“I was born in a factory and nursed on machine oil”

These were the words used by designer Efrat Fridenzon at a lecture she gave about her “Precision-decision” collection. Efrat “grew up” at an industrial  factory that is commonly used for production of mechanical assemblies and instruments. The collection is inspired by the world of precision using measurement tools and targets as key elements in the design. There is a fine line travelling between the physical and spiritual world, which is evident throughout the collection.

 

EFH

Aimé pendent

 

The notion of love is physically represented in a target pendent engraved with the word Aimé (Similar to aim, “beloved” in french). The target is you and you wish that cupid hits his arrow to your heart, you wish to love and be loved.

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The “Hidden Direction”

 

A series of capsule like pendants which open to reveal a compass and a level. In the real world, the compass points to a direction while the level finds balance. Here the interpretation shifts from the physical world and finds a more spiritual definition: A guide for internal balance.

 

I love this collection since it is simple, meaningful and unisex. My favorite item is the “Hidden Direction capsule” I think it’s a lovely talisman and could work as a great gift for graduation, new beginnings or for someone who is traveling.

Efrat’s jewelry can be found at stores around the world

 

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

I truly believe in positive thinking. I think it is a great way to achieve the goals in your life, big or small. In the gifting world, wishlists are a great way to turn your dreams into reality. How does it work? All you have to do is  make your wishlist known to the world.

My friend was thinking positively. She posted several times on her Facebook wall, that she would love to get a Cinderella Dress  for her upcoming birthday. Seeing an opportunity to make a wish come true, I arranged a few friends and we got the gift together. It wasn’t simple since the dress that we saw in the store wasn’t the deluxe version presented online. I didn’t want to settle for second best, therefore, I found the dress on Amazon. Unfortunately, shipping to Israel wan’t available. I wasn’t ready to give up and I kept thinking that I can find the exact dress my friend wanted. Luckily, my dad was visiting my grandmother in the states. I shipped the dress there, and he was able to bring it back with him just in time for the birthday party.

 

A dream is a wish your heart makes

Photograph: Eitan Ben-Haim

This is an excellent example for how positive thinking works. I could have said: “It won’t work”, “It’s too hard”, “I’m never gonna get it”, etc…. But I kept thinking positively and so was my friend. Together, we managed to make this dream of hers come true, Simply by the power of positive thinking.

Look how beautiful she looks in it, a real princess indeed!

 

 

 

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’ve been meaning to post an article about the “experience gift” for over a year, since I love the idea of giving an activity as a gift. Some of you may remember the sky gliding gift or the Photo session gift, since I blogged about them. However, today I want to talk about the “experience gifts” I didn’t write about, the ones that striked out.

 
Experiance Gifts

 

 

I had a great gift idea for some of my more creative friends, a certificate for a craft class of some sort or another. I thought I had it all planned out: I arranged for a certificate with the art studio, made sure it was geographically close to the receiver, paid in advance for the class and gave the certificate as a gift. What I failed to understand is human nature to postponed unpleasant tasks such as calling to scheduled an appointment (Which always feels kind of awkward). This is what happened to the friends who received a gift certificate for a class or a dinner from me. They were really excited about the gift, but never fully redeemed it. Thinking about it, I  myself, received a dinner certificate more than six months ago, and I still haven’t used it. I was trying to understand why this came to be and I think I got it figured out. I would like to share with you some tips that would help you to successfully give an “experience gift”. I believe these tips would make the difference between a certificate sitting in a drawer and an unforgettable experience.

Tip number 1: Know your friend

Who is your friend? What kind of person is s/he? well organized? Has a lot of time? Social or independent? Bottom line, If you give this person a certificate would it sit in a drawer with all the other piles of things to do or will that person put it to use. Let me tell you that most people, including myself, would probably forget about it until it’s to late, even if it’s the most amazing experience on the face of the earth. This is just the way people are. Don’t give a certificate unless you are absolutely positive that this person would use it.

Tip number 2: Set a time and place

Setting a time and place is very important. Once a person is invited to a specific time and place, he is more likely to arrive, as apposed to an open invitation that he may or may not choose to take.

Tip number 3: Make an event out of it

Planning the gift as an event is the best way to make sure the gift is fulfilled. You can invite a few friends, or have a privet birthday “date”. By planning an event or meeting you are making it very hard for the person not to come. This is the reason why the sky gliding and photo session worked, they planed as events, and sharing the experience with my friends was just an added bonus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always thought that men are impossible to buy for, but lately I find that there are more and more cool gifts out there for the fine gentleman.

Here is a roundup of some of my favorites gifts for men:

 

1. Not sure what to get? Money is always a good gift, but you really want to see your money put into something rather than spent on everyday groceries. The bomb shaped Money box designed by Yegor Zhgun, is a way to give someone a head start to something they want. All your recipient has to do is write down the purpose of the savings and drop the bomb once the bank is full.

2. A custom made Inspector stamp is a great little gift for the man who wants to leave a mark in this world.

3. A great gift for the guy with a desk is a Memo Globe. He’ll never have to look for a piece of paper again.

4. The Key Bottle Opener is a necessary item for any guy who like to have a cold beer with his friends on a regular basis.

5. I find that mugs are a great gift. I always like to fill them up with some candy, I think it adds a nice touch.If your man is crazy about Mad Men, this Mad Men Mug  would be perfect for him.

7. Just because I like it - Elephant Box.

6. My guy keeps looking at different bags. First he needed one for his laptop, but now he wants one for his I-Pad. I think he’d like this Messenger bag , right Hon?

8. It’s weird how all our photos are digital, I almost never print them out anymore. For the guy who loves to take photo’s a Polaroid camera.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been wanting to start an animal category for some time now… I sort of did an animal bit on Shark Week, and I did do a Fantastic Mr Fox article… But I think I want to start a regular  theme such as color code, dedicated to all you animal lovers. I know I already had a fox article, but I know that there are lots of fox lovers out there in desperate need of a foxy gift. OK OK you got me… I’m the fox freak! But I’m also obsessed with deer so that just might be my next animal article. I searched the web and gathered my top ten foxy gifts. In case you were wondering, 9 and 10 are my personal favorites,what can I say? I’m a girl, I love shoes…

 

 

After we established that the gift recipient loves foxes… all that is left is to match the gift to the occasion…

1.  A lovely home decor piece such as this Artwork Plate with a vintage fox illustration, is great as a house warming gift.

2. Did someone get a new job? This cute little Tail Me More Mug is a sweet conversational piece and therefore is great for the office…

3. When thinking of a house warming gift we tend to neglect the outside…Be original with this little Garden Figurine will make a great addition between some garden gnomes.

4. Have a house warming and you want something for the kids room? A lovely Fox Pillow  will work for both genders…

5.Need a stylish gift for a stylish gal? Fox Earrings,For the eternal Fashionista.

6. I love this Fox T for a foxy little boy. It’s a lovely design, I wish it would come in Medium for my man… Then he and my little one can match T’s…

7. A Fox Blouse to go with the lovely Earrings at No 5.

8. Fox iPhone Case for any occasion.

And last but not least…For me… No 9. & No 10. Fox Boots Fox Ballet Flats, Size 6.5 please…

I’ve been meaning to write another color code post ever since I posted the black and white one. The problem is, there are so many colors, I didn’t know which one to pick (Choices, choices). Then I recalled that at my last shopping spree, after going through all the stuff I got, I realized that I bought mostly blue clothes with gold accessories (isn’t that weird?). SO, why not? Let art imitate life… I’ve decided on Royal blue and gold, a very lively combination that would work for the elegant, yet colorful person. When I started browsing for items, I didn’t think that the roundup will end up being so lovely.

 

 

1. For boys, men or dinosaurs fans such as myself. A whimsical planter by crazy couture adds a pop of color to any room. Great as a housewarming gift for a bachelor’s pad.

2. Scarfs are almost always a fun gift, that would fit any woman. I love a scarf that gives a splash of color, you can find this one at Periay’s store on Etsy.

3. Oh jewelry…need I say more? Lovely Peacock bangle by Max&Chole

4. Not quite my style, but what the heck… It’s Miu Miu shoes, in blue or gold glitter.

5. Another one for the boys… A beautiful hot air balloon model.

Have a royal weekend, and remember, Give with love.

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