Category Archives: Art

Ramadan/Eid Decor & Gift’s Company Round Up + Huge Giveaway (Part 1)

Happy Wednesday all!

Today I’m super excited to bring to you part 1 of the huge Ramadan/Eid Giveaway with amazing companies here in the US, and on Friday I will be doing one for all the international reader’s (click here to enter).  This USA open giveaway will have four, yes FOUR winner’s so scroll down to enter. This giveaway could not have been possible without the amazing sponsor’s who have amazing product’s that are worth sharing and raving about, so here it goes.

Wafa Islamic Arts

Mohammad canvas art contemporary

Photo credit Wafa Islamic Arts

Ouafae Taame, is the amazing artist behind Wafa Islamic Arts. Ouafae specializes in digital art, Islamic art and calligraphy, and was the former Senior Artist/Art director in Ubisoft. Looking at all the art Ouafae has created I feel like it’s such a breath of fresh air seeing such beautiful contemporary Islamic art that we want to display right away because it fit’s in with the modern aesthetic of most of our homes.

il_570xN.612222485_6nbi Wafa Islamic art Mohammad canvasWafa Islamic Art is giving one lucky winner this 20″ x 30″ Mohammad art print that will be perfect for any living room. Value for this print painting is $115. See more of Wafa Islamic Art’s painting on their Etsy page, and remember to follow them on their Facebook Fan page, here. FYI- the winner of this painting will be responsible for shipping (about $15).

The Dream Wreather

Eid wreath contemporaryI reviewed The Dream Wreather a few day’s ago, if you missed the review or would like to see more pictures click here.  Andrea of The Dream Wreather is participating in this giveaway by offering one lucky winner a $50 gift voucher to her shop! This way you can work with her to create  your own custom wreath with all the trimming’s and colors of your choice. You can also check out Andrea’s shop on Etsy here.

Allah to Z

Allah to Z Activity BookI recently also reviewed Allah to Z: Activity book and other products in this series. If you missed the blog post or would like to see what I’m loving about this series, then just click here to read.  Sam’n Iqbal, the author of this book is participating in this giveaway by offering one lucky winner their Allah to Z: Activity Book. As I stated in my review, this book is great and gives lot’s of fun activities to do with kids.

Muslamb StationersStudying dua eid mubarak magnets inshahAllah sticky notes

 I fell in love with Muslamb Stationer’s pencil set and sticky notes, and reviewed them here. They have cheeky fun stationery, and not only that how great is a reminder with this studying dua pencil set in bright colors? Muslamb Stationer’s are participating is this giveaway by offering one lucky winner a pencil set and sticky notes. You can check out more fun item’s in their Etsy shop, here.

Giveaway Info:

1. Four winner’s will be selected randomly to win one of the prizes mentioned above. If you have a preference for one of the items do leave a blog post comment below telling us which one and we will try to accommodate.

2. You can enter daily on the rafflecopter widget by twitting about the giveaway daily, and then remembering to mark that option on the widget once done each time.

3. All entries will be verified. Do read the giveaway “terms and conditions” on the widget as well.

4. Everyone get’s one easy entry–so remember to choose that one!

5. This giveaway is open only to resident’s with a USA mailing address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to everyone, and remember part 2 of this giveaway is open internationally–so enter here!

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

*AnUblog was not compensated for this post. Only were provided the items for review and giveaway. All opinion’s are of AnUblog’s author’s. Anublog.com does not share opinion’s of brands/companies mentioned.

Macy’s Secret Garden Event

Happy Monday everyone,

A few weeks ago Macy’s was having their Spring time Secret Garden event, where they had a special garden beautifully set on one of the floors, and floral decor throughout the store. To celebrate the secret garden event they had several events planned, from cooking demos to art classes to fashion shows. I attended one of these events with my friend, Fatima, and it was hosted by local blogger Graham from Glossed and Found.
alt=It was a garden tea party themed event that was beautifully planned. They severed hot lavender tea, tea sandwiches, had a candy cart, models showing off Spring looks, make-up booths giving tips, a flower crown DIY station, and a beautiful backdrop made entirely of flowers where a professional photographer was snapping photos of the guests (I’m still waiting on receiving those snaps, as they were gorgeous and I didn’t take any personal ones). After the fun event we headed up to the actual garden to check out the amazing botanical display. Here are some snaps from the day.

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How gorgeous is this?! Let's all take a moment to imagine us throwing a beautiful garden party with this decor!

How gorgeous is this?! Let’s all take a moment to imagine us throwing a beautiful garden party with this decor!

The detail and thought that went in to creating this table --simple breathtaking!

The detail and thought that went in to creating this table –simply breathtaking!

Garden pics

hijabi outfit blue and yellow|HOOTD|

Scarf/Hijab – random old | Yellow top – Joe Fresh x JCPenny | Pants – Loft | Shoes – H&M | Bag – Rebecca Minkoff MAB | Necklace – Charming Charlie | Chain link bracelet – Forever 21

Enter the latest jewelry giveaway here. Only one day left!

Spring is finally springin’ so go out and enjoy your day!

Interview | Art by Saba Barnard

Hi all,

Photo credit: ArtbySaba

Photo credit: ArtbySaba

it is … women and women of color who are challenging the status quo through art, music, writing, fashion, etc. – Saba Barnard

935095_585083084848788_991517766_n Today I’m featuring an interview with Saba Barnard, a rising Muslim American artist. Last month, while conducting research  for “March on Women” series I came across many talented women and learned more about them, and while doing so I also came across Mrs. Barnard. I learned of her when I read Thrival Room‘s article  32 Photos That Hope to Change the Way We Look at Muslim American Women— must-read article highlighting great American Muslim women.

Saba Chaudhry Barnard, is a gifted artist and a first -generation Pakistani Muslim American woman. Her art is a reflection of her Pakistani and Muslim background in America which she uses in her portraits in a way to undefine labels that are put on American Muslims, particularly women.

dsc_0039I reached out to Saba, to interview her and get to know more about her Technicolor series– which she is calling subjects for. Find out more below.

Define your art. What makes it unique?

My art is an ever-evolving thing that consumes my life…a visual expression of the ideas that I obsess about on a daily basis.  Up to this point, the work has pretty consistently dealt with identity within a social context – considering race, religion, and gender within an American context.  I suppose my art is unique to me in that every one of my choices in my art grows from my own life and experiences, even though I’m painting portraits of other people.  I do, however, feel that although it’s unique, it is one part of a vast group of women and women of color who are challenging the status quo through art, music, writing, fashion, etc.

What aspects/inspirations of your Pakistani Muslim background do you incorporate in your pieces?

In my most recent series, An-Noor, I feel that the aesthetic draws from South Asian textile designs and traditions.  One of the strongest attachments I have with Pakistani culture is the amazing clothes.  My use of rhinestones, glitter, sequins, speaks to the kind of beautiful ornamentation that is typical in Pakistan and India.
 There are also geometric patterns and other references to Islamic art, and the imagery in one of the paintings is derived from ayat An-Noor. And of course, all the women I am painting are Muslim women, so that’s certainly there.

I noticed on your blog that you take inspiration from famous painting such as Arnolfini portrait, and portraits of Mary, mother of Jesus. Why these famous paintings? What research did you do or do you do?

I look at a lot of art history books and do a lot of Google image searching. There are quite a few reasons that I reference these famous paintings.  I feel that tradition has a lot of power, and I wanted to use the strength of these iconic postures and their grandeur.  It also gives the viewer a feeling of recognition, so instead of being confronted by something entirely new, it feels familiar.  I like the comfort that there is in that.  But still, I am putting women and women of color into these images, where previously they were not represented.  So it’s a new interpretation that very freely manipulates and transforms iconography for my own purposes.
 Maesta, my interpretation of the Madonna Enthroned, is packed full of this overlap of traditions.  Mary exists in Christianity, of course, but she also exists in Islam (as Maryam), and traditionally is depicted with a long gown or robe and a headscarf, much like the woman in the painting is dressed.  There is a literal layering of an Islamic pattern on top of the stripes of the American flag, with geometric shapes tucked inside organic forms– it takes all these elements that are often placed in contrast and instead combines them.  I feel that that is a more honest representation of an American Muslim identity, one that is not confined to an “eastern” or “western” sphere, but incorporates both in a very natural way.  Western art history was an inspiring part of my education, but I also have these other traditions that are part of me, as well, so I feel that that array of influences is represented in the paintings. The halo, which appears in every painting, is an example of a visual symbol used across cultures to communicate the same idea.

What is your favorite piece you have done thus far? Why?

I get asked this a lot and it’s really hard to say.  Sometimes I will come up with a concrete answer, but honestly, every painting is its own little world for me, especially in An-Noor.  Each one really takes me somewhere.  I have certain paintings that were more challenging, and so I love them for that reason, and others that came out almost in one breath, and I love those too.

Tell us a little more about the Technicolor series. Why are you calling subjects for it? What type of subjects are you looking for?

Technicolor Muslimah was my first big idea for a body of work, and it was completed back in 2011.  It was made as a positive assertion of identity that hoped to use color and smiles to dispel some of the static and stereotypical representations of Muslim women that dominate the media. Unfortunately I feel that the Technicolor Muslimah series, as it is right now, is a fairly homogenous group, visually and otherwise.  And to show that Muslim women are not homogenous, I don’t know that the most effective thing is to present another homogenous image, even if it’s nicer than the one that’s already out there.  Every woman is wearing hijab in almost exactly the same style, and there is not one African American woman represented in that group.  I was hoping to address some of my concerns with Technicolor Muslimah in my most recent series, and so An-Noor is certainly more inclusive and diverse.  Still, I just felt that it didn’t fix legitimate shortcomings in Technicolor Muslimah, so now I am revisiting that project, 3 years later, to resolve those issues.It was something that has nagged at me for a while, but I didn’t do anything about it.  After being included on that list of 32 Muslim American Women which was hoping change the narrow perceptions of Muslims, and seeing the concern raised that no African American women were included on that list, it really hit me that it was absolutely not okay, and that I couldn’t continue to make excuses for why my own work was perpetuating this same kind of exclusion.  So that was the thing that helped me take that step to send out a call for subjects to expand the series so that it could finally be completed.

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I’m looking for women who can help make this series more diverse to send me selfies that they feel represent who they are.  I’m looking for images that are communicative, of women of all different colors, who wear hijab or don’t, who represent some of the groups that are marginalized or underrepresented even within the Muslim community itself.  I have gotten quite a few volunteers and some heartbreakingly beautiful letters, which was totally unexpected.  From those images I will choose a handful that I feel will help make this series more inclusive and dynamic.

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What would you like people to know about your art?

That they are much better when seen in person!  Too often we only experience art through a cellphone screen, and it is not at all like experiencing art in real life.

What is your dream project or goal?

I guess my goal is to make work that is relevant to contemporary social issues and illustrate that dialogue that is currently taking place.  I am looking forward to continuing to explore these issues, but getting to a point where the work can operate on the level of theory rather than biography.  Which means that I want the work to become even more inclusive, and instead of dealing so specifically with the individual or groups of individuals, to focus more on the systems through which we interpret and understand one another.  I feel that these methods of “understanding” can make us all invisible to one another until we can’t clearly see ourselves or anyone else.  I find that it can be confusing to even nail down which thoughts and feelings are ours, and which have been planted there by other people, advertising, our institutions.  More specifically I am interested in the gaze, the relationship of the subject and object in that interaction, and the different manifestations of that gaze.  The male gaze and imperial gaze are examples.  That’s all pretty vague right now.

Lastly, what is the best advice you have been given?

The best “advice” I’ve gotten would probably be a concept from Islam… of questioning and being aware of one’s own intentions.  And so throughout the process of making art, I try to consistently check in with my intentions, and am critical of whether or not the artwork is staying true to that and to myself.

You can follow Saba on her journey and find out more about her work on her facebook fanpage, and her website.

Reminder: Have you entered the latest giveaway?? If not, do so here.

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

March on Women | Spring Home Decor + Giveaway

Hello everyone!

Today I’m featuring some of my picks for updating your home for Spring with beautiful pieces from talented female Etsy sellers, and a giveaway from one of them for an original painting.

Now that it’s finally Spring (or at least I’m pretending it is here in Chicago), I’ve been on the hunt for unique items for my home that can quickly brighten up my space without much hassle. Changing up artwork, throw pillows, small decorative items can easily accomplish this without major renovations, so here are some of my unique finds from Etsy, you can click on each item to find out more information.

Top row || Agate coasters | Pastel rose topiary (enter code springwhimsy15 for 15% off -ends 4/30) | Burlap monogram wreath

Middle row || Colorful tulip bowls | Spring printable art | Original bird drawing

Last row || Inspirational painting | Spring shower curtain | Flower throw pillow

||Giveaway Original Painting||

Win this original 5 x 7 painting by Rachel Bingaman

Win this original 5″ x 7″ painting by Rachel Bingaman

Today’s giveaway is hosted by Rachel Bingaman, a full-time professional artist. Her paintings focus on abstract realism and contemporary landscapes. Her original oil paintings are award-winning and internationally collected and can be found in private collections all over the world.

You can find more on Rachel and her art on her Etsy page, her Facebook page, and her blog.

||Giveaway Deets||

Title: Fields of Lilac
Size: 5″ x 7″ (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Materials: Professional Grade Oil Paints, Impasto Medium, Canvas Panel
Certificate of Authenticity Included

Rachel is giving away {1} original painting from her Etsy shop, Fields of Lilac, to upgrade your wall or home decor for Spring. Just follow the directions on the rafflecopter widget below (everyone gets one easy entry). Giveaway starts 3.25.14 and ends on 4.7.14 (read terms on widget). Additionally, you can tweet about the giveaway everyday for additional entries until the giveaway ends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great day, stay empowered, & good luck on the giveaway!

Umair’s Sweetheart,

Ayesha

*Giveaway painting is being sponsored by Rachel Bingaman. All opinions are my own.

HOOTD | Scarf Print Dress

Happy Monday everyone!

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Did you all check out the Nordstrom Anniversary sale?

Over the weekend I wore this beautiful scarf print dress that I recently purchased from Zara. I have been looking for a pretty printed dress with length that is passed my knees. I ordered it online and loved it as soon as I put it on. The fabric is silky and even has side pocket detail.

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Beautiful fountain and view of the dress from the back

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Full view of dress outside at night…sorry for the bad lighting.

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Close up of dress and details

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Coach cross-body bag

On the same day I had a mini Mac appointment to test out their new pressed pigments. Here is my finished look. My iPhone isn’t picking up on the beautiful color of the moth pressed pigment which was applied all over my lid. Moth had a beautiful shimmer to it which showed through when layered with embark eyeshadow on the crease and plumage on the inner corner.

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Mac moth pressed pigment all over lid, embark eye shadow on crease and plumage eye shadow on inner corner of lid.

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Mac embark, Mac plumage, and Mac pressed pigment in moth

There are 12 shades that are part of Mac’s pressed pigment Fall 2013 collection. I think any one who loves shimmer and glitter will love adding these to their makeup arsenal. The shades moth, pink pepper and damson stood out to me and I would recommend.

Since it was date night the husband and I picked a new place to dine, Siena Tavern. From the reviews we read it sounded like a great restaurant to check out, however while I did take pictures of the food we ordered at the restaurant (and in pictures the food looks delicious) I will not be posting those on the blog because the husband and I were quite disappointed with what we ordered. I had heard the tiramisu was heavenly, while it was good we didn’t consider it great. The presentation was nice so here is a snap of the dessert.

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Tiramisu presentation at Siena Tavern

We will not be recommending this restaurant to halal foodies or vegetarians as the menu was quite limited and not worth the expensive price tag. However, if you are looking for a nice place to hangout with friends and aren’t a halal foodie you will enjoy this restaurant.

After dinner we strolled back home and enjoyed the weather and beautiful street art.

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Mosaic street art

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Picasso sculpture at Daley Plaza, and little me!

| HOOTD deets |

Hijab/Scarf- gift | Scarf print dress- Zara | Pants & Long sleeve tee- Forever 21 | Bag- Coach | Shoes- Prabal Gurung x Target | Earrings- vintage from India | Bangle- gift

Thank you for visiting and enjoy the rest of the week!

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© Ayesha and Umair and AnUblog, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and pictures without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ayesha and Umair and www.AnUblog.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All opinions expressed are solely of Ayesha and Umair of www.AnUblog.com

City Skyline, Street Art & Spring!

Hi everyone!

Hope you are having a great week and looking forward to the long weekend.

Here is the Panorama of the week!  Remember to click on the picture to enlarge and see it’s full beauty.

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This was taken on a bridge from Grant Park where Museum campus starts.

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I came across this amazing street art over the weekend. Her eyes are so mesmerizing! I have no idea if this art has any meaning, so if anyone knows please comment.  **UPDATE: Soon after posting this pic on Instagram I learned from a friend this art is done by the artist Shepard Fairey/Obey Giant.  After doing a bit of research now I know why she has such piercing eyes.  This particular piece is called “Mujer Fatal.”

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Beautiful flowers starting to bloom around the city.

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How amazing are the colors of these flowers?!

Thank you for visiting!

Follow our blog with Bloglovin

© Ayesha and Umair and AnUblog, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and pictures without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ayesha and Umair and www.AnUblog.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fashion on the Street

Hello everyone!

Hope you all are having a great week. The weather has warmed up in the last few days and it gave us a chance to take some great pictures outside. I’ve been excited to share the first few pictures because we came across these beautiful fashion posters while walking and I asked the husband to quickly take a few snaps for me.

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Here I am trying to pose like one of the model’s in the posters.
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And of course, a post is not complete until I feature a picture with the husband! So here is a silly picture of us!

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|HOOTD deets|

Hijab/Scarf- c/of of Mil|Chambray top- TJMaxx find|Long sleeve top- random (old)|Skirt- Express|Belt- H&M|Necklace- Target|Bag- Rebecca Minkoff MAB (on repeat)|Shoes- Francesca’s|Sunglasses- Loft

Thank you for joining us today & we wish you a very fun weekend!

City Skyline From Grant Park

Hello everyone!

Happy Tuesday! This Tuesday I am featuring a new type of post on the blog, the panoramic skyline! I have hardly been in Chicago for a year and I have completely fallen in love with everything the city has to offer. One of the most breathtaking characteristics is the mesmerizing skyline that I can’t seem to get enough of because the view can be so unique and distinct depending on where you are standing. I’m always in awe especially while driving on Lakeshore drive. Chicago is completely delightful and now I can understand how Chicagoans put up with almost eight months of Winter!

Do click the picture to enlarge and see the skyline in detail. Comment below when you spot the “heart” enjoy! We “love” you!
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Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Sunday at the Chicago Theatre

Happy Tuesday everyone!

This past Sunday Umair and I went to the Russell Peters show which we had been looking forward to for quite some time. Umair and I saw an ad for the show last year one day when we were walking past the Chicago theatre and we knew we couldn’t miss it. The show was as hilarious as we expected and there wasn’t a dull moment even the opening act was quite funny.  Sunday became a wonderful date night out and a nice ending to our weekend.  I’m not sure of the schedule of the show or where the next performance will be but we highly recommend checking it out!

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|HOOTD deets|

Hijab/Scarf- random old| Top & Pants- Forever 21| Necklace- H&M| Shoes- Sole Society| Clutch- Coach| Belt- BCBGMaxAzria

Thank you for visiting our blog and we hope you have a wonderful weekday!

Friday Date Night | Blue Man Group Show

A few weeks ago we had the chance to finally see the show The Blue Man Group.  On Friday afternoon we received a call from a friend who happened to have extra tickets for the show and wanted to know if we were interested.  Of course, without hesitation we said yes and it turned out to be a first double date experience for us.  We caught up with a friend and his wife who also recently got married, and headed with them over to the theater   The theater itself was designed in a very fun and quirky way with lots of pipes, tubes and rods.  We took a few pictures and then headed in to be seated.  Our seats were literally one row behind the “getting wet” section.  As soon as the show starts you are sucked in with funny commentary that is running on a message board.  The show features awesome electronic techno and rock n roll style music.  We truly had a great time at the show and it definitely is worth the hype.

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