bedside wings

bedsidewings2

Welcome to another ‘here’s one I prepared earlier’ DIY upcycled project post.

As I pointed out before, amidst the chaos of work and preparing for my trip to Greece, I found the time to create or finish a few projects. Just to make myself feel better!

So, I had this old chair. It had a broken back. But the seat and legs were in perfectly good order.

I did what any self respecting DIYer would do – I cut the back off.

Then I painted it many layers of different chalk paints I mixed up myself.

bedsidewings3

Between coats I gave it a bit of a sanding, to expose the various colours and add interest.

This chair used to have a padded seat so the seat area itself was a big hole. I put in a bit of masonite cut to the right shape. My plan was to buy a thick perspex sheet cut to fit on top and fill the recess with photos and other bits and pieces.

bedsidewings4

You know how you sometimes order things online that you think you want for a particular project only to change your mind? These glittery angel wings are one of those purchases. I had planned on putting them on my jean jacket but I’m not really a glittery girl… They were sitting in the craft room when I was making up the guest room for friends before my trip.

It was obvious they belonged on the chair/bedside table in the guest room!

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The bluey green tones of the chair suit the room perfectly and the wings are just perfect in there.

I’m loving it.

Now back to the beach.

z

chicken rolls and other beach stuff

This is a photo of my view as I sat here this afternoon, after a nice lunch with the ‘oldies’. That’s the aunts and uncles, though now they don’t feel as old as they did when we were all younger… when they were my current age and younger.

I’d done my ‘auntie’ dip – an hour or so in the water swimming and meeting people, cause of course you strike up friendships in the sea. Or at least I do. Then I came home, had lunch and sat a while to enjoy the view. After that I went to bed to read again and fell asleep…

And woke up at 8.30pm.

Just in time for dinner.

I’d had plans for tonight, but I was still feeling too dopey to go into town. Its about a 3klm walk which is great exercise but I’m still feeling zonked and now its fully dark and the view is still great with all the glittering lights of town and distant Syros visible. I think I might just stay here…

So much for going for an afternoon swim. I mustn’t ever go to bed in the afternoon again!

Meanwhile I’m sunburnt and itching like I have fleas. Thankfully I didn’t get the painful sunburn, I skipped straight to itchy. Its really annoying as scratching hurts but oh man, I need to scratch badly.

I got a call from my cousin, Zefi* this afternoon saying “Hey Fuzz**, next time you blog don’t forget to mention chicken rolls”. Well, I’m nothing if not responsive to the demands of my readers. At least it proves that someone reads my blog, even if it is just family and people I guilt into it…

But before I tell you about chicken rolls and what on earth they’re doing on the beach, let me deal with the pesky asterixes.

*There are only 3 Zefis in our family, unlike the amount of Peters, or the amount of Nicks in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I’m the original Zefi, there’s one living on Crete currently who has a different last name, and then there’s the little usurper, aka newspaper reporter, aka Little Zefi. When we lived in Griffith, NSW, I was THE Zefi till the little usurper came along and took over my name and peed in my shoes cause we wouldn’t play with her.

A few years later she came to live with us in Athens and earned the nickname ‘newspaper reporter’ cause everything she heard or saw she’d report back to my mom. As you can see, she really knew how to make friends and influence people.

**Two Zefi Famelis sharing a room (and two Peter Famelis sharing a caravan on the roof (that’s a whole other story) in the house in Athens got a bit confusing. So I was big Zef and she was little Zef. I never liked what big Zef implied, but what can you do?

Anyway, we played around with our names, as you do, and for a while I was Ifez and my brother was Retep. In the spirit on backwardness I went through our room while little Zef was out reporting on some other unsuspecting person and played a joke on her.

I went through every single thing she owned and every bit of her side of the room and switched things around. The order of her drawers was swapped. The sides of her desk were swapped. Her books were reversed on the shelves. I even went through and undid all her neatly folded socks (cause she was an annoyingly good little girl) and did them up again with unmatched partners. I left a note saying ‘beware, Ifez was here’.

She was still finding mixed up things months later. Best practical joke ever.

Anyway, Ifez morphed into Fuzz and my aunt still calls me Fuzz now. In fact when Zefi and I get together we call eachother Fuzz and Fuzzywuzzy. I love that girl.

Now back to the beach and who put out the chicken rolls.

While in Athens Zefi took me tankini shopping cause I don’t wear bikinis any more. As you may remember if you read a previous post on the subject. During that time she introduced me to the strappy bikini, aka, the chicken roll.

Look:

You can see the similarities.

Anyway, rest assured I did not get anything like that. Though now I’m thinking about getting a bikini. Those tankinis are nice but they sure take a long time to dry! And they’re so hard to change when you’re wet.

I am now convinced that there are three stages in life: 1. when we’re young and pretty and wear bikinis, 2. when we get older and care what people think so we hide our imperfect bodies with full swimsuits (or burkas), and 3. when we no longer care what anyone thinks and go buy another bikini.

I’m at stage 3. I think. Its a close call.

z

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

Good question

Efidice Absidal?

I’ve puzzled over this sign for many years. What does it mean? Is it some foreign language? Obviously ‘Efidice’ isn’t an English word.

Give up?

Its obviously a sign created by a dyslexic person. Obviously its meant to say “Edifice Apsidal”.

Or even Apsidal Edifice.

That sorts out the non-englishness of the matter, but what is absidal or apsidal you ask? I didn’t know either so I looked it up:

WHAT DOES APSIDAL MEAN IN ENGLISH

Apse

In architecture, the apse (Greek ἀψίς (apsis), then Latin absis: “arch, vault”; sometimes written apsis; plural apsides) is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome, also known as an Exedra. In Romanesque, Byzantine and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral and church architecture, the term is applied to a semi-circular or polygonal termination of the main building at the liturgical east end (where the altar is), regardless of the shape of the roof, which may be flat, sloping, domed, or hemispherical.

—–

Aren’t you glad you read my blog? You learn something new every day!

z

my uncle’s portrait

My uncle George, pastel on paper, now hangs on the old fireplace.

A few years ago I promised my uncle George that I’d paint his portrait. I took photos of him sitting on the back porch at Souvlia (his home on Paros, more like a village than a home really) and lost them all when my external hard drive crashed.

This year I found an old photo of him and me taken years ago, and a photo of the house as it was back then. I removed me and the others in the photo and created a portrait.

Closer up

Not too bad considering I hate doing portraits of people. They aren’t as furry as dogs. Or as forgiving if you show their wrinkles.

I think he likes it. He’s at least 40 years younger in the painting… He now wants a portrait of the four brothers, 2 of whom are no longer with us. The Dynasty as he calls it.

Better get my pastels sorted.

(I’ll be sharing photos of Souvlia soon!)

z

today it rained on paros

This morning it poured. I was sitting outside my room with my coffee and a book (Yes, a real book. My brother gave it to me so I put the kindle aside for a day and went old school.) and I barely had time to pick my stuff up before it bucketed down. There was thunder and lightning. I’ve spent about half the summers of my life on Paros and had never seen rain like this. If at all… Tasmania eat your heart out.

My cousin picked me up to go swimming and we got lucky. We went to a beach on the other side of Paros and were able to have a decent swim. It may have been overcast but the rain stayed away. Till we left. It rained so heavy you could barely see to drive. Then we got back to this side and I had another swim cause the storm had moved on.

I’m turning into my mother – slowly but surely. I used to be able to go the beach at 9 or 10am and stay till 6pm or sometimes later. Now I get worn out. The other day I was at the beach from 10.30 am till 5.30pm and I’m sure I got sunstroke. And before you ask, I sat under an umbrella the whole time. But I did swim… and when I say swim, every time I get in the water I spend at least half an hour in there. I won’t get out till my fingers go all wrinkley and turn blue.

Mom never sits on the beach. She’ll go down, get straight into the water, swim till she’s a spec on the horizon (no sharks here) and stays out there for about an hour, gets out of the water, changes into dry clothes* and goes home.

After spending a whole day at the beach, visiting a cousin and going out for dinner, not getting home till 12.30am, I was so knocked out the next day I decided to stick close to home. I walked to the beach just down below us and swam for an hour before getting out and heading home for a nap.

Delphini Beach, a 5 minute walk from my uncle’s place.

In the afternoon I repeated the excerise. Cause what’s the point of a greek island if you can’t swim? In fact I’ve been having nightmares lately that I’m on Paros and can’t get into the water! Horrible.

To make matters worse (on the ‘just like my mother’ thing) I do two types of swimming. One where I wear goggles and swim like a normal person – involves putting my head under water. The other where I wear my sunglasses and a hat and swim like a little old lady. Why? Cause till now every summer I’ve come to Paros for a holiday I get an eye infection. Apparently the sun reflecting off the water can sunburn your eyeballs. Go figure.

Another view of Delphini Beach where we spent hours as kids.

At least I’m looking after my skin and won’t get sunburn… That’s what I tell myself.

*On the changing after swimming. A lot of greek women/girls have learned the art of dressing and undressing with a towel wrapped around them. I’m at a disadvantage there. Not only am I not used to it, I’m wearing a tankini which has to up over my shoulders to put on or off. No handy clasps at the back. Try changing those with salty wet skin. I was hopping around trying to change this morning and dropped my towel to remove my bottom and mooned the entire beachfront.

At least they don’t know me…

Why you might ask again? Can’t you just dry off in the sun? Well for one, I don’t like being in the sun for too long. And those tankinis are thick – double panels in front and padded bras. And why am I wearing a tankini? Cause I’m too embarassed to wear a bikini now I’m older and fatter. Though to be honest I’m so over the cold/wet thing I’m seriously tempted to buy a bikini top and not worry about scarring the retinas of anyone who sees me.

The benefit of being older. You just don’t give a damn.

Don’t they say middle aged women are invisible? Well I may as well wear a bikini.

Now… where to get one…

z

a day at the beach

Its great to be back on Paros. In my heart this place is where I want to spend the rest of my life. I’ve been dreaming of living here all year round for many years – part of the live in the country thing I have going. But with me its always been the mountain not the sea, hence Tasmania inland, not beachside. I like green: trees, rolling hills, dirt not rocks. And yet, this island is a huge part of me.

In an ideal world I’d have a place here and be able to spend summer on Paros every year. One day I might be able to move back to Greece and live on Paros, on a mountain side somewhere, less trees, more rocks, less dirt, and a view of the sea with another 3-4 islands in the distance. Till then I’ll live in Tasmania, another glorious island, and dream of the greek islands.

Friends and family in Athens listen to me talk about living on Paros and say things like ‘You won’t be able to stand it, its so quiet there in winter. Nothing goes on.’ To which I reply how could Paros in winter possibly have less to do than New Norfolk in Tasmania?

I mean really.

I have my grooming work. I have my workshop and my craft room where I create things. I have my painting. We have the dogs and the horses. I have TV, books and the internet. I have friends and I go out one evening a week for drinks or dinner, twice at most but not often. I go to the odd market if I’m not working. I have the occasional catch up with friends over coffee. Sometimes I even have brunch out. I do a show on the local radio.

I could have all that here, except the radio. Probably. I have family here too. Plus the beach. And the joys of greek civil servants, politicians, laws and traffic. What more could a person want?

Ok, the family thing is a bit of a double edged sword. Living half a world away means I never get involved in the small dramas that seem to plague our family. I’m switzerland. I flit in, hear the gossip and flit out. That’s the good thing. The bad thing is I live far from my family. I’ve been living far from them for so many years I almost never feel like I’m missing them, its just how my life has always been. I’m the long lost black sheep… though not looking so black any more. Which brings me to another point:

Seriously younger generation – all you nephews and nieces with your tattoos and piercings and alternative lifestyles. Who do you think did the groundwork so you could live your life without sneaking out of windows in the middle of the night?? Huh? Me, that’s who. I was the first in our family to get tatts, pierce my nose, make sieves out of my earlobes or dye my hair pink. I was the first to break curfew and rules and the first (and only, to this day) to get kicked out of the house.

So a thank you is way overdue. I’ll also accept cocktails in lieu of gratitude.

But back to the matter at hand… Paros vs Tasmania. Its something that comes up for me every time I come to Greece and its kinda depressing. I love my life in Tassie, yet I still have this yearning. What can I do about it?

Nothing right now. The economy in Greece still sucks though things are looking up a bit since my last trip 4 years ago. Moving here to start a grooming business or even get a job would be stupid. And I don’t actually have a house on Paros. That’s a bit of a fly in the ointment too. So I’ll go back home and work hard and maybe one day… who knows? I might end up being that crazy wrinkley poodle lady on the mountain overlooking the sea.

z

another day in Athens

Ok, its more than a day. I’ll be here another week in fact. But despite my historic dislike of the place and the heat, I’m enjoying catching up with some old school friends and family.

When I say old school friends I mean old as in junior school! That was quite a long time ago. Isn’t Facebook great sometimes?

As for family, I moved away from my home and family and have lived a ‘separate’ life for many years. I’m used to not having any family around in my daily life. But when I come to Greece and spend time with my cousins and people I pretty much grew up with I realise just how much I miss seeing them.

Its the never ending dilema of a person who grows up in two countries – compounded by the fact that they’re on opposite sides of the globe. Life would have been so much easier if dad had chosen to emigrate to England…

Anyway, I just wanted to touch base to let you know I’m alive and well, haven’t been run over by a bus cause I was walking on the road and looked the wrong way and I still haven’t given in to temptation. I did have a souvlaki tonight but still no sweets or sugar so that’s success in my book.

Pat myself on the back…

I have photos to share and I have some small projects I finished before I left to share too so the blog doesn’t turn into a total trip and diet thing. Don’t despair.

z

in transit and still being good

If there’s one thing you can say about international airports is that they’re not good for the ‘no sugar’ thing.

They’re full of duty free chocolate shops… or maybe its just me that sees chocolate everywhere…

I have to confess, I haven’t been 100% good. Yesterday I woke up feeling fluey and spent almost the entire day in bed. As a result of feeling sick and needing to nip it in the bud I’ve had more sugar than I’d like – in my throat lozenges, in the hot toddie’s I got Wayne to make me (honey, not sugar) and in the vitamin C gummies I’ve been chewing on since Wayne came down with the flu a week ago. (Thanks Wayne!)

Thank goodness it seems my flu shot paid off – I am better!

So, although I haven’t been GREAT, I’ve still been GOOD.

For instance I haven’t had a single sweet or chocolate. I didn’t touch my airplane dessert lamington and haven’t had sugar in my coffee or tea.

Ok, so I had one iced coffee… no cream but with a dash of caramel… I’m only human!

I think I’ll allow myself that small indulgence given all the other temptations I’ve let go by.

Other than that, the trip has been good so far. The first hop from Hobart to Melbourne was lovely and brief. The jump from there to Singapore not so much… three and a half movies later we had an an hour and a half to kill in Singapore walking up and down the gate lounge to get circulation back in my legs.

I can’t sleep on planes… times like this I wish I was a five year old again, able to curl up in the tiniest space… sigh.

Almost five hours in Dubai and honestly, there really isn’t that much duty free shopping one can do. Two coffees, two lovely chats with women from other parts of the world, and we’ll soon be boarding for the last leg to Athens.

By now I just want to BE somewhere. No longer on the go. This is such a long trip…

z

katy perry doll

katy4

Yep. I tackled the cupcake dress!!

This is another of the dolls winging their way to the UK and she was the one that took the longest to make.

Obviously.

katy2

Most of the hair rooted – faceless doll heads on pens is a common sight around here…

Firstly I had to order blue hair from my favourite local seller (Custom Doll Hair AU), then I had to re-root my barbie head with said blue hair. And paint on her face, of course.

katy3 (2)

I bought a dress which was suitable as the base for my cupcake skirt. And some cupcakes from ebay. There was no way I could make that many cupcakes in this lifetime…

katy5

The only way I could figure out to make the skirt was papier mache. My old standby. I love papier mache and can make anything with it. I’m pretty good at it, even if I do say so myself. 🙂

So I built myself a ‘scaffold’ from cardboard (ok, its more like a layered cake) and tissue paper. It only took 3 goes to get it right. I gave it 3 coats of white acrylic paint and made 2 different layers of ruffles which I hot glued to the bottom.

I made a matching ruffle for the top of the dress, which I stitched onto the straps and neckline. I then cut the dress to the right length and attached it to the skirt using hot glue. Not while it was on the doll.

Obviously.

katy4 (2)

Headless doll. Another common sight around here.

Once I picked the shoes I preferred and had her all dressed up she was ready!

katy3

She needs one of those stands that holds her up by the legs cause there’s no way that skirt is going to allow her to have a regular ‘around the waist’ stand. What can you do? Its the price you pay for looking so fabulous!

z