After helping with a teen program that featured history of garment workers and “upcycling,” making things out of old clothes, this has become renewed interest of mine. There are many websites showing ideas of things to make. Pockets from old jeans is a favorite item of mine to use.

I began to make yarmulkes from upholstery fabric scraps. The examples shown here show the three styles: lower left, based on the pattern of the cloth or in this case, a vintage piecework hand-stitched onto the top, The three central ones have a design cut from cloth and hand-stitched onto the top made of the words: “Know before Whom you stand.” The one on the lower right has the same design machine-embroidered on it.
They are lined with cotton batik fabric.
There are more in my collection, and the most recent ones are basted together so they can be sewn to the customer’s size.
The ones with hand-stitched letters are 110.00, the machine-stitched 80.00 and a few others cost 60.00.

New Baby & Toddler Gift, Organic Cotton


My latest children’s gift: organic cotton onesies and toddler T’s with the Yiddish word zisele, meaning “little sweetie” written on it. The shirt with a Yiddish lesson embedded in it! Put the best, kindest cloth next to your baby’s skin. Now you can give one to the toddler in the family, too, to be included in the love that comes with this shirt

Sizes: Onesies come in newborn, 6 mo., 12 mo., 18 mo., T-shirts are sized in 2T, 3T, 4T, 5/6. Cost: $25 for one shirt, $3 shipping. $25 each for 2 or more shirts with free shipping. 10% DISCOUNT THROUGH THANKSGIVING FOR ANYTHING FROM MY WEBSITE OR BLOG. Call me at 413-624-3204 to order.

The shirt was screen-printed locally by Moonlight Designs in Greenfield MA.

The lettering was inspired by hearing a podcast interview with the designer Louise Fili, then perusing her books showing the signage and label lettering from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods in Europe that inspire her work.

Gallery Photos

Here are more items from our gallery.magnets
New this year: four magnet designs: Earth Hamsa, Garden Hamsa,the Bridge of Flowers of Shelburne Falls from a colored pencil drawing, and the Shelburne Falls trolley, photo by Joe Kurland. $2.00 each.

The Shelburne Falls drawing can be seen behind the magnets on a card, $7.00, framed baby amulet behind that, hamsa hanging on the right.

Goal & Creation cards
Shown here, two of four inspirational, motivational quotations. Available on cards, $7.00 each, or as a giclée print, 13.25 x 8.25,” in an acetate envlope.

Thanks to all who visited on the Crafts of Colrain Studio Tour

Sunday Nov. 10 was the day of the Crafts of Colrain Studio Tour that our Ganeydn Gallery was open, and I want to thank everyone who visited us as part of the tour. We met many new people and I enjoyed sharing my calligraphic art and the new fiber art I’ve been doing, and Joe showed many of his nature and train-based photographs.

I’ve included here a photograph of the studio and will add some more photos of items, especially new ones, in the next few days.

Subscribe to this blog so you’ll receive immediate notice of any photos and posts.

I gave a 10% discount for the tour and will hold it until Thanksgiving, so if you see something you’d like to order, you’ll receive 10% off the cost of the items you order.


Papercut Invitation Seal

A recent invitation I produced is a gateway fold: folded on both sides so the paper meets in the middle. This star, cut out of a sheet of blue paper and with the Hebrew name Aliza cut out from the star, was glued partly on one flap so it crossed the line where the two flaps meet. It is a variation of the “Ki Tavo” example on my invitation web page: http://www.ganeydn.com/kiTavo-invitation-set.html, which had the name printed on the star.

I’d like to post a picture of it, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to do so. I’ll post the whole invitation when I’m able.

Pocket Invitation Number 1

Shown here: pocket folder with invitation attached; four insert cards: rsvp, directions, brunch, evening party; tab on flap shown upper left, rsvp envelope lower left.

This is the first pocket invitation set I designed. As I was the customer, I made it a rather complex project. This included using for the first time a letterpress printing set that I got in the spring, a small model that sits on the table. I lettered the text, drew the border, and had a plate made to use with this press. I found that applying the ink takes practice. I love the look of the impression in the paper. I used that for the invitation cards, which were adhered to the folder. The other items also used my lettering and design, but were printed by a commercial invitation printer, http://www.phdcalligraphy.cceasy.com/. I was wise enough to know I wouldn’t have time to hand-press each item. They were then all assembled, some of them using more insert cards that others, depending on whether they were out-of-town guests or not, and put into the envelopes which we addressed using our computer printer. It was a great learning experience, and a pleasure to create.


The invitation season has begun. I had a great session with a customer–the whole family–for a bat mitzvah invitation. The photo shows the table with all the materials we referred to for this project. It is always a fascinating process which is at first overwhelming, but the preferences become clear soon enough.

While I work with customers all over the country, thanks to the internet, phone and mail, it is great to meet in person. I’m glad to be able to offer this to those in the Greenfield-Shelburne Falls-Amherst-Northampton area, as well as to those in Western Mass., Connecticut and Vermont who are able to travel here.

Invitation albums set out for browsing

Pocket Invitations

Pocket invitations are so appealing, providing a neat packet which holds the invitation on one side and all of the smaller insert cards of an invitation sets in a pocket on the other side. This packet goes into an outer mailing envelope. Pricing will vary depending on how many cards there are in the set and whether or not I provide original art for it. $600-1200 would be an approximate price range for 100 invitation sets with this pocket format depending on the choices you make.


Pocket album open on lower left; pocket invitation I produced this summer on right.

Crafts of Colrain 2011: Visit my studio Nov. 13

I’m getting excited about this year’s Crafts of Colrain Studio Tour, Nov. 12-13, 10-5 p.m. My studio will be open only on Sunday, showing my calligraphic work and jewelry plus a few more things, and Joe Kurland’s photography and Yiddish songs & klezmer music. http://www.craftsofcolrain.com has a map, list of artists, places to stay and all you need to know to have a good day(s) in Colrain.

A new product for this year are gift cards. I had two designs printed, and when they arrived I got inspired to create some one-of-a-kind collage cards as well. I have a new card rack for gift cards, and it’s already full!

This is the “Dreydl Gift Card” design

and the “Oak Leaves Gift Card” design

Hurricane Irene in Colrain MA

We just regained our electricity, which had been out since Sunday morning, so now I can post a description of my experience. After a night of constant rain, I awoke to a roar, which was the little creek that runs down the side of our property and its tributaries. Later that morning my children and I went outside in our raincoats and boots (all of which were soaking wet within 10 minutes). We walked only a little way along our road because of large puddles and some damage and word of a downed electric line. We walked in the fields across the road and then checked in with our neighbors in both directions.

The small river that is the south boundary of our property, a little farther away, was a huge, churning grey mass of water moving fast and loudly. There were channels that hadn’t been there before. We walked into the field between our house and the river. Looking back at the road, a sheer cliff of dirt had been created at the edge of the road, covered by a 10-foot-wide waterfall. This waterfall was from a brook that was usually a small trickle. Looking down the river, we saw that the old barn in our neighbors’ field was being undercut by the river as it gouged a wider path through the bank. We turned to go back to the house, when I heard a thunder-like sound. I turned around to see the wing of the barn closest to the river fall into the river and be swept away.

This is the view of the barn taken during a previous autumn.

The Entire Barn, Photo by Joe Kurland

It was originally attached to a house that was severely damaged in the hurricane of 1938 and was removed before I lived here. It looked like a building that had been built section by section over a period of time. You can see how the river glides sedately some distance from the barn. It is a normal New England stream full of rocks and bordered by fields and woods. We enjoy wading in it in the summer.

This is a picture of it after the first wing fell off and after the river continued to undermine it until the mid-section collapsed as well. You can see how the water cut out a much larger space on the left. I have enjoyed having this barn as part of our landscape and am sad to see this damage.

The Barn After Irene, Photo by Joe Kurland

There are places closer to the center of town where our road is compromised or closed; fortunately, there is a way around the closed area. A small bridge is simply disconnected on one end. A trip to Shelburne Falls today took about twice the usual time. We saw the Deerfield River way below flood stage, but the Salmon Falls were a huge torrent. Here’s a view of the river at its peak—http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teTPIWmmb1M

It is humbling to witness such a storm.