Single Mother Walking the Talk – Fashion

10th November 2014 by

This weekend, I watched a show called Extreme Cheapskates, for the first time, which led me to SuperScrimpers – and, do you know what I learnt?

I learnt that being conscious of our environment and saving money goes hand-in-hand. HURRAH! Now, this might already be incredibly obvious to you but as one of the newer members of the Otesha team, this was a revelation!

I always assumed that buying organic seasonal food was more expensive than shopping in a supermarket, that wearing vintage was only for trendsetters with money to burn and keeping my two children amused appropriately every weekend and school holiday was neigh on impossible without spending loads of money.

Absolutely great news for a single mother learning to walk the talk!

So walk beside me as I learn and change my family’s life, one step at a time.

My first subject (and huge passion): Fashion.


Shopping in your friend’s closets.

I’m massively lucky because my closest friends are all relatively the same size as me. When they are clearing their closets I make sure I’m sitting in the front row! I even offer to take their old stuff to the charity shop as a thank you – check me out!

When I have a special event such as a birthday meal or party, I beg and borrow clothes, bags, jewellery and shoes – that way my wardrobe has an amazing ‘rotation’ of dresses that never seem to be worn twice! Happy days.


Charity shops.

I love looking through the rails of a good charity shop. The sales assistants are always so friendly, you can always find amazing vintage and retro and as we all know, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure! And it’s cheap and cheerful and the money goes to a great cause!

Great for good quality bags, amazing chunky knit jumpers and vintage scarves.


Carboot sales.

Amazing for buying AND selling! A great day out for you and the family and you can haggle – super fun! I would recommend Capital Carboot in Pimlico on a Sunday.

A couple of weeks ago I got a pair of purple thigh high suede boots for a FIVER. Hardly worn, high quality and probably about £100 first hand in the shops. Not everyone’s cup of tea, sure – but hella 1970’s and beautiful for me!


Until next time!

Love, luck and light.


Plastic Fantastic

3rd November 2011 by

Ever mindful of the thousands of bits of brightly coloured plastic, created so quickly from oil that took millions of years to form, and the thousands of years they will take to degrade, it was exciting to stumble across Plastic Seconds.

Plastic Seconds is about unique and playful body adornments and people who are not scared to wear them and get noticed. It started with and is about a love for colourful plastic bottle tops – that cannot be recycled and get thrown away! Most of the Plastic Seconds pieces are limited editions and some are one of a kind, as the materials used are found objects collected through a random, fun and time consuming process.

Plastic seconds designer Maria Papadimitriou, creates necklaces out of pen lids, jigsaw pieces, mini soya sauce bottles, plugs, toothbrushes and bottle tops.

But she’s not the only one making beautiful things out of ugly bits of found plastic. Diana Boulay is also responding to an ecological problem creatively, she’s been making installations that explore colour and juxtaposition with ‘plastic cast-offs’ for more than 4 decades.

But the prize for the most impressive use of plastic has to go to Sayaka Ganz, who’s sculpted these incredible found objects d’art ‘Wayne’ (the eagle) and ‘Emergence’ (the two horses are called Night and Day).

But in close second is a beach wandering wilderbeast that roamed (yes it really moved) the beaches of Devon in 2010. Artist Theo Jansen created a 10 metre-long mechanical, walking ‘strandbeest’ (meaning beach animal) from scrap plastic tubing and water bottles. Taking inspiration from Darwinian evolution and  the beast used engineering principles to create sophisticated animal-like abilities.

I could go on and on. But I’ll stop here and see if anyone else has incredible plastic inventions to share.

How to make a tetra pak wallet!

3rd September 2010 by

Last night was piles of fun, hosting Otesha’s first Fair Wears craft night at Drink, Shop & Do. So many people turned up! Jo was expecting to be able to finish knitting her sock, but no! We were rushed off our feet answering questions about juice cartons and it was fab. So, I bet you’re wondering how you turn a juice carton into a beautiful creation, like the one in the picture above? Well..

First you need some good instructors, like us Otesha laydeez (next Fair Wears wallet-making sesh will probs be Thursday October 7th).

Then, you need some clean tetra paks, with the top and bottom cut off. Fold in along the sides.

Then fold into three sections, like super speedy Laura here, get out the scissors and do some snipping to get it into shape. Good visual instructions can be found here (although instead of using staples, we just leave an extra flap that we can tuck in to hold the wallet together).

You can leave it there and look pretty cool and parade your beverage of choice when you whip out your wallet, or you can take it a step further and cover it with fabric and add a fastener. I got out the needle and thread and covered mine with a flowery scrap of fabric, added a retro button and some red string to fasten it all together.

Voila! It used to be a cranberry juice carton. How it has gone up in the world.

This was cross-posted from hannamade

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