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.