Saturday, August 28, 2010

MESSENGERS OF AUTUMN IN ISRAEL

The days are still hot and humid here in Israel and summer glides into autumn softly, there are no dramatic changes. But there are early signs and we are always awaiting them eagerly! The nights might be a little bit cooler and one may reach for the light blanket in the hours towards morning. Now we have breezes in the afternoon and they are gentle and welcomed and it is possible to enjoy relaxing evenings in the garden. And there are the flowers of fall.
The last days of August present us with the Chazavim, the Sea Squill, which in spite of its English and German name (Meerzwiebel) actually blooms not only near the shores, but everywhere, even at the Golan Heights, the Galilee and in the Negev desert. Their appearance is a sure sign that summer ends and fall arrives. 
They shoot out in myriads off the dry scorched earth, high erected, only one stem each, with no leaves at all. The leaves arrive much later, in winter, after the bloom is finished, big dark green clusters of fleshy leaves. The white little star-like flowers on the stems are plenty, delicate, tranquil and very beautiful!
In Israel the sea squill (Hebrew: חצב‎) has gained an almost iconic status, and is popularly known as the "harbinger of autumn", due to the fact that the flowers pop out all over the country at the end of the dry summer, some time before the first rain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urginea_maritima
A further sign of summer ending are the more powerful sunrises! This is because very often now clouds are present at the early morning sky and when the sun rises the horizon explodes into a spectacle of colors and forms, like fire lit by a mighty power! This photo was taken just out of our living room window.
The pomegranates belong to fall. They ripen now and will be ready to pick at Rosh HaShana, the Hebrew New Year. 
 
There are various kinds, from sweet to sourish and from bright red to almost purple, like this very beautiful one with the lovely crown, from my friend's garden. (Thank you for the photo Aiva!)
Pomegrantes are one of  the seven species which according to the Bible the Land of Israel is blessed with.
I must mention again the magnificent Sea Daffodils, Chavazalot HaChof. They started to bloom at the beaches just a little while ago, a sure omen for beginning fall.
 
See the post about a "Walk into the Sunset", some days back, with more photos, and information about them.
The harvesting of the olives has begun and the fruits on the date palms turn from yellow to brown... 
Oh, and here are the storks, who are flying now in very big flocks over Israel on their migrating way to Africa. Every time I see them my heart jumps with joy, and I am reassured to greet them again in spring when they journey back to their nesting places in Europe!!
They and the Chazavim are for me the most beloved messengers of autumn here in Israel !!

And as always the credit for the wonderful photos goes to my husband Uri!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BOB SPONGE

My granddaughter Yasmin loves him!!! So I got a pattern from the Internet and she got happy!!
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EQPbv4mfGk&feature=related

Saturday, August 21, 2010

YOM ASAL - YOM BASAL

Yom Asal - Yom Basal  is Arabic يوم عسل يوم بصل and means: One day Honey - one day Onion! 
Do you ever have days when you feel upwards and backwards and upside down? I do and on one of them I made this little wall hanging.
Home dyed silk and commercial cotton - 96cm x 70cm
Photos by Ran Erde

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A WALK INTO THE SUNSET AT THE SHFAYIM BEACH NORTH OF TEL AVIV


Sea Daffodil - Strandlilie - Chavazelet HaHof - Pancratium maritimum, native to the Mediterranean region, growing at the coastal beaches in the sand. The big beautiful white flowers bloom in summer, each one only one day, with a delicate fragrance of exotic lily scent! They are pollinated by the hawk moth - den Taubenschwaenzchen :-).



Beach Evening Primrose - Abendblume - Nachtkerze - Ner HaLeila - Oneothera drummondii - growing on the beach near the water, in warm or hot climate. The big yellow flowers open at sunset, ready to get pollinated by night insects.

Monday, August 16, 2010

THIS ONE WILL NEVER GET CUT UP!

This dress was first sewn, partly by hand, partly by machine and then it was embroidered. The embroidery goes right over the seams. 
I wish I would have known this Bedouin woman, I wish, I could have seen her working on this dress. Was she sitting in the sand outside her tent? Did she take it with her when she looked after the sheep further away? Did she make it for herself? Or her daughter? How was her life? Was she happy?
The embroidery is very rich and colorful and she adorned the back of the dress too. Why was it sold? How did it end up at the flea market? What is the story?
Zoom in to better see the beauty of the embroidery!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

TRAVELLER BAG WITH BEDOUIN EMBROIDERY

This is the last one of the big bags I made some time ago. The embroidery is done on blue background fabric, which is unusual, mostly Bedouin women embroider on black or dark brown fabric, many times on the already sewn dresses.
With this embroidery I have a little story to tell. Two or three years ago I was at the flea market in Tel Aviv-Yafo and I saw a beautiful, used Bedouin dress hanging outside a shop. The embroidery was impeccable, my eyes got big and I took a deep breath. I was wondering why a black coat was draped over the dress, I could see only the front. Hiding my excitement I asked the Arab seller, who was sitting near the door, to take down the coat and show me the whole dress. He did, and would you believe it - half of the back of the dress was cut off - from the waist to the bottom, right through the embroidery! Very often the Arabs sell vintage Bedouin embroidery in pieces, they cut up the worn dresses, to make a bit more money. In this case I could really not understand why they did it - the dress was indeed too beautiful and too perfect to destroy it like this and would have been worth much more as a whole dress. Anyway, because of the damage done, I could bargain and buy it for a reasonable price.
I made this traveler bag from it and it is unknown to me where it is today. I hope the woman who liked it and took it away with her enjoys its beauty, uses it with pleasure and cares for it! I also made a smaller version from the same embroidery, I posted a picture of it in March, and I still have some of it left. The bag was created with the embroidered pieces and with decorator fabric. There is a lot of additional embroidery and it is fully lined, padded, and heavily quilted with metallic thread. All kinds of lovely embellishments like beads, buttons, spirals made from gold colored wire and from couched yarn, ribbons, and shishas (little mirrors, from Nepal) are added.
I am lucky to have a beautiful and completely intact black embroidered Bedouin dress, with triangle sleeves, which I bought from another Arab seller in Yafo, and I will show it in my next post.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

IHLARA VALLEY - CAPPADOCIA

If you are visiting the legend land of Cappadocia a trip to the Ihlara valley is highly recommended. This 100 m deep gorge is located between the Ihlara village and the Selime village. There are several different entrance points. In all it is about 14 km long and can be divided into hikes of two or three, or more hours which are not at all difficult.
The dramatic and scenic canyon was created by the Melendiz river which still flows at the bottom through a lush greenery of natural beauty with a great variety of plant and animal life. As already said the walk is easy and mostly in the shade provided by wonderful trees, among them poplars and pistachios. The stroll is from time to time interrupted by lovely vine yards.
The typical Cappacocian landscape pf rocks and columns carved through erosion is present in the valley as well.
Numerous of small medieval churches, chapels and monasteries are hewn and cut into the rock, many of them semi ruined and in poor condition. They are decorated with colorful frescoes and  quite a few can be visited.
Tenths of thousands of people once lived here and proof of their presence can be found throughout the valley.
Willow trees border the riverbed.

And here is the photographer!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

KELEBEK HOTEL GOEREME

Why would I write about a hotel? Because this specific one is certainly very special and worth mentioning it.
We stayed there during our vacation in Cappadocia and enjoyed this place, which is a little wonder in itself, with its beautiful gardens and unique architecture, incorporated perfectly in the surrounding landscape, creating a matching ambient.
The Kelebek Hotel is located almost in the center of Goereme, the picturesque, historic town, with pinnacles and pillars of volcanic rock towering in the middle of the town square. Many dwellings are cut straight into the rocks and people live in those cave houses till today. 
There are also pensions and smaller hotels which have rock rooms, and the Kelebek Hotel is one of them. 
The gardens and the rooms have been decorated in a very artful way with much loving attention to detail. Everything fits in beautifully with the flair of the region, the landscape, the history. 
This once has been a family home and has been turned into a hotel with now about thirty rooms, some of them caves and others in fairy chimneys, and some of them are traditional arched rooms. The fabrics of the bedding and pillows are handwoven, the curtains adorned with crocheted lace, the furniture hand carved, all made locally, so are the carpets. The bathrooms have marble walls. 
 We really have been amazed by the tasteful interior decoration everywhere! We stayed in one of the traditional rooms across the street,  in midst the gardens with roses in full bloom. 
The day started with breakfast, either inside the breakfast room, high up, which had glass windows till down to the floor, or just out the door of it, on the terrace, with a magnificent view towards the Pigeon Valley. And it usually ended with a glass of wine in one of the inviting sitting areas in the garden...
Oh, by the way: Kelebek means Butterfly!