Say Hello to Pique Studios! 😆

Pique was a dream that I had months ago- maybe a distant one back then, but a dream nevertheless. I wanted to take Design Pique a little further, make it unique and versatile, and today, it’s all here.

I’m probably screaming right now.

So what’s new?

What’s new, you say?

THIS. IS. NEW. (click on those words and you’ll see what I mean)

Pique continues to offer everything it has, but with a new policy: pay-as-you-like. I started with free designing to build up on my experience, and in a year I’ve had plenty of experience (more than I’d ever hoped, to be honest), and now I’ve decided to start with optimal charges. You will only be charged at the end of the process, and you can choose what amount would be fitting for your experience- starting $0 onwards!

Also, the shiny new site is WordPress.org based and has a truckload of cool new features which I’m so excited about! Plugins and a built-in site, for starters, and a lot more which I am yet to explore.

There are also animated videos I can make for you that I’ve never formally introduced before at $5 per minute, and you can learn more about them here.

The feature I’m most excited for is the products. I’ve compiled a small range of apparel and notebooks that you can order from here. They come with a handwritten note, and if I know you as a blogger, I might slip in a little something along with your order like a bag of authentic Indian chai, bookmarks or something along those lines. 😉 As of now, since I can’t find anything better, it’ll take about 3 weeks for your order to reach you, but I hope to find a workaround soon enough.

I’m all pumped up to see where Pique Studios goes! 😀 Also, in case you were wondering why I chose today to launch the site, 3rd October 2018 marks 1 year of Pique! 🎉

Please note that this site is not fully developed yet and you may find imperfections in random places. If you ever find anything that needs fixing, I would appreciate it ever so much if you could send my a message through my Contact page or drop a mail (piqueconnect@gmail.com). If any of you are WordPress.org users, I’d love to hear some tips!

Also, for those of you whose orders went on hold because of this, thank you so much for putting up with me! You can expect a mail soon.

Make sure to check out all the new features, guys!

Thank you for all your continued support! I hope to hear more from you in the comments! ❤

Love,
M

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The Thought Behind Born Free

Written as part of HARPs Round 5
Team: Butterfly, Points: 3+8+2=13

What I want to share with you today is unlike what I usually post. I’ve seen many ‘identity crisises’ going on around the blogosphere, and that has gotten me thinking- what is the identity of my blog?

The reason my blog is called Born Free was initially this- my name itself means free, and I was raised with constant reminders that I was free to decide my course in life and make my own choices.

But perhaps there’s more to the name than just that.

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At a time that feels like so long ago, I used to think that I was misinterpreted and that I was a part some race of people that was impossible to comprehend. And regardless of the fact that I didn’t understand myself in the first place – and probably still don’t – I chose to sulk about how others didn’t understand my mind.

Without having unearthed what was beneath my skin on my own, I convinced myself that this world was full of insolent, selfish jerks who would never try to look at me as I ‘truly was’. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration on the point, but that is what I thought, plain and clear.

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But I can say that time has removed the jagged edges to those thoughts.

My life was never hard. My family and friends and environment saw to that. Well, more accurate than saying it wasn’t hard is to say that it was easy.
Everything came easily to me, I had everything I needed to live a good, content life. And today I can see that the insolence and the selfishness was not in the world that I thought didn’t understand me, but in me.

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So many people in this world are suffering and I chose to wrap myself in a cloak of troubles I had never faced! My life was such a good one and still, I would write of unreasonable gloom when I should’ve been grateful for that perfectly good life!
I should’ve stopped sulking and stepped out into this beautiful world. I should’ve broken out of my cocoon and have realised that I was a butterfly, and plunged headfirst into the world, powered by optimism. I should’ve stopped feeling lost and tried to find myself.

And that is why I want to do more than vent out pointless feelings. I want to acknowledge and spread and create beauty. I want to show my long-gone former self that I did not come to life to be someone who simply sat and complained at nonexistent problems. I want to be more than that.
I was born with hopes and dreams and a chance to make something good from my days. And you were too.

That is why we are born free, me and you.

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I Return With a Bang (Sort Of)// A Life Post With Too Many Pictures

I was supposed to be all excited to write a post some ten days ago, but apparently, I wasn’t. 

Well, hello there! Long time no see!

A lot has been going on in my life in the time I wasn’t around. Most of the things that’ve happened are pretty unimportant little things, but it’s the little things that matter, after all. 😉

Unlike what you may have thought, I actually did stuff during my break over the past couple months, which includes some swimming, running, photography, a lot of travelling and an even bigger lot of reading manga. Manga now rules my world.

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Sourced from Google

I discovered new watercolour techniques, I saw new cultures and realised that sometimes you don’t always fit in. Time has passed and I’ve learned new things and I’ve grown a few months older.

I read very few books, unfortunately, but I am sure I have found a new obsession with a series. Anybody else out there who’s read Foundation?

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Sourced from Google

I’ve also been doing some interesting work as a designer. This is a little something I made for a blog I’m designing currently, though it isn’t quite final. I actually drew this by hand and Photoshopped it for the colours.

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This is copyrighted material! No stealing, please!

Apart from that, I also went mad. That is, I made an aesthetic on a Pinterest board about… Me.

See it here!

My cousin and I spent some quality hours together bombarding this board with pictures late into the night. To say the truth I have not been sleeping enough for a couple days. I just hope I don’t fall asleep writing this.

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I discovered music from a group called Sleeping At Last that I really love. All thanks to Ruby for introducing me! I finally have some good stuff to listen to while working out and painting and stuff.

Speaking of painting I have been doing a lot of it, my favourite being this messy one of some hydrangeas (Pin-inspired). I don’t really know why, but I cannot stop looking at it.

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This is copyrighted material! No stealing, please!

This weekend I woke at 4 (am I not great) and ran my second ever 10k. It felt amazing and surprisingly easy and now my thighs are hurting and I cannot swim with these legs.

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So, how have things been for you? I’ve not been very consistent, so make sure to tell me what’s new!

I shall leave you with a song that my cousin has recently been a little too obsessed with.

Thanks for sticking around. 🙂

~Mukta

The Change Award, The Month, and The Hiatus

When I first began to get tagged for awards and such, I used to be super ecstatic. That’s when laziness took over. It’s been the ruling party for so long, but now, the opposition (me, basically) decided to make a move.

Today I’m going to be doing The Change Award, a really neat tag by my good friend Gracie, in celebration of her well-deserved 500 followers! *confetti*

So this time, I’m going to be taking a different angle. Since these questions are rather thought-provoking and I like making things unique, I decided to write my answers in verse. 😀

The Rules: 

  • Link back to me, as well as whoever nominated you (check)
  • Include this: I, Gracie Chick of A Light In The Darkness, created this award to highlight the importance of young people taking responsibility for the future of their world. The Change Award also gives them the opportunity to share with others what they believe in. (okay, I suppose that does it)
  • Answer the questions below (I’ll get to that)
  • Nominate as many people as you like. (that’ll be at the end)

Okay, guys, let’s plunge right in!

Make a list of the things you want to change about schools.

May learning not imprison us
But rather set us free
May grades not be stamped on us
Like they’re our identity.
May we be taught that what we’re learning
Is really for the good
And the reason to seek knowledge
Is not simply because ‘we should’.

Make a list of the things you want to change about local communities.

May kindness be a weapon
Over society’s constant hate
May people learn to respect opinions
And learn to coordinate
May hearts welcome each other
And love, not lies, be exchanged
And when we look back later
May we beam upon the change.

Make a list of the things you want to change about the world, your world.

I want to seize every joy
And fill it into cartons
And take it to my inner world
And finally care for its gardens
Then I want to pluck their flowers
Before they wither and fall down
And proudly place them atop my head
Like a flower crown.


Now that that’s done, here are my nominees (I have tried not to include the ones already nominated, so there)-

Madi
Arunima
Michele
Rutvi
Rae
Rebekah
Lissa
Clara

I’m sorry if I missed you! If you want to do this, there’s nothing stopping you. 😉


Highlights from January

I GOT SO MANY DESIGN ORDERS I ALMOST DROWNED IN THEM

My average bedtime is now 11 pm. I suppose that’s enough said. -_-
So far I’ve had 20+ clients, all in a matter of three months from starting Design Pique Studios, my free web design service! Okay, it’s getting hectic, but sometimes I have to admit that hectic is fun. Plus, it’s one of the main reasons I haven’t been around in a while.

Right now, the site’s on hiatus because it’s getting too much for me to do at once, plus I’ve got waaaay too many exams coming up next month. But some new updates to the site since I first created it is a video which you can see on the home screen, plus a Portfolio page for all my projects.

I STARTED ATTENDING ALICIA SOUZA’S DESIGN MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Okay, you have NO IDEA how excited I was about this. A couple months back I entered a mentorship program, and I was all over the place when I found out that I got selected and- maybe you should check out my post on Design Pique in which I talk all about it and drive you mad. That’ll be much easier.

I READ FIVE BOOKS (working on it), AND BOUGHT THREE PHYSICAL ONES

Haha, five books is nothing for some of you, I know. BUT with my crazy life and orders and assignments from my program alongside, that’s saying something.

Also, we bought three books. OH, COME ON. We never buy physical books. My dad always insists on ebooks because they don’t take up too much space. If you want to know what made him change his mind this one time, it’ll be quite a bit of a story.

We were on vacation to Bombay, and then somehow we figured that there was a certain “book street” in Colaba (read more about that here). I had no idea what that meant. Being a curious family, we decided to check it out.

If you’re a book lover, this is one of the reasons you have to visit India.

It was- you guessed it- a complete street lined with tons and tons of books. Secondhand books. For about half the usual price.

Naturally, I went cuckoo, and so did my dad.

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MY ART RATE WENT DOWN AND THEN… IT CAME UP

I hardly did any art in January. And, well, this probably doesn’t count as a January highlight, but today I took part in a painting competition in our locality. It was conducted by the husband of a late artist, which made me feel nice about taking part.

There was no theme, and I had no time to think something good up, and what I ended up with was… this. Excuse that it looks sort of dark.

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Another little detail is there were three age groups and one winner was to be chosen from each, and my painting won in my category. 😀

I’m not going to talk too much about what my prize was, because I don’t like talking about things like that. But I would like to mention that it included a paintbrush which that late artist used to use, and I will treasure it forever. ❤


The Hiatus

Yep, the worst part.

Orders are too much for my puny being to handle. Plus exams. And then there’s life. This site’s going to be taking a bit of a rest for a few months, but hey, a few months! I’ll be right back in late March. I may sneak in that occasional post, with updates or something like that, and I will be reading and commenting on your posts, but no consistency.

We all need a break once in a while, hm? 😉


Thanks to all of you for reading! See you here again in March, and I hope you have a lovely day!

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A Mirror to My Self

An aesthetic to reflect my personality, inspired by Gracie’s post (which was inspired by Lonelymeme’s post). Haha, good ideas travel far. 😉

aesthetic that defines me

i love:
stars, the ocean and the play of words,

seeking songs that are whispered, too vague to be heard,
 the fog in the mountains, sunlight through the trees,
a walk by the seashore, an afternoon breeze,

the dance of the wind and beautiful blue,
and things people don’t notice but i do, i do.

Making Art for the Environment// I’M BACK??

I haven’t posted in some ten days. Welp.

So… Hello.

I know I’ve been terrible blogger # 1, but what’s a couple posts less in your reader? Right??

Anyway, here I am, freshened up and better than ever! I’m really excited to come out of my little hole and see the blogging world anew and go on a crazy blogging spree this month! Fun, eh? Continue reading Making Art for the Environment// I’M BACK??

Mini Book Review: The Song From Somewhere Else

The books decided that I had been on a reading hiatus for long enough and ambushed me.

There’s my excuse for this post.

I suppose I haven’t done a book review on my blog for all the years of my residence. How pitiful. *wipes tear* Continue reading Mini Book Review: The Song From Somewhere Else

Animals in Action: Episode 1@ The Erratic

My cousin has started an awesome and informative animal endangerment awareness series called Animals in Action, and the first issue featured red pandas! Go check it out!

Credit for featured image

The Erratic

Hello, world! I thought I’d got enough opinions from many bloggers and  thought it’d better start. After thinking, I thought I should write about red pandas as asked  by Mukta in the comments of A New Series. So, here goes! Nononono, but first, a picture….

red panda.jpg Isn’t it soo cute?

Red panda fact profile:

  1. Scientific name: Ailurus Fulgens.
  2. Also called: Lesser panda, red cat-bear, red bear-cat, firefox.
  3. Description: It has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs; it is slightly larger than a domestic cat. It is an endangered species and is a squishy, little omnivore.
  4. Feeds on: Eggs, insects, birds, bamboo, fruits, roots and small mammals.
  5. Belongs to: Bear  and raccoon family. It is an arboreal animal, which means it spends most of its time on trees, etc.
  6. Most importantly, why are they endangered?
    Interesting question. Well, the reason is…

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My Previous Blog Designs and Why I Changed Them

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I changed my blog design. Again. And that set me thinking… WHY did I change my previous ones? At a point of time, the design I had felt fresh and exciting, but I slowly grew out of it, and that forced me to change it over and over again. But I’m surprised at this: I CHANGED MY THEME FOR THE FIFTH TIME THIS YEAR.

Today, I’m going to review some of the headers I previously had and compare them with my new one. You ready?

Continue reading My Previous Blog Designs and Why I Changed Them

Let’s Face it. NaPoWriMo is Here.

I’m not sure whether I’m going to EXPLODE with excitement or drown with nervousness, but it’s a fact.

NaPoWriMo is here.

I know you very conveniently found out, owing to the title, but I put that in for the sake of extra drama.

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In a frank jumble of words, NaPo is awesomely scary. For me, anyway. That’s because I am not, and will never be, able to force poetry out of myself. It just comes naturally, and though it doesn’t always turn out the way I expect it to, I can’t sit down and bully myself to write.

Most writers will have had that true and unavoidable experience.

I’m going to participate. Though no one is compelling me to and I’m scared out of my wits, I’m going to. The NaPo guys have poetry prompts every day, so it hopefully won’t be as terrifying and I expect, and as a NaPo newbie, I’d love to know what some more elderly (muhahaha the sarcasm) NaPo-ers find the April stress. Do you guys manage to get through it? HOW??

So here’s the page in which I’m going to be posting all my poems. I have a feeling that this month is not going to be quite as ordinary. Do you think so too?

And Mukta would like to give you assurance that she will try very hard to write a poem every day and Mukta will also be a loyal and faithful bloggy friend.

Mukta is a good elf, you see.

Are you going to participate in NaPoWriMo?
Do you find it difficult?
Can you elderly guys give me some survival tips??

Yours,
Mukta, the free elf