Sunday, 13 January 2019

Noemie's Bat Mitzva

Noemie celebrated her Bat Mitzva back in December. Her hobbies include horse riding, the Korean martial art of taekwondo, playing the guitar and skiing. She also loves dogs, and her mum told me that her favourite colour is blue.
I was asked to make one of my customised guest books for Noemie to mark the occasion. On the cover I have shown her next to a horse. She is wearing a white taekwondo suit and is holding a guitar. Behind her is her dog. In front of the horse are some skis.
Noemie's Bat Mitzva appears in English at the top and the date of the Bat Mitzva is at the bottom. Stars of David (known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David) in two corners of the cover add a little Jewish content.
As well as decorating the cover of Noemie's guest book, I also embellished five pages inside it. On the first page I created a horse to once again illustrate her love of horse riding. Then I added her white taekwondo suit with a blue belt, the rank that she currently holds. Next came a guitar, followed by a little papercut of her dog. Finally I added some more skis, some skiing poles and some goggles. Noemie loves to ski.
Each page also featured a silver Star of David placed on a pale blue background, Noemie's favourite colour.
Noemie's mum was kind enough to let me know that her daughter was very pleased with her book. "She was so happy and excited. Thank you so much. It's really amazing." she wrote to me.
Don't forget, if you would like to order a customised album / guest book for your own celebration, you can do so right here.

* This post has been shared on Sunday Features, All Seasons, {nifty thrifty sunday}, Amaze Me Monday, Happiness is Homemade, Inspiration MondayMix it up Monday!, MMM Block Party, The Good. The Random. The Fun., Creative Mondays and Made By You Monday.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Sar and Tor

Twins Tor and Sar recently turned 50. Their sister asked me to make them special cards to mark their big day. She wanted the cards to be as similar as possible but at the same time they needed to be customised for each twin. Each card needed to have a big 50 on it, a picture of their dog, their work and she wanted some general birthday paraphernalia as well.
Tor's card, her sister told me, needed a tennis racket on it. She is the head of the Alyth Kindergarten and loves her dog, Flossy.
Sar works for Spread a Smile, a charity dedicated to brightening children's days during long hospital stays by providing entertainers, magicians, musicians, face painters and so much more. She plays the guitar and has a beloved dog, Tilly.
I am told that both ladies loved their cards.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

The Best of 2018 - Part II

1. Holidays in Haifa  2. Shoham Forest  3. Tel Beit Shemesh  4. Yaacov Agam Museum of Art  5. 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza  6. Koolulam at the Tower of David 7. The Port City of Acre  8. A Bridge at Nesher Park and Rosh Hanikra  9. Ein Avdat National Park  10. Mishmar HaSharon Reservoir and Agamon Hefer

Happy New Year! When I started writing this blog back in 2008 I initially kept it as a blog purely about my papercut art. However, I soon found out that people were interested in reading a little more about me and my life here in Israel, as well as viewing my latest creations. Whilst I still don't write every single detail about myself here, I have opened up to you about my Jewish faith and many of the holidays we celebrate, and I have written about some of the beautiful places I have been fortunate to visit in Israel.
This month I will be marking 24 years in Israel. That's exactly half my life! Over the years I have enjoyed exploring the country and finding off the beaten track places to visit, particularly when the kids were younger (they are now teens and less interested in coming out with Mum and Dad). We have been north, we have been south, east and west - though that's not so hard really since the country is so small!
This year I travelled abroad twice, to London in March and then Amsterdam and Hull in the summer (lucky me!). We also took a short trip with our boys to the Negev desert - you can see just some of the places we visited here. I have walked over a 70 metre suspension bridge at Nesher and joined a communal singalong at the Tower of David in Jerusalem. We explored Haifa and Acre in the north and hiked Ein Avdat in the south. In addition, I have been to several museums, my favourites by far being the new Yaacov Agam Museum of Art in Rishon LeZion and the incredible exhibition "Rock Paper Scissors" at the Tower of David Museum, below. I would say it was a good year!
I have blogged about all of these places and more, but thought it would be fun to pick my top 10 of 2018. So, in no particular order, please click on the names above and enjoy exploring Israel with me!

... and this is me, 24 years ago, when I first moved to Israel!

Sunday Snap

Thursday, 27 December 2018

The Best of 2018 - Part I

1. Fifteen  2. Hi Mum... you're 91!  3. The China Anniversary  4. 25 Years!  5. Keshet  6. Vacuuming and loving it  7. Jessie  8. Swimming and Tennis  9. Ma'ayan and Avinoam  10. Eighteen

Whilst the Jewish people worldwide have already celebrated Chanukah (you can read more about the festival here) and have returned to normal routine, many of you are now celebrating Christmas. Happy holidays to you and best wishes for an amazing year ahead! Thank you so much for taking time out of your daily lives this past year to pop by and see what's happening over here at Handmade in Israel. I hope you will continue to visit in 2019 as I share the coming year's cards, albums and papercuts, and a few of my adventures in Israel.
In 2018 I made customised cards, albums and papercut pictures for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, new babies and more. As is common at this time of the year, I thought it would be fun to collect together some of my favourite designs from this past year and show them to you once again. Have you spotted your card, album or picture amongst my collections? 
A big thank you to those of you who have commented, liked, shared and bought what you've seen on my blog. It is such a compliment to the maker, artist or designer when you buy directly from them. I am always very happy to receive your encouraging comments and support. Thank you for liking what I make.

1. Ella's Album  2. Gabriel's Album  3. Talia's Album  4. Elinor's Album  5. Rosh Chodesh  6. Tehilla's Album  7. Emmy's Album  8. 'Mem' is for Miriam  9. Lucy's Album  10. Amy's Album

I have also visited some interesting places in Israel, which I have shared with you as an occasional travel post. I'm saving my top 10 favourite places for another time. I have enjoyed composing each and every one of my blog posts, and hope you will continue to visit and enjoy them too in 2019, as I share the coming year's papercut designs and a few more of my adventures in Israel.
Don't forget that you can subscribe to my blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Oh, and please pop by my shop now and then to see what is new there.
Wishing you a wonderful, happy and colourful Christmas, and a safe and exciting start to 2019!

* This post has been shared on Wednesday around the World, Little Things Thursday, Creatively Crafty Link Party, Saturday Sharefest, Saturday Sparks Link Party and All Seasons.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Christmas in Israel

I love Christmas decorations and seeing the twinkling lights but you could walk the streets of Tel Aviv through December and not have an inkling that Santa was about to visit. If you are able to cross over in to Palestinian areas, there is of course the trek to Manger Square in Bethlehem and Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity, plus there is an annual Christmas Parade, Christmas Market and Midnight Mass in the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. In the city where I live there is very little sign of the holiday, though I have heard Christmas pop songs on BBC Radio 2 on the Internet and sung along to Last Christmas (best Christmas song ever!). We recently celebrated Chanukah in our own home but that doesn't stop me from liking Christmas as well! I find it rather fun to sit at my desk and listen to the Christmas songs I remember from years gone by and am quite well versed in all the carols too, from my school days back in the UK.
Christmas trees at the Church of the Visitation, Ein Kerem, 2013.
I do have a papercut art business and some people, no matter where they live, still need Christmas cards. I personally send my handmade holiday cards to a few friends, while other people require cards to send to their clients abroad. After all, they are celebrating Christmas, even if we're not.
This year's cards have brightly coloured Christmas trees on them. It was fun to cut out the simple triangular shape of the tree and add some "twinkling" lights. My trees were not dissimilar to some of the trees I have spotted in Israel over the years, at the Church of the Visitation, Ein Kerem, at the YMCA in Jerusalem and more recently in the northern Israeli port city of Haifa.
Christmas trees at the YMCA in Jerusalem, 2016.
Happy holidays to you all and best wishes from the land where the Christmas story took place, even if there's no evidence of it on the streets! Thank you for all the support you have given me and my blogging adventure through another year. Please keep visiting.
Christmas tree in the German Colony, Haifa, 2017 (top) and 2018.

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