Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Watching all the disaster updates gives me shudders. May Allah Kareem keep us all from harm and have utmost mercy on those struggling or undergoing hard times. We may not have waves and water flooding our roads at this point, but seeing this is enough to awaken the fear of Allah Kareem's wrath and remind us of His utmost Mercy on us all. He sends those sometimes, to test His believing ones, and awaken the eman in His sleeping ones. He loves us beyond any bond or relationship, and He does not abandon His creations. Tawakkal Allah, all the way. He writes the Master Plan! Ya Rabb call us to Your faith, before You call us to You. Keep safe all our loved ones, and free all our brothers and sisters across the globe of their distress and grief! Ameen.
I believe that we often bring these calamities upon ourselves, maybe if we respected our faith more, or spent more time doing ibadah instead of maybe wasting our days... we could keep away these misfortunes. We are responsible for all ills that come our way... it may be something as metaphoric as immodesty or lack of adab in the way we dress... or the culture we may adopt forgetting the principles of our Eman... and drinking nights to glamor and worldly gains. I'm not a perfect Muslim, but I believe if ever our city begins to burn or violence spreads.. we're responsible for it to some extent. It is His great favor that things could be worse... Alhamdulillah Alhamulillah Alhamdulillah. To all that is, and all that has ever been!

Monday, 29 October 2012

role playing games.

_ fate...
You know how when you're playing an RPG? And you go down a route, or gather this many 'coins'... or find that certain elixer or talk to that certain village person.. it's like every move you make in the game actually has a purpose... or an outcome. I recall that from the days my brother and I used to spend HOURS playing Final Fantasy X. You go down road A, you will end up at destination A, and later on in the game, everything will be linked to what you encountered at road A. The same way you take road B, all things you further witness or face will mount to destination B.

Like an RPG (Role Playing Game), I believe that choices we make have alternate endings written in our book of fate above. Yes, nothing happens without the will of Allah Kareem, but we have been given minds to think, and hearts to feel... we do take decisions with faith in our Rabb, but it is our doings that bring on further deeds or misfortunes. All good things that come are from Him, all ills are our own doings.

So when someone distraught and in dismay sighs and says God willed for this to happen, this is that point in the RPG, where you use that antedote you found in the forest... to renew your faith.. to turn to Him, to turn to His commands, to turn to His deen. Some times Allah Kareem takes away everything that you hold dear, to call you closer to Him. There is khair in everything, Alhamdulillah. Had an accident? Car got scratches, windshield cracked? Alhamdulillah, things could have been worse! That windhield could have shattered glass injurying everyone with deep cuts and wounds. Fell sick? Had an injury? Alhamdulillah! The illness could have been fatal, the injury could have been life altering! Have a job you hate? Have a boss you loathe? Have customers you can't tolerate? It could be worse... you could have no job at all, you could have a boss that cheats you out of your pay, and you might not have customers at all...

Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Workshop and Student Projects!

It's kinda funny, the feedback that means most to me is actually the outcome of projects my students and workshop attendees take on :) It's overwhelming to meet with so many different people with only one thing in common, a drive to craft. It's rewarding Alhamdulillah. And here's what some of them came up with :)

Each attendee was provided with a 6x6 piece of paper from the Prima Marketing Inc Fairy Belle Collection. There was another coordinating sheet, a border, 2 mulberry roses, and an ornate die cut shape. They were to take these kits and use them to create a card or a project layout. Adding other elements, inks, stamps, etc was completely their discretion.

I wanted the projects to reflect the though process these guys put through and how studying a bit of placement and design helps. :)

This one is by Sundus. She cut out the silhuette of the floral corner, and utilized the butterflies as add ons. She added sentiments on remaining paper and used the coordinating paper as a background... The border below is inverted but does the job. Good effort kiddo! Love the precision. You've even balanced out the elementsand aligned everything.

This one is by Jaihan at the Pearlbox. *waves* She used a tan/mustard base, embossed the background, and distressed it to show the embossing. The background is the coordinating paper, and like Sundus, her project also has the silhuette cut out. Hers is however more evident with the orientation. She topped the isle with a little distressing, her sentiment, the flowers and a pearl drop. The ornate border has been distressed. Good Job. I personally love the sentiment label.. it turned out great with the roses.Needs some more value contrast, but looks great :) Jaihan created this as a card, which was loved and adored by the recepient. *thumbs up!*

This was Falak's project. Now for me, her attending the workshop as a cake crafter was pretty cool. And when she said what she learned at the workshop completely applied to what she did at home, it made me smile ear to ear! Alhamdulilah :)
She went a step fruther, and applied the embossing at home technique with laces she found lying around the house. She made her own paper rosettes with one of my tutorials and added adorable butterflies for dimension. She tried creating interest in the project by creating layers. Which is fab. There's bling too! We need a little work on which elements coordinate and match, but I am VERY happy to see you apply everything you learned that day :) Great Job Falak!
These projects have been carried out by the workshop attendees on their own. As initial projects, these are awesome! Makes me feel better as an instructor, and makes me super proud of them for grasping 3 hours of non stop craft talk! hehe.
The rest still need to submit their projects. Will add them as edits later :)


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Contemplations, Confessions and a little Crying it out.

Every news clipping features the beautiful captures from the Hajjis performing their duties as Muslims. It's beautiful, completely breath taking, and watching these photographs takes me back 6 years. When the entire family performed Hajj e Akbar.

I sadly don't recall all the experiences, because I was 'young' at that time, the same way I feel I gained more at Haazri this year than I did ever before. I do recall two things very clearly. ONE. When I was on mount Arafat with all other pilgrims, crying out their hearts, and requesting the Almighty with their pleas... I had made a special prayer, which I see unfold bit by bit today. Nearly 6 years later. and TWO when I sat and sketched the minaret of Masjid e Nabawi. When I went back this year, the sketch I had showed how much the architecture had altered!

I have slipped and skid so many times, yet Allah Kareem's vast Mercy brings me back to stand, on my two feet, with a drive to create, and an innate need to create good or happy. I don't know if it's to make up for lost years or just to stay close to Him and His path. Whichever the scenario, I am still gauging, I am blessed. Recent weeks, have been a little turbular for me.

Every hospital visit to Nani has been freaky. I panic really quickly. And I'm very sentimental. I'm not at all brave. And more recently my dad. He works a lot. He's worked a lot all the time. But he's given me a lot... and the most important thing he has worked to provide me with is the Degree I slaved 4 years over.

Lately him being tired or stressed leads to him not feeling too great. And it bugs me. Because he's not here, but MILES away. So it's not like you can walk in and check on him every few hours. So for me, the timing of my travels, the upcoming 'vacation' fell into place perfectly... after 6 years of one prayer. SubhanAllah. It honestly struck me a little while ago. Nearly 3 weeks ago, my dad and I spoke about some changes we were going to make... some AWESOME things we hope to accomplish inshaAllah. When I reflected on the conversation and where it was headed, it kept taking me back to a prayer I made... not just back in March when we went for Umra, but 6 years ago, around the same time of the year, while we were away for Haj. It's one of those overwhelming and moving experiences, a miracle coming into light sort of tale. It brings me to this yet again, Allah Kareem writes the Master Plan. Some things may take time... but nothing worth it comes easy or quick! It's drop by drop that makes a vessel overflow.

I wish we can go back to this setting. To set things straight, to make amends. To repent. And to promise that we will renew our faith and cleanse our souls. People often sit back and think, one Haj is enough, one Haj is Fard on every sane, Muslim adult that can afford it. Doing it more than once is cleansing your soul with the pious intention. The same for Umra. Often you hear people say, Umra has been done, let's go to Europe now, or let's explore Australia... the truth is, every journey of pilgrimage refreshes and renews our faith. The vibes from the Holy Courts, the energy of the sacred places, and of course, the goodness and purity of the blessed cities especially, do create a change and stir forces within our souls. I went through an odd cleansing when I was in Saudi earlier this year. I was sick in bed for nearly 10 days. I used to cough and vomit water. Night and Day. Would remain in fever and chills. It wasn't just me being sick physically, it was a cleansing... you know, how illnesses are a way to wash your sins by the Grace of Allah Kareem. We need these 'vacations' from the world to be back on track, focused on our faiths.

Anyhow, Hajj Mubarak and a very Happy Eid ul Adha to all our brothers and sisters around the globe :) May Allah Kareem accept our sacrifices. Ooooh! This is my first year doing Qurbani by myself! Super exciting. Alhamdulillah! The goats are in the garden baaaaing away. I feel kinda sad, but that's the good thing right? You're supposed to be attached to your animal before you sacrifice it? Isn't it? I hope and pray I can keep this up inshaAllah every year. Lots of things to be thankful for... imagine if were were in the times of our ancestors... or the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam? We'd care or be more considerate over the well being of our family and friends alongside our eman, than our egos and possessions. May Allah Kareem guide us all.

Labayk Allah Humma Labayk! *inshaAllah once again when He calls me.
While this beautiful year, 2012 nears it's closure and so does our Hijri Calendar... here's a series of events that make everything all the more special for ME. The Firefly Girl and ME, Varah Musavvir :)

January 2012, trip to the States. This time NEW YORK! The awesomest days ever, seeing all the art galleries, checking out all the museums, and drooling over all the beautiful things I had always read about in books. Alhamdulillah!

March 2012, conducted the first ever Ultimate Crafter's Workshops, in two sessions. 32 students. A project for awareness, and other great crafty things. ALL in National Crafts Month. Firefly was approved for retail by international manufacturers this year! We turned two and had the most amazing celebrations! MashaAllah.

April 2012, Haazri. After almost 5 years, I visited the holy lands and was blessed to be called to the courts of Rasool Allah Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam and then traveled to the Haram, for Umra. The best holiday ever.

May 2012, The Wedding. I tied the knot with my best friend, my husband, my companion. The first wedding for my generation in the family... and pretty perfect one for that! Alhamdulillah!

June 2012, I got to see a place I had never imagined living in... I saw Hong Kong. My new home. The moveeee.  :)

July 2012, Visa was up, and Firefly was back in Pakistan as promised!

August 2012, Then it was Ramadan. And we put our heart and soul into the 99 Project. MashaAllah, the most response we've ever received on a piece at Firefly. Days of research, edits, designing, and labor. Fruitful, and perfectly rewarding. Allah Kareem, please be pleased with me.

September 2012, Firefly launched the Crafters' Guild and coined the Crafter's Expo for Pakistan in Karachi. Over 2300 visitors. 6 hours of amazement for crafters, hobbyists, craft enthusiasts friends and family. Alhamdulillah! I launched Jugnoo & Junoon this month too... a new project for those who grew up with Firefly, and have a taste for accessories with that touch of funk! *wink*

October 2012, Firefly traveled to Islamabad to share the crafty passion and conducted the Ultimate Crafter's Workshop Series. A milestone. Big time! MashaAllah. We also did a mini exhibit for our friends and fans in Islamabad. That's not all! Firefly officially registered as a company this month too! SubhanAllah, what a year of happenings. :) All grown up is it? This is also the time for Eid ul Adha, when I'm pitching in for my own part of Qurbani Alhamdulilah! :))

Duas please :) The Firefly Girl sends out lots of love and HEAPS of happy wishes for all of you!

At the end of the day, I often get asked, why Firefly... a Firefly glows wherever it goes. It creates its own light in the darkest of places. This Firefly is no different. :) Smile Sunshine!

PS: we crossed 9000 today.
PSS: someone asked me for an autograph. I don't know what to do! O_o

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Every person's parents are his/her role models or people they look up to. Not everyone needs to know your life's past or the treasures of your tomorrow to gauge that your parents matter and make you and your world what it is. You've taught me to keep going. And I find encouragement to be and do what I do everyday from you! My parents have given me the best of both worlds Alhamdulillah... I wouldn't be the strong, determined or optimistic person I am without them in my life! 

On a side note, it may not appear so every day, but Papa, you are my hero. And I love you!

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Firefly Girl

My name is not 'The Firefly Girl' it is Varah, Varah Musavvir. No the last name is not something I chose or use as a designer. Hehe, people ask me that all the time. It's something I was born with. My great grandfather used it as his pen name, he used to write. I guess that's where I get my wordsmith streak from, and the Musavvir just comes as a feat of my name. Varah means taqwa, taqwa is eman and is mentioned in the Holy Quran. I get asked often what 'Wara' means.. and there you go. That's what it is.

I am 24 years old, married, a hijabi, love bandanas and manga, am a die hard crafter, I love doodling, my skill is in my drawing... sketches, I love to paint when it rains, and I have a fancy for thundershowers. I love flowers and butterflies, because they remind of the beautiful little things, the frail things, and the simple things that turn life around. I am the least patient person in the world, and the work I do trains me well. I graduated in December 2011 with a Bachelors in Textile Design. My major is print, printmaking was my minor... which is why you see that certain color language, pattern and that collage like feel in most of my work. I have lived here in Pakistan due to my studies and am a resident abroad. Hence my travel throughout the year. I was born in Pakistan, and have been raised as a  Muslim Pakistani. I am not a perfect person. I don't claim to me. But I'm on that little walk... following my faith. Every day learning more about the 'Master Plan'. Can't say Alhamdulilah enough to everything I have! :)

I started Firefly in 2010, during spring break. I was emptying out my wallet and getting rid of receipts and things when I saw a wallet greeting card I had purchased from Hobby Lobby and my student council ID together. I randomly did a doodle and tried making one for myself... at that time, pocket money was Rs 1500. and I spent about Rs 700 to get my first few wallet cards made. The Wallet Cards for greetings and inspirational messages have been around forever! But MashaALLAH, they received attention and spread like smiles they carry within them over time.

Firefly the name, is what I always called my journal. I write like a mad person when I go into my contemplative mode. I have a lot of thoughts. Several of them none quite read... and it's okay! They don't need to. The journal now looks like an aged diary because all the pages are scattered and the cover is actually coming apart from the spine. -_-; I write in it a lot less now because my thoughts, my inspirations, they all surface in the form of things at the Firefly page or over here at the blog. So when I say Firefly roots from my journal, I'm not kidding! All the designs, orders, crafted pieces... they come from life inspired occasions, relationships... and sentiments! There's a lot of that now, in other business pages and places. Which is great Alhamdulilah!

I love to craft and am blessed to be honored with such a task that works to spread smiles and create that extra dose of 'happy' in people's lives... what I fail to understand though is why my right as a human becomes erased. Like you, him, her, them... I do have days when I'm unwell. Like this past weekend and now. I have weird sleep because I'm in fever and freezing all night. Like you, him, her, them... I have family, that can fall sick, be admitted to the hospital, or be in need of my time. Like, you, him, her, them... I deserve the same respect I try to offer everyone. Everyone finds it funny or kind of bold that I put up a doodle in full sarcasm, I don't find anything to laugh about. It's the truth. When someone has put up all the information, made all prices, procedures, queries and things available, and works round the clock to make ends meet, how is it that people come around saying sorry to say, crap like was too busy to ready, or don't have time to read. How can you then expect one person who's dealing with hundreds of others to READ through queries and questions and respond back RIGHT away when you haven't the time to value their efforts or work? And mind you, this tops the charts especially when it says 'orders are closed'.

No matter how many times I receive queries or questions like this in my inbox:
How do I order?
Can the photobook be embellished?
What's the size of this?
Can the mini album be bigger?
I want something like this: *reference image of something manufactured in crazy methods and techniques in a factory or a mill*
I want a keychain.
Are the cushions printed?
What is the price of this?

I still sit and take time out to reply to the queries, share the how to order procedures, the price charts or the different bits and bobbles of info that would clarify things for my customers.

If it says orders are closed, not responding back at the moment, what might one infer from this? It's actually sad that the crazy pseudo religious fanatics freak out about us moving forward as a nation, when we can't even take out a minute to read pieces of information that can help us process orders faster, reply to queries quicker, or speed up payment procedures. NO.... it has to be the long way around, cause people don't have 'time'...

So my question to you, to him, to her, to them is... if one person can not pull out time to read info for their needs, how can someone pull out time to read or respond back to hundreds over night?

1 person emails 1 person. Super simple.
100 people email 1 person. Super easy.
1 person replies back to 100 people.. a task, that is managed Alhamdulilah.

What I further do not understand, how is an update reminding everyone about order processing and procedures classified as whining? I also fail to see the point in how every one likes to drop by like Simon from American Idol or Judge Judy from court tv to criticize someone on their beliefs, their values or them as people when they know nothing about me, where I'm from, what I do. And if you're judging me based on my work and nothing beyond that... here's a light bulb idea. Would someone with a conviction towards hate, anger, pessimism and negativity come out with things that are whimsical, bright, happy, vibrant, colorful or positive? Sounds out of logic if you ask me.

Firefly became what it is because of all the people that supported it. Firefly remains what it is because there's one person, giving up her personal time to create and craft or give to people who wish for a little sunshine. Do not bring money into this, because I don't see a castle I've built for myself, nor have I invested in millions of dollars worth of shares in the stock market. I work slow and with a heart to keep giving. I'm not crazy about raking in money, but Alhamdulillah I have enough to invest back into Firefly in the form of crafting supplies or newer projects. I love what I do, and could not be more blessed by Allah Kareem to take this forward. I do not have a mummy daddy fund backing my Firefly, they gave me the best gift ever, my education. What I do with it, is up to me. I'm hoping that within the next year my travel reduces a bit, so I can commit myself to work somewhere or develop my work as a Textile Designer, but til then the ball is rolling... and it's going well MashaAllah!

Here's what I do at Firefly
Those designs, tag lines, whimsical doodles, watermarked pieces of information, the charts, the photographs... they are all put together by ME. ONE person. The doodles and designs, are NEVER googled images.. doodling is easy.. scanning, illustrating and making them work is another ball game.

The handcrafted pieces that you see put together all pretty in the albums. It wasn't just a paper, uhu and some flowers that made it what it is.. it's called time, layering, design... it takes a bit to put it together. I didn't make it out of a DIY kit.. I worked on it, from scratch.

When orders are placed, it's not just oh have a fixed design, just send to processing, it's 6-10 hours of work to set all illustrations, designs, customized requests to send to the printer. Labeling, numbering, making sure the right image goes front and back, tags, and so forth!

When the order is ready at processing, it is picked up and checked for errors. By me, one person.

When orders come home, they're photographed, and packed, by me. One Person.

When you have a special request for colors or materials, I go shopping... to get just the right shade.. one person.

So when you opt for courier and need these treats delivered, we pack and label, drag ourselves to the courier offi despite being under the weather.  Oh wait, there are also those times when we don't have courier addresses to post to. :/

There are also added pressures from you know, the riots in the city, electricity  family emergencies and your requirements for delivery time.

Don't meant to keep going but there's also that, making sure payments are received factor. Our work at Firefly goes in batches. And we can't send out 1 item at a time. :/

What else do I do?
I am working on developing the Crafters' Guild, to facilitate other crafters and crafty fans!
I run a brand of bags and fashion accessories called Jugnoo & Junoon
I give workshops and classes to create an awareness about Crafting in general and the techniques and tools one can use to work with them. It's a proper class.. I teach... we do demos. We discuss. We study and we learn.
I am also an authorized retailer for Scrapbooking Supplies in Pakistan

So before we hit the 9,000 number. I just wanted to let you, him, her and them know a bit more about me. Before taking up assumptions or calling me names, you know. Alhamdulilah, I was raised well enough not to resort to that in replies :) just get the facts on right. And if you want to talk, walk in my shoes first. They're not your typical size 8. If you'd like to borrow a pair, learn to respect someone and their work, and the efforts they put into it, things will unravel and you'll be on that journey with them in  no time.

This is dedicated to every crafter, every home based business, and every individual that deals with such all the time on a daily basis. This is not a rant, it's a piece of written information, which I hope you read :) All Firefly fans, you know you're loved. If you weren't, I don't think anyone would work as much as or as hard as the person behind it does... if I'm not crafting for you, I have plenty of photos and events to craft or scrapbook with for myself... I'd still be crafting. I owe a lot to my fans, they keep me going. But I hope after reading this, you know that I'm not that pink bunny that runs on Energizer batteries. I'm a person. :) Love and Duas.

Smile Sunshine!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Crafter's Expo, and a dream called Life

So everyone has pretty much been holding their breath waiting for my post on the very first Crafter's Expo we held last Sunday at Royal Rodale. Alhamdulillah, the event turned out to be a phenomenal achievement, and MashaAllah is a milestone, not just for me, but my country, and my crafty friends! I've always wanted to attend scrapbooking fairs and things in the U.S... but for some reason or another my travel plans are bonkers and I can't quite make it to any of them. I skipped out Maya Road's Mixed Media workshops to I could be here to host the Crafter's Expo under the Crafters' Guild.

The Guild, was formulated to facilitate crafts and crafters of all backgrounds... it's a platform that I've taken up to promote crafting to the next level with inshaAllah. As of now, we're working on developing the website, to get the listing going, we're also forming the The Guild Team, which is our design team! :D We get to put together fun projects every month for our members to take inspiration from and learn new techniques and things with. Members only content though.

Nearing the expo date, we gave our scrapbooking goodies a new home. MashaAllah we're authorized retailers for scrapbooking products in Pakistan. A Cloud 9 kinda feeling if you ask me! On the day of the expo, I launched Jugnoo & Junoon. A grown up Firefly for our fans that grew up with us... I was in my 3rd year of university when Firefly began. Today I'm a Textile Designer, a graduate, a married young woman! Just because we grow up, doesn't quite mean our tastes and palette have to. I came up with Jugnoo & Junoon to cater to our necessities for work, our evening ensembles and of course, our day to day accessories. Jugnoo & Junoon will be developing collections for accessories such as bags and scarves... and the occasional tunics and tops. inshaAllah. We debuted our first collection of clutches in jewel colors at the expo. It's been a week and we're pretty much sold out. MASHAALLAH.
There's so much happening in this realm, that I cannot find ways to thank my Rabb for His countless favors and abundance of blessings. Alhamdulillah!

Looking back now, thinking about what the Crafter's Expo began with, as a small stall after my workshop... grew into an event that brought people from all over Karachi to visit. We had over 2000 visitors on Sunday at Royal Rodale. So many of them specifically came looking for me. It was pretty neat interacting with a lot of people who actually took interest in finding out more about the Guild and the Expo itself. That's colossal! At the end we had over 55 vendors. Two of them participated from Lahore and Faislabad. One of them, Shereen Aunty from Many Happy Returns actually came to Karachi FOR the expo... That was amazing. Gave it the real expo feel! We had paper crafts, suppliers, party planning and favors, gifts and greetings, lamps, clay work, handmade accessories and jewelry, home textiles and handicrafts!

What topped this 'Sun-dae' was the fact that Die Cuts with a View and Graphic 45 had send us paper stacks to give away and use specifically for the event. How cool is that?! MashaAllah, we came up to par with international events of the sort to be able to acquire such favors, don't you think?
What marvels me is the support I've had from everyone throughout the whole expo prep and execution process. MashaAllah, our country is full of talented and dedicated people. So  many of them exhibited for the very first time. I feel over the moon elated when they tell me their experience was fab or the response they received was amazing. It makes me take a breath of relief that Alhamdulillah, we worked hard to promote this, and it worked. :)

It's going to take a little bit of time to make people understand the value of crafts or the concept of crafting in general, going to pursue that through the Crafters' Guild inshaAllah. :) I may not reside here 12 months of the year, but here's my promise inshaAllah. Firefly and the Crafters' Guild will work on an expo every year, so Karachi, Expo 2013 is inshaAllah a feat we're working on. God willing. :) Super excited!!!

The venue, the crowd, the set up, the format. Everything worked. It was the first time and MashaAllah we got it right. I'm going to post my thank you's and a few 'vendor' notes so that all can follow up. Thank you Karachi for visiting us. And thank you to all the Crafters that took a leap with me on this. No one had the slightest idea this would be what it is. Allah Kareem is awesome.. and life is just as beautiful as we make it :)


We were featured in a blog by Priyank Pahuja at the Tribune :) worth a read everybody!

I request you all to keep Firefly, me the Firefly Girl and my family in your kind duas. We need them lately as my nani has been in the hospital :) She's recovering but it'll be a bit til she's a 100%.

Til a day before the expo, everything was disoriented for me. I had no bed to sleep on as every where I stepped there was inventory, packing, wrapping or something or another. I had actually left my inventory at home on the day of the expo. -_-; The floor plan I issued the venue was pretty well followed except for our Hall One, which was a disaster when I walked in that morning. We gave booth numbers to all our vendors... we issued badges/passes for all of them. Our event backdrop never went up :( but oh well, our wall of crafty thoughts was awesome!

My thoughts on The Expo, the day after:

Allahu Akbar.. all praise is to Him Alhamdulillah! What an out of this world experience!!! In a state of Euphoria at this point...For every person that said Congratulations or Thank.you... I want to remind everyone that this event would be nothing but a dream without amazingly talented people being on board. I thank each of you that participated for leaping forward with me on working towards an event of this magnitude not just for crafts, but Pakistan. I am humbled by the love, support and overall appreciation.

I want to send out thank yous to Hera, Erum, Noveen, Anaum and Ghazal Api for being with me when this idea was just a little hatchling... I want to thank my biggest support system ever, my husband Zaiq for believing in my whimsical adventures and being there for me round the clock. My parents, aunt and uncle for bearing with the madness. My baby sister for being my little assistant... My brother Ali who leaves for abroad on Tuesday and dedicated his time to Firefly. My sister Sheena for putting in her day off to help out! Nivy I missed you heaps during this one month! My printer, uncle thank you SO much! Ahmed Ilyas, for working out our bags for Jugnoo & Junoon. Saud, for working so hard on getting cushions done for launch time. Royal Rodale management for being so so accommodating and cooperative. My best friends, for coming out to see me and be ng th me! A big big thank you to my volunteers, my super stars. This bunch of young people did an outstanding job! Namely Sabita and Rabbiya along with Iqra and Ramsha's group of friends. Rahat Bhai, thank you for looking into matters for the last ten days and helping me out all the way! My photographers, Rija, Fahad, Shaykh Yusuf, Wahaj at HocusFocus and Nadeem Bhai!

Thank you to Handmade Memories for sending heaps of wishes and offering gifts for the draw. Thank you to Many Happy Returns that flew in from Faislabad to participate at this event! Thank you to Craftaholics and Fancies & Flutters for being ever ready to participate in Karachi!

I cannot leave out the 2000+ visitors and fans! It was wonderful finally meeting so many of you!!! Thank you for coming with your loved ones. :) especially Shahrain and her family who visited us from Hyderabad!

This Crafter's Expo was the first... And mashaAllah it was great! We hope to carry it forward every year! InshaAllah. Congratulations Pakistan... At the end of the day it really isn't about a match won. We have tons of victories to celebrate... Like yesterday... When over 50 crafters united on one platform to share with the world what they are most passionate about, when international manufacturers sent items for an expo of this sort! Thank you Kelly at Graphic45 and Ashlee & Chuck at Die Cuts with a view!

The Firefly Girl and her journal thank everyone for a chapter to muse and write about. Alhamdulillah! This is all due to prayers of my Shaykh and the Great Favor of Allah Subhanau Ta'la upon all of us. May Allah Kareem grant barakah to all, and may He give us the hidaya to promote good and be a means to support efforts of all deserving.

Varah Musavvir
The Firefly Girl
(Founder of The Crafters' Guild & Organizer of Crafter's Expo Pakistan)

My fabulous participants:

Kaghaz Kay Karnamay
Simplicity by Sumaiya Yahya
Zee-Handmade With Love
Rung and Craft Bug
Butter Cup Creations & Baker's Studio
Many Happy Returns
Glitters & Swirls
All That Sparkle
Phulwari Crafts
Creative Party Favours
Favors & More
A Craft Greetings
SAJ Design Store & Candyz Creation
Fizy's Art & Arty Crafty
Life. Twinkles & The Junkyard
Ain Crafts
Everything That's Creative
Ghazal Pirzada Creative Studios
Just Things
Whipering Emo-tee’s
Art Aesthetics
Tints and Flints
Artel by Bina Ali
Sadia's Clay Jewelry
Be Exclusive
Lil Lady Bug
United Youth of Pakistan
Orange Tree
Special Children's Educational Institute
Sanki King
Handmade & Madiha Raza Accessories
La Maison by Atikeha Adnan
Thardeep Rural Development Program
Al Falah Village Embroidery
Wes Malhaar
Mingle Mangle
Rainbows Hair Accessories
Flutters & Fancies & Craftaholics
Shine with Zaini's Creations
Kapra by Fawad Beyg
Love in a Basket
Rangeen & Zaa’s Collection
The Wall of Crafty Thoughts
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