Orphanage in October
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

Thought it was about time I post an update on the orphanage in Zambia.
My brother has moved (back) there to help out with things (May Allah reward him for his good intentions. Ameen) so it's a little easier for me to get updated info and pictures.

The last of the books/sports equipment will insha'Allah be sent in December. It's working out kind of difficult to ship items from this end, so we are hoping to raise funds and purchase things at that end (maybe from South Africa). If anyone has fund raising ideas, please share some with me! or any other ideas to help out the children.

This is a boys orphanage. But girls living near by come by during the day for lessons.

Someone had donated some treat bags for the children for Eid-al-Adha. May Allah reward them. Ameen.

Children busy with class work.

This was taken during meal time.

I've only put a few pictures up here, more can be found on the FaceBook page (Zambian Orphanage).
Please keep them all in your prayers. And if you are able to help with fund raising, feel free to contact me.


posted by Sketched Soul at 9:41 AM | Permalink 2 comments
Qur'an Competition WinnerS!
Monday, October 29, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

On October 10th I ran a Qur'an Art Competition for children. I had many interested parents, a few joined..but by the due date only 2 boys submitted their art.

Insha'Allah they both benefited from the project.

They had to create a 3d art piece based on Surah An-Nahl verses 5 to 18. The verse are about the animals that Allah created for our benefit (like donkeys, cows and horses), and the rain and planets He has created for us. It also mentions the sea and the food and ornaments found in.

Interesting they both decided to do a farm scene. Both pieces look awesome, tabarak'Allah.

This is by the 7 year old. A farm, cow, some rocks and he said the blue is the rain (which Allah mentioned He sends down for us to drink, for the plants to grow and for our animals.)

This is by the 9 year old. The barn, .. a cool looking box cow! On the other side of the sanded path is the dessert with his palm trees (verse 11 mentions the olives, palm trees and grapevines).

Since they are only the two and they a different ages, I decided not to have a voting day and just send them both a prize. Insha'Allah they will receive this 142 piece art set to create more wonderful works of art. Great work guys!

Insha'Allah I hope to have another competition in the future, maybe next month. Hopefully more children will join, either way.. I'm happy even if one child benefits from this.

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posted by Sketched Soul at 9:33 AM | Permalink 2 comments
Respecting Your Elders
Thursday, October 25, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

This weeks coloring page is about showing kindness to your elders.

Click to enlarge - Print 'landscape'

Comment: Teach your child the importance of being kind to elders. Being more patient with them and respecting them. Insha'Allah if they treat the elders well Allah will one day send someone to do the same for them when they are older.


posted by Sketched Soul at 2:59 PM | Permalink 0 comments
14:34 Painting
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu 

I finally finished the painting I mentioned in the last email. I had fun, even though the entire process was a learning experience.... especially the lettering.

This is a fairly large painting. Large canvas is 55" x 33". Smaller canvas is 21" x 15". 
It's painted for the kitchen,... this is just an image I've added it in. (I know, the rug is awesome!)

Here is a close up..kind of. As I said, it's large so it's difficult to take a picture.

Here is the close up of the typography. It DID turn out as I imagined (alhumduliLlah)..but my oh my, so much work! It's using gesso to transfer the image on - I will hopefully be trying this again in future paintings.
This is one of my favorite ayahs. It's throughout the entire background.

Surah Ibrahim, ayah 34
"And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful."

AlhumduliLlah, Allah has blessed us with SO much. Prophet Dawud (alayhis salaam) used to say, "O Lord! How can I ever duly thank You, when my thanking You is also a favor from You to me?" Allah answered him, "Now, you have thanked Me sufficiently, O Dawud" - meaning: when he admitted that he will never be able to thank Allah.
.... something to really think about.

There you have it! My next painting insha'Allah is a mural (or as big as I can make it) for the orphanage in Zambia.

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posted by Sketched Soul at 3:42 PM | Permalink 2 comments
Perfume Hadith
Thursday, October 18, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

I've been so busy, haven't had much time to post.. sorry.
I'm in the process of painting a picture!! It's for the kitchen, not that exciting, but it does feel nice to be painting again.... and definitely a wake up call on how much more I need to practice *sigh*
...anyway, I'm also taking sewing classes, but for drafting patterns! So far it's great.. something I've always wanted to learn. And I've finally finished crocheting my nephews 'football' kufis (skull caps) - will take pics soon.

In the meantime, here is this weeks hadith coloring page for the children. Another one I had fun with.

Click to enlarge - Print 'landscape.

Comment: Teach your children that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa-salaam) loved perfume/fragrances. And although he never refused this particular gift (as the hadith states) it is not part of Islam to refuse any gift from someone - even something small (and may 'seem' insignificant to you). It may be the only item that person could give, and Allah knows what's in their heart when they gave it to you.

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posted by Sketched Soul at 12:47 PM | Permalink 0 comments
Cat Hadith Coloring Page
Thursday, October 11, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

Ah yes, so I'm very much on a roll here with these coloring pages. The kids love them, and they seem to remember the hadith better...so insha'Allah I'd like to continue sharing what I can with all the other children out there.

I think I like this one better than the last one (Angry Hadith) - but I'm alone on that thought according to my nephews.

Click to enlarge and print - landscape.

Teach your children the importance of being kind to animals (and all creatures). If a person isn't going to free an animal to allow it to find it's own food they need to make sure they feed it (i.e: making sure your pets are fed).

Happy coloring!!

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posted by Sketched Soul at 9:45 AM | Permalink 2 comments
Qur'an Art Competition
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

 Here's an opportunity to get your children to reflect upon a few verses in the Qur'an, and have fun at the same time!


Details of competition: Each participant will read verses 5 to 18 from Surah An-Nahl (Chapter 16). They will then create a 3D art piece that reflects any part of those verses. A photograph must be emailed to me by the due date. Winner will receive a prize.

Participants allowed:  You will need to receive a confirmation email from me before beginning. This competition is only open to the first 20 participants I hear from.

Ages allowed: 7 to 12 years of age

Cost Limit: None. Should have a camera to send in a picture.

1) Must send in only ONE photograph (I do not want more than one) by the due date.
2) Must be a 3 dimensional creation (i.e: not a drawing).
3) Must reflect some part of the verses above.

Sign up due date: Sunday October 14, 2012
Due date: Sunday October 28, 2012
Voting will be on: Wednesday October 31, 2012

If your child would like to participate, I will need to know the following information. (amtullah79@yahoo.ca) note: .ca NOT .com

Name of competition: Art Qur'an Competition
Child's real name:
Child's age:

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posted by Sketched Soul at 7:58 AM | Permalink 3 comments
Braille Project Wrap Up
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

All praise is due to Allah who gave us this opportunity to help others, gave us the resources and allowed us to complete this project.

Our goal was to raise $2,540. We managed to raise $2,865 for the month of Ramadaan.
Insha'Allah that money will be used towards 15 braille Qur'ans, 50 braille Yasins, 50 braille Muqaddams, and to help with the braille tafsir project.

Here is a letter from the organization so you know exactly where your donation went. (click to enlarge)

If anyone would like to continue to help with this project, please join their FaceBook group: "Braille Quran Initiative"
You are also free to contact me anytime, if you need further details to donate fund.

 Insha'Allah I would like to run this project next year again, please keep checking here (this blog) for details, or sign-up here to know about future projects: Sign Up

Thank you so much to everyone who helped in whatever way they could. I appreciate it very much, and keep you all in my prayers. May Allah grant you the very best in this world and in the next. Ameen.

Short video (3 mins) I'd like to sharing with you.


posted by Sketched Soul at 12:15 PM | Permalink 3 comments
The Adventures of the Salamander
Saturday, October 06, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

I have been reading..but unfortunately haven't been posting any reviews, sorry. Here is my latest reads... which I'm very happy to share with you.

Title: The Adventures of the Salamander (Volume 1)
Author: Michael Klaus Schmidt
Available: Amazon (Kindle version here: Amazon)
Type: Children (ages 3 and up)

What is it about? The adventure of Slippy the salamander on a quest to save his village from the horrible lizards.

Is it worth reading? Definitely. I thoroughly enjoyed the story... and really want to know what happens in the end!

Is the book easy to understand? Yes. I'm just amazed at how many children's books I read that are NOT written for children. This one is excellent.
Added bonus is: each image has a snip of the story (telling a complete story by itself) .. this is great for younger children. I read this to my 3 year old niece who couldn't get enough of it. She's still talking about salamanders and thinks it's "disgusting to eat worm doodles" ..haha. 

Art work? I've known Michael for his work as an artist, so to see both his art and writing come together is incredible. The detail in the pictures are wonderful as well as the maps. - you know it's a real adventure when there are maps!

Notable pages? Well, not notable as such but I love the creativity behind the story (i.e: Mushroom houses, Bobcats that like cheese, etc.)

Recommended age? 3 and up. I would think a 7-8 year old (and older) could read this by themselves and enjoy it... (i.e: more like chapter books for them)

Out of 5: 5

I would love to hear what you thought of the book... or even what you are reading at the moment.


posted by Sketched Soul at 12:40 PM | Permalink 0 comments
Halal Vanilla Essence
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

Where do you find halal vanilla essence from? I get this question so often, it is about time I do a post about it. Sorry for not doing one sooner.

Before I start... let me state for the non-Muslims that visit my blog. Muslims are prohibited from consuming alcohol, this includes the amount you'll find in most vanilla essences. I'm sure you'll find someone who'll justify consuming it by saying it evaporates while baking, or the amount is not enough to intoxicate you - that's between them and God. I personally stay away from it.

This is mainly for Canadian readers, because it's much easier finding halal vanilla essence in the US.
You will need to read labels (even on the ones listed below - as some companies change things from time to time)

Brand: Guyanese Pride
Found: Most Caribbean stores
Price: $4 (approx.)
Note: Do not get "mixed essence" - the label is similar but it tastes different.
Taste: I like this one, it's one of my favorites.

Brand: Club Supreme
Found: Believe it or not... The Dollar Store
Price: $2 
Taste: Pretty good.

Brand: Kaibbean Flavors
Found: Some Caribbean stores
Price: ...don't remember sorry
Taste: Pretty good.

Brand: Trader Joe's
Found: This is for the US people. You should find it at most Trader Joe's.
Price: ...not sure, someone bought it for me.
Taste: Pretty good.

PURE Vanilla - not the fake stuff listed above, for those special occasions
Brand: Pure Ground Vanilla beans Madagascar
Found: Canadian website: Vanilla Food Company
Price: listed on site
Taste: Like vanillaaaaaaaaaaaa....haha

I hope this helps some of you. If you have further questions or know of other brands in Canada please let me know, as yummy goodies are always being baked here!

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posted by Sketched Soul at 2:13 PM | Permalink 6 comments
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