Friday, 31 May 2013

The Crafter's Expo 2013!

Many of you who follow Firefly on Facebook have seen the hype about the return of the Crafter's Expo for 2013 inshaAllah. :)

Last year, we pulled off the event in a month's span. This time, we have ample time on our hands to prepare and plan ahead to make it bigger and better this year inshaAllah! :)

If you're wondering what's up with the funky doodles and whimsy feel, it's simply my vision for the expo. The nature inspired aspect symbolizes crafts... there's hidden yarn and embellishments, bits and bobbles here and there, all the colors bring in our colors of craft. The idea is to make it welcoming and fun... which is exactly what the Expo is!

The exciting news for this year's Crafter's Expo is that we will be doing a separate wing dedicated to apparel and clothing. Given it is a Crafter's Expo, we are on the hunt for creative, fresh and out of the box apparel/clothing collection to be a part of this year's Fusion Fashion Wing. Whether it's a funky Kurti, a hand embellished kurta or a painted set of plazzo pants... you can add a jumpsuit, trendy abayas and even T shirts if you feel they fit our definition of 'craft'. :) The Wing will be a separate hall part of the Expo. Those who wish to only shop for apparel and fashion wear, can hop straight to this wing in December inshaAllah! All our textile and fashion background entrepreneurs, come forward. No aunty-wear or formals. Funky, fresh and modern day eclectic is welcomed!

*note if you have a range of products that include apparel, you will need to purchase to booths/stalls. The apparel/clothing will be showcased in a separate hall.

Did I mention that the Crafter's Expo is one of the best platforms for young people specifically? We even keep our booth charges to a minimal to allow you the best exposure without emptying out your pockets! Alhamdulillah! It's not easy being a crafter, and most often we invest more than we make, the Expo however hopes to do the best for you, to have the right exposure, and allow you to make a name and introduce yourself to folks out there. :)

I have created a makeshift registration form and have received several registrations in the past few months mashaAllah. I have worked out our stall pricing for this year and will begin bookings and final confirmations after Eid inshaAllah :) You know what that means, start saving that Eidi! :)

Please fill out the registration form by clicking this link:

The form also has an overview of our Crafter's Expo. The information has been updated in the leaflet in this post as well.

I am open to collaborative efforts this time about, to ensure each of us has the appropriate exposure and smoother sailing. We're on the look out for sponsors, media partners, official photographers to cover the event and more! :)

Of course, volunteers will be selective this year, too! :)

To read information about last year's Crafter's Expo check out these Media and Press Publications:

Coverage by Dawn

Priyanka Pahuja from Express Tribune Blogs

Unique Pakistan

Looking forward to making the Expo a great success inshaAllah. And looking forward to having more of you join us this time around! If you couldn't make it to the expo last year, check out some of these PHOTOS by Hocus Focus Photography! Thank you Wahaj! :))

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The 99 Project :)

It's back! Alhamdulillah :)
The 99 Project... back for Ramadan :D
Now it you're asking yourself, why would you want to purchase this?
We spend thousands on our clothing to look great. We purchase the right shoes... We like to feast on the finest cuisine. When it comes to investing in something close to our deen, we all begin to have second thoughts.

Let's put it this way, Memorizing and Learning more about Asma ul Husna is a way to dress our eman. This will help us tread closer to Him (inshaAllah) and will nourish the longing our hearts have for His Dhikr and His Love.

The 99 Project is dedicated to the Beautiful Attributes of our Almighty Creator. We created this to assist others in memorizing Asma ul Husna and further helping them understand more about each attribute and its role in our daily lives.

Each flash card has been designed and printed on a gloss finish card, to help it from weathering and to keep it fresh through every day use.

The perks of these sets:
  • vibrant colors, gorgeous hues. Attractive and appealing to all audiences... aged and young
  • the colors transition into a gradation and rainbow, working as an excellent learning device.
  • each card is numbered... so in case they get shuffled, you know just how to put them back in order
  • each card includes the Arabic script and English transliteration to help pronounce better
  • each card features the definition/English attribute
  • each card also has a brief paragraph on the attribute to help us relate and understand it more
  • included with the cards, is an enlightening Hadith related to memorizing Asma ul Husna
  • We pack a small fold out list to help you memorize these on the go
  • They come in a box to pack away and carry with you while you're traveling, on your pilgrimage or just want to store them when not in use.
  • all information presented on these cards has been researched with references. Those who have concerns or queries can ask us about them. We'll be happy to address them.

We haven't that many, but while we do... it's best you get to order a set or few for yourself and your loved ones. They make awesome Eid Gifts. And work towards Sadaqah e Jariah, for yourself, those you gift em too, and us as well! :)

May Allah Kareem guide us to rise in deeds that are good and forgive us for our shorcomings. Ameen.

What are you waiting for? :) The forms are pouring in MashaAllah!

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Thursday, 16 May 2013

musing #1

some friendships come to you like wings... they guide your flight and help you soar through kindness, encouragement and support.. others come to you like thorns...tangling your spirits... pricking your dreams and hindering your hopes. Be a friendship of wings to someone. What you do for others will come back to you from Him.  a form of flight with His support is bound to soar high!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

a tribute to Mama..

Every child looks up to his or her mother as the best there could ever be. To blindly know mom is always right. I was not one of those kids. I had an opinion and often would disagree with my mama on several occassions. Despite this though, watching her life up close I knew why I had those thoughts. I had not known what struggle was.. what sacrifice meant or what dedication really meant.

My mother struggled years as a single parent. She instilled in me the respect and love I have for my father. She showed me that a woman can be successful and strong fending for her kids like no tomorrow. My mother had shown me what it means to have eman. What it means to let go and sacrifice things just to comply with His plan. She has shown me what a change life can bring when you remain steadfast on the right path. She has also been a reminder of what strong relationships are built on... why tarbiya is important and how good comes to those who wait. I owe my growing up early to her training. I owe my own strong willed spirit and determination to her. I owe the bond I have with my brother and sister to the values she gave us. Further, I owe my creativity and skills to her encouragement and support since I was a tot.

I know every kid loves his or her parent... I guess my love is a mixture of respect and immense gratitude for teaching me to take care of myself all these years and looking after me with a hawk's eye. Thanks for showing me what Tawwakal Allah means.. what love for His Beloved Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam defines and what it means to be a mureed of our Shaykh.Happy Mother's Day!

Love you Mama!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Ordering Handcrafted Keepsakes! :)

To make order placing quicker! :)
Please note, all items and products are archived on our Facebook Page! :)!/Whimsical.Firefly/photos_albums
You can add image links in the order details box for reference if you prefer.

Please allow 24-48 hours to revert back to you. Orders are confirmed once order details are finalized and payments are received. Payments are accepted via atm transfer, online tranfer or cash deposit to our account. No cheques!

Flat rate shipping for Karachi Rs 100
Other cities 150.

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The Firefly Girl Online Studio Classes (Re-runs!)

Gosh, I feel like laughing at myself for posting the title for this blog post. Makes it sound all celebrity-ish. Hehe. I am posting the class module and scheduled air dates.

Please note, you will be issued a password, which changes regularly.
If you wish to take recorded sessions individually, please note they are charged separately.

The next live session will restart after Ramadan inshaAllah :) The information here is an overview. For detailed information on what you learn and what we cover, you can request an information booklet by emailing :)

Class One
(for beginners and newbies)
Rs 1000

Class Two
2A Inks
2B Distress Products
2C Mists and Sprays
2D Powders and Pearls
2E Alcohol Inks
(excellent starting point for beginners, pros and plain ol enthusiasts!)
Rs 3500 for all 5 modules or Rs 800 each

Class Three
Information on stamping techniques including different methods of rendering. Five of them are covered along with basics on how to use your stamps, different ones, and so forth.
 (excellent starting point for beginners, pros and plain ol enthusiasts!)
Rs 1750

Class Four
Paper Works
Exploring the world of paper
Rs 600

Class Five
Ten Embellishment Project
Starting from scratch, how do you create something for the Ten Embellishment Project?
(beginner level)
Rs 1200

Class Six
Tag Books and Tags!
Creating Tagbooks start to finish with fun tags!
(intermediate level)
Rs 1500

Class Seven
World of Crafter's Delight
an introduction to the equipment and tools. Pros and Cons. Identifying which one is right for you and more! (Big Shot is covered in this class)
(intermediate level)
Rs 1500

Class Eight
Mixed Media Journal (Altered)
start to finish mixed media collage to alter a canvas
(intermediate to advanced level)
Rs 2000

Class Nine
Pen Holder (Altered)
start to finish upcycling project
(basic to intermediate)
Rs 1250

Class Ten
Tag Wallets
Rs 1250

Class Eleven
Accordion Books 11A
Accordion Books 11 B
Two styles, Two classes. Basic structure and prep work.
Rs 2400 for both
Beginner and Intermediate level

Class Twelve
The Ultimate Mini Album Adventure
Prior knowledge of tools and equipment, inks, stamping and compositions is required.
Required to take the Basics and the Ten Embellishment Project
Rs 2800

Class Thirteen
Developing Aesthetics
Rs 600
Beginner level. Exercises to tweek your understanding of color and design

Class Fourteen
14A Roses
14B Shabby Chic Round Flowers
14C Shabby Chic Flowers
14D Peonies
Rs 600 each or all four for Rs 2000.

Opt for all of them for Rs 10,000 as part of the RE RUN PROMO!
About the instructor, Varah Musavvir:
As far as my qualifications or experience goes, I have a background in design from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. I have been paper crafting via Firefly for over two years professionally. I have been scrapbooking for ten years and have had Art and Design as well as Fine Arts during my schooling years. I am a textile designer by day and a craftaholic by night. I love sharing what I know and am happy to teach or help others create things which further inspire dreams!
I understand several of you run on a budget, and I have kept our class and course rates as reasonable as possible. The international price range for basic classes online runs from 10-45 U.S. Dollars. And workshops or interactive classes in person are anywhere from 75-250 U.S. Dollars per session, and that does not include the cost of materials.
I am in touch with international manufacturers as well as the international markets of the United States as well as Hong Kong, so am able to share new products, trends or techniques with you, most often with first-hand information. I discuss local alternatives as well to aid our fellow crafters in Pakistan, having tried and tested most myself :)
The Re-Runs are recordings. Each class Module will be available for two days. The schedule for such will be put up on the 27th of May inshaAllah.
Re Rerun Registrations close on the 1st of June. Please confirm your interest by finalizing your modules and submitting fees. email :)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Celebratory Goodie Bag *throws confetti*

I realized that I have gotten so dreadfully slow about sending my 'hand crafted give away gifts out'. I feel super sad about it. In the mess of things I get myself tangled in.. ie online classes, international exhibits, new products, and how can I forget retailing craft supplies and fulfilling orders. I never intended things to be so delayed from my end.

As of now I owe Rabbiya Anwar two gifts and Iqra needs to receive hers, too. So this time I decided I won't commit to making something, in the fear that it'll take me another year to churn it out. *hides face* INSTEAD.. I'm celebrating by sending crafty gifts! :) Those ought to be fun, don't you think? :)

So read up fellows, because this is going to ohmg awesome :D InshaAllah!

Since we crossed 12,000 fans on our facebook page and the Firefly Girl has a birthday comin up... I want to celebrate with you all by sending out some crafty love. *yeay* I really adore my fans and crafty friends for being my biggest form of motivation. MashaAllah. Firefly is totally what it is because I have support from all of you :) I wanted to thank you all for being the blessing that makes me appreciate my life everyday and makes me thank Him every day for what I do :) Alhamdulillah!

Get on with the deets... how do we take part and celebrate?

1. Click 'follow' as part of the 'follow this blog' bit on the bottom right of the navigation. So that means you get a notification on your google account every time I post a new blog entry :)

2. In case you don't already, click 'Like' on our facebook page and actively participate in giving feedback or your remarks on our products, updates and other fun things. *stay engaged folks*

3. Invite 5 of your best friends to like our Facebook page :) Make sure they click Like.

4. Follow me, the Firefly Girl on Instagram for fun Firefly photos on the run. Look up Firefly_Girl23 You get  bonus point if you upload an instagram photo featuring a Firefly purchase you made with the tag 'whimsical_firefly'

5. I pick a randomly selected person for an entire parcel packed with CRAFTING goodies.. ranging from embellishments, paper, flowers, stamps and ink! (you guys know I make awesome gift packs with crafting gear!)

6. I pick two more random folk and send each one a pack of 6x6 paper AND a pack of embellishments.

7. You can keep spreading the love til the 15th of June :) ( I will select a random fan via on the 19th ) inshaAllah.

8. Once you have fulfilled steps 1-4 comment on this blog post with the following:
  • Your Name, The name of 5 of your friends. And Your instagram ID.
This is open to our fans across the globe. :) items will be shipped out with much love via snail mail to our fans from Hong Kong!

The Secret Code

I wanted to blog today about something I think about every day. In the last 2 years especially, for me at Firefly I have been able to aquaint myself with so many new friends who happen to be fellow crafters.

With the craft revolution on the rise, I figured I would put up ground rules for myself to follow to not cross over walls with fellow crafters and to keep doing what I do in a style that is distinctly mine. Consider these a part of the 'secret code' I follow. You may disagree or applaud some. :) Here's my take on them.

  • If there is a universal format for something, I won't create a fuss over it. ie 12x12 scrapbook layout, 4x6 and 5x7 cards. That's just how cards go. Other sizes look wonky or become too 'small' or 'too big'.

  • Now if I started doing minis and created them on a format, ie 4 inches, 10 pages, 2 inner covers. I would twitch a little at whoever adopted the same.

  • If a certain page/brand is recognized by a particular font they use in their work.. I would stay far away from it.

  • If a fellow crafter created a horizontal card, with doily trims, and butterflies, I'd totally rethink what I'm doing with mine to not cross 'lines'. *happened before*

  • If I found inspiration in a sea or beach theme after seeing a friend's beautiful keepsake bottles.. I would totally take it on for a project. BUT I would not make it a bottle, a vial.. and I would never go with the same colors or material.

  • If a client of mine share's a fellow crafter's work saying.. 'I want you to make me this.', my answer is.. I do not replicate the work of others. If you prefer, a card based on this color scheme or a card detailed as heavily as this one can be done for you in my style.

  • If they insist, I ask them to go to the person that made it :) (I know a LOT of crafters who skip this part and agree to making something based off someone else's work to keep business... be it a keychain design, a mini album, a photobook or a card. It hurts sometimes because I do whatever I can to keep the honesty alive in what I do. I divert MY customers to other businesses on the basis to keep the 'replicate for profit' thing away from me.

  • Big time no no.. same product, same colors, same patterns, same size, same format... same 'occasion'. I have seen it around me and it URCKS the creepers out of me. Wondering why people do that. I don't do that.. why do they do that.

  • I don't like the bandwagon concept. Us ne banaya. Uska hit hua. Main bhi banaoon. Mera bhi hit hoga. -___________-; Rizq comes from Him. Do your best in what you do best.

  • If it's someone else's staple... I will let it remain a part of their 'desk'.. I am happy with MY staples. Alhamdulillah!

I like the honesty I can have with a couple of my crafty friends. We critique each other all the time.. ask each other what happened to you when you made this... or what do you think of this? It takes a heart to do so.. and a courage to bring yourself to accept and understand that no matter what your 'code' is.. someone else will come and break it or go against it. Doesn't matter what they do.. 'cause in the end your dedication and honesty towards your work is a strong tie to YOUR eman as well! May Allah Kareem bless my fellow entrepreneur friends and grant them barakah in what they do :)


Monday, 6 May 2013

Love Crafts, but new to Crafting!

Another post after my unplanned hiatus over at the blog. It's unfair sometimes. :( I get so occupied with work and home committments now that I don't get time to jot down my own ideas or thoughts.. let alone blog posts to eleborate my random musings or observations. I have a couple of blog posts pending, I have my material ready but need to compile it together.

The post today is exactly what it says, Love Crafts but new to Crafting!

You may wonder what sparked me to post this today, it's actually something that we need doses of now and then to remind us of what works and what doesn't. I sometimes ask my friends about what works in a layout and what doesn't.. I even try to research and learn more about color and design in my spare time.

I'm not the crafting queen, and my words are not set in stone, so if you have anything to add to these, points, share em :) A background for some who may wonder, I have 4 years of professional design training and almost 10 years of paper crafting experience in the U.S., Pakistan and now Hong Kong... I felt I could share what some of you could benefit from. InshaAllah x

When I began paper crafting, I didn't have all the fancy stuff. (tools, punches, inks, stamps, die cut systems and so forth). I just had a flair to make something and make it look awesome. (even though several attempts were epic fails.)

In the last year specifically, I have observed an improvement in the work I produce, be it in composition, detail or overall effort. You could say it's evolving. And I wanted to share some tips on how you can apply that to see your work evolve, too! :)

  • If it came out of the box, it doesn't mean you 'assemble it' and pass it off as 'crafting'. What I mean to implore here is we often get hold of kits and 'card in a box' or 'album in a box'... what we don't realize is when they say 'it's everything you need to create'... it means you use it as a platform, and make the most of your skills to add to it. Don't leave things 'raw'. ie... take a floral background, and use a red border punch to embellish it. Why? Any other person that gets hold of that background or that punch, is going to be able to do the same. What's your input? Have you composed it? Have you added personalized details? Did you get your hands dirty to paint, ink or create a dimensional flower?

  • Make your work your own. It is very easy to see a color combination you like, with a product you like, and a request to create the same thing. Rule number one, politely hold your ground and clarify that the work requested belongs to someone else, and you would love to create something based on the same idea, ie floral, vintage and so forth but would not replicate the same colors on the same product.

  • Inspiration versus copy. Be confident in your own piece of work. Like someone's idea? execute it in a way that the piece looks like it's your own individual concept, your own aesthetic.

  • Don't stuff every 'color' on the planet onto one canvas. IF not done tastefully, it will look like a colorful mess. (in not so nice terms)

  • I know it's tempting, but just because you're doing an album, don't force a vintage key into it. If your palette is bright bold hues or delicate pastels and you're not careful in placement of your embellishments, that key is going to be smack in your vision and will look off from the rest of your project, despite the ohmg, look at that KEY syndrome.

  • The thing with stamping, embossing, glittered accents, metal embellishments and bling. These 5 are a lethal combination when used and applied the right way. You want them to blend as a theme, as one, and not look like a bit of everything, just because you wanted to. Know when to use them, and when to skip. While the effort is no doubt commendable, it may look too gaudy or over done.

  • Less is more. Work on creating layouts and compositions to help you develop a form of story telling, that moves your eye, and motivates admirers to look closely at your work. The simplest of detail can be most impactful when piecing together your projects. Don't scatter bits and bobbles everywhere to confuse the person.

  • Binding, do I go for jute, ribbon, rings, or spirals?
    If it's a formal affair, avoid using spirals. If you opt for rings, camouflage them with delicate trims and ornate laces. If you want to opt for a natural feel and have managed to blend in eclectic elements, opt for jute. Be careful, as jute and spirals, if used incorrectly can make a fab project look floppy. Ribbons are great for almost any occasion. Be selective about which ones you use, if you use stiff ones or those that are too 'shiny', they may throw off your beautified craft piece within seconds. I personally use the binding rings because they work with formal and fun projects. They look solid enough and don't remind me of a school notebook or something I picked up from the photocopier. (no offense to others, I've got gorgeous journals bound with spirals and I love them to bits.. handcrafted just look different when used with spirals)

  • All that glitters is not gold. While most people look at the sight of glitter and fall to uber appreciation, if used in excessive amounts, can look tacky. Control your glitter urges folks, accent it with a line, a smaller embellishment, as glitter stands out!  You don't want it to over power the rest of your layout. :)

  • Compose, compose, compose. Don't let your work float everywhere. Make it look grounded with a visual experience. If you like working with straight lines, do wonders with them. If you like asymmetry, don't make things float everywhere.

  • Proportions are vital when doing albums and cards. You don't want two large flowers and one small one. Try balancing one large flower with two smaller ones, or with one small or medium. It makes a big difference.

  • Lost in Space. Keepsakes are intended for 'keeping' for the 'sake of memories' for most. If you have created or crafted an album, especially a mini. Make sure you leave room for photos and text and don't centralize your embellishments. Mini albums are smaller in size, and have less room for photos and journaling to start with. If you have large embellishments, it may look pretty, but would defeat the purpose and practicality of being an 'album'.

  • Hand written. If you feel like incorporating your handwriting in a project, try not to let it float or look like a sloppy note you'd pass in class. Take a minute to draw a line with a scale to write on the line. If your cursive isn't the most exciting, don't go for it, print it instead.

  • First Love. Don't fall in love with your work. Be pleased when you put together something you put your heart into, but never fall in love with it. Because that's going to stop you from doing better or striving harder. Which will stump your growth and grooming as a crafter or artist.

Hope these little bits and pieces of information strike a chord and help you rethink your projects and help you for amazing future ones. I have yet to share some amazing work by Pakistani Crafters from our Craft Month Celebrations. You'll see some talent from simplest of pieces when I do :)

I often tell my students, that when you have the eye to appreciate something beautiful, your admiration shows your aesthetics are pretty awesome! So never tell yourself you're not very good at being creative ;)

Much Love.
Smile Sunshine!
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