Saturday, December 31, 2011

Great Online Crafting Resources

Pin It Now! I love it when I don't always have to reinvent the wheel to do creative things at home.  There are so many great resources out there that are available to personalize your life, and I like to look to other bloggers to find them.  With this said, I found some really great templates at Martha Stewart.  This is still a little too commercial for me, but it gives me some ideas on things that I can make.  I can take the ideas and then pin them so I have them ready when I need inspiration.  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Celebrating 14 years of LIFE after the car accident

Pin It Now! The more I think about it, the more I feel that my life is Upcycled.  In 1998 on New Years Eve (I was 17 years old), I was driving to a friends house for a sleepover with my brother Ben and my friend Megan.  It was a 45 minute drive and we were going early enough so that we would be off the road when there was a possibility of drunk drivers being out there.  We were almost to Lansing (driving on the highway) when a car facing the wrong direction hit the front right side of my car and we literally flew off of the highway.  We were almost airborne down the embankment and continued to travel at high speed through sapling trees on the side and into a tree so large the police told my brother that he could not wrap his hands around it.  I do not remember very much of those few seconds.  Upon impact, my foot that was pressing the break, go jumbled up and I was knocked unconscious, slumped over the dashboard.

That single moment changed the path of the rest of my life.  In a matter of seconds I went from being almost an adult to being like a baby again.  I was cut out of the car with the jaws of life and rushed to the hospital going in and out of consciousness for 11 hours.  I woke up after having the first of 9 reconstructive surgeries in a hospital bed.  The Doctor did not know if I would ever be able to walk again with my right foot.  I woke up and for some reason- I chose Life- that didn't mean that I was going to die.  That meant that I was going to have the outlook that I was going to recover and go through life like everyone else.  

Looking back 14 years later, I don't remember all of what I had to go though those first few months..It is a fog of pain, but I tried never let it bother me.  I know that I could have chosen to sulk and wonder "why me" for the rest of my life.  I kept up (to the most that I was able) doing so of what I did before- my involvement with a youth group, finishing my senior year of school..all the while going 3 times a week to physical therapy and having my family help me do the things that I couldn't do while I was bound to a wheel chair.  I used crutches as much as I could to get around so that I would not be seen as handicap.  I also like to think of the advantages that I got from this label- bigger handicap hotel rooms when we went on vacation, jumping the line at Universal Studios, front row parking at concerts.  The worse parts of the outcome seem to be just dealing with the insurance company - Hanover/ Citizens, why don't like to pay on legitimate claims.   It still effects me every day.  My body does not always agree with what I want to do since my ankle has almost no movement.  I have to rely on other parts of my body to do the things that it can do to compensate for this.  But- Thank God- most days (and thanks to my Physical Therapists that I currently go to) you cannot tell that I have this handicap. 

Since the accident my entire path in life changed, but I love where it ended up.  If it were not for this horrible twist of fate, I would not be the wife, mother, sister, friend, that I am today. 

Going into 2012...I want to remember one thing- Choose Life..Choose Happiness..Choose Fun..Have Faith.. and always look to green side of the fence. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Loving My Poor Man's Silk Screen

Pin It Now! I started making a few different freezer paper stencils to try out. I am a volunteer adviser for a girls teen youth group called Koach BBG.  They are doing a banner for a competition that they have every winter break where they compete against other Bnai Brith Chapters.  They needed some letters on it, so I suggested that they print out the words and then I gave them the Freezer Paper and an exacto knife.  It was really easy for the girls to do (just time consuming for all of the words).  They then ironed it onto felt.  This was synthetic felt made out of my favorite recycled bottle material called EcoFi.  I would usually iron it with a hot iron, but that would melt the material.  The iron had to be set on low and pressed very fast.  They then the painted over the stencil and it looked really nice! I will post a photo after they turn it in on Monday. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Faux Silk Screening technique!

Pin It Now! I really would love to have all of the equipment on my wish list, but it is really hard to have all of the crafting supplies out there.  I saw a technique on - I am momma hear me roar -that is an awesome alternative!!   

Materials you need-

An exacto knife 
freezer paper
iron & ironing board
cutting mat -optional

How easy is that!

Tutorials using this technique to get your materials ready!

Presents for Bloggers

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This is from, but I am sharing with you!
Writing this blog is a labor of love. And while reciprocity is definitely not expected or required, if you did want to show a little Chanukah love – to me or any of your favorite bloggers – here are eight great ways.
#1. Comment on our blogs – Comments are such a huge source of encouragement for bloggers. They let us know that we’re not alone, that we’re blogging to real people, not computer bots. When a post resonates with you, please (continue to) take a second to let your favorite bloggers know.
#2. Like our blogs on Facebook –  I’m sure it’s similar for other bloggers, too. The social networking power of Facebook is awesome – and by liking all your favorite blogs, you get in on that fun! (Pssst… come like Baby Bear Hugs on Facebook if you haven’t already.)
#3. Interact with us on Facebook - Liking your favorite bloggers on Facebook is fabulous – but even better is interacting with us on our Facebook walls. Respond to questions, ask questions of your own, offer support, and “like” our updates. 
#4. Tell your friends about our blogs – When you take the time to tell your ‘real life’ friends about your favorite bloggers, that is the ultimate compliment.  Your personal recommendations are golden! Thank you – and keep it up!
#5. Subscribe to our blogs – Sometimes life gets busy, and we forget to check in with our favorite bloggers. That’s why subscribing to a daily email update is so great. Once a day, we pop into your email box to say hi.
Thanks for all of your support!

Making Teaching Fun

Pin It Now! I love teaching and I try to make lessons very interactive for my Hebrew School Students.  Not only do I love teaching, I also feel that it is a really important part of the Jewish development of my students to have a connection to what I am teaching.  The part that makes it challenging is that it is a secondary school, so they have already had class that day, or they have to get up early on a Sunday to come to class.  Enter the Smart Board, the new tool that the Synagogue was given to help our Students to connect to our curriculum.

I have used the smart board for things like poll everywhere {which they LOVE, but can only do sparingly for the WOW factor}, to show the idea of different prayers, and of course YOUtube.

I would really like to see a teacher use one during a lesson.  I was looking online at for lessons that I could use as samples, but they seem pretty remedial and uninteresting.  My teaching goal for Hebrew school is to make it different from the way that they are used to learning in 'regular' school.  If I try to engage them in the same way that a primary school teacher does, then they are not very receptive. Update- I am going to go to Hillel Day School this week to see a teacher using the board during a lesson!

click for the link
Please send me a great lesson plan so I can see what this thing really does! (in notebook)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thankful for Kisses!

Pin It Now! This morning Baby Bear woke up at 4:00am and we brought her in the bed with Mr. BBH. She woke me up at a more normal with kisses and a "muh muh" sound that went with them. What a way to start the day

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Spinning makes everything all better!

Pin It Now! Spinning classes are my newest obsession.  [I would have to say that it is OK to have an obsession or addiction to an aerobic activity though.]  I can't get enough of spinning and I even think about it when I am not doing it.  When I hear certain songs or a great beat, I wish that I was on the bike.  Besides burning calories, it is a great time to clear my head, push my limits and dAnCe!  The exercise facility were I go had really bad spinning bikes that were old and broken down, but last week they got new bikes and it has made my ride much less stressful. You never knew when the seat would fall or slide back and had to be really careful which is hard when you are peddling at 90+ MPH.

I also LOVE to go to R3- Real Rider Revolution . The R3 classes use a 360 bike that is stationary but moves in all directions as you control the bike.   It is an incredible workout because you mix the cardio and resistance the the regular spinning bikes by engaging your core for standing positions and using your upper body.  If R3 only had babysitting, then I would be there every day!

Spinning Bike

Real Ryder Spinning Bike
I just started spinning now because I was injured in a car accident almost 14 years ago.  I had 9 reconstructive surgeries on it and it does not have very much movement in one ankle.  I recently started going to physical therapy again and my amazing physical therapist Katie from DMC RIM Novi has made such a difference in my life.  I cannot run (something that I used to love to do) and have not felt that aerobic/endorphin 'high' for a really long time and I get that from spinning.  I would not have had the movement in my knees before and I am thrilled that I finally am seeing progress in my injury.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

digital savvy crafting & my 2012 wish list

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Let me start by saying that you don't need any fancy equipment to craft, but if I could, there are some really cool new products that I want to try this year. They would also enable me to do things very easily that I used to need a lot of equipment for {Just FYI -I have no affiliation with any of these products}

The first one is the Silhouette an electronic cutting machine that you hook up to your computer and can design: heat transfers for customizing anything with fabric, vinyl wall art, etching designs for glass, temporary tattoos, and paper crafts like cards and scrapbook pages. It is similar to the cricut, but looks more advanced and more custom then what I think that the cricut can do.

The second one is Simply Screen™ Silk Screen Kit by Plaid. It is a kit similar to this machine I had as a kid called Print Gocco. The Simply screen kit lets you design an image on your computer that you print out and use to burn the design into a silk screen with a light that you can use to silk screen anything you want for 20 times. You are limited to the size of the screen, but it saves you a lot of money on equipment for creating your own screens. If that is too difficult for you, you can just buy some of the premade Simply Screen™ Silk Screen Stencils™ and Simply Screen™ Ink. There are so many fabric patterns that I want to try with this machine!

The third is the Cannon EOS Rebel T3 Metallic Gray 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit so that I can take better quality pictures

The fourth is Project Runway™ Limited Edition Combination Machine and the Project Runway™ Limited Edition Serger.

On the Combination machine you can upload designs from your computer to the sewing machine and it will embroider them on fabric. It would be a great tool so that I could personalize the clothing and crafts that I make.

The Serger would leave my old bernina serger in the dust..No more ripping out and starting over with these smooth seams and edges!

Combination Machine


And Lastly {for now} Epson Artisan 725 Series All-in-One It was voted the best Craft Printer by Babble and it would make a great all-in-one business center were I could scan, print, and copy my heart out! It is also usable to print out images off of a memory stick without hooking it up to a computer. {Preferably it would be hooked up to a Mac with the latest and greatest Adobe Creative Suite}

learning to talk

Pin It Now! It is so cool to hear Baby Bear try to imitate new words and sounds. Her new thing today is - "num a num". This morning she was saying "num a num a num" to the dogs when she gave them their scoop of food and then again when she wanted to taste my yogurt. I guess that is her word for food!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Recycle Crazy

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I am a freecycle maniac, I admit it! I love to save something from the landfill {but not junk}. I am not a garbage collector, I only take really nice things that should not be tossed out in the first place.

I would have NEVER done this growing up. Living in Israel I learned the art of Upcycling. People would intentionally put things that they wanted other people to take out really nice where the garbage was so that anyone walking by could just take it. We got lots of really nice furniture that way for the apartment that we lived in in Tel Aviv.

So yesterday my neighbor had a whole huge box of toys that they put out to the trash. There were 2 doll strollers, a play tent with a crawling tube, probably 10 stuffed animals, a vase and more. This was all really nice stuff that should have been donated to Salvation Army.My husband saw them in the garage and rolled his eyes. {He know that we have found really awesome stuff that was being tossed out!} I took them into my garage and posted them on freecycle. We kept this doll stroller and one doll (that I sent through the washing machine last night). Baby Bear was so happy and pushed around the stroller everywhere she went.

Tutorial for a great Holiday gift

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A friend of mine from summer camp and high school has a great blog called The New Glasers. Her theme for this month is No Spend Month with resonates with a lot of people in this economy. I wanted to create a great project that could be done with things that you already had (or could buy really cheaply) also having no crafting skills.
You will need a fabric placemat, fabric glue or sewing supplies, binder clips and hop on over to The New Glasers to make it!

Thank you Hilly G!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Orders to fulfill!

Pin It Now! I love to get things ready for shipping because that means
a) someone is getting a package in the mail (always fun)
b) I have room to make more!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Table & Chairs - Make it your Own

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My sister is the painter, so she took Baby Bear's blanket and drew the design onto the top of the table

Table & Chairs

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Baby Bear at Ikea

Our Baby Bear needs a fun play area to keep her imagination growing. She is just at the age where she is starting to learn how to sit at a table and draw, so I decided that she needs a table. they also have one at the place she goes to babysitting at while I work out and without fail, the first thing she always does is go to the table and sit down. She will get one crayon and color for all of 10 seconds, but this is very coordinated and concentrated for a 14 month old.

I have been looking all over the internet for a table and chair set that we could get second hand and re-purpose. After 4 weeks I decided to bite the bullet and we took a family trip to Ikea. It is a love-hate relationship. Lets be honest: I LOVE Ikea, but I hate that I cannot just leave with one thing!

We wanted to just pick up the table and a baby gate, but ended up with
  • Baby gate + extension
  • glass bowl (on sale, the Mr. said we needed one)
  • 3 packs of straps to keep cabinets closed that little fingers can get into
  • plastic baby cuttlery (to go with our cups and bowls we already have. I will OK this as something that we did need, because they were out of it when we bought the set)
  • plastic potty (not sure why I really wanted that at the time, she has not even close to that)
Baby Bear really loved going to Ikea because she got to try out all of the pint-sized chairs and toys while there. Plus since we signed up for the Ikea Family we got a free ice cream. Mr. shared it with Baby Bear (who took it over for the last few bites as seen above) then got his own after she took it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

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are a few of Baby Bear Hug's Creations that you can purchase on Etsy

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We are committed to creating huggable baby items that you (and mother nature) can cherish for years to come.

Have a favorite color? Please let us know and we will custom make something for you.

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