Camel Mosaic Bibelot {Tutorial}

This time of year is a good time to resolve to begin to widen your experiences.

Today I did just that in trying something new by doing glass mosaics.  My daughter also made a glass piece and you can see it in the last photo.

All of the materials and tools were provided by Cheryl Smith Mosaics, who had come to our Girl Scout day camp to teach our troops how to create beautiful artwork in the sun.


Glass cutters
Protective glasses
Protective gloves
Small paper plate
Colorful broken glass pieces
Diamond Glaze
Round glass ornament
Wooden bamboo skewer
(I don’t have a supply photo today because this project was done at stations.  I tried to take photos of all the items above.)

These were our choices for broken glass pieces.  There were also glass orbs, that have to be preordered from China a year in advance (!), but I didn’t use any of those in my project. It took me awhile to decide what to make, but I final settled on creating a camel, my camp name, and two pyramids behind her.

I grabbed a small paper plate and picked out four colors for the camel, sky, ground, and pyramids.  I headed to the glass cutting table and put on protective glasses and gloves.

I was taught that the proper way to hold the cutters is with your left hand UNDER them to catch the two pieces.  I had to be reminded a couple of times about this since I’m used to placing my left hand OVER my wire cutters to protect from flying wire pieces.  I spent a little bit of time practicing on some spare parts before I felt confident enough to try the camel’s legs, head and hump.

After my glass pieces were cut into the sizes I wanted, I headed over to another table where a wire drying rack were set up over an aluminum cooking pan.  I was given a glass flat ornament and a bottle of Diamond Glaze. I was instructed to cover the ornament with the glaze and then place a generous amount of glitter on top.

I then sent about creating my camel design over the glitter.  I had to make sure that none of the glass pieces were hanging over the edges of my round ornament.

After I was happy with the design, I added a generous layer of Diamond Glaze over it all to act as a grout.

I then placed a wooden skewer in the ornament hole to make sure the glaze does not glue over the hole.  My piece has to dry for 24 hours to make sure the glaze is set. Tomorrow I’ll add ribbon though the hole to hang.

Here are some of the camper designed artwork.

 Be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more fun tutorials about camels.



Arab Poet Society {Resource}

Last Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending an event presented by the Bellevue College Arabic Culture Student Association.

For one beautiful evening this relatively new organization managed to showcase three very diverse Arab voices.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha has lived the experiences of first-generation American, immigrant, and expatriate. In the summer of 2014, her poem “Running Orders”—written from the voice of a Palestinian evacuee in Gaza—went viral online. Her heritage is Palestinian, Jordanian, and Syrian and she is fluent in Arabic. She has lived in and travelled across the Arab world, and many of her poems are inspired by the experience of crossing borders: cultural, geographic, political, borders between the present and the living past. She translated the screenplay for the award-winning film “When I Saw You”, written and directed by Annemarie Jacir in 2011. She has poems in Floating Bridge Review, Taos International Journal of Poetry and Art, and in the print anthology Being Palestinian, to be published by Oxford Press in 2015.

Rajaa A. Gharbi is an international painter, poet and socio-linguist. She was born and raised in Tunisia. A native writer and speaker of the Arabic language, Gharbi is the first North African English language poet in the United States to have been published and awarded public funding for literary work (1986-2006). She is the author of From Songs of a Grasshopper and Digging for Gems (books of poems, Kehna 2004 and 1993) and Blue Forces, a book of essays (Kehna 1998). She is also featured in the Encyclopedia of Arab American Artists, 2007 (Dr. Fayeq Oweis Heinemann 2007),We Have Crossed Many Rivers: New Poetry From Africa (an anthology edited by Dr. Diké Okoro 2012 Northwestern University, Evanston) and the Power and the Role of the Intellectual Symposium, Department of English Language and Literature, Cairo University, Egypt (Dr. Najib Redouane, California State University 2005).

She was a 2012 Achievement Award recipient at the international Arab Women Artists Biennale in Sousse, Tunisia, a 2006 Tunisia’s Hannibal Arts and Culture Grant award for an honor performance of her poems and retrospective exhibition in Washington DC. In 2007, she was nominated for the Seattle Mayor’s Art Award and the Horace Mann Achievement Award. Her work is profiled and exhibited around the world.

Maged Zaher is the author of THANK YOU FOR THE WINDOW OFFICE (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012), THE REVOLUTION HAPPENED AND YOU DIDN’T CALL ME (Tinfish Press, 2012), and PORTRAIT OF THE POET AS AN ENGINEER (Pressed Wafer, 2009). His collaborative work with the Australian poet Pam Brown, FAROUT LIBRARY SOFTWARE, was published by Tinfish Press in 2007. His translations of contemporary Egyptian poetry have appeared in Jacket magazine and Banipal. He has performed his work at Subtext, Bumbershoot, the Kootenay School of Writing, St. Marks Project, Evergreen State College, and American University in Cairo, among other places. He is also the winner of the 2013 Genius Award Winner for Literature.

Even the Fall 2014 Arab 101 students got into the evening by  reciting “Ahino Ila Chobzi Omi.” I actually was impressed at how well they did.  You can tell a large number of them really did memorize the piece.  As many times as I’ve heard it, I’m not sure I could do the same!

Great job gals and guys!