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dreidel eggs

Just for fun, here's what I made for my veggie-hating kids yesterday: dreidel eggs!

dreidel eggs

Chanukah's over, but I used the dreidel shape anyway; there'll be plenty of time for hearts and flowers. I cut red and green peppers with a cookie cutter and slid them into the pan while the eggs cooked. BH, the kids almost all ate it. Personally, I like cool and crunchy peppers better than warm-and-slightly-softened-but-still-tough ones, but kids are like that.

Thanks to Carolyn's obento blog Gretta's Lunch for the inspiration. I read it and wept. If my kids eat vegetables this year, Carolyn, it's to your credit.

A few weeks ago I started cutting baby carrots into matchsticks and giving each kid a pile to make pictures with and then eat. It worked the first time. Second time, not really, but maybe I tried it too soon. Now, with this, I have a second way to feed them vegetables.

My dreidel cutter is a story for itself, to be posted when there are some photos to go with it.

Chanukah party report

(This post is actually about the circumstances of the Chanukah party, rather than the party itself, which was lots of fun for the clan but boring for my readers.)

My genius sister-in-law appears to have invented this idea: a gift box table, made from two solid-color tablecloths.

gift box table

Isn't it lovely? Read more...Collapse )Read more...Collapse )

Fw: latest chochma

Duckling (age 2) noticed that the froggy's new stretchy had three little square appliques, each with a little symbol inside. "This is a Torah," observed the duckling. "And this is a hamantash. But what's this one?"

Scroll down to see what the duckling saw.













a quick Photoshop tip

Here's how I fixed a horrid jpg, a screenshot of a small photo. Duplicate the original twice, and then (in the order they appear in the Layers palette):

Layer 2, overlay 50% - find edges.
Layer 1, overlay 100% - gaussian blur.
Background - original.

Result: more of a watercolory look than the crisp sharp original, but it's clear and looks nice and would be usable for many purposes.

(Yep, this too is Picture Pie!)
birdies scene.JPG

birdies scene cleaned up.jpg

Adorably simple hand-carved birdie stamps

I love this! Geninne is a genius with stamps, and these look so simple, I can't wait to make some and have a ball with the girlies. This would be a great activity with any age kids from 3 to teen or grownup for that matter. Will be sure to post some samples.


(Hope I'm not violating any copyrights by posting a screenshot. If I am, Geninne or Flickr, give me a shout and I'll take it down.)
stamp birds.JPG

Picture Pie postcards

I'm so excited about this I've got to share it, even though it's Erev Yom Kippur and totally not the time for this.


I bought these stickers before the summer hoping to do Picture Pie (Ed Emberley) with the kids, but our day camp never happened so it sat in my pocket book until very recently. Tonight I got bitten by the Picture Pie bug... Working just with the few pages I found online, here are three postcards:




Aren't they cute? Not beautiful enough to use as actual stationery, but So Cute. I love them and must find a way to show them off (by innocently using them).

They're made of light blue index cards, so they all have lines in the back, and the bird card has one more little detail, a sweet blue flower on the lined side:



Disclaimer: This was an email forward. I am not vouching for the veracity of the story. Just really enjoyed it and thought you would, too.


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognitionat all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story.

Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:
*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

testing testing

So can I post by email or can I not?


Here's a pic of my mishloach manos* - aren't they cute?
(*gift basket of food sent to family and friends on Purim day.)

googly eyed cookies

To make the googly eyes: push a white choco chip into your raw cookies, point down. Then sit a mini dark choco chip on it. Don't shake; and bake. 

Read more...Collapse )To make a Queen Esther cookie: use a disposable sharp-edged plastic cup. Cut a 3/4" space in its rim, for the crown. Squeeze the cup into a wide oval for Esther, or a long oval for Mordechai.

Cut the crown with a knife or any pointed cookie cutter; a heart shape works well. Use mid-size circle cutter or bottle cap to define the face. Use a tiny rounded tip of a cutter (gingerbread man's hand!), or the tip of a drinking straw, for the smile. Add googly eyes.

We had a house full of Queen Esthers. I am so insanely proud of these crowns!!! 

wire crown/tiara

I did buy crowns, but only 2, since I rightly suspected they'd be too tight for the big girls. (In the past we've had crowns that were too tight even for a baby. I'm not sure who designs these things.) The softer ones I saw in the store were so cheapy and junky, I thought I might as well make my own.

The copper wire is my absolute favorite craft material. I saved several feet of 6-ply wire from when I got a light fixture put up in my kitchen, maybe a year ago. The 6-ply is great because you can customize the thickness/hardness of the wire. I'm nearly out of it by now; should I visit a flower shop, hardware store, or (oh no) craft store?

The headbands actually fit them well and were perfectly comfortable all day -- unlike any store-bought crown. The crown part was sturdy too. As we left the house one kid pulled on her hat without thinking. When she took it off the crown was still in perfect shape, just flat on her head and needing to be stood up again.

One thing I would like to change is the visible wrapped-around part. Cover with a piece of black velvet ribbon? I wonder if I have any.

easy supper if you like honey-mustard

Last night's successful supper (8-26-09):

- Put up a bunch of rice.

- Cut chicken nuggets into jar containing 1 part ketchup & mayo, 2 parts mustard & honey, plus some olive oil to loosen. Cover jar and shake well to coat chicken. Stick in refrigerator to defrost/marinate until dinnertime.

- Scoop some cooked rice into bottom of pot. Dump nuggets, sauce and all, on top of it. Throw in two handfuls of baby carrots (or carrot sticks) on top. Cover and cook on medium-low flame for 15-20 minutes until cooked.

- Carrots will be somewhat softened but not soft, and absolutely delicious. Everything else will be bright yellow. Serve with more plain rice. Everything will be saucy, sweet-mustardy, colorful and yum.

- Kids didn't like it, shock of shocks. Plain rice and fish sticks is what they deserve!