Have you visited Al Serkal Avenue ?

The Quoz Art Fest was a an absolute treat !!

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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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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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Fairs and Carnivals in Dubai

Another day, another fair !!

The best season in Dubai is welcomed in the month of November.  November also signals the onset of various fairs and exhibitions in Dubai. With each new fair, there is something new learnt and something new discovered.

I have been offering craft workshops at several fairs. For me, participating in these fairs is totally a family affair, with all the boys lugging boxes full of supplies and Samie, helping me with the set up. It is exhaustive work but I love interacting with people and nothing can bring me more joy, than sharing the knowledge of crafting.

Our last workshop was The lions pride family carnival and workshop at Al Twar.  Let my photographs do all the talking.

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Did I have fun ? Absolutely !! Did the kids enjoy the activities ? The photos speak for themselves !

We learnt from our previous fair, that while the majority of children who participate in the activities are girls, the boys tend to feel very left out. Hence this fair, we tried something new and fun ! My next post will be about sharing that.

I hope you liked my display. If you participate in fairs, I’d love to hear some of the key points, you’ve learnt about participating in fairs 🙂

Thank you for visiting me today.

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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.

If you like what you see at my blog, you could subscribe to my blog using any of the following media or simply ‘like’ me or ‘join’ me on the various platforms below 🙂

                 

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Setting up a craft-stall in a fair in Dubai.

Hello friends !

I am back from a long haitus with a bag full of creative posts !!

My creative plate has been full of ideas and events.

We visited Saudi Arabia on our Hajj pilgrimage and It was an absolutely amazing experience. Returning from the trip, I participated at the Al Tamimi stables family fun day on 17th and 18th of October.

I was rekindling my love affair with ‘fairs’ after 2 years and totally loved the experience.  It turned out so good, that I hope to join a couple more of fairs in the near future. Inshallah.

There was a steady flow of students, happy to learn a new activity and it was all the encouragement, I needed.

The fair lasted for 2 days over the weekend, and we were much more prepared on the second day. As always, the entire family helped out, from carrying/transporting cartons of supplies to managing the stalls, the boys did it all and more. Mashallah.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Colorful pails hosting scissors, paint brushes, colors, popsicle sticks etc.

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My fantastic assistants. Son # 1 Bilal  and Son # 3 Eman ~ catering to the needs of the creative enthusiasts. Son # 2 was helping me out with the projects.

These are three amazing boys, without whose help, I don’t think, I could ever follow my dreams.

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Their creative enthusiasm is infectious !

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Boys and girls ~ figuring out, which activity, they would like to go in for, first !

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craft table set up

Our workstation on Day 1 was a little petite and I felt, I could have made it more organized (which we corrected, the following day 🙂

DONT participate in any fair unless you are carrying the following “tools of the trade” in your bag  :-

Masking tape, scotch tape, double sided tape, ribbon, cord, scissors,

rubber bands, stapler and stapler pins, Markers, pen,

calculator, clothespin, paper pins,

BUSINESS CARDS, panadols, a packet of battery cells.

Some Pointers :-

  • I always carry extra folding tables for all my supplies ( The work station should always remain appealing and not cluttered with jars of embellishments and other stationery and supplies.
  • I prefer to keep the embellishment racks slightly away from main work station for various reasons, one of which is security as well.
  • I also carry spare folding chairs too.
  • Carrying display risers is always an excellent idea.
  • Inorder to save on space, I kept a wire rack stand to carry all my paint tubes on. When in doubt with space ~ GO VERTICLE !!! (my mantra)
  • Baskets always add an appeal of its own and they are so handy and functional too.
  • A banner or bunting is excellent advertising as well as adds color to your stall and makes it look, more professional.
  • If your going to have activities, make sure, you have a plastic covering for your table, lest the paint runs on the table cloth. (you’ll need masking tape to adhere it)
  • One of the things to discuss beforehand with the organizers is the availability of a wash room and an electric connection.  Why ?
  • Your going to need to wash off the excess paint and your going to need an electric connection for the glue gun.
  • Tissue boxes don’t help much (they would for a regular craft table )but carrying the kitchen tissue roll is a better suggestion for activities table.
  • If any of the activities involve beads, its best to provide children with plastic bowls or plates or ELSE expect, the beads to be scattered all over the place !
  • Keep a few price tag stickers at hand for those misplaced while being transported.
  • I like to keep, a neutral color to the set up while providing enough pops of color with pails, baskets, jars and plates.
  • However, a bright (non-designed) table spread is a ideal is your going to sell stuff.
  • Investing in a solid trolley cart is really a good idea.
  • Short change is always in high demand in fairs ~ so carry lots of short change.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of the humble “camera”. You want to cherish all the memories and whats more, you want to learn from your mistakes !!
  • Last but not least,  I cannot emphasis enough, the importance of displaying your business cards upfront !

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Plenty of embellishments and beads to play around with !

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Although carrying so many embellishments can be such a bother, but it is very gratifying when children go thru heaps of embellishments, just to pick one of their best ones. The jars are from Ikea.

Day 2.

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I always carry my wire racks with plenty of additional embellishments for children to buy and add to their creative projects. The white board is very helpful in indicating the various activities and rates. (also from Ikea)

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The above colorful plates are from Ikea. They add a pop of color to an otherwise very white setup.

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You can buy the above baskets from Daiso for dhs 7.

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Al Tamimi stables fair was well organized, well advertised and a large crowd turned up, inspite the relentless weather. There were dozens of activities to keep the young ones busy and amused, plenty of food outlets ~ not to mention the beautiful animals on the property, making the entire experience, wholesome, for the visitor.

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Thank you for visiting me today. I hope the photographs could give you a glimpse of the fun and frolic had at the fair.

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Diorama Project for Artic Circle.

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One of the biggest advantages of having a creative Mom, is you never have to worry about inspiration for a project. Although, I generally like for the boys to execute the project, I like to give them a brief idea for what would look appealling and informative.

Eman the youngest, has an artic project where he has to produce a landscape as well as an ecosystem.

It was meant to be a three dimensional project and I completly and absolutely loved working on this project. Playing with styrofoam can be fun but a challenge becoz its so darn messy. But the results are always stunning. We layered two different sizes of styrofoam on the lid of one of my large boxes for variation in landscape, and placed a thick white crumpled paper bag between the ridge of the styroform to give the look of a flowing river.
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Eman painted it thick acrylic blue with streaks of white in between to show movement. Another 2 stripes of styrofoam were pinned with toothpicks to built the mountains.
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You really cant work with glue on styrofoam and for a project which demanded so much glue, I wasnt going to use my E6000, so we happily placed tooth picks and that did the job perfectly well. A koka noodles cup was stood in the corner to form a small hill with chunky pieces of styrofoam scattered randomly.
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Eman already had a couple of artic animals like the artic hare, fox, moose etc so all we needed now were some penguins. I will post in another post how we made Penguins, but some salt dough made excellent penguins.
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The whole process took just over 2-3 hours including coloring and baking time and one super happy young boy !

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I have directed the pictures in a way, that is a self tutorial. Please feel free to use the process. It is alot of fun, but I would certainly suggest, working with styrofoam outdoors as I learnt my lesson the hardway !

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■Show Me What Ya Got at Not JUST a Housewife {Max 2 projects}
■Too Cute Tuesday @ Funky Polka Dot Giraffe {Link up something you’ve made.}
■Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings {Link up something you’ve made.}
■Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios {A tutorial of some sort – craft, recipe, DIY project}
■Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm {Thrifty finds or Thrifty DIY projects}
■Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training
■Not So Tough Tuesdays at One Tough Mother {stick to theme}
■The Inspiration Board at Homework

Tutorials Tips and Tidbits
Treasure Hunt Thursday
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Feathered Nest Friday
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■Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday at Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
■Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home
■I’m Lovin’ It at Tidy Mom {requires backlink in post}
■For the Kids Fridays at Sun Scholars
■Pity Party at 30 Handmade Days
■Friday Flair at Whipperberry
■Weekend Wander at While He Was Napping
■Lovely Crafty Weekend at Lovely Crafty Home
■Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now
■Friday Favs at Nap Time Crafters
■Flaunt It Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
■Party Mindie Style at Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo
■Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
■Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home {Crafts or decorating projects, doesn’t want recipes}
■Tickled Pink at 504 Main
■Free for All at Young and Crafty
■Simply Link at Simply Designing
■Sweet Tooth Friday at Alli ‘n Son {sweet recipes only}
■Happy Hour Friday at Happy Hour Projects
■Simply Pin-tastic at Energizer Bunnies’ Mommy Reports
■Dare to Share at Pam’s Party Planning
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■Freedom Fridays at My Turn (For Us)
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http://www.stonegableblog.com/2013/05/tutorials-tips-and-tidbits-47.html
http://willcookforsmiles.com/2013/05/the-wcfs-award-show-link-party-12.html

I hope you enjoyed the transformation from box lid to an artic landscape. If you have felt inspired to try something similar, I would love if you could also sent me pics of the same too.

Thank you for visiting me today. Hope you return again.

Regards

Naush

In the newspapers !

One of the many things great about living in a community is the “feeling” of belonging, of being a part of the community. One of our proactive residents at the Ranches, has started a blog directory for all the business women in Arabian Ranches. She’s been very enthusiastic and worked very hard to get everyone involved in providing services or exhibiting their talents, into this directory. What an innovative idea… isn’t it ?

There are few women, who are involved in fashion wear, or accessories, party organizing, jewellry, gifts and handmade stuff. It is, now, so convenient to know exactly, who is planning what event, rather than having to go two highways away to pick a special gift ! We now have the information right under our nose and thats just brilliant. Its always that one person who is ready to carry the baton, claim the baton and in this case, pick the baton, that makes all the difference. And for the Ranches, its Clemintina.

Two weeks back, we were interviewed by Express times of Gulf news and finally, the feature appeared in last Thursday’s newspaper. Its such a delight ! I suppose there are several ways of being featured in the Newspaper, unfortunetly one of the many being, in the obituary or having done some thing obsene like straus kahn. But I’m glad in my lifetime, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by City 7 for a 15 minutes programe and now, I got a chance to have my mug in the newspaper and all for good reasons !!! Alhamduallah.

Here is the link :-

Please visit this link, to read what we had to say, here.

Also, here is our blog directory : Business Women of Arabian Ranches.

Thank you for visiting me today. So glad you dropped by.

Naush

Summer Arts & Crafts Tips ~ part 1.

Hello friends.  How have you been ?

Well, me ? I’m exhausted but on cloud 9. Exhausted becoz I am conducting summer craft workshop for students in the day and repeating the activities in the evening with my boys !! Agreed I am crazy about making stuff, but when you have to do repeats of the whole shabang all over a couple of hours later, it really breaks my back.

My students are a lovely 9 year old polite brother and talented sister. It has been such a joy teaching them the many techniques in art. I am especially always happy when I get students who are genuinely interested in learning something, rather than just having a get together.

Here are just some of the projects, they have done with me :

    

We have been enjoying with some lighter activities too. Some of them are inspired by the talented ladies of blogland. Please feel free to ask any details about the process and recipes used. These are really light and refreshing activities for children, especially beneficial to children, who need the “push” with touch and feel activities and most importantly, they keep them busy for long periods of time.

We began with blowing bubbles ~ who made the largest bubbles and who had the largest bowl of bubbles and finally, who got the most bubbles on his bubble imprint sheet.

  

We then moved to the shaving cream foam. The boys had a blast with these activities. My boys are 9, 10 and 12. All three of them have dyslexia with the last two, also having ADHD. Playing with foam was especially fun and gave them a sense of freedom. Where generally I dont encourage these kind of messy activities in the dinning room, lest they ruin the rug, I realized, alittle compromise goes a long way. The boys could’nt have enough of the foam fun. And ofcourse, who ever thought there would’nt be a foam fight, does not have boys !Here is sawaab, experimenting with foam patiently. The silence before the storm 🙂

and then all the Real Fun began !

Why are “little boys and gooey/messy stuff”, a deadly combination for moms ? You dont have to answer that question. The picture above is the self explanatory answer. Yep ~ hands, feet, clothes and even Buddy’s glasses had foam on them. But, truth be told, I would repeat this activity with the boys, at the drop of a hat. Thats just how much fun they had. How free they felt to mess up. How closer, I found them to myself. All that fun and laughter was well worth the mess. I really had fun just watching and filming them. It was crazy and hilarious !

The activity was : Mixing acrylics in foam lather and making swirls with a skewer stick to leave imprints on A4. 

The next day, we worked with colors. Making circles with cup rims and filling watercolors in. Although we were supposed to stick to primary colors. The boys decided they wanted to fill more colors. so voila … you can see the stunning result.

Next, I wanted to check if the children of a craft savvy mom have anything remotely resembling an artistic gene !! Alas !! 

Two lessons later, there is remarkable improvement. Needless to say, there is still room for “alot” of improvements 🙂 But we’re getting there, lots of fun and lots of practise, one day at a time.

  

 Notice how both boys have used the eyebrows and movement of lips to distinguish between happy/sad/angry. Not bad for a first timer.

A few tips, a few ideas and alittle coaching later, a good attempt at making a boy’s portrait.  For boys who barely ever paint, I think, it was a good attempt. Besides, Like I always say, art is all about the process, not about the result. If the process was fun, then the result is bound to be remarkable.

   

Feeling more confident. They all wanted to now, make the change and try out a girl’s portrait. Look at those serious faces and all the hard work going into their projects.

   

And a little later :

Spectacular !!!!!!!

Not only am I so pleased with the beautiful pictures, all the details they put in, but I’m so glad, I got to spend some time ‘WITH THEM’ out of the computer studio !!!  Most importantly, they are enjoying themselves. I hope, you are inspired from some of these pictures and try out some of the activities with your children. Children forget alot of things but they never forget the time spent with them doing something “they” liked, which does become incredibly difficult as we all age.

I’m so happy that you stopped by, my site. I hope to see you here more often. If you’d like to keep in touch with my posts, you can subsribe to my blog in the column on the right.

Please enjoy making and sharing a little joy over the summer period. Come september and we’ll all be hearing the express train whistling again so enjoy what you have now ~ Time !!! and Time with the kids.

Hugs and kisses to all my friends and subsribers.

Naush

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