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Jumbish – an adventure

Join me on my roller coaster ride of cultural differences and personal experiences

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spanishwoods

photo by Wolfgang Stearns photo by Wolfgang Stearns

There are times when it is wise to stop so that others may go.

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Roll it up!

Okay, it all started with a birthday invitation for a boy turning 6 and a girl turning 3 coming up in two weeks.

I wanted to create something that they can use and enjoy. I embarked upon a journey over my laptop looking for ideas. After twenty or so reading blogs and viewing vlogs (kinda), I decided to make a crayon roll. I also thought of using not so expensive fabric just yet. Instead I made a prototype with left over fabric. I used the measurements in this video and used a canvas cloth for stuffing. Here’s a snap shot of the first roll:

crayon roll wheels 2     crayon roll 3crayon roll wheels           crayon roll wheels closed

I wasn’t satisfied with the short length of the roll. I also am wondering how to add another pocket to keep some paper or a small note pad in it. The fabric I used for stuffing didn’t help with the shape of the roll. Also crayon pockets needed to be more than just an inch wide.

I was so itchy that I gave it another try the same day right after I made the first one. This time I used licensed fabric but up-cycled it from a pillow case. I added another 5 – 6 inches to the length and 4 inches to the width. I also used felt for stuffing.

Here are the results. Get ready Thomas and Friends fans to be blown away!

thomas roll 1   thomas roll 2

thomas roll

Lesson from my second try: I would use batting for stuffing as the felt created a thick padding around corners.

I have yet to add another pocket for keeping paper. Let me know what you think and if and how I can improve it.

Till next blog!

Cathedral Arts Festival Street Fair 2015

The one of a kind street fair as part of the Cathedral Arts Festival was on May 23, 2015.

I participated in it for the first time. It was also my first outdoor sales event. Perfect weather and 10 blocks of craft vendors brought around 50,000 people to the street which is HUGE for a Saskatchewan community. Kudos to all the volunteers involved. Following are things I learnt from my experience:

Things that worked out well:

– If its a highly competitive show, get your application in as early as possible. I submitted mine on Jan. 2.

– Start prep work a week in advance.

– Start packing your decore’ and products a couple of days in advance.

– Allow at least an hour to set up.

– I researched where my spot was and who else was around me.

– I had an extra table to display my products up front.

– I created a small shop with laying out a larger table at the back of the tent and a smaller tent to the front so people found it inviting and once they were inside the tent they found it shady and cooling. So they spent another 10 – 15 minutes there usually ending up in sales.

– Marked as many products as I could with visible signs.

Things I’d improve at next year:

– Do not leave any white space on the tables.

– Decorate the tent with saris or veils that attract the audience.

– Have more jewelry displaced out.

– Have another person even if its half a day to allow yourself a lunch break or a bathroom break. I couldn’t go to the bathroom until 3:30 pm when one of my friends dropped by and offered to man the booth for me. 🙂

Here’s what my table looked like:

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11229368_870804392984813_5262990984472914951_n

11350504_870804422984810_4365622688404758796_n

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Let me know by commenting if you have any other suggestions for me.

Till the next blog,

Jamal

Catch Up to do!

Hi all,

I haven’t written in a few months.

I am sure you are interested in knowing what have I been up to.

Well I traveled to Middle East in February and I’ll jot down my observations and cultural experiences from Turkey in a later blog.

Also I started sewing for the Cathedral Arts Festival Street Fair. The street fair is the biggest that Regina, SK sees once a year every year. This was the first time I entered and qualified to join.

Along with my scarfs I bought from Middle East, I started making kids aprons, zipped pouches and clip organizing wallets ( a fancy invention by yours truly). Here are some pictures:

apron 1  apron 3

clip org 1  clip org 2

clip org 4 a

Insides of 3 assorted varieties.
Insides of 3 assorted varieties.

Eek! So Excited…trip to Middle East

Eek! I’m so excited we fly out in less than a week, first to Turkey and then to Saudi Arabia.

I grew up in Saudi Arabia, so the trip will be more nostalgic and spritual (two grand mosques and heart of the Muslim World). Also beacuse I was there in April 2014 visiting my parents, o did I mention that? I guess now I did. A picture from last visit:

A street shop in Medina, Saudi Arabia

But Turkey…o my, my! It will out first trip ever. It’s going to be only a day long visit and there’s so much to explore. Not just the places, but the aroma and the taste of culture everywhere. Can’t wait…stay tuned for more by the end of February.

saudi-arabia-250   turkey-and-its-neighbours-map

Upcylcing or Recycling; I’m loving it!

Today I did something I never thought I could: I up-cycled a nice item into a nicer one and with a process which was much easier from the original one. Well, something called a sewing accessories organizer mat caught my eye when I was Googling ‘organizers’. It was less to do with de-cluttering my work space and more to do with finding an interesting project. Here’s what I found. http://katiesquiltingcorner.com/2012/02/free-sewing-machine-mat-tutorial.html

As you will see the instructions were to buy quilted fabric. Now that’s expensive for a beginner like me who has no idea if the project will work or not. Instead of going to the box store, I went to a thrift store and looked at the ‘bed and bath’ section. Found these gorgeous quilted pillow cases and rest is history. Here’s the story in pictures with some details: quilted pillow 1     quilted pillow 2  quilted pillow 3

1. Pillow case in original form

2. Cut out tie-backs

3. Open seams to release fold back cloth piece, iron on open seams and stitch them to close.

sewing 1    pockets 1pockets 2

4. Made pockets from the fold back cloths. I added inter facing to add some strength to the fabric as it will be holding my scissors.

5. Mark pockets.

6. Sew pockets on lower half of the case and Voila! Done in an hour! finished 2

Finished!If you happen to stop by, do let me know what do you think. Yes, I know I have a very small table. Cheers! ….J

Next step in sewing adventure: Zippers

O my! I had no idea adding zippers to your bag would be such a challenge. I made my first-ever top zip make-up bag.

Well, to start with, I don’t have a zipper foot for my machine so I just swiveled my ‘regular’ foot around.

Then I forgot to insert the zipper edges into the side seams. You won’t see it in the pictures (Creative Photography!). I added a tote bag to go with the make-up bag. What I absolutely love about the project is the fabric, both the oustide and the inside. I named the bag, Oriental Spice. I like naming my products. It brings them to life and adds a personality to it. This will become a gift for my mother who will be travelling to Pakistan end of March and I am sure both of these items will come in handy for her. Also because she loves bags.

tote set  insides of tote

I added a buttons design feature which was inspired by Whitney Sew’s video:

Very proud of how that turned out.

buttons on bag

I have more of the fabric so am open to custom orders, once I am better skilled at the zipper.

Over and out for now! … J

Well, well, I finally did it. Created my first gift and a neighbour’s baby boy will be the lucky one to endure my beginner’s sewing skills.

My hubby told me our neighbour had a baby boy around Christmas and we just got to know a day or two ago. (Thanks to Saskcathewan’s frigid Winter and four weeks of -45 C, we don’t even see our neighbours). The first thing he said was, what can we give them as a gift? I just happened to stumble upon a fellow wordpress blogger yesterday: A Stitch to Scratch’s Barmy about Bunting blog. I fell in love with the idea and even though I promised NO MORE FABRIC after the Friday haul, I went to Fabricland and got two blue cotton blends for the baby. I don’t like to be stuck with ‘only-boy’ or ‘only-girl’ patterns, so I picked a blue striped and a neutral baby print with some bright colours and Voila!

blue bunting 2      blue bunting 1

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the video I followed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXRE9QlSEFo&list=FLPWWdmLpEF6wVJ7e1oSkD3g&index=1

Totally love how it turned out. My Firsts this project were:

– I cut triangles for the first time

– I bought and sewed with binding for the first time

– I made a gift for the first time

– I made a bunting for the first time

Here’s to more ‘Firsts’ in my sewing adventure. If you happen to drop by, do let me know what you think . If you can suggest any other ideas, that would be great.

Friday Fabric Haul and what else it lead to.

My Sew 2 arrived last Thursday and I couldn’t keep my hands off of her.

I had been looking up various projects for beginners like me and I had some pretty good ideas. But then it hit me like a brick – I had NO fabric, an ultimate sewer’s block! I had looked up a tips video by Whitney Sews on thrifting and I was bound to use some of her suggestions. Away I went to the thrift store.

I visited three stores on Friday and looked for sales. There were some pretty good deals going on. I also contacted a lady who was giving away loads of fabric, not for free but for a cheaper value than retail stores and picked some odd ends there. Next step after I got home was to shrink the big pieces, dry and iron them. Here’s what my living room looked like while they waited on my sofa to be ironed.

fabric haul

After the ironing came the pains-taking part, the cutting. Did that and then started working on my Sew 2. After working the weekend and literally buring the midnight oil, only at today’s home its the electricity bill we burn, I ended up with these products. This is my first attempt at:

– A Reversible placemat, so proud of how it tuned out.

Placemat the jungle side
Placemat the jungle side
Placemat floral side
Placemat floral side
Placemat
Placemat

– Kids aprons

Apron perfect for a tea party.
Apron perfect for a tea party.

 

Apron for a basketball -lover
Apron for a basketball -lover

– Kids’ half apron: At the Farm

Before - cutting phase
Before – cutting phase
At the Farm-finished
At the Farm-finished
Upclose the 'cute as a button' pocket
Upclose the ‘cute as a button’ pocket

 

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