When was the last time you kept a diary? Me? Well I haven’t kept a diary since I was a young girl- most likely it was filled with ramblings or thoughts about boys and bitchy girls at school, family life and thoughts that ran around my head about growing up on the family sweet potato farm. I was also most likely jumping around on my bed listening to the Spice Girls Wannabe on CD! (I know- flashback!) Gosh- i'd give ANTYHING to go back to those days.
I was sitting up late the other night- wrapped up in my gorgeous new handmade quilt from Aussie Hero Quilts and sipping on my cup of tea (with the tea bag in.) Truth be told O was also in my daggy Kmart pjs and sparkling new pink ugh boots when I had this relentless thought about sharing what runs thru my head as the Creative Director and Queen of Sparkle here at Dented Diva.
I love sharing the behind the scenes on Instagram- however- there is only so many slides before many of you just want to know more. So- I thought to myself- I am going to start writing a blog! My gosh- how does this even work? I started researching “How to write a blog” then just decided I was going to do it my way- like I do everything in my life.
I hope my thoughts can be of some use to you all and that they help project the actual love, attention to detail and pure passion that goes into making every single set of earrings for your lobes and along side this, exposes the secrets of my day-to-day life outside of Dented Diva.
What you will get here is true authenticity- mixed with a real insight into the running of my empire and of course shit loads of sparkling joy! However- I cannot promise you won’t feel all the feels!
When someone special to you leaves this earth, there is a deep disconnection with the universe- from that exact moment that you're told- there is a systemic shift in your soul.............
Losing my younger Brother Robert over 9 weeks ago now has absolutely shattered me into one million pieces- completely changed my life and also the views and thoughts that I was holding for my own future. Only this morning prior to jumping on here to finalise this first blog I found myself crying as I ate my vegemite on toast and listened to his sound cloud account songs- there is something about Fridays that still haunt me. Friday was the day that stole my Brother!
The night Robert passed away I received a knock on the door at 2am. My first thought went to Barney having escaped the yard again. But to my shock and horror it was Mum and Dad coming to deliver the news that Rob had been killed in a horrific accident Friday afternoon. That moment will stay with me for all eternity! I fell to my knees and I howled until I couldn’t anymore. Truth be told I then went into big Sister mode wanting to know what I could do to fix it and what I could do to help him. Little did I know- this was something that could never be fixed- our family as i had always known it was now broken forever.
Having a Brother die is not something that I ever expected to happen to me. It was something I saw in the movies. Something that I thought was almost nightmarish. I also thought to myself of all families- why mine? Why ours? Why him? I guess until you have lost a family member tragically or suddenly it is something you can never fully understand or appreciate. It is just pure trauma. I felt like my insides had been ripped out and then just thrown everywhere for the entire world to see. Almost like I was walking down he street with my arm chopped off, everyone looking but nobody really knowing what to do!
Robert was riding his new motorbike on a VERY wet and miserable Friday afternoon along a road he had ridden many times before. He had loved motorbikes for as long as i can remember- it was in his DNA. He was in his new riding gear- including a brand new helmet.
From what we know, Rob crashed into one of only a few retaining walls/traffic islands on the Gold Coast highway and we believe he was killed instantly, his helmet shattering from the impact and his body ending up lifeless on the road. We have been told he was unresponsive when the first bystander arrived only seconds after and this brings some comfort at least. The thought of this all unfolding is something I still struggle to get out of my head and cannot deal with in full even to this date. Did he see it coming? Was he hit? What were his final thoughts? Was he happy the day he died? Did he lie in the rain scared alone and upset before someone came to his aid?
Something I had learnt as a young Medic in the Army is that every dying man asks for his Mother. They are scared and alone and just want to go home. I know Rob would have wanted to just be at home in Cudgen- back to the place where he used to play as a kid. Back to the loving family home among the red dirt of Cudgen that held a special place in his heart.
I honestly cannot begin to explain the range of emotions I have felt these last 9 weeks (HOLY SHIT- where did those 9 weeks go?) I honestly have felt every millisecond of those 9 weeks but almost none of them- all at the same time.
As my days of crying constantly and sleeping endlessly all rolled into one, I started thinking about Robert and his true zest for life. He lived every single day without fear or judgement and lived it to the max! He was such a larrikin, held no fear and was everyones mate and the best little Brother a girl could ask for. I needed to do something to honour him and share his energy with everyone around me. More importantly I needed a purpose to get out of bed, place on some makeup and get back to living my life. I had lost my own zest for life and actually had thoughts of never making another set of earrings again. I was going to shut down Dented Diva- i just felt like i could not move forward.
Rob struggled with his mental health for many years for a variety of reasons- including all the trauma he had seen within his service in the RFS and NSW Fire and Rescue. This in turn lead him into a life of drug addiction to help ease his pain and then this lead into him serving time in jail. Unknown to me he would colour to help ease his manic mind in his spare time, in rehab and also during his jail terms. His pictures adorned his walls for many years- right where he could see them as he played his DJ mixes and loud doof daily- displayed proudly next to photos of his family, Daughter and Son and old Army mates. Upon seeing them I just knew they had to be the main inspiration behind this collection. I even had some guilt surrounding this- what kind of Sister didn’t know this about her Brother? Did I really know him at all? Where and when did our closeness fall apart? Had I failed him in this life when he needed me most?
This collection, like the love for my Brother- just came so easily to me. I sat down one Saturday out of the blue at the kitchen table with the need to draw in biro, like I always do. I came up with pages of shapes then picked 9 that really resonated with me. I then looked back at all his colourful drawings and really leant into the colours he had been using, most of them super bright and fun- a real vibe!
Of all collections, this has been without a doubt the hardest, yet most satisfying to make. Why satisfying you ask? Because it has purpose. This range isn’t just another range to fill a month or to just make money from. This range is to honour someone I don’t want the world to forget anytime soon. It is full of conversations, moments and memories with my Brother and my family. It holds meaning to each of you who have experienced your own grief and perhaps have nowhere to place it or keep it for now so you want to express it by wearing something you love and it helps us all connect on a deeper level.
The Zest For Life Collection has opened up so many conversations surrounding love, loss and grief for me- mainly so many of you whom have never met me or even knew I had a Brother. I just find this so soul soothing.
I have managed to connect with such a wide variety of people and that is what I love most about creating- because at the end of the day we are all here together trying to live the best life that we have.
All I can say is just love and never judge! Love as hard as you can those around you- all their good and bad and inbetween and then love some more because one day they may leave this earth before you expect.
Enjoy the new range and may it bring a true zest for life to each and every one of you the way Robert did to mine!
Yours in sparkle,
Dented Diva x