Year: 2017

DIY Monochrome Wrapping Paper

I decided to do something a little different for my school books this year – making my wrapping paper so I can have prints I love. Since its the festive season too, and wrapping paper is expensive, here are a few fun ways with brown paper that are cost-effective and classy.

_DSC1910

_DSC1845

You will need:

  • Eraser
  • Craft knife
  • Paint (I chose black acrylic)
  • Paint brush
  • Brown paper
  • Leaf
  • Newspaper
  • Tape

_DSC1876

Lay down some newspaper before you start – brown paper is quite thin and the prints you make may bleed through onto the surface under your paper.

Splatter

Tape your sheet of brown paper down. Mix the paint with a little bit of water and load your brush. Flick the brush and the paint should leave splatter prints on the paper. Leave to dry.

_DSC1864

_DSC1920

Triangles

Carve a shape out of an eraser. A potato works fine too. Paint one side and press it onto the paper to make a print. Leave to dry.

_DSC1857

_DSC1896

_DSC1886

Leaves

Choose a leaf that has a definitive vein pattern. Paint the back of it, and gently press it onto the sheet of paper. Repeat it in a pattern you like. Leave to dry.

_DSC1926

_DSC1871

_DSC1947

Its really quick and simple. I love the monochrome, but if colour is your vibe, use different paints.

Hope you’ll try it out!

Nabeela x

Huge thanks to Imán Cassiem from Aesthete’s Perception for shooting for me! Check out her newly launched blog and Instagram account. 

Summer Break / Rest + Heal

If If the thought of lying on the beach and frolicking in the ocean is enough to get you through a long, tiring double-period math lesson, you’re not alone. For many, the summer holidays are something that we look forward to the whole year. But just as quickly as they come, they go. Before you know it, you’re back in math and tackling yet another year of school or back at the office, working through a pile of stuff. It always feels as if they went in a flash.  And due to the busy nature of the summer holidays (think loads of coffee dates, dinner parties, getaways) its easy to feel even more drained than when they started. I’ve often heard people jokingly (is it a joke though?) say that they need a holiday to recover from the holidays.

IMG_6254
I’ll be going into grade 11 in 2018, the year many say is the most difficult of all the schooling years in the South African schooling system. I want to make sure that I go back well-rested and maybe sans the eye-bags that seem to constantly live on my face in term time. Here’s what I’ve been doing and am planning to do to get the most out of my holiday. Care to join me?

01. / Turn off and tune out

Even although we’re off from school (or work), with emails and even constant news and information from social media, our brains may feel as if they’re not on holiday at all. Take some time and make a conscious effort to turn off your phone and laptop, and just unplug for a while. It’ll do you a world of good, and you’ll be surprised how light you’ll feel (speaking from experience here. Mountain cabin with no reception = instant zen).

02. / Plan for nothing

Having a calendar to plan out how you’ll be spending your time off can put your mind at ease. However, its important to make some time to do nothing in particular – to check out that new breakfast spot you’ve been meaning to visit, or to get into that book that’s been on your nightstand for months.

03. / Ease up

Relating to what I’ve said previously, summer holidays can turn into the time we try and do everything, meet up with everyone, go everywhere. I have found that trying to make plans to see all my friends and be everywhere has been more stressful than anything else. Its a good time to reflect, and figure out who and what adds value to your life. You’ll feel more fulfilled and hopefully a lot less frazzled.

04. / Save it

Now, this may seem slightly unrelated, but if you’re anything like me, December is the time where all your hard-earned money seems to slip through your fingers, being lost to impulse purchases on sale items you don’t really need, and more. Be conscious. That’s all. Treat yourself, but not to the extent that your bank balance dwindles. No one wants to go into a new year broke (again).

05. / Stick with it

I’m certainly no stranger to the fact that holidays are a time that workouts go out the window and clean eating is nowhere to be seen. Balance is key. Enjoy the treats, but don’t let go of all your healthy habits. Your body will thank you for it, and you’ll feel better too.

Here’s to a more healing, restful and fulfilling summer break. Sending love and light your way. Enjoy it all – you deserve it.

Nabeela x

Top Shelf Gone Natural

Over the past year or so, I’ve transitioned to an (almost) completely natural skincare routine. My carefully chosen skincare products are kinder to my skin, and the earth. As anyone might be, I was slightly terrified to switch out my old skincare routine (that was working well) for fear of terrible breakouts and uneasy skin. I even had a nightmare once – safe to say I thought a lot about making these changes.

IMG_7115

I did abundant research, read reviews on the websites of many South African skincare brands and formed a list of products I would start out with. Then, as a certain product finished, I would replace it with my chosen natural one, until my entire routine had been replaced. The benefit of doing this is that if you break out, you know exactly which product may have caused it. It’s also gentler on the pocket.

IMG_7132

Some think that natural skincare is overly expensive and therefore it is cheaper to stick to other brands. I have found that that isn’t the case – there are a wide variety of products for every budget and I have found products that are affordable and work for me.

I love skincare (as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now), and adore reading Into The Gloss. The photography in their series, The Top Shelf, inspired me for this shoot.

Now, onto what I’m using at the moment.

Mornings

Most mornings, I wash my face with the Oil-Milk Cleanser from Skin Creamery. It smells lovely, and doesn’t dry my skin out at all. I find it a bit too oily for me to use at night, but its  perfect for my morning wash. I then moisturize with the Facial Moisturizer from Naturals Beauty. It’s light and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily, but still does the job.

IMG_7146

Evenings

Once or twice a week, I exfoliate with Ocean Salt from Lush. I prefer the self-preserving one as it all natural to my knowledge. I then wash my face with the face wash from Naturals Beauty. I use my moisturizer and the Naturals Beauty Spot Treatment on any spots I may have. If I have any bad spots, I use a bit of tea-tree oil – the stuff works like a charm.

As and when

Once a week or so, I use to Skin Creamery Facial Cleansing Powder mixed with some raw honey as a gently exfoliating face-mask. It smells lovely and helps with gentle exfoliation. I’ve also just started using the Facial Hydrating Oil from Skin Creamery and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. It’s light-weight but still hydrating. My skin drinks the stuff up. I also occasionally use the Eau Roma Water from Lush (it is the only product in my routine to my knowledge that isn’t 100% natural) to get make-up off or if I feel in need of a double-cleanse. I also use to Cleansing Balancing Balm from Lulu and Marula to remove make-up – it works ridiculously well. If my skin is looking uneven, I sometimes use to Purifying Treatment Oil from L&M too. Not sure if I see that much of a change, but it helps slightly. I’ve also just started using the Purifying Masque from Naturals Beauty that seems to be working well. Lastly, my go-to lip balm is the one from Simply Bee. Its really affordable (as in cheaper than Labello even) and is super effective.

IMG_7153

IMG_7155

And that’s it! I’m happy with where I am with my skincare at the moment and am working consciously to bring more natural alternatives into all aspects of my life. Its better for me and the environment. Here’s to slowly making better decisions about our bodies and lives. Its an investment you’ll never regret.

Nabeela x

On Exercising + Sticking With It

persistence /pəˈsɪst(ə)ns/ – “The fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.”

move

Anyone who knows me well (or even just knows me – ha!) will know that I love exercise. For me personally, over the last few years, the most difficult thing has been sticking with it and being consistent. Its only too easy to workout when we have time and the moment exams start, drop it all and spend our days rolling around in study notes and eating potatoes. (Don’t worry, you’re not alone).

But these past two months have been the best months of exercise I’ve had in a long time, or dare I say ever. I’ve managed to stick with it, even during exams and hectic times. I’ve made mental notes on what I’ve been doing differently that has kept me on track and I thought I’d share – sharing is caring after all.

01. / Be flexible

No pun intended. The quickest way to fall out of routine is by trying to stick to one. Instead of saying to yourself that you don’t have time for a 20 minute workout, and skipping it all together, do a 5 or 10 minute one. Don’t try to stick to a plan that’s too rigid and leaves no room for adjusting. Work around your other commitments. Think of your workout as an appointment with yourself – don’t let your health take the back seat.

02. / Enjoy it

I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t emphasise it enough. If you dread your workouts, because they’re too difficult or consist of many exercises you don’t enjoy, chances are, you’re more likely to skip them. Instead, do exercise that you enjoy and is doable for your personal fitness level.

03. / Be realistic

I personally find that if I do workouts that are too intensive, my body takes days to recover and it sometimes means that I only workout once in that week. Slowly building yourself up is key. I prefer to do more manageable workouts 2-3 times a week. Don’t overdo it and give your body enough time to rest and recover.

04. / Have a goal

Having a goal makes exercise feel more purposeful. Its easier knowing that you’re working towards something. Make your goals realistic, specific and time-bound.

I hope you can take even just one thing away from this!

Nabeela x

And just a quick disclaimer, I’m no expert. This is simply based off personal experience.

Green Musings / Stellenberg Gardens

As a person who appreciates nature, and plants in particular, the Stellenberg Gardens were an absolute treat to visit. Talk about #gardengoals. The beautiful private gardens are open to the public one weekend a year, and this year, my family and I visited. What I loved most about the garden is how diverse the plant life is. Every little section felt like a whole new world full of plants and flowers that were are a visual feast. I forgot my camera at home and was seriously sad about that, but snapped some shots on my phone anyway. If you love gorgeous gardens and beautiful plant life, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for open gardens that take place throughout the summer around Cape Town…

IMG_5487 (1).JPG

IMG_5490.JPG

IMG_5493.JPG

IMG_5475.JPG

IMG_5503.JPG

IMG_5471 (1).JPG

IMG_5513.JPG

Nabeela x

Fresh Starts + Goal-Setting / Get To Work Book

Though I don’t believe that a new year is the only time to make fresh starts and set new goals (after all, every day is a fresh start), it is a great time to lay out plans for the year ahead, set goals and carve a path to achieve what you’ve set out to do. 

With 2017 drawing to a close, it may be a good idea to take some time to reflect on what you have achieved this year,  what you may want to work on and what goals you want to set for 2018. I personally find that the more SMART my goals are (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound), the less likely they are to hang in the air, and just remain goals.  

IMG_6913

Luckily for us, there are incredible people out there creating awesome, well thought-out tools to help us reach our full potential and plan out our days so they are filled with productive tasks, enjoyable hobbies and much sought after time to relax. One of these people is Elise Blaha Cripe, the founder of Get To Work Book and the host of the wonderfully interesting podcast, Elise Gets Crafty. Get To Work Book has been created to help one to achieve goals by working on them in small, manageable chunks and one day at a time so that they can become a reality. Its all about getting stuff done. 

IMG_6839
I love the clean lines and minimal colour palette

IMG_6841

 

I sent Elise a few questions about goal-setting and the Get To Work Book. Here’s what she had to say…

What inspired you to start Get To Work Book?

I really wanted a planner that was simple in design without a lot of extra colors or flourishes. I had learned a lot about working towards big projects over the years and was excited to incorporate some of those aspects.

If you had to give people one piece of advice when it comes to goal-setting, what would it be?

Start with something that is manageable but still hard enough to feel exciting. Tell people about the goals you are working towards and document your progress as you go.

Do you think there is added value in putting goals on paper and not just keeping them in your head, or in an app on your phone?  

For me, absolutely. I am a very visual person and “seeing” my tasks on paper can keep me motivated. I also like the sensation of crossing things off which is never as satisfying on my phone.

How do you stay inspired to keep on hustling, and how do you ensure that you still have time for yourself?

I have found that “making breeds making” so the more I stay engaged and creative, the more creative ideas I have. When I am feeling uninspired, I try to return to an old hobby in order to get my momentum back. I’m an introvert and so making sure I have personal time is a huge priority – just as important to me as work.

I hope this inspires you to take action and make your goals happen. You can do anything if you set you set your mind to it. 

IMG_6844

You can pick up a copy of the 2018 Jan – December Get To Work Book here.

Nabeela x

PS: Stay tuned for part 2 – a more detailed review early 2018

{Disclaimer: I was sent a Get To Work Book to review here on my blog. As always, all my opinions and thoughts are my own, and I would never recommend a product that I don’t truly love and believe is worthwhile}

Have a Happier Exam Session

Exams are undoubtedly the most stressful time of the year in any student’s life. The pressure is on and the nerves are set. Believe it or not, exams have been pretty bearable for me this time around (1 week in and all is well). They don’t have the be awful.

happen

01. /  Organize

Although it may seem obvious, having a structured study plan helps to ease the nerves immensely because you know you’re on track and its easy to see what you need to do each day. Writing a to-do list every day when I get home has been helping me so much to clearly see what I need to achieve before the end of the day.

02. / Move 

I haven’t stopped any of my usual exercises and it’s been such a great way to relieve stress and relax. If you’re usually very active and you stop completely, chances are that you’re not going to feel very good, or at ease. So be sure to make time to move those muscles.

03. / Eat well

Eating healthily and drinking lots of water helps you to have a clearer mind and a happier body. Try some healthy snack options instead of chips and sweets (which’ll make you feel sluggish and unenergetic). Here are some snacks to try:

  • Carrot sticks and hummus
  • Cucumber cubes and feta
  • Banana and peanut butter smoothie
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit

04. / Sleep 

I know all too well how easy it is to come home early and think there’s so much time to do the things that need to be done, and put it off until later, but the afternoon turns into night real quick. Rather space your work out over the day rather than staying up too late and missing out on sleep.

05. / Unwind

Make sure that you still take time to relax, do things you enjoy and follow your self-care rituals. Its so important in order to stay happy and healthy during this time.

All the best to everyone writing!

Nabeela x

Green Musings / Kleinmond Nursery

Its not secret that I adore plants. So when I stumbled upon the lovely Bistro 14  in Kleinmond that is part-bistro, part-nursery, I couldn’t help but love it! They serve the loveliest smoothies and cakes – perfect for Sunday afternoon tea! I strolled around the little nursery and took some snaps. Hope you enjoy my green musings…

IMG_6747[1]

IMG_6717[1]

IMG_6692

IMG_6700

IMG_6720

IMG_6723

IMG_6725

Check this place out if you’re in the area!

Nabeela x

 

P.S. All photos are my own photography and belong to me – be nice, don’t steal. If you’d like to use these anywhere, please ask and credit appropriately. Thanks x

hello@missartsycrafty.com

On Chasing Perfection

Today, after listening to a highly insightful episode of the podcast, Stuff Mom Never Told You, I started thinking about chasing perfection – something I often ponder over. You’ve heard it all before. How social media, and Instagram in particular is detrimental to self-esteem and mental health due to the curated, perfect nature of the content shared. But after hearing some scary statistics, it opened my mind even further to just how big the problem is.

Don’t get me wrong. Instagram is a wonderful tool. Without it, there are some opportunities I would never have had. However, its become only too easy to gloss over someone’s feed – with perfectly cohesive, magazine-worthy snaps of themselves dancing around in pretty pink dresses at sunset or sipping yet another latte from the coolest spot in town – to believe that they have it all going. To think that their life is perfect. And then comes the dangerous part. The part where we start comparing ourselves to the person in the photo. Our own lives seem dull and uninteresting in comparison…

REAL

One of my favourite hashtags is #HonestInstagram.  A much needed movement of online vulnerability and honesty. The truth is, Instagram is NOT (and I repeat NOT) real life. It really isn’t. What is shared is usually the most glamorous, impressive, glossy parts of the sharer’s life. Not the raw, real stuff that actually happens most of the time.

At the end of the day, we’re all just humans trying to figure out this thing called life. No one is perfect. Everyone screws up. By being more present and being aware of these facts, you may find more peace and unshakable happiness. Disconnect sometimes. Allow yourself to do stuff just for the sake of it, and not to document and share everything with the world.

You’re worth so much more than the number of followers you have and how many likes and comments you get on your photos. Never forget that…

Nabeela x

On Creating Weekly

Hello

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I have been doing a weekly project where I have been creating one watercolour piece a week for 2017. It’s week 40 this week, and so I thought I’d share a bit about my project with you.

After completing my 366 days of quotes project last year, I knew I wanted to do something this year, but just not as intensive as a daily project. I thought about skills I wanted to hone, and decided that a watercolour project would be perfect. Watercolours are easy to use, they don’t smell bad, clean up is quick and painless and the paper and paint is relatively cheap (well, as cheap as art supplies get. Emphasis on the relative part). And so I set out to paint 52 paintings by the end of the year.

There are many perks of doing a weekly project. It’s a wonderful way to force yourself to carve time out each week to create, and my weekly paint and paper sessions are highly therapeutic and rewarding. It can suck slightly when you feel as if you run out of ideas and feel as if you don’t have much time. The best advice I can give you is to push on, and not be too hard on yourself. After all, it is supposed to be enjoyable and not feel like some kind of creative torture.

So if you feel as if you could use some practice in a new skill, or you just want to create some intentional time to create, try a weekly or daily project. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll improve and how innovative it’ll make you!

Here are some of my favourite pieces from my project so far.

You can see all of my paintings on Instagram, under the tag #52weeksofwatercolour.
IMG_4765.PNG

IMG_4764.PNG

IMG_4762.PNG

IMG_4763.PNG

Nabeela x

Scroll to top