Thursday, July 12, 2012

AlZamil Arts and Crafts Stores

AlZamil or Al Zamil Arts and Crafts Store
P.O. Box 217
Al-Khobar 31952, Saudi Arabia
Tel: 03-8983232
Fax: 03-8649190

Location: It is to the right of the Arab National Bank when facing your back to the Cournish St.  Take the street to the right of the bank and it's on the right.  It is very easy to pass it without knowing you did.  Behind the building is a little bit of parking.

What they sell:
fabric (3rd floor)-quilting, lace, burlap, cotton, lace, felt, natural leather, synthetic leather, cross stitch material, interfacing, etc.

notions-basic things to get the job done but not much more
thread-DMC thread and floss, thread from USA (Coats & Clark), France (DMC), India, China, cotton, polyester
styrofoam-anything can be made by their machines, any size, any form, any function
crochet and knitting materials-needles, yarn
wood plaques and other forms
paint-ceramic, glass, acrylic, oil, etc.
tissue paper, wrapping paper, ribbon, tassels, rick rack
educational materials, posterboard
and so much more

Comment if you have anything to add!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sewing Machines in Riyadh

In my hunt for sewing machines, I have found a few places with a few brands.  Granted they are older models and probably double the original price, at least I can buy one here.  They are very basic with 17 or so stitches but at this point that is all I need.  Anybody know of any other places?  These are what I have found so far:

LuLu in Riyadh Avenue Mall has had the largest selection so far (which isn't saying much).  They carry about 8 models of Singer and Brother.  They range from about 500 to 850 Riyals.

Saco near IKEA has 2 models of Singer and one or two of Brother.  They are about 300 (maybe 400??) and 700 Riyals.

Carrefour in Granada Mall has a few, I don't remember.  I was sad to see the poor selection and just turned away!

I have heard that you can find machines in local markets.

In the end, I will bring my New Home machine from my old home.  *snort*  Until then, I will get one of these.

Now on the search for thread.  I don't know which is harder!!!!

If only the Riyadh Quilting Guild was in session!!!  I need help!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jarir Bookstores-a gem!

My husband had mentioned to me a lil somethin about a bookstore.  Now I'm one for a great bookstore but I was taken aback by what this store had to offer.  Imagine Michael's, Best Buy and Barnes and Noble in one stop shop but with less selection.  Oh, and with Arabic books and media.  This is Jarir Bookstore.

I have been to only one in Riyadh but I'm assuming they'd all carry the same items with slight variation.  I enjoyed looking through their craft section and English books.  I expected cheap merchandise, from China you know.  But they had brand names, Faber-Castell and the well-known paints and paper.  They had Disney movies and plenty of Shaun the Sheep.  I brought many educational books with me for my son but found them in Jarir!

Oh, and they had Nicholas Sparks books!

Even the Twilight series!

This is not the Saudi Arabia I heard of where everything is censored and covered up with pages torn out of the books or black lines throughout the pages.  Oh no!  This was authentic stuff!  Let me tell you, I am a fan and LOVE Jarir Bookstores :-)

I just might go on a mission and visit each one in Riyadh!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vibram Five Fingers in Riyadh

Ohhhhhh......the comfort, the snuggly feeling of the gloved feet.  To walk in them is divine.

When I was in Blacksburg, they illicited questions, remarks, comments, gasps even.  Conversation starters, I'd say.  I accepted them and engaged in advertising the product without intending to.  They are quite comfortable shoes, I'd buy a few more pairs.  I'd walk on and find more people gasping and asking if they are comfortable.  They are, indeed.  Children would freak out and wonder why my feet look like that.  I loved it even though every comment or question would take me off guard.  They are just that comfortable that I forget I'm wearing them, they are invisible to the touch, I'd say.

Coming to Riyadh, boy, nobody says a word.  As far as I can tell.  But I do get the looks.  Men and women, alike.  But more from the women.  Yes, even through the niqab, I can see their looks.  The crease between the eyes, the crease of the forehead, the wide-eyed.  The head following my shoes.

"She's not wearing shoes!  What?!?!?  Those are shoes!  What a freak!  She must be American.  Those are some ugly shoes!"  That's what I think they say to themselves or remark to their shopping buddy.

I love it!  I love to see the shock!  Yes, my shoes are ugly but oh so comfortable.  You should try them I say!  Has Vibram Five Fingers hit Riyadh shoe stores?  Not from what I've seen.  But they have hit Riyadh!  

Friday, June 8, 2012


Waiting, waiting waiting.........

I should be used to this by now, after having waited so many years for various things "to happen."  It is quite an illusion to think in terms of waiting.  Isn't that what we're doing our whole life?

Some random things on my mind these days:

1.  Fox News is like a used car salesman.  With greasy slicked back hair and a perverted look on his face.
2.  I am finding myself responding to situations like a certain person who is close to me.  Not quite sure where that came from.  Possibly I agree with the methods used?
3.  I thought Blacksburg was a small town but I've been proven wrong.  Especially when this town I'm staying in shares the police station with the library.  In the same building.  Using the same sign.  For real.
4.  I have never felt so disorganized or disoriented in my whole life.  Moving sure does make things chaotic.  Or maybe I forgot what it feels like to move, it has been 10 years.

Sigh.  All things come in their own time.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Moving from Blacksburg

Moving from Blacksburg soon.  I've been here for 13 years and I've built my life and my family in this small college town.  I've come to believe I was a local but in reality I was a person stuck in waiting.

Blacksburg is a place where you meet new people and say goodbye to them as well....if you stay long enough.  Over the years, I've had some tear-me-apart goodbyes, feeling like Blacksburg will never be the same.  And yet, years later, it's the same.  I've been the one left behind and I know what it feels to say goodbye to your best friend.

Now, I'm the one on the other side of coin or track.  It's a different experience, a new one, which has had it's bits of surprises.  Sometimes, a feeling or a realization hits me in the face and I fall apart.  I will miss Blacksburg in the summer, I will miss my son's school and I will miss the organizations I'm involved with.  I will miss so much about this place, many of which I've complained about for years.  I will miss the green.

Drawing a close to 10 years of our marriage here, giving out prized possessions, wedding gifts, seeing how much we've changed over the's sad to see these things go and yet I look forward to a new beginning with new bed linens, new towels, new houseclothes, new shoes and best of all, new furniture.

Now, as the person who is leaving, to experience this new part of life, I've had to step back and remember what it was like when my best friend left.  Now, my friends are having that feeling.  I have to be more sensitive towards what they are feeling to support them and I realize how hard that is.  To add that to having to empty a house, pack and yet still be a single mother (my husband has already made the move ahead of us), it's tough to transition to those feelings.  I want my friends to know that I love them and these friendships are for life, technology now makes it possible.

So in all the chaos of moving and school, bittersweet kisses to all.  I'll see you in a year.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Geometric Pillows with Invisible Zipper

One of my favorite projects thus far:  simple yet sophisticated red geometric pillows, with an invisible zipper.  So simple, yet really makes the room pop!  I made 3 pillows, each 18 inch square.