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Wall of fame – Art on Pizza Boxes.

I love upcycled crafts. Just knowing I can and I have contributed in some minuscule way to salvage trash into anything functional or decorative, brings immense joy.

wall of fame !

Pizza boxes have been my easy and cheap canvas option for years.  I have used various mixed media art techniques to complete these projects.

Following are the links to the tutorials of how I created these mixed media projects :

Here are some of my other takes on the previous pizza box projects :

https://doodlebuddies.net/2019/01/23/upcycle-pizza-box/

https://doodlebuddies.net/2014/06/17/upcycled-pizza-box-into-mixed-media-canvas/

https://doodlebuddies.net/2013/10/25/pizza-box-canvas/

https://doodlebuddies.net/2013/07/17/recycle-pizza-box-and-toilet-rolls-tutorial/

https://doodlebuddies.net/2013/07/05/pizza-box-turned-to-shadow-box/

https://doodlebuddies.net/2011/06/15/gift-box-pizza-box-recycled/

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I hope you find inspiration in some of my projects and might consider attempting a couple of them.

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Tutorial – Earphone/Penny Purse in 5 minutes !

Honestly, this has got to be the easiest project I have done in years !!

This is an incredibly easy re-purpose project and requires ONLY TWO materials.

face wash tube to penny purse

Actually I am using these to store my earphones. Those tiny things are everywhere but where they should be ! Now they finally have a safe place while travelling.

Very easy steps and you can use ANY toiletry tube available,  to make this earphone /penny purse.

upcycle face wash tube 1repurpose face wash tubetutorial face wash tube upcycletutorial penny pursehow to make a penny purserepurpose the shower gel tubehow to upcycle shower gel bottle

upcycle project (1)diy penny purse

So there you have it. Just a small piece of velco and a cosmetic tube (face wash gel are best for this purpose.) are all you need.

I continue to share projects that can inspire my friends and readers with ways to reuse/recycle/repurpose/upcycle household items.

In this world of mass produced goods,  it wont be long before, continents are filled to their brim with trash. Any attempt at reducing the weight on the landfills is always welcome.

What was the last item you repurposed ?  I would love to find out some of your ideas for eco friendly crafts.

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Hope you  have a safe and peaceful day.

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Tutorial DIY -Easy Upcycled Photo Frame

Hello friends,

Do you like to quill ?  I love quilling and I really like collecting  photo frames as well as  frames for paintings.  This project is an ideal mix of both.

Most of my picture frame collection comes from stores like Pan Emirates,  Home Center, Ikea as is section and garage sales.

I’m almost obsessed with finding potential in unexpected mundane objects which are considered trash. Some projects start immediately, while some bare bones, are stacked in the shed, on a waiting list.

The past two weeks, I have been super inspired to work with frames, so at long last, a pile of photo frames are being repurposed and dressed with some simple and easy art. This one, being the first one.

Our guests are pleasantly surprised when they find out that the creations are my own !

I believe, alittle creativity, color and innovation can transform the ugliest objects into pieces of art.

Here is one Ikea frame which I found in the ‘as is’ section which did not have a glass protection in front.  Ofcourse, I was overjoyed 🙂

It was perfect for my three dimensional quilled heart.

 DIY UPCYCLE PHOTO FRAME 91

 

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This project is perfect to use up your stash of scrap paper.
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One of my husband’s new shirts came wrapped in this corrugated thin cardboard . Ofcourse, I did not dump it – Would you ????
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I positioned the outer hearts and then started hot gluing them.

quilled heart frame diy 2

 

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I love the contrast of the white frame against a cardboard background – with pink and red flowers in the foreground.  The pearls were a last minute addition but i feel, they really enhance the look of the flowers.

Infact, I think, I will start a wall gallery for all my art frames projects.

Please drop in a line to tell me if and how, you liked this frugal simple creation.

Recycled objects :-

  • Photo frame
  • corrugate cardboard.
  • scraps of scrapbook design paper.

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Tutorial – DIY desk organizer

Hello friends,

upcycle can stationery organizer 0

Two important aspects of any crafters life is inspiration and storage !!  And somehow both these two aspects seem to go hand in hand. Although I “think’ I breeze through, even in a cluttered chaos, I know, I would be much more productive  in a more organized set up, where all my tools and supplies are easily accessible.

I am a visual person – I need my tools to be seen, so as to be able to use them. A punch which is tucked away in one of my bins, generally does NOT get played with – AT ALL 😦

So these past weeks, i used up most of my “recyclable stock pile” and made a few desk organizers.

I hope you enjoy this pictorial and find some inspiration to use up those cans lying around in the kitchen.

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Clean cans thoroughly and organize them in a rectangular or circular manner.
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Although i have brush – painted two coats of acrylic colors on these cans, I would recommend spray paint cans

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Decide in which order, you’d like to place the cans.

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Gather the cans together and glue them together on the sides where they meet each other
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The 1 kg yoghurt bucket, comes with a white handle which fit in, snugly in the middle container, so that I could be lifted.
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So as to enforce them together, I wrapped them with a large ribbon. You can use any fabric, ribbon or even jute or twine. I also adhered this lovely frill ribbon from Daiso, on the edge. 

 

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I am using the lid of the cookie box as the base of the organizer.  I used STRONG STIK glue to stick the cans to the base. It is a remarkable glue, which I bought from Creative Minds. 
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I was not quite satisfied with the ribbon, hence I added two thinner orange ribbons on the border to give it a more defined look.

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This silver stand had not been used in decades, so it was more than happy with its new found job role !!  It provided a much needed height and was quite stable. We don’t want a stand that could topple all the contents. 

Upcycle can stationery organizer 2UPCYCLE CAN STATIONERY ORGANIZER 7upcycle can stationery organizer 3

 

And there you have it !

I love how all my promarkers, copics and paint markers are all now easily accessible. Its such a huge relief and joy.

I’m inspired to make a few more of these to house my scissors and paintbrushes etc.

Please drop in a line to tell me if and how, you liked this frugal creation.

Recycled objects :-

  • Food cans
  • lid from cookie tin.
  • Serving stand.

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Upcycle A Broken Mirror

” Not only did I design the jewelry but I also designed the jewelry display stand !! “

Some of my favorite words are, create, creativity, craft, upcycle and repurpose !          What are yours ?

UPCYCLE THE MIRROR TO DISPLAY JEWELRY (1)

Like I explained in my previous post, I have been designing jewelry.   We held two trunk shows, and I found that we were short of display units for my leather jewelry collection.

Alittle scavenging into our shed, and my trusted wingman was back with a full size narrow mirror that we had dumped in there, a few years back !!  I bet your asking why I stored a broken mirror stand, right ?  My husband asks that ALL THE TIME !!!  I’ll give you the reply, I give him – We’ll find a use for it someday. (not that he ever believes me 🙂 )  But for once – THAT DAY, finally came !!

Obviously, the stand looked worn out but I decided, to keep the shabby chic distress look on the white border, but paint the cork board, within.

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The diehard optimist in me, only noticed that the wood was sturdy and the size was perfect to hold as many as 40 pairs of earings !!

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A couple of coats of paint should do the trick.

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I  mixed some white acrylic to a pastel shade of peach and pink to get this color.

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A dozen or so nails on the side to hang the strings at and voila ! We have a display unit to hang our jewelry – from TRASH !!!

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Absolutely in love with this  piece !! Not only did I design the jewelry but I also designed the jewelry display stand !!!! 🙂

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DIY Jewelry display stands

Hello friends. How have you been ?

DIY JEWELRY STAND

I’m delighted to share with you guys a new development –  I have been designing handmade statement jewelry !!!   What a leap – in terms of creativity, atleast !!!

Please drop me a like at https://www.instagram.com/madelineposh/

We held a trunk show at The Villa a few months back; the details of which will be in an upcoming post.  One of the things, that I realized is that most of my necklaces were long and most of the display stands, I had, were short display units for the table stands.  Hence, I improvised.

I bought some white foam sheet and designed a display stand – however, quickly I realized that the stand was not large enough, inorder to allow my neck pieces to hang freely.

Also, it meant that I would need to make atleast 70 of these boards ! Plan A did not work out.

DSC_4478JPGFrom Bulletin board to Jewelry display stand

Plan B –  I’ve stored several bulletin boards (cork ones) in the shed. Time to make use of them.

I decided that these bulletin boards would be ideal since they could carry multiple strands and would be sturdy as well. However alittle prepping was in order. Here are some photos explaining what I’ve done.

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A couple of coats of paint, and we’ll be ready in no time.

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One of these boards had a large hole in it. I decided that for this one, we would place some dark blue, thin fabric over it, so as to hide the damage.  It worked so well coz we did not even have to glue or staple it – the push pin did the job !!!

From Bulletin board to Jewelry display stand

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Tip – Cork soaks up alot of paint.  The final coat is drying here.

 

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I spray painted these push-pins to a dark shade of grey/black. These would be the hooks on my display board.

VOILA !!!

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From Bulletin board to Jewelry display stand

From Bulletin board to Jewelry display stand

From Bulletin board to Jewelry display stand

From Bulletin board to Jewelry display stand

I love the look and how perfectly, everything fit in.

These are easy to store and very convenient to carry around too.

The length of the boards, helps to bring out the flow and drop of the necklaces.

Its a win win situation for me.

I love upcycling and I love to repurpose mundane objects.  How about you ? What was your last upcycle project ?

I am sharing this post with all my blog friends here.

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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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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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 & Craft Ideas, Art Classes Students, Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, Recyling, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Reduce., Reuse, T U T O R I A L S, Trash to Treasure, Workshops and Classes

Organizing Craft workshop and designing masks.

Did you know, not every great artist can be good teacher.

Arts and Crafts are a very personal affair and very few of us have the flair to “teach”.

Most of us are excellent at demonstrating our skills as artists and designers but teaching is a skill, all on its own and not all of us are equipped with what it takes to be an motivational teacher.

I believe a ‘good’ teacher is one who can inspire you, one who has patience, and one who is prepared to accept the chaff (those who may not be exceptional talented but who are zestful and eager to learn ) as well as the wheat grain.  Alot of people believe that you have to be born with artistic skills – but I don’t adhere to that theory. Skills can be cultivated and talent can be honed.  Everyone who stumbles upon a craft-kit, is not looking to build something magnificent – but he might find comfort in simply ‘trying’ to build something abstract out of it – maybe that is his prowess. That’s where the creative adroitness of the instructor comes handy.

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I’m going to talk more about crafts here, rather than arts.

I have been teaching crafts for the last 12 or so, years, in schools, art institutes, with corporate organizations, and one aspect that stands out in “crafts” is that, alot of planning and organisational skills are required for a workshop or class.

Some of the aspects, you should figure out before committing to a workshop are :-

  • The length of the activity
  • The age of the group
  • The ability of the group
  • Will any assistance be provided for a group larger than 7 or 10 participants ?
  • The venue and availability of wash basin, electric socket.
  • Hanging equipment if project needs to be hung for drying.
  • Leg work on the theme :- research the theme, source photographs, make a fancy power point presentation and have a small write-up to introduce the background story to the students
  • Plan all the supplies needed.
  • Inorder to calculate all the supplies and quantities needed, I suggest to ‘actually’ work this activity out and figure out how much time and the quantity of supplies needed. Then add that by the number of participants.  And remember to carry spares.
  • Visiting the venue atleast once before the workshop is a good idea. And it also helps to develop a smooth rapport with the coordinators.
This December, I was invited to give a workshop at DUCTAC located at Mall Of Emirates.

Crafts are so much fun but it can be challenging when we coordinate the activity with the curriculum or in this case, the theme.

The theme was Threads:  A link between two totally different cultures or countries, of a peculiar habit, tradition, game, food, ritual, structure etc. Obviously, I had to come up with a craft based on it as well.

I found this theme very exciting and after a day of relentless research, i was fascinated with what I discovered. While at it, I also realized, what separates us, are our differences, while in our similarities, we find solace and unity.

Here are just a few of the similarities I found, in my research. (ofcourse, there must be a few hundred more !!)

  • China – India                                                            ⇔ Kites

    Both the countries are known for the zest with which they enjoy the sport of playing with Kites. However, kites in China, are much more elaborate and designed in various shapes, much unlike India.

  •  U.S.A – Russia – China – Burma                       ⇔ Bells

    Amongst many other countries, these four countries are known to have Bells playing a remarkable and important historical role.

  • Egypt – Mexico – Cambodia – China                ⇔ Pyramid structure

    Although the Egyptian Pyramids are the most popular structures known worldwide, Mexico, Cambodia and China are also known to have their own ancient mystical prism structures.

  • Africa – India – China – Japan                           ⇔ Masks

    Different cultures symbolize the mask with various deities, animal, spirit or human. Made from ceramic, wood etc, communities use masks for weddings, funerals, coming of age. They ask for spirit blessings, protections etc. They use it to tell stories and impart wisdom. Used in puppetry as well as ceremonial celebrations.

  • Australia –  USA Arizona                                    ⇔ Boomerang

    Although the earliest boomerang was designed in Australia, it is widely used and played with in Arizona – USA.

  • Mexico – China                                                     ⇔ Bowls

    (Taco Bowl / Bowl to eat rice and noodles) Rice is one of the staple grains in both Mexico and China – Infact they handicraft their own bowls to eat it in !

  • Bali – Mauritius                                                    ⇔ Woven baskets  

    Both Bali and Mauritius weave their own baskets but in different designs and colors and techniques.

I decided that my subject would be Masks.  It intrigued me just as much it did, to the children.  I provided the children with cardboard after the power point presentation on how, why, when and where masks are worn,  all over the globe and then asked them to design their own masks, providing them inspiration and a whole lot of recyclable material. It was amazing what the children came up with – far beyond expectation. mask-making-craft-3

Here are a few samples from one of the groups.

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One of the reasons, I love this project is becoz it helps children play and utilize scraps of foam, cardboard, buttons, macaroni, foam cups, beads, thereby realizing and understand the main concept of reusing items found around the house.

Clearly the kids enjoyed it and got to take a little of History and Geography back home too !!

I believe imparting  knowledge and information is very gratifying.

I hope I have been able to inspire you into trying something new, something unique and something fun today. If so.. please do write to me.

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

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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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Craft Room, Dubai, House Moving / New Home, Makeovers

Tour of my Ikea Craft Room !

 

For the last 4 years, we stayed in the newly developed Al Warqa area of Dubai.

We went from a community living in Arabian Ranches to a stand alone 12,000 sqft villa.

Visit here for my craft room in Arabian Ranches.

What was spectacular about the villa, is that it was designed by an Emarati for an Emarati lifestyle. Whats different about Arabic styled houses ?

Well, Arabic style houses generally have two main entrances to the main building, one for the family, and another one for the male guests. The men guest entrance is greeted by a very large hall which is called the Majlis. This comfortable large space is generally where the men of the family entertain their male friends, hence it is lavishly large.

Another significant thing about the villas’ is that every bedroom is ensuite. Which meant, my 5 bedroom home had 7 bathrooms !!! (1 extra for the lounge room and another for the dining room)

Cleaning such a large house is not for the faint of heart ! But Thank heavens for the abundance of easily available part-time help in Dubai.

Another aspect, which we were lucky, we did not have, is the presence of an entire block of an adjoining building which houses the maids and drivers of the house.

Most of the times, the kitchen is also a part of that building block. But we were lucky, our kitchen was in the main building.

That was too much space for a family of five, however, it would benefit, the constant arrival of relatives and feline friends ( fostering that me and my family volunteer for.)

Thanks to alot of persuasion and prodding – We decided to convert the majlis into my craft Studio.

Was it a dream ??

Absolutely YES !!

For someone who started crafting 12 years back from a modest desk  placed at the  corner of her bedroom … here I was, in a HUGE studio with craft supplies and goodies, I could have only dreamt of years back !!

The studio took nearly three months to be shelved, stacked, stored and organized.

As you will notice from the pictures below, 100% furniture and 95% storage items (like boxes, pots ) are from #Ikea !!

I think, for artists, Ikea is a PERFECT !! They cater to each and every need of ours brillaintly and I have NOT been compensated to state so 🙂

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Don’t they look organized ? Even the white pots holding markers are from Ikea.
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The large striped boxes as well as the white bookshelf is Ikea.
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These wired racks make it easy to locate ribbons etc
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Different sizes of #Trofast boxes
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The white cookie or cupcake , wire stand is also Ikea.
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This PVC rack was designed and constructed by yours truly !
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Ribbons, twine, yarn, embellishments all stored in the ikea wire racks
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Linnamon study desk ! Notice my delicious pinking shears ! Over the years, I have picked quite a few diecut machines, as you will notice, there’s the Silhouette, Revolution, Cuttlebug, and Big shot !! What ?? Hoarder, you say ???? No way – just moving with time !
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4 Glasholm glass tables !! Every shelf counts as storage !!
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The two drawer racks on the left of my chair, houses all my rubber stamps and diecuts. My throne is the Marcus swivel chair from Ikea
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I picked these white storage boxes from Ikea as well as the Trofast shelf and storage boxes.
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Unfortunately these wire racks have been discontinued by Ikea !! The newer version are not as sturdy as these.

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Trofast storage combination
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This stores my jewelry making supplies

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Most of those colored plastic drawers have paints and glue
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10 Snille swivel chairs.
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My precious books and notes – one of my fav Ikea cubby cupboard
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Felt, fabric and more stored in the Ikea cupboard
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Another Ikea cupboard

Was the craft room a  good idea ?

Absolutely !!

How long did it take ?

Very long to organize it all ?

what happened next ?

We moved out of this house this January (2016)  !!!!!!!!

How do I feel about it ?

Miserable !! I miss the sprawling length and breadth of that room so much, so dearly 😦

It was perfect in every way and the  best possible gift, my husband could give me !!

Our new home is in the area called The Villa – Dubailand. Its a modern villa and the added benefit of the majlis is deducted in the form of a pool. We have converted the 5th bedroom into the craft studio – but it is still a project under progress.  Will share with you the development in another post.

I hope you enjoyed my craft studio tour and found inspiration in some of the ways in which I manged to store some supplies.

I’m sharing this post at the following parties here.

and

Monday
Inspiration Monday – I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Inspire Me Monday – Create with Joy
Clever Chicks Blog Hop – The Chicken Chick
Monday Funday – That’s What {Che} Said
Craftastic Monday – Sew Can Do
Mix It Up Monday – Flour Me With Love
Munching Mondays – Nibbles by Nic
The Creative Corner – Curly Crafty Mom
Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop – A Blossoming Life
Block Party – Rae Gun Ramblings
Create and Crave – Pink Heels Pink Truck
Melt in Your Mouth Monday – Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Best of the Blogosphere – It’s Me DebMCb
A Round Tuit – Creating My Way to Success
Something To Talk About – 2 Bees in a Pod
Inspire Me Monday – My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
The Scoop – Worthing Court
Create Link Inspire – Naptime Creations
Dream Create Inspire – Whimsy & Hope
Much Ado About Monday – Huckleberry Love
Monday Madness – How to Get Organized At Home  

Tuesday
Turn It Up Tuesday – A Peak Into My Paradise
Treasure Box Tuesday – Memories By the Mile
Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party – Lou Lou Girls
Project Inspire{d} – Yesterday on Tuesday
Two Cup Tuesday – Pint Sized Baker
Simple Supper Tuesday – Hun What’s For Dinner
Show and Tell – Sugar Bee Crafts
Tutorials & Tips Link Party – Home Stories A to Z
Totally Terrific Tuesday – Live Randomly Simple
Two Uses Tuesday – Sarah Celebrates
Tuesday at Our Home – Our Home Away From Home
Tip Me Tuesday – Tip Junkie
From Dream to Reality – The DIY Dreamer
Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Just a Girl and Her Blog
Fluster’s Creative Muster – Fluster Buster
Create and Share DIY and Recipe Party – A Simple Pantry
Moonlight and Mason Jars – Cherished Bliss
A Little Bird Told Me – The Life of Jennifer Dawn
Tutorial Tuesday – Hope Studios
Inspire Me Tuesday – A Stroll Thru Life
Awesome Things Tuesday – My Craftily Ever After
Tasty Tuesday – Creative Kids
Share It Link Party – The Winthrop Chronicles  

Moonlight Mason Jars link Party – The newly wed Pilgrimage

Friday
Friendship Friday – Create with Joy
Friday Flash Blog – The Jenny Evolution
Craft Frenzy Friday – Craftdictator
Freedom Fridays – My Turn For Us
Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday – Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
Foodie Friends Friday – Walking on Sunshine
Foodie Fridays and DIY – A Dish of Daily Life
Weekend Bites – Homemaid Simple
Friday Feature – Oh My Heartsie Girl
What To Do Weekends – Crafts a la Mode
Friday Favorites – Diary of a Real Housewife
Pretty Pintastic Party – Coffee With Us 3
Weekend Potluck – Sunflower Supper Club
Pinworthy Projects – Just Us Four
Inspiration Spotlight – Dear Creatives
Weekend Recipe Link Up – Gator Mommy Reviews
Pin Me – Diana Rambles
The Creative Collection – Lolly Jane
Link Party Palooza – Tater Tots and Jello
Weekend Wind Down – Snippets of Information
Linky Party DIY Inspired – The Girl Creative
Dare to Share – Pam’s Party and Practical Tips
Simple & Sweet Fridays – Rooted in Thyme  

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D I Y, Storage, T U T O R I A L S

Craft Paper Display Rack with PVC pipes.

Moving to the new house has given a huge boost to my creativity. And part of the reason is that, it is just large enough to “ALMOST” house all my supplies.

Most of the handmade paper, I carry, comes from India, and as such, their dimensions are far from the 12 x 12 traditional design scrapbooking paper. With a paper width of 26 inches ~ I had been struggling for many years but managed to keep them rolled up in baskets and open cartons and occasionally using some of them. However It was very inconvenient, mainly becoz once they were used, it became extremely difficult to put them back in the baskets/cartons. One of my main worries was how to house these papers. I browsed a lot of options on google but sadly none of the wire racks could accommodate the large sheets of thick paper. Being a very “visual” kinda person, I wanted a support system where I could see the different colors, patterns and designs in the sheets. Not somewhere where I’d have to roll them away and rely heavily on my memory.

After letting this matter simmer for nearly 3 months ~ I spotted an idea on Pinterest ( Isn’t Pinterest just the most awesome mini world, there is,  where you just don’t want to leave ever from ?? ) about how someone made an awing for a birthday table with PVC pipes !! Voila ! Still alittle unsure,  I just had to see if the PVC pipes could handle the weight of 109 sheets !! And I wouldn’t really know, until I actually came up with a plan.

Fotor06221077Yep !! This IS the plan !

So I drew a blue print and went shopping to Al quoz industrial area. (for those living in Dubai ~ Al quoz was not the best choice ~ I could have gotten better rates in Rashidiya 😦 ~ learnt from my mistake )

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We used the manual jig saw coz the electric one could snap the pieces. PVC pipes are sold in very long pieces so you have to have an estimate of how much you might be working with. Again, I also included the T angles and the elbow joints as well.

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If you notice the blue print carefully, you’ll notice, I made a lot of changes to the actual construction as per stability and balance needs.

I’ll let the pictures speak from here :-

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The thickness of the pvc pipe, I used is 1 inch. I used a rubber hammer to fix them. Luckily, I did not have to use the PVC glue that you can see in one of the earlier pictures.

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That’s my cat Pepper who just had to inspect my workmanship !! lol

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And finally after years, I am ACTUALLY enjoying just watching all these gorgeous papers !!

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Thats sponge on the second level from above ! I use a lot of these for painting/dabbing for stencils, mainly for my art workshops. It can be quite a nuisance to store these otherwise since they are so puffy and large 😦

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Just to show how much paper is stacked up on the rack !

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The above profile pic, can show you just how many sheets of paper of various thickness, the rack is housing.

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So there you have it !!  This was my PVC project but I am so inspired by this success that a lot of more newer ideas are already churning in my brain soup ! It is a labor intensive project but the end result is so awesome and functionally great, that the hours put in are well worth it.  Although, I had planned to keep it initially closer to the stairway, It now adorns my studio’s second exit !! And yes, I keep getting asked, where I “BOUGHT” it from !! Needless to say, I see, jaws dropping as soon as I explain the whole process 🙂  What a joy !!  In so many ways, it has actually turned into a conversational piece in my studio !!

I hope you liked and perhaps even found some inspiration in this project.

I am sharing this post with the following link parties. Do join them as well for newer ideas and creative sparks.

  1. 1. Weekend   Wrap Up Party
  2. 2.   Spotlight Saturday
  3. 3. Junk   Party
  4. 4. It’s   Over Flowing Wit
  5. 5. Finding   the Pretty and Delicious h Creativity Saturday
  6. 6. Seasonal   Inspiration
  7. 7. Weekend   Wonders
  8. 8. Saturday   Show and Tell
  9. 9. Create   and Inspire Party
  10. 10. Sweet   Saturday
  11. 11.   Saturday Spotlight
  12. 12. Show   and Tell Saturday
  13. http://www.serenityyou.com/

  14. http://too-much-time.com/

  15. http://thegirlcreativepartyblog.blogspot.ae/
  16. http://www.iheartnaptime.net/
  17. http://itssoverycheri.com/
  18. http://www.youngandcrafty.com/
  19. http://www.iamonly1woman.blogspot.ae/
  20. http://www.myturnforus.com/
  21. 1. Sunday Showcase
  22. 2. Nifty Thrifty Things Sunday
  23. 3. Pick of the Bunch Sundays
  24. 4.   Scrumptious Sundays
  25. 5. Silver Pennies Sundays
  26. http://www.onetoughmotherblog.com/
  27. http://www.cherishedhandmadetreasures.com/
  28. 1. Market   Yourself Monday
  29. 2. I Should   Be Mopping the Kitchen Floor
  30. 3. The   DIYers
  31. 4. Making   The World Cuter
  32. 5. Motivate   Me Monday
  33. 6. More the   Merrier Monday
  34. 7. Much Ado   About Monday
  35. 8. The   Chicken Chick
  36. 9.   Marvelous Monday
  37. 10.   Masterpiece Monday
  38. http://www.craft-o-maniac.com/
  39. http://www.madincrafts.com/2013/06/mad-skills-link-party-161.html
  40. http://www.skiptomylou.org/
  41. http://www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/
  42. One Project at a Time at A Bowl Full of Lemons,
  43. Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm,
  44. The Scoop at Cedar Hill Ranch,
  45. Project Inspired{d}at Cupcakes and Crinoline,
  46. You’re Gonna Love It at Kathe with an E,
  47. Transformed Tuesdays at PJH Designs,
  48.  Take a Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts,
  49.  Be Inspired at Elizabeth and Co,
  50.  Pretty Things Link Party at twelveOeight,
  51. Time to Shine at A Diamond in the Stuff,
  52. Show Me What You Got at Not Just a Housewife,
  53.  Share It Link Party at The Winthrop Chronicles,
  54. Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios,
  55. Trash 2 Treasure at Kammy’s Korner,
  56. Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster,
  57. The Creative Spark at Clean and Scentsible,
  58. Tuesdays at Our Home at Our Home Away from Home,
  59. Homemade by You at Made to be a Momma,
  60. Brag About It Tuesday at Bebetsy,
  61. Ginger Jamboree LInk Party at Homemade Ginger