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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Baby shower favors, Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, Gift Ideas, GIFT WRAPPING, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Party favors, Party Organization

Gift wrapping, Gifts and Favors in Dubai.

Hello friends,

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I find myself struggling more and more to find time, between the various arty crafty projects lined up for Doodle Buddies and the favor company, Aspen House Gifts, that I have been working on.  Aspen House Gifts is purely a reflection and an extension of my love for creative design and presentation.

Kindly visit :-  Facebook Aspen House Gifts or Blog Aspen House Gifts, if you’re looking for some outstanding party favors, bridal shower favors, Baby shower favors, Wedding favors, Eid Favors or corporate gifts.  We specialize in personalized party favors, bespoke keepsakes and corporate gifts.

With an eye for design and a love for all things creative, each gift reflects your lifestyle and personality, complete with glitter, ribbons and innovative ideas.

Paper World Middle East took place between 2nd and 4th of March 2015.    Over the years, it has developed into my most anticipated event of the year. The marketing world showcases its products on the internet however, to have a proper glimpse and examine the product, meet the manufactures, distributors etc is an excellent experience. And a very rewarding one, at that !  It poses as a fantastic opportunity to meet the people of your industry and familiarize with the latest trends, virtually at your door step !!

If you were unable to attend this year, fret not. I’m sure you will indulge in the following photographs which cover some of the gift wrapping stores that were participating in the exhibition.

Boxes and bags !

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Party supplies.

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Napkins, tissue paper.

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Paper bags (Love the polka dots)

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Innovative gift wraps.

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Apothecary bottles.   A recent trend in the favor business.

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Embellishments

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Pastel shades

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It was a pure feast for the eyes ! The colors, the presentation and the designs ! My next post will contain the other aspects of the exhibition.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and comment.  I really appreciate it and I hope you join me next year in visiting the Paper World Middle East.

Before you leave, just a quick reminder :-

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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. 🙂

Before you leave, just a quick reminder :-

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Awning card, Birthday Cards

Handmade greeting cards in Dubai ~ 14

Hello friends !

valentines cards in Dubai

Finally, today is the 14 days – 14 cards’ final card !! Yippee !!

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An awning birthday card again ! I guess, I’m really hooked onto them 🙂

The cake shop display card has plenty of things going for it including :-

Awning, Diecut circles, digital stamps (sentiment and cakes), polka dot design paper, MS border punch, various design papers.

I’d like to share this card in the following card challenges :-

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. 🙂

Before you leave, just a quick reminder :-

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Art Classes Students, Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai

Craft Activity Stall Set-up at The Archive Fall Fair.

This is the fair season in Dubai. A whole lot of fairs and events are lined up for the next couple of months. The weather is brilliant, the whole city seems to be bustling with joyful activities and its the season to make the most of the outdoors !

The Archive Fall fair was absolutely fun and full of creativity.  The atmosphere was lively – had it just not been so windy, it would’ave been a perfect day !

The turn out was excellent.

We’ve never been the park-going-family but I think, these fairs are surely going to influence us 🙂

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One of the best discoveries we made was that my oldest takes after me ! Buddy sat by himself with a roll of foil, and modeled some figurines. Within a short time, we had people observing him at a close distance, and alittle later, they were wanting to buy his figurines !!!!! He’s only 15 but he is bundled with talent – his figures were so intricate and detailed !  Needless to say, he was only too happy to share his figures for free. This fair, helped him grow by leaps in confidence, thanks to this chance discovery !  The picture below shows him sitting by himself, working on the foil 🙂

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Some of the other vendors included Tie n dye shirts, Jam Jar, Kite flying, nail spa, face paint and ofcourse, yours truly, was hosting the arts and crafts desk.

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Live graffiti was spray painted !! I mean, how cool is that !!

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Catering was excellent, although alittle pricey. The barbecue was awesome.

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The best part about attending any fair, is meeting talented people. Little kids who really want to experiment, try out new things, and meeting parents who encourage them and want them to have a good and creative time.

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The Archive Dubai is located at Al Safa Park. Please visit them at the following :- The Archive Dubai

I am sharing this post at the following parties here, some of which are The dedicated House. Between naps on the porch

Thank you for visiting me today.

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