Archive by Author

Jewish New Year Celebration

18 Aug

aug-jny-001This is the time of year when many who celebrate the Jewish New Year begin to think about the upcoming high holidays, which include Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and are considered the two holiest days of the year.   Rosh Hashanah, a two day holiday, is both a solemn and happy occasion. This is a beautiful time of year, perfect for family celebrations, prayer, new beginnings and an opportunity to let friends and family know how much you care.  Rosh Hashanah this year begins at sundown Sunday, September 13, 2015 and the high holiday period ends on Wednesday, September 23rd with Yom Kippur, a day to pray, repent and, according to Jewish tradition, it is also the day when God decides the fate of each human being for the year ahead.

aug-jny-002Many send personalized Jewish New Year Cards during this time to their family and friends. There are many sentiments you can put on your personalized holiday cards including “L’shanah Tovah” which is the traditional greeting that means “A Good Year”.  Also it’s customary to say “L’shanah Tovah Tikatevu” which means “May you be inscribed for a good year”.   This year we approach the new Jewish year of 5776. Sending Jewish New Year greeting cards is a lovely way to start off the year.  By doing so, you are wishing those close to you and those you care about a healthy and happy new year filled with joys and love.

Many people go to temple on Rosh Hashanah and afterward enjoy a “seder” (holiday meal) with those close to them.  Traditional seders usually include dipping apples into honey in the hopes of a sweet year along with other wonderful and symbolic foods.  Typically, delicious round challah bread, sometimes with raisins in it, is served, to symbolize the cycle of the year. And other delights may include roast chicken, brisket, and yummy honey cake along with other sweet desserts.

aug-jny-003The high holiday period ends with the Yom Kippur at a break-fast dinner.  Since most people are in temple most of the day and typically fast (no eating) that day, the dinner meal is traditionally called break-fast (breaking the fast) and features a lighter, dairy menu often including fish such as lox and bagels, eggs in dishes like blintz souffle and noodle kugel, along with sweet desserts.

If you celebrate the holiday, we wish you a L’shanah Tovah and all the blessings of a sweet and happy year ahead.

Best wishes,


Bookplates and Book Stickers

11 Aug

aug-bookSticker-001Summer is a perfect time to curl up and read a good book.  There are so many summer reading lists out there.  From Oprah’s book list to your local library’s list, there are reads that are great for every taste.  Many people I know love to share their books, if they don’t take them out from their local library.  If you are someone who buys books, and loves to read all year long, you might also be someone who loves to share their books.  If so, a book sticker with you name on it is great to stick in the book so that hopefully it will make its way back to you at some point.

According to Webster’s, a book plate is “a piece of paper stuck on the inside front cover of a book that shows the name of the person who owns the book.”  But placement doesn’t really matter. I have one friend who is a voracious reader. She opts to order Address Labels that are long and thin and puts the stickers on the binder of books she lends out to friends.  This way, when it’s on someone’s book shelf, it’s easy for them to remember that the book belongs to her.  As much as she loves to share, she loves to get books returned too so she can pass them on to her next friend to read!

aug-bookSticker-002There really is no difference between a book sticker and a book plate.  Both are small stickers, identification labels, that have a name on them and sometimes wording like “From the Library of” and are often placed on the inside cover of a book.  Book stickers are great for adult books, for professional office books, for those with cookbook collections, and also for children’s books.  Children love stickers with their names on them.  In fact, many people love to gift a set of bookplates along with a new book. They are usually a very appreciated present and typically not too expensive.

A very nice gift for a teacher is a set of bookplates too.  Teachers usually have a lot of books in their classrooms and would love to have a book sticker in them, such as “From the Classroom of Mrs. Harris”.   Sometimes we see imprints like “Stolen from Catherine Smith” which is amusing, but also serves the purpose of identifying the owner.  Or, you might see “ex libris,” meaning “from the library of” before an imprinted name.  The only books that should not have bookplates adhered to them are collector books, as it diminishes the value, to have a sticker pasted to it.

Happy reading!

Best wishes,






Behind the Scenes with Museware Pottery

4 Aug

One of our favorite lines of pottery is Museware.  It’s a brand we’ve carried for many years and for good reason.  Today, we wanted to take you behind-the-scenes with this wonderful company.

In 1998sheree2, Sheree Burlington walked into a local paint-your-own-pottery studio and became completely obsessed. After three years of owning and operating a trio of studios, she began searching for a more creative direction.  In 2005 Sheree rented studio space in a historic mill in Manchester, New Hampshire. Fifteen hundred square feet of exposed brick walls, ancient & scarred natural wood floors, cool, rusted pulleys mounted to the ceiling.  And No Heat. She showed up with a bunch of paint and some brushes.  Years later, and in a new location, they work daily to create the hand painted, personalized pottery gifts we love, known as Museware Pottery.  Sheree is the designer and owner and refers to herself as “a licensed artist, seeker, writer, storyteller, sporadic blogger, pattern maker, humorist, singer and shameless self promoter.”


Their unique company offers a wonderfully handmade line of ceramic family plates, platters, photo frames & more.  They are perfect for the many celebrations in life such as a long-awaited reunion, a happy housewarming, milestone birthday, retirement or other special family occasions. Each piece of their pottery is individually hand-painted. No two are exactly alike.


This production table shot shows a typical wedding season day.

The Wedding Invitation Platter is their most popular personalized wedding gift. Conceived over a cup of hot tea & a Snickers bar, the exact language of an invitation or any text provided  is handwritten, in cursive, in the background on the plate.


The Sketchbook collection is their newest addition to the line. It’s hand drawn, simple & modern. Plates, platters, vases and photo frames with a smile. Hand-painted and fired in a kiln and a perfect treasured item.  They are a gift that’s fresh, fun and personal. With a focus on the ever popular monogram, each pottery gift features a unique, rendered hand-sketched illustrations.


Lots of testing goes into new product development. Each time they pulled a test piece from the kiln, they’d say “That’s my favorite!” “We love this 13″ plate with the house design for a housewarming gift – it’s our favorite – next to the monogram, owl, wreath, and flowers!”

aug-museware-002Museware Pottery gifts are entirely handmade. Real human beings handle every step of its creation, from the Italian guys hand pressing, trimming & cleaning the clay to the New Hampshire gal who carefully wraps, packs & ships a finished platter.

aug-museware-003aTheir designs are produced on bisque – unfinished white earthenware clay that is hand pressed & kiln fired to 1900 degrees. The bisque arrives by shipping container, eventually finding its way to their noisy, dusty mill. It arrives by skid and the guy who delivers it knocks on the door in such a distinctive way that they all know who it is. Once unpacked, each piece is carefully inspected for flaws. It’s rare that a piece comes out of the box and onto the shelf without some work. Bumps and other small imperfections are smoothed away with a stilt stone. Irregular bottoms are leveled by rubbing the pottery foot across the abrasive surface of a kiln shelf. It’s a noisy, grindy process and the air around the table gets cloudy with bisque dust.

All of this humanity means that everything about Museware Pottery is imperfect. The shape is imperfect – some slightly misshapen, others embossed with the maker’s finger prints. The painting is imperfect – humidity and temperature plays a role on thickness & viscosity. Since their studio is in an antique mill, if it’s windy outside, it’s windy inside. Even moving air can change the outcome.  The end result is that each piece is truly one of a kind. No two pieces are ever exactly alike, and that’s how they like it.  That’s art – perfectly imperfect.  Perfectly unique.  Try and enjoy Museware Pottery – we think you’ll love it too.