18 July 2013

Something to share with my fellow Muslims in my country especially…

Here is an interesting video to watch and ponder. It had been around for quite a while but I decided to put it in my blog as a reminder mostly to myself. A wakeup call to most of the Muslims in my country.

The message raised in the video is very deep and meaningful. 

Insyaallah, I will be able to do just that… I still have a long way to go…

Thank you Terajuofficial!

10 July 2013

Ramadhan... IS HERE!

Salam to you and happy doing ibadah in Ramadhan!

Take this opportunity to grab as many goodies (mostly spiritual) as possible! Write down some targets to be achieved in this short 29 or 30 days of Ramadhan. Fasting and tarawikh are just the icing of the whole thing. Beneath them, there are heaps of other benefits and rewards awaiting those who know. Do seek more knowledge on how to get the best out of Ramadhan.

One of the good sites to start on is here! They upload tips to guide you for the whole month.

Owh, and enjoy these videos as well. Grab them from the same site.

Alhamdulillah, I do hope my first videos on my blog will benefit those who watch them. Thank you very much to sikosong and officialQR for the great videos!

08 July 2013

The Wedding Card... Nightmare!

This happened while I was busy creating my wedding card…

I wanted a simple and catchy invitation card. I had taken an interest on invitation cards produced by the western countries. They keep the cards simple and attractive. Not to forget, creative.

The country where I live on the other hand clings so hard to our tradition that creativity had not been given the chance to bloom. There are a few breaths taking cards no doubt about it but not as much as the western people.  Due to our rigidness, the invitation cards are more or less the same from one to another. Here are some examples of the typical wedding invitation cards:

Also because of our tradition, there is lots of stuff need to be included in a piece of card. We need to write heaps of ramblings just so the card looks impressively religious and traditional. Here in my place, we go to another extreme where lists of wakil or people who more or less will be involved in my wedding. By right, if you want to list down people who will be involved in my weddings (and when I said involved, those who really go all out to ensure the success of the event), it will be just too many. We went through few wedding invitation cards that my Grandfather had collected and they all look roughly the same...

But the fact is, the names we need to include are not really the people who will be tremendously helpful. And the best thing is, if their name is not mention, they will sulk and hate me for the rest of their life… To certain extreme, they will not even come to our wedding. By right, these people should not be invited even or if they are invited and choose not come for the mentioned reasons… Then, thank you for showing to me that you are not worthy enough to be related to. I despise people who easily break a relationship, especially family ties for such petty excuses. Should not we work harder to foster better relationship with each other no matter how different is your ways and thinking? Should not we show respect for any differences we have as long as we do not go against Islam?

 Yet I have to remind myself, to give and take, and focus on the fact that I am bringing everyone together in the family to strengthen the family ties through my wedding… after all, as I had mentioned, it is just a small things and I should be able to look over it and get it over with… Insyaallah. Just give me strength to face human idiocy and the stubbornness to accept others differences…

Anyway, I got what I wanted mostly. Like what the emperor of China had said in Mulan:

No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it.

So we went on with the pop up wedding invitation cards…

Alhamdulillah. Thank you very much...

Owh... Mulan: Emperor of China of China from here.
The typical Wedding Invitation from my country were taken after Google image kad kawin.

07 July 2013

The Engagement... SURPRISE!

Hmmmm… I forgot to follow the chronological order of the events leading to my wedding. Before the cards were made and sent out, we got engage.

I know what some people will say now, that everything was way too fast. And no people, no accident had happened or anything like that. Both of us just decided to get married as soon as possible so that we can love each other the halal way or according to Islam. Thus we try to keep everything as close as possible to Islamic ways as we were getting married.

We had been friend for quite some time now. I had asked her for possibility of us being together for the rest of our live somewhere nearing the end of 2012. Her answer was given somewhere in November and our parents approval were given in December.

We planned to get married a bit later in 2013 but decided to be engaged in late January. Anyway the wedding date changed and push earlier than what we had planned due to my sister’s wedding and my cousin’s wedding. We did not want to wait for too long as I had told you earlier…

Thus the engagement that we did was the simplest form that we could manage which was attended by only the closest relatives.  It is necessary to do engagement in Islam and it is utmost important in Malay culture as well. The engagement is some sort of formal booking that both of us will be getting married. It is also the time where both families can see one another. Then we can also pinpoint who will be handling the next step which will be planning for the wedding and stuff.

Anyway, on our engagement day, I surprise my wife who was at that time wife to be, with a ring. Does not really sound interesting but the fact was I told her that I would not give her anything on that day. Just go to her house and wave hi… Or something like that…

Secretly, I had actually bought two rings, one ring for her wedding and the other for her engagement. I thought hard on how to bring the ring to her without her knowing what it is until the very last minute.

Then I came across the butterflies in the bottle idea over the internet. Then I thought the best way is to hide the ring in the branch with the butterfly holding it. Then when it is the right time, pull the butterfly with the ring and surprise her!

So I went out looking for the right branch. Luckily there were lots of fallen branches at that time.

Then I was going to follow the butterflies in the bottle idea directly. Unfortunately, with the branch that size, it did not really look that good.

So my mother then suggested a mini garden with lots of butterflies. Hey, that could work!

I googled for butterflies template, and choose the easiest to color using paint. No fancy illustrator programs used here. As our theme was going to be purple black and white, the butterflies were some sort of teaser to the actual event.

Did all the color matching, find the best design, and printed the butterflies on both side of A4 paper. I decided to use black and few shades of purple for the common butterflies and one white and few shades of purple butterfly as the ring holder. Cut them out and folded the wings. Used very thin wire and colored it black using permanent marker as their feelers.

My mother did the garden. Bought a decent basket for the sponges, tied them up with these thin wires to hold them down and used hot glue to stick the grass bits to the sponge.

Then we stick the flowers to the sponge… My mother did the whole flower arrangement. I only need to stuck the branch bit somewhere on the sponge and make sure it was hold securely to the sponge.

The top most of the branch, I made a hole just big enough to swallow the whole ring in it. That will be the ring hiding place. With double sided tape, I stick the butterfly and the ring together.

And the rest is as shown in the photo below…

It worked splendidly with my at that time fiancĂ©e. She was really surprise that she got a ring on her engagement! She thought it would be only the butterflies and the garden…

06 July 2013

The Wedding Card... Part TWO!

For the second part of this post, we are putting the card together…

The butterflies are for my wife to be. For the cover, it is just a simple drawing of us on the crescent.  there is a short poem about us and the name of the two of us was later added.

I did some sort of an emblem of the two of us, but later scrap off the idea and replaced it with us on the crescent except the boy is sitting down together with the girl.

The back of the card was also written with an ayat from surah Ar Rum verse 21, as a reminder about the marriage in Islam:

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.

On the card, it is written in Malay language.

I framed the back of the card with Tengwar, the middle earth elf writings (JRR Tolkien). Since purple was one of the main color, I used the opportunity for another tribute to my favorite, the Lanterns from the DC Universe.

If you noticed, the symbol for the violet lanterns shone brightly on top of the hand of the girl in the cover and the back cover of the card.

For this card, Star Sapphires or the Violet Lanterns took the main stage and their love power really suits the whole theme. Carol Ferris one of the popular violet lantern, below is reciting the first three parts of the Star Sapphires oath:

Thus I wrote their oath in Tengwar, which took quite some time since the Tengwar letters are spelt out according to how you pronounce them. Here is the oath, for your easy reading:

For hearts long lost and full of fright,
For those alone in blackest night,
Accept our ring and join our fight,
Love conquers all - with violet light!

And here is the oath in Tengwar:

My good brothers who are good with the Adobe illustrator digitalized my design of the cards. Once the softcopy was completed, it was easier for me to make any changes and play around with the layout with the wordings.

Once the whole design had been completed, we sent it to the printing shop. Once the cards had been printed out, we put the cards together. The main card is made of half A4 card. The pop up is made of quarter of A4 card. The printing shop had cut them to the exact sizes. All we had to do was to fold them… Owh and because the cards were custom made, we just had to buy the envelope for them. It was a pity that I could not find the purple envelope…

Put the double sided tape on the pop up to stick them on the main card. I did not use glue for it will be messier and waiting for it to dry will take longer.

And yes, we had to do this for 400 cards! It was lovely to see them all standing though…

Here is the completed card!

And here is where I obtained Carrol Fenris picture and The Violet Lantern Sigil. Thank you very much!

05 July 2013

The Wedding Card... Part One!

Dear All,

I had not told you about my wedding invitation card yet. I love pop up cards and thus my wedding invitation card have to be a pop up card as well. I would not have it any other way…

The design started as soon as the date of our wedding had been confirmed. I spent few days sketching my ideas on the paper. I also tried to get simplest and easiest pop up card design. I do not want anything too fancy and complicated because I need to make about 400 cards. Also, in case I have to be offshore, working (which actually happened), I still want whoever take over doing the cards to have an easy life.

I also played around with the layout of the card and think of the best way to maximize all the information I wanted on the card. 

I ended up with the design below: half A4 card folded into two and a quarter of A4 as the pop up part. The best layout for me since it can maximize the pop up card image as well as the information written on it.

Then, after I had finalized the image I wanted to have on the pop up, I scanned it and put it into few different sizes. 

Next I worked out which will fit nicely on the card.

Then I work out the best size which was actually 180% larger than the original size. Then I also have to decide whether the drawing should be on the right side or the left side of the pop up card. It was then chosen to be on the right hand side… 

Then I put in colors and the text. Play around with the layout to see the best design I could came up with.I cut the text on pieces of paper and paper clipped them on the card.

For the card, I choose black, white and purple theme. The colors were tribute to Kamen Rider W in their Fang Joker form.  One of my favorite Kamen Riders...

If you also noticed, the position of the bride in white and the groom in black resemble the Kamen Rider W Fang Joker form as well. For those who do not know Kamen Rider W, the rider consists of two souls in one body. Later on in the series, they are able to combine two bodies and souls as one. The right side is more feminine and the left side masculine which suits the bride and groom position perfectly.

And that is it for the first part. It will be too long to cover everything in one post. I will finish up with the rest in the second part, insyaallah.

Owh, here is where I obtained the Kamen Rider W Fang Joker picture.