? An increase in my disposable income!
Well though things did not immediately change as a result of the "butterfly effect", i.e. the ripple effects of previous actions, Outfit 1, Trial 4 and Outift 2 were a success and were handed in on time. I wish I could say the same for Outfit 2's pattern though and I ended the module with a frown. But hey, it could have been much worse though. Funny... that was another disappointment that turned into a blessing... but that's another story for another day...
Well people, the new module starts on Wednesday and I would be lying if I told you I was looking forward to it. I'm not scared of hard work but I am quite worried about the huge workload and the short deadlines. But hey, I rested well this Easter so I'm more positive I'll cope better.
Oh... by the way, one positive thing amidst all the stress and turmoil was buying my car! THAT people is the best investment I ever made this year. That is another testimony of mine that I won't get into now... or ever... but hey God has been faithful and I'm thankful!
Ok... lemme round off now by saying I'm certain you enjoyed your Easter holiday. I know I did because I pretty much partied all weekend and met some pretty interesting people. Shame all good things have to come to an end... too soon if you ask me... :-)
BUT now it's time to get back to work! The sooner the better I guess. No use prolonging the inevitable right? Do keep your fingers crossed for me y'all!
Have a great week! :-)
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
.... and the year started off with me under pressure!!!
A wise person once told me the way one started off the year was a reflection of how the rest of the year was going to be. How true!!! 1 January 2009 00.00 am found me in front of a sewing machine instead of in church thanking God for seeing me through the previous year and asking Him to see me through the New Year. People... you need to put your priorities in order!!!
I was trying to round off on the garments I was making for a client over the holiday period. What a nightmare!!! Anyone doing business in Lagos can appreciate how much of a mission it is actually working in an environment that is constantly plagued with power failures. My goodness!!! There was NEVER any electricity!!! Thank God for inverters!!! That is a major worry I have.... working in an environment where you have to generate everything for yourself, electricity, water, you name it, we do it. It's quite sad.
ANYWAYZ..... I managed to do as much of the work as I could do and I was quite pleased with the reaction I got from the client. Phew!!! Though I worked till the day I left for the airport! Not good I tell you. I had to balance work with socializing.... well sort of since there were weddings and other events I had to go for.
Anywayz, come 19th January, I'm at the airport wishing I didn't have to leave but having no choice... but looking forward to my one-week stop-over in Johannesburg. YAYE!!! I returned to Cape Town a week before school started. I must confess I wasn't happy to be back because frankly Cape Town really isn't my kinda place BUT I was pleased that at least it was for the final stretch (even though the final stretch would be for 1 FULL YEAR because of the compulsory internship in June).
And then the major challenges began.
It started with the search from deep within for the perfect collection for my final year range.
I knew what I wanted to do from Day 1 - FORMAL WEAR but not the normal boring kind. It had to have a twist, either chic and sophisticated or very "severe" (if you catch my drift). I was so confused!!! Needless to say my first 3 drafts were rejected because and I quote "my sleeves were an insult to New York". I mean like "excuse you???!!!" But I took the criticism with a light heart surprisingly enough :-)
ANYWAYZ I decided on the final collection and then the search for the perfect fabrics began. I bought so many fabric swatches, I could sew a quilt for a king-size bed! Paisley, damask, brocade, leather, leatherette, chiffon, you name it, I bought it. People... you don't even want to know how crazy that was. Anywayz... hundreds of rands later I found the seemingly perfect fabrics... or so I thought till....
- I burnt the first lot of fabrics AFTER sewing the complicated panel pieces. I mean the initial tests showed they could withstand heat but what was I thinking steaming leatherette!!! So Outfit 1, Trial 1 went down the drain!
- I decided on some fantastic fabric manipulation because my collection required very STIFF FABRIC but the fabric I found with the closest look to leather was this beautiful metallic chiffon. I mean CHIFFON... like hello... how could I even consider using Chiffon to make a jacket!!! I did a fantastic job of the manipulation and the results were very impressive but unfortunately, the fabric was TOO STIFF!!! So Outfit 1, Trial 2 also went down the drain!!!
- I thought I figured what went wrong with Outfit 1, Trial 2 so I tried something different still using the same fabric. You would think I would have learnt my lesson right? WORSE! I thought I could finish it over the weekend! HA!!! What a joke. Well I did finish the outfit (not sleeping a wink all through that weekend) but it was nasty!!! People... never work under duress!!! I mean the finishing was horrific!!! As I finished the outfit, I knew I couldn't put it on the runway and Outfit 1, Trial 3 also went down the drain!!!
By now I was upset!!! I decided I was going to redo the outfit in my own time but my teachers felt for me (and indeed the other students who had issues with their first outfits) and instructed us to complete the first outfits again... but with a stricter deadline. We now had only 2 weeks to complete Outfits 1 & 2. Needless to say I spent the whole week sleeping off the effects of my sleepless weekend. Let's not forget the storyboards and the other work we had to hand in for History and Visual Studies!!! But that's a completely different story!
I used to pride myself on my ability to multi-task, create techinically strong garments and meet my deadlines. THAT was one thing I learnt from working. But I was running into trouble... I was constantly tired, constantly in a bad mood because I was trying to come up with fantastic designs within unreasonable deadlines, I was wasting too much money on the collection buying yards of fabric I realised I couldn't use, and worst of all, I was not meeting my deadlines!!! So I began to ask myself and God why things weren't going right in my FINAL YEAR!!! Deep down I knew what the problem was and knew what I had to do to sort it out... I needed to pay my tithes!
YES People, I am a firm believer in tithing! The King James version of Malachi 3:10 says:
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of host, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be room enough to receive it..."
This is pretty much the only verse in the Bible where God asks you to test Him... and I already knew this. So what did I do? I begged God for forgiveness, calculated what my 10% should be and raced to church [which is actually right next door :-)] to pay it because hey... my life pretty much depended on it if I didn't want to get chucked from school.
And THAT, people, was when my luck changed...
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Hello PEOPLE!!!! Have y'all missed me??? No no don't lie. If you didn't y'all wouldn't be asking me why I haven't updated my blog in a while. Good to know I have readers though. I actually didn't know I had that many. But how come y'all don't leave comments huh? You need to encourage a sistah you know... Anywayz, thanx a bunch!
So what has been happening you ask? Well... a lot has happened since what... November 5th? Oh yes definitely a lot has happened. Not sure I can remember all though but will try. Of course y'all know 26 Feb was my birthday and though I wish I could tell you I had a blast and rocked the town, I'd be lying. Wanna know why? FEDISA that's why! I had like who knows how many storyboards to hand in the next day and it was just not the bomb! Ok... don't even get me going about that school and how heck-bent it is on taking my last bit of sanity away in this final year [lest my Academic Director decides to chuck me seeing he's one of my readers :-) Thanks A.L... you know I "luh" you... a-hem (clearing my throat)]. But that's another story for another day. The 27th was cool though... I think.... can't recall what I did though but whatever it was, it wasn't bad at all. :-)
Lemme begin this post by doing what I always do... Reflecting on the past year...
A lot happened in 2008. Happy moments, sad moments, scary moments. I have highlighted my most memorable... at least what I can remember... and not in any order of importance...
- My friend's trip. We both had a blast... both feeling like tourists... well she was actually. She was visiting from the UK. But nothing could beat Pastor Paul of HOTR's birthday in Constantia, the Madame Zingara trip and the visit to the townships. A classic I tell you. That was when I really became good friends with Neliswa, a South African diplomat and one of the best Capetonians I've ever met.
- House-hunting. 3 times in 1 year. Gosh... what an unpleasant experience! Please let's not even dwell on it.
- My Crystal gala outfit getting chosen for the show. Shame the show was cancelled this year. The 2nd year's came up with some STUNNING outfits this year, much nicer than ours if I must admit... but then they had a better theme so.... Maybe I'll take pictures and post.
- TENADES... a dark memory I wish I could forget but can't even if I tried. Her death was the lowest point in Cape Town and in my life.... I cried till I had no more tears to cry. I still think about her everyday... wondering what exactly happened. Only God knows. Sigh...
- The xenophobic attacks.... coming so soon after Tenadess death, people thought she was a victim. NO she wasn't please. They were unrelated incidents.
- Meeting the Nigerian Consul General to South Africa... now the Nigerian Ambassador to Israel... a very nice man who is now a very good friend of mine.
- My President's trip to Cape Town. Hey... it's not everyday a normal chic like me gets to meet the President!
- Almost getting burgled... we escaped it just by God's grace. THAT is a testimony for another day!
- My sister's wedding and making her engagement outfit. Shame I can't post a picture. She'll lynch me!
- Getting kicked out from my flat for no sensible reason. Left a very unpleasant taste in my mouth... not to talk about the bites on my skin from the bed-bug infested flat. What a disappointment that turned into a blessing! Thank God I found a place in 2 days... but sorry the police had to get involved after she locked me out of the place before the month ended. Guess she felt very smart.... Funny... do you know she's still looking for a flatmate??? HA! I laugh whenever I see her ad on Gumtree. Still saw one like 2 wks ago or so...
- Moving into and furnishing my living space :-) the lounge turned room. It's not the conventional living space but I love the space, the location and my flatie!
- Losing another friend and a cousin... Hmmnnn... By then I must've run out of tears, I became blank...
- Getting a lovely HR job in a fantastic company... though I had to stop when my contract ended but it was cool while it lasted... and it helped pay for my brand new orthopaedic-like mattress...
- My 3 outfits getting into the 2008 FEDISA Graduate Show. A great show that ended all too quickly... But I'm sure you've read all about the show already...
- OBAMA becoming US President!!!
- Going home and working on a mini contract I got to make office wear and getting help from my 3 adorable nieces visiting from Canada who I hadn't seen in years!!! I tell you, the best thing I could ever have done was learning a skill. I thank God for that.
- Clubbing in Lagos at the newest joints. But getting stuck in traffic at 2am in the morning all because I wanted to catch my fun in Lagos on the last Friday of the year was not fun at all! Let's not even talk about that night!
- Networking in Lagos during the December holidays.
Actually if I had to write everything, I'll probably be here till next week [which starts tomorrow actually :-)] but I think I'm tired now so I'll just round up. I dunno why my pictures are not uploading though :-( Will try and upload again. This is like the 2nd or 3rd time I've tried.
Well my greatest regret actually was ending off the year in front of my sewing machine when I should have been at church. And 2009 has been a bit of a challenge and I think this is the reason. But one thing I do know and I'm thankful for is how God brought me through 2008 in one piece. I couldn't have done it without Him and y'all... even those I didn't have pleasant experiences with because y'all know what they say... "what doesn't kill you can only make you stronger". And I am definitely stronger!
Y'all have a great weekend! MWAH!!!