The Coffee Addiction

I am aware of my flaws and today….growing aware of my addictions. But I didn’t think that others noticed. Recently a group of newish friends commented on the fact that I am quite addicted…..addicted to coffee. Their observations are true I guess, I cannot dispute that I love my coffee and some days I need my coffee. It is not uncommon for me to be reaching for my second cup shortly after the school run. And I feel it on those days….the fuggly, clouded feeling when my body is in go slow mode and craves a boost.

I have friends who talk about how coffee adversely impacts their body, their mood and wellbeing and I am quick to brush off these ideas. Apart from during pregnancy when I am nauseous and hate the taste of coffee (45 months in total) I have been consuming coffee for several decades. Like alcohol coffee has become a social lubricant, a reason to catch up, talk and meet.  But maybe it is just not good for me. No addiction is….So maybe I need a challenge. As I spring clean my home, maybe my body needs a detox, maybe it needs to become a caffeine free zone.

Will you partner with me over the next few weeks and give this a go?  Leave me a comment and pledge to be my “Coffee Busters” partner for the next 7 days. I look forward to the challenge.

And in my reading and research on the topic of coffee addiction I came across a documentary which may be of interest and this humorous take from Nico Lang : 5o Signs you’re a Coffee Addict. Have a laugh for me!

  1. You pregame coffee with coffee or other forms of caffeine.
  2. You were once seen shotgunning a Diet Coke outside of a café to prepare for drinking more coffee inside.
  3. You make it a rule to have coffee before any important coffee meeting, because you want to already be alert and perky in advance.
  4. You leave some of the coffee you drank before bed on your nightstand, just so you have coffee ready at the moment you wake up.
  5. You prefer to date other coffee drinkers because their mouth tastes like coffee.
  6. You have strongly considered hooking yourself up to an IV filled with coffee and carrying it around with you at all times.
  7. Your formula for making your own coffee is two bags of coffee per cup of water.
  8. You make your coffee so strong no one else will drink it and other people will actually beg you not to make coffee.
  9. You work at a soup kitchen not just because you want to help people but also because it’s an endless hook up for free coffee.
  10. You look at your expenses for the month and see that you spend more on coffee than clothing or food.
  11. You sneak coffee into bars, movie theaters and sometimes sex.
  12. You’ve ever taken a break during sex to “caff up.”
  13. You know what “caff up” means and can say it without laughing.
  14. You sometimes color coordinate your coffee thermos with what you are wearing that day.
  15. You openly judge others on their coffee orders and are vehemently anti-Frappucino.
  16. You drink Frappucinos anyway, when life gets desperate and you really need any caffeine.
  17. You like your coffee like you like your men. In any form you can get it.
  18. You have recurring sexual fantasies or sexual daydreams that involve coffee.
  19. You would marry coffee, if coffee were a person.
  20. You go to pick up coffee beans at the store to grind and a large number of them don’t make it back to your home, because you ate them.
  21. You learned how to brew your own coffee before you learned how to cook.
  22. You sing Harry Nilsson’s “Without You” at karaoke and mentally dedicate it to coffee.
  23. You have dated numerous baristas because of their proximity to free coffee.
  24. You would get turned on when your ex came home from work smelling of the brew.
  25. You have gotten a number of your friends addicted to coffee, because people who are around you always end up drinking it more often than they ever would elsewhere.
  26. You don’t believe in wasting coffee and have actually stopped others from pouring it out by shouting, “No coffee left behind!”
  27. You always tell waiters they can just “leave the pot.”
  28. You will probably put on your tombstone: “Keep it coming.”
  29. You plan to be buried with a to-go cup in your hand.
  30. You spend more time at the café closest to your house than you do at your apartment.
  31. You are on a first-name basis with most of the people that work at said café, their immediate family members, their children and their friends.
  32. You have your family, your chosen family and your “coffee family.”
  33. You don’t take cream in your coffee because it leaves less room for the coffee.
  34. You don’t believe in Americano because you would just prefer a cup full of espresso and started ordering red eyes so there will be no superfluous water in your cup.
  35. You don’t believe in Santa Claus; you believe in Juan Valdez.
  36. You can order a tall blonde with a red eye and know nothing bad is happening.
  37. You have named your mugs.
  38. You don’t remember what life before coffee was like.
  39. You plan on — if you ever win an Oscar — thanking coffee in your acceptance speech.
  40. You secretly don’t see the point of tea.
  41. You once tried to give up coffee and replaced caffeine with crying spontaneously.
  42. You once asked if you could order your coffee “by the barrel.” (They said no.)
  43. You know who the CEOs of Starbucks, Caribou Coffee and Intelligentsia are without looking.
  44. You are known to be a regular at multiple cafes.
  45. You know all of the banks in a ten-mile radius that leave out free coffee for their guests.
  46. You have strongly considered asking a barista to just pour the coffee directly in your mouth.
  47. You can’t get that addicted to smoking or alcohol, because you only have room for one addiction in your life.
  48. Your body is 80% coffee, 20% thinking about how to get more coffee.
  49. Your blood pressure is probably through the roof.
  50. You might have a problem. 


Conversations with Creative Women: Mairi Girgis

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of seeing Mairi in person and catching up on her life. And honestly, I don’t know how she does it. As a busy mother of three small people, there are few other women I know who can fit as much as she does into her day. She is an inspiration to many as she crafts, counsels, trains, encourages and uses her many gifts to equip people locally and globally.

Mairi from The Crafty Camel (left)

What is ‘The Crafty Camel’?

The Crafty Camel is the creative name for a camel loving woman who would love nothing more than to one day run a thriving online business of the same name! 

Do you remember the first craft item you ever made?

Nope… I remember learning to knit in primary school, a picture I made in primary school with “left over” bits my mother framed; making candles in milk cartons at an after school club, my mother keeping crafty pages from magazines that we made as kids, making a hot pink pencil skirt in high school dressmaking club with green paisley godets; and the defining moment in year 10 when I did an etching of a camel and a love affair began!!!  

Where did you grow up and how did family life and your home influence how you “see” the world and ignite this desire to create?

I grew up in a tiny town in Scotland… then moved to inner city Melbourne aged 7!!! Quite a dramatic change! My middle name is Elizabeth after my auntie who died the year I was born. She was a very talented artist and it has always been said that I inherited her artistic genes. I suppose that has influenced me a lot. My mother’s dad was a carpenter and my mother instilled in me a belief that women could do pretty much anything handy they wanted… she certainly demonstrated that! My parents always encouraged me to be who I am… right down to allowing me to choose my own bedroom colour at age 8… primary yellow gloss! I loved that room! 

What are some of the other paid and unpaid positions you have had to juggle your craft around in your life?

I’ve worked in church offices, as a volunteer manager in a retirement village, and as a counsellor… they were great… but I also worked in a patchwork shop and sold and taught scrapbooking! I’ve been a full-time mother for 10 years now and that’s probably been my most challenging creative endeavour yet! Somehow I’ve always managed to weave creativity and craft into my life no matter what!! It keeps me sane… well, sort of! 

For anyone reading your blog, following you on FB or observing you in real life would know that you have an amazing work ethic. How do you balance family life with time to sew, knit and generally inspire others with creative tasks?

Oh boy! Poorly a lot of the time I think! I look at other creative people whose lives seem to be serene and have a little envy! (I confess I have days I want to trade with you Susan… which may make you laugh!) My life is generally pretty chaotic but most people would say I do everything 110%! I get very passionate about what I’m doing as a general rule and I derive energy from that! I’ve learned to accept who I am and always believed that if you do what you love you’ll love what you do! 
I frequently get asked how I manage to get so much done… here are my secrets… 1. I’m a night owl… it’s unusual for me to the hit pillow before midnight! 2. I rarely watch TV but when I do I am doing something with my hands (quite convinced I was born in the wrong era!) 3. I have knitting stashed everywhere! (in the bathroom drawer so I can knit while the kids are in the bath!; in the car; in my handbag; bedside table…!) 4. I have a sewing space set up permanently so I can pop in and do a bit here and there! It’s amazing how much you can get done when you do it regularly! 5. I create for sanity! It’s cheaper than therapy… well… maybe!

Tell me about your studio and work space. How do you keep it well stocked and organised?

Here’s another little secret…! In our family I am the one who buys houses and renovates! That means that I get to choose the creative space! This latest house we have bought finally has what I’ve been aiming for all along… a studio! My house is very colourful… love feature walls! I have my sewing and cutting tables set up permanently… I bought a gorgeous drawer chest a few years ago and it was the best investment I ever made… you do KNOW how much you can fit in drawers!? I like to organise everything in rainbow colours! I have magazines to inspire me categorized by publication or theme. I work with the principal of “a place for everything and everything in it’s place…” Well, that’s how it starts… but when I create it’s chaos! Still, I know at the end of the latest creative spurt everything has a home and it gets pretty again! I love to be surrounded by maximum colour… that’s how I manage to have 6 wall colours in one room! My collection has grown over 25 years and I generally buy on sale… and I only buy what I really love… of course I’m easily distracted… and tempted… 

As an artist do you have other artists that you admire? How have they influenced your work?
I love fresh, clean, bright textiles! I feel that the creative world has finally come into line with what I’ve been doing all along! I love what I love and who cares what other people think!! I love the work of Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson (patchwork), Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts (patchwork), Lucy of Attic 24 (crochet), Weelittlestitches on Etsy (quirky cross-stitch), Bothy Threads (cross-stitch), Rosalie Quinland (stitchery),, and I could go on and on and on… I have a ridiculous collection of magazines which I love to trawl through for relaxation! It’s hard to define how they’ve influenced me… I think it’s probably more by osmosis than anything… I know what I like… I hate to be on trend… they’ve probably just confirmed the colour in my head! But just when people think they’ve worked out my style I throw something unexpected into the mix! I gain most inspiration from the Creator God who made a world full of colour, texture and movement… and a rainbow that adds perfection to almost anything!

Do you have a favourite medium to work with?

I will always come back to textiles… fabric and yarn! It makes my heart sing! I’m a total sucker for a beautiful piece of fabric… or a good quality yarn… but I enjoy scrapbooking, woodwork, cross-stitch, embroidery, renovating, folk art… you can see why I’m so manic… I’ll give anything a go… at least once!

What can we expect from The Crafty Camel in the future? How do you envisage your business developing in the next few years?

I’ve come to realise that as a full-time mum my children and family come first… everything else fits around that! I have a lot of ideas for all sorts of designs floating around in my head and I would dearly love to be creating patterns and keeping my blog full of tutorials. My youngest will go to school in a couple of years so I hope you’ll start to see patterns with The Crafty Camel label on them soon!

How do you use your artist talents to support and serve others locally and globally?

One of my absolute favourite and most rewarding things is being able to use my skills to help those in impoverished countries or even those close to home who need a little cheer in their lives! As a teenager I remember making cushions and shortbread for all the folks in our church; as a newly married woman I remember making Christmas presents (appliqued face washers and soap, painted pots with flowers, etc) for the oldies at the local retirement village; more recently I’ve organized Quilts for Thailand which sent 83 quilts to an orphanage and Pads for Africa which sent 100 kits of washable pads to Africa with supplies to make their own (3,000 pads!). Next year we will make clothes for an Aboriginal Community so feel free to get in touch if you’d like to be part of that! I always thought I’d be a missionary in Africa but God has shown me other ways to serve those less fortunate. I believe being able to craft is a privilege and so I enjoy balancing making for pleasure and using my skills to help others. It’s a dream one day to teach women in the 3rd world to sew… I’m so grateful for the opportunity to see the joy that is brought to others in this way. 

If I could deliver anyone at all to your studio who would you most like to sit and sew with over a cup of tea?

You know what… I’ve thought about that… and in truth I just love to sit and chat with whoever happens by… I try to have an open door policy… so should any of you happen down to my part of the world you’re the person I’d love to chat and sew with! Famous people are nice and all but nothing beats the company of a friend.. new or old! 

And finally, what advice would you give someone starting on their journey of art and craft. Where to begin?Try lots of things, get on pinterest and get inspired, join a local craft group… play! 

Follow The Crafty Camel on Facebook or Pinterest

Cloned for the Kingdom

Do you ever wonder what life would be like if there were a few of you? A you to love your man, a you to care for the kids, a you to climb the corporate ladder, a you to create and make, a you to be the domestic goddess, a you to keep house, a you to exercise and work out, a you to meditate and pray, a you to keep in touch with family and friends. Sometimes there seems to be not enough hours in the day to do what we have to do. Never enough space to reflect on the various roles we have, tasks we need to complete.

There are 7mouths to feed in my home and each of us has physical needs (food, clothes, shelter) and emotional/spiritual needs (love, hope, grace, faith) to nurture. And most days I feel as though I am failing…..slowly. I yearn for time out, time away, just a small space of quiet and peace. Even to go to the bathroom along some days would suffice. Yet it all seems far from reach. 

This image of a woman cloned in order to be mega productive is funny for sure. We all dream of having one of us for all the different tasks we are called to complete. But somehow cloning for the kingdom does not make sense. He has made one of us, in His image to do the best we can, by His Grace, for His Glory. 

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.