Instagram Lovin’: Monday inspirations

I love Instagram. It’s my new Pinterest. Don’t you love this creative design fads? So much to one day tell my kids about.

I followed several really fun artists and although sometimes it feels like I am peeking into their lives, more often than not, they simple inspire you to add design and frills and detail to your own. I love that even a note to self now looks like it could be a part of a magazine layout. This kind of heightend design life is what everyone should aspire and leave the negative terroristy stuff aside. Spoken in true let-them-eat-cake fashion but hopefully the regulars will understand the tone and fly with it.

So today on this Monday that after yesterday lovely beach trip stretched way long, I decide to share some of my favourite instagrammers here.

I particularly love artists who are parents. They view the world so differently- with fresh new eyes and a kind og giddy joy that other somehow don’t. Or can’t. I love the little things they create to make their kids happy and how that gets intwined with their own creativity eventually. I love that she has a graphic design studio, I love her quirky sense of design. Go brunch with darling.

I love the idea of scrapbooking and I may have attempted to delve into that world once or twice but really you feel more than inadequate when you see some of the fantastic stuff being made out there and the people who are truly doing it justice. Check out Gluestickgirl on instagram for her daily fun updates.

I had been following Mati Rose blog for a while now and imagine my excitement when I found her on Instagram.  Her posts are always so uplifting and her artwork has graced my desktop for years. I love that sense of child like imperfection in her work- the kind of unpressurized stroke we are aiming for that we see in our own kids. She has recently released her book called “Daring Adventures in Paint” and despite not being a paint person at all, per se, I am excited by it.

I came across KP most recently. It was a cross reference connection from another Instagrammer and I loved how all these creativer crafty people knew each other, had connected and were all supporting each other’s Project life series. Talk about creating and building a community of like minded, life loving people. Very inspired. Who wants in with me on this side of the globe?

I think something I really get a kick out of seeing (and doing) is anything with attention to detail. Where the font and the corner curve and the colur and the background are in some kind of chemical sync and totally effortlessly pulling the whole idea along. I love Amy Tangerine’s Scrapbooking Kits (she is on Instgram too!) and Studio Calico has paper pads with patterns to make you high.


Looking at all this happening on my Insta feed has obviously triggered much itchiness in me to try and do soemthing along the lines also- so when we got back from our holiday this year, instead of putting up my usual captioned photos, I added a scrappy twist to them. I think it looked fun and now I only need to look at the picture to know exactly what I was thinking and feeling right then at that moment.

all images (except the last 2 which are my own) have been shamelessly borrowed from the blogs of the people mentioned and therefore all credit goes to them, of course.


Mid-week meanderings: commitment to a project.

I have recently admitted- to myself and others- that I have a deep love for documenting. I love writing things down, putting a photo with a a caption away, writing letters to the future me and making time capsules to open in ten years because to me all these undertakings, these projects, are little legacies we leave behind of lives well lived. I am on a perpetual hunt for projects like these, that capture life and inspire you at the same time.

We (the Ostrich and I) tried one earlier this year with The O&B. What started with a bang ended with a fizz. Do we rely too much on public feedback to keep a thing going? Or is simply doing it for oneself enough? I am still struggling on whether I write to hear myself think or to be heard. In either case, this project is still close to my heart and I am not packing it in just yet.

One project I loved was 365 Days of hand lettering. I cannot imagine anything more tough and more exhilarating than trying to experiment with a handwritten font every single day. I would want to pack away the kids, the cat and the life and simply sit at my table, overlooking those trees beyond the alcove and scribble away on the iPad., swirling, twirling letters to do my bidding. Check out Lisa Congdon’s Day 179.

If you are an avid scrapbooker and love the idea of documenting life in a fun creative and memorable way, Project life is one thing you must check out. Love the idea that I can open up a page and be instantly and visually thrown back to a day I want to remember. And those days you want to forget that I want to remember too.

I keep blaming life moving too fast for all the things I have yet to do. I have procrastinationary (is that even a word? well, it is now) measures and excuses ready to let you know exactly why that thing we talked about last year has not happened yet. It’s demoralizing, it’s debilitating and what is scarier is that it becomes a part of my everyday truth. I don’t like it. So to shake myself out of the undertake and quit mode, I too undertook a daily creative commitment- the Five Year Happines Project and I am pleased to report that so far,  I have only missed one day, when try as I might I simply could not remember what the day was about. To know I have to sum up my day in a thought has made me more conscious of the day’s details. I look for more, and perhaps because I look for more, I find more too.

friday: feel-good finds

Find Number 1.

Don’t you just love it (or not!) when you stumble across a website that makes you jealous because it just grabs your attention and keeps you hooked for hours on end on the first visit? I am a bit screen eyed over this one- it has so many interesting links and visuals that I am somewhat drained and completely buzzed at the same time.

Find Number 2

I have always loved and avidly watched shows on TV where a bunch of experts get together and help someone  look  their best by suggesting new palettes, colours, and hair dos to them. Remember that one Oprah episode where the daughter writes to Oprah about her mothers depression since her husbands death and to help her rediscover herself? I got goosebumps when she  burst out crying in happiness at her widowed moms new improved look. Come on, everyone loves a happy ending.

So one of my favourite blogs features  lovely (both design and thought wise) makeover stories. I am inspired to do a local Khi-town version of this by using normal everyday people and teaching them how to best be themselves by looking good. Don’t you just love how shes put the stories together also?

Find Number 3

Food makes me feel good. And if its sweet, it has a special place in my heart. And if its nutella, I am sold.
With the Karachi heat only just about bearable, I stock up on Jet Sports but last year on our Singapore holiday I picked up a little lolly maker. And then promptly forgot about it. This year, feeling freshly inspired by this awesome post, I have taken it out of storage and am heading to the kitchen right now to whip up some icey fun. (Ok I am not really, I am just going to finish this post and go hang out with the kids- but I AM going to do this tomorrow. Seriously)

Find Number 4.

It’s not really a find this one, but something that the husband got back from a recent work trip that makes me feel good. I love these little paper clips and I will never ever use them. In fact they will now reside in my precious Red Box filled with notebooks and other wonders, where I hoard all the lovely things I find on holidays and some days when the day has been tough I secretly take them out at night to stare at them to feel better.

Find Number 5

On our trip to Bangkok just two weeks ago, I fell in love. This shop was like a manifestation of all things beautiful vintage and designed and since then I have been inspired and browsing more vintage than ever before. So inspired by that look, I have set out to create a small corner in my own home which dates back, and I will  post a photo of it in just a few days (along with the lollies). Happy weekend.

wonderful find: bashing the monday blues.

I am on the verge of being inspired.
It’s basically that one teetering tip you are swaying on before you fall into the heady happiness of finally doing what has been itchily evading you. And I have been eluded and evaded for fairly long now as you can tell by eerie silence on my blog. It’s very easy to fall into the produce for work pattern because secretly we know what our default acceptable/good design trick is and with time short, multiple kids and life whoosing by, it’s a no brainer to go with that solution. But. BUT. Then you see something like this. And what works easily for you just isn’t enough. You want to get a little uncomfy and create.


Map love.

Aren’t maps fascinating? As of late I have been more and more drawn to them and am waiting for something in my head to come together to explore this brilliant design visual.

We usually navigate around our favourite holiday destination city Bangkok, using the Nancy Chandler map. Filled with fun little information nuggets on shopping places and tucked away nooks and crannies, its definitely a keeper.

Absolutely loved this one by a favourite illustrator of mine Jenni Sparks on London probably also because in my travel wishes, London remains temptingly elusive. I last went in 1979 and of course at 3, one is not going to remember much more than the pigeons on Trafalgar Square.

Ork posters got popular a while back and I am sorely tempted to use this technique for Karachi. Possible next project? I particularly love the one of San Francisco (again on my wish list of places to travel to).

Once I got into the idea of maps, I have found so many- some styles literally blow your away with their attention to detail and skill. I loved these maps by Abigail Daker. It has a gorgeous storytelling kind of feel to it. And you get drawn in, wanting to know the stories of the people who live in this place. Check out her perspective map illustrations as well.

While on the subject of maps, I must mention our local Fancy map. Designed by an IVS grad, it gives us Karachiites something to show for the city we feel so addictively for. Though I wish it was an artistic keepsake as well (and it is in some ways) I also love the functionality. I get to know a few things about the city myself even though I have been out and about fairly extensively.


A few weeks ago, while trying to track down some vintage maps of the Subcontinent, I found myself on Etsy and found a lovely little food map of Pakistan. We are one of those few countires that cannot buy directly from Etsy and in a facebook conversation I must have mentioned that randomly as I broadened my scope for the map hunt. Imagine my surprise when a lovely blog friend actually posted it to my sister who was in NY for her graduation. Don’t you love people who gift randomly? I do.

Any exciting maps you have seen?

The Five Year Project


One of the things that has bothered me the most in recent years is the lack of writing I am doing. I don’t fancy myself a “writer” but most of my life has been well documented enough for me to be able to be comfortable in the chance that if I ever did get famous for something, they would have enough material to publish a fairly detailed – even intimate biography of me. One of those dreams you know. 

Turning 35 has been typically thought provoking. I have been wondering a lot about legacy. What is it that I will leave behind? And no after much thought and deliberation, two good human beings that are my children isn’t enough. It’s a lot, yes and the amount of work left tremendous but no, I think for me, I need to do something more. What that is is still evading me. I wanted to write a book- but doesn’t everybody now? I wanted to be the blog queen- I just don’t have the discipline to write everyday. I wanted to start a design magazine. I have dreams of a school. There is just so much to do but that feeling of clicking isn’t happening yet so Im biding away my time by dabbling. I dabble in illustration and make designs. I am writing again in my journal but its hardly share-worthy- dare I say yet? I dabble inreading and collecting words quotes and phrases that I like. Too much dabble but at this time with only pockets of time to call my own, it sustains.

The other day, at the bookstore I ran into Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project– the Five year one sentence Journal. Writing over a period of time has always been a source of fascination for me. I have maintained many letter time capsules with friends and K and I in the midst of our own ten year letters to each other thing. This clicked. May I say at this time that writing one sentence a day is actually MUCH harder than it sounds? You want to be able to stop time in that sentence so when read later one day, you are able to be transported into that same time and mode. Basically what journals do but more…twittery. Its only been a month but I have maintained it very easily so there is hope yet for the five years flying by and me revisiting this point in 2017 with some surprising insights and hopefully, a legacy to call my own.