paros day 15: the curtain unveiled!

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I’ve finally finished the curtain!

I’m so pleased with it. I’ve wanted one of these since I first saw one on Pinterest years ago.

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In the end, I decided a pocket would do, no rings, no tabs, no bows. Just a simple pocket. Partly cause I was too lazy to make tabs or bows, but mainly cause it would hang too low if I added those things.

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The couch sits under the window. Its not ideal, but its a small place and I have an L shaped lounge suite, part of which sits on that wall, under the window. I love having a big corner lounge suite, but getting to the window to open, shut or clean it can be a total pain in the butt, having to climb onto the couch to do anything.

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But I love my new curtain.

The house is still a mess, but the curtain looks darn good!

So, remember this cute little tap?

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Mystery solved. Its my curtain tieback.  Well, actually I can simply toss the curtain over the tap to hold it back, or I can use the hemp string tassle I made back in Tasmania to hold it back. I’m going with the tassle for now.

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I also did a few bits and pieces today – while the couch was out of the way so I could sort out the curtain, I took the opportunity to drill holes to put up my rustic chalkboard (which you can see on my porch in Tasmania here) and the fish mobile Wayne made me. I love that corner now. Its me!

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The cubbies are almost finished. I still have to find the patience to make another 16 little boxes, then I need to find some kind of knobs for them so I can get them out! Its not easy making little cardboard boxes… I’ll get there.

Today has been a good day. I got up at 8am as I said I would. I did morning wake-up yoga, then was out the door by 10am. I did the first coat of paint on the sewing table and the second coat of varnish on the top. Its getting there.

I also asked the guys at the transport company just down the road if I could have a couple of pallets. They said no…

Then Lainee and I walked all the way into town cause it was a nice day. I collected some plant cuttings along the way and put them in some soil when I got home. Fingers crossed on those.

The seeds I planted are apparently doing well. I spoke to my friend who’s been babysitting them since I went to Athens. I haven’t seen her to pick them up due to quarantine, but I got a photo of the lavatera which is going great.

If all goes well we’ll have your lavatera growing on a greek island Ginny!

z

 

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…

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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.

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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

paros day 12: still not finished

I’m getting plenty of sleep. Please tell me why I’m waking up with a full set of luggage under my eyes every morning. And not top of the line luggage either, more like the cheap made in China stuff you get at places like the Reject Shop.

Today has been a more or less productive day without anything finishing anything…

After a morning walk with Lainee I cleaned a bit, put some things away, moved other things a little further over so they wouldn’t be in the way. I flipped over the sewing table which has been lying on its back in the middle of my ‘living room’, glued the top down cause it was coming off and placed everything heavy I had on the floor on top of it (I’ll count that as clearing stuff away).

I also moved the couch around. Its in two parts, a corner unit. I basically pulled it out of the way to put up the curtain rod, cause with the couch where it lives (the only place it can live) I couldn’t reach the window. When I put it back I tried putting it back differently, the longer part of the couch on the kitchen wall, the shorter one under the window so I can reach the window but it doesnt work so well… I’ll have to move it all back tomorrow.

But I mentioned putting up the curtain rod. Here is a preview of the new rod:

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No curtain on it yet – with the crap piled high on the sewing table I can’t really use the sewing machine. Sure, I could use it on the kitchen table, but that’s currently the papier mache station… I’m building a lifesize bulldog as a gift for a friend who owns a tattoo parlour called – you guessed it – Bulldogs).

Here he is, headless and lying on his back.

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I really enjoy making animal sculptures out of papier mache but it is a long process. Luckily I have time… It involves shaping cardboard, joining pieces together to create a form, cutting (carving) and adding to get the form right and slowly building it up. Stay tuned for the head. Which I haven’t even started yet.

My washing is on day 2 of not dry yet. In fact its wetter today than it was when I hung it out there yesterday morning. Maybe it’ll dry tomorrow. Today has mostly been a stay inside day except for the morning walk which necessitated Lainee get rinsed off with warm water to get rid of the mud she’d picked up on the road. Other than a couple of quick pee breaks (mine inside, her’s outside!) I’ve been working on the aforementioned stuff and watching Sons of Anarchy.

Oh and I watched a great limited series called Unorthodox. I loved it, but then again I’ve always been drawn to stories about orthodox or hasidic Jews. No idea why. Ever since I read My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok I’ve been a huge fan of his books and am intrigued by their lives. Then again, I’m also intrigued by the Amish. I guess its something to do with the concept of living in the modern world but refusing to be part of it and the problems that arise…

Anyway, too deep a conversation for now. I’m off to walk Lainee and watch a bit more SOA.

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So, has anyone guessed what this is going to be?

z

 

paros day 11: losing count

Lately my projects all involve glue and paper. Well, after cutting MDF and gluing boxes to decoupage onto. So, you already saw the boxes I was making, now here they are finished.

One of the things you need in a small house is tons of storage. Especially if you have tons of hobbies. And I sure do. I dreamed of making storage boxes for the bookcase, then I thought, why not make them into ‘drawers’?

Apologies for the blurry photos… I really am not batting 100 with the pics lately am I? Mostly cause they’re taken indoors in artificial light and with a mobile phone. I better get batteries for my camera… then I’ll take better pics and replace these.

Still, you get the idea. Small boxes with holes for handles, to hold anything I need to hide away but still have easy access to.

I like them. I think I might end up making more of them later on… as simple storage boxes, not drawers. Maybe using a slightly thicker plywood instead of 9mm MDF which was very hard to nail without making a mess!

Meanwhile I also made one for the bottom of the bedside table:

This one serves the purpose of hiding all those cords which we all hate but are a necessity of life.

I haven’t yet decided if I’ll paint or varnish the shelves so for now they remain as they were – raw plywood.

I used the pages of some very old magazines I had (cause I brought a lot of my crafting supplies with me from Australia, I did bring some weird stuff…), using the ads cause I just love them. For these drawers I used black print ads (which have gone yellowed with age). For the little cardboard boxes in the hotel key cubby thing I have I’m using blue print ads.

Today was a supermarket day. Mainly cause I needed to buy dog food for my uncle’s dog and a few odds and ends for myself, and when I got home this is what greeted me:

That’s NMC sitting in one of my pot plants!!! I fill them all with rocks and stones to stop cats from digging and pooping in them but there he is, sitting in one like its his throne! Not impressed… I hope the baby plant in that one grows and isn’t suffocated. Grrr.

On our walk yesterday I took some cuttings off plants I like and am trying to propagate them in pots on my porch. Time will tell if any make it. I had tried other plants before without success but I always hope!

No long walk today as its been miserable weather, wet and uninspiring. Hopefully the sun will come out soon and dry my poor washing!

On returning home with the groceries I also spent time ‘cleaning’ them as per that guy’s video on Youtube. Except I still brought in my shoes and can’t leave anything outside since I don’t have any weatherproof areas out there. I’m having a couple of thoughts on that… maybe when the weather is a bit nicer I’ll work on something. I’ll let you know.

z

paros day 10: a day late

Turns out I’m better off doing my posts in the middle of the day instead of in the evening when laziness takes over and the call to Netflix becomes too strong to resist.

So this is yesterday’s post. 

Yesterday was overcast but still lovely so Lainee and I went for a long walk up the back of here, to the top of the hill to look over the valley to the sea.

We also walked past the most beautifully kept farm on all of Paros.

And saw tons of these wildflowers blooming… Not sure what they are but they look like a native/wild lupin.

So… I did continue my work on the current projects but nothing is finished yet. Everything seems to take so much longer than you think between cutting, gluing, drying, painting, drying…

However I realised yesterday that I hadn’t shared my new coffee table! Its is one of the first things I made once I got my groove back.

Firstly, some pics of the before: This is the coffee table I inherited when I bought the house. Lovely table but just too big for my tiny space.

One of the things I brought with me when I came from Australia was the legs off an old 50s table I loved. I mean I loved the legs, not the formica top. I always knew I wanted to make my own top for it and a round table to go into the living room here seemed the best solution.

This is the finished product…

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in the hows, here goes. I was looking for old timber and found some in the bin at the timber shop back when life was normal. I glued it together as the first step using my table clamps (cause ever girl should have those!).

Then I realised that one of the pieces of timber I had used had termites so I had to treat the whole thing and let it dry before drawing a circle and using the jigsaw to cut it out.

Naturally disaster hit about then as I left it where water leaked and the table split down the middle… one of the glued bits didn’t hold.  I knew I’d have to strengthen the joins anyway so I reglued and cut out some ply pieces to attach underneath to act as a sort of binding, plus to give the legs something more substantial to screw into.

I used a combination of dark brown wood filler and a light coloured one to give the wood more interest.

Then I used my power plane and sander to create a nice smooth top and edges. I love the look of raw wood.

Last I attached the legs. Love those legs!

Et voila! A gorgeous round coffee table made by moi!

And here is it in the living room. Small enough to get around. Big enough to hold the necessities (but not big enough to become yet another crafting surface!), and oh so pretty.

I’ll end this post with a preview of another little project… Can you guess what it will be?

Oh, and a Baileys of course… It helps me sleep!

z

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paros day 9: progress

It rained all night last night. Not heavily, but enough that this morning I gave in to Lainee and drove the car to my temporary workshop. Then the sun came out of course, but Lainee was pleased. I contented myself with a short walk to the beach with Lainee and Spitha. 

Then I got to work. I feel like I’m getting somewhere now. The boxes/drawers I made yesterday were finished…

I’m using the MDF I bought for drawing boards for art classes that never happened. I guess I’m lucky I bought it. Soon I’ll run out of wood and although I’m told pallets are easy to find here, my car is way too small to fit them. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but I will soon need pallets to get with the next lot of things I want to make.

Using some more of the MDF I made the third and final draw for the bookcase and made another draw for the bottom of my new bedside table – it will hold and hide all the power cords:

I gave the curtain brackets their last coat of paint and will bring them home tomorrow (and the drill, and the drill bits, and the screws, and don’t forget the power cord with the australian plug on one end and the greek one on the other!) and hopefully will be able to put up the curtain and share pics. That will depend on whether my neighbour has finished with my ladder. Since he’s also spending time at home he’s been busy repainting his living room and needed the ladder…

Returning home I got back into my next project. There will be a detailed post on this later, but here is a preview:

This is the old key holder cubby from an old hotel I found at an antique shop. I have painted it and am now making little ‘drawers’ for it. Making those little boxes is doing my head in. We all know how great I am at measuring.

So basically, what I’m saying is that I have nothing finished to share but I do have a lot of projects in progress. And Lainee is keeping me company throughout.

Its late. I gotta get some sleep. Tomorrow is another day and I will have something finished to share!

z

 

paros day 8: moving right along

Figured I’d write earlier today cause I’m actually in the mood to post right now.

This morning I woke up a little earlier than usual and was out the door with Lainee in tow, on my way to my uncle’s place to do some more work before 10am.

And I mean Lainee was literally ‘in tow’. When we got to the car she sat her little butt down and wouldn’t budge. So darn cute. It was like ‘Uhuh! I ain’t going nowhere without the car!’

I think these extra long walks might be getting a little much for her… She was really dragging today. Tomorrow (or this afternoon) I’ll be driving over cause I have things I need to pick up, but next time I walk over I might take her for a shorter walk and leave her home when I go.

The weather is gorgeous again so off we went after texting my intention to the hotline… we now have to text our name, address and reasons for being out to a free message service. You basically need permission to go out these days in Greece. These are the newest restrictions:

What to do before you go out?

1. Make sure you have some form of identification (I.D. or Passport) with you.

2. Download and print Form B from http://forma.gov.gr * and fill one EVERY TIME you need to go out.(Form A is for Employees, made once by the Employer)

There, you need to fill the reason you are out. These are:

1. To go to the Doctor or a health center FOLLOWING AN APPOINTMENT or Pharmacy.

2. To go to buy food, e.g. Supermarket, Bakery.

3. To go to the Bank ONLY IF YOU CANNOT DO IT ONLINE.

4. To go help people in need, e.g. elderly people, or go out for freelance work.

5. To go to ceremonies, e.g. Wedding, Funeral, Memorial Service

6. Physical activities/exercise, walking the dog. Up to two people, 1,5m distance between them.

Alternatively:

1. You can hand write the form (like Ipefthini Dilosi) and sign it.

2. Send an SMS to 13033 with the # of the reason you go out, space, your name and residence. E.g. 6 Nick the Greek, Parikia Paros.

If you need to drive, up to two people in the car.

The Police, Municipal Police and Port Police will be patrolling. Failing to follow the directive, has a fine of 150€

Don’t go out, unless you HAVE to. Stay Home!

Quite a lot to deal with huh? But I have to say, I’m surprised and pleased that Greece has acted so fast and taken extreme measures. I was one of those who thought ‘Phah, what a big fuss over nothing’ to start with, but I see the rapid rise of COVID 19 cases in countries who didn’t respond as fast or as seriously and am thankful.

So today I spent about two hours finishing up a few things I’d started, another coat of paint on the curtain brackets and started making boxes (for the drawers for my bookcase). Two of three boxes cut and glued. Tomorrow I’ll cut out the last box and glue it (I didn’t have enough clamps for all of them in one go).

When we got home it was just too beautiful to coop myself up inside so I made a coffee and had it on the porch out front. Lainee lay in the sun and we enjoyed some quiet time out there.

There is way less traffic out the front now, but this morning it seemed like business as usual when we tried to cross the road. I like this quieter version of Paros so much better.

I read a couple of blogs this afternoon and this post at Frugalwoods stood out with its ideas on how to help eachother during this time. I thought it was great and I agree with all she suggests. Unfortunately, with no income a lot of us can’t afford to order food in or buy things from local businesses. That’s the situation I’m in. I only buy what I need right now, and that’s mostly food for myself and Lainee. Oh, and the cat that doesn’t belong to me. And his friends.

I stress about finances a lot but I try to stay positive. I can’t stop my brain from buzzing at night and end up building things in my head as I lay there chasing illusive sleep. So far I’ve built my linen cupboard 3 times in different ways, reorganised my outdoor cupboard and moved it to 2 different positions so its not the first thing I look at outside my bedroom window… and moved pretty plants which have grown and flowered instantly to fill the spot where the cupboard is now creating a pretty view. I’ve painted rocks, painted some mixed media pieces and finished a papier mache bulldog I’m making for a friend. All while I lie in bed waiting for sleep…

Tonight I might try a bit of Baileys with ice. I think that will help. Or a cup of warm milk. Probably better for me but nowhere near as much fun.

Anyhoo, crafting awaits.

z

 

paros day 7: being productive

It was a gorgeous overcast day today, warm, slight breeze, quiet… Just beautiful. Lainee and I walked to my uncle’s again this morning to continue work in his garage on the various projects I started. And this time I remembered to take my extension cord with the greek plug on the end so we had power!

I cut some odd bits of plywood to create shelves for this little stand thingy I got from what looks like a tip, acts like a tip shop but the owner treats like an antique store. Really. Its full of junk and he wants top euros for the crap.

Whatever. I picked this up on my last visit, it had only one half rotted basket in it, but I’m fixing it up. Details when I share the finished project, but what do you think… varnish the ply shelves or paint them? I like the look of plywood but don’t really like the edges.

I also continued with the painting. Right now everything is white as that’s pretty much the only colour I have. I can tint paint using my acrylics but am choosing to keep things simple for now.

My painting method is sloppy by design. The aim is to create a texture with the paint to make things look old, like they’ve been painted over 116 times in the last 6 decades. And treated badly to boot.

Since I had power and no curtain brackets, I made my own today. Of course I ran into problems. I always do. Sometimes its cause I don’t measure properly, can’t count, or am just a bit too carefree when I do things. As in ‘close enough is good enough’.

Let’s just say there was a bit of wastage involved. I obviously didn’t learn the lesson of measure twice, cut once. With me its more like measure twice, cut twice or more. Hopefully get it right second time. If not, sand and gap fill.

However today the problem wasn’t just with me. It was the tools.

Yeah. I know. A bad tradesperson always blames his tools, but in this case its true.

When I came over from Australia I brought all my tools… including my hole saw bits… When I was cutting a hole into the side of the kitchen cabinet to run the power cord through to the microwave, I bent the main bit which holds the round saw thingies. I did what you’d expect and rushed to the nearest hardware store and bought another set. Apparently I couldn’t just buy the drill bit holder thingy. I had the buy the whole kit.

This is what a hole saw kit looks like for those who don’t know. Except the one I have now is way thinner…

The kit I got is pathetic. I swear its made of tin. First time I used the smallest saw bit I bent it out of shape. Today I tried to cut a hole in a piece of plywood and this is what happened:

It just gnawed at the wood like a toothless beaver… Either this is the hardest ply on earth or that saw is pathetic. I’m going with the pathetic saw.

Of course I didn’t have my spade bits with me… man I miss having my own workshop where I have everything I ever needed and a lot I never did…

These are spade bits. Love spade bits… oooh yeah.

In the end I improvised. I used the jigsaw to cut out the crookedest semi circles you’d ever seen.

At least they fit the broom handle/curtain rod so I’m happy.

I mounted the brackets onto flat bits of ply so I can attach them easily to the wall, and voila. A couple of coats of paint and they’re ready to put on the wall.

Then I’ll have to figure out how to hang the curtain without rings, but I’ll work that out.

I always feel better when I’ve done stuff. Happy Zefi.

z

paros day 6: time flies

Today was a great day. Lainee and I walked over to my uncle’s house to do some work, only to find I’d forgotten to take my adaptor so couldn’t do anything requiring electricity. Cause of course all my power tools still have Australian plugs on them! So no progress on the curtain rod today.

Still, I did some hand sanding and managed to get another coat on the things I started painting so I’ll have something to share soon.

Lainee and I took the scenic route there and back, along the beach and over the hill. On the way Lainee made a new friend. You can see part of golden retriever cross, Babi, as he digs his way to the other side of Paros. Lainee is too much of a lady to dig on the beach. (Though apparently not to much of a lady to roll in rotting meat…)

Today there seemed to be some lingering aroma around the couch so I’ve washed the throws. I think its fixed the problem.

Meanwhile I brought home the gap filler I couldn’t find yesterday and began working on the chewed up table legs. It’ll need at least one more go to fill in the chewed bits so the legs look normal again… We’ll see how that goes.

The weather was perfect this afternoon, no longer windy and it was beautiful out so Lainee and I went for another long walk. Its that time of year when I miss having a garden to watch come to life…

My potted plants are starting to get new shoots which pleases me. I’m getting photo updates of my seedlings and they seem to be doing well. Fingers crossed on those. Hopefully I’ll get them home soon and have flowers around me again.

Oh, and I didn’t burn the spanakopita last night! Did I mention I put in a ton of cheese (cottage cheese, feta, grated cheese) and thought it might be too cheesy. Turns out you can never have too much cheese. I could have put in more. I think it needed parmesan, something I always had in the fridge in Australia. (Put it on the shopping list.)

Other than that, not much to share… Its already 9.30pm. Time flies when you’re having fun apparently. Its too late to start anything new (project wise) so I’m watching Netflix. I’m on The Last Kingdom now. At least I’m catching up with my TV viewing…

How is your lockdown going?

z