Teens going green.

In one of my previous posts I mentioned Shamim, my friendly neighbour who inspired me to fall head over heels for veg gardening.Her 2 girls help her in gardening as well plus they have an amazing talent to create extraordinary things out of trash. You would be amazed at few of the things they have been involved in,during their holidays.Since its Earth day (its not to be confused with Earth Hour)on April 22nd, I thought I'll introduce 2 amazing girls I know who does their bit for sustainable greener living. Without much ado....

Here's featuring the 'Green -Crafty side' of Arsheen (15)and Afra (12),students of Our Own English High School,Dubai.
Afra(L)&Arsheen(R) in their own 'green' balcony garden.
When I was their age, I was clueless about the green movement,but these kids are very environmentally conscious.And that has been appreciated by KERA Go-green Project. 
Afra won 1st position in the Junior category of KERA-Young Science Talent Search 2010-11.The model was their own green and eco-friendly balcony garden.Home made compost and reusing plastic disposables as basic as it sounds -well, that's the whole idea of teens going green. They use just about anything and waste just about nothing..from yogurt tubs, plastic bins,water refill bottles,sacks all used for home-grown vegetables. Isn't that inspirational?

Now their 'crafty side', Inspired by the 3R's-Reuse,Reduce,Recycle,these girls work with just about any material-paper,packing material,clay,corrugated paper, styrofoam trays,disposable cups,plastic sheets and just any junk in general. 
For instance..who would've thought this faux-wood garden sign was made from styrofoam plate u get when u buy meat/milk sweets!!
I was so inspired by this piece of craft, that I instantly wanted to make one for my garden as well..Just a sneakpeak of my creation (will do the tutorial later)

These old vases below were revamped using just some tissue paper, yarn and some paint
Now some of their clay creations..absolutely fabulous. 
Love the detail on the bag !!
Say you have a large useless piece of paper, you ran out of colors, Well, you can actually create an exotic Indian tribal art-Worli.(using white ink, the favorite stationary of students)
How about these flowers from tissue paper? 
Cardboard recycled wall art
Now one of the best stuff of the lot...glass painting..or Not?? 
Did anyone guess this art was done on a plastic sheet(an old OHP sheet that was lying around)Who would've thought plastic? I tell you,these girls are full of surprises.

To all my teen readers, Making small decisions like Arshin and Afra can take you a long way.There are plenty of ways you can make a difference.

According to them,here's a quick list of some thing that any eco-interested teen can do to blaze a green trail among their peers..
1. There is absolutely no need of buying expensive gifts for your friends..True BFF would really appreciate a gift that is handmade with love, or even a small plant in a decorated pot is an amazing gift to make sure your friendship grows and blooms.Altered CD coasters,Paper bead necklaces are totally smart gifts too.Be creative in all possible ways.
2.When you are done surfing and IMing turn your computer off,
3.Get involved in Project earth/Go-green clubs.
4.Print less,write more.
5.Buy books/dvds/fashion accessories etc from flea markets-you will be surprised at what you just might find there plus the amount of pocket money you save.
6.Recycle everything-Plastics,batteries,phones,cans,CDs,paper,etc.
7.Donate your old clothes and books to charity, get your friends involved as volunteers and  most importantly,
8.Spread the word.

Recently I read about Abdul Mugeed, a 10 year old boy who was awarded for the little steps he took for a greener world.These little decision makers must be recognized and appreciated. 
Salute to Arsheen and Afra who are contributing their 2 cents for a greener tomorrow. Keep up the good work girls !! 
(Do comment and let them know your appreciation)

Decoupaged Silhouette plate-Tutorial (Inspired by Khadija)

One of the coolest thing that caught my attention when I started crafting was decoupage..a simple technique which can totally give your home decor a makeover..and I got my basic lessons from one of the most creative girl I've ever known..Khadijah (Kiran)!! She is a wonderful crafter..passionate all things artsy, and Creative Mind is the best place for beginners..loaded with step by step tutorials, simple techniques but the end products will definitely take your breath away.She is known for her Henna designs, Islamic calligraphy,Silk painting,Hand embroidery, and my favorite Decoupage.(the easiest for a lazy goose like me).She is majoring in Philosophy too!! Yay Super woman..I'm so glad I know her and the most wonderful thing about her is she always replies to your emails, and almost all her 1000 followers seem to know her very personally...She is a gem. This one is for you Kiran.
The day I saw this.., I knew I'm making it someday.So here's my version..

And now Khadija's version..
Since I dont have printing blocks,and since I do have an almost 3 yr old lil monkey, I thought maybe it was best to use one of his pictures.
Materials used (It was a zero-cost project for me since I had all these at hand)
Disposable plate(go green plus highly recommended if you have lil Mr Tornado around)
Old book
fine tip and permanent marker
teabags/brown paint & varnish-Optional
Plate display stand
Rip..rip..rip...(Jr 'helping' mama)

Mix equal parts of white glue and water and decoupage the plate..(ofcourse its kid-friendly)But if they try to take over, just give them another plate with the same supplies and let them off your back  create a masterpiece!!(thats what i did)I'm sure Khadija dint have to deal with this technical issue..phew..
Dont forget the sides and the back..let it dry.

I had a sideways picture of Jr (just when his hair started curling..He was about 14months)I just traced.!!!Yeah I'm 31 and I still trace..the outline.Dint worry about the 'curly' details
Now when I look at the picture..how I wish I had an oval frame or an oval disposable plate..Flea market,here I come.
Then darken the other side of the paper, position it on the plate and go over the pattern with a pencil, you'll get the impression on the plate.
Mr.T got me my Staedtler kit few months back..I absolutely love the finetip markers (not pictured)-perfect partners for fine lines..
Once its done..go make some tea..you deserve it..(need the teabags for aging the plate too..so please go make some tea) If you still got some energy without the tea, get your water colors..I used Burnt Sienna (Reeves brand new,never used-18 colors:5 aed(less than 2 $)-Flea market find!!!! Bygosh..I'm a bragger!!!
Found this useful for aging paper.May be for another project..

I heart all things handmade with love..and somethings we make just becomes so sentimental that you would just want to look at it on a not-so-happy day.If God allows, 20 years from now my lil boy might carry a mahawk instead of these curls..but these are the little pleasures that we moms can enjoy right now..right here..so seize the moment..picture it..paint it. or even silhouette it..
Laughs of Joy
Cries of  sadness
All worth

Thank you Khadija once again for helping me keeping my memories....Love you girl. 

Linking it here

Drink milk..then make a bird house.Tutorial.

Ever since I'm working on my balcony garden, I wanted to have a birdhouse..Saw couple of tutorials on youtube..Since I'm not 'woody' I thought it was best to make one with an empty milk carton.Not technical..and zero cost plus a go-green project.
Materials needed:
Empty milk carton
Craft knife
Paper/scrapbook pages
Cardboard piece for roof & Skewers
Wash the carton and make a hole in the center,Poke one skewer just under the circle.
and another one through the sides..
 To make a sun-shaped entrance..trace a pattern on a cardboard and cut it (you can use a flower pattern too)
 Cut a piece like this one below..
 Now tape the carton..(this makes it easier for decoupaging)
 Now stick the cardboard pieces on the circle.
This is my desk pretty much all days during the project.

Cut roof from a cardboard piece, decoupage with beautiful papers on all side.(love this part).My fav SIL (Jenny)got me a lot of acrylics from India..(She makes the world's best fruit cake too!!) 
 Paint away....
 I used white and red combination..(coz thats the colors I want in my garden..started painting few pots too..wish me luck)
 So thats part 1.
Hot glue the roof on the carton and decoupage..

Home tweet home..I'm leaving you with this 80's song..Make a little birdhouse in your soul..Every soul needs a birdhouse..every garden needs a birdhouse.

Linking it here

February is here .....

Happy February sweethearts.
I know its been a month since I've blogged..been busy with family and a bit of gardening too..New beginnings.
I've managed to do some crafts..some turned out fine...
Ikea frame decoupaged/altered for a sweet couple we know
Recycled cereal box  into a monogram.(tutorial later)
Transformed the Dream sign (I made for Christmas)with doilies 

Now an epic faliure..
Was supposed to look like this
But life gave me this..#*#$#* -Lesson learnt- Never use paper doilies for this project.Period. 

I know u need some fresh air after seeing this..You can have a sneakpeak at what happening in my new balcony garden..well the balcony is not new but the garden is..But before that I need to tell you this..

I am blessed with lovely neighbours..and Shamim (a supamommy)talked me into starting a balcony garden..Thank you hun.Since Nov,weather in Dubai is absolutely amazing and she's been behind me to get started...gave me some seeds plus a lot of information-what to plant, how-tos,DIY compost etc.I started off by painting my pots during Christmas, then we finally got some plants from Warsan,(Outskirts of Dubai)planted some seeds,watering them religiously..watching our new babies grow. Honestly, it is very therapeutic!! (You should give it a try,you'll thank me later)Will post more about how its coming around..Oh and a sneakpeak..

Seasonal flowers plus a rental guy- garlic !!
Radish seedling-about to be transplanted.
Mr.T pampers this one a bit too much..and it definitely shows !!!Our Helianthus annuuss!!!
We are planning to give our ugly balcony a makeover..Will share the updates here..so stay with me on this journey..will really love to hear some creative space-saving ideas from all of you.