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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

What's next

Hi all,

I really love writing. It is something which I enjoy so much that it motivated me to start this blog with my mother.

I have so many things that I want to blog about here. I want to do some posts on my art, and how my mother has inspired me and encouraged me as an artist and just as a creative person in general. And I want to do some posts on some of the computer games that I play and how I have experienced them. I may do a little walk through of my favourite one at the moment, Guild Wars 2. My mother and I have even been asked to do a post about tattoos!

But. Unfortunately this is probably the last you'll be hearing from me until sometime in June. I am nearing my busiest time with my studies and then I go into exam period. Thankfully once that is done I will have LOADS of time to blog and to play Guild Wars. :D

Have fun doing what every you do,
Keep positive,
And keep drinking tea ;)


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Diella on Septum piercings

Captive bead ring
Hello again,

Diella here to talk about septum piercings.

This piercing I got when I was 20 years old. This is a funny one, it is actually rather conservative for me but it does seem to get me a lot of attention. Seriously, I can't tell you how many times random people have come up to me in the street or on the bus and asked me questions about it. Two of the most common ones are, "Did it hurt." (duh! All piercings hurt to some extent) and, "Can you still blow your nose with that thing?". (Erm... yes. I can. easily.)

So one day I asked Sheep how he would feel if I got a nose ring. Sheep said that he didn't mind but he would prefer a septum ring. I was aghast, Sheep is usually quite conservative and he is always the one dissuading me from doing something "crazy". And he was happy with a septum ring?! But then when he explained his reasons to me they started to make a lot of sense.

Horseshoe ring

With a horse shoe ring, if you suddenly find yourself in a situation where it was better that you did not have facial piercing, you can just quickly flip it up. These situations for me include meeting friends' grandparents, meeting little children (it seems to freak out my year old cousin for some reason) and that sort of thing. The other advantage is that if you decide to take it out... there is no scar or hole left visible. So this is why I think of it as a conservative piercing rather than a radical one.

Getting pierced. Oh my goodness gracious me. It hurt. A LOT. Like so much so that it is by far the most painful piercing that I have ever had and if it fell out and closed I would NOT do it again. Don't get me wrong I love the piercing it is so pretty, but way too sore. Retrospectively I think that my piercing was done through the cartilage not through the sweet spot, and this could be why it was so painful. It also took 14 months to heal, which is like a personal record for me, if you have read my other posts on piercings you'll know that I tend to heal fast.
On the day I was walking around the mall with Sheep before I went home and I didn't know what to do with myself it was so sore. Sheep kept saying that he thought it was pierced skew (actually my skin had swollen unevenly so it looked skew but a week or so later it went straight again)... I told him that if he touched my face I would kill him. So that was probably an exaggerated threat on my part but seriously I was not in the mood to be messed with.
The first few days were agony. In fact it was about 2 weeks where I was in incredible pain. Luckily I had not yet started university for the year so I did not miss anything. The day after I got it pierced my family and I went to go and see the second Sherlock Holmes movie, and I do not remember a thing. (That reminds me I should probably rewatch it.) Anyway it was just so sore that I could not concentrate on anything. I felt like I was sick. Suddenly I had realised how connected my nose/septum was to everything else. Here is a list of a bunch of things I remember hurting my nose:
Moving my eyebrows, talking, smiling, frowning, laughing, coughing... pretty much everything.

Then after about 2 weeks it started to calm down. It was sill sore if I moved my nose or bumped it but there wasn't the constant pain anymore. But, with healing comes itching. So I would wake up in the middle of the night in agony because I had scratched my nose in my sleep. *sigh* After about a month or two my nose was pretty much painless unless I applied direct pressure to the tip. Although it was only 4 or 5 months before I could flip up my piercing into my nose. Then after about 5 or 6 months I needed to have my wisdom teeth taken out. So I needed to change all my jewelry for bioplast or just take them out, if they were old piercings. Ouch ouch ouch. Changing my septum piercing hurt more than my wisdom operation! (Oh, I can actually do a post on my operation if people want. Comment below.)
Then it was only after 14 months, as I said before, that my nose did not hurt when I applied direct pressure to the tip.
Now it is completely healed. It doesn't hurt, and changing the jewelry is a breeze. :)

Here are some septum jewelry pieces which I love and totally want to buy when I have more money.
Not my photo, click on photo to follow link
Not my photo, click on photo to follow link
Anyway. That is it from me. I hope that you enjoyed this post and found it informative.
Keep drinking tea!


To be updated/ future piercing posts:

Diella on Piercings
Morag on Piercings
General piercing guide
Lobe and Cartilage piercings
Navel Piercing
Septum Piercing  (you are here)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Diella on Navel piercings

Hello There,
Diella here, and as you can see today I am going to be talking about my navel piercing.

I got my navel pierced when I was 18. I had wanted it done for quite a while before that but my parents had both told me that I could not have more piercings until I was 18 and my father was also paranoid about belly rings. My father was utterly convinced, after hearing one of his friends stories about a friend of a friend ect..., that if I got my navel pierced it would get infected and I would die.
In South Africa you become a legally independent adult when you turn 18, so I spoke to my mom and I just decided that once I was 18 my father didn't really have a choice in what I did to my body so I would go and get my navel pierced. I was still at school but obviously my school uniform covered my stomach and no one would need to know about my new piercing.  Since I was 16 I had begun paying for all of my piercings.

The day that I got it done I landed up being quite cheeky... the piercing shop that I was using at that time, Wildfire, was quite far from where I live and I realised that I needed someone to drive me there. My friends, boyfriend, and mother were all busy so that left my father. My father who didn't even want me to get the piercing. So I asked my father to drive me to "x" (the mall which the shop is in, I am not going to name it for securities sake.) Half way there my father suddenly asked, "So what are you doing at "x" anyway?" I replied."Ummm... Shopping."*insert innocent face here* Needless to say my father figured it out later.

My navel piercing did not hurt at all. It was about the same as my lobe piercings, less sore than my cartilage. This piercing also healed really quickly for me. For the first few weeks I put some saline solution in a little shot glass, lent forward and put the glass against my skin and then lay back and let it soak there. For more on how I look after my piercings you can read my post on General piercing Guide. After two months I went for a check up because I had never had a body piercing before and I wanted to make sure that it was doing okay. When I got there they did not want to believe that it was only two months old. That is when I first started to realize that my body heals really quickly. 

I got mine pierced with bioplast, you can see the type of thing I mean in the photo below. And then only once it was fully healed did I start to wear surgical steel jewelry. I would like to get more jewelry than I have although I do have quite a bit at the moment. I mainly have a bunch of coloured balls which I can swap on and off. I also have a couple of "dangly" ones but I don't wear them that much. I am afraid that that will hook on something, and I also find that the weight of them makes my piercing start to hurt. So I only wear my dangly ones for special occasions.

And now I can talk about one of my main reasons for getting this piercing. My tummy. I have always felt quite self conscious of my tummy. I am even a little nervous of putting this photo up. I have a little pale scar on my tummy, I am not sure what it is from, just general playful childhood I suppose. I was not really one of those stay in doors and play with dolls kind of children, more of a climbing up trees and running around kind of child. Anyway I also feel that I have a hairy tummy. I know that my hairs are small and pale and from a distance, like the first photo, you can't really see them. But they have still always bugged me. I may have them because I am skinny, as my sister says, or maybe they are just genetic. I don't know but they do bother me. But since I have had my navel pierced I am much happier with my tummy. I focus on my pretty jewelry instead of my hairs and my scar. Even the other day I took my piercing out for a couple of hours because it was a dangly one and it was hurting me... and I felt naked without my jewelry. It has become a part of me and it has helped me to accept myself as I am.   

Things that I needed to get used to were things like seat belts in cars, this sounds odd but with my height I find that I have to be careful that it does not hook through my t-shirt. Also if I am carrying something heavy I usually lean/hold the bulk of the weight against my body, I have to be careful then that it does not slide down and catch on my piercing. Also some high waisted pants can give me trouble as well. But all of these things have become second nature to me and I subconsciously deal with these things.

I hope that you enjoyed this post.
Keep drinking tea!


To be updated/ future piercing posts:

Diella on Piercings
Morag on Piercings
General piercing guide
Lobe and Cartilage piercings
Navel Piercing (you are here)
Septum Piercing

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Diella on lobe and cartilage piercings

Hi again,

Diella here. Today I am going to tell you a bit about my experiences of having lobe and cartilage piercings.

I had 5 of my lobe piercings done with a piercing gun, which I would never do now if I could change that. For a long time, the gun has been the standard jewelry shop way of piercing ears and every mommy with her ears pierced used to take her little girl to get them done there. (Yes I know that that is a generalization.But you get my point.) But as I have got older and done more research I have realized that I should have got even my lobes done with a surgical needle by a reputable piercer.
I cannot tell you what exactly is wrong with a piercing gun. I think that the two main problems are that most of the people operating the piercings guns are not actually trained piercers, and the other is that most of the guns are not properly sterilized, if they are sterilized at all.
But what is in the past is in the past and at least I can be thankful that nothing bad happened.

I do not actually know how old I was when I first got my ears pierced, maybe my mother can help here. But I do know that I got my second pair done when I was 11. My mother was okay with it and she took me to get them done. These were also done with a gun.
Then when I was 13 I did something REALLY stupid. I do not advocate this at all, in fact I actively discourage people from doing this. I found a safety pin lying around my house. Without sterilizing it at all or anything, or even cleaning my hands I was just messing about with it. Then I decided to see how hard I could pushing it to my ear until it hurt. It didn't really hurt... and I pierced my ear. Needless to say (excuse the pun) my parents were not impressed. I was told that I was not allowed to get any more piercing until I left school, in this country that is 18. I was extremely lucky that I did not get an infection.  My school did not allow more than one piercing but I somehow got around this by wearing only one in each lobe at a time, and then I just put the others in when I got home. I do remember when I was 13 I had a teacher that scolded me and told me that I was stupid to make so many holes in my ears because I could not possibly know now what I would want when I was an adult. I spoke back to her and got some more snide remarks in return but I can thankfully say that I am still very happy with all my piercings and although I may regret my methods I do not regret the result one bit!
When I was 16 I managed to convince my mother to let me get a third piercing in my right ear to match the third one in my left. This one was also done with a gun.
When I was 17 I did my next stupid thing. It was doubly stupid because it was against my mother and also because it was done incorrectly. My friend was going to get her ears pierced and she asked me to go with her and get something done too as moral support. So I decided to get my right cartilage done. Because we were going to a jewelers they only had the gun there, and neither I nor the girl with the gun knew that it is really not good to get your cartilage done with the gun. they are just not made to do that, and if done wrong they can cause the structural integrity to be compromised. Once again I was super lucky and nothing went wrong with my piercing, I did not get an infection and I did not have any problems with the cartilage. I hid my piercing from my mom and from my school by wearing two plaits.... and then 6 months later I got so very sick of wearing the same hairstyle, so I told my mom that I had disobeyed her. Lucky for me my mother was not too upset and I promised to wait until I was 18 for anymore piercings.
Then finally this year, 22 years old, I did the right thing for my ears and got another cartilage piercing. This time in my left ear and this time with a surgical needle at a reputable piercer. (Wildfire)

I can't remember how long my lobe piercings took to heal but I do remember that cartilage piercings are supposed to take about 9 months to heal. I think that mine actually took about 5-6 months to be fully healed. But I do heal quickly. My current cartilage piercing is 4/5 weeks old and it does not hurt, or bleed, or crust. I am just continuing to clean it because I know that that is the correct thing to do.  I want to get another one in my left again because I don't like symmetry too much. Also I just thing a couple of rings in the cartilage looks pretty.

That is it from me for today.
Keep drinking tea!


To be updated/ future piercing posts:

Diella on Piercings
Morag on Piercings
General piercing guide
Lobe and Cartilage piercings (you are here)
Navel Piercing
Septum Piercing


Sunday, 13 April 2014

The day Diella pierced her own ear (a mother's perspective)

I remember thinking that I had given Diella lots of freedom to pierce at a young age.
"Mom, I want another piercing", she had announced.
"No, I think two sets of holes is enough for now," I answered.

She had also showed interest in piercing her own ear. I had told her not to do it. Then one afternoon I come home to meet Diella in HIGH spirits – In actual fact, it felt like she was on a high. When I found out what she had done I was confused and bewildered by her behavior. She had pierced her own ear with a safety pin! The atmosphere in the home had become charged with emotion (her excitement and my anger). She was 13 years old at the time and as a mother, I felt enraged. 

I didn't know how to handle it and I paced the floor quietly seething. 
“How much more freedom does she need?” I asked myself.

The more important issue in my mind was that she had gone against my expressed wishes. I was also unnerved at the ”high” she was experiencing. I had this notion that, “people hurt themselves to experience an altered state of mind” (not that I knew much about self-harm at the time). I was scared and felt out of control as I wasn’t only worried about septicemia but also what the future might hold if we continued in this direction.  It slowly dawned on me: that “teen-dom” had crept up behind us and was about to flatten us and it was a horrible feeling. 

My reaction when I feel enraged is to withdraw to a place in myself in order to re-group. My concern is that if I don’t do this I might say or do something I will regret. It is my type of damage control. As I withdrew I realized that it is important to consider Diella’s heart and intentions. Apart from asking yourself what the motivation might be; also ask yourself what you both might learn from the situation.

I realized that I needed to be firm about safety issues so I put boundaries in place. How one communicates is important. Acceptance and understanding are things we all look for from others. I needed to be mindful and respectful of Diella’s feelings. Badly expressed anger can cause deep shame in the recipient. This does not build self-esteem. By communicating in respectful manner we teach them how they can respect themselves.

A child's growth.
My overall aim for my children is to develop self-esteem and interdependence. Ihis is a lifelong journey of self-discovery  and growth.They will discover that they are not always in charge of their emotions and actions; this can be quite bewildering to both parent and child as they find their way in mastering their emotions. Somebody once told me that I need to stand firm like a bulwark that weathers the waves crashing against it. While it is challenging to remain calm and self-controlled, as the parent, it is our duty to model the behavior we want to see our children eventually displaying as adults. Maneuvering through the minefields of this journey can bring up some really tricky stuff for parents as we are continually reminded of our own youth.

Keep pondering while you drink your tea.

A warm smile,


My thoughts on piercings: Parenting

This post does not only apply to piercings but to many other situations we land up having to negotiate and navigate when we deal with teens emerging into adulthood. When I was in high school my mother “brushed me off” with excuses about why I couldn’t have piercings. I was quietly compliant until I was 18 years old then I began to manipulate her at her own game (which I won’t go into now).

I have come to the conclusion that we, as parents, should not make up excuses, or frustrate our children due to our own fears or inability to communicate. Boundaries are important and guidance will help develop sound reasoning powers and decision making abilities. Through this post I aim to stimulate your thoughts your boundaries, guidance and manner in which you communicate.

To allow your child freedom of expression (not just outward bodily expression but of their personal thoughts and experiences) is more important than making up excuses.  Ultimately we want our children to make intelligent decisions and possess a healthy self-esteem by the time that they reach adulthood.

How can we encourage personal expression?
·         Listening to them without judgment when they share their experiences; 
        Showing acceptance and understanding for what they are experiencing in their world;
·        remembering that our world, which we come from, is not the same as theirs;
·         Knowing that we might not agree – we should still present our case but we cannot force them to think similarly or agree with us if they honestly don’t.

The more we listen and try to understand their perspective the more they will be encouraged to speak up, share with and express themselves. (This is how our “teas” grew into something special). 

Educate them to educate themselves:
I feel it is important as a teen to be encouraged to
·         be self-reflective;
·          ask pertinent questions;
·          to do research and
·         enter into intelligent discussion with the adult about the issue concerned.  

Parents are often afraid of what their children might find on the internet. There are ways of guarding against that on computer (using apps for "parental control"). You can also think about where you give your child access to computers in the home. But it is also up to us to guide them and teach them how to do research for themselves. You can do this by asking some questions that they need to go and research or getting them think about what questions they would ask.

Support their evaluation process by listening and respectful discussion.

When you evaluate what your child wants to do, as their parent you should ask:
Does it harm them or someone else? Is it disrespectful of another person, themselves or belongings?  Is it fatal? You might have other questions that you feel are important.

It can be disconcerting, at first, when as the adult, you have probably felt in control of your child’s actions or thoughts most of the time. Teenagers herald a “letting go” process for adults. It is uncomfortable but necessary. Just as the teenager is learning to navigate her own life we are learning to let go of the control.

Keep reflecting while you drink your tea,
A warm smile,

Friday, 11 April 2014

Diella's general guide to piercings

Hello there,

Diella here with a general guide to piercings.
Please note that I am not a professional piercer so if your piercer or doctor tells you something different rather listen to them. This is just an account of what I do to care for my piercings and what has worked for me. I feel that I am able to write this because I have 12 piercings and I have been caring for my piercings since I was at least 11 although I can't actually remember when I got my first earrings. My second were at 11 years old.

I would also like to note that I seem to heal really quickly! I first noticed this when I went for a 2 month checkup on my navel piercing and they didn't want to believe me that it was only 2 months old. Then also again when I got my second cartilage piercing I realized that it was healing quicker than they are usually said to heal. So if you want to follow my care strategies then you may need to do certain steps for longer than I did. Having so many piercings means that I can usually use my judgement and tell what I need to do at certain stages. If you have any questions or concerns I strongly suggest that you contact your piercer or health care professional. I can't help you to deal with infections because I have never had an infection in any of my piercings!

Getting your piercing
As I said in my first piercing post, I suggest that you think long and hard about whether you do want the piercing and then do lots of research into it. I always get my piercings for me. I don't care if other people like them or not, although if they do like them it is an added bonus. But first and foremost I get my piercings for ME. The sorts if things that I research before getting a piercing is:
1. Any complications that I might expect.
2. How to look after the piercing, some piercings need special treatment.
3. How sore I can expect it to be.
4. What sort of jewelry I can wear once it is healed, and what it should be pierced with.
5. What the ideal location for that piercing is.
6. What the expected healing time usually is.
7. How likely rejection or infection is.
(You could totally ask other questions, these are just the questions that I usually ask)

Then the piercer. In the beginning I spoke to loads of my friends who had piercings to find out where they went to get their piercings done. I wanted a reputable place that had experienced/trained piercers, that adhered to strict hygiene standards ect. Yes, sometimes going to a reputable place means that you will pay a lot more than at another place, but I would rather pay more than risk an infection or an incorrectly done piercing.

So now I don't need to find a place because I have two good places in my city which I trust. (Wildfire and Body Architects)

When I have done my research and I have decided that I do want the piercing I go and speak to one of my piercers. Often when I google articles, they are written by people who have got the piercing. So it can be good to go and ask the person who is giving the piercing, I ask the same 7 questions as I researched.    

When I go and get pierced I always like to have a friend with me for moral support. Often for hygiene reasons the piercer won't allow your friend into the actual piercing room but they will be there for you afterwards. It can be really horrible if you are in pain and then you have to travel home on your own! I don't like to take painkillers before my piercing. I am not entirely sure why or if it is true but I have heard that it is not good to. I know that in some cases some painkillers can thin your blood and then if you bleed when they pierce you then you can bleed more than usual. A couple of hours after though, if I am not bleeding and I am in considerable pain I do sometimes time an anti-inflammatory.

General piercing afterwards:
  • Sleeping on it IS going to hurt so I would advise against it. It hurts... and probably isn't that good for the piercing anyway. 
  • DON'T touch / fiddle with it. If you do need to touch it, for goodness sake wash your hands. I am not certain but I am pretty sure that most infections come from dirty hands touching.
  • This is kinda gross but it needs to be said. Don't get any foreign bodily fluids on it, so if you get a tongue ring... don't kiss your significant other... or what ever. 
  • Try not to get it hooked on things or bump it on things.
  • I prefer to shower rather than bath because I feel that when bathing you are letting your piercing sit in dirty water.
  • I don't swim for a couple of months while the piercing is new. 


First note. When I was young and first got piercings I was always encouraged to use surgical spirits on my piercings. Now days they seem to say that this is very bad, so now I only use Saline Solution/ Salt water. I use this even for ear piercings.

Second note: I have never had infection so I am not sure what that looks like. But crusties in my experience, can vary. They can be clear, yellowish, slightly green when dry. But they never look like pus, to me. They are usually clearish not cloudy. Obviously when they are new they might have a little blood in them. 

First two weeks... okay this period may be longer or shorter depending on your healing time. Everyone is probably different. The only piercing that this period was much longer for me was for my septum, which for some reason took a really long time to heal.
  1. I get all my things ready in a clean bathroom and then wash my hands so that everything is clean! I have some Saline Solution(SS), a little tub or shot glass, some earbuds, and some fresh clean water.
  2. I put the fresh SS in the shot glass and put that on my piercing for about 5 minutes. For my septum I made a little cup of SS and lent forwards with my nose in it. 
  3. After about 5 minuets when all the crusties/scabs are soft I take an earbud (q-tip) and dip it into the fesh SS. Then I take my clean fingers and flatten the tip slightly.
  4. Then I gently wipe away all the softened crusties/scabs.
  5. Because SS tends to dry out my skin I rinse off my piercing with fresh clean water. 

After about 2 weeks:

At this stage my piercing is not usually crusty at all and there is never blood on mine. Also incidentally at this stage my piercing usually don't hurt unless it is bumped or something. So I usually have a shower and then when anything that might be there is all softened I do steps 3-5 from above. As I said usually there is nothing there but I just wipe the surface of the piercing with the SS anyway because I know it is the right thing to do and I don't want infections.
I usually continue this until the expected healing time is up... or until the piercing doesn't hurt at all even when bumped.  

Everyday cleaning:

You might have noticed that I don't move around my new piercings. I follow the school of thought that if there is any bacteria or scabs the you will just be pushing that into the wound by moving the jewelry. Also if there are any scabs that you have not managed to soften, moving the piercing could tear the skin and increase your chance of infection/ slow healing.

BUT when my piercings are all healed up and good then when ever I am in the shower I put a tiny bit of mild soap  (lathered up) on on my piercings and move them around a bit, then I rinse then/ move them under the water. This is because the dead skin cells build up and can become smelly and just unclean. Yes I do this to ALL my piercings, even my lobe piercings. I know many people don't clean their piercings. 

Aaaand I think that that is all that I have to say on general piercing care. If you think that I have left something out please feel free to leave a comment below or to contact me and I will either do a new post or answer your question in a comment as best as I can.

And again I want to warn you that I am not a professional and that my way of doing things may be though incorrect by some people, this is just the way that I do it and it has worked for me for over 12 years.

Keep drinking tea!

To be updated/ future piercing posts:

Diella on Piercings
Morag on Piercings 
General piercing guide (You are here)
Lobe and Cartilage piercings
Navel Piercing
Septum Piercing 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

My thoughts on piercings: Outward expression of an inner beauty

How we express our inner beauty by adorning ourselves is, to be honest, all about the learning experience. We are quite liable to change our minds many times through our life time. And it is my belief that we should be free to change. That is what keeps things interesting. All of this is quite personal – as personal as the choice of wearing make-up or jewelry.

Times have changed since I was young and with it so has fashion, culture and customs.  As I am ‘arty’ by nature I like multiple ear-piercings but I try to keep my opinions to myself when I help others to make choices for themselves. I’m aware that we all have differing opinions and I like to encourage and cultivate my daughters’ independent opinions and values.   I did limit Diella to a couple of ear piercing at first because I felt that as a young teenager you don’t always have the life experience and the ability to make wise choices. I also felt:  what’s the rush, we have our whole life ahead of us to try out things?”  

My attitude is: So long as it is not fatally harmful or irreversible then I should allow the teen to make up their own minds by exercising their intellects. Quite frankly there are much worse things to worry about than their self-expression. Helping and supporting them make up their own mind and take responsibility for the consequences is also an important part of allowing them freedom. (I will discuss more about this in my next post.) 

Diella’s words: “To be honest I feel that usually people do not really know what they want to do for the rest of their lives until they are out of school for some time…” “If I had children I would allow/encourage them to get ear lobe piercings if they wanted. Even while they were at school, since most schools allow a certain number of lobe piercings. Then I would probably encourage them to wait until they had left school and had more clue of what they wanted to do in the future, for them to get more esoteric piercings which are visible” well express what I have believed all along.

Keep pondering while you drink your tea,
A warm smile,

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Diella on piercings

Hello again, Diella here.

Today I am going to be giving you my opinion on piercings. Obviously from my first post you can tell that I am not against piercings/body modification.

I feel that piercings, if well thought through, can be a valuable addition to one's body. But I also feel that piercings do need to be thought through and researched before you go out and get one. I did a few silly things when I was younger that I did not really think through. Thankfully I do not regret any of them but I am very lucky that that is so. Since I was 18 I have not got any piercings that I have not spent a lot of time thinking about and researching. I usually wait a year or two before getting a piercing so that I know that I really do want it. Some of my piercings I have waited over 3 years for to be sure that I want them.  Research is also important because some piercings can have complications. For example there is a risk with lip piercings that they can chip at your tooth enamel, this can lead to dental problems, or just a chance that your medical aid will not want to pay for your dental care. These are all things to keep in mind.

The piercings that I have are: 3 lobe piercings in each ear, one cartilage piercing in each ear, septum piercing and a navel piercing... I also have one or two more personal piercings which I got just for me as a private part of my journey in life which I will not be sharing much information on.  
I did not get any of my more esoteric piercings until I was 18. I always just had my ear piercings before that. I feel that this was a good way for me to do this, I think that this was also partly encouraged by my mother. To be honest I feel that usually people do not really know what they want to do for the rest of their lives until they are out of school for sometime. Even sometimes longer than that. Only at 22 can I say that I have a reasonably sure idea of what I want to do with myself. Why does all this matter? Because some piercings can limit your job opportunities.

If I had children I would allow/encourage them to get ear lobe piercings if they wanted. Even while they were at school, since most schools allow a certain number of lobe piercings. Then I would probably encourage them to wait until they had left school and had more clue of what they wanted to do in the future, for them to get more esoteric piercings which are visible. Obviously things like navel piercings are a little different because if you wanted to do a job which did not allow many piercings... you probably would not be allowed to expose your navel either.

Other than that, I love piercings. I think that they are beautiful and that they can really help you to enjoy your body. I know numerous people, including myself that have pierced parts of their bodies which they had trouble accepting and now feel happier with that part of their body.

Other piercings that I would get?
I love facial piercings like lip piercings, cheek piercings and nose piercings (not septum, I have one already)... BUT Sheep is not keen on facial piercings, and I have friends who have taken theirs out and the holes have not closed. That is not something that I am ready to deal with yet. Maybe in the future.
Ear tunnels/stretching/plugs I think that these are super beautiful but I don't now what size I would go up to. I also need to do more research into how much your ears can shrink back when you remove them. Oh, and again Sheep is not keen.
Dermals.... nope. Unless piercing technology changes a lot, at the moment they seem to be prone to infections, not healing and loads of rejections. Too much trouble for a piercing in my oppinion.
Genital... not considering it at this stage
Tragus... I am concerned to what extent this piercing will affect my hearing. But they are really pretty.
Tongue. No. My friend took hers out because the cleaning was too much admin, and she kept swallowing the balls so she needed spare ones with her all the time.
Eyebrow. No. I like them on men. I don't want to get one myself.
Conch... Don't know yet.
Web or Smilie. Maybe. I will have to see how much they can affect your teeth.  

That is it from me on piercings for today. :) If you have any questions please feel free to ask me in the comments down below or email me and I will try and get back to you/ write a post on it. My email address in on the right.

Keep drinking tea!


To be updated/ future piercing posts:

Diella on Piercings (You are here)
Morag on Piercings 
General piercing guide
Lobe and Cartilage piercings
Navel Piercing
Septum Piercing 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Les Cacas (photo heavy)

Hello Ladies! (And Gents)

This post is going to be a little bit longer than my usual posts because it is half a tutorial and half a review.

You may also have noticed my warning in the title "photo heavy". Now this may seem strange to any readers who are not in South Africa, but those who are will know how slow and frustrating our internet can be. So I thought that I would warn people so that anyone struggling with their internet can avoid these posts.

On to the good stuff!
I LOVE dying my hair. I really do. I think that the first time that I dyed my hair I was eleven. I have tried many many colours, a few are : red, purple, blue, brown, black, pink and green.
One thing that I have never tried before is Henna. But now I have. I started by asking loads of friends what colour they thought that I should go, I wanted to try Henna red but I also wanted to see what other people thought. Happily, most of my friends thought that I should try red. Then a day or two later a friend of mine told me that she had seen Henna bars at Lush, so I went and did some research. I browsed Lush's website and watched a bunch of videos on Youtube.

The information that I had at the beginning was; Lush's range is called Les Cacas. The "Cacas" come in different colours, I decided that the colour I would try was Caca Rouge. Lush only uses Vegetarian ingredients and they are against animal testing, this was a big bonus for me. The blocks of Henna are actually a mixture of herbs, henna and Cocoa Butter. You need to use gloves because the henna will stain your hands as well as your hair, this is pretty standard for all hair dyes in my experience. It is easier to apply it with a hair paint brush (thingy). You do not need to grate the blocks of Henna, you can just melt them as is. It is good to keep it wrapped in Glad Wrap while you wait for four hours if you want a darker colour. This stops the Henna from drying out and allows to activate longer. The website also advises using some of their shampoo to maintain the colour. "Try to avoid shampoos that contain a lot of chemicals, or ones that have a high concentration of fruity citrus enzymes which can strip colour. Cynthia Sylvia Stout is good (the effect of the lemon juice it contains is offset by the dark, yeasty stout!) and most of our solid shampoos work well with Les Cacas too. " (Lush ; accessed on  04 April 2014)

On Sunday, the day that I chose to colour my hair, I went to buy an extra pair of gloves and the hair paint brush. I also decided to stop past the Lush and see about getting some of their shampoo. Well I was in for a little surprise. When I got there the shop assistant started advising me to try their Blousey or Fairly Traded Honey as a gentle shampoo. He said that the cleaning agents in the solid shampoo's are harsher than the ones in the two above mentioned liquid ones. Apparently the Blousey is made for coloured hair. This made sense to me ... except that the Lush website said different, refer to the above quote. The Blousey was also fairly expensive. So I was rather confused as to what I should do. I just decided that I would wait and save up some more money to buy their shampoo later. Sensing my hesitations and in response to my proposal to return later, the very kind assistant gave me a little tester for free. I really appreciated it because now without spending so much money I could see whether the assistant or the website was correct.

The tools that we used, except we didn't land up using the comb.
 So here are all my tools. I like to get everything ready before I start so that there is no mad dashing around making a mess everywhere. I had the Caca Rouge, a comb (which I landed up not using), the hair paint brush thingy which was very useful, 2 pairs of gloves, and the shampoo tester for after.

Sheep and I both had old shirts on which we did not mind getting messy, because this stuff is MESSY!
We also used a double boiler to melt the henna blocks in.

Poured Boiling water over the blocks.
Okay so here I am going to give you a little tip. Hind sight is always 20/20 isn't it? Although the instructional video showed that it takes way longer to grate the whole block than to just melt it... I discovered smashing can't hurt. The first lot, 3 blocks, took quite a while to melt. But then near the end of the process Sheep realised that because my hair is so thick we did not have enough mixture, so we made another quarter of a block. This time we put it in a packet and smashed it a little, not much but just a little. And then we poured the boiling water. Obviously with the increased surface area it melted much quicker this time.

This stuff is actually as dark as the above photo but the camera flash made it lighter.
A nice creamy liquid.

My natural colour, except that the ends are slightly lighter from previous dying.
Just a quick before photo. I also applied some conditioner around my face and neckline to try and avoid staining my skin.Yes we applied the henna in my garden. As I said before, MESSY!

Sheep diligently applying the "Caca"
The process of applying the henna took quite a while but I think that that was party to do with my hair and partly to do with inexperience. My hair is deceptively thick! The other thing is that sheep is used to helping me with gentian violet or normal hair dye, those ones are really runny and a lot of it runs through from where you apply it to other areas... this stuff not so much. At one point Sheep said to me it was like putting mud in my hair, it is really thick and you have to put it where you want it. It is by no means bad, but I think that Sheep feels that he will use another application strategy next time.  But there is always a first time. :)
My head all nicely wrapped up in plastic
I obviously wanted my colour to come out as dark as possible so I wrapped mine up and left it in for three hours. I would have left it for four but I was going out to see the new Captain America movie (Which I really enjoyed) so I had to wash it out sooner.

Sunday Evening
So the washing out process..
For starters I stood on garden chair and used the hose on my head for about 5 minuets, just rinsing the grainy mud like stuff out. But a lot of the residual colour was still there. When I felt that I had got most of the mess out, which I was worried would stain my bathroom, I went to have a shower and give Blousey a try.

For starters I just want to say that Blousey smells AMAZING! I am not a huge fan of bananas so I suppose although made with banana the smell is not really banana. For some people that might be a negative but for me that was a positive. So application of Blousey was a little confusing. Because it does not foam like regular shampoo it is quite difficult to gauge how much you need to use. But also remember that my hair was super duper greasy from the cocoa butter. I landed up using about 1/2 the tester. I usually only wash the top of my head. My hair is long and the tips are dry while the roots can get very oily. But in this case my whole head was like an oil spill so I used the shampoo all over it. It worked pretty well but my hair was still a bit greasy once it dried.

Now the colour. At first I was a little disappointed because my hair still looked rather blonde, Sheep said it looked slightly Strawberry Blonde. I even went to the movie with one of my friends who had been very keen on me colouring my hair and she couldn't notice the difference.
 I was not too disheartened though because one of the best descriptions of henna that I have heard is that it is like varnish. Apparently it covers the strand of hair and the base colour shines through, it also tends to deepen and darken over a little time and also after every application of Henna. So the next time that I use the henna to cover my regrowth the whole head will get coloured and an extra layer of Henna will be there so it will be slightly darker red. 
Monday morning.
The next morning! (Today) I woke up to a wonderful surprise! Over night the henna had darkened considerably. Oh I also used the other half of the Blousey tester and this time it cleaned out all the leftover grease. I definitely think that I am going to save a little and buy the blousey. Obviously I would like it to be even darker and I can't wait to do the second application, but for the next few weeks I am very content with the colour it is now. I am really enjoying it.

So that is my very long post/walkthrough/review of Les Cacas and Blousey. I hope that you enjoyed reading this post and that if you are planning to Henna your hair you find this useful.
Keep drinking tea!


“What is your most embarrassing moment?”

When I was young I was keen to impress and easily got embarrassed, but now its a different story, now that I am in my fifties I'm hopefully more relaxed about life and don't get so embarrassed. While I was still at school I would catch a school bus back home. There was a boy the same age as me who was really HOT and clever. He had an amazing body and whatever he dressed in just made him look good. I use to think of him as Mr Perfect and whenever he walked past me I would feel like I couldn’t breathe. Nothing ever happened. I was too shy and he never really noticed me.

After I left school I soon got my driver’s license. On one particularly rainy day while I was waiting at a cross-section I realized that I had pulled too far out into the road. I was obstructing the path of a car that wanted to turn into my road. So without looking in my rear-view mirror (my back window was thoroughly misted up, so visibility was nil) I began to reverse. As I did I hit the car behind me. If this wasn’t bad enough when I got out my car to assess the damage I was met with Mr Perfect! Oh yes I did feel faint just looking at him but I also felt like such a fool. Not the ideal way of bumping into him! He was driving his father’s Mercedes which made matters more complicated. I gave him my details. Not really the ideal opportunity I’d been dreaming of. I can’t say that I was sad that he never phoned me; under the circumstances, I was relieved.  

Now I’m sure you have embarrassing moments too; in time they fade. They become part of the fabric that makes up your life; adding richness and depth to you as a person.  

Keep pondering while you drink your tea,
A warm smile,