Thursday, November 24, 2011

"I'm a Dragon! Aaaaargh!!!"

There are several writers that I adore. Not too many, but there are some, and one of them is Michael Ende. I discovered his children's books when i was no longer a child, but loved them nonetheless, especially the Jim Knopf books. I love his characters, his choices of where to focus a story, and the detailed elaborations of those focal points. I love his humor, his points of view, his delicate, uncondescending morals, and, of course, his language, which - luckily for me, as i don't speak German - was magnificently translated into Hebrew by the late Landa Matalon, a gifted translator who managed to create sentences which are simultaneously old Hebrew, modern Hebrew, German and pure Magic.

In the first of the two books, Jim and Lukas come across a half-dragon - a young creature of mixed origin, a fact that gives him a hard time among his neighborhood's pure-blood dragons. His name is Nepomuk. His mother was a hippopotamus, he himself is half hippo, and that would normally call for a lush green forest with riverbanks and flowing water, but instead he's stuck in this crappy desert place crawling with scary monstrous bullies, and has to act tough. He's a comic, sad, brave and optimistic character.

This morning i finished making this, put it aside, inspected it and became aware of a dusty corner in my mind, with a blinking label on it, saying "Nepomuk".

Now, i know it is pink, and that's supposed to be a girl-color, but (a) When was that made an official law?! and (b) This dino feels definitely like a He, not a She. To me, at least.

I will add him to my Etsy shop soon. Hope he gets a warm, friendly home.

Word of the Day

The word Dragon comes from Greek for a large serpent, and depending on the context, may mean "the devil".

I can't think of a context that would make this pink dragon-pup become a devil.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


It has been raining here as if we were in Brussels or London, not close to Tel-Aviv. In one week we got a third (!) of the average yearly amount of rain.

The Lupins found that quite refreshing:

So did the Anemones and the old Cyclamen - 

Just look at the droplets on the Lupin leaves. I watched it for a long time, those perfect beads of water, and wondered what happens in the scale that's just under visibility.

Those Lupins are new here. I got their seeds from a friend last summer. I don't know whether they will be blue or pink. The Anemones, however, are old timers: this is their fifth year! They got here together with the grandma-Cyclamen, i bought them on a whim in the supermarket. They have already produced several new generations.

This is such a thrill for me. Every morning i climb to the balcony upstairs, to check for new Cyclamen buds or another Lupin waking up and stretching out of the ground. I talk to them, hoping my neighbors aren't watching. Sometimes i catch a snail in mid-action. I used to like snails, until i found out they liked my Lupins. For breakfast. So they're not allowed in the balcony anymore, and anyway i can't figure out how they get to that balcony - it seems too whacky for them to trudge up 3 stories. Those Lupins must be really delicious.

So, after that daily trip to the balcony i'm back at my desk, working away, bitching about how cold and rainy and cold it is. If i gather enough bitching volume, and if i do my work, and if it stops raining for five seconds, i might decide to go down to the coffee shop to compensate myself for the weather.

This is what i found on my last trip to the coffee shop:

Someone's Bougonvilleas, on someone else's mattress, in the rain.

Of course, the next morning i had an inexplicable itch to work with pink and red yarn.

Word of the Day

Oh my. I looked up Cyclamen, and this is what Century Dictionary says: "...They are low herbs with very handsome flowers, and are favorite greenhouse-plants. The fleshy tubers, though acrid, are greedily sought after by swine; hence the vulgar name sowbread".

And i was complaining about snails.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting Hooked

A couple of years ago I found myself at home, bored. I was done reading my book, done chatting with some similarly bored online friends, done doing my chores and anyway it was too cold to do anything that required getting up from my computer. After a short consideration of my unattractive options, I went back to idle chatting. Then a friend, who is much less idle than I, sent me some links in hope to keep me occupied and shut me up. One of those links was to Lucy's Blog.

I went nuts over the color. I could feel the texture of the cotton thread through the pictures. I got a physical itch to try it, and her instructions made it all jump out of the screen and look so Possible, that I hoped even I, widely known for my awful handwriting and complete lack of technical artsy skills, would be able to produce something. So, sitting there freezing, I read and re-read the illustrated instructions, trying to get familiar with the terminology: hooks, yarns, stitch types. It all looked fairly uncomplicated. The next morning I went out and bought a hook and some yarn, sat determinedly to practice, and in a matter of a few hours' struggle produced an amorphic knot which I proudly (and brazenly) declared as "A Flower".

Well, two years later, I sometimes manage to produce items that are a bit more intelligible. It took hours and hours of watching youtube tutorials, browsing through Howto instructions, and of course following an endless trail of trials, errors and amorphic knots. What fascinated me all along the way, and still does, is the fact that it takes merely a length of thread and a hooked stick to create something that is completely new - it looks like magic. And there are so many possibilities for that thread! So many techniques, so much to achieve with the simplest, most basic stitches. I find it spellbinding to this day.

Word of the Day
The Word of the Day is Yarn. Suitable for this post, don't you think? Now, according to Century Dictionary, one definition of Yarn is "A story; a tale: often implying the marvelous".

I think that's a very true definition. Don't you?