It is no secret that I grew up on a farm; having all of what is needed for sustenance readily available. Despite having lived in Suva for the past thirteen years, I still depend on the farm for a lot. My parents still send over weekly packages of fruits and vegetables for us. Its a labour of love for them; so much so that even the limited time they spend at our place, much of it is spent tending to our new garden.
In last weeks installment of fresh produce out of my parents farm, much to my delight I find a big bottle of coconut oil. I use coconut oil mainly for moisturising skin and hair, and when in abundance, in my body scrubs. Well, now I have an abundance of coconut oil so I thought I will make myself some body scrub.
My go to exfoliant is ground coffee, I just love the smell of it. Plus it gives me something to do with the used up coffee grounds. The recipe is verly simple. You will need:
1 part ground coffee
1 part sugar
1 part coconut oil
2 tablespoon cocoa powder [optional] or
a few drops of chocolate extract
Do keep in mind, if you are using used coffee grounds it is best to dry them in the oven prior to use. Any water contamination makes the scrub go bad. The same goes for using the scrub – it is best to used a dry spoon to scoop it out.
After I was done with my coffee scrubs, I thought to try my hand at salt scrubs. During my last trip to Nepal, I had bought a few packs of pink Himalayan rock salt which I decided to finally put to use. For my rock salt scrub, I used the following:
2 parts finely ground pink Himalayan rock salt
1 part coconut oil
a few drops of lavender essential oil [optional]
All you have to do is mix them all together and store in a clean dry jar. Do keep in mind, if you want your scrubs to last longer, do not contaminate with water.
I ended up making a lot of the mocha sugar scrub, so if you are looking for one for yourself or to gift, you can find them for sale on my e-store here.
It has been a long time since I last stitched, or wrote here for that matter. So one fine day when I got the urge to design and stitch, I was not gonna suppress it. Never mind it was at 11am on a Wednesday morning while I was at work. I took a half day leave and went home to bask in the glory of my creativity 😀
Lucky for me, there is always fabric in stock at home; thanks to my favourite supplier of plain and stretchy fabrics – Atlas, Valelevu. Since it had been some time since my last stitch and my machine has started to give me trouble, I choose a $2 metre fabric which I wont feel bad ruining.
I thought of a fairly simple design and give it a look of sophistication by adding an overlap piece to the front slit. It didn’t take too long to stitch but boy am I impressed with the results. Paired with a statement belt and cute sandals, I took this dress from the morning to the night! All in all, it was well worth using the half day from my vacation leave.
A couple of years back I bought a little succulent plant from the ROC market in Suva. I am not much of a gardener nor am I a lover of all plants. My love is limited to palms, ferns, succulents, and cacti. And it seems my skills in keeping plants alive is even more limited. However for some reason, succulents thrive in my little urban garden. So much so that I have to keep on giving them away every few months so that I have at least one cups worth of space on my coffee table.
To keep the plants in check, I trim them every now and then. The trims and leaves form new plants. And new plants require new planters. So I took to reusing old cups, and chipped dishes as planters, and soon I ran out of them. I also used peanut cans as planters, but that wasn’t enough. So then I had the bright idea of using food cans [especially tuna cans].
I collected the cans over a few months to have enough to transplant a bunch of succulents. Its important to peel off the label before cutting the can open otherwise the paper gets stuck in the upper bit of the can. Once the cans were clean and dry, I sprayed them with my golden spray paint. Let them dry and wallah!…I had myself some pretty looking planters for my tiny succulents.
Succulents make great party favours. I have previously used store bought plastic planters, and gave them a rustic look with brown paper and strings. But these golden onces really up the game.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning when I found myself [yet again] in Atlas somehow. To tell you the truth, it isn’t at all coincidental that we park in MHCC for our Saturday trips to the Suva market; it makes for an easy detour to Atlas 🙂
What caught my eye on this particular Saturday were these rolls of jersey fabric going for $4 a metre. Now, if you have read about my previous projects you would know that I LOVE stretchy fabric. It has the advantage of a fitted piece without worrying too much about zippers. Anyways, I bought a grey and maroon piece to be transformed into overlap dresses.
The end results were slightly different from what I had set out to do. Firstly, I wasn’t sure the hanging overlap would look as good as it does in the sketch and secondly, I decided I wanted to wear the maroon piece to work, so I added shoulders.
It has been a while since my last project. Keeping a work-life balance is difficult sometimes. And sometimes, I am lazy.
Eventhough lazy, create I must. So I have been working on simple shift dresses. Over the last few months of 2016, I had been hoarding fabric. I had bought multiple prints in only one meter pieces. Initally I had though I would make blouses out of these (I am becoming a pant person) but assessing the amount of fabric that would be leftover and potentially unuseable, I decided against it. Went with shift dresses instead.
These dresses are simple to cut and stitch. I have previously made a few without sleeves, but the fabric width allowed sleeves so I went for it. Of the seven prints, 3 were of similar fabric, soft and flowy; and these are the ones which I transformed into summer shifts.
While planning for our trip to Europe in August, I desperately searched for a long coat. One that wasn’t too thick but would still provide some cover on a chilly evening. Needless to say, I didn’t find anything to my liking anywhere in Suva.
Since I had already set my mind on a long coat, I couldn’t shake off the idea. So, I created one 🙂
Its a simple make, but took me a good 3 hours to cut and stitch as I had never made a coat before. I have since then taken every opportunity to sport the SJmade piece around the world!
Some years back while in Bali, I got greedy and bought more Batik fabric than I needed. The prints were so intricate and the fabric itself was so soft, I couldn’t help myself. After making a few pieces to wear, I thought to make a wall hanging of one of the prints. These were after all meant to be souvenirs.
I had pallet wood leftover from another project so all I had to do was measure, cut and staple.
Once the frame was set, all I did was to drape the fabric around and use the staple gun to pin it in place. And then, I had a lovely wall hanging which would remind me of time spend sipping coffee in Ubud.
What is one to do when they inherit their grandfathers’ armchair and doesn’t have a table to go with it? Well, you create one of course! I had some pallet wood leftover from my last project which I had wanted to use up. So I set to work, working out how to maximise the resources at hand.
Once pulled apart, and cut to measure, it took another 7 months before I would revisit this project.
Fury likes to inspect my work ensuring the nails are straight and the base balanced.
I didn’t do any research on wood stains, so I ended up with something that totally covered the raw look of the wood. It matters not though, the stain covered up the pallet labels and some odd stains. Did you read that? The stain covered up the stains 😀
To match the coffee table I had to stain the armchair, which we can agree was in dire need of an upgrade.
And when all is done, dried, and dusted, I have myself a lovely little space to enjoy my morning coffees.
I think I have professed my love for polka dots in a previous post, so I will just get started on the pieces I created.
This fabric was bought and stitched more than a year ago but I only got around to wearing the dress this week! The design is very similar to the white dress for my civil union, just the skirt is a hi-low cut.
The leftover fabric was of course utilised and was turned into a blouse. The neckline is a bit of a cowl design, a bit; with a bow.
Not bad for a 3 metre fabric costing FJD18 now is it?