Another holiday, another wreath!

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I had so much fun creating the dreidel wreath for Hanukkah and have decided that my door now feels naked without a wreath smiling at me when I arrive home.  So, I had a fun idea for a Tu B’Shevat wreath that really could work any time of year!  I’ve said it before but I will say it again, Tu B’Shevat is one of those holidays that without a Jewish calendar staring you down or a kid in religious school, you might not give it much thought.  It’s basically the new year of the trees, a Jewish celebration of the environment and it has some beautiful traditions but you can acknowledge it in a subtle way like creating a piece of kid tree art or even giving a silly gift like I have in the past. Continue reading

A Hanukkah wreath?!

When you hear the word “wreath” what do you think of? I immediately think of the popular Christmas decorations that are suddenly everywhere the day after Thanksgiving.  But here’s the thing… though they have taken on that connotation in modern America, wreaths have a deep history across time and the globe.  And what I have realized is that coming home to a wreath on my door is like being greeted with a nice warm smile and it makes me happy.  At Rosh Hashanah I put up a pomegranate wreath.  At Halloween, I had a monster face wreath.  For November, I have enjoyed my sweet felt flower wreath.  And now that we are entering the dark time of year and it’s almost Hanukkah, I wanted something even more fun and cheerful.  But sadly, a quick google search for “hanukkah wreath” turns up almost nothing but a few wreaths made of blue and silver ornaments (note to stores – round ornaments are pretty Christmassy even if you make them in “Hanukkah colors”).  So, what’s a girl to do?  Make something of course!

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More Love and Light! An Art Deco Jewish Wedding Invite

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In the spirit of sharing more love and light, I wanted to share one of my summer projects that I am super proud of…

Photo by Kim Johnston Photography Invite madebymamaleh

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Peace, Love and Light: Counting Down to Hanukkah 2018/5779

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SHALOM! Greetings from rainy Seattle (although this morning there is actually a hint of sun!) I am still here although lately having trouble finding time and space to craft.  We had some basement flooding and now a forced remodel in the works.  My lovely craft room was unfortunately not spared and is currently lacking the bottom third of the wall as well the floor and all the furniture 😦  Continue reading

A touch of Hiddur Mitzvah

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I am back!  Well truly I haven’t gone anywhere but I have been far too busy mamaleh-ing to be blogging. That’s just the truth. I craft and create but adding the layer of writing and photographing (especially in the mess that is my craftroom) has just exceeded my daily allotment of quiet hours. Two year olds are busy bees and they want to do whatever mom is doing!  So, it’s currently nap time in my house, or rather was until a minute ago, and I have a few minutes to share a simple and sweet creation with you.

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Mamaleh on Christmas

So rather than opt for the tradition of our people to indulge in Chinese food on Christmas day, we had a lovely invite to Christmas dinner at the home of some dear friends.  Other than wine, in true Mamaleh fashion, I offered to bring challah.  I thought it’d be fun to give it a truly Christmas twist and make it into a candy cane.  I figured it would need to be a four strand for even coloring but wasn’t quite sure how to get stripes as opposed to just alternating colors.  My husband suggested doing a mock-up with string so I grabbed some pipe cleaners – they lend themselves to shaping a bit better than string. It all comes down to the order you start the braids.  I first tried alternating colors and that did not work at all.  Then I discovered that if you arrange the colors 2 and 2 and then follow the 4-strand braiding technique by The Challah Blog, you will get just the right stripes.

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Hanukkah Countdown With Dreidel Fun

Hanukkah is just over a week away and I have cards to address, presents to wrap, and of course crafting to do!  But that doesn’t mean we can’t do an abbreviated countdown this year.  And thanks to the length of this year’s countdown, I’ve managed to include a nice little refresher on how to play dreidel should you have forgotten (or your kids are trying to make up the rules!)

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Shana Tova from my family to you!

It’s been way too busy with back to school and of course the high holidays.  And as luck would have it, my 8-year-old woke up sobbing with a sore throat Rosh Hashanah morning so it was a day of honey and tea instead of apples and honey. Though I did still manage to bake apple raisin round challah. So I posted on FB and Instagram that I was super excited about our new year cards that I ordered from Simply to Impress and promised I would follow-up with a reveal. It was my first time ordering from them but I decided to give them a chance since they had an amazing array of Jewish new year cards. I also really liked that you could order them in the more petite size of 4 x5.5 which I just think is a really sweet size.

So, I managed to stage my kids for a perfect fall new year pic by providing them with a couple of realistic looking toy shofars. Fair warning, they sound sort of kazoo-like which gets old pretty fast! I got my daughter this cute apple dress on sale last year at the Gap and put it away in the size I figured she’d be now. For my son, I ordered this cute button down and bow tie.  After many outakes, I got a bunch of shots and then played around with cropping.   Then I debated which of the tons of darling card options to choose and ended up settling on this one…drum roll, please… Continue reading

A sweet and simple Shana Tova

The new year is coming and I couldn’t be more excited for a fresh start! I have been MIA for far too long. Year 38 has probably been the longest of my life.  So I mentioned back in December that we’d had health challenges – well now that they seem mostly behind us (pu pu pu), I can offer a bit more explanation.  At 38, my dear sweet husband was diagnosed with TWO kinds of cancer.  After major surgery the week of Thanksgiving, he’s spent the last nine months in a cycle of chemo and radiation, all while juggling work and life with two kids (who turned 8 and 2 this summer!)  So, you can guess where much of the day-to-day worry fell.  But I am thrilled to say that my sweet is now cancer-free!! One of my goals is to return to my craft projects, or rather sharing them with all of you; the sign in my craft room does proclaim, “Arts and Crafts Keep Me Sane” after all. I’ve still managed to sneak some projects in over the past year and will try to go back and share them over time. Continue reading

Not Your Kid’s Hanukkah Countdown! L’Chaim!

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If you look around at all of the Advent calendars out there, there are just as many designed for adults as there are for kids. But, in the land of Hanukkah decor, it seems that most of the designers seem to think only little kids celebrate Hanukkah. So last year I decided to make my husband his very own Hanukkah Countdown for each night of Hanukkah.

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