Thursday, March 5, 2015

Best of Purim 2015

Today is Purim! We'll be busy all day delivering Shalach Manos baskets, hearing the Megillah reading, going to our community party and having a festive meal.

I wanted to share some of my Purim favorites I found this year...so creative!

Best Shalach Manos Basket
You may remember Yossi Belkin who started the children's website Fox and Fish. (I featured his website back in February.)  He created this incredibly gorgeous Purim basket combining fox cookies and gummy fish to play up the name of his website!

Best Costumes
 Not great for strolling around the Purim party but so creative!
OMG I found this on the web...who thought of this?!

Best Hamantaschen
Nina Safar from Kosher in the Kitch came up with Pop Tart Hamantaschen--so cute!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The New/Old House:Upholstered Headboards

The girl's room is far from finished but the focal point of the room—the beds, are done!  

Upholstering the headboards on two
Ikea Fjellse bed frames was an expensive and impressive solution for two little girls sharing a room. Sometimes these DIY projects don't always work but here, everything went smoothly according to the plan which I posted last month.
I was lucky to have a wood craftsman at a local lumberyard cut the pieces of MDF for me since my talents do not include woodworking!
1. After assembling the Ikea headboards I starting sketching the shape on a large sheet of Kraft paper.
2. I drew one side, then folded the paper in half so that both sides were identical.
3. The paper was taped to the head board to make sure the size and proportions were right.
4. Using my template, the lumberyard cut the 1/4 inch MDF and screwed both headboards to the bed frame. I painted any exposed wood in a coral paint color.
5. I used a foam mattress topper from Walmart to cover the MDF board—much less expensive than foam from the fabric store. A full size was enough to cover both headboards.
6. Using a sharpie marker, I traced the shape of the headboards and cut the foam with scissors. Next, it was spray mounted to the board.
7. Batting from the fabric store...
8. was stapled over the foam to make it extra soft.
9. The coral colored fabric is from fabric.com. (Be sure to have several boxes of staples on hand for a project like this...lots of stapling!)

There's more to do before I can reveal the finished room, but it's off to a good start and the girl's love their new beds!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Pancake Themed Purim Basket

Our Purim baskets are finished and waiting to be delivered next Thursday! My theme this year is pancakes—the breakfast of choice of our grand children when they visit.
I wanted the baskets to look wholesome and simple, starting with the Kraft paper tags, brown bags, berry baskets and old fashioned tea towels.
The pancake mix is actually Log Cabin that I repackaged into simple brown bags. It was important to include a Kashert explanation for those families who keep strictly kosher.
The mini bottles of syrup and jam were found online...
the tea towels are from Ikea, plastic candy tubes are from Martha Stewart crafts and baskets were found on Etsy. The small brown favor bags are from Michael's and I designed and printed the pancake labels.
I had so much fun putting these together and yes, I already have next year's planned!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Meet Gilit from The Bannerie!

I love to follow creative Jewish bloggers and ever since I discovered Gilit's blog, shoes-off-please a few years ago I've been following her. Today I am excited to introduce her and her fabulous new Etsy shop "The Bannerie" to designmegillah readers.
DM: It seems like your Etsy shop "The Bannerie" has really taken off!  How did you choose to create those cute banners and to what do you attribute to your quick success? 
I was so glad to hear from you, I love what you do! 

The short version of that story is that I was making them for my own parties and kept getting requests to make them for other people. I've always wanted to have my own business, but it didn't feel like a realistic dream until I had a product I loved and thought I could sell. 

I think there are a few things that really helped me: 
  • Research. I read every article, listened to every podcast, and spoke to every person I could about having your own business. That kind of research was a huge help. 
  • Social media. I don't have to pay a dime in advertising because I've got three things that feed into each other: Instagram, my blog, and Pinterest. Those three things all lead to my shop and give me the chance to interact with customers three different ways. 
  • I love what I'm doing. It's a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, troubleshooting things I have no background in, but I love it and I love my customers and I think that comes through. I would've quit a dozen times at least if I didn't love it and see a future in it. 
DM:Were you always the creative type? What is your background/schooling?
Yes! I was always doodling, moving things around in my room, writing stories, and doing creative things but I didn't identify with it as such a big part of me until college when I discovered Art with a capital "A". I studied Visual Arts Management (which I loosely say is the business side of art) at FIT with an almost redundant minor in Art History. All the graphic design, photography, styling etc is self taught with blood, sweat, and tears (oh so many tears, not that much blood).
DM:How old are your children? How do you juggle motherhood and working?
I have a four and a half year old boy and a two year old girl who I lovingly call my punks because they are such happy little troublemakers. I absolutely have not figured it out yet but one thing I did which made a huge difference in our lives is that I set business hours and stuck to them. So unless there's an "emergency" I can really be with my family when the shop hours are over.

DM:I've never met anyone with the name Gilit. What is the story behind your name? 
I get that a lot :) It means "source of happiness" and according to Ishei Hatanach it was Ruth's name before she converted to Judaism. So I guess I have a Moavi name? I do know it was between that and Avigayil and when I was born, apparently I didn't look like an Avigayil, so I was named "Gilit" and began a lifetime of repeating my name to new people.
DM:Any banners planned for any of the Jewish holidays?
Good question! I wanted to make for Sukkot, but they aren't waterproof so I'm working on a plastic version for next year. In my brief experience, Jews aren't as into banners and decorating for each holiday the way non-Jews are and I may have missed the boat for Purim banners but there will definitely be one for Pesach. There is also always the option to order a custom banner. I've sold a few "MAZAL TOV" banners but haven't gotten a good photo yet to list it, this is a great reminder!


DM: Thank you Gilit, for taking the time to talk with me and telling my readers about your awesome shop!  Can't wait to see your Judaica banners!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

This & That

The petal is to the metal to finish most of the girl's room before Purim! Things are moving along...this week is crunch time to finish my Shalach Manos baskets, the girl's beds and the desk area. Here's what I've been up to...
1. The headboards are waiting for the fabric to arrive. I painted all the wood on the beds in a coral color similar to the fabric.
2. I asked Moussia to chose a print for her new room from Fox & Fish and this was the winner.
3. Tags are done for the Purim baskets.
4. Ikea Ritva white curtains replaced the wood blinds in the girl's room. Much softer and feminine.

Have a good Shabbos and weekend...snow and freezing rain coming our way :(

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New For Your Seder Table: Cootie Catchers

I know—Purim is still 2 weeks away but last week our supermarket installed their Passover isle (!) so it's not too early to start thinking about the next holiday.

Do you remember Cootie Catchers? They were all the rage when I was in junior high...we'd write silly questions and answers only a twelve-year-old would appreciate!  I thought it would be fun to design one for the Seder table.
They look so elegant at a place-setting, but they also add a fun and educational note to your Seder table.
Each Cootie Catcher contains eight questions to stump your family and friends! You can find Passover Cootie Catchers in my Etsy shop.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Purim Basket Planning

I usually like winter...most people I know can't wait for spring but I think the snow is beautiful and I don't usually mind it. Except for this year. 

We've been getting pounded week after week with so much snow the roads are slippery, we currently have two guys up on our roof removing snow and ice dams which have caused water leaking into a window and I'm getting over an intestinal bug.

At least I planned my Purim Shalach Manos baskets way in advance so everything is either ordered online or sitting in boxes in a closet. Whenever the grand kids sleep over they ask for pancakes for breakfast so that's what inspired this year's baskets. (I make them mini silver dollar pancakes...no fork!) Here's what I've got planned.
1. I ordered berry baskets on Etsy...they are easy to find.
2. I also found kosher Vermont maple syrup online in little bottles.
3. I have these clear plastic tubes that I'll fill with chocolate chips.
4. Mini blueberry jams jars were found online.
5. This Log Cabin pancake mix is parve! Perfect for recipients that keep Cholov Yisroel.
6. Picked up pretty tea towels at Ikea last week which will be nestled in the bottom of each basket.

Have a good Shabbos and great weekend. I hope the weather is kinder where you live.
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