About zefiart

Blogger, DIY-er, poodle lover, graphic designer, dog groomer, recycler, artist, wonder woman in my spare time.

marble paintings

The last few days I got back into painting on marble. I mentioned that it sometimes takes me ages to get into something, but when I do I tend to immerse myself in it.

The downside of that, of course, is that once I immerse myself in something I can’t then easily switch my brain off. Which means sleepless nights. Ugh

So while I rub my red eyes, enjoy some marble paintings.

z

revisiting colours


I’m still obsessed with shades of mint green. As if you didn’t notice… And the darker, greener green which appears on vintage pieces.

The little cabinet I just shared under the electric board door I shared months ago:

The green cupboard I just shared:

The chalkboard visible behind the sea rope basket which also lived in my kitchen in Tasmania:

Almost everything in my kitchen in Tasmania… The doors, the chalkboard…

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My kitchen doors and a chalkboard in pale minty green.

The paper towel holder…

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My paper roll holder made using a beautiful old bracket I found.

The drawer I upcycled into a charging station…

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The roadside find trolley I fixed as my coffee cart…

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Don’t get me wrong. I love old things and I love the antique colours they come in. I love other colours too – light blue, creamy white, pale yellow, dusty pink, light grey. But vintage greens never fail to catch my eye.

I think the first piece I ever had in green was a meat safe like this one.

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Isn’t it just the perfect colour? Greeny blue with a nice dose of rust.

These days a paler version is in fashion: a softer, more pastel, more 50s colour. Since I mostly mix up my own colours I find something I like and try to match the colour. That means I get close but not identical each time I paint something. Suits me fine. I’ve never been hung up on perfection. Old things are not perfect… its that worn and used look that makes them perfect to me.

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Here are a few examples of things I painted in variations of that minty greeny colour.

A small wall mounted bookshelf (sorry, no finished photo):

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A wall mounted shelf I made over.

The bottom of an old wardrobe I converted into shoe storage for our porch in Tasmania. The drawer was broken so I kept the front in its original colour and hinged it from the bottom.

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The bottom part of an old wardrobe which I made into shoe storage for the porch. I kept the drawer the original colour cause the handles were painted.

Not the best photo, but the most distressed look I ever attempted on a small men’s wardrobe I used for craft supply storage in my office. I painted this in pale yellow and pink then topped it off with minty green before sanding and scraping back.

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An experiment in extreme distressing for storage in my office.

A greener green colour for a small vintage meatsafe I upcycled for towel storage in my grooming room.

I have an old timber couch I plan to sand back and paint next but I think I should stick to antique white for that cause then I can pick any colours I want for the cushions. Painting it green will limit my choices…

z

green cupboard

Well whaddayaknow? Another green cupboard…

I found this gorgeous cupboard in an online store on Facebook and feel in love. So I bought it before even figuring out where I’d put it. Turns out it fit perfectly in my bedroom.

I didn’t take any good before photos, but the guys from the shop were kind enough to send me the one above from their listing. You can see it has a nice shape in the display area, no doors, no drawers and a dish rack inside the top part.

I basically let it sit there, wrapped in plastic, for a couple of months before I started working on it. The only thing I did was expose the hinges. I’ve never seen hinges placed on a piece of furniture like this before. I measured them and went looking to see if I could find hinges to fit so I wouldn’t have to mess with removing and replacing. I got lucky and found some in brass (which I painted naturally!). They’re great actually as I can easily remove the doors if I want to move it around, making it much lighter.

It needed a major overhaul obviously. I sanded it back to remove the old paint (and dirt. Lots of dirt). I removed the dish rack cause I wasn’t going to use it in the kitchen. I made doors out of plywood. I made drawers out of whatever I had on hand, with plywood fronts. I got some simple white ceramic knobs.

I mixed up paint to match the original colours cause I liked them. A more yellowish green than the minty green I usually like. You can’t see it in the wrapped pic but the inner part in the middle was blue and the insides unpainted. I painted the insides blue.

My plan was always to put it in the bedroom for linen up top and shoes down the bottom. Hence the holes in the doors: to allow air to circulate. Bonus that it looks cute.

The naked ladies, being mostly white, are ideal for display purposes. Mind you, its also a handy spot to store them till I decide what to do with them. And till I find what belongs in that spot.

So another project finished and shared!

z

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water bottle storage

Ever since I moved here I thought it would be handy to have a pull out shelf drawer cabinet thingy (what are those things called anyway?) to hide away the bottled water. The water here is meant to be great quality but you know, once you get into the habit of drinking bottled water…

Anyway, till recently I would buy a six pack of 1.5 litre bottles and put them in the corner next to the washing machine, then toss the empties on top… given the washing machine still sticks out of the kitchen bench and I still need to finish that ‘end’ of the kitchen, its not a pretty sight even without the bottles.

So while I was up at my uncle’s garage remaking the cupboard I figured I’d use the opportunity to try my hand at making my thingy.

Its basically made out of odds and ends I already had on hand, but I did have to buy the wheels. The paint I mixed up to match the existing kitchen cabinets. Its basically just a box with a shelf in it, a solid back and narrow slats to hold in the bottles. Pretty easy to make. Its not perfect, but it works.

Given I make things without any real knowledge of the hows tos, I’d say it came out pretty well. Especially cause its the exact right height! And me with my mathematical disability!

PLUS I didn’t have to re-cut anything. I got everything cut the right size first time (I have been known to waste a bit of wood now and then… but that’s ok, I usually find something to do with the ‘wrong’ bits.) I’m pretty amazed at myself really.

You may have noticed, its not all bottled water. The idea was for it to hold a full six pack of water and perhaps a couple of leftover bottles from the previous pack, but I thought it was a nice spot to store my measely collection of alcohol as well. It had the room!

So there you have it. Another home improvement brought to you by Zefi. 🙂

z

sea rope basket

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Things have been a bit all over the place lately, which is my excuse for not posting more often. I thought I’d post while I was on Syros while Lainee had her second operation, but I just couldn’t drum up the enthusiasm for it.

Lainee is doing fine though. She was hungry one hour after waking from her surgery the vet said, and had the staff wrapped around her little paw the whole time she was there. She came out raring to go. The only thing that slows her down is the heat. She really doesn’t do well in the heat. The vet said that’s cause of her heart murmur. So I keep her out of the heat as much as possible. I’ll have to start carrying her back from work when its hot so she doesn’t become tired or overheated.

Meanwhile I started work, in a way. I only had 5 days worth of work to do, then I have to wait for more stuff to do. I hope my job becomes regular soon as I need the income naturally. Though I must admit, I love being a lady of leisure in summer.

So, taking advantage of the not working times I have been working on the tons of projects I have that need finishing (or starting!). I finished the little green cabinet I shared yesterday and have been working on the bigger cupboard I got. That should be finished and back home today if the guy who’s helping me with it can bring it.

Today I thought I’d share the latest finished sea rope basket. I wanted this one to be a bit bigger than the last ones which I made to hold smaller stuff like keys or glasses. This one I’m currently using to hold fruit on my kitchen counter.

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These baskets are easy to do, they just take a lot of time. I have a callus on my thumb to prove that. First I have to collect bits of rope from the beach (usually over winter)… most of the pieces I find are only small, between 2-5 inches long. I bring them home, wash and dry them, then put them in a bag near the couch. I pull out the bits I want as I work on a basket. I work on the couch while I watch something on Netflix. Stops me from wanting to snack all the time.

I’ve already started another one, totally different this time cause its from roadside rope. I will share that one soon as its finished. I enjoy doing them. I like having something for my hands to do.

z

lainee – my baby girl

Just missing my baby girl so I thought I’d share some photos of her.

She adores my cousin Zefi. The next two are taken at her house on Paros. Lainee will always chose to sit on the couch with Zefi rather than me… the little traitor!

Its especially funny since Zefi isn’t really a dog person. But she’s getting used to Lainee rubbing her Lainee-ness all over her couches. Even sitting in her handbag!

That one really cracked me up.

Anyway, here’s looking forward to many years ahead with my girl.

I’m in a nostalgic mood. I spent ages yesterday looking at photos and videos of Eric, missing him, sad that I lost him. I’m so tempted when I see kittens looking for a home but I refuse to get another one. I’m always looking after one cat or another, I can’t help myself. But I don’t want the responsibility of a cat that’s mine. Not again. Not when I’m most likely going to be spending a lot of next winter in Athens. Its too hard to travel with two pets and no way will I have a pet I have to leave outside for hours again.

z

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syros. once again…

Back again. For Lainee, another surgery.

This year has just sucked so far – and we all thought 2020 was bad. 2021 has been way worse for me. It started with a visit to the hospital on Syros with Aunt 1 for a week in January. Then back for myself a couple of days later which turned into a month of hospitalization. Then back to Syros for Lainee’s first surgery. Now for another one. This time its hopefully prophylactic surgery – to keep the cancer from returning any time soon. Or ever.

I just spoke to the vet. Lainee was operated on yesterday and she’s doing well, is awake, ate, the wound is looking good and she’s not bothering it, she seems in a good mood. They want to keep her in one more night so I’ll stay till tomorrow.

Lucky there is another ferry tomorrow cause usually there’s only one every couple of days. Miss one and you have to add another two days to your stay most of the time.

I just want my girlie to be ok so that’s all that matters. That she’s well and gets to live a healthy long life from here on, so them keeping her one more night is good.

For now enjoy some photos… Firstly a plant that apparently grows wild on the hills here with huge white blooms. I haven’t seen this on Paros.

I took the bus to Kini Beach, a beach I’d only seen in passing when I was on Syros a few years ago. Unfortunately the day was windy and not hot enough to make me want to swim so I spent time relaxing on the beach till a group of twenty-somethings arrived with loud voices, loud music and cigarettes. Ugh.

Basically this is what I looked at most of the time on the beach:

So while here I’ve had a pedicure, walked around town, ate out and did some shopping. Its great to be ‘on holiday’ alone but it can get a bit boring when you’re just waiting. I’ve already shopped more than I planned to – but I’m cheap so I haven’t spent much. I got some bargain basement shorts and a top plus 3 nose rings cause they’re easy to lose. Those cost a whopping 1.5 euro each. Big spender.

Oh, I also bought some local honey from the lady who did my pedicure. Her father is a bee keeper here on Syros and I can’t resist pure honey. That almost cost more than the shorts and top together.

If I run into an audio shop on my way round town today I’ll look at microphones… see if I can find a good economically priced one for my foray into podcast/radio shows… who knows… Its on my ‘want’ list anyway.

Ok, this post is getting boring. I’ll end it here and go wander around town a bit. I was expecting to pick up Lainee today so I find myself at a bit of a loss now.

z

a little green cabinet

Remember long ago I mentioned I’d bought a glass fronted cabinet and a cupboard? Well, I’m finally sharing one of those projects. About bloody time too. I’ve been letting myself get really lazy when it comes to working on the computer and blogging has suffered.

Anyhow… I found this cute little cabinet at a local antique shop a few months ago and had to have it. It was missing one side glass panel, both inner shelves and bascially needed a bit of TLC.

Ok. Maybe a lot of TLC. But that kind of thing never scares me.

My uncle had given me a couple of these old parian couch decorations which he’d salvaged from a burn pile. It came from some very old broken couches from an old hotel. He asked if I wanted them. Of course I wanted them!

I picked this one, deciding it would add that little something extra to my cabinet.

The entire remake took ages to complete. Mainly cause I just let the cabinet sit in my house for ages before I even began, then I only worked on it in spits and spurts.

First order of business was to remove the remaining glass on the side and replace it with flyscreen. The whole idea was to make this little cabinet into towel storage to fit right outside my bathroom. Boy I’m glad I have tools. The staple gun came in really handy for putting in the flyscreen.

Once that was done and it was all cleaned up I began painting it with a ready made chalk paint. I say that cause most of the time I mix up my own paint colours and make my own chalk paint.

I used clear wax to finish it off, tinting some of it to create the old look where necessary as I went.

So here it is. Finished, in its place in the tiny hallway to the bathroom. I made a shelf in the top to hold hand towels, the bottom holds my bath towels. I put an old lace pillow case I was given in the window. This is a very traditional look: in the old houses here on Paros there were window cabinets cut into the thick stone walls. The women would put lace curtains in them to decorate them and hide what was inside. They weren’t usually used as display cabinets but for every day storage. I love the way this turned out.

Till I can find a better place for them, my cowboy boots sit underneath it, sort of on display too. And the paint colour I chose almost matches the little door I made to hide the electricity panel.

z

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on my way home

Yes! Back home to Paros.

Athens in fine in small doses. Though with COVID19 my time in Athens is pretty boring. I simply don’t go anywhere outside the neighbourhood. I avoid buses and the metro so I don’t go into the center. I avoid anywhere there are too many people (again: the center of Athens).

And I don’t go ‘out’. I visit friends and do errands locally, all pretty much within walking distance. Boring. I did buy some more shorts though. I never ever wore shorts till I got some last year. It was so hot I wore them all the time. Now I have more to chose from. I don’t care what I look like any more.

Ahh the joys of getting older.

I noticed the National Art Gallery is opened again after its renovation but I forgot about it and didn’t go. I guess next time I’m in Athens I must make a point to visit.

Meanwhile I’m trying to take a step back and breathe about the whole reno thing. Its just so much I need to decide and think about and organise that I’ve been unable to sleep well in days with my mind going a million miles an hour.

So basically I do this:

And my favourite:

Hope you enjoyed the stuff I found online when I should have been sleeping. Maybe I’ll sleep better once I’m back home with my Lainee next to me.

z

still in athens

Current layout.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though.

Sort of.

At least I’m going home on Friday – even though I’ll have to come back again soon I’m sure. There’s so much to organise for the renovation in the house.

I’m so confused right now. I have meetings with tradespeople every day and I mix them up, who does what. I’m making notes, but sheesh. So much to do, so much to decide, so much to pull together.

The house basically needs all new electricals, new plumbing, connecting to natural gas which is now right outside the door, all new bathroom, all new kitchen, new floors, new windows, new front and back security doors, new wardrobes, painting throughout inside and out…

Tons to be done. Even if all I did was update the spaces as they are now…

That’s not counting if I want to make a couple of changes to the layout of the place to make it more current and more practical. You gotta remember this house was built in the late 50s when they made tiny rooms, as many as they could fit. That means unnecessary hallways, too many doorways and cramped spaces.

I figure this house will be renovated now and it shouldn’t need the layout changed ever again. So take the time, spend the extra bit of money on it now in order that its not just a great place for mom to live now, but also for me or my brother or a tenant in the future. To do that I need to consider a bigger brighter more inviting kitchen space, a bigger main bedroom and hopefully bathroom and an open plan look for the kitchen/living/dining.

That will mean removing a couple non-load bearing walls of course. But now is the time to do those things. Not spend money now to reno the place only to redo it in a few years.

Sure, you do need to update kitchens and bathrooms every so many years but if I get the main shape of the house right now, the changes in the future will be aesthetic only – new cabinets or benchtops for the kitchen, new accessories or tiles in the bathroom.

Whatever.

It depends on costs of course. It always comes down to costs.

Signing off with a load on my mind and shoulders.

z