Monthly Musing ~ Celebrating the Small Things

Helen Cloke handmade bikini monthy musing swimwear sewalong

This January, and really the lead up of December also, has been a really busy time for me.  It felt like I had every day packed full of appointments and events and my to-do list grew and grew.

Alongside running Nellie Joans, I also operate a face painting hobby business and at Christmas time face painters are in high demand!  I was also asked to be the face painter for New Plymouths 'TSB Festival of Lights' - if you've never heard of it or been, then google it now!  It's fabulous.  It also meant that 5 nights a week, for 5 weeks, I was out 6pm till 11.30pm painting.

Add to that the school holidays (and the motherly guilt that kicks in when ignoring your child too much because of work - haha) and family camping trips and my calendar was chocka!

I'm not complaining.  I like to be busy, it fuels my brain and creativity. is so easy to feel like nothing is getting achieved when for every one thing that is crossed off the to-do list, 5 more things need to be added.

Then I decided on a whim to have a swimwear sewalong.  It wasn't until after I made it public that I thought...hang on....when am I going to have time to make a swimsuit, let alone blog about it ?  Mad!!

It turned out to be the best thing to happen this month.  Here's why.  It made me come to the unexpected realisation that when life is busy it's all too easy to focus on what is yet to be done, the things you haven't achieved and pressing matters that are yet to get your attention.

Creating the sewalong, breaking down the sewing of a bikini into small steps, made me appreciate that small achievements are just as important as big ones.  A small 10 minute window of sewing and I could attach the wings to the frame of my bikini.  There is a step completed.  And posting a photo of this to Instagram or writing a quick blog about it felt like such a celebration.  Yay!  Go me!  I rock!

Before, I would have glazed over this small completed step and not given it another thought in the rush to get the final garment finished and ticked off the list.

It's been a satisfying 20 days celebrating the small things and at the end of it those small things have added up to a new handmade bikini that I adore.


So here I am, cutting myself some slack, taking some chill time for myself, (and cooling down from this heatwave!) hanging out by the pool with a shandy.  What remains of the 'to-do' list can wait till February.


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  • Sharon T on

    Love the colors and how you made it coordinating.

  • Lynda on

    Awesome swimsuit – you look so glamorous lounging by the pool.

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