Thursday, 25 April 2019

Shira

Blonde-haired Shira was turning 18 and it was her dad who asked me to make a card for her big day. She's a wiz at makeup, he told me, so that should be the main theme of the card. The beach, travel and champagne were also mentioned. Her favourite colour is bubblegum pink, he said.
I have shown Shira against a backdrop of a beach. She is holding some makeup in her hand and there is a lipstick, makeup brush and various makeup palettes - in shades of pink, of course - scattered around her. A plane represents her love of travel, whilst a bottle of champagne and a glass of the bubbly stuff are next to her. A big bubblegum pink number 18 marks her age.
"I think she really liked it [the card]" her dad told me.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Gin & Tonic and Solitaire

A customer asked me to make a birthday card for her friend. She needs to have a gin and tonic in her hand, she said. She also asked me to show her friend dancing and surrounded by music notes.
She sent me a couple of photos of the lady in question and in one of them she was wearing a red dress. I decided to show her wearing that dress on the card.
This Safta (the Hebrew word for Grandmother), below, has received my cards before. I have previously shown her making her famous chicken soup and outside her new holiday apartment in the Mediterranean resort city of Netanya. This time her daughter-in-law told me that Safta plays the card game Solitaire on her iPad every evening. I have shown her busy with her iPad and added some cushions and a few scattered playing cards in the background.
I am told that Safta loved the card.
Friday evening marks the start of Pesach, or Passover, and my family and I will celebrate the Passover Seder. You can read more about it in two of my previous posts here and here. 'Chag Pesach Sameach', a happy Passover festival, to all celebrating.

* This post has been shared on Wordless Wednesday Link Up, Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop, Wednesdays Around the World, Little Things Thursday and Creatively Crafty.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Mitzpe Revivim

We stayed at Chai Negev on Kibbutz Revivim back in 2015 but at the time Mitzpe Revivim, the lookout where the pioneers of the kibbutz lived until 1950, was only open for group visits. I made a return visit with my dad a few months ago and this time, because we were with a group, we were able to look around the place. I don't really like visiting places with a group. I prefer to manage my own time and decide how long I need for the visit, but it was a good opportunity to see Mitzpe Revivim and I enjoyed our time there anyway.
Mitzpe Revivim was established in July 1943 as part of a plan to examine settlement prospects in the Negev. The founding group of settlers was given about 7000 acres of land, purchased in 1935 by the Keren Kayemet (Jewish National Fund). The settlement was initially named Tel HaTzofim (Scout's hill) and later renamed Revivim (rain showers). Its name is taken from the Bible, Psalm 65:11: "You (Lord) ... level its ridges, you soften it with showers." For seven years Revivim was the southernmost Jewish settlement in Israel.
The settlers faced many difficulties in the first years. They struggled against the heavy heat, aridity, lack of water and means of subsistence. A single-minded engineer named Dov Kublanov made many attempts to accumulate the water of the Revivim River, creating canals, a 1.2m dam and a cistern lined with tar. Unfortunately flood waters destroyed the canal walls, the reservoirs drained away into the ground and the system was abandoned. Eventually water was discovered at a depth of over 100m and a tractor was modified to pump it out. Recording rainfall, and experimenting in various ways, the settlers managed to find enough water to grow produce in the sand. They succeeded in transforming the research station into a kibbutz, a communal settlement, in 1948, following Israeli Independence.
During the Israeli War of Independence, Revivim fell behind Egyptian lines for several months. The siege was only lifted during Operation Horev at the end of December 1948. Members of the kibbutz lived in underground bunkers and food was supplied by air and land convoys. Thirty members of the kibbutz survived the war, while eight were killed in raids and pitched battles with Egyptian forces. Today you can view the trenches, bunkers and planes that brought arms and supplies to Revivim. 
In the 1950s Revivim moved into new accommodation, very near to the original site. Fresh water arrived for the first time in 1955. Today the kibbutz thrives on a large olive crop, about 8000 acres of arable farming, as well as a dairy farm, a chicken hatchery, a fish growing farm and other non-agricultural industries. The old dwellings of the first settlers have been reconstructed and visitors can learn the story of this incredible community and its successful role in developing Jewish settlement and desert agriculture in the Negev, as well as the events of the 1948 war.
We saw how the settlers lived in the early days by exploring  the "castle" (all of the Negev mitzpim - lookouts -  were built like tiny castles and included a two-story security edifice within a courtyard surrounded by a wall made of stone), residential rooms, a radio room, a weapons room and the dining room. We looked at the tools and tractors used for agriculture, visited the aircraft compound and the dam room which tells the story of the settlers many attempts to accumulate water to irrigate the land with fresh water. The observation tower offered a wonderful view of the vast areas of Kibbutz Revivim, its fields and the large olive vineyard (bottom photo), as well as the bunkers and fortifications used through 1948. (Please make sure you click on the photo to appreciate just how incredible the view is).
There are two caves at Mitzpe Revivim which are actually water cisterns that were originally built by the Nabateans. The larger cave housed the settlers during their first year in Revivim and later became a field hospital. Pipes - which have become the symbol of the museum - were hastily erected as support when settlers needed to build a back wall in the cave.
The smaller cistern wasn’t discovered until 1948, when members dug the ground for a bomb shelter. This cistern became a command post during the War of Independence in 1948 and contains some vintage weapons and an escape hatch.
The establishment of Kibbutz Revivim and two similar outposts, Mitzpe Gvulot and Beit Eshel, helped sway the United Nations to include the Negev in the State of Israel. The Morrison-Grady plan, announced in July 1946, proposed dividing the country into three parts and leaving Jerusalem and the Negev out of Jewish hands, prohibiting settlement in the area. Instead, the area was to remain under British rule.
In 1943 Jewish leaders in Palestine sent little groups deep into the Negev, not only to conduct agricultural research, but also to gain a foothold on the land. In 1946, on the night of 5-6th October, the famous "Night Of The Eleven", eleven new settlements were formed overnight in order to assure a Jewish presence in the area prior to the partition of Palestine. None of the settlements were ever removed by the British and all but one of the settlements exist to this day (Kfar Darom was dismantled as part of Israeli disengagement from Gaza).

* This post has been shared on All SeasonsThe Good. The Random. The Fun.Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday), Tuesday's TreasuresOur World Tuesday and My Corner of the World.
Sundays In My City

Monday, 8 April 2019

Bookmarks

At the end of last week I participated in the IWEN retreat 2019.  IWEN, which stands for Israeli Women Entrepreneurs' Network, is a Facebook group which is designed to provide a platform for information, exchange of ideas and support for female entrepreneurs in Israel. The retreat was an opportunity to put faces to some of the names I recognised from the group. I learnt a tremendous amount from the various presentations that were made. The incredible women who participated in the retreat were all professional, determined strong women who came together to support, network and, yes, have fun together!
Some time before the retreat a request was put out for "swag". The organisers were putting together a gift bag for the retreat participants. I saw it as an opportunity to contribute something with my name and brand and was happy to come up with something suitable.
The retreat took place at a hotel in the coastal city of Herzliya. The view from my room was fabulous! It was good to make some new connections and I was happy that everyone received a colourful "Lisa Isaacs Papercut Art" bookmark in their gift bags. I designed and had them printed with all my details on the back. Now everyone knows where to find me on Etsy, Blogger, Facebook and Twitter!

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Eilon and Ben

Young Eilon was turning 4. Mum told me that he likes drawing and Spider-man.  I have shown him drawing a picture and added some coloured pencils and Spider-man's face. The Spider-man themed number 4 marks his age.
The card made me smile as I put it together because I knew that I had really captured Eilon's likeness. Happily his mum agreed and was delighted with the the card. "He will think that he is looking in a mirror!" she said. That did rather seem to be the case - look at these gorgeous photos she sent me. Eilon does indeed look very happy with his customised birthday card!
Somewhat older, Ben was turning 21. His mum asked me to show him doing shoulder exercises, with AirPods in his ears, listening to music. I asked what exercises he does (Ben recently injured his shoulder) and was told that he uses a blue ball. I added the white AirPods and the logo for the fitness centre Holmes Place, which mum says is his second home. A big yellow number 21 marks his age.
"Great card." mum wrote to me. "It's perfect. Really appreciate all the thought and effort that goes in to them. Ben will love it."
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