Goody Bags for school.

This is one of the larger efforts that I put in every year around this time.  Gift packs for teachers and students in my boys’ classes.

So a large part of last week was spent making dozens of tags and wrapping the gifts. What was really special this year round,  was that I let the boys help me out with it and you know, as “ms perfecty” as I am, I really enjoyed letting them have fun in the process !  My boys chiped in happily and had a blast while at it   It was purely a team effort. 

This year we made alittle over 70 bags for students and 30 chocolate bars for teachers. .  I think the pictures explain everything

The gift tags are digi stamps except for just one of them which is handstamped. The small bags, I got in one of my trips to Malaysia. They are so cute. Wish I had got scores more ~ They are so handy.

Well from what I hear, there was a riot in their class, with kids actually wanting to trade in stuff,  to get their hands on those goody bags !!  Wow ~ The boys are so excieted and having a blast. Makes all that effort worth it all.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Handmade items/Hobby ~ business in Dubai.

Dear Friends,

Often I have been asked on my blog if I run classes and could employ people and/or for some kind of guidance in this field.

Recently amongst the many calls I receive for some guidance was a call from Rida Farooq who also wished for some direction in this matter, staying in UAE.

Firstly, by no means, am I, an expert but I could only provide some of my own experience in this field.

I am a papercrafter and create handmade greeting cards, altered art, book binding and recylable items.  To view a full range of my cards and papercrafting creations, please click here.  In the past I have taught in schools and institutes but realized that these venues provide a large limitation on budget and generally dont fullfill their pledge when they advertize a product to their clients.

Therefore, I decided to offer private classes for children as well as ladies. I offer classes from my home at the Arabian Ranches every quaterly. For the children, there is a beginners and advanced art class covering all aspects and mediums of creating art works including water colors, arcylics etc.  And for the ladies, classes are limited to the various aspects of papercrafting.  I am not a sewer (which I would have loved to be !)

5 years back, I chose not to get involved in full time business for various reasons which do not apply now. But becoz you could be in a similar situation I am disclosing it to you.

1: My kids were alot younger and I prefered to do something on the side, rather than jump into a full time commitment which I may not be able to fullfill.

2: Business, in this part of the world is rather complicated with the involvement of trade liscence, visa procedures, having a partner’s constant involvment ( to have a business in Dubai or UAE, one must have a local “arbab” who is the local representative or sponsor of the business, although his involvment could be limited, in terms of finance and decisions, nevertheless, one has to pay him a fee on an annual basis, depending on the individual case )

I too, like many, prefered to manage from the comfort of my home while waiting for the right opportunity. (Which by the way, may not be the most ideal situation for you, but it “WAS” for me.)

Having said that, now, for what you should do, if you feel you have a talent which has the potential of bringing in, monetary gains ? Well, Primarily find out what exactly you wish to pursue ? You have the choice of selling your product or selling your skills ? Which would you prefer. That is ‘THE’ most important question. Please realize that most people who visit us in our homes or our friends, are going to praise our “ART” skills, becoz that is the polite thing to do, but are they appreciating it so much as to buy it ?

Next, having determined which direction you choose, “NETWORK”  … It is a KEY WORD. Talk to people at work or spouces’ friends, or neighbours, friends of friends and spread the word that you can offer some skills or you have products which you would like to sell.  Which ever, but first find out from your community, what response you get.

Another important aspect is “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION” as they say in the business jargan . Perhaps you reside rather far from where your potential customers are. Well, then you have to find a way or a channel to come to them, if they cant come to you.

Here, I can also suggest that selling online is also another option. It has benefitted several folks, I know. And its really not as complicated as we make it out to be. There are several sites where you can join to be able to sell thru eg : ETSY.

One drawback about handmade items is that , being handmade, naturally they are always above the regular prices, and there is generally only a particular kind of clientele which appreciates handmade. So reaching them is the question here.

In my opinion, ARTE ~ Artisians of the Emirates,  provides an excellent and very balanced platform for the new hobbyist. They are a monthly “souk” ~ exhibition/fair where you can participate on a monthly basis once you register with them. What I would advise to some one like Rida, is that you should probably visit one of their exhibitions/fairs which is held every first friday of the month at the Times Square on Sheikh Zayed road. Get a feel of how they exhibit and what are the kind of products that sell, talk to the vendors, and see how you think, you can place yourself there.  You can reach arte from here : ARTE  or join their facebook group here : Arte

One amongst the score of ladies selling handmade crafty items at the fair. She creates fantastically creative wall hangings.

If you feel more confident then this could be one way you could choose to move in. Another permanent option is where you take up a space/store/shop in a small sized mall or a larger mall. Depending on your budget, these are the basic two ways to go in. Both can turn out to be fruitful provided you believe you have what it takes to make it suceed.

I know of ladies, who have started out from Arte, moved on to get a space thru the Freezone but they struggled, becoz they were located far from the reach of the “REAL” client and I also know of women, who persisted with home business for years before actually opening up large size stores in more renowned malls. We all have our own situations to deal with, so in the end, it boils down to what your situation and budget is like.

I could go on forever on this subject but the most important thing is, that you set your priorities right first and see where you place your hobby/skills. There are scores of books written on this subject. But the bottom line is, as my closest friend Judith put it when I was in a delimma too, was “Running a store/shop/full fledge business is like getting on an ongoing  threadmill”  If you get what I mean. Are you 100% committed ? If so, and if not so too, trying out opportunities is alot better than waiting to let things happen to us, get out there, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH and atleast make an effort to know where you stand with your product.

If I can be of any help. Feel free to contact me.

I hope you found my little article informative, inspiring and educational. If so, kindly leave a comment to tell me how and what you feel.

My Cards.

I wish to share with you’ll some of my recent creations which I havent been posting on this blog. Hope you enjoy them and I would much appreciate if you let me know, which ones you like the most.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some of my newest designed greeting cards.

The new designs.

The new designs.

Recently I bumbed into a site which gave me alot of creative inspiration. I realized how easy designing cards get when the sketch is provided. Such site pose challenges to us so that we can come up with spectacular colors, patterns and designs based on their sketches. I have decided to play atleast one or two of them now on !!

The site is called. www.mojomonday.blogspot.com

I will continue to post healthy wholesome funny and thoughtful stuffies here but this will be my last post on CreativeMominDubai for greeting cards. These cards were done alittle after we returned from Umrah in saudi arabia. I am very content with the colors and the looks of tall these cards. What say you ???

‘ll keep you’ll updated with the progress I make or even better, visit me at DoodleBuddies.wordpress.com to see my progress for yourselves.

C ya

This and ……. A NEW BLOG

Dear friends, I feel I have cramed in too many vast topics in this blog and just to smooth some of it out, I have decided to keep all my greeting card related stuff in another blog. To view all the new cards and challenges, that I have been participating in, follow the link please :

http://www.doodlebuddies.wordpress.com

Ofcourse I will continue to ramble here and share all the quotes etc here, but I hope you will also come and visit me at Doodle Buddies too.

Please do give me feedback and throw your comments my way coz as much as I get all the encouragement I need from your comments, it also helps me in understanding a different perspective.

Best Regards

Naush

Recycled Art to inspire.

I’m one of those compulsive “junk hoarders” who believes there’s a use to everything created.  Hence the two sheds, remember 🙂   A couple of weeks back I spotted this really cool lamp shade thrown away at one of my neigbours.. Oh yes, you will be amazed at the kinda stuff that is ridicously dumped in Dubai. I have unbelievably seen things without a scratch thrashed out !!!!  And for someone who is a firm believer in recyling, it breaks my heart. Why not just dump it in the recycling bin instead of the garbage ?  I really feel its a crime, when you see, scores of people in the world without even the basic essentials, and here people shamelessly dump good usable, non expired stuff – why ? Beats me !! I guess we are all alittle spoilt and maybe some of us have had their 2-day-fill of what ever MUST-HAVE  item that was !!     

Well anyways, theres hope as long as there’s naush.  And there’s naush as long as my garage can take it. I have found a fantastic service here, where once you leave your past treasure to them, they then donate a whole lota that stuff at the labour (worker’s) camp. Thats a blessing indeed. To think of it,  what seems so useless or old to us, could very much be an essential a fellow has been saving hard to buy. Serves both purposes.

Ok, So going back to my story, I find this lamp shade, which is definetly designer, going by the beautiful finish and gorgeous material used. I was lost for ideas for sometime but waited for the inspiration, until, Bilal told me that he needed to give a small token of appreciation-kinda gift to one of the senior girls in his school who had helped him out initially. This girl is graduating. Voila .. A DOOR HANGER ? A Placard ? or maybe both …

The lampshade was made of a beaded silk fabric which was stiched to this almost-plastic brown carboardish base. It was perfect to serve the purpose.

The butterfly symbolizes the free spirit in a person to dream, to achieve. The two flowers are the two hearts that will be one, one day and ofcourse the beautiful metallic key is determination which is the key to any sucess. I love this quote and hold on to it dearly. What better way to inspire ???           

     

To inspire

To inspire

 

Well while I WAS at it, I got stormed by several ideas ! Afterall the sky is the limit when it comes to possibilities !!

Here’s the next one :  

chick to chick

chick to chick

 

do let me know your thoughts too ..

Handmade Greeting Card

Generally I dont play with a black based card, for what ever reason, i feel uncomfortable thinking, who’s going to want to buy a black based card ?? But I was tempted and I am reasonably happy with the outcome. However Unfortunetly I feel my photograph has not done justice to the look of the card.

Experimenting with black taught me thats its one of the most versatile colors that lets you run any wild color along with it, and it will calm its loud effect. Its like clothes, you can thrown on, a pair of black trousers, and just about any shirt will gel well with it !

Hope you enjoy this card. It has a senti ring to it for special friends.

the black card

the black card

the black card

the black card

Greeting Card In A Frame.

Its been after along time that I did a frame work for one of my neighbours, who wanted a card- in-a- frame format for her husband.

When a customer comes for such personalized work for someone so intimate, I feel I have to have some insight into the person concerned, say for instance, how old is he/she turning, what colors do they like, what temperament do they have ~ social or reclusive,  what hobbies do they enjoy, so as to incorporate a theme around some of these things, but most of the time, people really just want “ANYTHING” special without really wanting to part with any details. In this case I guessed alot to get a feel of whom I was doing the frame for.

I dont know the gentleman well enough but It was really difficult having to guess their likes and feelings when you dont really know the kinda relationship they share, what tastes they have in art etc etc.

Its a beautiful english green frame

Its a beautiful english green frame

There is really very little one can adorn the frame with 1 becoz I didn’t find a shadow frame and 2 becoz I didn’t know what hobbies he had, so I decided to use the lyrics as the base and fill it up in boxes and apertures to make it look elegant.

I have divided the frame into three main parts, the upper left one, the upper right one and the center lower area.  I concentrated on what message was going out rather than the embellishments. He would naturally be seeing this frame at all odd hours and most importantly it had to reflect how the sender felt all these years, apparently they had been married for 27 years.

Green frame is a difficult color to work with especially since I had to change the base of the frame nearly 4 times. I wanted the base to be brighter so that I could then add the ” patchwork ” in contrast colors. I think the effort was well worth it, she was completly overwhelmed. I suppose I wrote her mind .. .. .. 

spoken from the heart

spoken from the heart

 

A happy wife ~ a fortunate husband

A happy wife ~ a fortunate husband

Decluttering Part 2. Craft Room In Disorderly Order.

The art studio has been buzzing with activity finally over the past THREE weeks !! Although the idea was to complete the organizing bit by making the labels for all the boxes, my impatience  got the better of me. I’ve done almost 12 beautiful pieces of art, not to mention the try outs which have found refuge in the dust bin ! Ofcourse the table has gone mad again with piles of bits of paper cuttings and tools scattered everywhere. How I get work done in the mess .. well . .. . . . . . IT IS an art !!  

scissors

scissors

These are the scissors that I frequently use. There are two more racks with scissors, which I rarely ever use. Thing with scissors is :

  • Place them in a way that displays their design side so that you dont pull out a dozen scissors before finding the one you intended to.
  • Place them in an easily accessible area close to the work station.

 

The second work station.

The second work station.

ALTERED TIN ART 095

At any given time, before I call it a day, here are a few pointers to what I do, inorder to stay focused because like most of you’ll, I too, cannot function when the cuttings get out of control.

  1. Put back all dies in the folders.
  2. Wash all soiled rubberstamps and keep them for drying on a dry napkin
  3. Gather all the paper cuttings in one area. so that although its still on the table its not E V E R Y W H E R E .
  4. Clear up the guillotine tray.
  5. Throw in the double sided glue strips in an airtight container lest they dry off and loose its strength. 
  6. Last but not least, place all the new productions in a drawer or container so that they the glue adheres in a dry area.
  7. One thing I have realized is that I take out too many embellishments to ” try out”, when I decide It does not fit in, I just leave it there somewhere. I have lost one too many embellishments this way, so now I gather all such embellishments and keep them in a tiny box, end of my creative spree,  I quickly push back everything in their respective containers.

This all must seem like alot but really it just takes a little over 15 minutes !! 

More scissors !

More scissors !

Ribbons : although I have 5 wire baskets full of ribbons, I am yet to organize them. Hey, its alot of hard work !

I find placing ribbons in an open container like the wire crates very convenient, since I am a compulsive ribbon feeder, its nice to have “out in the open” rather than otherwise. I have tried several other options, but this suits me best.

Ribbon baskets

Ribbon baskets

 

Copy of Shaadi~backhome~AzeemBhaiyya~Myblog stuff~Boys~glassesSamie 674

This organizer makes locating tiny beads or brads so easy. It is efficient and handy.   large enough to carry a big variety and small enough so as to be placed on a table top or shelf.

Altered Tins

There is good news from the craft studio though. Finally, I felt this gush of inspiration ~ hadda break my long time block and started working on “a couple of projects “. These are my first projects in the last 5 – 6 months. I mean, can you imagine having such a    “l o n g”   block ??  Well I did.

The new organized studio not only leaves more space around to move in but also gives more actual space to work on the work station, which is good. But like any crafter knows, enough is never enough when it comes to work space. Still I feel there are a couple of bags full of craft goodies which have to find a decent box for storage and then the labels !! I dont know why I havent been able to give the labels done as yet ! I think its just the thought of having to climb up to the ceiling to find out whats in the boxes, thats putting me off !!

Coming back to the projects :Its been good so far. That GUSH I was talking about got me taking on two tins at a time !! Yeah .. Am I excieted !  Not only am I recyling the tins but even the paper used is handmade paper.   Only have to finish the lid art works and we’ll be ready for the dance.  Hopefully You’ll be able to see more finished projects by the end of the week !  Here are just the two.cookie tin4

Cookie Tin3

Cookie tin1

Handmade Greeting Cards

Spring is in the air.

Spring is in the air.

I completly enjoyed this card. Loved working with pink after a very long time and loved adding those cute  embellishments. The lace was a lovely finishing touch in the card, although the pink fur ribbon was quite a task. The pink velvet handmade paper was a first timer for me and I completly loved the feel.

Naush’s Handmade Greeting Cards

Almost all of my cards have a three dimensional effect or feel to them.  Unique Embellishments and  charming ribbons are placed to add a touch of personality to each card. Handmade paper is frequently used to enhance the quality and texture. I go to great extents to source my embellishments and handmade paper.   

My cards are truly unique coz even after 300+ cards , I have not repeated a style so far. They are cards full of character, karisma, and individuality. They can all be framed quite easily too.     

I have eye for details and that is reflected in all my creations.