Studio Cheha | Nir Chehanowski | A Syfy Kind Of Lamp | October 6.15

  • Unless you’ve been living under a not-so-designed rock, for the last year or so, you know all about Nir Chehanowski, Studio Cheha and the BULBING lamps.
    Back in 2014 Nir decided, that it was time to kick some butt and so, he turned to kickstarter in order to make his dream of a 3D look alike lamp kingdom, into a reality. Little did he know, that the backers were beyond ready for him! In fact, the outcome was beyond his wildest dreams. But wait, let’s talk about DESKi, ZIGGi and CLASSi, the new 3D optical illusion kids, on the illuminated block. These three new desk lamps, have also been funded within 3 days. You read it right, 3 DAYS (!!!) But you still have some time to back on your favorite lamp.
    I’m beyond excited and my Israeli pride is over the moon, so of course I had to share with you all, this brilliant campaign. And yeah, it’s nothing but genius.
    “We’re all about innovation! Our new lamps are inspired by classic and vintage-style desk lamps with a modern twist. By deconstructing their wire-frame forms and setting it against a flat, clear surface, we continue to develop our original ideas for cool and functional design pieces—that produce the illusion they are 3D, once switched on!”
    All I can say us, desk lamps never looked so Syfy before!

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PUDISH | Avital Pudinsky | Ready. Set. Doodle | October 1.15

  • Have you ever fell in love with a notebook? It must sound strange or even disturbing in a way but… of course it has happened to me before. In fact, it happens to me, whenever I visit Avital Pudinsky’s black and white kingdom. PUDISH, is the land of beautifully hand drawn patterns, which found themselves on notebooks, envelopes and wrapping papers. I’m pretty sure that we all had our 0.4 Pilot period, in which we doodled away out of boredom. The thing is, Avital wasn’t one of us. You might think that she knew that she is a master doodler deep inside but no. She never considered herself as an illustrator of some sort. She was a graphic designer, who found her inner doodler, while working on a school project. Unlike some, who don’t really do much with their school projects, she realized that her OCD with white paper, black pen and endless mini objects running inside her head, are bound to become a sea of minimalistic stationary. It’s safe to say, that in that case, being an OCD person, pays off. Big time!
    It’s no secret that I’m a fan of all things black and white (duh!) and I’m happy to say that In Avital, I found my long lost soulmate. We understand each other without a need to add any other colors. It works for us and it feels good. SO good.

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Meirav Ohayon | A Royal Ink-y Treatment | September 18.15

  • It’s been a while since I bumped into an accessory I loved, and a second later I found myself at my desk, writing about it. So, I guess you can categorize today, as a good day!
    Let’s start from the beginning. I first read about Meirav Ohayon on Time Out Tel Aviv. The fact that she has a lot of history (design wise), explains a lot about who she is as a designer and as an artist. From graduating design school in 1999 (majoring in jewelry and fashion), to designing stage and costume for modern dance and fringe theaters, to starting a brand for bags (I still remember it!) and then realizing, after five years, that she needs to take a break from the business, to moving to Paris and along the way, helping another designer, launch her own urban brand. I mean, this girl managed to accomplish a lot in her lifetime. BUT WAIT, this is not the end! All of this prepared her to her current adventure.
    Usually Meirav is inspired by the material itself. This time around, it’s a nude vegetable-tanned Italian leather, which is processed slowly with natural ingredients such as wood and vegetables. Along the lines, you can also spot a Patti Smith vibe, with her personality and art.
    “Because it isn’t treated with chemicals, the leather is absorbent. When the bag is yours, the leather will be affected by the way you wear it, and will age beautifully, enhancing its personality and complementing yours. Using wax thread, I created a hand-sewn line-sketch that no sewing machine could possibly replicate, effectively transforming each bag into a unique piece.” And since we are talking about a true artist at heart, there is even more!
    By using an indelible black ink, Meirav adds a unique, hand-painted drawing, to each bag. But remember, we are also talking about these crazy beautiful jewelry! Them too, get the royal ink-y treatment.
    Drawing freely on a nude canvas is an open road for endless possibilities and countless accessories. Seriously, I even had hard time deciding which ones to show you. They are all that stunning. Now, the only problem, that I need to resolve is, which one should land at my doorstep.

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And just like that, another Jewish Year, begins… | September 17.15

  • And just like that, another Jewish Year, begins…
    It feels like this past year has gone bye in a split of a second. I’m not even sure what I’ve been doing this past year, except for getting to know my tiny mini-me and start our new chapter as a family of three. Everything else, without me even thinking about it, moved to the back seat. I wasn’t planning on it. In fact I was sure that I have everything under control and that I can do it all. Turns out, I can’t! All I can say is that the last year was one for the books.
    A lot has happened but most importantly, I realized how much this blog, my very own design break and it’s community, means to me!
    And with that being said, here’s to a bright year filled with many designed moments, hidden gems and yummy treats. Yep, as always, I’m all about the food. You can blame my taste buds for finding my way to 20th Century Cafe and devoting this – out of this world apple tart. For the record: Us Jews celebrate the new year with eating apples dipped in honey. Oh well, for this year, that tart is ,more than enough.
    Happy Rosh Hashanah, my apple-licious breakers!
    {Photo by me}

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Elinor Bengiat | To Crystal Or Not To Crystal? | September 1.15

  • I’m not really sure where I first saw Elinor Bengiat’s mesmerizing crystals. I’m pretty sure it was a real life experience, when I visited Israel back in April. But since then a lot has happened and… thank god for Instagram (yet again!). Of course I was able to find these beauties on Elinor’s Instagram feed.
    Truth be told, I’m not one of those to have a thing for crystals, BUT I sure have a thing for Elinor’s. There is something mysterious in the way Elinor picks her shades and colors. And then there is the shape of them. Most of them remind me of a broccoli gone out of control. I know, it’s not where Elinor was going with it… it’s just that sometimes my imagination runs wild and I lose it. I still need to figure out what draws her to draw all these crystals. I promise to get back to you on this one!

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Interview | NDOTO | Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This | August 28.15

  • When I stumble upon monochromatic bedding, my heart skips a beat. Strange, but oh so true. However, when Michel Tidhar Wrote me about her NDOTO (aka bedding for tiny creatures), I paused. Literarily.
    Then she offered to send one of her dreamy blankets and pillow covers for my very own mini me. I just couldn’t say no. Could I?
    It’s no secret that I’m trying to master the black and white game in my own home and if all things go well, Leo (my tiny creature), will be following my lead (but not if his dad will have anything to do with it!). So… Gray blanket with top notch illustrations? Done and done. And yeah, of course I’m still talking about Ndoto. Every single detail is being thought through. From the color palate to the spot on illustrations to the fabric choice (I need one my size!). I mean, who doesn’t want to make their kid feel super sophisticated?!
    I know that Michal really had a mission in mind, which is to save the Israelis from all these overwhelming and super colorful beddings. And she did! But now the world is her oyster. I had to share her journey and let you know how impressed I am by her and her super powers. Let’s just say that the design world wasn’t her first career of choice. Read my interview with her, and you’ll see what I mean.
    Michal, take it from here!
  • I’d love to hear about your journey, how it all began.
    My name is Michal Tidhar, I am 33 years old , married to Ron and the mother of Ariel 3.5years old. I shouldn’t forget the dog Toto who is 2.5 years old.
    The birth of my third baby, NDOTO, came about in an unusual way, different from most entrepreneurs I know.
    I would like to begin by dispelling some of the myths regarding my background: I did not study at Shenkar School of Design ( I have a BA in political science from Tel Aviv University), never formally studied design and I actually had no experience in this world of design. Before NDOTO I worked in the marketing world as well as in the restaurant business.
    My love for the creative world was always there but I was only an observer and not a participant. I’ve always had the feeling that I would be an entrepreneur at some point, but never really knew when and in what area.
    After the birth of my daughter, Ariel, I decided not to return to my previous job of 5 years, as an event producer. It was a really tough and demanding job. I gave a lot of thought to the idea that I want to start a new business. My friend (and business partner at the time) and I came up with an original idea for a social website (I still think that is was a brilliant idea!). Unfortunately, we needed a substantial financial investment to set it into motion. Financing that we both did not have. After six months of spending lots of funds on a broken dream, we decided to reinvent ourselves.
    My partner identified an absence in the market of premium beddings for babies and children. From there we began to do research and market surveys in Israel and overseas. Only after we came to the conclusion that there was a business case, we moved to the creative side to design the beddings. And so, the first limited and simpler collection of NDOTO, was created. A few months after the company was set up my partner moved to Ghana, since her husband was relocated there.
    This was (as I thought at the time) a great setback for me. However, as time went by, my world did not fall apart, it only developed and grew.
    I rediscovered myself and since then managed to produce a new collection, add new products as well as hire various consultants. I believe I am constantly growing and developing and I wake up every day, feeling blessed to do what I love the most.
    Before we move on, I wonder about the meaning behind “Ndoto”.
    The meaning of NDOTO is “Dreams” in Swahili.
  • Can you describe your work process?
    My work process is complex and my inspiration for new ideas come to me from various places like blogs, Pinterest, lookbooks etc. Usually ideas begin to develop in my sleep and wake me up at night. Then I know I need to call my illustrator, Mai, and add her to the loop. Mai is one of my beloved friends. Her feedback is always honest and direct. She has this inexplicable ability to get into my head and help me turn my dream into a reality. We sit and make countless sketches, until we feel we got the perfect design.
    Alongside the creative process, lies the more realistic financial aspect of the business. When to bring a new product or new collection to the market, think about budget, production costs, cash flow and all sort of other very boring words, which can determine the future of a new idea.
    I have lots of new ideas for products waiting on the side lines for the right timing. It’s not always easy, but it is always calculated and helps me proceed in the right direction.
    I’m curious to know where does your inspiration come from.
    My inspiration comes from anyone and everything
    I surf the web for hours. From Pinterest to Instagram to Blogs and to Magazines and then repeat. Anything can set my imagination off. I also like to keep up with the latest trends in the world and try my best to adapt to them, adding my special touch.
  • What about some web sites and blogs that you visit, when you’re in a need for a boost of creative inspiration?
    Can you tell me which designers/illustrators inspire you?
    Naturally my illustrator Mayooshka. I also like the work of Yarden Galili, Uri Rozner and Tamar Nahir.
    Which Israeli creative people are you loving at the moment?
    At the moment I’m into the works of Micush, Pudish and Twilingen’s brand new collection. I also can’t get enough of Enia and Tayo.
  • You just came back from PlayTime Paris. How was it to play in the big league?
    This was an absolute crazy experience. More like a roller coaster ride between fright,shock, being proud, being under constant pressure and at the end happiness. I really was not aware of what I got myself into, even though I consulted with friends, who have done it before. Upon arrival, I was in Shock. The amount and sheer number of talented people and beauty that surrounds you is unbelievable. You just can’t wrap your head around it… The next day, my head was in cloud nine, from the moment I realized that the people surrounding me, were quite similar to me. They understood me and my products, they gave me lots of complements on my work. That is the meaning of sheer happiness!
    The fact that nothing happens right away or overnight is not something that comes easily to me. I realize that it is only the beginning of a process in which each small step brings you closer to that thing you want the most. You need to be persistent, stay on track and try to overcome each obstacle that comes your way. There are many obstacles but you simply can’t give up. All I can say is that it’s similar to raising children. I have to add that I’m so so happy that I had the opportunity to have my mother by my side, while there. It was so amazing to spend time with her and it defiantly made us even closer. And there is no doubt in my mind that I was much more successful, due to her being there and her unbelievable support.
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    There were many people who gave me advise along the way. In general I tend to consult with those who I value their opinion. One of the best pieces of advice I received was after my business partner left. I wanted to run off and find a new one. But then someone whom I really value told me not to. Another piece of advice was to not compare yourself to other designers. Just keep focused on yourself and what you want to accomplish. This is what kept me going and still does. You shouldn’t look at others and where they are headed. Go where you believe is your path. In addition, I always use the help of those who can help me with my weakest links.
    What’s next? What is your dream? And what are you looking forward to?
    At the moment I am busy trying to follow through with all the connections I made while in Playtime Paris. I’m also hoping for substantial growth in overseas sales within the next six months. At the same time, I am already thinking about my next collection (it’s already in my mind!). I hope that by September the new collection will be ready. I’m also thinking about the next exhibition. I’m thinking NYC, but we’ll see. The more you see the greater the appetite. Right?
  • What’s your favorite Israeli neighborhood and why?
    I absolutely love my neighborhood Corazin in Givatiim. It would seem on the surface a less desirable neighborhood of Givatiim which is a suburb of Tel Aviv. However it’s a friendly neighborhood just like I remember from my childhood. Kids can play with friends on the streets. You can borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor. Go to the local grocery store, bakeries, small delis etc. I love the family atmosphere of the neighborhood, it’s the feeling of once upon a time.
    Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
    It’s really simple and not really exciting. Just wake up relatively late for a mom, have a cup of coffee and do nothing but be with my husband,daughter and our dog in our living room. I work so many long hours and so this is the family time I love the most.
    Israel’s best kept secret?
    We don’t ride on camels.
  • And finally, please do share something random or quirky about yourself.
    From the time I was a child till this day I have a busy mind. My Mom always told me that I was a dreamer, head high in the sky and would even bump into things on the street while walking. This gave the impression that I am clumsy, but its actually due to be being in a million other places at once. This is also the case with my daughter. What does that mean?!

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BigStuffed | Dana Muskat | Creatures Of Comfort | August 26.15

  • Sometimes (but honestly, more often than I care to admit) I look at creations that were made for tiny people and secretly covet them. Do you know what I’m talking about?
    Anyways, this time, when I bumped into Dana Muskat’s BigStuffed family, I had no doubt in my mind, that my mini-me (and I), are destined to add another member to our family. I can’t resist these super soft (and ginormous!) creatures, their sad eyes and overall “please adopt me now!” look. I’m pretty sure it was Dana Muskat’s intention all along.
    Behind the mastermind of this “operation cuteness”, there is a story about a girl, who wanted to become a fashion designer. Studied and even apprenticed at some of the top names in the industry, but then realized that what you see on the runway shows, is not really what you get behind closed doors. That’s when she decided to leave that world behind in order to pursue her own thing, which at the time she wasn’t too sure on what that would be. To make long story short, one meter long Octopus, that Dana made for her brand new niece, opened the door to a sea of many sad but lovable creatures. When the responses started flowing, Dana realized that she was onto something good. Then again, who can resist a huge snuggle-ish (and 100% handmade!) buddy, that will forever serve as your very own guardian angel? I know I can’t!

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Minimalit | Lital Gurai | Leo, Other Signs and All That Jazz | August 20.15

  • There is nothing I like more than being surprised while scrolling down my Instagram feed.
    About a week ago, I stumbled upon this magical illustration by Rotem Levitan (a post about her is in the works!). That’s when I discovered, the most adorable headbands by Lital Gurai aka Minimalit. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel royal, with this badass lion, laying on top of their head?!
    When asking Lital what led her into headbands, she said: ”I love birthdays. It doesn’t matter if it’s over the top or super mellow. Something about the fact that one should celebrate his special day every year, excites me every single time. I tend to start playing around with ideas two months before my big day and this year I was busy making myself a crown (read: headband). I’m not sure if it was a coincidence but being a Leo, I started with drawing lions. After drawing lots and lots of lions (about 50 of them!) I found myself drawing other signs and from there the road to a collection of magical headbands was a done deal”.
    Everything is super new so there is no website (yet) but I just realized that this over achiever graphic designer is on to something. She just knows how to make us ladies feel extra special, Leo or not.
    You can get in touch with Lital at: minimalit.gurait {at} gmail {dot} com

{Photos by Tamir Moosh}

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