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.

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

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An Invitation Fit for a Rabbi

Rabbi Invite

It has been forever since I have blogged. I’ll just blame it on the baby who isn’t even here yet – 8 weeks to go! But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting when time has allowed. I’m back today to share with you an invitation I designed recently for a special Shabbat dinner to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Temple Beth Am‘s religious school rabbi.

Continue reading

A Method to My Madness: Rubber Stamp Organization

Stamp organization madebymamaleh.com

Serious Crafters have hoarder-like tendencies when it comes to their supplies.  The latest rubber stamp, paper, ribbon, or obscure gadget, will simply call to you and you have no choice but to add it to your stash. I used to think I was alone. Now I know better.

Stamp storage madebymamaleh.com

When I first started stamping as a child, my collection of stamps fit nicely in a shoebox but now I am sort of embarrassed to admit the amount of real estate they take up in my craft room.  I was lucky enough to inherit the same steel drawer unit my grandmother used to store her stamps which is now home to all my stamps and various stamping accessories.  It’s one of those things that makes you say “they don’t make ’em like they used to” with its sturdy (i.e. insanely heavy) steel frame and 30 little drawers.  The original color was “industrial office furniture putty” which you can still see showing through where I have yet to put labels.  The bulk of it I spray painted to go along with my white and green craft room. If/when my craft room is tidy, I still owe you a tour.

The steel drawers help with all of my wood-mounted rubber stamps,  but in this era, I certainly have my share of clear and cling stamps as well.  I store these types of stamps in a series of cute binders using either baseball card sheet protectors for the smallest ones, 5×7 sheet protectors for medium ones and full size sheet protectors for the rest.

Clear stamp storage madebymamaleh.com

So I am doing pretty well on storage, but what I started realizing was that it was still hard to keep track of all the different stamps, especially sentiments and I could never find exactly what I was looking for or at least not quickly. On several occasions I accidentally purchased duplicates or items that were quite similar.  I discovered I wasn’t the only one with this problem.  I devised a way to catalog all of my stamps that would give me flexibility when I got new ones but be easy to look through and scope out my latest project.  Enter my own personal stamp catalog.

rubber stamp organization madebymamaleh.com

I cut a good size stack of white cardstock to 8.5″ x5.5″ to fit a binder of the same size (small enough to tote with me to the stamp store).  The binder is great because it has a little pocket for storing extra tabs or a mini ruler.  I even created a little card size guide to keep at the front for easy reference.  Click here to download your own.

stamp organization binder madebymamaleh.com

Matching page protectors mean I can slip the sheets in and out when I have a new stamp to add to the collection.  I used removable adhesive tabs to create the categories (which correspond to the labels on the drawers)- the ability to move these around is great in the event you realize you’ve suddenly amassed a whole new category of stamps.  I recommend using a fine point Sharpie to write on them so it doesn’t smear.  And then I got to stamping – for fast drying and good definition, I used Versafine Onyx Black to stamp each image.  Underneath each one I wrote the manufacturer as well as the name of the stamp (if it has one) and if it is clear or cling, I put a little “c” in parentheses so I know to check my binders.

rubber stamp organization madebymamaleh.com

stamp binder madebymamaleh.com

ink organization madebymamaleh.comIt took a long time to get everything in but once I did, it has made using my stamps so much more enjoyable.  I can hold images up next to each other to see how they look together or hold them up next to a card or die.  And I can’t tell you how many times I have saved myself from buying something I already had!  I decided to include ink, embossing powder and stickles too since I have the same trouble with all of these.  It’s like shopping in my craft room every time I pull it out and is just so satisfying especially since it is totally neat and tidy while my desk is a crafty disaster.  I had it with me on Saturday when I took two fabulous card classes at Impress with the amazing Julie Ebersole and had a few admirers so figured it was time to share with the world (I took the pictures like a year ago and just hadn’t gotten around to writing out all the details)!  Hope it inspires you to organize your stash!

A Few More Watercolor Cards

As I mentioned in my last couple of posts, I have been having a bunch of fun with the Watercolor for Cardmakers online class.  I haven’t had as much time to play with all of the techniques as I would like but I am so obsessed with the one I shared with you previously that uses a stencil combined with watercolors that I have revisited it a few more times. Since I am a sparkle junkie, I decided to spritz these with the Tsukineko Shimmer Spritz in Frost and Sparkle.

The first card is another variation of the one I did before except with a bolder sentiment and paper. You can just barely make out the frost shimmer atop the watercolors.

Watercolor card madebymamaleh.com

Supplies used: Bazzill Basics Midnight Cardstock, American Crafts Hello stamp Versafine Ink in Majestic Blue, Fabriano Cold Press Studio Watercolor Paper, Memory Box Disperse stencil, Angora watercolors, foam tape, baker’s twine, Silhouette tag file, Tsukineko Shimmer Spritz in Frost

Next up, I did a whimsical card using the same technique but a different color palate and created a background for this super fun stamp I picked up at Viva Las VegaStamps while I was in town for Passover.  If you are ever in Vegas, this place has a great selection of obscure stamps and you can order online too.  I tried to get a close up so you can see the sparkle spritz better but it doesn’t quite do it justice.  I left the front sentiment free and put it inside with a few accent crystals.

Ouija Board Watercolor card madebymamaleh.comOuija Board Card closeup madebymamaleh.comInside Sentiment

Supplies used: Ouija Board rubber stamp, Memory Box Disperse stencil, Tsukineko Shimmer Spritz in Sparkle, Memory Box card, Angora watercolors, Amuse sentiment (retired), foam tape, Versafine Onyx Black ink

There are so many more techniques I want to test out but since the class gallery closes tonight, I at least wanted to share these for now!

Watercolors!

First of all, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamalehs out there!  Second, sorry I have been MIA for a while but I’ve just busy with work and life.  I am trying to remember that a little creativity helps keep me going.  I have this print hanging in my craft room/office and it is the darn truth!

I have been missing my creative mojo lately, so I needed a little inspiration to kick my butt into gear and get the wheels turning again. Having seen so many watercolor projects in the online papercrafting scene lately, I decided to sign up for Watercolor for Cardmakers with Online Card Classes.

The quantity and quality of instructional material has really surprised and impressed me – each day there are 3-4 fantastic videos as well as printable step-by-step instructions and detailed supply lists linking to all of the materials.  In addition, there is an online gallery to share your creations and a forum to ask questions.  One cool thing about this format is that you can go at your own pace; the other day I started a video, got interrupted by my son and just went back to it later. Another day I didn’t even have time to watch so just doubled up the next day.  The ability to do it on my schedule has been fantastic.  And you have access to the videos when class is no longer in-session so you can always go back and watch them again. For $25 it is seriously a ton of information and really fun!

There have been so many amazing techniques on display this week swirling around in my head.  So, yesterday a friend, who I convinced to take the class with me, came over and we just played around.  Now I have even more ideas!  Here’s what the craft table looked like when we were finished:

Crafting mess

First up is my take on the very first card from class which utilizes a technique involving watercolors and a stencil.  I am pretty happy with the result and plan to make more variations of this.

Watercolor stencil card madebymamaleh

Supplies used: Paper Source Peacock Cover, Amuse Studio Happy Birthday To You (from Birthday Greetings), Versafine Majestic Blue, Fabriano Cold Press Studio Watercolor Paper, Memory Box Disperse stencil, Angora watercolors, foam tape, ribbon, Silhouette tag file

Next up I decided to try the technique that involved placing color directly on a stamp with a dye marker and then spritzing with water before stamping. At first glance, I didn’t think I could do this technique since I don’t have any Distress markers but then it got me thinking about my neglected Le Plumes so I decided to give those a try and was so happy with the result, I ended up doing a color chart (as you can see in the mess photo above).

Watercolor technique card madebymamalehSupplies used: Bazzill Basics Cardstock in Midnight, Flower stamp – Silhouette 3 by Impression Obsession, Sentiment by Savvy, Delicata Golden Glitz ink, Marvy Le Plume II markers, Wink of Stella Clear brush pen, foam tape.

I loved this result so much I decided to make a gift set using Fabriano 3×5 notecards which are really gorgeous cards with a lovely deckled edge. I used a mix of Le Plume colors and did both first and second impressions (not reinking but just spraying again).  For a few, I subbed Tsukineko Shimmer Spritz for water and it may just be my new favorite product ever. It’s like a fairy just landed on your paper and sprinkled it with fine fairy dust.  I must confess, I do have a bit of a sparkle obsession.

Watercolor cards madebymamalehWatecolor cards 2nd impression madebymamalehWatercolor cards 1st impression

Supplies used: Fabriano cards, Marvy Le Plume markers, Wink of Stella Pen, Tsukineko Shimmer Spritz.

Then I wrapped it up with a little twine bow and tag (retired Amuse sentiment in Delicata gold) all ready for my aunt’s bday (a tad late but made with love).

Card gift set madebymamaleh

I am having so much fun with these techniques so don’t be surprised if I pop back later with a few more to share in the class galleries!

 

All That Glitters

Handmade Pug Thank You cards madebymamaleh.com

Sorry for being MIA – between all of the holidays, work and some health stuff, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.  I had high hopes for finally getting a good pic of our sukkah, made from our chuppah frame.  Alas, that didn’t quite happen.  But, I’m back with a little something I made for a dear friend who is in the midst of wedding planning.  There are just times in a girl’s life when no ordinary thank you note will do and goodness knows that in the months leading up to a wedding, there is no shortage of thank yous to write!  Continue reading

Color-in New Year Cards for Kids {& A Little Giveaway}

DIY Jewish New Year Cards

One of the paper crafting blogs I follow is A Blog Named Hero.  A few weeks ago, they had an awesome post with an idea to make color-in thank you cards for kids using stamps.  I absolutely loved this idea and decided to take that and make it work for Rosh Hashanah.  Continue reading

Challenge: Air Mail!

I will spare you all of the crazy details but life has really gotten in the way of crafting lately so when I saw the current Air Mail Challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog, I just knew I needed to enter and get those creative juices going again!  You see, after finding this older Denami Space Needle “stamp” stamp on eBay a while back, it was simply screaming to be combined with Sending Love from Seattle.  I decided to make my own Sealed with a Kiss by combining one of my fave alphabets with the lips from Mama Elephant’s Cup of Wishes.  I finished it off with an airmail stamp from Paper Source and skinny airmail washi tape.  Inks used: VersaMagic Night Sky, Brilliance Rocket Red and Brilliance Starlite Black.  All ready to send to a far-away friend in need of some love!

Air Mail Challenge Card

Mama Elephant Sketch Challenge03


I forced myself to get inspired yesterday for the Mama Elephant Sketch Challenge.  Spring is definitely in bloom in Seattle with lots of tulips and daffys but oy, was this weekend rainy.  It was a tea weekend for sure.  So here’s my card with some bright spring colors and nice cozy tea.  The photo doesn’t quite do all the details of the card justice, especially the gold “and cozy,” but you get the idea.  Perfect for one of my random acts of kindness that I really need to get back to!

Card for Mama Elephant Sketch Challenge03

Supplies used
Stamps: Mama Elephant Cup of Wishes
Paper: Paper Trey Ink Berry Sorbet and Aqua Mist
Ink: Embossing Ink, Brilliance Galaxy Gold
Other: Ranger Turquoise Embossing Powder, White Embossing Powder, Yellow Chevron Washi tape by Love My Tapes, Fruit Punch and Yellow Stickles

Happy Blogoversary To Me!

Shalom and sorry for being so quiet lately.  Hope you had a lovely Passover!  We’ve had a crazy couple of weeks in our house that included saying a sudden goodbye to our beloved dog, Smokey Bear.  So, amidst all of that, I just haven’t felt all that crafty or articulate enough to write about some of the projects I’ve been waiting to share. But, a year ago today is when I welcomed you with my very first Made by Mamaleh post so I couldn’t let today pass without a little crafty goodness.

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