All That Glitters

Handmade Pug Thank You cards madebymamaleh.com

Sorry for being MIA – between all of the holidays, work and some health stuff, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.  I had high hopes for finally getting a good pic of our sukkah, made from our chuppah frame.  Alas, that didn’t quite happen.  But, I’m back with a little something I made for a dear friend who is in the midst of wedding planning.  There are just times in a girl’s life when no ordinary thank you note will do and goodness knows that in the months leading up to a wedding, there is no shortage of thank yous to write!  Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day: Mamaleh-style

We’ve said Happy New Year to the trees and are now contemplating Purim costumes but before we get there, it’s time for the red and pink heart-filled holiday of Valentine’s Day.  I realize in some Jewish circles celebrating (St.) Valentine’s Day is a no-no and even if it’s not, there are those who simply refuse to buy into a totally commercial holiday.  I fall into neither camp – to me, it’s just a nice excuse to remind folks we love ’em, combat the winter blahs with a little color and of course it’s a great excuse for a little card-making and/or shopping.  Some of my earliest memories are gluing down doilies and applying foiled red heart stickers to family valentines.

It is only fitting that throughout this post you will see the Hebrew word for love: ahava(אהבה).  Stay tuned for some homemade Valentine cards with this in mind as well.  But for now, in case you want to give your Valentine’s Day a little bit of a MOT twist, here are a few gift ideas (so just forward this link to the loves in your life if something strikes your fancy).

  • Keeping with the theme of Ahava, you could literally get some AHAVA, some of the best skin-care, straight from the Dead Sea.  Their hand cream is my fave!  They even have a nice men’s line for the guys in your life.

  • And for your friends still looking for their funny Valentine, you can always go with this from Modern Tribe. 🙂

Hopefully you now have a few unique MOT Valentine’s ideas for whoever you want to share a little love with (including yourself!)

Note: I was not compensated for this post in any way.  I don’t think any of these companies even know I exist (except for past purchases from some).  This is all just stuff I like and hope you do too 🙂

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?

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!

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!

Another Jewish wedding project

Rehearsal dinner placecard with detachable hebrew button

All this thinking about our chuppah and wedding reminded me of another project that gave our rehearsal dinner a little Jewish touch. I ordered personalized buttons from Mazel Bride and then attached them to the place cards, simple rectangle tent cards. I designed the cards with MS Publisher and printed them at home on my regular inkjet printer on Paper Source red cardstock.  I got specific buttons for the Bride, Groom, Father of the Bride, Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom, Father of the Groom, Flower Girl, Best Man, and Maid of Honor (and maybe a few others I can’t remember.)  Our out-of-town guests were invited to the dinner as well as the rest of our family so their buttons just said “Family” or “Friend”. It made for a fun way for people to introduce themselves. I think the concept would translate very well to a bar or bat mitzvah or any party with a mix of family and friends.

Rehearsal Dinner Hebrew Pin

DIY Chuppah in Honor of My 6th Anniversary

Organza and PVC Jewish wedding canopyYou are all so smart!  Yes, indeed, when you combine PVC pipes, gold spray paint, yards of organza and iron-on seam tape, you get a lovely, easy-to-make, reasonably priced chuppah! For those that don’t know, a chuppah is a Jewish wedding canopy. It symbolizes the union of two under one roof and stands for their new home together as husband and wife. The chuppah is open on all sides, representing a dwelling in which family and friends will always be welcomed.

Organza and PVC Jewish Wedding Canopy

Today is my 6th wedding anniversary. Six years ago, in one of my earlier Jewish crafty moments, my husband (at the time my fiance) and I, (along with some help from my friend Suzanna), created this lovely chuppah that we were married under. My husband engineered the structural piece and helped me explain how he put it together:

The frame is designed around “3-way corner PVC fittings” available online: http://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?product=PVC-3-ways or at any big-box hardware store. The other materials are 1″ PVC tubing cut to the desired length and 1″->3/4″ threaded fittings to accelerate on-site assembly. In our case we used 4 ~7 foot poles and 4 ~5 foot poles. Painting takes longer than the entire design/assembly. Total cost including paint was well under $50. For the ceremony it was anchored using planters filled with rocks with flowers and greenery added. Although PVC production is not terribly environmentally friendly, our chuppah has been reused several times and is still holding up.  Sometimes I contemplate setting up in the yard for an afternoon tea but have yet to follow-through 🙂

Organza and PVC Jewish wedding canopy

As for the fabric, the organza was purchased from one of my favorite supply places, Paper Mart, who has terrific selection and prices on packaging and party-prep stuff. Suzanna and I cut a roof and then made four panels that we attached using iron-on seam to tape. We then cut each panel in half so that two smaller panels came together on each pole. It was then tied to the poles using ribbon (in our wedding colors of course). We enjoyed the chuppah even more by putting our sweetheart table underneath after the ceremony!

Organza and PVC Jewish wedding canopy

Hope you’ve enjoyed my little trip down memory lane of our fabulous wedding at Lake Union Cafe with these lovely photos of our chuppah taken by Beautiful Endings photography. Happy 6th Anniversary to my mensch of a husband!

Organza and PVC Jewish Wedding Canopy

Did you make your own chuppah? What did you use? If you have a picture, and feel like sharing, please do!