Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Upsy Daisy and the carpenter. What would you do?


I'm positively thrilled by the feedback from everyone. Thank you for coming again and again.

I just got a call from my friend. Let's call her Upsy Daisy. I can just picture her going.... what's that, how can you call me Upsy Daisy??!!

Well, while you might not look like Upsy Daisy, you've got her happy, optimistic attitude, so babe, it's a compliment :-) and if you're Upsy daisy, then I'm Iggle piggle hehehehe

Just in case you don't know who Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle are, allow me to introduce them to you.

If you're thinking warrisdis??? Like you, I had no idea who they were until Nathan came along, now they are a very significant part of our lives as well as Sponge Bob, Dora, Diego.....I digress..

Ok, so I found like 10 missed calls on my phone after leaving it on my bed while fixing dinner and I was thinking "why does this phone ALWAYS ring when I'm not there??" I returned the call and it was Upsy Daisy. "Which number is this that you used to call me oh, madam" I asked her. She said she had turned off her work phones so her office wouldn't be able to reach her. They had a way of always finding an excuse for her to be at work on public holidays, so she made herself unreachable. Hmmm... You see why I have the phone numbers of spouses, partners, neighbors and sometimes mothers of my staff.... so when any of them wants to be "Upsy Daisy" smart, I'm a step ahead of them... *insert wicked laughter here*. I digress... again...

"So wassup babe" I asked? "I just did something crazy and I'm sure you would be proud of me" she said. "Crazy ke?! me I'm not there oh!" She went on to tell me what happened. Some carpenter guy on her street had taken her 2k and had refused to do the job she paid him for. He started to avoid her and eventually became rude, walking out on her once when she was talking to him. She decided to forget about the guy (and her money) and she paid someone else to do the job.

She didn't go to work today cos of the holiday, so she passed by the guy's place and remembered her money. She first thought that she should free the guy...shebi it's just 2k.... Then she had a lightbulb moment!!! She thought what would Gbemi have done?

Now in 'Gbemi' mode, she was greeted by some guys on her street that helped her when she was moving in. She usually just says hi to them, but it occurred to her that they could be useful. She reported the carpenter to them. She was surprised to see the carpenter come knocking on her door, begging for forgiveness a few hours later, saying he was now ready to do the job. When she told him someone else had done it, he offered to refund her money. She was surprised! Those guys took his phone from him and were only going to return it to him when he refunded the 2k. He offered her 1k, saying that that was all he had and he promised to bring the remaining 1k to her later. She told him to give the money to the guys, making him realize that what she was angry about was that he attempted to rip her off because he felt she couldn't do anything to him. So when he gives the guys 2k, he'll get his phone and the guys get to keep the money.
She's so pleased with herself, her BB status is "I had the last laugh".

Would have done the same thing? YES, cos I really really hate it when someone tries to take advantage of me cos they feel there's nothing I can do. Without a justice system to resolve such issues, people like that carpenter get away with stunts like that all the time. I usually hate to let it slide cos I believe that the reason it has become a part of our culture in Nigeria is because nobody does anything about it. The risk is that I could get hurt (thankfully, I haven't) or misunderstood (that's unavoidable and I really don't mind), but the story of Uzoma Okere comes readily to mind. You probably remember how she was beaten up by some naval officers.

She was awarded 100m in damages in January. The case is still in court though, you can read more here

I'm not sure if I would have had as much guts as Uzoma to stand up to those guys in uniform. I would probably have let it slide as I tend to choose my battles carefully. Unlike Uzoma whose father is a colonel, my parents are singing with the angels in heaven, so I'm not sure there'll be anyone to defend me in a country where the justice system favors only those who 'know' people. Me, I only know God oh! I hope Uzoma remembers to share with me when she gets her money though, because I went to one of the rallies organised in her defense :-)

I got thinking, Shouldn't Upsy Daisy have been thinking "what would Jesus do?" and not "what would Gbemi do". I had no idea I was such an influence on anyone, that they'll think of what I would've done before making a decision. I know I haven't always been a good example, so I hope and pray no one is making any life altering decisions based on my bad precedents.

Have you ever stood up to anyone who tried to take advantage of you? What would you have done in Upsy Daisy's shoes? Please share. Thanks

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mr X versus Mrs X...The conclusion

It's a great season to be alive!

It's so good to wake up the day AFTER Christmas, knowing that the birth of Christ is as relevant as it was yesterday!

I learnt something new today. Whatever position or condition you're in, there's someone somewhere who is wishing they were in your shoes. There's someone who would forever be grateful to God to have what you have now. So let's quit complaining and be grateful, because it could've been worse!

I promised to let you know how Mrs X handled the coil drama I shared in an earlier post.

She told Mr X that they should let her sister (whose opinion he respected) be the umpire. Her vote was to be the deciding factor. She told me when they were leaving, to Mr X's hearing (and pleasure) that I should be prepared to remove it if her sister sided with him. Now why am I not surprised that I did not get that call??? Mrs X surely knows how to run things ;-)

Naijamum's solution is the closest to what actually happened. Win-win solutions win any day!

Here are some dresses I made last week.

Pu'a looking yummy. She still doesn't look like someone who had a baby some weeks ago.
Dramatic sleeves for my big sister

same sleeve, but here the other arm is sleeveless
Thanks for coming by xoxo

Saturday, December 25, 2010

only a great fool would not be grateful!

Merry Christmas!!!

My heart is filled with gratitude to God for such a great year.
Two weeks ago, D and I went on a retreat. We took time out to pray and make plans for 2011. We reviewed our family vision, came up with a fresh one and set new goals. As I looked as those goals again today, it became clear to me that God is faithful. Most of my goals for 2010 were accomplished and it could only have been God.

The highest point of my year was giving birth to Alexis

I am so blessed, I can't thank God enough for His blessings. Especially the ones that money cannot buy.

As I look forward to 2011 and the many changes that the new year will bring, I am convinced that God will do even more.

If you have any doubts about what God has promised you, I encourage you to trust Him. He is faithful. If He could do it for me, He certainly can do it for you :)

Care to share what the highest point of your year was?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

See what coil has caused oh! Mrs X versus Mr X....

One of the things I love about my job is that I get to meet lots of people. Different kinds of people.

While most of my experiences have been pleasant, there have been some not-so-pleasant ones…. I should do a post about those sometime soon, you’ll laugh ehn!! Anyway, I had an interesting experience today and I’ll like to know what your thoughts are.

I have a client, let’s call her Mrs X. She lives in London and even though I’ve been making clothes for her for about 3 years, I saw her in person for the first time early this year and we just clicked. She’s special because she’s in her 50s. I don’t know her exact age, that’s just my guess.

So what’s so special about making clothes for 50 something year old woman?? Well, first she’s set. As in, she’s got a really great figure…I want to be like her when I grow up J, the only thing coming between me and this goal is my love for all things delicious… I know there’s hope for me anytime I see Oprah sha, cause if she has access ( for free) to all the best of the best cutting edge fat ‘eliminating’ technology which I would have to pay for and I’m still slimmer than her, there’s hope for me… That’s not the point of this post at all… forgive my rambling….

As I was saying, I’m usually excited to find someone in Mrs X’s age range who likes my work because most of my clients are younger than her. What I like the most about her is that she’s the kind of person that doesn’t need to tell you she’s a believer before you know. She just has a sweet spirit and she’s an encourager…I know all this from speaking to her on the phone three or four times and seeing her only once, no twice, if you count yesterday.

I got to meet Mr X yesterday. By the time he had finished explaining how Isaac reaped when he sowed in the land, only because he was in the right location, most of my fears about the relocating were out the window…ok ok back to the point of this post

Her sister had dropped off her fabric earlier and she came to pick her outfit up yesterday. I wanted to make her something that would be age appropriate, while showing her curves, so I went for a classic silhouette. However, I didn’t want to be boring, so I tried the coil effect on the ruffles. I have seen people do this coil thing over the years, but it was my first time and I loved the final result. The coil is what defines the ruffles and makes them stand out....

She loved it! It was different from anything else I had done for her and she was pleased….

Mr X wasn’t. He liked the style, but he thought the whole coil thing was too much so he asked me (nicely) to remove it….

Remove????!!! ME NO THINK SO!!! Me I liked the thing (a lot) and then I thought about the hours my girls spent getting the coil done right. I had really given them a hard time, making them undo and redo till it was neat enough for me…I was in ‘wicked witch’ mode yesterday meeeehn! You see, I can be very difficult to work with especially when I know someone is trying to take the easy way out..I digress, again..

I smiled sweetly and pointed out to him that his wife liked it

His point was that since his wife was dressing up for him to admire her, he’s really in fact my client and so his preference should be the deciding factor. He wanted her to keep it simple because she’s a simple person and that’s one of the things he loves about her. My coil was over the top. Valid point!

Her point was that since she was the one going to wear it and it made her happy, he should let her wear it. Even though her usual style was simple, she liked it because it was different. Valid point!

What do you think? Whose wishes should I obey? Please let me know what you think and why, so we can all learn.

I’ll let you know what eventually happened in my next post J

PS I found it remarkable that they each made their points and explained to each other their reasons. They could have turned it into a shouting match with Mr X insisting ‘I’m the man! You must obey’, but he didn’t. She could also have insisted ‘I like it and that’s all that matters’, but she didn’t … Important lesson there for me.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Halima, my newest bride

I love making wedding dresses!

I get a high from seeing my work on women, but there's something extra special about seeing a bride in a dress I made....

Halima's dress had to be 'nikkai compliant', no cleavage showing, long sleeves etc

The challenge was to create something chic that my young bride would love and that her parents would approve of. After several sketches, this was the final one.

Here's the fabric she had bought.....

The first step was to create the toile. The toile is the mock up of the dress made out of calico. We do this to ensure that the dress fits right and any alterations can be made before we cut up the actual fabric.

I drafted her body block...

Cut out the calico...
Here's her first toile...

She had to come from Abuja for her first fitting, which went well as there were only a few changes. So I made a new pattern and the dress bodice

Next up was draping...
The veil...this was one long process, cos I had to lay on the lace edge on the tulle by hand.....

Many hours of sewing and stitching..... here we are

I'm still waiting for the official wedding pics, but thanks to my dear sister in law, who introduced me to the bride, I got these....

I couldn't go to Ilorin for the wedding, but I heard it was a carnival, cos the grooms son is Adebayo Salami's (Oga Bello the actor) first son. Happy married life Halima and Saheed.

I also made the little bride's dress, but she couldn't wear it cos it wasn't 'nikkai compliant'... I shouldn't have made a short dress...

I'll do a post on some of the other wedding dresses I have made soon...I didn't document the process of any of them like this one though, so it may only be pics of the fitting sessions.

Thanks for coming by. Do drop a line....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

more dresses

I love it when I get positive feedback.

Negative feedback? I don't actually like it, but knowing that it can help me become better, I embrace it. Constructive criticism helps us grow and become better. God corrects us because He loves us. If we were all left to ourselves, we would never become the best that we can be.

Where do we draw the line between constructive criticism and hateful spiteful comments?

Please share your thoughts. I would like to learn from you.

I'm sharing more pics today. Some people have asked me if it's okay to copy the ideas and styles. Yes you can copy. Ideas are personal, products are public. Before I execute an idea, it's all mine, but as soon as I create it, it becomes something others can enjoy and recreate.

These ones are recent.

Here's Kenny @ our friend, Rotimi's wedding in October. This was one of my first designs after I got back from maternity leave.
Here's Taiye... They liked the dress so much, they didn't mind me making the same style for them.
Here's me at the same wedding. I wasn't able to finish my own dress in time for the wedding, so I wore this. I've since made mine, but I didn't take a pic when i wore it. i'll put it up when i do

This was also aso-ebi. Most people made iro and buba, cos the lace was pricey, but me?? Why make something I won't wear again?
Showing off the back view :)

Here's my babe Pu'a... Her baby is only a few weeks old and she's already rocking.... me likey
This lace dress for Adenike was also aso-ebi. Shesa id most people made iro and buba...
Another tulip dress

Thanks for dropping by. Please leave a comment, so I'll know you came
Life is short. Enjoy the journey

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I'mma make this quick cos I've got to go to bed if I have any plans of being useful at work today :)

You know, I was afraid to start blogging cos I thought it would take too much of my time? well, I came to say it's true!!!

I've been 'bloghopping' for the past 6 hours!!! It started with me looking up the blogs of a couple of people that replied my comments on bellanaija, and I went from one blog to another and yet another, only taking 2 breaks to nurse my baby.

Do I consider my time wasted? NO!
That's because in this time I have learnt a lot! You see, it's easy to sit in your cozy corner and think you're alright, until you humbly let God speak to you through others.

I'm now following some of those who inspired me. I couldn't figure out how to follow some of the wordpress people though. Please tell me how if you know.

This is me saying thank you to jhazmyn for reminding me to be grateful and NaijaMum for helping me feel normal. Dominique, BNW and Chichi for sharing. Nitty, Seshe and Blessing for cracking me up. Myne, Temi and Gbenga for unknowingly starting a fire in me.

Have a fab week!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Favorite dresses part 2


We can always find something to be thankful for if we look hard enough. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do what I love. I don’t take it for granted.

Here are some more dresses I love… Enjoy.

Here is Nkem in one of my earlier patchwork experiments in 07

Mrs Biodun-Kuti. 06..still fresh...

This 2 piece was also 07. We were going for lots of drama with the skirt and she loved it

Me... 07. Good old dry lace, red ribbons laced through...I'm still saving this dress cos I hope to fit into it again in this life time *AMEN* :)...I don't think I'll do all this 'matchy-matchy' again though...

I’m not sure if it’s because of the fabric, but I love this dress a lot.

Tinuke's monostrap dress. This was @ Nkem's wedding in 08. lovely...Aunty Nneka. 08

The next four are aso-ebi. What I like about aso-ebi is how you can make a person stand out when there are so many people wearing the same fabric.

With Funbi‘s dress, I incorporated the likey..

For Dunni, we used taffeta. And she did stand out

I was looking at Moradeke’s wedding pics on FB and I was thinking, hmm… fine girl, I like the fit of this dress… and then I saw it was Ayo wearing Gbemisoke. J

Here’s Ayo again, this time I was the photographer. See the difference between a pro and a… ermm...not so pro photog ;)

Another FB find :) Ayo in a patchwork skirt from 09...

Here’s Adenike of Ewar makeovers rocking the ‘Ewar dress’ I named this dress after her because I designed the dress from scratch for her

She looked so good in it, I made one for myself (and a couple more for her)... This was me at the City people awards in 09 :-)

Here’s Nike again in a top we made with the leftover fabric from the 1st Ewar dress. She has a way of making my work look good.

Nike rocks a piece from my 09 collection here

Same dress, different fabric

Here Funmi shows that with the right shoes and accessories (plus the right dose of swag which she adds), you can turn a ‘simple’ dress into something stunning

Patchwork dress from 08....
Ankara bubble dress with asymmetric ruched bodice... 2010aaaThis is dry lace with a touch of Ankara

The more pictures I look up, the more I find.... Plus I'm working on new stuff daily, so there's so much more to share.... *smile*

There's a gorgeous bride who'll be wearing gbemisoke tomorrow...make that today, cos it's almost midnight...I'll share her pics as soon as I get them and maybe try to find some pictures of other brides and bridesmaids I've done.... I fell like kicking myself for not being consistent with documenting my work *sigh*...well I'm glad I have these...

Thanks a lot for coming by. Please drop a line to let me know you visited
xoxo May your dreams come true...ciao