Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best A Crafty Arab Nine Instagram photos of 2015

I thought it might be fun to do a photo round up for 2015 from my A Crafty Arab Instagram account.

There is an app out now called #2015BestNine that is all the rage so I gave it a try.

Best A Crafty Arab Nine Instagram posts of 2015
Eid crafts, multi-language teachings, Ramadan activities, Arab products, Muslim humor, Eid rocks (pun intended) and two beautiful reposts of followers who tried out ACraftyArab tutorials. These are the 2015 Best Nine on this account. Shukran for an amazing year on Instagram.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Part 2)

Two weeks ago the children in the art class that I volunteer teach painted 6 rectangles in the colors of the rainbow. We had a lesson on secondary colors and painted all 6 colors using only the 3 primary colors.

Today we took the rectangles, turned them into kites and made mobiles, just like our inspiration, Alexander Calder.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)

We started by cutting our rectangles into kite shapes.

I gave each child scissors, a pencil and an extra piece of blank painting paper to make a kite template to use. We folded our paper lengthwise, then folded down two of the corners towards the middle fold.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)
The kids drew out the lines the corner folds created. To break down the next set of lines I showed them how to make, check out the diagram below. I had them draw out two lines that connected the C to B and D.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)

Once all four lines are draw, they cut out the template. They then placed this template on the back of their 6 painted rectangles, traced it out and cut out the kite shapes.

Giving them the directions for the template allows them not only the ability to practice cutting the thicker paper on unpainted trial paper, it also teaches them the usefulness of templates when creating multiple pieces that need to look identical.

I gave them wire, ribbon and yarn, along with a main "line" from which to tie the kites from, scissors and hole punches. They also got their art journals and pencils to draw out different designs.  I placed some mobile ideas on the board and let them loose.

They then pushed back their seats and get on the floor to build their kinetic sculptures.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)
I managed to snap a few photos of the kinetic masterpieces before a few done ones went home.  I love how the students show their individuality in how they tied their kites to the main line. I hope they brighten up a few Seattle winter homes in the next few weeks.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)

As I was leaving, one of the students gave me this adorable thank you card. It had me gliding all the way home. :)
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Kinetic Kites (Park 2)
Till next time, keep making art!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

With A Spin Interview

Over the years I have interviewed many artists of MuslimTeam on Etsy.  As team captain, I have tried to promote my members to new audiences in hopes of bringing more awareness of our small group to the general public.

We have had a new addition, Lail from With a Spin. I had the honor of meeting Lail recently when she was visiting the Seattle area. She gifted me a small cookie cutter set and I'm looking forward to using them in our next 30 Day Ramadan Crafty Challenge.
With A Spin

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Lail, a Muslim mom, wife, sister, daughter, niece, and a friend. I traded my globe trotting hi-tech management profession and founded WithASpin, LLC - a lifestyle portal, design house and eCommerce platform with inspirations, ideas and unique products to help celebrate everyday life.
With A Spin Interview - A Crafty Arab

Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?
I was in the IT field for 14+ years before becoming an entrepreneur. So when I am not designing, sketching or thinking of new products or taking photographs, I am usually writing some code to improve the With A Spin site. There’s a ton of updates I need to do with the site but so little time. Otherwise, most of my days I am a committed lover of family, creativity, and nature. My days are surrounded by family activity and spending time with my daughter, outdoors and indoors.
With A Spin Interview - A Crafty Arab

What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
My inspiration is two fold – The love of my deen and my daughter. I am inspired by a passion for creativity and love for Islamic art and culture. I am committed to spread the love of our deen and be a force for kindness to counter attack Islamophobia and promote an intercultural and interfaith understanding. My daughter also constantly inspires me to work harder so she doesn’t have to grow up and live in a world with so much hatred for Islam. None of us in our sane mind want our kids to grow up in a world full of hate, right?
With A Spin Interview - A Crafty Arab

What other passions do you have in your life?
I love to paint when I have the time. I’m also a dreamer who dreams of a hate free, hunger free world. I do my part my donating 20% net proceed from my sales to charity.
With A Spin Interview - A Crafty Arab

How do you promote your work?
Mostly through personal connections and social media. Feel free to stop by and say salam/hello on my own website or Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.
With A Spin Interview - A Crafty Arab
In the future I’d like to be…
A premier online destination for affordable, unique, practical modern lifestyle products inspired by Islamic heritage and world style. A brand that will not only carry a positive image but also showcase the beauty of Islam by helping celebrate everyday life with food, family and creativity.

To support more MuslimTeam on Etsy members, please read their interviews -
Haute Sugary Interview
JanLuc Designs Interview
Little Smiles Boutique Interview
Omees Boutique Interview
Designer Cottage Interview
Juliet Caeser Interview
QasiMadHandicrafts Interview
Katie Miranda Studios Interview
Knitella Interview
Firyuza Interview
My Islamic Life interview

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Crafty Arab is at The Handmade Showroom

I'm so excited to annouce that A Crafty Arab will now be selling at Handmade Showroom in Pacific Place.

They will be selling my quilled snowflakes.

They have also asked for quillled art, so I've been having a creativity storm in the studio coming up with different designs.

I made them a quilled khatam, but with the beehive method.

I also beehive quilled two Washington State art pieces with a heart in Olympia, our capital.

I glued everything in white shadow boxes and made sure to add the islands in our state on the Washington quilled art.  While delivering it to the store, it enjoyed a photo op at the downtown bus tunnel.

I'm looking forward to this new venue for A Crafty Arab products.  I  would encourage you to go show there and #SupportHandmade this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

3rd Grade Art Lesson: Secondary Colors with Calder

We learned about primary colors in our last art class a few weeks ago. Today I wanted to introduce my students to secondary colors.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Secondary Colors with Calder

Secondary colors are orange, green and violet  They are created by combining the primary colors, red, yellow and blue.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Secondary Colors with Calder

I started the lesson by telling the kids about the American kinetic artist Alexander Calder (1898–1976).
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Alexander Calder
He studied as an engineer before redirecting his passion to art.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Alexander Calder -
Bubbles & Spirals

After he became a painter, he played around with being a sculptor and has two pieces in our backyard around our very own Seattle Center.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Alexander Calder - Eagle
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Alexander Calder -
Olympic Iliad

When he was a child, he used to make toys for himself and his sister out of wire. While playing around with sculpture, he started incorporating the wire from his childhood into his art and became the inventor of the mobile in 1931.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Alexander Calder -Untitled, 1976
That was what we were going to be making in our two part art lesson, a kite mobile made out of primary and secondary colors.

Today we were going to paint our 6 rectangles, only using 3 primary colors and mixing our secondary colors. The next lesson we are going to cut our rectangles into kite shapes and use wire to create our own kinetic sculptures.

We started by placing three dabs of red, yellow and blue acrylic paint on a plate for each child.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Secondary Colors with Calder
They used paintbrushes to paint a 3 x 5 inch piece of watercolor paper with each of the colors.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Secondary Colors with Calder

Then the kids combined the red and yellow to make orange, yellow and blue to make green and blue and red to make violet on their plates..
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Secondary Colors with Calder

They painted the remainder three pieces of paper with those colors.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Secondary Colors with Calder

We had just enough time to lay everything out to dry for next time.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Secondary Colors with Calder
We'll cut the paper into a kite design, then punch holes in them and add the wire.

Here is an update on our completed masterpieces.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Flood the Streets with Art (III) in Redmond, WA

Flood the Streets with Art (III) in Redmond, WA
Today is Black Friday, the one day a year that Americas go crazy for stuff. It's called Black Friday because it represents the point in the year when retailers have historically begun to turn a profit, thus going from being "in the red" to being "in the black".

I wanted to counter the Black Friday commercialism while teaching my children the value of homemade. I researched some projects online and came across this website sent to me by a fellow artist. I immediatley knew I wanted to do this project and tried to think about what my art would be.

I decided on Christmas ornaments.  I realized  that not many people would expect Christmas ornaments from an Arab artist.

This of course makes the ornaments a perfect art to share because it reminds people that the Arab world is full of people from all three major religions.

Each ornamnet has a vintage sequeince patch that has been handsewn on a felt circle. Then I stuffed the circle with cotton fiber and blanket stitched around. I also added a ribbon hanger and my business tag so people can find my website.

A couple of the ornaments have fabric flower centers.

I made eleven total.

We placed each ornament in a Ziploc bag with a paper cut out explaining what it was and my business card.

My daughter and I then drove around town and placed the ornaments in various parks. One in the nook of a tree...

One next to a lake...

One as payment at a bait shop...

One in a "Extra Balls" bin at a dog park...

One at an entrance to a play park.

We had to pause for robotics club happening in our home, but will place the rest before dinner. Watch this space for the other photos and let me know if you find an ornament.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Every Muslim...

Every Muslim...really? All 1.75 billion?

Every Muslim is a terrorist who hates the West.
Every Muslim hates freedom and civil rights.
Every Muslims wants to kill a non-Muslims.

These are the words that I've read over the last few days on the internet.
With that logic...

Every Catholic Priest is a pedophile.
Every Jew wants to kill a Palestinian.
Every Mormon is anti-gay.
Every German is an anti-Semite.
Every Irishman blows up planes.
Every Native American is a drunk.
Every Somalian is a pirate.
Every Iraqi hates Kuwait.
Every Mexican is a drug dealer.
Every Indian is involved in sex trafficking.
Every Russian owns a gun.
Every Chinese person is hacking into your computer as you read this.
Every British citizens enjoys being in control of 3rd world countries.
Every Italian American is a member of the mob.
Every teenage boy in a trench coat will kill your kids.
Every postal worker is a mass murder.
Every Halloween candy has a razor blade in it.
Every bearded man wearing sunglasses puts pipe bombs in mailboxes.
Every Oklahoma citizen blows up federal buildings because they loath the government.
Every resident of Georgia despises Olympic athletes.
Every Floria local enjoys target practice on visiting tourists.

...see how stupid the original sentences sound now? 

Stop buying into the daesh goal of separating the world into Muslims and everyone else. Educate yourself. Go to a mosque and ask questions. Stop spewing hate filled bigotry into the world. We have to imagine that love will win.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup

Wow, what an amazing day we had yesterday at the 9th Annual Homemade Harvest Open House.
Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup
I was so happy to see a wonderful turn out with the torrential downpour outside. We had a steady flow of traffic from 12 to 6pm. I usually have balloons out with my signs, but the rain didn't allow that this year. The signs had to go out balloonless and came home soaked.
Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup
There were 7 cozy vendors in my living room. I used my studio space to sell my items to help make more room this year. I wish I could have taken twice as many.
Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup
This year was a real family affair with my daughters more involved.

My middle daughter set up her items on my sewing machine and gave polymer clay demos all day. This worked out great since she helped answer questions about my items.

My oldest daughter (mostly) helped with the cash register and (mostly) hung out with her friends that came to make art with her sister.

My youngest spent her day sharing some one on one time with her baba (Arabic for dad) but did come towards the end and managed to sell a few of her fuse beads creations. It's been so wild watching them be more active in this event as the years go. Maybe I can retire in a few years and they can organize this?

Shukran (thank you) to everyone that came. I'm looking forward to writing a ton of thank you cards this week. And sending nice checks to the artists that you bought from. Just a reminder that other then a small amount taken out for food, every dime you spent yesterday will go in the hands of these hard workers.
Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - Food table
 Please continue to shop from these artists.
Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - A Crafty Arab
Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - Blue Heron Dye Artwork

Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - The Cat Ball

Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - Holli Dunn
Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - Lorraine Holland

Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - Northwest Suds

Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - Scarf City

Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - Thea Starr

Homemade Harvest 2015 Wrapup - Veronika Lisuk

See you November 12th, 2016 for our 10th annual show.