Discovering Waldorf- The Magic Onions

Thank you Donni for featuring me as a guest on The Magic Onions

I discovered The Magic Onions through the weekly Friday's Nature Table- where bloggers link together to celebrate creativity, nature and childhood. 
Donni also has an Etsy store: MY FAIRYFOLK SHOp- Where she makes adorable Waldorf inspired creations.
I have always enjoyed her Discovering Waldorf series and was very excited when Donni asked me to write an article.
Please click the link to read: Encouraging Art and Creativity
By Ren Lady Of The Arts


The Kids Are All Right

Dr. J read some good reviews about this film and we rented it the other night.  The film generated much buzz as a Sundance hit in 2010- where is was excluded from competition for having missed the submission deadline for consideration. 
The film is about a lesbian couple whose biological children search for their sperm donor.  Mark Ruffalo plays the donor and  Julianne Moore and Annette Bening are excellent in their roles as a couple. I also really loved Mia Wasikowska who plays their daughter- she reminds me of a young Gwyneth Paltrow.  Ms.Wasikowska is a Australian actress whose mother is a Polish photographer.  She lived in Poland for a year while her mother worked on a project chronicling her own immigration from Poland to Australian.  Mia also starred in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland this year with Johnny Depp.

Dr. J and I both really enjoyed this film.

Have you seen it?


Pierogi- Polish Dumplings- Easy And Good

Pierógi are a staple of Polish cuisine.  Originally considered a poor man's food these dumplings eventually became common in most Polish homes and festive traditions. 
They are made with dough filled with either potatoes and cheese, mushrooms, sauerkraut or meat.  
My grandmother also makes them with fresh strawberries and sugar.  

Traditionally on Christmas Eve Poles eat a plethora of pierogi and uszka -(which translate literally as 'little ears' and are made using wild mushrooms). 
I grew up eating these at every celebration- In University it was a tradition among my Polish and Ukrainian friends to have Pierogi Parties where we would eat hundreds of them.

To make classic pierogi I follow this traditional method passed down by my babcia's, mother and aunts:

The dough is made using water, egg and flour- this unleavened dough is then cut into circles using a glass-

Filling is added into the middle and folded over to create a half circle.  
Pressing down on the ends the dumplings are sealed. 

Once they are formed they are placed in a pot of boiling water with salt- 
They will all sink to the bottom of the pot- Once they are all floating they are ready to be taken out. 
(This process takes less than five minutes)

Once they are removed from the water give them a quick dunk in cold water then lightly grease them.
They are ready to eat now-
However: for amazing pierogi fry up a bit of onions, kielbasa and add the pierogi to the pan to brown! 
Most people love to eat these with sour cream- 

To make the dough:
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 mixed egg (combine with water)
1 cup warm water- slowly mix in until you have a sticky dough consistency- 
let sit for 30 min then roll out and cut into circles using a standard drinking glass

To make the filling:
2 large potatoes (peeled, boiled and mashed)
2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
dash of cream or milk-
salt and pepper to taste

Basically just make mash potatoes and add the cheese when you mash them. 
This recipe yields about forty

Click to view how to make authentic Polish cabbage rolls- goabki


Easy Play Dough, Playdough, Play-doh!

I am not reinventing the wheel here-
This is a perfect rainy day (in my case) / snowy day (perhaps in yours?) project.  
It takes less than twenty minutes to make and I have seen both monkeys and adults alike, spend hours playing with this-
We used food coloring, counting the drops and experimenting with color intensity-
Great opportunity to talk about primary and secondary colors- 

Questions to consider while creating:
What measurements are we using to make the dough? Which is the tablespoon? Which is the cup?
What combination of colors would you use to make this color?
What materials (medium) are we using to create?
Could this be considered a sculpture? (yes- it is three dimensional art)

The recipe to yield six big balls-
flour- 4 cups
warm water- 4 cups
salt- one cup
creme tartar- 2 tablespoons
Oil- 2 tablespoons

This is the easy part: Mix all together in a handled pot and stir over medium heat for about ten minutes- 
constantly stirring- don't stop!
Then toss it into a metal mixing bowl with flour on the bottom and as soon as it cools enough to separate  knead each piece with a bit of flour until you get the consistency you desire. Then add color.

If you have pets you need to be careful that they don't eat this- because of the salt in the dough they mistake it for people food and obviously it could make them sick =:(


Ottoman by Pal and Smith

How cool are these stackable ottoman by Pal + Smith?
I would love a set of four for family game nights. 
If you have not already seen their work I strongly recommend you take a look at this California based design company's portfolio: 



Pine Cone Art

We collected some pine cones on our walk in the park- I had some turquoise paint left over from a pervious project so we decided to paint them-

I ended up painting the outside of the can we used for our project and it now sits on my desk as my pencil holder. 
My intention is to hang the pine cones up but for now they are being played with while not resting in a bowl.
The monkeys had fun doing this quick project- in hind sight I should have used smaller brushes- it would have made the project last longer and we could have gotten into the groves better. 

Questions to consider while creating:
What combination of colors would you use to make this color?
What materials (medium) are we using to create?
Could this be considered a sculpture? (yes- it is three dimensional art)


Deuces Wild And Impractically Comfortable- Vegas Style

Ever wonder what happens to all those old Vegas casinos playing cards?
Well apparently some of them are used to make furniture by BRC Designs.
This collection called Deuces Wild come in both red and blue recycled playing cards.
They make chairs: 
And tables:
In the words of Benjamin Rollins Caldwell:
I feel that the real challenge of good design is taking timeless elements (wood, metal, stone, glass) and discovering new ways to use them in studio furniture design.
In the spirit of conceptual furniture design and in keeping with the Vegas theme the BRC also make the Impractically Comfortable collection:

These take lucite to a whole new level!



Sam Winston

Sam Winston is a London based artist who often uses words to create art.  Mr. Winston suffers from dyslexia and I imagine this form of expression is a method of overcoming his obstacles. 
What resonated with me about this piece (and overcoming obstacles) occurred during a recent parenting class with our rabbi were we discussed the impact of using the word 'and' instead of 'but' when dealing with our children.  

Here are a few more of Mr. Winston's works which are now showing in London:

This work titled Birthday is a examination of world population.  Mr. Winston painstakingly recorded every birth and death- in the world in a 12 hour period:

From his website:
Initially he imagined working in real time, marking the beat of each life with a small circle. But he immediately realised it was impossible to keep up with events and it would take many months to graphically capture the rhythm of life and death. The result is a set of images, of haunting intensity, that capture the ebb and flow of the planet’s population.


this moment

 Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Artist Judy Kaufmann

I love these prints by Barcelona based artist Judy Kaufmann

Check out her etsy shop or visit her website:



DIARY Of A Wimpy Kid…. ALL THE BOOKS (P.S even the Ugly Truth)


Yah got that- bold letters! Oh hey this is monkey 1. If you are new and haven’t read my other report on Maus and Persepolis  it is on my moms blog- you should read it. Anyways moving on if you want to get a kid a holiday gift you are going to want to get a book and not any book but The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid so far there are 7- Including Do It Your Self and Movie Diary.

The book is about a boy named Greg and his problems and the things he does. Greg is in middle school and he gets picked on a lot. He gets picked on by his older brother Rodrick. I am an older brother and I also pick on my little brother (monkey number two). I think he has similar problems to me and he also makes stupid mistakes like I do. An example of a stupid mistake he makes is to go through a drain pipe to get around Fregley’s house who is this really annoying kid. Something that I learnt from this book is TO THINK BEFORE YOU DO.

This is a good story. I think an appropriate age is ALL AGES. If you don’t think this book is funny then you probably read it wrong. So go re-read it! I like that the book has drawing by the author (Jeff Kinney). It reminds me of the type of drawing I like to do in my journal and note books. They are all really funny and he draws funny signs and diagrams. It also reminds me of school only because I doodle in my notebook like him. Most of the kids in my school have these books. Everyone in my class (fourth grade) loves these books and we’ve all seen the movie too.

I totally think that if you want to get a gift for Hanukkah or Christmas for any boy or girl who is ANY AGE (or at least can almost read) that they will love this too- The newest book is Ugly Truth but I have read all of them and they are all good.

If you want to buy one from Amazon through my mom’s Amazon Store just click on any of the titles

Thanks for reading my review and I like reading your comments- Have a great day!

Monkey number ONE!


Around The World

Come 'meet' and promote bloggers in:

People and Places Around The World

Through a series of four photographs- featuring interpretation of:

Inside, Outside, Creative Space and Wild Card-

With the intention of stimulating dialogue and promoting creativity.



Creative Space

Wild Card

If you have not already had the pleasure of meeting Jude-
She is the lovely lady behind:
Click over to find out where she lives, what her cool job is and what she blogs about.


this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember

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