Space Hoppin’ Eidmas Fun

As Muslims all over the world celebrated Eid, my house was no less chaotic over the last two day as children and adults alike dashed around the house and stuffed our faces with as many varieties of food available. Here’s a few pics that I managed to take (after having to hold everyone and everything down in order to get a picture!), it was  great day full of jokes, presents, food and dressing up. Although I must say, the highlight definitely had to be the Space Hopper which everyone agreed they must all have a go on, with very entertaining results! A good day for us all, hope yours was as exhausting and fun : )


Chand Raat…

That golden, glittering night has arrived and everyone’s abuzz, there’s hijab-ed warriors on the streets rushing to buy last-minute bangles, tinsel-decorated women putting on mehndi on girls’ hands and everyone is generally giving happy greetings to each other. Saudi has confirmed that they will be celebrating the blessed day of Eid, which has sparked off a whole panic of last-minute buying, massively long queues in meat shops and an unnaturally large number of girls wandering around the streets (my local is a scene in itself!) beginning their celebrations.

Happy Muslimah has already provided a sneak preview of her plans for the Eid celebration to come tomorrow, and those other sisters of mine (blood-related and otherwise!) are still busy getting together their war paint and battle armour in preparation for tomorrow (although I think most of us still feel a little lethargic from the previous month of fasting!). For all of you, wherever and whenever you are, I wish you an enjoyable Chand Raat and I hope you embrace this as a chance to spend with families, friends, tortoises and whoever, and that you don’t forget the overall purpose in celebrating not only this night but this whole month. I hope your houses are filled with bright colours, the sweet smell of mehndi and twinkling lights, and even for those of you who don’t normally celebrate Eid, look out for the beautiful moon tonight, and I hope you find some peace in knowing that it is an enchanting symbol of celebration for people worldwide, all of whome may be looking outwards into the sky with you at that moment.

My salams to you all, and enjoy the evening : )

Weekly Fruit Chomping Links

After a very, very wet week, the weekend has arrived and it’s time to put those wellies away and hide indoors for a while

First up, some cute play on words from the Brainless Tales website, have a look and see : )

Saw these Iwako miniature rubbers in a shop last week, delightfully cute, and apparently becoming quite popular. I’d buy some but then I’d never want to use them for actual rubbing out…so maybe not.

Another silly video collection from you, this time from Youtube channel PistolShrimps, who have merged scenes from epic films with their own additions, have a browse and see – I liked the Star Wars: Attack of the Models ones most, some clever technology being used there.

Cathy Thorne is a cartoonist who creates comics about women and their ordinary lives, with both sweet and sardonic gems of wisdom.

And lastly, what to do when the kids scream for ice cream

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend all wherever you are, and for those of you celebrating Eid in the next few days to come, enjoy the mad, last-minute rush to buy shoes/bangles/mehndi/ice cream and try to get some rest somewhere inbetween : )

(My nephew ‘sampling’ the fruit for the evening’s dinner and then deciding he doesn’t want the rest of it. Cheeky)

My Favourite Illustrators #1: Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake has always been one of my all-time favourite illustrators, for the way that a simple glance at his creations will evoke strong memories of my childhood (and a much of my adulthood), huddled in a corner with blanket, some chocolate biscuits and a Roald Dahl book, completely lost in the magic world of Dahl’s words and Blake’s beautiful, quirky characters. Quentin’s characters are always wonderfully full of personality in a way which goes beyond caricature, carrying a charm which makes reading all the more fun. The deliberately untidy drawings, precise scribbly style and exaggerated features, to me, always had an important message; that it’s not important to be beautiful (or perfectly drawn), but rather to be unique, unusual and happy with your flaws. If you look at any of Blake’s illustrations, there will rarely be a wonderful looking, or even normal character, they all had a curious slant to them which tells a story in itself: Quentin Blake’s quirky style is ever present in what has become his trademark style over the years.

And of course his work is not restricted to the wonderful Mr Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake’s work has taken him across many projects, which continue even today. He has created many prints, canvases, cards and many more for people to enjoy, as well as exhibiting his work. And of course he is also a children’s author himself, having published his own work, his latest being a published compilation of his work ‘Frabjous Beasts and Frumious Birds’, as well as numerous children’s books.

According to Quentin Blake’s website, he was a drawer from a young age, and he really is an artist for people of all ages to enjoy (I particularly loved the fact that he studied for an English degree before his career with art, there’s hope for me yet!)

You can see I have a total love for his illustrations, and I am sure I am not the only one, for who else doesn’t remember his excited little inky creatures on paper, come to life with our imaginations and his pen?
Quentin Blake is truly a piece of our childhood, that wizard who reading that much more fun for us and drew pieces for all of us to identify with.

And if you’re not sure whether you agree as strongly as I do, pick up one of his work on your bookshelf (I bet you have a copy of a Dahl book somewhere) and have a flick through, see if one of his pictures won’t make you smile : )
(The one below reminds me very strongly of the children in my family, cheeky little grubbins)

All images in this post are copyrighted and belong to Quentin Blake

The Accident Prone Stickman

We all know and recognise those classic road signs, hazard symbols and warning signs with Mr Stickman showing potential dangers and what could happen (‘Children crossing’ comes to mind – and indeed children are a big danger to the unsuspecting, ordinary public.) Merchandising group Planet Stickman have helpfully compiled some stickers to warn us of the dangers that we didn’t know about beyond the usual hazards. First up is the life-threatening dangers of Officeland which we didn’t know about:

And of course there’s those less well-known fairytale and myth dangers which Mr Stickman has warned us about:

So there, readers, you’ve been warned, the next time you see a flying monkey, wear a helmet so it doesn’t get caught in your hair. Or just report it to Animal Control. And don’t get me started on those rusty unicorn horns…

Ribbons and Bobs at Queens Market, Green Street

I love going to Queens Market in Green Street, the hustle and bustle of this place is truly like no other market in London for me. Everytime I come there’s something new to see (and buy), and of course, there’s always a treasure to be found! The venders and market sellers are cross-section of multicultural London , there’s people of every colour, race and religion selling and buying here, and the community spirit and friendship can really be seen here. The fruit sellers will be shouting out their wares, the jewellery on the stalls will wink and glitter at to lure you in and, and the endless fabrics run in reams with busy women bargaining down their prices. There’s a laugh and a joke for everyone, and music always blaring in the background (usually a song I’ve NEVER heard of). It was incredibly easy for me to get these pictures below, everyone is happy to help (more than one market seller asked if I wanted him in the picture as well!) and it’s a nice change from designer labels and stilted etiquettes. I usually go here to wind down after work as I work not too far from here; the buzzing atmosphere and knock-off handbags (not to mention saucy underwear and random, foreign food) are always quite fun to explore. One of my favourite places in London I think, simply because everyone’s looking for something cheap. I always end up buying something everytime I go here and come away feeling that I got a bargain : )

Weekly Frog Princes Links

The weekend cometh and oh Friday I love you! (before you ask I don’t mean Friday the cowboy’s horse) I’ve been spending the whole week secretly shopping and stashing (I’m afraid to reveal more in case my crafty, crafty fam read this) for the upcoming celebrations of Eid. But let’s not dawdle too much, here’s some links:

First up comes a reminder for those of you out there who are fasting in this month of Ramadan, about over-eating and being productive with time, gently poking fun at some of us who stuff our faces (come on we all do it!) from the ProductiveMuslim channel. I also liked the video about energizing, rather than being the ‘do not disturb!!‘ type ( I admit I do wish I had a ‘Muslim fasting’ sign at work sometimes…)

Were you annoyed at the ending of Harry Potter because it didn’t end in the way you thought it should have? You’re not the only one scratching their heads at this, a team of animators have compiled a video which shows how Harry Potter should have ended. And if you thought this ending was a bit more satisfying, then have a look at the How It Should Have Ended team’s 49 other videos (with some recaps which are surprisingly faithful renderings of the original.) Look out for 300 (“I’m a little tired of fighting now”) and Lord of the Rings (The Eye of Sauron gets mooned by the Fellowship) as well as many more.

For those hopefuls waiting for a Sesame Street wedding…it’s sad news. Bert and Ernie of our childhood years will not be getting married despite a petition signed by thousands. Cheer up though, there’s still Tinky Winky’s coming-out inauguration and Velma’s from the Scooby Gang (I’m not the first to put forward that idea, and I’ve always been a little suspicious of her) to petition for.

I love this blogger’s idea of taking one picture every day for a year (hence the blog name ‘365 life photography’), what a lovely idea.

And lastly is this comic about fairy tale perceptions which I loved : )

Enjoy the weekend all (rushing by so quickly back to Monday, honestly, I don’t know what happens to my weekends, I feel like amnesia sufferer) and hope it’s a good one for you : )

Airigami: Balloons and the Art of Bending Air

Airigami, described as the “fine art of bending air” shows an amazingly complex sculptures models made entirely from cleverly bended balloons. This innovative project, led by Larry Moss and Kelly Cheetle as well as a team of artists, the Airigami group has ventured into a range of ideas, including the Jurassic sculpures exhibition, the Airigami fashion ramp (consisting of garments made entirely from balloons!), and ‘masterpieces’ that has been recreated (such as the Mona Lisa below), as well as other ideas. I think my favourite theme would be the fairytale projects, which recreate well-know fairy tales with balloons, which the team are currently turning into a book. All in all, some wonderful ideas here, and it’s great fun looking through the different ideas that Airigami has followed.
You can explore more of Airigami designs at their website, and also follow the latest news on their blog.

Has anyone seen any of these? Which one is your favourite?


All images belong to Airigami company and photographers.