Sunday, December 29, 2013

What Does Your Coffee Mug Say About You?

What does your coffee mug say about you?

Office Space from here                                          Coffee Mug from here 

A graphic designer, you live in a pretty apartment that you keep neat and clean. You love simple and straight lines, with just a touch of femininity. Pink? Of course! As long as it paired with black, grey, or brown.  You drink your soy latte by the computer while clicking away on your mac with browser tabs open to Pinterest, Instagram and all of Adobe Suite. 

Bedroom from here                                   Mug from here

You're getting your Masters in Philosophy, tending to write your papers from the comfort of your bed. To you, design is just another way to make your nest a cozier place. After all, you love snuggling. You prefer hot chocolate, even more when you add a marshmallow. You love your laptop, but also the sound and smell of pencils on paper.

Room from here                                        Wood mug from here

A writer specializing in historical novels and avid collector, while traveling to European capitals to visit archives searching for new materials, you'll always look out for little antique shops on the small streets. You drink your Espresso with a small glass of Soda, while in front of you four large crumbling books lay open, two of which were given to you by a questionable  British acquaintance.

Living room from here                                    Mug from here

A busy lawyer, your home is the one place you can relax. Your crazy and stressful schedule makes you look for blissful harmony between your four walls. You drink your tea with your eyes closed, taking time to breathe and listen to the voices from the quiet street below your house between sips. A bird chirps, rain drizzles on the roof, wind blows, a child laughs, a car drives by. Silence.

And maybe, like me, you're a little of each?
Thanks for visiting me here,
Until next time - 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

DIY Gold Centerpiece

Somehow, I found myself with a lot of plastic pears (long story, don't ask). Simple, plain, boring, and cheap.
You already know what I do to simple boring objects.


That's right, cover them in gold leaf.

Paint the Wall Black - the do's and dont's

Let's break some taboos, shall we?

Tip No 1: Pick a well lit room, black walls need balance. photo from here

Wall colors.
Now when it comes to choosing colors for your wall, I feel like there are two main roads people take. White, and cream. Every once in a while some magazine will come out with hot trends for wall paint, and people will oooooooh and aaaaaah, and think about painting one wall in a different color. Then they go to the paint store and buy not cream, not white but - wait for it - Beige!
Adventures, right?

Tip No 2: Use natural textures (like wood) to create a softer feel via here

Hey I'm not judging! I'm a black and white type myself. And not b/c I don't like colors! But rather b/c I love them. A black-white-grey setup is perfect for color lovers, b/c it gives a wonderful backdrop for changing up accessories with different colors without having to start over each time. 
My entire house was painted white - other then my children's room which is painted in a grey-green color (I'll post them in a different blog post).
What changed all that? A story in the old version of Domino about J Crews creative director Jenna Lyons. (Interestingly enough, Jordan Ferney's bed room in the first photo was also inspired by this same story:) As I read it everything I once thought about wall color choices changed.

Tip No 3: Use lot's of white to light up the space even more, it's all about balance!  Found via here

 The next day I was at the paint store. Not yet ready to buy black paint, I bought a dark shade of purple. The women at the counter asked me if I was a photographer in need of a black room:)
We painted our bedroom purple, and I can tell you the women from the store was wrong. With the white bedding and our big window - the room is very bright and airy.
And if we are breaking myths, how about painting a children's room black?

Tip No 4: use bright colors like orange and yellow that will really pop against the black wall

I'm not quite sold on a black wall in a child's room, but you'll have to agree with me that this nursery is simply beautiful. It is also taken from Jenna Lyon's home. In the story they did she said she and her husband tried to imagine there son in his first year, lying on his back in the crib. That is what inspired them to pains stripes on the ceiling - what a lovely idea.

All of the tips in one image: well lit, lot's of white, natural wood texture, pop of color (the blue cup) via here

We are building our new home as I write this post, and I know a black wall will definitely be there.
How about you? Would you consider painting a wall black? Let me know in the comments:))
Until next time,

Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Traditions and Black Friday Sale

I love family traditions. Something about doing something the same way every year calms and excites me at the same time.
Here in Israel we are in the midst of celebrating Chanukah, a holiday that commemorates the miracle of light. Every night we light another candle in the Menorah, for eight nights.
But for our family, the preparations start the night before. We light the menorah on a side table near the window so people outside can see, so we need to move around a lot of furniture to make that happen. The big empty space by the wall where the side table usually stands can only mean one thing - It's Chanukah.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Winter DIY - How to Make a Winter Bouquet

My kids are growing up differently then I did.


My childhood took place in two different continents. We went back and forth between Israel and the USA until I was twelve. We never spent more then two years in one place - moving around many neighborhoods and schools.  The years  in America were spent in a classic suburban setting - a front and back yard, plenty of open spaces but very little independence, mainly due to my parents feeling it wasn't secure enough for us to walk around on our own. The years in Israel were spent in Jerusalem, a busy city full of people, traffic, cafes and the regular hustle and bustle of a busy city. We were free to take the bus and walk around the city as we pleased.


Sometimes I look at my kids and I realize they haven't been out of our community in a month (!) No stores, no traffic - just the quiet Israeli countryside. I find myself feeling bad for them, even though I'm pretty sure they could care less. They seem perfectly content.
This week we went out for a walk in the woods surrounding our house. I took pictures while my kids ran around, climbing, shouting, having fun.


We gathered branches we found lying about to make a winter bouquet. When we came home I made a couple of different bouquets. Fist, I took some Holiday Ornaments from my shop and hung them on the branches set in a vase. This would look equally pretty on a branch hanging from the ceiling.

You can purchase the ornament here

For a more colorful bouquet (but still super simple to put together) you can stick Washi Tape on the branches (I chose neon pink and a minty green color for the tape).

Washi Tape makes everything better
A little while ago it occurred to me the longest I've ever lived in the same house has been the Caravan we're living in now while we're waiting for our house to be built - eight long years - and that kind of freaked me out. I don't like to settle down - I love moving around and discovering new places. But this week with my kids in the forest, I felt content being exactly where I am, no matter where we'll be tomorrow.

Have a lovely winter,

P.S. The ornaments are for a limited time - until January or when they run out - whichever comes first, if you like them you'd better hurry:)

How Etsy Changed My Life (well, my work life)

About a week ago I gave a talk in front of a lovely group of women (120 in total) about my business, mainly it's growth over the past year. I showed different methods that worked for me in terms of publicity, mainly overseas.  It was very important to me  to give actual tips and ideas people could implement - rather then stand in front of a crowded room and show off - which I really hate.

I spoke about planning ahead and ways to get the word about your creative work out there. (You can see the full presentation here . I came out feeling really good - everyone was very friendly, and I was sporting grey nails - my tried and true method for feeling amazing:)
Looking back at the past year, I can't pinpoint anything specific that was the one thing that's responsible for my growth. It's a process that I'm still learning. I can say that the fact I started putting a lot of effort in my shop on Etsy really contributed to my studio, and not for the obvious reasons of increases in sales. Working on my Etsy shop brought back the joy of my craft b/c it made me face a lot of things I had been trying to avoid, and made me get back into creating.

 Holiday Ornament, inspired by Etsy
For those of you who don't know, Etsy is an online Marketplace for everything handmade (or in the handmade spirit - they've recently changed the rules a bit) . The revelation that Etsy is more of a social media platform then just a marketplace was a game changer in terms of traffic and sales - with forums and teams created around mutual interests or geography and a big emphasis on liking other peoples creations. For me the most refreshing and inspiring part of Etsy was the fact that I could really feel the pride people take in their craft.  I had always tried to hide the fact that I produce everything myself. Studying Industrial Design in a very traditional and conservative school - handmade was a step down from mass production (it sound almost crazy, right?). In school the professors would always praise the industrial process, and I was embarrassed. 
Then all of the sudden, I was forced to tell my story. I started to show pictures of myself in the production process. As I came out of my shell, I was blown away by the amazing feedback I was receiving. 

 Producing the Felt Storage Bin
The community aspect of Etsy helped me make friends all over the world, like Rebekah from Alaska who takes the most amazing inspiring photos of her lovely jewelery, or Adele, an industrial designer from Italy with a creative outlook on design. 

 The lovely photos from Rebekah's shop - Burnish
Working side by side with talented people from all over the world made me take a long hard look at my own designs - I knew I needed new ideas, better photos, which helped me rediscover my creative streak. I felt obligated to my new customers to show new innovative designs. Now I am busy designing new items, in addition to designs I created especially for Etsy that would have never come to life without that site (my art prints, in case you were wondering).  
More then anything, I think it's about being in constant motion. Something about being a creative entrepreneur working from my home - you kind of function in a different time zone. I needed someone or something to get me back to living with the rest of the worlds schedule out of belief in me, not criticism.
There is a lof of frustration in this kind of job. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get things done, and even when I do get them done I'm not sure if done is good enough - not to mention all of my other jobs (mother, wife, etc) I feel like I should be putting more time into - it's nice to get a friendly push in the right direction every once in a while.
How about you, dear readers? Have you ever gotten a kick in the butt from someone who believes in you? How did that work out? Let me know in the comments below.
Until Next time,

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Winter DIY Ideas for Your Entrance

In Israel, we don't really have Autumn, or Spring for that matter. Both of these seasons take about two weeks start to finish. Mostly it's summer, and a bit of winter. It has rained a bit lately,  giving me a little preview on what winter will look like. This preview was extremely wet, and muddy.
With two kids in and out of the house all of the time, I know I need a new system for keeping our entrance in tact. Not that there is much of an entrance, just the front door and a wall - but still.
So it's time for a  DIY roundup. And even though my husband gets so annoyed with my projects (I'll admit that normally happens when I don't quite finish them. Which is often.) this time I know it's different, b/c the ideas I've found are (mostly) super easy.

1. Wall Hooks
Aren't these wall hooks so cute? This is a project from the ever so talented girls over at Snug Studio. They're made from children's blocks! 
You can see the full tutorial over on the Snug Blog 

These hooks are really pretty as well, I'm not sure how they would hold up with coats hanging on them.

This idea from the lovely blog Bambula
2. Entrance Mat
You can buy a ton of different mats on the cheap at your local hardware store. But wouldn't you rather have a cloud shaped mat? Anyone could make this - it's a simple Ikea mat cut into a cloud shape. What are you waiting for?

Find the full tutorial over at Shinedotdesign

3. Shoe Storage
For me, this is the biggest problem. Turns out little kids have a lot of shoes. And boots. And slippers. And gross wet socks (don't you just hate wet socks?). I like what I found over at Not Martha. The way the shoes float over the floor, it look pretty cool, don't you think?

Find the full tutorial over at Not Martha 

To close up this wintery roundup, here's the cutest idea - a little tangerine snail.
I can just smell winter coming:)

SO CUTE! Tangerine snail 
The instructions are in Spanish, but it seems pretty straight forward. From here

Wish me luck with my DIY endeavors, and hopefully I'll have some nice "After" pictures to share soon.


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