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 · 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….

Tel Aviv

A day in Tel Aviv

Is there a better way to start your day than with a fresh fruit juice? My favorite combination is banana, melon and dates, but it sounds better to say it in Hebrew: “banana, melon, tamar”. Dates come from the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) and they have been a staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. Dates provide a wide range of essential nutrients, and are a very good source of dietary potassium. The sugar content of ripe dates is about 80%, or in other words, a perfect substitute for sugar. My juice in one hand, blackberry and Ipod-touch in the other (do you wonder how I manage that? Well, both have broken screens from falling), I go on to my next step: textile searching.

It’s only recently that I found myself interested in or should I say passionate for creating, crafting and D.I.Y. My latest? Sewing. I started a sewing class, ‘borrowed’ a real old-school Singer sewing machine and started discovering another yet amazing world. So I walk to Nahalat Benyamin Street, the textile center of the city, only a few minutes from my house on Rothschild Boulevard. This historic street was established even before Tel Aviv was born in 1909. Formerly a run-down province of the textile and haberdashery trade, recent years have seen it redeveloped and rejuvenated as a busy pedestrianized precinct full of fashionable cafes and arty shops. Today I’m looking for denim-like textile for a shirt for the next class, but as I discover a tiny store with so many colors and fabrics, I of course end up buying more. In my head it goes like this: here, this fits for pyjama pants, this for a scarf, this for a pillow, this for the inside of a pouch and so on.

Later today, after procrastinating for months, endless repeats in to-do lists and phone reminders AND one car ticket too many, I will get to the municipality for some parking stuff  (do you guys have Easy-park in Antwerp?). The Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality (http://www.tel-aviv.gov.il/english) is really very active, efficient, young, involved and hip. Today there is some art on the stairway.

No way I’m taking my car there, so there are 2 choices left: my bike or the “monit sherut”. FYI: my bike is a Belgian bike of over 35 years that I brought with me when I moved here in 2007. My mom used to ride it with me in the back. It’s an old school bike and people stop me in the street to ask me where I bought this retro cool bicycle. A “monit sherut” is a share taxi that falls between a taxi and a bus. Sherut meaning service, these yellow vans follow fixed bus routes and you can stop them anywhere. Payment is done by passing money to the driver in a “human chain” formed by the passengers seated before. The change (and the receipt, when requested) are returned to the person who paid by the same means.

As this being my first blog and just a fragment of my life and of this day, how do I end it? I’ll just share my last ritual of the day: my favorite Yogi tea in my favorite cup.

“Layla Tov” dear readers – meaning sweet dreams in Hebrew…

              Marilyn

 

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