A few weeks ago, my friends from Bubbles (a group of leading lifestyle bloggers in Israel) were discussing some ways to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot on our blogs, and we came up with the idea of each hosting a guest on our blog, since Sukkot is known as the holiday of guests. As soon as this idea came up, I knew who I’m going to ask to be a guest in my virtual Sukkah – Keren Avni, a talented architect and – to those of you who haven’t noticed yet – my beloved sister.
Two years my junior, Keren is undoubtedly my biggest inspiration by far. She was the one whom led me to fall in love with design and work in the field, but that’s not the only way she’s inspired me; Keren is the model of balance, of a healthy lifestyle, of grace under pressure, and of course of immense talent.
After studying architecture in the Technion, Keren worked in the prestigious firm Efrat Kowalsky Architects, where she led some acclaimed projects like the re-planning of the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum and representing Israel in the eighth architecture biennale in Venice. Recently, Keren started her own architecture firm and she’s teaching at the Interior Design program at the College of Management Academic Studies and parenting her three little princesses.
One more thing before I get out of the way and let Keren share her guest post, I just want to let you know Keren has an amazing new website where you can get inspired by her gorgeously designed projects – private residences and awe inspiring public buildings alike. Oh, and if you read Hebrew don’t miss Keren’s amazing blog, too. Her posts are always so knowledgeable and thought provoking!
And now – finally – I’ll let Keren do her thing:
Something funny happened in the last few years: Orit became the family’s resident Martha Stewart. When we were growing up, everything was always so clear: Orit was the realistic of us (with 6 units in astrophysics) and I was the creative one (not that I didn’t do my own 5 units in Math-Physics-Chemistry but why sweat the small details…) and you know how it is when you’re a kid, once you’ve been tagged, it sticks.
I was always the one who had all those extra-curricular activities: Pottery, painting, sewing, fashion design, patternmaking. Name a creative a class – I took it. The only class I managed to persuade Orit to take with me, I think, was sewing.
Years later, while in the army, Orit took a Mamram (computing and info system) course and that’s it – the way to a career in Hi-tech was clear. Meanwhile, I signed up for Architecture studies at the Technion [which Keren finished on the dean’s list, just saying! -Orit].
And then, a decade and a half later, with a glowing hi-tech career to boast about, Orit joined me and became a creative, a maker. Did I say “joined”? She put us all to shame with her mad skills of sewing, knitting, taking photos, designing – and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
Without waxing sentimental, let me just say it’s been a real joy. It’s a joy to share a vocabulary with my sister. It’s a joy to be able to understand each other at the deepest level possible. I feel like we both won the lottery.
When Orit invited me to both her virtual and real-life Sukkah, I just couldn’t arrive empty-handed (someone has to hold down the age old niceties, you know!) so I decide to make some decorations with my daughters. For a long time now I’ve been seeing tutorials for tissue paper pompoms all over the web. It seemed pretty easy (NOT! okay, just kidding – partially – it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it, but it requires some patience.)
A few things about crafting with kids:
1. Don’t start crafting with kids if you’re not a 100% confident about the technique or project you’re planning. Kids smell fear and it just wouldn’t work.
2. If you have an energetic redhead for a daughter, don’t expect her to quietly sit and fold paper into precise little folds or separate layers of tissue paper with infinite care and patience (she’ll probably come up with her own brilliant craft, though).
3. Counting on posting perfect photos of the perfect fruit of your kids’ crafting skills? You’d better set aside some time to make to make those perfect-looking pompoms yourself after the kids go to sleep, then, but don’t forget to take a few pics of the messy-but-adorable ones your kids made.
4. Feeling like you’re about to loose your patience? Great time to invite your older niece and ask her if she’d like to learn how to make some AWESOME decorations
And to add to the family party-vaganza, it was Michael’s fifth birthday on the holiday eve. We were planning on celebrating together under the pompoms the girls I made, but to keep things real, all the young ones celebrated their own way – on the bouncy castle. At least there was some sort of cohesiveness in the color scheme…
Thank you Orit for being an amazing host as always, happy birthday, Mikey, and good luck to all of us getting back to routine!
-And from me, too, have a great week!