Sunday, April 29, 2012


Did this ever happen to you? You had a beautiful wool sweater, real 100% wool, and by mistake you threw it in with the laundry in the warm cycle? And it came out felted and destroyed? It happened to me! I never again buy wool sweaters, because I am not cautious and careful. 
But now I WANTED to "ruin" a piece made of pure wool and I WANTED it to felt!!! BUT it did NOT work out!
I finished crocheting this bag (still no handles attached) and, according to the instructions for felting I found on the Internet, put it in a zippered pillow case with heavy laundry of jeans and stuff and washed it on 40 degrees. Nothing changed! Second wash on 40 degrees - nothing! I did it again on 60 degrees, it felted a tiny bit and lost some color. Now I got frustrated (AND angry!) and washed it with some towels in 90 degrees hot water! It lost ALL its color (and the towels got "nice" hues!) It felted to some degree - but it is not really felted. I should not be able to see any crochet stitches after proper felting!
I really don't know what to think of it! Did I create an ugly bag? The only thing I still can try is to work on it with my hands - to knead it and beat it and squeeze it and curse it and push it around with soap and hot water and muscles! I will do that and show you the results...
The band on the wool said: 100% wool - AND this wool was also quite expensive! Umpfffffff - I should get a decent bag from it!!! Shouldn't I?
I bought another batch of wool in beautiful colors (and NOT expensive) - on the bands it says: 100% wool, suitable for FELTING! Wish me luck! :-)

Monday, April 23, 2012


This time we drove up north, from the Tel Aviv area to the Golan Heights, and we had many stops of pure pleasure on our way, with presents given freely by nature...

Beach flowers at the Atlit shore

Bee Orchids at the slopes of the Carmel hills above Nesher. How stunningly pretty! They have beautiful colored little faces, they are velvety - and very skilled in luring the insects, pretending to be bees, getting pollinated without offering any sweetness in exchange.

כליל החורש - klil ha horesh, Judas tree, Love tree, Red Bud, at Mount Meron - Love Tree says it best!
Some tempting scent picked on a short walk for the car: wild sage, rosemary and hyssop. Ahhhhhhhhh...
I cannot keep my hands still - here I am enjoying myself late in the afternoon crocheting on the terrace of our rented room - can you see the photographer in the window? :-)
This is pure wool and it should be a felted bag in the end. I am very nervous about its outcome - once washed and felted in a very warm cycle in the washing machine, nothing can be changed anymore! The result will be final! :-)

Our room had a wonderful and calming view on the blue waters of the Kinneret (Lake of Galilee) and toward the Golan mountains - שם הרי גולן ...
Old Hermon gets rid of his winter dress and melts his last snow to be ready for spring, which comes late high up on his peak.
The landscape starts to loose its fresh color, the heat is quick to change it to dry crisp straw in beige, yellow and brown shades, soon the green will be all gone and thorns and thistle will prevail - but the change leads to another beauty - in the torrid hotness of summer the basalt rocks and the stones of the Golan and Galilee stand out in harmony with the muted and soft hues - it still is only April, but the next season, the hot and arid and rainless one is at the door already...

I thank my husband for making our weekend special.

All photographs by Uri Eshkar.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

TEL ARAD - Canaanite city and Isrealite fortess

About a 15 minute drive from the modern city Arad, west of the Dead Sea in the eastern Negev Desert lies Tel Arad. Evidence of life was found there as early as about 6000 years ago. 
It was settled by different inhabitants over a long period of time, but was at its largest at the Bronze age, about 3000 BC. The fortresses on the top of the mound were built by Judean kings in the later Israelite period. 
A high wall with watchtowers and gates circumferences the city, enclosing precise scale streets, housing areas, a market, shrines, the palace, a temple, and a huge deep water well. The latter was filled exclusively with rain water which streamed down the hill and was collected there. It was brought up to the fortress packed on animals. 

A typical residential house, now called the "Arad House" was reconstructed to give a good idea of the style of the cities dwellings. A stone bench runs around all the walls and a small kitchen room was built outside adjacent to the house. The ceiling was constructed of wooden beams, supported by a pillar in the middle of the room.
The people lived on agriculture and breeding of animals, like sheep, goats and cattle. They had olive groves as well. They dammed the wadis to secure the water. On its peak it was a striving city, with business conducted in trading as well.
Through the openings in the walls fields can be seen at the foot of the hill, near Bedouin living places. Nowadays they are irrigated with more modern methods, but as successful in bringing fertility to the desert as in ancient times.
The excavations started in the early 60ties. The walk through the ruins is easy and very impressive. It really spurs on the imagination. Wandering through the perfectly arranged streets along the dwellings of the people living there thousands of years ago made us think of their culture, of their rites, their beliefs, customs, symbols and living arrangements. Of their feelings, wishes, fears and hopes. 
Did they have always enough water? What did they wear? Woven clothes? Sandals? How did they keep warm in the cold desert nights? How did they endure the heat during the day? How did they cope with illness? A rotten tooth? What about toiletry and hygiene? Was there any? Yes, how did they live? A lot is known today - but much more we do not know. I wish, I could have an open window into the past, a real one, and just watch a bit...

This is a wonderful official link which tells you much more and in detail about this old Biblical place:

In seeing the dry ground of the location you would think nothing grows there but some low thorny shrubs. Here, look through my husbands eyes, he always finds some little treasures with his camera.

Photos by Uri Eshkar

Sunday, April 15, 2012


After the encounter with Lady Fox and visiting the Canaanite part of the ancient city at Tel Arad, we sat down to a picnic in the parking lot under this gorgeous and enormous tree.
Two young handsome but quite dusty guys, had a rest from their hike at the neighboring table. We offered them a piece of cake, and they told us they are "doing the Shvil Israel". This is a hiking route of about a 1000 km throughout the land of Israel. It is divided into sections, which can be tackled individually. Walking the entire length would take about a month and a half. Those two were up to the whole thing at once, and had been on their way already three weeks, starting at Eilat. After I told my friend Aiva about this meeting she said: "So you have been trail angels!" And she explained to me that this has gotten a standard phrase for people living near the path, or meeting the travelers on it, helping them on their way a bit with nice gestures - like maybe offering them a shower, or a sleepover on the garden lawn, fresh water,  a meal and coffee - or just a piece of cake!
They were very cheerful and lovely, but seemed a little bit tired! We just loved their attitude and wished them all the best for their further way till the end of their track. "Tishmeru al azmechem, tachseru be Shalom!" "Take care of yourself and come back home in peace!"
Lehitra'ot Tom and Hod! It was very nice meeting you! :-)

Friday, April 13, 2012


I was planning to talk to you about Tel Arad, about the excavations at this ancient historical place, about the Canaanites and Israelites, about the first temple period, about the Hellenistic buildings - BUT you see the fox lady stole my story! 
When we arrived before everyone else at the location, early this morning, she was already there. We invaded her territory, her secret domain, her hiding place, her privacy! Walking into the ruins we startled her - suddenly she was in front of us, backing up and scuffing angrily. She would not budge, she would stay put. She ran off and returned, her eyes fierce, her gaze steadily on our movements, stealing away in one direction for flickering moments. 

We had not only invaded her territory, we had disturbed her mothering instincts and duties. Because, as soon as we spotted her swollen tits we knew that she was trying to protect her offspring from us. She disappeared behind the crumbled walls and the rubble only to emerge again some small distance away. 

She was lean and strong, and proud, can you see? Her watchful eyes searched for danger. No one else was there, only we and she. That witty mother fox, trying to threaten us away with her hoarse barking and huffing! This untamed creature was facing us very bravely. From her behavior we could guess where her small ones were tucked away, but we did not hear a sound from them. Them? We are just assuming. Maybe it was only one?

This is the dvir, דביר the Holy of Holiness in the temple, and under that wooden deck, protecting visitors from underground structures, was her nursery, HER sanctuary.

She tried to get near to it, again and again - but some fear nevertheless prevented her from completing the task.
We decided to restore her peace. We left the fortress quietly, and moved on to the lower part of the ancient city. She jumped up onto a higher wall and followed us with an observing stare, then she vanished into the fallen rocks.

Please zoom in...
Photographs by Uri Eshkar.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


14" high - 12" wide - 4" deep - embroidered fabric (not by hand of course), but it is very beautiful, I don't remember where it is from, probably from India - pink cotton fabric at the borders - I quilted the outer fabric to fleece to give the bag stability - cotton lining with butterfly print and two pockets - magnetic snap closure. The strap is 40" long.
This is a joyful roomy and practical bag - just right for spring and summer days - if you fell in love with it and would like to have it, contact me - it is for sale.  
(It found a lover - sold!)
Zoom in, you can see each stitch!