Friday, January 28, 2011

Yes, life IS precious!

Uri, Golda and Dafi, this afternoon in the garden...

Monday, January 24, 2011


Our son's name Yaron ירון  is of Hebrew origin and means "He who will rejoice".

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Night time sharpens, heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination
Silently the senses abandon their defenses

Slowly gently night unfurls its splendor
Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender
Turn your face away from the garish light of day
Turn your thoughts away from cold unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night

Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams
Purge your thoughts of the life you knew before
Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar
And you'll live as you've never lived before

Softly, deftly, music shall caress you
Hear it, feel it secretly possess you
Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind
In this darkness that you know you can not fight
The darkness of the music of the night

Let your mind start a journey to a strange new world
Leave all thoughts of the life you knew before
Let your soul take you where you long to be
Only then can you belong to me

Floating, falling, sweet intoxication
Touch me, trust me, savor each sensation
Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in
To the power of the music that I write
The power of the music of the night

You alone can make my song take flight
Help me make the music of the night

Phantom of the Opera - for you to enjoy - listen to the song - start dreaming - sing along!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Cotton and cotton altered with bleach, machine pieced, layered, cut out, couched with ribbon and novelty yarn, machine quilted - 67 cm x 89 cm

Monday, January 17, 2011


I guess it happens to all of us from time to time - feeling drained of strength and motivation - being apathetic and indifferent to open our eyes in the morning - feeling listless and impassive - dreading the day and not wanting to start it - till the blue bird comes along!

 Thank you dear Rachel for your sweet and lovely drawing and sharing this wonderful reminder!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Let's solve the riddle: Sandra is right and of course she gets the potholders. The comedy movie, made 1996,  is "Birdcage", a hilarious plot about Armand, a gay cabaret owner (Robin Williams) and Albert, his drag queen "wife" (Nathan Lane), who agree to put up a charade so that their son can introduce them to his fiance's parents (Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest), who are into politics. And Agador Spartacus, performed by Hank Azaria, is the flamboyant and overly funny gay housekeeper, who has to be the butler and cook for the evening. He never wears shoes, because they make him fall down, he also can not cook, but somehow manages to prepare "Guatemalean Peasant Soup", with shrimps and hard boiled eggs for the guests. A wonderful movie full of action, which will make you laugh and want to watch it again, and once more!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The first one to tell me who said that in which movie gets a pair of potholders! :-)
Two hints: he doesn't like to wear shoes, because...
And: we are talking about ........... .......... soup!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Nature woke up here, the rainy days we had finally brought quick results! 
Our weekends are spent with family duties lately and not with outings. Those beautiful photos were taken at the hills around Nazareth, by Tanya Malchinskaya, a friend of my husband from his hiker group. She gladly agreed to show them here. Thank you Tanya!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I would like to thank everyone who came to my party!
It was a most enjoyable and happy event with kind, nice and interesting guests from seven countries:  Germany (Eva, Birgit, Dawn, Inbar, Gaby), America (Sheva, Wanda, Elisa, Rachel, Joanne, Alisa, Jill), Israel (Hagar, Vered), Belgium (Sandra), Italy (Anna), Norway (Hilde), and Australia (Penelope).

A very good and positive vibe swept through the whole celebration. Dawn came as Picasso and she and Hagar took a virtual leisure walk together through the old market in Jerusalem and were dreaming about the colors of India. Birgit and Inbar exchanged crochet patterns, and showed us pictures of their beloved dogs, enthusiastically and lovingly telling funny stories about them.  
Eva brought snakes and dragons sewn into a quilt, as well as legends from Estonia, and gave us a little reading of the Estonian language in her engaging voice.

Hilde enchanted everyone with narrations of her wonderful gardens and presented muffins, she had baked for us, looking so pretty, and mhmmm, tasting so delicious. Hagar's rolls, sprinkled with sesame, were finished in no time together with Jill's and Avi's yummy oriental kale salad, how fortunate they made a "truckload"!  Anna and Sandra had a different ring on each finger, their own artful creations, and everyone went ahhhh and ohhhh about them! Alisa and Sheva talked through the whole event with great excitement about antique Egypt and made every one want to visit the marvelous Tut exhibition. Oh, and who would not like to be able to draw and sketch like Alisa! And talking about showing photos:  Anna's Zoe and Elisa's Anni, Sandra's Minou, and Inbar's Red one, Dawn's Black one and Sheva's Mango, and Penelope's Tiggy,  wow, the kitties had their own feast!  

Jill surprised us with little furniture she made from twigs fallen during a storm from the tree into the snow, they are so lovely, everyone just marveled about them, and of course she made us laugh with her jokes: "Ooooooh, I love a party! Ok, I've got a joke. What does the fish say when he gets trapped in the seaweed?...kelp! kelp! Or how about this one: What do you call the vehicle that comes to take the frogs off of the road...a TOAD truck (heeheeheehee!) Great party, Yael!"  
Penelope brought a pincushion and a needle case, lovely pieces, embroidered by her sister. We learned from Gaby what Raku ceramic firing means and she showed us a bit of the process and some of her pretty creations. Wanda's and Rachel's drawings are the dearest things and full of love!  Vered got a lot of compliments and much admiration for her wonderful bead jewelery and we all loved Elisa's beautiful and practical bags. Joanne pleased us with her sweet greeting cards created from colorful paper.

The party distracted me in such a good way from some difficult issues I have currently to deal with. Every day 
I was curious to see who arrived and what was brought and it always left me with a big smile - okay even a grin sometimes (ja, ja Jill...)!!

Dankeschoen, Thank you, Toda raba, Merci Beaucop, Molte Grazie, Tusen takk, Suur Aitäh, Paldies!!

My friend Aiva arrived at the last hour and brought those colorful "cookies"!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Gaby, Esslingen, Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany

Liebe Yael,
ich schicke Dir vier Fotos von einem Rakubrand, den ich schon vor einiger Zeit  in Frankreich gemacht habe. Diese Technik ist ein sogenannter Rauchbrand, bei dem die Objekte aus dem glühenden Ofen bei 1000 Grad mit langen Zangen entnommen und anschließend in Eimern mit Sägemehl geräuchert werden. Durch den enormen Temperaturschock entstehen Risse in der Glasur, in die sich der Rauch einlagert und schwarz färbt. Alle Objekte müssen anschließend von Rauch und Asche gereinigt werden. Vielleicht kannst Du das für mich übersetzen? Vielen Dank - so long, Gaby.
Dear Yael,
I am sending you four pictures of a Raku firing I've done some time ago in France. This technique is a so-called smoke-fire, in which the objects are removed from the iron furnace at 1000 degrees with long tongs, and then smoked in tin buckets filled with sawdust. Due to the enormous thermic shock cracks appear in the glaze, in which the smoke sets and colors them black. All objects must then be cleaned of smoke and ash. Thank you - so long, Gaby.

Raku" means "happiness by chance" - this is really amazing - thank you Gaby, your work is beautiful!

Jill, New York, United States (Sheva's mom)

Ok, Yael. Here’s what I have to bring to this spectacular party of yours. It’s my and Avi’s favorite Oriental Kale Salad recipe. It’s as simple as pie to make. The hardest part is agreeing to share it with everybody. Because of that, I made a truckload extra so I won’t feel so jealous about sharing. Here’s the recipe…

A bunch of chopped kale
1-2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

(Do I have to admit that I totally made up those amounts? I really don’t know exactly how much sesame oil or soy sauce I use each time. Your guess is as good as mine!)

Lightly steam the chopped kale in a double boiler for about 9 minutes. While it’s steaming, mix the rest of the marinade ingredients. When the kale is finished steaming, immediately rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cool, aggressively squeeze out all of the excess water from the kale and then mix with marinade. Enjoy!

Do you like my twig furniture? I made that last week from twigs that had fallen from our tree house tree during the blizzard that we had last week. They were sitting on TOP of the snow and they looked so odd there, so conspicuous. I collected a few, found a tube of good glue, and got busy. So I barely noticed the blizzard outside. Can you just imagine how therapeutic that was!

Welcome little Avi! Jill, I truly held my breath when I saw this marvelous display of stick furniture! It is so absolutely fantastic cool and cute! What a creative spark you had, seeing those twigs on the snow! 
Please visit Jill's Etsy shop and see what a wonderful artistic potter she is:

Monday, January 3, 2011


This is a guest post by my lovely friend Sheva, she is eleven years old.

Sheva, New York, United States

Sunday, January 2, 2011
King Tut and I

A few weeks ago, our entire grade took a field trip to New York City to visit the King Tut Exhibit in Times Square.  We had been learning about Egyptian history and the pharaohs and this trip was planned to help us finish the unit. 

I was excited when I found out that I would be able to see the King Tut exhibit in person.

We took a two hour trip to the city and when we finally got there, 300 grumpy kids stumbled out of 5 buses and got into an unending line that led into the gallery.

Eventually, everyone gathered in a very dark room to watch a brief introductory movie about King Tut and Egypt as it was during his lifetime. After that the real excitement began. Two big doors swung open and we walked  into the exhibit. It was amazing to  be within arms reach of 3,000 year old artifacts.

We learned that even though Howard Carter was credited with  discovering the tomb, it was actually Carter’s water carrier who discovered the steps that led into the tomb. Carter then smashed the upper part of the sealed door that led into the tomb. Surrounded by many people, some of whom included Lord Carnarvon and his daughter, Carter peeked into the tomb that lay undisturbed for almost 3,000 years.

The exhibit was spread out throughout a winding collection of rooms.  Among the artifacts, there was a large scale model boat that was found outside Tut’s tomb. The boat was thought to have brought the pharaoh to the afterlife (interestingly, the ancient Greeks believed in a similar idea). There was also a statue of Tut’s father, Akhenaton, who had tried to replace all of the major Egyptian gods with one,  Aten, the sun disk.

In other rooms there were statues of other Egyptian Pharaohs who had ruled before King Tut and their relatives. Some of interesting artifacts were King Tut’s daggers and his royal chair and footrest. The chair was made out of wood and was covered with gold leaf and inlays.  There was also an Egyptian pillow that was made out of blue glass with a gold band in the middle.

Apparently, King Tut suffered from many diseases. As a child, he had scoliosis and had to use a cane. During the excavations of his tomb, over 100 canes were found.  He also suffered from malaria.

The last room in the exhibit was dedicated to theories as to how the young king died. One suggestion was that the King was murdered by Ay, his successor. Another theory was that he may have fallen off of his chariot and suffered severe physical trauma. Yet another was that he died from Malaria or from an infection to his leg. 

One of the fascinating things I discovered about King Tut and his family was that his father Akhenaten  and mother Nefertiti (possibly The Younger Lady) were brother and sister.  King Tut himself was married to his half sister Ankhesenamun.

From the DNA testing of several of the royal mummies, it appears that Egyptian royalty tended to have incestuous marriages.  This custom continued to be practiced in Egypt as late as the Ptolemaic period (1400 after King Tut).  Cleopatra VII was married to her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII. Her mother and father, Cleopatra V and Ptolemy XII, were also brother and sister.

This widespread practice is interesting because the Egyptian society of the time represented the peak of sophistication and it’s likely that other surrounding cultures imitated the Egyptian custom.   Today, however, such marriages are a taboo and are considered the exact opposite of sophistication. It would be interesting to find out what caused this practice to disappear.

When we got home from the exhibit, I made my mother promise to take me back before the exhibit closed. So, this past week we did just that.  Seeing it for the second time was just as impressive.

I highly recommend that you take the time to visit this exhibit. It’s on the pricey side, so you may have to bring your mommy’s purse (hee hee!) but it’s worth it.

After I got this lovely essay from Sheva I was very surprised to find this morning a post from Alisa Burke on the same subject. She kindly gave me permission to use her wonderful sketchbook drawings, which capture the adventure of the exhibition greatly, and show them to you. Please visit her blog and see all her journal entries, they are ever so beautiful! And please browse her blog, it is very artful with a lot of creative ideas and great tutorials, and really worthwhile to enjoy!

Alisa Burke, San Diego, California 
United States

 ...A couple of days ago we were lucky enough to see the King Tut Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum... Despite a snow storm and having to battle crowds, the exhibit was really amazing, beautiful and inspiring- it was like walking into a tomb full of treasure!
Unfortunately (for me) photography was prohibited (understandable) and no sketching was allowed- which is always my back up plan when I can't take photos. I could hardly stand it because typically when visiting a museum I take notes, jot down ideas and sketch out things that inspire me and then use these ideas in my sketchbook.

Luckily my mother in law had a pad of paper and pen in her purse and I was "secretly" able to get some loose notes and ideas down on paper. I used these notes in combo with a little internet research when we got back to the house and went to work in my sketchbook.
Here is a peek inside my King Tut inspired sketchbook pages...

Thank you Sheva, thank you Alisa! It is a pleasure to have you here!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Hilde, Norway

Hi Yael :)
My daughters and I did a little baking today, for new year's eve. So I'm joining your blog party with the muffins we made. We tried to decorate it with colors like fireworks.  Thank you so much, Yael, for hosting this blog party. It has been so nice to see all the fabulous entries. And all the best wishes to everybody for a happy and peaceful New Year 2011. Hugs, Hilde :)

This is my grandmother's old recipe.
150 gr. flour
1.5  teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
100 gr. sugar
60 gr. butter (melted)
100 cc milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla sugar

Whip egg and sugar till fluffy and white. Add dry ingredients, milk and melted butter. Mix well and pour into paper muffin forms. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius, until golden. Decorate as you wish.

Rachel, Saint Paul, MN, United States

i am finally showing up for your party!
thank you so much for inviting me!
i love to be in the midst of such
lovely creators!

i am including "constellations" because
it's a party & about our beautiful connecting..
& also "high note" because it is one of my
dearest wishes for us all.
happy new year with love always! rachel.

Penelope, Australia

Hello dear Yael,
Am sending some pix of my sister, Beverley's work for your online party. I hope you enjoy them. Bev specializes in working miniatures...little gardens and cottages in embroidery. One is a needle case, one is a pin cushion to match, the other two are just ornaments, plus an embroidered green bag in palest green. Have been looking at  the posts so far, and there is some beautiful work there; quite a variety. I hope you enjoy my pix, I had trouble resizing them as I am not very familiar with my photo editing program  :)
Love to you, Penelope.

Joanne, Tennessee, United States

Hey Yael, 
The current focus of my blog is humor and real life, but today I would like to share my homemade cards.
I have done all kinds of crafts, but I do really like working with paper.
Please enjoy and thank you for inviting me! I always enjoy seeing your art and Uri’s photos, you have a life full of beauty. That’s an awesome thing!
Hugs, Joanne

Thank you Hilde,  Rachel, Penelope and Joanne, I am so pleased! I will keep the party open for a few more days, so whoever likes to come is very welcome!