Only old ladies knit!

Why do I knit? I was once told I look like I should be dancing in a night club and not knitting. Was this because I have pink hair and am not an old lady? So why do I knit?

Knitting on Table Mountain

Knitting on Table Mountain

K – Knowledge: because I can. My mother taught me how to knit as a young child. I grew up surrounded by crafts and saw their value as I watched them being created. It all starts with being taught. Sadly so many have a bad start at school and are put off for life. Find the right person to teach you. Once you have the basics, the options are limitless you can just keep adding new skills. The list of things you can make is endless. Learning and challenging our mind is said to keep Alzheimer’s and Dementia at bay – bonus.

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Growing the pink out?

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I am thinking of growing my pink hair out. This is not the first time I have thought this, but I usually chicken out and just redye it. I love my pink hair. It has become part of my identity, but I do wonder if my strawberry blonde hair is still there.

Rachel has hair like mine used to be. I was convinced mine when more brown as I got old but now looking back at photos I am not sure.
This is me when the kids were small

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Pinky is back – and I had a birthday party

I turned 36 yesterday and I decided it was a good age to have a birthday party. I usually do the braai and jeans thing on my birthday. I realize that 36 is not traditionally a big birthday but I am not really one for tradition. I guess I might skip the 40th then, who knows, I have leant not to plan the future.

While I never wear heels for height reasons I quite like dressing up now and again. But this time for my birthday I thought, height be damned I am going to wear heels and have a cocktail party. I really enjoyed it but my feet are not thanking me.

The night before I needed to do my hair and the choice was whether to stay light pink or go darker again. The Geek likes the lighter pink, but he is very careful to make sure that I know it is up to me to do what makes me happy. I said to him that I thought I would go back to my normal colour. He looked a a little shocked and said ” what, brown?” I told him not to be ridiculous, I meant my bright pink. That is what I think of as my normal proper colour.

It makes me happy when my hair is pink. This is rather a poor quality picture but I like it anyway. Hooray for Atomic Pink

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I cooked and baked for the party

savoury snacks

I got to use our wedding lemonade stand again
Lemonade stand

party snacks

Nadine from Jorjacs Cakes did it again with another great cake. I gave her free reign to do whatever she liked. I just said it was a cocktail party to dres up and wear high heel shoes.
Cake

I landed up taking very few pictures during the party and don’t have any of The Geek and his brother together in their Tuxedos. I am not sure if anyone else took pictures, we just all seemed too busy chatting.

I did get one of Titus and Yme
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Here is one of the few of me
Pink Hair

Blowing out candles and cutting the cake with Rachel
Blowing candlecutting cake

And although there are no photos of them on, and thankfully no photos of The Geek and i standing next to each other, here are the shoes I wore. My feet still do not feel normal!
shoes

Wedding Hair on the Big Day

I blogged quite a lot about what I was going to do with my hair for wedding.
At first I thought I might like it rainbow I then later had a vote on the blog to see what options people liked. It still surprises me that 111 people voted!

I went for a few hair trials and found out a lot about what I did not want.

In the end I (we, as we don’t really talk about the fact that The Geek has hair dyeing skills) did my hair colour at home. We have been doing it for so long that it was just easiest and cheapest for the budget. Since the vote for a light pink with blonde, which I really loved. I had been working on getting my colour lighter. I used Special Effects as always, but the Cupcake pink, and then mixed it with conditioner to get a light pink colour. I had been dyeing the roots with this as they grew out and letting the back slowing wash out and fade from the bright days of Atomic Pink to the softer shade on the day. It is amazing how much pink was left even after no having dyed that part of my hair for over a year.

weddinghairI then found the lovely Natasha who is a make-up artist, home school mom and blogger she normally does Make up for TV Commercials but she agreed to come and help me. She did my hair, my bridesmaid Ghilraen and both our Make-Up. What was even more amazing was that she came to the place my parents were renting at 5:30am to help us all get ready on time. I really love the way my hair and make up turned out on the day. We did a trial 2 weeks before and she really listened to me and captured what I wanted. I am always worried with someone doing my make up that it is going to be too much. I wear very little normally but Natasha was wonderful, she was very understated and kept me looking like me ( just on a really good day)

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wedding hair

Here I am signing the register and you can see the hair from the side. Please note the pen I am signing with. Carle’s attention to detail meant that she found a pen made from a knitting needle, and it was in pink! And of course the beautiful tiara that The Geek got me. But that and the necklace need a post of their own.
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Ghilraen and I together. I think we looked great
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Ghilraen’s Hair at the back
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Wedding Hair

I went to do the colour for the wedding trial hair today. When in to the hair dresser at 11:30 and out at 4:15! It was a long day but it was quite nice not to have kids running around calling Mommy every 0.035 seconds.

We did a paler pink, left some lighter blond bits, it is hard to do it exactly like the other pic as it is not blonde to start with and rather pic. That picture was blonde with pink marbled on. So unless I bleached it all and stripped out the pink it would not work and I really don’t want to strip or damage my hair.

Here is the final result

I love the sides BUT I think the the plaits must go into the roll and be a bit less fussy at the back, what do you think?

this is the part I am not sure about

Touching lives

I have always believed in the power of sharing your story and owning your truth. I was reminded how sometimes simply sharing your experience can connect you with someone else for a profound moment. Seeing as it was Women’s Day today it seemed fitting to share this story.

At the expo I did in Joburg with Carle I had the following experience. I was chatting to a lady about crocheting socks, she was a vendor at a stall a couple down from us. As we were chatting I overheard 2 of the other ladies saying “not that I will ever get married again, but if I do this is such a nice idea” – she was paging through a magazine. I never saw what she was talking about, but being a bit of a big mouth, I could not help but pipe up “I also said I would never get married again and now I am” She looked at me as if to say; Yes, but you don’t know where I have come from. She then said “can I ask you something personal, why do you have pink hair”. I told her that after my disastrous marriage I came out having lost who I was, and very very sad. The pink hair was the road to finding myself. It made me happy and it reminded me to never again forget who I was or let it get changed or buried by someone else. To be true to myself, even if that person was a bit odd and quirky. She said something like it was lovely and rather brave. We small talked a bit and then I had to go back to our stall.

Later just before I was leaving for the airport she called me over and she said “I just wanted to say that I really admire you, you came out of your bad marriage with pink hair and I came out fat” I looked into her eyes and could see the pain as clearly as if it it had been freshly carved into her soul, yet there were layers of hurt from years of pain. I just said “You are a strong and beautiful woman and you can find the person lost inside again – it will get better” There was a connection and moment when time stood still and I just held her eyes and tried to send as much love as I could. I was then called to leave and the moment was over. I hope she believed me, I hope she knows how special and valuable she is as a person, worthy of great love. I saw someone who believed she would never marry again as she had been so torn down, she did not see herself as able to find someone to love her for who she was. I hope she finds that someone, but most of all I hope there are more women on her journey willing to share their stories that might help her heal.

I hope I touched her life in a small way because she touched mine, she connected with me and gave me a piece of her hurting soul that I will carry with me. I hope I gave her a piece of my vision that it can be better and that it lightened her load a little.

Someone once told me he did not want to love again because each person he loved he gave a piece of his heart to and felt like soon there would be nothing to give anymore. I think he missed the point or maybe I remember his point wrong. I feel different, I feel that we have to give pieces of our heart and soul away so that we can receive pieces back. These help us see the world through experiences different to our own. I know he was talking about a girlfriend, but when you fear connection, be it in a relationship or in a brief encounter with a stranger, I think you lose the chance to change your life and theirs. Not all people were supposed to stay in our lives for long, some are just a passing encounter. We only have to be open to looking past the masks we all wear and seeing the soul.

This is not a pat me on the back kind of story, see how great I am for connecting with someone. It is to show that sometimes we don’t know how powerful sharing our story can be and how much it can touch someone else’s life. Being able to feel like we are not alone in our experiences, is often what we need to find a way through them. I have had those who have inspired and shared with me that have made my road easier and to each of them I say thank you.

It is never going to be what you planned


www.AndreinAfrica.com

If there was one thing I hope to teach my kids about life, it is that life will never go to plan or be what you had imagined. Remember the days when as kids we dressed up as doctors, nurses, teachers, firemen, gymnasts, ballarinas etc and we played and pretended what life would be like?

My sister and I would spend hours turing our bedrooms into school rooms to teaching our dolls and teddies. I remember the photos of me in my Dr Snuggles T-shirt, pretending to be the dentist, and digging in the mouth of the, poor well natured and ever obliging, little girl next door. The grocery shop we set up, or the tea parties we held, pretending to be fancy ladies. We dreamed of a happy life and great careers. We imagined the nice houses and the loving partners. We had the perfect wedding in mind with all romance and the joy. Even boys, who might not dream about the wedding, often think of being married one day and maybe having kids. We imagine growing old, and all in all, life going well. While we might, like Caleb, have high hopes of being a Lego Scientist or another less realistic dream, actually most of our thoughts are just about a normal life, a happy existence in which things go to plan. With enough fun moments to have made it great.

One of the hardest lessons, as a adult, is that it never goes to plan. In reality we know bad stuff happens but somehow we feel immune to it. I never in a million years dreamed that I would have a failed marriage at 31 or that I would have kids by different dads, it is neither good nor bad, it just did not enter into my thinking. I never imagined I would lose my faith and feel freer than all the years before. I did not know it was possible to feel heart ache so deep that it leaves you unable to stand or even breath. I did not realize that at times I would be the one causing the pain or that some relationship are so different from what you both planned but yet they are so important that you could not imagine not having them. The notion of having a gun in my face and wondering what bullets felt like, was not something I had bargained on. I knew I want to be a parent but I was so ill prepared for the unbelievable highs, the moments of joy that feel like your heart might actually burst, and in contract, the times when parenting is so hard and so frustrating you wonder why anyone does it at all.

And it is not only me, I never imagined I would cry with my friend who’s 2 month old baby died, that my friend with the near perfect marriage would be faced with a brain injured husband. That I would laugh until my face and sides ached over a butter dish, and that having pink hair would help me connect with a stranger about leaving a bad marriage and finding yourself.

That said I never thought I would have pink hair!

This is a strange world and life is a crazy, wonderful, hard and beautiful. Never to be take for granted but not possible to be planned. Just live each moment the best you can.

Did your life go to plan?

Manic Panic Winner

I know this is not quite midday but like I said we might be busy, and we were. We went to the science center and Titus and Caleb had a great time.

But without further delay here is the winner

Cupcakemummy

I like you all to know that I draw these fairly so I found an on line site that will show that the name was randomly drawn after the list of names was scrambled.

Manic Panic Giveaway colours

Gabbi from Anonamiss Beauty Emporium emailed me the most amazing pictures of the Giveaway dyes on real people. These colours are awesome. Look at that Yellow it is fabulous!

Remember you don’t need to be as bold as to do a whole head of hair, highlights or doing the bottom half of your hair so that the roots are not such an issue is also possible.

Draw is on Friday at midday or as close as I can, so hurry and don’t miss the chance to brighten your world