Creative life

A Lesson in Flatlays 


Flatlays. A buzz word everywhere, from Instagram, to Tumblr to Pinterest. Everyone’s doing them. And you’re wondering. How?! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many of us (myself included) have scrolled through our feeds and seen perfect flatlays, then tried them ourselves and failed miserably. However, after some practicing and arranging, I have some tips to share with you. So, here it goes… 

01 / It’s like a puzzle! 

The kind of flatlays I do aren’t always the ones that are square-shaped, but I do mostly do those kinds. You need to play around and see how your items fit together and where the gaps are. For starters, just lay everything out in front of you and move them around until you’re happy with the layout. 

02 / Angles are everything

I’m not going to lie to you. Angles make or break a flatlay. You need to try your best to make sure your camera or phone is as flat as possible and not tilted. Try standing on a chair (I do it! You’re not crazy) so you’re completely above your layout. 

03 / Try a colour scheme or theme 

Colour schemes can really help your flatlay to look more cohesive and improve the aesthetic appeal of it.  Play around with colour combos and different themes too (eg: artsy, travel, baking, etc…) 

Photo by Iman Cassiem (@flashfilmfilter)

04 / Edit it properly 

Sometimes, you might find that one side of your flatlay has a bit of a shadow and is darker, so when you edit the photo, the other side gets all over-exposed and faded. For this, I suggest Snapseed, as it has a selective tool. You can select an area and only brighten that specific area. It’s extremely helpful. 

I hope this gave you some insight into flatlays! 

Happy snapping. 

Nabeela x

DIY Fabric Printing Idea


Today’s post is a quick and easy idea. Lately, I’ve been quite into sewing and stitching, especially embroidery, as you’ll know if you follow me over on Instagram. I have been wanting to stitch other things too, like pouches, but I’ve held back because I haven’t found any fabrics around the house that I like enough to go through the effort of making something out of it.

I remembered pre-school days, when we used to use potatoes to make patterns and prints on paper. I thought I might use the idea to print onto a blank piece of fabric I had lying around. I tried it, using a potato and gouache (although I imagine fabric or acrylic paint would probably work better, but I didn’t have any) to print onto the fabric. You can literally carve ANY pattern into the potato, so its really versatile. I cut a triangle out of the potato and used gouache to make a triangle pattern on my piece of fabric, making the triangles tessellate. I also kept adding white to my paint, to get an ombre effect. It’s a very quick and easy DIY that requires minimal supplies, too! Give it a try.

FullSizeRender (18)

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

Watercolour 101


I have a very exciting post for you today. I’ve been planning it for a while, but I’ve just been so caught up with exams and schoolwork. Exams are over now though, and I’m going on holiday next week so expect to see lots over here!

I have been brushscripting for the last year or so and I’ve learnt so much about the techniques and letters. I thought I’d write a bit about the most important things you need to do and master when you’re starting off.


Find your brush

 When I first started, I’d experiment with all my brushes and then find one that really worked well, but I could never remember which one afterwards! I found that the round brushes were the easiest to script with because they hold the watery paint in their tip. If you are using a normal brush (not a waterbrush) make sure it is very wet, so that random hairs don’t stick out. I use the Pentel Aquabrush in the medium size. I found that size 5 round-tipped brushes also work well for scripting.


Up thin, down thick

I so wish I knew this when I first started! Once I mastered the up-down technique, it became a whole load easier. Apply little pressure on up strokes and more pressure on down strokes.

Find an Alphabet

Its important that you have a ‘game-plan’ for each letter. It just makes everything flow better if you start out by scripting letters individually. Although its important to celebrate your own personal handwriting and use it as a base for your scripting, look at other work and see if there are any letters you would like to ‘adopt’. I’ve ‘adopted’ many letters. Its just fun to see how you can change things up!


Practise and practise and practise

 You’ve heard it. Practise makes perfect. (Well, if not perfect, then progress). It’s the only way you can get better. Once you start practising, it gets easier and easier and your scripting will flow better too. There are loads of practise challenges where you script one word every day. They are all over Instagram! Here are some words to try out:

  • Orange
  • Coffee
  • Office
  • Sugar
  • Love (great to start with)
  • Hello (great to start with)
  • Beauty
  • Strong



My main inspiration comes from Instagram and Pinterest. I’ve learnt a lot, especially on Instagram just by watching short little videos of people scripting. It’s an extremely helpful resource!

Some great Instagram accounts to check out are:








If you’d like, you can follow my lettering journey over on my Instagram!

I hope you enjoyed this!

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

Art Journal Peeks / 01.


It’s been a while since I’ve written here. I’ve been so busy, juggling tests, school functions and now, exams! I can barely contain my excitement for Kamers Vol Geskenke. It’s happening at the moment in Cape Town, at the Castle of Good Hope and I’m visiting it over this weekend. It’s a massive show with only handmade and crafted things. Sounds amazing, right? Anyways, I wanted to keep posting my journaling though. I’ve taken some shots of a few of the latest pages in my journal. I hope you enjoy flipping through the pictures.

Journal Peeks header

Uh, yes, my cactus obsession is real. 
I was using a few watercolour prompts as journaling prompts. 
Playing around with different fonts, pens and brushes on the left. 



This is probably my favourite page in my current journal. The quote on the left I found in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and I L.O.V.E it! The page on the right was inspired by a rainy day, as you’ve probably sussed out. 
I love the right page. I did it by using the straw technique. Just make your watercolours quite wet and drop it on. Then, whilst its still wet, blow it with a straw and watch the colours take over your page! 
Botanical prints and patterns are something I’ve been on the look out for and I’ve been experimenting a lot. 
I made this paper by using the straw technique too. 
As you can see, my journal is getting really full!

Have a fabulous weekend! Good luck to everyone writing exams at the moment! Keep warm, Southern Hemisphere peeps.

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

How I’ve Been Crafting Lately


A little while ago, I wrote a post about my midori journal and it was quite popular, so I decided to go into a bit more depth as to how I journal. Lately, my favourite method of crafting has been, well, journaling. I’ve been experimenting with different forms of art journaling, collaging and midori-style journaling.



This is the Midori I’ve been using. It’s A5 size and was custom-made for me. I love it!


This is the notebook I’ve been using. I kinda love the cover.



I’ve also been playing around and trying to make my own inserts for my midori. This one turned out pretty cute I think.

I keep a box of scraps of card and paper to use for layering up my journal. I use normal notebooks from the grocery store so the paper isn’t very thick, that’s why I prefer to layer. 

Here’s some step-by-step shots of how a spread come about in my journal.

I started off by layering with the paper I wanted.
Next, I added washi tape and some stamping for my heading.
Then I added some more stamping, as bullet-points and a decorative border at the bottom. I love that hexagonal stamp! Its an acrylic stamp from the Docrafts Papermania Geometric Mono range. LOVE.
Lastly I added some writing… 
This is how it turned out. I really like doing these kinds of things. They make me think and reflect a bit, you know? But believe me, some of my journaling pages are VERY impulsive.
I’ve also been painting, L.O.T.S. Watercolours are my absolute favourite medium at the moment. So easy to use, fast-drying, no smell and quick clean-up. Its a joy!
Lastly, I thought I’d share a shot of my desk. I don’t usually share pictures of my workspace because I do most of the shoots for these posts in our patio room because of the divine natural light. But I thought it was about time.

Some great journaling accounts to follow on Instagram:

I could go on, but those are the ones that came to mind.

Lastly, I visited Decorex Cape Town last week and it was amazing. I came back feeling inspired and so in love with home decor. Don’t forget to spoil your mums for Mothers Day on Sunday! And if you are a mum, I’m sure you’ll get spoilt x.

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx


Keep ‘Em Creative Juices Flowing



Sometimes I feel like my creative brain has a big, fat piece of polymer clay stuck in it and I just can’t seem to think of ANYTHING to craft, paint, make, bake, sew, etc. (You get the idea, right?) Can anyone else relate? Today I’m sharing the methods I follow to crawl out of a creative mental block or to avoid them all together.

  • Keep creative – well this one sounds pretty obvious, but even during the yuckiest, most stressful times, I try to do at least one ‘right-brained’ activity a day to ensure that my poor creative right brain doesn’t fry from all the studying and exams. This year, I’ve been doing my #366project which has been a blessing in disguise, because even although some days I’ve been totally stressed out about the quotes, it means I’ve been forced to practise my brush- lettering every day and do something creative.


  • Get inspired – Even if it just means going on Pinterest once a day or subscribing to your favourite magazine, have a place that you can tap into for ideas and creativity. HOWEVER, be careful of looking into the same places too often! I’ve read it in creative guide books, too! If you follow similar accounts, read similar books and blogs, eventually, your own creativity stops flowing because you just keep looking in the same place! I try to go through the people I follow on Instagram maybe once every two months and unfollow all the same-same accounts and follow people I wouldn’t ordinarily follow. These small things can make a BIG change.


  • Keep a journal – how often do we get flashes of creativity in odd places like the shower or just before we sleep? And… then forget them before we can use them… Write it down! Even if you just jot it down messily, at least its there for you to use and refer back to. You could even just use the note app on your phone.


  • Try New Things – Just because you’re a crafter doesn’t mean you can’t bake or be a musician! Try new things, get involved and explore options and new experiences and opportunities. You never know what’s coming your way and what might just inspire you!


  • Exposure – this last point is very important to me – in fact I decided to make it my new year’s resolution at the beginning of the year! Exposing your self to different forms of creativity such as music and theatre can only have positive effects and set your creative juices going!

I hope you found this helpful! Some very helpful and inspiring things to read are:  Amy Tangerine’s Creative Handbook. It’s so great and offers practical, insightful suggestions.  I also recommend the SARK books, and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Have a fab week!

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

Midori-Style Art Journal Peeks


Lately, I’ve been struggling to come up with DIY posts and whatever I did think of felt forced and ‘same-same’. This is exactly what I said I didn’t want to do in my One Year On blog post. I’ve decided that I will be sharing some of my art journals on my blog too. It’s what I love doing and I love to share what I’m passionate about. Anyways, onwards then! Hope you enjoy the journal peek! I’ll leave a few prompts below that I’ve used that you may want to try in your own journaling. Remember, you can interpret them however you like!

Journal Peeks header


This notebook that I’ve been using is a Tall Memo Notebook from Party Bunch and Co.
This is my cover page. I don’t usually do cover pages, as the first page feels so intimidating! Sounds silly, I know, but it turns out that if you leave the first page blank, the creativity will just flow!
This page I did by cutting out 4×4 cm squares of pictures from magazines that inspire me. I think its so cute!
Pretty washi tape deserves all the heart-eyes!
All the life’s lovely tit-bits that inspire me. And a watermelon, of course. 
A random doodle and an all-important quote. What can I say? I can never resist a bit of brush-lettering!
A bit of music lyrics and my fave local brands. Love those blues.
The page on the left was very spontaneous which means it came straight from my heart. On the right, a little monochrome geometry. I was playing around with my (then) new stamps!
I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t really wanna put this page in the post, but, I guess the joy is in the journey, right? It just felt unfinished to me, but here it is!
More watercolour painting and crazy prints and patterns that live in my crafting stash!
A few random quotes that inspire me. And two leaves I picked up on an estate. The colours just jumped out at me and I had to bring them home!
Testing out the colours of my watercolour palette and a little bit of collaging – my favourite!
My all-time favourite stamps and a bit of reflection too. 
And the last, most colourful page in my journal! I went colour crazy on this page – no holding back! But I love it. 


I really loved shooting and writing this post! I hope you enjoyed that.

Some journal prompts you can try out are:

  • Hello Doodle
  • Wall of Words
  • Colours of the Rainbow
  • Pretty Little Squares
  • What Inspires Me
  • Print Play
  • Washi Wonder
  • Monochrome Muse
  • Hello Rainbow
  • Colour Swashes

I look forward to sharing the rest of my future journals with you, too! If you use any of the prompts or ideas above, I’d love to see! Use #missartsycraftycrafts on Instagram.

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

The Liebster Award

Hi everyone! I am honoured and excited to have been nominated for the Liebster award by Brandy over at SomewhatHandyBrandy. Thanks,Brandy!

In my understanding, the Liebster Award is an award given to a blogger by another blogger. It’s to help new bloggers into the blogosphere and to help spread the love. To accept your award, you have to do the following:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Copy and paste the Liebster Award badge to your post.
  • Nominate 10 new bloggers.
  • Answer the 10 questions the person who nominated you asked you.
  • Create 10 new questions to ask the bloggers you nominate.
  • Notify the bloggers you have nominated by leaving them a comment on their blog

Brandy’s questions are:

Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog because I was reading a few other blogs at the time and felt inspired to share my thoughts and creativity with the world too.

What is your favourite book?

Wow, this is a hard one. My all-time favourite is probably A Little Princess by Frances Hodgsen Burnett.

What does a perfect weekend look like to you?

Out and about at markets or relaxing at home for a fun crafternoon!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

If I could have any superpower, it would be invisibility so I could help catch all the baddies in the act!

What is your favorite holiday tradition? 

I love sleeping at my gran’s house in the school holidays.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Potatoes for sure.

What is your favorite Disney movie and character?

It would have to be Frozen. (But then again, I watched it so many times with my little cousins that the songs make my cringe). My favourite character is Olaf.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I’m pretty young, so I guess it would be to make the most of primary school. You’ll miss it in high school.

What’s your biggest fear?

This one is hard. One of them is to play the piano in public.

Which do you prefer: A brand new car or a restored vintage car?

A restored vintage one!


The blogs I nominate are:

Avery Huia’s Blog 

Georgia Maye 

Lilac Place 

India Kitty 


Baking Ginger

Sea of Blooming Dreams 

Miss Caly

Happiness Is.. 

Rabbit and the Duck 


My questions are:

  • Why did you start a blog?
  • What do you prefer: modern minimalism or colourful clutter?
  • What is a quote that really motivates and fires you up?
  • What do you do as a creative hobby?
  • If you had 10,000 of your country’s currency, what would you do with it?
  • What colour makes your heart sing?
  • Iced coffee or iced tea?
  • Dream job? (Mine would be a scrapbook product designer *insert all heart-eyes*
  • Doughnuts or ice-cream?
  • Favourite blog?

Yay, I’m so honoured to be nominated for this fun award! Spread the love if you get/got nominated!

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx







Design Indaba Emerging Creatives


Recently, I visited the Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives Exhibition. It was held at the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront. I absolutely loved the exhibition. It was so great to see what some of the creatives of our country are doing.


I really loved Carla Latsky’s watercolour paintings. Being a lover of watercolours myself, Carla’s paintings really inspired me to try something other than just brush-lettering.

Josie Hardy, who is behind Banc, makes the most beautiful lamps out of copper plumbing pipes from the hardware store. They are so modern and simple and I loved the look of them.

Madri van Zyl makes jewellery from recycled materials. Her brand is called Iloni. Her creations are contemporary and look fantastic. I was fascinated by her amazing pieces.

Danielle Clough’s work was by far my absolute favourite. When I started following her on Instagram, I knew that I really wanted to see her work in real life, so I jumped at the opportunity when I found out her work would be on display at the exhibition.

I was thoroughly impressed by the collection of work that was on display. I left feeling inspired to create something new and unconventional. Here’s to emerging creativity.

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

Friendship Phrase Cards


With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’ve been wracking my brains, trying to think of what I can make for my group of gal pals in my class. I tried to make many things and they all just felt forced. I wasn’t really happy with the outcome of any of them.

SO, I decided to stick to what I know. Cards. I used record cards and scripted/stamped a phrase that I thought best fitted each friend. I tried out a few, and loved the way they turned out so I whipped up a bunch of them to hand out to my friends on V-Day. Here are some pictures of how they turned out:



Also, lately I’ve been keeping a close eye on local bloggers to see what I can learn from them. I’ve been loving the daringly different recipes on Ben Orkin’s blog.

I’ve been really enjoying my 366 project. If you aren’t already, you can follow along on my Instagram.

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx


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