Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Get a hobby. You'll live longer.

My hobbies keep me sane.
I cannot remeber a day when I wasn't looking to create something.
As a very young child I have memories of knitting clothes for my barbie doll.
My mother beamed at me with pride.
(I just wish she would have kept what I made, but times were different then)
I also recall watching my mother embroider Challah covers.
I was fascinated that she could make such perfect stitches so quickly.
And the clothes she occasionally made for us.

my mother made the outfits in this picture.

How did she do it?
The house was spotless.
Not to mention how well she cooked and baked.
Without a housekeeper.
Living in Crown Heights.
With my father!

here you can see the outfit better.

I guess she figured one thing out early on.
Hobbies brings relaxation, quiet and peace of mind.
As I get older I see the value in cultivating a hobby more than ever.
There are those that feel that spending lots of time doing your hobby, whatever that may be, is a waste of time.
Oh, those poor people!
How it improves the quality of life.
It fosters positive emotions and gives you a great sense of achievement.
Need I say more?
But I will!
When your brain is engaged in a hobby you will feel good.
And when you feel good ooooh baby!
Everyone around you feels good.
I think that counts for a whole lot.
So let's review.
For the young a hobby boosts self esteem.
Fot the middle aged a hobby is a powerfull destresser.
And for the elderly a hobby can be a wonderful and satisfying way to keep busy.
So I am planning to continue with my hobbies for as long as Hashem blesses me with capabilities and health.

This week I felt like doing a little embroidery.
Brings back those warm memories of my mother.
Makes me feel conected to the generation before me.
Several years ago I bought a Challah cover just to get started.
It wasn't as beauitful as the one my mother has, but it is a good start.
So now I'm in the mood of finishing it up.

If I don't look too close I feel pretty satisfied.
What I love about Scrapbooking is that you can incorporate anything you want on your layout.
Whenever I am doing any sort of needlework, someone will say to me "but it takes soooo long".
Duh! That's the point.
You want to spend as much time  possible, enjoying the process and making it your own.
Otherwise you could use a machine.
And what fun is that?

Torn pieces of colored cardstock.
Hand stitching.
Yes it took forever.
Loved every long minute of it.
This week I was in stitching mood.
A sharpie mood.
And a felt mood.
I am not a perfectionist at all.
That's why I am very fond of freestyle.
You don't have to follow any rules.
You make up your own!
And who's to say what perfect is?
Because even if it's not perfect, you still had pleasure doing it.
And THAT is perfect.

So here's what I say:
There is a report that came out of the Mayo clinic that having a hobby delays memory loss.
(Now you know why I craft all the time. I could use all the help I could get)
It's not very likely that I will ever get rich from any of my hobbies.
But enjoyment is often more important than achievement.
And the richest are rarely the happiest.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy anniversary to us.

Seven secrets of a happy marriage
Do you believe in falling in love? In finding that "special someone" who is your other half, your soulmate? Do you dream of finding the one person in all the world who will understand you, love you and be there for you, no matter what?
If so, you're not alone. In fact, statistics show that about 90% of adults will get married at least once in their lives.


As a society, we've become so conditioned to the fairy tale of "Happily Ever After" that many people actually feel as if their life is lacking something if they're not a part of a couple.

But sadly, just like in the movies, most peoples' thoughts seem to stop at the part when the music swells and the happy couple says "I do" and loses themselves in that first magic kiss as husband and wife. They don't think about what happens after the honeymoon.
Considering that about 43% of all marriages in the U.S. ends in divorce, perhaps a class on the realities of building and maintaining a strong healthy marriage should become required before signing on the dotted line of a marriage license.

Having a happy marriage doesn't just happen by accident. It doesn't happen because you're "in love" or "perfect" for each other. Marriage is a partnership, and like any partnership, it takes commitment, dedication and hard work to help it to grow strong.

Here are some tips for you to take really seriously.

1. Communicate. It's important that you keep the lines of communication open. Especially when things go wrong. There are so many outside influences that can affect a marriage -- jobs, family, friends, hobbies, education, church. If you're suddenly not being able to spend time together, or you're fighting about money, it's especially important to talk about what's going on.

2. Listen. It's a sad fact that we are often more polite to strangers than we are to the people we love the most. If your spouse is trying to talk to you, whether it's to find out what you want for dinner, to tell you about their day, or to discuss a problem in your marriage, give them the same courtesy you'd give a complete stranger, and LISTEN! Don't try to finish their sentences, don't try to solve their problems, and don't ever say, "I told you so!"
Here's an especially apt poem, written by poet Ogden Nash:

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the wedding cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

3. Create rituals and family traditions. Every successful couple has their own private rituals - things they do that has a special meaning just to them. So whether it's getting your spouse coffee every morning, a special touch that means "I love you", or creating couple signals for "Let's get out of here, or "No, I don't want to buy a timeshare for $95,000!" find your own. Remember some of your favorite childhood family traditions, and incorporate them or start new ones in your own couple. Some day, you'll look back on each time as a treasured memory.

4. Go on a date. Couples who have been together for thirty, forty and even fifty years or more say that one of the things that has kept their marriage strong is going out on a "date" with their spouse on a regular basis. If money is tight, try taking a walk together, going to a dollar movie, or even to a drive-in. Spending quality "couple-time" helps to reinforce the special feelings that made you fall in love with each other in the first place.

5. Agree on money matters early. Amazingly, many couples never discuss money except in the most superficial ways until after they're married. One of the leading causes of arguments in marriages is because of a difference in how money is handled. Before you walk down the isle, discuss your feelings about things like credit, paying bills and saving money. Talk about how you will pay expenses, and who will handle the money. Finding out after the fact that you have major differences is only going to lead to long term problems.

6. Love and Respect. No matter what happens outside of your marriage, it's vital that you and your spouse always treat each other with love and respect. There are some simple rules that have worked for couples for the last 80 years that still apply today. They include: Never go to bed angry. Kiss each other every time you come home, or before going out. Say "I love you" every single day. Mind your manners, and say "Please" and "Thank-you." Do something for the one you love every day. Just because. Occasionally write love letters to each other. Laugh at his/her jokes, no matter how bad they are, or how often you've heard them. Don't sweat the little things. Try something new once in a while.

And most important of all...

    7. Maintain a commitment to your marriage. This can be especially difficult today, but it's important that you put your marriage first. If you're committed to making your marriage a success, and you know that your partner shares your commitment, there's nothing that the two of you can't accomplish.

    And you'll be one of the lucky few that have a truly happy marriage!

It's really up to you to be that person that takes 100% responsibility to make your marriage work.
Forget 50/50.
That's a myth.
It's 100/0.

It took many years of marriage to gain all this wisdom which I am sharing with you.
I always knew one thing for sure.
My husband and I never considered divorce.
No matter what.
Murder maybe,
but never divorce!
In every marriage more than a week old there are grounds for divorce.
The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage.
With all that said let me end with saying this:
The love we have in our youth is superficial compared to the love that an old man has for his old wife.

Thank you Mendy for loving this old gal!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Make space for creativity to fill your brain.

I love the ebb and flow of life.
In general I am a very active person.
I love feeling excited.
I love it when my brain is popping with ideas.
I love it when my heart is thumping with anticipation.
I especially love  when my brain switch is turned on high, working overtime with ideas.
But there must be a down time to all of this too.
Not my favorite.
But necessary nontheless.
If you don't STOP you don't START.
As any creative person knows you need a lot of down time to necessitate a lot of up time.
Refilling our minds.
Refilling our hearts.
Refilling our souls with love.
For myself, my craft, my family and above all for G-d.
Right now as some of you may know, I am refilling my tank.
I am taking a break from speed and filling it with calm.
As the young people say, I'm chillin.
It takes alot to keep me down.
I hate the whole process but I know it's a must and it always leads to better days.
This next quote really speaks to me.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
Does it speak to you?

“The only thing I fear more than change is no change. The business of being static makes me nuts.” -Twyla Tharp

I want to constantly grow.
I want to go to sleep thinking about something new I learnt that day.
That is why I am so obsessed with scrapbooking.
It takes the moment, freezes it, and gives you the opportunity to take the most out of it by having time to think about it as you stare at the actual layout.
I can think of a hundred great reasons to scrapbook, but that is for sure the one that helps me reach my goal of growth.
I don't know how long it will take to 'refill my tank' so meanwhile I will leave you with some layouts i've done of myself in the past.

This one is how I would like to feel 24 hours a day.
I kid you not.
Put on some music and I'm good to go.

I will not be dancing for while.
Instead I will be contemplating life.
I will look something like this!

I will work on what I believe my strengths to be.

And I will come to my final conclusion as I always do...

This is a favorite layout for me.
Because it holds true then and now.
We all have our journey to take.
None comes without challenges.
As you can see I wrote words around the doodling.
Important words to remember every day.
Integrity. Honor. Wisdom. Strength.
Words to live by.
I'm doing the best I can.
So can you.

Faygie's advice. Give yourself permission. You don't need it from anyone else. Quiet time could  even be for 10 minutes. But you must lable them as quiet time. Which means turn off the phone! Close the door. And just breathe. It could be scary at first. But if you do it with love for yourself it will be a little gift you give yourself with big rewards.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

a post without pictures...

When I first began blogging I did it for several reasons.
  • 1. To legitamize myself as a scrapper/crafter/knitter....Having an internet address makes me easy to  find.
  • 2. To become one with this generation. Texting, blogging, video chatting,  pintresting  etc. makes  me  feel young and up to date.
  • 3. Keeps me busy in the evenings. B"H my children are all grown up now and I have time to indulge myself.
  • 4. Helps me keep inventory of my work in a more clear and detailed way. I love the process of breaking down what I am doing and why I am doing it.
  • 5. I have a strong desire to share what knowledge I have so that I might inspire one of you to give it a try.
  • 6. I will also admit that I have a strong desire to publish a book about scrapbooking and maybe if I blog about it I will eventually find the avenue to take for that goal to happen.
  • 7.  Most importantly, I feel accomplished at something I never thought I could do and that gives me strength to further challenge myself.
What I did not expect is the enjoyment I would get from my interactions with people who read my blog.
Most people don't take the time out to say a few words but even one or two comments makes my day!
Todays world brings new opportunities to make 'friends' you never could have had any other way.
And you don't even have to 'do lunch'!
I love that so much.
If I have the opportunity to be in any city where I feel I've connected to a blogger who lives there, I would definitely make the effort to meet them.
There is also another pleasure from those that comment.
They are written by friends and family.
I get a thrill knowing they would take a second out of their busy day to conciously think about me.
Random thoughts pass through our minds all day that look real good when you put them to print.. Especially a compliment.
But what is clearly the best reason for blogging and what surprises me the most is that at the end of the day I feel like I am finding a new understanding of who I am.
That's what happens when you are quietly writing your thoughts.
They are clear.
They are pure.
They are you.

For me the biggest challenge of scrapbooking has always been journaling.
I don't have a sophisticated vocabulary.
I wasn't focused enough in school to learn grammar well.
I am forever envious of writers who can take a seemingly ordinary moment and weave an extraordinary tale.
(like my good friend Batya Lisker)
What a gift.
But that shouldn't stop me from trying.
Maybe I won't write like Batya but I could write like Faygie Fellig.
That could work.
So here I am.
Blogging away...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I don’t have a problem with caffeine. I have a problem without caffeine!

When I was about 30 years old my wonderful friend R introduced me to Cappucino.
I fell in love.
I bought an inexpensive machine and proceeded to make Caps for everyone who walked through the door.
For a couple of years my friends and I would go to Mr.Bean and drink our morning coffees together.
(That's when my corn muffin addiction started, but that's another post altogether.)
I miss the camaraderie of my little circle of friends.
We vented.
We joked.
We comforted.
We agreed.
We disagreed.
We watched the twin towers fall...
Then the school moved to North Miami and we no longer had the same morning route.
These days I spend my mornings alone with my homemade Cap.
I no longer have a machine.
Instead I have a simple milk frother from Italy that my nephew gave me.
Works like a charm.
There's something comforting about going through the same ritual every morning.
Sometimes I feel addicted and I don't like that at all.
But most of the time I look forward to having my moment.
Any one of you who drink coffee in the morning have their own individual experience.
But it boils down to one thing.
We LOOOOVE our morning coffee.
If only we would commit to something of more importance like we do for this one thing.
Imagine being on a healthy diet with the same commitment,
with the same excitement,
with the same anticipation
as we do for our morning coffee.

For some of you scrapbooking is only about people.
I am here to show you that scrapbooking is about memories.
And that includes food.
Whatever makes you YOU!
Grab your camera and take pictures of your everyday life.
You don't have to scrapbook them right away.
Have them just in case I inspire you.
Always be prepared.
This layout shows you how easy it could be.
A ribbon.
A picture.
There you go!
Now that I've mentioned doodling I will show you what I did on Sunday.

I was home relaxing and playing with my sharpies.
Looked up Zentangle on google.
Got inspired and ended up with this.
I don't know if it's the greatest layout I've ever seen but I had fun doing it.
For me the experience is twofold.
One is committing the memory to paper.
The second is the memory of me creating the layout.
If you want a twofold experience like mine you gotta get started.
It's so worth it.

                                                                                 This says it all.....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It takes a long time to become young. Pablo Picasso

I love all my friends as many of you already know.
But I especially love my very young friends.
I am so lucky to have a mother and her daughter who are both my friends.
Wise, wonderful, witty, intuitive and fun, I enjoy their company whenever I see them.
(mostly on Shabbos in shul)
So now my very young friend is moving.
I will certainly miss her a whole lot.
Thinking about her I was inspired to make a layout of us at a wedding recently.
I think it's important to recognize who your friends are at any age.
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."

So cherish your friendships, young and old.
One is silver and the other is gold.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Today I went to Walmart.
If any of you live near Walmmart you will want to go as soon as you find out my secret.
You will now be able to scrapbook in as long as it takes for you to find a picture.
How you might ask?
First I will show you this layout I did today.

Beautiful right?
You can do these layouts in an instant.
I know what you're thinking...
There's no way I am  ready for this.
So now I will share my secret.
These layouts come ready made.
Just add the pictures.
It comes like this.
Ready made for you to do.

Only $6.00 and you have 2 layouts per package.
So this will be our little secret.
You can now be an amazing scrapbooker for as long as it takes to go to Walmart.
OR look up K&CoMPANY and order a pre-designed page of your liking.
Now you really have no excuse.
For all of you who tell me you're inspired by my blog now is your chance to show me.

As the years fly by it's important to capture these everyday moments that define life.
It's real.
It's beautiful.
It's now.
Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going. Tennessee Williams
So make it count.
It's all you will have left of the past....

First school picture.
Now that's an important memory to hold on to.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.

My pet peeve is boredom.
That is why my hands must keep busy.
All the time.
Knitting gives me the feeling of accomplishment.
I don't know why but it does.
Right now I am working on two projects.
Last year I made this pattern for my kids.

This wonderful eyelet cowl is so easy to make.
The pattern is from Vogue knitting magazine.
(BTW isn't she gorgeous!?)
This year I was commissioned to make this pattern here.
It is so gorgeous and easy (well not really...) to do.
I will definitely be making this one for the child who will be feeding my ego........
So get working girls!

The one thing that is a must for me when I knit is buying expensive yarn.
After all I'm hoping to hand it down from generation to generation.
(...this is what Bubby Faygie made in 2012...)
Imagine that!
Here is the first of my projects from the "Rainbow Connection"

I added orange instead of blue.
I had no idea these were the Miami Dolphin colors.
I guess I am a Miami girl after all!

The pattern is from the same book as my Alef Bais cardigan.
I love the crispness of the colors and the clean lines of the cotton.
Got to do the sleeves and I'm done.
Yay me!

DOODLING once again...

For those of you who want to doodle here is a tutorial.
Go for it!
Meanwhile I leave you with another doodle.

Are you in the mood yet?
Come on I'm making it real easy for you.
Go into a store and buy a collection of gel pens.
Leave it in the drawer.
Start while you're doing something else and see where it goes...
Let me know.
The best part it, there is no wrong or right.
It's totally your rules.
Now how often does that happen?
So get to it. NOW!

doodling read and learn...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Life is a celebration of passionate colors

I have this wonderfriend friend that I met through my knitting group 'KNIT WITS'.
We have a meet once a week and knit just for the fun of it.

This wonderful lady gave me an entire set of cottons for a gift.
I will be calling these my "RAINBOW CONNECTION" in furthur updates.

"If you're quiet you're not living. you've got to be noisy and colorful and lively." mel brooks

Colors excite me. Colours change: in the morning light, red shines out bright and clear and the blues merge into their surroundings, melting into the greens; but by the evening the reds loose their piquancy, embracing a quieter tone and shifting toward the blues in the rainbow. Yellow flowers remain bright, and white ones become luminous, shining like ghostly figures against a darkening green background. - Rosemary Verey

I can't wait to show you what I will be creating from all these delicious colors of yarn.
Meanwhile I will show you how much fun you can have scrapbooking with all combinations of colors.

Doodling, water color pencils, buttons and crayons translate to the happy feeling I had making Chayale's Bas Mitzva.
Although the photos are small index photos they bring back large memories.

I think this layout says it all.
When you are a colorful person the room bursts with excitement.

And here's one with color that is just an expression of how I felt at that moment.
Remembering a feeling.
That is also scrapbooking.