This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Dried Etrog Collection

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 20, 2013

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My husband took the furniture out of the sukkah and washed the floor, so I was able to take this photo of the dried etrogs (and other stuff) hanging from the schach (ceiling). I had to lie on my back on the floor and use a wide-angle lens, so it’s better to do this when the sukkah is clean and empty.

Closer view of the etrogs, taken from one end of the sukkah. I stood on a chair.

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Tutorial: Chip Bag Folding Garland

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 20, 2013

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This is so obvious that I can’t believe I’m the first to have thought of it. If your family is like mine, you go through a lot of food over the holidays, including munchies like potato chips and corn chips. I was looking at the tinsel sukkah decorations and thinking, “There’s got to be a way to keep all those wrappings out of the landfill.” I dreamed this up a couple minutes ago and did it on my kitchen table, so this tutorial isn’t very polished.

First you need to clean the bags. I cut off the tops and bottoms and cut along the side seam. Then I lay the bag flat on the counter, wash with a soapy dish sponge, rinse, and let dry.

You’ll need at least two bags , opened and cleaned. You’ll also need a pair of sharp scissors and a stapler or tape. (Stapler works best but my staples are missing…..)

1. Fold a potato chip bag (30 gram size) in half and cut off the white section with the (non)nutritional info.

2. Fold the bag again to get a square shape (approximately) and staple the two open edges. Staples are easier and more secure than tape for this stage.

3. Cut alternating circular cuts, almost to the fold. (This will be a bit fiddly, so I don’t recommend this project for very young children because it’s difficult to repair accidental cuts and tears in a chip bag.)

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4. Carefully unfold the bag so that it is flat and looks like the one below. Note: I put the tabs on because commercial tinsel garlands have them but later I cut them off because they were unnecessary.

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5. Carefully staple or tape the largest rings together and open out the cut bags. You now have a tinsel garland every bit as splendid as the Christmas decorations mass-produced in China. 🙂

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Another Year, Another Etrog

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 18, 2013

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Every year, between Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot, I have to make a couple bags like the one below. It’s about 3 inches long and a couple inches wide. I’ve made knitted bags, crocheted bags, tatted bags, needle lace bags (way too time-consuming!), and even netted bags, with a shuttle and netting gauge. The crochet ones are easiest to make, so I’ll be sticking with this model for a while.

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This etrog is from last year. My husband saves etrogs from the previous Sukkot, lets them dry out, attaches a tiny label with the year (in Hebrew letters), and ties it to the schach (reed ceiling) of our sukkah the following year.

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We have about 40 etrogs, since he’s been saving them every year since we were married (with a few additions when my in-laws used to come to Israel for Sukkot and now my son’s etrogs). In the photo below, the blue and orange bag is netted. The other three are tatted.

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Khutsot haYotser 2013 Round-up

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 16, 2013

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Puppet-maker Gili Marom (above)

Finger-woven sashes and straps from Peru. Although they resemble card-weaving, the sellers said that it’s finger-weaving. It’s also not dense enough to be card-weaving. I suspect the technique is similar to the French-Canadian ceinture fléchée but the Peruvian technique is called “rep braiding.” The weft is diagonal, so it’s not loom-woven.

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Embroidered pillows from Hungary:

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We always try to go to the concert. The admission fee for Khutsot haYotser is a bit steep if you’re just going to look at the craft booths, but for a regular concert it’s a bargain. Here’s Shalom Hanoch (most of the performers tend to be on the “mature” side).

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Matti Caspi, who was performing with Riki Gal. (We really wanted to hear Ehud Banai a couple days later but my husband got sick.)

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Whew–finally posted all my Khutsot haYotzer photos! Sorry about the delay.

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Beads and Braids

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 16, 2013

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I photographed this woman in front of the Panama kiosk at Khutsot haYotser. I have a few shots of her smiling for me, but I liked this photo best. Look at that incredible beaded hair ornament she’s wearing. I wish I’d gotten a better look at it.

Bracelets from Peru:

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Huichol beadwork from Mexico.

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I bought the yellow necklace, second from the right. I hesitated at first and by the time I made up my mind (two days later), the best pieces were already gone. They really weren’t terribly expensive. The seller told me that they take about 40 hours to make (for a beginner, as long as 60 or 80 hours).

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A young girl had her hair braided at the Ethiopian kiosk. One of the advantages of living in Israel is that you can photograph someone’s kid and no one objects or even notices.

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And this is the woman who was braiding the girl’s hair. What a magnificent array of braids!

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Wood and Paint

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 16, 2013

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These exquisitely turned boxes, cups, and dreidels were made by Eli Abuhatzira (below). A friend of mine took a wood-turning course with Eli. She said that she was making a nice but rather dull bowl on the lathe. Eli added a groove and enlarged a space a tiny bit and it turned the bowl into something extraordinary. I was hoping to come back to get better photos of him at work. The space was very crowded and I took these photos over people’s shoulders, under a very yellow light (probably halogen), so the colour had to be adjusted quite a lot.

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It wasn’t easy getting a good focus on hands behind a dirty plexiglass screen but this shot worked.

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Instrument-maker Shlomo Moyal gave an excellent lecture on how a violin is made, including the different kinds of wood that go into making a single instrument.

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Hungarian furniture painter painting a chest.

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I couldn’t get a good shot of his hands because he was sitting next to the wall of the kiosk.

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Janeth Hanapi, Master Weaver from the Philippines

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 27, 2013

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One of the reasons I keep going back to Khutsot haYotser is because it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk to artists from other countries. I love wandering around and asking artists about their work. Janeth Hanapi is a master weaver of tipo (also known as banig), mats woven from the leaves of the pandanus plant. She is a member of the Jama Mapun (“people of Mapun”). Mapun is a municipality in the province of Tawi-Tawi in the Philippines. She received recognition for her work by the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2012. She speaks some English but she was busy weaving most of the time.

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Pandan leaves are harvested from wild plants. Only the young leaves are used, so that the plant can recover. They are cut into thin strips, dyed, and dried. The tipo mats are used for ceremonial purposes and as a floor covering under a mattress. Mary (Mary Rajelyn Javier-Busmente, architect, who helped plan and coordinate the exhibit) told  me that they can last for ten years with care.

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This is the tipo that I bought.

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I wish I knew how she does those colour changes on the diagonal! It would be really cool to weave strips of paper using this technique.

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Lace from the Czech Republic

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 27, 2013

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Jerusalem Arts & Crafts Fair 2013: Indian Woodworker, Mexican Beadwork

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 11, 2013

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At first I thought this woodworker was working on leather. Then I saw that he was carving with a hammer and chisel. He’s using his toe to hold the plate-stand steady on the block. I noticed that when he was resting, he would put one leg on top of the other in a half-lotus or firelog position. He must be really flexible.

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Very brave of him to hold the chisel for the boy with the hammer! I wonder how many fingernails he loses that way… 🙂

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These Mexican seed bead necklaces look almost like needle-lace. I’d be afraid to wear them, because if a thread breaks, it can be quite a job repairing the piece, depending on how well anchored the threads are. Or maybe I would just hang one on a wall. They’re so beautiful! (Sigh–I know that I could make my own but I would never finish it.)

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Jerusalem Arts & Crafts Fair 2013: Philippine Mat Weaver

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 9, 2013

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This friendly weaver kept urging me to come closer to watch her work. Her hands were moving so quickly that I couldn’t take a decent photo, so I ended up making a video. She said that the small banig she was working on would be a wall hanging. The larger pieces, woven with coarser strands, are floor coverings.

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