Friday, March 29, 2013

Window Shopping: Target

Happy Friday all! I haven't had the chance to work on my "Spiritual Friday" post for today, but God willing I'll have it done by the evening. In the mean time, here are some windows shopping finds I enjoyed and wanted to share with you all. If your are from the states you can attest to the fond love many of us have out here for Target. I'm glad the UAE doesn't have a Target, because if they did, the prices would be more expensive, the quality would be crap and there would be no returns. That's just how the UAE rolls.

Just two days after I arrived (jet lagged and barely able to stay awake :o) I headed on over to target and found cute purses, stationary and interesting decor from Nate Berkus. Check it out...
Mint + Polka dot Clutch

Floral Clutch

Mixed Art Gallery Wall

Hello, hello! I am terribly sorry for the jet lag in posting. Flying across the world can really take a toll on a person. Will you forgive me if I share my cute wall gallery today? Plus I'll be sharing more fun stuff this week! Yay!

Ok. Gallery wall. Collage gallery art. Eclectic art arrangements. What ever you want to call them, the point is I've finally built up the courage to create one in my own home. I love looking at these gallery art walls, but sometimes they can be intimidating, busy, and just not something I want to see. Every. Single. Day. I decided to create a mini version on a small wall, kind of on the side that I can enjoy with out being overwhelmed.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spray Painting Black Fabric Lampshades (no fabric medium)

I’ve been a bit MIA these past couple weeks, but I was working hard behind the scenes and have an exciting project to share. Revolutionary? No. Awesome? Yes. While a ton of bloggers have spray painted lamps and shades before, they were all shades in good condition not grungy linty fabric ones like mine. I had low hopes for this project to turn out well for so many reasons, but in the end I was extremely thrilled with the result.

The shade was fabric, textured with ribbon all over and in black. Black and red are the hardest dark colors to cover up with a white color. If you don’t use top of the line quality paints, the dark color will seep through. I was praying hard that the Krylon H20 would (as always) stand up to the test. It did! I also risked not using fabric medium which is used when painting fabrics (pillows, chairs, couches, rugs) in order to prevent the fabric from hardening and paint from crackling over time.

I figured since lampshades are not handled too much, and not used in the same way as the previous items it would hold out. Worst case scenario I would simply recover the shades with a different fabric and would still have two really cool updated lamps. With the pros outweighing the cons, it was upward and onward from here!!

Spiritual Friday: Keep Calm and Take a 16-Hour Flight

 Hey all! I’m currently flying over North America right now (35,998 ft above :oO) and find it extremely surreal that I finished up my first post this morning at the airport and now writing up my second post mid air 12 hours later. It’s been daylight the entire trip and after leaving the UAE Friday morning we will be arriving in LA Friday afternoon the same day. SO TRIPPY! No pun intended lol.

I was really worried about how my kids will handle the trip, but every time, they impress me and remind me to stop worrying especially for no reason. Even the littlest one has done well. He had two tiny meltdowns, and a few “don’t forget I’m still a baby” moments, but the coast is clear now.

I wish I could have taken a picture of the glares I got as we were boarding. Z3 was screaming his brains out and the look on people’s faces was “oh heck-to-the-no that kid ain’t on our flight!” Luckily he hasn’t thrown any screaming tantrums since boarding especially since they have been part of his daily hourly routine. Aside from letting the guy in the seat in front of him know there is a baby with long legs behind, he was as good as a 2 year old baby on a16 hour flight could be.

With an early flight, I had to wake up the kids around 4:45 am. Thank God I had the energy to prep them mentally the night before; that helped a LOT. I asked them what they wanted to wear on the plane, asked again to make sure. Triple checked they would be comfortable in the clothes they picked and also had them choose back up clothes in case of spillage/ accidents. You know these cramped planes…Oh geeze!! I just spilled 7up on my self! Keep calm and spill some 7up (o:

I told them (about 2,436 times to be exact :o) that we had to wake up in the middle of the night and sleeping early was a must.  My plan worked. They got up, dressed quickly and even had time to help take out the luggage. It was so cute watching them take leadership and work together. No arguing and no complaining. We were off to a good start.

I made them each a sandwich, brought juice boxes, raisins and yogurt for snack. (I don’t recommend yogurt unless your kids are obsessed like mine are.) That really helped, since after we checked in the kids were hungry.

On the way to the airport bright and early. Did I mention we had to take 3 taxis? :o/

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spiritual Friday: Accepting the "Unacceptable"

Hello friends! May peace and blessings be headed your way. The house is a bit hectic this week as it's that time of year again. That time where I have to scurry 'round Dubai buying unique things one wouldn't fine back home. That time where I have to write down the names of everyone I know and then ask myself: will I actually see them this time, do I have a gift for them, will they actually like my gift or put a fake smile on their face and say "thanks" while thinking about what's the fastest way they can get rid of it? Yes, it's that time to go back "home" for a visit. Where is home anyway? Is it my rented house, my in-laws house, my friends house, possibly a hotel? I suppose home is where I can feel comfortable and easily access every child's personal belongings with out actually creating a Mount Everest of STUFF.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bedding for Boys

Hey all!! I am swamped over here as I'm getting ready for a trip back home. YAY!! Sorry it's been a few days since I posted. As I was out gift shopping, I came across this awesomely cool bedding I thought would be perfect for a boys room. Did I mention I have three? I am constantly on the lookout for cool boy decor and I loved this bed set from Kas Australia at Mirdif City Center located in Dubai. I would probably mix it up with other colors, but it is really cool just as it is.
 So, I decided to do a super quick search on inspirational boy rooms and found the next three images from here. They are very boyish and I love them.

A quick boy room inspirational fix is just what I needed? Do you struggle with decorating your sons room? I have a ways to go with my kids' room, but I think I'm headed in the right direction. Thanks for stopping by!!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DIY Picture Matte

Greetings from the Mid East! Today I'll share with you the art of matting. Ever look at a piece of art and find yourself wondering what you love more, the art, frame or the matting? Frankly it's a whole package. Think of the matting and frame as the shoes and purse that accompany an outfit and make the entire look awesome.

If you have small to medium sized photos at home you can use good quality acid-free scrapbook paper to make mattes out of. I will show you how in this post. If you have larger pictures you can either order matte kits online or go to your local art supply store and purchase big sheets of matting board that you can cut down your self. I'll show you how to do that in another post. Here is what I ended with...
I started off with two greeting cards and one postcard. The art on the greeting cards were so unique and classic they were perfect for framing. The postcard of Dubai was also a very cool shot that brought out such warm and golden hues- perfect for framing.
Sultan Hasan Mosque, Egypt

Al Ghoureya Souq, Egypt
Sky Line of Dubai 
You'll need an X-acto knife, paper slicer, acid free glue and tape and scrapbook paper. First, cut out your scrapbook paper to the size of the frame. Then, lay your card or small art on the back of the paper and center it. Make small marks to remember where yo want the art to be. Measure your art and then reduce the size by a hair on each side. You want the cut-out to be slightly smaller than the art itself. 
My cut-out is slightly smaller than my art.
Taping down art helps keep it in place. 
Place your art on the hole and gently tape down. Start with one side because you have to double check and make sure it's straight on the other side. For the postcard of Dubai I couldn't decide on a single color matte. 
Salmon/pink or...

...deep gray? 
Since I couldn't pick one I figured, let's use both! 
This time I glued the postcard onto the pink and finally onto the gray sheet. Make sure to use acid free glue as well.
I left about a quarter of an inch boarder of the salmon/pink, placed it towards the top of the gray sheet for an asymmetrical look. Not too bright and not too blah either. 
Two different shades of gray, but worked well together.

For my second card I took an old matte I had, but attached to it was a second burgundy matte. I ripped off the burgundy and the cream alone worked perfectly. Sometimes you can find old mattes that are in perfect condition at the thrift store. Even if they are double mattes you can take them apart and if your lucky salvage both pieces. 
Finally, all in their frames. 

I also added a custom DIY matte to this print. Before, it came with a black matte with a thin gold trim. It was ugly and took away the beauty from the print. I used the same technique, I cut the hole slightly smaller than the size of the print and taped the print to the matte. The turquoise and gold frame make the art so much brighter. As a matter of fact it enhances the turquoise design within the print whereas before, it was hardly noticeable. 

It's simple, but takes a little practice. Give it a try. Do you have any postcards or sentimental cards with beautiful art on them? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. Next up, I'll be sharing how I hung these up and the other art I included with them. Thanks for stopping by. 


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Coin Art

Hello all! Wishing you the best of happiness! Today I'm sharing a very easy project, assuming you have coins to make it with. I've been trying hard to display different types of art around my house. I framed bird feathers and calendar art amongst other things. This time, I thought about pulling out all the coins that have been collecting over the years from various travels. Between my husband, brother, myself and parents I've collected from at least 10 countries. Some are no longer in circulation and others are still valid currencies.

I used acid free scrapbook paper (I picked navy blue), a 7 durham ($2.00) wooden frame from Daiso, some Krylon Gold metallic spray paint and a hot glue gun.

Coin Art
I took the plastic cover off because of the glare. 
First, I laid out all the coins and played around with the layout. After I decided on an arrangement I hot glued one by one making sure the coin is adjusted immediately. Hot glue dries fast so you have to be quick with adjustments. I did this project once before with white/elmers/school glue, and while you have more time to adjust the coin with that glue, it's not strong and the glue cannot handle the weight of the coin which ends up pealing off. 
Basic wood frame. I started to prime on the right. 
UK pence. What a cool color.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spiritual Friday: Soul Searching

Happy Friday all! It's officially Friday out here in the UAE, but since I didn't change the settings on my personal computer, the posts are always set to California time. So a happy Thursday night to you out there in the west (o: 

Every Friday my family and I go to the Mosque to listen to the weekly Khutbah, (sermon) and hopefully get some spiritual rejuvenation. I look forward to this day, it's the highlight of my week. For one, it's the time I can force myself to let go of the world (obligations, stress, mean people etc.) Secondly, Islamic architecture is my favorite eye candy. It's so soothing to sit in a prayer room so nicely decorated with fretwork.

Local Mosque located in Oud Metha, Dubai
When I listen to the sermon while sitting amongst the beauty of the architecture, I get lost in it all. It's such a great feeling. The vibe sparks my imagination and the thought of heaven and the beauty of it takes over my mind. It's a beauty that doesn't even exist on earth. Oh the thought! I can't wait to see what heaven looks like. This gives me hope and a goal that if I continue to be the best person I can be-- honest, kind, understanding, always asking God for forgiveness, forging those around me-- then heaven will be my final destination (God willing.) 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cigar Box Turned Remote Control Storage Box

Hello there! Let's talk remote controls. They're ugly. The end. (o: Ok, not the end, but we can all agree these devices are ugly right? What better than to store the remote controls away in a cute little box? A cigar box to be exact. 

Remote Control Storage Box 

To be honest, I don't remember how this box became a part of our family. No one smokes cigars, but I'm guessing we either found it at one point in the "free stuff" box near the trash bin or we picked it up at the thrift store. By "we" I mean my mom and I, before I was married. Yea, it's that old lol. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Quick Picks at OKL

I love OKL, but their sales are quick and sometimes I don't have the time, money or space to buy all that I like. Plus, living in Dubai pretty much kills any kind of shipping discount. I end up saving snap shots of the products I like either as inspiration for a future DIY projects or for inspiration to find similar products. Here are my recents likes.

You could totally make your own set of lamps just like these. I made one with a thrifted lamp almost identical to those last year.White spray paint and gold metallic acrylic paint was all I needed. Due to incompatible electricity I left it back home, but will post about it soon.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Spiritual Friday: Lessons Learned from Re-Upholstery Gone Wrong.

Happy Friday everyone!! I really wanted to call this post "Morals and Business (should) go hand-in-hand", but as long as you get the point that's all that matters. It drives me nuts when I have to do business with shady people. People from America, UAE, ALL over the world can be such liars! It's even more annoying when these people claim to be God fearing. Pa-LEASE! One of the most serious sins God warns us about in Islam is shady business dealings (cheating), and yet I still find so many people who don't give a care in the world about honesty.

Let me share a little experience with you. When I moved to Dubai I almost immediately got my two blended leather tub chairs reupholstered. They were too difficult to do my self so I hired help. They looked like this...

...except one of the two was swivel. 

One day I got an advertisement for Ressco Furniture, (remember that name if you live in the UAE) and I say to myself:" oh, they do reupholstery. I'll give 'em a try." They come and present me with books of fabric. YAY. Door-to-door service? Can't get better than this. 
The infamous flyer. BOO!
Followed by the meaningless business card. 
I pick my fabric and after a week or so I get my chairs. They were actually delivered the night before I was going out of town. After being mesmerized by their new facelift, I quickly said thank you and didn't fully examine the chairs.
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