Friday, May 31, 2013


I like rusted stuff and pick it up from the ground and collect it in a basket. When I feel like it, I take out what I need to play around. This tiny hanging (25cm x30cm) was made entirely out of "rubbish" - except the base cotton pieces I hand painted.

Three layers of this painted fabric are sewn together, with a black piece on top. Shapes were cut out, to reveal the colors and textures underneath I wanted to show. Then the rusted findings were added and held down with bold stitches of black thread. I was able to cut out the birdie with old scissors, glued it on and gave it a bead crest.

The red torn scrap of jersey fabric that I had found at the beach, got even more craggy and frayed after washing it - which was just what I wanted. It was added ironing it on, using fusible web, and strengthened with tiny beads.

I embellished the whole thing with more embroidery and beads and added a fringe of rusted bottle caps. 

It is all padded with fleece and has a pretty backing of black and red painted fabric. I had finished it quite some time ago and it was just lying in a drawer, because I had not found a suitable method for hanging it. Last week I met for coffee in town with a friend  - and voila, what did she bring me? This perfect rusty rod she had found. I just had to sew on two tabs and that little creation was finally finished to my satisfaction!

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I always bring stones and rocks home from our excursions and this large flat one came in very handy yesterday. While drawing and painting this chamsa I was thinking fondly of my friend Aiva, because it is a present for her.

The chamsa hand is a magical defense against the evil eye, it is a talisman to ward off the bad and negative forces. The five fingers of the palm are a symbolic character in many traditional cultures. Five is "chamesh" in Hebrew, and "chamsa" in Arabic, a lucky number.

The belief in the evil eye is most common with the Jews of North African origin, but has its place in modern Israel too. In Islam the chamsa hand is a magical amulet and is called "the hand of Fatima" who was a daughter of Mohamed. And Jews call it "the hand of Miriam" the sister of Moses.

Several things will make the chamsa more powerful. The eye in the center, it has to appear in every chamsa. The color blue, which symbolizes holiness in Judaism, and in the Koran it stands for glory and unity. Blue and turquoise is used to adorn mosques, and the Arabs often paint their doors blue, and have turquoise window frames. The Hebrew letters chet and jud, they form the word "chai" which means "life". And fish is a symbol for good luck as well, fish is immune to the evil eye. Also the Star of David is used as protection against the evil spirits. Today, sixty years later, it is not anymore a budge of shame and destruction, but a proud symbol of the State of Israel. The once negative meaning of the color yellow will never be forgotten - but today it is just yellow.
And of course the heart is there, as a token of love and kindness, just in case.

Here we do not knock on wood to ward off the evil eye, instead we say three times chamsa, chamsa, chamsa. Or we say "let's eat fish on Thursday", Thursday is the fifth day of the week, according to Jewish calender, yom chamishi.

The chamsa hand should have the three fingers in the middle with the thumb and the little finger at the same level. Unfortunately my thumb and pinky are not symmetrical. :-)

Friday, May 17, 2013


Drawing me? I was wondering here about it. Now I draw all the time, I mean when I have time, I draw. Instead of sewing bags, I draw now. Of course I do a lot of other things, like scratching my head and thinking. I think a lot. Or praying for a day without pain. Seriously. Or eating pizza, sharing with Dafi, one bite for me, one bite for her, she loves that. I try that with water melon too, but she just makes faces at me. I cook and bake, and I  do all the household chores, yes I do, and I do them smiling, because when I am finished I can DRAW! Really what did happen? I have NO idea - I think I am reliving childhood, another childhood, a happier childhood, one with colored pencils, and paper, and markers and crayons. And because it is sixty years later, there are also acrylics - I love them, because I can cover any "mistakes" with them. I love my drawings. I do not pretend to be an artist. No, not at all. I just draw and paint happily, and you should see me, being so calm and satisfied! I am encouraging myself and giving myself praise, like a parent to a child. I don't care anymore, that I don't know how to draw realistically. And I don't draw for anyone to like it, but for myself, although my husband says he likes them, my drawings. That is cool, because I feel good when he likes what I do. And Dafi likes me drawing, she always sits beside me, almost on my feet. Well she does that with anything I do sitting, so maybe she doesn't count as an opinion in the matter of drawing.

So here are some - I am not ashamed to show them. I think the small format of this lovely little journal suits me well. I was lucky that it was just available at home in a drawer. I don't think a large white piece of paper in front of me would have made this possible. I would not have been brave.



Off to have a cup of coffee! :-)

Monday, May 13, 2013

CHAG SHAVUOT SAMEACH - חג שבועות שמח


                                                       Photo from the Internet

חג שבועות                       Chag Shavuot
                                            Festival of weeks

  חג הקציר                      Chag HaKatzir
                                            The festival of the harvest

  יום הביכורים                Yom HaBikurim
                                              The day of the first fruits

בכורי קציר חיטים        Bikurei Katzir Chittim 
                                             The first fruits of the wheat

  יום הקהל                       Yom HaKahal
                                             The day of assembly

  זמן מתן תרתנו            Z'man Mattan Toratenu
                                              The season of the giving of the Torah

Friday, May 10, 2013


Ah Sun-flower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler's journey is done.

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves, and aspire,
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go!

William Blake

Sunflower fields near the Gilboa mountain. 
Helianthus Annuus, the lovers of light and followers of the sun - this is a beautiful myth, but actually only the buds and leaves follow the sun, the flower, once it has opened will stay, facing the east where the sun rises.

Golden, bright and proud, they bring joy to our hearts with their range of colors, the sun yellow petals, and the seed pots, changing from light green to dark orange over burnt red to the black seeds.

Sunflower oil, low in saturated fat and very healthy.
Sunflower seeds, tasty and a great source of vitamin E.
Some varieties are excellent for bird feed.
Sunflowers arranged in a vase on the table - a delight.
Sunflowers as a Dye (this is for you Hilde): sunflower petals can make natural dyes which range in color from yellow to orange or a light tan. Sunflower seeds can also be used for natural dye, particularly the Hopi dye variety which can produce grey to dark purple shades.

 Vincent van Gogh

At early dawn, like soldiers in their places,
Rank upon rank the golden sunflowers stand;
Gazing toward the east with eager faces,
Waiting, until their god shall touch the land
To life and glory, longingly they wait,
Those voiceless watchers at the morning's gate.

Dawn's portals tremble silently apart;
Far to the east, across the dewy plain,
A glory kindles that in every heart
Finds answering warmth and kindles there again;
And rapture beams in every radiant face
Now softly glowing with supernal grace.

And all day long that silent worship lasts,
And as their god moves grandly down the west,
And every stem a lengthening shadow casts
Toward the east, ah, they love him best,
And watch till every lingering ray is gone,
Then slowly turn to greet another dawn.

Albert Bigelow Paine

 Claude Monet

Enjoyed by us yesterday and photographed by my husband Uri Eshkar.

The last photo: my Shabatt flowers from our son's girl, who will be soon his wife - each Friday afternoon I get a bunch of flowers from her. :-)

P.S. My Japanese blogger friend Yoko turned my attention to a similar post she had about sunflowers, two years ago. Have a look here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I found this on my blogroll yesterday - it gave me goose bumps, it is so scary - I hope I will be spared for ever from this - I got a small idea what depression must feel like. Please open that link, if it is only for information and learning and better understanding. 
(And no, I am not depressed at all - so much thanks for that!)

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being.[1] Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate or attempt suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may also be present. (Wikipedia)

This movie is very powerful and shows a vivid and clear view on depression, very worth seeing it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

POUCHES with leftover unfinshed granny squares

9" X 12" - Linen fabric, a little pocket on the backside and one on the cotton lining.

Fun to make, a pleasure to use!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


This Shabatt our color was pink - a lot of dark pink - whole areas of wonderful strong pink. Pink pink pink pink - so much pink - see for yourself!

Clover, not at all plain and simple, but gloriously beautiful, had created huge patches of color.

And - we bought the first cherries at the fruit orchards near the Druze village Masade - fully ripe and very sweet!

Click to enlarge.
Photos by Uri Eshkar.

Friday, May 3, 2013


This is the beautiful tree growing up to my kitchen window. I planted it by myself twelve years ago, and it got large and strong now, with a huge crown of arching branches. It is a Persian silk tree, its scientific name is "albizia julibrissin". Its Persian name is "shabkhosb", which means "night sleeper" because its leaflets turn downwards with darkness and rain. In Japanese it is called "nemunoki" and you can read a wonderful post about it here in this blog.

We had heavy hot winds from the desert for some days - this morning my husband and I raked thousands of tiny dry leaves, which have been scattered in the yard and the garden.

The flowers of this tree do not have petals, but clusters of silky stamen thread in pink with a white base. Hummingbirds are busy all day, with their long beaks deep in the blossoms to eat the sweet sap. Our tree blooms all year, but its hight is just now with an abundance of flowers.

Sitting outside near it, I can hear the bees and other insects buzz, and inside the kitchen, while doing the dishes, I watch the hummingbirds. They also build a nest in our tree each year, always smartly out of reach for our cats.

Photos taken by Uri Eshkar and by Oss Vaisband.