I'm a failure

Thank you ever so much for the advice on which frock to wear to the wedding. I did wear the patterned dress - and felt much more comfy wearing it thanks to your lovely comments. There are no pictures, sorry: my husband never thinks to record the historic occasion of my wearing a dress. I am in several of the official photographs, mind... pulling some awful expressions... Oh well.

Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that I am a failure. No, not because I haven't blogged in weeks (months?). I pretty much always do that each summer. Partly because my days are filled with creating memories for the kids, and partly because they start to wind each other up something awful by the end of the long break and need supervision if we are to avoid things coming to blows...

No, I think that I am a failure at being a girl.

The facts:

1. Someone suggested that I wear my hair up at the wedding and I realised that I would have no clue how to do that. A ponytail is about my limit.

2. I only wear make up on occasions where I feel that it will be more noticeble that I am not wearing make up - such as a wedding.

3. I am convinced that I look like a racoon when I apply make up, but photos of the event make it look like I am not wearing any.

4. Oh, and the make up that I have is so old that the applicator sponge / brush things started to disintegrate on me when I tried to use them.

5. By make up, I pretty much just mean eye shadow.

6. I wear jeans and t-shirts almost daily, unless it is summer. In summer I switch the jeans for shorts.

7. I know how many times I have worn a dress in the almost 10 years that I have been married (8 times).

8. 'Styling' my hair consists of my straightening it every morning... and that's it.

9. My beauty routine is: wash face with soap and water.

10. I have no idea how to conceal the dark circles under my eyes caused by staying up for online rugby games with a 1.30am kick-off (who on earth chose New Zealand to be the hosts for the World Cup, anyway??)

That all seems pretty pathetic for a woman in her mid-thirties.

Now, I don't plan on wearing make up daily or anything like that, but I have been thinking that it might be time for things to be a little bit more girly over here. So far progress has been limited to buying a denim skirt (ok, it has attached shorts underneath, but that's just practical when you have kids) and wearing it several times this summer - with wedge sandals! Ooh, I also bought a dress... that I, um, chopped the bottom off to make it into a top... but it's quite a feminine knotted top... That counts, right?

Still, I have a few ideas (ah, Pinterest... http://pinterest.com/uklassinus/clothes/) for sewing a few shirts and maybe dresses for myself. I just hope that you don't mind if I'm asking you lot for styling tips every now and then.

It's time for my sewing machine to come out of its summer hibernation.

Now something that I am far too excited about is that I have finally got a craft space. Don't go envisioning one of those beautifully styled craft rooms. I live in a Californian home with no basement or spare room and kids that are best kept in separate bedrooms. My craft space is a secretary desk from Ikea (I wonder if I would love their furniture so much if I didn't get to put it together?):
Open the top and I have a sewing surface - much better than the corner of the dining table, methinks!The notions and whatnot have their space, too:
All that was left was to find a spot for the fabric that was stuck on the shelves in my bedroom. Out came two low boxes to go under the window and my fabric hoarding habit is helpfully hidden from general view... I'm a happy girl.

Translation of the day:

UK English: rugger (informal) = rugby in US English.

If you have never watched rugby, it is a form of football, played with an oval ball, but is a much better version than what Americans call football: not so much stopping and starting for starters. There's a World Cup going on right now and America are fielding a team, but TV coverage in this country is pitiful. So go on, check out the American team on cable. Maybe if the ratings are good enough they might want to screen some of the games of the other teams, like, oh, England, next World Cup...


  1. If you're a failure, I'm worse. the most I do to my hair is brush it (and not always even that because brushing it tends to turn it to frizz instead of unruly waves). I went on a "girls' night out" over the summer and from all the positive comments I got it became apparent that most people think I don't make enough effort on a daily basis - "but why don't you dress up like this more often?" Bah.

    But I LOVE your sewing solution. I'm sure I'd sew more if my machine was easier to get to.

  2. Oh, how I identify myself. I have met you over the summer and I really like how you work and the things that you do. And now, I discover that we are very much alike, and you haven't even mentioned high heels (which my feet hate. I love the Ikea desk. Very smart solution!

  3. I too am a girl failure. My daughter found a tube of lipstick in our house yesterday (from my wedding? that's the last time I wore lipstick--11 years ago) and she didn't know what it was. She's almost six.

    When I had a girl baby both aunts immediately volunteered to teach her all girl related stuff knowing I wouldn't be able to. I don't even know how to straighten my hair although I do wear skirts (cooler than shorts for our hot summers). Glad there are other non make up wearers out there!

  4. You know, wearing earrings and mascara daily (I'm good at the first, bad at the second) can make quite a girly difference.

  5. don't feel bad!! it's great you don't feel a need to wear makeup and all every day :) I personally have got the the point where i find it a total hassle to deal with every day, but feel naked without it. so i'm stuck. If i could do it over again I think i'd not have started this habit!! I don't do anything with my hair, though...tbh sometimes I leave the house and realize i even forgot to brush it, oops!!

    and i agree---that desk is brilliant! I am so stealing that idea.

  6. I never wear makeup, I cut all my hair off so I wouldn't ever have to do it again, I wear skirts (but only because they are cooler than shorts in the summer), maybe some simple earrings every day, I don't wear heels, I can barely remember to shave my legs. I don't have time to mess with lots of girly things. You are in good company.

  7. I'm soooo in the same spot. I see all these other glamorous looking women, skinny, with thier perfect kids and then look at frumpy myself in jeans.... I've been thinking of a style coach. Yep, that's what I need. :) But alas, I'll never hire one... Ahhh, but none of the things you listed makes you a failure, so I don't buy the title of this post! :)

  8. your not a failure lol i envy women who look great wthout make upp or are happy going without. as for your sewing space i love it ive always thought those sort of things are great and when i move i will eventually have somethin similair. i currently have a fold up garden table lol x

  9. you are definitely my kind of gal!! And NZ is fine for the rugby - don'tknow what you're complaining about. Although of course Australia would be better :-) tee hee!



  10. You're too funny. You sound like me. I do wear eye make up each day unless I know I am not going out. T-shirt and shorts in the summer and t-shirt and jeans (or sweat pants if I am staying home) in the winter.

    I think I read your comment about wearing a dress in the last 10 years too fast. For a second there I thought I read in the last 10 years you were married 8 times. LOL.

  11. I love your list because it sounds just like me! The last time I wore a skirt everyone (and I mean everyone) commented! I haven't tried it since! LOL

  12. Keep your chin up! I love girly things and yet when it comes to the rest, I'm much like you. I know how to put on makeup because my brother bought me a how-to book one year, but I never wear any because my husband prefers me without. I have long hair, but it always gets stuck up. I love dresses, but have only recently started wearing them again because I like putting my feet up.

    If you ever need to get dressed up for an event, here's my tip. Go to the makeup counter at a department store. They do your makeup for free in order to introduce you to their products and even teach you how to use it if you have questions. Then you don't have to worry about trying to use old crumbly makeup... I've had to throw mine all out, it was so old.

    You're lovely and never forget it! It's the way you love life and not the way you dress each day. Based on your blog, you're a brilliant girl!

  13. Make-up and "girly" clothes are not ways to measure your success or failure as a person! Don't let magazines and TV shows bully you into being something other than yourself. I really think the pressure's worse over there than here in the UK. My sister and I were in a NYC taxi a couple of weeks ago and they have very annoying TV screens in the back with a constant stream of adverts. One of the ads was for some make-up or other, with a woman who went "Hey! Hellooo? Yeah, I'm talking to you! Did you really think you could get away with leaving home with no make-up on today? Think again." We called her some mildly abusive names and continued on our way make-up free.

  14. Then I add myself to the list of failures. I was talking to a mum this morning whose daughter's new teacher wears bright red lipstick 'so of course all the little girls love her'. Perhaps it's as simple as that. My gran still wears lipstick if she's going to be in a photo. I might start following her lead.

  15. Ha ha...I agree with the people above...you're not a failure and I am way worse! I have worn makeup 3 times in my life...once early on and my boyfriend (now ex..I wonder why!) said I looked ridiculous. 2nd as a practice for my wedding and at my actual wedding. As for a dress...ha ha God knows when the last time was or even if there was a time since I started picking my own clothes! I didn't even have a dress for my wedding! BUT all that said my daughter does sometimes tell me I should dress up more (she's 6)..ugghh then I feel a failure!

  16. You're funny! My sister and I were probably a hopeless disappointment to my always very well dressed and beautifully glamourous mum. Neither of us were really girly and she had to drag us to clothes shops kicking and screaming. I have succumbed with age however and do wear make up and brush my hair more often ;)

  17. Oh no, you are not a failure!!! Somebody who sews like you do is not a failure : ) I think you got it all right, keep it up - and hooray for carving out a small crafty space

  18. I don't wear makeup, would prefer to wear pajamas on a daily basis if it weren't socially unacceptable (outside of a college campus setting), and dresses only come out on one of 2 occasions, a wedding or a day so hot that even shorts seem too warm. I think there are a lot more of us out there than we realize.

  19. failure schmailure! It's beautiful when people are just comfortable with themselves, not necessarily what they are wearing or how they have made up their face. Having said that sometimes it does feel nice to ramp it up a bit. Well, mostly I feel that way after watching "What Not to Wear" and then I think "Oooooh I should put more effort into it." But then I look over at my husband and think sheesh it's not like he's trying hard why should I... :)

  20. You're not a failure. Look at all the lovely clothes you make for your children! I haven't made any clothes for my little girl...yet.

    Anyway, your craft space is lovely and organised. I'm currently scanning my tiny appartment to see whether I can fit a similar storage desk anywhere.

    Have a good weekend


  21. Don't think negative for your self. You have boost your confident and learn how to be good. Anyway, I like your place where I can see that you have a wonderful place to live in.

  22. I blame you entirely for my latest project!
    Thank you

  23. Your Ikea desk is a lovely idea for a craft/sewing space. I´ll take your idea for me.
    I don´t know if my future sewing machine will have space enough inside, so before buy the desk I´ll phone ikea.
    Thanks for you idea... be happy, your handmades are lovely.