Sunday, 1 December 2013

Spotted in Kumba: African Pygmy Kingfisher

On the photography radar today is this tiny bird, the African Pygmy Kingfisher. It has similar colouring to the Blue-breasted Kingfisher pictured here but apart from being much smaller, it's feet and breast are completely orange. It's crown is also orange with some blue on top.  It can easily be mistaken for an African Dwarf Kingfisher which has a completely orange crown (I'm not entirely sure that this bird is not a Dwarf Kingfisher). It is also different from the Malachite Kingfisher which has a vibrant blue crown. Enjoy...

Thursday, 14 November 2013

My latest sewing aspiration: The tulle skirt...

For some time now, I've mused over the possibility of making this delicate and somewhat tricky item; a tulle skirt. It's an item a girl just simply must have (this girl particularly)! It adds versatility to any wardrobe simply by making an outfit playful, sophisticated, chic and/or classy depending on how you choose to wear it. Since I can only shop high-street online now (on account of living in the K), I have resolved to making items that I really like. The one problem I foresee is finding tulle netting in Kumba. Will hit all the stores tomorrow morning and if nothing turns up, might have to make a trip to Douala as well. Fingers crossed! In the meantime, I've been reading some great tutorial and style posts of tulle skirts online. I managed to collect a sample of the most comprehensive ones, ranging from simple to moderately challenging. I also found some that I think are absolutely gorgeous even though they appear to be out of my league, especially because there are no tutorials. Tulle skirts come in a variety of shapes and styles, but I'm particular to the full skirt and the circle skirt cuts. Looking forward to making one soon. If you also like the big girl tutu like I do, you'll enjoy this collection...

Source: See tutorial here
Source: See tutorial here
Source: blog
Source: blog
Source: See tutorial here
Source: here

The pictures in this post belong to other bloggers. I have provided a link to all the sources. If your picture is featured and you wish it to be removed, please send a message to and your picture will be removed promptly. Cheers...

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Sewing practice: Tried my hand at chiffon.

I'm back. I know I've been gone for too long and I really didn't plan to. I fell quite ill with Malaria and at first I thought I could shake it off in a few days, but it lingered with migraines and sapped the energy out of me for three whole weeks. All better now, hooray!!! I haven't had the chance to sew anything new yet. This blouse was completed just before I fell ill and didn't have the energy to do a photo shoot until today.  

I've had these gold thread jacquard trousers from Zara since last Fall. They went for about £39.99 at the time and there were only three in the store, neither of which were the right fit so I had to order from the online store.  I love them because the fabric is gorgeous and more importantly, they fit perfectly. I recently stumbled upon the perfect blouse to go with these cropped trousers in my sisters closet, during our recent closet reunion! Every time I meet either of my sisters we end up doing a "what's in your closet these days" closet/suitcase raid, which almost always results in a dilemma that can only be resolved by a swap or a reluctant but loving gift! Unfortunately for me, this blouse happened to be too small. It has no sleeves, so I knew immediately that I could make a similar one to go with my jacquard trousers. 

I got half a meter of black chiffon and some glittery fabric (don't know what it's called) from the Kumba main market early last month. Woke up at about 5:30 AM on a weekend morning to get a head-start on it before the girls woke up. Spent my entire morning panicking while working with chiffon for the first time. Took a while for me to get used to the way chiffon behaves during the cutting, pinning and sewing processes. It's also the first time I've made a collar... if I remember correctly. The collar on the original is quite glittery, with bright gold sequins. My copy is toned down and not as glittery, matching the temperature of the trousers perfectly (weird to be thinking this deeply about clothes but, there)! I took the time to carefully put the collar on and didn't cut corners at all. I think the finished product looks great but whats really great is how perfectly this blouse goes with my jacquard trousers. Enjoy...

This is what I was shooting for:
Gold collar chiffon blouse paired with gold jacquard trousers from Zara 

Here is the original I copied:

 I got black chiffon and this metallic thread fabric:

Work in progress

Black chiffon blouse with gold collar and back buttons

Stretched mini twists

Zara gold jacquard trousers

Zara gold jacquard trousers

Items list
Self-made black sheer chiffon blouse 
Gold jacquard trousers(Zara. Sold out. Get it here) Other blogger styling it to perfection Here
Black heels (Zara. Sold out)
Gold pendant necklace worn as bracelet (Express. From years ago)

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Cropped fitted trousers in black/white

Happily starting the new month with a sewing/style post. I haven't done much sewing this past month due to lack of motivation. Everything that could possibly happen to deter me from starting a new project happened! I misplaced my seam ripper. This is a big deal! Everyone knows what a hindrance this can be when one needs to undo seams and make all manner of adjustments. It was also the month when school resumed in Cameroon and I've been adjusting to my additional role as soccer mom and homework supervisor! There has been little or no time in the day to give sewing any real attention. I did eventually stumble upon my ripper while looking for something totally different. Over this past super long weekend ( five days off, hooray!.. I really shouldn't be celebrating at all. My children are still pretty illiterate...), I committed to finishing these trousers for my sister and managed to put on the finishing touches yesterday. The fabric is a loosely woven cotton print in black and white. We picked it out for her during a fabric shopping trip more than a month ago. The cut is a copy of a pair of cropped trousers I have that my sister really likes but that I've been unwilling to part with. I think she's pretty happy with how hers turned out. My sister is also trying her hand at sewing now, and thoroughly enjoying the learning process. I styled the trousers with this crisp white collarless shirt from Forever21, metallic gladiator sandals from Guess?, silver accent jewelry, RayBan sunglasses and M.A.C's pop of lip-colour in Rebel. Here she is rocking the ensemble! Enjoy...

Fitted cropped trousers in black and white
Bobble necklace and matching earrings 

Guess gladiator heels

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Picture post: Orange blossoms

This year is proving to be the year of "awareness through photography" for me! Interestingly, though I grew up in this very same town in Cameroon, I had never noticed citrus fruit blossoms in Kumba before. Obviously, citrus fruits come about on their trees the same way pretty much every other fruit I've come across does; except maybe pineapples. Buds appear, they bloom, they get pollinated, the petals fall off, the ovules enlargen and you have the beginnings of fruit. The entire process happens in close response to both the environmental elements and some animals in the same habitat area. For orange trees in Cameroon, this process happens several times a year. They even begin to bloom a new set of oranges while the old ones are still hanging on the tree. Can't say the same for mangoes. I'm sure most people I know wish mangoes would bloom more than once every year. Just looking at these blooms and little oranges gives me a feeling of sweet citrusy joy! These are the new beginnings that will take this orange season into the end of the year. Enjoy...

Orange blossoms of Kumba Cameroon

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Spotted: West African Red-vented Weaver

I spotted this bird yesterday morning, and then again this morning on my way to drop the kids off. Both times at the very same spot, perched on a high stalk within some very tall grass. I figured it must have a nest nearby. I took my camera for a walk as soon as I got home, and found the bird exactly where I'd seen it earlier. At first glimpse I'd thought it was probably a kingfisher, but on closer zoom, I was able to see that aside from it's colouring, it is very similar to the many weaving birds that make their home in this part of the country. I see quite a variety of weavers around these parts all the time, but the Red-vented Weaver (aka Red-vented Malimbe) seems to be more of the solitary type. In the 30 minutes  that I stalked this individual darting about, singing happily, I did not spot any potential companions nearby. The bird did the singing. I was more preoccupied with watching where I stepped in the grass which looked like prime hiding or living quarters for snakes.  Here is a link to an informative article on weavers Enjoy!

West African Red-vented Weaver

Red-vented Weaver

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