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.

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Art & Craft Ideas, Art Classes Students, D I Y, Decoupage, Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, Mixed Media, Technique, WOODEN Projects, Workshops and Classes

Creative Craft Mornings

Over the past several years, my skills have evolved.  I feel a sense of satisfaction after every completed project. Sometimes, even a little disappointed after a failed completed project – never the less, just the sheer joy of being able to create something with my own hands is exhilarating.

Till the period we were living at Arabian Ranches, I held craft workshop for ladies and art classes for children. That was, till 5 years back.  And then we moved to Al Warqa.

I missed my routine friendly creative exchanges with ladies and the young ones too.

There is such immense joy, when you have been instrumental in helping someone discover a latent talent.

Hence, moving to The Villa – Dubailand, gave me the opportunity to restart my workshops.

It was one of the best things about 2017, for me – CCM (creative craft mornings).

I was conducting craft workshops for women at my villa.

After a hiatus of nearly 5 years, I restarted this initiative and I was overwhelmed by the response.

In Dubai, we have sewing/quilt/crochet clubs, and we have quilling/papercrafting classes, however, I feel, there are far too many crafts that cannot be categorized and thats exactly, what I was offering.

There were ladies from the age group of 22 right upto 72 years !!  These were ladies, who had the zest to learn, inspite of busy schedules and running a hectic lifestyle, between career and family.   Ladies, who had to pick children from school, prepare a meal, manage their homes, attend meetings and yet they believed in giving the workshop, a chance.

I prefer to address all of them as my friends, rather than my students becoz, in essence, I learnt more from them than I taught them.  If we are really passionate about something, we will find a way to pursue it.  One of my dear friend came from Arabian Ranches and another friend from Mamzar while yet another from Jumeirah Beach Residence !!!

Finding a haven where you won’t be judged or laughed at, is precious. We learn better, we explore deeper, we grow further and we develop faster.

We did a project, where my friends had to hammer nails into a block of wood. I was really surprised to observe how quickly they learnt, steadied their hands and hit the hammer with firmness and not only that, its quite tiring having to hit the hammer 25 – 30 times.

Every project they attempted was remarkable, considering no one had attempted such projects before.

Every one learnt something new, a skill, a technique, a design,  especially me.

I learnt that, making friends with like minded creative people is A GIFT !!  And I cherish these friendships.

I was truly overwhelmed.

Enthusiasm, patience and perseverance are the only ingredients needed to brew any success story.

Needless to say, the results were amazing.

Here are some photos :-

I am determined to restart these workshops again this year as well.

I truly hope to be able to carry on with newer projects here in Mirdif too.

Do you enjoy a particular hobby ?  Are there any workshops close to where you live ? Would you like to join CCM in Dubai ?

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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 –

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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 :-

craft-supplies3

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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Baby Arrivals, Baby shower favors, D I Y, Decoupage, Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, Gift Ideas, GIFT WRAPPING, Party favors, Party Organization, Treat bags

Gifts in Dubai.

Hello dear friends !

I’m an erratic blogger 🙂  (But you already know that, by now 😉 )  There have been times when, you could read three posts, back to back and then there are times, when you see me once in three months. In the blog-world, consistency is VERY IMPORTANT.  I am yet to play by the book !

Over the past 11 years, I have been fortunate enough to have a beautiful relationship with any and all forms of art.

I did not restrict myself to water colors or decoupage ~ I am a restless eager soul, I have experienced and enjoyed every craft.

What started from card making has just made it way thru to DIY and home décor.

Sometimes I find myself going on a spin in a perplexed state when ‘newbies’  ask me what I fancy most.

The past 5 months have been remarkably fantastic and have helped me, better define myself.

I cannot thank Almighty Allah swt enough for his grace.

November and December 2014~ were months dedicated to a dozen or more craft fairs. I love fairs and all the planning, preparation and exhaustion, that comes with it !

January 2015 ~ Gulf News published an article about me and my work !  I was beside myself.

January 2015 ~ We completed a 3-Day Art and Craft workshop.

February 2015 ~ Organic Café and Foods Supermarket, displayed my handmade greeting cards.

February 2015 ~ Aspen House Gifts, got the much needed boost it so anticipated, with several baby shower favors and wedding favors orders.

March 2015 – I was requested to be chief guest at the Arts and design Faculty of the American University of Dubai. It was an honor beyond words !

Over the years, I have been blessed to accomplish, all the creative adventures, I dive into, thanks to Allah swt and a lot of patience from my better half and boys. However, there are times, when I question myself, if I am, more of a mixed media artist, or a craft teacher or a carpenter, a card maker or a business woman or a DIY enthusiast. Perhaps, the past 5 months, have given me a glimpse of all who I am.

An amalgamation of all these endeavors.

Today, Let me share with you alittle about Aspen House Gifts.

Dubai is an exceptional city. It is as modern as can be yet, adherently holds to its cultural roots. Arabs, have been known thru out history for their strong traditions and hospitality.

Aspen House Gifts was initiated alittle over a year ago, as a gateway to introducing the latest, most innovative and personalized party favors, party supplies, corporate gifts  and one-of-a-kind personalized keepsakes.

We personalize party favors and custom-design gifts to suit our clients personality and requirements.

I trust you will help spread the word in the blog-world and ‘like’ our facebook page too.

Blog :- Aspen House Gifts

Facebook :- Aspen House Gifts

Whatsapp :- 00971-50-4545049

Having a creative background gives me an edge in designing, understanding color statements, and packaging and having been in Dubai for 22 years, procuring my supplies is relatively easier for me.

Three of the key principles, I adopted from the hospitality industry, for over a decade are, professional attitude, punctuality and exemplary presentation.

Here is a collage of some of our creative assingments :-

Aspen House Collage1

Elegant, vintage, classic, formal, fun or floral, we can design and personalize it for you .

I’m glad that I was fortunate enough to share with you something personal and something professionally about me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and comment.  I really appreciate it and I hope you get some time to do what you love to do this week. 🙂

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

Ripe Market at Safa Park.

One of the most memorable experiences we had whilst Mum and Dad were visiting us, was the Ripe Market at Safa Park in Jumeirah.

Every Friday morning the Ripe Market hosts their food and craft market at Safa Park. close to gate 5. They host freshly produced, organic fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, honey, cakes, chutneys, gluten free items and a wide selection of yummy gourmet and speciality ingredients.

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The Ripe Market experience was an enjoyable one for the whole family. While the boys played at the park, Mum and me browsed through scores of well displayed stalls selling everything from fresh farm produce to arts & crafts and everything in between !! After Friday Prayer, Sam, Dad and the boys returned and we all ate a lovely Indian meal at the park from one of the stalls.

I loved the entire “happy” and “lively” set up, whether it was the lovely farm feel of the fresh produce market or the live cooking stations or the bright yellow drums and stools for sitting, or the art and craft workshop for children or the petting zoo for the little ones or several stalls selling handmade products and handicrafts.

I believe the entire concept is to promote a family-friendly atmosphere and to develop a love and respect for home grown or organically grown produce.

Be sure to carry a large trolley bag or cart !!

You’ll find plenty of creative and colorful ideas in the above pictures of how to decorate and display your products in a stall or a craft fair.

I’m sharing this post with all my friends at the following parties :-

Hope and trust you found this post informative and enjoyable ! Does your community hold ripe markets, farm fest, market days or such ? Please share and I’ll be glad to pop over and have a sneak peak !

Thank you for visiting me today ~ Please drop by again !

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England, Something inbetween

Craft supplies shopping in London

This post has been overdue for nearly a month, if not longer. I wanted to share with you’ll some of the goodies that I bought while in London for our summer holidays.

One of the biggest confusions, we always have, travelling as a family overseas, is the time for my craft goodies ! Being in a foreign land, we are as it is, torn between filling out days with visiting scores of museums, parks, historical sites etc and to add to the stress, I generally drop a bomb or two, for shopping for my craft goodies 🙂

Generally there is a vote and of course, its not fun when mama is upset so I get away with squeezing atleast a couple of hours for hunting my beloved goods. One thing, I noticed about London is, that being a first world country, people like to shop online and realty is far too expensive hence very few stores have established outlets unless they are eateries or mobile phone stores !!

One of the best stores (or rather ONLY store) that I visited for craft goods was “Hobby Crafts”  A timely tip from a cousin, made it possible for me to search for it on the Sat Nav and ofcourse, then persuade samie  !!

You know that feeling that you had as a kid, when you entered a toy store full of toys that were free for you ??? No ? Well, that’s exactly, how I felt when I entered the store ! It felt like I was in the happiest place in the world for me !! The choices were vast ~ variety was amazing and whats great is that they have two stories full of arts and crafts ! No matter how much I write, nothing can explain, just how much fun that entire experience was. Hence I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Oh AND BTW, Hobbycraft has not paid me to write about them but I wouldn’t mind, if they did pay me 😉  ♣

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Oh yes ! Doesn’t it look like the place you could easily get lost in ??? I know I did !

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Here are some of my valuable goods from that shopping spree !

And ofcourse I bought a mother load of sharpies too of various nibs !

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Couldn’t have enough of these Spectrum color markers !! These are like copic markers ~ alcohol based markers.

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CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY OF THE ACRYLIC STAMPS !! Love the steam punk one and the keys one too.

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Cant wait to start with these babies !!

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Its incredibly difficult to choose 10 of the best designs from a good 50+ ! This is a relatively newer brand and much less expensive than spellbinders.

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I just have to admit, that the rectangle die cut on the right has to be my favorite so far ! Oh and another diecut set which was absolutely phenomenal is this one in the center ~ it has a lot to offer for the person good with sewing like scissors, spool, needle, yarn, model ~ and all these are diecuts !!! Endless possibilities !  Its absolutely expensive but so worth it !! 🙂

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Sizzix diecuts, a punch and a border punch. 2 sets of wood mounted alphabet rubberstamps. This orange punch is kinda new coz you can actually use it as a border punch or you can get individual coin punches too. Very innovative.

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Don’t you just love the fall colors !!

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Cant have enough of these ! This bag was at a discounted price.

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Unusual bookmarks, clipboard key chain and miniature size safety pins !

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These rubberstamp sets were actually a part of the magazines that I bought. Can you believe it !! I bought so many craft/scrapbooking/hobby magazines and they are all came with these gifts !! Yuppee !!

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I picked this lovely collection of design paper in blue and pink, from Hobby crafts. Its a large pack of 12″ x 12″ with beautiful pastel designs.

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Paints, paints and more paints ~ modge podge, crackle medium and a load of acrylic paints.

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Small size clamps

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I have this huge “thing” for designed wooden pieces ~ be it heart or stars ! One day I hope I am able to make these myself ~ till then, I think, I can indulge in these 😉

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For when I finally start working with carving wood !

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I am a huge sucker for fridge magnets !! Both my fridges are stormed with magnets 😦    I love these magnets. Each with such intricate artwork and lovely quotes. We picked these from Lake district in Windermere.

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This 3 tier cupcake tray was to die for !! I just fell in love with it ~ and fell out of that love, once told how much it cost ! But this was a gift nevertheless from the boys for me 🙂  Aren’t my boys, the “bestest” !! We bought this from a beautiful little store in the lake district.

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Isnt this a beauty or what !!! Its a book holder ~ more for recipe books in the kitchen. It weighs enormously ! Its solid wrought iron.

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Nail guns are such a handy tool however, I couldn’t find any in Dubai inspite of  looking high and low for them ! For whatever reason, even Ace hardware did not have them ~ luckily, I found these in London. And bought a bunch of extra pins and nails. They come in batches of thousands.

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So that’s it !

Some women, like to buy sandals, some bags, some diamonds and I love to buy tools that will help me create things ! I cant thank my husband enough for being as patient as he was and my wonderful, boys managed to keep their dad engaged in the store next door ( Sports direct ) while mama could have her fill, peacefully.

Oh, in case, your wondering, the last 7 pictures are not items we bought at Hobby crafts.

So that’s it !! I’m feeling so relieved having shared my priced shopping goods with you’ll.

Oh and BTW, I painstakingly kept all the receipts and the VAT reimbursement form for the VAT claim at the airport  ( ♥ thankfully we don’t have this tax business in Dubai ) ~ and guess what ??? Turns out, the airport VAT counter travelex opens at 7:00 in the morning and closes at 10:00 pm. Our  flight was to depart at 9:15 !!!!  Which meant, that with roughly 50 passengers ahead of us, our chances of making it to the counter were so dim.

What’s more weird (but somewhat sensible) is that you have to keep the said items out for inspection  (which in some cases means an entire suitcase !!) ~ The queue for the counter was ridiculously huge with every passenger unpacking his suitcase just to display his goods  !!  My initial attempt to keep Sawaabi with the small trolley bag full of my items at the counter while I juggled between the check in counter and the travelex counter was turning out into a nightmare !!   In the end, we just let it go !! What a complete wasted effort !  Oh well, we learnt our lesson ! Which is ??????  Not sure what 😉

Anyways ~ What matters is that I may have had to pay a tax, but I am a happier person with so many toys to play with. Its been alittle over a month and I have still not unpacked the markers. The rest I have found some use for.

I trust you found my post informative and perhaps even inspirational 😉  Please share with me your experience of craft stores in London. Would love to know, what I missed 🙂

I’d like to share my shopping spree with the following linking parties.

Simply Creations Link Party at My Simple HomelifeFurniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard SeedInspire Me Please Link Party at
Liz Marie Blog
Frugal Friday at The Shabby NestFeathered Nest Friday at French Country CottageWhat Have You Redone at Redoux InteriorsHome Sweet Home at The Charm of HomeThrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty GrooveSimple and Sweet
Fridays at Rooted inThyme
Be Inspired at Common GroundFaunt It Friday at Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrugalicious Friday
at Finding Fabulous
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer RizzoShow and Tell Friday at Romantic HomeJunkin’ Joe Vintage and Thrifty Finds at The Cottage MarketWeekend Wrap-Up Party at Tatertots and JelloShabbilicious Friday Link Party at Shabby Art BoutiqueTickled Pink at 504 MainAnything Blue Friday at The Dedicated HouseRustic Restorations Weekend Link Party at Homespun Happenings,  Great IdeaThursdays at A Handful of Everything.

I am delighted you’ve visited me today. Please leave a line or two if you have enjoyed your stay here. You can also subscribe to my posts or add me to bloglovin.

Have a beautiful weekend !

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