paros day 14: a wire wreath

Today was one of those glorious days you get in spring. Warm but not hot, a breeze but no strong wind. I ventured down into the storage room in the basement to bring up the outdoor table and chairs so I can sit outside and enjoy days like this.

And let me tell you, it took bravery to venture down there! Its full of rat and mice s%$t and none of the rat poison blocks I put down there have been so much as nibbled on. We have smart rats here on Paros…

Anyway, I brought out some boxes of stuff. To be honest its not all the stuff I thought I had down there, but at least now I have a clearer picture of what I do and don’t have.

So, having braved the rat infested dungeon, I earned a frappe and some time in the sun working on something relaxing and listening to some stand-up.

Last week I’d picked up a vine on one of my walks and twisted it into a wreath. Today I used some rusty wire bits and some beads to create this wreath.

As I mentioned, the wreath is made of rusty wire pieces and the vine. I collect any bits of rusty wire I find on my walks. Basically I never met a piece of rusty wire (or metal) I didn’t love. A lot of the time once I pick up a piece I make it into a heart as I walk, then bring it home and hang it above my sink. Today I used two of those hearts as part of my wreath.

I used some of my very fine gold coloured wire to hold the whole thing together and added beads for a bit of colour and bling.

I think it turned out pretty okay. I’ll most likely put it on Facebook for sale. Maybe someone will fall in love with it.

Other than that I didn’t get a lot done today. The bare minimum of housework and I thought about sewing the curtain tabs but haven’t managed to do that yet. I think I’ll tackle that tomorrow afternoon. Its meant to rain so I will still walk to the garage in the morning to do more on the sewing table. All I did there this morning was one coat of varnish on the top and drawers. I figure I can get a coat of paint on the legs tomorrow and another coat of varnish on the top. Providing I don’t have to do more gap filling.

Tonight I think I’ll go to bed early as I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and get some real structure into my days. That means setting my alarm for 8am. Its all very well to wake up late, take a walk, work on whatever I feel like, watch Netflix etc. But maybe I need to actually have some kind of schedule. I don’t like wasting this precious time I have.

I’ll let you know how I go with it. (hahaha!)

z

paros day 13: air dry clay bits

Today my washing finally dried! Yay. There is pleasure in the simple things…

I started on the sewing table but got delayed. I took it to the garage to start sanding, gap filled some more and planned to do the first coat of varnish on the top. But while sanding I broke a sliver off the top so had to glue that back in place. So instead of doing a coat of varnish today I’ll be doing that tomorrow. Hopefully the rain will stay away and we can walk there tomorrow.

While the sun was out I took Lainee and Spitha for a walk to the beach and collected some cuttings to pot up along the way. Also added to my collection of sea glass. I’ll have to start making stuff with it soon as its getting pretty big.

Once back home I continued work on the bulldog. I made his paws, nose and eyeballs out of some air dry clay I had. Once they’re dry (or mostly dry) I’ll add detail. For now they are just drying slowly…

bulldogfeet

I also added a few bits to the boy. He’s been neutered so there will be no balls, however he now has his other boy bits (hahaha!) and the beginnings of a head.

bulldoghead1

Once this layer of paper is dry I’ll continue building on the head to get it right. Not exactly sure how I’ll do it yet but I have some thoughts…

Anyway, another nice day working creatively at home this time listening to stand up comedy on Youtube. I have home made potato wedges in the oven for dinner and I think I’ve earned some netflix.

Tomorrow is another day to be filled with creativity.

z

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!

Sheesh.

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…

z

christmas decorations and work

Phew. Its been busy around here. Makes me think I must have been REALLY wicked in a previous life.

Firstly, I thank my lucky stars that I’m the kind of person who is never without a job. In fact, I look forward to downtime between jobs and end up with another job before I manage to start a single one of my own projects.

After the hectic summer job in a travel agency and car rental office, I finished up end of October, had a week in Athens to visit mom, went back to Paros to start creating… and got another job. More on that in another post…

I also decided to help PAWS (Paros Animal Welfare Society) raise money for their new shelter by making stuff to sell for the Christmas markets. Firstly my friend Barbara and I ran a craft workshop (total disaster…) and then I just stuck to making things at home in the peace and quiet of my own living room/kitchen/office/craft room/sewing room while binge watching Netflix.

These are some of the things I made… gift tags, DIY air dry clay decorations, pocket warmers, among other stuff. It was work, craft, work, craft. Then it was market, market, market.

Lainee helping at the market.

I also fostered the cutest little jack russell for 3 weeks, and dog sat a cute little dachsund for one week. It never rains it pours.

The cute Toby.
Sleeping dogs in a mess of crafting supplies.
Indy who made himself at home.

But its finally over!

My new job is over for the season and I don’t go back till March too, so time for Zefi… but no….

Now I’m on my way to Athens again to look after a pit bull, a tiny blind yorkie, a cat and a grooming salon.

Boy was I wicked in that past life!

Since I haven’t posted in so long, prepare for a barrage of posts.

z

bowls… a pinterest almost fail

Have you ever surfed Pinterest and thought “I want to do that!”… Go on. You know you have!

Well I’ve always looked at those doodle mugs and bowls, made using sharpies and a hot oven, and lusted after them. So last night I decided it was time to try it. I had my sharpie, some bowls and Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

I’ve always doodled lines and curls, so I decided to follow some of the examples I saw on Pinterest that I liked, combining some of my own elements and some I saw on other’s projects.

The good: It was easy to do. The sharpie glides on easily, its really pleasant to draw on the ceramic surface.

The bad: baking them discoloured areas of the bowls and trying to get the brown bits off rubbed off the drawing too.

I wasn’t overly fussed about perfection, I wanted them to look handsketched and imperfect. I achieved that….

What I learned: Probably best to use new bowls/mugs etc. The bowls I used had been used, mainly for breakfast cereal, and they discoloured in areas I suspect there were traces of milk left. A bit around the inner rim, a bit on the side where it might have dribbled…

I did what the Pinterest links suggested: I baked them in a high oven for 1 hour then let them cool before removing them.

And before you ask, YES, I do wash my dishes… they LOOKED clean… Maybe I should have wiped them over with pure alcohol before drawing on them… something to try next time.

The tiny bowl which had had olives in it did not discolour… interesting…

I’m not really happy about the rubbed off and discoloured bits… Still, they look pretty on my little kitchen shelf. I just wouldn’t recommend doing this on a plate which will need to be scrubbed to clean, I don’t think the drawings will last well enough on those.

I have 2 more of the white bowls to do, I’ll try alcohol on them and see if it makes a difference.

Another link suggested using a clear varnish as an alternative to baking. I might give that a try too… I was just concerned about putting food in a bowl I’d sprayed with varnish… but its the inside you put the food in… as long as the varnish doesn’t go yellow with time that might be an option to try later on.

Note: make sure you get all residue of labels off the bottom. That tends to burn and create more brown stains around the bottom of the bowl…

social commentary and a lamp

I’m currently reading a book where the main character made a comment about manners… like how it was so important for a man to treat a woman like she was a precious gem… holding doors open, being polite, buying flowers, etc. But, she said, his mama would have taught him all that…

It struck me as funny in a sad “that’s how it might be in the south (of the USA) but this is Greece” way…

The difference being that southern mothers do/did instill in their sons a code of chivalrous behavior towards women. By contrast, all most greek mothers seem to do is spoil their sons and raise entitled spoilt brats who expect some woman to treat them like their mother did…

Okay… not all greek mothers are like that, nor all greek men.

Just the majority.

And I’m allowed to ‘greek-bash’ cause I’m greek.

So there.

It reminded me of a story mom told me. She said that, when we first moved back to Greece eons ago, my father would help her wash the clothes when we were on Paros. Back then there was no running water to the house (let alone a washing machine!) so washing was done by hand at the well on the side of a hill. In full view of the entire countryside. Buckets of water would be poured into wash tubs in the morning and left in the sun to heat up so clothes could be washed in warm water in the afternoon. Buckets of cold water would be brought up to rinse them and they would be hung on the dry stone walks to dry. Dad always helped mom. It was a hard job – ever washed sheets or towels by hand? Even with running water you didn’t have to pull up from a well yourself?

Anyway, dad’s mother was shocked. And embarrassed. What would people think – my mom had dad doing the washing! It was a disgrace.

Anyway, enough about greek men and how we spent years ‘showering’ by bucket in our bathers in full view of the neighbours…

I wanted to share a small project of mine. I saw a floor lamp advertised on the local buy/swap/sell Facebook page and jumped at it. The shade was broken but the base was sturdy and since when has a broken thing ever stopped me before?

Photo of the lamp shade, broken.

Same photo panned out a bit so you can see Lainee overseeing the project. Just goes to show how effective cropping can be. LOL

Anyway, I collected the lamp and thought about how I could fix it, change the shade etc. There were tons of possibilities but the easiest was to simply mend the existing shade and use rope to update it. I had the rope after all… and the hot glue…

So that’s what I did. I used a wide old ribbon to reconnect the shade to the wire support and make it secure. Then I simply hot glued the rope to the shade. Instant update. Instant gratification. New lamp for reading or crafting on the couch.

Excellent way to spend an afternoon.

z

no sew peg bag

As usual, here I am, posting days, weeks, after the last time I posted, when I’m sure I said something along the lines of ‘stay tuned, more coming soon…’

Seems I’ve already been in Greece too long. Soon is relative… it can mean in an hour or a few days or next year.

Its kind of like the pedestrian crossings here in Greece – they’re suggestions, not actual rules. My brother described it best once when he said that the minster of transport saw them in a movie once and thought they’d look good in Greece too. Decorative only. Drivers need not actually stop to let you cross.

Further proof that I’ve been here too long already is the way I park these days: any spot that my car will fit is a good spot to park. And my car is pretty small… Though I do draw the line at parking in the middle of a parking lot, on the end of a line of parked cars, or at an angle on a corner. Some lines are just too hard to cross when you’ve lived by the rules of a civilized country most of your life.

ANYWAY… thought I’d share a recent project…

I’ve made a few peg bags in my time and to be honest, I’m not the best at actually using them. I am one of those women my mother whispers about, who leave pegs on the line to rot in the sun… shock/horror!

Still, when I saw this tiny jean jacket while visiting op shops in Holland in May I just had to have it. I knew it would make the best peg bag.

So while I was in a mood to actually DO stuff (trust me, the mood and the energy rarely hit at the same time these days), I thought I’d get out the sewing machine and get to it.

Only the jacket had studs and things which would make sewing really hard… I could just see broken machine needles… and sewing it by hand was out of the question due to the hardness of the denim.

Out came the trusty hot glue gun again (ok… so I hadn’t put it away from fixing the lamp yet. Don’t judge me.)

All I did was glue the bottom of the jacket to create a bag. Done. How easy was that?

Of course I had planned to put it on a hanger of some kind (a piece of driftwood with a wire hook so I can slide it along the clothes line…) but for now I’m happy with it just pegged in place.

How cute is that?

Meanwhile life moves along at the regular pace… between work, home and being a social butterfly I find I have little time to get things done. I have a ton of projects on the go or waiting to be started (or on a list of things to do one day). I do a bit here and there but never seem to get stuck into anything.

I started liming the bookcase white… thought “Easy. Do it in 3 days. Lime it all in one day… two days to give it two coats of varnish. Laughing.”

That was over a week ago. The contents of the bookcase are still sitting on the coffee table, kitchen bench and any other free surface in the living room/kitchen/dining room… The paint is on the bench in a container with a lid. The bookcase is only 1/3 painted…

What do they say about making plans and someone up there laughing? sigh…

z

Shared at:

voodoo dolls

voodoo

It’s been a while since I shared any projects so here’s one I prepared earlier. I know you’ve had withdrawals.

I’m sure you’ve lived through this… the last minute rush to get everything done before a trip. Packing, making lists, tying up loose ends, organising… chaotic stuff.

And through it all my brain was still thinking about things to create. I need to be creative. It makes me feel good. So despite the long list of things I needed to do, I sat in the office to make something. Like I made the little sewing pouch.

I made these little voodoo dolls.

Aren’t they cute? In an ugly monstery voodoo way of course. They come complete with three pins each, you can always add more if you have a greater need.

Wayne put them to good use. Soon after he saw them he claimed one and would stick pins in it any time I said something mean.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Nothing.”

Pin in the head.

“Can you make me a cup of coffee please?”

“No.”

Pin in the stomach.

I was getting really worried…

z

a bunny ear-phone holder

Have you seen the cutest little bunny ear-phone holder on Pinterest?

3acd760014be2f057bb0a85c959de686

Well. I had to try it. Its just so darn cute! (I’m not the only one who tried it. You can see other examples here.)

So, meet my bunny. I made him out of extra thick felt and put stiffener between the front and back on the body to make him stronger. The ears and tongue are made fromĀ  regular thickness felt squares.

bunny4

Pretend you don’t notice where I went off kilter with the sewing machine on the ear…

bunny5

I gave him a little something extra… a pom pom tail!

bunny3

And, I couldn’t make him without making him more ‘mine’… hence the button eye and the X eye. My little imperfect bunny.

Since I finished him I’ve also added a little clip to his side so I can now clip him to my bag. That keeps him from getting lost (falling out of the bag or falling to the bottom of the bag requiring me to empty to entire bag to find him), and keeps him handy.

I’m happy with my little bunny.

z

a couple of small felted projects

I haven’t had a lot of time lately to do (let alone share!) a lot of projects. But yesterday I had a bit of time to do a couple of little things.

pouch2

You know those annoyingly tangley cords on your ear buds/headphones? Well, I’ve decided I need to take this pair with me when I go to Greece in a couple of months and I do NOT want to deal with them getting messed up in the bottom of my bag all the time. So I decided to make a little pouch for them.

I had this little pocket lying around on the floor of my office/craft room. Literally lying around. Cause I have 2 bags of pure wool jumpers I felted ages ago and haven’t done anything (much) with. I did cut this pocket off one of them at some stage though…

pouch1

All I had to do to make this pouch was to find two buttons I liked and locate a hair band in my stash of ‘handy things’. Then I stitched the band on one side with a button, and a button on the other side to sling the band over to close.

Easy peasy.

The front is way cuter with the edging.

pouch3

Then, since I had the felted bits out, and needle and thread handy, I figured it was time to make my old headphones usable again. These old things work fine but they’d been in a box for so long the foam pads had disintegrated. Very uncomfortable to wear without them. I wouldn’t recommend it.

So, I made my own warm and cosy covers.

canva-photo-editor

Not the fanciest and my design leaves a lot to be desired (notice I’m not showing the sides where I’ve had to fudge them to make them fit better). But hey, they work! And maybe next time I make covers I can do a better job…

z