Tuesday, September 29, 2009

magical mystery tour

I'm posting 2 final posts on ideas from Abby's Bat Mitzvah!

So for Abby's party, we hosted 20 girls in a hummer limo on a "magical mystery tour". Yea, I know, not exactly eco-friendly! Anyway, here are some cool gifts for the girls. Blue heather hoodies, from Alternative Apparel, printed with our logo at Embroid me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

metalsmithing class

I am taking a metal fabrication class at Craft Alliance in St. Louis. This is old school, not the metal clay I have been working with. I think that going back to basics will be a good learning experience for me and can only help me more with my metal clay pieces.

I haven't worked metal like this since Mr. Marshall's class at Ladue High School, but it's all coming back to me. I am really good at fine sawing, to me it's just like drawing real slow. I decided to dive right in and work with silver, you put the same amount of effort as you would with copper or brass, you might as well end up with something that doesn't make your skin turn green.

My teacher, Cindy Howenstein is really great. What I like about the class is that there are no specific projects to make. The students can explore the medium and make whatever they want, and she demos different procedures as they come up. We are making bezels, learning to solder, and learning polishing techniques. There are also advanced students in the class who are working independently, and you can learn from them just by observing.

So far I have cut out these tiny silver hydrangeas which I am going to either solder together or join them some other way so there is movement. They are going to be earrings. I'll post my progress.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

blurb book

OK, here is the coolest thing ever. All those pictures that I used for the photo collages, I spent lots of time scanning old family photos. But, not just for the posters. I used the pictures for this very special pictures book I made for Abigail. I presented it to her right before her Bat Mitzvah. The book has chapters on youth, family hobbies, friends and more. At the end there are autograph pages which her friends signed at her kid's party! I built the book using Blurb software. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed making the book. I worked on it for about 8 months before I published it, but that is because I wanted to get it just right. The quality of the book is just beautiful. It's a great keepsake for any occasion.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

photo montage

You can't show a video montage of your Bar or Bat Mitzvah kid on Shabbat, so instead I decided to make some photo collages and displayed them on easels outside the sanctuary. I made these though Snapfish. The only complaint that I had about the process is that you cannot choose exactly which pictures went where in each collage. They just scramble randomly and you just have to settle on a layout that you think looks best. Still the price was right, about 15 dollars a poster! It cost more to have the posters mounted on foam core after I received them in the mail, but I think they looked great!

Bat Mitzvah booklet

In many temples and synagogues, they have handouts available for congregants and guests. We decided to personalize these handouts and actually made them ourselves on our home computer and printer! It really wasn't that hard, it just took a bit of time. I designed the booklets in Microsoft Publisher. Inside I wrote a welcome letter, information on the Bat Mitzvah girl, the temple, service, and the special honors given to family and guests. On the front and back cover I put pictures of Abigail that were taken by our professional photographer, Lisa Mandel. I printed the cover on heavier stock (recycled). It took a lot of ink, but printing the booklets myself cost about 1/4 of what it would at a print shop.
Instead of staples, I punched two holes on the spine and tied them with blue and green raffia ribbon.


We are trying to make this Bat Mitzvah as "green" and eco-friendly as possible so no leather yamakahs! There are a lot of options out there, but Abby thought these crochet straw ones were pretty cool. I got them from Kippot World . Their website is pretty easy to navigate, but the color card that they have on line isn't great. Because straw is hand dyed, matching exact colors is pretty much out of the question. I called them directly and asked for samples and they were not the best at customer relations, but we decided to take a leap of faith and just go for it. Abby wanted blue and green and the resulting kippah was just perfect!
We ordered the upgraded personalization on the inside, which looks really great. And everyone must have liked them because I thought I over ordered, but there was not one left after the services!

the tables

Abby's Bat Mitzvah went off without a hitch labor day weekend. So for the next few posts I'm going to show you exactly what I did to decorate and accessorize the event, and how I did it. Please feel free to comment and ask questions.

The centerpieces looked great and the impact of 18 tables decorated was great. It took about an hour to set it up. Then we added the personalized biodegradable plastic cups and napkins. The paper plates were also personalized but they were placed at the buffet line. All the personalized paper goods were purchased from Printglobe online. They were pretty easy to work with, the quality was fine. My only complaint is that they charged an extra surcharge after the fact, which I was warned about. But still remember there is a surcharge, so the price you are quoted may not be the final price.

I would like to post more pictures of the room but one cannot take pictures during the Bat Mitzvah as it is on Shabbat. But trust me, it looked good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

out of towner bags

These are the reusable totes that we filled with goodies and are giving to those guests who will be visiting from out of town. We collected information on St. Louis attractions, some sweets, nuts, and energy bars, water, and St. Louis rootbeer. My daughter Abby designed the Bat Mitzvah recycle logo and we had it printed on the bags! The bags are finished and ready to be delivered to the hotels Friday. We used this logo again other places; I'll post those pictures soon.