“It’s so hot outside”, we all moaned together!

sunset on the Tel Aviv beach

Summer is grinding on at our house; toys, Barbies, crayons and swimming goggles are flying around my head as I sit at my sewing machine, my kids are whining I’m bored and I’m trying to think creatively to keep them busy.

flip flop feet

The girls’ new game while we’re driving around town is waving at everyone that will look at them! Most people ignore their weird, friendly greetings and some smile. I just shrug my shoulders and shake my head as I drive because I can’t pretend they belong to someone else like I usually do. Even though their frantic waving at stangers is fairly embarassing, the belly laughs I hear from the back seat make me chuckle too.

summer activities
summer swimming

I’ve been concentrating on tidying up the house (which was ignored the last 5 years that I had my store). The girls and I have been washing walls, organizing drawers, cleaning everything, making new bed curtains and table cloths, dusting things that haven’t been dusted for 5 years and throwing out piles of junk. The downstairs-storeroom (which I called the troll hole) was filled from with boxes, sewing machines and fabric from the store; it has finally been turned back into a useable playroom again. Really, this is a huge achievement because you used to have to climb over things to get to the couch to watch the t.v. which was framed by “stuff”, you could barely walk down there after we unloaded everything left from the store. I was supposed to tidy up this area a long time ago so I could work downstairs, but I couldn’t bring myself to work without a window and lots of light, so I took over the kitchen table as my little work space. 

messing storeroom
(Before) storeroom/family room

I wanted to get all this done before we take off for our vacation in August. The trip in August should supply me with endless photo opportunities at which time you’ll see where we are when I post some of the photos on my blog.

Emili in the pool

Creative summer kid activities include:
1. The girls and I planted our baren window boxes that were filled with dead plants and twigs with herbs and flowers.
2. I painted a small wall in the kitchen with chalk board paint which has proved to be a new “fun” place in the house. I was worried about the dark green paint being “too much”, but with all the art covering it, it’s o.k.
3. The girls and I attempted to make our own sushi one evening with a kit. I’ve been watching the Japanese sushi makers at the restauant down the street and thought “that looks like fun, and much easier than one would think”. We were deliciously successful!
4. Trips to the pool and the beach in the evening (armed with a bottle of vinegar to combat the jellyfish stings.)

fun for kids
kitchen wall chalkboard

We have seen quite a few visiting friends and relatives we haven’t seen in a while, that’s always fun! Stay tuned for photos of our vacation, followed by new needle felting tutorials of some cute (Waldorf style) toys.

summer in Tel Aviv
sprinkler park in Tel Aviv


Needle Felting FairytalesTutorial

needle felting
The needle felting frog/princes is looking for his princess.

How many frogs have you kissed looking for your prince? Well let’s not go into that now, but this little felted frog is really a prince that has been enchanted by a spiteful fairy. He is doomed to be a slimy, green amphibian till a princess gives him a big smooch. Will he find his princess, will they live happily ever after? Follow this tutorial to make your own needle felted frog/prince:

Needle felting fairytales
The Frog and the Princess
The Frog and the Princess
Breaking the Spell!The Frog and the Princess
needle felting fairytales
Waiting for love

Continue reading “Needle Felting FairytalesTutorial”

My Birthday Photo Essay

fleamarket shirts
vintage shirts

July 1st was my birthday, I started the day like off at the flea market. Going to the flea market has been a yearly birthday ritual of mine. I went by myself this year which made it a quiet, reflective and enjoyable trip.

quaint apartment
apartment overlooking the flea market

This is a beautiful, old apartment overlooking one of the main streets of the flea market. When I see interesting homes, I like to imagine who lives in them and their lives might be like.

smoking vegetables
nargila shop

I wandered through the crowded streets, looking at the old, vintage/junk items for sale. This year I wasn’t as excited about being in the flea market as in previous years; I found everything was messy and crowded together, which hadn’t bothered me in the past. I felt a need for order and peacefulness as I manuvered through the market.

old building
an old shop with lots of character

I left the flea market and crossed the street into the old city of Jaffa. The old city is on the sea, I felt the need to be by the sea. I’ve been to the old city so many times that I challenged myself to to see things differently, so my photos would be new and fresh.

jaffa church tower
funny, tall trees next to the Jaffa church tower

The first thing I encountered as I approached the old city was a dilapidated building, as I passed it I heard very loud chirping. ! ?  I turned around to peer into the glassless windows to see what was making so much noise. The crumbling, vaulted ceilings were COVERED with little bats hanging upside down. There were four owl bodies hanging down from the ceiling, obviously they were meant to scare the bats away, but it wasnt’ working at all. There were so many of them that the ceiling appeared black and undulating. I continued on.

Jaffa port

I ate lunch at a seaside restauant that looked Greek. After lunch, I continued on my way down the smooth, ancient and winding stairs of the city, into the port area. The Jaffa port is authentic, it’s dirty, the boats are working boats, there are piles of fishing nets topped by florescent buoyies, there are no fancy yachts. There are no chic boutiques lining the port area as there are in many other ports I’ve seen (the Tel Aviv port being one of them), but there is a  fish restauant and a bars/art galleries in the old warehouse spaces which appealed to me very much. There is art all over the port inside and out.

outside art
giant murals cover a warehouse

One warehouse in particular was covered in huge murals, all the characters appeared bleak and many offered to mutilate themselves for something in return, I think it was the opportunity to be taught something. All the graffiti and art I saw was depressing. Is that the state of affairs of Israeli-Arab artists? I suppose it could be, Israel is an intense and often depressing place if you live in reality here. Many choose to ignore what’s going on around them, it’s how you live a more peaceful life.

warehouse bar
huge bar/gallery space

I found a huge bar/gallery space in the port. Such large spaces are rare. The walls were covered by wire sculptures.

wire sculpture
man trying to fly?

This figure seems to be trying to fly or he is floundering in some way-interesting, but depressing-again.

old building
crumbling Jaffa building

I noticed that I had a bit of a sunburn, so in the late afternoon I started heading back home.

time to go home
heading home along the sea

I was pleased with my day of photography and the moments I’d captured. It was now time to go home and take a birthday nap!