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

This blog is all about gifts. Gifts of all sorts: Some are cheap, some are expensive, some are hand made, some are functional or beautiful. But the best gifts regardless of their price, are meaningful.When I had my baby a year ago I received many gifts. Blankets, toys, cloths and Oh too many Teddy-bears. Today, the gifts keep coming and I must admit that I prefer a bag of diapers over a new toy.

Last month when I was planing Eli’s first birthday party I knew I wanted to have a “Hungry Caterpillar” theme. I also knew that there is no way that I would  have time to make the decorations. I was smart enough to Have a professional make the cake and to ask for help from a friend who loves to make party decorations. It meant so much to me that I even offered to pay for her trouble, however, she refused saying that it was her gift to Eli. This got me thinking about service gifts. When I had Eli, My mother cleaned the house, my mother in law cooked healthy meals and my dear cousin washed the dishes. They were contributing their time and I received some peace and quite.

 

The-Very-Hungry-Caterpillar

 

Christine the owner of IOU, offers you a hint to what new mothers and probably all women, want most; A fraction of your time, to help with the endless chores. Here lies the power of the written word. Most women, when offered help, would say that there is really no need. However, if your offer comes in a thoughtful card, with a set date and time, it will be harder to refuse. This is a great example for a low cost gift that may mean the world to someone else.

Share with us, how did you give of your time to a special someone?

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

 

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.

 

 

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.

This post is unique. usually I write posts that would relate to most people, however this one is dedicated to all Jane Austen fans.

My family is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, the book and the BBC production. This includes quoting, playing the music from the series on the piano and getting excited over anything that has to do with Jane. My dear cousin, who works at a book store, found this amazing Pride and Prejudice counting book for Eli.

During our time in Michigan we had so much fun reading it since we were all adding funny quotes from the series/book :

For instance for number four- Four marriage proposals, we imitated Mrs Bennet:

“Oh! Mr. Bennet, you are wanted immediately; we are all in an uproar. You must come and make Lizzy marry Mr. Collins, for she vows she will not have him, and if you do not make haste he will change his mind and not have her.”

Mr. Bennet raised his eyes from his book as she entered, and fixed them on her face with a calm unconcern which was not in the least altered by her communication.

“I have not the pleasure of understanding you,” said he, when she had finished her speech. “Of what are you talking?”

“Of Mr. Collins and Lizzy. Lizzy declares she will not have Mr. Collins, and Mr. Collins begins to say that he will not have Lizzy.”

“And what am I to do on the occasion?—It seems an hopeless business.”

 

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And for number six- Six horses we imitate Mr. Collins:

“We dine at Rosings twice every week, and are never allowed to walk home. Her ladyship’s carriage is regularly ordered for us. I should say, one of her ladyship’s carriages, for she has several.”

If you are laughing out loud, congratulations, you are a Jane Austen freak and probably related to me (Hi dad!). If not, you are welcome to watch the wonderful six hours of the BBC series and join the club.

The counting book is wonderful, it is funny and well illustrated. I wish that numbers- six (Horses), Seven (Men in uniform) and eight (Musicians), were different and less general. Number ten blew me away… I don’t want to spoil for those of you who love Jane Austen and would like to purchase the book, so I won’t say another word…

If you are not a member of the Austen club, the author Jennifer Adams, has other whimsical coloring and counting books. A great way to introduce a little baby to the classics.

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