December 12, 2014

Virtual Teachers Part 4: Flylady
I have been a scatterbrain all my life. If left to my own devices, I always have at least three projects running, a laundry mountain and something burning on the stove :)

 From the time I have been a fumbling new wife who bought twin size sheets for a queen size bed, Flylady has helped me organise my life. If I manage to have a productive day with a full time job and three kids and cooking and sewing/crafting with no outside help,  it is thanks to Marla Cilley, the flylady.

It is curious, having help from someone from another part of the world. Like she taught me, helping people helps you. I joined the mailing list when they were starting out, and their daily reminders helped me to appear always organised by planning my stuff before  it gets overwhelming.

Her weekly menu plan, the family calendar, the daily swish n swipe, etc are genius ideas for sidetracked home executives like me, and her "if momma aint happy" philosophy is what keeps me going and grateful some of these hectic days. (that and the love of my family, but that part is obvious :P)

Even if you buy nothing of the (very useful) products she sells, her ideas are applicable by women in all walks of life and a simple readthrough of the site will improve your life, I promise. so go on, click that wacky image,and get a feel of one of my teachers.

Have a great day!

December 10, 2014

Little zipper pouch of handmade goodness

Made this lovely pouch for the secret swapsies at the qatART holiday party. and guess who got it? Dominika Bozic of Les Cherubins and thats a great honor because apart from being one of the  founders of QatART, a creator of  gorgeous art and a wonderful human being. So happy today.  #handmade #madeindoha #madewithlove #qatart #dohafamily #jayasplace
 #oneofakind #ooak #gift #fabriclove #virtualsewcial
via Jaya's Place

November 28, 2014

Virtual Teachers Part 3: Creativelive idea of CreativeLive  is simple: these are video classes that you can watch for free, and if you register (which is free) you can participate in the class using chat. There are four channels streaming very interesting content in HD, all you need is a laptop and you can start learning, just like that.

I discovered creativelive when Photojojo promoted their adobe photoshop classes. I learned all I could about my camera and post processing from those classes. There is the added benefit that thee classes are taken by people mad about their passion, so it is extremely inspiring to watch them. The have crafting, business, music, art classes live, and if you can find the time, it is a fantastic investment.

So go on, click through, and tell me what you think of the site. Happy surfing!

November 21, 2014

Virtual teachers: Part 2: Sew Mama Sew

Sew Mama SewLast week, I talked about craftsy. Today, I introduce a site that was there almost from the beginning of the online crafting explosion: Sew mama sew.  

This was a fountain of ideas right from the beginning, by utilizing one great resource: the audience. the SMS forums were a haven for new moms bitten by the sewing bug, but with no idea where to begin. They have a huge collection of free detailed  tutorials to sew everything from baby bibs to quilts, and everything in between.

Their annual "handmade holidays" encourage many a crafter to add  gorgeous handmade gifts to the holiday giftstash. I believe they introduced the distinction between homemade-looking and quality hadmade.Get some of their tutorials for handmade gifts you can make.

They  host a biannual giveaway day, where individuals across the sewing community give away stuff- for free- just for the fun of it.

They also host a lot of sewing book reviews,and usually have at least one free project from each book they feature.

November 14, 2014

Virtual teachers: Part 1: Craftsy

How do I learn sewing skills in a  country with no sewing instructors? Online, of course! In this series that I begin today, I will introduce a few of the excellent teachers I have on the web.. so that you can use them too, if you have the inclination.
As the first, I will introduce Craftsy. It is a design community that teaches you stuff through online video classes. I have found it extremely useful to learn new skills and their HD videos and interactive classes  are as good as having the instructor in the room with me. Go on, check it out. Visit the following FREE classes, gain a feel of the place.

Sew Ready: Machine Basics Get some instruction on using your sewing machine from Babylock, one of the sewing machine companies.

Get a beginner bagmaking class free from Kirstin Link of Sew Mama Sew, (another great resource).

Bag-Making Basics: Drawstring Bag & Bucket BagGet a beginner painting class, pizza making class, even a knife skills class.. all for free.

So go on, click through, and tell me what you think of the site. Happy surfing!

November 2, 2014

felt crafting : owl tag and lace zipper purse

There is nothing sweeter than a little owl in felt. A little bit of handstitching, a tiny scrap for a beak.. how cute is this!! And to add to the cute factor, a lace zipper pouch, made with felt and lined with the cutest fabric i can find. What do you think? would a ten year old like this?

owl keychain and felt zipper pouch 

via Jaya's Place

October 29, 2014

Summer sewing: tunic dress with free tutorial link

A very simple tunic dress for the summer holidays.  I used woven (non-stretch) fabric, just made the dimensions a bit looser and pinched it at the neckline (to form a pleat, and make sure it did not slip off the shoulders) . If you want to make one yourself, a good free  tutorial can be found at zaaberry who used knit (tshirt material) fabric.

October 20, 2014

Diwali crafting: easy DIY paper lanterns diyas

diwali paper lantern display DIY tutorial
Diwali or Deepavali (“rows of lighted lamps”)   is a joyful festival to symbolize the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. Indians all over the world celebrate Diwali with beautiful lights, fireworks displays, “rangoli”s, prayers and parties. To mark this Festival of Lights, we made some colorful paper lanterns to decorate our home.

What you need:

A4 size craft paper/pretty wrapping paper
 craft scissors,

Scotch tape/glue stick.

What to do:
   Cut the paper into half,  to size 21cm x 15cm. 

   1. Take half of one sheet of paper, Fold it lengthwise, and 

2. cut  from the folded edge, about 1cm apart, up to 2cm away from the edge.( Small children need help with this step; you can make it easier by drawing lines 1cm apart for them to cut. )

    3. Open the paper

4.Overlap and stick the short edges of the cut strip to the form a tube.

 Ta da! The lantern is ready. Now make a few more to create a pretty display.

(Option 1) Place an LED candle inside the lantern for a cute table decoration. A tea light candle will work, too, but will need constant supervision.

(Option 2) Stick a strip of color paper 2cm x 15cm to make a handle, and hang a few lanterns together for a colorful Diwali banner. Use a string of twinkling lights to add to the festive look.

(edited to add: this tutorial was published in the Qatar Tribune ,
It's a wonderful feeling to see my name in print. Diwali papercraft tutorial in the Qatar Tribune, page 42. Thanks to QatART and QT for this opportunity


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