Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dreidel Garland and Decor


Remember that lovely image I posted from BHG.com of the dreidel garland? Well, I set out to make it for my home. If you love these patterns, you can also just print and cut them out on heavy card stock. I wanted to use different colors, so here is my version. First, download and make a template from the printable by The Party Dress:


Then you will need all sorts of colored card stock. Trace the template, fold the tabs, and assemble. It's best to trace with a pencil on the back side of the paper, making sure you use a ruler to mark the fold lines, too. Press down enough with the pencil to make an indentation in your thick card stock. This will  make the paper fold just where you want it to.  


Use double stick tape or hot glue to assemble.


Make a bunch! Next you will need to make the stem of the dreidel. I used a square balsa wood dowel and cut it with an x-acto. 


Now get a large upholstery needle and some cotton string. Knot before and after each dreidel. You will need a delicate touch in poking through so you don't crush your dreidels! I found twisting the needle with a 
little pressure was enough to poke a hole.



Hooray!



I'm also super proud of my arrangement for the mantle:

Nature-Inspired Menorahs

You simply must check out these nature-inspired ideas by Lucia at The Magnifying Glass
And you can make them all too!

Rock Menorah:


Shell and Sand Menorah:

Shell Menorah:

Hanukkah Humor


Monday, December 19, 2011

Hanukkah Gift Wrap

I thought I'd share an alternate and pretty solution for Hanukkah gift wrap. Boy do I love those chocolate coins (especially the dark chocolate ones). They also make a terrific embellishment. The kids will love having edible bows, trust me!



Happy Wrapping!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hanukkah Love


As I mentioned yesterday, I've been feeling less than inspired with what to do for Hanukkah and frustrated by my limited options. This quickly turned around, however, when I browsed Pinterest, Etsy, and the great wide open web. There are a ton! There are some fabulous ideas out there! I had to share all my favorites!


1. Star Deco Kit--Blues by Polli
2. Scalloped Hanukkah Garland by ElisabethNicole
3. A terrific dreidel pouch idea at marthastewart.com
4. Dreidel Garland on BHG.com

And in case you want to make those dreidels head over to The Party Dress for a printable by Kelly:


Did someone say mobile? I did! Try this wonderful dreidel mobile idea by Sara at Creative Jewish Mom:


This is still the most beautiful menorah I've ever seen, and it's at West Elm:


                                            These donuts and marbleized cookies are making me hungry!


1. "Glittered" Sufganiyot at marthastewart.com
2. Marbleized Cookies by Catherine at Homemade Lemon Cake

Lowe's actually had a terrific idea for an abstract Jewish star project in a lovely gold motif:


Here are some more great finds on Etsy. I think the wooden window hanger would also make a lovely trivet for your holiday table:


1. Hanukkah ornament of folded paper by Bold Folds
2. Printable Chevron Hanukkah Card by The Fussy Designer
3. Hanukkah Wooden Window Hanger by JC's Wood Creations
4. Hanukkah Wall Art by Sweet Lex

And finally, who says we can't have a tree? Some people prefer to call them a Hanukkah bush, which I never really understood. Why are we calling a tree a bush? Anyhow, the Tree of Life is a very common symbol in Judaism. There is even a lovely prayer in each Jewish service: 

"It is a tree of life to those who hold fast to it and all of its supporters are happy."


1.Ornament by Creationsbyjbd:
2. Hannukah Bush credited to Anne's Gift Cottage (sold out)

And those are my favorites. I was really quite pleasantly surprised with all the inspiration from Martha Stewart. And now I'm off for the rest of the week to meet up with family. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hanukkah Decor

Ever since I read Design Sponge's post yesterday highlighting these fantastic menorahs, I've been working over the usual holiday dilemma that comes with this Jewish holiday: what can I decorate with? Here are some ideas with more to follow.

                 Source: realsimple.com via Amber on Pinterest


When it comes to decorating this time of  year, I face a challenge. The menorah and dreidels and coins are always a no-brainer. But what of the rest of the home? When I hang something from a piece of string I think "oh, that looks like an ornament" or if I want to set up a vase with branches and lights on it my family says, "are you trying to make a Christmas tree?" Why can't I just enjoy decorating with what I love? Why all this defining of one holiday or the other? This is a time for celebrating, not discouraging.

                          Source: marthastewart.com via Amber on Pinterest


Christmas has claimed so many of the beautiful ways to decorate for the holidays that now, when I try to decorate my home, I ultimately always feel as though I'm treading on ground that isn't mine. And part of that is due to the fact that the Hanukkah section of most stores (if there is one) is terribly limited to cut-out paper dreidles and banners with rounded typography in blue and white. Perhaps there is little demand for something better. I doubt it. It's a shame that while Christmas has the beauty of bringing nature in, celebrating the smells of juniper and pine, Hanukkah is left with 2-d paper products. Perhaps this is because, for whatever reason, Hanukkah was never terribly showy when our parents were growing up. But I think that has changed.

                 Source: google.com via Amber on Pinterest
   Fabulous Etsy finds from the blog Casasugar

I think there is a new set of modern Jewish families that want a more sophisticated holiday decor. So this week I will be finding the best of the best for inspiration.

Art Print by ThoughtstoPrint on Etsy

I think it's time to slack a bit on the ownership. In the end, our festive decorations are meant to bring warmth and light to our homes in the coldest, darkest time of the year. In my humble opinion, how we do that shouldn't be so confined to one tradition or another that we lose the ability to enjoy what we love.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Cynthia Rowley Wrapping Paper

I don't need to say much. It's pretty grand, no? Get it here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Etsy Crush: Nature-Inspired

Check out these beautiful things inspired by the greatest muse of all: nature!


1. Branch Earrings with Golden Pods by Thalassa Jewelry
2. Natural Bark Journal by Tanya Sova
3. Wearable Planter Pin by Wearable Planter
4. Leather Feather Earrings by TZain


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award



Hayley from Girl Who Does Everything nominated me yesterday for the Versatile Blogger Award! It's a fun way to get to know other bloggers and what they read. Here are the rules:

  1. Nominate 10-15 fellow bloggers
  2. Inform the bloggers of their nomination
  3. Share 7 random things about yourself
  4. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award Pic on your blog post.
My nominees are:

7 Random things about myself:


1. I have two dogs. Lucy is a bichon/poodle and Madison is a coton de tulear. My husband and I love them like children!

2. My senior year of college I studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa. I learned weaving as my thesis. It was an experience that changed me deeply.

3. If I could choose any job I would be a costume historian. I am in love with the history of fashion. My dream when I was 16 was to run off to Williamsburg and become apart of the living history museum there. I was always looking up exactly how garments were made and then cutting up my dress-up clothes to try to make them.

4. I am a tad bit obsessed with taking baths. It's almost spiritual, which is crazy, but I don't care. I have bath salts, bath bubbles, I read in the tub, etc. It is my little getaway and I love it.

5. My husband and I are currently trying to conceive our first child. It hasn't been easy, but I am trying to remain positive.

6. I have a soft spot for cheesy romance, but I keep it very well hidden!

7. On our honeymoon, my husband and I spent a month in New Zealand. Apart from the amazing beauty of the place and the fact that I wanted to stay and work on kiwi preservation, we went zorbing. Zorbing is best described as being placed inside a giant plastic bubble filled with water which is then rolled down a hill.




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yarnable: Block Printing

I've been under the weather lately. You'd think I'd be glued to my computer, but I've been more of a couch potato. Anyhow, I had to share this terrific idea for block printing with, you guessed it, yarn! This project was created as part of a guest blogger series by the talented Stephanie of Modern Parents Messy Kids, and her full tutorial is found at Whip Up.


The best ideas really are the most simple. They're not just for kids, either. The best ideas are ageless!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Art Basel 2011

Hi creatives! Did you have a wonderful weekend? I spent mine visiting Art Basel, a huge art festival that takes Miami Beach by storm each year. Art Basel consists of "more than 260 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa...showcasing works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries." It's an overwhelming and incredible experience, and this was the third year I was lucky enough to go.


Here are some of my favorites:

1. Untitled by Barry McGee, 2011, paint on panel in 20 parts, Cheim & Reid Gallery
2. Girl, Girl on a Globe by Yinka Shonibare, 2009, dutch wax printed cotton textile and globe, James Cohan Gallery
3. Empty Voices by Octavio Schipper, 2011, acoustic foam and cast bronze shapes, Anita Schwartz Gallery
4. Seal Box by Alan Shields, 1984-85, watercolor, thread on handmade paper, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery

I was so excited to finally see a piece by Yinka Shonibare. I've been a major fan for years. There were so many others that they all sort of blur together. I am hoping at some point this subterfuge in my head will steady and stop, and then I can sift through all I saw and show you more. This year was truly fantastic!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Etsy Crush: Geometric

I am loving all this geometric-inspired art, jewelry, sculptures, and home decor I've seen lately!
I wish I could show them all, but here are my favorites.


1. Togl . Print by Twamies
2. Modern Neon Christmas Tree Decorations Ornaments by Sketch.inc
3. Geometric Necklace Neon Arrows and Stripes, leather by Boo and Boo Factory
4. You Rock card, gocco screen printed by Rank and File


And while we are into tip top shapes (bad joke, I know), 
check out this nifty DIY Paper Gemstone project by Kate at Minieco.co.uk:



Templates included! Have a geometric weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lace Bowl and Votive

I love this glowing votive bowl of lace made by Meg at Spirello.


Google didn't translate the page so well, but I believe she made it with lace doilies (not the paper kind), some fabric stiffener, and a balloon. Simply saturate the doilies with the stiffener, lay them on a balloon, allow to completely dry, pop the balloon, and you now have a beautiful bowl and votive for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yarnable Wednesday

I just made up my own word. Wednesdays will be dedicated to all things knitted, chrocheted, and yarned. I have totally fallen in love with the giant knit: knitting together smaller knitted strands to make monstrous and comfy pieces. With that in mind, have you seen these knit stools by Claire Anne O'Brien?


Claire is a textile designer who specializes in knitting. She is originally from Ireland (hence all the lambswool and sheeps wool). She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010 with a Masters in Textiles. She also did a Designer Meets Artisan project with Unesco in 2009, where she collaborated with the local women of  Ladakh in the Himalayas, working with them to create knitted products they now make and sell on tourist trekking routes in the region. She makes fantastic furniture and gives back!






Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Creative Candy: Rosemary Milner


It's time to get a little romantic for a moment and talk about Rosemary Milner's beautiful embroidery, fabric, and wallpaper. Rosemary is an English printed textile designer, recently graduated with honors from the Leeds College of Art. You can visit her website to learn more about her approach.


Her embroidery takes me away to some windblown field in Victorian summer. But somehow her patterns have an updated feel that keeps them fresh and current. I love how she embroiders on vintage items, like doilies and handkerchiefs.




And her textile and wallpaper designs are just as amazing:








I am having a serious crush moment right now....sigh.


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