I can’t believe it’s almost mothers day again.

This will be my second mother’s day as a mother, which is really inconceivable.  This past year has been full of fear and frustration combined with infinite joy and love. But most of all, this year was full of wonderful gifts such as, first words (Mommy included), baby steps and loads of hugs and kisses. Today something really special happened and I want to share it with you. Eli who is 1.2 years old, went to my desk, reached out for my sketch book and a pen. He was trying to draw, but nothing came out since the pen still had the lid on (Surly he knows that mother’s day is coming up). I instinctively took out some crayons from the drawer and gave them to him. He made his first artwork and I was there to record the moment on film (I was so amazed by this beautiful moment that I forgot that I left the water in the tub running). I thought that it was such a shame that his father wasn’t there to see it and made up my mind to give him the drawing later today. After I bathed, dressed, fed and put Eli to bed, I took an envelope and used a “Winnie the pooh and piglet” puncher to make it pretty. If you look at the picture below you will see why I thought that this image is suitable.

Now I’m waiting till he comes home so I can give it to him. 

 

Mother's-day

 

What about Mother’s day you ask? Well, if you would scroll down a little you will find an article I wrote a few weeks ago about Giving time.

If you are looking for the perfect mother’s day gift, you will find it there.

For me, this beautiful moment with my son was better than any gift in the world… and what better way to celebrate such a gift, than to share it?

I was telling a new friend about my blog and he immediately sent me a link to Child’s own studio. Here’s the deal, Wendy made a doll for her 4 year old son, based on a sketch he made. Her son was so excited about the softies and Wendy realized that this was her calling, making dolls out of children doodles. If you’ve been reading this blog since I started it, you will surly remember the post about my avatar doll. Unfortunatly I just learned that the game I love is shutting down. Thanks for my friend i’ll have my pet stay with me, long after the game is gone.

 

Doodle-Friends

 

This gift is similar, but even more moving since it uses the child’s own imagination in creating a doll that is truly unique.

What a great way to celebrate creativity!

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 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.

 

 

 This is an envelope I received  from my grandmother, it holds a wonderful memory, it is not my memory, though it is very dear to me.

Beneath the address, my grandmother’s handwriting (upside-down) is visible spelling: “Seder (Passover dinner) at grandma’s April 1956, Mother’s Seder table at our house Lighting (candles?)on May 12 1956.

In the envelope there is a CD with the movie that a close friend of the family retrieved from an 8mm film. He had it converted specially for my grandmother and the rest of the family received a copy. The movie shows, as promised, the 1956 Passover dinner. I see my grandmother holding my baby aunt, my father and uncle, sitting with my grandfather and my other uncle listening to my great grandmother who is whispering in his ear.

watch the video on YouTube

If you ever read Harry Potter, you will remember the pensive, an object used to review memories.The pensive is a shallow stone basin, into which are carved runes and strange symbols. It is filled with a silvery substance that appears to be a cloud-like liquid and gas; it holds the memories of people who have siphoned their recollections into it.  These memories can then be viewed by a non-participant, third-persons point of view. Seeing this video, made me feel like one looking into the pensive, watching my young father with my great family. It feels very strange, very nostalgic but mostly its very touching. Such a personal wonderful gift, is really 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.

I am very excited to share this next gift with you, and although you might not relate to the “Mad Scientist” algorithm per se, I am sure you know someone who will appreciate this unique gift. Now, before I present you with the gift itself, you may wonder how did I came to know a mad scientist. Well I can’t say I had anything to do with it other than being born to one. Yep, my father is a well established scientist and some would call him a well established madman as well… Although in a good way 🙂

Every year for his birthday, my siblings and I would buy him a penguin classic or a fossil for his collection, but for his 65th birthday I really wanted to get him something special and when I want to find a special gift, I often make a gift algorithm to help me come up with ideas. So as you can see by this gift algorithm, my dad is a rather old fashioned kind of guy who is into classical music, historic and prehistoric stuff. He also likes to cook, so a good kitchen gadget is always welcome. Don’t let this algorithm fool you, my dad isn’t some, mind my French, “old fart”.  He is quite funny and youthful, and he is fun to be around… even if he does listen to classical music and collects fossils. Just teasing you Dad! I think you are great!

 

Once I finished the gift algorithm it was obvious that I should stick to science/history/prehistory, while a quick Google search led me to the National Geographic Website, where I found The Genographic Project. After doing their test, my dad wrote us all an email describing how the test works… He did such a great job, it now makes it easier for me to explain it to you by quoting his e-mail he sent to us:

“Dear all,

The kids bought me for my birthday a kit for the National Geographic Genographic Project which documents “The Human Journey” out of Africa and dispersal throughout the world.

The kit includes a DNA sampling device which scrapes buccal cells from inside of your cheek, which you send back to them  to get “deep” DNA sequencing, which then gives markers relevant to given global sites where mutations occurred in prehistory.

It is thus possible to detail the journey of our ancestors. You have to choose either the mother’s side (mitochondrial DNA) or the father’s side (the Y chromosome), both of which contain stable regions which basically remain unchanged. From these regions, the extremely rare mutation markers can be detected, which then can be translated to places in the world that reflects the journey of our ancestors out of Africa.

It is only these two sources of DNA (mitochondrial for the mother and Y chromosome for the father ) that are relevant for these studies. The kit asks you to choose one. Obviously, women can choose only the mother’s side, since they don’t have a Y chromosome. Men can choose either side, and I chose the mother’s side which would then document my mother’s side. This means that the mitochondrial DNA can be traced backwards throughout history: My mother received this DNA from her mother (my grandmother) who received it from her mother (my great-grandmother) who received it from her mother, and so on…”

 

Since my dad is so smart, he was able to predict the results as he continues in his letter:

Well, it was rather clear to me that the journey of our ancestors went the route up through the Middle East and Central Asia via the Caspian Sea region (the Caucases) and then Northward and Eastward into Europe.  Indeed this is true as you can see by the enclosed map. We have the 2 mutations in our mitochondrial DNA that puts us there about 15,000 years ago. For more information read the description that documents our lineage and journey out of Africa. I expect that this is rather common, but it might be interesting for us to check out the other paths available in our families.

And what about myfather’s Y chromosome? Well, I have another birthday coming up…!”

They say that if you want to know where you are going you have to know where you came from… Personally, I don’t think that’s true, but if it is, my dad should really know where he is going after receiving his gift. The good thing is, I don’t have to worry about next year… I already know what to get him….

I am determined to succeed in combining motherhood with blogging. Therefore, I am forcing myself to spare a few minutes while my young one sleeps, so I can keep up with my blogging duties. Luckily, I saw and “starred” in my reader this beautiful and well executed gift idea by Michelle from Wood and Fabric. So not only do I get to share a wonderful idea with you, but it relates to my new role as a mother, allowing me to share my thoughts in the most authentic manner.

 

 

As a fresh mom, I am still getting used to all the new roles that come with motherhood, therefore, I don’t really have the time to document my baby’s “first steps” in this world as I wish I could have. I believe that if I had a scrapbook like this one, such that has all the info in it, that I just have to fill in, I would be able to document all the new changes my little one is going through. Regardless, I think that Michelle did such an admirable craftsmanship, paying attention to each and every detail. The cute shoes with cards for greetings, the cute pockets with notes and all the cute little ornaments she added.

Oops, duty calls…

Hope you liked this quick post…

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.

I know I have been falling behind my blogging lately… Usually I post once a week but lately it had become once every one and a half to two weeks. I actually have so many pending posts and some followup posts I still haven’t gotten to, so I really don’t have a good enough excuse… So I hope to catch up a little. Even though I have many pending posts I found this lovely DIY project by hoot Designs, originally made in Design sponge. Since it is a great idea for new years, I thought I’d share it with you.

 

The concept is really cool! It’s your basic “Dear journal” for everything that happened on each day and if you keep jotting down highlights of your day throughout the month, by January 1st you’ll have a great record for the past year. Imagine how wonderful it would be in 2052 to open this box and reminisce. What I especially like about this project is that it’s a simple DIY. What I love about  DIY projects is not only that they are fun to do and make great personal gifts, but also because they really open your mind to new ideas, and you can alter the initial design according to your needs. I like both the hoot designs and design sponge calendars, but if I were to make one myself, I would probably add a little of my own flare into it…

I want to note that this idea can be great for almost any occasion that involves a  new beginning or end of a period. using the same concept you can make great gifts such as a Pregnancy journal, a graduation log, a teachers diary…. The sky is the limit.

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