Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fresh Impressions of LB o J'zazz 2011 Earth Hour

Chaminda this morning dusting, dusting and then more dusting

This morning Chaminda and I started setting up for our special evening in honor of Mother Earth.  Due to the crazy and wild sand storm we had a lot of dust to contend with and candles to lay out. The pictures are grainy as the light was dim and I did my best not to use a flash so that the images are relevant to "Lights Out".
Repurposed paper made into our Special Promotion for the evening

As the lighting got dimmer early in the evening I started working on our special incentives for Earth Hour.  Using some of used brown packing paper and some markers made our own in-house coupons.

Maryam and Chaminda as they start lighting the candle
We had such an incredible evening, and by the time Chaminda and I were done and home it was almost midnight.  What made this so memorable were our guests who came to be part of Earth Hour, they lit candles and hung out as we began our countdown and with the intention of what each and everyone of us will do beyond the 60+. 

Our Tree Of Life's Shadow and the flickering flames

Music, homebrewed organic coffee and hot cider along with goodies from our neighbors Divine and a candle lit evening I can say that we are more than ready to have get togethers at the shop with wonderful friends and guests that we always seem to get.
Lights were out in our shop and Divine. The rest of the area was bright as usual
There was a lot of energy in our shopping complex due to our activities and hopefully by 2012, the whole complex and Kuwait will turn their lights and switch to candles for Earth Hour with a long term commitment to what really matters: the quality of our life with some wisdom on how we utilize our resources, waste management and the status of water. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

April Meet & Bead This Coming Friday*

For the record I've never been an April Fool's fan, nor Valentines afficianado at that rate, because the spontaneity for a good laugh and true love should not be programmed. So, we are having our regular Meet & Bead on the first Friday of every month which just happens to be this April 1st. 
New guests and friends are more than welcome to join, as we share our passion and get to bead with you in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.  So bring any projects from previous classes that you would like to complete.  Both Bettina and I will be available to assist you.  I'm also working on new summer beverages to offer you as the weather gets warmer.  At this time vivid, ruby ice cold Aswani Karkade (hibiscus flowers) sounds nice.
Hanan showing off her creations in our last Meet & Bead

Date:  Friday April 1
Time:  6:00 PM- 9:00 PM
Venue:  LB o J'zazz Jabriya Workshop
             Block 9 Street 6 Villa 13 (Side Basement Entrance)

Please note that there are major road works and the area looks like we are under siege, so we apologize for the inconvenience and suggest you park in the open area and not on the main street until things settle down.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Two Good Reasons Why We Will Not Be Offering A Class This Saturday March 26

Living and working in Jabriya has always been great.  Since, for several years heading to the office meant simply opening a door where I resided and walking down a few steps and that was all the transportation and time it took.  It was such a liberating and effective mode of living and working.  
Beading in our office. Photo by Laura Boushnak

Now, after marriage, luckily my new abode is just a few houses down and on a good day, walking is my mode of travel.  Unfortunately, Bettina does not have that luxury except for beading and getting to our beautiful little lamp working glass studio whenever she feels like it which is also located in her domicile.  However, in the past few weeks just getting out of my house was like being in a ship, our side street garden was sawed off at right angles and we had a gangplank that would precariously take you over a three meter deep ditch and onto the mercilessly ripped up road, street or something that resembled a road once in recent memory.  I have to say that whoever the contractor is they spent a lot of money on access and safety so this must be a hefty contract. 
Back to the reasons why we will not be offering a class this Saturday, the first reason is that we have this crane that has taken our house and office hostage as you can see below. 
This is what  greeted me this morning and a few gangplanks providing various access ways.  It looks like we are under siege or protection who knows? 
View from outside LB o J'zazz office

In addition, preparations are underway for our Earth Hour 60+ Party at our  LB o J'zazz store location which is to take place on the same day. 
So, we'd love to see you this Saturday at LB o J'zazz in Shaab el Bahry and hopefully by our next class and our upcoming Meet & Bead in April the crane will have moseyed along and  taken someone else's street by surprise. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Earth Hour 60+ at LB o J'zazz This Saturday March 26

Earth Hour and beyond is what this is all about.  Come together to celebrate the only planet we have.  We will have some music, goodies along with group decopatching our Tree Of  Life so we need your presence. You are more than welcome to come earlier but the lights go out at 8:30 PM as we switch to candle light.
Anyone who makes a purchase during Earth Hour will get a little "Thank You Treat" and a bit more!For more info visit the link on the left. 

Date:  Saturday March 26
Time:  8:30 PM the lights go out ( but you can come earlier)
Venue:  LB o J'zazz Shaab el Bahry Shop
             Ibn el Khatib Street (Adjacent to Executive Flex)
             Shopping Complex Shop #4

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Class: Penta Earrings Tuesday March 22

How many times do you have a specific outfit in a colorway but you just don't have the right earrings?  Well in this Tuesday class you can whip up a stunning five petal pair of earrings.  Our Penta Earrings uses a new technique called Triangle Weave that LB o J'zazz is introducing  which allows you to create something to wear or to gift in an afternoon.  With just a handful of beads you can make several sets to match your moods.

Technique:  Triangle Weave
Level:  Beginners / Introductory
Date:  Tuesday March 15
Time:  5:30- 7:30 PM
Venue:  Jabriya Block 9 Street 6 Villa 13 Side Basement Entrance

For more information that includes a detailed class description, tools required and material lists in addition to class fees please send an email to  There is a limited number of kits for this class therefore, we are requesting you register in advance at our LB o J'zazz shop in Shaab el Bahry.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wirework Loops: Freedom Butterfly Earring Class with Vintaj

Freedom Butterfly Earrings by Bettina

With all the transformations taking place in the world, Peoples movement toward a more liberated existence is at the forefront of our times.  Similarly this reminds me of the life cycle of a butterfly from an egg, to a caterpillar, then to the chrysalis where it is in its cocoon-like stage, and finally after great change it turns into a beautifully bright, soaring, free butterfly.  

Tuesdays' class project is a tribute the wonderful changes and to our current time.  
Caterpillar stage 2 (after egg)
Stage 3

Stage 4

Our 2-hour wire class "Freedom Butterfly Earrings" will be an introduction to to making the single most important task in wirework- a perfect loop.  You will learn how to make a simple loop, a 'P' loop and then take it up a notch and finally make the wrapped loop.  Also we will show you how to open and close a loop and a jump ring.  These techniques are considered core to wireworking projects and will come a long way for you in any future project you may want to create.

2-themed kits will be available for pre-class selection upon pre-registration

You will also be stringing onto wire a variety on Czech crystals in different sizes and colors along with a Czech pressed glass bead and a Vintaj Butterfly that will be the focal and central component of your earrings.

Technique: Wire

Level: Beginners / Foundational
Date: March 15, 2011 Tuesday
Time: 5:30PM- 7:30 PM
Venue: Jabriya Block 9 Street 6 House 13 Side Basement Entrance

(NOTE: We must caution that wirework projects can be hard on both your nails and fingers. So if you are keen to participate, we recommend you have a manicure scheduled AFTER the class and not before).

For more information on class description, materials in kit, tools required and class fees simply send us an email to or pass by our shop in Shaab El-Bahry. We suggest you register at our LB o J'zazz Store in advance to secure your space.
Shop Address:

Shaab Al-Bahry
Block 8, Ibn Al-Khatib Street
Commercial Complex adjacent to Executive Flex Gym
Shop # 4

Monday, March 7, 2011

Decopatch Paper to the Rescue

My salvaged pots

How often do you come across an obstacle and find that 'paper' is the solution?  Not just any paper but paper that has been responsibily harvested, deep dyed, glazed and is both resilient and beautiful?  In my case it is often, at different times, different locations but in one particular case on similar objects- Pots.

Relocating from apartment to apartment or country to country, things tend to get damaged enroute or  items left in storage for some time tend to loose their luster and appeal.  And if you tend to get 'attached' to certain objects as I do then it can be difficult to convince yourself to get rid of them.  This was my little delimma with my flower pots. 

A hint of what the exterior of this pot looked like before Decopatch treatment

After being handled with 'little' care, my flower pots got scratched and  were transformed into an eye sore.  Still, I was unable to throw them away.  Years later, I fortunately came by a paper, Decopatch paper, and was able to salvage and reuse what was soon-to-be garbage into a piece of art!

One-of-a-kind Pots

No artistic skills needed, no training, no planning.  Simply, a brush, glue, paper and will.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Stringing 101 Class: Bali Dreams Bracelet March 12

This season we will be shifting our focus to Stringing and Wirework with select Off Loom Weaving classes interspersed.  The materials used are quite different from off loom weaving in addition to the tools that are specific to these techniques.  Our first offering this season will focus on Stringing Basics, how to balance the design technically, working with Metallic Stringing Wire, Crimp Beads, Clasps and a variety of Beads and Findings.
Create this delicate three strand bracelet and you will be able to move from this design to work on your own creations.

Technique:  Stringing
Level: Beginners / Foundational
Date:  March 12
Time:  9:30AM- 1:30 PM
Venue: Jabriya Block 9 Street 6 House 13 Side Basement Entrance

For more information for class description, materials in kit, tools required and class fees simply send us an email to  There are only six custom kits designed in several palettes. We suggest you register at our LB o J'zazz Shaab el Bahry Store in advance to secure your space. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another Evening of Inspiration and Sharing

Samira and Mariam checking out  Hanan's Safety Pin Bracelet

 Last evening we had new visitors join us to share their creations.  I always look forward to those Fridays when we get to Meet & Bead, since each time we get to see new ideas, projects and never know who might waltz in through the Beading Zone at LB o J'zazz. 

Well, last night was no different, except for the fact that we had new additions plus getting to sample our home brewed Cinnamon Laced Hot Cider.  Samira, Mariam and Rahaf joined us for the first time along with our regular beader extraordinaire Hanan.  We spread our beading mats and just started a show and tell and each one of us just kept pulling out the goodies and eye candy. 
Rahaf is one of our youngest beaders. She is self taught and she has such a way with Bali Beads, macrame and knotting.  I have a bracelet of hers that she made and her sense of colors is really bold. 
Hanan's Signature Safety Pin Rings
 Hanan pulled out her signature Safety Pin Rings and Bracelets and I got my own ring finally!  It's the orange and copper one on the lower right of the photograph.  It turns out Samira  re-uses beads, semiprecious beads and ornaments and her colorways are very interesting.  Can't wait to see what she and all LB o J'zazzers bring to our next Meet & Bead which will be Friday April 1st.  Until then, bead Happy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Evening Celebrating Iris and Our Passion for Beads

"Iris" made by Leah Fairbanks

 Last February 8 we had a wonderful evening with an introduction of Iris, who is part of the LB o J'zazz private collection of lampwork beads.  In addition, a journey that was  both a geographic and historic exploration of beads as Iris teleported and presented Lubna and Bettina's creations to the KTAA (Kuwait Textile Arts Association) and Bayt Al Sadu.

 S. Altaf introducing the LB o J'zazz duo
Photo by Leann Abdulraheem

 S. Altaf Salem Al Ali Al Sabah patron of Bayt Al Sadu  introduced the duo and highlighted the importance of crafts being maintained across different mediums.  The KTAA group had great questions and shared their commitment for how knowledge is transpired through crafts and people across time and place creating a rich language of symbolism and cultural literacy.

Photo by Leann Abdulraheem

In addition, S. Altaf announced a unique collaboration between Bayt Al Sadu and LB o J'zazz as we will be creating an exclusive line that celebrates, interprets traditional Sadu Weaving and is combined through beadwork and embellishments.  This line will be available through Bayt Al Sadu Gift Shop and Kuwait Airport in addition to other select locations.  More details of this exciting project will be coming your way.  The evening was engaging and both Bettina and I enjoyed sharing our stories and passion for beads and would like to thank S. Altaf Salem Al Ali Al Sabah for her initiatives and support, the wonderful powerhouse ladies of the KTAA and the amazing Sadu Weavers who started it all.