Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hebrew Type Votives

If you follow my blog you might remember this photo from my “Oregon Trip” posting. These cool branches covered with pages from a book were from the West Elm store in Portland.

I wanted to try the same idea using Hebrew type. I used clear votive glasses because the lit candle lights up the words with a warm soft glow.  By the way, if you do this project, avoid using pages that have prayers or religious content on them. (I xeroxed a Hebrew newspaper).

Here are the materials I used for this project…everything was purchased at Michael’s craft store.

Decoupage is so easy…just brush the Mod Podge on the glass and apply the paper.  Then, to create a seal, brush more Mod Podge over the paper. In my inspiration piece, the paper was cut, but I decided I like the ripped effect better so I tore my paper.

I love the finished votives--a group of them would be pretty scattered on a holiday table. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Challah Covers

Although it’s still July, the summer is flying by and the high holidays will be here before we know it. I’m thinking of buying a new challah cover this year and I’ve been looking online for options.  

I searched through many images of covers and came up with five of my favorites. When I checked to see who the artists were, I was amazed to discover they were all by the same Israeli artist, Yair Emanuel.  His challah covers are designed by means of raw silk appliqu├ęs, joined to the cover’s fabric with embroidery. They are decorated very colorfully, using multicolored, silver and golden silk embroidery threads. 

The Barley Raw Silk Applique'd cover below, is probably his most masculine. It's embroidered in Hebrew with the words Shabbat and holiday.  Barley is one of the seven species that the land of Israel was blessed with. The Challah cover is a very appropriate addition to Shabbat dinner as we recite the blessing over the bread.

A more feminine side of his nature is the White Flowers Challah Cover below. Illustrated with lillies and accompanied with the words Shabbat and holiday (Shabbat ve'yom tov).
Another favorite of mine is the Creation-Inspired cover below. It depicts different torah passages and has more of an arty vibe.
The Small Pomegranates cover below, is perfect for Rosh Hashanah. Pomegranates are one of the symbols of the holy land which also represents wisdom and abundance. The extraordinary contrast of colors makes this Challah cover strikingly beautiful. 
And last but not least is the Hand Embroider Geese Parsian in Silver.  Here the artist uses chain-stitched hand embroidery on raw cotton using various colors of silk, as well as gold and silver threads to create a stunning design.  It's decorated with a beautiful motif of geese and plants, at the center of which are the works "Shabbat Ve Yom Tov" (Shabbat and holiday) in Hebrew. The design is embroidered in silver thread on the off white cotton.
 It's so hard to choose--any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tree Stump Table

Shortly after moving in, our new neighbors took down some trees in their backyard. I mean a LOT of trees. The sounds of trucks and saws were heard day after day. After a while it looked like this:

Next, they started cutting the logs into smaller logs, like this:

I’ve always admired the cool, organic, tree stump tables in the West Elm catalog, like this one for $200:

 (By the way, what's up with those towels? They look exactly like a tallis)!

So, I knocked on their door and asked if I could take one of the logs. The first step was to remove all the bark. This was not as hard as I thought it would be. Some of it was already coming off, and the rest I “chiseled” off with a hammer and gardening tool. 

The next step was to sand the heck out of it. The surface was pretty rough so this was a job for my trusty electric sander. I started out with course sandpaper and moved on to finer paper after I achieved a nice somewhat smooth finish.

After many days of sanding I was left with this. 

Because it was going in a room with light floors and light painted furniture, I wanted it darker for more contrast. So, I picked up a can of Miniwax and gave it a quick coat of dark walnut stain.

I love how the finished table contrasts with my more formal chairs for an eclectic look.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Yosef's Room

Our grandson Yosef turns eighteen months old this month...come tour his room!
It all started with a trip to Target. I saw this lamp and knew the colors would be a great jumping off point. I've really been into orange lately and knew a little boy's room would be the perfect opportunity to use this color. I already had the shaker style table from our old house and gave it a coat of semi gloss dark blue paint.

The room is really small--I painted the wall behind the crib orange and the other walls  a soft grey.

I sewed all the bedding from coordinating sheets I found at Target and cotton fabric I picked up from a local quilting fabric store.  We found the Ikea Gulliver crib on Craig's list. The clean lines make it one of my favorite cribs and it's discontinued, so I was thrilled to have found it in perfect condition.

Above the crib is artwork I created from prints I saw online. I loved the cute animals but didn't want to spend much money on artwork that would be too "babyish" when he became a big boy.  I bought colored paper from the art store and did my version of the animals for a fraction of the price.

The room has only one window. I bought an inexpensive white roller shade, taped off sections and painted horizontal stripes in latex paint colors picked up from the lamp shade.

The "globes" on top of the cabinet are beach balls--purchased at a toy store.

For a finishing touch I found these cardboard letters at a craft store and covered them in scrapbook paper.  

Yosef approves!

Linked up to:
Thrifty Decor Chick

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Farmer's Market

My daughter and her family live in Amherst, Massachusetts.   There is a great farmer's market that's there every Wednesday throughout the summer, in a park near their home. I love going there not only for the fresh produce, but also for the atmosphere.

Everything is organic and from local farms which are plentiful in Western Mass.

This week I wandered around looking for inspiration for dinner. Here is what I came home with.

Sure, they’ll taste great in a salad or sauteed in olive oil.  But, what really struck me were the fantastic colors. After all, some of my favorite color palettes are nature inspired.

Here are some paint colors from Lowe's that were apparently inspired by nature. These are from their Olympic line of paints and are available in regular or no-VOC. A bedroom would look great in a soft green like this Aloe Vera, with doors in deep Purple Basil. If I were painting a dining room I might go for the Pumpkin Pleasure with chairs painted in a glossy deep Gooseberry and the ceiling in soft Aloe Vera.  How about a child's room with walls a modulation of stripes going from Orange Poppy to the lightest shades of orange on the card and furniture painted the soft Aloe Vera?  Hmmm...maybe it's time to redecorate.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Family Room Makeover

This bright sunny family room is a second floor rental. The abundance of windows makes it an inviting room because of all the natural light that pours in. Here’s what it looked like before the family moved in:

Soft grey walls replaced the original yellow paint color.  A large sectional in black leather fills the space without the need for too much extra seating. White curtain panels add softness without closing off light.  The kidney shaped coffee table was a Craig’s List find. Here's the after:

Purchasing two identical floor lamps instead of one, not only gives more light but adds balance.  It’s always a good idea to buy in doubles or more for added impact instead of using one item.

Pillows are the easiest way to bring in much needed color without spending much money or committing—easy to change in a few years if tastes change.  The “art” above the sofa also adds to the color—it's scrap booking paper that I taped into inexpensive frames which come matted for instant framed artwork.

Paint: Benjamin Moore, tapestry beige
Curtains: Ikea
Black sectional: Bob’s furniture
Pillows: Pier One, Marshall's, Etsy
Brown patterned chairs: Target
Artwork: Frames and mats, Michael’s
Coffee Table: Craig’s List
Lamps: Christmas Tree Shops

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