Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry IX – June 2018

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June was awesome. Ramazan, Eid, rain, what more can you possibly ask for?!

I had the best Eid in recent years and that is saying something. It’s been raining the last half of June and nothing improves my mood better than rain. Cloudy days are so charming! If I was Anne Shirley I would say a couple of eloquent sounding sentences about it but I’m not so I’ll just stick to “it’s charming”. Ehehehe.

  • My friend paid her yearly visit before Eid on the 9th, a week after that was Eid and three days of visits to close and distant relatives.
  • I finally finished my super special project of using this nail polish print to make all different kinds of things. I shall miss it!
  • I also listened to Red Seas Under Red Skies and I will hold off listening to The Republic of Thieves until there’s a chance of the fourth book releasing soon. I started Howl’s Moving Castle audiobook on the 29th and it’s been delightful!
  • I couldn’t do my usual number of 9 books in June which was maddening. I could only read 7 and most of them were meh.
  • I made another book bag this month. I feel so proud of those especially. This is the third one I’ve made and actually, I cut it on Eid because I was so bored. I will share the pictures in another post.
  • After almost two years I returned to the world of Doctor Who. This was Peter Capaldi’s last series as the 12th Doctor and I have mixed to negative feelings on this last series.
  • Everybody was raving about Suno Chanda all Ramazan long and I’ve started watching that too! It is DELIGHTFUL.
  • I used to be really into coloring and painting and drawing and making cards. I’ve stopped doing these things and have been focusing more and more on sewing for the past year but I did want to color something at the back of my mind lately. So I went and got new pencil colors. These are Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils and I’ve chosen the cover of Goosebumps # 2 (it’s this gross half plant half human hand peeking out of a door) to replicate.
  • I also initiated this group chat on Instagram of all places with 5 of my buddies from Goodreads who totally did not know each other so the first couple of hours was us introducing each other. I knew all of them and all of them knew me but some of them did not know one another and it was hilarious. Anyway I feel really proud of that since we’ve been having hysterical conversations ever since.
  • Another monumental instance (sarcasm) this June was me finishing my fat-assed journal. I’d been using that dear old monstrosity for over a year and I breathed a sigh of relief when it was finally full.

That’s the long and short of it. I wish I could upload pictures in this post but I just don’t have the energy…If writing this is so boring I can’t imagine what reading it must feel like. Forgive me, world.

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Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

The Chronicles of Eid – Eid-ul-Fitr 2018

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I feel compelled to write all of this down because this was an unusually fun Eid. I mean, I’ve had my share of good and bad but ever since my nano (paternal grandmother) died, the whole family stopped gathering at our place for Eid, she used to live with us. And then we grew up and things changed so there have been a lot of meh and bad Eids since, the good ones have been few.

But this Eid was rad! I had fun! WHEEEEEE!

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So the last few days of Ramadan this time around were filled with comparatively less melancholy and more anticipation. I remember last year was the opposite. I spent the 3-4 days before Eid preparing myself (and by that I mean I focused on removing those stupid blackheads). So it was charcoal masks and getting mehndi and sewing my Eid handbag (while my mother sewed the dress, TEE HEE) and just making sure everything was ready.

This year Ramazan started in all the countries at the same time so we were hoping or I was thinking that it would end on the same day as well? So we were all nervous on the 29th, it could have been Ramazan the 30th or it could have been Eid. Then they confirmed that it would be Ramazan in Pakistan which was just as well because I had neither shaved my arms nor done any mehndi. But then after Taraweeh I checked my Instagram feed and half the people were like Happy Eid! and I became so tense. Turns out, it was Eid the next day in Saudi Arabia and some other countries and the day after that in Pakistan. Whew.

So I shaved my arms leisurely (but painfully obvs) on the 30th, did some more half-assed facial treatment and then it was time for mehndi! A little background on that: I am not super-proficient nor am I terribly dexterous when it comes to that, but every Eid I get this superpower and my “attempts” look good when all is said and done. It used to be my sister who did mehndi on me, herself and our cousins but she’s been married for eight and a half years. For about half of those I didn’t do mehndi because I thought I couldn’t and the idea of doing it all alone, with no cousins and no sister made me forlorn.
I mean Chaand Raat (last night of Ramadan), used to be all about sleepovers and laughter and late night shenanigans. When that changed I sort of disconnected with the tradition of mehndi.
Luckily I gave up feeling sorry for myself and for the past 4 or 5 years I’ve been doing my own mehndi.

Ahem, now as I was saying, it was time for mehndi. I prefer to have periods on Eid because it lets me be free from the worries of prayer, it is so hard to pray when you’re out on Eid, the crappy bathrooms and all so I always wish for a namaz-free Eid. No such luck this time which meant that I  would have to get up for Fajr which meant that my mehndi would have three hours at best before I would have to wash it all off. So.

I drank all I had to drink (doodh soda for the WIN) and started with my right hand, as in using my non-dominant left to apply mehndi on the inner (?) palm of my right. I had saved a couple of designs before hand but they were very complex and it would have taken looooong for me to do any of those with my left hand so I found another. It was a very beautiful half-moon design which I wrecked with my lack of skill.

Also, I don’t know what came over me, but right before I began my mehndi session I made a group on Instagram of the friends I have made on Goodreads. We’ve all been talking on and off for the past two years so I thought it’d be nice if I wished them all a happy Eid. Only after did I wonder if they all knew each other. They did not but it was SO. MUCH. FUN! The idea was a roaring success, I believe and we all went blah blah blah all night non-stop. All of them knew who I was but there were groups in between who knew some and didn’t know the rest. We’ve all been acquainted and I feel very proud. So it’s Tahreem, Marhaba, Zoha, Alafiya, Masooma and I and we’re still talking. We even sent each other short recorded Eid Mubarak messages which was BRILLIANT.

Anyhoo, I did the right hand mehndi and then I went and relieved myself. Ah, yes, that was a strategic choice, the right hand. It was so I could use the left when I went to the bathroom which I HAD to if I wanted to last four hours till Fajr without peeing. There really are no limits to my wit.

I did my left hand mehndi then and it was much neater and much better, evidently.

I wasted some time on the internet after that and finally fell asleep at 1:30 am approximately. Oh and the weather that night! That was another plus this Eid! The cool winds and red cloudy skies! Summer Eids have been hot and stuffy mostly but from Chaand Raat to the third day of Eid it was blessedly, awesomely cool. Alhamdulillah for that too!

EID DAY: 1

And then before I knew it dawned the next day, the day of Eid, or as I like to call it, The Day of BORINGGGG. My nano used to live upstairs with my uncle’s family, when she died about 12 years ago and my uncle moved out, for the next couple of Eids we gathered at various places, my elder uncle’s, my aunt’s, my aunt’s husband’s friend’s farmhouse (handful, I know). So what we started doing is we all spent the first day of both Eids meeting up with relatives exclusive to each family or in our case, doing nothing cause we don’t have that many exclusive relatives to begin with and then all of us meeting on the second day wherever we had decided to meet up.

I should mention that the “family” in question is my mother’s family, her brothers and sisters and their kids and their kids’ kids. My father’s side of the family is very small and for reasons I can’t and won’t explain, we aren’t on speaking terms. So my uncles and aunts spend the first day with the families of their spouses, their in-laws (while us siblings and parents stare at walls pretty much hence BORING) and then the next day we have an Eid party.

So the first day went exactly like the non-Eid days before. No one came. I wore the Eid clothes and got ready and all that which basically just entails wearing a new shalwar kameez and some earrings. I had my itinerary for the day which went something like this:

So I followed it.

The Eid pictures were the most exciting part of the day and that only lasted about 10 minutes. I asked my brother (bribed him with my laptop) to take them for me and miracles of all miracles he agreed AND the pictures turned out nice. Thank the Lord. One set was for my bookstagram

and the other for my sewstagram

since I made that matching Eid bag. That bag was kinda the star of this Eid to be honest. LOL. It got more compliments than I’ve ever gotten in all my 23 years. I exaggerate, of course but everyone (including me) really did admire that bag.

Cold Pizza and Coke were on the menu for me and I ate and drank these things from afternoon till midnight. Also kept chatting with my GR buddies in our group which I dubbed GRRM (short for GoodReads Reading Mates), that was really fun. I also worked on my sewing project which happened to be another book bag. I’ve shared two before here if you haven’t seen them. At night it was time for another mehndi session which was again successful

The color the next day!

and then I watched Doctor Who after 2 WHOLE YEARS! The Return of Doctor Mysterio, the Christmas Special. It was AWESOME!

EID DAY: 2

I’m always apprehensive on days we have to go out, Eid days in particular. I have no psychological issue, I’m just shy and prefer to stay at home, alone and undisturbed, mostly. So I was a bit nervous getting ready (NOTE: When we were kids we got a new set of clothes for each day of Eid. That is ancient history and I really don’t mind. So I wore the same outfit on all three days 😀 Yes, you heard me. Although I did rinse it after each day’s wearing to wash off the sweat).

I loved my outfit and I’ve learned that if you like what you’re wearing it has a huge impact on your mood and confidence level. With me at least. There was one Eid I remember I wore something that wasn’t bad but wasn’t that great. I had a miserable time that Eid because I thought I looked ridiculous but to be fair, the venue that year was horrid as well.

My personal opinion is that my niqab was on point this Eid (LE GASP, I’m a niqabi). It was more on-point than it has ever been in my LIFE and that is saying a lot. I used my outfit’s dupatta for it and used this new niqab technique and it was easy as shit, well-pinned and looked good: SWEET JEET.

We left for my khala’s (aunt) place late, 12:30. I made sure to read some before we did because I wanted to finish the book I was reading (it was Anne’s House of Dreams). The first hour or so was meet and greet mostly and then it was food: Ze Main Event. First course was palao (rice of some sort I can’t describe in English), second was qeemay wale naan (bread filled with minced meat), then mangoes, then some homemade iced-syrupy thingies we call gola and is sort of similar to ice cream? except there’s no cream. It was just ice, Jaam-e-shireen and some thing called ‘tukh malanga’ which again I can’t describe in English. Basically, it was desert and while I love Jaam-e-shireen, I didn’t eat it.

This is my favorite picture from that day. The kid is so done with everyone’s shit. LMAO.
The little girlies and I

After Maghrib prayer three of my cousins and I, all of us childhood playmates (2 of them are married and have two kids each) played Ludo and Lord Almighty it was the most hysterically humiliating game of my existence. We used to be real mad about Ludo as kids, we played it all the time. Sitting like that all of us together, I think it was the first time in a decade. Anyway, we divided ourselves into three teams, two partners each. Except for my team, I was partnered with the unmarried cousin, the rest of the two were paired with kids from the generation that came after us. And we were DESTROYED.

Black was me and Green was my partner. Our luck was the color of my pieces.

It was a supreme LOL-fest because we never stood a chance, three of us. The one whose house we were in, she and the kids were, are, so adept at it because they play every weekend, that most of the time we were just rolling the dice and they were making the moves for us. We were too slow for them! And it was hilarious! Faiza, my partner and I, just could not stop breaking into hysterics. It was the highlight of that day and I’ll remember it for years to come. Eventually, because it was taking long and being late all of us wanted to go home at that point, Faiza overturned the Ludo board.

Thus I returned home, happily defeated, thoroughly entertained and immensely satisfied. I can’t remember what exactly I did that night besides reading some more.

EID DAY: 3

It was decided the night before that we would also be paying a visit to abu’s cousin the next day, on the third day. I can’t run away from my nature, I wasn’t too thrilled about it. Abu’s cousin lives in Bhaati, the Walled City and thanks be to the Power that created the Universe I don’t live there. That place is a complete and utter nightmare.

Some houses have these shafts on each floor which are thrilling but I haven’t exactly figured the purpose of. Ventilation? Probably.

The charm of old-fashioned places can only extend so far. It’s a terrible, terrible situation to live in, if you’ve been to the walled city you would know. Everything is in everyone’s faces. Unbelievably narrow streets, small houses that have barely enough space for a room in each floor and thus extend to several floors to make up for it, little or no regard at all to cleanliness and just the general and horrible feeling of claustrophobia that I get whenever I go there.

It made me immensely grateful for what I’ve been blessed with as soon as I entered the “Gate”.

This was us leaving the “Gate”

A short summary of the day is: I had shameless fun. Abu’s cousin, whom we call, phupho (urdu for paternal aunt) has four kids, two sons and two daughters, eldest daughter is married. I hit it up with the younger one, Momina and we talked the day away. She is the sweetest. My bag was popular there as well 😀

That was a rundown of my Eid, the first of hopefully many such posts, written solely for my future self for her to look back at the fun times and all that jazz.

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Cheers!

 

Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry VIII – May 2018

May started with a bang. Not because something exciting or Earth-shattering occurred but simply because I discovered something to add to my daily schedule that I’ve fallen in love with and have been enjoying ever since. Now this may seem a leetle weird, or not, you’ll see.

You know how people talk about their love for curling up in bed with a cup of coffee and a book to read, some favorite routine or a cozy setting? I pick these things out after I experience them and then I remember those moments with fondness. Call them memories, if you will. Like three or four months ago in Winter my nightly routine was to lie on this back-breaking sofa (I hate that darn sofa), trying to get comfortable each night and reading a book, or more specifically, reading The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies. This specific combo of lying on the sofa, swathed in a blanket and reading that book has become a very fond memory, something I’ve been remembering with gladness ever since.

There are many such “combos” that I remember. Things that I did in the past or recently, and for one reason or another the experience comes back to me and I get sad thinking about it. Coming back to the point, at the very beginning of May, I did two things side by side and I loved doing them both together so much that I’ve been doing them all month. This may get a leedul weirder than before.

I had this night shirt that my mother bought for me from a thrift store. It had a really lovely pink print with nail polish bottles all over. She bought it with the intention of me taking it apart and using the pieces for my sewing projects. That was probably last year. I’d been saving it and saving it and saving it until I finally decided to pick it apart and use it.

Number two was my desire to reread the Gentlemen Bastard Series by Scott Lynch. I’ve grown unbelievably devoted to these books and after reading the Republic of Thieves in April the urge to reread only grew stronger. I’ve forgone rereading sadly because no time for old books when there are so many new ones! So the solution presented itself in the form of audiobooks.

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So I began to work on that nail polish fabric and reread Locke Lamora via its audiobook and that, dear, poor and befuddled reader was one heck of a combination. All month long I cut and sewed (3-6pm in the first two weeks, now considerably shorter due to Ramazan) that print and listened to the audiobooks and that became a thing to look forward to each day.

Sooner, rather than later, I’m going to run out of this print and/or finish these audiobooks and pick up something else. The sewing+audiobook routine will go on, sure but I won’t get to work on this print and listen to these audiobooks, you know? So this combination is unique and precious to me and this is something I’ll always remember and this was the highlight of May 2018 for me and I’m going to stop because I’ve probably just proved myself a lunatic.

So, sewing-wise I’ve had an incredibly productive month. I made about a dozen things with said fabric, all techniques and projects I had never tried before and more things besides. It was very satisfying. Among my stitching adventures was one I am most proud of: a book bag! This is actually the second one I’ve made. The first one was of a different kind.

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And since it was difficult for me to lug my humungous iPad around while listening to the audiobook (I don’t have a phone of my own) I decided to borrow my brother’s for whenever I wanted to listen to it and for that I made a hip bag. I tie it around my waist, put the phone it it and voila! Life made easy.

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I’ve kept my streak of nine books per month and I intend on keeping up with it at least till I complete my Goodreads challenge. I finally picked up The Lord of the Rings. Look at me, writing it in italics as if nobody knows what that is. Anyway, I read The Fellowship of the Ring and I just … I couldn’t keep up with the hills and knolls and streams and dells and the walking and walking and running. I mean I did keep up with it and I did enjoy it, I really did, but I did not suddenly feel as if I did something life-changing, ya know? I’ll post my complete May reads list soon not that anybody’s asking. Sometimes I feel I’m talking to myself. Which was the point of this blog, to be honest. At first. I’ll shut up now.

Halfway through May Ramazan started and unbelievable though it seems, 20 days of it have already passed. I feel like Ramazan passes in a bubble. Like we’re all cocooned inside a protective shell or something. It has to do with the special-ness of it and the specific routine and goals I set for myself. But this year, quite frankly, I’m (patiently) waiting for the bubble to burst. You may hold your triumph, Satan. I’m trying to make the most of this month regardless.

I took pretty decent bookstagram pictures this month as well. This is my favorite:

So this was May in a nutshell. Probably the best month of the year so far and I genuinely enjoyed writing this post since I first started writing this journal series.

P.S: All pictures were taken by me, myself and I.

Posted in Gobbledygook, Me Stuff

My Favorite Snacks

These are all Pakistani because I munch on local junk 24/7. That foreign shit in fancy stores is expensive and inconvenient.

So this is a rudimentary list and it’s about chips only. I’ll do another about more chips, favorite and least favorite, as well as biscuits. It’s actually a pretty fun idea and I’m low-key proud of myself for coming up with it. *pats herself on the back*

#1: LAYS

I can eat those ALL DAY LONG. And I’m not just saying that because I’m literally known as the serial Lays eater. I’m also aware that these aren’t originally Pakistani but whatever.
I love all Lays flavors bar two: the cheese one and the salty one because no taste whatsoever and they make me thirsty. There are so many, the special ones like oriental kimchi and the whole series they did for cricket a couple of years ago, sour cream and onions and tomato and whatnot. But my personal favorite, the one that holds a part of my soul, one that I’m known for eating obsessively is…MASALA!

I took all of these pictures. KAY?

MUNCH MUNCH MUUUUUUUUUNCHHHHHH

Also, while I do consider Lays to be my number 1 favorite snack, for the rest of them it is a tie so don’t pay attention to the numbering.

#2: KURKURE

Kurkure also has a couple of flavors, there’s the hateful green chutney flavor which I hate, a blue yogurt one that is o-kay at best and more I’m sure but I like the red chilli one the best. Funny thing is when these were new in the market, I used to DESPISE the red flavor.

#3: SLANTY

They’re probably called that because, er, they slant? Whatever, I don’t really care what they’re called and why they’re called that if they taste really good. These have been a childhood fixture and I love them from the bottom of my heart. Most of Kolson products are really good and these are one of the best. My favorite flavor is the vegetables one but the chilli one is a close second.

#4: POTATO STICKS

Another Kolson one and another childhood favorite. I fell out of love with this one for a while but the love has returned thankfully. These are peppery and a leeetle bit stingy and yummy.

#5: KURLEEZ

These are in tomato and mirchi (chilli) flavors. I love both of them equally. But perhaps the mirchi one a bit more. *wink*

#6: OYE HOYE

So these basically look exactly like Lays but are a bit thinner in texture and leave me thristier. But the masala flavor is really, really good. The other ones are reasonably tasty as well. I love the quirkiness of this particular snack.

#7: TWITCH

Ah! Kolson again. It’s impossible to eat these without your nose watering. These are incredibly spicy and so totally my type.

#8: WAVY

Apart from Lays, this is the only one I can eat for legit hours without my mouth drying or getting thirsty. As usual, I like the red BBQ one the most though I haven’t tried that many Wavy flavors. It’s SCRUMPTIOUS.

#9: TOP POPS

In all honestly, these should be number one. Bafflingly, not only do these taste exactly as good as they did a decade ago (believe me, some have changed), they are also incredibly cheap, 5 Rs ONLY and they’re almost stuffed to bursting.

#10 & 11: JUNGLE POPS & NONY POPS

Double AAAAAAAH!!!! Before there was Lays, there were these two. They’re basically twins owing to the fact that a) I discovered them close to one another and b) I always used to get them together. They are probably the earliest snacks I ate back when I started eating them. My cousin and I used to go to the dukaan near our house and get both of these EACH AND EVERY DAY.

Our parents talk about the good old times when everything was cheap and money had value and whatnot. When I was little, we were given 5 Rs pocket money and it got us THREE packets of chips. Jungle Pops, Nony Pops and one other which is probably extinct now. As far as these two are concerned, they’re still pretty cheap, 5 Rs each and thank God the originals still exist. I’ve ate several knock-offs in the past few years.

These two are from the same company and granted, they are a bit less grand and of a lesser quality than say, Lays but they taste really really good! Jungle Pops is ginger flavored and Nony Pops is chicken chilli. I’ve always been a little embarrassed about the latter’s name but I have been able to ignore it by telling myself that I didn’t make that name up. And check out that rainbow!

So that’s it for now! This post took me a month to compile just FYI. Do you see anything familiar? Tell me what your favorite snacks were/are!

Cheers!

Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry VII – April 2018

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This month will forever be marred by 3 visits to the dentist (for some horrid thing called “scaling”) and 356343737 visits to the stupid bank. For someone who doesn’t, and I repeat for the umpteenth time, doesn’t, like to go out, this was uncomfortable, putting it very mildly.

What else was there? Oh, yeah, I visited a friend (that was fun, I slept there for a whole hour. Tee Hee), my uncle dropped by for a few hours (the slightest disruption in schedule is maddening normally but luckily I was able to do my things and still enjoy the company), my sister went to Oman, she and the kittens will be staying there for the summer with their father (WHYYYYYYYYYY), I finally was able to read “The Republic of Thieves” and I got four new fabric prints.

This is APRIL, in a nutshell. If I talk about the overall “feel” of the month, I’d say it was a good one, alhamdulillah.

 

Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry VII – March 2018

Oh, look. It’s April.

I think March was a good month. Except, it sucked. Well, the very last day only but things are mostly judged by how they end. It’s funny really. 30 days, all cool, and then the 31st which was an epic shit storm of the rage, pain and existential crisis. The three feelings that have a habit of coming back to haunt me just when I’m beginning to relax and forget.

I wouldn’t exactly call it a lesson as I’ve known this for a long time now, but a pointless reminder, for sure: families, blood relations can be the cruelest people you ever have the misfortune of knowing, but no matter what you do, how much you wish it, you’re stuck with them. For life. Literally, there is no escape. You’re bound by blood to love them and stay with them, it’s nature. But there is no restriction of actually liking them.

‘Like’ and ‘Love’ are two separate things when it comes to your family. I don’t like ANY of them. Zero. And I’m sure as HECK that NONE of them like me. We do not like each other. Period. But we’re stuck, too far grown to change ourselves, helpless against this blood bond. It’s utter torture. I desperately wished to run away yesterday. It was one of those days you wish you had a super-power so you could just disappear and never come back.

Right. Setting aside the angst, it was a pretty good month alhamdulillah. Did a lot, read a lot and there was a lot that happened in general:

  • First and most important: I watched Thor: Ragnarok. It was hysterical.
  • FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD.

  • College Reunion after three years. Ah, that was a very nice day.
  • Multiple family visits.
  • My father came back from abroad for good.
  • I sewed SO MANY cool things.
  • I read NINE books. Nine books a month is my thing now.

Let’s see what April brings.

Posted in Cool Sewing Projects, Me Stuff

The Harry Potter Mega Organizer

It was actually The Harry Potter Mega Ultra Super-Awesome Rad-tasticly Creative Organizer but I feared that the sheer humility in it would put people off.

The backstory goes something like this: I had been using a zipper pouch for my receipts and tags and cards and shit and it was full to bursting. I’d been meaning to try a new idea for an organizer which has these sort of pages, if you will. I toyed with the idea of using different fabrics for the inside but then my thoughts turned to Harry Potter, as thoughts have a way of doing. My motto in life:

“Everything eventually leads to Harry Potter. Never fight it.”

Glad that bit of wisdom is out of my system. Dude, that rhymed.

So, I thought why shouln’t I just make it Harry Potter themed? And I went to Pinterest and got myself a headache. So many ideas in one place. It all slowly came together and while I’m proud of it. There are certain things that didn’t turn out like I wanted them to.

My biggest regret is adding interfacing. Always, I always do this. Attach lots of it everywhere and then it bulks up and it’s murder to sew after that. It’s a lesson I refuse to learn. Eurgh.

That was me when I had to struggle to put it all together at the end.

Here it is:

This is the Marauders’ Map. I bought this book box two years ago that was Cursed Child themed. It had a wand and a scarf and a bunch of bookmarks and stuff. This was that scarf. I didn’t think I was going to use it, like EVER so I cut it and applied interfacing and made it into this.

The front and the back is a full piece, there was a piece of the “Messers Moony…” bit on either side, I cut that up and made it into pockets, otherwise it would have been impractically ginormous. It’s wide enough as it is.

I’m pretty proud of that elastic binding I made, FYI.

Now, here’s the thing: it seems all nice and easy in theory but once you actually start, the harsh truths of life come crashing down. Like the fact that I had to separately assemble each page piece and figure out which to attach to each and what will be on the top and what will go on the bottom and… you get the idea.

These are the first two ‘pages’.

This is the section I cut out from each side of the main map piece. I had to attach these two together first, if you see closely there’s a stitch line in the middle of the title of the map.

Then I cut these strips from scrap pieces and sewed them together to make the Gryffindor background. The Ravenclaw pocket came from a zipper pouch from another  Harry Potter book box I got last July. I had been using it as a money pouch but when I started doing this, it had to go. Ehehee.

Now, these two pages aren’t attached together. Rather, the first page is attached to the very last page and these two make the inside of the map main piece. Then, this house page is attached to another one which is the second last page. These two make the bottom piece of the third and fourth pages. I can guarantee no one understands this. Okay, let’s move right on.

These are the third and fourth pages. These were attached to each other to make a complete panel.

I used a permanent marker for the doodles and then ironed the fabric to set the ink. This blue pocket was the back of that zipper pouch. RIP that pouch.

The other page is London-themed. No need to say more. I used vinyl so the design would be visible. Also, I didn’t do very sophisticated pockets because I just have to stuff things inside, the different types of things will be separated, hence the ‘organized’ bit and the pockets are big enough so that they’ll hold a lot more than one measly pouch did for a year. Seriously, I love that pouch (I made it, it was orange) but there was no way for me to keep things separate and whenever I had to fish something specific out it was a menace.

Last two pages!

These are the closest I came to a Harry Potter themed fabric in the local market. The right one has always been one of my favorites, it’s got a bunch of things that make for a perfect hp mashup print: coat of arms, keys, the colors, the snake/owl/lion hybrid creature. The seal is actually a piece of foam sheet.

Here’s how I attached them:

  • The Marauders’ Map title page  with The Hogwarts Letter page (first panel)
  • The Gryffindor/Ravenclaw page with The Stag page (second panel)
  • The doodle page with The London page (third panel)
  • Then I attached the main map piece with the first panel.
  • The second panel with the third panel.
  • And finally, laid this second+third atop the map+first and stitched a line in the middle. This was torture because of the bulk.

Aaaaand that is it. I did it!

The things we do for the love of Harry Potter, eh?

Cheers!

 

 

 

Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry VI – February 2018

I’ve officially begun to regret starting writing these posts. Whoooooo cares? Even I don’t need an online log, I already have a calendar journal type thingy on which I record almost EVERYTHING, using only two pages, I might add. I’m paranoid about running out of space, as in first filling a journal then running out of space to write, then finding another journal to write in and filling that, then eventually filling so many journals that they take up all the space and I can no longer keep them and have to get a bigger cabinet, a bigger room, then a bigger house then a separate library… and so it goes. I think that every time I’m using a piece of paper. So I guess this is a good thing? Even if I lose my journals or have to throw them away for more space, at least I’ll have these posts to return to. Until I run out of space here too. Wait, can that happen?!

CLEARS THROAT

  • February was fantastic in terms of reading! I read NINE books. Whoop whoop!
  • I got more fabric for my shop, it was all SUBLIME.
  • My cousin with her army of daughters came to visit. It was fun. Even hobbits feel lonely sometimes. We went to my sister’s, the little cupcake that is her youngest son was being his usual cupcake self and I was gushing all over the place.
  • Winter was never here so it’ll be pointless to say that it went.
  • I was a bit bummed about not getting a lot of orders last month, for me a lot is ten but February was better in comparison.
  • 14 February was the worst day of the month. There was a lot of rage, pain and existential crisis that night which is ironic. It had nothing to do with the significance of the day though.

Despite being the shortest month of the year, it had packed a lot for me.

March, please be good to me.

Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry V – January 2018

Sooooooo, twenty eighteen. Another year gone. Did I get excited that a new year had dawned? I did not. Did I make super-serious resolutions about being “more grateful and kind and productive” and all that shit. No, sir. Truthfully, this was  quite a change from the last January when I got so pumped up and made all sorts of different promises to myself and kept some of them actually. This time, however, I wasn’t feeling it.

January as a month was a good one. The biggest disappointment this season has been the underwhelming Winter. I always judge the ferocity of cold by how many layers I put on and what kind of blanket I start using when it gets really chilly. This year, the time came and went but Winter did not. It breaks my heart. We get about 6 months of summer, 3 months of moderate temperature and the rest are for feeling cold and snuggling inside layers of clothing. It’s still Winter but a very mild one. It never settled this year. That makes me very sad.

One of my close friends got married in January. That was a fun event. Yeah. That’s it.

I read a whopping 9 books in January which was impressive, don’t hold the applause. The first half of the month I struggled to read Stephen King’s IT. It took me THIRTEEN days. I was frightened enough to read  the book during daytime. And because I didn’t want to get behind schedule I kept reading another book side by side with IT. Then I watched the movie (got nightmares) and the old miniseries as well. And I also caved in to hype and temptation and started watching Stranger Things. It’s a good show but not that amazing.

So anyway, here’s the list of books I read:

  • IT by Stephen King
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • Infernal Devices (Mortal Engines # 3) by Philip Reeve
  • Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
  • The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy # 2) by Katherine Arden
  • A Darkling Plain (Mortal Engines # 4) by Philip Reeve
  • Elite by Mercedes Lackey
  • The Ancient Magus’s Bride Vol. 4 by Kore Yamazaki
  • Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi

Here’s to hoping February will turn out awesome as well!

Posted in Book Reviews, Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry IV – December 2017

Okay, December was a good one. Let it be known to all.

It wasn’t eventful, like I always say, but it just felt good throughout, you know?

It got nicely cold near the middle, after it rained on the 10th and 11th, but then it just wore off again and that was so disappointing. See, I like to experience the short days and biting winter together. But for some time lately, winter always comes full force when days are beginning to lengthen again and that makes me sad.

The first day of the month I went to a friend’s place. We talk regularly via chat and infrequently on the phone but the last time we met was February 2016. It was nice, obviously. I consider her to be one of my closest friends (don’t be shocked. Hobbits rarely go out, even if it’s to meet up with their best friends) and we always manage to have fun. The exchanging of gifts is our thing, sweet, exciting but also awkward because she insists of opening them right away and she insists that I remark on everything she gives me.

I managed 4 orders for my shop during the first half and three during the last. Which was LOW. Eurgh. That was, and is, upsetting. My goal is at least 10 each month. I used to be unconcerned about it before but now it makes me afraid.

My sister and ducklings came twice. The first twelve hours are the height of fun, the rest is chaos and confusion and a whole lot of screaming. Three little boys, what can you expect?

I read a whopping 11 books in December. Three of them were mangas so even if I don’t count those it’s still 8 which is 1 more than my usual goal of 7. A big fat YAY on that! Here are the books I read:

Artemis by Andy Weir

I liked it a lot but didn’t love it. The technical stuff got heavier and heavier until I couldn’t take it anymore.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

An extremely fun setting with an extremely disappointing adaptation.

The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carrey

HECK to the YEEEEEAAAH!!! Loved the first one, loved this one. Zombie apocalypse, but more interesting than the usual affair.

The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Mostly crap and slap-dash.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Vivid and engaging but also a bit disappointing and lame.

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

God-awful protagonist, equally awful narration, more disappointing and lame.

The Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

An underrated dystopian book with weird awesomeness that everyone needs to read ASAP!

Predator’s Gold by Philip Reeve

Sequel to Mortal Engines, as good as the first one.

The Ancient Magus’s Bride Vol. 1,2,3 by Kore Yamazaki

YES!

Here’s to hoping January will be good too! Insha Allah.