Weekend reading: stage fright, trigger warnings and bananas


The New Yorker | I can’t go on! What’s behind stage fright? Joan Acocella explores the history of stage fright and how it affects people.

The Atlantic | The Coddling of the American Mind Can trigger warnings, which aim to protect university students, actually harm their mental health?

The Atlantic | That’s not funny! Today’s college students can’t seem to take a joke Are American universities rejecting comedy that unsettles in favour of comedy that soothes?

The Economist | The medium matters Does the physical act of writing (slumped or erect, in bed or at a desk) influence how and what we write?

Quartz | Move over Shakespeare, teen girls are the real language disruptors Researchers think it was young women that changed hath, doth, maketh to has, does, makes. We can also thank them for vocal fry, the use of “like” and uptalk.

SuzelleDIY – How to Make Braaied Brandy Banana Splits

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Swiftie X-stitch: Shake It Off!


I listen to Taylor Swift’s 1989 album every week. I put it on when I’m cooking, driving and relaxing in the garden. When Shake It Off was released last year I played it on repeat for about two weeks.

I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who probably loves Taylor more than I do. We’re total Swifties.

I have started sewing again recently. I wanted to do a quick cross stitch to get my fingers back into shape. This little Shake It Off cross stitch took about 60 minutes. The pattern is below.

If you make one please share your creation on Instagram with the hashtags #kateomegamade and #swiftieXstitch. I would love to see them!

Shake it Off!

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 Get your cross stitch fingers ready!

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Frankenstein upholstery: how not to recover a stool


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I found this little stool at Resurrection, a charity  shop on Melville’s 7th Street. I didn’t like the fabric but the I loved the shape of the stool’s legs and its proportions. I flipped it over and saw that the seat could be removed. The shop was having a 50% sale so I happily handed over R82.50 and took it home.

It took a while to decide what I would do with it. I settled on recovering the seat with spotty blue and white fabric that I had left over from a skirt I made. My next task was to hunt down a staple gun. Luckily a friend had one that I could borrow.

So this weekend I gathered my supplies and sat down to make over the stool. I flipped it over and tried to unscrew the seat. The screws wouldn’t budge. Even enlisting the help of my stronger armed boyfriend didn’t help. We had a closer look and realised that the stool’s previous owner had used a fair bit of glue when they inserted the screws.

To recover the stool properly I would need to take the stool apart (forcefully) and then put it back together with a drill. But there were two things standing in the way of this responsible plan: I don’t own a drill and I wanted to recover the stool now.

I decided on a compromise. One day this little stool will get the love and attention it deserves. I will forcefully and lovingly take it apart and recover it properly. But for now (whether now is two months or two years) I will have it in my lounge and it will look lovely.

I started recovering the seat and taking pictures for the blog to show you how I did it. I even took a picture of the staple gun to show you that you would need a staple gun! By the fourth picture I realised that there was no way I could post these pictures and tell you with any authority that this was the way to recover a stool. So this isn’t a tutorial for how to recover a stool, it’s rather an example of making something work until you have the money or the tools to do it properly. And to be honest there was no skill involved. I pretty much wrapped the seat of the stool with my fabric, slide the fabric under the frame and staple gunned the hell out of it. It’s not pretty down there.

But you know what? When you look at it (not too closely) you can’t tell. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. That’ll do little stool, that’ll do.

IMG_4319-001If you enjoyed this post follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also sign up for email notifications (at the top of the page). Pop by on Friday morning for my Weekend Reading post.

Weekend reading: adulthood, blogging and meatballs


“Adulthood” Is a Myth. Fake it ’til you make it. Or something. A Practical Wedding has published the most wonderful essays on what it means to be a “grownup”. In this essay Hayley Cotter talks about waiting (sometimes desperately) for that “adulthood” feeling.

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Growing a minimalist wardrobe: step 1. Erin, from Reading My Tea Leaves, offers some useful advice to those wanting to slim down their wardrobe.

Smitten Kitchen: Lamb meatballs with feta and lemon. I made these for dinner this week and they are delicious! The lemon, mint and olives are a welcome change from a normal tomato sauce.  I served the meatballs with mini pita breads.

The Next Big Thing. Daniel, over at Manhattan Nest, has bought a new house! It’s tiny and hidden in a mini forest. I can’t wait to see what he does with it.

When Blogging Becomes a Slog. The New York Times takes a look at Young House Love‘s (temporary?) exit from the blogosphere.

Suzelle shows us how to peel a lot of potatoes. You will need a drill, toilet brush and bucket!