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Friday, July 25, 2014

Home Studio Space Revamped!

As many of you know, I am very new to this artist mind you, I am not new to the artsy craftsy thing...i've been crafting ever since I can remember...whether I was painting dressers, tables and bookshelves bought from garage sales and then stamping them or sewing pillows and table cloths while I was pregnant with my first born Aly and was totally in the nesting mode. (moms will know exactly what I mean) ....but I never dared call myself an artist! Hello I'm Indian (born in India, not American Indian) until the age of 12 which is when my family decided to migrate to the USA. But at the age of 40, after attending Liz Lameroux's Be Present Retreat (, I came back re-evaluating everything about my life...this retreat was a game changer for me....and I slowly but surely started to shed my years of identities taken on by life to uncovering my true self which was....(clearing my throat) artist! 

Even today after 9 months of launching my ETSY shop and selling a few of my art journals and plenty of my custom made jewelry pieces, I hesitate to call myself an artist. You see, in my head, an artist is someone who can draw, paint etc etc...and yes although I can art journal,...i can't really draw or paint like say a painting. .:)

None the less, I have taken over the front room of our home, which is designed to be the formal living room of the house as my studio space.  It started about 2 years ago with just a large, oval, antique Ethan Allen off white dining table which I use as my desk and art table to then adding a long table by the window to work on my beads/ jewelry...but found that my Project Life / scrapbooking never got touched because I simply never had the table space for it...I'd have to clean up the paints or the sewing machine or whatever it was I was working on before I could work on something new....and it just wasn't happening. 

But then a few weeks ago, one of my neighbors put out their used office furniture out on the curb for bulk pick up. The furniture was used but in excellent condition. What caught my eye was the handsome cherry with black inset desk top!!! It was just sitting there. The kids and I pulled over our suv on our way home one night and got out of the car to examine it. I realized that although most of the pieces were good pieces, I only really would find use for the tabletop but having no certain plans or space for using the table top, I walked or rather drove away from it.

Well, my sons being my sons, decided to go carry it home the next day so that my youngest could use it to skate on. When I saw it sitting in the garage, I was a little confused as to why it was there. Zayn told me that it was not the right size or height to skate on and this is when I decided to go ahead and see if I could incorporate it into my work area. So I did! I moved around these cubes and drawers that I had bought a few years ago from Michael's to organize my craft supplies. These became the perfect base for the table. And I lined up the tables perpendicular to each other at the corners so that it created a nice U shaped work area. But then I wanted to tie the place together and decided to sew simple table skirts made of off white duct / canvas fabric (only $6 a yard). 

So off to Joanne's fabrics I went but once there I found myself drawn to the beautiful Waverly patterned fabrics which I have always loved!!!! So I had an idea. I bought a yard each of 8 different patterns (stripes, florals etc). I also bought 9 yards of off white belt trim which I used to finish off the skirt. I cut up 1/2 yard of each of the patterns including the off white duck/canvas material and sewed it all together. I made sure to iron the fabrics before and after sewing them and used hot glue to put the belt trim at the bottom of the skirts. I made two separate skirts (one for each table) and also used plain canvas panels to cover the area underneath the jewelry table. 

Here area  few pics!!!


In a perfect world, I would have another work surface/area for my painting and art journaling and another for my writing / blogging etc. but this will have to do for now!!!
And I love how it all came together. Now anyone who is fortunate to have any kinda space for their crafting will tell you that organizing it is a constant process of moving things around, assigning items you don't normally use to the garage and incorporating new baskets, boxes and cups etc to store things in an asthetically  pleasing manner. After all, an artist irooms inspired and nurtured by their environment. 

I am proud to say that I have started working on my Project Life albums but alas find myself being way too busy with creating prayer beads, Nade Ali prayer jewelry and other pieces to spend any real time on my album. I 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

2 days to explore San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

This past summer, Aly was to attend a three week camp at the University of Santa Cruz through the John Hopkins' Center for Talented Youth Summer program. So we decided to make it  a quick family trip. We flew out of Miami, Florida and landed in San Francisco, California. After renting a car, we decided to wait to check into our hotel and instead made our way down to Fisherman's Wharf.

We did the typical tourist thing with all the other tourists there. We took selfies and ate yummy seafood at one of their many restaurants.

There are a line of restaurants and street side food eateries with such tempting seafood etc. Fried shrimp, curly fries, calamari

I couldn't resist taking pictures of all the amazing food that I wished I could eat but my stomach and my wallet were not in agreement.

Lobsters, crabs, oysters, mussels, shrimp etc etc.....YUMMY!!!!!

We get to pick it and they steam it...unfortunately we were
told that they were not fresh so we didn't try it.

We ordered a sampler with fried shrimp, fish, calamari, scallops and fries. It was delicious!!!

Then we started walking toward Ghiradelli Square. They have so many of these little street side shops with awesome jewelry!!! Now considering I make pieces very similar to these, I was super excited. What I wanted to do was to buy them all. But what I did instead was to buy a sweet pair of earrings and a matching bracelet and took a few pictures.

I loved San Francisco and the cable carts but I hated, I mean absolutely was terrified of driving on the steep hill like streets of the city.

We started driving toward China Town. Zayn wanted to go skate at this famous skating place which in actually is this famous park for the local Chinese families.

So Zayn and Aly went to the park where Zayn skated while I went in and out of the many little shops in China Town. We ate at this little Chinese restaurants with probably the worst Chinese food I've ever eaten. 

After walking around in China Town and buying souvenirs and being veryyyy tired, we made it to our hotel and had a good night sleep. We woke up the next morning and started driving to the University of Santa Cruz. We stopped at one of the local beaches!!! I live in Florida but I LOVE the West Coast and the beaches surrounded by the hills. Its so cool to see the crabs and sand dollar remains scattered on the beach. Again, so different from our Florida beaches. We enjoy the Atlantic ocean in Florida but my heart remains with the gorgeous Pacific coast line.

I did take a few pictures of us at the beach but I didn't save them here. But I LOVE THE WEST COAST!!!!
Can't wait to go back there again. We dropped Aly off at USC and

Love, Light and Blessings,