Be Inspired: Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

To say that I love Maya Angelou is an understatement. She was the epitome of a strong woman. She knew herself and was unapologetic about who she was or what she believed in. Her poems inspire me not to be bewildered by my circumstances, but to rise above them and be the best person that I can be.

Here is…Caged Bird…

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill 
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom. 

Live Every Day As If It Is Your Last

There are so many things that go wrong on a daily basis, so many people who lose their lives, so many people who discover they have a terminal illness every day…conversely, there are people who take advantage of their blessings every day, people who make it their goal in life to destroy someone, break someone or take advantage of someone.

In this day and age, on this the 323rd day of the 2015th year of our Lord when car bombings, mass shootings and kidnappings are apart of everyday live, when someone being gang raped is no longer shocking, on this day, take a minute and give thanks for all the blessings in your life. Give God thanks for your friends, your family (even the jealous ones who wishes you no good) and the fact that you get a chance to experience life for another day, to love another day. Enjoy every moment you have, give God thanks because you don’t know when you will be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

…Selah!

DIY: Transform a Skirt into a Strapless Peplum Blouse

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I love clothes, I love finding unique pieces that are cute and versatile. However, in this economic climate, sustaining my love of tea length skirts and peplum blouses are not top ten on my monthly budget. I, like most fashionistas-in-the-making are on a tight budget. With this hurdle, I have to either do without my retail fix, or find new cheap ways of making it happen, the answer…DIY!

Yes honey (in my Tamar voice), DIY is here to the rescue! I thank God for the day Pintrest was created. There are so many DIY projects just waiting to be attempted. I am not particularly crafty, but I am good with my hands, and I love turning things I envision into reality. I haven’t really attempted a project of this nature before, I was anxiously excited.

I wasn’t too sure how it would turn out, but I tried. And I loved the end result, you will too with a little effort and patience. If I did it, so can you! Here are the steps:

Step # 1 – Select the right Skirt

Select a skirt that is at least 1 ½ times the size of your breast. The skirt you choose must also be long enough to make the frilly peplum ends. The skirt fabric should be one that would not unravel when cut. I chose polyester – cotton blend fabric.

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 Step # 2 – Remove waist and zipper from Skirt

I chose a skirt with an elastic waist, so there was no hassle removing the waist. If you have another type of difficult-to-remove-waist in your skirt, simply cut off the waist completely. After removing the waist, remove the zipper gently. Keep the zipper; you may be able to reuse it.

Elastic

This should be the result:

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Step # 3 – Cut the Bodice and bottom of Peplum

Cut the fabric in two halves – One for the bodice and the other for the peplum. To get a snug fit, ensure that you do an accurate measurement of your bust.

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Measure your bust and add 2 inches on each side (back & front) for the zipper and other adjustments. Ensure that the bodice stops at the navel. To cut the bottom part of the peplum blouse, get a similar peplum blouse; trace the peplum on your cut fabric, cut as accurately as possible. Your finished product should look like a semi-circle when folded, and a full circle with a little circle in the middle when opened.

circle

 

Step # 4 – Add Zipper and Darts to bodice

Use the top half of the skirt for the bodice, iron out all previous hems. Cut the fabric at the seams, one for the front of the blouse and the other for the back. Cut the back part in half to make room for the zipper, here is a great zipper tutorial.

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The zipper should be facing down, this makes it easier to put on and off. After adding the zipper, join both pieces of fabric.

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Fold the fabric about half inch for the facing, iron the fold to ensure accuracy. Hem the facing.

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 Try on the bodice to ensure that everything is in order. If it fits snugly, proceed to add the peplum, if not, add darts to give a better fit, here is a great dart tutorial.

Step # 5: Connect Peplum to Bodice

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 Turn the bodice and peplum inside out. Sew the peplum to the base of the bodice. Ensure that the stitch that you use is secure enough to prevent separation of the top and bottom pieces. Cut the peplum at one of the seams (you should have two semi-circles connected at one end). Start sewing one side of the peplum to the bodice where the zipper starts. Leave about an inch for heming. Sew until the peplum is completely connected. An opening should be at the back of the blouse to facilitate the zipper.

Step # 6: Enjoy Your New Creation

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I love this piece, not only because I sew it by hand but because it is very cute and goes it almost everything.

I absolutely love my new strapless peplum blouse. I paired it with black jean, flip flops, red nails, and a pop of shimmer with my silver necklace and silver hoops (not visible).

finish

Black and White is very versatile, it can be paired with black pencil skirt and heels, red skirt or red jeans, yellow, basically any color you can think of.

I hope your peplum blouse turned out as great as mine did!

 Hope You Enjoyed 🙂

 

 

Never Apologize For Who You Are!

I am peculiar, I am particular about what I do, and with whom I do it. I don’t leave things to chance, I plan the hell out of everything, I don’t practice lying, I don’t pretend to be someone I am not. I don’t do things the way everyone else does it. I am reserved but I have a very strong personality, I don’t sway easily, when I make a choice or a decision I stick with it, come hell or high water – some persons think I shouldn’t be the way I am.

It hurts to know that people want you to change, it hurts to know that you are not accepted for the person you truly are. Honestly, sometimes I find myself wanting to modify my personality to be liked by people who think I am too this, or too that. Sometimes I find myself wanting to fit in and be like everyone else; after all it is innate human nature to be accepted and liked by one’s peers…but, I was reminded of something, never EVER let anyone dictate who you are or who you choose to be.

The little things that make up your character are that way for a reason, God made you the way He wanted. If he wanted all of us to be the same, he wouldn’t have made us so differently. I realized that the people who want you to change are the same people who wished they were like you. They wish they were as calm, collected and fabulous as you are. I was reminded that I should always be strong and proud of the person I am, I have to accept myself whether or not anyone else does. People will be people; people will talk and criticize, whether you do bad or good! You start to lose yourself the moment you give those persons power, the moment you start to entertain people’s opinion of you.

Be who you are… to hell with everyone else!

 

Hope you Enjoyed 🙂

Thank You!!

It has been a year since I started this blog and it has gotten better and better every month. Even though I haven’t had a chance to add any new posts, I am grateful for your interest, comments, likes and follows. I know that  there are many options, I am very grateful that you choose me (even if it is for a minute 🙂 ).

I have enjoyed sharing my view points and interests with you. I look forward to many more fun years with you.

Love You!

Be Inspired: Fearful Women by Carolyn Kizer

I consider myself to be a feminist, a mild feminist, if that even exist. I hate seeing women being mistreated, undervalued or even under estimated. I want us to rise above our issues and show ‘them’ just who we are… We are strong, resilient creatures, who take hits every day, from almost every angle/ every aspect of our lives and yet, we still have a smile, we still fulfill our obligations with our heads held high…. So, as an ode to one this century most prolific feminist and poet…here’s Carolyn Kizer with fearful women…enjoy.

Arms and the girl I sing – O rare
arms that are braceleted and white and bare

arms that were lovely Helen’s, in whose name
Greek slaughtered Trojan. Helen was to blame.

Scape-nanny call her; wars for turf
and profit don’t sound glamorous enough.

Mythologize your women! None escape.
Europe was named from an act of bestial rape:

Eponymous girl on bull-back, he intent
on scattering sperm across a continent.

Old Zeus refused to take the rap.
It’s not his name in big print on the map.

But let’s go back to the beginning
when sinners didn’t know that they were sinning.

He, one rib short: she lived to rue it
when Adam said to God, “She made me do it.”

Eve learned that learning was a dangerous thing
for her: no end of trouble would it bring.

An educated woman is a danger.
Lock up your mate! Keep a submissive stranger

like Darby’s Joan, content with church and Kinder,
not like that sainted Joan, burnt to a cinder.

Whether we wield a scepter or a mop
It’s clear you fear that we may get on top.

And if we do -I say it without animus-
It’s not from you we learned to be magnanimous.

Hope you enjoyed 🙂

Inconvenient Love

Valentine’s Day recently passed, its arrival and sudden departure, got me thinking about love, what it means to love, to be loved and what it really means to give yourself completely to another person. It also got me thinking about what Carrie said when she was breaking up with Aleksandr, – “I am someone who is looking for love, real love, ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love”.

“Inconvenient, consuming love”, what does it really mean? Does it mean that you put the person you love before yourself? That you give your love even if it is not convenient to do so? That everything else is insignificant compared to the person that you love? That your life is meaningless without the person you love? If that is the case, then it is A LOT! I want ridiculous, inconvenient love, as so passionately put by Carrie, but am I in a position to give it? Am I able to give what I so desperately crave? …Idk!

Passionate, unconditional love, (the love that can be rephrased as ridiculous, inconvenient love – in my opinion) is defined as “the characterization of intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety, and affection.” and “that type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging, comparable to true love”, respectively. So, to rephrase Carrie’s statement, she wants true love, with the underpinnings of intense, passionate love.

Having true intense love is what almost everyone wishes for. We all want to feel that feeling, the feeling you feel when you look your love in the eye, and absolutely nothing else matters, the feeling that when you are down, he/she is there to pick you up, to help you to be the very best version of yourself. Everyone wants to want/need that one person so badly, that it causes your body to be on fire! We all want to be completely overcome by that type of passion and desire that makes us nothing like ourselves until we get it…awww…sounds magical just thinking about it!…ok, back to earth :)… in the words of Rihanna, “we all want love”, true love.

Thinking about true love and comparing it with what I know and have experienced, I can say this – when you find true love or anything close to it, DO NOT LET IT GO! Hang on to it for dear life! According to a survey conducted by Siemens, about 27% of people actually find true love, so having it, or just a fragment of it, means that you are darn lucky.

Whatever true, inconvenient, consuming love means to you, whatever it is that you want from a partner or relationship, whatever it is that your heart aches for, never EVER stop searching until you find it…because life, is just not worth living without it!

Hope you enjoyed 🙂

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passionate_love
http://psychology.about.com/od/loveandattraction/a/theoriesoflove.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional_love
http://www.counselheal.com/articles/6434/20130820/survey-reveals-many-people-end-up-true-love.htm