Planter Necklaces (DIY)

I have had this idea a really long time ago, and finally I found the time to make it!
During my usual etsy vists, I found this beautiful store- Wearable Planters by the lovely Colleen Jordan :)

This is what “wearable planters” are all about as told by Colleen:

Don’t let your plants stay at home! They help clean the air you breathe, are beautiful, and create a wonderful conversation starter. Carry a sprout, a succulent, or a flower you found on your morning walk! A necklace is a beautiful way to showcase your favorite plants, whether it is a flower or a succulent you’ve planted or found on your day’s adventures. A wearable planter is sure to make your day brighter!

You can’t possibly tell me this description alone didn’t make you want to get one asap. ;)

I know what you’re probably thinking, flower pots around my neck? No thank you. But trust me! They look absolutely great with your everyday outfits and compliment them so much! And the best thing about them is that everyday they can be different, because you can change the little flowers you put in them. Read on to see some example pictures of how they look great on almost every outfit :)

And today, I’m going to show you how to make your own version of planter necklaces using polymer clay! And don’t let that discourage you because I have finally found some polymer clay that you can purchase here in Abu Dhabi, so don’t fret! xD Yes, it wouldn’t be as clean and smooth like Colleen’s, but they look just as beautiful, trust me!

So here’s what you’ll need:
- Polymer clay, colors of your choice. (Abu Dhabi – L’atelier des Arts is one place that supplies some. If you happen to know any place in Dubai that supplies them please let me know so I can post it here for others)
– A needle or any pointy object
– Some string, thread or chain for the actual necklace
– Flowers/plants of course. These have to be small and simple, not a huge rose :P
– Your imagination.

How to make’ em:

I’ll be explaining the steps to three different shapes that I created. You can always experiment and do whatever shape you like!

The Teardrop
Using some of my navy clay, shaping it into a circle at first, I then rolled one “side” of it to shape a “teardrop” or a long oval.

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Then used a needle to shape the opening of the flower pot. This step is very important: you must make sure your hole is wide at the top, and narrow as you go down to the bottom of the planter, otherwise, your plants/flowers will fall out. The narrow bottom is supposed to support the plant in place so it doesn’t fall out as you’re moving. (This tutorial doesn’t require you to put a flower with its soil in the planter necklace, we’re only going to be using the flower.)

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Now the opening at the top will look messy at first but you can always smooth it out with your fingers. Lastly, I poked a small hole for my string to go through later on after baking the clay.

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The Circle
This is the easiest one, you can do it with your eyes closed. Shape a circle, poke a hole in it- You’re done!! No lies, that’s it! To make it look a little “edgy” and different I made the opening diamond shaped :) But that’s all there is to it.

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Don’t forget to make an opening for your string!

The Flower
I apologize for the lack of pictures for this one as I did it at the top of my head and didn’t plan it out at all, but it turned out to be my favourite! This time, instead of shaping a 3D circle I rolled out a flat one and placed it onto something circular to help shape it.

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I peeled off the edges from different sides to make it look like an opening flower. Then I just played around with it, pinched the edges and smoothed them out and ended up with this!

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Once you’re done modelling and baking, insert the strings and threads and go off to find some pretty little flowers to start wearing them around wherever you go!

Here’s the final result…

 

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Don’t they just look amazing? And yes, the last picture shows how the planter looks stunning even with an abaya on! So let me know what you think and if you guys try it, show me your creations! :)

Good luck & Eid Mubarak to everyone!
– Reem AlHashmi

Trips to the Vet

Trips to the vet are almost always a pleasure for me, but the complete opposite for Tiny. The entire car ride to and from the vet stresses him out so much, he cries non-stop. And because he has Herpes (which isn’t contagious to humans btw), I get stressed out too because he might get an ulcer or his eyes would get red. So that part puts me on-edge too. But other than that, I really do enjoy paying the vet a visit xD

Mainly because I get to meet the different animals and their owners. I mean yeah sure, theres a lot of animal lovers/owners wandering around school and malls and in the general public, but they don’t show that “animal lover” side in them, because their pets aren’t around. But when it’s at an animal clinic, you get to see how they interact with their pets, “up-close and personal”.

One time I came in for Tiny’s check up way back when he contracted Ringworm *worst experience yet  :(* and I got to meet a young woman with her two puppies, Lugi, a Pomeranian, and Shakira, a Pekingese (Wonderful name, right?)  They were such obedient pups, and Lugi literally jumped up the seat to wait next to his owner in the waiting area. How cute is that?

Another time where I was waiting for my turn again, one of the vet’s assistants came in holding a black and white cat (who looked like he had his you-know-whats cut off xD) and he had the most beautiful pair of green eyes, and a glamorous mustache :D Like hitler lol. I love them cats with mustaches.

And it’s not just the owners and their pets, sometimes it’s Tiny and other pets as well. A million possibilities go on in my head when I see a cat meowing and suddenly Tiny stares at him with those big dilated eyes like they aren’t just dilated enough from that car ride alone :P I always wonder what they’re trying to tell each other. Another incident was when Tiny (crying most of the trip as usual) suddenly goes quiet, like he fell asleep in that carrier. And I get a little worried, so I peep down to check on him and see him pissed off, fur standing up like hedgehog spines, staring right at a cute little oblivious puppy xD

Another reason why I enjoy these trips is because I get a chance to look at all the supplies and adoptable pets I will most likely never get :’) They have this big poster with numbers and pictures and contacts of rescued or fostered animals just waiting for a good home to take them in, and I love seeing them :( The same thing goes to the supplies. Even before I owned a pet I used to just stop by the pet supplies section and just contemplate all the animal food, toys, leashes, equipment and products. I don’t know why I do that but I really enjoy looking at all the possibilities and varieties they offer. Plus you never know, one day you’ll have a friend who’s in need for a pet and who could’ve been on that same poster or for a remedy on those shelves ;) At least that’s what I like to tell myself

Okay so I just realized I pointed out all the unrelated reasons to going to a veterinary clinic…
Oh well. In case you were wondering, I go to the Australian Vet in Khalifa City A, with a very helpful and friendly staff and their prices are much cheaper than other alternatives.

Anyway, just wanted to update my blog because I hate not writing often and I just came back from a vet trip tonight. Vaccinated Tiny against Rabies, Flu/Colds and worms. Eck :P

Thanks for reading! If you have anything you want me to write more about, let me know :)

– Reem AlHashmi

All about Crafts!

So my sister suddenly decides to start scrap-booking, and being the perfectionist she is, she looks for crafts stores in Abu Dhabi (Other than Jareer Bookstore)  and asks for my artistic help! :) Now if it were anything else, I wouldn’t have been too keen about it, but when it comes to artsy crafty stuff, always count me in.

So we set off on our artventure. See what I did there? ;P No but seriously, we had a tough time going out and about looking for trinkets and supplies, but oh how much it was worth every minute of our time!

Our first destination was Crafts Corner, a place literally built specially for scrap-booking! Look at this piece of work :)

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And this is the back room!

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Honestly we found so many cute things from mini frames and decorated paper and paint and glitter and those 3D objects/flowers you can use for all your scrap-booking needs! You can also find normal art supplies, I got this really pretty gold acrylic paint and a small bottle of some pearl glue that works like a glitter glue. Squeeze, and you have a pearl! Will blog more about those next time.
And the lady that worked there was so sweet she even gave us a special tip about scrap-booking. How many times have you looked at a decorated piece of tissue and loved it’s design? I have, and I’m not kidding xD Now you can easily put it to use (other than blow your nose in it).  Just iron it on a piece of “Freezer Paper” and once it sticks, use it however you like :> Make a card for someone or use it as scrap-booking paper, you come up with the ideas! Neat, eh? They provide classes for such things as well!

*Check the store timings because it closes kinda early :) 8:00 PM on normal days and 2:30 PM in Ramadan*

The next place was L’Atelier des Arts! Name kinda hard to pronounce if you haven’t taken French but trust me, the place makes up for the tongue twists :P Sorry about the low-resolution there, click on the image to view it better!

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Much bigger than Crafts corner since its not only specialized in scrap-booking but houses all of your art needs. I hadn’t known this place until a day ago and let me tell you, it’s my sanctuary right now. They provide Copic Markers and Polymer Clay (Which is very hard to find here) and many many beautiful types of paint and varnishes etc. It is however, a little expensive, so unless you can’t find the items for cheaper prices somewhere else, it’s the place for you. Oh and they also provide art classes, so if you’re interested, contact them :D In fact, one was going on in the middle of our fits of excitement, and we might have disturbed them xP

I had such a great time that day and I’m definitely planning on paying both shops many many visits in the future! What other art/crafts stores do you know of? Share them below!

Thanks for reading,

Reem AlHashmi

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Owning Wild Animals

In today’s post, I would love to open the subject of owning wild animals. I’m sure many of you own your little pet monkeys, or have a relative that owns a cheetah cub or know a friend who happens to have a pet snake. It’s rapidly becoming very common in the UAE and other GCC countries, and as much as they can be irresistibly cute and fun to own as pets, many people do not acknowledge the danger it poses on both owners and animals :(

**I would really hope to enlighten readers with the information I’m about to provide, and I ask you to really give it some thought before disagreeing or turning away.**

On the animals:

1) You’re taking them away from their homes, their natural habitats. Just imagine a baby lion cub taken away from its mama, you don’t know how they get from Africa straight to your homes, so it’s possible that that’s the case. Not only are they separated from their mothers who instinctively know how to provide the best care for them when they’re young, but their whole environment changes into something completely different. That also means their diet is also altered. Some of you might say “But I walk my lion..”, “I take my chimp to our huge farm every week”, “I feed my cheetah the best kind of meat there is!”. No matter how you try, the human alternatives owners try to provide will never compare to the actual wild. A huge fenced cage isn’t going to provide the open space for a leopard to run in, frozen chicken and meat can easily be favored over by the thrill of hunting real prey, and trees in farms or homes will never be anything like the ones monkeys climb on in the jungles and forests.

2) Medical Challenges. Your local veterinarian will most likely not be able to diagnose your animal when it suddenly falls ill, and even when it does, it’s incredibly expensive. These wild animals can also get sick from the different climate/environment they’re introduced to, and unfortunately, some of these animals die. I’ve heard a close relative of mine owned a baby cheetah who used his claws as defense from a child who kept on harassing it, and it was taken to an irresponsible vet who de-clawed* it and boom. It died.

3) Contribution to Animal Extinction. Ever had this particular animal you’ve always fantasized of seeing or holding? My list could go on forever: Pandas, Koalas, Tigers and Pandas, and did I mention more pandas? xD Even though they’re not owned as pets since they’re already extremely endangered, the more you adopt a wild animal species, the greater the risk of it becoming endangered and then later on, extinct in the future. Think about it, no more big cats, wolves, chimps. Not in your local zoo nor anywhere allowing outside access. Meeting your dream animal would be impossible. You don’t want to contribute to adorable animals dying out forever right? I hope not :P

And on the owners themselves:

1) They’re wild. You don’t say, right? They’re called “wild” for a reason! They’re built for the tough life, growing up to be independent, and in some cases, hunters. Even if you raised your wild animal from a young age, and it has grown up with you and in your environment, it will still preserve some behavioral aspects and instincts that it needs for..well, the wild. It will hurt you, your kids and other loved ones. If domesticated animals are capable of doing that from time to time, then what do you think wild ones would do?

2) They’re not affectionate. Different than the first point. Wild animals are not used to human contact, and no matter how many kisses and hugs you give, its possible that it doesn’t have the darndest idea of what you’re doing to it xD A leopard won’t randomly come lie next to you in bed or sleep on your lap or anything. It just doesn’t happen :o

3) Again, they are hell expensive to own and care for.

In the end, there are solutions to every situation. And in this case, we can leave it to the domestic animals to provide for our need for a loving pet :)

“God made the cat in order to give man the pleasure of caressing the tiger.” – Fernand Mery

The meaning of this quote is quite obvious. A cat is capable of filling in the role of a tiger raised as a pet. Domestic animals are basically the tame versions of their wild ancestors. Domestication was a process carried on through thousands of years, so let’s give our ancestors some respect and make use of their idea!!
Want a tiger? Get a cat. Want a wolf? Get a puppy. There’s also hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, and even birds who will love you more than a wild animal would, so love them back! Do your research, find the pet that wins your heart and please adopt from shelters and kennels before resorting to pet shops and pet stores. I will provide a list of shelters that provide a great range of animals at the bottom of this post, so please have a look at it if you’re thinking about getting a pet :)

Honestly, I know this sounds overly-dramatic, but one single pet can change your life. …but make sure that pet is domesticated xD I hope this post benefited you in a way, and if you were supporting the ownership of wild animals, I hope I was able to change your mind if not a little bit. Please spread the word & share with your friends and family. Be the voice of the wild animals and help fight against this act!

Thanks for reading! :)

– Reem AlHashmi

*De-clawing is the removal of a cat’s fingernails. Ouch.

Adopt your pet from these options:
Feline Friends (Abu Dhabi), Feline Friends (Dubai), Animal Action Abu DhabiAbu Dhabi Animal Shelter, K9 Friends

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