Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

This week was my birthday.
Although there are many things that I hope for...
There are even more blessings I am grateful for.
Thank you Hashem for all that you've given me.
Thank you again and again.
And thank you for giving me the opportunity to celebrate with my children in New York.
(the lighting was perfect for me!)

Monday, March 26, 2012

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work...

Every year now for 20 odd years I've been making Pesach.
Usually when you do anything that long you would think it gets easier.
The only thing that gets easier is.....nothing actually.
But not being easy doesn't mean it's bad.
Or not fun.
Or not exciting.
Anticipating the week of Yom Tov can be a paradox of emotions.
First thing in the morning I feel an overwhelming sense of panic regarding  'THE LIST'.
As the days pass I feel accomplished.
I race through the day crossing numbers off the 'THE LIST'.
And finally the night comes when I can no longer run anymore and I fall in to a fitful sleep thinking about all the things I got done.
Then I wake up and start over!
As my guests start arriving from out-of-town I feel an overwhelming sense of peace in my heart.
What is better than having all your children together under one roof?
What is nicer than waking up in the morning to two little grinning faces?
What could be more invigorating than preparing a delicious meal and enjoying the appreciation...
(Ma, You're amazing!)
It's a high that lasts for a long time.
The kind of high that doesn't drain you.
Or make you feel empty when you finally land.
It actually fills you up and gives you fuel to want Pesach to start all over again

In my experience, nothing worthwhile has ever really been all that easy. But it certainly has been worthwhile regardless how difficult it seemed. ”   
Robert Fanney

The most important job is already done.
I am now officially obsessed with decoupage.
It's another fun craft that anyone can do.
Don't start Erev Pesach like I did.
But then again, why not?
For all the lucky guests coming to 'mi casa' for Pesach.
Souvenir's for everyone!
I can't wait.
What about you?

Monday, March 19, 2012

I watch my children grow...

No matter how old my child is I am always proud as I  watch my them grow.
Not in age.
In constantly becoming better versions of themselves.
One challenge at a time.
Challenges in life are never easy.
We all have them.
I love it when I see their strength.
I love it when I see them taking responsibility for their life choices.
I love it when they see the fruits of their labor.
It might take a little longer for some than for others.
But I have  patience to watch.
Because I know it's coming.
And the longer it takes the better it is when it finally happens.
IT  being the lightbulb moment.
The  'AHA' moment.
We all have them.
If our eyes are open we see it.
And that's what life is about.
Every day.
Every minute.
Push through and get to the other side.
Makes me proud...

Making a layout  is sometimes more meaningful than when I say it.
Because it is always ready to be picked up and believed all over again...

We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers - but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change you're the one who has got to change.”
Katharine Hepburn, Me: Stories of My Life

I'm proud of my children for slowly learning that to be true...

So go ahead and scrapbook a compliment.
It will be testament forever and ever to how you feel.
Never to be forgotten.

Because I am generally a critical discerning person, I think it is vital for me to document praise and admiration to the people I care about most.
You know how you feel when you've created something truly special.
You're not just crafting.
You're preserving a lifetime of cherished memories.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's never too late...

No matter how young or how old, how little or how much education you have, how little or how much money you have you CAN live the life of YOUR dreams starting now.

It's Never Too Late

It’s never too late to have an incredible day.
You may be having the worst day of your life.
Things might not be going your way and it may feel like your moving backwards but it’s never too late.
There is always a ray of sunshine, a glimmer of hope or an opportunity for a leap of faith.
This is your day and it has been given to you as a gift.
Challenge yourself to find the positive.
Reach out and draw strength from your family and all the wonderful positive beauty that they have to offer.           
Focus on those wonderful thoughts and turn this day around for the better.
Be the master of your domain.
Don’t let your day take control of you. You take control of it!
The experience you have gained from the power of turning your bad day into a positive one will only serve to make you a better and stronger person and this will have an incredibly powerful affect on your family.
Take control now because it’s never too late. Your family is counting on you!
~J. Charest

 This article caught my attention.

So do what you've always dreamed of doing.
If you're not a kid anymore, be a kid again.
That's a great way to begin.
Remeber what you enjoyed doing when you were little.
Just play.
Be free of your adult voice telling you to 'stay still and stop making noise.'
Make noise.
Do it when you're alone.
Free of any critics who say 'you shouldn't'...

I love 'Maxine' cartoons.
They make me giggle.
So I did a layout about her.
And me.
Just for fun.
That's what I'm talkin' about.
Not everything has to be so serious all the time.
Take a break.
Be nice to yourself.
Laugh a little.
Or a lot.
Whatever floats your boat.
Excersize your creativity muscle.
Try something new.
Ask yourself.
What do I love to do?
And do it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'm starting for Pesach. Are you?

If there is one sentence that strikes fear in any Jewish balabuste's heart, it's
"Have you started to clean for pesach yet?".
My mind goes blank.
My hands feel cold.
My heart stops for a minute.
It's only natural to react this way.
I close my eyes.
Trying to visualize something peaceful and serene.
Doesn't work.
But I am  not ready to get the ball rolling  yet.
The earlier I start, the longer it lasts.
Like pregnancy.
If you don't talk about it for the first few months it doesn't seem so long an endurance!
So I do what I do best.
Distract myself.
With my papers, paint glue and scissors.

I had this lightbulb idea.
I will start to prepare for Pesach.
But in a different way.
How about I make souveneirs this year for any guests that come for Pesach?
That sounds like something I could start doing early.
So I take out my stuff and go to work play.
It takes a little more than a couple of hours of going back and forth to come up with this.
Vases for everyone!
On the house!
Decorated by MOI!
This is the first of a bunch more I will be making.
The one who helps the most on Pesach gets first pick.
Just in case one is prettier than the other, that would be worth something.
But then again, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
What do you guys think?
Do you like it?
I think I do.
I say 'I think' because I'm never quite sure.

I wrote "Life is full of beauty. Pay attention. You don't want to miss it."
             "Why live in black and white when you can live in color?"

I have different shapes and sizes of glass vases.
I'm excited to see how they will turn out.
The poppy flower was an inspiration from one of my favorite girls.
She makes me want to create all day...
So as all of you are beginning to prepare for Pesach, So am I.
Just in a different way!

More to come...

Friday, March 9, 2012

There is no such thing as the pursuit of happiness, only the discovery of joy.

"It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good to check up once in a while to make sure you haven't lost the things that money can't buy. Lorimer, George Claude

Yesterday was PURIM .
I wish I was with all my children and grandchildren.
I spent it with my friends instead.
And I was joyful.
Because that's what Purim is about.
Last year we had Purim at our house.
We had a grand time.
I've just gotten around to making a layout about it.
Brings back such fun memories.
Much more than you can see on this layout.
For that you need a complete video!

I don't necessarily enjoy scrapping lots of photos.
But sometimes you must.
It's not artsy.
But it still speaks to me.
Here's a preview of this years Purim.
I will be scrapping them at some point.
I doubt it will be before Pesach.
But y'never know...

...........and the best Mishloach Manos award goes to.......

Cake in a jar.
How cool is that!
Made by my one and only Daughter-in-law.
I know you're thinking I'm biased.
But you've got to admit.
This is a pretty great idea.
AND beautifully executed.
My second best is this one below.
From adorable parents of twin boys.
Theme being duck duck goose.
(As in Grey Goose!)

So there you are.
Another Purim gone.
I'm holding on hard to the Joy part.
Hope you do too!
Until next year...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I order you to be happy!

Every Jewish month has a special meaning.
Entering the month of Adar we are told to increase our joy.
But what if one is not happy by nature?
Can you order someone to be happy?
Happiness and the lack of it , are not so much as results of reality.
They are our perception of it.
If it's in your control, YOU change it.
And that's an order!
Happiness is not always easy to find.
If we're looking for it in the wrong places.
For me happiness is accomplishment.
Physical and/or spiritual.
When I feel 'down' I know I need to do something - fast.
That's where scrapbooking comes in.
It helps me focus on happy moments in a way that makes it seem like they last longer than they actually do.
It magnifies good times.
So if you want to scrap and you're not feeling it try this.
Putting yourself in a happy place can simply start with a smile.
Look in the mirror.
Smile at yourself.
See? I bet you feel better already.
Because actions trigger feelings.
Turn up the corners of your mouth.
Your mood will change.
A few months ago this lovely lady came to have her sheitels done for her grandaughter's wedding.
My husband remembered her from when he was a child living in Montreal.
She remembered him too.
What's amazing about that is that this wonderful woman is 98 K"H!
Just look at her smile.
That's the one you'll want to keep.

                                                flowers doodled by yours truly
This is a simple layout with a burst of colors.
I wanted that to be a reflection of Mrs. Kagen's personality.
Layer solid cardstock for a frame.
Doodle a flower and color it with markers.
Or put any other fun embellishment on the corners.
It's the colors that make it work.
And of course the smile.

And here is a layout I did showcasing my daughters Mishloach Manos from a few years back.
Aren't they cute?
I told her to think of something to create that won't cost a lot.
She loves slurpees from 7-11.
So she came up with this idea.
What a great imagination she has.

So remember.
A lot.

And be happy.

If you see a friend without a smile, give him one of yours.
Because of your smile you make life more beautiful.
For yourself.
For someone else.
Happy Purim.