Sunday, 7 February 2016

creative bits and pieces

I am at home with a terrible toothache. Hope the dentist can fix this tomorrow...
Some pictures from the last days. Above: making some snacks as a gift- in chocolate dipped dried fruits sprinkled with coconut and sugar pearls. Easy and fast to make.

Yesterday I was sewing something and the kids joined me in some spontaneous activity- plundering my button-tin-box. They stuck the buttons with sewing-pins onto some cork plates that we use for hot pots.
From what I got the "decorated cakes".

Helen finished her waving project- I sew it onto some felt- can be used to place hot drinks on top of it...

Helen also made some finger puppets. It was her idea- I just gave her the tip to use rubber gloves. It's very easy and fast- just cut of the fingers of some rubber gloves and glue the puppets onto it. I had the idea from here.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

the pecan tree

After waiting for something like 8 years, after planing and re-planing for around 2.5 years we finally seem to get closer to our new home.
Yesterday we cut our pecan tree. We love this tree. 
It gives a lot of shadow in the hot and long summers and a lot of nuts (I hardly ever need to buy nuts). The kids climb on it, we have a tire-swing on it, we have huge piles of leaves in autumn and jump into them.

We will tear down our side of the building and build new- but we wanted to keep the tree.
Now it looks empty and "naked"- but the tree will grow back.

Right now we still live in the lower apartment of this building (where the small roof is over the entrance and the wooden play-hut). In around 3 weeks we will move out so we can start to build. And then we finally will have a more space.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

another yarn along

I seem to be in a knitting frenzy :-)
Joining again Ginny and her yarn along.
I finished the hat for my husband. I had a pattern but I had to unravel rows around 3 times because the hat always seemed too short (Guess I need to learn some more on how to adjust patterns). I hope it will be okay now- although I still have a feeling that it could have been a bit longer.
I love the blue colour and the soft yarn (merino).

I stopped reading the book from last week (A Sunday at the pool in Kigali)- I could not connect to it. I started another one- "Big Stone Gap" by Adriana Trigiana- and although I am still reading I can say that this is not a great book. Quite boring, the characters have no depth, there are whole parts that I skipped because they were not interesting... 
I need a good book- some recommendations? We will soon fly to Switzerland for a few days and I will have time to buy a book at the airport.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

yarn along

Again joining Ginny and her "yarn along". I can hardly believe myself that I am knitting that much lately. I finished the hat for Helen- might need to fix something with the lining but otherwise I am very proud of my accomplishment :-)

Now I started a more simple hat for my husband- although the kids suggested all kinds of patterns- like dinosaurs and ships. I am not sure yet what kind of pattern I will do- maybe some triangles or snowflakes, if at all. For the time being I am knitting the lower part.

I am reading "A Sunday at the pool in Kigali" by Gil Courtemanche. So far I did not get into it too much. We will see if I will keep going or if I will abandon the book at some stage.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

when I will be grown up...

Do you know what you want to be when you will be grown up?

You know what? I will turn 40 next year- in one year and 7 weeks, to be exact- and I still don't know what I want to do with my life… Isn't that kind of sad and scary? Or maybe that's just the way it is with most people?

Around the age of 13 or 14 we had to start to think about our future profession in school. We had to start to think about what we would like to do when we would be grown up. I never had this one idea that seemed perfect for me. I thought about becoming a baker, a teacher, an art teacher, a decorator (decorating shop windows) and probably some dozens of other things. In the end- at the age of 20 I started teacher's college- though that this could combine my many interests- from working with children to arts and music and history and language etc… It turned out to be the three worst years of my life- but this is another story.

Today I am working full time in an office- it's not my dream job (but then there remains the question what my dream job would be.)- but I work with really nice people and I quite like most parts of my work and it has some other advantages- like working only 5- 10 minutes away from home.

But I do think a lot about all kinds of projects/ jobs/work I would like to do. I just can't decide. I am the kind of person that hates to leave his cozy, warm, familiar and secure cave. I have a hard time starting new things (not talking about knitting or sewing projects)… Sometimes I wish for something or someone to kick my ass and get me going- or I will end up staying at the same job until I will retire and regret that I never did what I truly wanted…

Over the last years I had many ideas and I did not realize even one of them:

  • Playground designer and creator (there's a large space in our kibbutz that would be perfect for a nice playground/ park).
  • Going back to teaching (I would be so motivated to do that… but not in Israel, I guess)
  • Start a daycare with special focus on nature and outdoor
  •  Start a creativity-club for knitting/ sewing etc
  • Work in landscaping/ gardening
  • Stay and work for the summer months on an "Alp"  (I never quite figured out how you call this in English-  a simple alpine farmers hut with pasture, only used in summer)
  • Work in a hut or hostel in the mountains
  • Work in peace-programs that would bring together people from different backgrounds (so important in this country)- especially kids- because they are our future.
  • Children's book illustrator
  • Design the interior of educational buildings (like schools, kindergartens, day cares…)

It's not as if I would have the necessary skills for all these things- but I tell myself that if I really, truly want something, I could learn whatever it takes… Like when I taught myself how to play the guitar.

Well- maybe I should try a little harder and finally start to prepare the way for some change?

I was inspired to write about this by Camilla's blog post.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

yarn along

Another "yarn along" with Ginny. (By the way- check out her lovely coral-pink yarn that she dyed)

The hat for Helen will soon be finished. She chose purple and yellow for her hat and she wanted penguins. (Bit hard to see the colours since I took this picture in the evening with poor light.)

I am reading "The English German Girl" by Jake Wallis Simons. A heartbreaking story about a girl that escapes Germany in 1939 with a Kindertransport, has to leave her family behind and start a new life in England. I am not finished yet and can hardly stop reading.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

yarn along

I like to read Ginny's blog "small things"- she has this regular post on Wednesdays called "yarn along".
Although already Thursday, I thought I will try to join this time.

I learned how to knit when I was around seven years old- from my mother and in school. But I never knitted a lot and mostly easy things. I preferred sewing.
But knitting is convenient if you have only a few minutes here and there to spare so I started again to knit some time ago. I even started something I always wanted to know how to do- to knit nice patterns with two different colours. I first knitted a hat for Yotam and finished now the one for Neomi (above). The third one is in work for Helen. They could all choose the animal they wanted me to knit. I lined the inside with a soft fleece fabric.

What am I reading? "The ghost of Hannah Mendes" by Naomi Ragen.
I really like it so far. It is a very interesting story- a mix of history and love story.

Since it is the last day of the year- I wish you all a new year filled with peace, health and lot's of moments filled with laughter and joy.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


My oldest daughter has this shirt that she really likes to wear- I call it a "bat-shirt". I though that it looked like a quite simple cut and since I had some lovely blue, light fabric I thought I will give it a try and make a similar shirt for her.
I once bought the fabric to make a skirt for myself, but never quite came around to it. 

4 years ago I sew two nice dresses for my daughters- for the wedding of my sister. The bigger dress is still fitting the younger daughter- but not for long anymore. And since I never made nice pictures, I took the chance this weekend and made some. At the time I made my own pattern with the help of some existing patterns and tutorials. Even the buttons I made myself.

Monday, 19 October 2015

this and that

Somehow September passed. I have a difficult time being away from my side of the family. It hurts me not to be able to be with them during this hard time. I am mourning the loss of my little niece from afar and it's not easy.

But then life goes on, as hard as it is. And food needs to be prepared and kids want to play and create, work needs to be done and plans need to be made...

We put our tent in the garden for the kids to play. They wanted to sleep in it, but ended up inside in their beds in the end.

Our lazy cat Bruno.

Stamping with apples on fabric bags- as a present for the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShana)

And the youngest is always busy with drilling, hammering, screwing, sawing, fixing things...

pine cone birds

Some weeks ago we celebrated the Sukkot holiday where you build a small "hut" outside. You are supposed to eat, sleep etc in this hut and it is usually nicely decorated. Every year we make some new decorations (see also here and here) and some can be put aside to be used again the following year. This year we made small birds from pine cones.

We collected some pine cones and feathers.

We glued the feathers to the pine cone with hot glue. The eyes and beak are from felt- but you could use other materials like paper, fabric, rubber foam...

Since Sukkot is over, the birds hang now over our dining table.