Counting the Omer for Beginners

Inspired by new friends from the blog world, I decided to try my hand at counting the Omer this year, the 49 day count that began on the second night of Passover and goes through Shavuot.    I had heard about it before and this year was inspired by the Omer counters from the Midianite Mama and Amy Meltzer’s idea on Homeshuling.  And given that I have lots of my own sewing supplies, I decided to jump in and make my own Omer counter. I decided against using candy in mine. We had too many sweets during Passover and I try …

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Guest Post: More than Slippers

By Cheryl Corson, landscape architect, writer and knitter. I’ve sewn, woven, and knitted gifts for loved ones for over thirty years. During that time I’ve also sewn backpacks in a factory, paid by the piece, made clothing for a New York City fashion designer, and run my own production weaving business. Beside technical skill, production work and gift making have little in common.  Knitting and felting a pair of wool slippers for my husband is a much slower undertaking than production work. Because of this, it becomes a gift for me too – the gift of time. He gets slippers; …

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Kale Chips: A Surprising Hit with Preschoolers and Recipe

Last week, my sweet boy turned 5 and we celebrated by hosting his preschool class at our farm for a treasure hunt, pony rides with a neighbor, and lunch. He originally requested a party at one of those indoor bouncy centers, so I was very happy that we were able to coax, sell, and redirect him toward a homespun farm party. The day before the party, my husband brought in a large bag of tender baby kale from the farm–the first of the spring new growth. When I asked my son what we should serve as a snack for the …

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Matzah in the Sandbox (repost)

I am reposting what I posted around the third day of Passover last year since I have some new readers.  There is no time to write now, but I am experiencing the now annual matzah crumb issue and I am thinking that if Jewish Mamas invented our Jewish celebrations, somehow Passover would have been linked with Sukkah and we would always eat matzah outside,  just like during the #exodus.    Nobody wanted to leave the sandbox at lunch time today. With the perfect spring breeze shaking the new Bradford Pear leaves over our heads and the soft afternoon sun warming …

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Passover is So Very Close

We will sit down for a Shabbat and Passover dinner very soon but it is not yet sunset and my husband took both children out to cover the strawberries with fabric because there is YET ANOTHER late frost warning.  Spring came so fast this year that all of our strawberries are flowering and we are having cold nights again.  This has become routine the past couple of weeks, so many late frosts! It was a last minute scramble, but I think all of the chametz (non-Kosher for Passover food) is out of the house and dinner is ready.  We are …

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Guest Post: Introducing the Amazing Omer NOMers

I am so happy to have an actual guest post today from the mama, artist and blogger behind those beautiful Omer counters! Thanks to Tzipporah from the Midianite Manna blog for writing this piece and sharing her creative work. Much like Tanya, I’m a big fan of homegrown, homemade, and creativity. When I combine these with new twists on Jewish traditions and my own parenting style, the results are sometimes pretty tasty. This year, our family will begin a new mitzvah – counting the Omer, the 7 weeks between Passover and the lesser-known holiday of Shavuot. (If you’re Jewish, you …

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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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More Kale, Less Vinyl — A Birthday Success

So my baby boy, my first-born — turned 5!  I am pretty blown away by this birthday and I am completely overwhelmed with pride at what an amazing person he is already. A few months ago, he asked for his birthday to be at one of those indoor bouncy centers where you can’t hear anyone talk over the sounds of the fans and machines running.  And all the blow up vinyl toys smell like a plastic factory.  And they serve unhealthy lunches in a little glass room on the side.  And the kids have the TIME OF THEIR LIVES, and …

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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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Tractor Seat Slipcovers and Baby Carrots

Ready for some comic relief from real life today? Truth is really stranger (and funnier) than fiction. Sometimes I spend time reading sewing blogs and marveling at all the adorable projects some super mothers seem to effortlessly carry out while caring for many children, homeschooling, gardening and generally doing it all.  For me, sewing and parenting are not always as easy a match.  So with that in mind, I have to share what I just found in my sewing machine compartment.  Please note, last I saw this compartment had 4 bobbins ready to go and my new seam ripper (the …

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