In My Heart of Arts

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61574_430831122470_2287989_nMy mind tends to wander quite a bit when I have my morning tea. If it wanders far enough, it also makes me lose track of time and I end up being late for work. This morning was one of those long and wide mind-wanderings.

Back when I lived with roommates and had no living beings depending on me for survival, we used to have art nights. I just realized I didn’t write much about these affairs in my past blogs, but damn, these were some fucking awesome nights.

We came up with the idea when my roommates and I took a road trip up north and visited the Dada museum in Ein Hod. There was a section of it dedicated solely to what they called “Garbage Art”. Basically, art made with recycled things and discarded objects left in the trash. Random shit that anybody can make. Like a discarded toilet bowl with a boot stuck on the rim.

So we were like, “Hey, we can make that too!”

And so, every once in a while, we invited over some friends, laid out all our art supplies and made whatever we felt like. If it was drawing, painting, writing, poetry, playing guitar, jewelry making, zine making, fimo molding, knitting, crocheting, absolutely anything goes.

Sometimes, we also tried to set art nights with a theme. We had an art night on Purim once, where we painted masks and noisemakers, some people showed up with costumes, we served Hamantashen and a bunch of sweets. It was so rad! We also had an art night on Lag Baomer and made Smores on our stove top. An art night on Tu Bishvat (the tree-hugging holiday) with a special lecture by one of my friends about all-natural body products. Of course, an art night involving a small zine workshop led by me for anybody who was interested in zine production.

I loved how most of the art nights that we had were attended only by women. Sure, we had some men coming every now and then. I even invited my husband (who was still my boyfriend back then) once, who refused at first because he felt he had no artistic talent.

“You play guitar,” I replied. “That’s an art. Come and play guitar for us!” So he did.

But most of the time, we were all women. There is something special in being in the company of a bunch of women, making art, talking about art, living breathing art, even if just for a few hours. There is no tension, no competition, no animosity, no need to justify or prove oneself for one reason or another. As we saw it, we were all equal, and we were all friends.

These were the thoughts that were going through my mind as herbal tea was rushing through my system in the morning. I started longing for these art nights which do not happen anymore because the roommate clan has disbanded. We each went our separate ways, mostly to the married life and subsequent motherhood. Of course, I regret nothing. I love being a wife and mother. But I certainly wish that “artist” was still included in the list of things that define me.

Peace, love and maybe I could have an art night with my kid and her friends when she grows up.

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The Sweden Connection

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DSC02403I spent the past week mostly hanging out with my Swedish friend, Nelly. We didn’t have any specific itinerary really. The past couple of times she was in Israel, we knew exactly what we were doing, when, where and with who. Two years ago, we had the Crafts for a Cause sale. Last year we recorded a CD. But this year, we got spontaneous.

The first day, we went to Art Night at my friend’s house. Then we met up again, this time with my boyfriend, and we went to Karaoke night at some small nightclub. I’m not a big fan of Karaoke, by any means and neither is my boyfriend, but hearing Nelly sing again was a real treat. That same night, we also went to Blaze Bar and had a few drinks and popcorn. We also spent some time at my house playing the tunes we recorded last year.

Yesterday we went to the Old City and the Western Wall. After having a salad and homemade pizza dinner, we changed from our modest attire into something a little less modest but still warm (for the cool Jerusalmite night) and headed out to the only gay bar in town to see a drag show. It was a nice contrast between the religious aspect of the town and the more underground not-so-holy part of the Holy City. And as I told Nelly, it was a refreshing change of scene for me, seeing as I spend every waking hour at rock bars and metal nights. Going to a bar with a different type of music, different type of people and a different type of show proved to be an awesome and very necessary experience. Also, the drag performers kicked ass! There were three drag queens and one drag king. One of the queens, who calls herself Milki Vanilli, was this tall, slender lady with full pounded lips and long skinny legs. She gave a super awesome show.

I was already tired as hell by the time we left the Kotel, but I was happy that I fought the slumber and made an effort to catch that show. So that night, we came back home at around 2:00 a.m. But just as we shut the lights, I had to switch them back on to investigate a strange shuffling sound that came from the plastic in the bedroom garbage can. It was just a small noise that lasted a split second but I figured if it didn’t come from me and not from Nelly who was sleeping beside me, and it sure as hell wasn’t Diamond, as she has most likely assumed her doughnut pose long before we went to bed, then we must have another living creature there.

Sure enough, there it was, behind the bedroom door, a big fat fucking roach crawling around on its creepy legs, dragging its long tentacles behind it on the floor. I pulled a shriek to raise the dead. Nelly echoed it, and we both screamed together for a good amount of time before I mustered the courage to run to the kitchen, grab the bug spray and unload the can right on the intruder.

Why does it seem like every time I’m having a good time or having a nice day, a fucking cockroach has to waltz on in and mess it all up?

We had trouble going back to sleep, so we stayed up watching TV. But then somehow managed to crash.

Today, Nelly walked with me to work. We passed by Babette, the waffle place on Shamai, and she ordered a waffle. And then I had to say goodbye and go to the office.

I really wish we had more time to do some other stuff – play guitar, go to the beach, do some other awesome stuff…

Maybe next time.

Peace, love and coming up this July – IZM, 24 Hour-Zine Thing, and some other boring medical shit.

DIY Month – Day 16: HannukArt Night

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Yesterday was the last day of Hanukkah. My friend (and former roommate) and I used to have art nights in our old apartment all the time. Now that we live separately, we still try to organize art nights to keep the creativity flowing.

So last night, we invited a few friends and had a night of crafts and chats in my friend’s cozy and cute little studio apartment. Only one person showed up, but that was good enough. Sometimes, when there are less people, it’s more organized. Your mind is not all over the place and you can concentrate on your own project in a more organized way.

Aside from making art, we also talked a lot about different things. It was great to catch up and have meaningful conversations with friends. I don’t get to do that very often because my friends and I have such different schedules. Sometimes, we try to set up a meeting one day and then it doesn’t work out because something comes up or the times don’t match. So art night is a great opportunity for that.

I continued working on the split zine I wrote on the first day of the DIY Month (a split zine with my dog!). I finished doing the layout during art night, so all I need to do now is add the finishing touches and send it to print. I’m pretty happy with the finished project. It’s quite short (only 18 pages, plus the 2 pages of the cover), but the content is not bad. Especially Diamond’s half. That one is rather amusing! A zine written by a dog is something I have never seen before.

My friend made a bead bracelet. She’s very talented at jewelry making. I told her she should try selling it.

The other girl who came to art night was working on a collage. It looked like a Hanukkah greeting card.

I had an awesome time! We will definitely try and have another art night sometime in January. Jerusalemites reading this post are welcome to join us.

Art Night 6 Art Night 1 Art Night 2 Art Night 3 Art Night 4Split Zine

 

Split Zine - side 2