Monday, July 28, 2014

UK Handmade Summer Showcase

I am sooo excited to have one of my products showcased in the UK Handmade Summer Showcase. I am also shocked but pleased to have my Forget-me-not flower pendant displayed on the first page. 

The showcase is essentially a look-book displaying various products created, designed and made by artisans living in the UK. 

I am so happy to be part of a showcase that is supporting and promoting artisans living in the UK. As the creator of Momatuvi, it is my main ethos to only source materials to use for making my products within the UK as an attempt to boost the British economy. For many years, we here in Britain have imported and exported, this is a normal strategy for many countries, especially when it concerns food. Lets face it, we can't grow bananas naturally here, so we have to purchase from abroad. There use to be a time when buying 'British made' was the thing to do because the quality and safety of a product was widely known and exceptionally good. However, with cheap labour, cheaper materials and cheaper importing costs, we started to buy from abroad as the cost of the product to the consumer became considerably cheaper. We all like a bargain. But cheaper products ultimately turn into expensive products, because we have to replace them more often. 

In recent times, manufacturing has decreased in the UK due to customers buying from abroad. Many of us have stopped caring about quality and safety in favour of spending less and as a result more and more British businesses are shutting down because we want to spend money abroad. This has had an impact on the British economy, for which I could go on and explain my views, but for now I'd like to promote to the consumer to buy British and if possible buy local. 

The more we spend back into the country, the greater our economy will grow and the prices for products here will eventually start to come down.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A passion ignited?

Met a stranger today, a lovely lady who shared something truly personal about her life. As I sat listening to her story, I suddenly felt overwhelmed with sadness, and thought I might actually cry, right there in front of her. It's been quite a while since I last listened to something so horrifying. However, I clawed back the tears with my own sense of realisation that this is about her and not me and continued to let her off load.

I'm not going to share what she told me or why I was overwhelmed as it's not appropriate right now, but I'd like to share what I learnt from today. I feel a small passion igniting inside and that maybe I could get back into counselling and anger management and offer my services once more. 

I do feel as though my passion to help people emotionally has always been like a pilot light, on all the time, but that was just it, a pilot light. A pilot light can't heat water or warm a house, it needs gas to fire it up so it can do its job. 

Maybe the conversation with this lady was the gas I needed to light my passion again to set up an intervention service for emotional well-being. 

I'm not sure.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Successful breastfeeding?

Out of the four children I have, my eldest son is the only one I didn't try to breast feed. I was quite young and the shock of having my body taken over by raging hormones, extra fat to carry and a foreign body inside me, completely freaked me out and prompted thoughts that the continuation of sharing my body through breastfeeding after my baby was born, filled me with dread. So, I had already decided to bottle feed as soon as he was here. 

Fortunately for me, I wasn't in the company of other mothers who breast fed and my support network didn't express their feelings that breast was best either, so I didn't have any shame or guilt for not breast feeding my new baby. Bottle feeding him allowed me to have my body back, well, a modified version of pre-pregnancy. It also empowered my husband to bond with him, especially during the night feeds. Yay for me. 

However, by the time I had my second son, and felt a little less selfish, I decided to try and breast feed him when he arrived. I found it distressing as he didn't latch on properly, which was also quite painful. I also wasn't sure whether he was having enough milk, therefore I lasted just two days before turning to bottle feeding. 

Then, by the time I was pregnant with my third child, experts had expressed that breast was best. I was also part of a group of mums who all breast fed or was breast feeding. I felt it was important to really try and breast fed this time and when my daughter was born, the first thing I requested was for her to latch on, (I had read before hand that this was important to increase the chances of breast feeding successfully). However, I wasn't very successful and when my milk came in three days later, the pain was so unbearable that I reverted to bottle feeding again. 

I had very supportive friends who had reassured me that the first three days of breast milk, called colostrum, were the best that my baby could have anyway. This comforted me, by I felt like a complete failure.

Then, during my last pregnancy with my forth child, I once again decided that I wanted to breast fed. So I immersed myself in books, literature and conversed with a friend who was also a breast feeding mentor on the best techniques in successful breast feeding. I felt confident at the prospect of breast feeding my last baby.

When she arrived, I encouraged her to latch on. I was so sure it would work this time. But again, by the third day, when my milk came in, I was overcome with the pain in my breast.  My breast were so large, that positioning her was also difficult. I would have preferred child birth than breast feeding, so once again, bottle feeding it was. I felt like I'd truly failed and became envious of other mothers who could do it. 

It's not all bad though, my children are very fit and healthy, so bottle feeding them did them no harm. If I could do it all again, I would still try to breast feed and I'd encourage all new mums to try to. Encourage is the appropriate word here, and not to judge. It is the mum's decision what's best for her and her baby, but for those who do decide to breast feed, I have made a breast feeding reminder bracelet available here which is easily transferred from wrist to wrist with one hand (so mum can continue to hug baby). 


I have been told by mother's who've breast fed that they often can't remember which breast to use next, therefore, they are my inspiration for the bracelet. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In a magazine

I've been a subscriber to a magazine called Craftseller for a months now and every time I receive the latest issue in the post, I like to take my time in reading it so to try and make it last the month until the next issue comes. I'm still reading the last issue and received the next issue yesterday so thought I should get on and finish the last copy. 

Little did I know, that there is a small article about me regarding some pinking shears my nan gave me. I've had that magazine the whole time and didn't even know I was in it.


A couple weeks ago another writer of the magazine contacted me to do a feature of me for the magazine. She interviewed me and I sent her some recent photos of myself and my products, so hopefully I'll be in the magazine again in the future with a little more detail about me and Momatuvi.   

Monday, July 15, 2013

A crafting community??



Being part of a community gives me an enormous sense of belonging. I am part of my own family community, I am a member of my local church community and I've also found myself becoming part of a crafting community. 

Although, I don't know many of the other crafters personally or intimately, sharing a common interest in crafting brings us together as a community. And since we have the internet, we are able to share, support and encourage each other virtually. Whether that be through reading each others blogs, communication through relevant forums or even dropping each other a 'like' on a Facebook page. 

However, I can't help but wonder how much of it all is sincere. I mean, it's all very nicey, nicey. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but my real-life friends tell me the truth about my work, in a, "hmm-yes, that's nice" (to which I interpret that as 'what the heck have you made?' by which I can say to them, "you don't really like it, do you?" and then they nod and it goes on from there until finally we're talking about something else and our friendship remains the same) 

And at other times I get the "flipping heck, that's amazing, you're so talented" and I go away thinking, it ain't that great, gees. I don't think that my real friends appreciate what I've made quite the same as my virtual friends in the crafting community. Are my real-life friends just jaded by the fact that they already know me quite well? We've already infested time into each other and our relationship is good. Perhaps they are seeing things through a loving perspective rather than a realistic one. I don't know.

I believe my virtual friends are sincere, it's almost like an unspoken nod in agreement or virtual pat on the back when we leave encouraging messages. How can we be so nice to each other? But every now and then, the written word can be misconstrued and what one person might be trying to say, gets interpreted incorrectly by another. I've noticed this happening on certain crafting forums where someone gets upset and takes things the wrong way, and then other members take sides. It's amazing how us humans have the ability to take sides with people we don't really know. 

I try not to get involved in those sorts of disputes as I'm not very good at putting myself across correctly in a literal manner, and also, I can't hug it out over the internet, which is what I'd prefer to do. 

One of the main things I love about a crafting community, we all share the desire to express ourselves artistically, creatively and maybe, we all want our work to be at least appreciated, if not liked.


Thursday, July 04, 2013

Friends forever.

These are my buddies from school. It's amazing that we are all still so very close. The guy in the middle is my husband. We married when we were teenagers and he is still my best friend. We are together at another friend's Mexican theme party.



These sheriffs are looking for a Mexican impersonator. Sadly, they never managed to find her. Probably because one of the sheriffs leads a double life as an impersonator.
WANTED - Mexican impersonator.



Monday, June 24, 2013

Birthday button necklace

I made this necklace and earring set for my friend's birthday. Not only did she love it, but my other friend's have asked me to make them one each. Looks like I'll be very busy for a while.