Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So Long and Thanks for All the (Gold)Fish

So Long and Thanks for All the (Gold)Fish handmade cookie cutters by A Crafty Arab
I have had the privilege of being an officer/organizer in four separate mother's groups in my life as a mommy and have met some amazing women as I've done this.

Apart from being officer, I have also been a participant in a few more.  I was recently asked to name them all and here is a partial list from what I can remember:

Bellevue Eastside Active Moms
Dragonflies and Butterflies
Eastside Cool Mommies
Eastside Mothers Club
Messy Kids, Happy Moms
Sammamish & Redmond Mothers & More
Seattle & Eastside Mothers & More
Sisters of the YaYa Motherhood

On December 31st, this one chapter of my life will be closed on LinkedIn forever as I leave my very last organizing position on ECM, also the last mommy group of which I was still a member.

Its mind boggling to think of all the Mother's Night's Out, Playdates, Hiking Outings, Book Clubs, Movie Nights, Craft Nights, and the thousands of other things I've done as an organizer of moms for the past eleven (!) years.

I wanted to throw a little "retirement" party to help me transition out of my mommy phase.  Now that the girls are older, it's rare that I even get called that anymore, so it was time to move on.

I had named the event as a play on words inspired by So Long and Thanks for All the Fish book by Douglas Adams.

My daughter and I made homemade goldfish crackers for my party, which were the perfect munchies for a night of reminiscing. 

We used the recipe here, and decided to make our own fun shapes out of Diet Coke cans to go along with the theme of the party.  Originally I was going to just buy little shapes, but when I saw how easy it was to make them, we couldn't resist.
The shapes we came up with were round planet, crescent moon, star, and of course goldfish.  We also had a rocket shape, but the dough keep getting caught and it was scrapped. Once you cut a strip all the way around the can, simply shape it, pinch it in place, and tape the ends together!

Here is another photo, sorry it's blurry.  If you look at the fish on the right, you can see the tape. Try to make your pieces connect anywhere other then a corner so that the food doesn't build up and get stuck to the tape.

So Long and Thanks for All the (Gold)Fish handmade cookie cutters by A Crafty Arab
This is what we came up with when we were done.

So Long and Thanks for All the (Gold)Fish handmade goldfish crackers by A Crafty Arab

I had no idea it was easy to make goldfish.  Of course my daughter wants to make them again as the two bowls we made for the party were happily (and quickly) eaten.  We have already decided to use the Asiago or maybe the shredded Mexican blend instead of cheddar cheese.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year and may 2014 also bring you new adventures!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Steelers Earrings

Being an owner of original artwork, copyright is very important to me and my business.  So I make it a point of trying not to use Disney, Pixar, Legos, etc designs in any of my handmade products, however I had to make an exception recently.

I was part of a gift exchange with a group of friends online.  For those that have never done a gift exchange online before, it's actually pretty simple.  There is one person in charge (thanks A!) who sets a spending limit and takes the names, wish list and address of all those that want to participate.  She/he then secretly buddy up random people and give them their recipient.  It's all done in secret because it's fun to not know who will be sending you a gift. 

The best part of the exchange was that all the items had to be handmade.

After I found out who my person was, I went to check out their profile.  One of the many things they loved was the Pittsburgh Steelers.   I then went to work researching handmade items and was amazing at all the selections.  However, having spent a full semester on Copyright Law in college made me realized that I really couldn't justify spending money on an item that I knew was not giving any profit back to the team that owns the logo.

So I decided to solve my dilemma by making the item myself.  This way, there is no exchange of money.  I settled on a pair of earrings that I thought might be cute and were exactly at the point of our spending limit.

Of course, the stumbling block that I'd never made this type of jewelry before never crossed my mind or stopped me.

I headed to Joann to buy the Swarovski crystals but already had all the other supplies.  I then drew out the design and tried to figure out how to wrap the beads to make the yellow/blue/red logo work.  I had also bought two sizes of the crystals so I would have the larger ones in the circle ring and the smaller yellow/black on top.

A few hours, lots of broken circle rings, bent wire and bleeding fingers (just kidding, there was only one), I finally figured it out.

I knew it was a great design because on the day I was to mail it, I had lunch with some girlfriends.  I showed them the earrings I was proud for figuring out and they both immediately wanted to order some for relatives.  I had to politely decline that this was a one of a kind design and I couldn't take money for it.  But I did point them towards the website of others that do.

And the person I made the earrings for loved them and took a photo of what they looked like when they arrived in her home.

Friday, December 13, 2013

MA'a salama Large Arabesque Clocks

While I was at the Arab Festival, I received a custom order for two Arabesque clocks.  I've been working on these clocks over the past few weeks and today I had to box them up.

So MA'a salama (goodbye in Arabic) to these clocks as they find new loving homes.  It is sad to see them go as I've become quite attached to them.  I hope they are well received.
Large Arabesque Pattern Clock
Large Arabesque Paisley Clock


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Are you a member of MFGCS?

Today is a grey and gloomy day in Seattle.  The temps are down and I'm wearing fingerless gloves and boot slippers in my studio.  I don't want to turn on the heater because I'm finishing up two custom clock orders and there are too many fumes.

While waiting for the sealant to set, I cleaned out part of my closet and I came across this sign I had made for the Muslims are Coming event.  It made ma laugh, so I though maybe you need a laugh of your own to cheer you up if you are also having a grey and gloomy day.

Muslims For Grammatically Correct Signs

Monday, December 9, 2013

Arabic Children's Clocks

As I had previously mentioned, I started creating these Arabic kid's clocks back in September and I'm now finally getting a chance to list them both on my Etsy and Zibbet site.

I have four clocks total and I'm going to experiment to see which gets the most views.  Since Etsy is no longer a handmade site, I'm a little nervous about posting handmade on there.  But I've had a few sales over there recently, so I'm just curious if the first Arabic clock sells on Etsy or Zibbet.

Here are the four listings:
(click the caption under the clock to see more photos)

Gliding the Dog! Arabic robot wood wall clock
Blast off! Arabic wood wall clock

Up Up and Away! Arabic hot air balloon wood wall clock

Fishing School! Arabic wood wall clock