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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sour and Sweet

This has been the week from you-know-where. If you're wondering what that entails, just think getting lost, nearly missing a crucial interview, getting ogled by teenage boys while walking on a deserted street in Brooklyn, a stolen wallet, and public vomiting, and you get the idea.

And yes, it's only Tuesday. Sigh.

So to distract myself from my many troubles, I figured I'd focus on something simple and pretty.

I created this layout below for Sketchy Thursdays, and even though I can't get a decent photo of it to save my life, I love it. It's about my wonderful view at CHA of the wall of thickers.

I used some delicious new Elle's Studio Handmade Layers on this--love that stuff!

This week I'll debut my final Sketchy Thursdays layout for a while. I love being part of Sketchy Thursdays, but I chose not to reapply to leave more time for other time commitments. I look forward to playing along when I can though!

What do YOU do to feel better after an awful day (or week)? I can use ideas!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Scarlet Lime March!

Happy Sunday, everyone! We just got home from a fun-filled day of jetting around town, and I can finally pop in!

I realized I hadn't shared my Scarlet Lime layouts for March, which is crazy, because the kit is bee-yoo-tiful.

See what I mean? I normally don't keep kits together for very long, but for this one, I couldn't bear to take it apart.

My first layout is an ode to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. During my trip to Los Angeles for CHA, after which I couldn't get home for two days due to the giant snowstorm in the middle of the country, I spent some time with LA friends and enjoyed my first ever visit to this coffee chain.

And why might this be so exciting? Because everything in the store is kosher! EVERYTHING!

I was thrilled to get a nice little snack (in this case, a waffle with nutella) along with my coffee. And there was an outdoor fireplace, which I enjoyed until I noticed a sign saying that fireplace smoke can affect certain bodily functions like fertility--so I moved. Fertility treatments will do that sort of thing to you.

People told me I would love my Tiny Attacher, and they're right--I used it on the letters here to add a bit of visual interest.

This layout is a new take on the double page layout for me--a double page 81/2 X 11 version. I like it because the space is less overwhelming.

Here, I was out of "e"s, so I used the cutout of the letter and backed it with patterned paper. It was a fortuitous mistake, because now I love the pop of color!

The Frugal Fab kit this month was also fun to work with!

Even though the kit had a lot of school themed items in it, I used it for a love layout here below. If you're interested, I gave more background to this layout in a Scarlet Lime blog post.

LOVE man/woman icons. So fun.

This next layout is about a subject that gives my husband heart palpitations--going back to school (something about those student loans, I think).

If I ever do end up back at school, I'll let ya know.

Question: If YOU could go back to school for anything, what would it be?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Winner and Purim Recap!

I feel like I'm saying this a lot lately:)

The winner of the Ella giveaway is MELISSA, of the comment below:
Melissa said...

Cute layouts! I've been meaning to scrap one of those "day in the life of" pages.

Melissa, email me at keshet.shenkar@gmail.com and I'll send you your ebook info!

In other news, Purim was super fun!

It began with a lot of baking....

[my fave chocolate chip cookie recipe, found serendipitously on the Shoprite chocolate chip bag]

A lot of shalach manos preparation....

FYI, shalach manos are gift baskets that we give to family and friends on Purim. I make around 30 to 40, so that we give to whoever comes by and do our deliveries without having to count. I included candies, a note (stamped with Studio Calico stamps) and a little chocolate chick (more on that later).

I lucked out finding these barnyard boxes on Amazon:

As for the cake pops, that was a very LONG and harrowing saga.

Suffice it to say they are not *quite* as easy as they look. At least not to me;) After much frustration (the fact that my apartment was about 9,425 degrees was not helping) I decided to make little sitting chicks instead of cake pops.

The result was less gourmet than I had hoped, but people seemed to be able to identify them as chicks:

I affectionately referred to them as my little freakazoids.

And here is one little guy, in his treat bag:

While S and I didn't totally match the theme, let alone matching each other, we still achieved a harmonious balance between Minnie Mouse/Stepford Wife (I was torn) and a farmer:

We had a bunch of my high school friends over for the Purim feast, along with a couple in our building.

In honor of the barnyard theme, some guests came impersonating American Gothic (and looking very serious:))

And we got some fun (and some crazy) group shots with the camera self-timer. Loving all the costumes. These are some of my best friends in the world, who I met in high school--and I love that we can still enjoy "old times" miles away from home.

We talked and ate and laughed for almost 5 hours, and it was so much fun.

All in all, a wonderful Purim!

What's YOUR go-to costume?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ella Blog Hop!

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Ella Friends blog hop--thanks for coming to visit!

The March Ella ebook has been a big hit among the BFFs crew, so we figured we'd share the goodness with you all in a blog hop!

The new e-book is about a topic near and dear to me: scrapbooking the everyday.

As someone who doesn't have kids to scrap yet, I don't typically focus on birthday parties, first day of school, and other typical scrapbooking topics (and people don't look quite as cute on their first days of law school, anyhow). Instead, I scrapbook about the details that make up my everyday life--and I'm so glad I do, because life changes so quickly and I'm amazed how many details I forget!

Here are some layouts that focus on the everyday:

For better or worse (for my budget), Starbucks is usually a part of my everyday....

Since S and I commute to NYC for work, reading on the train is a big part of our lives--and one that I really missed when I wasn't commuting for a few months.

We email a lot during the day, and things can get pretty crazy....

And this layout, excuse the photo , is one of my favorites because it actually records a day in our lives last October. Even though it's only been a relatively short while, so much has changed--neither of us are in school, we don't see each other during the day and we definitely don't have lunch together anymore. (Which reminds me how everytime we ate lunch together S would want to lick the top of the yogurt and I would get grossed out by it. Every time, ha!)

The good news is this e-book can help you figure out ways to incorporate YOUR daily life in your scrapbook, too. The great news is I get to GIVE ONE AWAY to one lucky reader!

Simply leave a comment on this post to win--tell me what you would scrap in your everyday life if you're so inclined.

Next on the hop head to: Mary Jo Johnson

And in case you get lost, here are all of the Ella Team's blogs:

Brenda Johnston

Donna Jannuzi

Jenni Hufford

Monika Wright

Jennifer Larson

Valerie Mangan

Lee Currie

Francine Clouden

Diana Chen

May Flaum

Have fun hopping! Happy Monday, everyone:)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Purim!

Be back soon:)

[Image source: http://www.toys-games-store.com/Shulsinger-Judaica-Ltd/Happy-Purim-Jewish-Purim-Grogger-Noisemaker-Toy-B001QSC97W.htm]

Friday, March 18, 2011

Purim Crazies

This coming Sunday is Purim (a Jewish holiday). For those of you have never heard of Purim, I'll give you a quick crash course: You take costumes + candy + wild crazy antics + gift baskets + noisemaking instruments + triangle cookies + a great story + the hidden miracles of G-d, and you get Purim.

One of the mitzvot, or commandments, of Purim is giving shalach manos (gift baskets) to our friends and family. You only need to have foods for two different blessings, but beyond that, the sky's the limit. These baskets range from small baggies with a few candies to giant baskets wrapped with cellophane with swans hand-carved out of chocolate (well, I've never personally received a chocolate swan, but I've seen them in stores. And would very much welcome one:) ).

So clearly, the scrapbooker/Martha Stewart wannabe/ Person who thinks she has more time than she has is ambitious.

If all goes well? There will be barnyard theme gift boxes filled with animal-themed candies and cake pops in the shape of chicks, like so:

If things don't go well--there's no telling.

Beyond the cool and fun parts of it, though, Purim has a beautiful story behind it. The story of Purim is in the book of Esther. It involves ups and downs, major heartbreaks and reversals, and fits the traditional Jewish theme of "they tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat!" I would tell you more but I couldn't do it justice here.

This fun video explains the story some:

One cool fact about the Book of Esther? G-d's name does not appear in the book at all. Not even once. Weird, huh? Why on earth would we canonize a book that doesn't even mention G-d? What kind of book is that?

The question gets to the heart of Purim--which is that G-d is hidden in this world. And that's the reason we dress in costumes on Purim. We hide ourselves to remind ourselves how G-d hides Himself, how He acts in ways that aren't obvious or clear. As I walk through my own journey with infertility, the story of Purim reminds me that sudden reversals can happen, your life can change in the blink of an eye, and that--most importantly--there is a purpose behind every event that happens to me, even if it's hidden.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Very First Crop

This past weekend, I went to my very first crop. That's right--I've been scrapbooking for almost ten years, and I have never once gone to a crop and have rarely ever scrapped with other people!

The best part was hanging out with these fabulous SC girls--Julie, Rebecca Ertel, and Valerie! And they were wonderful company!

Val hard at work:
Rebecca working on her layout:

I must say, the crop was quite an experience. I walked in with a little tote bag and folder, and realized I was rather out of my element! People brought A LOT of stuff, and set it up in very creative ways. There were furniture pieces, printers, and die-cut machines. And lots of hutches over the tables. I even saw some people "vertical scrapping"--scrapbooking on magnetic boards that stand up to save space. It was truly a sight to behold.

All in all, I was happy with what I brought--my March Scarlet Lime kits, a few border and shape punches, adhesive, scissors, my Tiny Attacher, a paper trimmer and a stamp block and inkpad. I tend to get overwhelmed by too much stuff, so this was the perfect amount for me.

Have YOU ever been to a crop? What did you bring? How did you like it?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Winner winner!

First of all, a huge hello to all of my new blog readers--welcome!! Comment and introduce yourself!

I used the Random Number Generator and the winning numbers are 66 and 9!
[P.S.: Anyone know how to post the Random image on your blog? Any tips welcome:)]

That makes LISA and MONICA our lucky ladies of the hour. Email me at keshet.shenkar@gmail.com and I will get your packages out to you!

On a more sober note, I've been so saddened by what's been going on in Japan and in Israel with this family. The idea that so much evil is out there in the world chills me. My heart is with the Fogel family.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Two Page Goodness

As you may have heard, two-pagers are not normally a specialty of mine. So it was with some surprise that I realized I have TWO two-pagers to show you today!

This first one was made with the Scarlet Lime February kit. I kept it pretty simple (as I usually do for two-page layouts), and I enjoyed creating little "homes" for the embellishments on the side. I blogged about the story behind the layout here if you want to know more!

And I made this one for the Ella Publishing blog, based on a sketch by Donna Jannuzi. I love the fall colors!

Scraproom reorganization done....and it feels GREAT. I keep walking in my room just to happily look through the bins. The GIVEAWAY is open below!

And now I'm off--to stay with friends for Shabbos, and then to meet up with some Studio Calico girls at a crop! On a sadder note, thinking of everyone in Japan.

What are YOU doing this weekend?

Monday, March 7, 2011


As some of you may know, I am currently in the middle of a massive (and slightly stressful) scraproom reorganization.

I'll show you the finished product shortly (ie, when I dig my way out of the piles around the room) but in the meantime, I have a VERY large pile of items to be given away.

Here's a little peek:

There's a mix of older and newer product in here, including many items I happened to have doubles of.

And a peek at some of the paper.....

There are also exclusive items in here from Scarlet Lime and Studio Calico (paper and most likely some stamps).

I am going to pick TWO winners by Monday, March 14.

TO ENTER, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. If you ARE A FOLLOWER, just let me know. If you are NOT a follower, please become one or leave your email so I can get in touch with you.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Harry Potter!

I had great intentions of posting all about my Disney/Harry Potter trip with S. Reality, however, was less grand:)

But, since the Harry Potter park is brand new and was SO much fun, I figured I'd give y'all a little preview!
I loved the details used in the park--the adorable signs,

the photo frames that really move,

the dude walking around with robes and an owl....

Love all the details of the books come to life.

Note, though: This park is VERY crowded. When people say "you need to get there the second it opens!" about parks, I tend to ignore them. But for this park, it's true! We were at the park when it opened at 8:50 and by 9:30, there were long lines forming. By 10:30 it was so crowded you could barely move.

See the line for Ollivander's wand shop, which was already crowded 20 minutes after the park opened!

Mmmm, butterbeer.

Want a fun Judaic activity? Try to figure out if Butterbeer is kosher! I thought about asking our rabbi, but as S pointed out, saying "Hey, I have this mystery drink--no clue what's in it or how it's made. Can I drink it?" is unlikely to work out with "yes." We conducted more investigation when we got there and the official Butterbeer chef said it's definitely NOT kosher. Alas.

But I can't help wondering--what is in that stuff?

Along with the rides, one of the funnest parts of the park was a shopping area that was sort of like what you'd get if Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley got married and had a child.

This was Zonko's joke shop:

These could really come in handy sometime.....

And now for my favorite FAVORITE part: Honeydukes candy shop.

I love the colors and retro details on this SO much. It makes me want to run in my scraproom and whip up some aqua, pink, green, and checkerboard goodness!

There were a lot of classic candies in there--chocolate frogs, peppermint pasties, every flavor beans--yum.

And leaving the candy shop, a sneak peek at the wand selection:

And another popular beverage in the park--Pumpkin juice!

Well, there you have it. An image-heavy guide to Harry Potter park!

I'm off to finish the approximately 12, 431 items on my to do list before Shabbos. Wish me luck!

And before you go--check out the new home decor post featuring APRIL FOSTER--right on the Ella blog!

What are YOUR plans for the weekend? And on the topic, what's YOUR favorite amusement park?