Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...


...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?

bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

please be seated

October 8, 2012

The Original D.I.Y.

by Cassandra McShepard

When I was younger I went through a period where I didn't want anything home-made, even though my mother was a professional seamstress and was capable of constructing anything, and I do mean anything. I wanted to dress like my friends, so I didn't want to wear anything that didn't come from the store. Now, being the loving mother that she is, she indulged this foolish whim with one shopping trip which resulted in a pair of too short jeans from the Wooden Nickel, and an ill-fitting top from Gimbles-Shuster’s bargain basement...

You see I've been 5’9” since I was twelve, and back then store-bought clothing wouldn't accommodate my long frame. My mother knew this of course, but she wanted me to learn it for myself. The next time I went back to my mother to ask her to make an outfit for a class field trip, (which I’d often done and she would sometimes sew through the night to accommodate my last minute request) it resulted in a sewing machine and loving “Do It Yourself.”

Man, had I offended her? Who knew mothers had feelings? 
Well I learned that they did, but that wasn't all that I learned. I really did learn how to do it myself. Now of course my mother helped me. She would show me how to trim a pattern, how to measure it and make allowances where needed to ensure that it would fit my then size 10 hips (and size 6 waist), as well as how to lengthen it so as to be long enough. Because she sewed for people she always had fabric and she would let me pick from some of her 'choice pieces' (this was a phrase of hers).

Of course I always wanted to rush through it, but she would check my seams and make me do it right, saying “It should look as good on the inside as it does on the outside. You should be able to wear it inside-out”. Which I thought was incredibly silly. Who would wear a dress inside-out? Like so many other jewels my mother gave me, this too became invaluable. As I went on to design for entertainers exacting a high price, and saw many a seam checked.

My mother could have coined that phrase, for it was what she believed in. She taught me to be independent. Independent of the hair salon, the nail salons, the clothing salons. Her mantra, “Learn to do with excellence anything that you would pay to have done”. Well I took her advice, and I am now the ultimate Do It Yourselfer. As a matter of fact I do it for others too. All the time. Because of the wings my mother gave me, I have earned income as a Clothing & Jewelry Designer for such artists as the late Phyllis Hyman, Nancy Wilson, Abby Lincoln, The Manhattans, Frankie Beverly & Maze…I worked as a stylist doing hair & make-up for a nationally published magazine. I am very capable of doing my own nails. Yes, the left hand is done as well as the right. I build furniture and make window treatments. I am a personal trainer, motivational speaker, television talk show host, and on occasion, professional songstress.

But am I special? Nope, not in the least. I’m just free, free to do it myself. You see at an age when I was still listening, I was told that I could-  and just in case you're still listening, so can you! You too can D.I.Y.

Because I promise you, this is what I know so far;
Something happened. We have advanced ourselves into dependency. Why learn to do it, just pay to have it done? We have become so reliant upon others! Instead of encouraging our children to learn simple skills we have crippled them. Where we used to have to be D.I.Y’ers, we have now become the ultimate consumers. Sadder still, many of us seek our worthiness in the amount of that which we are able to consume.

Because I am a D.I.Y’er, I work very hard. My jobs though are not drudgery, I enjoy the work I do! I have turned all of my passions in to dollars... and all because I was told to D.I.Y.

So I’ll give to you the same gift my mother gave to me.
You will never know what you are capable of doing until you at least try to D.I.Y! Whatever you choose, pick something thing that you are paying someone else to do for you and just try it. Let me know how it works out! cmcshepard@yahoo.com

Cassandra McShepard has more hyphenates than Chins in a Chinese phone book. She's currently enduring Wisconsin Winters so that she can co-host the incredibly popular morning television talk show, Real Milwaukee. You can catch more of her on Cassandra McShepard Television.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this lady! What an inspiration! If we all DIYd as much as we could, we could change the world!

Buzz Out!

Buzz Out!