About zefiart

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

paros day 4: destroying food

Have you ever had one of those huge Pinterest fails?

Being stuck in the house can often lead to getting a serious case of the munchies, so there I was, trolling my food board on Pinterest. I had a couple of apples so I thought why not try these delicous looking apple cinammon chips?

Great idea.

This is what mine looked like:


Ok. So I wasn’t watching them. I sliced my apple up nice and fine (perhaps too fine), sprinkled brown sugar and cinammon on the slices, put them on a foil covered tray in a single layer in the oven on the temp recommended and waited. 

Then got bored of looking at apple slices and melting sugar that didn’t look any closer to cooking and stepped away…

Till the house filled with smoke.


Well, the ones which didn’t burn to charcoal (the thicker sliced ones) were really tasty! I think I’ll give them another try… this time without foil which sticks to them, and on a lower heat.

Meanwhile remember all those lists of things to make? I got the lists out today and called the timber yard on Paros to order wood to make a linen cupboard. Nope. They’re closed. So I thought I’ll just pop down to the hardware store to pick up a few hooks, screws and a few bits and pieces to do other odd jobs. Nope. Closed.

So I took a walk with Lainee to think about my dilema. Time to think outside the box. Time to collect old pallets and recycle. Time to get in my car at the crack of dawn and locate free pallets…

The wind is still disgustingly strong. It really does put you off doing anything outdoors. My sweet peas are growing… With this wind I’m thinking I need to move them to the back where they’ll be protected. I won’t be potting up anything new till the wind dies down.

Oh, and without a flashlight I can’t go down to the basement storage area… hm. I think I’m being pointed very insistently in the ‘use what you have on hand NOW’ direction…

In that vein I cleaned the house and put up the new bathroom curtain.


paros day 3: keeping busy

I haven’t yet worked on the curtain today other than to decide how I want to hang it and work out what I have and what I need to make it work. I think I got it now…

I also went around and looked at all the house projects I want/need to do and made lists of what they are and how to do them, putting stuff on the shopping list where needed.

I’m waiting for the weather to stop being so insultingly windy so I can venture into the store room in the basement (a nightmare*) and bring boxes out to search through them for all kinds of goodies I will need for current and future projects.

*The basement is a pit of must and dampness. Everything I put in there has been stored in plastic tubs and double bagged. That’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is that there is currently no electricity down there and therefore no lights. Ugh. And there are rats and mice in residence… Thus a certain reluctance to go down there…

My plan (hahaha, heard that joke before!) is to buy a good flashlight and go down wearing full protective gear, bring my boxes up to a non windy area and sort through what I need to re-pack and store and what I want to bring out.

Till then I make do and work on what I can with what I have handy…

Today so far I’ve hung a fruit label on my wall, decided not to hang the rest of them, did a load of washing, wrote a ton of lists and planned projects (ie worked out what I need to find/make/buy for each) and dug out a few odds and ends from the boxes I have within reach.

I walked Lainee up to one of the local roadside vegetable stores for some fresh vegies and made a red lentil soup for dinner. Its still early in the day so I have tons of work hours left to work on whatever I decide to do.

Meanwhile I made another bunny. This one is from new socks I bought while in Athens. Slightly different from the others, but its all about trying new ways to do things.

Sometimes I love small hand sewn or felted projects cause I can work and watch TV in the evenings.

Keeping myself to myself and being creative.


paros day 2: curtain in progress

I’ve always wanted to make one of these doily curtains since I saw them on Pinterest a couple of years ago.

So firstly the inspiration…

(Clicking on the images will take you to my Pinterest page and you can follow the links to the original source.)

Anyway, I loved the idea of them, how old fashioned and romantic they looked… I began collecting doilies for the last few years in Tasmania and I brought them all with me to Greece cause I still planned to make that curtain… and with things the way they are, now seems as good a time as any to start.

I mean… what else am I gonna do, right?

I began today and I’m about halfway through. Mostly cause I’m working slowly, I stopped for lunch and took Lainee for a walk, and then the sewing machine went haywire.

…I was working on mom’s old singer and things were going fine… then while I was at the table piecing together doilies when suddenly the machine went bezerk. It began running full pelt on its own! I tried to stop it but it just kept going. I had to pull the plug. The thread all got tangled and broke, the foot plate wasn’t jammed… It was totally possessed!

Luckily I still have my old sewing machine here so I can continue working on it. Imagine if I’d already taken that to Athens! Disaster!

Stay tuned for progress pics. I still need to finish the sewing and then work out how to best hang it… I know I’m looking forward to seeing how I do that!


shut down

So… no trip to Denmark.

It was really weird in fact. I left Paros on Wednesday morning last week thinking things were safe. Greece had 76 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Denmark had 34. Schools closed down all over Greece on Wedesday morning but I figured it was fine. I was still going on my trip. The risks were really low.

On Thursday Denmark’s cases were up to 250 or something. WTF? I began to rethink the trip. Friday the cases were up to 617. I cancelled my trip.

On the one hand I think I wish those figures had become available before Wednesday morning, I wouldn’t have left Paros at all. On the other hand I’m thankful I hadn’t left for Denmark last week… I’d have been suck there unable to come back!

In Greece the cases are currently in the early 220s. Not bad for a country like Greece with so many refugees (and others) flooding the islands from Turkey, Iran etc. Turkey seems set on starting a war with Greece in an underhanded way now – by sending over as many unwanted people as they can. They deny they have any problem with the virus, but how can that possibly be true when they are sending over Iranians and Iran is one of the top affected countries?

Its a mess.

In Greece all schools, unis and other educational facilities closed last Wednesday. Since then all shops except food stores and pharmacies are closed. All cafes, restaurants and other places where people gather are closed. I saw an anouncement that from tomorrow they’re stopping public transport. They had recommended people avoid buses and the metro but looks like they may be shutting them down entirely. The government is urging people to stay indoors, stay home and stay safe. There are huge fines and apparently jail time for those who don’t respect the restrictions. They keep saying its our own responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe. But of course there are those who think that doesn’t apply to them… young people are still gathering. I heard they will fine parents for letting their children out!

I was torn… stay in Athens to be there for my mom and elderly aunt, or go to my own home… In the end the decision was made by my mother. She’s afraid the ferries will be stopped so she wanted me to go to my own home. And I’d had a nightmare that I’d gotten the virus and while in Athens, in mom’s house, I cant self-isolate. She and my aunt need to stay as safe as possible.

So, I’m on the ferry on the way back home. Where I can work on my own projects and stick to my own space. Luckily I live close to a beach and can go for walks in the fine weather and I have tons of hobbies to keep me occupied.

And thank goodness for wifi and netflix is all I can say!


guess i should have worn gloves

(And yet this post has nothing to do with COVID 19)

You know how I’m always complaining about the stuff I can’t find in Greece, or how when I DO find it its like 3 times the price I paid for it in Australia?

Well, this is one of those things. All I wanted was plain old liquid nails. Construction glue. Yep. I did find it eventually… for approx 12-15 euros a tube! That’s like AU$24-30!!! For liquid nails! Something I used to be able to buy for AU$1.99 on sale for the cheaper brands at Bunnings!


Anyway, I found a similar glue in a tube rather than a tube, for 6.50e. The tube was so hard to squeeze though I almost busted a few ribs trying to squeeze the stuff out.

What I did end up busting was the tube. With the results you see above.

Its been a week and I am still not completely glue freee…

So, what did I want that glue for you may ask… I was making a toy lamp base for a friend. You may remember the toy cake stands and other items I shared on my blog a while ago here.

This is the only before pic I have, sorry. By the time I remembered to take before photos I already had so much glue on my hands I wasn’t going near my phone. I’d finished putting the toys onto the base and put masking tape around it to hold things in place till it dried.

This is what it looked like once the glue was dry and I had the first coat of paint on it.

Another thing I can complain about is the lack of colour choices in spray paint on Paros. I don’t know what Athens has to offer, but on Paros you can only get black, white, clear, red and maybe blue…

Since this lamp is for a little girl’s room I wanted pink. I got lucky though and got a mistint of oil paint in a lovely pastel shade of pink.

The downside of painting it with a brush and oil paint is that its not as easy as spray paint, takes way longer to dry and in the end just doesn’t have the same smooth finish. But it works.

Sorry there are no finished pics… but you can thank COVID 19 for that since the restrictions in Greece are now severe… I gave it to my friend and am not going to visit her for a while…


paros, day 1: sock bunnies

I’m in love with these bunnies!

I had planned to work on bigger projects today, ones requiring power tools and paint, but the weather seems to have gotten on board with the whole shutdown/isolation thing. It went from absolutely beautiful to crazy windy and cold overnight.

Indoor projects seemed the way to go. I was thinking about the various sock animals I’ve seen on Pinterest lately…and I had just washed 2 pairs of socks which had lost their elasticity… so I thought why waste them? Lets try out one of the sock bunny ideas.

I kind of made it up from a combination of sock bunnies I found on Pinterest, adapting it to create one bunny out of one sock.

I am in love. They’re soft and floppy and darn cute!

Of course if I make these to sell I’ll make them using new socks, but these are made from my own socks. I have no problem with my own socks! And I’m keeping these babies.

I might use the remaining two socks to create another animal… a cat, a dog, who knows. I have two more socks and a lot of time on my hands…



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one person’s trash…

One of the great things about Greece (given its lack of tip shops) is that people put all kinds of stuff out near bins for rubbish collection.

That’s where this little beauty came from. I was parking in a town carpark when I spotted it. I don’t know for sure what it is, probably an icebox of some sort given it has a tap in front an no wiring. This is what it looks like inside:

Its pretty much of a mess. Rusty and painted over badly… but I just couldn’t pass it up!

I loaded into my little car and took it home to go over it with some sand paper to get rid of the worst of the rust. It still needs a coat of rust stopping stuff and a coat of varnish to protect it, but I love the way it looks.

For now its sitting outside my place as a kind of side table and a spot to put a plant. A nice little spot to sit on a lovely day.

Eventually I think I’ll put my gardening stuff inside it, you know – a pair of gloves, pruning shears, empty pots, leftover potting mix….

But its main job is to look pretty and I think it does that very well, don’t you?


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soft toys to keep busy

Time to share some of the soft toys I’ve been making lately. Some of them, like the two above, were custom orders as gifts. A cute bunny and a Trump voodoo doll.

There there are more Trump dolls for sale in my Etsy shop.

Let’s not forget Scott Morisson either… A Scomo voodoo doll for those who need to vent their frustrations down under. The voodoo dolls each come with 3 skull pins to enjoy!

Lastly a couple more cuties: another bunny order – 2 bunnies this time – and a teddy bear I made just for fun to be found in my shop.

I always have fun making stuff out of fabric scraps. Its a smaller way to create and I can do it comfortably inside my own little home.

Did I mention I now have mom’s old Singer? Its probably a bit older than mine (and mine is pretty OLD) but its like the Mercedes Benz of sewing machines compared to my little VW beetle. I learned to sew on it but its still taking me a while to get comfortable with it. It does so much more than mine does. Not that I ever do fancy work, but its just a much better quality machine.

Next time I go to Athens in the car I’ll take my sewing machine back to mom’s so I can use it while I’m there. I get bored if I cant work on something!

More scrap fabric projects to come, as well as some upcycled stuff. Stay tuned.


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quick and easy computer station

I don’t know if any of you remember I bought an Ikea Ivar bookcase for my home. I’m all about storage since I do so much art and craft in my one room. I needed some serious storage space. You can read about the bookcase project here and here.

I love it. Its pretty and holds so much of my stuff. Nothing like being surrounded by your creative mess to make you feel at home.

Only problem was the computer ‘desk’ area…Well there were two problems – first was the fact that I need the laptop screen to be up higher but the keyboard lower for a more ergonomic workspace. I have a wireless keyboard so I can have them at different heights. I looked on ebay for a retractable keyboard shelf but decided to make my own.

Cause you know I have that insidious crafter’s syndrome:

I had a bit of scrap pine perfect for the job. After sanding, liming and varnishing the pine to match the rest of the bookcase, I joined it to the shelf with hinges underneath to be able to drop it down when I wasn’t using it. Mind you, since I made I’ve never dropped it down… Hm… At least I can if I want to, and that’s what counts!

To hold it in place when it was out yet allow for folding down, I cut two pieces of wood to act as my brackets. When I want to fold it down they swivel under the shelf.

Then the other problem… my laptop has had an issue with the screen for a long time. Its not the screen itself that’s the problem – its the wire connections. Although my laptop is so big and heavy its never really been something I open and close and carry around often, still, there’s an issue with the wires that connect it to the keyboard. Basically I’ve have to jiggle, poke and beg for the image to be clear and not all weird coloured. The reason I know its not the screen but the wires going bonkers is that when I hit the sweet spot it works perfectly. For about 2 minutes.

So a new monitor was on the cards. No reason to spend money on a new laptop since this one is still more than good enough for the stuff I do, so I bought a new monitor while in Athens over Christmas.

Of course that created another problem…

Like where to put the new monitor. How to set it up to keep the top of the laptop open and access the power button. I tried it on the shelf to the side but the cables wouldn’t reach. Time to put on the creative genius cap again.

This time I used bits of cut off legs I’d also collected (it pays to collect stuff which might come in handy one day) and a piece of MDF I had. Cause, again, I collected it…

Firstly I had to find leg bits the same height as my drop saw keeps throwing the fuse, I simple screwed them in place – I was too impatient, no time for pretty or neat here. It had to be high enough to hold the laptop underneath and allow me to slide my hand in to turn on the power. I had to cut out a section at the back to allow the screen to be raised permanently. Once I had it all fitting properly I limed it white to match the bookcase and set it up.

It might not be perfect but it works.


PS. Sorry for the bad photos… I’ve been using my phone more than my camera these days.

a simple plate display rack

When I bought my tiny apartment I had this space above my kitchen cupboards which was pretty much useless. It has a lip so anything you put up there is partway hidden, and its up high so you can’t fit large items.

The place is also small and the kitchen area has upper cupboards which means there was nowhere to hang a plate display rack for my pretty dishes. Dishes I brought back from Australia. I gave away, threw away and sold so much of my collectible stuff… I had to keep SOME of it. The dishes were one thing I kept.

The only option was to make my own dish rack to the measurements I needed. I had my tools, a porch, some scrap pine I’d picked up from someone who was throwing it out, the weather was fine so why not?

First step was to design the sides. I drew them on newspaper and cut them out using a jigsaw.

Next step was to stain them. I used the old steel wool in vinegar trick I picked up from Pinterest. No money spent on this part. As you can see though, each piece turned a different shade of brown. No worries. I was going to paint it anyway, I just wanted darker timber to show through the distressed corners.

After cutting the sides and bottom piece, I used a piece of compressed cardboard like stuff I found in a dumpster behind the timber store for the back. Its similar to MDF but kind of ‘furrier’ and not as nice. But its the back. Who cares?

I did have to buy a thin rod for the front to hold the plates in place. I drilled partway into the sides, added glue, then joined the whole thing together. Last minute I also added a couple of ‘feet’ to raise it above the top cupboard’s ‘lip’.

Once it was all dry and finished, I gave it a coat of primer and two topcoats of a simple acrylic paint I had on hand. Lastly I have the edges a little sand to smooth them off and add a touch of distressing, not too much. After all, the plates are the hero here, not the rack.

What I realised afterwards was that the rod was too far forward for the plates… what I should have done was put a slim piece of timber along the bottom to hold them in place. I like the rod so that’s staying, but when I get a chance I’ll add the timber stop at the bottom. Sort of a double protection from plates slipping.

I’ve made a temporary shelf which the antique bowls sit on. I’m not sure how I’ll deal with them, but for now this works. I may just make a proper shelf for them at a later date.

My finished display rack

I have three larger platters I also want to display on the other wall, leaving more space in my bookcase, so I’ll be making another, longer one. I still have my template… And I have scrap timber… I might make the next one slightly different or I might make it the same… who knows?


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