November 25th, 2013
festive AND classy!
So I just wrote that subject line to the friend who is hosting us for Thanksgiving and belatedly realized that could be interpreted as a salutation, as in SHE’S the Thanksgiving Ho. Not cool if I want to score a second serving of pie.
It’s finally Fall weather here in Mayberry. The 90 degree weather has cooled to a balmy 65 and my thoughts turn to winter gardens and closed-toe shoes. Yesterday was one of those idyllic low-bar days. I had a short list of accomplish-able tasks that actually got done.
I did some gardening to get the bed ready for the lettuce crop- my favorite of the year. Mena helped for a bit, picking and choosing which plants would receive her loving attention and which would wither and die. She getting old enough now that her ‘helping’ is actually helpful. I have been waiting for this for a long time. Aside from the fresh salad greens every night, the main reason we do a vegetable garden is to demonstrate a bit of the food chain to our daughter. So, you know, come the zombie apocalypse she can forage for edibles in the woods. Yeah, you go there as a parent.
So, garden in, we came inside to ice the ninja gingerbread cookies we’d baked the day before. I don’t know what Martha Stewart has sold to the devil to make her cookies so perfect, but it was probably major. Those things are tough! Mena did not notice the glops in what was a fairly epic cookie fail.
I had put dinner into the slow cooker in the afternoon, so my next task was to organize the tiny cabinet that serves as the pantry. Mena got into it and edged me out and then went on to organize all the other cupboards in the kitchen. Again- waited a long time to get to there.
I don’t know why all this was so satisfying, but it really was. Life often feels like a malfunctioning treadmill- all you can do is run like a spaz and try not to fall flat on your face. Then you get a day where what you plan and what happens are pretty much in synch, and maybe even something extra is delivered, like your kid quietly sitting with her dad after dinner to play a game while you can apply yourself to a jigsaw puzzle. And you have the presence of mind to look up for a second and appreciate the rare and beautiful moment you are lucky enough to get right now.
I hope you have a few moments this week. Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukah!
November 14th, 2013
Yes, I have not posted in a dog’s age- since the summer? What the heck, time? Lots been going on at the New World Ketubah house. We started kindergarten! (one of us) We started a whole new business (another one of us, not me…yet) We acquired, through no effort of our own at all, two delicious remotely-cared-for babies, in the form of one delectable niece and one spectacular nephew who arrived within three weeks of each other. I shlepped Mena across the country to meet them a few weeks ago. She was much more interested in Bubbe’s trampoline and the age appropriate cousins who could enjoy said with her. And Fall, she got some of that good stuff too.
But what has shaken the cobwebs off to write today? (and hopefully gotten the momentum back to keep writing?) This!
There have been a flurry or articles about the confluence of Hanuka and Thanksgiving but honestly I have not gotten too excited about it until I saw one family’s Kickstarter campaign (successfully funded) to produce this awesome menorah for this special year. Thanks for getting my head into the holiday spirit Weintraub family!
October 4th, 2013
I’ve had a nice little flurry of ketubah orders for couples who have been together for a long time- 20 plus years- who can finally marry legally. It’s been such fun working with them and noticing the difference between couples who are just starting out on their life together and those who have been together and already know the drill. The is an assurance these women have (most of them are women with a few guy couples thrown in) about their relationships. They have families. They know what it takes to stay together for decades and there is an easy give and take, an understanding of compromise that comes from the doing for many years. It’s that depth of feeling and experience that makes me especially gratified when my work is chosen to represent their union. I feel lucky to be doing this work at this moment and being a small part of these inspiring stories.
house blessing image by Rachel Deitsch
August 16th, 2013
Here are a few fun wedding-y and some non-ketubah related fun things for your time-wasting pleasure:
Fun Urban Wedding
This is just the coolest. I would never work this hard, but I am very lazy.
Planet cake tutorial- for, y’know, your ‘spare’ time…
August 14th, 2013
This is very cool- an article about ketubahs for same sex couples in Huffington Post!
I have been doing same sex ketubahs since I started my business, and I’ve written a bit about my thoughts about same sex marriage. It would be nice if the law was one thing and religion was another but that does not seem to be the case, more and more these days. Anyway, I’m glad that the Supreme Court has at last ruled and maybe we can all get on with it. I loved being able to provide a marriage certificate where there was no legal document to compliment it, but I’ll be happy to have my ketubah hand alongside the marriage license as well.
August 12th, 2013
White Lake summer 2013
Summer has once again flown by. This is a momentous season because come next week, Mena will be an official school kid- no more pre-school! Kindergarten here we come!
We just got back from three lovely weeks back east. We were up in the catskills where my family has been going since we were kids. It doesn’t feel like summer to me until I see that lake. Mena runs feral with a gang of cousins from breakfast to dinner time, when we snag her, throw her in the lake for a ‘bath’ and send her off to bed. I had hoped to do some painting or drawing or ever think about painting or drawing while I was up there but somehow three weeks is not enough time to do all the lazing about I needed to do and still be productive. I have some new ketubah designs in the hopper, but frankly it takes a whole lot of percolating to get that stuff cooked. At this point I have just accepted that that’s how I roll.
Now we’re back in Mayberry which is a pretty lovely spot itself. Neighbors are touching base, returning from their various summer adventures. Life has shifted once again and change, as always, is a constant.
I hope you’ve had a tranquil, exciting, relaxing, invigorating, replenishing, productive summer my friends.
August 9th, 2013
While we were up in the Catskills, Cecil and I got the chance to steal away for a night to explore the area alone. We drove east to the Hudson River and landed in Rhinebeck, NY, home of the Beekman Arms, the oldest inn in America, supposedly. It was charming but definitely smelled about 250 years old. Rhinebeck is charming and olde-timey and we enjoyed a relaxing pint at the Liberty Public House on the main drag.
We spent the night at the Roxbury Motel, which is run by a set designer escapee from NYC. We stayed in the Star Trek Room- shiny everything- silver vinyl window shades, a warp speed ceiling (I can’t really think of another way to describe it) and all. Awe. Some.
The next day we drove back to the river to Hudson NY for a taste of civilization. We had a great locavore meal at Grazin Diner and bought a few trinkets for the house and my earlobes along Warren Street- the main drag.
This past trip we also did a day out to Storm King Art Center, an amazing 500 acre sculpture park. I was so moved and excited by the Maya Lin earthwork and the Andy Goldsworthy walls. For a while there I was sorely tempted to chuck ketubah design and take up my welding torch again. Might still.
The Hudson River valley is really a magical place, up and down. Jeri went to Grad school at Bard way way back and I got to know the area from weekends up there. I would take the Metro North train up the river- and while I think it’s a shame that the tracks monopolize the river’s edge- it’s a pretty spectacular view as a passenger. It’s an area rich in offerings and history and definitely a place that makes me a little sad to be an entire continent away. Thank goodness for frequent flyer mileage!
June 30th, 2013
Here’s some fun wedding stuff I’ve scouted on the web this week- wedding tattoos anyone? Maybe an image from your ketubah? We can make that happen!
This was an editorial on a stylish fun wedding- no ketubah but still super cute.
Summer is in full swing here- the temperature in Mayberry today will reach the mid 90′s and break 100 over the weekend. I am a very sensitive flower and my window of comfort has about a five degree range and 90 is way beyond it. Cecil grea up in New Orleans and when it gets sultry like this he just smiles and loosens up.
Mena is already three weeks into day camp and is surprisingly happy with a full schedule. We have a giant kiddie pool- set up out back, so big that even on a super hot day the kids emerge blue lipped and shivering. We’ve been hanging out on the patio behind the studio and enjoying the shade of the giant cypresses with a glass of rose on ice. No wonder I’m barely getting anything done!
Here’s what we’re eating to stay cool- salt cured salmon (gravlax) that my mom has been making for ages. Here’s how I do it:
Start with a nice fresh side of salmon, preferably skin on, but I’ve done it without and it’s fine too.
Mix 1/4 cup of kosher salt with a tablespoonful of sugar and a healthy pinch of ground pepper. In lieu of sugar, a bunch of fresh dill is nice too.
Rub the salt mixture into the flesh of the fish, if you have dill, layer it on top.
Wrap the fish tightly in cling wrap and set in the fridge under weights for about 48 hrs. My method is to set the fish in a pyrex dish then top it with another slightly smaller pyrex and load a bunch of heavier stuff into that pan. I have a tiny fridge so there is no room to spare. The pyrex helps collect any expelled moisture from the fish.
After two days, remove the fish, unwrap, rinse and slice thin. It’s almost sushi-like. I like to serve it with creme fraiche (I’m fancy like that), and dill on a melba toast type cracker. A little fizzy wine and maybe an easy rustic fruit tart and we’re happy as clams!
Enjoy the weekend, loyal reader!
June 28th, 2013
I am thisclose to launching a new artist at New World Ketubah- Chris Cozen. I met Chris about a year ago when I printed a blank ketubah text for her to paint on for a friend’s wedding (I am always happy to help an artist with a custom ketubah project). Turned out she lives right in town here and when she came by to pick up the print, we chatted and I got curious. I looked her up and fell in love with her work. She paints in luscious rich tones and has a delightful and fanciful imagination. She says she just lets it come as she paints- total opposite from the way I work. I plot and plan and sketch. I wish I could improvise that way. What I love most about it is how happy the images are. The flowers, birds and beasts dance around the page- exactly as you’d want them to reflect your joy on your wedding day. We’ve been working together for a while, translating her work into ketubahs. I hope to launch them next week, but here is a sneak peek at some of the new collection- Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Ketubahs by Chris Cozen, exclusively for New World Ketubah!
Morning Bright Ketubah by Chris Cozen
Arise Ketubah by Chris Cozen
June 21st, 2013
I have some few links I want to share. Some tasty wedding ideas and some chin stroking thought on marriage, in this, the ketubah season. Did you catch this article in the New York Times by A. O. Scott? I will quote forthwith- this really resonated with me-
The idea that lifetime love equals long-term labor pops up in rehearsal-dinner and anniversary-party toasts, and in parental advice and pastoral counseling sessions. It is one of those kernels of common sense that always seems to go without saying, but that also somehow requires constant reiteration.
Here are two wedding ideas- jewelry made from broken china- interesting possibility for the plate broken under the chuppah?
And this lovely ring bearer plate- DIY!
This was a highly domestic week. For whatever reason the advent of official summer, possibly some kind of avoidance impulse, I wanted to spend this week just being in my home and doing home and mom stuff. Odd, I know since ketubah season is in full swing, but I can be perverse that way.
I spent one day baking desserts, (I make this brownie and it’s out of this world), and bunch of lasagnas to freeze and give away. I went to the farmer’s market with Mena- it’s quicker when I go alone, but she gets more interested in the fruits and vegetables we get if she helps select them. Plus it’s nice to have the company. She always picks out a potted flower or two to add to the garden when we go. I am not the kind of person who thinks about flowers and neither is Cecil so thanks to Mena we actually have some peeking out between the kale. I took Mena to the zoo and the pony rides at Griffith Park. She had this notion about riding lessons so I thought she should experience being on a horse for reals. The twice I’ve been on one I was impressed by how high you are off the ground. She went on the medium sized ponies once and that was it, lessons tables for another year or two. All in all, it was very pleasant, being domestic. I kind of hope the spell will break and I’ll be a bit more on my game next week, but the muse has been elusive of late and I can only sit and wait for her next appearance.
Meanwhile, I bake.