Monday, December 20, 2010

❤ Lucky Packet Design: This is so...HeartFelt :)

Felt. It reminds me of primary school days of messing about during art class, collectively incurring the wrath of the art teacher and just having fun.
Today I found a few scraps of felt hidden away in my little collection cupboard and decided to experiment with it.
I decided to make a brooch and a few hair clips as I'm always in need of these items.
What do you think of them?

Monday, December 13, 2010

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Flower Garden

I love going scavenger hunting at my mum's home. My mum was/is a seamstress and would even do amazing works of embroidery before her trio of nuttiness came along. However, she still has this love for material so she's got a LOT of it.
I used to wrap myself in them as a kid and prance around the house pretending I was wearing some big fancy ballgown :)

I found quite a bit of plain cotton/linen blend material so I decided to claim it as my own (thanks mum!) and decided to make this:

Check it out! Wee little fabric roses

I added a few odd beads and sewed a bit and voila! My first bag! It's perfect for travelling, storing linen, socks, your precious items and other odds and ends.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hit refresh :)

I've been neglecting all things related to this blog/project of mine.

I know that excuses are a bad thing, but I didn't realise how the time flew by in the past few months. I made promises that I couldn't keep and I still owe some people an apology. In the midst of all that occurred, I remembered, 'oh yes, don't I have a website to run?' and that's when I looked at the date and got a bit of a fright. It's been 2 months since I last said I would do something about this blog. So here I am restarting this blog, once again!

So after much thought and much bothering of some dear people (you know who you are), I've changed the name (AGAIN) and registered a domain!
I've yet to figure out how to work out the other things like how to create a website from scratch (I've forgotten how to do that!), so right now the domain is just pointing to my blog.
I figure that a domain that I've got to pay for will make me start this project up again.

December-January shall be a renewal of this website and I hope, if the Almighty wills it, that all goes well from there on.

Let the brainstorming begin...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Linocutting and Rubber Adventures

In the midst of the paper cutting project, I got a bit distracted and decided to fiddle about with some rubber and a lino-cutter.  I started off with the pattern that I was playing around with in my paper cutting project, but then decided I'd like a regular old flower instead.  

By the way, I've cut myself at least 3 times.  In Ramadaan it was hard for me to control my frustration and not yell out, 'S#!^' every time I stabbed myself.  Linocutting is not for sissies.  Keep band-aids nearby - and perhaps some protective gloves.

After creating my rubber stamp, I decided to test it on a piece of fabric (which is somewhere around) and as it turns out, I'm pretty pleased with my first shot at lino cutting and printing.  I'm going to fiddle a bit with the design and once I find a trusty roller, I'll (hopefully) create some designs to share on here! :)

I ❤ Food: Ramadaan - Done. Eid ul Fitr - Done.

The burfee didn't make me do a barf-ee.
A lone lamington and a single tiramisu cupcake found themselves coupled.
The strawberries jumped for joy when they realised they weren't being turned into pavlova, but split themselves up when they found out they were being creamed.

Ramadaan came and Ramadaan went.
Eid came and Eid went.
So the month of fasting was good - but then Eid came at the end of it and  even though I said I wouldn't, I ATE and ATE and rolled over and ATE again on Eid day.  Terrible.
(why do you think there's only one of each item left?  There's a lot of other things that you can't see because...they're in my belly! ahhah! psssh...I made it all AND ate it all!  SIES!)

All in all, it was a good Ramadaan - istighfaar (prayers for forgiveness from sins) dhikr (prayer), sabr (patience) and shukr (gratefulness) was a constant thought/action :) I had a lot of time to do some thinking, doing and less procrastinating.  I'm doing a mental 'WHOOP!' just for the latter :)  Let's hope I can keep it up now  :)

Sorry for the cheesiness in the captions.  I couldn't help myself :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I ❤ Food: The temptation of the Eclair

Ramadaan.  A month of 'fasting, not feasting', as the cliche goes.
We're supposed to control our appetite, worship our Creator in abundance and think of those who have less than us by abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.

After sunset, this Muslim Woman had a moment of weakness.

Hello Eclair, what are you doing here on your lonesome?

It seems like your friends don't want you around.
How sad, nevermind, I've found a better place for my tummy! Nom, nom, nom!


Me: "Psst!"
You: "Yeah?"
Me: "It looks like I'm getting it back..."
You: "What back?"
Me: "The crafting/artsy mojo back!"

Watch this space...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My heartfelt apologies...

So I've been a bit AWOL.
I don't know if I have any blog readers in these past few months, but I don't really blame them if they've given up on reading this blog.

I've been moving continents, visiting family and friends, actually managed to watch a few Fifa World Cup 2010 matches in between all of that, and now I'm finally settling in back to the life that I'm used to in good 'ol South Africa.  It feels like I've never left, which is quite strange.  Did I really live in the USA for  10 months?  Did I really love using public transport?  Who was that person?  *sigh*  I miss Boston a whole lot, yet I'm quite happy to be home :)

Now that Ramadan is coming up, I'm thinking a lot of what I need to get done over the next month.  That means Deen (my religion, Islam) will take priority over Dunya (the everyday, mundane trappings of this world)  right now.
I'm on the search to become a better muslim, a better wife, a better daughter, a better sister and a better aunt, and overall, a better person.  I seem to have a serious case of the 'internet blahs' and I just can't seem to get that interested in it anymore.  I guess it's a good thing.  I haven't been able to pursue the things that I love as much as I would like to, so this is the time to focus on those subjects.  Quraan, Tafsir, my never ending studies at Unisa, and of course my never ending search to find the perfect baklava cheesecake recipe, will take preference over everything else at the moment :)
So I'm working on everything slowly, starting with this blog which I'm working with in offline mode.
I have plenty to do and even though I do hope I can finally kick this blog off properly, I don't see it happening until the end of September.

My apologies to whoever still reads this.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I ❤ Food: Salmon Kick

I never was a 'fish lover' as a child.  On a family holiday, we went to the Eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga) region of South Africa.  We visited a trout farm and as a 4 yr old, my curiousity got the better of me and I insisted on watching how they 'cleaned' fish.  I was horrified and refused to eat any sort of seafood from that moment.  Of course my mother lamented the fact that she had a crazy daughter and would sneak it into meals without me knowing ('It's chicken, Fatima, have some' *bite* 'Mummy, this tastes funny' *mum giggling to herself*).  However, it took me many years to finally develop a taste for seafood, and finally, when I was a teenager I had my first bite of a perfectly grilled prawn.  I was hooked!

My current favourite is the delightful Smoked North Atlantic Salmon.  It tastes quite different to its counterpart that we buy in South Africa.  Needless to say, I've become addicted!

Some of the salmon treats I just love to make:

Breakfast Salmon:  Smoked salmon, peppers, scrambled egg, salt, pepper, coriander powder, a dash of cumin powder, chilli powder, lemon pepper, mixed herbs, and melted cheddar all scooped onto buttered toast.

Salmon Snack:  Low fat sour cream on crackers, smoked salmon, slice of carrot, olives and onions (i forgot about the tomato) seasoned with salt and pepper with a dash of lemon pepper and chilli powder.

Salmon is good for you, so I don't mind taking an indulgent plunge for my taste-buds.

Update:  Unfortunately, Blogger has deleted the images here! I'm really quite upset as I don't have them anymore!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I ❤ Books: Boston Public Library

I've become addicted to visiting the Boston Public Library (or BPL).  It's an amazing library, and has  five floors and an entire wing dedicated to the Arts.  The BPL is the oldest library in the United States and is filled with amazing architecture.  The library has a gorgeous courtyard where you can relax and read a book, serenaded by the water feature.  The library even features a restaurant where you can enjoy a meal.   
My favourite equation:   Food + Books = Bliss!
Boston Public Library courtyard
Source: Friends of Copley Square

At first I went through the non-fiction and fiction sections.  However, I figured I could find them quite easily back in South Africa, so I decided to find books that I won't be able to get a hold of so easily (and affordably) back in SA.  That's when I decided to take a dip in my favourite topic: arts and crafts. There are shelves upon shelves of absolutely anything you can think of!  I really felt like I was in book heaven!  It's a pity that I didn't have my camera with me.  I would've taken so many amazing pictures for you to see.

I love that the BPL allows you to take out 75 items at a time.  How crazy is that?  So if you haven't heard from me in a while, don't worry, I'm lost in the place that I really want to be lost: the library.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I ❤ Workshops: Letterpress and bookbinding...

This weekend I indulged in a bit of letterpress printing and bookbinding at Albertine Press in collaboration with Carta Inc in Somerville, MA, USA.  I was immediately smitten by the large machinery which creates such intricate works with old fashioned letterpress, and of course the beautiful works that bookbinding results in.
We created our own pages filled with haiku and different forms of poetr, typeset them and printed them on paper which we then collaborated to create a 'lotus book'. That was a lot of work, but tons of fun!

I was surprised to find out Bookbinding and Letterpress is a massive industry in the US, with Book Arts centers dotted all across the country, with the first one establishing itself in New York.  One of my co-workshop attendees was actually studying towards her Masters Degree in Book Arts and Education!  As the books came into fruition, I really wished that we had short, weekend courses like this in South Africa.

Update:  I'm sorry, but it seems like Blogger has misplaced my photos!  I'm trying to find them on my hard drive so that I can upload them once again!  I apologise and hope you will bear with me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I ❤ South African Talent : Skinny LaMinx and Jesse

I've been following two amazing South African designers for a number of years now and figured that it's high time that I add them to this blog.

Hand printed fabric - Hearts by Jezzeprints

Jesse Breytenbach of Jezzeprints makes some of the most loveliest prints I have seen.
She has illustrated for Cambridge University Press and even has her own graphic novel titled, 'I don't like chocolate.'

'Herds handbag' by Skinny Laminx

Heather Moore of Skinny Laminx, creates the most inspired items. My favourite items have to be the 'I wish we had IKEA' set, especially since I love IKEA myself :)
Her works have appeared in different stores around the world and in many different magazines.
Heather also edits and maintains the Elle Decoration Blog.
Skinny Laminx will be featured at this weekend's Design Indaba Expo in Cape Town (27-28 February 2010) along with many other talented designers at the Threadcount collective stand.

Do visit them if you are in the area :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

I ❤ Art: Islamic Art - Haji Noor Deen

Over the Chrismas period of 2009, I was in Toronto, Canada attending the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference, I came across the artwork of Haji Noor Deen, a Master Calligrapher.  He combines Arabic calligraphy with Chinese calligraphy and creates amazing works of art.  I love the fusion of the different styles of artwork, don't you?

Arabic: "Asalaamu Alaikum".
Translation:  "Peace be unto you".

Arabic: "La ilaha ill-Allah muhammadar rasulullah".
Translation: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger"