Hello!

And welcome to my little personal crafting space! I try to fill my life with all sorts of lovely things that I find challenging, useful, colourful, comforting and practical. I hope that you’ll enjoy me sharing them with you.

**If you’ve been directed here from a label on a carrier that I’ve sewn, then please see the pages about Spaghetti Slings for more information. Photos of lots of my slings are also posted on my blog below. Thanks for dropping by! **

All posts appear below, most recent first.  You can also use the menus on the right to browse my crafty, foody and family escapades.  At the moment I’m making a lot of ring slings, and I’ve also got a couple of patchwork-related projects on the go plus other carrier-plans in the notebook too.  I do a lot of other sewing, some crochet and love customising my various baby wraps and carriers, especially by dyeing them, so I’m finding that I’m currently adding a lot of baby-wearing related stuff!  As a family we love baking so there’s quite a few yummy treats here too.  New things are always being planned and old things are finally getting added so keep checking back 😀

You can click on some of the smaller pictures in my site to see a close-up version (please let me know if you can’t and I’ll check the links).  If anything’s unclear, please just ask by adding a comment to the page and I’ll try to help!

Thanks for reading, and please comment if you have anything to add or say 😀

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Always Avoiding Cold Turkey

It’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week… and so here’s me outing something that’s been a part of my whole adult life…

I have an eating disorder.  As of last year I have a diagnosis of Bulimia Nervosa and I think I’m finally ready to go public….

I don’t think I look like I have an eating disorder; I may not really sound like I have (though many of you will have noticed my various unusual thoughts and behaviours around food over the years), but this does not reflect the scale of my problem.  Eating Disorders are not ‘simply’ about starving yourself until you need to be force fed back to health (though these are where they can get most acute).   Eating Disorders are often silent and invisible, whilst also being completely invasive and permeating into every area and moment of your life.  They cause debilitating psychological anguish and physical pain.  They are a form of self-abuse that can be kept secret for years and years.  My relationship with food has been the self-harm that I can (almost) protect everyone else from; that allows me to continue to ‘function’ in the world, to continue to do the basics that others need from me, whilst hurting me enough to prevent me from experiencing my life to the full.  I couldn’t live with food.  I can’t live without it.

I’ve known that I’ve had unusual eating behaviours for almost as long as I can remember. But now I finally have recognition and confirmation of how unhealthy that was.  That in itself has helped me start to let go of the hold food has over me.  Now I have names for some of the behaviours which are so dysfunctional, but have been my ‘normal’ at various points of my life.  From regularly eating beyond the point of sickness and pain as a child, to being Anorexic as a teenager, to periods of Bulimia Nervosa for my whole adult life, to a whole range of disordered eating behaviours… I’ve restricted and counted calories, macro nutrients, micro nutrients; I’ve recorded every item I ate or drank for 3 years; I’ve over exercised; I’ve fasted; I’ve binged on EVERYTHING; I’ve made myself allergic to foods simply through over-consumption (yes you can eat too much Celery)…. I’ve repeatedly tried (and failed) to make myself sick. I’ve regularly overdosed on laxatives and diet pills instead.

At times I’ve felt completely powerless over my relationship with food, even when I seemed in complete control.  Disordered Eating affects your physical and mental health, it’s emotionally exhausting and it has a major impact on social interactions (because of self-imposed limitations around food, and because of keeping such a big part of what’s constantly in your head secret).  It’s a true chemical and emotional addiction… but one that you can never go cold turkey from.  A vicious gripping cycle that you have to be so strong to recover from because you can never ever avoid the source of the problem; every day you have to face it, consume it, and do so ‘normally’ and ‘healthily’ when normal and healthy are so far from how it feels.  I don’t actually know what normal eating feels like.  I’ve so often wished I could ‘just’ stop eating (like an alcoholic can ‘just’ stop drinking), but this is never going to be an option for my recovery.

At this moment I’m under the care of an Outpatient Eating Disorders unit; I’ve been diagnosed, I’m seeing a dietitian and am waiting on therapy which will hopefully help me to break my own food cycles.  With the help of friends, private counselling and being forced into doing exercise again (huge thanks to Alice for the temporary Personal Trainer!), I’ve very recently managed to drag myself out of the worst of what I’ve been through, and I’m definitely on the ‘up’ right now.  Thank you so much to everyone who’s supported and listened to me through my recent black spell.

But apparently here isn’t a “cure” for what I have.  I know that, every time I’m under pressure or struggling, I risk plunging back into a disordered cycle… and that could once again impact on my health and every area of my life.  I’m only starting to understand how far my Eating Disorder affects me and those close to me.  It’s only so recently that someone actually looked without judgement at what was going on and said “that’s not OK”, and it’s only now that I’m able to open up and be more honest about my reality with food.  These are first steps, and as I move further into recovery I hope I’ll get clearer and more honest about what I need to do around food in order to stay healthy.

So please be understanding of me when I come for dinner but don’t eat (maybe it’s the wrong time or type of food for me that day) or drink (unless I’m in a very strong place alcohol can massively impact my binge-risk) – I’ll still love sharing your company!  Or if I make myself random food but don’t offer you any (I’m often still mentally measuring everything that goes into me and feel I need control over that… plus I often feel that no-one else would like to eat my random food cravings!)  Or if I have to stop almost mid-sentence to find something specific to eat that I’ve just realised I need NOW (or I’ll risk serious bingeing later).

But most importantly, please don’t let mine (or anyone else’s) Eating Disorder continue to be an unspoken secret that is kept hidden. Do feel able to ask me about my disorder, what it means for me and any practical questions that might affect you.  Please don’t tip toe around it or around me; I’m not shy or delicate!  Ask whatever you’re wondering and I’ll do my best to keep being honest and let you know!

And finally, please wish me luck – here’s hoping that 2017 will be the year I finally start living fully for myself and not through food!

xxx

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Deepest Blue Roses

This unique piece of woven wrap fabric was just simply beautiful and wonderful to work with.  Originally an Oscha Zen Roses and dyed a gorgeous deep blue by Turquoise Fields, this lovely scrap is now a pleated ring sling with silver rings and off to be worn at a wedding!

It’s so hard to show the colours of this stunning sling so here’s a photo without flash:

And with flash:

Neither does it justice so I can’t wait to see proper action photos of this one!

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Zen Garden

Beautiful Oscha Zen Roses made into a pleated ring sling with silver rings. Such a gorgeous wrap to feel – I loved making this one!

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Lollipops!

I’m currently converting a long, bright Amazonas Lollipop wrap into 6 play slings for children to carry their dolls and teddies in.  Here are the first two, which I sewed last night, with red and with green sling rings:

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Playing with slings!

I’m starting to make some slings and things to sell in my new Spaghetti Slings Shop 😀

Today I made a start by sewing 6 lovely play slings for small people to use to carry their toys and dolls. I’ve made them in several lengths to see what suits which ages best, and used 3 different wraps, making 2 slings from each. The wraps pictured here are: Lenny Lamb Sunrise (with aqua and pink rings), Natibaby Blue Danube (with blue and black rings) and a Neobulle Violette (with purple and gold rings).

I’ll be adding many of these to the shop soon and I hope they all get lots of playing with!

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Sunrise Rainbow

Another historical blog post to show a gathered ring sling that I made many months ago for the South London Sling Library. This is a Lenny Lamb bamboo blend Sunrise Rainbow woven wrap, converted into a gathered ring sling with large aqua rings.

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Rose Velvet Fall

A beautiful Girasol wrap made into a completely unique gathered ring sling with – at the request of the mama who gave the the wrap to convert – one pink and one purple ring sling to match the weave!  What a fab idea that’s worked soooo well! 😀

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Oscha JK Ooki Ceo

A simply gorgeous, beautiful and yet incredibly wearable wrap that’s light and supportive to use, even with a toddler 🙂  Re-made (again – I’ve resewn the shoulder of this sling once before) with a gathered shoulder and new Spaghetti Slings label!

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Perfect Pfau

This is a bit of a historical blog post, but aiming for completeness so here’s a gathered ring sling I made from a Didymos Anthracite Hemp Pfau in March this year. It was a firm favourite over the spring and summer – supportive, goes with almost everything, Dad friendly and doesn’t show up any grubby marks!

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At the other end of the rainbow :)

Last week I designed and sewed a beautiful Girasol Northern Lights rainbow wrap into a pleated ring sling.  Tonight I sewed the other half of that wrap into a simple yet stunning gathered ring sling with purple sling rings.  I think the wrap just speaks for itself – gorgeous!

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