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Shana Tova

I'm putzing around in the kitchen, arranging flowers (this year it's a green/blue color scheme), baking Challah. It's such a warm and fuzzy feeling, the smells, the excitement, everyone has a task and Nina keeps wanting to know is it Rosh Hashana now? How about now?... now?... WHEN?

Bread dough rising is such a beautiful sight.

I wanted to rest my feet for a few minutes so I thought I'd say hello and wish everyone a fruitful, healthy, peaceful New Year. I know not all of you are celebrating tonight, but I figure one can never get too many good wishes!

Shana Tova


The cycle of life.

Last year's costume

Every year, on November 1st, I pack away Nina's costume; the one that I worked on for hours and hours, the one with zippers and lining, the one that ended up costing much more than one of those synthetic costumes at the Masquerade store. I know all too well that it will not fit her next year, and yet, after all the work I put into making it, on November 1st, I fold the costume carefully, and pack it away in my special "one day..." drawer.

So as I'm folding the costume I swear over and over in my head: this is the last time! Next year it's off to the store. Target has some perfectly good costumes and it's only for one day anyway and does Nina even notice the difference? That's it, never again, next year we're buying a costume!

Famous last words.

This year Nina wants to be Cleopatra. So what do I do? I come up with a little sketch of a Cleopatra costume, go out to buy fabric, ribbons, embellishments, paints, and in the next few weeks I will sew a costume with zippers, some lining and lots of love and care. Nina will be so excited! She will wear it with pride, and come home tired but happy about being a great Cleopatra!

The next day, November 1st, I'll fold the costume carefully and put it away, all the while saying to myself: never again, we're buying next year!

The cycle of life.


Stitch for the Cure

Shame on me! Let me start by thanking all of you who wrote to ask if all was fine. I have been away from the blog for two weeks due to life, i.e. Nina is back to school, (which also means ice skating, ballet, Sunday school, Cambodian dancing, homework), I've taken on some new projects, started some new designs, and have committed to quite a bit of Home&School (aka PTA) activities. It's all good, it has just taken on a life of it's own and I'm no longer the owner.

A wonderful as well as meaningful event is coming up and I'd like to recommend you take a peek at it.
It's a Stitch for the Cure event which is held annually by
the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of ANG, The American Needlepoint Guild. It is held at the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg Virginia. Every year the Shenandoah guild asks a designer to contribute a new design in honor of the event . The design is taught at a stitch-in with all proceeds going to the The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and/or the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. This year, yes, you guessed it, I have designed a piece which is a tribute to my father who succumbed to cancer in December. Click on the link on the right hand column (labeled Stitch for the Cure) to read the details about event. Please consider coming. It's a great cause we can support while doing what we love most.

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The Jewish High Holy Days are upon

Last year's Rosh Hashanah celebration at our home

While this is a time when families get together, Reid and I have very small families and most of the members are somewhere far across the ocean. We have learned over the years how to make our friends become our family. As much as it is hard to be away from my sisters, mother, cousins, celebrating with other families who are in the same boat as we are , is comforting. We bond in a very special way and our kids learn to consider the children of our friends a part of our unique friend/family unit. So this year we will have a wonderful gathering at our home. Friends will be over with their grown children, their young ones, some with their parents who can no longer accommodate their families in their homes, all of us will come together to celebrate a new year together.

Close-up of our tables

The Jewish New Year is all about
new beginnings. The culmination is ten days later, on Yom Kippur. This day is considered the day of Atonement, of asking forgiveness from those we wronged. The beauty of Judaism is that it is not only asking forgiveness. That is not enough because you could ask forgiveness and then turn around and repeat the same wrong behaviour in the new year, ask forgiveness and there you are, in a cycle that isn't too healthy. I believe that Yom Kippur is not only about asking forgiveness, it's about making a decision to try and improve, to work on being better. I'm no Rabbi, or spiritual leader! I'm really just guessing here. I think I like this interpretation and in fact I'm going to adopt it. Really. I'll try, I hope...

Oh, and if you look on the left column you will find a sample of coasters I made for our table last year.


Two hours and fourteen minutes.

That's how long I've been surfing. Most days I skim the surface of various sites and blogs. Nice, but nothing too exciting. Tonight, however, I had a great surf! I have to share:


This gal understands pattern, see:

Love her work!

That led me here:

WOW! How much fun!! I knew I wouldn't be able to leave this one easily so I quickly bounced over here:


OK, now I was really in trouble.

That's when I decided to get you in trouble as well. Go ahead. I dare you...


Revisiting Tel-Aviv

I have a few more scenes of Tel-Aviv that I'd like to share with you. A street called Nahalat Binyamin, the street fair and the Shuk (market) all very colorful, strange and full of humor.

Walking through the street fair we came upon this gentleman making small fragile glass animals using lampwork techniques.

We continued down the street and came upon some beautiful old buildings. (No, this is not Savannah, Georgia)

Looking around we kept seeing interesting combinations... just look at the mannequin standing on the outer side of the balcony.

and talk about coincidences.

On to the Shuk with mounds of candy

hills of sunflower seeds

and rows of the greenest greens you've ever seen!


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©Orna Willis
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