Author: missartsycrafty

DIY (Five Minute) Greeting Cards

As much as I love making stuff, I often find myself pressed for time when it comes to doing so. Its safe to say that I’ve made my fair share of birthday cards whilst rushing around in the last five minutes before leaving home for said birthday event. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds themselves in this little predicament so I thought I would share some of my favourite five-minute cards to make for those emergency (or not-so-emergency) times.

You will need:

  • Cardboard (brown or white)
  • Paper (preferably white)
  • Scrapbook paper / any patterned paper scraps
  • Stamps, stickers and washi
  • Pens (just black is good too)
  • Glue / double-sided tape
  • Extra bits (dried flowers/stickers/etc.)

01. / Girly 

Use two papers that have the same colours in them. Stick them onto the card and stamp/write the appropriate greeting in the spaces. I added a sprig of dried flowers too with washi tape.

 

02. / Ombre

I’ve made this card so many times. I usually use paint chips but any paper with colour steps will work. Simply cut strips of the paper in the same size and stick it on. I used pop-up sticky dots to add some interest, but glue or tape would work just as well.

03. / Washi

For this card, pick a few washi tapes in similar colours. Stick them along one side of the card, and add writing or stamps with the appropriate greeting.

 

I hope you find these helpful. Happy making!

Nabeela x

Rocherpan Nature Reserve

Recently, I spent a calm weekend at the Rocherpan Nature Reserve near Velddrif. Even although the pan isn’t completely full, there is an abundance of birds, beautiful vegetation and serenity. As far as I know, there is one main hiking trail within the reserve, and a picnic spot. There are also a few bird hides that allow you to observe the birds peacefully in their habitats.

We stayed at the eco cabins (Cape Nature) which are nestled in the reserve with beautiful views of the pan and the surrounding reserve – a lovely place to wake up in. I spent most of my time reading my book and just appreciating the beautiful surroundings and breathing fresh, clean air.

If you’re looking for a place to decompress and leave the stress of city life behind, this might just be it.

Nabeela x

Creatively Documenting Travels

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list…”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always kept journals. Whether they’ve been to organize my life, unscramble my mind or document my memories, it’s just a part of who I am. I’ve always kept a written record of my travels, and over time, this process has evolved. I truly treasure my travel journals. There are so many tiny details that are easily forgotten if not documented.

I’m sharing my system of travel documentation with you. Firstly, I use two places to store my memories. I have a journal that I usually carry with me on travels and fill in daily (more on that later). Then, I also have a scrapbook album with photos that I print out after the trip. This album doesn’t travel with me and is usually completed (way) after I get home.

Travel Journal 

This little book stays in my backpack when I travel. What I usually do is write in it in pencil and collect all my memorabilia in a pouch in the back. When I get home, I re-write things in pen, add things in, and use my stamps, washi tapes and stickers to make it all pretty. I also stick in all my memorabilia and arrange everything nicely. My last few trips have been super jam-packed, so I haven’t had time to journal every day. What I’ve been doing is writing quick notes on my phone every night before bed and then writing them into my journal when I have some time to do so, or on the plane home. I’ve really been enjoying this system.

Scrapbook

I haven’t been very good with doing this, mainly because my previous scrapbook was a huge 12×12 inch book that took up a load of space and wasn’t very fun to work in. It required too much stuff to fill the pages. So, I recycled the left over paper and rings and made a smaller, cuter, more fun album. I’ve finally gotten around to scrapbooking my Europe photos and will move onto my Mauritius photos after that. I’m a very visual person, so I really enjoy haveing physical photographs to look through. Also, found things (shells/coins/rocks/etc.) are my favourite kind of souvenir. They are my treasures.

I hope this has given you some insight into my documenting process and that you’ve got some ideas for your next trip.

Nabeela x

A Reading List | May – Aug 2018

This year has been ridiculously busy, but reading has been my refuge. Here are the books I’ve read in the last four months…

Nicola Yoon – The Sun is Also a Star

A really sweet, light read. I preferred her book, Everything Everything (and the movie is delightful), but it was still a lovely book. Also, there’s a movie of it being made, so be sure to read it before you watch it!

Luke Allnutt – We Own The Sky

A terribly sad book, but riveting nonetheless. My only criticism is that the ending felt very rushed. It was still a moving, and heart-breaking read, and I would recommend it.

John Green – Looking for Alaska

I’ve never read a John Green book that I didn’t love, and that didn’t make me weep, and this one is no exception. I do think I’d read it before, but it’s so well-written and one instantly falls in love with the characters.

Krystal Sutherland – A Semi-definitive List of Worst Nightmares

A vivid, descriptive and beautiful piece of writing. I adored this book, and couldn’t put it down. Many topical issues are discussed in a eloquent, profound and human way. I would highly recommend it.

Elif Shafak – Three Daughters of Eve

I adored this book. Until the last three chapters. I couldn’t put it down at first, and honestly found it a bit anti-climatic, but the writing is lovely and the descriptions are vivid. (I am planning of reading more of her works, and will report back).

Scarlett Thomas – The Seed Collectors

A really strange book but entertaining nonetheless. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but the storyline is pretty interesting, albeit jumbled and confusing.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh – The Language of Flowers

Possibly my favourite read so far this year. This book is so incredibly beautiful. I could not put it down. I loved every second of reading it.

Stephanine Butland – Lost For Words

I really enjoyed this too. The story line is captivating and provides a lot of insight into issues such as domestic violence.

Lily Brooks-Dalton – Good Morning, Midnight

I couldn’t put this one down. The ending still has me stumped, but its a beautifully written book.

What are your favourite books?

Nabeela x

 

 

Good Stuff 01. / Benu Made

I’m starting a new series over here on the blog featuring brands that are creating beautifully designed things all

around the world. First up, we have Benu Made, a jewelry brand by Pauline Hagan, who has a beautiful studio based in Prague (one of my favourite cities in the world). I’ve been following Pauline’s work for a while now, and have drooled over all her metallic leather pieces. They’re interesting, bold and beautiful. Talk about ear candy!

I sent some questions over to Pauline (these questions will form the base of this series). Here’s what she had to say…

1. Which three words would you use to describe your brand? 
Bold, playful, creative.

2. What does your creative process look like? 
I usually design a new collection just once a year, so over the course of the remaining 11 months, I gather ideas, cut outs, Pins, and notebooks full of sketches – without developing them into final products. When I revisit the ideas at the time of delving into new designs, I won’t touch a computer or Pinterest for a part of the creative process. I’ll take a stack of paper and explore as many avenues as I can based on those ideas – some of them may have evolved in my mind, some I’ll interpret differently and might take on a new angle. Somehow, something special filters out of this process and these slowly baked ideas.

3. If you could collaborate with anyone/ any brand, who would it be? 
One of the best things that has happened over the last couple of years has been collaborating with different photographers. It’s fascinating to see how they interpret my product differently and how they incorporate it into their own universe, creating wonderfully varied results – some play on the light bouncing off the earrings, others focusing on texture, for example. You can see some examples on my blog here: benumade.com/blog.

4. What three things inspire you the most?
I find inspiration everywhere, by being outside, observing the shapes and details of buildings (there’s an abundance of inspiration here in Prague), travelling (I’ve just come back from a trip to Japan and hope to incorporate some of my experience into my new collection), being in nature or during conversation with friends who’ll say ‘I’d love to see this on a pair of earrings’ – which might spark an idea. I also use Pinterest and follow Fashion Week shows to ensure I’m not too far off the mark and still feeding into current trends.


Next time the USD/ZAR exchange rate is in our favour, I’ll be popping a pair of these into my cart.

Looking forward to sharing more of my design crushes with you.

Nabeela x

{photos courtesy of Benu Made}

On Journaling

In a digital world where we are always connected to others, it can be all too easy to become disconnected from ourselves. The world is full of noise, both literally and figuratively, and sometimes, it can be so loud that our own thoughts feel like too much to deal with. After all, we can only think about so many things at one time.

The thing is, with the information-overload that we face on a daily basis, it’s easy to feel as if our brains are simply overflowing. I know that personally, this usually sends me into a state of minor (read: sometimes, not-so-minor) panic. It gets a bit much.

Something I’ve been using on and off for the past year or so as a way to cope with my ever-busy brain is journaling. I’ve recently been taking some time on a more regular basis, to write things down and clear up some space in my head. It’s been really beneficial to me, so I thought I would share some practices you can use if it is a method you’re interested in.

01. / Start slow

Don’t put huge amounts of pressure on yourself to write pages and pages daily. Start slowly, and ease into it. Do whatever feels manageable and helpful to you. The minute it starts becoming stressful, and feels like a chore, it defeats the purpose of the exercise.

02. / Be flexible

Don’t try too hard to make it pretty or to always use your best handwriting (If that is something you enjoy, make that a separate journal). Make it feel low-effort and write in a way that feels comfortable, natural and easy for you.

03./ Set a time

I am aware that this slightly contradicts point 2, but hear me out. By introducing some journal time into your schedule a few times a week, it turns into a lovely, meditative and calming ritual to help you de-stress. You may find that you’ll look forward to the time you get to spend reboot your mind.

04. / Keep it safe

By keeping your journal in a place where you know no one will read it, you’re giving yourself peace of mind, and the freedom to just write and let your thoughts flow. Don’t worry too much if it doesn’t make sense or if it seems a bit messy. It is meant solely for your own benefit.

I hope you find these pointers helpful. Journaling truly is a lovely analogue way to deal with busy minds in a busy world.

Nabeela x

On Body-Positivity / Self-Acceptance

Today I’m going to sharing some thoughts about a topic that is really important to me, and affects everyone. Arguably one of the biggest issues that young and old people alike in today’s world, is low self-esteem. With a constant slew of photo-shopped, airbrushed and perfected people in the media being pushed down our throats on a daily basis, it comes at no surprise. Comparing ourselves to a photograph that a professional has spent hours editing and perfecting can be pretty awful. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the sinking feeling of dissatisfaction in ourselves at some point. Firstly, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. Your feelings are valid, and you’re not being silly. Next, I’m hear to hopefully teach you some things (with some help of wise and insightful people) that’ll hopefully set you on a path of self-acceptance.

Accepting your body with all its flaws, and appreciating everything it does for you can lead you to feel so much more confident in your own skin and ultimately bring you more happiness. Also, remember that you are not defined by the way you look.  Appearance isn’t everything. After all, its pretty hard to feel bad about your body once you start thinking about the billions of cells and micro-organisms whose only care and purpose is keeping you alive and healthy.

Now, I definitely don’t consider myself an expert, and body-positivity is definitely something I still struggle with, but I’m learning and slowly making progress, day by day. Patience, dear hearts.

I asked some of my favourite advocates of body-positivity and self-acceptance, to share some advice on becoming more body-positive…

Cari Turner, Get Well Club

“My first tip when it comes to embracing your body and becoming more body positive in general is to stop playing the comparison game. This can be extremely tough as we’re bombarded with images of other people on social media who appear to always look amazing and have everything in their lives sorted out. But this isn’t true – nobody is perfect and what you’re seeing is a carefully curated photo or caption and not the complete reality of that person’s life. So if need be, unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or that make you want to compare yourself.

Only follow people that inspire, encourage and uplift you. In real life, whenever you feel the need to compare yourself or your body to someone else, remember that you were created to be unique and that there is beauty in diversity. Also, remind yourself of all the amazing things that you can do, like a handstand or a dance or that your body keeps you alive and healthy!

Another tip that I have for embracing your body is that you need to remember that it is a journey. You can’t just decide to be body positive one day and then you’re completely happy with your body for the rest of your life. There will be days when you feel terrible about yourself and others when you’ll feel amazing about your body. It is about making daily (sometimes hourly) choices to accept your body as it is in that moment. It is about remembering all the good things your body helps you to do. It is about reminding yourself that your jiggly arms help you to hug your loved ones or that your freckles are little memories of fun times you’ve had in the sun. It is about embracing your flaws and loving yourself even more because of them.”  – @getwellclub 

Kirsten Kadé, Taste and See

“One of my favourite quotes on this topic is by the lovely Kite sisters, or Beauty Redefined (https://beautyredefined.org): “Having positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good; it is knowing that your body is good regardless of how it looks. It isn’t about thinking you are beautiful, it is knowing you are more than beautiful. It is understanding that your body is an instrument for your use, not an ornament to be admired”

This quote really sums up what learning to like your body, no matter it’s shape or size, is about. When we start to see our worth in more than our clothing size or weight on the scale, we are able to live our lives to the fullest!

 As a nutritionist-to-be, one of my interests is to help others heal their relationship with food. The framework of Intuitive Eating is incredibly useful in healing your relationship with food – so one of my biggest tips is to buy the book, start reading blogposts, following people, and listening to podcasts on this topic. And explore developing a healthy, non-restrictive approach to food.”  – @tasteandseeblog

There is so much learning to be done, and such a long way to go, but I really hope you have found some value in this. If you are truly happy within yourself, very little will get you down. Keep spreading love.

I’ve created this little print-out that you can stick on your wall, just as a tangible reminder.

Nabeela x

{A special thank you to Cari and Kirsten for sharing your wisdom with us}

The Edit / 02.

Woah. I haven’t done one of these in ages. The holidays often bring some time to actually think about the things we use and consume in our daily lives rather than just racing through it all, so I thought I’d share some things that I’ve been loving lately.

Reading

I just finished the book, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and I adored it. It is a beautifully written book and definitely worth a read.

Next, I’ve really been enjoying these blogs, and I find myself checking back at least once a month.

Taste and See 

Miss Moss

Into The Gloss (All-time favourite)

Listening

I’m a huge fan of the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast by How Stuff Works. They tackle important and sometimes touchy subjects in a open-minded and interesting way. The episodes always leave me thinking about things in a different way and make for a fantastic listen. I particularly enjoyed this episode and this one too.

Billie Eilish is my favourite musician at the moment. I love all her songs and find them so calming. She’s also only 16, which is crazy inspiring. Even although her music isn’t the style I typically listen to, I find myself turning on her songs every day.

Loving

The Detoxifying Facial Mask by Naturals Beauty is such a winner. I find that it helps with breakouts almost immediately.

Since having some stomach issues last year, I started drinking kombucha and now I’m hooked! My favourites are the Rooibos Chai one by Happy Culture and the Ginger one by Culture Lab.

Instagram

I love Morgan Harper Nichols’ Instagram account. If you’ve scrolled on Pinterest or Instagram, chances are you’ve come across some of her writings. I adore her work – its a perfect pair of art and words, something that I, as a visual, word-lover, appreciate deeply.

That’s all for now, lovelies.

I have some exciting things coming soon, and some fun content planned, so stay tuned and keep your eyes on the ‘gram to stay up to date.

Nabeela x

{image source of Billie Eilish photograph is unknown}

 

 

 

 

 

Seventeen Musings

As we get older, we often overlook our personal growth. Whilst it’s easy to see it in others, it is only upon close introspection that one can notice it in oneself. We often grow up to be very different from how we visualized our future selves when we were younger.

That’s not a good thing or a bad thing. Its just how life is. Maybe you thought you were going to be a doctor, and now, once you’ve been through the education system, you’ve realized that just isn’t for you. Maybe you just wanted to be a princess. (Hey, we can’t all be Meghan Markle, but a girl can dream).

Either way, another trip around the sun means another year of memories, dreams, goals, achievements, failures (in whatever light you choose to view that word), and ultimately, growth. Here are 17 things I’ve learned up until now.

  1. As cliche as it sounds, being comfortable in your own skin and accepting yourself, no matter what stage of life you’re going through, is one of the (if not the) biggest contributing factors to your happiness.
  2. Trust your gut. That thing knows what’s up.
  3. You don’t have to be best friends with every single person you’ll ever meet. And that’s okay. 
  4. Things are not always going to go the way you planned. That is also okay. And a totally normal part of life.
  5. With time, you’ll learn who your true friends are. It’ll be hard, but also worth it.
  6. Don’t underestimate your own strength and the ability of time to heal.
  7.  Sometimes, when you think you’re really going to miss someone, you realize that life goes on and if they’re meant to be in your life, they will be.
  8. If it’s meant for you, it’ll come for you. (Really been living by this this year. It can be hard. But its the truth!)
  9. Just because someone is older than you doesn’t mean they’re right.
  10. It’s okay to have close friends with different opinions. Every debate and discussion doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t really) end with the other person having completely changed their opinion.
  11. If you’re unhappy about something, speak up. Sometimes (but not all the time) that’s all that’s needed to make some change.
  12. Not everyone is going to like you. That’s okay. You weren’t made to be loved by everyone.
  13. Social media is not, I repeat NOT, real life.
  14. The more comfortable you become with yourself, the less power other people’s opinions will have over you.
  15. Happiness doesn’t just come naturally to everyone. And its virtually impossible to explain to someone who’s never experienced it. Be kind. Be patient. Be supportive.
  16. Sometimes, being kind is more important than being right, contrary to what your ego might tell you.
  17. It’s okay to say no to things that just aren’t your thing. It doesn’t make you less cool/teenager-ish/attractive/whatever other rubbish people like to tell us. Just do you. Be yourself. It’s the best thing you can be.

I want to leave you with these wise words that really resonate with me and the kind of life I’m working to build.

“i have what i have and i am happy. i’ve lost what i’ve lost and i am still happy.” – outlook / Rupi Kaur 

Nabeela x

Mauritius Photo Diary

I recently visited the beautiful island of Mauritius with my family and it was a welcome break from the extreme cold we’ve been experiencing here in South Africa. We spent our time at a resort on the north-west side of the island, and although it was a bit chilly and wet sometimes (it’s winter there too), it was bliss. I thoroughly enjoyed some timeout to just read on the beach, swim and relax. Anyhow, here is my photo diary of the trip. Enjoy!

 

 

Nabeela x

 

 

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