Friday, 18 April 2014

Mamshit- or Memphis

Three weeks ago we spent a weekend in the desert. I never saw the desert that green before- just take a look at the picture above. It was extremely green and there were lots of flowers (poppies, chamomile and more)... While we got only half of the average rain in the north, the south got double of the average rainfall this winter.

We spent the night in Mamshit (or Memphis). 

Mamshit was a Nabataean city built in the 1st century BC and was an important station on Incense Road. The city covers 10 acres (40,000 m2) and is the smallest but best restored city in the Negev Desert. The once-luxurious houses feature unusual architecture not found in any other Nabataean city. The biggest house measured 1,600 m2! That's HUGE.
It's really nice to walk through the remains. There are two beautiful mosaic floors from old churches. You can still see some colour- they must have been magnificent. There are also remains of the old public bath house.
I love walking through old cities and try to imagine how people lived there so many years ago. For people who love history and archaeology I can only recommend this place!
You can read some more here and here.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

batik tissue paper

When I was in primary school we had this "batik phase"- we made a lot of batik with special paper and with fabric. I don't have this special paper. I don't have batik colours- but we tried something similar anyway.

We took tissue paper and folded it. We dipped it in very liquid gouache (gouache with a lot of water). When we unfolded the tissue paper we could admire the patterns and how the colours mixed.

It's not a perfect technique. The tissue paper was quite thick and it was tricky to get a lot of colour on it and not only few spots here and there.
The gouache was maybe not the best choice. maybe water-colour would have worked better...

Anyway it was fun and the girls produced a whole stack of batik tissue papers.

home made play dough

I already tried all kinds of play dough recipes- never one that included cooking. Today I tried. I used this recipe as a base. It worked quite well- but I had to add a bit more flour. I also had no cream of tarter- so I used baking powder.

For each colour I used this base:

  • 100- 120 g flour
  • 2 dl water
  • 50 g salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 10 g baking powder
  • any additions like spices or food colour
Pour everything into a pan, mix everything together well, cook over medium heat until it starts to clump. Once you have a good junk that sticks together- take the dough out of the pan. Wait a bit until the dough cooled a bit- not that you will burn your hands. Then knead. It's a really smooth and soft dough. If it sticks too much, just add some flour.

For the yellow dough: I added turmeric
For the green dough: green food colour and a few drops of tea tree oil after I took the dough out of the pan- you could add all kinds of essences.
For the pink dough: red food colour- you could add juice of red beet. I also added some rose water and smashed, old make up. The make up was supposed to add a nice shine, but you can hardly see anything. I guess you would need a big amount.

Monday, 7 April 2014

stamping faces

Okay- not exactly my idea- I will give credit to mermag. My stamps look a bit less fancy- mainly because I don't have too much spare time- but they function perfectly well :-)
I cut out shapes from foam rubber (Moosgummi) and glued them to small wooden blocks.
The girls enjoyed stamping faces. I should get ink in different colours- that would be even more fun than only blue. 
Of course you could stamp also other things- or make templates that the kids can copy... Or stamp big paper rolls for gift-wrapping.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

outdoor play

The days are getting longer and warmer and the kids are more outside again.
All-time favorite is still baking mud- and sand-cakes- preferably with a lot of water and nicely decorated with some beautiful flowers from the garden. The last one not always to my liking... but hey- it does look nice :-)

Yotam likes balls (besides mud cakes, of course).

And Neomi has been practicing for weeks now rope skipping- in all kinds of forms. A great activity that can be done almost everywhere... and I tried to remember some of my old tricks from when I was a child...
Funny thing is- also Yotam wants to do it and this just looks hilarious :-)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

the doll house

Here some pictures from the inside of the doll-house we made. An overall picture is missing… I will try to make one soon.
I made some nice wallpaper from printed paper. I made the sofa and some very hastily built cardboard-beds. The bowls are made from acorns….

Maybe some more additions will be made but for now the kids all love to play 
with the dollhouse as it is.

Thursday, 6 March 2014


I don't get to write too much in the last weeks. We are in the middle of planing our new home. We will combine our apartment with the one above us and add an addition. It's almost like building a new house. We will go from tiny apartment (approx. 64 m2/ 689 sqft) to huge (180m2/ 1935 sqft). We wanted a less huge house, but we encountered too many constructional problems that in the end we had to add from the outside stairs and in addition we have to build a sheltered room. 
Our apartment is too small right now- the kids need more space. But in the same time I am a bit scared from this new, huge space.
Anyway- there's a lot to plan and chose... In addition we need to move out for the time of the renovation. Should start to pack.

Will hopefully post something more creative soon.

Above and below two pictures of one of our Saturday-trips to the fields/ forest/ wadi. Still green. But we had only around a third of the rainfall so far. I have a feeling it will be a very dry year.

Friday, 24 January 2014

sewing and knitting

I try to find more time to sew and knit lately... Not an easy task. I am usually too tired in the evenings. I made the owl-cushion above for Yotam as a Christmas present. I took the idea from here

I made some sleeping bags for the wooden dolls from fabric scraps.

And I did finish my knitting project- a hat for Yotam. I did not have a pattern- so this is my own prototype. There are some small improvements that could be done next time. Yotam likes it... and he's not standing still for photographs... below the best shot I could take.

Monday, 13 January 2014

some snow for me

at least a tiny bit..... :-)

Easily made... saw something similar here and liked it.

a morning in the waddi

Although not much rain fell so far, the landscape is slowliy turning green. I love this time of the year.
We spend many Saturday mornings in the waddi or in the fields.
There's plenty to play with and discover.
We make a small fire and tea and just enjoy the time.

Yotam likes to pour water from one cup to the other... 

Neomi is warming her belly :-)

Helen is "fishing"

Things are getting wet....