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.

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.

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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.


Lunch box/Bento box–Found!

My sister gave me a stainless steel bento box when my son was young. I think she got it in Taiwan when she was studying T’ai Chi there. A bento box is a single container or one divided into sections for carrying a meal, used in Japan and other countries. When he started preschool, it was used daily for his lunches. That pleased me, as I was always searching for non-plastic alternatives for food containers. Later, with two children, I looked for another one. I found other parents with similar concerns who had started websites about healthy lunches and containers ( I found out that the term bento box is used as a metaphor as well, for something with varied content, and more. However, no one had these stainless steel boxes.

In the meantime I did find reusable sandwich bags by SnackTaxi ( in the Linden Hills food co-op in Minneapolis, where I used to shop when I lived in an apartment near Lake Harriet. To my surprise, I found that the creators of these easy-to-clean bags are in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, not far from where I live now. We bought some, and they are useful. But I was still looking for those stainless steel boxes.

Fourteen years later, I walked into Green Fields Market, our local cooperative grocery store, and there on the shelf was not only a very similar box, but it came with a smaller container as well (!) I felt like telling everyone around me how exciting this was, but I only let it bubble over a little when I got to the cashier. She smiled.

Lunch containers

Sand and Stars Invitation

Vayishlakh invitation set

This is an invitation created for the parsha “Vayishlakh,” when Jacob is promised that his descendants will be as numerous as the sands of the sea. The design includes that verse, the sand and the sea, and, referring to the earlier promise to Avraham, that his descendants will be uncountable like the stars in the sky, the invitation was printed on a paper impressed with gold foil stars. The invitation was adhered to a glistening brass-colored paper and hand-cut to reveal the Hebrew verse at the top and the star shape at the bottom.

My new style of adding an illustration to the respond card envelope is shown here.

Gift cards: a good idea?

Gift cards seem like they’d be a great solution to the problem of what to buy a bar or bat mitzvah child. On the surface, such cards seem to be a very personal gift. If you want to buy the person a book, but don’t know what she or he would like, you buy a card from a national chain, right? They buy a book, it is a gift from you. However, it turns out that there are problems that can arise with gift cards.

Throughout the year, I meet with invitation clients planning a bar or bat mitzvah, and have planned them myself, as well, so I’ve heard many tales of gift woes.

Here are some of the problems that have cropped up with gift cards. Most important, beware that some cards do not maintain their value. They are set to decrease in value with time since purchase or activation. Hidden fees and actual decreases may be part of the card agreement you enter into on its purchase. That’s the worst.

But there are other problems, as well. In my case, I found that it wasn’t so easy to have the correct card/gift certificate in the purse or pocket when I found myself in a store. Also, consider whether the person lives near the store the card is from. Even a small, local place could be a problem: the card might have an inconvenient expiration date or the store might go out of business before the person gets to the store with the gift card in hand.

There is also the chance that the store won’t have anything the person wants. I remember once receiving a card for a major national toy store chain. Finally getting to the store, I was dismayed at the quality of the toys, didn’t findanything to buy and eventually gave the gift card to a charity.

While a check might seem less personal, it isn’t so bad to give a check or cash if you don’t have a physical gift to give. It gives the recipient much more flexibility and increases the chance that the money will be spent on something of long-term value.