Three gifts that my dad and spouse would love to receive for fathers day. Three classy gifts for two classy guys. I have to say that my spouse owns two of these: the Brooks brothers pajamas and the Bose headset. He loves both of them and was extremely excited to receive them. Dad-gifts Bose noise canceling headphones: These are a great gift for a man who enjoys watching movies or hearing music. They are also great for noise canceling which can be handy for air travel or work.

Brooks Brothers pajamas: People usually don’t like to overspend on sleepwear. This gives you a great opportunity to buy them a high-end pajamas such as this one. It is comfy, wrinkle free and will make your dad feel like Don Draper.

Rock glass and ice ball: This is a cute gadget for the whiskey lovers. The design is made to chill the drink without watering it. Some of the reviewers were disappointed in the glass quality, However, I think the ice ball is cool enough.

Who said shopping for men is difficult?

 

“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

 

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!

 

 

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.

 

 

My grandmother will be 93 in October. She lives in Michigan, and up until last year she came to visit us in Israel every year. Since she can’t travel that far anymore, I wanted to visit her so she could meet her 5-month-old great grandson. So my mother and father were kind enough to join me, and we all flew to visit my grandmother. Only trouble is that we left Dad home alone with our cat, and we really miss him. Being on the road with limited internet access, connecting with Dad is really difficalt. I wanted to send him a little message so he knows we are thinking of him. Where we were staying I found a Scrabble game and decided to make a little note for Daddy… I posted it on his Facebook wall… Just a little something, you know…

 

My father in law turned 70 this year, and his three sons (my husband and two brothers) decided to give him a special gift: a family trip to Italy. They ordered tickets, rented a car, an Italian villa and planned every detail. They haven’t been on a family trip abroad for over 25 years…So this was a very special occasion. At first he was quite upset that they spent so much money on the trip, but once they arrived in Italy, he realized that such a family trip is really priceless… They had so much fun together and since my husband felt guilty for leaving me with our then 2 months old baby, he brought home wonderful gifts. Yay!!!

 

 

Usually finding gifts in a country which has many tourists is difficult, but Italy is somewhat different. First of all the obvious gift is food, you can bring back wine, Parmesan cheese, or balsamic vinegar and you are off the hook. The other choice is all the paper goods… Beautiful stationary, Personalized Ex-Libris  stamps for marking your favorite books and monogrammed wax seals that makes you feel like royalty. You really don’t have to put a lot of thought into an Italian gift, you just have to decide whether the recipient would rather have fine Italian products, crafty supplies, or both…

In my case… I love both! How about you?

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.

“Casa Mila” is magnificent with it’s curved  outline  that  continues from the exterior to the interiors. Walking through the corridors of the building, you are constantly hugged by the curved walls, never to encounter a sharp corner. The apartment serves as a portal in time, and although the space is very unusual for it’s period, the objects that fill it leave no question about the time when people lived there. For me the most charming part was the nursery.

 

I love old fashion toys, it’s so interesting how different they are from the modern toys, how they manage to combine cleverness with simplicity at the same time, while holding a sense of charm and innocence. I was so moved by the nursery, and I didn’t expect what was coming next.

 

Although I love roaming gift shops, I usually don’t find any gifts that I would like to get there. I find gift shops to be over commercialized and expensive. However, I was into a pleasant surprise entering the Casa Mila Gift shop. Such a marvelous collection of old fashioned  toys, tin animals, paper dolls and illustrated books. I felt like a kid in a candy shop, when I was actually a kid in a nostalgic toy store. When you enter such a nostalgic building, filled with history and antiques, you really want to take home some of that nostalgic atmosphere. Unfortunately, for some reason I didn’t make any purchases, which I probably should have… But I simply couldn’t decide what to choose, and who to give it to… Luckily, there is always next time 😉

Although I blog about gifts, my real passion in life is architecture and design, which, luckily,  is also my day job. My best friend and I decided to seize the moment and spend a few days in Barcelona. Since we are both architects, we simply had to see Gaudi in all his glory… Although I won’t lie, we did get our share of shopping… It’s a strange thing, but it always seems to me that I do too much shopping when abroad, only to realize I really should have shopped more, once I return home.

As much as I love shopping, what I really wanted to write about is travel gifts. Bringing or not bringing gifts from a journey, is always a painful matter, and someone is bound to get hurt… And if someone is bound to get hurt in any case, you really shouldn’t worry about it to much… If you do, you’ll find that your trip revolves around finding gifts, leaving you with very little time to travel. the rule I set for myself while traveling is: If I”ll see something that’s a suitable gift, I will get it.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with silly gifts that nobody wants.

I was having so much fun in Barcelona watching the architecture, inhaling the culture and roaming the streets. Nevertheless, I always remembered my readers and my mind was pumping with ideas for beautiful gifts you can buy or make… So don’t forget to follow up as I am sure to write a post or two about some notable travel gifts.

 

 

 

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