Monday, December 30, 2013


I am listening to the silence lately and smiling at colors and talking to brushes. I am drawing graceful lines and shapes and I fill them with paint. 

I am tuned in to the songs and lures of paint bottles, and dwelling in marvelous names of hues: sage green, spa blue, desert turquoise, berry red, wild iris, wisteria, golden straw, slate grey, kings gold, harvest orange, royal violet. Aspen green, and meadow green, and old ivy. Bahama blue and dusty mauve, bay berry and belle blush, petunia purple, orange sherbet, petal pink and pebble brook. French blue, pool blue and parrot blue, laguna, Indian turquoise, Italian turquoise, baby blue, chestnut and toffee and English mustard, kiwi and citrus and many more - how could I resist? Rolling those words like candy and pralines on my tongue - royal violet, belle blush, wisteria - I pray to the white canvas and beg it to let me kindly cover it with the rainbow, and with smashing white and black sweet little highlights. 

Brand names like Americana, Apple Barrel, Folk Art sound like music and are very pleasing. I am swimming in a pool of happiness given to me by simple and readily obtainable and affordable ingredients, and the modest but lovely and humorous outcome of my efforts gives me satisfaction and causes me to feel good. 

How did I never pay attention to these tools till now? To the pens and markers, to the paints, the paper, the canvas, the brushes? How is it possible I never tried before to unlock their secrets and their bliss? Why was I always so afraid of them? Never mind that now, they are here now, I have discovered them, they are mine now! Yes! :-)


Standing in line

"An artist that can draw flies is probably an artist that stinks! LOL!" Skye Taylor
(I learned a lot from him, thank you Skye)

Monday, December 9, 2013


We talked about lavender sachets and mohair fur and Steiff Teddybaers, my friend Dawn and I.

And I told her I have one - an old original Steiff Teddybaer - and I promised her to photograph it, and she told me in return she would love to see it!

Little did I know, that it would be so much fun to take pictures of this cute fellow!

This Teddy was given as a present to one of my daughters more than 40 years ago by my (late) sister. He is small, about 20cm high.

I crocheted the orange/green overall and sewed the patchwork vest at that time. Can you see the button in the ear? That was and is the trade mark of the original Steiff animals.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


In the spring of 2013 it was 140 years since this unique invention, the Blue Jeans, was patented in America by the German immigrant merchant Levi Strauss and the tailor Jacob Davis. These robust trousers were first made from brown canvas for the gold miners of San Francisco. Soon after the canvas was replaced by blue colored strong denim, produced in the beginning in Nimes, France - the Blue Jeans was born. Rivets, the blue color and the orange/yellow stitching were characteristic features of Levis Jeans. However it took many years till the blue trousers turned into a cult. Rebellious youth in the 1950s, inspired by movie stars like Marlon Brando and James Dean, started to move the blue pants into the fashion world. Today they are an inseparable part of it.

Some weeks ago a boutique owner in Tel Aviv decided to alter his huge collection of unsold jeans by having the legs cut off and making them into shorts. To tell the story quick, I got the cut off legs, which had all the typical jeans colors, from dark, almost black, to hues of blue. Some were bleached, some torn, some wide, some narrow.

My first intent was to create bags from them (which surely I still will do), but I don't need a lot of fabric for bags, and there were so many legs! Then I remembered that I once saw quilted blankets with raw edged seams in a magazine which I liked very much. So I got the idea to transfer the denim legs into a patchwork quilt. 

I also had a large amount of fleece remnants in many colors and decided to use them for the back to make the blanket warm and cozy.

I started to rip the legs apart and continued cutting squares from them. I sandwiched each denim square with a fleece patch and quilted an X on it, then sewed rows alternating the colors dark and light, and connected them. After the blanket was constructed I snipped the seam allowances in short intervals with sharp scissors, laundered the quilt in the washing machine and put it in the dryer. That caused the open seams to get all fluffy and made the blanket look wonderfully textured.

The double size quilt is a gift for my daughter-in-law, because first of all I love her and second, it was she who rescued the cut off legs and brought them to me. Now I still have so many left that I will make a smaller one for my grandson too.

Luna helped me with the photographing watching me carefully! :-) And I love her shadow and the reflection of the clouds on the car.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I tried to paint larger, the journal paintings are 19cm x 12cm, this canvas is 35cm x 25cm.

Monday, November 25, 2013


After sunset our young couple joined us for dinner. As soon as you are seated in an Arab restaurant plenty of these little salads appear on the table, and as soon as you finish some you get replacements. In this restaurant near the sea, they were especially generous. When the delicious grilled fish arrived we were already stuffed.

Going for a stroll the next morning.

While passing the flea market we saw that all the vibes, energies, actions and people from the day before were gone. The market is closed on Shabat and the place looked empty, clean and quiet, waiting for all that "balagan" to return.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


We spent our weekend at a friend's vacation apartment in Yaffo, high up in the clouds, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I made my plans clear to my husband quite in advance: roaming the flea market, walks on the shore, a stroll at the old port, a bit of beach combing, relaxing with music and a glass of wine on the terrace, fish dinner at an Arab restaurant, enjoying the sunset with another glass of wine... Well, I got it all!

Driving along the sea side promenade in Tel Aviv Friday morning, and arriving at Yaffo at the clock tower, which was built in Ottoman time (as one of seven similar towers around the country). 

Just a little bit further is the entrance to the flea market, to the part where you probably really could find some fleas, if you would bother to search.

If you wanted you surely could equip a whole household with almost every item needed.

Pots and pans and plates and cups and cutlery.

Lightening, toys and furniture.

Carpets, trinkets, crafts and needlework and pets. And chamber pots for nocturnal urgency. (No, these kitties were not for sale, but lovingly cared for and sleeping soundly!)

If you need means of transportation, you do not have to look further.

You fancy a sewing machine? Here you go! 

I bought for almost nothing a package of six small dolls, the box dirty on the outside, but still unopened. What do you need THAT for? my husband asked. For the dolls I will prepare lovely beds with pillows and blankets from a rose patterned fabric I have. I'll use the plastic baskets of the mushrooms I buy at the supermarket for the beds, or the boxes of tea bags, and I have sweet simple gifts for little girls. I found some old crocheted doilies too, very pretty ones.

There are many many little cafes and small eating places at the market. We went down the alley to the Pua restaurant to have breakfast.   

It still is vintage furnished, all made up of "alte Sachen", but I did not see price tags at the chairs and tables anymore. The place is full of flowers, and I was there in times to see the owner arranging the flowers on the tables and shelves and in each nook and cranny. It is just amazing how much she loves doing this - even the restrooms are adorned with vases full of flowers.

Stuff from all over the world is offered at the colorful bigger part of the market, new, old, vintage and antique. Textiles, like shawls and clothing. Ceramics, Judaica, embroidered and crocheted table wear, traditional carpets, jewellery, and a lot of bric-a-brac. You have to bargain down the prices, at least a third. But if you offered a certain amount, you have to stick to it, otherwise you would be acting in bad manners. This is true for small and big purchases alike, there is an ethic code at the market you should follow.

Old coins, not worth much, bust nostalgic.

You see the eye beads here? They are mine now, and also some of these blue ceramic beads and ornaments from Persia.

My husband promised to prepare breakfast the next morning, so on our way back to the apartment we stopped at a small, tiny actually, Arab store to buy bread, eggs, cheese, etc. There this lovely boy entered with his sweet pet parrot - it had the softest feather dress ever and nibbled on my fingers with amazing tenderness! :-)

To be continued...