Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome new Designing Mom: Sara

I always know it's going to be a great Monday when I get to introduce a new Designing Mom. Our newest "Make" contributor has projects that will make you dizzy with creative inspiration. Sara of Creative Jewish Mom lives in Israel with her family and it's evident their beautiful surroundings and family life inspire the innumerable crafts and projects she carefully creates and documents. In fact, her cake for her four year old looked so fun it inspired me to try one for my own little one's recent birthday (even though it turned into a misshapen macaroon tower). I hope you are inspired by her projects as well! Read on about her and please help me welcome Sara to Designing Moms!

Hi, I'm Sara of, and I'm so happy to be here joining this amazing group of designing moms! I'm originally from Northern California, studied design in graduate school in New York, and worked in both advertising and the garment industry in Manhattan before choosing a totally different lifestyle and cultural experience here in Israel. I now live with my husband and five children in the gorgeous rolling hills of Northern Israel, where we have chosen to raise our family in a quiet and relatively non-materialistic environment. I work from home as a freelance graphic designer and crafts writer, and have started my blog as a first step in a larger plan to hopefully develop a product line and publish my work.

I'm what you'd call an all around designer and crafter, and I love the challenge of using both my knowledge and creativity to come up with design solutions for clients as well as for my own personal projects. I truly believe that having the opportunity to raise children stretches us in ways that also make us even better designers! And for myself, having chosen to live in a place with no shopping malls or large stores nearby (and in any case certainly nothing even close to a JoAnnes!) I have been forced to be even more creative with decorating and design solutions for my home as well as creative outlets for myself and my children.

Though I dabbled in crafts as a teenager, I spent many more hours playing sports and even studied science in college! I developed my true love for design while studying and later working in Manhattan, and my love for crafting was born here in Israel, a result of my need for some creative stimulation. My best ideas are the ones that quite simply pop into my head, but I'm certainly influenced by everything I see, and I've been very inspired and learned many valuable crafting techniques from the vast array of craft blogs and websites now rapidly multiplying on the internet. My day is a fairly typical of any work at home, stay at home mom! We are all master jugglers and if a ball gets dropped here and there hopefully it's something that isn't breakable! All of my children are now in school, so I theoretically have mornings until 1:15 free for my own projects, and I usually return to the computer after the children are in bed. Late afternoons and evenings are family time and I try to do craft projects with my kids as well as getting outside for some fresh air when the weather permits. I've put together a little photo essay to give you an idea of what my life looks like, at it's most photogenic moments that is!

Designing moms Roses

I love plants! As it turns out, because we live in a complex of homes built on a hill, I don't have any actual land! Fortunately I'm a designer and came up with a solution: I built a large rose bed next to the entrance to our home, and have created a garden like feeling with pots containing many beautiful and flourishing plant species. In any case, my plate is more than full, I wouldn't know where to find the time for an actual garden!

Designing Mom Climbing rose

I've always loved climbing roses and found a spot for them too! I just love this photo with our mountain view in the background. Flowering vines are particularly exciting, especially this fragrant stephanotis.

Designing Moms stencils

I call the style of our home "Moroccan meets the sixties in Upstate New York" if that makes any sense to you! I try to keep the house spare looking as it's much easier to clean and quickly organize when there's not too much around. (You know like when an unexpected visitor calls and says they are in the neighborhood and the house is upside down! ) I have added details with stenciling and combined some of my flea market finds with touches of Moroccan iron work and lanterns.

Designing mom Paper Decorations

The neutral palette I've created is a great backdrop for splashes of color, and I love to decorate for holidays and special occasions with artwork I've done together with my children. Recently I've been bitten by a little crochet bug, resulting in some fun handcrafted items hanging around the house here and there!

Designing Mom kids art

Since creativity is such a large and joyful part of my life, I make a serious effort to sit down with my children for some art time, and I encourage them to work on projects themselves, to build confidence and foster a love for crafts!

Designing Moms Picnic details

Of course appreciating the world around us is an important part of life too, which means taking the time to get out of the house and explore! We like to take walks through the antique cobblestone alleys of the old section of our town and discover artful details. At the top of the hill on which our city is built is a nice park with stunning views, lots of open sky, and a great spot for a picnic. This time it's whole wheat pizza roll-ups that mom baked for the occasion!

Designing Mom Walk In Nature

Another favorite destination is the nature preserve just below our home. We love the stunning views of the country side, the wild flowers in the spring, the occasional grazing cow, and the opportunity to do some nature collecting! Whoops, the sun is setting already? Where has the day gone?


libbydibby said...

Oh I loved reading this! My parents just returned from a month of living in Israel and are toying with the idea of moving there... I'll let you know if we end up on a visit!

Your life is both inspiring and lovely.
Much quieter than life in urban (read: ungentrified) historic Los Angeles! said...

Thanks so much Libby, do let me know if you cross the seas to my part of the world!

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