Digital Scrapbooking

Alhamdulillah for…

Credits: Choose Kindness by Valorie Wibbens; pink alphabets are from MPM Promise by The Lilypad designers.

Just want to share this layout I made to document some of the things that I am currently grateful for. There’s so much to be thankful for, but sometimes we have to put more efforts to recognize these blessings that may have gone unnoticed – maybe due to being busy or being in a negative emotional state – these things can make us focus on the imperfections around us, rather than the blessings.

Oh, and look who’s featured on the Gallery Standouts blog today – yay! Thank you Jenny for picking this page to be featured. I feel truly honoured to be featured today along with other stunning layouts.

Digital Scrapbooking

Grateful for…

Assalamualaikum & hi friends,

No matter where we live, 2020 has been a challenging year for us. The pandemic has brought us together in this shared struggle – staying at home, living in the new normal, interrupted routines, constant anxiety about Covid-19, etc. I feel like this year has gone by at a very fast pace.

A lot of changes had happened in my life, personally, too. From being married in March to getting pregnant in April, and now waiting for the baby to arrive. It’s quite a lot to take in, honestly. More so being newlyweds and mom-to-be during the pandemic times. Baby shopping are mostly done online. Communication with my family also happens through Whatsapp and Facebook, and sometimes we video call each other or I would drop by at my family’s house when the time and my health allows. It feels quite lonely sometimes, going through this preparation phase with just the two of us (hubby and I) face-to-face while the rest of my family is ‘away’. It’s just not the same without my family’s physical presence. I miss them so much.

To cope with these feelings, I made this scrapbook page to document what I’m currently grateful for. Nothing too big or fancy, just simple things (especially technology) that helps me a lot during the pandemic.

Credits: Template by Paula Kesselring; Daily Report by Sabrina’s Creation and Sara Gleason; Background paper from Busy Week by One Little Bird; Jewel scatters from Alina’s Haberdashery Jewels by Gennifer Bursett.

I’d love to write more and elaborate on each item above, but it’s already late here. So I’ll end this post here.

Bye bye and enjoy your week ❤

Digital Scrapbooking, Light the Path 2021

Light the Path 2021

Alhamdulillah, today’s the day!

I feel so humbled and excited at the same time to share the good news that I’m part of the 2021 Design Team for Light the Path – an online art workshop conducted by the awesome Theresa Moxley. Come check out the announcement here to learn more about us!

Light the Path is a monthly workshop on art journaling and memory-keeping (e.g. scrapbooking) for self-healing and creative expressions. It’s perfect for those who are on a healing journey, whether it be from trauma, mental health issues, or other experiences that can leave a big impact and are life-changing. Each month, you will be guided by different prompts to help you heal and create arts. By the end of the year, you will have an album which documents your self-healing journey – how exciting is that?

As part of the design team, I will be going through the workshop contents each month and create alongside with you. Here’s a sneak peek:

Come join us in the workshop here!

Let’s light the path together ❤️🌷

Uncategorized

Managing the struggles of pregnancy, mental illness, and thesis

Assalamualaikum & hi friends!

Just now I was reading the comments on a topic that I posted in an online Muslimah community forum. I posted asking for some advice and words of encouragement on dealing with mental illness, thesis, and pregnancy (which are what I currently have on my plate). They all shared their own experiences with pregnancies, which helped me feel less lonely in this struggle. The hormonal changes really affect me emotionally, mentally, and physically because it somehow intensifies my mood swings, which I’ve been able to manage pretty well with various coping skills prior to pregnancy.

Image credit: Disha Sheta from Pexels.com

With pregnancy comes its own set of challenges, so that, on top of the symptoms that I already experience with mental illness, sort of blends into something more intense than before. But what’s different this time is that I’m already practicing some coping skills and have already found the handfuls that would work with me. Journaling, scrapbooking, attending classes, doing charity, and exercising mindfulness all would help me to cope. I also find reciting the Quran to help lower my stress levels. Sometimes I’d stumble upon verses that feels so, so close to my current situations, which would usually make me cry. It’s so healing to cry too. I feel like the burdens would lighten up as the heavy feelings are released from my tears. I’d feel at peace.

Another thing that helps me is to lower my expectations on myself. This is something that I need to constantly remind myself to do. Because I’m used to setting high expectations (with the intention to avoid making mistakes), I’d get stressed if those [sometimes] unrealistic expectations aren’t met. So in a way, I was setting myself up for unnecessary stress and failure because those expectations are almost impossible to be met. These past few years though, after attending therapy sessions and learning more about mental health, I’ve come to realize how this unhealthy habit had impacted my mental health. So I’m slowly learning to set lower expectations – on my own self and also on others.

Back to the Muslimah community postings, one of the comments made me teary-eyed. The sister’s reply was empathetic and helped me feel validated. She also emphasized the need for more self-care and extra support from loved ones (e.g. husband) in this tough moment. All in all, their comments are really heartwarming and I truly appreciate that they take some time out of their busy lives to respond so beautifully. May Allah reward them all abundantly, amin.

Journaling Prompts

I want to share what one of the sisters had shared in the forum on morning routines. Every morning, she does this journaling exercise to help prime her headspace for a positive start. So basically, what we do is to check-in with ourselves for 5-10 minutes by expanding on these four journaling prompts:

  1. I feel…
  2. I am grateful for….
  3. I am…
  4. I see…

Looks simple, isn’t it? So let’s try…

  1. I feel unsure about how to start with data analysis. I feel unconfident with myself, I don’t know if I could do it right. But I also feel that I could at least try first and give it a go. I can refer to the Qualitative Research workshop video for a guide on how to do this. InsyaAllah it can help a bit. If I need more guidance, I can just search on Youtube.
  2. I am grateful for being in the final semester of my studies, for having finished the data collection phase (alhamdulillah – despite feeling unconfident and unsure too in the beginning). Most importantly, I’m grateful for this opportunity to study Psychology. I still remember the day when I consulted with my psychiatrist about this. He encouraged me to go for it and suggested that I read around the topic. I’m grateful for where this journey has taken me – here, today. Allah knows where I was before this. And for this progress, I’m truly grateful. Alhamdulillah.
  3. I am enough. I don’t need to try to be like someone else to feel enough. I am enough with my strengths and weaknesses, past and present, limitations and all that. I don’t need to stretch myself thin in order to fulfill my goals. I am enough as I am, and I am able to access my full capacities to do my best in achieving my dreams. I am mindful of my strengths and weaknesses, and with practice, I am able to grow and do better step by step, little by little.
  4. I see that I am capable of conquering the small tasks that I’ve outlined for today. InsyaAllah.

Motivational video from Dr. Mohamad Abdalla

I think that’s about it for this post. But before I go, I just want to leave you with this motivational video from Dr. Mohamad Abdalla about pursuing knowledge.

Okay, that’s all. Till then, have a great week ahead and take care!

Digital Scrapbooking

Shopping for baby-themed kits

With our first baby due this December, I’m currently looking for some baby- and newborn-themed digital kits. So I went to The Lilypad forum and asked for some suggestions from the community members there. They came up with so many cute suggestions. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Twinkle Twinkle

What I love about it: Soft colour palette, modern style patterned papers, sprinkles, glitter splats, realistic flowers and embellishments, and cute journaling cards. There’s a few cards that has space to journal highlights. I can use them to document some highlights of my new experience as a mother and the baby’s progress.

2. Little One

What I love about it: Soft colour palette with pops of orange, mint, and grey / black. Love the peach colour here, it softens the whole look and pairs really well with mint and grey. Love the cute illustrations and word bits (written in a cute, handwritten font!) in the element pack, mixed with realistic flowers and leaves. The journal cards pack has a card with space to jot down baby’s details.

3. New Day

What I love about it: Mint, baby blue, dark blue, and bright yellow paired with earthy neutrals, white & black – such a fresh colour palette for a baby kit! I think this may be more suitable for baby boys, but I could easily add some pink / peach embellishments from my stash to make it work for baby girls. I love the wordarts made with swash-y handwritten font. Also love the plaid star and cute illustrations. The papers look lightly-textured, which would be great for a more minimalist-styled baby album that I have in mind.

4. Hello Baby

What I love about it: The fact that everything is bundled together in a complete collection, hehe. Also, I love the soft colour palette here with pink, peach, and mint combined with neutrals and some bright oranges and reds. I think it’ll be great for baby girls. The style is more cutesy with lots of fancy designs, compared to the previous choices. Nowadays I do prefer something more minimalist, but I still love this collection.

With all the great choices in my wish list, I’m going to give myself some time to think first.

What do you think? If you were to buy a new collection for a baby, which one would you pick?

Digital Scrapbooking

Welcome, scrapbooking friends!

Hello and assalamualaikum, friends,

Welcome to my little blog. This will be the space where I share my digital scrapbooking layouts. What is digital scrapbooking, you may ask? Let’s see what Wikipedia says:

Digital scrapbooking is the term for the creation of a new 2D artwork by re-combining various graphic elements. It is a form of scrapbooking that is done using a personal computer, digital or scanned photos and computer graphics software. It is a relatively new form of the traditional print scrapbooking.”

So basically, digital scrapbooking is a type of creative hobby where people combine digital papers, texts, embellishments, and photos to create a scrapbook page using softwares like Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Gimp, PowerPoint, and many others. Any softwares that allow us to layer elements on top of each other can be used to create digital scrapbooks. Some people may also use softwares that are provided by printing companies to create their own pages, like Photobook.com.my, Pixajoy, etc. The choice of computer softwares that can do the job is limitless, so you can use any softwares that you have and feel comfortable using. Below is an example of a digital scrapbook page that I’ve created.

Products used: MPM Lessons collection by The Lilypad designers, Fortis by Sara Gleason (doily), and template (modified) is from DSD Grab Bag 2019 by Sara Gleason. Journaling font: ZakirahsCasual.

Other Topics You May Find on this Blog

Besides digital scrapbooking, I may also post about mental health and random musings about life. Mental health is such an important part of our overall wellbeing, and with the recent Covid-19 pandemic, it is even more crucial to address this topic as it also impacts our mental health. So here and there, I may write about this topic based on my lived experience as a person living with mental illness, reading, and what I’ve learned as a student of Psychology.

Hopefully this blog will bring much benefits to you.

Thank you for reading, and take care.

Agama

Perkongsian nota kuliah Maal Hijrah 1442H

Gambar dikirim oleh suami dari saf Muslimin.

Jangan memulakan hijrah dengan memandang rendah / serong pada orang lain kerana ia takkan menumbuhkan perubahan dalam hati kita.

Ustaz Iqbal Zain

Kuliah disampaikan oleh USTAZ IQBAL ZAIN
19/8/2020 @ Masjid Raja Haji fi Sabilillah, Cyberjaya

Peristiwa hijrah Nabi & para sahabat dijadikan sebagai sumber inspirasi kita untuk memulakan hijrah dalaman diri.

• Saidina Umar memberikan idea untuk menjadikan peristiwa Hijrah sebagai tanda aras tahun baru Islam – kebijaksanaan sahabat Nabi.

• Jadikan hijrah sebagai pencetus untuk kita memperbaharui azam, berhijrah untuk memperbaiki akhlak diri. Contoh, dari seorang yang egoistik kepada seorang yang tidak lagi egoistik. (Perlunya kita muhasabah kekurangan diri & berazam untuk memulakan perubahan).

• Setiap perubahan dalaman ini akan membuahkan hasil yang baik juga pada aspek luaran diri kita.

• Hijrah memerlukan kekuatan hati utk bersifat istiqamah dalam melakukan perubahan.

• Bagaimana untuk menghidupkan kekuatan dalaman ini? Ambil ibrah dari hijrah Nabi, kita perlu tinggalkan ‘tanah air’ kita & berhijrah physically. Nabi meninggalkan Mekah, tempat yang Baginda sayangi, untuk berpindah ke Madinah. Maka perlunya perpindahan secara fizikal sebagai simbol ‘meninggalkan’ kehidupan lama. Tinggalkan harta, rumah, keluarga, & segala-galanya demi berhijrah kerana Allah. Agama lebih penting dari segala-galanya, maka mereka sanggup meninggalkan semuanya kerana Allah & Rasul s.a.w.

• Apa yang kita niatkan semasa berhijrah, maka itulah yang kita akan dapat. Sesiapa yang berhijrah kerana Allah & Rasul, maka akan mendapat keredhaan Allah & Rasul. Barangsiapa yang berhijrah kerana dunia atau cinta semata-mata, maka ganjarannya itu terhad kepada matlamatnya sahaja (rugi).

• Perlunya muhasabah tentang kesan pergaulan dengan circle persahabatan kita terhadap iman kita. Jika mereka memberi kesan yang buruk pada kita (sentiasa mengajak kepada melakukan perkara-perkara yang haram, mengumpat, melakukan maksiat, etc.), maka kita perlu berhijrah & mencari circle yang dapat memberi pengaruh yang baik terhadap kita.

• Meninggalkan pergaulan yang lama kepada yang baru, bukan bermakna mereka jahat atau hina, tetapi kerana kelemahan diri kita yang tak mampu mempengaruhi mereka dengan baik. Bersangka baiklah bahawa boleh jadi mereka akan jadi lebih baik daripada kita kelak. Jangan memulakan hijrah dengan memandang rendah / serong pada orang lain kerana ia takkan menumbuhkan perubahan dalam hati kita. Tapi, niatkan perubahan kita supaya dapat didekatkan dengan sahabat-sahabat yang sama misi dengan kita.

• Semakin kita ikhlas untuk berhijrah, semakin kita akan memandang diri kita lebih hina berbanding orang lain. Selagi seseorang itu memandang dirinya lebih baik dari orang lain (hatta seekor anjing kurap), maka dia memiliki sifat takabbur dan adalah lebih hina dari orang lain yang dipandangnya rendah. Kerana tiada siapa yang tahu kesudahan hidup masing-masing, sama ada berjaya ataupun tidak.

• Pentingnya memilih teman-teman yang baik untuk mendapat kekuatan istiqamah dalam hijrah. Setiap individu akan dipengaruhi oleh temannya, maka pilihlah teman-teman yang baik akhlaknya yang boleh membantu kita perbaiki akhlak.

• Maka, ambillah peluang ini untuk berhijrah dan memperbaiki kekurangan diri.


Klik untuk menonton rakaman video kuliah ini:

https://www.facebook.com/masjidrajahajifisabilillah/videos/4273141599423502/

Study Tips

Tips menulis esei untuk pelajar-pelajar universiti

Assalamualaikum,

Semua yang bergelar pelajar, mesti pernah merasa overwhelm dan tak tahu macam mana nak mula menulis esei. Apa kehendak soalan? Nak rujuk buku mana? Chapter manakah dalam buku teks yang berkaitan dengan esei ini? Dan pelbagai soalan yang lebih kurang sama, mesti pernah bermain di fikiran kita semua kan?

It’s normal to feel this way. Yang menulis ni pun pernah rasa juga. Kebetulan beberapa bulan lepas, saya ke perpustakaan OUM di Kelana Jaya dan terjumpa buku Study Skills for Psychology Students tulisan Jennifer Latto dan Richard Latto. Walaupun buku ni ditulis khas untuk pelajar-pelajar jurusan psikologi, tapi tips ini juga boleh digunapakai oleh semua yang bergelar pelajar, tanpa mengira jurusan yang diambil.

So, tanpa membuang masa lagi, jom kita lihat cara-cara untuk membuat persediaan sebelum mula menulis esei.


Persediaan sebelum mula menulis

Sebelum mula menulis, kita harus tanamkan motto ini di dalam minda:

Don’t get it right, get it written.

James Thurber

Maksudnya, tak perlu tunggu sehingga kita mampu untuk menulis dengan betul atau sempurna, tapi just start writing.

Menurut Jennifer dan Richard Latto, kebanyakan orang cenderung untuk membuang masa atau procrastinate dengan melakukan pelbagai jenis aktiviti yang tidak berkaitan atau membantu mereka untuk menyiapkan tugasan. Dari istilah psikologi, perkara ini dipanggil sebagai displacement activity, iaitu salah satu “defense mechanism” yang biasa digunakan oleh manusia bila berdepan dengan masalah. Mereka melakukan aktiviti yang tidak berkaitan untuk lari dari tugasan yang membebankan itu. Perkara ini tidak bagus kerana masalah tetap tidak selesai, malahan masa akan semakin suntuk dan kita akan lebih stress di kemudian hari kerana berdepan dengan kerja yang semakin bertimbun. Jadi, apa yang harus kita lakukan ialah just start walaupun tidak sempurna dan penuh kekurangan. Dan, teruskan memperbaiki tugasan kita dari masa ke semasa.

Imej asal bongkarn thanyakij dari Pexels.

Dalam buku ini, Jennifer dan Richard Latto mencadangkan langkah-langkah berikut untuk membantu kita mulakan tugasan esei:

  1. Lihat tajuk dengan teliti dan tanya diri kita soalan-soalan berikut:
    • Apakah aspek yang relevan dengan tajuk ini?
    • Apakah kata kerja yang menggambarkan tugasan yang perlu kita lakukan (contoh: ‘bandingkan’, ‘bincangkan’, ‘nilaikan’, ‘gambarkan’ – setiap kata kerja ini memerlukan pendekatan penulisan yang berbeza);
  2. Perhatikan sekiranya ada dua part dalam satu soalan dan make sure that kita menjawab kedua-dua part tersebut;
  3. Catatkan berapa jumlah perkataan yang dikehendaki (kalau ada);
  4. Perhatikan sekiranya ada format penulisan tertentu yang perlu dipatuhi. Contohnya saiz font, jenis font, line spacing dan sebagainya.
  5. Kenalpasti sistem referencing yang digunapakai (contoh: APA , MLA, Chicago Author-Date, dan sebagainya);
  6. Catatkan tarikh due date esei tersebut dan juga tugasan-tugasan atau komitmen-komitmen anda yang lain.
    • Kenalpasti tugasan mana yang perlu dihantar dulu dan tugasan mana yang boleh dihantar kemudian.
    • Mula merancang dengan mengambil kira tarikh-tarikh penting ini dan rancang sebaiknya.
    • Peruntukkan juga masa kecemasan supaya you will have ample time sekiranya tiba-tiba sakit, demam, dan sebagainya.
    • Dengan cara ini, anda tidak akan kelam kabut bila semua due date semakin hampir.
  7. Dapatkan maklumat tentang pemeriksa yang akan memeriksa esei anda. Cuba kenalpasti approach yang mereka selalu gunakan.

Dengan melakukan langkah-langkah di atas, insyaAllah kita akan merasakan lebih bersedia untuk memulakan aktiviti menulis nanti.

Selamat menulis!