Monday, 22 December 2008

Chanukah 5769

Last night we lit the first candle on our Chanukiah, sang the traditional Maoz Tzur (Rock of Ages) song and ate doughnuts to celebrate the first night of Chanukah. Chanukah, or the eight-day Jewish holiday of the Festival of Lights, is a time when many families exchange gifts. Greetings cards are not often sent on this festival, but when presents are being exchanged, then gift tags are required. 'Handmade in Israel' is happy to oblige.
These tags show a dreidel, a four sided spinning top with a different Hebrew letter on each side. The game of dreidel is traditionally played during the holiday, possibly linking back to the time of the Greek-Syrians. The Jews were prohibited from studying Torah, the first part of the Jewish bible, so when they saw the Greek-Syrians coming they would take out their dreidels, and trick them into thinking they were just playing a game!
Whilst here in Israel and the Jewish people worldwide are busy celebrating Chanukah, Christmas is rapidly approaching and this is also the time to wish my friends out there happy holidays and a healthy and wonderful new year. Looking forward to a crafty and creative 2009!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

A Chanukah Fair and an Etsy Treasury

I participated in a Chanukah fair last week in the function hall of one of the nearby kibbutzim. The place was pretty busy but I can't say that it was one of my more successful evenings. I guess you win some and you lose some. Above, you can see a photo of my table. Not the biggest space ever, but I was able to show my 'Handmade in Israel' goodies well enough.
On a more exciting note, I received an e-mail this morning from Busy Beads to say that she had included one of my papercut picture in her Penguin Power Treasury. I quickly went over to look and it was pretty exciting to see my penguin there amongst such other lovely pieces. If anyone is interested in my picture (seen here middle row, on the left), it is available in my shop.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


I have been tagged by the lovely and so very talented Jen at Frazzy Dazzles.
The tag is as follows:
1. Open the 4th picture folder on your computer
2. Open the 4th picture and post it on your blog.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same!
Here is my photo... and it just so happens to be a photograph of a 'Handmade in Israel' custom-made card!

Back in February 2006 I was asked to create a birthday card for "The Best Husband and Daddy in the World". He is a doctor and apparently always brings extra goodies and sweets home for his kids when he is sent out to do the grocery shopping! What a nice guy. He has celebrated other birthdays since, and if I remember correctly, has received some more custom-made cards, but I hope that he remembers this card and how much his purchases were appreciated by his wife and and kids!
Now to pass it on:

Julie at Hand

Stacey at Three Red Trees

Abby at While She Naps

Nicky at The Vintage Magpie

Have fun you four!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

A card, kippot and a corsage

A friend asked me to make a custom-made card for her Mum who was arriving for a visit to Israel on her birthday. I was asked to show Mum, who is a doctor, with her medical bag, surrounded by seven little faces, her grandchildren in Israel. The Israeli flag was also requested. For once I knew all the kids well, so was able to get all their hair colours and styles as near as I could imagine. The two older boys in the families wear kippot, the small skullcap that is worn by observant Jews around the world. The dark-haired boy on the left of the card wears a regular round kippa, which require clips to hold it in place. The boy on the right is wearing a colourful Bukharan kippa, traditionally worn by Bukharian Jews, whose name comes from the ancient emirate of Bokhara. These kippot are nowadays worn by many of the boys in the nurseries because they are larger and therefore easier to keep on their heads!
How does the expression go? You wait for a bus then two come along at once. Well, in my case it was winning two blog giveaways! I showed you Ozvald a few days ago. Yesterday I returned home to find this beautiful corsage from the very clever Alice at Raspberry in my letterbox! I fought my urge to tear it open and photographed it first to show you all how beautifully it was packaged. Alice, the merino and silk corsage is stunning and I look forward to the opportunity to wear it very soon. Thank you.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Turning Japanese

A good friend of mine turned 40 last week and I was asked to create a large birthday card from a group of her friends. She loves Japanese art and it was suggested that I go with that theme. My initial reaction was to say "But I'm not Japanese", but then I remembered that I'll have a go at anything! I did a quick search on the internet for ideas and then set to it. This card shows a real change in direction from my usual work, and I was actually very pleased with the end result. Happy birthday Jane - I hope that you like it too!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


A package that I had been eagerly awaiting arrived at 'Handmade in Israel' this morning... with the name manOmine on it! I regularly check out Mia's gorgeous blog and a couple of weeks ago was excited to see that she was running a competition. I entered it... and won!!! Look who came to live with us today...


Isn't he gorgeous? Isn't he just adorable? Look how beautifully he has been created. Mia says that it's fun making her hedgehogs. Well, I can tell you that it's fun receiving them too! Her package was beautifully presented and I received some other goodies too...

Many, many thanks Mia. I have always loved your work from afar. Now I love it even more!

And for those of you wondering where the handmade greetings cards are in this post, I'll be back with some more custom orders to show you very soon!

Etsy Paper Goods Showcase

This is my advert on Etsy's Paper Goods Showcase today. 'Handmade in Israel' cards, pictures and treasure boxes right there in the middle! Please drop by to have a look, and if you've arrived here from Etsy - welcome! I hope that you like what you see here at 'Handmade in Israel' and come back to visit again and again.

Monday, 8 December 2008

The Girls are Celebrating

I mentioned in my last post that I have had a number of custom-made card orders recently. Now I can show you two of them. First up is a 40th birthday card. I was asked to illustrate the birthday girl as a baby, but with her trademark long curly hair. She is an optician, so I added the little glasses for a bit of fun.
Below, you can now see a card that I showed a snippet of a little while back. I know that it has now been to delivered to the person who ordered it in the UK. This one is a Batmitzvah card and a very specific design was requested. I was asked to show two friends jumping on a large trampoline, one with her hair scraped back in a ponytail and one with her hair loose. It was also requested that I make it "really, really girlie" and to use glitter and sparkle! I used a little bit of artistic licence here so that you can see the girls clearly. They should actually be inside the trampoline for safety reasons, but I hope that I can be forgiven for that one!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Penguins and Presents

It's been a busy few days here at 'Handmade in Israel'. I have a few new custom-made cards to show you, but in the meantime thought I'd show you some recent work and work in progress. Clockwise, from the top centre row, you can see a birthday card for a soon-to-be four year old who loves painting and drawing, and a little football in his spare time; Some pretty floral birthday cards personalised for a customer; Chanukah gift tags to fill my baskets at an upcoming fair; Penguins being prepared for a couple of papercut pictures; Chanukah gift tags in use.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Open for Business

Some of you might have already noticed that little box on the top right-hand side of my blog titled 'My Handmade in Israel Shop', and I am delighted to confirm that my Etsy shop is now open for business! It is bursting with all my papercut goodies, from my cards for all occasions, to artwork and treasure boxes, and most importantly for the moment, Christmas cards for the upcoming holidays, made in the place where it all began!
Please drop by to have a look and possibly make some purchases for the holidays or simply because there is something there that you love, and remember, I am always happy to hear from anybody with a special request for their own custom-made illustration or cards.
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Back to front

A friend recently told me of a new Judaica shop in town and was kind enough to mention my name to the owner. I dropped in there last week to show him my cards. He liked them and is going to stock them in his shop. Consequently I have been busy these last few days preparing a box full of cards that are back to front! Why? Because Hebrew, and the other Semitic languages, are written and read from right to left. Books in Hebrew open in the opposite direction from books in English, and this applies to greetings cards too.
Above you can see some of the designs I will soon be delivering to the shop. From left to right, a Mazal Tov, or congratulations card, a Batmitzvah card, and a Barmitzvah card in Hebrew, and in the box, a more traditional design for Barmitzvah card with a Magen David, or Star of David, and stripes to represent the Tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl, which a boy is obligated to wear in the synagogue from the day of his Barmitzvah and onwards.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

May the best team win!

I recently showed a card that I made for my son's birthday showing him wearing a combined Arsenal and Hull City football shirt. This time it was Newcastle and Tottenham cards that were requested. Top left, you can see the black and white stripes of Newcastle's 2008/9 shirt, and on the right Tottenham's white shirt.
I also created another, non-football related, design for men. Above, you can see a new design showing a nice bottle of red wine and a glass to congratulate one of the men in your life, and on the right, a return to my more floral, feminine designs with a Batmitzvah card that was requested, in hebrew, for a girl who really loves flowers.
Congratulations to all, and I hope that the best team wins!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Red and yellow and pink and green

This was a truly delightful card to create. A friend's daughter recently celebrated her Batmitzvah and I was asked by a fellow guest to create a rainbow-themed card for the Batmitzvah girl, to match the theme of the celebration. It was a lot of fun to do and lovely to go a little wild with the colours!
I have also been making some more pictures. These particular ones will be collected this evening and have been purchased as newborn baby gifts. I am sure that the babies will not appreciate them, but hopefully the new mums will be pleased with a little 'Handmade in Israel' artwork for their babies rooms.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Business as usual

The birthday celebrations are over for now (though we have another one in the not too distant future) and it's business as usual for me. I have been busy with some more custom orders. Above is a detail from a yet-to-be-delivered Batmitzvah card, so I am going to wait a little while until I show you the whole thing. A very specific design was requested - two girls bouncing on a trampoline - and it took me quite a while to work out the composition. I hope that the young lady receiving it will be happy.
Below is a birthday card that I know has been received, and I believe, very much appreciated. This particular teenager is very into the Stardoll website at the moment, so I made the birthday girl into a Stardoll cover girl for her big day.
Congratulations to both girls!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Thursday morning we expect to be up early. Very early. We are celebrating a birthday here and that of course means presents, cakes, and a special card made by Mum! Above, a yet-to-be-received card showing my football loving, chess playing eight year old. We are a divided home here when it comes to teams. Dad is originally from London and an Arsenal supporter through and through. I am originally from Hull and, though not a football fan myself, come from a football mad family and Grandpa has a strong influence! Thus my son has two favourites and I have depicted him wearing both shirts! The much-loved 'Sock-puppety' also got in there too...
Happy Birthday to my wonderful 8 year old!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

All the Fun of the Fair

Yesterday I participated in my first fair for quite some time, and it was a very successful day for me. The weather was bad - yes, even in Israel - and so, though we were supposed to be outdoors, the day before I received a phone call to say that we were moving indoors and that space was somewhat limited. Subsequently my table was very small and rather restricted what I was able to show, but fortunately it didn't seem to put people off. My framed pictures were popular, and of course the cards too, and there are quite a few children who will be receiving my little trinket boxes for their Chanukah gifts this year. A good start to the season for me!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

After the Chagim

The phrase "After the Chagim" (Jewish Festivals) is used a lot in Israel during the build up to and days of all the recent festivals that we have celebrated here. Nothing seems to get done and everyone is in holiday mode! Now there is a lull and no major festival until Chanukah, the Festival of Lights that usually comes in December. Work has resumed again, the kids are back at school and I can start thinking about other faiths other than my own! I have started work on some Christmas cards which will be available in my Etsy shop well in time for the festive season. Each card is hand crafted so colours and the papers used will vary, and they are left blank inside for your own message.
Time to get crafting!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

All the Eights

We are currently celebrating the holiday of Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles, here in Israel. It is a 7-day holiday, with the first day celebrated as a full festival with special prayer services and holiday meals and the remaining days known as Chol HaMoed ("festival weekdays"). My husband has had the week off work and we have been busy as a family going on some lovely day trips. However, crafting and card-making is always in the background and I have created a few custom orders during the periods that we have been at home. Yesterday we hiked up to the top of Masada, the site of an ancient fortress on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. My mobile phone rang as I reached the top and a friend wanted to give me an order for a card for her daughter's birthday! I had to suggest that she may be better off sending me an e-mail with all the details as I didn't have a pen at hand! The card has been created today, now that my legs have had a little rest, and above, on the left you can see a ballet themed card for an eight year old dancer, and on the right a separate order for an eighteenth birthday card, in Hebrew, for a girl who loves floaty dresses and loves to drive.
Masada: Desert Fortress overlooking the Dead Sea

Friday, 10 October 2008

Two by Two

The latest requests for custom-made cards came in two's. The cards above are for twin boys who are turning 2. They are not identical - one with very curly hair and one with straight hair - and I was asked to create cards showing, on the left, a favourite tricycle, and on the right, a much loved baseball mit and ball and a plastic bar of butter that apparently gets carried around the house! In the few years I have been making custom-made cards for people I have never been asked to create a card for a camel lover either. The card below is for a retired road traffic authority worker who is fascinated with camels.
Happy Birthday to the twin boys who are turning 2 and to the man who loves the animals with 2 humps!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

It's been Framed!

It's been all cards, cards, cards here for a while! I thought it was time to show you some more of my framed pictures that I sell at fairs. Each one is an individual design created out of cut paper.
Above, one in a series of three bird illustrations - papercut, 20x20cm.
Below, 'Cow' papercut - 20x20cm, and 'Little Duck' papercut - 15cm x 15cm.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

New cards and a New Year

I have been busy with a few custom orders.
Clockwise, from top right, a birthday card for a Manchester United fan, who also goes to taekwondo and plays basketball; 'Happy Birthday Mom' - a pretty card requested for a wonderful Mum; 'Mazal Tov on Your Barmitzvah' for the same birthday boy who will shortly be celebrating his Barmitzvah. I have shown the Barmitzvah boy holding a torah scroll, his siddur, a Jewish prayer book containing a set order of daily prayers, and wearing his tallit or prayer shawl; Top left is a birthday card for his sister who loves reading to the local kids.
Early next week my family and I will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is the first of the High Holidays or Yamim Noraim ("Days of Awe"), the most solemn days of the Jewish year, which conclude with the holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I would like to wish you all a very happy new year - 'Shana Tova Tikosevu' ('May you be inscribed for a good year!').

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Flowers for Shabbat

There is a nice tradition in many Jewish families to bring the lady of the house flowers before Shabbat, the weekly Sabbath or day of rest. It is customary to eat three festive meals on Shabbat. The table is usually beautifully set with a plaited challah, which is symbolic of the double portion of manna God gave the Jewish people on Fridays during their time in the desert after the exodus from Egypt, a crisp white tablecloth and an arrangement of flowers.
Above are my 'Flowers for Shabbat'. A new design in cut paper which could be used for a birthday, anniversary or just to tell someone that you care for them.
Shabbat Shalom from 'Handmade in Israel'.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

A Birthday and Batmitzvah

Returning to designs for women and girls for the time being, I created a birthday card for a special soon-to-be 3 year old, pink hair, fairy wand and all! I hope that she likes it.
I also restocked my supply of Batmitzvah cards. Every Jewish girl becomes Batmitzvah at age 12 - a year earlier than a Jewish boy becomes Barmitzvah - so I have created a pretty card with the age emphasized on it. I have produced it in a number of different colourways because I am often told that by 12 years old the Batmitzvah girl is not always into pinks and pastel colours, but would rather go for blue or even black!

Monday, 15 September 2008

All Tied Up

Continuing the restocking process, I created some cards for men this time. I am aware that there have been a lot of flowers on this blog lately, so wanted to show you that there are also male designs available at 'Handmade in Israel'. This is a simple, graphic design but actually quite a time-consuming one. Each of those ties is hand cut, and the stripes and spots all individually cut and glued, producing, I hope, a pleasing and appealing card for a man. This design is available in many different colourways.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Hat, guitar and book in hand

More cards have been created this week, now that I have my mornings back! Above, you can see a custom order for an 11 year old boy who likes to wear a baseball cap, plays the guitar and is excellent at maths.
Below are some more cards for my stock - flowers, hearts and bows in different colourways. My stock was reduced over the summer when I had little time to create and some sales were being made, so it is a nice feeling to see it somewhat replenished again.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Work in progress

I remember back in college creating a fabric design called 'Little Birds'. I have always had a soft spot for bird designs and thought it time to create something new myself. There is a lot of inspiration out there - I love Tiel's prints and the soft-sculptures created by Abby at While She Naps. Above, you can see the bird design I made.
It felt good to be creating again and I was very focused and able to really get busy with my cards for Rosh Hashanah too. There are a few more bees, apples and pomegranates to go though!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Two New Years

Over a month has passed since I last posted. Since then we have been on a wonderful holiday to France, the kids have been home, and consequently very little work has been done! My boys have gone back to school today and now it is time to knuckle down and create some art. As well as the start of the school year, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is rapidly approaching and some of the very little time I got to work during the school holidays was spent working on a new design for my new year greetings cards. I will be making them in both hebrew and english. I also need to boost my card supply as I have a fair coming up too. Time to get to work...

Wednesday, 30 July 2008


Summer is here (actually summer arrived here in Israel a long time ago!), the kids are home from school and have finished camp, and we are heading off on a big trip in a few days time. I'll be away from 'Handmade in Israel' for a short while, so am leaving you with a couple of 'summery' images for you to enjoy. On the left some of my all-occasion cards in pretty pastel colours, and on the right a re-make of this birthday card, this time for a younger girl, simplified a little and crafted in lighter colours.
I was flattered to receive my very first blog award from Jen at Frazzy Dazzles. I am not too sure how Jen originally found my blog but she has been a constant support all along and always has something lovely to say! Thank you Jen for thinking of me. I promise to comply with the rules of this award and nominate some very worthy blogs when I return!
Wishing you all a happy and relaxing summer.