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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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
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Weekend Potluck – Sunflower Supper Club
Pinworthy Projects – Just Us Four
Inspiration Spotlight – Dear Creatives
Weekend Recipe Link Up – Gator Mommy Reviews
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Link Party Palooza – Tater Tots and Jello
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Dare to Share – Pam’s Party and Practical Tips
Simple & Sweet Fridays – Rooted in Thyme  

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and comment.

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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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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 :-

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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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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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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.

I am linking this post to the following parties, here.

Make it pretty Monday

Wow us Wednesdays

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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Middle East Film and Comic convention 2014.

Finally, after a two week spell of being under the weather ~ I was really looking forward to spending some “quality” time with the family ! Whatever THAT may mean what With 3 young boys between the age of 12-15 ~ It is rather difficult to cater to the “needs” of this particular generation.  1: they never want to leave the house. 2: Why should they, when they live in the fantasy world within the 3 screens at home. Incase your wondering ~ I mean the video games, the internet and the tv !!

And then again,  you wonder what else can be attempted to entertain this age group of boys ????  Easy answer  ~ Movies !!  Nah, They just watched The Divergent on a recent play date so that was out. The weather was being so unpredictable so we opted out from the beach plan. That left us with one of the events running in Dubai.

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MEFCC ~ short for Middle East Film and Comic convention at the World trade center. For film buffs, comic book lovers and visual arts connoisseurs ~ this was the place to be !  This was the third year of the three-day convention and strangely enough, we never knew, it existed, until just a week before.

For someone who was bought up on fairy tales and happy endings ~ It almost felt like we entered a fantasy land with creative stickers, badges, key chains being made one minute to a host of spray painting on shirts being carried out on the next ! And along the way, being greeted by a host of “Halloween-like” characters. It felt like an extraordinary and  unique experience.  From the gaming arena, the celebrity lineup for Comic Con, the Marvel Stand, the new venue, and the Geek Out Zone, everything about the convention was awesome !

Stalls displayed valuable merchandise of the superhero’s, comic books, science fiction and other fantasy genre ~ there was something for everyone from age 3 – 43.

The Dubai Culture Arts Alley was where we came across a rows and rows of stalls with scores of creators, enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs on display, giving fans the opportunity to meet or purchase some unique pop culture art. It also made me realize just how much the youngsters in Dubai dig pop art. Not only the men but even the local women were participating and displaying their talents in pop art.

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Here are a few glimpses of the lovely time had at the Comic con.

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If you were wondering what all the fuss was about ~ well, now you know !! And If you missed it this year, I hope you can attend the next one in 2015.

Have a beautiful week and stay safe.

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Pepper the cat.

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Introducing my very possessive and very confused feline baby : Pepper !!

This cat is nearly 6 years old and has adopted us as his family since he was a mere 3 weeks old. His favorite spot being Samie’s ears and shoulder !! Yet he suffers from a distinct identity crisis. He has difficulty believing he is a cat. Infact, sometimes, he probably believes, his brothers are deformed !! I mean,” why dont they have whiskers and why cant they run as fast as me ?”, he asks.

Like most domesticated felines, he is rather fussy about “when” he wants to eat.

The morning rush, is not the best place to be in my kitchen ~ I mean, its a chaotic place, where lunch boxes are being prepared, sandwiches, fruits and alot of imagination are being tossed around !! Yet, in the middle of all my running express trains, is Pepper, asking for his bowl to be filled just then !!! Well, I understand his logic … ” My brothers are having breakfast just now, so why cant I ?? ”

Its a mothers plight ~ to give or not to give. So he has to take the backseat. And poor my darling, refuses to eat once the boys have left for school 😦

He is hurt ~ he is disappointed in his mommy. And suddenly he realizes, the doors going to open and he has a whole “white” world to paint on in the courtyard and off he goes to have his morning basking session.

This little tot, LOVES to eat “literally” from the palm of my hand. Its his special treat. When I notice, a meal was not touched in the morning, I simply place it on my palms, and he relishes it so !! What a weird but adorable cat !!

Infact for a couple of his early years, this little bugger, used to use his paws to pick food and eat them – like us humans !!! I mean, who’d heard of that !!!

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Actually he’s not weird, he’s just “still-searching for his true personality” and personality, he has in oodles. He is intelligent, he is handsome and he is super possessive about his mom, dad, brothers and home. (not exactly in the same order though ) Keiki our older feline is to him like Ode to Garfield.

Pepper, still has a tendency to suck my fingers and go to sleep after that !! He’s been doing it since he was a finger old !!
When we moved from Arabian Ranches to Al Warqaa, my primary worry was their welfare. I worried, how they would adjust and adapt to the new environment. The sound of aeroplanes, the sound of dogs and chickens and cocks ( all my neighbours are fond of raising chickens !!) I introduced the sourroundings to them very gradually after nearly a week of being restricted in the house. I also scattered some of their litter granuels in the outside fence so that other cats may get the message.

And yes, becoz Mushrif Park is just a stones throw away from home, we are visited by scores and scores of migratory birds of various colors and chirps ! So yeah, while keiki struggled with the new setup, Pepper took to it like a fish to water. All he wanted was to be with us. He needed security of his family, his brothers and his parents. He “almost immediately” claimed his territory here. Thank God for that.

Truth be said, there’s little we worry about our home on our holidays, but we constantly worry about Keiki and Pepper. They are such a huge part and integral part of our family that it just seems void of any “completeness” without them.

Here are some really funny and cute pics of Mr Pepper ~ the boy in a cats body 🙂

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