Ayyam-i-Ha is one of the most festive times of year for Baha’is as we celebrate four days of gift-giving, charity, and visiting friends, as well as being a time of preparation for the Baha’i Fast.
A few years ago, I composed an Ayyam-i-Ha song and have wanted to make a professional re-recording of it ever since. I am thrilled to let you know that I recently recorded the song again with beautiful guitar playing by Larry Magee and have included it on my latest album, ‘Meditations for the fast’. The album also includes an instrumental version of the song so that friends can sing along to it at home or at parties you are celebrating during Ayyam-i-Ha!
The ‘Meditations for the Fast’ album makes a wonderful Ayyam-i-Ha gift and I have made a special bundle option available for purchase on my website. For more details and to order, click here. In order to receive it on time, please order by February 5th as shipping takes 2-3 weeks from China.
I am over the moon! The CDs and the envelopes arrived last night so I was able to send out the first batch of orders today!
This album was initiated a few years ago when my son started to observe the Baha’i fast. We composed and recorded our first piece together and since then I have wanted to make a small compilation of writings about the Baha’i fast set to music. I had been planning to have it ready for the fast this year and was truly lucky to get it printed on time as the whole country shuts down for Chinese New Year. If I had waited just one more day for the design to be complete, I would have missed the opportunity to release the album this year for the fast as the factories re-open end of February; some as late as March!
Below is an art print I created for my son’s first Fast. It is available as one of the options for purchase with the ‘Meditations for the Fast’ CD.
On another note, the price of the album will increase slightly from February 1st so if you haven’t already ordered and would like to do so, here is the link. I look forward to sharing more about ‘Meditations for the fast’ in the coming weeks.
For the last several years I have been thinking about making a CD for the Fast since it is a unique time of year and music adds another spiritual dimension to this special period. I’m so excited now to be able to release it just in time for the fast! The album is titled, ‘Meditations for the Fast’.
A few days ago I posted two cover designs on facebook and was overwhelmed by all the comments. Thanks so much to all who responded. As it turned out, about half of you preferred #1 and the other half liked #2, which made it difficult to choose! Nonetheless, reading each of your comments helped me make a decision.
The cover chosen is posted below. I chose this option because, as many of you mentioned, it shows where the lamp is coming from. Personally, I find that seeing the poll from which the lamp hangs brings me comfort. Some of you also mentioned that the pole is symbolic of a connection — with God, through His Covenant. So I kept that in, especially as the Fast is a period of time in which we try to draw closer to and strengthen our connection with God. Regarding the text, I chose to align it so that it provides a sense of harmony and symmetry (many of you agreed). And the clouds were removed to give the cover a cleaner feel.
The CDs are being duplicated and the envelope printed up as I write this so it should be in my hands the first few days of February. The CD will be housed in a beautiful envelope and the lyrics will be included in the package. As shipping takes 2-3 weeks from China (sometimes longer), I wanted to release the album early this year to give you a chance to order it in time for the fast.
When you’ve had a chance to listen, let me know what you think of the cover and the album…
I love this quotation as it is a reminder of the importance of the arts, crafts and sciences and the power their to uplift us. Each one of us is blessed to be able to be a channel for inspiration to pass through as I believe we all have the capacity to be creative.
I wanted to choose a painting as a background to this inspiring quotation and chose one that I completed some time ago entitled, ‘African Blaze’.
Friends often ask me for wedding gift ideas. Material gifts are often what come to mind, but a few years ago I felt that I would really like to have something more meaningful to celebrate such an important occasion in one’s life. So the idea came to me of creating an album on the theme of love and marriage accompanied by a book of uplifting quotations to remind couples of the beauty and sacredness of marriage. That’s how my album ‘Birds of Love’ came into being. Since then, I have heard from many friends who have used the music during their weddings or who have given the gift set to friends and loved ones getting married. When I created it I also envisioned people using the instrumental versions to sing the pieces at weddings and to my delight this has happened several times.
Here’s the full description (or skip to below to see the video): The Birds of Love book and CD gift set is a gorgeous silk covered book of inspiring quotes on the theme of love and marriage specially chosen from different sources (including the Bible, Native American traditions, and the Baha’i Writings) that inspire and move the reader. Each page of quotations has a different illustration of exquisite Chinese paintings. Inside the book is a five song CD of songs on the theme of love and marriage with five additional instrumental tracks for live performances and background at special events.
Each Birds Of Love book is handmade with a slightly different pattern of gold silk fabric. There are various options available for this unique package, the standard gold book and CD gift set, and a limited edition gift set with a choice of two different fabric covers, autographed, with a beautiful hand-made gift card with gold envelope.
The video below shows you what’s inside the booklet. It is a perfect wedding or anniversary gift or even a special present to any loved one. If you would like to order 10 or more please contact me for further discounts. For more details about the package and how to order, please click here.
As all orders will be shipped from China, please allow 2-3 weeks!
Birds of Love gift set
One of the pages inside the Birds of Love gift set
In just over a month Baha’is around the world will be celebrating the festival of Ayyam-i-Ha. During these four special days, Baha’is bring cheer to others, visit the poor and needy and give gifts.
Every year I like to create something unique for this occasion. This year I scoured the local markets and found the most gorgeous cloisonne beads and Tibetan rose beads among others! With these lovely beads, I designed 12 beaded bookmarks on gold thread with inspiring quotations attached to them on the theme of love. Each bookmark matches a prayer book cover which I have pictured on the site as an option to purchase (the bookmarks are also sold separately or with a matching prayer book cover on sale). Click here to view all bookmarks.
Each bookmark comes already gift-wrapped in a silver chiffon bag in a gorgeous blue/silver box, ready for gift giving or keeping. Below are some samples of the beaded bookmarks and the prayer covers they come with.
I have also made available several water pearl prayer beads housed in elegant Chinese silk boxes. They are also on sale on my Etsy store. Click here to take a look.
And by the way, shipping takes 2-3 weeks from China so get your orders in before it’s too late. :)
Prussian blue beaded bookmark with inspiring quotation
The most elegant of the beaded bookmarks named ‘Indian Rose’.
Gold beaded bookmark with paisley gold prayer book cover
Blue sky butterfly beaded bookmark with prayer cover
All the beaded bookmarks
Sky blue water pearl prayer beads packaged in floral silk box
Several years ago I was asked to record vocals for a fascinating project with a producer in Finland. He found me on twitter and the rest was history. You can read more about the album on a post I wrote a few years ago. The album, Beyondsphere, was completed in 2010 and since then the producer, Ali Kesanto, has released several videos – a couple of which I am featured singing vocals for. Last year, Ali produced a fabulous video Jaguar F-TYPE S Coupé in which he used one of his compositions, Seian, from the album.
Below is his latest time-lapse video that he created of the beautiful sea freezing in Helsinki. It is absolutely breathtaking! The video features his song ‘Fractions’ from the album ‘Beyondsphere’ and I am honoured to have recorded the vocals for this piece.
Sit back, relax and spend a few minutes enjoying this mesmerizing video!
Thank you for sending in all your nominations for couples you admire for our anniversary music giveaway. I received over 50 nominations for couples living around the world and was so touched reading through them all. I could feel so much love for your friends. Choosing who to give the ‘Birds of Love’ album download gifts to was challenging as there were so many kind and thoughtful comments. So I decided to give out 15 album downloads instead of 5! Because of all the enthusiasm, I will have more music giveaways in the future to allow more friends the opportunities to share the love.
Below are the winning nominations for the ‘Birds of Love’ gift album. I will be emailing each of you individually with a gift certificate that you can email to the couple you admire. Congratulations!
Gloria Eshrati (Shohreh and Shah Verahramyan)
Sarmad Garmroud (Hala Bassier-Garmroud and Fidal Bassier)
May Taherzadeh (Shamim Taherzadeh and Johanna Jochumsdottir)
Cheri King (Tabasom and Marvin Khoshkhesal)
Deborah Kares (Zach Peerand & Cynthia Tomik)
Mona Afshar-Tongga (Carla and Jack Jones)
Roberta Charles (Douglas Robert Oliver Charles and Nika)
Kimberly (Alina and Andrew Spychala)
Hayede Parsa (Lua and Daniel Baker)
Julio Ortega (John and Sharon MacLeod)
Earl Erickson (Bob and Judy Rinehart)
Guita youssefian (Tom and Donna Mandaville)
Guillaume Giraud (Saba Mazza & Rachel Bayani)
Vicki (Melissa & Rich Young)
Saeed Naimi (Leyla Shodjai Abrar and Farzad Shodjai)
Today is our 21st wedding anniversary and I’m so grateful to be married to such a sweet, kind, loving and supportive husband. He has always allowed me to pursue what I love and encouraged me in my personal and spiritual growth. I am so thankful!
In honor of our special day, I thought it would be a lovely opportunity to share some gifts with friends you care about! This is how it works… Nominate a loving couple that you admire by writing their names in the comments section below (also explain why you nominated them) and I will randomly pick 5 couples and send them my ‘Birds of Love’ digital album download (the CD is on the theme of love and marriage). I will announce the winners in the next couple of days.
Last year I posted a blog called ‘100 tips for a Happy and Healthy Marriage’ which consists of tips that all my friends contributed to. I wanted to share it again as a reminder to all of us of what makes a marriage successful. Enjoy!