Monday, April 24, 2017

Sterling Silver Jewelry

While we were in Israel, I made a decision that it's time to start downsizing.  But I want to use up as much of my "products" as I can before I do that.  So this is going to be the summer that I play hard.  And you ask yourself, "can she play harder than she already does???"  LOL!!!

So Monday mornings are my "never ending watercolor class" and Monday afternoons will be jewelry making  time with my sisters.  We had a fun afternoon and I managed to make 1 pair of earrings.

Sterling silver ovals soldered together, swarovski crystals, turquoise beads.   I did the soldering/polishing last week.   I had to ask I too old to solder?  I didn't get the top on tight on the can (using a large butane type torch that they use to solder pipes) and a gigantic flame popped up from the leaking gas and just about scared me to death!  Fortunately, the house is still standing!!!  And yes, I do have 2 large fire extinguishers out in the garage where I've set up my jewelry making stations.

I made these to go with a necklace that I had made several years ago.  But I no longer liked the necklace, so I altered it - here's what it looks like now:

That center piece is at least 15 years old - a sterling silver Paula Best charm.  I always loved her stamps and when I came across this charm, I knew it was mine!

And there's a bracelet to match.

Here's all 3 pieces.  I think I'm happy with them now.  All .925 sterling silver so don't bother to ask how much I have in it!  It's not what you spend on an item, it's how much you love it!!!  This one will not go on etsy, it's for me.  :)

We're making jewelry out in my garage which is finished, air conditioned and I even have heat out there if/when we need it.  I've set up a glass cutting station, a grinding station, a drilling place and now a torching space.  If you have ever worked with sterling silver you know that you have to clean the silver, add the flux, solder, quench and dip in pickling.  That takes up a lot of space in itself.  But I also know I need to get back to making dichroic glass pendants to put on some of the necklaces I'm working on.  That requires glass cutting, grinding, polishing, then into the kiln to fuse the glass and I normally have to repeat that process at least twice to get it just right!

So stay tuned as I hope to blog some of the things we are making out in the garage this summer.

If you are local, and you want to come make jewelry with us, just get ahold of me and we'll see how much space we have.  I think it's going to be a really fun summer!!!  Are you ready to play???

Friday, April 7, 2017

The last night

I cannot believe that this is our last night.  The time has simply flown by.  I do believe that this has been the best adventure of my life and I'm so happy we did this!!


Today was our day at the art market.  I didn't buy much, but I had the best time looking.  There are so many talented people here and the market is the best place to find them.  I liked the clef notes and the stars in this booth:


There were 2 glass blowers today


The style seems to be very long, very dangly earrings.  Of course I was looking for short.  LOL!


Interesting glass designs.  At first I thought they were wind chimes, but there's nothing to chime.  They are just decorative.


These birds are made out of very tiny mesh that's been painted.  They fluttered in the breeze - really cool!


Giant necklaces seemed to be "in" as well.  I would never wear this, but I liked it well enough to take a picture of it!  Notice yet another fabric shop in the background?  This is a pedestrian street and the artists set up tables in the street to seek their designs.  The stores on both sides were open.


I fell in love with these dichroic glass pieces.  She did not have the layer of clear glass on top and I think I like that.


This gall had stitched her silk paining into linen and made table runners and pillows out of them.  So clever!


It was absolutely jam packed!


More dichroic earrings.  I am definitely going to fire up the kiln and try to make these when I get home!


One booth had wire sculptures and we both thought this one looked like our brother!


Streamlined, smooth, flat seemed to be what a lot of designers had today.


I liked this gal's designs as well


Pretty sure these were enamel of some type.  Also found a gal who had melted friendly plastic onto glass.  She didn't want me taking photos....but I did like her work.


We are still here all day tomorrow.  We have a cab to the airport at 8 pm.  Our flight leaves at 12:15 am.  We get in to Boston at 4 am, then to Denver around noon on Sunday.  I think we cross 9 time zones.  Our flight from Tel Aviv to Boston is about 13 hours long.  Pray for a safe flight for us.  This truly has been the vacation of a lifetime.  We've met so many new people, made new friends, been "adopted" by a couple of families, and will have stories to share for years to come!  Shabbat has started here and tomorrow, most places will be closed so we will spend the day on the beach.  May you have a peaceful, happy, content Shabbat!

Shabbat Shalom from Tel Aviv!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The last place is the best place

Today, we moved into our last apartment.  It is incredible.  Right on the ocean!  Wonderful view, clean, well furnished, and we have a cleaning service if we want it!


After we got settled in, I took a walk and saw some unique things - at least I think they were unique!  How often do you see a horse drawn cart moving stuff?  Tel Aviv is an extremely modern city....but obviously has some antiquated ways about it.


I certainly did not come here to find a bar covered with American license plates....but it's here!!!


Nachalet Binyaman is an interesting street.  But the farther you walk down it, the more interesting it becomes.  Almost every shop is a fabric shop.  But nothing related to quilting!  This is a dress market...and these are dressier fabrics.  Many imported from Europe.


I tried hard to find a "seam" in their dress and there were none.  Not sure if they stitched the knitting into the front panel, or if this was more of a tube.  But I did like the design.


A lot of the shops had samples of formals in the windows.  If you need lace, this is the place to find it.


This window was simply stunning!


This shop was 2 stories of nothing but lace and trims.  I think you could find anything in here!  And it's just one of numerous trim shops.


This is a walking neighborhood - no cars allowed.  I loved how they hung panels between the buildings to provide shade.


I walked about 2 miles to get to "ARTA" - the largest art store in Tel Aviv.  It was worth the walk and I had a great time just looking at stuff.  I can't take back I stuck to solids.  Found a couple of rather funky brushes.  This first one is about 1/2" in diameter, very thick hairs, and cut on an angle.


This one had a photo above it showing what to do with it.  I can't wait to try it out!  The clerk was so cute as she didn't think I should be spending as much money as I was.  She wanted to know if I painted as a job and when I said, no - just for fun - I think she was a bit shocked!


These are "Arta" brushes - made here in Israel.  I didn't have the heart to tell the clerk that these are less than half what I'd pay for them at home - and red sable brushes at that.


'The Carmel market was open and it is always so interesting.  Today I saw a guy hawking a veg-o-matic or something similar


It was very busy.  


It's very Americanized here in Tel Aviv.  Outside the market, I found "Cheers"!  LOL!


Found a place close by with a view for dinner.  They closed the Main Street as there is supposed to be some kind of night time marathon.  We're back in the room, it's dark, and we still haven't seen the runners go by.


This is an amazing city.  Some places are so modern, chic, upscale and others are like a 3rd world country.  Traffic is the same as any huge city center....yet the beach seems to slow things down.  On our first trip, we didn't even spend a day here.  On our second trip, I think we were in the hotel for 4 hours and then left to go to the airport.  It's so nice to get to spend some time here and explore the city on foot.  But I have to say, our apartment here is probably the best apartment we've ever had.  A perfect place in a perfect place.  :)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The beach or the mountains...if you had to pick

In 1971, our parents moved from the flat lands of central Indiana to the mountains of Colorado.  I think most people "blamed" dad.  They thought he was the one who wanted to move.  But it was mom.  She often said that she either wanted to live on the ocean or in the mountains....and they picked the mountains.  Dad was an amazing guy because he allowed her to do what she wanted most.  I often wonder how our lives would have been different if they had picked the ocean.  And what ocean they would have picked.  So while we live in the mountains, this week, we are enjoying the beaches of Tel Aviv.

Last night was a spectacular sunset.  You can see how calm the water was and the sun radiated through the evening haze (ok, dust from the winds blowing in the desert around here!)


I lived close to the beaches in San Diego for almost 10 years and I really do miss it.  But I remember how dirty the water was, murky, and there was seaweed in the water and washed up on the beach.  Not here.  I do think this is the cleanest beach I have ever been to.  Even the sand is clean.  Not a trace of seaweed  anywhere.


More than a hundred sail boards in the sea today.  Slight breeze, about 85 degrees.  I zoomed in to get a few close up.  These are sails on surfboards.  We sat and watched them come in to the harbor.  I don't know how they lifted these....some were more that twice the height of the kid on them.  And they were out to sea all day.  Would take a lot of muscle power to ride one of these!


When mom said she wanted to live by the ocean, I don't think she meant one as active and populated as this.  I think something more like the shore cliffs in Portland or Washington.  But this was nice today.


Lots of volleyball and paddle ball being played. And nice that we could sit and watch.  


You can walk out pretty far here and it doesn't get deep at all.  The rock barriers create the sand bars and you can literally see from the color of the water where you can walk and how far.  But there are very few sea shells here.  


This morning we started out the day with a walk down Dizengoff street.  It is a rather fun street filled with coffee shops, outdoor eateries, boutiques and little shops.  The fountains are under repair and I was disappointed, but we have seen them on prior trips.  It will take a full year for them to be modernized.  And I just wonder if all this construction is to coincide with the new high speed train that will go from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 28 minutes - it's supposed to be finished in 2018.  And I'm already planning my next trip to come back and ride the train.

So, while I live in the foothills in Colorado, this week, I am relaxing on the beaches in Tel Aviv while we walk the streets, explore the shops, continue our great food adventure which never seems to end.   Pretty sure I'm over my craving for pita and hummus!  LOL!!!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The road to Jaffa

Started this morning with our last visit to the Western Wall.  I still think it's incredible that we've been able to go so often in the 3 weeks we've been here. The entry we normally used was closed, so we walked back up to the top, then back down the other side, then back up to get to the apartment.  That was a lot of steps, but so worth it!

Then we took a walk to find arches to paint later on.


I love the plants they are starting to set out.


Not too many out and about this early in the day


Even an arched building


We had breakfast and then it was time to leave.  Our hosts had gone shopping and emailed that they wanted to get back to say goodbye.  But it was time, so we headed down the street to meet our driver.  When he showed up, he asked where Yushai was.  I said he wasn't there.  He said, let me call him.  I guess they were trying to find a place to park their car and very soon, Yushai came up to the car.  It was so nice that he wanted to say goodbye.  But then Rivka came, and the look on her face took my breath away.  It was like she was saying goodbye to her sisters and that she was so happy she made it in time.  It touched me to the core.  I will miss them, that's for sure!

And just as we pulled away, the rain came.  They say that rain here is a blessing, but they also say it is tears from heaven.  And I thought to myself that it has to be tears because we are leaving.  Isn't God's timing simply amazing?  We have not had rain the entire time we've been here and the moment we pull away, it starts to rain.

Some things simply leave you speachless!


Such a nice drive from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv today.  But as we pulled out of the city I knew that a part of my heart stayed behind.  I also know that at this age, anything can happen and I might not get to return.  But there's a piece of me that will always be here.

And then we were in Jaffa with her spectacular views of Tel Aviv.  We wondered up to the artist colony, but most everything is still closed as it is just starting to be tourist season here.  


From the top, we walked down to the port.  Not so much to see, but a nice walk.


It didn't take too long to get sort of oriented.  There's a tall clock tower that can be seen from everywhere and our apartment for the next 3 nights isn't far from here.


Our apartment is gigantic - 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a huge balcony with a partial view of the sea.  Third floor with an elevator!  I might not do any more steps!!!   


We took a walk along the beach to find a place for dinner.  I think if you can't be in Jerusalem, then this is the next best place!


We had a ton of things planned for this week.....but we have decided to cancel a lot of them and just spend our time on the beach having a real vacation.  I think it's going to be great!!!