Wednesday, December 31, 2008

RAK #7 and RAK #8 - the winners

We are waiting for 2009 :) The cake is ready and the champagne is chilled (the kiddy one).
Meanwhile I wanted to announce the last 2 winners.

I had 24 comments.

Here are your random numbers:

11 13

Timestamp: 2009-01-01 04:36:17 UTC

RAK #7 winner (Heidi Grace scissors and clear stamps) is comment #11- PattyB!

RAK #8 winner (Under the Sea kit) is comment #13 - Brenda #3635!

Congrats ladies! Please email me with you address!

Happy New Year to you all! Now I am going to eat the cake. See you in 2009.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Eight Night of Hanukkah and 2 giveaways

Today's post will be short and sweet, at least I hope it will be sweet :)

Few hours ago we lit our Menorahs for the last time this year and ate the last sufganiyot. It was the most memorable Hanukkah for me because of you all. Thank you for allowing me to share my holidays with you! It was a lot of fun and helped me to make our family Hanukkah celebrations more meaningful.

I want to share this quick project I made today. It is multi-layered collage that goes into shadow frame.
I picked 9 pictures that I liked and used Picasa to make a collage. I then printed the collage 3 times on matte photo paper (It says photo paper on the package but it is more like cardstock quality)

I than cut the collage into separate squares. When I need to trim pictures printed at home I love to use my Fiskars by-pass trimmer.

I than arranged the 9 pictures on the piece of 9x9 back cardstock and glued them down. After that I decided what squares will have 2 layers and what squares will have 3 layers.

I added the 2nd and the 3rd layers using the pop-dots.

All done. The collage goes into the shadow box from Ikea. The light in my basement is not the best but you got the idea :)

Now let's see who is the winner of the RAK #6.

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2008-12-29 05:28:21 UTC

Meital - you are the winner. Please email me at

Today, I have two RAKS.
RAK #7: Heidi Grace special edition Bouquet scissors and two Studio G clear stamp sets. One has Happy Day and Smile stamps and the second has Sweetheart, Love and I Love You stamps.

RAK#8: Heidi Grace Under the Sea kit: 10 patterned papers, Punchboard Box set Add-ons, Glitter Hearts Accents. (well, it's not really a kit, I am just sharing from my stash)

Leave a comment to be entered into the random drawing. You have till December 30. I will post the winners on December 31st.

P.S. Do you see the little owl picking out behind the shadow frame? He is the subject of my next post.
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Just a quick note...

The Seventh Night of Hanukkah post is delayed to tomorrow. It is almost 1am here so technically it will be today, but later, much later after I get some sleep. The babe doesn't understand that mama needs time for her blog LOL I am tired.

Good night people, I will be back tomorrow with two posts (well, maybe one) and definitely with two RAKS.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sixth Night

One of the Hanukkah traditions is Hanukkah Gelt. The word gelt means "money" in Yiddish. On Hanukkah, there is a tradition of giving real or chocolate coins as presents to children. Most likely because Hanukkah falls near Christmas, giving gelt has evolved into giving and receiving other presents on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. In Israel we were "one Hanukkah gift" family, but here in US we are giving eight gifts to the girls. The gifts are small - books, cool markers, nothing too expensive. Last year I decorated eight boxes that we opened every night to find out what is the gift.

Thinking about this tradition I searched the Internet for the explanation why we do that. Here are some interesting suggestions for the source of this tradition (adapted from
  • First, the legal technical viewpoint. The Shulchan Aruch, Code of Jewish Law, explains that the menorah’s candles may only be viewed to recall the miracle and not for any other purpose, for example - counting money. Giving out Hanukkah money was a way to remember this law.
  • The Talmud refers to money on Hanukkah when it cautions Jews that they must light at least once candle, per household, per night on Hanukkah – even if they must go door to door for candle funds. The widespread custom of giving Hanukkah gelt enabled the poor to get the candle money they needed without feeling great embarrassment.
  • Twenty-two years after the Maccabees won the battle, their descendants, who became a royal family, minted coins to celebrate the county’s autonomy. Giving out gelt recalls this high point of Jewish freedom.
  • Hanukkah has the same three-letter root word as the Hebrew word for education, which is hinuch. This was the time of year, in the dead cold of winter, when poorly paid Jewish teachers would receive a bonus from their students’ parents.
  • Hanukah also comes in between holidays, during a long stretch of in-school time. Around Hanukah parents offered their children a little prize money to reward them for studying hard.

One of the gifts Ella got this year is Cuttlekids Shape Maker. She is having a blast! This 7 years old had no problems to understand how to use it and in no time she was making the cutest craft projects. I paid $15 for the machine (with 50% off coupon of course) and I think it totally worth it. You do need to apply some strength (my Revolution is easier on hands) but my determined child was very capable of doing it alone and didn't let anybody to touch her new toy.

Now to RAK #6. I have Karen Foster baby kit (7 patterned papers, 3 stickers sheets, word charms and small chipboard book kit), Baby cakes paper mini album kit and baby cards kit. I know I should probably take a picture but it is too dark and too late. Keep in mind that the products are not new but still very cute.

RAK #5 winner is....

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-12-27 05:37:38 UTC

Comment #16 is by Laura! Congratulations! Please email me with your address :)

Holiday Cards

Before we are going to light the candles tonight I wanted to show my Holiday cards that finally are in the mail! It is still 2008, right? LOL I did 2 different kinds this year, but both are using the same sketch from the Hero Arts blog. For the first card I used 'Tis The Season" paper and stamps from Lil Davis. The background and the little stamps in circles are embossed.

This card is using "Mistletoe and Pear" paper by Basic Grey and Hero Arts stamps. Here the background and the snowflake are embossed. Hope you can see it :)
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Fifth Night

Tonight we were invited to celebrate with our friends, we had the full set - the menorah, dreidels, sufganiyout and latkes. Gabi made some delicious latkes that quickly disappeared during the lively discussion about latkes recipes. Most people that I know prefer them coarsely grated with onions and eggs, something like that (from

4cups peeled potatoes, grated
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tspn salt
2 tbspn flour
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1. Make sure to squeeze out any liquid from the potatoes.
2. Combine all the ingredients together.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Use a spoon to scoop the mixture into the pan making patties.
4. Fry until golden-brown on either side.
5. Serve with sour-cream

I personally prefer them the way my parents are making them - grated very very thin, without onions or eggs. I wrote about it last year here. I eat them with sour cream and my kids eat them with sugar. No apple sauce in our house! :)

My Ella is fascinated with Hanukkah. She read all Hanukkah books in the school library several times. One of her favorite books is "Potato pancakes all around" It is a story about a peddler that teachers the villagers how to make potato pancakes from a crust of bread. I read this book to her at least 20 times and every time she makes sure that we have the "recipe" :)

Traditional latkes are made from potatoes but they can me made from any other vegetable or vegetable mix. Sweet potato latkes are delicious!

1. latkes!, 2. Baked Sweet Potato Latkes, 3. Potato Latkes with Calvados Applesauce, 4. Latkes, 5. eggplant latkes, 6. happy hanukkah!, 7. Hanukkah latkes, 8. latkes, 9. Yam & Potato Latkes
Created with fd's" Flickr Toys.
Today's giveaway is again from Maya Road warehouse sale kit - a tin with some sheer flourishes and paisleys, a tin with velvet blossoms and rub-ons and 2 yards of green trim. You know the trick - leave comment to be entered into the random drawing.

Let's find out who is the winner of the RAK #4:

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2008-12-26 07:30:23 UTC

Comment #8 is by Michal. Congratulations! Please email me at

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fourth Night

Another Hanukkah night at our house. No sufganiyot this time, we are suffering from oil and sugar overload LOL Today we will talk about dreidels

Here is what is telling about this Hanukkah tradition:

The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter inscribed on each side. In America the letters stand for "A Great Miracle Happened There". In Israel the letters mean "A Miracle Happened Here". Each player receives a given number of coins or candy pieces. Before spinning the dreidel, each player puts a fixed proportion of the amount received into the "kupah" or kitty. Each player in turn spins the dreidel. When the dreidel falls, it will fall on one of the 4 letters. According to the letter, the following will happen: Nun – no win / no lose Gimmel – take all (from the kitty) Heh – take half (from the kitty) Peh or Shin – lose (what you deposited) The game continues until players have run out of 'funds' or it is agreed to stop (anyone losing all funds is out of the game). The dreidel game was popular during the rule of Antiochus before the Maccabees' revolt, a time when soldiers executed any Jews who were caught practicing their religion. When pious Jews gathered to study the Torah, they had the top ready in case they heard soliders approaching. If the soldiers appeared, they would hide the holy scriptures and pretend to play with the dreidl. In Israel the dreidel is called a sivivon. The yiddish word "dreidel" is derived from the German word "drehen", or "turn".

Check this website for everything about dreidels including pictures, rules, crafts and may more.

And here are some flickr pretties

1. asyagiv, 2. vered T, 3. sipour shel haruzim, 4. esotropia, 5. diwe, 6. soulrebel31, 7. mfajardo, 8. dogfaceboy, 9. drurydrama
Created with fd's" Flickr Toys.

Thinking about today's post I remembered about the Hanukkah card that I made few months ago and never shared. I used the small Hero Arts dreidel stamp, but enlarged it and stamped several times. I cut out the impressions and glued the layers together making a home-made chipboard piece. I than colored the top layer with colored pencils and put the dreidel into the little vellum envelope.

Today's giveaway is again from the Maya Road warehouse sale kit. I have a small tin with 6 paisley slides, a package of Maya road fibers (Australian outback) and 2 yards of green velvet trim. Post a comment to win! :)

The winner of the Third Night RAK is....

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-12-25 02:49:35 UTC

Comment 17 was by nogadin! Congratulations! Email me your shipping address to

Check this amazing menorah she made from polymer clay! Beautiful!

Shira asked me what dinner rolls we are using for making sufganiyot. We are using Rhodes frozen dinner rolls.

I'll be back tomorrow with another post and another giveaway!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Third Night

Thank you all for the nice comments! I really enjoy reading them! :) I was asked why we light three Menorah. The answer is - why not? LOL Some families light only one and some light one for each family member. Our girls like to light their own Menorahs, that way they don;t have to take turns. No turns to take, no fights.... you know what I mean LOL

The question prompted me to look for more information about this tradition.

The reason for the Hanukkah lights is not for the "lighting of the house within", but rather for the "illumination of the house without," so that passers-by should see it and be reminded of the holiday's miracle. Accordingly lamps are set up at a prominent window or near the door leading to the street. It is customary amongst some Ashkenazim to have a separate menorah for each family member (customs vary), whereas most Sephardim light one for the whole household. The Maccabees chased away the forces of darkness with swords; we do it with candles. That's why we light the Menorah shortly after sunset. Two exceptions: On Friday evening, light the candles before sunset. On Saturday evening light them after dark.

This is one of my favorite pictures. It was taken 2 years ago in December 2006. I just love their faces behind the hand made Menorah :)

The giveaways for today and the next 2 days are from my Maya road treasures. I couldn't resist the online warehouse sale and ordered their warehouse sale kit. The kit came full of awesome products that will be enough for 2, no 3, let's make it 4 scrapbookers! So I left some for myself and divided the rest into 3 RAKS. The RAK for today is Maya Road Microchips Arrows Neutrals, Maya Road tin with some Foundation Buttons and Motifs Fresh Chipboard and 2 yards of green velvet trim.

Now, let's draw the winner. I had 26 comments and the winner is:

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-12-24 04:38:18 UTC

Debby, please email me your address! :)

The last thing. I received few requests to add the option to subscribe to my blog. First of all I am very flattered. :) I still can believe that somebody is reading my blog except my mom :) I added am email subscription form, hope it works.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Second Night

So last night we lit the menorah, more precisely 3 of them, ate latkes and of course we ate sufganiyot. Because Hanukkah is not Hanukkah without sufganiyot. Sufganiyot are jelly doughnuts without the hole. Traditionally they are covered in powdered sugar. Sufganiyot are particularly popular in Israel, where they are sold on stands in the streets over a month before Hanukkah begins. Lately, you can find different kinds - chocolate, caramel, vanilla and many others.
1. sufganiyot from roladin , 2. sufganiyot, 3. Hanukkah Donuts, 4. Sufganiyot, 5. the first sufganiyot of the season, 6. green and sweet, 7. Sufganiot, 8. Sufganiyot, 9. sufganiyot
Created with
fd's Flickr Toys.

We have a "secret" recipe for sufganiyot.Thanks Ortal for the tip! :) We make them from frozen dinner rolls - add some powder sugar and jelly - delicious!

I have an awesome punch to share. You can use it to make paper sufganiyot and lots and lots of other things. LOL It is Fiskars Seal of Approval XL punch. Post here to be entered into the random drawing.

Now let's see what the random generator has to say about the giveaway from yesterday. I saw 24 comments. And the winner is...

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-12-22 23:50:17 UTC

The comment 17 is by Ribber! Please email me to claim your prise.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

First night of Hanukkah

is tonight! We are going to light the first candle, sing Hanukkah songs ( or listen to them) and eat sufganiyot! Yammi! To make it even more fun I decided to have a Hanukkah celebration on my blog - I am going to share some Hanukkah history, picture and giveaways.

What is Hanukkah? From
Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and nights, starting on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar (which is November-December on the Gregorian calendar). In Hebrew, the word "Hanukkah" means "dedication."
The holiday commemorates the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Jews' 165 B.C.E. victory over the Hellenist Syrians. Antiochus, the Greek King of Syria, outlawed Jewish rituals and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods.
In 168 B.C.E. the Jews' holy Temple was seized and dedicated to the worship of Zeus.
Some Jews were afraid of the Greek soldiers and obeyed them, but most were angry and decided to fight back.
The fighting began in Modiin, a village not far from Jerusalem. A Greek officer and soldiers assembled the villagers, asking them to bow to an idol and eat the flesh of a pig, activities forbidden to Jews. The officer asked Mattathias, a Jewish High Priest, to take part in the ceremony. He refused, and another villager stepped forward and offered to do it instead. Mattathias became outraged, took out his sword and killed the man, then killed the officer. His five sons and the other villagers then attacked and killed the soldiers. Mattathias' family went into hiding in the nearby mountains, where many other Jews who wanted to fight the Greeks joined them. They attacked the Greek soldiers whenever possible.
Judah Maccabee and his soldiers went to the holy Temple, and were saddened that many things were missing or broken, including the golden menorah. They cleaned and repaired the Temple, and when they were finished, they decided to have a big dedication ceremony. For the celebration, the Maccabees wanted to light the menorah. They looked everywhere for oil, and found a small flask that contained only enough oil to light the menorah for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days. This gave them enough time to obtain new oil to keep the menorah lit. Today Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting candles in a menorah every night, thus commemorating the eight-day miracle.

Here is some flickr goodness that I found. Pretty.

1. first night lit up, 2. First night of Hanukkah, 3. 303/365 - Happy Hanukkah!, 4. first night, 5. The first night of Hanukkah..., 6. is it my birthday?, 7. First night of Hanukkah, 5768, 8. Hanukkah, 9. hanukkah ~ and menorah is lit

Created with
fd's Flickr Toys.

My kids are getting gifts on each day of Hanukkah. And you will too :) I have Cloud 9 Love clear stamps and Stamping Bella Rubbah stamp and emBELLAshments. Post a comment and you will be entered into the random drawing :) The winner will be posted tomorrow.
And now I just want to say - Happy Hanukkah!

Some "lost" layouts

I relaized that I didn't post few layouts back form October that I really like.
This one all Jenni Bowlin kit.

This one again Jenni Bowlin, with some Haidi Grace chipboard.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow day happenings

The little guy woke up and was happy to see his sister talking to him.
Elves invaded our house.

Than they got dressed and went outside to play in deep deep snow. 13" today in Brookfield. This winter is close to become the second snowiest winter here. Guess what year holds the second place now?... 2007... yeah... two years in a row...
This is a little castle made from snowballs. The picture is taken by the architect Ms. E
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Snow day

It is 9am here. 9.5" of snow so far and still snowing. The school is cancelled so our winter vacation had officially began. The boys are still in bed. :)

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Inspired Blueprints sketch

I finally scrapped some of my CHA photos. I love how it turned out. I used Heidi Grace paper and finished with some Heidi Swapp bling in the corner of my picture with Heidi Swapp. Very smart, isn't it? LOL The sketch is by Inspired Blueprints.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Good day for a snowman!

Said Ella after running outside this morning and checking the snow.
First real snow. I knew it will come and here it is - white and wet. For some reason I am not so happy to see it this year. Really hoping for the mild winter this year :)

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fisk-a-link Friday - Thank You Card

This week I am joining the Fisk-a-link Friday posts that are done by the Certified Fiskars Demonstrators. Each post shows a project, an idea or shares some tips related to the Fiskars products.

My Fisk-a-project for today is a quick Thank You card.

Tools used: Desktop rotary trimmer with scallop blade, medium heart squeeze punch, medium april showers squeeze punch, stamps

1. Gather your supplies and pick few scraps of green and pink cardstock and pink patterned paper. I pulled out my pink scrap drawer and picked 3 different scraps of pink patterned paper.

2. Cut 8.5"x11" sheet of white cardstock in half and than fold each piece in half. You have 2 plain cards. Cut 3"x4" piece from green cardstock and 2.5"x3.5" piece from the pink cardstock using the scallop blade.

3. Adhere the green piece to the center of the card, adhere the pink piece on top of the green piece.
4. Using April Showers punch out the flower petals from the pink patterned paper. You will need 12 petals per flower.
5. Put some adhesive in the flower center and adhere 6 petals as shown. Curl the petals with the fingers before adhering.

6. Add more adhesive in the middle and adhere the second layer of petals. This time the petals should touch each other in the middle. I rub them with the texturing stylus to make sure the petals are glued down. Use a glue dot to add a button in the center.

7. Punch out 2 hearts from the green paper. Score in the middle and fold.

8. Add 2 pop dots as shown

9. Add the hearts to the card forming the leaves. Stamp Thank You sentiment (from the Fiskars "Baby" stamp set)

10. All done!

Hope you liked it. :) I made a bunch for my daughter today to write her "thank you" notes after the birthday party.

Enjoy the Fisk-a-link Friday posts from other Fiskateers:
Debby posted an Easy Stamp Press Demo
Kathleen reports about the recent tools demo and gives all pros and cons. Great post! In this post she shows how to make a cute favor bag.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My big girl is 10. Smart, responsible, sensitive, loving sister to Ella and Eli. That's my girl.

And if I am on the bragging wagon here is something else. Few days ago I was working on this card.

Ella saw me and said that we also wants to make a card. Here us what she made. I only helped to make a bow. She picked the paper and did everything else. I am one proud mama :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

International Babywearing Week

I found out that November 12-18 is an International Babywearing Week from reading Just Jess blog yesterday morning. She posted the cutest photo of her baby girl in the sling and gave the link to the Adventures in Babywearing blog. They are having a contest to celebrate International Babywearing Week by posting your favorite babywearing photo. The winner will get a new sling by Nonny & Bo .

So here it is. Eli was just 10 days old here :) So warm and cozy and safe :) This wrap is the bestest! I don't use it now as much as with Ella but it's a lifesaver at the ice skating rink. I am spending hours there waiting for Lila. With the baby in the wrap I am sure he is warm and I don't have to struggle with the stroller and the stairs. (No elevator there!).