How cool are dinosaurs? I’m quite sure that my alternative career path could have been  paleontology. When I was a little girl I was fascinated by dinosaurs and knew all the names of all the different kinds. My favorites were Plesiosaurs and Pterodactyls (which technically isn’t a dinosaur, but still totally awesome). When I saw the wonderful personalized prints by Dinoprints, all the different sides of me were thrilled! First, the dinosaur lover in me, wanted a self portrait on a Pterodactyl. As an interior designer, I believe that your home should reflect your personality, and the same goes with your bedroom. Therefore,I thought it would be cool to wallpaper a child’s room with a huge dinosaur print. As a gift specialist, I love personalized gifts, I believe that it is the key to a great gift, when I saw this I was trying to think of a nephew or niece with an upcoming birthday. My nieces and nephews aren’t into dinosaurs so I’ll have to wait till Eli is a little older. I really wish there were more prehistoric animal options such as a cyber tooth tiger or huge dragonflies (did you know that prehistoric dragonflies were half a meter (1.6 foot) long?? I would love to ride one of those).

Dinoprints

Anyways, if you are looking for a cool gift for a Dinosaur loving kid, look no further since this is it!

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!

 

 

 

 

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…

 

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.

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.

 

This mysterious box arrived at our house as a gift from our close friend.

 

Immediately my husband’s face changed colors, his jaw dropped and a grin spread across his face. I didn’t realize what he was grinning about, until I read the cover which read Molecular Gastronomy Kit. Don’t worry if you never heard about molecular cooking, I would’t know anything about it if I wasn’t married to a foodie. In a nutshell, the molecular kitchen is a modern form of cooking. The idea is using techniques derived from the scientific disciplines in order to create new dishes. The result is a variety of new flavors with surprising textures that most of the time doesn’t really resemble food. My husband has been jabbering about the molecular kitchen for ages discussing all the different dishes he could make if he ever learned how to do it.

This gift definitely deserves a spot at the hall of fame of gifts, however, only a true foodie that likes to experiment would really appreciate it. If I received this gift for my own use, it would most likely stay in the box since I don’t like to cook. You have to realize that when it comes to food, I only get excited when it reaches my mouth… I don’t care much about what happens to it in theory until it reaches it’s temporary residence in my belly. However, even I can’t stay indifferent to this well packaged gift that would certainly bring new and exciting flavors into my life.

The holidays really messed up my blogging agenda, leaving me with quite a few blogging debts. Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I thought I would catch up a little with some posts I really should have posted already. One of these posts is the Barcelona secret alphabet. If you recall A few months ago I wrote an entry about graduation day featuring the secret alphabet. Inspired by this idea, when my friend and I made plans for our  trip, I came up with the idea of making her a secret alphabet souvenir  based on pictures  taken during our trip. This required me to really plan ahead and take photos of  letters during our time there. This proved to be a difficult task that really pushed my imagination. Initially I thought about writing her name… But then I realized that it would be so much personal to write my nickname for her which is blessing. You see, her last name is Bracha (ברכה) which means Blessing in Hebrew, and I call her blessing or blessful mainly since I feel like she is a true blessing in my life.

 

 

The problem was that by the time I realized that I want to make the change… I had to dig out the missing letters from random photos. After I finished gathering all the letters, I started framing each word, which led to my next problem, the proportions were starting to get to weird. So I cut the ing and was left with Bless. I think it turned up pretty cool in the end and I even included myself with a Dali moustache.

So now I feel better after sharing this post with you… I have a couple more waiting to be shared so hopefully I will start catching up with these posts before Valentine’s Day… If not, you will have to be patient and wait a little longer.

Yesterday I realized that today is our second anniversary!!! oops! I totally forgot about it and didn’t have anything ready… Some gift blogging wife am I! Thank god for the internet for quick solutions. I just Googled “anniversary gift for husband” and found a great gift on Etsy: The Eye Exam Chart Print.  I like a simple design like this one, the idea is smart and strong, the concept is simple enough: at first glance this looks like your average eye exam, but when you read into it you find a secret message hidden inside. Don’t you just love hidden messages???

Since I had no time whatsoever, I couldn’t order this online and had to make my own version. Luckily I had all the supplies. I needed a frame, colors, the print itself, (which you can DIY with Word, Power Point, Illustrator or Photoshop and print in black and white).

 

Making the gift myself gave me the freedom to check different text options, which was good since I wasn’t sure on how I wanted to phrase the sentence. You know how you use sentences differently with different people… Well, even though this sentence is  weirdly written, it is the outcome of the common language that my love and I share.

Since the first thing my husband does in the morning is sit by his desk and browse the internet, I decided that the best way to give him this gift would be to leave it at his desk. This way it is the first thing he will see in the morning. Since he wakes up before me I had to sneak it into his den at night and leave it for him to find. The surprise was almost revealed since he went to close the computer before we went to bed, but fortunately he didn’t notice that something was different.

I forgot to mention an important fact that made this gift extra personal. My dear husband has a condition that requires eye physiotherapy, hence, he has to go through the eye exam every few weeks in order to check if the treatment works. When he saw the frame at his desk in the morning, he initially  thought I was mocking him, but when he looked closely, and read the message, he realized that it was a loving gesture.

Keep in mind that I made this for our anniversary, but given the right wording, this gift can work for almost any occasion and anyone. Just use your imagination and personalize it any way you like.

 

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