Wednesday, 23 April 2014

grateful list

I am grateful for:

Freckled noses

Snacking peas fresh from the garden

Yotam starting to talk more and more

A tiny, gorgeously blue hummingbird on the vine

A non-stop cart-wheeling daughter

Sweet tea made on a smoky fire

The sweet scent of blooming jasmine

Goodnight kisses

A long phone call with an old friend

Happy smiles on the kids faces

Drinking a cup of coffee with my love

Rose-petals and lady birds

A morning spent with sewing

The smell of freshly baked bread

Playing card games

And much, much more… so much more...

Friday, 18 April 2014

Mamshit- or Memphis

Three weeks ago we spent a weekend in the desert. I never saw the desert that green before- just take a look at the picture above. It was extremely green and there were lots of flowers (poppies, chamomile and more)... While we got only half of the average rain in the north, the south got double of the average rainfall this winter.

We spent the night in Mamshit (or Memphis). 

Mamshit was a Nabataean city built in the 1st century BC and was an important station on Incense Road. The city covers 10 acres (40,000 m2) and is the smallest but best restored city in the Negev Desert. The once-luxurious houses feature unusual architecture not found in any other Nabataean city. The biggest house measured 1,600 m2! That's HUGE.
It's really nice to walk through the remains. There are two beautiful mosaic floors from old churches. You can still see some colour- they must have been magnificent. There are also remains of the old public bath house.
I love walking through old cities and try to imagine how people lived there so many years ago. For people who love history and archaeology I can only recommend this place!
You can read some more here and here.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

batik tissue paper

When I was in primary school we had this "batik phase"- we made a lot of batik with special paper and with fabric. I don't have this special paper. I don't have batik colours- but we tried something similar anyway.

We took tissue paper and folded it. We dipped it in very liquid gouache (gouache with a lot of water). When we unfolded the tissue paper we could admire the patterns and how the colours mixed.

It's not a perfect technique. The tissue paper was quite thick and it was tricky to get a lot of colour on it and not only few spots here and there.
The gouache was maybe not the best choice. maybe water-colour would have worked better...

Anyway it was fun and the girls produced a whole stack of batik tissue papers.

home made play dough

I already tried all kinds of play dough recipes- never one that included cooking. Today I tried. I used this recipe as a base. It worked quite well- but I had to add a bit more flour. I also had no cream of tarter- so I used baking powder.

For each colour I used this base:

  • 100- 120 g flour
  • 2 dl water
  • 50 g salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 10 g baking powder
  • any additions like spices or food colour
Pour everything into a pan, mix everything together well, cook over medium heat until it starts to clump. Once you have a good junk that sticks together- take the dough out of the pan. Wait a bit until the dough cooled a bit- not that you will burn your hands. Then knead. It's a really smooth and soft dough. If it sticks too much, just add some flour.

For the yellow dough: I added turmeric
For the green dough: green food colour and a few drops of tea tree oil after I took the dough out of the pan- you could add all kinds of essences.
For the pink dough: red food colour- you could add juice of red beet. I also added some rose water and smashed, old make up. The make up was supposed to add a nice shine, but you can hardly see anything. I guess you would need a big amount.

Monday, 7 April 2014

stamping faces

Okay- not exactly my idea- I will give credit to mermag. My stamps look a bit less fancy- mainly because I don't have too much spare time- but they function perfectly well :-)
I cut out shapes from foam rubber (Moosgummi) and glued them to small wooden blocks.
The girls enjoyed stamping faces. I should get ink in different colours- that would be even more fun than only blue. 
Of course you could stamp also other things- or make templates that the kids can copy... Or stamp big paper rolls for gift-wrapping.