A Jewish Wedding in Brown and Green: Part 2

Wedding seating card displayHere are the seating cards and display I did for the brown and green Jewish wedding featured last week.  I was inspired by this pin I found on Pinterest:

Source: ruffledblog.com via Gaby on Pinterest

My first thought was to create a traditional-style tag so I bought a tag shape to cut with my Silhouette at the Silhouette Store.  Then I used the print and cut feature in Silhouette Studio to print the guests’ names and cut them out on chartreuse cover paper from Paper Source.  It looked pretty good at this point, but when I saw the full sheet of paper bag label paper, I couldn’t resist making my own hole reinforcement to give it the look of truly old-fashioned tags.

DIY kraft hole reinforcements

I loved the clothesline with the mini clothespins and I wanted to incorporate that into the tree theme from the invitations.  I started with some willow branches from Michael’s – though any branch would do, you just need something sturdy enough to hold the twine fully laden with seating cards.  The branches were secured together at the bottom with floral foam then the foam was wrapped with a piece of burlap ribbon leftover from the centerpieces. The branches were then tied with twine and placed in large vases (that were available for use at the synagogue). Then river rocks were arranged inside the vases to weigh them down.  I only bought 4 bags of river rocks which was sufficient but I also think it might have looked better with more.  {The vases could be further customized to match any decor by using flowers, etc.}  The cards were then attached one by one to the lines in alphabetical order.

Seating cards attached with mini clothespins

Months ago, I ordered some unfinished hamsas in a couple of sizes (and some unfinished mezuzahs too – future project alert!) from Benny’s Educational Toys, the only place I’ve found unfinished wood Judaica.  I really wanted to put my own Jewish twist on the clothesline seating card display  so I decided to personalize the small hamsas for the couple and decorate the willow branches.  First, I painted the hamsas in the same Martha Stewart Vanilla Bean paint I used for the wedding centerpieces.  While the paint was drying, I cut out some shapes and sayings on the chartreuse cardstock using my Silhouette.  I decided to make 7 of them since 7 has special significance in Jewish weddings and Judaism in general. For example, there are 7 hakafot (circles) as well as 7 wedding blessings.  Finally, I used Mod Podge to glue and seal the cut outs onto the hamsas.  I LOVE the result!

Finally, you might note the large calendar below the seating cards – another Pinterest inspired idea of a calendar guest book  where guests signed on their birthday with either a date suggestion or words of wisdom for the couple.  So fun!  The brown owl vase was a Target find in the dollar section with classic Crayolas for that elementary school feel!

Wedding guest book calendar

Have you seen any other Jewish twists incorporated in wedding decor?

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A Jewish Wedding in Brown and Green: Part 1!

Living Centerpieces in Burlap Covered Buckets with Table No.

I had the honor of decorating for the wedding of a fabulous couple of friends this past weekend.  Their vision was simple: incorporate their chosen colors green and brown (their invites had an owl and a tree so this was a sub-theme) and have centerpieces that served some function beyond just the wedding. And of course keep within budget.  Other than that, I was free to exercise my creative muscles.

After discussing centerpieces, we decided to do something living so that people could take them home to enjoy after the wedding.  After considering all of the possible vessels for a living centerpiece (terra-cotta pots, etc), I saw these burlap-covered buckets at the local City People’s Mercantile and was inspired to incorporate table numbers into the centerpieces themselves and give it a sort of french country flare so that when put to use later, they just look like cool vintage numbered pots and not table numbers.

In order to achieve my own version of these, I started with plain  5 1/2″ tall galvanized buckets from SaveOnCrafts.  I should note that I looked everywhere to find some that were just the right height for centerpieces at a good price since I needed to make 13 of them and this was the best I found.  Ikea does have some buckets that would work but the size was off.  I also searched high and low for wide burlap ribbon and managed to find some 4″ burlap ribbon at SaveOnCrafts as well.

My first attempt to attach the ribbon to the buckets using adhesive dots was a no go, in part because of the angle of the buckets and in part because of the weight of the burlap.  So, I decided to break out the Mod Podge!

Galvanized Bucket Covered in Burlap Ribbon

First I figured out what length of ribbon I needed and measured out 20″ strips for each centerpiece.  Then, working on one bucket at a time, I painted on the Mod Podge starting at the seam of the bucket.  I carefully placed the ribbon down,  aligning it with bottom rim of the bucket as a guide.  Then, I slowly worked my way around, painting on more Mod Podge as I went.  I didn’t worry about the Mod Podge flowing over the the ribbon at all since it dries clear!

The trick comes when you get to the end as you will see your ribbon ends at a funny angle (see #1 below).  Just cut the ends to be somewhat even with the band of ribbon and then just slather on the Mod Podge.  It’ll look messy (pic #3) but as you can see from the last picture below, it’ll dry and have a nice stiff finish and look like the bucket came that way (plus the ends won’t fray).

Mod Podged Burlap Bucket

Once all of the buckets were dry, it was time to stencil!  I chose to create stencils using my Silhouette.  I initially considered making them out of vinyl but then decided that was a bit silly (ie. wasteful) given how many I had to make so opted for cardstock instead since then I could easily use each stencil twice (each bucket had the number stenciled on each side so 2/bucket).  The trick with cardstock is keeping the centers of “o”s and things together so I used the knife tool in Silhouette Studio to create a true stencil.  Then, I fit as many numbers (in the same font as the invites: Champagne and Limousines) on a 12×12 sheet and cut them out.  Again, working one bucket at a time, I just used tape on each side of the stencil, stenciled on some Martha Stewart Crafts Paint in Vanilla Bean using a stencil brush.  I didn’t worry if the paint bled outside the stencil a little since it just added to the rustic nature of the design.

Stenciled Burlap Bucket Wedding Centerpieces

Then came the herbs!  Our hope had been to have them all be mint since it’s such a summery herb but alas the first weekend in August, there wasn’t much mint left at the nursery so I decided to go with an assortment of fresh herbs instead (none too pungent of course).  After they were all planted in the buckets, I wanted to make sure folks knew what they were taking home at the end of the night and didn’t want to leave the silly little plastic sticks that came with them so I broke out my chalkboard vinyl and cut little flags that I wrapped around short skewers (the vinyl sticks to itself so it was perfect) and then labeled them using a chalkboard pen.

Fresh Herb Centerpieces

I love how they turned out!  Totally what the couple wanted – brown, green and reusable – and very summer in Seattle!  Stay tuned for Part 2 of the wedding – seating cards and a sweet little Jewish accent!

Stitch n’ Pitch!

Today’s blog post is sort of crafty daydream as I lay in bed with terrible summer allergies (and maybe a little cold mixed in) that managed to land me a prescription yesterday for not just one, but two inhalers!  It’s quite frustrating to be feeling so crummy since I have way too many creative irons in the fire – centerpieces, seating cards and other decor for a friend’s wedding next weekend – and on top of that we are getting ready to finally redo my craft room/guest room and I have to pack everything up.  Crafting while also trying to pack stuff away is really tricky!  But, I am super excited about the room and can’t wait to share the progress with you once we get going.  For now, I am just busy pinning all of my craft room inspiration for later.

Stitch n Pitch 2012

Thursday night (in spite of my stupid allergies), I had the pleasure of joining two of my good knitter friends at the Seattle Mariner’s 8th Annual Stitch n’ Pitch.  It’s the one night a year when Safeco Field becomes a knitter’s paradise with tons of local yarn shops and knitters. (As a side note, this was my second visit to Safeco this week – I was there on Saturday for the Inaugural Refuse to Abuse 5K to support the Washington Coalition Against Domestic Violence – and the course was inside the stadium so two totally non-traditional baseball stadium visits in one week, craziness!)  Anyway, it’s quite a sight to see all the yarn shops and knitters inside the stadium.  And there’s no shortage of fun ideas from all the shops.   This is where I got into trouble.  After seeing this beautiful wine-colored Sea Silk Yarn from Hand Maiden at the Fiber Gallery table, I made the mistake of showing my friends this hamsa scarf pattern I have been contemplating for months now:

Photo from Knitspot

And despite the fact that I was toting around the baby blanket that I started over 3 years ago, before my son was born, and it’s still only about halfway finished, and despite the fact that I kept saying I couldn’t buy any more craft supplies until my room was finished, I somehow found myself with this when I got home:

Hand Maiden Sea Silk

Ah well, like I said, a crafty daydream and a future aspiration.  I can’t wait to learn how to knit lace with Colleen’s expert help! Stitch n’ Pitch was a blast despite a mishap with my totally full glass of wine on deck – let’s just say a bird had really good aim! {You can see the photo I sent to my husband to prove that this really did happen to me – so gross!  Fortunately the kind bartender took pity on me and gave me a new one along with a giant lid.}   Pacific Fabrics has some great pics of the event up on their blog if you want to see some more.  I can’t wait to go again next year! Maybe I’ll even have finished my scarf 🙂

Fit for a Princess!

And the Wine Charm Giveaway Winner!

We had another 3rd birthday party to go to this past weekend, a princess themed one to be exact.  So, I thought I’d use it as a chance to have a little more fun with T-shirt vinyl and rhinestones and make the birthday girl her own, very personalized tee.

I started with a cute girls’ tee from Old Navy – I’d show it to you but it’s not on their website anymore – why are plain kids’ tees so hard to find?!  Then, I used the rhinestone template I created when working on my Queen Farmer Hat.  Well, to be precise, I used the first template I created that was too big for the hat 🙂

Silhouette rhinestone remplate

I wanted to jazz it up a bit more so I free-handed a heart in the center and later aded pink jewels to the points.

Princess crown iron on

Next I cut the word “Princess” out of pink glitter heat transfer using Silhouette Studio and the font Lavanderia Sturdy.  I went with the lighter Lavanderia Regular and Lilac vinyl for the princess’ name.  Then, I laid everything out on the shirt using a clear ruler to get things just so.

Then I carefully ironed each piece on one at a time, finishing with the crown so it would sit on top of the words in a few spots.  The final result was just as I’d hoped it would be – fit for a princess!

And finally, the winner of the Shabbat Wine Charm giveaway is…Tina David Konegan!  Mazel tov Tina!  Email me your address so I can get your prize in the mail!

Shabbat = WINE {& A GIVEAWAY!}

Jewish Wine Charms

What’s Shabbat without a little wine (or at least a little Martinelli’s)?  I mean you can’t celebrate Shabbat without saying kiddush.  The problem is it can be hard to remember who’s glass is who’s (especially after you’ve had a  glass or two).  Hence, the usefulness of the wine charm – a cute and easy way to identify your glass.  Today’s project is a set of wine charms just for Shabbat – a  bridal shower gift for a friend.

Jewish Wine Charms with Swarovski Crystals

This type of wine charm is simple to make even if you don’t have much experience working with pliers and beads.  Here are the supplies I used to make these:

Supplies needed for Jewish wine charms

  • Jewish charms – probably the trickiest thing to find but 1-800-DREIDEL has an amazing selection of charms along with all sorts of Jewish craft stuff and I just have to say, they also have some of the best customer service I’ve seen lately (my order came 2 days later and they adjusted the cost of shipping because the package was so small!).  Since this is a Shabbat set, I chose a challah cover, challah, candlesticks, Shabbat table, kiddush cup and a bottle of kosher wine.  I have Passover set  I made for myself a while ago that I’ll have to share one of these days.
  • Beads – 2 Swarovski 4mm bicones in a rainbow of colors and 2 silver seed beads per charm but you can use whatever strikes your fancy. 
  • Jump Rings – 1 for each charm
  • 3/4″ Manipulating Hoops – many styles, colors and materials are available. Remember you don’t need fancy silver since these are just going on your glasses not in your ears
  • Pliers

Jewish wine charm tutorial

First thing you’ll want to do is attach a jump ring to each of your charms.  If you’ve never worked with jump rings before, here’s a good jump ring tutorial.  After you have the charms on the jump rings, you’ll then string your beads on the hoop in whatever pattern you like.  Once that’s done, you’ll want to bend the hoop.  Take the pointy end and grip it with your pliers and bend it 90 degrees so that it makes a little hook to go into the eye on the other end and secure your charm closed.  

Just repeat these steps for however many charms you want and you are done!  I started with a set of six Shabbat charms but decided to add 2 with the saying “Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li” – “I am My Beloved’s and My Beloved is Mine”  with the couple’s initials for a sweet wedding memento. 

Ani L'Dodi V'Dodi Li Wine Charms

Since this set is a gift, I wanted to make sure they were nicely packaged so I took a greeting card box (you could use a leftover one or they also sell these at packaging/paper stores) and then made a customized insert with holes for the charms.  I got fancy and did a print and cut using my Cameo and Silhouette Studio but you could do this simply using a hole punch and a nice piece of cardstock.

Jewish WIne Charms

But, I couldn’t stop there…I decided I needed to make a uniquely Jewish gift bag so using my new hamsa stamp (another 1-800-DREIDEL find) and one of my “Mazel Tov” stamps, I embossed a little gift bag.

Jewish wedding gift bag

Want to win our very own set of Shabbat wine charms and save yourself from having to get out the pliers?  Leave a comment on the blog and then click the link below to be entered to win on Rafflecopter

 CLICK HERE to enter Shabbat Wine Charm Giveaway!

Extra entries for liking Made by Mamaleh on Facebook, liking this blog post on FB, following madebymamaleh on Twitter and sharing this giveaway on your FB page and tagging madebymamaleh in your post!  The contest ends at midnight on Saturday, July 21st!

Jewish Wine Charms

L’chaim!

Not Your Bubbe’s Hebrew {Font}!

Oh, I am so excited about this project I can hardly type!  So, as you may have all figured out by now, I am totally in love with my Silhouette Cameo.  It cuts paper and vinyl and fabric (though I haven’t tried that one yet) and best of all, it cuts any font!  I knew even before I ordered it that I one of the things I wanted to be able to do try with it was cut Hebrew letters.  Just think, the possibilities for Judaica projects or even every day projects with a jew-ish flare are endless!  Here’s a little preview:

Hebrew name on t shirt

Silhouette Studio is the software that comes with the Silhouette that you can use to create whatever you are cutting.  The tricky part is that it only supports English.  So, here’s how to get cool Hebrew letters into Silhouette Studio (using Windows, sorry Mac folks) and cut out:

First of all, you may not know it, but many fonts you already own often contain Hebrew letters but using them can be a bit tricky since you aren’t sure where to find them, etc.  So, my first recommendation is that you install the Hebrew keyboard in windows so that you can easily access the letters.  This is really easy – here is a guide to adding input languages.  I also recommend selecting that the language bar be docked in the taskbar so you can easily switch between languages when you are working.  If you really want to make things easier on yourself, you can order some of these hebrew keyboard labels to doctor up your keyboard.

Then, open up a document in Microsoft Word, switch to Hebrew on your language bar and start typing.  I am working on a gift for a friend who’s daughter’s Hebrew name is Morasha.  Here you can see how it looks in several different fonts in Word.  Remember, just like English, Hebrew comes in both block and script fonts.  The standard ones that you probably have already, like Times, are pretty traditional (think prayerbook) Hebrew letters but there are some beautiful scripts out there that are really modern and chic.  Here’s a good list.  Of course, with these you can do all sorts of fun stuff using Word or whatever program you like!

Once you have your word or sentiment typed in Word, you’ll want to copy the word and then paste it into a blank Silhouette Studio document.  When you first paste it, it will appear backwards like it is in this picture.

Pasting Hebrew Letters into Silhouette Studio

So, you’ll want to right-click and then select “Flip Horizontally” so that you can see what it looks like and play around with the fonts.  The Hebrew fonts will show up on your font list in  Silhouette Studio even though you can’t type in Hebrew in the program.  I just love this “Dybbuk” font so after the flipping my word, I then selected a different font, sized it a bit and viola!

Hebrew Font in Silhouette Studio

Now, since I am going to put this on a T-shirt, I will need to flip this again horizontally for cutting out of heat transfer so that it will be in the right direction when I iron it on.  Don’t forget this step – I did the first time and cut it out in the wrong direction for ironing so sadly wasted some heat transfer material.  For this project, I used the Silhouette grey flocked heat transfer.  It looked great on the pink T!

But it would have been too plain to just have her Hebrew name all by itself, I needed to add some bling.  So, using a combo of rhinestones from my Silhouette kit, I created a lovely rhinestone butterfly for Miss M!

Iron-on Rhinestone Butterfly

The final product – a totally personalized Hebrew name T!  Perhaps we’ll be lucky and Miss M will even model it for us!

Hebrew name tee with rhinestone butterfly

Now that I know I can cut out Hebrew letters, what else should I make??  Any ideas?  Ooh, so many possibilities…

A SUPER SIZE NOSH!

Large Faux Metal Nosh

I am so excited about my latest project, I’m not even sure where to begin!  If you’re like me, you’ve now become totally addicted to Pinterest.  It’s total eye-candy and inspiration for all of my crafty kindred spirits out there.  The trick to it though is actually following through on some of the ideas it generates.

On my ever-growing idea list, I re-pinned a fabulous pin for an awesome tutorial on how to make faux industrial/metal letters from the blog Retropolitan and I knew I needed to make some for myself.  The only thing was I wasn’t sure what I needed them for or where I’d even put them.  At the same time, I had also been trying forever to come up with some art for our breakfast nook…I could do the word “EAT” but that was too boring and then in a moment of sheer genius Yiddishism, it came to me, “NOSH.”

super-size paper mache letters

I had seen these super size 23″ paper mache letters at Joann that would be perfect for the faux metal finish.  I won’t go into how to get the finish, you can check out Retropolitan’s tutorial here – her technique is simple and brilliant and I totally agree with all of her suggestions, especially the brad detail!

I will give you a few hints for working with these super-sized letters:

  • Be sure to check them carefully at the store – some are really weak at the seams.  I had to go to two different stores to find letters that were fully intact. The best “H” still had minor damage that I patched with blue painter’s tape which worked just fine and was hidden by the paint.
  • I think because of their size, these letters are actually a bit more fragile than the ones in the tutorial so you need to take a little extra care when piercing them (I used a paper piercing tool) for the brads or you will be back to my first hint.
  • To hang the letters, I highly recommend the 3M Picture Hanging Strips.

Here is the final result, fun and inexpensive art for our breakfast nook with a Yiddish twist:

I LOVE the result!  Wonder what other Yiddish words I can turn into art…

Happy Spring!

The sun is finally out in Seattle and it’s feeling like spring.  I generally change the welcome sign by our front door with the change of seasons/holidays but the only one I have a with a Jewish flare is a “Happy Hanukkah” one.  So, I decided I wanted to do a simple Shalom (shalom is Hebrew for peace and also a greeting of hello).  I started with an 8×24″ canvas and a can of chalkboard spray paint.  Then, using my Silhouette Cameo cutting tool, I designed the word “Shalom” in the “Sholom” font in Silhouette Studio to fit the dimensions of the canvas.  Next, I cut out the word in vinyl to use as a reverse stencil on the canvas.

Adhering the vinyl directly to the canvas proved a bit tricky so I ended up spraying a coat of primer first just to give it a bit more to grip to.  Even then, it took a lot of patience to stick the vinyl letters to the canvas.  Once you have them in place, you just have to make sure they are really pressed down in order to minimize paint seepage.  Then it was time to spray the chalkboard paint.  You need two coats to get a good chalkboard surface.

After the paint dried, the next step was to carefully remove the vinyl letters.  The edges were a little uneven and I could have left it for a rustic look but decided that I’d be happier painting over the letters with white paint to clean them up a bit.  I also attached some hanging hardware to the back so that I could attach a ribbon for hanging.  And if I ever wanted to move this indoors and put it on the mantel, you could do that too because the hardware is hidden in back. The beauty of this is that I can now change out the ribbon to fit my mood the season(can’t wait to use my matzoh ribbon for Passover!).

For the lovely spring day we’re having, I went with a nice rainbow ribbon, then added a little message with my chalk pen (also customizable to the occasion) and ta-da, our new welcome sign:

Hope you are out enjoying some sunshine!