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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.
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.
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!)
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
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.
But here we are at the end of the summer. School starts next week! And the high holy days are fast approaching with Rosh Hashanah starting at sunset on the 20th. My new calendar is well-hung in the kitchen and ready for ALL of September’s firsts to be added. Note the magnetic chalkboard door – that is a long ago project that I have been meaning to blog for a long time! As 2nd VP of our synagogue board, one of the things that comes with the holidays is new year greetings to members. I am old-school and appreciate the art of the handwritten note, so I decided to make some for myself as well another board buddy.
So as you know, I am quite the rubber stamp collector. I am constantly on the hunt for new additions to my collection but the most recent one is quite the standout. It is a gorgeous pomegranate and shofar image with a handwritten Shana Tova that is so simple and elegant – perfect for a fabulous greeting card. I found the stamp on eBay but it is by Rubber Hedgehog. Lovely craftsmanship and well worth it.
To get the most out of simple stamps you need good paper and good ink. In this case, I used Fabriano notecards in the folded reply card size in gorgeous raw edge Italian paper with matching envelopes. I stamped in Brilliance ink, both Pearlescent Crimson and Pearlescent Poppy. Both look fabulous although the photos don’t quite do justice to the beautiful pearlescence that these inks provide. Regardless of which you choose, it is a quick way to create elegant handmade Jewish new year cards. I did dry the ink with a heat gun (aka fancy hairdryer) just to make sure it was set before I packaged them, but otherwise, easy peasy.
Are you sending any new year cards? Any crafting plans in the next couple of weeks? Remember, you can always enlist your kiddos too!
Also, since it’s almost the new year, my resolution is to BLOG more for all of you! So please share any crafty, Jewish Martha topics you’d like to see covered in the coming months and I’ll see what I can do. Shabbat Shalom and happy end of summer!
P.S. Made by Mamaleh is now on Instagram. Come follow me @madebymamaleh
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.
There is a Yiddish proverb that says “Man plans and G-d laughs.” This sort of sums up life over the last several months as our family has dealt with some unexpected health challenges and stress. But we are hanging in there and our kids still want to countdown to Hanukkah (and some of you who haven’t given up on me have emailed and do too). So, without further ado, this year’s Made by Mamaleh Hanukkah Countdown Calendar.
Chag Sameach! Are you sick of matzo yet? Well I have the answer…Matzo Roca! This stuff is so delish that I literally have non-MOT friends awaiting it every year when Passover rolls around. I just whipped up my second batch this week. And best of all, it’s super easy! It’s one of my all time favorite recipes courtesy of my friend Renée.
Despite newborn sleep deprivation and very little crafting happening lately, I couldn’t skip creating a new Hanukkah countdown calendar for this year. And with Hanukkah starting in just two weeks, it’s time to start counting!
I am still here, really. Just a bit sleep deprived and in that new baby daze. You know what feels like a super fun outing with a new baby? A trip to Target! With my baby napping away in the carrier, I was able to browse just a little and guess what I found? The perfect vignette for mantle or table for the High Holidays. Pomegranates have special symbolism in Judaism and are often associated with the new year in particular. Now I had hoped to get this posted in time that maybe you could have used it for Sukkot but alas, baby mode got in the way. But don’t let that stop you, these are still available at Target and would still look great for fall, Tu B’Shevat or to be set aside for 5777.
The contrasting textures of the ceramic pomegranate (which has a small opening so you can put a single stem in some water), the solid red one and the wood grain are really fun. And thanks to my slowness in posting, they are now on clearance so be quick in your shopping! I just spotted some similar figs (also a very Jewish symbol) on sale too so maybe I’ll have to honor Tu B’Shevat a bit more this year with some decor. Hope to be back again soon (pray for some good napping) with some extreme baby cuteness and a tutorial on how to add a little Hebrew to your birth announcements! Stay tuned!