art ~ jewelry ~ interfaith devotions ~ peace to you...


in her words: be wonder

It's been quite some time since I've featured an artist here. Recently I met Shiri (on-line that is) from an ecological village in Israel, who is a wonderfully warm and peace-filled artist with amazing talent. Her Esty shop, Be Wonder, is full of colorful, lively hand painted peace items, including beautiful mandalas and card games!

Shiri was sixteen during the Gulf War and had a brother, sister and father in the army at the time. She can still recall hearing when bombs fell on Israel.

In her words: 

"I think anyone who experienced war in any way knows how bad it is! In my life, from the very beginning, I sing and pray for peace. My mum got pregnant with me after the Six-Day War, thinking that I will be born into a war free reality - same with all mothers and there are many songs about the 1974 born kids and the promise that couldn't be fulfilled.

I traveled the world wishing to become an international PEACE WARRIOR! But the path showed me that there is no way to run from your roots. So I tried to show people I have met the other face of Israel, the side that is not shown on media and most of the people were amazed to hear my stories. 

Painting and crafting for me is a deep liberating feeling of inner peace, and being on Etsy, touching (again) people from all walks of life through my art, is an overwhelming experience and a strong affirmation that my deep intentions are being passed on."

Cards of Wonder

Eco Friendly Greeting Cards

Blossom Mandala Canvas Art


devotions: His presence

"He was in the world and the world was made by Him"

         John 1:10

Christmas in Haifa

Santa was walking the streets of the Wadi Nisnas in Haifa, Israel, during the Festival of Festivals on the 24th December, leading several local marching bands playing Christmas music. Lots of food and trinkets lined the streets, as well as some amazing art. A photo gallery below. Merry Christmas to all, wherever you are in the world.

Entering the Festival in the Wadi

Embroidery Thread pieces

Hand Painted Glass panels

I don't know the names of any of the food items, but YUM!! It all looks wonderful.


Old City of Jerusalem

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of a walking tour of the "Old City" of Jerusalem. It was a fascinating, interesting and beautiful place to spend the day. I was awestruck knowing this area is the birthplace of at least three major religions! Below are a few of my favorite photos.

Standing on the "Mount of Olives" over-looking the Old City

Prayer candles outside the tomb of Mary Magdalene

One of many lanterns in Mary's tomb.

One of eight entries into the Old City

Inside the walls of the Old City

Moslim Quarter Market

Private door in the Jewish Quarter

There's a story behind this ladder but I don't remember enough to be accurate.

Alter brought by the Crusaders nine hundred years ago.


celebrating together in Israel!

Peace Card in eight languages by Be Wonder of Western Galilee, Israel

 I've learned there is a festival, close to my neighborhood, that celebrates three of the major religious December holidays! Chanuka, Christmas and Eid al-Adha.

It's called the Festival of Festivals, and takes place in Haifa's mixed Arab-Jewish Wadi Nisnas neighborhood. The festival promotes good neighborly relations by hosting cultural and artistic events throughout December.

 I hope to have an opportunity to learn more about this wonderful celebration and enjoy the fabulous Israeli art that I know is being displayed!


art picks: snow sweet snow

In honor of snowy memories of home.

Little Tree fine art photography by Rocky Top Studio of Maine, USA

Junco on a Snowy Branch fine art photography by Machel Spence Photography of Washington, USA

End of the Road Winter Scene fine art photography by Photogenic Gallery of Connecticut, USA


poppy seed bread

This recipe for Poppy Seed Bread is one of my fondest memories of my grandmother's baking and the best quick bread I've ever eaten! It may not be the healthiest, which is why I only bake it once a year or so. You can dress it up by drizzling a sugar icing over the top of the loaf or add fresh strawberries to the plate when serving.

I have reduced the amount of sugar considerably from the original recipe. Everything else remains the same. I haven't tried it yet, but it occurred to me that the oil could be reduced and the same amount of liquid replaced by increasing the milk. It might be worth an experiment.

This bread makes a wonderful gift, and in this case I gave several loaves to friends before I left for Israel. Makes two loaves.

Poppy Seed Bread

In a large bowl cream together (using a hand mixer):

3 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. oil (I use olive oil)

In another bowl sift together:

3 C. unbleached flour (could try half whole wheat pastry flour)
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. poppy seeds

Add the dry mix to the creamed mixture alternately with 1 1/2 C. milk.

Lastly stir in:

1 1/2 t. almond flavoring
1 1/2 t. vanilla flavoring

Divide batter into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake in a 350 oven for almost one hour. Check for doneness by poking the center with a toothpick. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing or wrapping.


my first photo: Shrine of The Bab

Shrine of the Bab. One of the most holy places on earth for the Baha'i Faith.

Taken during my introductory walking tour of Haifa, on Mount Carmel in Israel


hillel street to golomb gate

One of the many public stone stairs connecting upper and lower streets of Haifa.

141 steps to Golomb St. above.



devotions: the light of unity

Twenty One Candles photography by Angle North Carolina, USA

So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth."

~ Baha'i Writings


spreading peace in the northwest

A while back I gave some peace rocks to my grand children so they could spread the message of peace. That was in Colorado. Now they live in Seattle, Washington, and sent this photo of their peace rocks, which they placed at a park in West Seattle, near the Puget Sound.

The peace rocks are hand painted by Sasa and sent all over to be left for others to find. Her blog address is on each rock! To learn more and to get your own peace rocks please visit Sasa's peace blog.

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