Lavender and Olive- behind the scenes

As the 2011 spring-summer season begins, I feel I need to sum up 2010 – which ended with a gem of a wedding @ the Mamila hotel in Jerusalem! (A couple of months back I wrote a post about the very cool place cards/ wedding giveaways we created for this wedding – the olive oil bottles ) – with a few words about the ‘behind the scenes’ fun we have while preparing an event.

Lavender & Olive - wedding design

The design process of every wedding is very exciting to me from the beginning when I first meet the couple and get an idea of what it is they are dreaming of, and then begin to think about how it is I am going to bring it all together.

Lavender & Olive - wedding design

The search for the right ingredients culminates, as the best part when it all falls into place – on the day. That’s when my super duper staff pulls up their sleeves, to create my vision, the client’s dream, with their very talented hands and a smile on their face.

Lavender & Olive - wedding design

This super sweet couple, that traveled to Israel from Texas and Japan, the beautiful venue with its stunning ethnic eclectic design and the best of ‘Eretz Israel’ views, a flea market collection of rust iron pots, pans, scales and containers, olive trees and sprigs of dried lavender where combined with winter flowers such as purple tulips, Hyacinthus  and succulents to create the desired elegant yet authentic ambiance.

For more on this wedding, visit my website to view the design pics of the Lavender & Olive wedding gallery.

Lavender & Olive - wedding design

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Casually Elegant – An Artistic Eclectic Judean Hills Wedding

Following my previous post in which I gave you a taste of the fusion of artistic elements with wedding traditions, it’s time to “talk” about how the desire for ‘something truly different’; something artistic, rustic, – not your traditional “white wedding” theme was incorporated within the design.

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

The un-ordinary, rustic forest setting – a kibbutz in the Judean hills, created the inspiration and set the tone for the design.

The style was casually elegant and contemporary; an enchanted garden setting in an intimate atmosphere for the Chuppah and a well designed ‘organic chic’ dinner and party to follow. Fresh cut natural flower arrangements, in a mix and match of ceramic vases featuring refreshing, contrasting shades of eggplant and apple green, on a neutral palette of natural colors: champagne, amber, mocha and chocolate brown; highlighted with touches of cream.

In the reception area, a mix of lanterns rented from the flea market in Tel Aviv (my favorite treasure island) hung from the venue’s trees.

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

The bridal chair was allocated between two trees from which we hung long strings of cream and white ribbons and glass balls with tea lights creating a unique setting for a very special bride.

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

The Chuppah featured a Masorti Chuppah (Masorti, means traditional) made from 4 branches and a beautiful parochet which Andi (the brides’ artist mother) had hand sewn especially for Ariel and Noam – the first of a newborn tradition – a family parochet that will “Marry” Ariel’s siblings and children for generations to come. Amen!

atalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

In place of a traditional wedding aisle, white buckets featuring white, cream and apple green flower arrangements were hung on the chairs that lined the aisle.

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

The dinner area was divided and merged between the younger guests’ section and the family and older friends sections.

For the younger guests, the event colors – eggplant, greens, pinks, and burnt orange – were combined with chic garden party style lounge furniture in place of conventional tables and chairs. Elegant white Japanese lanterns hung between the trees. Centerpieces featuring flowers growing in and out of antique copper pots and trays set beside lots of glistening candles  together created the desired festive, spiritual ambiance.

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

The adult tables were divided between very long tables featuring rusted containers with an elegant arrangement of flowers imported from Holland especially for the event (hydrangeas are barely available in Israel during spring – this event took place in the fall).

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

To keep the table layout diversified and visually aesthetic, some of the guests were seated around ‘ring’ shaped tables that had a cherry blossom tree planted inside from which we hung clear glass balls with tea lights inside.

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

A lovely “day after” letter from Andi, mother of the bride, addressed to myself and Debra Goldberg who produced the event, will perhaps enlighten you as to why I do what I do and how lucky I am to get the chance to do it!

I just had to tell you what a magical, glorious evening you created for our family.

Every detail was stunning, flowers, color scheme of flowers, (rich and  unusual,) lanterns fabulous ( I want to buy some of those!) young people’s area – too, too fun ( everyone wanted to sit there…) Bridal area, sweet, romantic- the whole seating plan- outrageously fun and creative. I loved Ariel’s bouquet and the crystal napkin ties. Seating tablecard table was great!

I have gotten so many e-mails today about how incredible the evening was and how no one wanted to go home.
So thank you, a million thanks. I think we make a great team. I am so happy I discovered you both for  child number one! God willing we have many more smachot to plan.

Lots of love and thanks-Andi and David and Ariel and Noam”

Natalie Mann- Events Studio, Wedding design in Jerusalem

Photography credit: Tali Katzurin, and Shon Eylon

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How to add an artistic personal touch to your wedding… and the beautiful results

The fall of 2010, began with a very special event I designed for a very special family who live in Baka Jerusalem. Their eldest daughter, Ariel, chose to get married in a garden surrounded by olive and pine trees on a Kibbutz located in the Judean Hills, just off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway.

Ariel and Noam’s wedding was oozing with creative personal touches and sentimental heirlooms.  They were lucky to have a creative key player, Ariel’s mother- Andi Arnovitz.

Andi is a talented artist who made Aliya in 1999 from Atlanta, USA together with her family. She explores a wide range of artistic expression, using different art techniques such as print making, textile art, book making, etchings, painting and so on. You can find out more about her work on her website.

Now, back to my story: let’s find out how to give a wedding some personal, artistic touches…

The bridal shoes

Take the most unpredictable turn and be ready to view the makeover of Ariel’s super duper bridal sneakers.

In Andi’s words, the story goes like this: “Ariel is a bit ‘klutzy’ and was very worried about teetering and falling in heels. She also wanted to dance her heart out. So we came up with the idea of taking Converse sneakers and making them her wedding shoes. We added all sorts of lace and ribbons and things, and the buttons were from our family “button box” and many of them came from her great-grandmothers”.

Aren’t they charming and unique? Gotta love them!

lace and buttons bridal shoes

The bridal dress

Arial’s bridal dress was once again all about beauty + function and the artistic touch that combined the family heirloom buttons with beads and ribbons. Yes, that vintage treasure  box was a wedding star! I’d love to rummage around in it just for fun.

Back to the dress: a collaborative effort between the designers Shira Wise & Barak Avraham Ish Shalom and Ariel and Andi, produced a lovely multi-function dress, one that can turn in a second from a classic long dress into a short dress matched for a fun dancing session. Again Andi’s words capture it all:

“The idea that a dress could have several functions and be formal and then, later, a real dancing party dress, as well as including personal touches that had sentimental value was totally unique. ”

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The Ketubah

The Ketubah was created from etchings Andi made. After she talked to Noam and Ariel about things they loved and shared, she then created ‘etchings’ to represent them. She then printed them in many “autumn” colors and then did her sort of signature art by “tearing” off the paper and created a collage of them around the actual Kettubah which Izzy Pludwinski calligraphied.

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The theme was woven within and without the most special wedding items and continued through the design of the event which was meticulously planned and executed in close collaboration between Andi, myself and Debra Goldberg, the very talented wedding planner. The etchings of things they loved where repeated in the wedding invitations, the place card display table and the individual name tags which were  jeweled with some a wonderful and colorful Midori Japanese ribbon Andi had “lying around in her studio”.

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Stay tuned for Part B in which I will share the design of Ariel and Noam’s wedding with you.

Mean time, I wish you all a lovely weekend. Shabbat Shalom!

Yours always, Natalie

*Special thanks to Tali Katzurin for the above photos.

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Wedding giveaway tutorial – Olive oil bottles and clay name tags

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Last week I designed a wedding for a very special couple whose taste and sense of aesthetic where the inspiration for these special place cards/ giveaways we made in my studio. As the design concept was based on natural elements such as lavender and olive trees – I decided to combine the place cards with this lovely memento of Israel and of the wedding design theme – mini-olive oil bottles featuring the couple’s names engraved on clay coins with the wedding date and a name card attached featuring the same logo stamped in ink.

Below is a tutorial explaining step by step how we created them. All I can say is that some of my creative ideas are easier said than done!
A great idea, lots of trial and error and one super talented colleague Efrat (from Yeladisco)who put this (bottles and tutorial) all together. Below the step by step and guide and the pretty results…

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Wedding Gift tutorial – Personal Olive Oil with Clay Coins – step by step

What you’ll need:

Clay coins

Clay/ Das (1 Kg produced about 200 coins), find in any craft shop

Rolling pin

Wooden skewer

Brush

Simple vegetable oil

Round cookie cutter

Pre ordered rubber stamp with your text

Baking sheets (prevent clay from sticking to surface)

Piece of thin cotton fabric (about 30*30 cm)

Olive oil bottles

Glass bottles

Olive oil (for Jewish wedding- take note e it should be kosher)

Syringe – to help fill bottles with olive oil

Name tags

Pre -cut and hole punched papers of your choice

Pen to write name and table numbers

Natural string

Herb of your choice – rosemary will be great

getting down with it:

1. Work with small quantity of clay, a size of a grapefruit is great. Kneed your clay well.

If your clay is too dry it will be hard to knead and it will crack once you’ll try to flatten it. In this case you’ll need to moist it- wrap it up with well damp fabric cloth for few minutes. The clay will absorb the water and will be easier to work with.

2. Use your hands to flatten your clay, place the clay on your working surface (I used baking sheets on table, to prevent the clay from sticking to the table) and use rolling pin to flatten it to about half a centimeter.

3. Now, take your cookie cutter and cut your “clay cookies”. I used a cape from my laundry’s softener, it worked well for me, and its was easy to hold. Don’t worry if your not getting a perfect edge finish or shape, it should have a natural feel. if you wish to have a smooth finish edges, wet your finger and gently rub the edge.

If needed, You could dip the cap’s rims in water to help prevent the clay from sticking to it. I find it not a must do.

4. In order to stamp your clay, its best to brush some oil on the rubber stamp. You can use any kind of vegetable oil. Brush it generously but don’t exaggerate, you don’t want your coins to be too oily. I assure you that after 3-4 times you’ll get the hang of it, and know what is the right amount. If needed, gently, use paper towel or cotton to absorb excess oil from coins surface. Yet, don’t bother to much about it!

5. Pierce the coin, using a wooden skewer. Then place the disc on flat surface, pre covered with baking sheet.

Let them dry completely, it will be dry in about 1 hour. Bake them in your oven on 130 C for 30 min. let them cool off completely.

6. Use a natural string, insert clay coin together with one name card. Pull ends of string together & tie a simple knot. Then, tie a second knot with some space from the fist knot- distance rely upon proportion of your r bottle (mine was about 5 cm). Cut off the extra string from edge.

Place the ready string on the bottle neck and see if it works well for you. If needed make adjustments accordingly. Make sure you get your “master” bottle then you could follow the system from there. Touch it up with a herbal stem.

And if you got a lot of bottles to make, make sure you get a good help from somebody.

Have fun.

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1970′s theme 40th Birthday Party for Lady A

hippy-disco-beatnick-chics

Today I would like to share with you one of my most favorite creations!

At the peak of last summer’s season, I had the pleasure of planning and designing an amazing ‘Surprise’ Birthday party for a dear friend of mine, Amanda Ronson-Langer, with her husband, Michael Langer. Super talented, artistic and spiritual genius that she is, Amanda soon took command of her ‘Surprise’ Birthday party and together we created: THE BEST PARTY EVER!

As Amanda was born in 1970, we decided the theme would be a 1970′s costume party. Friends and family were invited to join Amanda’s ‘Grand Flower Power Ball’ celebration by traveling back in time in a ‘Pinkish Time Machine’, with a beautiful ‘Evite’ designed by the very talented graphic designer Sheer Ran. A perfect beginning, 3 creative heads are better than 2 and all was GRAND!

Traveling back in time inspired the concept for the party decor, costumes, food, cocktails and entertainment.

Amanda’s children together with her husband created a great video clip for the party, filmed, produced and directed by Yonatan Ran, Sheer Ran’s brother, and both my cousins too!

The result was a very funny spoof on some 1970′s genre movies such as ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘The Thunderbirds’. Certainly entertaining, watching this video will make you instantly fall in love with the whole family!

YOU HAVE GOT TO WATCH THIS!!!!!  The Search for Lady A

To make space for the 150 plus guests (numbers doubled as rumors spread of the fun to be had), we extended Amanda and Michael’s back garden patio by building a stage that spilled over into the woods behind their house and increased the space dramatically. The stage was covered in synthetic grass, with funky illuminated furniture arranged on either side and a an upper level across the width for the evenings main gig ‘The Groove Redemption Band’.

The party colors, white as base (to match their beautiful home) with bright shades of fuchsia pink, sherbet orange and ruby red; square cocktail tables with comfy leather padded bar chairs, where paired with white leather sofas and very funky illuminated tables and matching lamps in the shape of mushrooms. Feather boa scarves and vinyl cushion covers in those inviting colors, in combination with bright colored gerbera flower bouquets inserted into punctured disco balls, created the setting for the colorful costumes and smiling faces.

feather boas, funky furniture

the-house

funky furniture

funky furniture

Disco ball centerpieces with rainbow cigarettes typically smoked during the 1970′s were on display for guests to enjoy.

disco balls, colorful cigarettes

fuchsia gerbera centerpieces

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Below: Amanda and 2 of her sisters, and husband Michael with two friends. All dressed up and ready to party!

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Fun finger food – mini burgers and corn beef sandwiches, popcorn, cotton candy and I love cupcakes were washed down with wonderful cocktails served by Eli Aliman’s Bar Events.

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i love cupcakes

And the fun went on and on and on…

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Special thanks to all the great suppliers who contributed to this super successful birthday bash! And to the most cooperative crowd of guests who dressed up in such wonderful, colorful costumes and danced till they dropped!

Cocktail Bar: Eli Aliman of Bar Events www.barevents.co.il

Cupcakes: I Love Cupcakes www.ilovecupcakes.co.il

Furniture: Elementeam http://www.elementeam.com/

Posted in birthday party, design process | 1 Comment

Fairies have parties too!

A couple of weeks ago (Halloween weekend actually) an old colleague, friend, and current collaborator of mine Efrat Kuller – Melamed (ck out her amazing blog- yelaDisco), partnered up to create a magical ‘Forest Fairy Garden Party’ for my well-deserved 7 year old niece Yahli.

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In preparation, Efrat and I started with a shopping spree! We bought lots of fairies in all shapes and sizes, props for the arts and crafts activities which Efrat guided the girls through, and fun, colorful bits and pieces like the bright colored tea pots and plastic mushrooms we just knew would come in handy! Ribbons in a multitude of colors, textures and patterns, Japanese lanterns and of course flowers(!) hanging from the trees created a Boho Chic Style ‘Forest Fairy Garden Party’. A visit to my warehouse to gather the complimentary bits and necessary tools, and off we went!

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An installation that began on Friday afternoon and ended on Saturday morning, was constantly ‘start and stop’ because of the rain. In the end, LUCK (or perhaps fairy magic), was on our side and just as the party began, the rain showers stopped!

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My favorite part was the cool ‘Photo-booth’ we created by hanging ribbons, dried flowers and small Japanese lanterns in between 2 existing poles in my sister’s garden. As the girls arrived, we sent them to the photo-booth to have their pictures taken.

‘Fun photo-booth ideas’ are something I often suggest for weddings and parties and have yet to find the cool couple who ‘get it’. Luckily, the 7 year old fairies had a blast with this!

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Efrat led the girls through an adventurous journey, beginning with the distribution of magic wands and the sprinkling of magic fairy dust to give the girls the power and courage to pursue the treasure hunt trail. No ‘competition’, no harsh ‘system of progressive elimination’ in this version of ‘Fairy Survivor’ – just pure fun! Amazing arts and crafts ‘missions’ kept the girls busy and elated. Their creations became party giveaways which the girls took home with a sugar rush grin from the sweets table and amazing Red Velvet cake and pink icing star shaped cookies my sister baked!

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For more photos of my events please visit my website

For Efrat’s take on our joint effort please visit her blog

That’s it folks!

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Handmade designed jewelry – yellowgoat

I always had a great liking for those who follow their (he)art, stay true to an inner burning flame and pursuit it with passion and goal-oriented determination. This is what Petula AKA Yellowgoat is doing. Born in China and raised in Hong Kong, beginning as an animator, moved on to work in ad agency and then to producing TV ads. At a certain stage she felt that ” doing TV ads kind of collides with my world view, and after some thoughts and support from family, I ventured to do what I like, what I find inspiring, what makes me happy, and hopefully make others happy too.”

So now she is a happy jewelry designer who creates whimsy, beautiful, useful and pretty jewelry and objects. Check out this sweet secret message cake ring and the great match box necklace. Wouldn’t they make a great proposal starter?

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My Favorite Black Book

Once again, I would like to welcome you to my new blog! I’ve been waiting for a long time for the opportunity to share my thoughts and exciting experiences that paint my day ‘all the colors of the rainbow’.

To me, my blog is an extension of the never ending passion I have for all things creative and aesthetic and for my endless ‘fireworks of thoughts’ that keep my body and soul at a very high adrenaline level – about what I am doing for which client, what things I need to find and purchase for this or that bride…

All this and more, are recorded in lists and sketches I put in my ‘Favorite Black Book’.  All my initial meetings with clients are recorded in this book. It is when and where I get a feel for what the clients taste is, their vision, what kind of day they dream of having.  Every once in a while, I like to look back through the older entries and read through those first random thoughts and notes I’ve taken of their preferences and my ‘bright ideas’ that are sparked by the challenge of fulfilling those dreams and desires. And see how close or far we were in the beginning of our journey to the end result. Remarkably, I find that in most cases as long or short as the design process may be, it really is interesting to see how that initial interaction between the clients wishes and my creative ideas is very much the same from inspiration to end…

The basic truth is inspiration can come from anywhere….

Last winter I met this lovely couple called Ilana and Clive. Looking back to our first meeting the brief went as such:

Dream – to get married on the beach.

Chuppah – square structure, white flowing fabric, knots of flowers on four posts

Tablescapes – round tables, white party chairs, flowers romantic, white with touches of yellow

Colors – white with a touch of yellow…

The results …

These guidelines and a great chemistry with the clients, inspired the addition of nautical and beach side elements such as an underlying palm tree theme, reflected in the design elements and in menus which were created by the very talented graphic designer/ groom Clive Garsin.

Upon entering the venue, guests received their place card Capiz shells with their names and table numbers handwritten by a professional calligraphy writer in place of the conventional printed place cards. The Capiz shells were repeated in design decorating the place card table and hanging from the back of Chuppah. The sound of the Capiz shell wind chimes blowing in the breeze was so relaxing!

In line with the nautical theme, black and white striped fabric was introduced ‘last minute’ to hide less attractive partitions belonging to venue.

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The yellow accents really lifted the whole design and were used in the cushions, yellow ribbons on bride and groom chairs, in the flower arrangements like soft buttons of yolk in the mass of white flower meringue, and in the large glass vases filled with lemons and orchids used to decorate the buffets.

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ilana and clive centerpieces

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And as the yellow sun sets on the sandy white beach…

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I love my job!

Posted in design process, weddings gallery | 8 Comments