WIP: Chuppah Panel

Chuppah panel in progress

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Portable Personal Altar

I’ve been thinking about this idea for a while, and this is my first execution. It’s two 3″ hoops that have been put together with a tiny hinge to create a locket. In this case, it’s a personal portable altar for me. One side has the Kohenet symbol on it and the other side has my own personal totem/icon/symbol on it. It’s stitched on simple muslin.  I transferred the images with Sulky pen, and inked the word “Kohenet,” which is Hebrew on the left with my fountain pen after.  I really like the effect instead of stitching it this time.  On the right, the pomegranate was transferred with red Sulky pen, and I used that along with this nifty dimensional specialty floss to give it some nice shading.  In the center of the pomegranate is the letter Kuf, which I’ve written a hundred times — but kind of goofed up here.  Kuf is the first letter of my Hebrew name, Ketzirah, and is also symbolic of a needle — which is totally appropriate too.  It’s also means monkey, which I dig! Overall I’m pretty happy with the outcome. I learned a few things that I’ll be sure to improve on for the next...

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Sacrifice/Offering – Concept Statement

“There are three basic concepts underlying qorbanot [offerings]: giving, substitution and coming closer.” (Judaism.com) This project is intended to explore what it means to sacrifice something and/or give an offering. Our modern Western society is very disconnected from the idea of sacrifice. This is not only in spiritual terms, but also in every day life.  There has been an amazing cultural shift. Only a couple of generations back, people were regularly asked to sacrifice for the greater good of society, or just their own families. Imagine if the government of today asked us to ration a single product like coffee, let alone everything that was rationed in WWII. In ancient and Eastern religions, physical offerings and sacrifices were a core part of the experience. But in modern Western religions this concept of individual sacrifice, especially from the idea of giving a physical offering of some kind to enable the receipt of something else, is mostly forgotten. There are some vestiges of this in modern life.  In Jewish tradition there are true sacrifice rituals that are still observed by some such as the kapporot ritual of Yom Kippur and Pidyon HaBen (redeeming of first born) ritual, and it was a core part of the ancient tradition.  Catholics have a remnant of this concept visible in the lighting of prayer candles, at least to outside eyes.   But for many people raised in modern America physical religious offerings are truly a foreign practice. Many people may look at money or time as what is offered now, but for many people it’s not really a sacrifice.  A wise friend has always told me, “for it to be a sacrifice – it has to hurt a little.”  So what does it mean that so many people give offerings now that are not a sacrifice. And is it possible that people are making sacrifices, but they are not acknowledged or respected? To understand what the difference between an offering and a sacrifice is, we should start at the beginning with...

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Darkness Light Wisdom Life

Dimensions: 2.5″ x3.5″ Fabric: Muslin Flosses: silk, cotton, rayon Stitches: stem, satin, whipped running, detached blanket, blanket, straight, painting I made this ACEO as part of the Phat Quarter “Comics” swap. The requirement was that the piece have images and text. I thought, being a bit of a comic book geek that I’d find some iconic image in one my comic books and just embroider that. I blogged about the process earlier, and you can see my original sketch on the post. I couldn’t find anything I liked. Then I started thinking I could do something interesting that was more inline with my normal “embroidered prayers” artwork. During morning prayers one morning, I had an idea. One of my morning prayers includes this bit of text: The water conceived and gave birth to darkness The fire conceived and gave birth to light The wind conceived and gave birth to wisdom The fire conceived and gave birth to light (Adapted from the Talmud by R’Jill Hammer, from the Kohenet Siddur) Needless to say, that’s what inspired this piece. If you read my main blog, you know I’ve been working a lot with the elements lately — so this was a great chance to begin exploring them through my art. Generally I’m very particular about my stitches, but this time I was focused on getting the sketched look I had in my actual sketch.  The feel that came through in the sketch and especially the final design just really worked for me.  I really liked all the shading and texture of it.   I decided to experiment with a more “thread painting” technique, although in this case I would say “thread sketching.”  Thread painting tends to have a polish and perfection to it that I wasn’t looking for here.   For the floss I used a variety of choices.  Much of it variegated Kreinik silks that I’ve had forever, but never enough left to do a large piece.  Since this is a very small piece it gave me...

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Shevat: There’s a Light

Jan 10, 10 Shevat: There’s a Light

Posted by in Holidays & Holy Days

Shevat (שְׁבָט) is a breath of fresh air. We may have a way to go, but we can see the light at the end tunnel. We are released from the bonds of Tevet (טֵבֵת) and get our first promise of the spring to come with the holiday of Tu b’Shevat (ט״ו בשבט‎).

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