est.1994 | Birthday thoughts


Heyyyy!!

It was my birthday this month 😀 whoop ti doop! Couldn’t upload this post as early as I would have liked due to some technical issues but we move still. It truly was a happy birthday despite the rain. So grateful for my friends and family who showed up and sent lots of love my way :).

So typically I like to reflect on my past year and project for my year ahead but I think I need to give you the full gist of the day. Before I begin, lets just say I am convinced my upper back looks like Wonderwoman’s right now but hey that may just be in my head.

I decided to go indoor rock-climbing for my birthday, an activity I would recommend to anyone who may be interested. A couple things to note though are that I’m afraid of heights and well rock climbing involves going up above the ground supported by your harness, your b-layer, a few measly protrusions on the wall and God Himself.

We had a lovely instructor who took us through how to be safe and from that point on it was just climbing and living the dream.

21 was an interesting year for me. I definitely felt myself growing quite a bit and I’ve learned some important things along the way.

Being fearless is great but facing your fears is so much better

This year I have found that the more times I challenged myself to do something that I didn’t feel altogether comfortable doing, the more I saw myself improving. A major example is sewing for other people. [I have more to say on this] Sewing for others is actually terrifying to me. I just always feel like I wouldn’t get it right and I know for a fact that my skills are still rather basic so when people trust me to make things for them I have an overwhelming desire to say No! This year however, I tried it a few times. I wasn’t successful every time and I still have some projects sitting and waiting for me to revisit them but I have also learned so much more not just about sewing but about myself and how I ought to be handling failure. Failing isn’t the problem, it’s what you do when you fail that really matters

Look beyond yourself every now and again and see how you can be the joy in someone else’s life

This year I realized to a whole new degree that there is an entire world happening outside of myself. People are happy, people are hurting and everything in between. I’m still working on this one but sometimes you just need to be present and truly present for someone else even when they aren’t giving much in return. It could be a “just because” gift or sitting with someone and quietly listening to what they feel, whatever it is just find a way to make someone’s day a little better.

Starting is slow and rocky but you’ll never get anywhere if you give up there.

I am nearing my first full year of being in the working world and my business is also in its first few months. All in all this year has been a lot of firsts for me and there have been several moments of questioning what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I’ve doubted myself and my abilities a whole lot and just been generally confused about many things but its only recently hit me that this is just the start and as with all things, it will become clearer as I move forward

Trusting God is often easier said than done.

This one caught me off guard a bit. Being Christian, I’ve heard “just trust God” a thousand and one times so much so that I just agree on autopilot however when it comes to time to really let go and let God, I find myself holding back on the silliest things. To truly trust [in my opinion] is to understand that His plans are for good and when He asks me to let go of something its not to leave me empty but to make room for something better. The letting go isn’t always easy but like I said, I’m learning.

Drink your water, Mind ya business!

Finally, at 21 I learned that I need to take care of my body and take care of my mind. This means being a bit more conscious of what I consume and how my behavior impacts the world that I live in. Now as wholesome as this sounds, note that this is still a work in progress. Battling the 5pm chocolate cravings and the indulgence in some really juicy gossip but still we move 🙂

So excited for 22 and I am seriously hoping to sustain this positivity all year long

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TALA | Caviar Dreams

African Print Pillows 

Hi Guys!

So I have some exciting news. Some of you may have seen me sharing like the most amazing pillows evurr on my Facebook and some of you have also been so cool and you’ve liked the Facebook page and followed on Instagram, but if you been sleepin on that lemme fill you all the way in 😀

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co-creators of Tala

My sister-girl Tosin and I have been working on these African Print pillows for quite some time and we are very happy to finally be able share them with the world. The name Tala is derived from the Yoruba word Ala (Dream). We have vision to bring a modern Nigerian aesthetic into any space. We combine Ankara fabrics in interesting ways to bring a rich and vibrant pop to your space.

Tala KoKo

We source fabrics from designers to help them minimize fabric waste and to challenge ourselves to create unique pieces with their own special stories. We are constantly experimenting with new colours, textures and accents, its really just how we like to do :). Oh and like things couldn’t get any cooler we do custom orders too!! If you have a fabric or maybe even an old dress or shirt that you would like turned into a pillow for your space you can contact us and we would it work out for you (ps. you get a discount if you do this).

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So now I know at this point you are giddy with excitement and wondering where you can get one (don’t be shy, you can admit it here :P). We currently have an Etsy store for your shopping pleasure and of course you can follow us on Instagram and Like us on Facebook for updates on our shenanigans.

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Thank you to everyone who has purchased a pillow so far and supported us and we are so excited for all of you to join us on this journey to more success

Pictures by Willyverse

Becoming Black

Thoughts on Race and Racial Injustice.

Huey_Black Lives

My heart is heavy. It seems like every season there is a new hashtag and a new black body being violated and paraded. Videos of brutality being shared, beautiful quotes and deep passion and then silence. The silence only lasts so long until we have another video, a fresh wound, another tragedy and the cycle resumes. I am exhausted as like many others. Tired of fighting the battles of ignorance every time someone opens the gateway to their gut to utter “All Lives Matter”. Throwing that statement around like I am too stupid to see the reality of that statement. Every thing about that phrase is an intentional decision to remain clothed in the steaming warmth of your ignorance. It is an unyielding weapon used to scar and irritate the wounds that have been inflicted on us repeatedly.

I believe that Black is something you become and I can say this knowing that I have not always had to be Black. Growing up in a predominantly racially homogeneous setting, my race was always secondary, it was something that existed on the screen but not in my daily life. Imagine my surprise when I moved to Canada and suddenly Blackness was no longer an option. It was a mantle that was thrust on me with every interaction. If you started in this setting, it is easy to think that Black is how you were born. I had a professor who told me once that Blackness as a construction is simply something that exists in contrast to Whiteness. At the time I was deeply offended by this but slowly I came to understand that Blackness is not birth, it is history. A deep and complex history that is often over simplified. I say all of this to say that when someone makes the statement that BLACK lives matter, this is not a light and witty comment. This is not as basic as the colour of one’s skin, it is not as simple as stats even though statistics often help to buttress this point. It is a statement that speaks to historical pain. It refers specifically to the consistent systemic disregard for the humanity and well being of a specific group.

The media is quick to isolate the incident and the individual. “Black man shot by police”, “Black man with criminal record shot by the police” “Black man with criminal record who may have been armed shot by the police”. The use of his Black identity constantly feeding into this historical brand that distances him from his humanity. He may have been a father, a community leader, an innovator or as has now been made relevant; a great swimmer, nonetheless his Blackness takes precedence over his humanity. The search for reasons why he deserved to be killed begins; did he protest? was he armed? did the Officer perceive him to be a threat? how Black was his Blackness? At this point I am shaking.

I recently had a little old white woman ask me or rather tell me that she doesn’t understand why people have to bring race into everything. She felt comfortable to tell me this “because I sounded so educated” (Yes I had to pause and talk myself off the ledge of clawing at her face). I proceeded to let her know that there is a reason she doesn’t understand, but in her lack of understanding she CAN NOT tell a person of color where they can or can not bring up their race because race was not something that they decided on. No one asked them whether it was convenient to kill their people or to deny them of employment or to disrespect their families and their cultures or to enslave them. Race was not a choice that we made so when someone makes the decision to speak to you about how their race impacts them you have no right to silence them.

Ignorance is a decision. There is a wealth of rhetoric explaining why Black lives matter so before you decide to spew garbage, educate yourself. The importance of Black lives, or Indigenous lives or Latin lives does not diminish the relevance of anyone else. This needs no explanation.

And to the individuals in Dallas who thought it was wise to also commit murder, who you epp?! No, really, who sent you? Anger is justified, murder is not. Don’t be so consumed by fury that you become the very thing you hate.

Rest in Power!

Stay Breezy | DIY Floral Jumpsuit

Happy Canada day guys!

floral jumpsuit

I am beyond delighted to be sitting at home typing this on this gloriously rainy day. I have taken a walk, had breakfast and now sipping a cup of chamomile as I watch the rain fall. Could there be a more perfect day?

4c long hair

Well maybe not more perfect but the day I made this jumpsuit was pretty high up there. This is so comfortable and breezy and rather chic if I do say so my self. I attempted making a jumpsuit a few years ago and to say that didn’t go well would be a huge understatement. So starting off with this project I was very cautious and tried to give a bit more allowance and it certainly paid off.

jumpsuit for summer

To cut, I used sweatpants and a chiffon camisole that I have. I cut out the pants first and made sure I could slip them on with absolutely no resistance. This is an important step because if the pants are even a little bit snug you may not be able to enter into your jumpsuit at all. Also consider that my fabric has no stretch so I really couldn’t risk not having the allowance.

jumpsuit outfit

For the top I cut it in three pieces; one front piece and two back pieces. I did this so that I could have the key hole opening I created here. This also allows me enter into the jumpsuit, again as the fabric has no stretch to it I had to really consider my entry and exit points.

floral summer outfit

To finish things off, I connected the top to the bottom with a waist band and added an elastic band with a zigzag stitch to give it a bit more shape.

Jumpsuit details

Added straps, strings to tie the back and finished my neck line and voila!

Vibes by willyverse
bag available on Willyverse.com

Say hello to the summer uniform 😛 The floral print really drew me to this fabric and I was absolutely thrilled with how this turned out 🙂

Pictures by Willyverse

Brown Girl Blue Thunder | Off-shoulder summer dress

gypsy mini dress

Hi Guys!

Presenting the most comfortable dress I ever made! I’m still twirling in delight as I type this!! (okay not literally but I’m pretty excited as you can tell).

Off shoulder dress

On the summer inspiration menu today is an extra simple but super on trend dress! For this dress you just need to be able to cute two rectangles, hem and add elastic to it! Trust me it doesn’t get much easier than this.

diy off shoulder dress tutorial

Now it shouldn’t surprise you too much that I wanted this dress to be multi-functional. I believe that an outfit truly earns its place in my closet when it can be worn a couple different ways (which reminds me, I’m due for a closet purge >.<).

ibegan Enang Ukoh

If I had a thicker chest or if I made the shoulders tighter I could have worn this as a strapless dress as well but oh well 🙂 one-shoulder would have to suffice.

4c afro hair

This would be perfect for all of the summer barbecues because you can eat to your heart’s content without looking like you’ve been stuffed into your jeans. And you can probably sneak a treat or two away in all this volume 😀 (JK. please don’t say I sent you to do that oo!)

ankara off shoulder dress
Yes those are pockets for extra treats 😀

So if you would like to DIY this dress here are a few easy peasy steps to follow. Even if you don’t sew, fabric glue should work just as well.

brown skin and afro

  • Figure out how long you want the dress and the overlay to be.
  • Cut out the dress rectangle, add about 4 inches to the width for some extra room.
  • Cut out the overlay (this should be 3 times your shoulder width or 2.5 depending on how much volume you want).
  • Seal off both rectangles with sewing or fabric glue.
  • Center the bodice under the over lay. (This might be a good time to cut out arm holes for yourself).
  • Attach the overlay to the bodice with a zig-zag stitch or your fabric glue.
  • Fold over the top edge to create a case for your elastic to go through. (The elastic should stretch comfortably around your shoulders.
  • Using a safety pin, feed your elastic through the hole and sew the ends. (I would recommend sewing this part just for added security.
  • Close up your hole and hem any raw edges.

ankara dress

There you go! A summer dress made by you ^_^

Until next time, let me know if you try this out! 😀

bags by willyverse
Bag available June 8th- http://www.willyverse.com

Pictures by Willyverse

Drip

Thoughts I have in the shower

If I go back to bed right now what would happen?

Why do we cry when we poop?

Is there ever an hour in the day when everyone in the world shares the same date (given time difference)?

What kind of parent would I be?

How do we know what we like?

Do we like things because we think we should?

What would the world be like if money never existed?

I wonder how thick my hair is

What if Obama called and I didn’t pick up because it was a US number and you know, long distance charges (nahh it was probably a spam call).

Why do I keep getting spam texts any way?

What would I do if somebody harassed me on the street car today. I’d probably yell at them and threaten to punch them if they talk to me. Lol! no.

What if I’m stronger than I think.

Is baby talk a real language?

Why do people always talk to babies in that weird voice.

Do babies think grownups are kinda silly? Is that why they laugh?

Who came up with folk tales like “why the tortoise has a cracked shell” and why didn’t they just say “I don’t know” as opposed to the elaborate narrative.

What if the tortoise was actually pushed from the sky because of his greed.

Nahhh that doesn’t explain why they all have cracked shells.

Mmm I wonder how much its costing me to stay in here and think.

 

 

Wavy

Ankara duster coat

Wavy Coat

Hi Guys!

Another spring day, another slay :). This coat is the prelude to my bomber jacket that I promised. The sleeves are made of a fleecy fabric I got a long time ago, don’t remember what exactly it was called but I’m fairly certain it’s the same fabric used for sweatshirts. I lined the entire coat with it as well for added warmth.

Ankara Duster Coat

The ankara used for this coat is a Vlisco print, it may be older or out of stock but the fabric was gifted to me by my mum and I just knew this fabric was made to do beautiful things!

Ankara jacket

The raglan sleeves made this a slightly easier project than my bomber jacket, so much so that I had to go back in on my bomber jacket and change the sleeves. I picked up the ribbed cuffs at King Textiles when they had a sale on them.

Spring Outfits

The only thing I might consider doing differently on this coat is adding shoulder darts. This is something that I discovered randomly as I was scouring the internet for inspiration one day. Making a raglan sleeve could sometimes create a wider neckline depending on the fabric so shoulder darts just allow everything sit nicer on your shoulders 😀

Vlisco spring coat

I have worn this coat with a few different outfits and I get compliments on it every time. However, I was sooo feeling myself in this outfit. Got these pants from the thrift store and I had my doubts on whether I would be able to pull it off but once I chucked this belt on it I knew I had found a keeper!

Spring OOTD

Spring time is all about the wishy-washy weather, cold in some spots and boiling once you turn the corner so it’s nice to be able to whip this coat on and off depending on what I’m feeling. It also helped that the wind had me looking extra fly ;p

Duster Coat Outfit

More spring vibes on deck so stay chuned

Pictures by Willyverse