Saturday, January 30, 2016

Minecraft Party Giveaway WINNER

Minecraft Party WINNER by A Crafty Arab

Last Monday I had a Minecraft Party Giveaway to pass on the items we didn't use at our weekend DIY party.

I had three entries in my contest! I placed all three names on a piece of paper and put them in a cup.
Minecraft Party WINNER by A Crafty Arab
I had my youngest draw a name and she picked Leanna! Please email me your address at ACraftyArab at gmail so I can mail you our goodies.
Minecraft Party WINNER by A Crafty Arab
Alif mabrouk (1,000 congratulations in Arabic).

Monday, January 25, 2016

Minecraft Party Giveaway

Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
We had a great birthday party this weekend for my youngest daughter, who turned 9. She originally wanted a Harry Potter theme but luckily I talked her into Minecraft for something new.

I followed the same formula from her sister's party: Keep them entertained till everyone arrives, do a craft or two, eat and then another activity. This seemed to work well for our little event and I think everyone left happy.

But as usual I over planned and over crafted. Weeks before our party, I set up my daughter with a secret Pinterest board, taught her how to use the iPad and let her imagination be our guide.  This results in a massive amount of left overs that I'd like to pass on rather than throw away.  Read on for the fun we had at the party or skip to the last set of photos to see what I'm giving away.

Once the kids arrived, they got a choice between an Alex, Steve or Creeper mask for their photo with the birthday girl. These photos will be printed out and mailed to our guests as part of their thank you cards.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
They then sat down to search for some words until all the kids got there.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
Or if they wanted to build, I have some extra blocks on hand.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

I had also called for back up help as my older two daughters and husband were at a robotics meet today. Once my neighbor's daughter arrived we got the kids started on the fun Minecraft activities I had preset on a craft table.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

We had them make torches with LED lights that they got to take home.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

They had the option to create some bead art with a big tray of Perler beads.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

The last craft were fun pop top refrigerator magnets. With gemstones to jazz up the pigs, cows, Creeper, Steve and tools, of course.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
Once each child had made at least one or two items, we took a break from all the crafting (pun intended!) to head to the food table for some yummy lunch and grass homemade cake.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
Lunch also included a drink station -
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

And a dessert bar -
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
Along with some nutritious options like chicken, raisins, strawberries and graham crackers. I'm not sure the Cheetos as carrots, Twizzlers as TNT or the Cookies as cookies count as nutritious, but they are a reminder that it's a kid's birthday party and not everything has to be nutritious on this special day!
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Once all the cake was eaten and all the crafts were completed, everyone settled in for a few games of Minecraft Bingo (with prizes) until the parents started to arrive for pick up.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

The Giveaway

It was a lovely event, but in true Arab stereotype I over-made the food and the crafts. While I'm not worried about the food going to waste with a teenager in the house, I have a lot of left over paper items that I would rather not throw away.

A number of items came from my Buy Nothing community and I would love to pass it forward to you, rather then have it end up in a landfill.

If you are interested in these party items, please Like the A Crafty Arab Facebook page, and Share a link to one of my Crafty posts with your friends.

It can be any post on my wall.

After you are done, please comment Done below so I can enter your name into the drawing. Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, this giveaway is limited to US residents.  I will pick a name on Friday, January 29th.  You will receive these items -

The Nether Portal with paper overhang, sign and purple and black streamers to assemble one yourself. 
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
Six red rectangle eyes, (new) black balloons and black streamers to recreate the Spider trying to get into Portal.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Background printed paper of "dirt" for photo prop. PLUS the Creeper, Alex and Steve masks from the first photo above.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Ten printed and scored torches. Sorry, the kids used up all the LED candles.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
Ten plastic bags with generic "Thank you for coming" stickers.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab

Ten Steve bookmarks.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
White streamers and face to create Ghast (we used a 12x12 empty box to transform our hanging display). And last but not least, the Happy Birthday banner with black baker's string, ready to hang.
Minecraft Party Giveaway by A Crafty Arab
I'll throw in a few other goodies too (including the sample Perler beads premade for the party), so don't forget to Like A Crafty Arab, Share and comment!


Leanna @ Alldonemonkey said...
Done! I'll be sharing on my Facebook page later today as well!
Bluaqua said...
Jackie said...
What a deliciously creative party! Done with the requirements, hope you can ship abroad! ^^

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Do you know Raif Badawy?

One year ago today I changed my Facebook profile to Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawy.
Do you know Raif Badawy? by A Crafty Arab

I first read about Raif while I was doing research on how to talk my children about Charlie Hebdo.

Raif had been sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison for criticizing Islamic clerics. There is a petition to free him on  

Amnesty International has also set up petitions to return this family man back to his home.
I decided the least I could do was change my profile photo to his photo and tell as many people as possible about him.

While I did not agree with what Raif wrote on his blog, I felt that Saudi Arabia was displaying pure hypocrisy to send a representative to march in the Paris rally awash with pencils, in support of a bigoted newspaper that published offensive cartoons, while sentencing one of their own for putting his thoughts down.

As a blogger, I needed to do something for him in solidarity.

The more groups I joined, the more friends I added, the more I talked about him. Online, in person, everywhere.

I'm going to take a little break from his photo on Facebook to switch over to my mommy duties for the next few weeks.

I'm posting Raif's photo here until I switch back to keep the support going. Please help by signing both petitions and sharing them with friends.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Day of Joeys in Seattle

A Day of Joeys in Seattle by A Crafty Arab
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the United States and the kids are off from school.

Since a holiday is always an excuse to study something new in our house, we met some Eastside and West Seattle friends at the Fall City Wallaby Ranch. We wanted to learn about Gray and Albino Bennetts Wallabies and Red Kangaroos. Fall City is about a half hour drive east of Seattle.

Our tour group consisted of four moms, one dad, and ten kids ranging in ages from eight to thirteen. We met early this morning on a cloudy day.

Our family was the earliest to arrive, so we spent a little time with a brown horse and some ponies on a neighboring property while looking down the sweeping Snoqualmie Valley. The river was not too full and a hawk was perched high up in a naked tree, waiting to pounce on his breakfast.

A Day of Joeys in Seattle by A Crafty Arab
Soon, the rest of our group arrived after figuring out the crazy gps instructions and Rex Paperd, owner of the Ranch, welcomed us by the small grey barn.  Before we went inside for our educational talk, he pointed out the small airstrip and airplane hangers in the valley. He explained that since moving out here almost 15 years ago, he and his wife, Tawny, have been buying up the land for the Ranch so that it is now in the shape of a kangaroo, with the airstrip as the tail and the barn where we are standing is the head.

He told us the story of how the Ranch started. He wanted an unusual pet for his wife but skunks weren't allowed as pets in Washington. After extensive research, a wallaby name Victoria's Secret, or Vicky, came into their life and it soon lead to all this. They are now one of the top breeders in the country and National Geographic recently used their facilities in a documentary.

They are a breeding farm, so they do sell to "surrogates" and there is a lengthy application on their website. Anyone can raise a wallaby as no special permits or licenses are needed in Washington.  (I wish my kids hadn't heard that part!)

We headed into the barn that was nicely laid out with chairs in front of a white screen. We each took our seats, and Rex turned off the lights and presented us with a slide show. He showed us the property from above, so we can see the kangaroo (it is really cool), and then the wallaby development cycle from birth to first hop, which takes 10 months.  A baby is called a Joey in Australia where these mammals primarily live.

The slide show was very informative with periodic comic intermissions, conveniently provided by the horse in the stall next to Rex, that kept the kids from squirming too much.

Once the show was over, we all had to agree to the rules before going to to see the marsupials.

The most important one was to not run up to them. Walk slowly and let them get used to you. All of them have been in the Paperd home since birth, were very well behaved and have been around humans their whole lives. They were used to tours and being taken to nursing homes, schools and other educational outings. However, no one likes to be surprised and macropods are no exception. The only difference was these guys and gals know how to kick! So the rule of not to run up to them was the most important to remember.

The second rule was to try to stay together so that they don't feel overwhelmed since we were a large group.

Everyone said yes and out into the "thank goodness we wore boots" fields we went!

We started with the smaller field first with the Grey and Albino Bennetts Wallabies. Rex handed the kids little pieces of bread so they could feed the wallabies. He rattled off all their names and gave each a hug or some sort of affectionate pat.  You can see these animals were very loved.  The below photo has a Grey Wallaby, then an Albino Wallaby with a Red Kanagroo in the back.

A Day of Joeys in Seattle by A Crafty Arab

We left the first field and went into a second to meet the Red Kangaroos, starting with the unpredictable Rocky, who was well close to 6 feet tall and weighed an easy 200 pounds.  But honestly he was just a big pushover that loved to have his belly and chin rubbed (note that grasp he has on my arm so I won't stop).
A Day of Joeys in Seattle by A Crafty Arab

In comparison, the wallabies that we had just left, which are smaller varieties of kangaroos, averaged 20 to 30 pounds and stood less than 3 feet tall.

We went around the field, being introduced to everyone.  Including the beautiful Vicky, who had lost an eye in an accident but was still lovely, and a few of the other females.

Rex opened a few pouches so the kids can see the various stages of Joeys growing inside. They got to see one tiny blob of red, eyeless and no bigger then a baseball. There was another too small for a few kids to make out.

They also got to see a Joey that was around 9 months old that Rex pulled out of one pouch. All legs and tail and hairless and squirmed up a storm to be pulled out in the cold, bright winter day.  It was quite the sight to see and the kids were amazed to be so close to a live Roo. Although she was not happy to be out on display and made sure Rex put her back in right away.

We stayed a little longer, to pet, rub, and love on these animals that were so much softer then you'd imagine. Then we thanked Rex for his tour, paid him of course, and washed up for birthday cupcakes for one of the kids, mine!

I have a feeling my daughter will remember this birthday for a very long time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

3rd Grade Art Lesson: Contrast Colors in African Dancers

Yesterday, I went to volunteer teach art in my daughters 3rd grade class.

I taught them about a new (sub)element of art, how to use a new medium art technique and also spent some time talking about a new artist.

3rd Grade Art Lesson: Contrast Colors in African Dancers by A Crafty Arab

Since it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day next week, I wanted to introduce the kids to an African American artist. I chose artist Augusta Asberry*.

I had met Mrs. Asberry sometime in the late 90s when she had an exhibit at a local Seattle art gallery, Isis on First. I have always enjoyed her beautiful dancing African women and thought the students would enjoy them too.

We are continuing our talk about Color, one of the seven elements of art. I just wanted to go into more detail about one of it's sub-elements, Contrast Colors. 

Our class had covered the primary and the secondary colors*, so I showed the kids the color wheel all together and explained the difference between warm and cool colors.


Complimentary colors are those on the same side of the color wheel (red, orange, yellow OR blue, green, violet) while contrast colors are those that are on opposite sides of the color wheel.

We played a game to help illustrate the point.  We thought of logos of major brands and everyone guessed if they were complimentary or contrast. Examples were: McDonalds? Complimentary (red, yellow). Seahawks? Complimentary (blue, green). Our school colors? Contrast (yellow, green).

I then introduced them to Augusta Asberry and told them a little about her.  We looked at her paintings and talked about the contrasting colors in them.

Augusta Asberry (1931-2007)

I mentioned she drew all the time as a kid in school. Later, she studied to be a nurse and did that for 38 years before she went back to school and studied fashion design.

She moved from Los Angeles, CA in the early 90s to Bremerton, WA until she passed away in 2007. First she started documenting her landscape around her, but then painted African dancers.

Augusta Asberry - Baga Woman
She had this to say about them.
"When I created my first Dancers they were patterned after the crude figures found on the rocks and cave walls of Africa. My own animated style has evolved but it is still inspired by the spirits of the Ancestral Artists. The Dancers are clothed in my original fabric and costume designs."
Augusta Asberry - Lead Dancer in Purple

Our new medium art technique was to learn how to paint with both tempura paint cakes and wet tempura liquid paint.

I showed them the difference between tempura cakes and liquid tempura but explained how they both still needed water. I told them this type of paint used to be made with eggs and is one of the oldest known to man. It was even found with mummies in Egypt!

I finally got down to the paint lesson itself. They were painting black and white birch trees and then placing them on a contrast landscape. They were going to paint the trees first with thick paintbrushes and cardboard.

I gave each student a piece of watercolor paper which I had precut into a 8x17 size. They also got a bowl to put a dab of liquid tempura paint, which they mixed with water.  They then drew two long lines of black paint along the vertical length of the paper with thick paint strokes.

I then gave them a precut 1x2 inch piece of cardboard which they used to make the birch bark. They dipped the short end into the black and placed it on one of the tree lines and then swooped across, stopping at the other side.

3rd Grade Art Lesson: Contrast Colors in African Dancers by A Crafty Arab
The end result of a single tree looked like this.They also stood the cardboard on ends to add more lines. The students could also decide if they wanted a fork in their tree by adding a V between the two lines.
3rd Grade Art Lesson: Contrast Colors in African Dancers by A Crafty Arab
They each painted three trees and then put them aside to dry.

For the background landscape, they used a precut watercolor 11x17 paper and painted one color across it horizontally several times. They got to pick how thick their lines were and how often they occurred. After that color was done, they picked a contrast color to fill in the other space.

The background looked like this one I did with yellow and violet.

3rd Grade Art Lesson: Contrast Colors in African Dancers by A Crafty Arab
Unfortunately, our trees were not dry when we finished our backgrounds (a lesson on water usage was inserted here) so you'll have to wait another two weeks before you see what we do next!

*The name of the Augusta Asberry painting in my title graphic is Dancing in Red and Purple.
*Our 3rd graders did a lesson on Lines too. Be sure to check out my Pinterest board for past lessons in other grades. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Arabic Name Tags Product Review

I recently made a custom order for Arabic iron-on name tags for Arabbaby. She liked them so much she included them as a favorite item on her list of Arabic name recognition: cute ideas for kids.

Shukran (thank you in Arabic) to Arabbaby for the write up.
Arabic Name Tags Product Review

Friday, January 8, 2016

It's not you Instagram, it's me

Around this time last year, I cleaned out my Facebook personal page of close to 600 "friend" accounts. This resulted in a major shift of my time management resources. Life has been good in 2015 as a result of this refocus to my business.

I was able to participate in a museum exhibit, taught clay classes in my studio, and released a new Arabic Color Poster. I took classes on business branding.  I continued to give tours at the Seattle Art Museum, taught art at my daughter's school, and volunteered at various organizations. I also expanded my Instagram account and started to post my tutorials there as another outreach.

Yesterday a major account swung by and "Hearted" one of my craft tutorial photos on my IG.

Of course there was s huge rush of OMA.  Then the thrill pass and nothing else happened.

There was no feeback.

No #repost.

No follow.


Having taken the branding courses, seeing this made me realize that the correlation between my photo and my account was lost. Somehow, what my photo was conveying, what drew a major craft account to me, was not what my ACraftyArab IG account was convaying.

And it was true, I had images from a girl scout meeting, a tree dragon and a half naked model holding a Saudi Arabian Bebsi can as my top photos.

None of those said A Crafty Arab. Nor did any of them handcraft a vibrant Arab world.

In order to help with my IG branding being more in line with my mission statement, I have decided to create a private IG, Seattle_kt, that will carry these more personal photos, while the ACraftyArab account will focus on showcasing the many tutorials from this blog.

Please do not take it personally if I have unfollowed you on IG, I am working my way back on my spreadsheet of accounts. You are welcome to find me, I am happy to let you into my peronsal world. And you can see the Bebsi can, because I'm sure you're curious now.

It's not you Instagram, it's me - A Crafty Arab