when reality bites… and the taste is bittersweet.

i seem to be having one of those days. where everything is getting me down and i cant see the rainbows. im so sick of being sick, and tired and drugged up. how did my life go from being a young person to being this sad shadow who cant leave the house because of medication side effects. Ive been sick my whole life with one thing or another and i thought, maybe just maybe i had gotton to a point where i was going to be ok. and this happened, FIbromyalgia. i was going ok, it was managable, and now i feel like im just spiralling down until there nothing left of the person I was. 
I was a happy bubbly bright and clever young person. I enjoyed so many things, and I did everything I could, horse ridding, judo, car racing, gymnastics, singing, reading everything i could get my hands on. before I was 20 I had worked in many different areas and enjoyed learning new things, having new experiences.
I’ve studied cooking, personal care, massage, naturopathy and now fashion design. I love what Im studying, i enjoy it and im actually half good at it. only I am not about to enjoy it as much as I could and should because my body is betraying me. Most days are manageable, pain levels don’t interrupt too much of what I am doing, other days the pain is so bad its hard to have a coherent thought. or maybe its the fatigue that will stop me from being able to get up, or being able to carry my hand bag on the 10minute walk to the train without feeling like i must have a handful of bricks in there.  then again, maybe its the train ride where the delightful feeling of nausea will make me want to pass out and go green in the face. or maybe its that person ont he train who openly judges me for taking a seat or for having the gall to ask for a seat when i look healthy and fine. 

Everyday is a battle, and everyday that I manage do something, anything, I WIN. everyday that i manage to get thru without a breakdown is a day that i WIN. today im not winning so much as going to be getting one of those pesky participation awards. 

Today Im sad for the things that i want to be able to do and cant, for the life of things ive dreamt of doing and will never be able to. for the opportunities i’ve had to pass over because i know that if i tried to do it, I would pay for it with a week in bed trying to recuperate. im sad because I would like to be out celebrating my husbands birthday instead of laying in bed because everything I get up i nearly pass out. Im sad because he deserves so much that i simply cannt give him while I am like this. and im sad because i dont know if I will get better. 

you see while i am typing this I am desperately trying not to look at the words on the screen because they keep jumbling and making me dizzy, and making me confused. and then my head goes all funny and it gets very hard to concentrate or look at anything. This isnt just because of Fibro, its partly because of the medications that Im on to try and treat Fibro. I’ve been at home all week trying to deal with the side effects and trying desperately to get the dosage sorted out so i can get back to some semblance of a life.  I want to be in classes, learning and making presentations rather then sitting at home waiting to see what fun side effect or symptom will happen next. 

Id love to leave this on an upward note, but im just not feeling quite so up. so instead Ill leave you with a bible verse that I find to be relevant to me in my times of struggle.

Romans 8:18 “I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.”

The Lord is good in promises and he loves us, though we doubt and question, he is steadfast and will never leave us. 

i guess, even in my darkest days I know God is there for me. I might at times wonder why i feel like im drowning in sorrow and sadness but i know that one way or another He will reveal to me something wonderful. somedays i just have to search longer and look harder.

ps.  i never really know where my posts are going until they happen. 😀 

the un-joys of chronic illness

I seem to be having one of those days where i just don’t have the energy to do anything. I should have done homework or sewing or i should have done the dishes. i feel bad that i didn’t do any housework, i didn’t do any homework, i did nothing that was helpful or useful all day. i sat here on my couch after i woke up at lunch time and did nothing. and i feel bad for it.

I wish i had the energy to do things, to actually want to clean my house or do my homeowkr, which i would actually enjoy when i get into it, i just dont have the energy to do any of it. its a hard truth to accept and be ok with, and im not sure that I am ok with it but i might be on my way to getting there one day soon. Im not sure how to be ok with not having the energy or get up n go to do things. i feel lazy. and maybe some of it is laziness but mostly its chronic fatigue and pain from fibromyalgia.

yesterday was a long day and not a fantastic one at that. i am still getting used to the idea that one bad day can kick me for a week. even a full nights sleep and half a days sleep in, can still leave me tired and sleepy.

i knew that if i were to do something today, i would have to pick only one. dishes or homework. i wouldnt be able to do both and not be a pile of sludge like jelly. and of course the actually thinking of all this made me so tired and that reminded me that i needed to make lunch to have some energy. and all this thinking and eating made me tired!!! how is this a life? i tell you this was the most un-usefull day ever.

and now i still have my dishes staring me in the face and my homework hiding in a bag where it can’t stare at me, but is still crying out to be done. and now i feel even worse for sitting in a chair all day long being tired and sore. and I know my hubby will be home soon and I will need to make dinner and to do that, i need to do the dishes.

sorry for it being such a negative post but life is real and its not as pretty and fun as you want it to be. sometimes it would be nice to not be unhealthy all the time, and be just a normal average everyday person.

ra ra ra… Pity Party… admit one.

so, im going to have a whinge, sign off now if you don’t want to hear a first world girl whinging about first world problems because I wont apologise for holding this pity party.

Im 25, and am sick of being the ‘patient.’ all my life i’ve been sick, i got the 24hr virus for like a week, always got every strain of the flu that goes around (skipped the Swine and Bird Flu thankfully), have a crappy immune system even though it doesn’t show that on blood tests. I ended up on crutches when i was in like year 5, and have been on and off them ever since because i have crappy knees, i spent most of high school on crutches, I use a walking stick now. its cooler then crutches… maybe. I have always had allergies that cause problems, like on my honey moon in Fiji, i seemed to be allergic to the bottled water. how ridiculous is that! my penicillin allergy was so bad and uncommon it apparently got me into a textbook.
ive always had random muscle aches and joint pain. its always been written off as growing pains and general/normal problems. that or the docs think im a hypochondriac… which im sure they do.
Now i’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia by my Physio, ive spent way too much money on physio, massage, acupuncture, medication and home treatments (Epsom salts, radox etc). however this list is going to keep growing and getting longer. and now I need to see a Rheumatologist, which is fair enough, but its so expensive. They need to rule out things like Lupus, which runs in my family as does Fibromyalgia and other auto-immune problems.

I’m just getting annoyed with all the doctors bills and pain, neither of which go away and both of which are pissing me off.

then there is uni. I love studying fashion design. I’ve studied several different things and finally found something that i like and can see doing as a job. except now bcause of my neck and back pain im finding it super difficult to be able to attend some of my classes and keep up with my homework. not only is the physical pain a problem, but the brain fog is getting silly, i struggle to keep things straight, i have the worst memory ever and keep forgetting what i have or haven’t done with homework, or i just forget it altogether. lists no longer help because i forget where i put them or to check them. my uni are trying to be helpful but meh they cant offer much help at all.

like being a girl isnt enough to deal with. i have allergies that are getting worse all the time, the list is growing too it seems.  i wear orthodics so i have one pair of shoes, only one. granted they are Dr Martens, but its hard not being able to have fun with things like that. allergic to acrylic… so no nail polish, no fake nails, no hair dye, no make up, one pair of shoes, restriction of fabrics, food and places sometime too. im sort of an artist (fashion designer), and can pretty much only use watercolours – good thing i like them, but art class was hard when i had a full body reaction to an oil pastel that freaked my teacher out so bad. full body itch rash, went red in my face, started heating up, within 30-40 mins my throat started to be compromised. its getting ridiculous. it took my nails almost 6 months to recover from having no-acrylic fake nails put on, i assume the glue had something slightly acrylic in it.

 

im getting sick of being a patient. and of being sick all the time. apparently it ain’t gonna stop any time soon. im tired, so very very tired.

Karlu Karlu Collection

 

if you’d asked me a week ago what the Karlu Karlu was I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you. but i can now. its an Australian Desert where the Devils Marbles are, that is a very funky rock formation where these round and oblong rocks are all piled higeldy pigeldy on top of each other. its really quite something to look at. It was a favourite place to visit on our holidays as kids.

So why am i telling you this. Because i’m doing a business assessment where i have to pitch a fashion collection to a potential buyer and try to get them to place an order to stock my label in their store. So my collection is inspired by the Devils Marbles in the Karlu kalru desert, thus ive called the Spring Summer range ‘Karlu Karlu.’

Big thanks to my Uncle Paul for having the most incredible photo of the Devils Marbles here in the panoramas folder. Check out his other amazing photos of Australia!  http://wildfoto.smugmug.com/Scenery

Devils Marbles

So this collection is Spring Summer, it contains 5 outfits, 14 garments. which meant 14 costing sheets, 14 spec sheets, a 15 or so page look book and a 3page price list. Each garment comes in a range of fabrics and depending on the fabric will depend on the imaginary factory that it comes from. I chose to have village factories in Kenya, Guatemala and Timor Leste, which meant I needed to find what the basic minimum wage is in each country and then convert to Aus dollar and work with that. Plus I want to pay fair trade prices so that makes it more intesting – I’m still not sure if im managed that, but I chose to pay above the hourly minimum wage per garment, so assuming they can make more then one shirt/jean an hour then that should be ok right?

 

Its so interesting trying to work this stuff out, as a student as a school where FairTrade and Ethical fashion is not really appreciated, or … well I am the only one who is focusing on that and making sure that my actual collection that I am making will be FairTrade, sustainable and Ethically sourced. The idea is to have a transparent supply chain so that it can be independently audited and anyone can find out if I treat the people in my supply chain with the respect they deserve by paying fair living wages, making sure they work in a safe environment and that they are using sustainable sources.

 

So much information and its all just for a made up imaginary collection! maybe i will have to make this collection one day! there are some cute bits in it! pics to come later- after its all handed in and marked and stuff!

 

suffice it to say its been a long day! and I have much more to complete tomorrow to get it finished! but im pulling Kudo’s to me for getting so much done today 😀

 

tomorrow i shall indulge in my fair trade chocolate from Cadbury. Finally they have at least one flavour that is FairTrade!

 

Good night dear people who actually read my humble little blog! this little bug is off to laa laa land.

 

rant time!

Easter. A time for mourning, for remembering, then a time for rejoicing and celebrating.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

The Lord died for us to forgive our sins, crucified by us, for us. He will rise again. For 3 days he was buried, before he rose to save us. He lives again so we can live again. He will come again in glory to judge the living and dead.

I always remember a song that we sang at my church when I was a kid. It was a favourite of mine.

We BelieveGraham Kendrick

We believe in God the Father,
Maker of the universe,
And in Christ His Son our Saviour,
Come to us by virgin birth.
We believe He died to save us,
Bore our sins, was crucified.
Then from death He rose victorious,
Ascended to the Father’s side.

Jesus, Lord of all, Lord of all,
Jesus, Lord of all, Lord of all,
Jesus, Lord of all, Lord of all,
Jesus, Lord of all, Lord of all.
Name above all names,
Name above all names.
Name above all names.

We believe He sends His Spirit,
On His church with gifts of power.
God His word of truth affirming,
Sends us to the nations now.
He will come again in glory,
Judge the living and the dead.
Every knee shall bow before Him,
Then must every tongue confess.

_____________________________

 

Uni has been crazy. so many assessments, not enough time! Im designing my signature collection at the moment. It feels very important to get every detail perfect since we will be spending the rest of this year making this collection. Trying to find ethically sourced natural fabrics and dyes.

This thursday the 24th is Fashion Revolution Day. Its the anniversary of the Rana Plaza textile factory collapse in Bangladesh. There are many events happening to commemorate this anniversary and to change the future so that nothing like this happens again. We are asking ‘Who makes your clothes?” and ‘what is the true cost of them?’ We want to bring light to what is happening all around our world.

Thursday at 630, at Bar Nancy in Northcote, Melbourne, there will be a Fashion Swap. bring fresh laundered clothes to swap. There will be performances by many bands, one have even written a song in memory of those who died. Check it out. https://www.facebook.com/events/1478791652338838/

Check on this group to find events nearer to you around the world. https://www.facebook.com/fashionrevolution.org?fref=ts

Im hoping to attend some lectures / Q&A sessions at RMIT this week that are about living ethically.

 

On another topic. Im annoyed by our Metro system, the lifts at my station are not working, haven’t been working properly for over a month and wont be fixed for at least a month – waiting for parts to come from overseas. Not a problem, right? … except that there are no ramps or any other disabled access. So for those of us who find it difficult or impossible to climb a zillion stairs twice a day, life just got hard. they say that they will provide taxis to the next station, and then reimburse us for zone 2 travel once everything has been fixed. im just sooo annoyed and I know im not the only one. there are so many many people who are being affected by this. I just hope I wont be too late to classes etc while its all being fixed.

 

anywho, thats my rant for this week.

 

 

timing, oh such perfect timing

 

you know those moments, those perfectly timed events, happenings. well sometimes I think I must be blessed with an abundance of those special moments.

one happened to me just before christmas. you see, there’s this book that i saw on my mums bookshelf when i was a child. the title always intrigued me but i always thought it looked to grown up for me, plus it looked like such a special and old book that i didnt want to break it. Even once i grew up into a good little bookworm, it never seemed the right time to read this book. Then one day, on my first ever trip to tasmania I was visiting some friends i hadnt seen in a very long time, and we went into town and to a bookshop. now i cant remember the name of the shop, but I did love it. a comprehensive shop that integrated a fantastic range of christian books with general books, there really aren’t many stores that do it so well. anywho, so i saw this book on the shelf in this super awesome book store (in Ulverstone by the way, in case you want to visit it 😛 ) and knew that my friends would absolutely love it, despite the fact that i hadn’t read it at this point. When i got back to their house, i passed their bookshelf and saw they had 3 copies of said book. oops! should have checked before i bought it! or maybe not. you see, I think the Lords timing is perfect and incredible. He wanted me to buy this book and knew that this was the perfect time for me to read it. so now that i had said book, and it wouldn’t make a great gift for people who have 3 copies of it, i decided to read it.

‘Hinds Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard

this incredible book. well it gave me new perspectives and changed how i look and do a lot of things. read it. christian or no, this book is incredible. It is about the human struggle, how we cope with everything life throws at us, and how God is at the center of everything. the two biggest lessons that resonated with me are ‘Acceptance-with-Joy’ and ‘Bearing-the-cost.’ You see, everything that happens to use, good or bad should be accepted with joy. good things should be joyful because they are good, but we should also be joyful when the not so good things happen to us. You see, it is only through adversity and hardship that we can truly and honestly appreciate the good things. ‘Rejoice always’ 1 Thessalonians 5:16,

Romans 12:12 ‘be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.’
Bearing the cost, is akin to forgiveness. when things happen to us, we should holdfast, be patient and faithful. bear the pain with forgiveness to whomever/whatever caused the pain, to continue to love no matter what.

 

In my life, such a privileged life, an incredible loving family, a wonderful husband, a joyful life. I have always had health problems, my whole life, as a child and teenager, I never understood it, why I was always so sick. Im not sure I do now either, but I have known for a long time that it is only through my retreating health that I am the person I am today, and that God will do incredible things through my illnesses.

 

My mum recently posted me the second book, ‘The Mountains of Spices.’ Hannah Hurnard is such an intensely amazing author. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but already one things has resonated with me so very much.

Somewhere in the 2nd 3rd of the book (i tried to find it again but no luck right now), she quotes Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
I feel that right now, is again one of my times of need. He delivered this book to me in my time of need. Books are often a great way for God to talk to me, you see because I am a bookworm. I resonate with novels. I love that ” 
in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

This is one of my favourite poems / songs from the book.

IMG_3314

 

***********************

In acceptance lieth peace,
O my heart be still;
Let thy restless worries cease
And accept his will.
Though this test be not thy choice,
It is his — therefore rejoice.
In his plan there cannot be
Aught to make thee sad:
If this is his choice for thee,
Take it and be glad.
Make from it some lovely thin
To the glory of thy King.
Cease from sighs and murmuring,
Sing his loving grace,
This thing means thy furthering
To a wealthy place.
From thy fears he’ll give release,
In acceptance lieth peace

 

********************************

This poem is very calming, it makes me glad, helps me know to and understand that even when I am hurting or suffering God loves me and I should rejoice because he is giving me a way of showing his love to others when i am in pain. People often see God in good things, but don’t see him in the bad things, sometimes I am given the opportunity to share his love when people will see it the least. its hard, but i love it.

 

Have you ever had one of these perfectly timed moments? Have you read this book? or another like it? tell me about them.

 

my crazy life

so, I’ve been gone a while, not a great starting path for my blog. but going back to full time uni is such a big thing, especially when its final year. which in itself is a huge accomplishment for me, I’m a starter, love starting new projects etc, but not a great finisher though. so, we’ve been doing an assignment that is massive, and its finally completed. My submission for the Arts of Fashion Foundation Competition is posted and on its way to San Francisco. its scary and exciting. the prizes are scholarships and internships to some of the top fashion colleges in the world. the first prize winner from last year is from my uni and his work was insanely amazing!

the theme this year for the competition is Perspective, my concept from that is ‘what you see is NOT what you get.’ we, collectively, live in a privileged society, and the things that we see, that we take for granted, are not as pure and honest as we would think. for instance, we see chocolate; we think sweets, valentines day and comfort food. what we don’t see is the slavery and human trafficking that is involved with the cocoa industry, and its certainly not the only industry that is involved with such a problem. how about the palm oil industry, famous for destroying the habitat of endangered animals, orangutans, but there are many more animals who are disappearing because of industrial irresponsibility. then there is the conflict diamonds. what we associate with love, weddings and the ultimate romanic symbol, is really a spark showing the death of so many who were invovled with pulling the tiny little pressed carbon jewel from the earth. those who mine and sift for diamonds don;t have a great survival rate, and diamonds are often smuggled and sold to raise money for war, rebellion, and this industry too condones slavery and trafficking. Why, on earth do we partake in products that condone these types of activities. these inhumanities and disgraceful practices.
My designs are big, bold and very in your face statements. big princess style gowns in delicate silks and tulles, think cinderella, then on them are silhouettes or (sometimes) subtle hints at the atrocities that are happening in our world. things that we can change, if we make a stand.

 

so on the other side of my crazy life is that my health is yet again on the rocky side. fibromyalgia. its a big word, and big concept to get my mind around. so now comes the hard part, working out how to live with it and what to do for pain management. yoga, lots of yoga. massages, bike riding and water aerobics. but for a student, this is very expensive. i know I’m not the only one who has to deal with so many things at once, but it is so not easy. how do people deal with full time schedules (for me uni), as well as trying to be a good wife, home maker, and make time to do exercise.

so anyway, that is for me for now.

ttfn.

tulle, chocolate and life!

 

Im on work experience at the Australian Ballet working in their wardrobe department. Its amazing! I’ve pulled apart and repaired tutus and long skirts, a highly boned bodice, even a train-skirt, all for the rehearsals of Manon, which I now very much want to see as the costumes are incredible! Today I started working on some new knickers for the ballerinas, not something I’ve ever made before, especially since these are specialised for ballet, its quite interesting!! But its something new and exciting and I’m having such an amazing time!! There is a performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Friday night and I got to have a good look at some of the costumes for that!! Can’t wait to watch the performance, one act from three different ballets will be performed I believe.

A quick shout to ‘Loving Earth’ chocolate, its vegan and the flavour I tried is with coconut mylk! its darker then I am used to but its very yummy! and a good start to my goal of being 100% dairy free by the end of this year, at the moment I’m probably about 85-90% dairy free. yes a long time for a food goal but chocolate is  hard thing to give up!!

Loving Earth have some amazing sounding chocolate flavours, try some and let me know what you think of them!!! Loving Earth have a whole range of organic fair trade foods that are very healthy, including things like superfoods – Bee Pollen, Wild Lemongrass Bush Tea and many more! Lots of things I haven’t heard of or haven’t tried before. A great resource if you want to learn more about superfoods and living a healthier, organic and sustainable life!

https://lovingearth.net/

Also to ‘People for Plants,’ an Australian Certified Organic skin care range! I am allergic to acrylics and vitamin E so finding skincare i can use is hard. I happened across PFP in december and I love it!! Its worth having a look for in your local pharmacy or Priceline. Their website is very informative and helpful too! Let me know what your favourite organic ranges are!

http://www.peopleforplants.com.au/

Well thats it for me today! off to lala land before another big day at the ballet!!

TTFN

Designers block

You know those days when things just seem to hard, and your totally bored, but then you try doing something, being creative and you still feel miserable? Today is another of those days. I tried designing something new, tried working in my Uni work, tried just sitting down and sewing something, nothing felt right and nothing happened with any of them. No creative juice, nada. I guess this is what writers block feels like only with fashion design… And all things creative…
It’s my last day of holidays, I start a week internship next week and I’m excited for it, really I am, and yet I can’t even be bother going outside because well what would I do? Where would I go?

Guess I’m just having one of those days.
On a plus side, I did watch Frozen today for the first time, great movie!!
Also watched Brave and Atlantis. Bit of a Disney/Pixar day 🙂
Now I’m having sleepy snuggles with Ewok on the couch, again. There’s something so sweet and comforting with having a fur-baby choose to fall asleep on you!!

Uni holidays a.k.a Hibernation

It’s the last week of my Uni holidays, then I have a week interning in the Australian Ballet costume department!! I’m very exited! I have no idea what I will be doing there but I’m not sure I mind that, I think it will be a fantastic opportunity, no matter what I end up doing.
Over this 3month holiday, my first decently long holiday since I started my Fashion Design course, I have had my first trip to Tasmania. I quite like it, very pretty, and I got to catch up with some family friends I hadn’t seen for many many years. I was also bridesmaid at a friends wedding, a privilege and an honour. I am looking forward to seeing the photos from their wedding!
Then I got to spend some time with some of my husbands family in NSW. I relished the chance to see the few I had already met, and meet the ones I hadn’t. I got to meet a cousins baby, such an incredible little munchkin, all full of giggles and smiles. We visited my husbands fathers family for Christmas, 5years married and this is the first time I had met this side of the family. I finally realised where the crazy gene comes into play. My family and my in-laws are all very blessed with the crazy sense of humour genes, I worry for the children we will have for their sense of humour is likely to be very, very odd.

So, back to my holidays, I’m not sure what January involved except for a lot of shut eye. I think my body needed to catch up on sleep from the past 18months and I’m hoping I’ve now got some sleep reserves for this final year of uni. As all university students will attest to, sleep is a valuable and rare commodity. February has also been a sleep restoration month, but I have managed to come out of hibernation for a day or two here and there.

I’ve recently started attending a yoga class at the local women’s gym. I find it quite relaxing, then almost over stimulating then back to relaxing and centering. 4weeks done, 8to go.

I have been able to help out with some runway events. I quite enjoyed the Undress runway, which is all about sustainable clothing. I loved learning that there are so many designers who are advocating for sustainable and Eco aware supplies. One day I would feel very privileged to have a brand that could be classed as fair trade, with sustainable and Eco aware supplies.

For now, in my last year of fashion design, I would love to use sustainable fabrics where possible. I’m yet to find suppliers though. any suggestions would be welcome, must be either in Melbourne or able to ship to Melbourne without too much cost.

That might be it from me for today. I think I shall go give my kitten, Ewok some cuddles and watch some Enterprise. Might need to get some cocoa loco tea and coconut yoghurt for afternoon tea.

TTFN