“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

 

Hello my dears!

Don’t you love spring? I love the feeling of blossom in the air and I have wonderful news to share! I opened my own interior design studio. Since I live in Israel, that’s where I’ll be working, however, you are all welcome to visit my very new website www.karenb.co.il

 

Hello-Spring

 

This is such a wonderful, though nerve breaking, time in my life. I would appreciate your thoughts and comments now more than ever!

Wishing you all a wonderful spring! May you flourish all year long!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Welcome 2013!!!

2012 was such a meaningful year to me. I became a mother, I quit my job and decided to open my own design studio. I always believed in doing the brave thing as apposed to the safe thing, however, being brave is scary and I really hope that the changes I made in my life are going to work out for the best.

Every year Pantone, known as the world’s color authority, come up with the color for the upcoming year. 2013 color choice is Emerald, a lively, radiant color that is associated with elegance and beauty. I am happy to present my color of the year gift guide.

 

Emerald

 

1. A great gift for new beginnings is a camera to capture all the magical moments. The emerald green Fisheye camera, is a fashionable choice with a circular kick.

2. This is defiantly a personal choice. After opening my own design studio, this T-shirt literary begged me to join this round up… Well maybe no literary, but it just felt right.

3. Add a dash of good fortune to someone’s year. A lucky clover Bracelet should do the trick.

4. With fourtune comes welth. A wallet is a wonderful way for wishing abundance. I especially like this Heart Lock wallet by Urban outfitters.

5. A new year is always a time for hope. An inspirational 2013 print is a welcomed motivation.

6. Winter is a time for cosiness. Whether a wool hat, a scarf or mittens, make it Emerald, and you are sure to give a trendy gift.

 

I can’t wait to see what 2013 hold for me. Wishing a happy new year to all of you.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

I’m always happy to know when my blog is an inspiration to someone. My friend sent me a photo of a clock inspired by the Quality time article I published a few months back. She personalized it by using a photo of Cookie Monster (Apparently that was their thing).

 

I’m glad she was able to use an idea featured in my blog but personalize it for her friend and I really love the way she placed the hands on Cookie monsters eyes, very whimsical.

Cachette is an online store that was introduced to me as a designer store for designed home products. However, a quick search through their site and I realized that their most appealing products are their fine foods, packed in elegant packages. I think that if you choose the right products and pack them in a nice basket, you can make a great house warming gift.

 

One of the most important things in gift giving is to tap into one’s unfulfilled desires. Think about it, usually we don’t like to buy expensive products for our own use. A gift is an opportunity to give someone something they wouldn’t get for themselves. You really can’t go wrong when you buy someone something that would be both needed and appreciated. The tricky part about putting together a basket of goods is deciding what to put in it. If you don’t know the likes and dislikes of the recipient, stick to the basics. You should also consider allergies, ideology (vegetarian, vegan, etc) general dislikes and quality. If possible, try and find out which foods are the recipient’s favorites, and more important which are his/her least favorite. This is a very important issue that makes the difference between the success or failure of the gift.

My very good friend is having a tough year, or even a couple of years. We all know how tough it is when things go very wrong. You start to lose faith in yourself and sometimes it seems like things will never turn for the better. I have to admit that I’m very proud of this friend of mine. She is staying very positive despite the difficulties she’s been facing and that’s not an easy thing to do. So when I heard she just got summoned for an audition, I was thrilled. I have every confidence that she would succeed since I know how talented she really is, but I also know how hard it can be to believe in yourself. Sometimes lack of confidence combined with fear of failure can really set you back from success.

In my life, I try to always make the brave decision as apposed to the comfortable decision, and I encourage my friends to do the same. Usually I give a pep talk, but this time I decided to make her an inspirational print.

 

 

Now all I have to do is wait for her to call me and tell me that she nailed it!

Break a leg dear…

Like this print?

want to give it to a friend…

No problem, just download it: Believe.

 

I know that I’ve been writing a lot about family affairs lately, but I did become a mother only four months ago, and it was Mother’s and Father’s Day…. So I guess I needed to get it out of my system. In any case, allow me to share with you one more family related post (though I don’t promise it would be the last).

Let’s discuss babies. I love them, but when I have to get a gift for the new family, I often get frustrated. I never know what to buy… (Me! Can you believe?). I don’t like to get baby cloths since they grow right out of them; I received about ten teddy bears and five blankets when my son was born, so I stay away from those. And I hate to admit it but since I got a lot of stuff from my sister who had twins, I had to exchange most of the gifts I received. Another matter is that I sometimes feel the need to perk mommy, daddy and the siblings, and then I have to start looking for gifts at several places…Not ideal…

 

This is why, when I heard about Babatude boutique, I was happy to see that there is something for every member of the family. But that’s not all; the boutique offers unique, eco-friendly, handmade and personalized products by designers from around the world. They offer customized gifts, free world-wide shipping (love that!) and free gift wraps.  Some of the designers even pledge to charity, which gives you the chance to give twice, once for your recipient and back to the community.

 

 

Here are my personal favorites:

Like father like son: oak-tree and acorn tshirt set, a great way to give a gift for both daddy and baby.

Circle-of-Life-Bangle: I love keepsake jewelry, give mom something she can enjoy both fashionably and sentimentally.

A personalized hand stamp is a gift that the family will enjoy for years to come… When the baby grows old, s/he will have a wonderful keepsake (I think it’s my favorite of the bunch).

Being a big brother is a huge deal… A superman top will help him live up to his new title.

And for the big sister… I just think any girl would love these strawberry ballerina pumps… I wish I had a pair….

 

 

 

If you don’t want to focus on one member of the family, a great option is buying a decor item for the nursery, then everyone can enjoy the gift:

The wildlife mobile is wonderful if you don’t know the nursery colors since it’s plain wooden and therefore will work with any shade.

The felt globe is more than just wall decor, it is actually a great game for any age… So it’s great for older brothers or sister as well…

“How tall am I” height chart is another wonderful choice, especially if you are feeling philanthropic. This designer provides educational materials and resources to South African children in need. It’s so nice to know that you are giving to more than one person.

These are my choices but be sure to pay them a visit. Once you do, you will realize how difficult it was to choose from their wonderful products. Take your time and browse, I would love to hear your personal favorites.

Three more days to Father’s Day!!!  I Know you already have a printed card… but do you have a gift yet? I’ve rounded up some gifts for guys, for all of you, last minute gift people (like me). Mind you, some of these gifts work as a graduation gift as well.

 

  1.  Paper inspired socks by Ashi Dashi, for the dad who just graduated.
  2. Find this slingshot pencil at the curiosityshoppe. It’s a great gift for the mischievous dad who is always looking for adventures.
  3. My favorite choice for the newbie dad (who is also the sentimental type), a key chain with your baby’s footprint by Metamorphosis Design Studio.
  4. For the trendy dad, this hot Fred Perry satchel bag. Oh, sometimes I do wish I were a man…
  5. The gentlemen dad would dig these classic Brooks Brothers cuff-links… Make sure your dad has the shirt for it, or add it to the package.
  6. For the casual dad, these hand sewn Florsheim moccasins will envelope his feet with a lot of love. I think they work as slippers as well don’t you?
  7. Your father has allergies? Better get him these stylish handkerchiefs by Izola. I know the father of my kid needs one or two of those…
  8. I feel like this watch needs a post of it’s own! Pebble is a smart-watch. It’s infinitely customization, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. It connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth and therefore you can listen to music and cycle with it… Great for the high-tech sporty dad! Be sure to visit Kickstarter and watch the video.
  9. I cannot count the amount of technology that my other half has… An iPad, a tablet, iPhone and Kindle. ON second thought, this gift might be for your mother… A beautifully designed iPhone and iPad stand by Kinodai to hold dad’s stuff.
  10. Instagram fever caught many dads… If your father is hooked on Instagram, imagine how happy he would be, spreading stickers of his photos all around. Printstagram will send you two sticker books for only 10 $!!! Happy sticking!
Which works best for your dad?

 

 

  • Remember to plan ahead

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