Sunday, October 24, 2010



Bereshit is obviously a great parsha for crafting but it seems to get lost in the shuffle of the end of all the chagim. After making Sukkot decorations and Simchat Torah flags, I don't usually have energy or time left for Bereshit. So, we finally got around doing my Bereshit craft this week (even though it was Parshat Vayera!)

I knew I wanted to do a Creation Wheel. I must have seen such a thing at some point in my life because the image was stuck in my head. I found that you could BUY a creation wheel craft at Oriental Trading (that place has EVERYTHING!) but why buy when you can make???

I have been saving cereal boxes because they make great cardboard for all sorts of crafts. For this craft, I just needed a cereal box, paper, glue, markers, and a paper fastener. I had never bought or used a paper fastener before but I knew that they were great for all sorts of projects and that I had to get them in my stash. The only problem is that I had NO IDEA how to say "paper fastener" in Hebrew! Thank G-d for google images. I printed out an image of a paper fastener and brought it to the craft store, yes I did. I showed the guy the picture, told him that it was what I needed and asked him how to say it in Hebrew. Get this - he knew exactly where they were in the store but he couldn't remember how to say it in Hebrew! So, I didn't feel so stupid. A box of paper fasteners in hand, I went home to experiment with a model.

I just cut out two circles from the cereal box (using pot covers to trace). Then, I had to figure out how to equally divide the circle into 7 sections for the 7 days of the week. Here, I got stuck. I needed some kind of geometry compass thing. Or, at least Andy. Since I didn't have either of those, I divided the circle into 8 equal sections instead - much easier - and decided I would live with one extra section (no perfectionism allowed).

I used whatever stickers and paper we had at home to create images for each day.

Then, I cut out a piece from the top circle, covered it with paper, decorated it and attached it with the paper fastener so that it could spin to reveal each day.

Somehow, even with all of my measuring, the wheel was not perfect but it was fine, fine, fine. To keep and use it long-term, I would definitely suggest getting it laminated.

There are pros and cons to having an example project for the girls to see. Pros - they understand what we are trying to make and they get excited to try make their own. Con - it definitely limits their creativity somewhat. Maya really wanted her "triangles" to look just like mine, even though I encouraged her to design them however she wanted.

Maya was pretty much able to cut the circles by herself although the cardboard is a bit thick for kids' scissors:

Yes, they are both wearing ballet outfits. No, they do not go to ballet class. Here is Maya's work in progress:

I was thoroughly surprised and impressed by her new ability to draw a dog! They probably most enjoyed using the star stickers (leftover from Lech Lecha) as earrings:

Maya really loved spinning her final project and going through the days while singing one of our favorite songs "Seven Days" originally recorded by Peter and Ellen Allard and recently recorded by Elana Jagoda

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, October 21, 2010



Of course, we brought our Parsha Welcome Mat to Israel with us but it is too big for us to use for our front door. Instead, it has found a home at the foot of our kitchen sink. So, we had to make a new one for this week's parsha:



Parshat Lech Lecha "take two".

Encountering the parshiot for a second time, I wasn't sure if I would just do the same projects again with the girls (which they would be perfectly fine with) or if I would "challenge" myself to go bigger and better. I still don't really know but I was motivated to come up with some new ideas for Parshat Lech Lecha.

Parshat Lech Lecha is particularly significant for us this year since it is our first living as a family in Israel. We have done "Lech Lecha!" We have left our homeland and entered the desert (literally). So, I wanted to focus on this aspect of the Parsha - on the journey. My first thought was to do something with footprints. I googled "footprints in sand craft" but all of the projects involved Plaster of Paris which intimidated me, especially since I have no idea what it is called in Hebrew! So, I decided to do something more basic and make painted footprints, something that is apparently done as an activity at baby showers (lefi google)!

The girls were thrilled to do anything with paint since I am typically fearful of this art supply! They especially loved being able to paint their hands and get good and messy...

Although we enjoyed the footprints, I still think that STARS are a great theme from this week's parsha for kids. So, I wanted to come up with a new star project (even though my kids would be perfectly happy just gluing glitter all over the place). In flipping through this craft book that my mother-in-law gave me, I saw an idea for how to make a glitter globe. I LOVE glitter globes! Many glitter globes are really snow globes (made using smashed egg shell pieces, who knew?) so I decided that we would make a star globe instead. I went ahead and tried to make an example before the kids came home. The instructions called for "distilled water." I wasn't sure what that was but Andy said that we had lots of it from our dryer. Perfect. It also suggested adding a drop of glycerin. Again, I wasn't sure what that was but I was sure that we didn't have it so like in cooking, I just left it out. Then, I just added a bunch of big glitter pieces. The real problem was sealing the jar closed. I tried to hot glue gun it but it still leaks.

When Maya came home from school, she desperately wanted to make one too so Andy cleaned out a "schug" jar and we got to work.



We have entered our second year of Parsha Projects. Last year, we started with Lecha Lecha so we missed the colorful opportunities that Parshat Noach provides! So many options for crafts - arks, doves, animals, water. But, I went with the most obvious - rainbows! First, I dyed one bag of pasta. It is so easy and comes out so beautiful! We now have a huge bag of colored pasta that we can use for all sorts of projects - jewelery, mosaics, etc.

Since the girls are pretty into beading, we first made rainbow necklaces:

We had so many noodles that we also made a rainbow just by gluing them onto a piece of cardboard...

As if we did not have enough rainbows around, I was determined to make rainbow cookies for Shabbos. Someone cited this recipe
on Challah Crumb's Facebook page and it looked easy and fun. The first step, dyeing the dough was definitely fun and easy:

But, when it came time to work with the dough, we were in trouble. The dough was just sticky and mushy. It was just a mess, a disaster, a flop. So, as often happens in times like this, Andy stepped in to try to save the day.

He froze the dough which helped a bit but it was still incredible frustrating to work with. We managed to put together some things that sort of looked like rainbows...

I was especially proud of this one that brought back San Francisco memories...

As always, what I considered to be a flop, the girls considered to be a masterpiece!