In preparation for our Israel Independence Day Parade, we made tie-dye t-shirts! But first we had a great lesson about the founding of Israel. Even though 1948 sounds like it was soooo long ago to the kiddos who were born this decade, it’s really not. Israel is a young country. And we’re so fortunate to see the nation of Israel in our lives. It has been the hope and the prayer of our people for so many generations. The kiddos asked a lot of really good questions during their lesson. We ended the class by playing a video of Hatikva. I was really touched that the kiddos placed their hands over their hearts, just as they would during the Star Spangled Banner.
Just to share, Ein Prat Fountainheads just released a video for Yom Haatzmaut called Hope. Its excellent – all their videos are. Their Passover song is still my favorite.
Here’s our project!
- Cotton T-shirts (polyester does not take dye well)
- Non-toxic dye
- 4 Tablespoons salt
- Dye bottles
- Rubber bands and string
- Plastic bags
- Sharpie markers
Dissolve 1 galleon of steaming hot water, dye and salt into a food safe container. Fill the dye bottles with dye. Reserve the rest of the dye for refilling.
Write children’s names on clothing tags to identify which t-shirt belongs to which child to alleviate confusion during dyeing. Our kids wanted to use the sharpies to draw designs on their shirts. That’s okay too!
Fold, twist, accordion, and scrunch t-shirts into patterns, swirls and starbursts. There is not wrong way to go with a tie-dye! Secure folds and twists with rubber bands and string. The shirt should be dry.
Put on gloves. Squirt dye onto the shirt, saturating as much or as little as you want. The dye will not permeate into the tight folds or where the rubber bands and strings are tied. Once you’re happy with the dye, place the shirt into a plastic bag and leave in the sun for 20 minutes to heat set. Have a snack!
Cut off and remove all the rubber bands and string pieces. Shake out your shirt to reveal your new design! Lay it out in the sun to further dry. Heat set with an iron or throw in the dryer on a high setting.
Last weekend we created challah knives. Today we painted them!
To finish our knives we painted them with acrylic paint and sealed them. Now we will have something special to share on Shabbat. Making homemade challah knives was so much fun!
When my friend asked me to make kippot for her adorable son’s Bar Mitzvah, the request was to make them out of silk. The choice of silk was 12 mm habotai silk. Very soft, luminous and beautiful. But it is supremely delicate. This type of silk is traditionally hand stitched into expensive men’s ties. Matching the dyes was the easy part. Finding the right interfacing/lining has been the challenge.
Here’s a picture of my trial kippah (the one I keep re-stitching) without any lining. As you can clearly see, I’m not without help.
I have no art projects to offer for Yom Hashoah U’Mered HaGetaot.
We do not celebrate this day, we remember. We mark the occasion of the Warsaw ghetto uprising to recall that even in the moment of our deepest despair, we must always fight for life. And through our remembrance, and telling our story from generation to generation, the memory of those who died lives on.
Goodness! The school year is coming to a close quickly. Between a special program on Yom Hashoah, Lag B’Omer, Israel Independence Day parade, a school field trip, and Shavuot, I don’t have much time left with them before they’re released for summer. I decided to dedicate this week’s class to the most important Jewish holiday on the calendar: Shabbat.
To test their knowledge of what they’ve been learning, we started by drawing a line on the chalkboard to make our list: DO / DO NOT DO
The kiddos made a very fine list. Light candles, sing songs, say blessings, eat challah, read torah, drink grape juice (wine), etc… they have this down pat! DO NOT DO was a bit harder. We talked about work and what is work? They agreed they liked the idea of not cleaning their rooms or doing chores. By the time I got to the concept of making fire… I lost them. But I think they’re getting the idea.
I had a lot more planned for my lesson, but I admit, I became completely derailed. Little hands reached in the air, asking questions completely took me off track. One young and studious mensch-in-training, asked how animals were made kosher – I blame the challah knife project. I don’t know how I ended up explaining the job of a shochet to nine year olds, but I did. (I’m a horrid teacher – they ask, I answer) They were rapt in attention. One child exclaimed, “I only want to eat kosher food forever and ever.”
Here’s the project Challah Knife project:
NOTE: I made the kiddos raise their right hands and promise to never, never, never stab, fight, or poke anyone in the eye with these challah knives. Then I told them they could dissolve the vow for Yom Kippur, but as long as I’m their teacher they will not fight with these knives. I doubt they understood what I meant about Yom Kippur, but it got the point across.
Otherwise, it’s a fun project for creative little hands.
- Butter knives.
- Oven bake sculpey clay.
- Found objects to press into the clay and make decorative designs.
Wrap sculpey clay around the handle of the knife. Press a design into the clay or leave it smooth. Bake the knife in an oven according to the manufacturers’ directions (275 degrees, 15 minutes per every ¼” of thickness). Allow to cool completely.
The next step will be to paint them. Class ran long and we missed the opportunity to paint our challah knives – that’ll come next week!
I decided to share this tutorial now because foam eggs are abundant this time of year, and sometimes they can be found on sale. This project uses both needlefelting and wetfelting techniques and can be a good introduction to both; I’ll try to share as much beginner level information so everyone can participate. Mielke’s is my source for felting tools and fiber (I don’t receive any compensation, I’m just passing this recommendation along). I like her selection and prices and if you want a lot of color to play with, without a huge commitment, her Bag of Candy is fabulous.
- Styrofoam Egg – size of egg will dictate the approximate size of finished pincushion. For this tutorial I used a 4 7/8 foam egg – the core fiber and roving approximations are based upon an egg this size.
- Core fiber – this is less expensive unbleached or white wool. You will need at least 3 oz.
- Dyed roving – colorful wool to decorate your pincushion – 1 oz.
- Felting needle or needle felting tool.
- Panty hose or trouser sock.
- Misc: sharp knife, liquid soap, hot water.
- Optional: vinegar
1. Using a sharp knife, slice the bottom off the egg. Make sure your cut is even and your egg can sit on its bottom. This will be the bottom of your pincushion.
2. Take the core fiber and begin to cover and wrap the egg. Gently use your felting needle (or felting tool) to tack the fibers into the Styrofoam as you go. Technique Tip: Felting needles are delicate and can snap, do not ‘bow’ the needle at an angle, push it in applying just enough pressure to trap the fibers. The entire needle does not have to be inserted to trap fibers.
3. At the top of the egg, pile a good, fluffy amount of core fiber. Cover the top in puffs sweeping in alternating directions to facilitate the felting process. The bulk of your core fiber should be reserved for the top of the egg – where the pins are pushed in. The rest of the core fiber will wrap around and cover the egg.
4. Continue to cover the egg until the egg is completely covered and the core fiber is used. The egg will be fluffy. Tack down your work by gently pushing the core fiber into the Styrofoam.
5. Open up and spread out the fibers of your dyed roving top. Decorate your fluffy egg. Technique Tip: It is better to use multiple thin layers to cover than one heavy layer. When you are satisfied with your design, needle felt it.
NOTE: Your design will likely shift during wet felting. This is an aspect I enjoy – I like to be surprised by what comes out, but this may bother some people. If you want your design to stay as you intend it, you must diligently needle felt the fibers and spend great care on the next few steps.
6. Pull the foot of a trouser sock (or panty hose) over your fluffy pincushion (minding the design, if you’re picky about that). The fibers will condense and you should be able to push it into a nice conical shape. Spreading a little liquid soap over the top of the sock, wet it all down with warm water and saturate the fibers.
7. Begin to wet felt. Firm up the fibers by scrubbing the trouser sock. Vigorously rub it between your hands. NOTE: If you’re using panty hose or something with an open weave, check it periodically to ensure your pincushion isn’t felting TO the hose. When you feel it begin to firm up, you can take it out of the sock and finish the fulling process – if the fibers are sticking to the sock, you’ve removed it prematurely: place it back in. A felting stone or bubble wrap can help you speed up the process, but you can felt with your own hands and learn by touch what the felting process feels like. The fibers will knit together and become dense. The top of the egg will still stay thick for your pins.
8. When you are satisfied with the felting, rinse it off with cold water until you are able to get as many soap bubbles out as possible. Optional: You can also dip your item in a bath that includes a bit of vinegar to reestablish the pH balance. Using your fingers, shape your pincushion into its final look and set it someplace to dry. It should take several days to dry properly.
Shared at Creative Jewish Mom
Subscription box services are all the rage. Want to call me a sheep? Fine. Baaaa! But I love them because they are so darling, and who doesn’t enjoy getting awesome goodies in the mail? And there’s something for literally everyone and every desire – from the mundane to the insane. Most prices are in the $20 range, but the goodies sent are much more valuable. Want to receive luxury house beauty samples, yeah, there’s a service for that – or three – Birchbox, Glossybox, StyleMint – and I’m certain there’s a ton more that I’ve left off. I myself, am guilty of subscribing to Beauty Box 5 and Beauty Army which are less high-lux brand oriented, but the goodies are more generously sized and it’s only $12.
$9.00 gets you a new pair of shades at Stunner of the Month. Then there’s Mystery Tackle Box, which is perfect gift for the avid fisherman in my family. CandyJapan will send you oodles of unique and delicious confections from Japan. Yumvelope is all about chocolate! Sprig box offers gluten-free healthy snacks. Then there’s Barkbox, Bestfriendbox, Pawalla, and Petslovetoys so nobody in the family misses out on the fun. Want to read? Just the Right Book will send you paperbacks tailored to your preferences. She Hit Pause Print Club and Art in a Box will both send you amazing artwork.
And the crafting boxes? I don’t even know where to begin. Umba Box will send you handmade crafts. Whimseybox will give you supplies to inspire crafts and a community to share your crafts. Craftistas provides a fun instructional craft. And Chic Maker is geared towards DIY jewelry. LootCrate is popular with gamers (and everyone else). For the Makers sends you stunning materials and well-designed projects. And Nicely Noted sends you three unique letterpress cards with pretty postage stamps. And Kiwicrate will send you crafting supplies for the kiddos!
But there’s a gap in the market. And I’m here to tell you, there’s a demand. Where’s the Kosher Nosh Club? Or the Yiddishkeit Box? An Israeli Crafts Box? When someone invents these, please let me know – I’m standing by with money in fist.