Monday, July 9, 2018

Judaica, Old and New, With and Without Charlton Heston

Judaic studies professor Jodi Eichler-Levine wrote a beautiful essay about Judaica and "riffing on tradition," published in the Association of Jewish Studies' magazine, here. I'm beyond honored to be mentioned. Here's he full matzoh cover that she discusses.
And the detail that caught her eye:
Doesn't everyone put Charlton Heston on their matzoh covers? I blogged about it several years back, halfway down the page. Thank you, Jodi. It's amazing to be understood
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In tallit news: One disadvantage of being an empty nester is that my kids, who used to serve as fresh, unpaid supermodels, are no longer available. Fortunately, my fresh, unpaid supermodel husband steps in, if I plead and promise to maintain his anonymity. So here is an anonymous person modelling a tallit for a girl who chose the colors. the batik fabric, and the design, specifying that the stripes be uneven widths and uneven distances from each other. 
And here it is a few weeks later, on the actual gorgeous girl! (With her gorgeous family, also unevenly distributed.)
It's much more difficult to make stripes uneven than the same size. Closeup:
I outlined the letters with silver metallic thread, using freemotion techniques. The method is explained toward the bottom of this page. The Hebrew blessing for donning the tallit is made easily with my "atarah on a roll" pdf pattern, which you can download for free here. The quilted case, with the bat mitzvah's Hebrew name, is below.
Opened, from the back:

The matching kippah is very simple....
...and reversible....

(My not-quite-free book on how to make plain as well as complicated reversible kippot is here. )

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And speaking of complicated: Tallit-and-kippah maker extraordinaire Marilyn Levy used a pattern from my book to make this kippah, with the extensive machine embroidery that she does so beautifully: 
Find more of Marilyn's exquisite creations, including kippot and tallitot, at her website, here.

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And finally, moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, I must sheepishly admit that I do occasionally get commissions for bark mitzvah hats - yep, canine kippot. Meet Cody (and a feline photobomber): 
(What kind of a Jewish name is Cody? I forgot to ask his Hebrew name). I got a little fancy with fussy-cutting the four panels of Cody's headgear, for a kaleidoscopic effect: 
And the inside: 

It has a gold lame binding - what dog doesn't love bling? - and can double as an eyepatch. Not recommended for cats. The pattern is also in my book, here.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Artistic Protest Postcards and Signs for People with Bad Handwriting

My husband and I marched for refugees last weekend. We had to do something. We also came up with the sign below. I so appreciate and enjoy the creative, funny, heartrending, sincere signs people carry to marches for good causes. I was determined to do one for this march. My handwriting is terrible, but one thing I've learned from quilting is that anyone can cut out presentable, even enjoyable, lettering.
Before the march, when the news story of the separation of babies from their parents first broke, I sent money to a consortium of refugee assistance agencies, here.  Then I made five attention-seeking 4" x 6" postcards, from fabric, batting, and cardstock. In this case, a set of rubber alphabet stamps solved my bad handwriting problem.
I sent them to my lawmakers and Melania Trump (the day before she visited them wearing her "I don't care" coat - if I'd seen that first, I might not have bothered).




The large letters are individually rubber stamped. I did the entire phrase "Reunite families" in one stroke, thanks to my handy-dandy rubber stamp that looks like this.
These are dark times. When I heard the President describe immigrants as an "infestation," I heard the loud echoes of Nazis. As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor,  I am cautious about comparing things to Nazis. But this dehumanization of innocent immigrants and kidnapping their children is as cruel as any US government policy I've ever witnessed in my lifetime. My mother never recovered from the trauma of losing her parents and siblings, when she was in her teens.

My scientist son just informed me that separation of young lab animals from mothers is banned in science because of overwhelming evidence of the profound stress it causes. What dark souls cooked this up as something to do to human beings?

Want to make your own postcards? There's a tutorial at the bottom of this post.