About zefiart

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

the kitchen is almost finished!

The apartment still looks like a building site, but things are coming together faster now.

The kitchen has all its cupboards in, all doors on, the rangehhood is in place, the sink, the gas hob, the dishwasher, the oven.

The other rooms in the house are finished…

All we need now is for the bathroom fixtures to be put in… and electricity and natural gas to be connected and we’re set.

The natural gas connection application has been approved so we await delivery of the gas meter… Given I’ve been waiting for the plumber (from said crew) to come for a whole week to replace a holey tank for the radiators to work upstairs I’m not too optimistic it will be done in any kind of rush… sigh.

As for the electricity, I’m waiting on that too. Yesterday the contractor was able to get ahold of the ‘temporary’ application papers and I couriered them to DEDDIE. They should have gotten them this morning. I’ll call tomorrow to check on progress there. Assuming anyone can actually tell me anything…

A spot to store bottles and other stuff alongside the fridge cubicle.
Pantry cupboard with lots of drawers inside.
Sink in!
Dishwasher in!

Tomorrow I return to Paros to catch up with stuff I have to do there, then back to a hopefully finished house, hopefully with gas and power connected, ready to clean and start moving in.

z

house progress

Most things are moving along well in the house. All windows and doors are in, the wardrobes are finished, the kitchen is coming together nicely.

Now if we could get power connected we’d be fine. See below for pics and further below for a rant.

We have a window in the main bedroom finally. And all flyscreens are in.
The wardrobe in the main bedroom.
The wardrobe in the tiny bedroom.
A small cupboard in the tiny bedroom.
The kitchen taking shape.
The oven is in!

As I said, things are coming together. The dishwasher and oven which I ordered online on Monday have arrived from Thessaloniki in northern Greece, but the power which was supposedly connected on August 26 by a ‘local’ company has still not arrived.

Its a sad sad and oft-repeated story for Greece where no one seems to communicate with anyone else, even within the same organisation let alone across different ones.

Remember the envelope saga? (You can read that here…)

It all started a long long time ago, in a land right here… An innocent little girl who’d spent her whole life in a country far far away where things seemed to make sense, moved to a country where they didn’t.

Back on August 3 I called Protergia, the power company which mom and aunt 1 have been customers of for years. I requested they reconnect power to the apartment which had been vacated by the loser tenant. I have a copy of the application/contract.

Work on the house began in September. We had no power so I called to ask how the application was going. I was told that there was an issue with the electricity meter, something about a fire, that the man from the national electricity authority (DEI) had come, seen the meter, couldn’t connect power, and left. He had supposdely referred the matter to DEDDIE – the DEI maintenance section or whatever they are. The ones that fix things basically. I was to wait, it would be fixed.

Meanwhile we ran a LONG extension cord from upstairs so that the crew could work.

In October I began calling again to see if anything had been done cause we still had no power.

I got my first bill. For electricity I didn’t have. 58 euros worth of it.

I started a game of telephone ping pong. I’d call Protergia to complain that I still had no power, they would refer me to DEDDIE to register a fault. DEDDIE would refer me back to Protergia. I’ve spent countless hours on hold with one company or the other only to be referred back to ‘the other guy’ cause ‘its not our responsibility’.

Meanwhile in all the calls I’ve made I got about 53 different stories as to what the problem was and what I needed to do. Not a single person agreed on anything. Apparently there was a fire in the meter box, a cut cable, a burnt cable, a new cable was put in without permission or the meter is locked. Which is is. Sealed. By who? When? I don’t know. I presume by the first guy who came to check it out. I even had a guy from DEDDIE come out yesterday who said the meter box has been sealed, yeah, we get that, but was so confusing in his explanation of what to do about it – something about paying money for something… I don’t bloody know – even the contractor didn’t understand.

Today I got another bill for electricity I don’t have. 140 euros worth.

This morning I had a marathon calling session, sent emails, filled in online forms, yelled at people, told the power company to take their contract and shove it and am still pretty much nowhere.

This is how I see it: I chose to go with a power provider which was known to us, and we’ve been customers of for years. I made a simple request to have power connected to a house that used to have power before the tenant moved out and disconnected it. Its the power company’s job to connect me. They gave the ‘order’ to DEI and DEI supposedly reported back that power was not reinstated due to some fault. DEI suposedly referred the job on to DEDDIE.

At some point shouldn’t Protergia have notified me that there was an issue and connection couldn’t be done? Shouldn’t THEY follow it up? Apparently not. Cause apparently all they’re responsible for is ‘supplying’ power and billing for it!!!! Not making sure we actually HAVE power! According to them we’ve had power since August 26!!! You’d have thought that the 000s on the counter would be some kind of indication that something was amiss…

And now the law has changed. Since 06/10/21 in fact. I no longer need ONE electrician’s certificate of compliance for my electricity board but TWO. ie I now have to pay twice. If I’d been connected on August 26 I’d have been able to get my ONE certificate and be done with it.

So where am I at now? Besides bald in spots from pulling out my hair and losing my voice from screaming at people? Well, the contractor has to make up a plan of all new outlets in the house and send it to the electrician in order for him to get us a ‘temporary’ certificate, then he has to come inspect the power board and meter to get us a ‘proper’ certificate within 30 days of applying for the temporary one. And somewhere in there I presume someone from somewhere on this planet will come and fix the bloody electricity meter

Sometime this century.

‘I need the letter to open the envelope.’

‘The letter is IN the envelope.

‘I can’t open the envelope without the letter.’

z

choco portraits

I got a commission to do two portraits of a gorgeous little cocker spaniel called Choco. I did the first one over a month ago but stalled on the second one. Not to worry, they are delivered now so I can share them.

Both were done on 2 of my last 3 sheets of Art Spectrum pastel paper – a lightly sanded paper which I have come to adore. Pity I can’t get it here… well, not that I’ve ever seen anywhere online.

The second one I started weeks ago but stopped working on it for ages. I do that. I begin something, hate it and stop, let is percolate for days or weeks while I look at it in disgust till one day I have inspiration (or nerve) to tackle it again, having worked out what was wrong.

In the end I love it better than the first. Its a much looser, more expressive work than the first. Though both make you wanna kiss the cute puppy with the huge soulful eyes.

z

…progress

In Athens the apartment is moving along nicely. Not without the unavoidable delays of course… I’d given an optimistic/unrealistic deadline of end of October, but theoretically, all going well it will be ready by the end of November. Not too bad really.

I say theoretically cause I applied to connect electricity on August 3rd via mom’s (and aunt 1’s) usual provider and I’m still waiting. I’ve been bounced around from provider to the greek electrical authority for weeks now, no one can give me a definitive answer of when we will have power. Apparently they sent someone out to connect power in August, found there was a problem with the electricity meter – so the guy left and no one informed me, and as far as I know nothing further was done!

Now, I know I keep comparing Greece to Australia and it’s proably not fair, but I presumed that when you ask to have your electricity connected with a certain provider, they do all the running around to make sure its done… ha.

Here we are, the entire renovation till now has been done with a LOOONG extension cord. And the nerve:

We’ve already got our first bill!!!!

I wonder how long it will be for the landline to get moved downstairs once we’re ready to do that…

Meanwhile, here are a few pics of the house as it is now.

The living room is storage for all the wardrobe bits.
The huge wardrobe in the tiny bedroom.
Kitchen cabinets will be put in today once the wardrobes are finished.
A couple of cabinets in position.
The colour of the kitchen cabinets on the left.
The wardrobe in the main bedroom is coming together.
The bathroom is still an empty shell.

All in all I’m thrilled with how its coming along. The wardrobes will be finished today.

HOPEFULLY the plumber will be here this morning to put through the natural gas pipe BEFORE the kitchen cabinets need to go in. He was meant to come yesterday…

HOPEFULLY the electricity will be connected this week (dare I hope they come today or tomorrow? don’t hold your breath)

The gas cooktop I ordered should be delivered tomorrow. Long story – there was a mix up and they delivered it to Paros so mom has sent it back… my mix up. Oops. The benchtop can be cut once we have that. We already have the sink.

I should get a call today regarding delivery of the oven and dishwasher I ordered. Ideally they’ll be delivered while I’m still here… otherwise a neighbour who is almost always home has offered to accept delivery.

So basically, its moving along nicely. More or less. Then the big job of moving mom downstairs will start…

z

cats (and more) in pastel

Slightly blurry pic. Sorry.

Sometimes I actually DO paint. Or draw. I never know what to call it really. I mean pastels come in sticks, but apparently you ‘paint’ with them cause you layer the colours on similar to paint.

Whatever.

These are two kitties I did recently. I did the Halloween one below for the mini art competition we had last month and while I was in the mood I did the black cat as well.

Both of these were done on coloured board which I’m finding is a great surface for pastels. Luckily I have a source for these boards so I can get them for free. For the show I bought some ready made frames and framed them. I now have them sitting in my living room like all the other projects I’ve made cause…

I think I might put them in my etsy shop… there is only so much space in here.

Last week I also attended the first life drawing session I’ve taken part in for many years. It really is a great way to sharpen those observation skills. Quick sketches to start with, 1 minute poses then 5 minutes, so that when you get to 10 or 20 minute ones you feel you have so much time! I only took a photo of my last 20 minute pose cause I gave that to the model.

z

…paros and lainee – photos to enjoy

I’m so tired. I’ve been battling various organisations and government agencies on the phone for days and I’ve just had it. Time to take a break. So I thought I’d just share some photos on here that I’ve already shared on Facebook for my friends who haven’t seen them.

Starting with a photo of a collapsed Lainee on ‘her cushion’ on the couch. And below, a bored Lainee when a friend and I talked and talked at a coffee shop and ignored her.

Then there’s a series of photos I took while walking in Parikia one evening and early one morning. Below is the same street both at night and in the morning.

I didn’t walk all the exact same streets so first enjoy the night shots…

Then the photos of an early morning walk on my way to work. I love it when its so quiet.

I think I needed that just to calm my mind.

z

house reno update

The house is progressing. I’m off to Athens next week to have a look at where we’re at, organise some stuff, run around like an idiot as usual.

…I’m having a little trouble with a few things. The electricity connection mostly. But I won’t bore you with that right now… its a whole post in itself…

Yes, there is light in the photo above, but its only a jerry-rigged connection to show me how the lights look. Pretty cool. Not entirely me (who likes shabby, vintage and rustic) but a nice clean modern look.

So, enjoy some photos of a house which looks entirely different to the disgusting place I took possession of after kicking out the deadbeat tenant. If you want to remember that mess, click here.

The balcony door is in place in the new kitchen. The little balcony is being tiled with the same tiles as inside.
TIles on the bathroom walls and a new smaller window.
New back door and window in the small room that used to be the kitchen. Where the window is now used to be glass bricks to let in light. Now we can get air in as well!
The window in the main bedroom isn’t in yet cause the window guys broke it… We await a replacement…
I’ve gone with the same floor tiles throughout the house.
Spots embedded in the lowered ceiling.
All new doors and frames. I didn’t pick the doors… hm… I’d have gone with all white.
There will be a new door on the storage space above the bathroom. That’s where the hot water cylinder normally sits but we no longer need one in there as we are connecting to natural gas.

I’ve already ordered mom’s bed (Ikea), one with drawers underneath, the single bed for the small room and mattresses. I’ve ordered and bought most of the appliances needed and all bathroom fixtures. The kitchen cupboards and wardrobes will be ready later this week I believe.

When I get there on Monday I think all that will need doing is making sure all is under control and buying anything I haven’t yet bought – eg. oven and dishwasher.

And…. providing we actually have electricity and a window – I will be able to start cleaning and moving stuff downstairs for mom!

Other than that I’ve been pretty flat out with a ton of stuff which needs it own post.

later!

z

radio face photo display

This is something I finished a while ago, but it started back in Australia when I found this old Philco radio face in a tip shop. Soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to display photos of my dad in it.

I brought all the way it to Greece with me, I was that sure of what I wanted it to be.

Somewhere along the line I printed out the photos of dad I wanted to display, photos taken from the age of 14 to about 23 going left to right.

In order to finish it I needed knobs. I couldn’t find anything like that here. Perhaps I’d have had better luck in Australia where such things are tip shops and op shops abound, but here… not to lucky.

I ended up buying some new knobs off ebay. No idea what they’re supposed to be used for, I got them for the cream colour more than anything. I glued them in place and now the radio face is in my bedroom on what will ultimately become my gallery wall.

Here you can see where it is, next to the tea bag dress I made for the Art From Trash competion in Australia a few years ago, and above the memory box I made for my grandparents. On the other side is the memory box I made for mom and dad.

I want to make more of these – I have the clothes from my baptism and think a display box with them and photos from the day would be nice, plus one with childhood photos of myself and my brother growing up in Griffith NSW… I’ll get to them one day!

For now I’m just pottering along, living and creating!

z

the white rabbit

This was a quickie project that took months to make. It actually started out as a papier mache rabbit project which began then came to a screeching halt. It sat on my table, then on the bookcase for months gathering dust till, earlier this week, a friend who has an art gallery on Paros where I showed some work this summer, encouraged me to enter something in her Halloween art competition.

I wondered what to do… and decided the best thing was to finish the white rabbit… only now he’s no longer cute and fluffy but evil and scary! Though he still has a cute fluffy tail!

If you haven’t watched The Holy Grail, you gotta see it. The white rabbit is the funniest scene, in typical bloodthirsty Monty Python fashion.

So. Rabbit here got second place. Not too bad. It was a nice evening, lovely art, a bit of fun in my boring life.

Yeah, I haven’t written for a long time. No excuse except for illness and fatigue. I was just sick and tired of everything, including blogging.

I have a few projects to share and updates on the house reno in Athens which I’ll try to get onto sharing in the next few days… but basically I’m still alive and on Paros, not kidnapped by aliens. Simply alternately busy or buried under couch cushions watching movies on Netflix. I really should get a job as a movie critic… at least it would be a productive use of my time…

z

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reno 2 update

I’ve been back in Athens for almost a week now and I’ve been organising things for the apartment downstairs. I did post about getting rid of the deadbeat tenant and the condition of the place after he left it. That post is here.

So for the last week I’ve been talking to the guy doing the reno work, choosing tiles for the floor throughout and the bathroom walls, picking a vanity and rearranging the kitchen and bathroom layouts to make it all better and compromising where things didn’t need to be as complicated or expensive.

I’m pretty happy with how things are going and feel confident with the guy I gave the job to. I’ll do one more run through today before I leave for Paros to make sure I didn’t forget anything or want any more power points. Cause you can never have too many power points but too few is definitely a thing!

Here are some pics of the progress so far: most demo has been done, old wardrobes and kitchen ripped out, electrical cables in place.

The balcony door from the new kitchen.
The cute balcony which opens up to the small garden – the main reason I loved the kitchen to the front of the house.
The wardrobe recess which I am including in the kitchen to take advantage of a bit of extra space.
The living room.
The main bedroom.
My floor tile choices – I’m going with the bigger/lighter floor tile throughout and the matt white wall tiles in the bathroom.
This is the vanity/sink I like. I like the green but it will be rather limiting in accessory colours.
My first choice is the dark grey. Very classy. I think white would be too stark with the pale grey tiles and the white walls.

I can order things like taps and shower heads online, maybe even the cooktop, oven and rangehood. But I may be back in Athens to choose those in person, who knows? I have no idea from week to week how things will pan out. I think that’s the major stress everyone has in these COVID times.

Posting on the tablet is a pain in the butt, the app is slow to repond and drives me crazy. I’m going to publish this now so forgive any typos as I’m not wasting time trying to read and correct stuff!

z