Quick MLK Day Crafting: DIY Custom Kitchen Art

DIY Kitchen Art

It’s MLK Day and I’ve been home with a cold all day.  My son got a couple extra episodes of BusyTown today.  Not a very fun way to spend a day off. I was feeling a tad better this afternoon so decided to do a little quick crafting.  I’ve been wanting a little piece of art for the shelf in our breakfast nook (same room with the giant NOSH letters on the wall) and after spending a while visualizing it in my head (often a very long process), I was finally ready to just knock it out.  I love it!  Exactly what I wanted!

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Challenging Myself and Sending Love from Seattle

Today’s post is something new for me.  I have loved making cards ever since I was a little kid gluing doilies on Valentines.  Now in the age of the blog-o-sphere, I follow a bunch of fun paper-crafting sites that give me lots inspiration and ideas for all sorts of things, not just cards.  Sometimes they have crafting challenges to inspire you to stretch your creative muscles.  I’ve found it a bit intimidating, never sure if my photos or designs are quite good enough to compete but I decided to give it a go and challenge myself to try something new. So, taking inspiration from two challenges, I am diving in.  Over at Runway Inspired Challenge (I absolutely love the melding of fashion and paper-crafting going on here by the way), the idea was to design a card based on this spring fashion:

While the challenge over at Moxie Fab World, Challenge #49 from Creative Card Challenges Week: was to create your own background paper.

So, drum roll please, here’s what I came up with:

Runway Inspired Challenge#27 card

For the background, I took my Rubber Soul rain stamp and Brilliance Starlite Black to create my patterned paper on my all-time favorite shimmery cardstock: Curious Metallics White Gold.  Now, I am generally one to just eyeball things when it comes to stamping, but for creating a background I used my stamp positioner to get it just right since for a background you have to line up the stamp over and over.  Then, using a little scrap of a floral-patterned washi paper that’s almost like vellum (sadly, the photos don’t do it justice), I stamped my little Amuse Art Stamps Tiny Butterfly (no longer available alone but new version here) in Fresh Ink Turquoise and Pool.  After adhering the butterfly panel, I then stamped Sending Love from Seattle by Impress in Turquoise over the top of both and embossed it using clear embossing powder.  A little of the powder stuck to the raindrops so I ended up deciding to embrace this and filling a few in with Diamond Glaze for that true glistening rain effect.  And last but not least, two little pale blue gems for some extra sparkle!

Here’s a close up of the raindrops:

ric#27

I think it sort of embodies Seattle at the moment…suffering through the onslaught of winter rain so that eventually we can find the colorful butterflies of spring.  What do you think?  How’d I do with the two challenges?  Have you ever entered a crafting challenge?

Random Acts of Kindness 2013

Happy New Year!

I am not really one for New Year’s resolutions.  I generally take stock of the more serious stuff at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I am constantly trying to keep on track with Weight Watchers and the gym so there’s really no resolution to be had in that department either, I just keep on keepin’ on.  Last year, my goal for the secular new year was to try one new recipe a week and give my neglected cookbook collection a workout.  I tracked this for a while and then slowly stopped writing it down but did keep some of the momentum going throughout the year so overall I’d say it was a success.

As 2012 came to a close and I filled in my new birthday calendar (I printed out an awesome 11×17 one from Lemon Squeezy), I was originally thinking my goal for 2013 was simply to mail old-fashioned snail mail cards for people’s birthdays and anniversaries.  It’d definitely be an improvement to the Facebook birthday wishes that everyone seems to have defaulted to these days but still, it’s sort of expected.  So, I am upping the ante – not only will I remember these special days but I will also commit more simply random acts of kindness this year since the best cards or treats are the ones that are completely unexpected.  A couple of months ago my friend Samantha sent me the cutest card just to say thanks for being her workout buddy and give me some encouragement – it made my day if not my week.  So, for 2013, I want to spread some of that kindness and cheer.

For my first random act, I decided it was the perfect excuse to pull out my brand-new Cup of Wishes stamps by Mama Elephant.

I stamped the cup and tea bag on some animal print paper using my Versafine Onyx Black and then carefully cut it out.  Then I stamped the Warm and Thoughts using VersaMagic Cloud White to get that steamy effect on a plum-colored A Muse notecard and rounded the corners.  Then I attached the cup using foam squares and tied a little ribbon on the top.  Now all I need to do is throw in a little Starbucks card  (I still have a few of the Mini Moments cards that are perfect for this endeavor) and I am all set to commit random act #1.  Now the only question is who will be the recipient…

What about you?  Any resolutions or fun endeavors for 2013?

New Year Cards!

You know how folks typically get half-way through January guilt-ridden with having failed to send holiday cards? Well , that’s me this month of Tishrei. But, just like the fact you pretty much have all of January to say Happy New Year, the same goes for Tishrei and the entire period of time between Rosh Hashanah and Simchat Torah (and then some).

My friend Jona and I sat down with our kids well before the holidays started to make a few cards and I even managed to come home and finish mine which have now sat in a nice little stack since then.  🙂 Here was the scene in our kid-card-making chaos:

For my grown-up cards, I went with a honey theme and simple design with a little depth thanks to pop-up foam squares.  With any luck, I’ll actually get them in the mail this weekend.

Handstamped Rosh Hashanah card

Hand-stamped Rosh Hashanah Card
Honeycomb stamp by Impress; bee, beehive and L’Shanah Tova stamps by A Muse Art Stamps (retired)
Hand-stamped Rosh Hashanah Card
 Honeybear stamp by MOMR (Museum of Modern Rubber)

Did you make or send new year cards this year?  Before I go, I just have to share with you Maggie’s brilliant idea for one of her cards.

I love it!

Shanah Tova! And, Happy World Card Making Day (today)!

Goodie Bags for the New Year!

So, as often happens to me during my Target shopping trips, I ended up getting inspired in the dollar section!  To start, they had these adorable felt apple bags (they also had some other fall shapes but obviously the apple cried out Rosh Hashanah).

Rosh Hashanah Kid Treats

Then I started to ponder what I might put inside…I decided on some squeeze applesauce, a big favorite in our house and great for a quick and easy kid snack.  Next, I noticed these cute apple notebooks in the dollar section, perfect for a pre-dinner doodle.  I treated myself to some new alphabet stamps at Target (part of the special collection from the Curiosity Shoppe and a great deal at $10 since they include numbers, symbols and 3 colors of ink) and my son helped me stamp everyone’s names on the notebooks.

Rosh Hashanah Kid Goodie Bags

Next I headed back to the party section for a bulk pack of crayons (8 4-packs for $2) so the kids all had something to draw in their notebooks with.  Rosh Hashanah treats wouldn’t be complete without some honey and honey sticks are the least messy route.  I often order these from Amazon but managed to find some multi-flavor packs on sale at Whole Foods.

Rosh Hashanah Kid Treats

Finally, the goodie bags wouldn’t be complete without name tags.  Again, the dollar section didn’t disappoint with some cute apple/kraft tags in a 6 pack.  We just did these for a few of our friends but I think they’d be great at kids’ placesettings too – the perfect dinnertime distraction.

Rosh Hashanah Treat Bags for Kids

No kids at your high holiday table but need a little hostess gift?  The $ section has you covered too.  Pick up one of these cute little metal apple pails, add some shredded kraft paper, a honey bear (this one is blackberry honey!) and a gift tag and there you go, a sweet new year treat!

Rosh Hashanah honey gift

May your new year be sweet!  Shana Tova!

A New Year, A New Calendar

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, starts the evening of September 16th.  This time of year is full of customs and traditions and it all coincides with back-to-school and fall.  So, for me, one of the things it means is a new Jewish calendar and this isn’t something I have the time or energy to make!

For those that don’t know, the Jewish calendar follows a lunar calendar.  Although secular calendars have tried to be more inclusive of Jewish holidays, they often only include the major ones and often confuse when they actually start and end.  So, I like to have at least one Jewish calendar in the house so that I always know when the holidays are.  Some even provide details like candle-lighting and Torah portions. Ours hangs in the kitchen for daily reference and use as a family calendar.  There also happen to be some gorgeous ones out there that add a nice little judaic flare to your wall.  Today I thought I’d share with you my fave Jewish calendar picks for 5773 (2012-2013):

My yearly pick, hands down, is the Jewish Art Calendar by Mickie Caspi which comes in both a regular and mini sizes.  I LOVE Mickie Caspi.  We gave both sets of parents her parents’ gifts when we got married and her artwork is simply beautiful.

New this year in the world of Jewish calendars for kids is Sammy Spider’s Jewish Calendar.  From what I can see, it looks fantastic and if your kids read the Sammy Spider books, they already know who Sammy is.  I must confess, it makes me want to order two Jewish calendars this year.

Looking for an adult calendar that showcases some of the lovely Judaica collection from The Jewish Museum in NYC?  They have both a wall calendar and an engagement calendar for those of you who like to use a non-eletronic calendar on the go.

Hope this helps you prepare for the new year just a little!  Stay tuned for more Rosh Hashanah posts including a free printable for some quick and easy new year decor!

Lazy Mom’s Guide to the 4th!

With the 4th of July falling on a Wednesday, it’s hard to not want to just veg and enjoy the sun.  So, here’s my lazy woman’s take on some festive treats:

Red, White and Blue Sprinkle Cookies

Ready to Bake Cookie dough + Patrotic Sprinkles = Custom 4th of July Chocolate Chip Cookies!

So easy (and very toddler pleasing), there’s still time for you to make em!  Have a safe and happy 4th!

Shalom! Welcome!

This blog has been in the works for quite a while (probably since college when I said I wanted to be the Jewish “Martha”). I keep trying to find the perfect time to start and make everything just so but with a job, a toddler, a husband, doggies, a cold, you name it, the timing is never quite right. I figured why not NOW, for Passover! So, much like life, this is a work in progress so please bear with me as I set off on this journey. I promise to check back post-seders with some seder highlights including some fun toddler stuff to hopefully inspire you for next year (since I didn’t have it together to do it ahead!) Chag Sameach!