Friday, December 30, 2011

A doodle a day keeps the boredom away!

Who doesn't doodle?
Everyone does.
Sometimes you don't even realize you're doing it.
You're on the phone and suddenly you've created art on a piece of paper.
Yes, ART!
If you've ever been to ART BASEL or any other art show you will find that doodling is very much considered art.
Romero Britto for me is what I consider a man who has brought doodling into the art form at it's highest level.
So give your doodling another look. You may have something there.
I always doodle when I go to a learning class.
I can only concentrate if my eyes are not wandering around the room getting distracted by the colors.
So consequently I have ended up with sheets of doodles that at some point I filled with gel pens or other forms of coloring markers.

It starts out like this....

And ends up like this.

These are some of my favorites.

Just makes me happy to look at them.
Over the years I have incorporated doodling in my layouts.

I love using white gel pens on dark cardstock. 
Here I used small strips of different colored cardstock and applied a simple doodle of twirls.

Small little circles of doodles and you've changed the look.

You can even doodle directly on your photo if that works for you.
This is one of my proudest doodles!
I make the frame with my sharpie and then used a q-tip with chalk to add a little color.
The white gel pen also works so well here.
Notice the frame around the layout made with black and white filled hearts.

If you think you can't doodle think again.
You most certainly can.
 Get some sharpies, pencils, whatever and give it a go.
You probobly don't even know your own capability.
No matter where your creativity lies, go forward.
Plunge straight ahead.
You might surprise yourself!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music.

What is more beautiful than life through the eyes of a child?
Chanukah is the most fun Holiday in our life.
It's all about food, music, and gifts.
I wish I could be with my children on every Holiday.
Especially on Chanukah.
Instead I watch from far.
This year my DD made her daughter her very first Chanukah party.
So much excitement in the preparations.
Art project, nosh, friends and family.
Right before the party she went to buy a huge Chanukah balloon.
Don't you wish you could experience as an adult the unaffected joy of a child?
A child is happy by default.
Somewhere along the lines things change.
We grow older , become harder to please and we lose this childhood contentment.
If we can only remember...
Happiness is not somewhere out there; it rests within, in that part of us that is forever young and forever giving--our soul.

Once again I am using CJS Chanukah paper for this Chanukah layout.
So easy to put any layout together from their entire holiday kits collection.
If you want to start buying supplies this would be a safe bet.
We as a nation are all about Holidays.
We do them every year.
Isn't it time to put down some memories....

Speaking about your inner child, here's another way to learn from our children how to have play.
Have fun with them and you will surely have fun through them!

As you can see, the photos are not 'picture perfect'.
But making a memory last is...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I want... I need... I lust for...

something small i want

something medium i need

                                     Something big I lust for....


Ok I admit it. I do want stuff.

"What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things."

So I was thinking about this wish list business.
Many bloggers use this time of year to post their choice of luxuries they would buy 'if they only could'...
Chanel anything, Louboutin shoes, Judith Leiber evening bag, Pratesi sheets.....
If I had any one of these items,  all of these items, would I still wish for more?
If I slept in Pratesi sheets  would I sleep more soundly?
If I walked in Louboutins shoes, would I walk my children to the chupah?
If I carried a Leiber bag, would I wear it to my child's wedding?
If I bought a firstclass ticket to Israel, would my children be healthy?
But if I walked my child to the Chupa would I need a Judith Leiber?
If I saw my children's success would I wish for a Chanel?
If I watched my family love and care for each other would I need Pratesi to sleep well at night?
If I have Shalom Bayis do I need a Cartier diamond?
I think not...
                                                            My Wish List                           
       What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has   
        a clear conscience?” -Adam Smith

This brings true and lasting happiness.

Scary thought no?

So many things to be grateful for. Don't believe me? Make a list.

Being a 'Sheitel Macher' I know this to very true...
This is my #1 wish for myself.
Because everyone wants to be with a happy person.

But as G-D would have it, what you wish for is your greatest challenge...
So I will try to go simple.

I wish it were that easy........

Chanukah is here 2011...

Chanukah is the best Yom Tov ever!It's all about family and fun, my two favorite things.
Each Yom Tov is defined by childhood memories.
Memories of preparations.
Food preparations to be exact.
My mother stood there turning out latkes one more perfect than the other.
My Father singing "Haneiros Halalu" strong and loud.
No matter how much time passes or how many miles away you are, you remember.
Now that I am the Bubby, my children are making their own memories and sending me the pictures.

Sometimes you can incorporate your photos as part of the design.

CRAFTING JEWISH STYLE has a wonderful collection of Chanukah papers and stickers.

Rivky Konig, author of the book and creator of this wonderful line, sent me Rosh Hashana, Chanukah and Pesach kits to create layouts with.
There are a thousand ways to use this collection besides for Yom Tov layouts.
The journaling on this next layout was inspired by Chanukah lights. (hence, you light up my life)

Here's one I posted before.
Rosh Hashana inspired the journaling on this one.

Can you see the possibilities? Endless...
So now you can take pictures of your family/friends and Yom Tov festivities.
You've got the perfect papers to use.
Go for it!

Monday, December 19, 2011

So much Nachas...

Mrs. Brownstein is talking to Mrs. Goldberg.
"So tell me about your daughter?" asks Mrs. Brownstein.
"Well," Mrs. Goldberg replied, "When she was 18, she married a pediatrician and they had a little boy, but after a couple years they got divorced. Then, she married a prosperous dentist and they had twins, but again things didn't work out and they got divorced. After that, she met a big lawyer and they got married and had a little girl, but that one just lasted three years, too. Now she's engaged a fourth time, to the President of a bank."
"Oy!" said Mrs. Brownstein. "So much joy from one child!"

Ask any Jewish mother what she wants and she will immediately say NACHAS!
Nachas is worth more than money.
Nachas is worth every labor pain.
Every nauseous day of pregnancy.
Every penny spent on education.
Every sleepless night.
So when you get a dose of it you need to take a moment and indulge.
I do that by scrap booking, as you all know by now.
B"H I have much nachas from each one of my children and grandchildren.
Sometimes I even have nachas from my husband!
THIS is one of the ways a man gives you nachas.

If you know my husband, you understand how this layout is such a reflection of him.
It's always a challenge for me to make a masculine layout.
When you have 6 girls and 3 granddaughters, you have a ton of girly stuff, but I love how this came out. Manly papers for a macho guy.

Nachas is pride, joy, and happiness that becomes a part of you.
Like wrinkles at the side of your eyes from smiling so much.
That smug, satisfying feeling that says "you done good".
Although we know that it all comes from Hashem, we can't help but take a little credit when anyone in our family gives us nachas.
Even when my nieces or nephews give me nachas I feel proud of our family.

One of my girls is giving me a ton of nachas right now.
She finished school and became a Cutco rep.
I've been cooking for 30 years now and I can honestly say Sarale has given me a new appreciation for kitchen tools.
Cooking became it should be.
Cutting your vegetables or fruits exactly how you'd like it, that is fun!
When your knife doesn't take a detour as you're cutting melons or squash, that is fun!
A roast cut in neat thin slices can actually make you feel proud of yourself. Go figure!
I wish I could retrieve all the pineapples I barely managed to peel without throwing away more then I cut!
Believe me, I always knew Sarale had potential.
I even documented that feeling 5 years ago with this layout.

She is so full of all the wonderful things I knew she would be.
I am so happy she sees how hard work really pays off.
She got the stamp of approval from  Bubby Mochkin. (not easy to come by one of those!)
She gave her Bubby a knife for a gift and her Bubby said "It's even better than an electric knife"!
Sarale, I knew you could be tops in whatever you did, I just didn't expect you to attain it so quickly.
THAT is nachas!

I remember when she was born. (not really but I have a scrapbook page to prove it happened!)
She was gorgeous from the first second I laid eyes on her.
Screamed like a lunatic as a baby, but gorgeous nonetheless!
Every picture of her inspires me to scrapbook a layout in a totally different way.
Here's one where I used different pieces of black and white papers.
I added a hint of green and hot pink for emphasis.

I don't know how I put this together but I like the feel of it.

And here is one simple, cool  and easy to make layout.
Using lots of smaller photos in black and white really works.
I used a Label Maker for the journaling.
So simple. You could do this on any layout you make.

So how about it.
Get busy recording your dose of nachas.
Everyone gets some.
Cherish it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I am so excited...

My kids are coming for Shabbos.
And here I was feeling sorry for myself, missing my children,
wondering how I could get to see them NOW.
I love to scrapbook but when I get inspired it's a breeze for me.
Takes no thought at all.
It just flows out of me.
My inspiration was the feeling I got yesterday when they told me they were coming.
I felt like the sun came out.
(Although the sun was already out in it's fullest glory it felt like that anyway.)
The sun was out even stronger and brighter than before.
Only my children coming for a visit could do that trick.

Are you feelin' it?
Can you see how happy I am?
I think so.
How happy are you today?
Use a sun on your layouts and your message will come across loud and clear.
There are so many different ways to make a sun, some of which I will share with you on the next post.
Meanwhile make one for yourself. Send it to me. I would love to see your work.
I show you mine.
Show me yours!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Don't knock the weather. If it didn't change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn't start a conversation.

I opened the door this morning and felt a soft breeze.
Hardy much. But enough to hope that soon there could be a chill in the air.
When I think of Winter I still think of snow.
Images of your childhood never quite disappear. They just hide behind layers of new and old experiences.
I miss having a 'real' winter. (well just for a moment)
Living here in Florida has robbed me of the four seasons.
Here we have one season.
Hot and Not So Hot.
In the Winter months I get to wear my summer clothes comfortably.
There are a few days that are really cold though, 35-45 degrees.
These are the days I wish I had heat in the house.
I layer  summer clothes and throw on a warm sweater I have for 'just in case'.
Only if you have family in other places do you look prepared for the cold weather.
The New York look. Black skirt, black tights, black boots...
When I see my friends in their winter wardrobe they look almost funny under the weight of warmer and heavier fiber.
Most Floridians want the cold to be over quickly.
I, on the other hand, can't get enough.
I love when the temperature drops.
As cold as it gets the sun comes out anyway.
It's a bright, crisp, colorful cold.
It's the kind of cold that makes you want to do stuff.
Run on the boardwalk without sweating.
Drink a coffee to warm up.
Wear the lightest color Uggs and not worry about getting them dirty.
So Winter for me is an eagerly anticipated and well deserved change for me.
I must confess I am actually annoyed when visitors from the north look at me almost in  anger and say 'Is it always this cold in January?' While I'm praying it stays this way they're praying the weather will change. Must be confusing to G-d hearing the conflicting prayers coming from the same place...
But I also understand how they feel.
New York is a hard place in the dead of winter.
This  layout is a picture my daughter Rochelle took.
I kept this layout very simple. Colors enhanced with Photoshop.
Used net with little white specks to extend the feeling of snow.
Backed by black textured cardstock.
So simple yet so effective.
I especially love this picture because my son is in it and I was so impressed with Rochelle's photography skills.
I can feel the cold just looking at it.
Already six years since this picture was taken.

This next layout on the other hand, captures the beauty of a winter's day melting away the snow.
I love how Shulamis's dress is yellow and fresh against the brick and grime of the streets of Brooklyn.
This was taken last year. The winter was brutal. The picture is not.

A beautiful layout for a beautiful girl.
I printed out a quote, backed with printed paper.
Use rubons. Rubons are fun to use and I usually buy them discounted at Big Lots or Amazing Savings in New York.
Flowers are another  favorite element of mine and I am tempted to use them on all my layouts.
I think the three layers of colored paper under the picture are key to bringing out the colors perfectly.
White cardstock always works. Especially when you want the picture to stand out.
If you want to do a layout like this you don't even have to buy rubons.
Google Doodles and play around with a super fine sharpie.
You can make these designs yourself.
I challenge you to try it.
Put on music (like Chanale's cd) and play with your sharpies.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Anyone can do it.
Just try!
You will totally amaze yourself.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You have outgrown my lap but not my heart...

I have been blessed with six daughters and one son.
Each one is a bundle of personality wrapped in a colorful ribbon.
Open a bottle of champagne and watch the bubbles burst forth.
Those are my kids.
When they were little they totally depended on me.
Any choice or decision had to be decided by me.
The Boss. The Parent. The one who knows better.
And then they grow up.
That is when you the Parent turn into a Tightrope Walker.
Anything you do or say can throw you off balance.
You could be walking straight ahead with great confidence and oops,
There you are teetering on a thin string on top of your 'family hi-rise' wondering how to proceed without failing falling.
It's a constant challenge and you have no choice but to forge ahead and keep that balance.
Because falling is not an option.
And then they get married.
What a blessing.
Now the tightrope has new challenges.
Good ones.
But new nonetheless.
This year my one and only son got married.
As any mother knows, how can any girl be good enough?
My son? He's perfect. No such thing as perfect? You haven't met my son then!
He is so perfect that I knew when he chose a wife she was going to be everything I wanted for him.
And I was right.
As complete as he is, she totally completes him.
Last night he came home for the night to attend a wedding.
His wife wasn't able to come because she is commited to work and school.
I thought when I would see him alone I would feel happy to have him all to myself.
But surprisingly I missed seeing him with his beautiful new wife by his side.
They are so  right together it doesn't seem natural for him to be without her.
And I love that.
I love knowing he has a soul mate.

Aren't they gorgeous! k"h poo poo!
I want to introduce you all to another way of scrapbooking.
DIGITAL scrapbooking.
I always wanted to learn how to do it..
So I tried out for the place of guest designer and Jen Martakis was kind enough to send me some
 free digital kits to try out. (buy the kits. they are so worth it!)
This layout was my first attempt and I am so happy with the results.
I sent it in to Costco to print . $3.00 for a 12x12 photo.
I think in the future I will have lots of fun learning this new (to me) and challenging way to scrapbook.
If you know how to use Photoshop or such try this way of scrapbooking.
You will quickly become hooked.
If not, just put together this wonderful heart with papers and buttons.
And keep your memories forever.
Like I do.
Here is my little boy almost 20 years ago....