MLK

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Bismillah!

kingsDr. King was an amazing man and the more that I learn about he and his amazing wife, the more I am saddened about the fact they are no longer here.

Dr. King is an example of an individual who was provided with opportunity, yet still took the time to help not only his community, but also the world.  He could have been quite comfortable teaching from his pulpit.  But, he did not.  He spoke to the powers that be and made change.  For better or worse, Dr. King made real change.

Though we are all familiar with Dr. King, how often is one introduced to Dr. King the scholar? Or Dr. King the family man?  Or Dr. King the intellect that graduated from school two years early? Or Dr. King who condemned the injustices of the Vietnam War?   Please make sure to study this very complex man who was so much more than the sound bite he has been reduced to.

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Inayah Collection

Bismillah!

SCARLET_BRAID_ABAYA_FRONTI had a rather lengthy blog post I wanted to share, but I got sidetracked…looking at fashion.  When I first started blogging it was about fashion, but I am all over the place, so my blog tends to be as well. I found some really cute pieces.  The site I decided to share today can be found at www.inayahcollection.com .

Now, I’m not necessarily a big fan of buying stuff all the time,  a whole lot of things you can make. Some of the styles I will post are simply inspiration.  I believe you could recreate some of them if you know how to sew.

This is one of them.  The design is so simple, but not in a boring way.  The choice of color and the draping…love this.  It also comes in other colors!

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Now I don’t know what made me like this shroud of Turin looking one, but its cute, different and wearable..

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GREY_HIJABCAPThis silver embroidered hijab cap is banging…not to mention Sister’s flawless makeup….

 

 

 

 

 

There were also a few jewelry pieces I found cute on the site as wellBANGLE_10_34.95.  They were sold out, but in case they restock…

The Time, Sewing and Me

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Bismillah!

IMG_0470My husband is doing a performance in New York in support of our freedom fighters locked down.  Sometimes I am concerned for him.  Sometimes I miss him.  Sometimes I am selfish and do not wish to share my husband with the world.  Other times, I am understanding. I am thankful. I am proud. While other times, I am fearful.  Sometimes, I want to sing all his hooks.  Record all his videos. Go to every performance…  But I can’t.

I am most often prayerful, cognizant that when God has given you a mission.  You must submit.  When God has revealed to you how you are to use your gifts and talents.  You must submit.   I used to think that my mission was to help my husband.  That was it.  That was all.  I no longer feel that way. Don’t misunderstand me, part of my mission is to help my husband.  I am his help meet.  Don’t get it twisted, I AM THAT PROVERBS 31 CHICK! (I intend to put that on a t-shirt…copyright 2013) But, I am me.  I too have a mission.  But, everything in its own time.

hmlfTHMLF has got me thinking about the time.  How am I supposed to utilize my time here on Earth…specifically.  He tweeted earlier today, “We have to accept responsibility to rectify the condition that prevails in our communities because no one else can do it for us. Rise up and accept your responsibility!” We all have a different role to play and different responsibilities.  At different times in our lives we may have to fall back and figure out just what that role is. The thing is we have to keep moving while trying to figure out where we fit in.

What I am learning  is that everything must be in its own time.  When you try to rush things, they are compromised.  You can’t take the cake out before its done. I am learning to trust that Allah is Sufficient and the Best Knower.  I am learning that this world and the mission is so much bigger than just me, but that I still play a part in it.

IMG_2683My part today was not as grand as what some might think their mission would be. It did not involve speaking before congress.  Nor did it envolve removing a brain tumor.  To me, it was just as important.  I helped my sister begin to learn how to sew.  It’s funny how the God can teach you lessons, if you just shut up and listen for Him.

I’m really busy.  My husband is frequently out of town. We have three small children (the youngest is one) who all have extra curricular activities and I am in school full time. But, I agreed to help my sister start her sewing journey.  I am grateful that she came by.  She too is busy.  She is newly married.  She is pregnant and has a daughter who has extra curricular activities.  But, it was important to her to learn how to sew, for herself and for her daughter. Nation building starts with individuals and families first.

IMG_2680We met for about 4 hours and by the end we were both exhausted.  Her spirit of tenacity is always inspiring.  I love how you can look at her face and see her mind working. She was in the orientation class when I was the instructress and she was always the most studious and the most quiet.  You had to be prepared, because she was there to find  truth. She takes her spirituality seriously. She is the epitome of humility.  Her grace is admirable.  I love and admire this sister.

I have to tell you.  I only intended on spending 2 hours max….ok one hour… on the class.  But, she was so determined to get her head around a certain concept that we had to keep going.  She taught me that I do have more time to dedicate to helping others.  She taught me that I do have the patience and knowledge to teach people how to sew.  I am not the best seamstress, no not by a long shot, but I know how to sew.  Just teaching the basics of pattern reading, measuring, and fabric selection will give someone the basics of sewing.  She can take these principles and teach herself how to make anything she wants to make …and she will.  I am inspired.

David Banner at One Hood Media Academy

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Bismillah!
1 hood back(SHAMELESS PLUG FOR MY HUSBAND)

If you know anything about me, you know I’m ride or die for my husband. I don’t care how mad I get with him, I’m gonna always be here with pom poms and a cheesecake. He is dedicated to helping heal the wounds of the disenfranchised and God is blessing him to utilize his gifts and talents! Also, I helped by writing the grant that helped to facilitate the Academy.  So, if you’re in the area, please come through an support. (:

So this time, I’m writing to invite you all to the opening ceremony of One Hood Media Academy.     Please take the time to read abou the program and what is offered.  If you know anyone who has a child in Pittsburgh who fits the criteria, please email us.  If you  would like us to present this program at your school or institution, please email us.

On January 25, 2013, the opening ceremony will be held at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture on January 25, 2013 at 7 p.m. with special guest, Grammy award winning, multi-platinum artist David Banner.  A Conversation with David Banner will include an in depth discussion with David Banner regarding the Black male image in Hip Hop, his career and current activities, as well as current state of Hip Hop.  The ceremony will also feature a performance by One Hood Media Academy graduates Jordan Montgomery and Cameron Layne.

 1 hood frontOne Hood Media Academy, established by Jasiri X and Paradise “The Arkitech” Gray, in conjunction with August Wilson Center for African American Culture and a generous donation provided by the Heinz Endowments, is the tool to help African American young men critically analyze media messages, broaden their experience of media, and develop the creative skills needed in producing their own media. The mission is to improve self-image, dispel stereotypes, and provide a positive forum of self-expression.  The program is offered to 25 young African-American men, ages 13-19.  The course will include, though not limited to, the art of blogging, video production, and social media.  Applications for entry are now being accepted until February 1, 2013. The Academy will be held at the Elite Studios, 901 Western Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA.

If you need to know more comment below!  Thanks for reading and I hope to see you there!

The Skirt

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Bismillah,

1038I often get questions about where to get long skirts…there are a plethora of stores that sell them, but your best bet is making your own. Online resources like Shukr sale really cute long skirts…but they start at $70. Unless you can catch one on sale. If you can you’re looking at spending $35 and they may or may not have your size. Actually they are having a sale now…

You can make this skirt with between 1 7/8 yards (size 6) of fabric to 2 1/2 (size 22).  And you too can have the perfect long skirt…which I like to call The Skirt.  I have made this skirt in red, brown, white, and multi-tan. Seriously, it’s that usable of a pattern…

mimidenimI  saw another really great skirt on Mimi G. Style  made of  tie dyed denim and was inspired to make this skirt again out of the same fabric.  (Mimi posted a link to purchase it with a 10% discount! God Bless her!)  I’m going to makeV1038 out of the tie dyed fabric too, when I find the time.  Keep in mind, Mimi’s skirt  is a Burda pattern that she had to lengthen from knee to ankle and the one I’m recommending is a Vogue and you don’t have to lengthen. (You’ll have to google the other one (;)

1038line

This ankle length skirt, V1038, can be dressed up or down, depending on your fabric selection.  If you look at the drawing you’ll notice the great detail at the hips and bottom. It is an extremely easy sew. The pattern is a DKNY pattern.

If you have any questions about this pattern comment below and I will try to help.

Learning

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Bismillah!

DPP_0057I have a ENV course this semester….this course is three hours long…and the fact that this course is in a lab with stools SUCKS! That being said….I can not really complain.  My first day of class, half of the class was in the field.  We were instructed to take pictures of biodiversity.  My partner and I took the furthest away location and walked down the schools steep 50 miles hill…ok, maybe it’s not 50 miles, but yeah, couldn’t breath….

Anyway, we ended up walking to the park to photograph biodiversity. Now, it was a beautiful day!  But, it’s still December and there weren’t very many animals out there to be seen.  But, to be heard was another story.  You could hear life everywhere…you just couldn’t see it.  It reminds me that even on our communities, we sometimes think that the people are dead, the neighborhoods are dead…but, they aren’t they are teaming with life…we just have to search it out.

This field work was part cardio, part yoga for me, in that I worked out and had a chance to meditate.  God is so wonderful!  He puts so much into His creation that often times we take it for granted.  It was so wonderful to be able to take it all in and document it.  I think I may start going behind our house to document nature a bit more.  We have a big ole forest behind the house teaming with all sorts of vermin I pray will never attempt to enter our home.  Big fields await…

I don’t know if it was the ability to take my mind off of everything that was going on around me…or sheer gratitude at not having to sit on that damn stool…whatever it was it was worth it!

LeavesPlus, I got to use my new camera!  YAY me!  (Thanks spouse!)  Anyway, I wanted to show you a couple of my novice pics….“Now remember, I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my ish” Erykah Badu

Ignore the fact that there are smudges on some of them…its not your computer…LOL…I didn’t realize the lens was smudged…I whole heartedly admit I am a novice!

Enjoy!

Cold n Lonely Robin Outside of beauty looking in DPP_0060

Shadyside

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Berries Nobody Wanted

Black Squirrel Ninja

Grateful!

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Bismillah!

fulltimeYesterday, I had 3 classes, two of which were 3 hours each, the other was only 1 hour. This is the only day of school that I spend an entire day on campus.  I was exhausted…still am, truth be told.  I literally feel like I’m working non-stop.  I was beginning to lament about how I didn’t think I could do it…’til I remembered that not to long ago, I had to get up 5+ days a week and worked 8+ hours a day and rode transportation to and fro for 2+ hours a day.  Sometimes adding to that schedule by working overtime. This semesters schedule does have me going to the school daily, but I am taking classes that I enjoy and I do not have to commit 10+ hours a day building something for someone else (well, except by way of tuition and I look at that as a trade off/investment).  The classes that I am taking are for a specific goal and reason.  I am helping to establish something long term for our family, because my spouse has identified what his gifts and talents are and mine, by Allah’s determination, just happen to enhance his. I am so grateful that I am able to work from home.  I know sometimes we don’t think we can do it, but be inspired, you can!  All it takes is sacrifice, humility and faith.

self-employedI was about to talk about how I much I missed my youngest son, until I thought about the fact that some single mothers work full time and go to school full time.  I venture to bet they don’t spend time with there children half as much as I do.  It is in these moments that I am grateful that I work from home and that I have a spouse that helps to facilitate my working from home.  Allah has blessed us to compliment each other and by His grace we work well together.  He stays in his lane (most times) and I stay in mine (most times) and Allah has blessed us to work solely for ourselves for over 3+ years (working from home or abroad). It didn’t come easy, we have had many trials and sometimes did not appreciate each other in the process.  But, understanding in hindsight that those trials purified our marriage and helped align us to work together even more set us on a more determined path for success.

It is often said, what you enjoy doing so much so that you can spend hours at it and not feel like you’ve been working is what you’re supposed to do in life.  I can honestly say this is the truth.  I can also bear witness to HMLF’s statement that a man who doesn’t know where he’s going doesn’t need a woman to help him get no where (paraphrase).  I have experience with both.  We have made so much progress, by Allah’s permission, together.  I am hoping that we can inspire others to take a chance on faith working together to steal away.

Dressing Jr. Haute Pt. II

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Bismillah!

Simplicity 2576

I thought I would continue this posting along the same vein as yesterday…sewing for Jr. Haute.  As I stated yesterday, if I find a modest pattern that works I buy the pattern in numerous sizes so that I can have a go to pattern as she grows.  You would be surprised at how different a piece can look with diverse colors, fabrics and styling.

The pattern I’m highlighting today is Simplicity 2576, view A.  This is a great quick simple skirt pattern.  It is also a good pattern to teach your child how to sew with.  The pattern has one piece…cut 2….sew the seam….sew your waist…hem and you’re done!  POW!  So easy!

I think I will make her a few next year in khaki for her school uniform. Below you will see a couple of styling variation of this pattern.  On the picture where she is dressed with the red skirt, with a star and crescent, the only thing I made was the skirt and tam.    The all fuchsia garment that was featured yesterday, I made in its entirety. It is a mixture between two patterns. Please see yesterday’s blog post.

IMG_1760IMG_1756I really like this play on the National, using the stereotypic colors of red, white, and blue.  She is is modest, covered, and haute!

I LOVE the use of color on the fuchsia garment.  It also has a little applique on the bottom of the skirt, that Jr. Haute selected.  The garment is made of crepe back satin and is rather dressy.  I probably wouldn’t have made it in the fabric in hindsight…only because it stains easily.  But, I think she looks absolutely beautiful in it!

Dressing Jr. Haute

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Bismillah!

Simplicity 5827I posted a few things on Facebook about dressing modest young girls.  I thought I’d share them here. One of the first things that I do, when styling Jr. Haute, is seek her opinion.  She has her own style and opinion.  I never want her to feel like she’s being made to dress this way.  I let her express her Islam as only she knows how. The other key to styling your Jr. Haute is to re-imagine what we call a dress, pajamas, or a costume.  Some of both her and my best pieces have been fashioned from a costume pattern.

This pattern is one that I have used for years.  It is a simple dress pattern coupled with a simple pants/skirt pattern. Very easy sew.  I think it may have taken me 4 hours to sew the whole garment.  The top is made from Simplicity 5827. The skirt is made from Simplicity 2576. Also, I use a general tam pattern and leave off the 3rd piece (the bottom band) and put a really thin piece of elastic in it to make sure it fits and will stay on. (Note: Simplicity 5827 could be lengthened to make a really princessy dress…which the younger girls really like.)DSCF4981

Normally, when I find a pattern that works or even tops at the store, I buy several in several different sizes/colors to last her through the years. The top you see in this 2nd picture > was brought as a long dress four years ago.  Now she wears it as a top of appropriate length.  If you’re reading this blog you already know that modest clothes are hard to find, for both women and children.

I’m including several variations of this pattern so that you can get an idea of how you can go about sewing one pattern with different fabrics to change the entire look of  each garment.  Hope this is helpful to someone.

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Virginity, God, and Shug Avery

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Bismillah!

when-chuck-norriss-daughter-lost-her-virginity-9723

So, I was twenty when I was kicked out of my parents home.  I hadn’t the slightest idea of the proper etiquette/demeanor needed to survive in the world.  When I say the world, I mean outside the parent’s home, in a non-religious environment…dealing with people who were not raised to put God as the center of there lives, beyond Sundays on Easter and Christmas. I wasn’t prepared for men telling me how beautiful I was or to what extent they would go to see me naked.  I simply wasn’t prepared.

Parents, when you have a young girl, if she messes up, don’t put her out. Particularly, one that is raised in a sheltered religious household.  She needs you and your guidance, even if she doesn’t know it.  (I recently heard THMLF talk about this…) From my own personal experience, I can attest that this is not the way to go.  A child may call your bluff and begin to try to fend for themselves.

raftersI was a virgin up until October 21, 1993, when my father kicked me out.  In my 20 year old mind, I felt that if I am already being treated like I’m having sex….I may as well have it.  My decision was not based on love. Though later I would lie to myself saying that it was. No, my decision was based purely on immaturity and vengeance. There were no violins, roses, or candles.  I lost my virginity on a twin size bed in a basement…romanced by rafters in the ceiling.

Yeah…it was by Allah’s grace and Aunt Jane’s heart that I didn’t end up homeless…that I didn’t get pregnant…or worse, AIDS….oh, yeah…it could’ve been a lot worse.  But, thank Allah, He has always helped me land on my feet and I was able to eventually get my own apartment, car, secure employment and eventually find my way to the mosque. Everyone does not fair as well.

jwimageYears later, my father admitted that he thought I would humble myself and beg to stay at home…instead I called my cousin who lived on my ex-boyfriends block and moved out for the second and last time in my adult life, but this time I lived with my Aunt Jane’s family…actually, I moved my clothes in with Aunt Jane and my person in my ex-boyfriend Mama’s basement. (Sorry Mrs. Williams if you’re reading this…)

Now, I don’t want to act like I didn’t do anything to get kicked out for…yeah, I did. I stayed out for the first and last time for three nights straight.  I called home every day so they wouldn’t think I was dead (I called when I knew they weren’t home, thinking I was super slick), but truth be told,  I was out kicking it!  I had a three day party! LOL…A party that, in hindsight, changed my life’s trajectory. I don’t think, to this very day, that I would change a thing…though I went through an amazing amount of pain because of that decision. (I ended up being disfellowshipped from a Jehovah’s Witnesses, my parents would not speak to me for quite some time…but that’s another blog)

weedI think sometimes as parents we forget exactly how we got to where we are in this life.  We forget the nameless partners, who were someones daughter.  We forget buying weed from people we didn’t know, smoking God knows what.  We forget being stopped by the police who confiscated the weed and Thank God not you. We forget cutting school to see Pretty Woman and getting U’s in Science.  We forget what it was like to have that crush on Ramsey Moore that wasn’t reciprocated and how it felt like the end of the world.  We forget that once we taste independence, our world is so much larger than our living room.  To judge our children by our forgotten indiscretions is a mistake…I pray I remember this as my children get older.

What’s funny is that I would not change a thing I went through. Because if I did,  the life I am living now would not exist.  If I never ventured beyond that life style, I would not consciously be a Muslim, married to who I’m married to, and definitely would not have the three wonderful babies we have.   So, in my case, I believe that it had to go down like that.  I just would not wish the emotional pain that I still deal with on anyone else. (Ingrams) I accept it, because it makes me who I am. It seems that acceptance is the theme for me for 2013.  Perhaps God is trying to tell me something…(This scene makes me cry everytime…)

I bet if we think about a painful time we went through, now that we are out of it, we can clearly see the blessings or at least why God had us go through it…not so much when we’re going through it.   Sometimes, God has us go through the rough stuff to get us where He needs us to be.  Receptive, willing, and humble enough to seek Him.  This is a hard lesson to learn…I know cuz I’m still learning it….