Monday, October 27, 2014

Women's Wellness Weekend - Fall 2014

This past weekend, I was invited to teach quilling on Orcas Island at Camp Orkila for Women's Wellness Weekend.

It is such an honor to keep getting asked to teach because this is one of my favorite jobs I do all year.
Women's Wellness Weekend - Fall 2014
I taught two quilling classes on Saturday and then had the rest of the weekend I made some art, read some books, finished a People magazine from front to finish, did some yoga, learned some island history at Rosario Resort, and caught up with old friends.

I love staying at the guest house. Yes, I sleep in a bunk bed for the weekend, but it's worth it!

It's nice to see some familiar roommates.

I took time out of teach to make this adorable bracelet. Someone else made the earrings.
I made the bracelet, someone else the earrings, both from Shrinky Dinks.

Blue skies means sunshine means time to read on the beach and soak it up!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Quilled Earrings

While you read this blog post, I'm on a ferry, travestying the Puget Sound, northern bound for Orcas Island.

I'm going to be teaching quilling at the YMCA's Women's Wellness Weekend. I've been doing this for several years now and highly encourage anyone to attend this special place.

In honor of the class, I've been spending the last few days making new, simple quilled earrings to show students.

A Crafty Arab Quilled Earrings

A Crafty Arab Quilled Earrings

A Crafty Arab Quilled Earrings

A Crafty Arab Quilled Earrings

A Crafty Arab Quilled Earrings

A Crafty Arab Quilled Earrings
A Crafty Arab Quilled Earrings

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happy Diwali 2014

Diwali is well known in our neighborhood because we are lucky enough to live with Indian neighbors. We always know when the holiday is because they put out beautiful white sting lights on the outside of their homes. A few even light small fireworks in celebration.

When I saw the lights go on last night, I wanted to celebrate with them, so I made chicken curry, palak paneer (with the cheese pre-grilled, natch), rice, and naan bread for dinner tonight. 

I was also fortunate enough to have a caped crusader stop by on her whirlwind tour to make me dessert.  Because moons and stars light up our night, get it?

We spent our meal talking about Diwali and how important it was to celebrate all cultures.  We emphasized that by understanding our neighbor's traditions we make our world smaller. 

Happy Diwali!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Save the Dave - Homemade Harvest 2014

This morning I was waking up to a view outside my window of my dogwood tree leaves turning to a brilliant shade of red. Fall is definitely in the air. And with fall comes my annual Homemade Harvest Open House.
Homemade Harvest Open House 2014

Please save the date for November 8th from 12 to 6pm and join me at my home to support the handmade community. Kids are welcome to attend, there will be food served all day and you are sure to find a unique item to gift.  In turn, you'll be able to talk to the person who's hands made that item with love.

If you live in the Seattle/Eastside area and are interested in attending, please email me at ACraftyArab at gmail dot com.

And for my friends and fans who will be visiting again, I can't wait to see you!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Onyx 10 year Anniversary Exhibit Opening Reception

Last night I attended the Onyx 10 year anniversary exhibit opening reception that was held at the Washington State Convention Center.

It was so wonderful to see old friends, meet new ones, and be exposed to emerging artists.
Grand Prize Winner Carol Rashawnna Williams 
Honorary Mention

Here we are gathered to meet all the artists.

I love that my piece is to the right of the security phone. Just. In. Case.
Border Camel walking to the phone.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Arabesque Card Set in Arabic and English

Last weekend I did the Shuruq Festival and after spending a day with customers I realized something: I get asked to pronounce quite a few of my cards.<br />
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I had dozens of people ask "how to do you say this" as they point to a card written in Arabic. I would patiently tell them it was "Eid Milad Sai'd." I would then get asked the same question by someone else shortly after.<br />
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I really don't mind saying Eid Milad Sai'd fifty times a day, I love sharing my language with anyone that asks.&nbsp; <br />
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However it got me thinking about all the people that don't ask. How sad that they walked away from my booth without knowing how to wish someone a happy birthday in a different language.<br />
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This problem bothered me before I realized a solution this weekend.&nbsp;I came up with these <a href="" target="_blank">Arabesque card&nbsp;sets</a>&nbsp;that have both the Arabic sentiment, a pronunciation, and the English word(s).<br />
<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="" width="223" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="" target="_blank">Arabesque Set in Arabic and English - birthday, eid, love, peace, thanks</a> </td></tr>
I'm using the same paper cardstock supplier that I used for my <a href="" target="_blank">Eid Money Envelopes</a> to make these five card set that&nbsp;includes these sentiments. Here is each card listed separately if you don't want the 5 card&nbsp;<a href="">set</a>:<br />
<li><a href="" target="_blank">happy birthday * eid milad sa'id * عيد ميلاد سعيد</a> </li>
<li>thank you * shukran * شكرا </li>
<li>blessed eid * eid mubarak * عيد مبارك‎ </li>
<li>love * hob * حـب </li>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">peace * salam * سلام</a> </li>
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But please don't make that stop you from asking how to pronounce anything!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Arabic Alphabet Magnets Update

The Arabic Alphabet Magnets that I sell have had a transformation!  What do you think of their fresh, bright, clean look?

Arabic Alphabet Magnets by A Crafty Arab
I recently realized the Arabic magnets really needed a smart new update.  Here is a review of their old look:

I'll be spending the day taking new photos to updated my listings as it's a lovely, cloudy day in Seattle, perfect for photography.

Friday, October 10, 2014

2014 Nobel Peace Prize winners

Fall is in the air.  I can feel it from the chill in the air, the smell of burning leaves, and my Twitter account going aflutter with the hashtag #NobelPeacePrize.

Yeah, I'm a geek that way, I like seeing what I'll be reading next.

This year, however, there seems to be an extra buzz as people are realizing that yet another Muslim has won!

And while a major news network is telling our fellow Americans that Islam is "one big bad idea," the rest of the world is awarding members of it the Peace prize.

As a matter of fact, eleven Nobel Prize winners have been Muslims, seven in the Peace category.

For the first time in days there was some Muslim news that doesn't involve beheadings, bombings, or complaints about pumpkin spice in our hummus!

I'd like to present you with these eleven Muslims here for your educational enjoyment.

Anwar al-Sadat

Yasser Arafat

Shirin Ebadi

Mohamed El Baradei

Muhammad Yunus

Tawakel Karman

Malala Yousafzai

Naguib Mahfouz

Orhan Pamuk

Abdus Salam

Ahmed Zewail

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On the 1,008th Night

One of the many perks of volunteering at the Seattle Art Museum is the Volunteer Art Show that is held every fall.

I have never submitted to this exhibit but have enjoyed it as a spectator.

I decided to participate this year with this artwork titled On the 1,008th Night.  It is currently in the 1st floor hallway, next to 1st and University.  Please stop by and see it in person if you get a chance.

On the 1,008th Night by A Crafty Arab

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Vending at the Olympia Arab Festival – Shuruq II

Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends!  What a joyous day for celebrations.  Our family will be gathering with loved ones tomorrow for our party.

Today I had the honor of vending at the Arab Festival – Shuruq II, which was held south of Seattle at the Olympia Center in beautiful Olympia, Washinton.

I took my grid wall instead of a table because so many of my items are now vertical.  I had brought fabric to drap behind my wall because I had anticipated being behind another vendor.  They came in really handy once I was moved over to a window wall.  Here is my completed booth space.

I love this event because it's always fun to see friends and catch up.  I'm always amazed at the sheer number of Seattle Arabs that make the trek to Olympia. The Shuruq, which means sunrise in Arabic, really brought the community together for a day of eating, listening to rhythmic music, watching little girls giggle in a fashion show, eating, touching rich textiles, getting educated, and more eating.

Shukran to the generous volunteers of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for making this event possible.  And a special Eid Milad Said to Farihan Bushnaq, the Festival Coordinator, for her dedication to the success of this important event.  It in highly needed in these turmoil times of our beloved Levant.

The Mural café and Hookah Lounge outside.

Beautiful program guides.

Rachel Corrie Foundation Booth

Hookahs ready to rent out.

Free Gaza.

Children learning about inventions of Arab origins.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Yet another reason why Zibbet is the best

Zibbet has become the go to place for handmade.  It's true. 

Other sites are all over the news lately for leaving handmade behind in their quest for shareholders. But this just made Zibbet even more determined to put the handmade artists first. 

A short while ago, Zibbet rolled out a new look and a new pricing plan.  The new look is sleek, clean and really beautiful.  And the pricing plan is well worth the investment for handmade artists that are willing to finally put their money where their shop is.

Today I received one of the many worthwhile perks from selling as a Lifetime member: my own stand alone shop. It. Looks. Amazing.

A Crafty Arab Zibbet Stand Alone Shop

Look again. 

Everything on the page belongs to A Crafty Arab.  There is no links for other shops. All links in the header banner go to me, myself and I. Zibbet is mentioned in the address in the bar above and with a logo in the bottom right, that is all.

I'll be spending the next few days editing and cleaning up the new stand alone.  I'll also start the process of moving over my main website to there. I'm hoping this helps reduce the number of confused clicks from fingertips to my product's PayPal button.

I know this because I recently submitted my main website to Peek by UserTesting, a reliable service that will check the ease of your website.  You can watch the video here, but the jest of it is that the tester went from my main website to my Zibbet shop (which is a goal), yet when she got there, she easily left my shop and was forever lost to me.

Note the irony at minute 5:35 when the tester comments "I don't really see anything that frustrates me" as the exact moment that she clicks off my shop site into beautiful Zibbet land.

I've played it in my mind about three thousand, four hundred and eighty seven times since I first saw it. (For the record, I do not personalize blue champagne flutes with Arabic or Farsi.)

Now, when I give someone my link to my shop, I know they will stay and shop.

If you are also interested in having a shop where your customers stay and shop, head over to Zibbet and be prepared to have your selling experience be taken up a notch.


Connie Hill said...
Great review - thanks for sharing your comments about this new option. I'm still iffy about it. Looking forward to seeing the coming customization options...
~Sunfire / Breath of the Dragon
Dancing Rainbows said...
Fabulous review. It's a great tool and will be getting even better with the coming options for customization.
Deb Ochs-LaGrone said...
Thanks for the review. I have a lifetime membership but haven't taken the time to set this up yet. I think that will go to the top of the to do list now!