Art · Live · Music · Tel Aviv · Tourism · Travel guide

Yafo Creative

Sometimes I’m ahead of my time when I post about people, bands, places or things and sometimes I’m behind. Remember, I have a good reason: I had a baby 🙂 One of those spots I forgot to share with you out there is Yafo Creative.

“Yafo Creative is a guest house* and creative content center** in the heart of Jaffa — A multi-disciplinary production hub where projects are ideated and developed by our community of Israeli and international artists.”

*The house was established in 2014, and gained a fast reputation for its exclusive Friday dinners featuring some of the most
exciting local artists, who organically started performing after meals. Artists of all backgrounds – music, dance or visual art, started an interdisciplinary dialogue. The newly renovated space is nestled in a secret spot in Jaffa and offers four elegant and design rooms featuring 50-ft-high ceilings suitable for one or two guests, each with a Queen-sized handmade eucalyptus bed, local vintage furniture and changing art exhibitions. Yafo Creative offers travelers insider guidance and a unique opportunity to connect and collaborate with locals in an authentic, dynamic and inspirational spot in Israel. Room price is 90$ and more info can be found on Airbnb.

**The Yafo Creative community consists of international and local artists, tastemakers and producers, who together, bring culture to a wider audience around the world, as well as international culture to Israel through various channels, including pop-up events, monthly ‘creative dinners’, theatrical productions, exhibitions, films, music and photography. Yafo Creative develops select artists within the community through strategic channels and services — including branding, multimedia production and filmmaking — to further promote local art and spark new conversation and collaboration, crossing boundaries of genre and medium.


I recently went there to hear my friend and personal genius Rotem Bar Or (from the band The Angelcy) perform solo during an “intimate session” and luckily he played my new favorite song, untitled and unreleased; here’s a glimpse for your ears only:



Screen shot 2014-12-23 at 17.50.12





Art · Music · Tel Aviv

Inspiration, passion & creativity…


Working as a freelance producer you hop from one intense time job to another. When you have some time off in between (AND you finish all your other to-dos) it’s a pleasure to spend it creatively and passionately. Do you know that feeling when people just give each other great ideas and energies to go DO something creative? That’s called inspiration. I wish more people would have this kind of effect on each other and would use even their fears, demons and tears for producing positive things instead of wasting time on complaining whining & moaning. “Excelsior” – for those who’ve seen Silver Linings Playbook. Life is beautiful, we just need to see it, be grateful and embrace it, even in darkness. ‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light comes in’ (L.Cohen)

M&M 4

We only needed a few minutes to throw some ideas and the girl was already filming. Shiran Pomerantz is the name and photography is her game. She likes Lana Del Rey, I like Leonard Cohen so the song choice was easily made. Black & White for the vibe. Location: my house. Shiran’s Canon 60D. She would edit it and in a few hours it was already online. We weren’t supposed to get any lighting, props, production or hair and make-up but by total coincidence some colleagues were using my back terrace for a TV-shoot so we ‘borrowed’ their hair services. While filming the intro, the Babyliss slipped out of the hairdresser’s hand and landed warmly on my shoulder. No panic, just some skin off, lots of cream, helping hands and a pretty wound. They say my skin heals fast. And then it leaves you with a little scar…

Also shared on Notes from the Road – the official Leonard Cohen road blog thank you Joey

Art · Crafting · Design · DIY · Fashion · Israel · Jaffa · Lifestyle · Neve Tzedek · Photography · Restaurants · Tel Aviv · Travel guide

Noga Quarter, a bubble within the bubble…

Noga Area is a little bubble within our Tel Aviv bubble. It’s quiet and happening at the same time. Once again, one of the magic features of little Tel Aviv, you walk one street away and you’re in a totally different world. Noga is known for its little charming shops, hip cafés, upcoming artist projects and design studios. It’s surrounded by some amazing real estate renovation and conservation projects like The Village, the American Colony and actually connects Neve Tzedek to Jaffa. Together with fellow blogger and buddy Ross Belfer from Eager Tourist  and the amazing upcoming photographer Shiran “Poomilicious” Pomerantz we went on a short visit:

Cafelix You can start off with a delicious coffee at Cafelix. If you’re a returning costumer, you may even get your own coffeecup on the wall with your name under.


Gelada Studio Then visit Gelada Studio for some original T-shirt designs and new vintage accessories.


Hastudia “is a multi-disciplinary studio for arts & crafts that promotes sustainable, community-oriented and creative lifestyle. Their aim is to become a hub for functional upcycled art; a place where amateurs and hobbyists alike, come to work on their own handmade projects and get their hands dirty. It is a place where people come to be empowered, learn a new skill, engage with members of their community and create.”


Naomi Maraavi’s shop is “an individual recycled re-designed eco collection blending art, fashion and storytelling.”


Casino San Remo is another hipster-hot-spot for food, drinks, art and music.


Architecture · Art · beauty · Fashion · History · Photography · Tel Aviv

“Lady of the Daisies” – Lea Gottlieb

“Lady of the Daisies” is a tribute to the work of Israeli fashion designer and entrepreneur Lea Gottlieb. Founder of worldwide swimwear brand Gottex – famed for the Seven Suit that sold over one million pieces in 1985 alone – Gottlieb was a prominent and exceptional swim and beachwear designer and innovator of Israel’s textile industry. The exhibition opened with an exclusive VIP launch at the Design Museum in Holon and is running till May 4th. Galit Gaon, Chief Curator at the Museum explains: “This homage to the work of a trailblazing woman who led a vision of design and industry in Israel is an important evolutionary step in the life of the museum. Lea Gottlieb put Israeli fashion on the map with her elegant and flattering designs that have sold to over 80 countries.”

2013-03-19 2013-03-191 2013-03-192

Lea Gottlieb emigrated from Hungary to Israel in 1949 with her husband Armin who owned a raincoat factory. Lea immediately understood that raincoats were not as appropriate for the climate of the Middle East. Still water-minded, she started sewing swimsuits which launched to instant success in 1956. Gottex was innovative and sophisticated, with products sold in over 80 countries. Over the years, Lea Gottlieb’s designs have featured on the covers of the world’s most prestigious fashion magazines. Prominent figures who have worn her designs include Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Queen Noor, Mrs. Nancy Kissinger, and movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Brooke Shields. Lea Gottlieb continued to design a new collection every year up to 2002. Work on the exhibition began more than six months ago with the process of sorting and selecting pieces from her archives. She also visited the museum to assist in determining the content before she passed away at the end of 2012; she was 94. A memorial book for Lea Gottlieb will be available in 2014.

The exhibition showcases the history of Gottex swimwear through costumes, inspirational photographs, films and catalogs. The main gallery includes swim and beachwear designs in addition to works of art that acted as original inspiration. Curated by fashion researcher Ayala Raz, this aspect of the exhibition pays direct homage to the life and work of Lea Gottlieb. It is known that Lea Gottlieb loved flowers, partly because they had helped her save her life from the Nazis in her native Hungary. When out in the street, she often held a bunch of flowers up to her face, so that Nazis would take her for a regular peasant girl. Flowers figured prominently in Gottlieb’s fabric designs, usually in bold, eye catching colors. She was particularly fond of hibiscus. Sophistication was the name of the game.


The second gallery focuses on contemporary design and Creative Director Molly Grad’s transformation of the Gottex brand in recent years. A specially commissioned model designed by Molly Grad is presented. This unique piece is accompanied by Grad’s sketches, illustrations and quotes to represent her world of inspiration. Grad explains, “The illustrations in the exhibit are like my fingerprints, a representation of my personal process and primary experience as an artist and creator. They are not indicative of a specific moment or time, but rather an ongoing approach. I have always drawn, ever since I was about three years old. Wherever I go, I always bring a pencil.”

2013-03-1992013-03-19102013-03-198All photos taken with my Canon EOS M


Antwerp · Architecture · Art · History

Architectural Antwerp, pt. 2: the boundary between city and port

Compared to it’s European neighbors, Belgium is a small country geographically. Historically however, Belgium is the center of the European Union. The same with Antwerp. Being an important harbor for centuries, Antwerp has always had an important place on the economical map. Antwerp is part of the world, and the world is part of Antwerp. A lot of international exchanges have taken place, and are still taking place (for example diamonds). Because of that, Antwerp represents a huge international diversity and connectivity. This is why so many people are drawn to this little city in this little country. Antwerp gives you both the feeling of comfort and being close to one and another. On the other hand it gives you an overwhelming feeling of non-stop movement, cultural diversity and international importance.

To capture this aspect and to make it more “touchable”, a museum called the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom, or Museum by the River) opened its doors in 2011. The MAS is a landmark on the boundary between the city and the port, and it does so by telling the story of people with diverse perspectives on the world who came from a multitude of backgrounds. The MAS tells the story about the past, present and future of Antwerp. Because diversity is not a static feature, but always in motion, a special building was needed. It’s a difficult mission to bring a building – which is itself static – to a new level. The design was inspired by a sixteenth-century storehouse. The galleries are stacked up like ‘boxes’ creating a spiral tower with large expanses of glass. As you go up on the escalators from the ground floor to +9, you have a constantly changing view of Antwerp. In my opinion, the special window panes resemble the flow of a river. But not only the building is an eye-catching element! The square in front of the MAS is a work of art by Antwerp’s most famous living artist: a 1,600-m² mosaic entitled ‘Dead Skull’ by Luc Tuymans, his first public work to be permanently on display. The MAS is an architectural beauty (even though the local opinion about the architecture is divided). I had my doubts about it too, but seeing it all come together: the light of sunset on the red stones, the calmth of the river and the rush of the harbor, it somehow seems to work out.

Read the article about the MAS in the New York Times here

All pictures are copyrighted Sien Josephine (c)

Antwerp · Art · Focus on

Focus on: Frederik Schnieders

In the (almost) decade i’ve been residing in Antwerp, it never seized to amaze me how much talent this city holds. And I for one, like young creativity. Especially young creatives who manage to make us stop and gaze at beauty, instead of passing by – “on to the next one” – in this very fast and contemporary art world.

Frederik Schnieders. I haven’t known the guy for long, but he’s an artist. Why? He makes me stop and look, wonder and admire, think and re-think, evaluate and sure as hell smile. “Quand on a que l’amour pour les autres.” When you only have love for others. People who can carry catchy phrases like this are worth to get to know.

Frederik, born in 1977, studied painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. From the beginning his primary interest was the human figure. Studied and cultivated through figure drawing, he has now transformed his work into his own appreciation of the female: a young, rock’n roll, independent woman that emphasizes her role as outcast, idol, bad girl or just plain femme fatale. His paintings are set in a world of written words and reflect the impulses of the moment, with reference to all time heroes in music and other art forms. Frederik uses a mix of charcoal, Chinese ink, markers, aqualaque, stickers, paper pieces, spray paint and acrylics as his tools. This gives his work the right edge. Every painting is a discovery of little quotes, poems, thoughts and insights in the artist’s soul.

Take a look:

You can stop and admire Frederik’s work yourself at

Coffee & Vinyl, Volkstraat 45, 2000 ANTWERP

(ongoing exhibition).

Still can’t get enough? (and right you are!) Good news: Frederik recently collected major part of his work in a book (and it sure looks great). For more information on prices and orders: contact us through e-mail.

Also check out Fred’s Blog and his Tumblr page to stay updated!

Architecture · Art · Entertainment · General · History · Lifestyle · Music · Restaurants · Tel Aviv

Live music on Jaffa Port’s waterfront

Tel Aviv is divided into 9 districts that have formed naturally over the city’s history. The oldest of these is Jaffa, the ancient port city out of which Tel Aviv grew. There’s much to write about Jaffa, I’d talk about the flea-market or the ancient city but let’s focus on the port today. The Old Port of Jaffa is reputed to be one of the oldest ports in the world, notably being the port from which Jonah set off in the famous Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. Its long and fascinating history as  strategic port in the Eastern Mediterranean continued until only recently when new ports were built south of Tel Aviv in Ashdod and north in Haifa, to cater for modern-day shipping methods. Still functional as a small fishing port, the port is currently a recreational zone featuring many restaurants and cafes with lots cultural and artistic activities.

One of my favorite spots in the Namal (port in Hebrew) is called The Container. The Container is an industrial warehouse from the 1920s that has been converted into an art project space, bar and restaurant, located on the waterfront. The NY times recently wrote: “The space fuses Red Hook grit with Levantine glam, incorporating a sweeping, 45-seat horseshoe-shaped bar under a warehouse-high ceiling that affords nice views of both the oversize wood oven in the open kitchen and the rotating exhibits on the walls. Adding to the mix is a three-times-a-week D.J. set.” And live gigs:

As my brother is coming to visit Tel Aviv again, we set up a little concert there. On Friday July 6th at 10PM, N8n will perform with his Israeli band led by drummer Ori Raz for another night of good vibes by the water, some good old funk and some new ‘raw’ material. People are advised to reserve tables, entrance is free. Join us!

More info:  03- 683 63 21

Jaffa Port – photo credit Dani Jordan

The Container by night – photo credit The Container

The Container inside – photo credit Liron Erel

The Container inside – photo credit The Royal Excursion

Art · Crafting · DIY · History · Uncategorized

Got my Singer workin’

Some people got their mojo workin’. I got my Singer workin’. Until now I had a very nice Singer sewing machine ‘borrowed’ from my boyfriends’ mom (it was his grandmother’s). I practiced a lot and made some fun stuff (pouches, pants, aprons, bags etc.) I thought that was a ‘retro’ machine (it has a pedal and works on electricity), until I found out there is an even older machine coming my way.

My belated grandmother was a professional sewer. I had heard the stories, how she would sew uniforms for the kids of the village where she was hiding during the Holocaust and that she had sewn a secret pocket in her bra to put a few diamonds so she could buy food during the war. My father mostly remembered playing “Tram” with it where he would be the conductor. Kids remember the sounds, smells and move of their mothers sewing and threading for a long time and it evokes a lot of nostalgia.

My grandmother, Daisy Ouziel (1915-1985), died from Alzheimer when I was only a kid. I always heard how much I look like her, talk like her, move like her, dance like her. How I bite my lip like her, etc etc. So apparently I’ve also inherited the sewing passion. My uncle took  the machine with him when he moved to Australia with his family. In 2010 he died, sadly. After discussing it with the family, we all came to the conclusion it would make sense to ship the Singer sewing machine to me in Israel.  How beautiful is it to close the cycle, to have this machine here in Tel Aviv in my home. There was a lot of work to do to repair it and get the wheel back to spin, but here it is finally. I got my Singer workin’.

Art · beauty · History · Lifestyle · Tel Aviv · Uncategorized

Random aesthetics in Tel Aviv

Renovated building & old water tower (Nahmani Street)

Renovated apartment building (Ahad Ha’am Street)

Habima Theater (Rothschild Boulevard)

Bauhaus Center (Dizengoff Street)

View from “Bet Ha’ir” – former city hall (Bialik Street circle)

Special event hosted by TLV mayor at the former city hall (Bialik Street circle)

“Bet Ha’ir” – former city hall (Bialik Street circle)

the Felicia Blumenthal Music Center (Bialik Street circle)

Nachum Gutman Fountain (Bialik Street circle)

Gruzenberg Street

Art · Fashion · History · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

In with the Old – Living Fashion

Have you ever seen a historical movie, like Marie Antoinette or Titanic or even Gone with the Wind , and drooled all over the dresses the women in it were wearing? If so, you have to visit the exhibition “Living Fashion. Women’s daily wear 1750-1950”, on display in the Antwerp Museum of Fashion (MOMU) till April 12.

“Living Fashion” presents over 100 silhouettes from the Dutch collector Jacoba de Jonge and gives an overview of the clothing worn by middle-class women between 1750 and 1950. In the 19th century, the growing social importance of the middle classes brought with it a new group of wealthy citizens who wanted to show off their status through their clothing and behavior. To illustrate this relationship between living in that time period and fashion, the exhibition shows specific sets of dresses: from domestic apparel to traveling outfits to maternity dresses, or dresses for sports and shopping. Every activity required specific apparel. In addition to the clothes these early fashionistas wore, daily organization also followed fashion trends. Mornings were for indoor activities, the afternoons for visits and ‘outdoor activities’, and each moment of the day had its own particular dress code.

Seeing all those dresses and keeping in mind how many times women changed clothes in one day, I returned home with the comforting thought that my (very full) closet is actually not that big in comparison. Time to go shopping?

A big thank you to Merrymaker Ruth for joining me in my fashionable time travel.

Talk soon,

Sien Josephine

Art · Crafting · Design · Tel Aviv · Uncategorized

Life on Mars

Welcome to Life on Mars. My creative world. During my last visit in Antwerp I went to the Hobbysalon. What a wonderful world of hobbies: cooking, knitting, sewing, scrap-booking and even some weird freaky hobbies involving witches and miniatures. So besides being overwhelmed I tried to focus on what I’d like to do with all this material. Here’s something I bought:

And here’s the result; what I made with it, the “life on Mars colored pouches collection”

or in details:

And now I just need to sell them and make room for the arrival of a very special sewing machine from Australia, to be continued….


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: