December 27, 2010

Spirit Guides by Hagar, An Etsy Treasury for the TAFA Team!

Spirit Guides

Visit this wonderful treasury and click on the shops you would like to visit.  A nice Welcome to the New Year

December 20, 2010

Christmas longing from Israel to Mandawa

 A painted door at Desert Resort Mandawa

Women painting wall decorations 
in Desert Resort Mandawa

By Hagar Arnon Elbaz of Gilgulim
Here in Israel, we do not celebrate Christmas nor is it our vacation period. But growing up in Jerusalem (a ten minute drive from Bethlehem) made Christmas difficult to ignore. My German grandmother who immigrated to Israel on 1939 had school friends in Germany who used to send her Christmas cards and presents during this period of the year. The shiny cards scattered with gold and glittering with "diamonds" were given to me. I treasured these cards and was sure these were the most beautiful gifts in the entire world. Christmas was like a far away dream. 
Later on, my mother who was a Hebrew teacher was invited on Christmas Eve to the Finnish mission where two of her students served. Oh, this was an unforgettable evening. One should remember that Israel during the sixties of the last century was sort of a grayish place due to its poverty. Those fabulous green, red and gold colors at the mission were so bright and the choir sang as if coming straight from heaven.  We children could hardly breathe from amazement. When I grew up I came to know every church in the old Jerusalem and went to listen to the midnight mass.

 View of Mandawa palaces

For the last ten years I have gone to visit the neighboring Franciscan women's monastery situated on the hill opposite my house. The Mass is sung in Hebrew and Arabic as well as in all the languages spoken by the nuns who come from all over the world.

 Street Routine on Mandawa

But, last year I was in India.  It breaks my heart with longing to think about it, I miss India so much! On Christmas Eve we came back to Delhi from Mandawa.  I want to go back there so much and I will surely will!

Sewing class

This year we are going down to Eilat by the Red Sea. It has nothing to do with Christmas.  I am sure we will meet thousands of tourists who come to Eilat searching for sun in the middle of winter. I feel peculiar not being on the Franciscan monastery for one more Christmas Eve. I promise to send postcards from Eilat.

December 17, 2010

Patches of Fire and Ice Treasury by Hagar

A beautiful treasury of our TAFA Team!

by Hagar

Click to go visit, leave a comment and visit our shops! 

December 10, 2010

The Oshiwa Shop on Etsy: Lots of new textile stamps!

Oshiwa Printing Stamps

The Oshiwa Namibia Team is a small fair trade carving group that focuses on making carved wood stamps and frames.  The stamps are available in their Etsy shop:

The stamps can be used to print on fabric or paper and to press into clay or soap.  Beautifully carved out of Wawa wood, why not use them as pieces of art in themselves?  Attach hangers on to the backs and hang them on the wall.  (A great guy gift!)  The Oshiwa sets have been assembled with continuity in mind and would look great as a wall unit:

Oshiwa Printing Stamps

Oshiwa made a conscious decision to go green with their wood:  the wawa wood comes from Ghana's Department of Forestry, harvested from wood grown as part of a sustainable forestry project.  Prices reflect the sourcing of the wood, paying fair wages to the artisans and shipping the stamps to the United States.  What?  They are in the United States?  Yes.  Due to the difficulty of shipping and making financial transactions from Namibia, Oshiwa has partnered with Rayela Art to market the stamps.  Rayela Art is based in Kentucky, USA, and Oshiwa stamps can be shipped together with any purchases made from the Rayela shop or the Afghan Tribal Arts shop.  All three of us are members of the TAFA Team.

Carving an Oshiwa textile stamp.

Many of our TAFA members dye and print on fabric to make their own designs.  Stamping with Oshiwa designs can produce lovely results!  Some examples:

Aren't they all just stunning?  The Oshiwa shop is now stocked with a great selection of sets and there are about 100 single stamps that still need to be listed.  Check the shop for new additions in the next week or so.  The single ones make great stocking stuffers for the artist in your family.  The stamps are priced by square inch with the sets reflecting a 15% discount.  They are the best investment for any serious fiber artist working with surface designs.

For more information on Oshiwa and the stamps, visit  You will find info on both how to use and care for the stamps.

 Happy Holidays from the Oshiwa Namibia Team!

December 6, 2010

Stocking Stuffers from the Textile and Fiber Art List on Etsy

Do you have someone in the family or a friend who appreciates hand work?  Textiles? Fiber Art?  This treasury has some finds that would fit in a stocking, the perfect small item for that special person.

Visit the treasury and leave a comment!

Visit our Catalog of Shops on this blog to see almost 100 Etsy shops filled with fiber treasures by our TAFA members.  Click on the tabs at the top of the blog to explore the categories.

December 5, 2010

Hot Items for Special People, A Gilgulim Etsy Treasury

Another great TAFA Treasury by Hagar from Gilgulim!

Leave a comment and click away!

December 4, 2010

Happy Hanukkah (Chanukah) from the Textile and Fiber Art List

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. It starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November-late December on the secular calendar.

Hanukkah Traditions

Every community has its unique Hanukkah traditions, but there are some traditions that are almost universally practiced. They are: lighting the hanukkiyah, spinning the dreidel and eating fried foods.
  • Lighting the hanukkiyah: Every year it is customary to commemorate the miracle of the Hanukkah oil by lighting candles on a hanukkiyah. The hanukkiyah is lit every night for eight nights. Learn more about the hanukkiyah in the article, What Is a Hanukkiyah?
  • Spinning the dreidel: A popular Hanukkah game is spinning the dreidel, which is a four-sided top with Hebrew letters written on each side. Read The Hanukkah Dreidel to learn more about the dreidel, the meaning of the letters and how to play the game. Gelt, which are chocolate coins covered with tin foil, are part of this game.
  • Eating fried foods: Because Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil, it is traditional to eat fried foods such as latkes and sufganiyot during the holiday. Latkes are pancakes made out of potatoes and onions, which are fried in oil and then served with applesauce. Sufganiyot (singular: sufganiyah) are jelly-filled donuts that are fried and sometimes dusted with confectioners’ sugar before eating. Learn more about Hanukkah food traditions in the article, Hanukkah Food Traditions.
Read the full article and learn about Hanukkah here.

Hanukkah has eight days of gift giving.  Usually, you get one pricey gift and then the others are smaller, more like stocking stuffers.  TAFA can be your one stop shopping destination for Hanukkah gifts: we have both large and small.

You can explore the tabs at the top of this blog to visit our Catalog of Shops.  Or, you can also visit Etsy and see several pages of our TAFA members who have tagged their items with TAFA.  Click Here.  Right now we have 13 pages of eye candy!

While you shop, enjoy the good humor of Jon Stewart and Adam Sandler:

Happy Chanukah!!!

December 3, 2010

TAFA Style: An Outfit by the TAFA Team on Etsy

I went shopping in my dreams and put together an outfit I would wear....  All by our TAFA Team members!  Beautiful work!  Click on the link and go visit.  Leave a comment and click on the items- send us to the front page on Etsy!

This is just a small sampling of the beautiful apparel and accessories you will find from our Team.  Explore our Catalog of Shops by clicking on the tabs below the banner on this blog.  

December 1, 2010

The TAFA Team on Etsy Sees Red

Raspberry Ice Paillette Party Wrap

Sin, guilt, pain, passion, blood, and anger


Red is used as a symbol of guilt, sin and anger, often as connected with blood or sex. A Biblical example is found in Isaiah: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow." Also, The Scarlet Letter, an 1850 American novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, features a woman in a Puritan New England community who is punished for adultery with ostracism, her sin represented by a red letter 'A' sewn into her clothes. This all comes from a general Hebrew view inherited by Christianity which associates red with the blood of murder, as well as with guilt in general. Often, things will be in red to scare. Another popular example of this is in the phrase "caught red-handed", meaning either caught in an act of crime or caught with the blood of murder still on one's hands. At one point, red was associated with prostitutes, or now, with brothels (red-light districts). In Roman Catholicism, red represents wrath, one of the Seven Deadly Sins. In Christianity, Satan is usually depicted as colored red and/or wearing a red costume in both iconography and popular culture. Statistics have shown that red cars are more likely to be involved in accidents.

The color red is associated with lust, passion, love, and beauty as well. The association with love and beauty is possibly related to the use of red roses as a love symbol. Both the Greeks and the Hebrews considered red a symbol of love, as well as sacrifice. Psychological research has shown that men find women who are wearing red more attractive.

Mandarin Orange

sunshine animal print hand knitted silk wool scarf



Eastern and African tradition


In China, red (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: hóng) is the symbol of firesouth (both south in general and Southern China specifically). It carries a largely positive connotation, being associated with courage, loyalty, honor, success, fortune, fertility, happiness, passion, and summer. In Chinese cultural traditions, red is associated with weddings (where brides traditionally wear red dresses) and red paper is also frequently used to wrap gifts of money or other things. Special red packets (simplified Chinese: 红包; traditional Chinese: 紅包; pinyin: hóng bāo) in Mandarin or lai see in Cantonese are specifically used during the Chinese New Year to give monetary gifts. On the more negative side, obituaries are traditionally written in red ink, and to write someone's name in red signals either cutting them out of your life, or that they have died. Red is also associated with both the feminine and the masculine (yin and yang and the respectively), depending on the source.

In Japan, red is a traditional color for a heroic figure. In the Indian Sub-continent, red is the traditional color of bridal dresses, and is frequently represented in the media as a symbolic color for married women. The color is associated with purity, sexuality in marriage relationships through its connection to heat and fertility.  It is also the color of wealth, beauty, and the goddess Lakshmi.
In Central Africa, Ndembu warriors rub themselves with red during celebrations. Since their culture sees the color as a symbol of life and health, sick people are also painted with it. Like most Central African cultures, the Ndembu see red as ambivalent, better than black, but not as good as white. In other parts of Africa, however, red is a color of mourning, representing death.  Because of the connection red bears with death in many parts of Africa, the Red Cross has changed its colors to green and white in parts of the continent. 



 Do you see red?

 Click on the tabs at the top of our blog to visit our Catalog of Shops.  
You will find more red and many other beautiful colors!