Friday, November 30, 2012

An Electric Menorah for Children

You may have seen the the electric tealight candles that have been around in stores for a few years now. They are a great alternative to wax candles when you don't want real fire or when children are involved. I decided to use them in an electric menorah that the kids love to light for the eights nights of Chanukah in the front window.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 PHOTO: CURT HENDERSON
It was easy and inexpensive to make. I started out with these wood pieces that I found in bins at Michael's crafts.
The best part was there was nothing to cut--I simply glued everything together, then painted it with some silver spray paint.

For the candles, I used plastic hair rollers and the flame-less tea lights.
The tea lights just happen to fit perfectly on the tops of the hair rollers!

I covered each roller with paper in various shades of blues and violets.

Moussia and Yosef love to light the candles each night since the flames do not get hot and are safe for children. Each one has it's own tiny battery and stays lit for hours.

Chanukah is only a little more than one week away so now's the time to start this project!

Linked to:
NewlyWoodwards

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moving Cards

Today is moving day...Yikes! 

I'm hoping things go smoothly and I can find most of my things among the sea of boxes during the next few days. 

I made these moving announcements a few weeks ago and I just mailed them to friends and family.
They were simple to make. I color-copied a map of the area, then cut it to fit on the front of my card. (I used a brown craft paper card with matching envelopes). I put a small gold star where our new house is located and added a tag saying "WE MOVED" from the Martha Stewart office collection at Staples. Inside the card is our new address and phone.

I made 50 total!
See you soon from the new house!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chanukah in a Box

What's blue and white and gold all over? Chanukah in a box!

It's the perfect gift for a son or daughter away at school or a parent or relative in their own apartment. They'll have everything they'll need to celebrate Chanukah. 

Here's what's inside...

Putting this together was simple...
I found a strong box on sale at Michael's that I painted--gold on the outside and blue inside. After measuring where I wanted my compartments, I cut strips of foam core to fit.

I found the pretty Painted Wood Dreidel at Crate and Barrel...
It's a wonderful gift they'll be delighted to receive!

The winner of the Chanukah Gift Pockets is Devora from Toronto--Mazel Tov!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Chocolate Pretzel Stars for Chanukah

Got chocolate? How about pretzel sticks? That's all you really need to make these festive pretzel stars for Chanukah!
 PHOTO: CURT HENDERSON
Here's how:

Chanukah Pretzel Stars
12-ounce bag of chocolate chips
Pretzel sticks

1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler on top of the stove. Be careful not to scorch. Stir until smooth.
2. Dip the pretzels into the warm chocolate, using the chocolate as "glue" to hold stick together. Form into triangles, then Star of David shapes placing down on parchment paper.
3. Drizzle on a bit more chocolate to keep it wet and sprinkle with your choice of sprinkles or sugar pearls as shown here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Meet Brooke from the Sucre Shop!

I discovered Brooke's adorable wood patterned spoons and forks when I was working on a Shavuot ice cream party post last May.  I knew her pastel colored stripped wood spoons would be the perfect accompaniment to my children's ice cream party.

Since then, Brooke's shop (Sucre Shop) has become an advertiser on Design Megillah and I plan on using her beautiful products for the many upcoming parties and simchas our family has planned! I always love to hear success stories and I thought you would, too--here is my interview with Brooke...
DM: Your products are so pretty and also so unique. How did you get the idea to do this and how did you get started?
Thank you! About the time I started printing on ice cream spoons, I had two reasons for crafting: I wanted to make things for my kids, and I wanted to blog about my crafts. As soon as I started designing ice cream spoons I was totally hooked. The pictures were so much fun, and I was putting original content on my blog. The possibilities for themes and colors are endless- and I still think that is exciting! Before I had anyone else working with me it was just me thinking "I want to make stripes, what's the best way to make stripes?" and then a month later thinking the same thing about dots, and then a month later deciding to put the dots and stripes together on one utensil. The process was fun to me, I was pushing myself to design new things. From the very beginning my kids and their friends loved the spoons, so I knew I was on to something.
That was just over a year ago, and now we sell to over 50 stores Internationally, and have been in some great magazines like Martha Stewart Living, People and Food & Wine. But in the end, it still comes down to the same thing I started out doing, making new designs, and creating something fun to use for my kids, and other people's now too.

DM: What training (college, other?) do you have?
I went to Tulane for college and feel like 4 years in New Orleans had such a huge influence on who I am and my design style. I love vintage, and french architecture, and good food, and those are things that are in my life everyday. 
I'm not a trained designer or graphic artist, it's just something I'm passionate about and have done a lot of research in.  I've moved through different mediums, starting with paper crafts in high school and bookbinding, then textiles and sewing, and on to printing. I love being able to integrate different mediums and create something new. Hopefully I can keep doing that! 
 
DM: How do you juggle being a mom and running the Sucre Shop?
It is not easy, I just do the best I can. My son, Nash, is 5 and in kindergarten, and my daughter, Margot, is 4 and is in pre-school. Some days I just don't want to drop them off! But they go to great, nurturing schools and they have teachers and friends who care about them. As for me, I have a great work space and great employees I love to be around, and a wonderfully supportive family. If any of those pieces were missing it would be a lot harder.
DM: How does being Jewish play into your business and being a parent?
I love the opportunity that I have now to put more Judaica into people's lives! We made some forks that said "have a sweet New Year" and we've done things for Bar Mitzvah's and Jewish weddings, and now of course Hanukkah. There is such a limited selection of Jewish products out there, and it makes me feel great that I can give another tableware/party option. 
It is nice that most Target stores have a Hanukkah section, but it doesn't make all my Hanukkah decorating dreams come true. I am definitely going to concentrate on developing more options for Jewish events. My kids both go to Jewish schools, so I am not worried that they will feel "left out" during the holiday season, but I still want to do everything I can to make their Hanukkah more fun.  

DM: What is your proudest moment?
I don't think I have one. I am flooded with things to be proud of these days, whether it's an email from a major magazine about my products, or a conference at my kids schools, I feel like I am floating pretty regularly. We all have ups and downs, but really appreciating the little but amazing things every day keeps me happy.
DM: Any tips for other young moms trying to juggle motherhood and starting a business?
Don't be afraid to take the next step. Whether it is getting a lease on a much-needed work space, or deciding to put your child in extra care. Nothing has to be permanent. A lease can be 6 months, and you can always change your kids plans if it isn't working out. It's hard to make a leap, but without giving your business the chance it deserves, you may not see it grow, and that could be harder.
Also, I use every service available to make things easier. Payroll, shipping, mail pick-up, supply delivery, you name it. Moms are busy, we don't have time to do chores at home and work too. Make it easier for yourself when you can! Your husband and kids will appreciate it if you're not a ball of stress every night.
I think the bottom line is if you feel like what your doing makes you a better person, and makes you happy, it will be good for your family too.
DM: Thank you Brooke, for taking the time to talk with me and telling my readers about your awesome shop!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chanukah Gift Pockets (enter to win!)

Because the Chanukah menorah is lit every night for eight consecutive nights, some families have the tradition of giving a small gift to children each of the eight nights.

Here's a way to keep those gifts handy and organized while also looking festive hanging nearby the menorah.

This is simple to make--all you need are canvas over the door shoe pockets. I found mine at Bed Bath and Beyond.
I cut it with scissors since I only wanted the top two rows of pockets.

Next I printed out numbers on my computer and traced them onto the fronts of the pockets using a ball point pen and carbon paper.
 I used a dark blue Sharpie marker to fill in the numbers.

To win this simply "like" Design Megillah on Facebook, then share this post. I will contact the winner by November 26 and ship it to your door in time for Chanukah!

Linked to:
The Shabby Nest 
Somewhat Simple 
creative jewish mom

Friday, November 16, 2012

Featured in Yum for Kids Magazine!

This summer while many of you were enjoying the surf and sun, I was hard at work creating a Chanukah feature for Yum for Kids magazine!

Their holiday issue is finally out on the newsstands...

They asked me to include "cute kids" in the photos, so of course I had to include Moussia and Yosef!
If you can't find the magazine where you live, I'll be posting all the projects right here in the next few weeks leading up to Chanukah so stay turned!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

An Ombre Dresser

Although my sister lives in Missouri and I live in Connecticut she never hesitates to ask me for decorating advice. Through the magic of the Internet and digital cameras, helping her is easy.

She had a great dresser in her master bedroom with lots of drawers providing tons of storage, but she was tired of the "country feel" and wanted a new look. When she called and asked for my advice on how to update it I told her an Ombre paint technique would instantly update it while adding visual interest to the room.


Here is what she started with...

The inspiration for the paint colors came from her beautiful Charlie Paisley Organic Duvet Cover from Pottery Barn.

I told her that sanding furniture is too time consuming and she should use a deglosser instead. All you have to do it rub it on the surface with a soft cloth to remove any gloss, let it dry and it's ready for paint.
I suggested she use a primer first to be sure the the paint adheres and wears well.

Next she gave it a coat of the base color and painted the knobs the same colors as the drawer fronts.
It was important to have the knobs match the drawer fronts to keep the Ombre effect going.

Can you believe the difference?
So much more updated!

Paint is truly magic!

Linked to:
Someday Crafts 
not just a housewife 
House of Hepworths 
The Shabby Nest 
Miss Mustard Seed
504 Main 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Address Stamp

Amid the chaos of packing I ordered a self-inking stamp with the address of our new home. I went on Etsy to see what was available and there were so many beautiful stamp designs it was hard to choose a favorite!
I finally settled on this one from palmpapers. I've been in graphic design for over thirty years, so I'm a stickler for good typography-- the design was simple and I love the beautiful font.

Even the packaging was a visual treat!

This is the motivation I needed to finish my moving announcements--these are the envelopes I'll be using, so come back soon to view the finished product!




Friday, November 9, 2012

Personalized Memory Game

Yosef's Upsherin is not until the end of January. However, with our upcoming move and all the work I'll be doing in the new house, I'm trying to get as much done as possible beforehand.

We're going to have a children's table with crafts and games to keep the little ones busy. Since Moussia and Yosef love to play their memory game, I had a personalized game made up with pictures of Yosef!

I was going to make the game myself, but when I found that they make these games on Pinhole Press for $19.99 it was one less thing for me to do!

All you do is send them 12 photos and they do the rest. The cards are very sturdy and come out beautifully.
I hope the kids have fun playing the game at the party!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sold!

It's official. Our house is sold and we're moving in less than four weeks! 
The bad news is that the new house needs work. Wanna hear the good news? The new house needs work!!

We have looked at dozens of houses over the past few months, and I will be the first one to admit, we were picky!

Our biggest beef was always with the kitchen. (Or the location. Or the backyard. Or... OK... That's another story!) The houses in these neighborhoods are older, so even homeowners who are able and willing to renovate usually overlook the massive job of gutting an entire kitchen.

Aside from the kitchen not looking "Pinterest-Ready," we also want to make it easier to keep kosher: Two sinks, two ovens, two dishwashers, etc. So the bad news is that we're going to be eating a LOT of take-out in the beginning. But the good news is that you'll get to follow our progress as I post before and afters, and a LOT of how-tos. Check out my Kitchen board on Pinterest to see my inspiration photos, and stay tuned...

Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm Featured in Houzz!

When Houzz contacted me and asked me to do a Chanukah feature for their website I said YES! Although I'm up to my eyeballs in moving boxes I just couldn't say no. 

If you're not familiar with Houzz it's a design source book with the largest collection of interior design and decorating ideas on the Internet--it's a dream come true for any designer and is a great tool for anyone who needs new ideas for their own home. The basic function of the site is browsing through photos of design ideas and adding them to your idea book. You can view photos of designs by professionals and other users, as well as products. 

Here's a peak of my Chanukah dinner table...
You can click here to view the entire story.
Linked to:
The Nester

Friday, November 2, 2012

November Flowers: Ornamental Cabbage

It's the first week of November--time for Flowers on First!

Thanksgiving is only three weeks away. If you're hosting the holiday and need a centerpiece, consider using ornamental cabbage for an autumnal touch.
Source:First Comes Love Then Comes Marriage
You've probably seen ornamental cabbage in the garden centers and used in pots along with mums. But using them indoors with or without other flowers makes for a unique and beautiful centerpiece.

Here are just a few examples to inspire you...
Source:HGTV
 Source:Style Me Pretty

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