Preparing for this year’s Ramadan

The better I plan my Ramadan-days, the better I feel, making most out of this special month….
it is so easy to get distracted and lost by our own laziness, television, spending time in the kitchen, thinking about what to cook for Iftar, cleaning around and not making anything that really matters…
but there are so many thing that really do matter, things I want to do and accomplish during this sacred month.

I know, that the self-control we have to practice in not eating from dawn until the evening can help us in many ways to control also other parts of our lifes. This self-control can help us to improve and train the different “muscles of good habits”… giving up bad things and training ourselves in blessed ones…
and the hours we save by not eating can help us much in accomplishing things we normally would not being able to do during normal days, interrupted by coffee-, lunch- and tea-breaks.

In planning, defining and  organising my Ramadan, I find great help in the “productive Muslim” book from Mohamed Faris. I try to put the focus now on what really matters and making best use of the waking hours every day, inchaallah.
How and what d you plan for your Ramadan this year?


this year’s Ramadan calendar:
a bunch of paper-sticks, like flowers in a vase,… everyday with a little reminder of worship, blessing, beauty and love…

 

 

 

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DIY for the gardener



Because gardening is (mostly) an easy and do-able task done together with small children, just like baking and crafting, we spent a lot of these days outside.
Being in the garden this week, planting, creating and improving our flower beds, I’ve suddenly felt the need to go in, to my nearly forgotten sewing machine, and add bags and pockets to my work-clothes. And to sew some pocket-belts for the most important utensils of a gardener.
By reusing, repurposing and recycling, out of old trousers and aprons, arose those useful garden belts, very practical for all these little things one always needs to have at hand…., alhamdulillah

Many other beautiful ideas to be found online by searching for “garden belts diy”.

Happy April, inchaallah!



 

Sources of energy – the Home

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My home is my castle, it is my source of power and a haven for me and my family, subhanallah.
Home plays one of the most essential roles in my living; in offering me room to simply be, to gather with the people dearest to me and to centre myself to be ready for life.

I am an interior designer and architect. That’s what I studied, that’s what I professionally learned, that’s where I own a master degree. But in fact, after my studies I never really worked in that field.  With a growing family and the developing school project, life led me elsewhere, alhamdulillah, towards education, social development and entrepreneurship.

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But still and ever, deep in my heart, I am and I remain an interior creator.
I love creating and setting up rooms, I love to make people feel comfortable and at home in the world, in their body, in life. And even now, on a broader scale, I still create and design spaces where people can feel comfortable, in our school and at our campus.
Over the years, in creating spaces for the community, I learned more and more to protect and to consciously create a private space of ours. The busier and the more public our work-life gets, the more I feel the importance of privacy.
In a culture where doors often are wide open and the living is much outside and in community, this sometimes needs some courage to say “no” to the social “shoulds” and also some extra intentional adjustments to create room that is protected from exterior influences.
But after we have lived for more than four years in the middle of a busy school, we as a family felt the strong need to have a private and safe family’s sanctuary. We felt that, in order to live in peace together, to have the energy to work for and to serve society through our social business, we sometimes have to set priorities, to step back and close the world out. We felt that we have to ensure that each one of us is allowed and finds the possibility to unwind and to rest from the pressure and demands of the outside world.

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So we put a lot of time and effort in creating this haven of ours. I read books, I learned about Feng Shui and electromagnetic fields, about de-cluttering, aromatherapy and the use of healthy materials. We got inspired by magazines and traditional craftwork and we collected and repurposed beautiful, sometimes very old and used things.

I’ve already written about it  several years ago. Our home is a place we cherish and we learned to improve on a regular basis. It is a place we develop together, we change, we adjust and we re-arrange according to our feelings and needs.
That doesn’t need expensive investments.
Sometimes it just needs a cleaning or a clearing of space.
Sometimes a little repurposing project can lift up the whole scene.
Or flowers from outside in an old tin can – yes, flowers, they are my favourite, they immediately bring life and beauty.
Also a candle can change a whole room for the better.
Or a positive affirmation written with chalk on the wall.
The ideas are endless and often really do not need more than some thinking and doing…

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When I come home now, I really feel protected and nourished, subhanallah.
Every glance I make, in whatever direction or corner I look, provides me with something beautiful, comforting and healing: a beautiful picture, a handmade teacup, lovely sunlight or a soft pillow.
I learned to make sure to be every day welcomed by nice colours, fresh little flowers, a good scent and a soothing atmosphere. I make sure that eating, cooking and the chores are a pleasing thing to do, because everything around, the houseware, every material, work stuff and furniture is pleasing. I make sure that the rooms are always kind of tidy and providing place for a smooth living.

Home means to me tranquillity and feeling at peace. It’s the place where I can switch off from spotlights and the bustle of work, to gain new energy, in every corner and every room, alhamdulillah- I am very thankful for that, and I wish you peace, love and happiness in your homes!

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And Allah has made for you from your homes a place of rest and made for you from the hides of the animals tents which you find light on your day of travel and your day of encampment; and from their wool, fur and hair is furnishing and enjoyment for a time. (Qur’an 16:80)

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In setting up our house, we opt having a home that reflects and encourages our values and faith. Our main choices are made in accordance with Islam, hoping that our home invites angels and radiates with a sacred spirit.
Entertaining a peaceful home is essential for the functioning of a healthy family and thus for a healthy society. Guarding home privacy is vital in Islam to promote a tranquil and functional family structure. It is one of the significant Islamic values to have a positive vibe and atmosphere at home. The house should be a place of remembrance of Allah, a place of worship, a place that nourishes the soul on different levels. It should offer spaces for religious rituals and activities, further defined by humility through economical, earth- and human-friendly and sustainable designs. There should be no pictures on the walls that contain animate beings; no statues or anything that resembles statues; no dogs and no smoking. The Qur’an should be read out loud often and the everyday should be guided by values and manners that reflect Islam in the most beautiful way.

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Interesting further readings and articles:
Jane Alexander “The spirit of home”
Martina Goernemann – books
Article: http://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/propagation/is-your-home-an-islamic-home/
Article Outman, Aird, Buys : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095263514000740

 

How to Print with Potatoes

print how to

Take some potatoes, cut hem neatly into half, take a (not so sharp) knife to cut out nice shapes that stay, whereas you cut the surrounding areas lower.

Take liquid fabric paint and a thin brush and put then some paint on the higher ornaments/forms you’ve just cut out.

Make a first try by printing it on a piece of paper.

Make some adjustments to the cut if needed, but if you are happy then go on and press the shaped potatoes onto the fabric you’ve chosen (old ones to repurpose or new; linen and cotton work best); arrange the print in a row, in circles, groups or totally by hazard, close or in a wider distance – even kids can do this.

Let the paint dry (and maybe iron it) and then go on and use this unique piece of art however you want – for gift bags, pillowcases, table runners, curtains, etc… happy sewing!

print blatt print blätter
print butterfliesprint fabric
print hand print addi
print flowers print HT
print print print potatoe