Art & Craft Ideas, D I Y, Home Decor, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Recyling, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Reduce., Reuse, Something inbetween, T U T O R I A L S, Table/Mantle set up, Trash to Treasure

Romantic Style Mantle Decor

Hello friends,

You know I belong to a generation ( Dinosaur period ) where, we jotted down dates on the “Calender” and remembered birthdays of friends, family members and relatives (religiously) and posted greeting cards to them, if they lived abroad, atleast 10 days in advance (postal journey time)

If they stayed in the same city, then “REAL”  efforts were made to call them, make them feel special, buy a pretty gift along with a greeting card for them.  Things were really simple.  Brands were really not something, people thought too much about. Its the thought that matters – is the ideology, I was bought up on.

We had never even heard of Teachers day.  Fathers day and Mothers day were the only ‘special days’ we were acquainted with.

I remember,  I was in Grade 8, mid 1980s, when one of my friends, who had just returned from holidays in USA, got me a sticker set of fruits which when rubbed, gave off the whiff of bananas, grapes, oranges and lemon and a greeting card for Valentines day.

Valentines day was unheard of in those days, in Kuwait.

Naturally, not having Google around – meant we got ALL our information from books.

I don’t ever remember reading about any valentines day occasion anywhere, but the concept seemed interesting. Especially since we were at an impressionable age where every “long gaze” from the opposite sex, was considered as a ‘crush’ 🙂

Valentines day just gave us all, school-goers, an excuse to share our feelings with our friends.  Those were also the days of silly slam books !! Did you have those ?

Truly, those were simple days.  Innocent times with no complications like today.

Fast forward to 2019, I find all these barrage of ‘special days’ just a waste.  These are reduced to just occasions glorified by the Hallmark -kinda -industries to capitalize on !

There is a long queue of these willy-nilly day declaring including some like,  World television day,  International day of happiness, World toilet day – Its bizarre due to the fact that more than two billion people don’t have access to proper sanitation.

Having said that, i strongly support any month or day, which brings about awareness of any disease or disorder or mental health state.  I have always been an avid supporter for the Breast Cancer month & Autism awareness month

However, I don’t think, we really need a special day to remind our loved ones, how precious they are, how much we value them. My husband taught me, It should be a gesture we provide in our every day-to-day life.

After a recent exhibition, we returned home totally exhausted. I was bone tired and slumped on the couch, barely able to raise my feet.  It took two long days of arduous efforts in setting up and dismantling, not one but two stalls for the exhibition.

We decided to leave all the supplies and exhibition material in the car and off load it the following day.  I knew all the boys were drained as well hence two of them hit the sack as soon as we got home, but one of my sons, decided to take the reins in his hands and managed to quietly offload the entire load out of the car, all by himself !!

Not only that, he also fed all 11 of our cats – while I was barely cooling off my heals and wondering how I would walk to the kitchen to feed the cats !!  These are those little acts of thoughtfulness that carry the reward of mountains in them.

Needless to say, when I did finally pluck myself off the couch from my trans-like zombie state, i realized what he had done for us.  I showered him with hugs and my blessings when I found out, how much he went above and beyond the call the duty.

These are things that leave a mark.  These are little acts that speak louder than any wrapped up gift.

Coming back to today’s post. . .

For those of you, who may be looking for Valentines day, decor ideas, here’s a small happy and romantic mantle decor which I put together.

Romantic Mantle decor

All the elements on the table are handmade, except the cages, flower pot and white candle stand.

With titles2

You can find the links to the tutorial of the above diy projects below :-

Tuna can makeover to candle stand

Puzzle blocks makeover to reversible signs

Frame makeover with twigs

Frame makeover with quilled paper flowers

Romantic table setup2Valentines day mantle decor 2Valentines day mantle decorValentines day mantleI hope you find inspiration in some of my projects and might consider attempting some of them.

I am sharing this project with my blog buddies  here .

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I’m really glad that you stopped by.  I hope you stay a while and leave inspired.

Please subscribe to my blog to keep abreast with all my latest posts and projects.

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Whats your blog about ? Crafts, DIY, Gardening, fashion, crochet, recipes ?

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Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai

New Year at the Worlds Tallest Tower.

Hello friends.

For all those of you who are celebrating New Year, I pray we all have a blessed, peaceful and creative New Year.

2

I am a Muslim and we follow the Lunar calendar hence our New Year is 1st of Hijri. However, for our day to day practical purposes we refer to the Gregorian calendar.

An occasion or holiday that gives us a chance to be together is cherished.

So, How did you welcome the New Year ?

We are blessed to live in the City that houses the worlds tallest tower, so where best to be at, but The Burj Khalifa !!

burj khalifa dubai

The fireworks were phenomenal, infact, Burj Khalifa also set the record for the longest LED light display on New Years eve.  Ho boy !! It was brilliant.

burj khalifa dubai 2

Ofcourse, entry on Sheikh Zayed road and Financial center road, closed from 10:30 pm.

new year in dubai 1new year in dubai 5Cars were double parked on Al Khail road. But around 11:00 pm we realized, the authorities were moving people out from parking on the side-path of highway so we drove towards a construction site on the opposite side and had a fabulous view from there.

new year in dubai 2

Needless to say we were not the only smart ones there !!

People had come prepared with flood lights, carpets, tents etc.

new year in dubai 3

We had carried our tables, chairs, blankets and pizzas.

What absolute bliss.

burj khalifa dubai 3

Any occasion is an opportunity to share some special moments with the people who matter the most to you, tolerate you the most and appreciate you the most.

Good health, sound mind and the bliss of a happy family – How can anything be more precious ?

1Different people celebrate in different ways. How did you welcome the New Year ?

I am sharing this post with my lovely blog buddies here.

Really glad you dropped by today.

Hope you  have a bright and happy day.

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Art & Craft Ideas, Art Classes Students, CRAFT Recipes, D I Y, Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Party favors, Storage, T U T O R I A L S, Technique, Workshops and Classes

The Ultimate Art and Craft Box / Kit !

How to diy art and craft kitThis is a simple post about helping Moms, new Moms, creative and Non-creative Moms understand, how you can get alittle organized beforehand and make beautiful memories while your little one enjoys spending that special time with you.

I’ve been a craft artist for nearly two decades. I love crafting. It is not only my passion, but it also completes me.

“Crafts” is a tiny term which encompasses a whole range of activities.  Unfortunately most of us, tend to associate it with painting or drawing or probably alittle bit of cutting.  But that’s not necessarily all that there’s to it.

I’ve taught in a couple of schools but several prestigious art institutes.  I’ve held Mother & Toddler classes, Workshop for ladies and classes for youngsters as well.

Today, in this post, I will address one concern that most moms have echoed over the years to me, how they find themselves all over the place when it comes to having some craft time with the kids.

There are 4 things, I’d like for you to remember before we address the craft dilemma :-

  • Please hold your ‘fun craft time’ – as a time to explore new activities TOGETHER. It is a time when you actually MAKE MEMORIES – its supposed to be FUN. Not a task.
  • Please know, that NO ART WORK is ever “COMPLETE OR PERFECT” – it is ALL in THE PROCESS.
  • Please remember, appreciate your child’s effort, no matter how tiny. He is trying to please YOU as well.
  • Long after they have grown, they will still cherish these priceless moments. So don’t try to work on making it “Perfect”.  Remember, “its the imperfection that adds character.”

Here are some of the issues  :-

  1. Insufficient tools
  2. Inadequate know-how
  3. Unaware of places to shop at for supplies
  4. lack of energy to drive around to places for supplies
  5. Packed craft kits are expensive
  6. Packed craft kits have limited supplies

So, I’ve decided to address all of these 6 issues one by one.

FYI, One of my most visited blog post is where-do-you-buy-craft-supplies-from-in-dubai

Moms who have toddlers in their troublesome twos, realize that children need various activities besides toys, to keep them stimulated.  Hence in a desperate attempt to help the little one, they grab the first craft kit that they come across in the supermarket aisle.  However, I agree that most craft kits are aimed at a specific activity and supplies are really limited.

I’m going to advise you on how you can ease the process of crafting with your toddler/little one.

Please remember, children are not just visual learners. They learn by touch, feel, smell, sight, sound and THE PROCESS !

For the first 5 years of their life, they are still getting the hang of the hand and eye coordination – gross motor skills.

They are virtually charged 10 hours of the day to play, practice and have fun.  Thru it all, they are LEARNING.

Adapting to their environment and understanding their own movements.

Let us consider a routine scenario.

Our young first-time-Mum watches this youtube video about 5 easy crafts to try out with little Sarah.  (point2 addressed) [Google and Youtube videos ‘can be” a new Mom’s best friend since they can guide you tremendously around the process of crafting with kids]

She thinks its easy enough to try it out with her little one.  She rushes to the nearest Toy store and searches high & low for a craft kit for toddlers ! { point3 – this mom had the strength and enthusiasm to drive to the Toy store. Full marks to her but (point4) not all of us drive or have a store close by, hence we can buy online as well } Refer here

Realization – most crafts kits are aimed at children older than 5 years !!  Heaps of toys are available – but not craft kits !

FYI – one of the reasons for this is that alot of craft supplies have small objects which can cause choking hazard for little ones and companies do not want to risk getting into such waters.

Ofcourse you can opt out and buy one of those ridiculously expensive painting kits with sponges and fancy brushes (Point 5 is valid and real)  But then of course, Mom can splurge over little Sarah.

So Mom buys it and brings it at home – 2 days of fun and mess later, chances are a few of the brushes ‘may’ have gone missing under the sofa, the paint tub is all but nearly over and our little Sarah has decided, she’s had enough of Mona Lisa. (point6) Most little children have a short attention span. Give them easy crafts to work with. They may work with one painting but once its over, they need something different. 

This is where little Sarah is restless and Mom is getting frustrated too as her she realizes these craft activities are probably not her cup of tea !!

THIS IS WHERE I STEP IN !! Don’t fret and fume Mama.  Read on …. there is relief for you.

We’re going to assemble the ULTIMATE ART AND CRAFT BOX for you so that every time, you want to try out an activity with your child, all you have to do is, spread the ‘drip sheet’ on your table or work space and get the supplies you need, out and voila ! Start your crafting adventure !! You never know – you might discover you really like crafts 🙂

First thing –  Chances are, you might already be having a plastic box, bucket, basket or a large container at home. Its best if it could be large and preferably with a lid. In fact, the large transparent bin with wheels from IKEA is most ideal for this purpose.  Here are a few options :

Here are some of the most basic supplies :-

I highly encourage little children who are still developing their gross motor skills to use crayons or color pencils rather than colored markers.

Please remember, a scribble made by a 2 year old, might be an entire story from his imagination. Hence please appreciate it and ask him/her questions relating to that. See how his/her eyes sparkle as he describes 3 stories from one picture !!

Avoid buying large A3 size drawing books becoz children tend to use only a partial amount of space. Infact, I keep photocopier sheets handy, which can later be framed or placed in protector sleeves and hung up on the fridge or their study desks.

Don’t underestimate the importance of the humble rubberband.  Also remember to pack a few of the large black paper clips.

Alot of crafts ask for pipecleaners too. From acting as the stem of a flower, to the antenae of a butterfly, pipecleaners/chenille have plenty of uses.

Several crafts require drinking straws. They are colorful, they are easy to manipulate and children associate blowing air or making bubbles with them.

Long after the clothes have been dried, these clothespin will be super handy in the craft box. From the body of an insect to decorating a recycled jam jar, there are endless uses of this innovative creation. An absolute Must-have for our craft box.

Styrofoam balls come in various sizes. Apart from the easy snow man, you will find several sites full of ideas on how to use these, creatively.

Below, you will find tiny sparkling stars in packets,  pipecleaners which are plain and sparkly, styrofoam balls, childproof scissors and glitter tubes.  I would definitely include all of these EXCEPT GLITTER tubes.  They are a highly messy idea and I would prefer the children to be atleast 6 years old  before they get their hands on glitter.

I absolutely LOVE this bumper kit. You could buy the items individually or just add 2 packets of these in our craft box and Voila !  Tip – These could be included as return gifts for birthday parties too !!

If you are not able to get crepe paper, the below tissue gift wrap paper will do the trick just as well. Most crafts for tiny toddlers revolves around tearing bits of pieces of these sheets and sticking it to various items.

I don’t think, any craft kit can be complete without a Sharpie marker. Although the below marker is NOT a sharpie, I think, it might do the job ! Traditionally these are alcohol based hence you can use these to draw on plastic and metal.

The value pack with 25 pieces is ideal.  It is always advisable to use the thicker paint brushes for children.  Don’t expect little fingers to hold tiny brushes. These kits with sponge faces are also fun for little ones. Just drop alittle paint in a paper plate and dab the sponge for endless hours of fun !!

These alphabet stampers are good when you want kindergarten children to practice remembering their alphabets OR sounds. It takes the stress off, from having to write. But they are optional.

 

  • Every mothers nightmare is the aftermath of an art and craft activity – This drop sheet should be able to solve that issue, Mom !

Just spread it on the table or floor and use the spring clamp (in the below picture) to hold it tight to an object, alternatively, you can use the white and blue striped sheet rolls, available in supermarkets. They too are efficient.
One fun item I would include would have to be these Ketchup dispenser bottles.

Use ? – You can find several recipes for puffy paint and these bottles are perfect for squeezing the paint and designing with.

Here are some more tips.

  • A glue gun is a handy tool (almost an essential item for every Crafter) . However, it can be introduced to  children once they are over 10 or 11 years of age.
  • When working with little children, use only paper masking tape. Not the plastic kind.
  • Please don’t buy the plastic scissors for toddlers. It practically NEVER works.
  • If you want to know which is the best brand for erasers and sharpners, kindly subscribe to my blog for the next post which will have details on various brands.
  • Over the years, I have realized, aprons don’t help all that much. It inhibits their movement and if anything, the plastic rubbing against eachother is a bother to most kids. Just get them dressed in one of your husband’s old Tshirts !
  • Red, blue and yellow are primary colors, inorder to attain any other color, you just have to mix, any two of these two colors.  So you don’t need a dozen tubs of colors. A few will do.
  • I have compiled this list considering almost all homes have paper staplers and paper punches !

So there you have it !

All the pictures in this post were taken at Dollar Plus. *However please note,  this post is not in affiliation with them. I am NOT being compensated by ANY Dollar store for this post.

When I share my experience or any information with you over here – it is done purely to help, moms, teachers, crafters, students and people who don’t have the time or energy to research these avenues.  I have NOTHING to gain from it except perhaps some appreciation from people who leave kind words of gratitude in the comments.

I am sharing this post at the following parties :-

 

 

Thank you for visiting me today. Have a lovely day and be sure to subscribe to my blog (top right column) and my instagram here.

HTTPS://WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/ARTYCRAFTYNAUSH/

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Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Treat bags

Dollar Store – in Dubai ?

Dollar stores have been sprawling all over the US and Canada for several decades.  England has its own version as the Pound store and I am sure, the rest of the world too has them.

Here in Dubai, we’ve been spoiled for choices at the numerous 10 dhs – 20 dhs stores and Day to Day stores.

We even have a Japanese counterpart ‘Daiso’ providing most items at dhs 7.

Dollar store in Dubai (1)

Let me tell you 26 years back, when I landed in Dubai for the first time, these exact stores offered 1,2 and 5 dhs items. Infact you still might find a few of them in certain pockets of Sharjah and Ajman.

A “certain class” of people tend to have a biased view about their products, looking down upon them as cheap Chinese goods. However, I believe that is a blanket statement that just does NOT apply.  Some of the items you find here, are really good quality and some are far from it. But I would not generalize it.

For the longest time, I used to pick bulk goods from these stores for filling “return gift bags” for my children’s birthday parties.  (from Kindergarten to grade 5 !!)

Infact I remember, I used to add note pads, pencil cases, little stuffies or toy cars and some cupcakes or juice packets for valentines days for all my boys’ classmates till they completed Primary schooling, alternating the items with puzzles, popup books, coloring books, stickers, rubic cube, etc as they grew older.

When you have to pack, 70 – 80 bags, one has to be wiser with the penny and the pound ! For years, my sons’ friends looked forward to these bags.  Once secondary school began, everybody had such tech-related needs !!

Finally a few years back, Dollar Plus opened its doors at Madina Mall.

Located in Al Qusais – closer to Al Muhaisnah

This is just a quick glimpse of what you’ll find at the store.

My next post will be more elaborate with a theme !

Click on the above photos to view them in detail.

These colors are so delightfully appealing !

I love their collection of earthen mugs, colorful pails, fancy candles, baskets and those lovely vintage pictured vanity/mirror cases ! Oh so chic !!

My next blog post will also be related to the Dollar store but it will be focused around the creative aspect of what appeals to a Crafter in a Dollar store.

I am very excited to share plenty of tips and ideas of how and what to make use of, at the store. Please be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my blog, lest you don’t miss that post.

PS. I am NOT being reimbursed by ANY Dollar store for this post.

When I share my experience or any information with you over here – it is done purely to help, moms, teachers, crafters, students and people who don’t have the time or energy to research for these avenues.  I have NOTHING to gain from it except perhaps some appreciation from people who leave kind words of gratitude in the comments.

Thank you for visiting me today. Have a lovely day and be sure to subscribe to my blog (top right column)and my instagram here.

HTTPS://WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/ARTYCRAFTYNAUSH/

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Ten places to visit in Dubai for free
Dubai, Dubai Shopping Festival Art Stall, My Favorite Stores in Dubai

10 AMAZING PLACES TO VISIT IN DUBAI FOR FREE

 

Dubai is the hub of amazing adventures, never-ending entertainment and exciting activities to keep you and your family occupied!

However, Dubai is alot more than a desert kingdom with outrageously magnificent structures.  It is not reserved exclusively for the rich & famous, or the exuberant tourist.  It is a city which beautifully caters to the needs and aspirations of its local and expat population.

Not every family can enjoy the luxury of shopping at world class malls, cinemas, golf courses or museums.  And hence we scoured deeper to find 10 fantastic places where families can enjoy the lovely weather outdoors with some sightseeing, perhaps a barbecue or a fabulous picnic by the lake.

After enduring the sweltering summer here in the UAE, it’s finally safe to step outdoors once again !!

Here are our 10 picks of the places to visit in Dubai FOR FREE !!

  1. Dubai Creek Harbor – The best fun-filled family destination in town, DCH features a showcase of live performances, unique food concepts, workshops, kids activities and a varied pop up market. For more : https://risedubaicreekharbour.com/  
  2. Al Qudra Lake   –  Al Qudra Lake is a man-made lake in the middle of Saih Al Salam Desert and Bab Al Shams in Dubai, UAE. It is the home of local trees and almost hundred species of migratory birds, ducks, swans and flamingoes.
  3. The Yard –                    http://www.meraas.com/news/the-yard/                                                                             An eclectic new lakefront destination in Dubai’s rapidly developing Al Khawaneej area. The suburban hideaway encompasses Last Exit D89. An exciting family-friendly destination blending rural farm environment with urban accents. The Yard has a distinctive visual identity with playful murals that provide an ideal backdrop for photographs. An 18-metre-tall windmill, a water mill, a wishing well, a Promise Bridge, decorative vintage pick-up trucks, farm animals and bird houses further augment the photogenic appeal of the destination.
  4. Al Barsha pond park      -Al Barsha Pond Park sits around the perimeter of a large 50 acre man-made pond with activities for the entire family. There is a jogging and cycling track along with beautiful play area for children.  Cycles and boats are available for rent at reasonable prices. The most ideal place for families to spend few hours in this beautiful, serene, quite park in the middle of fast paced Dubai.. Al Barsha Pond Park has all facilities such as a restaurant, clean toilets, mosque, some food and ice cream booths. Even on weekends the Park is not annoyingly crowded.  Most of all entry to the Park is absolutely FREE !!!  The evening Ripe Market makes this a top attraction with crafts and delicious foods, every Saturday.
  5. Kite Beach –                              http://www.kitebeach.ae/                                                                                         While the entire coastline between Jumeirah Open Beach and Umm Suqeim/Sunset Beach was being revamped, with the addition of new jogging and walking tracks, showers, toilets and kiosks as part of the 18km Dubai Corniche project, this particular segment got special attention. Now beach tennis, volleyball and watersports (including an inflatable assault course on the sea), plus soapy soccer are organized at intervals throughout the year. There’s a small precinct of cafés, a scattering of food trucks, Wire world adventure park and XDubai skatepark.
  6. Dubai Canal  –   With the Dubai Canal, the city has developed one of the more stunning examples of urban development–a pedestrian friendly retreat from the hot weather and the concrete jungle. Whats more ? Along its path is free WiFi, and stations with USB ports to charge smartphones. It’s as if Dubai designed a public park for the selfie-obsessed social media generation.
  7. Horse Race at Meydan – The race season will continue till 31st March 2018. It is one of the most spectacular race courses in the Gulf with exceptional dining and entertainment packages.  There is a general admission section too, which is FREE !!  This free admission area gives access to a limited section within the Meydan Grandstand with a large number of Grandstand seats available boasting excellent views. With sufficient room on the vast apron area between the track and the Grandstand, visitors on the sides of the apron can get a close view of the thoroughbreds in the Parade Ring, before and after the race. 
  8. Bird watching at Ras Al khor wild life Sanctuary –        http://wildlife-ae.herokuapp.com/            Dubai is not just a desirable hotspot for millions of tourists each year — it’s the destination of choice for tens of thousands of migrating birds. In the wetlands, just metres away from the busy city, you’ll find the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. Please visit the above website and book online.
  9. Al Serkal Art Avenue –                       http://alserkalavenue.ae/en/index.php                                                        In a world obsessed with technological advancement, it’s worth making some time to simply appreciate local and regional art initiatives, artists, art galleries, creatives.  It is a place where one can engage with the cultural content.
  10. Dubai Fountain.                                                                                                                                                        Choreographed to music, the Dubai Fountain also known as the Dancing fountain, shoots water as high as 500 feet –that’s as high as a 50-story building !!   The Dancing  Fountain performances occur daily in the evening, from 6:30,  every half an hour, on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake.  The best show would have to be the 8:00 pm one. There is a light show as well. The Dancing fountains synchronize to light and music, some classical, some pop and some Arabic.  Its definitely worth watching this phenomenal event.                                                              To make the experience even better, the organizers have set up a fountain broadwalk to take you closer than ever to the fountain. A brand new floating platform located within the fountain pool area will give the audience a whole new perspective of the captivating performances. That is chargeable ofcourse.

 

So there you have it. 10 Places to visit, picnic or rest out, with your family or friends in Dubai FOR FREE !!

There are some more places where you could have long walks,  chill out over some coffee or just drive through.  However, since they are not ideal for a picnic spot, or a family gathering and are focused more on shopping, they have not been included in the above list.

Box park

City Walk

The Walk

Marina Walk

Cornish of Atlantis Hotel

I hope this list benefits you.

***  If there is one request I have, it is that we should be conscious of our environment.  Picnics and outdoor parties are great but leaving your trash behind is not. Please remember to carry a bag to collect all your trash and dispose it responsibly. ***

***  Please remember – Our children learn from us, they are watching us and will imitate us. We have to demonstrate to them how to be responsible and environmentally aware individuals. ***

*** Please adhere to notice boards that state, what is forbidden and where. eg, barbecue fires close to a pond which can damage the flora and fauna in and around the pond. ***

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Friday

Thank you for visiting me today. Have a lovely day and be sure to subscribe to my blog (top right column)and my instagram here.

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Art Classes Students, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai

Have you visited Al Serkal Avenue ?

The Quoz Art Fest was a an absolute treat !!

dubai-art-gallery

 

The colors, the energy and the vibe – phenomenal !!  For those of you, wondering where the fest took place, it was at the Al Serkal Avenue, in Al Quoz.

Although Al Quoz does not exactly hold the usual Dubai glamour, with cement factories, labour camps and extreme dust, it is here where the local Dubai art scene took hold.

As in other big world cities it is not unusual for artists to flourish in cutting edge spaces and Dubai is no different. In fact, the warehouses in this area provide the ideal wide empty spaces that make for perfect exhibition venues.

Contemporary art by budding artists from the region can be found here. Gallery names such as Art Sawa, Ayyam Gallery,  Flying House and The Third Line are worth looking out for.

Let me take you on a virtual tour.

Lets begin with the trendy food hot spots.

Wasn’t that yummy ???

And now for some awesome art work –

dsc_9862dsc_9863dsc_9864dsc_9865dsc_9869dsc_9870dsc_9871dsc_9872dsc_9873dsc_9874dsc_9875dsc_9876dsc_9877dsc_9878dsc_9879dsc_9880dsc_9881dsc_9883dsc_9885dsc_9892dsc_9893dsc_9894dsc_9896dsc_9898dsc_9899dsc_9900dsc_9902dsc_9904

Phew !! This post has been a visual feast, isn’t it ??

For someone who loves most things, quirky, modern, trendy and fun,  this exhibition was an spectacular visual treat. I loved it but had one regret – regret not having had more time to sit back and take in the experience at a leisure pace.

Ofcourse, this is just a a tiny glimpse of the entire experience. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you for visiting me today.

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Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Window display

Where do you buy craft supplies from, in Dubai ? Part 2.

24 Years in this beautiful city called Dubai, and I’m still in love with the spirit of this city.  I believe, Spirit is not defined by tall, fancy structures, sophisticated transport system, exuberant hotels or a show of unimaginable wealth. But the spirit of a city engulfs, the culture of its native inhabitants, the simplicity of their existence in a rapidly growing and glowing environment. It is also characterized by how quickly, it can adapt to change while preserving its hospitable nature as hosts. The maintenance of regulations, the observance of discipline and respect, the conservation of its fauna and flora are just a few to name.  Infact, today, I feel, this vivacious city, bloomed right before my eyes.

From harsh unforgiving dunes rose a mighty tower that attracts more visitors from all over the world – by the hour !!! From a trading port, today, it is recognized equally for being a tourist haven. Dubai has changed perceptions.  Dubai has challenged and accepted challenges. Dubai has morphed from a transit city to a tranquil dwelling for thousands. It has smoothly flourished and enabled thousands to burgeon as well.

15 years back, I started toying around, with the idea of crafting with my toddlers, reawakening a latent passion for arts.  However, there were no classes, workshops or tutorials to cater to the craft enthusiasts. (ie non-art academic students) And neither were there, any specialized hobby stores.

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Ofcourse, where we’ve been fortunate with some excellent stationery stores like Dubai Library distribution, Farouq Stationery, Al Furqaan, which, carry basic school, office, art supplies in addition to kits for various activities eg. knitting, jewelry making, cardmaking and such  .. but there were limitations … infact plenty of limitations back then.

From an ‘era’ where internet was about the long and erratic wait to a dial up connection and where, skills were limited to enrolling in specialized classes, the average ‘crafting Joe’ struggled with realizing his potential quirky element !! Infact, names of some supplies were still unheard of then !  While rubberstamping was a rage, soon scrapbooking and Card-making followed suit.  Dozens of  hobbies became easily attainable and convenient for the avid but non-art-student with the advent of the ‘world wide web’ like quilling, decoupage, mixed media, paper-making, mosiac, print-making, flower making, sewing, knitting, origami, photography – just to name a few !

However, an optimistic craft enthusiast and an ardent shopper, has been a beastly concoction brewing within me ! My pursuit to explore and ‘gather’ (notice I used the word, ‘gather’ which gradually qualified into hoarding !!) rubber stamps, embellishments, die cuts, decoupage sheets, quilling needles etc,  had me rummaging through the bustling nooks and crannies of a ‘more tame’ and much more smaller Dubai and Sharjah !  Stores in Deira that would stock laces, beads and buttons – the local haberdashery, mainly for fabric and textile purposes – but it was an adventure and when I would finally land on an ‘ideal’ store – it was like hitting jackpot !!

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Paper lane, Creative Hands and Elves and fairies were one of our first sources for scrapbooking and card making supplies.craft-supplies8

While Wasco White star in Jumeirah, was a teacher’s paradise. They hosted top quality, costumes, party ware and school supplies, all made in USA.

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I bought my son’s first craft kit from …………………………………….. Toys r us !!!! (In all honesty, my little guy never got to use it – It was mine from the moment we got home  😉 )

If you ever google “hobby crafts” – it would lead you to stores which carry motorized toy cars, helicopters, boats and hummers ! ( you get, which ones I mean, right ?)

STEIN, GERMANY - JULY 05: A variation of colour pencils are displayed at the industrial selling shop at the Faber-Castell factory on July 5, 2011 in Stein near Nuremberg, Germany. Faber-Castell is among Germany's leading manufacturer of pencils, pens, art supplies, office supplies and high-end writing instruments, and was founded in Stein in 1761 by Kaspar Faber. Through a marriage in 1900 to the noble Castell family the company took its present name and is currently lead by Count Anton von Faber-Castell. The company still has two production plants in Germany but has its biggest manufacturing centers overseas, including in South America, Indonesia and China. The company will mark its 250th anniversary on July 8. (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)

Fast forward 2016, we are spoilt for choices !! Some amazing stores that have been providing a vast variety of scrapbooking, paper crafting, decoupage, fabric, textiles, paints, canvases and other hobby supplies are :-

Three stores that carry a wide stock of art and craft supplies as well as ready made products are :-

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I would not like to belittle the importance of the dhs 1 – dhs 10 stores, scattered all over the city, much like the Day to Day stores, these outlets can also act as catalysts for the innovative mind. (Their only shortcoming limited to their quality)

Ofcourse, Ace Hardware is every DIYer’s paradise ! But I also loved the DIY section at Clas Ohlen .

Naif Road and the back alleys of Gold souk still remain my favorite hotspots for buttons, beads, lace, fabric and embellishments. However, these are stores that are wholesalers, hence if you are looking for only a dozen buttons, its not worth struggling in this area – the store keeper is not going to entertain any quantity, lesser than a carton !!!

There has been a positive shift and crafters are utilizing the convenience of online shopping as well !!

My previous post on the same subject was nearly, 4 years back. Its pretty obvious how many more outlets have opened doors and virtual doors to creative individuals.

One of the most common comments, I receive on this blog are not comments – but questions !

Questions about where to buy supplies from, what material is durable, which glue is best for which surface, what are my go to stores for which items, which paint for what project, how to design a small garden etc. These are some of my most asked questions I receive.

I hope to be able to enlighten you with all the answers in a few weeks. Meanwhile, I hope you take advantage of all the above information and enjoy, shopping and completing creative projects.

Thank you for visiting me today. Trust you will stay a while and leave some love in your comments.

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