Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Mehndi

Mehndi (also called Mehandi) is the traditional art of painting the hands, feet or body with a paste made from the powdered, dried leaves of the henna plant.

It is an ancient form of body art that has been practiced in the Middle East, India and parts of Africa for thousands of years.

The stains are usually cherry-red to brown color, but this can vary with time left on and a range of other factors.

Mehndi is special for many cultures, not just because it is an important part their culture, but also because of how beautiful the mehandi design looks when women are adorned with it.

In western countries, mehndi has gained a great deal of popularity in the temporary tattoo industry.

This art form is an intricately beautiful way to decorate the human body, a talent that is extraordinary and delicate and precise in its execution.

It is an amazing and intricate art form.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Jewish Paper Cutting

Jewish paper cutting is a traditional form of Jewish folk art made by cutting figures and sentences in paper or parchment.

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It is connected with various customs and ceremonies, and associated with holidays and family life.

papercutting

Paper cuts often decorated ketubbot (marriage contracts), Mizrahs, and ornaments for festive occasions, and works of art.

Ketubah 1

Paper cutting was practiced by Jewish communities in both Eastern Europe and North Africa and the Middle East for centuries and has seen a revival in modern times in Israel and elsewhere.

Shalem

Today, Jewish papercut art has grown in popularity beyond ritual items to art and expressions of Jewish faith, not only in Israel but worldwide.

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The sacredness of this ancient art is evident in the precise drawing and cutting of each piece.

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It was truly an exquisite form of art even the poor could do.

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though in the past few decades the art form has seen a veritable renaissance in Israel, with artists really pushing the medium to its thematic and technical limits.

25th anniversary commission

Examples of this fantastic hand-cut art can be found at  http://www.judaicpapercuts.com/,

http://www.papercutjudaica.com/ and http://www.nanrubin.net/, among others.

Obsession or Therapy?

15 - 1I’m in trouble.

I thought that by the time I got to mid-middle age I’d give up collecting “things.” You know — weird oddities that tickled your fancy back in the day, but now you’ve got so many you need a room with wall-to-wall shelving to keep them all in.

My thing was unicorns. IS unicorns. But my desire to pick up every stray statue/stuffed animal/poster has dwindled through the years. I’m content with my headboard full of uni’s and pegasus’s and the occasional dragon. Plus the corner curio. Plus the dresser. Plus the bookshelves. Plus … you get it.

Now I’m hooked on something which, on the surface, seems a lot less harmful. After all, it they don’t take up shelf space.

I’m hooked on gifs.

For those who know the word but forget the meaning, a gif is a computer image that moves. I’m sure there’s a simpler explanation, but you get the gist. Waterfalls have running water; skies have sparkling stars; women have flowing hair. I don’t know how they are made, but I think they are so cool.

I’ve started a collection on my laptop; they have their own folder and their own corner of the desktop. Now it’s not so bad — maybe 20-3o or so. What am I going to do when my collection dips into the hundreds? I tell myself they are for blogs and writing columns and … well, for enhancement of whatever I create in this three dimensional world. There is always a logical explanation for everything. All you need to do is find it.

But really they are just cool to watch. It’s like magic. I don’t want to know how its done, nor do I want to start creating them myself. I already have 1,000 things on my to-do list; creating moving pictures is not one of them.

I supposed in the short run it’s safer than collecting salt and pepper shakers or antique cars. I don’t have to dust them. But I’ve temporarily cut myself off from one of my Google+ communities, for it’s nothing BUT gifs. And I admit. I am weak. I can see me having a folder of 500 by year’s end, taking up good computer space. I can see me wasting time watching water fall instead of writing or reading. And that is not so cool.

My writing to-do list is nearly as obnoxious as my household to-do list. I really don’t have time to be downloading and watching every moving pic that tickles my fancy. But for now it seems I’m addicted. Hopefully, it will go by the wayside like roller discos and mullets. But until then — be prepared.

Do you collect things that you really don’t need to collect any more?