Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Favorite Blog Posts of 2014

It's been a fun year—I love creating blog posts for Design Megillah and even more fun is when I hear from you guys in the comments and Facebook page. 

Here are 10 of my favorite posts from 2014 in chronological order...

Back in January, I created these "copper" cups using old glass cups from the thrift store and contact paper.

I love creating my Shalach Manos baskets for Purim every year and this lemon themed basket was no exception.

We've been living in our current house for two years and it's still a work in progress.  It's such fun to compare photos of how things look now to what it looked like when we moved in.

Moussia's art birthday party was a hit with her guests and such fun for me planning it!

Who knew that paper straws can create such a chic (and cheap!) light fixture?

The first room we tackled in Ariel's new/old house was the butler's pantry which became her dairy kitchen. So. Much. Paint.

I have painted so many pieces of furniture yet I'm always amazed at what a difference paint can make like this Craig-list dresser painted bright yellow.

These clear honey lollipops for Rosh Hashanah were so pretty.

Frozen colored water made a beautiful menorah for Chanukah.

I'm still not finished with Yosef's room but this giant map wall changed everything!

What were your favorite posts of 2014? Drop me a line and let me know what you'd love to see more of in 2015!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

An abc Pillow

The main surfaces in Yosef's room are finally done...walls, window treatments and rug. Now I'm working on accessories before I post the finished room!

I've been noticing these adorable kid's alphabet pillows for a while.  They are not expensive but the problem was I needed a "Y" and the color it came in wasn't right for his room. So, of course I had to make one myself and it was really easy.
Here's how:
1. Start with a solid colored pillow. You can easily sew one or purchase one like I did.
2. Type the font and print, them blow up on a copier to the size you want on the pillow.
3. Cut out letter and pin to the fabric. (I used gray felt.)
4. Cut the felt letter carefully with sharp scissors.
5. Pin the felt letter to the pillow.
6. Using a whip stitch, sew the letter onto the pillow. (This took a while so I worked while watching TV!)

Since this is for a boy's room I choose a simple masculine font but it would work just as well with a fun curly font or script font for a girl's room.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Home for Chanukah

The holiday of Chanukah begins tonight! 

We'll light the first candle and then begin the busy week of Chanukah plays, dinners and parties. I had such fun decorating our home and gift wrapping for the holiday using many of the projects I created for design megillah and my Etsy shop.

Have a beautiful Chanukah...physically and spiritually.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Striped Star of David Cookies

Let me begin by saying I'm not much of a baker. In fact, since I've become gluten-free ten years ago I really don't bake very often. But, when I saw this recipe over the summer in Better Homes and Garden (their version was for Fourth of July) I knew these striped stars would be perfect for Chanukah.
Here's a step-by-step on how I made mine, but you can get the recipe and more detail from the link above...

Since my version is not gluten-free I won't be tasting these :(
...I'll ask the family to let me know how they taste!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kid Friendly Menorahs

For menorah fun that kids can enjoy themselves, check these out—some are homemade, others you can purchase, but the good news they are all flame-less so kids can play "Chanukah" for hours!
I designed this electric menorah a few years back using tea lights and plastic hair rollers!
Across left to right: Door hanging Menorah, Spool and Pencil Menorah, Wood Chanukah Set, Cardboard Menorah, Play Menorah, Paper and Felt Menorah

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Chanukah Decor: Tasteful not Tacky

Here's a common dilemma: You want to decorate your home for Chanukah but most of the decor you find is cheap looking, plastic or garish colors. You don't have time to craft or you're just not the crafty type.

I feel your pain, and that's why I put together this tasteful round-up of Chanukah items
— perfect for a beautiful holiday!
1.  Hanukkah Countdown Calendar  2. Paper Dreidels  3. Happy Hanukkah Garland  4. Kids Melamine Plate   5. Art poster  6. Festival of Lights Pillow

 7. Miracles Letters  8. Embroidered Pillow   9. Hanukkah Garland  10. Star Garland   11. Blue Glitter Wood Decor   12. Window Hanger   13. Hanukkah Crackers

You're welcome.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chanukah Star

I'm decking the whole house for Chanukah this year and since I've always had a thing for tiny blue lights I used them to wrap around a Star of David shape to add a bit of sparkle to our holiday.

All it took was a package of mini blue lights from Target, a star shape that I cut out of foam core board (the board is white on one side, black on the other) and some black tape to keep the lights pointing in the direction where I want them.

So pretty when the sun goes down.
And yes, there is a cord that hangs down and plugs into an outlet but I took some artistic license and deleted it from the photo for the sake of art!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Gelt

Did you know the fifth night of Chanukah is traditionally "gelt night"? This is because the fifth night never falls on Shabbat and since many traditional Jews do not handle money on Shabbat they give gelt to the children on the fifth night.

Here is a charming way to give gelt...mixing real coins with chocolate coins for a sweet treat.
The clear mini pails are from Michael's and the custom tags are from Evermine. Other kinds of containers would work too—just be sure to use a clear one so the shiny golds can be seen.
I asked the teller at my bank for silver dollars...I guess they don't make those any more but instead they have these gold dollar coins which work even better with the gold foil wrapped candy chocolate!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ice Menorah

I may not live in a part of the country where I can boast 70 degree days most of the year, or have palm trees growing outside my window, but I can make a beautiful ice menorah when the weather dips below 32 degrees.
We are supposed to get our first snow of the season this Wednesday, but I made these last winter. Here's how:
I used plastic containers from the dollar store and filled them with colored water. (A mixture of blue and green food coloring stirred into the water.) Next went the small plastic cups into the center with some stones for weight. Now wait for the weather to dip below 32 degrees.
Insert a tea light candle into each indentation that the cup made. If you're lucky and get snow along with the freezing temps your menorah will look even prettier!

Linked to: creativejewishmom

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Moss Menorah

Here's a simple, chic menorah to put together with items from the dollar store (really!) You start with little metal pails sold in the wedding party section, top it with some sheet moss and finish with candles. I love to use moss in the home...it gives an organic earthy look but unlike real plants, it's preserved so there's no maintenance.
Here is what the pails look like at the dollar store...
1. Fill the pails with flower foam...you'll have to cut the foam to fit into the little pails. 
2. Top with sheet moss that you soaked really well. (You don't want the dry moss to catch on fire!) You may have to keep wetting the moss during the eight days of Chanukah to keep it moist.
3. Using a ball point pen, start a hole where you'll insert the candle.
4. For the shamus candle, elevate one of the pails on something to give it height...I used an inverted egg cup.

So easy, right?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Shop & Nosh

I celebrated my birthday in New York this week and spent most of the day doing my favorite thing in the city...
First stop was the Jewish Museum Shop...
The Jewish Museum Shop offers the world’s finest selection of Jewish ceremonial objects and products representative of contemporary and traditional Jewish art and culture. Great gifts for men and women, Museum reproductions and adaptations, jewelry, books, music, toys and inspired objects created by artists exclusively for the shops – all relating to Jewish life.

Next we headed downtown and caught the Renegade craft fair--the world’s premier network of events serving the DIY craft community.

Everything at the fair reflects their commitment to showcase the best and brightest in indie craft and design. Needless to say I wanted one of everything!

After walking in the cold all day we were famished and stopped for a great kosher dinner at Wolf and Lamb.
Natural grass fed beef that's kosher, too? Yes, please!

Next up: Chanukah crafting.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

This & That

I've been up in Amherst this week and finally finished painting Yosef's bedroom...Benjamin Moore's Coastal Fog...such a great color, I've used it in many projects including my own living room.  We're still tweaking more things and will reveal the finished room soon. Meanwhile, here is how we made the giant wall map look "Jewish"...
The hebrew banner says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The paper banner was given a tea-stain to make it looks aged and work better with the colors on the map.

This light fixture is what came with the new/old house. It's in the front hall and not very attractive... 
I found the wrought iron ball from craftoutlet.com. It's 22-inches wide and cost $25.50 and should look great made into a light fixture once we figure out how to do that!

I just bought this art on etsy for Chanukah...
it reminds me of my favorite Chanukah song and makes me happy.

She's only two years old but Zelda decided she will only wear pink dresses. Everyday. To preschool.
Have a great weekend and Shabbat Shalom!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chanukah Miracle

If you've been following me for awhile you may have seen this photo which first appeared in the Houzz Chanukah decorating idea workbook a few years back...
Although they're not much more than painted chipboard letters, I've had many requests asking if these are for sale. They are now!

Here is the version for sale in my Etsy shop...
The font has changed but they're still the same gold letters which look great sitting in glass votive cups (filled with salt--like snow!)  They look good on a mantle, perched on a windowsill or on a shelf like shown here. Each letter is 4 inches high and the length of the word is about 30 inches long.

After all, aren't the Miracles the reason for Chanukah?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Chanukah Gift Tags

Although I usually wrap Chanukah gifts in a plain or a subtle printed paper I'm always on the lookout for well designed Chanukah gift tags to add to the package.  Since I haven't had much luck finding many that I loved, it was time to make my own.

These are all for sale in packs of ten in my Etsy shop and there are three styles to choose from.
A graphic circle on blue stripes...
Eight candles shining bright...
or this cute snowman singing the dreidel song.

Wouldn't these look great on your gift boxes? You can visit the Jewish Holiday Shop here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Make A Chanukah Pillow

This year I'm going all out and decking our house for Chanukah. Why not bring the holiday into the home with more than just a menorah? 

If you read Jewish lifestyle blogs you may have seen this post from Dena, over at Chai and Home—she featured Chanukah pillows for sale from several retailers. I've been thinking of making my own Chanukah pillow since the summer and since the holiday is six weeks away, now is a good time to make one.
There are many ways to create a Chanukah pillowsince I don't own a fancy Cricut electric cutting machine to create letter and shapes and I don't have a color ink jet printer to print out my design with fabric transfer paper, I made mine simply by tracing onto fabric with sharpie markers. Here's how:

I had some left-over linen fabric from another project so I decided to make my own pillow, but you can buy a plain cover from Ikea if you don't want to sew. Mine is off-white but colored pillows would also work well.
I created this design...if you'd like to use it too, simply copy and paste it onto a document and print to the desired size.

Next I taped it to a large window...

and taped my fabric right over it.

with the sunlight coming through it's like a giant light-box so it's easy to trace using colored Sharpie markers.

A quick run through the sewing machine, add an insert and my pillow's done!
Lots more Chanukah ideas to come, but first I have to tackle Thanksgiving!
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