Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Introducing Paul Cezanne to 2nd Graders

I love being an Art Docent at my daugther's school.  This fun program provides a sequential interactive education in art history and artistic skills and is a great way for me to volunteer my art skills to others.

I have provided lessons before on my blog and wanted to continue them for this year.

I had forgotten my phone (aka camera) at the last two art classes, but I finally remembered it yesterday for our lesson on Paul Cezanne.

Introducing Paul Cezanne to 2nd Graders
I started the lesson by showing them a photo of a dashing young Paul.
The French painter Paul Cezanne
I told them he wasn't very good at portrait painting, which was the "in" thing to do at this time. He was one of the first artists to take paint and canvas outside to paint the great outdoors.  He hated the hours and days and months of sittings it took to draw a portrait. 

He'd had his full of people, because they didn't still like an apple. Knowing his weakness and turning on his strength turned him into a master of fruit painting. He loved to look at the shapes and color of fruit, filling canvases with spheres and cones and cylinders.

I brought in three objects I asked them to draw.  An avocado, apple, and Asian pear.

I showed about how the avocado was actually a triangle, while the apple was a circle, and the Asian pear was more of a square.  I asked them to study the shapes and see if they can draw them on their 9x12 construction paper. 

Each student was given a box of oil pastels.  Here's the catch: they were only allowed to use two colors!  I pointed out how Cezanne loved to use shading and blending in his work and we were going to use our fingers to get that same effect.

As always, I am truly impressed with the masterpieces they created. Here are a few I was able to photograph before they went up on the wall.

Beautiful triangle avocado.

An apple blended with red and yellow.

An avocado showing bruise marks, just like the real thing.

Our apple had red lines captured so well in this image.

This square pear looks just like the real thing.

Leave it to my kid to add the landscape :P

This masterpiece has details like the top knob.

The colors on this are so well blended!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Reactions to How to talk to your Muslim kids about Charlie Hebdo

I had some really great comments from my How to talk to your Muslim kids about Charlie Hebdo post yesterday that I wanted to preserve -


Phoebe @ Lou Messugo said...
This must have been a very hard and sad thing to have to talk to your kids about. Nobody should ever have to do this. How can young kids be expected to understand when we as adults struggle too? Thank you for linking up this thoughtful and topical post to #AllAboutFrance
Becky Brown said...
That is such a lovely story at the end about the woman. It is amazing the strength that some people have. We are British though now live in France. My husband and I were shocked by the events in Paris and it was amazing to see so many people come together. Our children are young and it is not something we talked about with them but it is interesting to see how many parents have approached the issue with their kids.
Mrs Tubbs said...
Thought provoking and honest. We've been trying to talk to the Tubblet, who's 11, about this as we don't want her buying into the Murdoch message. #AllAboutFrance
Eco Gites of Lénault said...
The events of Charlie Hebdo were horrific in so many levels and so difficult to explain to young children. But explain we must so that understanding and compassion are fostered, not hate and killing #AllAboutFrance

Arab Artists & Arabic Art Exhibition at the Bellevue Art Museum

Tomorrow night, the Bellevue Art Museum will have the privilege of premiering the Arab Artists & Arabic Art Exhibition, curated by the Bellevue College Arabic Culture Student Association.

This ground breaking exhibit will feature art created and influenced by the Arab world from renowned and local artists.

I am so honored to have been asked to include my pieces Camel Crossing and Border Camel.

The exhibit will start with a fundraiser gala at BAM on Saturday January 17, 2015 starting at 6pm.  It will include an evening of Arab music and a catered dinner.  For tickets, please visit this link.

Featured artists include:

Award-winning photographer, Tamila Timm Akl and her beautiful photographs hope that an image will inspire you to get out there and explore the world.

Umm Aminah speaks about art as a medium of culture sharing: “Arab and Islamic art has always been an important and influential contribution to world cultures. The Quran teaches that we were created in different nations and tribes to know each other. I believe that art can be a profound medium through which to hear each other’s voices and learn from what different people have to share.”

Sabah Al-Dhaher speaks about why art has importance & great meaning to him: “Art is a thread that has sustained my spirit from childhood and through my intense struggle to survive during my life in Iraq. Art was an outlet for a kind of spiritual transformation during those difficult times that help me to heal and open to the beauty and joy of living. Art is a place of expression and meditation in which I celebrate and connect with that joy. The intention of my work is to share this celebration with others.”

Rajaa Gharbi and her works will be at the Arabic Artists and Arabic Art Exhibition Fundraiser Gala! Her work has been described as “Resplendent…”, “Enchanting”, “Having subversive compositional techniques”, “Thought-provoking”, “Engaging”, “Visual poetry”, “Highly evolved work”, “…which collected power is a stain that leaves the page and enters your chest” by fellow artists and viewers.

Farida Hakim speaks about her participation in the upcoming Arabic Artists and Arabic Art Exhibition; "I am blessed to have been asked to showcase the opportunity and privilege to exhibit my new paintings, which reflect the rich heritage of the Arabic language and culture.”

Naj is a Palestinian-American Christian woman. Her art work reflects her beliefs in the celebration of Life, Truth, Freedom, Beauty inspiring to break away from convention for a personal understanding of the world.

Koloud ‘Kay’ Tarapolsi is a Libyan American artist who creates art to promote a positive image of Arab culture.  Kay is the owner and craftsperson behind A Crafty Arab!

Ali Rouhfar is world renown for his expertise in Arabic calligraphy art forms, Ali’s work epitomizes the integration of both Persian & Arabic cultures. His artwork is inspired by the verses of the Quran providing spiritual meaning & inspiration to the human experience.

If you are unable to support the fundraising gala, please do come by BAM to see the exhibit. It will be there until January 31st, with a closing reception at 5pm.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to talk to your Muslim kids about Charlie Hebdo

I had promised myself I was not going to talk to my girls about the events in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo offices because I had thought it would have blown over by now.   

I had hoped that we could turn our national debate back on #BlackLivesMatter, especially when we have our own terrorist here trying to kill Americas. Coincidently on the same day a movie, Selma, about the times and struggles of Martin Luther King, Jr, was released.

But I was naïve, until I saw this tweet from Rupert Murdoch.

So, realizing that my fellow bloggers were schooling their kids about CH, and knowing that my daughters were not going to get their education from school*, I knew I had to act.

(*My 11 year old goes to a Middle School where Islam is not mentioned in her social studies textbook. I know, because I checked curriculum night.  When I asked why Islam, one of the largest and fastest growing religions, was not mentioned, her teacher had no answer.  When I asked why the only thing in the Judaic chapter was Israel, as if the religion and country were one and the same, again she had no answer. But I digress.)

So yesterday, while we prepared for Japanese teriyaki, we talked about French politics.

I wanted to share it with you, in case you'd like to use any points to help your Muslim children understand CH and terrorism.

How to talk to your Muslim kids about Charlie Hebdo

I started with asking what they knew and it was dismal.  So I explained that 2 men, who were clinically unstable, decided to go on a shooting rampage in Paris.  They shoot 12 people, not carrying about religion, race, gender or occupation. 

Of course the first question was why?  I explained that they were misguided young brothers that made poor decisions that cost other lives.  They had wrongly assumed that those who mocked the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) should be killed.

If the gunmen were so intent on avenging our Prophet (pbuh), then why would they kill two Muslims? I asked the girls.

But because I knew they are growing up in a nation where Islam is not being educated, and our major source of news comes from Rupert Murdoch, unfortunately, I had to continue the conversation to explain why the shootings happened.

Having educated myself reading various world newspapers, I explained the history of CH

Then I told them that 6 out of 10 of their major events depicted a bigoted cartoon of a Muslim/Arab. 

I went on to explain that Muslims only make up 7.5 percent of the French population, which would mean that the only intent of these cartoons being disproportionate is to further the spread of Islamaphobia.

This lead into the history of France, including the colonization of Muslim countries Algeria, Tunisia, the past pleas of help from the French Imams and of course the French ban on hijab.  This one made them sad when they realized they would never be able to visit France with the Best Taita In The World. When asked if I had been to France, I said yes, and French was actually my elective in high school and I continue to watch French movies.

I ended with CH's views on free speech and how this was different than hate speech.

I stand for free speech, but not hate speech.

We sadly decided that it's a very difficult time to be a Muslim, especially one in France.

But in the long run, I reminded them, it really doesn't matter what CH prints, as Muslims are being tested all over the world, we need to be reminded of this hadith:

"One old woman made a habit of throwing rubbish on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) whenever he passed from her house. 

Muhammad (pbuh) had to pass that house daily on the way to the mosque.

Even when the old woman threw rubbish on him, He would pass silently without showing any anger or annoyance.

This was a regular, daily event.

One day when the Prophet (pbuh) was passing by, the woman was not there to throw the rubbish.

He stopped, and asked the neighbor about her well-being, and wondering why she wasn't dropping any rubbish on Him.

The neighbor informed the Prophet (pbuh) that the woman was sick in bed.

The Prophet (pbuh) politely asked permission to visit the woman.

When allowed He entered the house, the woman thought that He had come there to take His revenge when she was unable to defend herself because of sickness.

But the Prophet (pbuh) assured her that He had come to her, not to take any revenge, but to see her and to look after her needs, as it was the command of Allah that if any one is sick, a Muslim should visit him and should help him if his help is needed.

The old woman was greatly moved by this kindness and love of the Prophet (pbuh).

By the example of greatness of Muhammad, she understood that He was truly the Prophet of God and Islam was the true religion.

She accepted Islam at once.


This is why Islam is the fastest growing religion.  Because once people see the real rules we live by, they finally understand why not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.

We ended with a little prayer for the all the lost souls who were caught up in the crossfires of this senseless act. May all their families find peace.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Crafty Arab is on Instagram (again)

I'm happy to report that I've come out of the dark ages and have a cell phone again. 

I broke my other phone a million months ago (well, it felt like it!) and couldn't get a new one because of the "plan" so I had to wait till last week.

My apologies to all those that have filled my message box.  I promise to get to them ASAP.  But in the meantime, I've rediscovered my camera and have gotten back on Instagram.
Grasslawn Park

I'm going to search for the girls' #WhatGazaKidsCouldBeDoing sign and hopefully get them back on track with taking photos for that important cause too.

And if you are on Instagram, give a shout out so I can follow you!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015 (And a Huge Shukran)

Happy New Year to all my family, friends, fans, and followers.

What a year 2014 was for A Crafty Arab, and more specifically this blog full of free Islamic and Arab craft tutorials for kids. 

I am so appreciative of everyone that reads these posts and the encouragement I receive from all of you.

I just looked over my statistics and saw that I wrote over 100 posts that received 70,355,436 clicks in 2014. The majority of those came from, but I was surprised Pinterest has advanced to the second highest referral site over this past year.  It will be intriguing to see if it suppresses it next year.

Thank you to all those that pin my posts!  Please continue to share links for others to enjoy.

While checking out my statistics, I thought it was interesting that the top 10 countries that had the highest readers were
1. United States
2. United Kingdom
3. Pakistan
4. Canada
5. India
6. United Arab Emeritus
7. France
8. Saudi Arabia
9. Argentina
10. Australia

Marhaba to all my readers from these countries.  To you, and those in countries that are not listed,  I pray 2015 brings you peace in all your homes.
Farsi Happy New Year Tree of Life Card