Count our Jewish Blessings!

With Hanukkah upon us – I’d like to reflect a little on the meaning of Hanukkah for me.

The lighting of the eight candled Menorah is symbolic of the triumph of light over darkness, of good over evil.
The lighting of the Menorah represents the eight days a small amount of oil burned and gave the Maccabees, victorious in preserving their holy place and moral beliefs, a miraculous eight days of holy light – it was a triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
I think this is the right time of year to count some of our Jewish Blessings!

And I can think of some big ones -
Where would the western world be without Jewish Philanthropy?
Where would our institutions be without the charitable contributions of the Jewish culture?
How many libraries would not have been built?
How many hospitals would not exist?
How many studies would not have been undertaken?
How many elder care facilities would never have been started?
How many patients not served?
When there is need the Jewish Community is the fore front – anticipating and responding with institutions that form the very core of our lives.
How many theaters, cultural centers, museums and art programs would never have breathed?
Where would we be without Jewish Creativity?
What no Bob Dylan? What no Barbara Streisand?
How many first nights would never have opened?
How many plays would never have been written?
Where would we be without Arthur Miller, and Neil Simon and Carl Reiner?
How many movies would not have been made?
How many galleries never supported?
What no Guggenheim?
How many books unwritten?
What -no Leon Uris, or JD Salinger or Elie Wiesel?
How many actors not seen?
When there is art – the Jewish community is in attendance – enjoying, participating and giving.
Where would we be without Jewish Business?
No Leslie Wexner?
No Levi Strauss?
No Barbie Doll?
And Jewish Design – especially in the garment industry?
What no Marc Jacobs, no Ralph Lauren, no Calvin Klein, no Hinda Miller?
It’s almost no clothes!

Where would we be without Jews in Academia?
How many colleges would never have been built?
How much research not pursued?
How many scholarships denied?
And most importantly -How many questions not asked?
And how many doctors and scientists we would be missing!
When we experience academia the intellectual and questioning mind nurtured by the Jewish culture is integral to our experience.

And what about laughter?
Where would we be without Jewish Wit?
Where would we be without the slapstick fun of the Three Stooges, gone more sophisticated with Mel Brooks, or the story telling humor of Billy Crystal and Jerry Seinfeld?
Jon Stewart, Ben Stiller- look at the range!
What about the simultaneously raucous and sensitive Bette Midler, the hilarious Gilda Radner and irritatingly funny intellectual Woody Allen?

Our TV shows would lose essential crazy humor. Our movies their originality – no Steven Spielberg- please no!
Our comedy nights would pale, our ability to laugh at our selves, fall over ourselves and see the absurd and carry on would be less.

So I say we should count our blessings today – our Jewish blessings.
And I will start my counting with a bagel and cream cheese!
As my friend says

Om Shalom


Be Beautiful, Live Beautiful, Feel Beautiful

Summer Craft Project: Essential Napkin Rosettes

My garden is full of roses, and I love their many shades of pink, and sharp green leaves...

Inspired by their flirtatious, feminine beauty are these roses made from our essential napkins- This is a rainy day craft project, that will keep flowers in bloom all year long!

 Put on your prettiest crafting apron and-

-Fold one of our 20” Essential napkins diagonally in half

-Starting at one corner, pleat back and forth creating an accordion ruffle

-After a few pleats, begin to wrap the remaining length around them

-Wrap fairly tight at first then slacken and gather the fabric as you continue around and around to create a petal effect

-Using the ribbon from the napkin bundle, securely tie a knot around the base of your flower to hold it and wrap down the length to create a “stem”

-For a pretty accent, slide a Butterfly Beaded napkin ring up the stem to the flower

-Finish off the look by folding a green napkin diagonally in half and in half again and wrap the flower up in it, using the folded corner as a “leaf” detail

Create bunches of these pretty posies and use them together to form a beautiful bouquet!

Tell me some of your summer craft ideas and we will randomly select a winner of three sets of essential napkins to make your own bouquets!


Feel Beautiful, Live Beautiful, Be Beautiful

The Magic of Printing

This video demonstrates the screen printing method that we use in printing our beauteous table linens.
See the magic as each screen layers a new color on.  See the symmetry and balance exhibited by two well paired printers, skilled in their craft. This is the Frida Flower Print for spring 2011, my goal is for the magic of the process to be so embedded in the beauty of the cloth that it will continue to magically transform your home!


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Nature Inspired Napkin Giveaway + Garden Videos

Spring is the air the ground and all around.

My garden inspires me in all of its seasons- loaning me palettes to color my designs. Here is my Vermont Garden on a Spring Day in May.

A place dedicated to the beauty of mother nature.

What inspires you?
Tell me your tale and I will select a winner for my nature inspired Papillion Jacquard Jade 18" Napkin Bundle

(please include your email address to contact you - or email me at
aprilcornell(at) to enter)

Feel Beautiful, Live Beautiful, Be Beautiful

Please join me in congratulating Tamara H. - Winner of this Giveaway
Thank you all for participating as always!

Tablescape Thursday - Happy Fish

This year, as a very unique and special birthday present, I was treated to a brand new experience – I visited a glass-blowing workshop here in Vermont and learned how to make some funky glass pieces. As I shaped and molded the hot molten glass, I could not stop smiling at the fun of it all. Having taken the time to learn this new craft, I find myself appreciating the beauty and color of glasswork, which in turn inspired this beautiful tablescape. The fluidity of glass evokes the beauty and whimsical nature of the sea, so this pretty round table is set with our Happy Fish print in pale yellow. Her smiles reflect my own enjoyment and the colorful floral scrollwork designs create a myriad of coordinating possibilities. The sparkling prisms of a finished glass piece remind me of the interwoven colors of our Fiesta Plaid, so a single twenty inch fringed napkin serves beautifully as a centerpiece. With such a wonderful array of colors to choose from, not one but four colors were paired – Essential Napkins in blue & coral and leaf green & tangerine – to layer on even more colorful fun! Cheered on by the beauty of glass, the clear red and yellow colors of our Daisy Beaded Napkin Rings were an obvious choice for the simple elegance of the napkins. Of course I couldn’t resist using our Primavera mouth-blown glassware featuring etched butterflies along with some colorful bowls and dishes.

Whatever inspires you, feel it fully, enjoy it and let your imagination take you to beautiful new places and urge you to create – I promise you’ll love the results!







Quick Tip: This tablescape features some beautiful potted azaleas from our local garden shop. Rather than cut them to place in a glass vase, preserve the beauty of fresh flowers by leaving them in the pot and covering the base with a coordinating napkin or dishtowel! Simply fold the napkin diagonally and tie it around the width of the pot. You may also choose to secure it with a pretty ribbon for added charm!



Feel Beautiful, Be Beautiful, Live Beautiful

Part of Tablescape Thursday
For more information, click here!

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