Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Felt crafting workshop with QatART

Here are some pictures from the felt crafting workshop I conducted on 19th December 2014, as part of the QatART handmade market in collaboration with katara art studios. More pictures of theQatART market can be seen on the facebook page.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Virtual Teachers Part 5: Marie Forleo


(oops. that got published without content. sorry. )
no time to elaborate, but a glorious resource for improving your self esteem, your business, your worldview: marie TV is a set of youtube videos that changed my worldview.

completely  worth it, not only for her stunning costumes and props, but her chat show and mini bytes of wisdom are as happy as they are informative.

this is a blurb from her about page, and describes her to a tee:

Professional Bio

Marie was named by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation and one of Inc’s 500 fastest growing companies of 2014. Her mission is to help you realize your greatest potential and use your unique talents to change the world. She reaches over 275,000 readers in 193 countries worldwide and leads dynamic training programs that teach individuals to succeed in business and life. She’s the creator of the award-winning show MarieTV and has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Glamour Magazine, Self Magazine, Forbes.com and The New York Times among others. Marie has been interviewed by Tony Robbins as one of the world’s leading lifestyle and online marketing experts and mentored young business owners at Richard Branson’s Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. Her bestselling book, Make Every Man Want You: How To Be So Irresistible You’ll Barely Keep from Dating Yourself is published in 13 languages. Through her Change Your Life, Change The World® initiative, each for profit training program is tied to a non-profit partner who supports women, the environment and entrepreneurship.
With loving yet wisecracking advice, Marie inspires a global community to take charge of their success and happiness by boosting their business skills, shedding BS excuses and injecting massive amounts of fun into each day.

Read more: http://www.marieforleo.com/about/#ixzz3MbvBJpfL
check out the website, http://www.marieforleo.com/to know more.

go on, click through!

Thursday, December 11, 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!

Tuesday, December 9, 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 http://ift.tt/1yxJzhn

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Virtual Teachers Part 3: Creativelive

https://www.creativelive.com/The 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!

Thursday, November 20, 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.

Thursday, November 13, 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!

Sunday, 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?

Wednesday, 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.

Monday, 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


Friday, October 3, 2014

Best out of waste :how to make a paper coil basket - DIY

As i was browsing pinterest one day, I  saw this lovely little garbage basket made of waste paper. Such a  beauty.  I saw this, pinned it, and went my piteresting way.. but this little basket stuck to my head.  I looked through for instructions, but could not find any. Later, I saw someone  made the same circles on a coaster..okay, figured it out. 

Let's start with the super simple steps:
1. take an old magazine,

2. tear off its pages, one by one, and roll them into reeds. You can make many things with these paper reeds, I choose to make coils.

3. Roll them into coils and put a drop of craft glue at the end to keep it closed.

4, Add a little craft glue to stick the coils to a cardboard base.

5. Keep sticking all the coils till you get a basket the size you need, (or you run out of coils like me).

And thats it. 
So, would you make one?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sewing a mini messenger bag, with tutorial link

first project of this term: a cupcake bag for you-know-who. Simple messenger bag with a flap, made with "expert" opinions on fabric, strap length and style. I used interfacing, squared the bottom of the bag and used webbing to reinforce the strap. Looks pretty cute, if i may say so myself .It has enough space for a couple of books, her pencil box, snack box and a small bottle of water.

I drafted my own pattern based on the books she need to carry to sunday school. 

You can get a free mini messenger bag/satchel  pattern and tutorial if you click on the bag here: 

Monday, September 15, 2014

What is quilting? explained here.

Recently , a facebook friend asked me about quilts. What do i know about quilts and quilting? oh my dear. I know a lot.(my pinterest page on quilts) I can find out a lot more with google as my friend. But let me start at the beginning.

A quilt is basically two layers of fabric with some filler like cotton or 'batting' in the middle. To prevent the filling from shifting inside the two layers of cloth, we stitch the three layers together. This process is called quilting.
  • The most basic way of quilting is to pin the layers together, and  hand tying the three layers at intervals. This is also called tying a quilt.  The image here is taken from a tutorial at http://www.everythingsewing.net/babyquilt.htm
  • The next method is a running stitch to keep the layers together. This can be straight lines or other designs . The stitching cow gives a lot of good tips for hand quilting.
  • The obvious next stitch is machine quilting. You can take the top fabric,( or  make a patchwork top), and after layering with the batting(filling) and backing fabric,  you pin the whole thing to prevent shifting. Then you can use your sewing machine to stitch the three layers together.  then when the quilting is complete, you cover the edges with another fabric, this is called binding.

There are a few subdivisions of machine quilting, like straight line quilts, whole cloth quilts, rag quilts, and many others.

There are a lot of blogs about quilting, I would recommend a few links to browse:
and a set of videos for beginners.

and here is a good tutorial to make a pretty baby quilt.

you can use the links I have peppered throughout this post to go to really well explained tutorials on each technique. Hope this helps you grow an interest in quilting!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A birthday dress for little me

because she wanted a maxi dress. i am very happy with the result, would you believe the machine finished inside? Jaya's Place

Sunday, September 7, 2014

half circle dress

A half-circle dress in a pretty floral chiffon. something of a continuation of my favorite style. no zippers or fastenings, yet fits perfectly. no ironing no fuss. wash and wear. Starting to appreciate the wonders of synthetic fabrics.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pretty lace dress

Action shots were  taken over the vacation.  Lots of photos to edit. Working over them at snails pace.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

how to turn a jeans leg into an apron _a tutorial link

via Jaya's Place http://ift.tt/1zpHimb
The Masterchef fever is spreading among the girls this vacation. Everyone is discussing pannacotta and steak and coulis and tomato jam. Perfect time to make some aprons, don't you think? Recycle some old jeans into pretty aprons. i followed this tutorial from http://www.agirlandagluegun.com/2010/05/levi-apron.html

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Making a pouch with pretty lace zip.

One day I went to Daiso and found these pretty pink  lace zippers. yes, they are just as pretty in person. They are sold in sets of three, and I have enough pink in my stash to match each one!  After looking and matching and looking again, i made two pouches with some leftover corduroy. Dont they look great?


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pretty pink party dress for a special someone

Made the big bow dress as a prize for my 100th 'like' on my fb page. Took a long time in the brain, but once the materials were assembled, it went together quite quickly. I used the cottagemama party dress pattern (again) and added the bows on request.

The mom sent me this pic to show it fits well :D
Doesnt she looks gorgeous?

My machine fell apart ( really! There were pieces falling off!) and I borrowed my lovely neighbour's machine to finish this before I left on vacation. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

a cinderella dress

tulle cinderella dress jayasplace
tulle cinderella dress jayasplace
something with lots n lots of tulle. stiff tulle, soft tulle, crystal tulle. made for a little girl who looks absolutely divine in it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

felt keychains made on collaboration with JSP CRAFT LAND

felt keychain
I made the black n red hearts. Printed the tags off the internet. Do you think they fit the theme? Those gorgeous painted rose bushes were the handiwork of the amazing Jan of JSP craft land. Look through her page, her ribbon work is soo beautiful. 

via Jaya's Place http://ift.tt/TqVrQ6

Sunday, June 22, 2014

why do i sew when i have zero time?

because i am mad, completely bonkers.
because i am an escapist, trying to find oblivion in tiny machine-made stitches.
because my girls need more clothes.
 because i wont be sewing for the next month.
 because my stash of fabric sends me into a guilt trip every time i see it.
 because i dont have time enough to do what i want to do.
 because i have ideas in my head that just wont let me sleep unless i make them a reality.
 because i cannot buy anymore fabric before i use up at least half of what i already have.

because i cannot say no when someone compliments my work.
 because i like sewing more than cooking.
 because i am quite proud of how much i learned in those years where i "did nothing".
because i have confidence that i can do it better than someone else.
because i have champagne style on a beer budget.
because i WANT to do it.

just because.

and so, i made two matching skirts for the older girls.


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