Monday, 30 July 2018

How to Start Making Paper Flowers in Nigeria

I have been making Paper flowers for almost a year now and i know how daunting and seemingly impossible it can seem for a newbie with interest to get started. I hope this post will come in handy for such a person and help you find your way in the beautiful and colorful world of paper flowers, moreso in Nigeria where getting crafting supplies can be quite a task. 
I will be sharing what i have learnt in the past few months and will update this post accordingly as i learn more things. Some may wonder why i am so willing to share what may be considered 'trade secrets' by some and the answer is simple-because there is love in sharing
Others shared freely their knowledge online to whomever happens to find it so why should i hoard this information? It may change someone's life so that's enough motivation for me to share. 
Ok, enough of me babbling and let's get into it. 

What you need (Tools, Resources & Supplies)

  • PC or Laptop (optional initially)
  • Internet (optional initially)
  • Printer (optional initially)
  • Cutting Mat (or any surface that's flat enough for you to trace on and you don't mind getting glue on)
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Paper
  • Pencil and Eraser
  • Glue (UHU or whatever you prefer)
  • Mounting Tape
  • Bone folder (Butter knife or wooden dowel/spoon will suffice)
  • Flower Templates (Pinterest, YouTube, etc.)
  • Video Tutorials (Pinterest, YouTube, etc.)
Different types of Paper and Sizes
There are different types and weights of paper, i'm not an expert at this so kindly do your own research before purchasing paper. You can ask the person you are buying paper from about the weight (grams) of the paper. The weightier or thicker the paper, the tougher it is to curl or shape but they tend to be sturdier and hold shape longer while the embossed or designed ones can bring some dimension to your craft.
  • Tissue Paper
  • Crepe Paper
  • Printing Paper
  • Cardboard Paper {160 grams per square meter (gsm)}
  • Cardstock Paper (Embossed , Metallic, Glittery, Glossy, Patterned & Plain)
I mostly use Cardstock Paper for my paper flowers to make them study and occasionally mix them with Cardboard Paper for two-toned flower designs or smaller flowers. 

Where to find Free Templates and Video Tutorials

(Petals and Centers)
There are soooo many free templates and tutorials online, you just have to be willing to search for them and also not limit your search to English. I found quite a number of free templates through Russian and Spanish Channels. I suggest using Pinterest to find these channels and Websites or Google Translate the word 'Paper Flowers' and search. 
Always check that whatever freebies you find are not copyrighted and restricted to only personal use. Its also decent to credit the person you get a design or template from if you can find them on the platform you use to promote your craft.
Here is a list of  some YouTube Channels you can get Free Templates and Video Tutorials from:
Stages  of Making Paper Flowers
These are the various stages of making your typical paper flower and depending on the design and style of your flower, you may not have to follow all the stages.
  • Tracing template
  • Cutting
  • Slitting
  • Curling & Shaping
  • Assembly
  • Add a center
Finding Inspiration and designs for Paper Flowers
Pinterest,YouTube and Instagram have been the best places for me to find inspiration and designs to try. They link you to other creators and suggest similar videos to the ones you watch. I suggest checking out related channels or similar posts across these platforms

How to put up Paper Flowers on Different Surfaces
There are different ways to display your paper flowers depending on the surface you are working with. I have listed below a few of the things i use and others i found online,you just have to research a bit on what will work best for the result you want to achieve. Check out this post as well.
  • Glue
  • Mounting Tape
  • Double-sided Tape
  • Commando Strips
  • Masking Tape or Cellotape (rolled)
  • Rope (attached to the back of the paper flower)
  • Wire (attached to the back of the paper flower)
  • Brooch pins
Uses of Paper Flowers
They have such a varied range of uses but here are a few:
  • Events Decoration (Weddings, Parties, Birthdays, Baby Shower, Bridal Shower,etc.)
  • House Decoration (especially Baby Nurseries/Rooms)
  • Backdrops
  • Photoshoots
  • Crowns, Bouquets & Corsages
  • Props Decoration, etc.
Storing your Paper Flowers
It is important to keep your flowers away from humidity, dust and water in order for them to last long, retain their shape and look good. I mainly focus on displaying them in a dry place and dusting them regularly. you can stoore them as follows:

  • In a box (with a cover and wide enough to not deform them)
  • In a basket (with a cover and wide enough to not deform them)
  • In a bag (with a cover and wide enough to not deform them)
  • In a clear polythene bag with a neck sealer (typically used for packing clothes)
Tools that can speed up your creation process
  • Cricut Machine 
  • Silhouette Machine 
  • Fringe Scissors
  • Bone Folder
  • Scoring Tool
  • Quilling Tool (for rolled centers and roses)
  • Compass Cutter
  • Curved Scissors
  • Punches (There are so many different shapes and patterns to choose from especially when making small flowers)
Sizing and Pricing your Paper flowers
I can only tell you what works for me in this regard. I price my flowers based on their sizes and the amount of labour i put into their creation. I size my flowers by using a measuring tape or ruler to measure their diameter in Inches. 
I make all my flowers myself and handcut them while juggling my job and 7month old so it involves more labour and sleepless nights for me and i price them accordingly. However, i give discounts when i get orders for a Set. Some people also prefer to Rent and return. I also charge differently for express/short notice orders.
You can create your own Templates or make complete packages for a particular style of flower(Templates, Center, Mounting Tape, etc) ad sell them for people to make the flowers themselves.
Your pricing is up to you. I would advice you calculate what the different sizes of your paper flowers consume (cardstock, glue, paint, glitter, beads, rhinestone, mounting tape, rope, wire, etc.) and then you can add the cost of your labour which is essentially your profit. If you are doing the delivery and setup, you may want to also charge separately for these services.

How to Market yourself
Social Media is free and you have a wide audience. Use it to your advantage. Take good pictures and Post your work frequently.
  • Facebook
  • Instagram (Follow me @Mimahcrafts)
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
You can display your work at family or friend's events (Weddings, Parties, Birthdays,etc.) for people to see and get interested in ordering them.
You can also use them in styling photoshoots and get free professional pictures to advertise your work.

Tips and Tricks
  • Use Sharp Scissors
  • PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE (with different papers and different designs)
  • Use empty cereal boxes to make Templates for easy tracing
  • Trace out the number of templates you need then you can chill and cut them out while watching a movie or series
  • Inform your customers of the deadline to order and charges for express orders
  • Attend to your orders at least 3-5 days before they are due in order to avoid rushing especially if you do not have a machine 
  • Spray-paint to desired color if the color you want is unavailable
If you find this post useful, kindly share and follow me on Instagram @MimahCrafts. I will update it as i learn.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Fela & The Kalakuta Queens (Live In Abuja)

The Lighting, Graphics, Sound, Costume, Band, Cast and the performance as a whole. 
They got several rounds of applause and cheers during the performance and a Standing Ovation when it was over.
 @patrickdiabuah did an excellent job portraying FELA and the Queens were awesome!
@bapproduction deserves all the accolades๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
Get your Tickets.
Sorry this post is sooo late,๐Ÿ™ˆ you can still catch the 3:00pm & 7:30pm showings today.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

My Pregnancy Story & Diaries Weeks 1-5

I finally found some time to come on here with a post while adjusting to this new mommyhood life, do bear with me for now 'cos i can't stick to my 'regular' schedule.
Although i wasn't able to blog about my pregnancy, i documented my pregnancy journey using the Google Keep app on my phone. I decided to write this post as an introduction to my Pregnancy Diaries and as a follow-up to my Baby Pressure post so here goes.
Quick Recap-Hubby & I got married in May 2014 and agreed to wait at least 2 years before trying for a baby. We decided to wait an extra year 'cos Year 2016 get as e be back then and the dreaded biological clock was still on my side. It was by God's grace we were able to stand our ground and not succumb to all the Baby Pressure. Its our life afterall and looking back now, boy am i glad we didn't rush things.
April 2017 came and we decided we were kinda ready to start trying for a baby, before that we had started preconception care at the beginning of the year. Hubby & I did the necessary medical tests again (we had done them before we got married) and reconfirmed we were both medically fit to have a baby. We both started taking folic acid & tried to stick to a healthy lifestyle (diet, drinking more water, eating more fruits & veggies, etc.). I started exercising & was able to lose the 'small chops & enjoyment' weight i had piled on by December 2016 and went back to my regular Size 8 from Size 10. 
We started trying for a baby in April, i have a regular menstrual cycle so i just calculated my ovulation period &we basically just went with the flow and made sure we had sex before and after my ovulation. I honestly did not expect i'd get preggers on our 1st try, trust me if i did we'd have probably started trying in May 'cos i soooo didn't want a December baby talkless of a birthday mate. Alas we all know God's ways are not our ways.
People had made us feel that because we chose to wait, we would find it  difficult to get pregnant at all, not to talk of on the 1st try. That's part of the reasons i"m writing this post & the Pregnancy Diaries, to encourage any couple that have decided to wait a while before having a kid that it doesn't mean they can't get  pregnant easily when they are ready and they can definitely have an easy pregnancy & delivery.
I'm quite in tune with my body so when i started feeling funny and extremely fatigued, i had a strong feeling it was pregnancy but i did not want to jinx it. I stopped my workouts due to the fatigue and watched my diet. Hubby and i discussed and agreed to take a pregnancy test if i missed my period, which i did. I bought 2 of the #100 strip pregnancy tests from the pharmacy (nothing fancy), did them and they were both positive๐Ÿ’– We decided to keep the news to ourselves (it wasn't easy by the way) till i was past the 3 month mark (the risk of miscarriage and other issues is way less at this point).
Life was still pretty routine, nothing much had changed and sometimes i'd forget i'm preggers and wonder why i feel so tired. lol.
  • SYMPTOMS-Abdominal Bloating, Extreme fatigue, Frequent peeing and Swollen Tender Breasts
  • FEELINGS-Hubby & I were excited n happy to have gotten preggers on our 1st try. I missed being more active n working out, getting good sleep n waking up feeling rested. The whole thing felt surreal.
  • WORRIES-Eating the wrong thing or not eating food with essential nutrients/vitamins,Molar or Ectopic pregnancy,miscarriage,abnormalities or anything going wrong
  • ACTIONS-I Prayed about my worries, signed up on the BabyCenter App, joined Pregnancy, Baby & You BBM Group, read, researched and tried to eat healthy n nutritious food, drink a lot of water and take folic acid daily
Watch out for the rest of my Pregnancy Diaries Series.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Simple & Practical Ways to Spend Less/Save Money

The points below are all tried & tested and work great for me. All that being said don't forget to live a little and splurge on urself when convenient-take a trip, eat out, pamper yourself, get new stuff, etc.
If you build the habit of being accountable while resources are limited, it is easier to follow through when there's excess. Below is the list in no particular order:
  • Have short n long term goals/projects n save towards funding them (keep in mind though that inflation and other economic factors may affect how soon u reach that goal)
  • Prioritize ur needs over your wants (expensive wigs,accessories, jewellry, etc. are mostly wants)
  • Spend within ur means
  • Have a Monthly budget (expenses,income,charity/gifts,misc,etc) It helps you have a good idea of your expenses, hidden money drainers, etc. and to adjust accordingly
  • Have an Alternative source of income if possible-{Blog, Craft, Plan small events, Sell stuff (used/unused) online (Instagram,Facebook, BuyMyLux, Jiji, OLX, Dealdey, Kaymu, Konga, Jumia). etc.}
  • Invest in Yourself-Learn a skill/trade (Makeup, Tailoring, Beads, Baking, etc), Get Trainings & Certications in your field,etc.
  • Invest in Property/Business-e.g. Keke Napep, Put ur car for up for use by Uber or other cab companies, Farming, etc.
  • Invest in People-Help someone start a business and have a share in it or have a payment plan contract with interest or train them in a skill, etc.
  • Sign up for a Health Insurance (Private HMO) NHIS/PHIS
  • Reduce accommodation cost by renting a place with a friend or enjoy rent-free restricted life with the folks if single 
  • Monitor Electricity Consumption
  • Monitor your Phone Data/Internet Subscription consumption
  • Monitor your Phone Credit consu,ption
  • Make a Fixed deposit in the bank towards a future plan (Short or Long term)
  • Skip buying Aso-ebi of people you sre not close to
  • Save from ur gifts n income no matter how little 500 per day is 14k per month and 168k per year (have an account w/o ATM or can have a token kept away for emergencies n replenish)
  • Lend money to only extremely credible debtors except when the request is amount you don't mind not being returned
  • Drive more or walk(its a simple exercise) or carpool
  • Avoid people that ALWAYS leech off u
  • Reduce Unnecessary Clubbing/Outing with friends (Save your drinks/outing money as they r usually triple the regular price)
  • Cook more n eat out less
  • Buy Groceries and Foodstuff in bulk @least a month's worth
  • Farm if you can (veggies, fish,poultry,snail,etc)
There are sooo many other ways we can spend less & save money but i hope this list helps someone. If we evaluate our lives and learn to do things in moderation, we will find contentment & be able to increase our seemingly limited resources.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Happy New Year 2018!!

Happy New Year!! 
I know my 1st post for the year is coming rather late, i've my hands full with our lil princess Kiara and that's also why there was no 2017 year end post.
Yes guys, we have a new member in our little family. She arrived on my birthday-Dec 23rd, that's how i spent my birthday so there'll be no 2017 birthday post (Enjoy my Labor & Delivery Story instead).
I got the best birthday gift & i have happily conceded to sharing my day with her henceforth (y'all know i take my birthday seriously).
More posts coming once i'm settled into the 'mom role' and have a routine. I have soooo much to share, especially about the pregnancy, baby shower, labor & delivery, postpartum & adapting to life as new parents so stay tuned.
I'm looking forward to all the year has to offer, may the odds be in our favor. Amen.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Simi - Owanbe | Official Video 2017

Simi's voice is EVERYTHING!! Glad she stayed true to her style of music, her talent is absolutely undeniable.



Friday, 1 December 2017

Tamerri Festival

Don't Miss It!! Sorry for the late post but you can enjoy the last day.
I was at last year's own and loved every bit of it.
From the Fashion Runway Show to the Concert.
I fell in love with Brymo's talent.
I found new Artistes to enjoy.
New Artistes belted out refreshing tunes & lyrics.
The Spoken Word Poets gave me chills & more.
It was the total package.


Check out my previous posts on Events in Abuja.
Mark your Calendars once again ma peoples! Here are the events i'm excited about for December.

Check out my post on interesting things to do in Abuja.
If i find out about events early enough i will add them here, otherwise Check out IG (Social Media) and the links below for other upcoming events, trainings and conferences in Abuja:
Knowledge is Power.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Quote of the Day #QOTD

is a 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Crafting & DIYs

DIY Paper Flower Backdrop i made (1st attempt ever ๐Ÿ˜)
Y'all already know i love planning events, travelling and writing,among other things. I also really enjoy Crafting & DIYs, especially when its Decor-related, in my spare time.
I stumbled on Paper Flowers while planning my friend's Baby Shower (I plan to do an updated post on planning a fun budget friendly baby shower so watch out for that) and that set the ball rolling. I got sucked in via YouTube & Pinterest into the world of paper flowers and there was no getting out. I made some and i fell in love!! Now beautiful paper, cardboard and card stock make me giddy and i go hunting for them. I imagine all the things i can create and get so excited. lol. 
I put up some pics of the Paper Flowers & Diaper Cake i made for my friend's baby shower on my social media and next thing i know i had express orders. 
These are the pieces i made below for a photoshoot and it took me some sleepless nights but i loved the finished products and it was totally worth it.
I'm currently working on the piece below and can't wait to see the finished product.
A huge shoutout to 'Anyone Can Craft' and 'Pearl's Crafts' for being the first to inspire and teach me via YouTube. I have found many other tutorials through them and i keep practising, experimenting and creating. I have been able to get tools (still on the hunt for more) to make my creative process easier and i'm trying other things as well. Practice makes Perfect.
I'm grateful that practically all my interests and hobbies have been lucrative in one form or the other. even this blog. This is my current obsession & has been part of the reason i have been off here for a bit (forgive me) as its quite time consuming, especially with a full-time job and other extracurricular activities.
Don't be scared to try new things and put yourself out there, you never know where it'll lead you. 
The world is your oyster. Happy Crafting!!