The return of Frozen – Counting Down to Hanukkah 2019/5780!

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Hanukkah Countdown Calendar

It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter!  We are at my folks for Thanksgiving and we woke up to nice layer of frost this morning.  Brrrrr!  And of course Frozen 2 is in the air.  My daughter has been asking on a daily basis when we are going to see the new movie!  It’s pretty funny actually since the first one came out when my son was 4.  He’s now 10 and in 5th grade while my daughter is 4 and totally obsessed with all things Frozen.  (Sidenote even the 10 year old wants to go see the movie so at least it’s something we can all agree on).  In addition to the movie request, I am getting a daily request to decorate for Hanukkah.  I mean given the darkness that is settling in, who can blame them for wanting more light? Continue reading

Gearing up for Hanukkah – a few of my favorite things

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Ugh!  Halloween is over and it appears as though Christmas has settled in to stay – it is EVERYWHERE already!  And I am not even going into it having had a nice solid dose of the Jewish holidays to sustain me since I spent Rosh Hashanah through Simchat Torah with pneumonia (and I am not talking just take a Z-pack and be okay pneumonia, we’re talking hospitalized for a couple days, out of the office for five weeks pneumonia – but don’t worry I am finally on the mend).  Anyway, Christmas is exploding already and so my natural response is to start thinking about Hanukkah.  My son and I went to JoAnn on Saturday to pick up some craft supplies and were very sad to not find a single Hanukkah thing amidst all of the Christmas stuff.  In addition, as we were checking out the checker commented on my pretty blue glitter cardstock and then proceeded to ask what color our Christmas tree was.   While I really wanted to be like WTF?! and ask why that even seemed like a sensible question, all I said was “Oh, we celebrate Hanukkah, this is the perfect color for that.”  Then she was either too scared to say anything else or was trying to wrap her head around the fact I didn’t celebrate Christmas.

OY.

Despite this experience, there is some fabulous Hanukkah stuff out there already which is the inspiration for today’s post.  It can go quickly so no time like the present to start your Hanukkah planning and shopping!resw

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Elul and Gratitude

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Gratitude Confetti

It’s the month of Elul, the end of the Jewish Year 5779. We prepare to enter 5780 and dip apples in honey for a sweet year ahead. Elul is a time of contemplation and return as we prepare to enter the high holy days. I feel guilt for my poor neglected blog, perhaps an unanswered email or two to mamaleh, a lack of intentionality in my content. But, beyond that guilt I also feel immense gratitude. If you are reading this right now, that gratitude goes to you for despite my lack of posts on the blog itself, you are still here, reading, commenting, sharing, fueling my creative outlet. Continue reading

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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