Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Project Couch Completed

So I finally completed fabric painting the last section of our couch. My husband took the kids swimming on Sunday to give me a break for a few hours. I knew I had to complete the couch and was going to on Saturday but felt too lazy to do so. I was umm-ing and aah-ing whether or not to start that morning because once I start I find it hard to break free from the couch chains and let go or take a break until it is completed.... as you can imagine, such work takes hours to finish.

The whole thing took 6 hours to complete and the kids were extra careful not to touch anything when they were at home for fear of it staining their clothes. This does not mean that I was not constantly approached by my youngest asking if she could touch it. I let her touch the moose when it was dry and check how it feels like. Because it is very good quality fabric paint what she felt was the fabric itself. 

I am happy with the results except for one thing; the camel's behind. I wish I made it more slanted so that the hump would show even more... I am not sure why I painted it that way and every time I look at it I wonder if I could correct it in some way. Who wants a camel with a square bum? But since it is painted green it would be hard to paint over it unless the paint I use is black. I will try and figure out something but if not, then I will have to live with my square bottomed camel and accept the fact that it is unique. 

Here is the whole couch with the previous drawings. The gecko and elephant represent Malawi and Thailand while the Moose represents Canada, where Aaron is from, and the Camel represents Jordan/Palestine/Iraq, where my family and I are from. 

I still need to figure something out for the arm and head rests but I am not too worried as they are not that dirty. Now that I am done, I can wash the non-removable parts of the couch and not worry that water stains will remain after it had dried.

My mom, cousin and friend think that I should start a business.... I am not too sure that I have a lot to give really.... what do you think?

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Son's Snack Notes

My first note

A month or so ago I decided to add a little reminder in my son's a snack which I send to school with him. I wanted him to be pleasantly surprised and feel his mama's love every time he opens his lunch box. This idea came at a time when Jad was experiencing a tough time at school and needed some support and love to follow him from home. Other than the characters, I include some funny or inspirational quotes from his animated movies that he can read. I wanted him to remember, every time he saw the notes, that he is always loved the way he is and that all he needed to do was to try his best.

Rango from Rango

He loves the notes and is always excited to find out what character was on them the next day. When I have so much on my plate and am unable to draw one for him, he asks if he will get one the next morning.

Po from Kongfu Panda
I have to admit that not only do these notes put a smile on Jad's face but they are also improving my drawing skills. I research on Google images, which is why I am addicted to that site and cannot imagine a life without it, and then begin sketching. I still have to sketch the lines in pencil first as it is easier to erase many of the unruly lines. The best part is the coloring because it makes the drawing all that much nicer to look at.

Miguel from El Dorado

Puss In Boots
Nu3man from Iftah ya Simsim.... an Arabic show we used to watch when we were kids and now I put it on for my little two.
Oscar from A Shark's Tale
Abu from Aladdin

The Genie from Aladdin

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Planned Surprise Visit

The best part of surprising your family with your unexpected visit is their ecstatic reaction and emotional outburst the moment they lay eyes on their loved ones and register that it is real and not at all a dream.  This holiday, my children and I opened the door to my parents’ dark room, early in the morning, giggling and filled with excited jitters. 

Everything went according to plan and exactly how I envisioned it for four months. Watching my parents repeating “WHAT?” over and over again scooping my children up in a tight warm embrace was a sight that would forever be etched in my memory. 

Every time I retell how we entered the room, I watch my kids’ faces light up; they enjoyed every moment of the surprise reunion and the suspense a few minutes before entry. I was so proud of my son who kept this secret from them for so long never once saying anything that would give away the unforeseen. He even kept my brother’s secret as well. You see, my brother did the same thing the next day and walked into the kitchen of my parents’ house in broad daylight only to astonish them even further. 

My father’s 70th birthday is in May but neither one of us could be there on that day so we decided to celebrate it a month early with a cake baked and decorated by the kids. 

The whole trip was great fun. Not only did we visit some of my favorite places in Jordan but we had great food and wonderful company. My father took me in a strong embrace in the departures area, thanking me for bestowing such a wonderful gift on his birthday; time with his grandchildren. I am just happy that they were happy. 

I will leave you with a few pictures of Jordan.

The chocolate cake that the four grandchildren mixed, baked, iced and decorated for their grandfather.

Um Qais is an ancient Roman city in the North West of Jordan... my parents had planned a trip with the extended family on the day of our arrival... wanting to see the family, I asked the kids if they would like to go. They did and slept all the way there to gain some energy. I was so proud of them as they did not fuss or whine. 

It was Spring time in Jordan. Such beautiful scenery. I LOVE olive trees.
Jerash... one of my favorite cities in the world. Petra is another favorite.
I learned something new that day even though I had visited Jerash many times before. There are blocks on the top of these Roman columns that made a clanging sound when there is slight earthquake warning the people. These huge slabs are made of some metal, stone and sea salt and they produce an amazing sound. However, that did not protect the people from the destruction due to an earthquake in 749 AD.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Son's Work

The front face after pealing off the dried flour
 As promised, here is my son's finished piece. He painted the blue Aqua dinosaur and the yellow fish while I painted the green sea as he wanted to play with his LEGOs afterwards.

And that is the back face.
So what is our next project? Well, I have to finish fabric painting the couch and might paint my white shorts as I managed to get some paint on it that I cannot seem to get rid of.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fabric Painting Pillow Cases

My son's pillow piece (A dragon, dinosaur and scorpion)
I decided to start a Fabric Painting project with the kids two weeks ago which I thought they would enjoy and keep busy a few times after school and before bed time. After I had penciled the drawings onto the pillow, we used the flour and water technique to draw the outline.  I was sure they would like the mess of it all. Outlining with flour takes a lot of patient, concentration and control of fingers and they both did a brilliant job.

While my son was independent outlining his drawing with flour, my 3 year old needed a bit of support squeezing the flour mixture out of the bottle. I left my bottle in Jordan when we moved to Thailand and the only tool that I could find which closely resembled it were the baby nose suction utensils. 

The  Flour and water technique.... here it was still wet. Needed to leave it until it dried before painting.
We had to wait till the flour mixture dried up before we could paint. As before, I had to help my daughter paint the whole thing pink, but she did a great job filling in the shapes with Fabric paint. My son, needed some help with his blue but other than that he did the whole first face on his own. He still needs to finish the flip side of the pillow and I will show you the end result tomorrow.

Both of them did such a good job painting and they really enjoyed the activity.  It kept them busy and now when they place their pretty little heads on that pillow case, I am hoping that they will feel a sense of achievement and pride.

Painting the inside of the flour and water outline.
Painting the dragon's face with gold and silver.

My daughter's piece ... the paint was still wet.
My daughter's piece after picking off the dried flour.