Journal Your Ramadan – Day #7: G is for Garden

I wanted to post about something in my garden, but unfortunately, it’s a pretty boring, plain lawn and we don’t have any flowers, just grass that we’ve been trimming and waiting for more green-ness.

My mum’s garden, however, is a different story, it’s a veritable Wonderland – there’s hundreds of colours, shapes and sizes when it comes to the different flowers, vegetables, fruit and trees planted by my mum – making it a mini Kew Garden in our family!

We’ve had temperamental weather over the last few days so I only managed to capture these while it rained a little, but it actually made my pictures come out a lot more intense. Now that it’s getting sunnier again, I’ll trying capturing more pictures to see the difference but in the mean time, here’s some bright colours for today’s post!

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A Little Sublime

…goes a long way this weekend. I thought I’d try my hand at trying to photograph my pretty things in an arty way, and this was one of my favourites (my husband said it looks a little strange because the top of the shoes got cut off, and that the heels look huge, but never mind). I love seeing the artistic shots of ordinary and girly things that photographers take, and wanted to try something similar with one of my favourite pair of shoes.

The sparkle on the heels are my favourite bit, although I love the colour this came out in the muted sunlight too!

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My Vintage, Floral, Polka-Dot and Pearls Bridal Shower

I’ve been a little absent lately, I’m so sorry! I’ve had a crazy last few weeks with last-minute wedding preps and house hunting, which I’m hoping will calm down now that mostly everything is done! I can’t make any promises so watch out for my sporadic blogging, I’ll post whenever I can.

My eldest sister Happy Muslimah kindly threw me a bridal shower yesterday which was really fun, especially as it was full of lots of my friends, family and sisters which turned out to be really enjoyable. We decided to have a garden tea party, with the theme and dress code being anything vintage, floral, polka dot and pearly, and I loved how much effort everyone put in.

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The decor was provided by my talented sister, who made banners and table decor, as well as made some yummy food for the table. My other sister put together the pretty draping in the garden to make a canopy, and also put together a lot of the decor and food, not to mention taking some amazing photographs of the day (I’m usually the one with the camera but didn’t get a chance to take many this time!) – so most of these photos are credited to her. It’s hard to tell from the photographs because I didn’t include a lot due to people being in them, but I loved all the details – the banners, the pegs, the butterflies and the colour themes.

The food was absolutely beautiful, most of my guests brought a dessert or dish, and they were all gobbled down. My sister made chocolate-covered strawberries which I didn’t even get to try because they disappeared so quickly, my best friend made some amazing double-chocolate chewy cookies, and yet another friend made pasties and pakoray. There was also an amazing chocolate trifle made by my sister in law which was very popular, and which felt very light and moussy.

Everyone tried to make an effort with the costumes, and I love that they all had a different take on it. I’ll admit, I didn’t get a lot of time to sort my own out, but I loved the floral dress I wore and my eldest sister lent me a string of pearls which matched wonderfull. Below you can see some of the floral prints and polka dots people wore, my sisters also wore floral prints and one of them even went for an excellent 50s’ style outfit.

I think the babies stole the show though, they toddled around in their dresses (my newest niece was being a relaxed kitten) and enjoyed the limelight, I’m pretty sure most of my friends were in love with them by the end of the day.

I wish I should show some of the more fun pictures with my family and friends in it, but a lot of them practise hijab and would prefer to remain private – but I can assure you it really was a fun day!

All in all we had a really nice afternoon – we played silly games (one involved asked me questions about the fiancé which they had asked him the answers for previously, if I got the questions wrong I had to chew some gum. I got all but 2 questions wrong!) and we had a good catch up with old friends, took photos and ate some yummy food. It was a really nice start to the wedding celebrations, I still have some weeks to go but it was nice to see everyone make an effort and also weird to be the cause of it. We’ll be having a few more parties before it’s all over, I’m sure, but this one was pretty amazing to start with : )

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Giant Paper Flowers: A Tutorial

I came across a tutorial a while back about making giant paper flowers, and thought they were beautiful. They make unique bouquets for brides and they look striking, big, pieces of colour which can make a whole picture and also add a bit of fun.

I found the idea of giant paper flowers pretty inspiring, and my hands itched to try making one for myself, so I did and here’s how it turned out. I didn’t realise how fiddly the whole thing is though, so be warned! And you also need a LOT of floral wire and glue, and lots of patience, as it took me a few hours to make this rose (mainly due to waiting for glue to dry, pieces to be lined up etc etc.)

So here’s my tutorial on how to make a giant rose, although I can’t take all the credit as there was a very good tutorial here by Green Wedding Shoes, which was easy to follow, as well as the original step-by-step by the Martha Stewart blog. Please ‘scuse the carpet background, pictures were taken in the Spare Oom (which is currently unoccupied in my house and has decent lighting), it’s a good thing you can’t see the mess all over the floor and the newspaper scattered around.

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You will need:
• 1 Roll of floral tape (I found mine on eBay)
• 6 x 18-gauge floral stem wire (again, from eBay)
• 4 x sheets of doublette crepe paper for petals, size is 10 x 49 inches per sheet (I bought mine here, but you don’t HAVE to use doublette paper because it’s not cheap, plain crepe paper works just as well if you don’t want the two-tone effect)
• 1 sheet of Doublette crepe paper in green for leaves, calyx, stem
• 1 round pencil (any colour, I don’t mind)
• Craft glue (I used a standard crafts glue which seems to work on everything, including my fingers)
• Crepe paper templates (download from Martha Stewart)
• 3 x copies of teardrop template
• 8 x copies of the heart-shaped template
• 2 x copies of the leaf template
• 1 x copy of the calyx template (the zig-zaggy one)

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And here’s a baby for scale, and my finished rose. She wouldn’t let go of the carrot, too busy nibbling it, but I like to think that it adds character to the whole picture.

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Let me know if this is something you ever end up trying – I’d love to know how your attempt went!