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Friday, October 29, 2010

Design templates

I am still working on The Write Stuff but mostly doing children's birthday invites for now. M's daughter is having a Dorothy the Dinosaur theme party at a park in Brisbane mid November and has kindly let me design the card for her.

I must admit, I had never heard of Dorothy the Dinosaur up til now and apparently, she's a bit hit with kids Down Under.  Dorothy is a yellow polka dotted dino who loves ballet and eating red roses. I came up with an invite and the matching thank you card. M loved it and I am very pleased !

I hope to do more card designs and C, whose daughter is having a birthday in Dec is celebrating her special day with two other kids. They have not decided on the theme yet but so far Ben Ten + fairies are up there.

It is tough finding good quality paper in Doha but I have to keep looking. Might have to import some if the demand picks up. Fancy envelopes do not exist here, but I did come across Upon a Fold, an online shop that sells a clever idea.

Envelope die cuts.

These templates let you use any fancy paper, or recycled material to make your own envelopes. You can create two different sized envelopes and the kit only costs AUD 5.50! But it here.

Anyway, it's Halloween weekend and I am due any time now. A final visit to my OBGYN tomorrow to see if everything is on track. Wish me luck !

Saw this amazing photo on DesignCrush and thought I'd share with you guys.

Have a great weekend !

Doha can be fun...

Over 4 months in the desert and we are slowly discovering that Doha has some treats up her sleeve. Just this afternoon, friends were going sailing at the Regatta Academy at the Intercontinental Hotel beach front and invited us to come along to watch. I couldn't get on for obvious reasons and T was told, he needed at least a few lessons before they let him out on the water. The boys were just renting lasers to sail for an hour and at QR 100 an hour, very reasonable. 

The Regatta academy was nothing more than a wooden beach shack but what more do you need ? There were a few kids having a theory lesson but other than that, very quiet as it was a weekday.

G and N were putting on some life jackets while the guys were helping them rig up their lasers.

Taking off from the beach, you could choose to sail out into the open or towards the cityscape of Doha.

We are definitely taking up some classes come the new year and what's more, with the sailing club attached to the hotel, you could hang out at the hotel pool or dine at the restaurants, lounge at the beach deck chairs all for a small day rate. 

What a brillant way to spend a day no?

Doha Film Festival Opening Night

T's office is the official broadcaster for the film festival so we were invited to the opening night last Tuesday. The Katara cultural village was pimped out for this amazing event and the spotlights could be seen beaming from the village from miles away.

These pics are from the official DTFF website, go here to see more. We arrived around 7pm when the film was to start an hour later, only to see rows of fans lining up against the red carpet welcoming famous Arab stars and international ones like Kevin Spacey, Robert De Niro and Salma Hayek.

We were ushered to the outdoor amphitheatre for the film and it was massive.

This photo is from the DTFF website, I took one as we were approaching it and at night, it looked even more magnificent though the photo doesn't do it justice.

The seats were plush comfy armchairs and by this time, Doha evenings had become so cool it was really nice sitting outdoors under the stars. The video wall showed Salma Hayek coming down the red carpet and being interviewed. The boys went out to get some dinner for us and we were munching on our chicken kebabs before everything started.

There were deck chairs right on the front and familes brought their prams and babies along to the viewing too.

Outside the Law, by Rachid Bouchareb opened the festival. The film was about the Algerian struggle for independence and it was brillant. We enjoyed the experience so much, we are thinking of going again this evening for another film. On top of all this ? The screenings at the outdoor theatre is free how good is that ?!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

House Envy

I have been feeling rather tired and lethargic over the past week, which explains my lack of blogging. Even looking at my favourite bloggers updates, was not enough to lift me out of my restlessness. Anyway, I forced myself out of the house a few days ago, to get some fresh air and meet some friends to try and shake the moodiness out of the system.

The hair salon I frequent in Doha, was opening a new branch just 5 minutes away. Glow American Salon had an opening party on Friday at the Beach Tower. They promised the first 200 patrons goodie bags of free products. The invite said to come between 3 - 7pm and enjoy complimentary spa treatments like manicures and hair washes.

I figured that if we got there around 3pm, we wouldn't miss out. Getting 200 women to congregate in one location in Doha, sounds ambitious. How wrong were we ? The girls and I arrived at the scene at 3.15pm and already, all the bags were given out and the queue for free treatments spilled out of the salon. Boo hoo!

The sight of so many expat women in one place was rather unusual and they were everywhere. We were given free ice cream and coffee coupons so the trip was not completely wasted.

Beach Tower is located in the West Bay area, and the spa is on the ground floor of the apartment block. Handy to know that besides Glow, there is also a coffee and bagel shop in the building. We lingered for a while and decided to leave after having our fill of free scoops of dessert.

S, who drove us to the salon, just moved into her house on the bay. Since we had spare time, she invited us for a cup of tea at her new house.

What a house, is all I can say. It was right on the water and they had their own private swimming beach !

S is sharing the house with some mates as it has 5 bedrooms, so plenty of space. G's two cats were happily frolicking around the sand and the small patches of grass on the lawn.

The last tenants left a trampoline on the beach !

This was the view at the water line, the tall building in the horizon, is the Zig Zag Towers, an apartment block. There are rows of these gorgeous houses dotted along the beach and people were riding jetskis and sailing their little laser boats on the water as we sipped teas on the lawn.

Not a bad way to end a day....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Doha Film Fest 2010

It's finally here, well in 8 days, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2010 will last 5 days starting on Oct 26. This year, the outdoor screenings will be done in the new Katara cultural village not far from the Pearl Qatar and right next door to the Intercontinental Hotel.

We drove in to have a peek at the area as we have only seen parts of the architecture poking out from behind the sand dunes from the main road. From a distance, it already looked impressive plus there was a Magnum photography exhibition on in one of the buildings.

Katara, I found out later is the ancient Greek name for Qatar. The old name sounds a lot prettier don't you think? We were greeted by these towers which are inspired by bird nests.

The stone buildings next to it housed a photographic society and a society of engineers ?! Weaving through the buildings, passing empty lots slated for cafes as the cultural village is not officially open to public yet. Suddenly there was an opening and the amphi-theatre loomed before us. It was like the roman colosseum, massive and built out of marble with soaring columns, great arches and what looks like, a brass entrance at least 2 storeys high.

My phone camera was unable to capture the magnificence of the building but found this image online.

For the film festival, films are not featured in this grand space but a temporary amphitheatre has been constructed steps away and viewings will be free of charge.

(photo from gulf times)

About 50 films are featured during the 5 days and we got tickets to watch one for now - Certified Copy, starring Juliet Binoche. We will head to the free screenings whenever possible as the evenings are so cool now, stting outside for a few hours would be pleasant.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chunky Jewellery

Last night I had the evening to myself while T went out with the boys. I had the whole night to watch the latest season of Gossip Girl Season 4 so settled down on the couch with a big tub of London Dairy Pralines and Cream flavoured ice cream.

As usual the plots were diabolical but very entertaining. The main draw for me as always, was the accessories. I zoomed in on the stunning chunky necklaces that the girls were wearing especially the agate adorned ones.

Serena wore this in Epi 5 and it just blew me away.

Everything from the colours to the organic chunkiness of the necklace is stunning. As I found out there are many designers out there who create amazing sliced agate necklaces and here are a few I would love to own.

A.V Max Agate Necklace ( USD 101) featured on Divasjewellerybox blog.

Gucci has this blue agate bracelet at USD 6900 ! Crazy.

This is more like it. A fuchsia agate cuff for USD 33 featured on firstresponse blog.

The Vamoose is a jeweller online that stocks these beautiful pendants at GBP 21.00, much more affordable.

Stone and Honey is another but they blend agate slices with delicate silver or gold designs.

And this beauty.

Price start from USD 95 to USD 160.

Which ones do you like?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baby Shower

Yesterday Z organized a baby shower for me and it was great fun. It was a potluck event and people brought along a tuna bake, homemade brownies, salads and pies. I made a easy mango salsa with tortilla chips and bought a Paul's blueberry pie. The party started mid afternoon and I was touched as some of the girls came from work even though they start at 3am in the morning.

There were many presents, some for me, some for the baby. There were adorable baby grows, a cute preppy cardigan, a pair of baby jeans even.

B who has two young children gave me a couple of practical toys that have kept her kids captivated for years.

A black and white book as babies can't see colours but love contrast, teething rings for them to grab on to instead of your hair, ELC's learning cubes that children love to play with because of the colours, mirrors and pockets of sequins that sparkle inside. The blue travel mug is for me to have my hot drinks as it comes with a lid and there is no danger of spillage. The little baby shoes are from S and they were picked out by her 7 year old daughter. Sweet.

Poor N who was up since 3am, bought me a plush toy, a camel ! I was so pleased as I secretly wanted one myself.

Let's call her Cheryl.

C bought me a lovely set of hand soap and cream from The White Company. It smells divine.

Thank you ladies for this party!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Toys for Boys

Following the last posting about the toy scrambler bike, I went online to see more cool toys for boys and these are so beautiful to be toys don't you think ?

The Red Retro Roadster which you can buy here for GBP 112. It is available in Doha I think.
The Saab Roadster looks so cool but carries a GBP 300 price tag.

This wooden bike from Prince Lionheart looks like fun and it is under 90 USD.

Butch's Room

That's the name of our baby boy. Butch.

Nah just kidding, but that's how we refer to him for lack of better names. We are still at a lost with a name. How does one find a name that can reflect Chinese, Persian and Anglo cultures?  With only 3 weeks left to go, the room is ready and here's a peek.

The walls are really bare so Ii really have to do something to spruce it up.

We bought a simple armchair today for me so I can feed him comfortably. I walked around the room and pretended to do a diaper change to see if all the supplies were close at hand. After that I sat in my new chair to take in the rest of the room and letting reality sink in.

We need a few more posters and toys for the room as of now, he only has a baby rattle. Poor chap. A few of the girls are throwing me a baby shower this week and some of them have toddlers. They are going to pass me some of the stuff their kids have outgrown. We have decided not to buy more toys until he is at least a few months old and T has his eye on a baby scrambler with training wheels. I think that can wait.

Looks cool though.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Write Stuff

My blogging in the past weeks have been infrequent due to my focus on The Write Stuff. After much deliberation, I have decided to try and start a small business selling personal stationery. Picked a name, bought the url and found a fabulous webpage building site here

So collating from past designs and coming up with new ones, I put together a simple website and though it is only 90% completed, I am ready to start.

My friend D has organized a market fair at her compound inviting vendors to sell their crafts and home made goodies. She invited me to set up a booth and that is what motivated me to get moving on The Write Stuff . The fair is tomorrow from 1-4pm and I to be there earlier to prep my station. I made some cards to sell but am hoping to get some orders. Fingers crossed, wish me luck.

Here's my website if you are interested to view. It remains a work in progress and I hope to add more to the site as I learn more about this business.

Here's some of the stuff I am taking to the fair. Will post more pics when I get there.

These are kids' party invites package which includes cupcake toppers.

You can tell this was put together last minute cos I don't even have proper plastic for the stationery and had to resort to using ziploc bags. Sigh.

Made some extra toppers to display at the fair.

To the market, to the market...........................I am quite nervous.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Autumn is here

The final chapter of the year is upon us and in the northern hemisphere - autumn has arrived. The day temperature in Doha remains north of 30 degrees but in the evenings, it is less sticky and even pleasant. The joggers have emerged and pedestrians are no longer dashing into aircon malls but sauntering in, almost enjoying the mildness.

Although we are not going to be able to enjoy the changing colours of the season here, I can always dream. My first and last encounter with the reds and golds of falling leaves was in Seoul 6-7 years ago. I remember it as being one of the most enchanting times as you are not freezing and the tree lined streets just looked magical.

Now you can have a sprinkling of autumn-ess in your own home with these adorable gingko post it notes by Appree.

Aren't they just too pretty to use as writing pads?

They come in green sapling leaf designs too.

via sub-studio design. How clever.