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 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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fresh Looks for Shabbat Candlesticks

Do you light Shabbat candles every Friday night? It's one of the first mitzvahs I began—it's pretty easy: just check the candle lighting time for your location and be sure to light one candle for each member of your family. You can find the prayer and details here.

Judaica shops sell many Shabbat candlesticks but why limit yourself to those? Here are candlesticks from many of my favorite home design stores. Most are more stylish than what you'd find at Judaica stores and often less expensive. Since the candles burn all the way down, avoid wood or glass and stick to a metal.
These Silver Plated Candlesticks once reserved for grand hotels make a striking addition to your sideboard.
Modern heirlooms in brilliant stainless steel designed by the British design studio Robert Welch, whose works are in museum collections all over the world. Refined trumpet shapes are stunning when displayed in multiples.
The modern antique bronze finish of these Metal Taper Candleholders look great in a traditional or modern setting.
 These candlesticks capture the look of hand-sculpted silver. 
 The Iron Age meets the modern era in the sophisticated simplicity of this sculptural centerpiece. 
 Antique brass finish adds richness and a vintage vibe to the sculptural profile of these stunning candleholders.
 This black metal pillar from Target is only $14.99!

What do you use for your Shabbat candles?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Making Ikea Bed Frames Look Lux

I'm on a roll trying to get the girl's shared bedroom done before Purim. (But don't hold me to that!) The walls are painted and now it's time for the beds. Moussia currently sleeps on a beautiful Craig's list find that I painted black years ago.  Zelda is still in a toddler bed but she'll be three this summer and is ready for a big girl bed. So now I needed to find two matching beds that weren't going to break the bank. 

I headed to Ikea this week and bought two Fjellse bed frames. The were only $39.99 each and should work out perfectly for what I have planned!
This week I'm finishing a desk which is a combination custom-made white Formica desktop with Ikea accessories for the base. (It is going to sit right in front of a mantel and since there's so little wall space in the room so it was important that it fit perfectly.)

And, I can't sign off without sharing some new items I spotted at Ikea...
The Stockholm cabinet is a show stopper in bright yellow!
I'm crazy about this Stenklover duvet cover.
Ikea has introduced paper goods and they're so good.
Love how the Ryssby corner shelf looks so graphic and modern but old at the same time.

Wish me luck getting those beds done!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fox & Fish

I am so excited to share a new website with your guys; it's called Fox & Fish and it's so. full. of. cuteness!  It's the best place to find beautiful children's artwork and adorable Onesies for Jewish children.
The talented guy behind it is graphic designer Yossi Belkin. Here's his story in a nutshell:

While my wife and I were expecting our first child, we scoured the world wide web for all things baby, and pinned away our days full of adorableness on all fronts but one: modern art for Jewish kids. We were shocked to find a gaping hole in such a modern art-centric world. We realized if we wanted to find the genre we were looking for, we would need to create it ourselves...

As a graphic designer, and soon-to-be dad, I had been working on branding projects ranging from hipster BBQ joints to Fortune 500 companies. A lover of art and all things creative, I jumped on the baby-art-making bandwagon and decided to conjure up some of my own designs.

If you're a parent with young children or a grandparent like me, I think you'll find these prints a refreshing change from the usual offerings out there. Here are just a few of my favorite's...
 1. Velda Chaya  2. abc aleph bet  3. Yidbot  4. Good Morning  5. Loves me  6. Little Mensch

I'm right smack in the middle of decorating the girl's room so this could not have come at a better time. Can't wait to see our favorite prints framed and hung on the walls! You can check out the entire collection at FoxandFish.
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