Saturday, 13 December 2014

sunny days

The rainy season started early and with a nice amount of rain. But since some two weeks it is mainly warm and dry again...
We are in the middle of the pecan nuts season. This will hopefully and sadly be the last pecan nut season for our tree. I really hope that in spring we will be able to start building/ renovating- with a year delay... but things are not sure yet. And sadly the tree will have to make space to our addition to the house... there was no way around it.

We spend our time collecting the nuts, making heaps of leafs and play in them. We spend time in the fields and wadi and enjoy how nature is getting green.

Sometimes even I get a break- when the kids are busy playing in the woods, collecting things, discovering things- or in the case of Yotam- fixing things (He's always busy with "drilling", "sawing", "hammering" etc. :-)

Today they were very busy in the garden and worked quite hard to get a big pile of leafs :-)

Monday, 1 December 2014

a princesse doll

Helen's birthday is comming up. She wished for a Rapunzel doll. Well- for her, Rapunzel is the one from the movie and she has blond hair. I asked her if she would mind, if it would be a princesse with brown hair (since I only have brown wool at hand)- and that's what I made her.

There's a very talented doll maker from Spain- I guess her name is Ana- and I just love her dolls. I let myself inspire from her work and I am quite happy with my prototype.. some things I would have to change next time (If there will be a next time- but I have a feeling that neomi will want a doll too). The head is a bit asymetric and I would make it a bit bigger.

You can check out Ana's work here. Be warned- her dolls are BEAUTIFUL!

I made a collection of clothes- like pants and dresses, skirts and socks, shawls etc for the doll, in case the princess is getting bored of her crown and princess-dress. :-)
I am not sure yet, if I should braid the hair or not...

Saturday, 18 October 2014

a bunny for a baby

I made a bunny for a dear friend's baby. I hope I will be able to see her little boy when we go to Switzerland for Christmas.
I used whatever fabric I had left from other projects and some recycled fabric.
The bunny also got a felt carrot- but it's not in the picture.

Now I need to start to think about Christmas presents and two more birthday presents...

Thursday, 16 October 2014


We spent the morning outside and went for a nice walk. I need to keep the kids outside otherwise they go crazy and I keep getting mad and we just fight...
We found some nice big pine-cones and took them home for a crafty project. We decided to make owls... well they turned out to be a mix between owls and parrots and penguins, but I really like them :-)

Helen added a hat- it's her wizard-owl.

My humble creation.

Neomi made the "queen of stars"- owl.

Monday, 13 October 2014


A few weeks ago I bought 2 kilos of locally produced honey. We have two guys in our community that started to keep bees and this year was the first year with honey.

For a long time I wanted to make a bee hotel for our garden. Last week we finally went down to the wadi to collect some reeds.
My husband made a simple box from pallet-wood and we drilled some holes in branches. The whole thing is not finished yet.

With the girls I made some bees from toilet-paper rolls. We painted the rolls, fixed some antennas and glued some eyes. The wings we made from a cardboard frame and foil. The bees are "flying" around the girls rooms now and Yotam got the one I made.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Sukkot- sewing and decorating

This week we are celebrating "Sukkot". Yesterday we went for a walk and collected some natural material in order to make decoration for the sukkah. The girls also made a paper-chain that is over 12 meters long- they just kept going and even plan to expand it more.

My husband is on a business trip this week and I am at home. They closed the company for the holidays- not my choice to stay at home (because it will decrease my vacation days, and I really need them for visiting my family....)- but of course I enjoy some free days. Since the day care is open I have even some hours all to myself! I have time for sewing- finally. I sew two presents (can't show them yet) and I recycled some old shirts and made two long sleeved shirts for Yotam. The days are still warm/ hot, but in the evening and morning it is getting chilly.
An overlook machine would come handy- but so far I get by with my 40 year old sewing machine

Happy holidays.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

a peaceful afternoon

Neomi was bored (once again). She wanted to play on the Computer, she wanted to watch TV. She was very annoyed with me because I did not allow her TV or Computer. She was frustrated and complained for a while until I gave her the task to write a list with ten things she would like to do. After quite some thinking she got her 10 things nicely listed.

One of them was, to make muffins. I scheduled this for the day after. In order to give Neomi (and myself) the space to actually make the muffins with minimal interference from the younger ones, I asked Helen what she wanted to do and she decided to do some watercolour painting.

So I set up the easel outside for Helen and her watercolours. I put up an old wooden board for Yotam to draw on and I printed a muffins recipe in German for Neomi (like this she could also practice a bit her Latin letters).
We had a great, peaceful afternoon.

Neomi made great lemon-poppy-muffins almost all by herself (no pictures).

Helen painted for quite a long time.

Yotam made one drawing with his crayons but decided then that it was much more fun to use his wooden saw to "saw" apart the board. He was busy for a long time peeling off straps of wood.

I can reccommend this list writing. Neomi was busy all week- choosing almost every day something from her list and already wrote a new one.

I try to fit in some activity for myself. I embroidered an owl- now finished I will use it for a lavender sachet- as a present for a very dear person.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

simple Lego math-game

There are so many fun ways to use Legos for simple math activities.
One day I made a board game for the girls. Later I improved it a bit, but they loved it even before that.

You need:

  • the game board
  • Lego people
  • Lego blocks and 
  • a dice to play

Each player adds or takes away blocks according to the field he gets after rolling the dice.
The winner is the one that ends up with the highest Lego-tower.

Have fun and feel free to print out the game for your own use.


Already over two weeks passed since we had our spiral themed days.
The artwork (inspired by Hundertwasser) we made you can find here.

We also went looking for spirals in nature. In many things you can discover spirals:

Snail-shells, cactus, pinecones, sunflowers, ferns, spider-webs, vines…

We collected some of the spirals we found, made pictures of others. In addition I printed some nice pictures and we hung them on the wall.

One activity was to lay spirals with yarn on sandpaper. This requires a bit of patience and good fine motor skills. The big girl gave up fast, but Helen designed for quite a while different spirals- in the end it turned into "nest making" for some small figurines.

We also made spiral mobiles from paper. In the beginning I marked lines and they cut along the lines, later they made them without help.

Even now they still discover spirals in unexpected places. 
I even cut peper in a spiral form and add them to Neomi's school snak (She loves it!). 

At home they like to eat the apple skin if I peel it like a spiral (or snake)- the longer, the better.

Monday, 15 September 2014

bees and honey

Next week is "Rosh Hashanah"- the Jewish New Year. Usually celebrated with dipping apples in honey for a sweet new year.
We made some nice cards. Prints with bubble wrap for the "beehive" background and fingerprints for the bees. The kids were too lazy to draw the wings and black lines, so I did this part.

I would like to do a bit more crafting for Rosh Hashanah, but since some weeks I have a huge workload at work and I hardly have enough energy for other things. I hope we will manage one or two more things anyway.

Monday, 25 August 2014

like Hundertwasser

I like Hundertwasser. His colourful art and his great, unconventional architecture.
A while back I bought a book for children about Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Since daycare is closed this week and I have two days with my kids, I decided to do something that includes Hundertwasser-art.
His paintings often include spirals. This morning we went for a walk and looked for spirals in nature (an interesting thing to do- even for grown ups!).
This afternoon, while Yotam was sleeping, we made some Hundertwasser- inspired-art ourselves.

The girls painted with watercolour a background. Then we made spiral flowers using glue, yarn and fabric stripes. I already prepared myself for a break in the middle of the project- but they were so eager to continue and managed to work surprisingly long. :-) Nothing like a successful activity...

Sunday, 24 August 2014

another Sunday

I disconnect myself from the news on the weekend. I can't deal it and need breaks from all those bad news. Then it's usually like a slap in the face to read the news after the weekend (weekend being Friday/ Saturday here in Israel).

News of a 4-year old dying from a rocket while running (not fast enough) to the shelter. (Only this makes me so sick to the stomach that I lose my appetite. The age of my daughter…), men being executed in Gaza because they "apparently" collaborated with Israel, rockets now also from Syria and Lebanon, a father seriously wounded while pushing the last kids into the shelter at the daycare and sheltering them with his body, sirens all over the south- all the time…

Another family came to stay with us. They have 5 kids and so far they held out tin the South but they needed a break badly. Especially the younger daughter is traumatized.

If you want to look at the good part of this war (and how can there ever be a really good part about a war)- we met some truly great families and gained new friends and I am happy we could give them some shelter from the rockets and the threat of the tunnels. I am praying that nothing bad will happen to them.

One week from now the new school year should start. But as things stand right now it does not look good. They might delay the start. There's no way kids in the south could go back to school while rockets are still hitting the area. In addition to this- those kids had no summer holiday whatsoever. Spending weeks in the shelters. The lucky ones could afford some days away in hotels. Others were lucky to get shelter for some time with family/ friends and strangers.

My daughters told me that they want to go to live in Switzerland because there are no rockets. I asked them if it would not bother them to leave their friends… well they did not like this idea that much. 
Of course I do think about it from time to time. On the other hand you can't just leave everything. If it will get really bad for us here- this might be an option (if there are still flights…. Enough that they will shut down the airport and there will be no way to escape except maybe by sea.). 
And, to be completely honest, I am not sure it will be that good with all the anti-Semitism in Europe. Do I want my kids to be called "dirty Jews" and worse? (Even if they are not Jewish according to the Jewish law, because I am not)…

Let's hope this will finally end!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

peg board and tape road

During the football world cup, Neomi got interested in the flags of different countries. During the same time I had this idea for a peg board. I painted a wooden board black, added some nails and created some sheets. In the one above you need to connect the flags with a rubber-band to the name of the relevant country. There are endless possibilities for this board. I made some sheets with practises for learning the alphabet, counting, shapes...
It would be great if I could laminate the sheets because the paper is getting creased and tears easily after multiple use...

We have three quite big boxes of Lego. They are usually stored in our store room because we don't have a lot of space. From time to time we take them out. Right now the kids (and we grown-ups as well) are almsot everyday playing with them for hours. The other day they needed a road. but the actual lego-parts consist of only 3 road parts. I gave them tape and a marker and they added their own road on the floor.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

and here we go again...

After a few days where I started to get out of my "on-hold-mode" and actually started to think and plan a tiny bit ahead again, we are back to news of rockets and sounds of fighter-airplanes....
The news updates that started to look almost empty and with a new item maybe once an hour are back to updates almost every minute... 
(source "y-net")

Iron Dome intercepts rocket above Kiryat Gat area 
(11:15 , 08.20.14)
Three rockets explode in area of Eshkol Regional Council 
(11:15 , 08.20.14)
Code Red sirens sound in Hof Ashkelon, Eshkol, Sha'ar HaNegev and Sdot Negev Regional Councils 
(11:01 , 08.20.14)
Two rockets explode outside community in Eshkol Regional Council; no injuries 
(10:56 , 08.20.14)
Flight from Stockholm to Tel Aviv cancelled following renewal of rocket fire 
(10:55 , 08.20.14)
Code Red sirends sound in Eshkol 
(10:49 , 08.20.14)
Sirens sound in Kiryat Gat and Regional Councils of Sha'ar HaNegev, Be'er Tuvia, Hof Ashkelon, Yoav, and Lakish 
(10:43 , 08.20.14)
Rocket explodes in open area in Eshkol Regional Council 
(10:39 , 08.20.14)
3 rockets explode in open areas in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council 
(10:38 , 08.20.14)
3 rockets explode in open areas in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council 
(10:17 , 08.20.14)
Code Red siren sounds in Hof Ashkelon and Sha'ar HaNegev 
(10:08 , 08.20.14)

My heart is heavy...

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

frozen chalk

We love to play with liquid chalk. This time I added a twist to it (I got the idea from here). I added baking soda to the cornflour and water. Instead of food colour I added water colour. I then filled the mix in a ice cube tray and froze it.
The frozen chalk melted quite fast on the hot pavement.
I gave the kids a bottle with vinegar and a pipette. They drizzled the vinegar on the chalk and because of the baking soda the chalk began to bubble, fizzle and sizzle- not as much as I actually thought, but still quite fun. maybe I will add more baking soda next time.

To make the chalk, you need:

- 1 part cornflour
- 1 part baking soda
- 2 parts water
- watercolour or food colour

Mix everything and fill ice-cube-trays. 

For the "sizzle": vinegar. Maybe it could work also with lemon juice- I would have to try this. The smell would be nicer :-)

Since one hour we have another cease fire and it seems to be quiet. Let's hope this one will last. Otherwise it starts to be ridiculous. Why to agree to ceasefires if you just start shooting all over again...