Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm Thankful For...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. I know I have much to be thankful for, and one of them is my faithful readers who still look at my blog even though I've been on an extended hiatus. Life got in the way of my doing my blog in the way I've really wanted to, but honestly it felt like a very important part of me was missing these past few months. My blog is one of my great loves, and I want to rekindle my relationship with it, and with you dear readers and friends. Now that my school term is winding down, I can refocus after next week and really work on putting together great content for you all in the new year. New year, new fresh start right? Thanks again for all your support and words of encouragement, its meant a lot and has definitely reinspired me to get back to blogging. 
thanks and xoxo,
Martha Stewart Living November 2008

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sponsored Post: Ketubahs by Amy Fagin at 20th Century Illuminations

Have you ever had a friend talk about signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married? They aren't always too pretty because of the idea behind them - that somehow this forever commitment that you're entering into will be finite.

The Jewish tradition includes a prenuptial agreement a part of the wedding ceremony, and makes the ketubot (the term for the agreement) actually quite beautiful. The ketubah texts often look like pages from a medieval illuminated manuscript - which makes sense, as the tradition has been followed for a very, very long time, reflecting the rich history of the Jewish people. The text of the contract has been adapted by Jewish communities while remaining in accordance with the ancient customs and traditions of the earliest practices.

'Paeonia Arbor' ketubah by Amy Fagin

But what exactly does it say? Basically, it's an agreement of the husband to the wife that he will provide to his wife three major things: clothing, food and conjugal relations. There are a few derivatives that can be added depending on the branch of Judaism that the couple follows, but that's the gist of it.

Traditionally the ketubah is signed and read aloud at the ceremony, later to be displayed prominently in the home as a reminder to the bride and the groom of the promises they made to each other. The beauty of the text - and the work of many ketubah artists, like Amy Fagin at 20th Century Illuminations - creates such a document to always draw the eye to the promises that have been made and will always be kept.

(Annie's favorite - 'Sweet Shelter')

The Jewish perspective is a bit different than the Western one in terms of what a prenuptial agreement means - it's not a preparation for the worst, but rather a reminder of the best. It's a good outlook, I think.
Amy Fagin at 20th Century Illuminations, as well as creating beautiful marriage contracts, also has a series of illuminated manuscripts called Beyond Genocide that "examines regions of the world where large scale episodes of genocide and mass annihilation have been perpetrated."

About the author: Nikki Farnsworth is a freelance writer who loves beautiful things, whether its a wedding blog, ketubot, technology or love. And sometimes it's just sitting down with a romantic movie and some good chocolate.
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