every girl needs a teddy

Remember the teddy bear I found in the roof space above the hallway? My first ever teddy bear, Charalambis? Pictured here with pyjama puppy Bobby in all their grime?

Well, I put them both in the washing machine (without putting them in a pillow case first) and they suffered some minor damage. At least teddy’s was minor. He only lost one eye. But yesterday I got to work on restoring him. I created a new eye for him using two buttons and I think it looks pretty good.

Anyway, this is what his coat looked like after his bath – to be honest it was pretty much like that before as well. Kind of curly and mashed up.

Turns out Lainee’s slicker brush is good for more than just poodle coats. I used it to brush him out all over. You can see the difference on his chest where I brushed half and left the rest as it was.

Here he is finished and all fluffed up. Looking good Charalambis!

I was already thinking he needs to come home with me and not be put back in storage, then Lainee climbed onto the bed and snuggled with him and the decision was made. Lainee needs a teddy to cuddle with! I mean look at the pic below. We were visiting friends and the first thing she did was curl up on their couch with their teddy bear. The girl deserves her own bear.


another sea rope basket

I am loving these guys. They take ages to make but its very satisfying to see them come together. Problem is that during summer there isn’t quite as much rubbish on the beaches as there is in winter so the pickings are slim. I’m almost out of rope bits I collected in winter now so once I use them up I’ll have to get creative to make more baskets.

I’ve had some of my baskets placed in a local gallery now (1 sold already!) so I’m afraid I can’t list and sell any on Facebook till the season is over. Ditto with my marble paintings. I have opened my FB shop to see how it goes and I may re-open my Etsy shop as well. Every little bit helps!

I’m still only working part time (ie I work full time for a bit, then stop for a bit…) great for having fun in the sun, not great for the wallet.

So, Lainee and I have had some fun times. Here she is having a fancy dinner at a beach bar.

And here at a beach side restaurant.

And enjoying a sleep in at home.

I’ve had a lot more time to myself this last week as I wasn’t working, but I used a lot of it at the beach. However, I did use some to finish projects I hadn’t touched in ages, just to be able to set them aside, put them in a gallery, or whatever.

So. That’s my news for now. More later as I share projects finally finished.


days in the sun

Lately I’ve just been so tired.

I think I’m in love with my bed… I don’t want to leave it. Well, I do leave it for the bigger TV in the living room and the couch, but I love my bed. And I love sleeping…

What’s wrong with me? Maybe I’m just tired after work, but that’s not a real excuse. Or maybe its the heat, though the last few days have been blissfully windy after days of sweltering nothingness. I spend the day with creative thoughts in my head – ‘when I get home I’ll do this and this and this…’ – eager to work, then I get home and plant myself in front of Netflix and do boneless cat immitations.

There are days I’m sure I will never blog again. It just seems so pointless when I’m tired or feel like I have nothing new to share or say. Times like those I toss up the whole social media presence, is it really necessary, who cares what I do anyway? What was I thinking offering to do a radio show online? Like I have so much time I need to fill!

Then there are days when I love sharing something I’ve just made or painted cause, frankly, I’m just a show off… If I look back at my life I think I did a lot of things cause I love to show off: rock’n’roll dance competitions (wow! you’re such a great dancer!), selling my stuff at markets (oooh, you’re so talented!) etc.

I’m impossible really.

Anyway, so what’s been going on? Well… the hand-held shower thingy in my bath broke. The tube sprung more leaks than a wicker canoe. Given its my only shower option, its a kinda necessary thing. So I bought a replacement tube. Didn’t have a wrench… (the one tool I didn’t have!). Bought one. Got home and promptly broke the old hose where it screwed into the tap… Been using a bucket to shower for the last 3 days. And the plumber never showed up today so its looking like another day or three before that issue is remedied…

But on Sunday I gave myself a break. Zefi, her family and I spent the day at the beach. My all time favourite beach which I hadn’t visited once this year so far. We put in a good solid 7 hours of hard beach time. It was great. Just like the old days.

Lainee came with us since the breeze was cool enough. Here she is waiting for our lunch to arrive…

And here she is after lunch was finished.

And while I’m on the subject of Lainee, here she is first thing in the morning.

If that face doesn’t make you wanna kiss it nothing will!

Anyway, I gotta go. Things to do since the plumber didn’t show.


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.



lamp resurrected

A friend of mine sent me a photo of his lamp. He’d knocked it over and wondered if I could do anything with it, since we both belong to groups about recycling and not buying new.

I said bring it over and I’ll have a look.

I had envisaged a japanese gold fix KintsugiĀ but more than halfway through glueing pieces I discovered there a couple of large pieces missing.

I had to rethink it. I had to make up the missing pieces somehow. I used air dry clay but it looked awful. So, I started to play with it. And this is what I came up with.

An octopus is now holding the lamp together. You can’t actually see him cause he’s inside, but his tentacles come out of the ‘holes’ and wrap around the base.

I hope he likes it when he sees it!

Meanwhile Lainee is doing great but the news isn’t good. The lump they removed in Syros at the vet hospital was malignant. I don’t have the details yet, what type of cancer it was, but they recommend I let her recouperate from this surgery completely and take her back to remove the entire row on mammary glands on the other side too. There are lumps there as well. Tiny ones, but since the big one was malignant they don’t think I should take the chance of leaving and watching them.

I guess I wait to get the full biopsy report and do some research. I want her happy and healthy and if that means another surgery, then I’ll do it. I’d rather do it now, before she gets any older… She’s 12 now and if any of the other lumps begin to go ‘bad’ she won’t have to face surgery at 13 or 14. I want her to live to be a very old lady.

Meanwhile I’m waiting to hear back from the doctor in Athens regarding my stent removal. And waiting to hear about my job this summer. And generally just waiting. Seems lately there’s a lot of waiting involved in life.


syros & lainee – lockdown 2 day 162

We’re back on Syros again. This time with Zefi for company and its Lainee who’s going to hospital.

Soon as we got to the hotel Lainee made herself comfortable on Zefi’s bed. So much for mom and all the love and care she gets!

Then again, maybe there’s method to her treacherous little ways… after all, its not me who has to sleep with my knees under my chin on half a bed…

If you think a small poodle doesn’t take up a lot of room, just ask Zefi!

First thing we did was walk around town. I love the quiet streets and the old mansions in this non-tourist season. It really is a beautiful town. I’d like to see it in summer, cafes and restaurants open, to see some of the small streets come alive, despite tourists.

Zefi in her usual theatrical pose outside city hall. No cafes to sit at so everyone buys take away coffee and food and sits outside.

No photo collection of mine would be complete without a photo of an old door…

Or an interestingly framed photo. I’m never all about happy snaps.

Then back to the room for a rest and dressing change for Lainee. I love this photo. It really is like changing a baby, pulling on her onesie… and so much less disgusting than changing pooey nappies.

Lainee is so good, I flip her onto her back and she just lays there quietly till I’m done. I’ve even walked off to get something and told her to stay and she remains where I left her. She’s an angel. I can’t resist giving her tons of kisses.

She made a few new friends and left lots of ‘in your face Syrian dogs’ pees around town. She was a hit with people too with her onesie and little bands.

Pizza for dinner then some more napping for Lainee – always on Zefi’s side of the bed! Good girl Lainee.

I’m going to call these my Exploring Syros Series, kind of part of the lockdown series but separate as well.


enjoying the weather – lockdown 2 day 159

We’ve had a couple of glorious days in a row after the rain and wind so we’ve been taking advantage of it with long walks around the bay in the late afternoon. That way at the end we get to enjoy the sunset.

Its been me, my cousin Zefi and her mom. We walk and chat and its a nice way to get exercise, fresh air and just enjoy the gorgeous days when the sea is flat and before sun gets too hot.

Panoramic pictures aren’t ideal when seen this small, but I still insist on taking them.

And sometimes I see a door, window or broken down wall I just have to photograph. Love this old door right on the beach.

One thing about masking up is that you can more or less go incognito as Zefi proves.

Meanwhile, here is Lainee in her onesie, the first one I bought. I’ve been back and bought a couple more cause I figure they’ll be handy later too, to keep the stitches safe. For now I’m keeping her ‘crater’ clean and changing dressing twice a day. At least it no longer stinks.

So its back to work now. I have to finish so many things I have on the go, photograph finished things and start a few commissions I have. One is due by Easter, so in 1.5 weeks. Time to get cracking on that one!


dalmatian – lockdown 2 day 157

Another day of sharing something I finished a couple of months ago. Maybe even three months now…

Anyway, meet my frisbee catching dalmatian!

Complete with a rolled leather collar. Mr Fancy Pants.

So, what’s been happening? Lainee managed to get at her growth again today and made it bleed so now she’s got a gauze bandage over it (hmph, nothing sticks to curly hair) and an ankle warmer* around her waist as a bandage. I hope it works. Its bigger than any bandage I’ve tried in the past but those didn’t work, so what the hey. And its firm… so HOPEFULLY she won’t be able to get past it to lick…

I hope.

Everything in the house is stained with pus and goop coming off that growth right now. Its awful and smells disgusting. But the worst of it is poor Lainee who seems miserable.

At least histology came back that its a benign mammary tumour, but they can turn cancerous and it has to be removed. Especially now given the state its in.

Meanwhile I found that the vet clinic on Syros has an ultrasound machine and can u/s her heart. Plus the vet that I used to take her to here now works there so she knows Lainee and her history. I’ve made an appointment for Monday morning.

I’ve mentioned before how stupid it is that Syros, the capital of this group of islands and only across from here – I see it from my window – an hour away by ferry, only has ferries going to it twice a week. What that means is that if you want to go to Syros for anything at all (court, hospital, any business requiring local government) you have to go to Syros for a couple of nights. In summer they have more ferries of course, but even then most of the time you need to stay over for one night.

My cousin Zefi will come with me for moral support and we’ll go on Sunday and return Tuesday night.

Fingers crossed for my girl.


*An ankle warmer is like a leg warmer, only smaller. I had a couple…

lainee update – lockdown 2 day 154

Lainee wearing her home made ‘don’t lick’ collar.

No surgery. Yet. The vet thinks its too risky to operate on Lainee until we at least do an ultrasound to see the state of her heart. She recommends I take Lainee to Athens to a vet hospital there and do that and possibly the surgery there too if I choose.

I figure the fact that the vet is so reluctant to operate means its too risky.

I’m not really sure what to do. She can’t live with a fat foam collar on her neck forever, and wrapping or bandaging a growth on her stomach is impossible. Yet I can’t let her lick at the growth constantly and make it bleed.

What we decided to do for now is to send samples for a biopsy and start her on homeopathic pills the vet made up. She says the pills will most likely help with the itchiness or whatever it is that makes Lainee want to lick at it all the time. I’m not sure, but its worth a try.

Meanwhile I’m still waiting to hear back from the doctor in Athens regarding my stent removal. I have to go to Athens for that anyway… If need be I can take Lainee with me when I go and get her looked at at the same time.

So, I wait.

It seems to be all I do lately.



food – lockdown 2 day 129

Gee time flies when you’re having fun. Its already day 129 of lockdown 2 and things aren’t looking any better despite all the great plans the government has for opening up the tourist season early. Record numbers of new cases almost every day…

Whatever. I’m spending my time doing as little as possible. Today I did some shopping, groomed a dog and cooked for the pups I’m looking after, and Lainee of course. I thought I’d share what I cook for Lainee. This was basically what I started making for her when she needed to lose some weight. The idea was loads of vegies and lean chicken.

Amy and Lily love their raw cabbage treats. They also love raw cauliflower and zucchini I learned today.

So… this is what I used today. Its basically the same each time but I tend to use what I have in the fridge as well. Frozen spinach, frozen mixed vegies, sweet potato, apple, red lentils, zucchini and about a kilo of chicken breast. I normally buy skin on and remove the skin myself cause its cheaper. Sometimes I’ll buy a whole chicken and keep the wings for Lainee (to eat raw) and the maryland (legs) for myself to bake, boil the entire rest of the chicken then pick the meat off and throw out the bones. I add pumpkin if I have it. And I add herbs: usually thyme, oregano, some garlic, pepper and turmeric. I mean, you want it to taste good!

I put the chicken and all vegies into a large pot with enough water to cover them and boil till its all cooked and the chicken is falling apart.

I remove the chicken to cool so I can pull it apart with my fingers. Then I mixed that back into the vegie mix.

The dogs LOVE it. Its healthy and non fattening. You could add a touch of olive oil for their coat when you’re serving it or any supplements like kelp or whatever, but I think its a pretty good meal.

Typical I spend more time cooking for the dogs than I ever do for myself (unless I’m cooking for company). My meal was much plainer but just as tasty. Bow pasta with broccoli and red pesto with a sprinkle of parmesan. Yum. I’m not complaining.