Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Abstract Leaves

With all this ohmygodwhenwilliteverend rain (why yes, it is raining again today now that you ask, and no, it isn't supposed to let up until sometime in May I think - for goodness sake ending a 10-year drought is a good thing, but does it have to end all at once????) at least things are looking lush and green for a while.

I haven't the faintest idea what plant this is, I just liked the shape of its leaves. I know it flowers at some point but none of my databases of Israeli wildflowers allow you to search by leaf shape. If any of you know please tell me. Hang on, wait a second, could it be wild tulips (and if so, when do they bloom)? The leaves do look quite tulip-like and an old man I met in the forest that day did mention something about tulips surprisingly being native to this region...

Whatever it is, I thought it made for an interesting photo.

Visit Wordless Wednesday to see what else people aren't saying this week, and Wordful Wednesday to see what they are.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Yes, it's another anemone. They're blooming everywhere now and I just can't get enough of these beautiful wildflowers. I plan to enjoy them as long as possible because before we know it the rainy season will end (please oh please let it end already!) and the hills will be back to their usual summertime drab. In the meantime it's red petals galore here around the island, and a glorious sight they are.

Click here to see this image in my Society6 shop.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Almond Blossoms against a Crisp Blue Sky

Now this is what winter in Israel is supposed to look like :)...

Click here to purchase this image from my etsy shop.

Visit Skywatch Friday for more skies from around the world.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yellow Wildflowers in the Sun

The sun FINALLY made an appearance yesterday so before it could change it's mind I grabbed my gear, jumped into the car and raced over to a nearby forest. The red anemones are a bit past their prime but these little yellow beauties (dandelions? launea? chamomile? something else entirely?) were still bright and cheery looking.

 Click here to see this image in my Society6 shop.

Visit Wordless Wednesday to see what other people aren't saying this week, and Wordful Wednesday to see what they are.

Monday, February 20, 2012



Beautiful red strawberries for this week's Ruby Tuesday 2 offering (from the archives - but with the weather finally beginning to clear here I'm hopeful that I will eventually be able to actually get out and shoot some new images soon). Enjoy!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pulling myself out of a slump

All these dark, wet, miserable days we've been having this winter have put me into the worst creative photography slump I've seen in quite a while. Photography is all about light and the lack of light we've had lately has had me feeling the darkness pressing down on my soul like a palpable weight. It's incredible how much my psyche is affected by the weather, I can't imagine how I'd cope if I lived in a region with real winters and real darkness. For that matter, I haven't the faintest idea how I survived 20 years of New York winters, I can't bear the thought of living through one now.

Since the lovely and ubertalented (seriously - check out her gorgeous handmade cards!) Lisa from Handmade in Israel (and treasure hunting partner extraordinaire) generously tagged me with the Versatile Blogger award I figured I'd show that versatility by doing a post with no images, only words (fancy that!) in the hopes that getting a new post up there would do its part to jump start my creative muses...

So here goes, seven things about me that you might not know...

1. I received my new sewing machine on Thursday and since then have been engrossed in teaching myself to sew.

2. Since then I managed to make one small tote bag (which I'm using for my sewing supplies), a "wrinkly" peasant-type maxi skirt that I'm really pleased with (following this tutorial), next up was this maxi skirt in a light gray jersey (which turned out great but unfortunately makes me look like an overweight turnip, not sure what's going to be with that one. Best alternative would be to lose the hips, not the skirt, but we'll see how it goes...) and finally a pair of what can only be (very charitably) called a pair of light green pajama bottoms - comfortable but awful looking and will never ever EVER see daylight. I was aiming for wide leg pants, let's just say that pants have a much steeper learning curve and a LOT more logistical challenges and then we shall never speak of them again...

3. If I can manage to pull it off and do a good enough job I'm hoping to make one more skirt this week, out of a very cool black and white print fabric, that I can wear to my friends' son's bar mitzvah this weekend. If it doesn't work out I think I'll go for the wrinkly one, services here are fairly casual and I won't need a skirt for the party the following evening.

4. It sort of blows my mind that I might actually appear in public in something I made, since until this weekend I could barely sew on a button. I think my seamstress grandmother would have been quite proud (and then quietly horrified at the uneven stitching, but nevermind, I'm improving as I go).

5. I'll share photos of my creations (all except the dreaded green pants) if the damn sun ever comes out again.

6. If we do get a sunny day this week I am determined to get outside with my camera, enough is enough already, this weather is causing me to miss all the wildflowers!

7. In an effort to get healthier (and lose the turnip hips!) I made a HUGE vat of vegetable soup yesterday. I'm hoping that the peanuts I'm currently snarfing won't cancel that out. They're also very salty, which I'm not supposed to be doing either. I wonder if drinking a few giant glasses of water would flush out the salt a bit?

Hey, what do you know, I hit seven. So there you go. Nothing earthshaking, but it's what's going on in my little corner of the blogosphere today.

Instead of tagging anyone, how about I just invite whoever wants to to play along, and to let me know if you do.

Ooooh! Is that a tiny little ray of sunshine I see peaking out from the evil dark gray clouds? Fingers crossed!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Anemones, 2012 version

It's a beautiful, warm, blue sky February day after a very rainy January and the wildflowers are in full bloom here in Israel and things are glorious. Oh, and exactly eleven years ago today I became a mother. Wishing the very happiest of birthdays to the remarkable young man who made that happen. Happy birthday Itai, and may this coming year be even better than the last! - Love you, mom.

This image makes a great laptop or iPad skin - click here for more information.
Visit Ruby Tuesday 2 for more reds from around the world.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Snippets with Anemones

Somehow I seem to have fallen out of the blogging habit lately. Everything is fine, I'm just juggling a few too many balls in a few too disparate areas and needed a bit of a break for the sake of my continued sanity. I'm still around but stepping back from the blog for a bit has given me some time to clear my head - and then to fill it right back up with new obsessions -
  • The weather has been amazingly crappy this winter. Rainy and bleak more often than not.
  • This is NOT conducive to wildflower photography.
  • The wildflowers are peaking this month, so not having many opportunities to get out there and shoot them is making me cranky.
  • To compensate, I'm obsessing over a new interest - teaching myself to sew. 
  • I've wanted to learn for years and have literally dozens of tutorials and projects bookmarked for "someday" when I learn.
  • I've decided that someday is now.
  • I've ordered a (fairly basic but well regarded) sewing machine from Italy (got a far better deal than I would have here in Israel, where such things are still stupidly expensive (think triple what they'd cost in the US) and since my husband just happens to be going to Italy on business this week...).
  • My new machine is waiting for me at his hotel. This makes me very happy :).
  • I've got my first two projects lined up, and on Wednesday will go to Tel Aviv to buy my supplies (didn't like the offerings in my local store, turns out she's very well-stocked on threads, notions, etc., much less so on fabric).
  • I've also got plenty of scraps to practice on first - even a striped shirt so that I can practice sewing in a straight line :).
  • My grandmother was a dress designer, she'd have loved to have seen one of us finally take an interest. I'm just hoping I also inherited some of those genes!
  • I get the machine on Friday, so check back next week to see if how my plan worked...
So what's on your snippet list this week?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nectarine Blossoms

We're in the middle of a huge dust storm here in Israel (thank you so much Egypt for sending us all of this miserable dust...) and everything is shrouded in a veil of what looks like dirty fog. Not very conducive to all the wildflower photography I was planning for this week (we're in peak season here, and this freaking dust is NOT making me happy!) so I figured I'd share the little bit of color I did manage to capture before the dust came and washed it all out.

Nectarine blossoms on a friend's tree in honor of the Jewish holiday of Tu B'Shvat - New Year for the Trees - which is being celebrated today.

Click here to purchase this photograph on etsy

Visit Wordless Wednesday to see what other people aren't saying on this  insanely dusty day, and Wordful Wednesday to see what they are.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A light has gone dim

A bright, shining light has gone dim today, as we say goodbye to Susan Niebur who last night lost her five year battle against inflammatory breast cancer. I won't say her light has burned out, for the light of a star which burned so brightly, which illuminated so many, never truly goes out, continuing to shine it's light out through the darkness into the lives of all those it touches, but truly it has dimmed.

From that moment five years ago when Susan told me her breast looked "like the skin of an orange" I have dreaded this day. As a lactation consultant those few words struck fear in my soul, harbingers of a terrible foe, a terrible, aggressive breast cancer that presents without a lump, and all I could do was whisper back please, go to a doctor, don't wait, go now. But in the time that she was given Susan fought with all of her might, and used the time she was given to be - and remain - present in her own life. In the lives of her husband and children, in the lives of her friends, in the lives of her colleagues in planetary science, in the blogosphere, in the lives of other Mothers With Cancer, and in the lives of all she touched. Her legacy, her strength, her grace, the way she fought to remain strong for her young children and keep their lives as normal as possible, her fight to further the research that will someday put an end to this terrible disease, all these and more will continue to shine Susan's light out into the world in the days, weeks, and years to come.

But tonight a husband goes to bed without his wife, and two children without their mother to kiss their brow.

And that breaks my heart.

Goodbye Susan, and godspeed. You will be greatly missed.

And one more thing Susan would want you to remember - please take this piece of information and sear it into your memory - inflammatory breast cancer presents WITHOUT a lump. Please, if you see ANY unexpected changes in your breasts, whether lumps, marks, rashes, dimpling, changes in size, or anything else unexpected, PLEASE ladies, see your doctor, even if just to rule it out. Knowledge is power, and early knowledge is more powerful by far.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Making history come alive in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter

This past Friday I had the privilege and good fortune to snag an invitation to a fantastically fun event - a scavenger hunt through the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.

The event, organized for a group of bloggers by Jerusalem Scavenger Hunts, was run brilliantly from start to finish - the routes and stops were fascinating and Tali Tarlow and her crew didn't miss a thing - from the way they made history come alive with Tali's beautifully researched (and laminated! and spiral bound! and so so so well organized!) information packets and route clues to the stories they told to the directions so easy to follow that even someone as directionally-challenged (umm, that would be an understatement) as me could follow them. Heck, after the rainiest January in Israeli history (29 out of 31 days people - no wonder I was so miserable last month!) Tali even managed to rustle up a gorgeous blue sky and shirtsleeves sort of day!

The scavenger hunt itself was such great fun - and the company so stellar - that my group sort of, uhh, forgot that we were meant to be racing and took our time along the way (quality over quantity, right guys?), making sure to soak up every visual, mental and historical treat that was there to be found and finishing up a very respectable third place (out of three, shhh, don't tell...).

The scavenger hunt makes a great day out for an extended family group (I'm already thinking of the family coming over for Itai's bar mitzvah two years from now),  company fun day, or even just for something new to do with a group of friends - even those who've been to the Old City many times will be sure to learn something new and enjoy themselves in the process. Right now the scavenger hunts are conducted completely in English but will soon be available in Hebrew too, and Tali promises that there will be some great new routes added over the next few months as well.

Thanks so much for inviting us Tali, I had a fantastic day and this is definitely going into my "things to do with visiting relatives" file!

(Whoa, when did blogger start letting us format photos in line with the text? Cool stuff...) Oooh, I just realized that there are reds in the second image - perfect for this week's RT2 contribution, and windows and doors for Toby too!

PS If you're in Beit Shemesh tomorrow evening be sure to stop by the AMIT Mid-Winter Fair (Monday evening, February 6th; 7-10PM, Yeshivat Reishit/Genesis Center, 21 Rashi St.). Around the Island Photography will have a table at the fair - come by and say hello :).