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Flu sucks!

Went swimming this morning.  My body was tired.  Came home, my body was achey.  Stood up, my head started spinning.  Took my temp, have a fever. 

Off to bed.  Yuck  :-{

This is what I was working on before I crashed.  Quick body!  Get back together.  
Can't wait to introduce you to this delicate creation: Baby Steps.


Some random thoughts... a bit personal

What is it about the beginning of a new week, or in this case, coming back after a day of holiday, that makes me feel unsettled?  I am very bad with transitions.  A feeling of disorientation, a feeling of -where do I start? - a feeling of crawling up into a ball and waiting till it all falls into place.  Transition is the movement from one place to another, be it physical, conceptual, emotional.  In all instances, it is really a state of limbo.  You are in one place, you are on your way to another, but right now, right in the midst of the transition, you are in limbo.  I do NOT like limbo.  That must be it!

Yesterday was a very special day.  Unfortunately Reid was sick, and stayed in bed most of the day, but Nina and I went to synagogue together.  We saw many friends and acquaintances,  Nina sang in the choir, it was all very beautiful.  As I was sitting there I began thinking of my father.  In December it will be five years since he passed away.  I miss him so very much, in fact it becomes harder with time.  As I sat there, listening to the music and the prayers, I started thinking about him. I started imagining conversations I would have with him now, if I could.  All the while I was looking straight ahead, at the front of the synagogue where the Rabbis and the choir were situated.  I was looking straight ahead, but not really seeing anything, just sort of starring into space.  Then, for no reason at all, I looked up. Our synagogue has very high, beautifully ornate ceilings with mosaics that form pictures and tell stories.  There is a large arch formed out of the names and symbols of the 12 tribes of Israel. The tribes were descendants of Jacob's twelve sons, the eldest being Reuben.  That was my father's name, and that was what I saw when my eyes looked up at the ceiling.  It may not seem that unusual, after all I was sitting in a synagogue and it is not unlikely to find the names of the twelve tribes in the building.  But, my eyes did not make their way up slowly. One minute I was starring into space and talking to my father and the next minute I was looking at his name.  I was so moved by the moment, flooded with warmth and tears.  It was beautiful. Just that. Beautiful.

Shiri and her Sabba (grandfather)


My Baby's got style!

They say kids are maturing earlier these days.  Eleven is the new fifteen.  All the symptoms of teenagerism are showing up faster and faster.  First they appeared once a week, and even then I wasn't sure if they were symptomatic or asymptomatic.  Before long I knew.  And they were showing up more often, those sneaky symptoms!  Now they don't come in weeks or days, now we are talking in hours. 
Nina wearing her cute jacket of her choice.
So, being an older mom, I thought maybe my wisdom will come in handy here.  I will devise a plan.  I decided to encourage certain symptoms, even participate, and therefore have a better case for the symptoms I will not tolerate! (famous last words).

Lately Nina has been showing signs of wanting certain clothing.  It can't be girly, preferably dark colors, only pants, nothing cute and NO PINK!  I posted a photo of her after a shopping spree on my Facebook page to mark the occasion that she chose her own styles at the store.

Then I thought, why not encourage her to develop her own style?  If she's interested in being unique, in choosing what she likes, I will go with it, provided it's not just black and drab.  Provided there is a style.  I explained this idea and offer to her.  What's a style? she asked.  Well, maybe it's short jackets with interesting headbands and cool boots, or maybe leggings with long shirts and belts.  She listened, no real response.  

This morning, as we sat at a local restaurant having brunch, Nina said she wanted to get the tips of her hair dyed a color, maybe red, maybe purple?  I took a moment to think about this.  Some color on the ends of her hair, something that can be cut off, that will fade away, what harm can come of that?  She will feel empowered, I will get big brownie points on being cool with it, and when the time comes to put my foot down on some other crazy idea, "You never let me do anything!", will not hold in court!  So, we finished our meal and I took her to our local drugstore to find a box of do-it-yourself crazy hair color.  We ran home, did the entire process, the color didn't stick.  I called my hair guy, made an appointment for Nina and next week the two of us will go get purple on her hair ends.

I'll keep you posted.

Cool mommy Orna

OH, don't forget the sale!!  20% off.  Just put in the coupon code: endofsummer at the checkout.  Good till supplies last or till Monday.


Last day of Summer gifts for you

Today is the last day of Summer, which may be a little sad for you.  I can't do much about the weather or the movement of time, but I can put a smile on your face with some new treats!

First, new fall colors for our Six Packs.  Six beautiful coordinated silk skeins with a free design.  They are $24 each.  I only have one of each combination so run on over to my Etsy shop.

I see your lip starting to curve upwards, but still not there, SO....

From now till Monday 9/23/12, you will get 20% off ANYTHING 
in the Needlepoint section of our shop, as long as supplies last. 
It could be an instruction book or a kit or a cyberclass, 
if it's in the Needlepoint Section you will get that nice 
chunk of discount 20%!
and the coupon code is - endofsummer
(if we are sold out of an item you ordered, we will let you know right away)

On Etsy we have some more Cotton Candy Thread boxes that come with the design Colorations 2012.  These are lots of fun, and beautiful to look at.  Take a look at the shipment that went out yesterday, 22 boxes to their new home...

Have a great weekend!



 Preparations are done.  Everyone is getting dressed and the guests will arrive shortly.
 Nomi is all ready to go!
A year of health!

Some of you have asked for the pepper pickling recipe.  It's too easy!

Sweet Italian peppers, (as many as can fit into a tight locking jar)
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups sugar
4 cloves of garlic
4-5 dried red hot peppers

Slice peppers in strips.
Mix water, vinegar and sugar and pour in jar.   Add peppers, garlic, hot peppers and a "blip" of oil on top.  Seal jar and place in spot with natural light for 2 days.  Move to refrigerator.  Enjoy!


Shana Tova, Happy New Year!

1 stick butter
1/2 block Cream Cheese
1 cup flour
2 tsp sugar

Quick, pulsing food processor until forms a ball.  Refrigerate.  When cold, cut in two.  Roll out and spread with Cherry preserves.  Sprinkle powdered cocoa, chopped nuts and roll up.  Bake at 350 degrees until brown/gold.  




The Septembers of my life.

I've come to a point in my life where I feel a need to create traditions.  I know it has to do with Nomi.  I want her to have memories, spiced up with smells, melodies and places.  I want this for Nina as well and while as a compact family unit of three, we do have our traditions and the way we do things, I feel a need to make it bigger, encompassing, so that it hugs us all - Reid, Nina, Shiri, Orin, Nomi and myself. 

September is a time of traditions.  There are the preparations for school, preparations for fall, but where I come from, September is the beginning of it all.  Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Rosh in Hebrew meaning Head, Shana meaning Year.  This period stands tall, above all else, it is the head, we follow it into the future, into the new year. 

We would wear white, beautifully pressed shirts that were kept in the closet for special occasions.  We had meals at the big dining table, and we knew to set the table with the silverware that was only taken out a few times a year.  Everyone greeted one another with wishes for a wonderful year full of sweet times.  Apples were cut up, and the children would sprinkle lemon juice on the pieces to keep them from browning.  Dishes of honey for dipping, beautiful round Challah breads, braided and puffy. Everyone everywhere celebrated.  No shops open, no business happening.  Traditions.  Family.  Memories.

I love pickling peppers, (say fast 5 times)
That's what I need to do.  Tomorrow Nomi will come for the weekend.  Together we will taste the food I am preparing.  I will teach her songs children sing for the holiday.  I will teach her the hand gestures and at the end of the songs we will clap our hands because we will be so happy to be together.  On Monday we will all wear white and go to synagogue.  Nomi will pitter-patter alongside Nina who she loves and admires and we will all smile and sing. 

and so a tradition will be created.  

Huge pot of chicken soup ready

Taking out ingredients to start my Rugalach dough



My 400th post on this blog of mine. It's been a great ride, blog. Excited about the next 400 posts!


"things" I LOVE!

I thought it would be fun, and also nice, to share with you a few of my favorite things.  Not raindrops on roses or bright copper kettles, (although I love brown paper packages tied up with strings), but some of the stuff I use in my studio that I really love.  Who knows, you might find that you will love some of these too.  So here's a first list -

1.  MOO.  Yes, the company is called Moo, they are British and they print the most awesome business cards ever!  They will print a batch of cards for you, let's say 50, and you can ask to have a different photo on each of these cards.  Really!  The paper is thick and lovely, the turn around is very good and although they are a bit more expensive, they are totally worth it!!  They also print greeting cards, postcards, labels and more.

2. Clear seal-able bags.  I've only been using these for the past three months but I love them!  They come in all sizes and the seal can be opened again and again.  They are more expensive than regular Ziploc type bags but they are worth it.

3. Laminators.  You know I laminate my master charts, and my front page in all my design books.  I've been doing this for years and have found the best supplier of laminator machines and pouches.  The owner is very knowledgeable, always has time to talk me through my needs and when there's a problem, he takes care of it.  Also, they have a great deal on laminator pouches, buy 2 get 1 free.  These pouches are expensive, (hmmm, is there a theme here?),  so it's great to have a good deal. 

4. Ikea for storage.  You know about their office type storage solutions, I'm sure.  They do have great merchandise for good prices.  But what I like most is to use some of there kitchen solutions for my office needs.  These jars are great, I have dozens of them.  Buttons, beads, paper clips, tacks...

5.  My camera.  I love my Canon EOS Rebel T3.  I'm sure they've come out with a newer model, but I love my friend.  A good camera makes a huge difference!

6.  Moleskin little journals.  These little notebooks/journals make whatever I'm writing much more fun!  Very pretty colors and easy to stick in my bag.
7.  Slat walls.  Nothing more to say except there is no better way to store and see your threads!

8.  Bisley cabinet inserts.  The cabinets are expensive, (that word again...), and if you don't want to splurge for them, get the inserts!  They work so very well for spools of thread, such as Soie Perlee, which is how I store mine. 

That's it for list #1.  If you have any recommendations you'd like to share, please do!

xo for now


I lost it.

Can't quite get into my rhythm since Seminar ended.  Maybe it has to do with the summer coming to an end, with Nina starting school, with the High Holidays right around the corner?  I feel like a car that can't quite get into gear...  go...sputter...jump ahead...sputter...stop. 

Therefore I have a few apologies: 
1.   I'm working on getting your Journey charms out, (you know who I'm talking to...), but I mis-ordered a few metal pieces and am waiting for the correct ones to arrive.

2.   I have a few more Journey kits to get out to you, (again, you know who I'm talking to...), and am almost at the end of the list! Yay!

3.   I started charting The House I Built, but then stopped and moved to charting a new design on silk gauze, and then stopped and started editing my directions on my new Baby Steps but then stopped and decided to go back to The House I Built.  I realized I was going round in circles so I stopped everything. :-(

4.   Last night, after coming home from a beautiful Friday night service at our synagogue, for the first time in months and months and months, I sat at the TV and held NOTHING in my hands.  That never happens.  I'm always stitching, beading, sewing,  I absolutely always have something in my hands.  Last night, nothing.

I tell you, I'm going around in circles and I just can't get my rhythm.  I hope it doesn't last long. 

I need my rhythm.


 Dramatic Video Edited by Nina Willis


Exceptional talent on my walls.

Nothing quite like having artists for friends.  And when they are as talented and thought provoking as Ira Upin, you really consider yourself lucky!  The impact of his work on me has always been like some sort of sonic BOOM!  I'm particularly in love with his portraits, he studies faces and shows you what he sees.  These two pieces have been gracing my walls. 

The funny thing - I did NOT choose these two because of our furniture.  It just happened and it may be too matchy matchy for me.  But I just can't give up those faces!
Ira and Jenny are leaving tomorrow for one of his many shows, this time New Orleans.  See his work here and enjoy his fearless use of color and imagery.



Remember the mess when I came home from Seminar?  I did it, I cleaned it all up!!

At Seminar,  ANG set up a presentation for my design The Philadelphia Journey.  I donated the design, and prepared a special kit.  The design was given out to each participant at Seminar and I would like to continue with this.  If you would like to receive a free copy of the instructions, (they are in color), please send me your address and I will mail a copy out to you.  I have a few kits still available at the $28 price point, (partial skeins, plenty to complete the designs).  The fibers are all silk!  The beads are silver Magnifica and the kit includes both the canvas and the stretcher bars.  Check out my Etsy Store to see the piece in all it's glory and order a kit which comes with the design.


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©Orna Willis
All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Orna Willis and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Orna Willis. Any other inquiries please email me at orna@ornadesign.com

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