Some gifts stay with you forever.

I finally got to finish setting up Eli’s Nursery the way I wanted it, when I found an old gift that warmed my heart. First  a little introduction to the history of this gift. When I was 14 years old, I decided that I have to grow up and be a better person. I turned to the greatest role model I could find back then, Winnie the Pooh. I would read the books thoroughly, embracing Pooh’s casual outlook on life and learning how to handle myself more gracefully in this world. By the time I was 16, my love to pooh was shared with my close friends. One of these friends (A very dear one until this day indeed), made a beautiful gift for my sweet 16. She drew the map of a 100 acres forest (This was 1996, and colored printers were not very common), and framed it. I remember how surprised I was to receive this gift. My friend obviously dedicated time and thought in making this gift for me, and it has been very dear to me for me ever since. Another nice touch was that she wrote the birthday wishes on the back (Which means I can still read them to this day).

This photo was hung in my room and in every apartment I lived in ever since, and today it is proudly displayed in Eli’s nursery.

Some gifts, just stay with you forever…

Pooh

Valentines day is a wonderful days for all you single lovers out there. But when you are parents it’s really hard to get around grand gestures of love. Here is a neat little DIY project I managed to create between work and diaper changing.

You’ll need:

1. a cross stitching hoop

2. piece of fabric

3. cross stitch pattern (I used this one)

4. pen

5. needle

6. Embroidery thread

 

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DIY cross stich heart

 

 

Place your fabric securely inside the wooden hoop.

Place over the cross stitch pattern and trace the stitches with a pen (be sure to use a light color that won’t show on the other side).

Stitch along the pattern of the heart.

Remove the excess fabric with scissors.

Give to your Valentine.

Happy Valentines Day!

 

 

 

 

Whenever a friend of mine needed a little vote of confidence, (you know, before an interview, audition, test, etc)…I would say:

“You can do anything!All you have to do is try,try and then you’ll make it”.

After they would get the Job, gig, etc… I would say:

“I told you so and now you owe me a Shnekel  (The two New Israeli Shekel coin equivalent to 50 cents)”.

For some reason this almost always worked and so, any friend who was facing a new beginning, came to me for a  sort of “Shnekel  blessing”.

One of the first gifts I posted about in this blog was a travel booklet that I gave to my friend who decided to follow her dream and needed to travel in order to pursue it. Traditionally, I told her that she will find what she needs in order to pursue her dream and that when she does she will owe me a Shnekel. I finally got to see this friend whom I haven’t seen in a very long time. We were catching up and I was telling her that I’m opening my own interior design studio and that I’m totally freaking out about it… When all of a sudden she said:

” I have to give you something”.

 

 

scheduled-gift

 

She started by apologizing since she had this gift made long ago and didn’t get the chance to give it to me. Since the trip really put her on track with her dream, she “owed me a Shnekel”.

I was so moved to get this, she most thoughtfully framed a Shnekel with the Shel Silverstein’s poem, “Listen to the mustn’t, child”.

You can immediately tell that she put a lot of thought into this gift. The gift tag, the wrapping and finally the gift itself, were all well thought and beautiful.

The funny thing was that she felt so bad for not giving me the gift before, she didn’t realize that she gave it to me when I needed it most.

 

 

I can’t believe that this is my 100th post! I was saving one of my DIY projects just for such a joyful occasion, though I must admit that I almost didn’t notice that I hit 100 posts. It was a real surprise realizing that I did,I guess it’s kind of like forgetting that it’s your birthday.

So here it is a special DIY project that I call: Our friendship in a nutshell.

There are several reasons that this post is very dear to me. First, it was a gift to my oldest and dear dear friend. Second, I came up with this sweet idea all by my little self. Third, I wasn’t sure I’ll be able to actually make this gift, so you can imagine how excited I was to see that it came out real nice.

The idea is based on the phrase “In a nutshell” which refers to describing something using as few words as possible. The idea came to me when I saw walnut perfectly broken into two shells. I thought to myself that it could be used as a little box to contain a secret message. And then it hit me! It would be such a cute gift to write down a summery of the relationship, pointing out special occasions, shared phrases and long lost memories, using a nutshell as the box. Hence, “Our Friendship in a Nutshell”.

Once I thought of the idea it was obvious which friend is going to receive it, my oldest friend. Going back almost a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about a gift I received from my oldest friend, using a shared phrase that became sort of legendary phrase among our friends: Tuna Fish Need Love. I think that the “friendship in a nutshell” gift is similar in concept to the book she made me, since both gifts are like a time capsule of memories. It was so much fun trying to remember all the silly things we did together.(Initially I thought about using pictures but then I realized that they would come out too small and probably won’t fit in the nutshell).

 

 

This is a quite simple DIY project. Follow these few simple steps:

Step 1: Break a walnut into two pieces

Step 2: Coat it with a color of your choice. I used gold leafs, but I think that a simple acrylic color would be just as good.

step 3: This is the tricky part. I wanted to be able to open and close the nutshell. At first I though about using a hinge, but that was too small. So I took a piece of ribbon and glued it to the inner side of one of the shells. This way I was able to tie the two pieces together in order to open and close the nutshell.

Step 4: Print out a small note with the friendship description and in a separate thin piece of paper the phrase “our friendship in a nutshell”. Roll the note up like a little scroll and use another string of paper, to keep the note rolled. I simply glued one end to the other, making enough room to slip the scroll in.

Step 5: Place the note inside the nutshell, allowing the thin paper with the phrase to stick out. Tie the ribbon in a pretty bow and there you have it! Your friendship in a nutshell.

Step 6: Hide the nut in a bag full of nuts and give to your friend.

 

I made this for a close friend but this really is a wonderful anniversary gift for your husband/wife, niece/nephew, Parent, teacher or anyone sharing a long history that can be described in a nutshell. Since it’s small, you can give it as a keepsake for a traveling loved one. It is a great gift for the end of the year or a new beginning.

Most importantly it is real easy to make and although it’s cheep and easy to make, it’s actually priceless.

 

 

The holidays are coming and gift idea’s and advise are becoming a real necessity. As a new mother I think I became more critical of children toys. I find myself asking what is the educational value of the toys I receive and as a designer I really want a toy to develop my child’s creativity skills. My boy is far too young to enjoy any of these toys, but here are my top 5 choices for the creative soul.

1. When my boy grows older my husband and I really want him to be the kid wearing a cape. Whenever we see a child with a cape we imagine are baby boy growing to be a creative little boy with superpowers (He already has a secret power, he melts other peoples hearts). I hope he inherits my creativity, and if he does, this DIY Superhero cape will be on his gift list. I love this gift not only because it would inspire your little one to get creative, but also since after the DIY activity is over, this cape will be perfect for dress up games, keeping that imagination running.

2. My not so secret dream is to learn how to sew. I know that one day I would learn how to do it, but until then I will sulk for not starting at a young age. If you have a creative little girl who dreams of becoming a fashion designer, get her a sewing machine. I really know nothing about sewing machines so I looked at a sewing forum, where everyone recommended buying a real machine. I did find a recommendation for this cute Hello kitty machine at the following blog: Sew Store-Bought .

3. I can’t begin to explain how much I love this Any-mal Set by Notoys.  The set contains one table/bench and two stools that are painted in chalkboard. Your child can build a castle, a train tunnel, a cat face, a pirate ship or any other image of his hearts desire. All S/he has to do is draw and play. My kid will have this set even if I have to build my own.

4. When I was a girl I collected Barbie dolls I even had a Barbie  Ferrari, but I never had a Barbie doll house, and I always dreamed of a home for my barbies. I don’t know if this home I found at Etsy can fit 12 Barbies,but it would be a lot of fun to assemble and decorate. I love the idea of a blank house that you can design by yourself, this is probably the reason I became an interior designer.

5. You should understand by now that I approve of spatial toys that create a creative environment and enhances imagination. When I was little we used to build playhouses on trees and play make-believe  but today there are endless possibilities for creating such environments. This cardboard construction set is yet another example for a toy that requires assembly skills and would keep your child occupied with his or hers imagination.

I would like to note that even though some toys seem like they are for boys and others are more likely to fit girls, I would most definitely consider a girl super-heroine or a boy fashion designer. I was always playing with the boys and grew up to be a girly girl adult with some boyish skills. So break the gender patterns and give those kids something to think about…

 

Hi everyone! Today is a quick post with some great freebies!

Iv’e been meaning to post all week but we are all taking turns being sick. Nevertheless, Iv’e been working on some gift tags for you to print out.

You may download the printing file at the link: Gift tagz

I want to thank all of my lovely readers out there… keep those lovely comments coming in!

Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My printer is broken! I really wanted to print out some cool Halloween labels for this DIY Beginners witch kit, but I had to manage without it. However, if you have a working printer, you would be able to find cool Printable labels at Squidoo, and make your own version of this kit.

What you’ll need:

1. Glass tubes.

2. A variety of Halloween treats. I used chocolate googly eyes (Eye of Newt), Gummy worms (Fresh Worms), plastic spiders (Live Spiders) and chocolate milk powder (Graveyard Dust)… However, be creative and I’m sure you’ll find some wonderful ingredients for your kit.

3. A box to wrap it up with some fun Halloween favors that won’t necessarily go inside the tubes.

4. Labels (See link above).

5. Fake spider’s web for decoration.

Put the candy in the tubes and attach the right label, insert the tubes into the box, adding some Halloween favors and decorate with a touch of spider web.

 

A special thanks to my dad and auntie who went to a Halloween store in the states and brought me all these goodies back to Israel.

When Eli was born, one of my friends asked me what would I want as a gift for him. I asked for some colorful bunting for his room, since she knows how to sew. You know how it goes… She got busy, I didn’t pick the fabric and in the end she started feeling very uncomfortable about it, thinking that I was disappointed of her. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth. Why would I be disappointed in a wonderful friend who wanted to make a custom made gift for me??? This is one of the problems I find that a lot of people have with gifts. They fear that one wouldn’t like the gift, or that if they are giving it a long time after the celebration day, that the gift would somehow won’t worth as much as it would if presented on time. In my opinion this is really ridicules! I don’t want people to give me things for the sake of giving. And I don’t want people to be concerned about what they got me or when they gave it to me. There is no expiration date on gift giving and there shouldn’t be. The funny thing is that I still haven’t gave her, her birthday gift since June… I want to make her something special, but I need to find time to do it properly, but that’s a whole other post, and so is this one…

 

Getting to my point…. I saw a great circus animals craft project by Flamingo Toes and posted about it on Facebook. I received a message from my friend suggesting we get together and make a mobile for Eli, so we scheduled for the next day and had a great morning crafting together. I loved the outcome so much I told my friend that this should be the gift to Eli from her. After all this is more than a gift, it is a wonderful memory.

In the end, the animals came out so cute, I don’t want to “waste” them on a mobile Eli will grow out of… I think I’ll either frame them or use them as box toppers… In any case, I love them!

I have many pending articles I want to post, different gifts ideas I came across throughout the years, some are over 15 years old. Sometimes, I run into a cool idea, I take a photo on my iPhone and forget about it. This is one of these forgotten ideas I took a picture of.

 

 

I was at a beautiful wedding and when it was time for the bouquet to be tossed, the bride came out with a basket filled with flowers and asked all the single ladies to gather around. She then gave each bachelorette a  silk flower with a little personal message wishing each girl to find her prince charming… A most lovely idea, easy to make and a beautiful wedding favor.

My nephew just turned eight and I wanted to be the cool aunt with the cool gift. I knew he was into spiderman but I wasn’t sure if He didn’t grow out of it… So I asked him which superhero he loves best and he said: “you know I love spiderman (duh!) since I love to climb on stuff”. I figured he is old enough to read so I got him some Spiderman comic books.

 

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I wanted to do something more so I used my crafting skills. I bought plain wooden letters (Spelling his name in Hebrew) and wrapped them in spiderman comic paper. Then I put them in a box and warped it with the same paper. You don’t have to do the whole name… The Initials are sufficient… I just felt extra crafty, so I did the whole thing. Yesterday I came to his house and helped him hang the letters on his bedroom door! He wanted to do it himself, so they turned out a little crooked. I think it’s cuter this way… And he was very excited about hanging them by himself.

My mother got him Spiderman Bedding’s which was also a big hit cuz now his room had a quick Spiderman makeover.

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