Finding my Sewing Voice (with some help)

Ever since I started sewing, it has felt like something more powerful is going on than a new “hobby”. That might be because I feel like the word hobby itself is so condescending and pathetic sounding –as in “is it a hobby farm?”  Anyway, I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I know that when I sew it feels a lot more creative and fulfilling than I ever would have guessed.  And I spend a fair amount of time thinking about my sewing great grandparents who never sewed as a hobby but as a fierce and concerted effort …

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Lessons from a Broken Candle

A few weeks ago, my two year old found this havdalah candle on the table and picked it up. She was probably twisting it around in her hands, maybe she wanted to see if she could unbraid it and before she knew it, the candle broke. Havdolah candles are lit for a ceremony marking the end of Shabbat (the sabbath). We don’t do it every week, so the candle was a bit of a novelty to have out. I came in the room and before thinking said, “oh, you broke it”.  I saw her whole body startle.  She looked at …

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Sharing a Friend’s Post

My friend and fellow blogger just posted this beautiful piece remembering her mother on her blog, AbiTravelblog.   It contains some interesting wisdom about parenthood and reminds me of the importance of writing to and about our children. I loved reading the piece and I want to share it here in case you want to read it too. Shabbat Shalom!

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Nursing our Fledgling Apple Orchard

The Jewish New Year for trees, or Tu Bishvat is coming up next week. In anticipation, I wrote the following piece for the Jewish parenting blog Kveller.com, which is also running a contest where you can win a package of our organic dates from our small business supporting Israeli farmers. Thanks for reading and Shabbat Shalom! Years ago my husband and I volunteered on Kibbutz Sde Eliahu in Israel, working in an organic vineyard and vegetable garden. On Tu Bishvat (the Jewish holiday celebrating the new year for trees!) kibbutzniks we had never seen in the fields came to help …

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Spiderman vs. the Shammas – A Late Hanukkah Post

Somewhere around the fourth night of Hanukkah, my four year old boy came up with a pressing question. “Who is more powerful,” he asked. “Spiderman or the Shammas.” The shammas is the Hanukkah candle that is lit first and used to light all of the other candles on the menorah. Spiderman needs no introduction.  I am not sure how he learned about Spiderman, but I think it was word of mouth from another child at pre-school. I was stumped. “Who?”  he pressed. “Because the Shammas can’t climb up bridges,  right?” he said. I decided to go for some professional intervention …

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Seed Shopping, Purple Felt and Hanukkah

My daughter, who turned 2 this week, fell in love with an 8 by 10 piece of purple felt I bought for a craft project. She has been busy using it as a doll blanket, folding it like a napkin, and generally keeping it close. I didn’t plan it that way but I think she likes it more than any of her birthday and Hanukkah gifts combined and it cost 32 cents. As farmers, Hanukkah coincides with the arrival of stacks of beautiful seed catalogs. And now that we have celebrated the eighth night, it is time to turn our …

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What Grieving Feels Like: Remembering a Grandfather

Unlike other emotions, grieving feels like a force that comes from the outside world and settles suddenly in my body like the flu or a storm. It arrives suddenly and slows the pace of my steps. Grief seems to make gravity stronger and everyday objects are heavier to pick up. It is exhausting. When we are not grieving, we forget that is so tangible — like someone strapped weights to your legs while you were sleeping. And you forget that it feels entirely different from regular sadness — like it has a different source. It reminds me of the first …

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The Sukkah Scenario – a guest post

By Scott Hertzberg, (otherwise known as my awesome husband), and originally posted on his blog the Jewish Farmer Farming continues to attract surprising numbers of young Jewish Americans. Frequently I see articles in the Forward or elsewhere about a recent college grade deciding to take a big turn on to an agricultural path.  Some seem to be making the shift with ease.  For others being attracted to farming leaves them torn in some major ways. Most Jews I’ve come across who are interested in farming seem conflicted between a desire to live both in the city and the country.  The …

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Homemade Etrog

We built a beautiful sukkah out of bamboo this year but did not manage to get an official lulav and etrog which were apparently in short supply.  I  went googling around for a solution and I found this inspiring piece from Tikkun Knits about a lovely felted wool etrog. It sounded like a great child friendly and affordable idea, veering from tradition but still in keeping with the holiday.  So I decided to make something similar. I used a scrap of yellow fleece material that was left over from another project and stuffed it with fill from an old pillow.  I worked with my son who is always happy …

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A Little Shoe Repair with Antique Thread

Those of you imaginary readers who have followed my blog closely from the very start might have noticed that I originally thought I would write a fair amount about sewing.  Sewing was even in my tagline.  When I started this blog, I was in the midst of a sewing obsession that swept through like a passing storm, fast and intense and leaving lots of unused fabric in its wake.  I do still hope to get back to it sometime. So tonight I was happy to pull out one of my sewing boxes for my first ever attempt at shoe making.  A piece of leather …

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