Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ozden Gulen - Meet An Artist

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The last Meet An Artist of this year is one who introduced the world of Decoupage to me way back sometime in 2009-2010 and who has been inspiring me all the way since then. I got to know about this technique or genre from her when I was in Dubai. Her florals, her Turkish designs and English country pictures have been an immense hit and they imbue elegance and softness about it. Petite and elegant herself, she always wears a smile. My greatest desire is to learn decoupage from her and I had once made an attempt before I left Dubai but the distance between our places of stay took the toll on my desire. As they say, "Last but not the Least..." I am presenting Ozden Gulen; a name that is synonymous with decoupage in Dubai and her classes much sought after.

Ozden Gulen

Deepa: To begin with, tell us something about yourself…your family, background, education etc.
Ozden: I was born in Bursa - Turkey. I studied Business Administration at Istanbul University (B.Sc.) & English Language at Churchill House School of English Language, England..  I worked ten years as a Sales Manager, Product Manager and Assistant of GM in the automotive and the textile industry in Turkey. I’m a mum of two daughters; they are studying at the university.


Deepa: When did your creative urge begin? Tell us something about your recollection of how you began art?
Ozden: Actually I used to paint with oil colours and pastels in my high school and university as hobby, but with the busy life and professional career I did not to get the chance for any kind of art.  In 2001, right after moving to Northern Cyprus, I decided to stop working and to go back to my first interest, which was arts & crafts.    I studied hand build pottery and Creative & Decorative painting at the GML Art Institute (2001- 2003) and got the trainer certificate. Since then I've been running workshops as a freelancer.


Deepa: You are the artist who first triggered the spark of such a genre in me…decoupage…unique and different from what I had seen until then… I remember how I drooled over your works and I was lucky enough to see a few in person in Dubai Ladies Club (once when I visited) Why decoupage? What is it that fascinated you? Do you indulge in other genres too? If so, which one(s)?
Ozden: When I was in Turkey, I used to visit art markets. One day I discovered a very old lady, who was making beautiful wooden objects by decoupage. I had a chat with her and I got impressed that she was doing in a very nice way with perfect finishes and lots of passion. I started searching about decoupage and discovered that it is very famous in China and Europe. I have seen many samples that very famous artists also used decoupage on their artworks like Picasso and also I realized that I can use this technique to decorate my interiors and all around the house as well. It was a best idea to create our own life style by our hand.



Deepa: You take weekend and other classes in several places in Dubai. What is your regular job? How do you balance both your art and job?
Ozden: Currently, I have been working at Meydan Group/Project Department (www.meydan.ae) as an Executive Assistant since January 2010 and also  I still conduct evening art classes  and weekend workshops at Sharjah Ladies Club Art Center and DIAC- Dubai International Art Center. Additionally I have private classes as well. 


Deepa: I think you are inclined towards literature as well. I have often seen what looks like poetry in your FB profile…are you a poet too? Who is your favourite author? Does your interest in literature help you in your creative pursuits?
Ozden: Actually, I love books and reading. In my hometown, I have nice library with over 1,000 books. I have been collecting them from my childhood. Also I have a small library here in my house with almost 300 books. I like novels, stories, biographies, physiological books, poems and of course all classics.  I‘m writing regularly on the columns in a couple of Turkish internet newsletters. I have a blog for short stories. Regarding with art, I prepared a book for Decoupage and creative painting techniques in English, includes all technic information, materials, pictures and sample projects.  


Deepa: Turkey is one of the beautiful places and Istanbul is on my bucket list J How has Istanbul shaped you in turning and churning your creative spirit?
Ozden: When you are in Istanbul you can see yourself that this is a city for art. Each corner of the city has beautiful very unique art pieces, history, and colour. We call Istanbul as the city of love…and you would fall in love with Istanbul because the city catches your heart with a very deep feeling. If you visit Bospohurse, you would like to paint on canvas, if you visit the mosque you would like to write calligraphy, If you visit the markets you would be impressed by the hand crafting, if you just go to the grand bazaar you would love to make jewellery. At the end of the day, you cannot even breathe without art.


Deepa: Has Dubai risen to the status of your second home?  Yet, there must be times when you miss your home (land) especially during troubled times? How does it affect you (if it does)?
Ozden: Of course I love my homeland and would like to be over there, Alhamdulillah I can travel couple of times per year to visit all family members and loved places.


Deepa: What are your other interests? Do you get enough time to indulge in them as well? (Eg: do you love cooking as well? Are you creative in that too? )
Ozden: Actually I do not have lots of spare time, but if I have I like cooking and travelling. I’m really good at cooking with mum’s recipes J If anyone likes Turkish traditional cuisine, they are most welcome.


Deepa: I have seen that many of the residents in U.A.E are huge Bollywood fans? Do you watch Hindi movies? Any favourite actor/actress? Which is your favourite Hindi movie (if any)?
Ozden: My daughters love Bollywood & Hindi movies. They made me watch as well. I really like Aamir Khan and all his movies.

Deepa: You are a member of various prestigious groups/organizations in the U.A.E. How has the association helped to shape you as an artist?
Ozden: Yes, they encourage me and all other friends to explore our skills, discover new techniques and exhibit our artworks online or on the market to get feedback as well.



Deepa: You have exhibited in innumerable places. Any memorable incident that you would like to share with us?
Ozden: Actually, exhibiting my artworks and meeting others is a perfect experience. I remember once a lady came over and told me that she had got, as a gift,  one of my decoupaged watering cans three years back and she still uses it and loves it. She had come to find me to order another can as well.

Deepa: Any valuable tip/technique that you would like to share with the readers?
Ozden: Using the right glue and varnish is the most important issue for decoupage. Please get always good quality ones for the final finish and have long life objects…


 Deepa: Is there any dream project that you would like to work on?

 Ozden: Yes, it will be in my hometown. I will paint my own furniture for home.


Deepa: Where can my readers find you? Your website address, blog, Facebook page, email address etc that you would like to share.
Ozden: Email address: ozdencicek@yahoo.com


Thank you Ozden... it was fun having you here and sharing your life, interests and experiences. Thanks a lot! Wishing you success in fulfilling all your dreams, aspirations and endeavours. 

Note: These pictures aren't doing full justice to what it is. They are much more fabulous in person!!!

Lovely Readers, hope you enjoyed reading about her. Thank you for your time and visits... please do leave your feedback...highly appreciated :)

This is it 2014! See you in the New Year...a brand new beginning - 2015!!! Hope it would be a Better year :)

PS: All the images are copyright of Ozeden Gulen. Please seek permission before using it. Thanks!

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the author.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Match Box/Stick Ornament - Christmas Fun

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

How many of you collect used match box and match-sticks???
Some of us artsy crafty types do...Agree?
In fact, we hoard so many so-called "useless" stuff :)
I came up with an idea for a small workshop last Saturday particularly for Christmas and the kids totally loved it :) This week there are two DIY's in here.

I couldn't publish this post on Friday as usual and as I expected...extremely sorry for that. For the very first time, I am sharing my art class photos here. I don't usually do that...Even when I was taking classes in Dubai I hadn't done that. But I think kids would love it too to see themselves presented in my blog. So here they are...they are a small class, I started it a couple of months back in my hometown. 

If you haven't seen my first  and second DIY of this Christmas season, you should hop over HERE & HERE.

Thanks to Sigga, Poornima and Angela for linking it up with their cool Xmasy crafts :)

You can find the materials needed and the procedures in the picture tutorial below.

The First DIY





matchboxornament- step4-HuesnShades


Make a hole and insert the metal wire and twist it both the sides so that it would form a loop and won't come out.


The second DIY is with used match sticks...and it's super easy imitation of a snowflake!





matchstickornament- step4-HuesnShades


You could even embellish the edges with white stones to give it a dazzle and shine. 

Here are my lovely kidos holding their priced possessions :)



Click on the images to view it large

Hope you enjoyed these DIY's. Please do let me know your thoughts, would love to hear from you :)

If you have a blog post on a  Christmas DIY, decor idea, makeovers, Christmas recipes or anything related to Christmas you can add your link HERE

Please do mention #HuesnShadesXmasDIY and link it back to the particular blog post/URL. 

Let us enjoy our artsy time, create and collaborate...

Linking it to Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Firday. Do join us there and be amazed all the wonderful happenings over there :)

And one final pleasant news...My blog is the Featured Blog of the Day in Blogadda...Yay!!!

Thank you Blogadda!

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the author.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Zing With Bling - Christmas DIY

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Today's DIY is super easy...what you need for it is a spoiled art on canvas!!! The one I have used is a few years old painting which I never completed. I wasn't really happy about it and had tucked it away for so long that I even forgot that this frame existed (that's a bit of an exaggeration though!) but seriously I wanted to do something with it. So thought of giving it a makeover this Christmas.

The name that came instantly to my mind after completing the project was 'Zing with Bling'...it rhymes ok but what I wish you to grasp is the lively feel of it with all the gold and silver :) 

Before going into the details, let me thank everyone who took the time to visit and leave beautiful comments of inspiration (particularly Natalie who inspired to do the previous DIY), to those who liked in FB and to all those shares too :) Isn't festivities so heart-warming!!! Thank you my dear friends for all the love and support.

I have introduced linky for the very first time in the previous post with the thought of collecting/collaborating/treasuring all the delectable DIYs of this season. I would encourage and request everyone to please link it up HERE. Thank you Disha for being the first to link :)

So now, get your supplies ready.

Materials Required

*Acrylic Paints 
Insulation tape
Cream, Gold and Silver paints

*If you wish to paint it with various colours as you please to make a colorful background.


This is a gallery wrapped canvas, ready to hang one that I bought from Dubai. I miss these canvas as I haven't seen them in the art shops here. What you can do is either you can take an old art that you were pondering to do a makeover with or take a blank canvas and apply multicolored paints hap haphazardly as you please all over. Remember to use multicolors! Let it dry completely.


Cut the tapes according to your wish and stick it as per you want them to be. I just went by my instincts. I didn't measure them, it wasn't pre-planned...I just went on with what I felt will look good.


This is it looked after completely sticking the tapes.


 Now, apply a cream colored, white or off-white  paint all over the canvas with broad, flat brush. Let dry thoroughly.


Apply gold paint on top of it, again all over it except for the sides of the canvas. Let dry.


Time to apply silver on the sides. The sides of the canvas are broader and I love it. It gives a projection to the canvas and your art will pop up :)


To give it a little more 'oomph' I decided to add a thin layer/wash of gold on the strips in between. Let dry and then peel of the tapes carefully.


A view from the side!


Here's how it looks!!! It looks better than this in person :)

Click on the images to view it large.

If you haven't seen my first DIY of this Christmas season, you should hop over HERE

If you have a blog post on a  Christmas DIY, decor idea, makeovers, Christmas recipes or anything related to Christmas you can add your link HERE. Please do mention #HuesnShadesXmasDIY and link it back to the particular blog post/URL. 

Let us enjoy our arty time, create and collaborate...

Please do let me know your thoughts, would love to hear more from you :)

Linking it to Eva & Kristin's Paint Party Firday. Do join us there and be amazed all the wonderful happenings over there :)

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the author.

Friday, December 5, 2014

DIY - Notepad (Christmas Fun)

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Festivities are once again around the corner and many would have started wondering what to gift to their loved ones. Why not try something hand-made this season???

Yes! Make something with a little time and lot of love...hand over these goodies in dazzling wraps, surprise and exchange hugs and kisses :)

I have prepared a small DIY for notepads and this is from Cremedelacraft.com
They have made some AWESOME notepads and I have tried my version here with whatever I had at hand. I had limited supplies and I think we can make the best use of what we have!
Love Upcycling??? Then this is just perfect for you :)

The materials you need are impossibly available in every home except for brads.

Materials Needed:
Ready-to-cast-away boxes (Eg: horlicks box, cornflakes box etc...I have used paint tubes box here)
Pattern papers (even colorful newspapers can be used)
Embroidery threads (cotton twines are fine too)
Ruled/Unruled  papers
Needle (to pin a hole)
Doilies and Borderlace (optional)

If you have paper cutters then cutting would be neat and the notepads would turn out to be even better. I used my scissors here.




Notepad-Step2 HuesnShades





Please do let me know your thoughts. Would love to hear from you. There's more coming up this December so stay tuned to the celebrations :)

Linking to Eva & Kristin's PPF.

Enjoy your arty time, create and collaborate...Mention #HuesnShadesXmasDIY with a link to this particular blogpost in your Xmas post :)

You can also add your Xmas DIYs, Decor ideas and Xmas fun stuff below... You just need to click on the linky and enter the required details. So join the fun and we can go ahead with a bloghop :)

Please do not use/reproduce the content (words as well as images) without the written consent of the author.