[For a background into the category Moms Uninhibited read here]
Interior artist extraordinaire, Palwasha Khan’s work is fascinating to say the least. Anyone can decorate a home, but this lady performs magic. She takes old furniture, about to be discarded and breathes beauty and life into it. The icing on the cake? She works with a shoe-string budget! From being a wife, teacher, to an administrator in a school, to taking on the role of a personal development manager to dabbling in fashion and interior design, Palwasha now has the toughest job of all- she is a work-at-home-mom.
She runs a blog titled www.mycreativeclutter.wordpress.com as well as an online group-both initiatives encouraging people to reuse old, ostensibly unusable furniture to create stylish new household items. Her aim is to bring the culture of furniture recycling to Pakistan with the hope to inspire more people to try their hand at up-cycling projects, with locally available products. Isn’t that all kinds of amazing? Read on and be inspired.
How did you get your idea or concept for Creative Clutter?
I have always had a passion for interior décor and found my calling when a close friend asked me to do up her home. Short on budget and time-I decided to use the existing furniture they had and tried my best to give them a new lease of life. Once I was done, it got me thinking why don’t people do this ?I looked at every piece of furniture differently after that 😉
After this I initiated a FB group called DIY (DIY Design Interiors Yourselves). I wanted to create a forum that would allow people to share their DIY experiences and home decor adventures. After posting some refurbishing projects on the DIY group I was asked by the members for step-by-step instructions. That’s when I thought of creating a blog- and that’s how Mycreativeclutter came into existence.
Describe any challenging mom moments faced when working?
I think the biggest challenge was when we moved to Islamabad. Islamabad is not only expensive when it comes to raw materials but at times you cannot even find what you are looking for. Not to forget the labour you find here are extremely laid back and not very passionate about their craft.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out something similar, what would it be?
Find something you are truly passionate about, this will make blogging that much easier. Once you begin, stay focused, dedicated and consistent and of course don’t forget to enjoy the journey.
Are there moments when you just want to quit? If yes, what are the voices in your head that propel you to carry on?
I don’t think I have ever wanted to quit but I did take a break from it all when my father was ill.
How many hours a day do you work (on average)?
I would like to say I have a structured schedule, however that would not be very true. I think for me it all depends on the project- the ones I can solely tackle on my own I manage to complete in a few days. Projects where I am dependent on the carpenter or upholsterer at times take weeks!
Tell us about that one big lesson you learnt that has impacted the way you work.
I think I have learnt not to be too dependent on anyone- this can be the craftsmen you work with, your colleagues or even your friends. At the end of the day you have to make it on your own.
If you were to do it all again, what would you do differently?
The creative thought process I wouldn’t change but I would definitely like to work on Marketing and PR.
Describe the most satisfying moment at work in the last three months.
Actually I just got back to work 3 months ago and for me that has been the most gratifying experience. My work allows me to keep my mind busy and me sane. It allows me the opportunity to just be Palwasha Khan, the creative free spirit for a couple of hours at least.
What were you doing as a ten year old?
I was a very sporty child and loved playing outdoors. I also hated art class and thought it was quite boring ;). In hindsight, how I wish I had paid more attention in class.
Name two things you can’t leave home without.
My son (not by choice always) and my mobile.
Name three books your children should read when they turn fifteen.
I would want them to read the Harry Potter books at any age.
Life of Pi
My Sister’s Keeper
What movie, (no matter how many times you have seen it) do you have to watch when it’s on?
For me it would be a sitcom- Friends. I still find it hilarious.
Name the first 90s pop song that comes to mind.
At the moment it’s the 80’s song Take on me (A-ha) that is playing in my mind. For the 90’s it would quite embarrassingly be STOP by Spice Girls.
What is the funniest/most entertaining thing that has happened to you recently?
Since I spend most of my time with my son- the funniest thing he is doing nowadays is coming up with his own version of common words. Like every morning he asks if he can google (he means gargle) after he brushes!