Friday, 19 December 2014

Sending Christmas cards!

This year I started writing my Christmas cards early.
 I have lots and lots of cards (as I used to write lots and lots of letters years ago) and always bought cards to send.
So I decided to send out all those cards and finish them and from now on only make handmade cards or recycle old, used ones, by adding all kinds of embellishments and sea glass on them.
This year I decided to send cards to all the people I usually send. Relatives, friends who live in other towns or countries, pen pals, as well as to all the people I met in the States this summer.
Along with the three craft exchanges I took part in plus all the little gifts I made and wanted to post, my trips to the post office were frequent and cost me quite a bit.
I managed though to keep costs down as much as I could by making some of my own cards and gifts but postage is expensive in Greece anyway!
Still just because I love snail mail and receiving cards, letters and gifts as well as sending (although I am not a frequent regular long letter pen friend as my pen pals might want me to be) I am trying to keep to this custom (or habit if you wish) as I have been doing it ever since I was 12.
And correspondence has really brought me to know the world, to travel around the world and to meet my pen pals. And as the Internet has somehow ostracized snail mail I have, also through blogland, craft groups and the sea glass sites, come to know lots of people, make friends and meet them too! It's the modern type of "correspondence"!
(Handmade cards made by me using cardboard, embellishments cut from other cards, stamps and felt pre-cut embellishments by crafts+paper-bought them at Xeirotexnika. The heart card is an IKEA card and I added sea glass.Unfortunately I forgot to photograph all cards I made.)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

A sea glass bowl.

Remember the button bowl I made some time ago? You can read all about it here.
Well after a while  I tried the same technique and made a sea glass bowl. At last I am showing it to you.
So I took a small bowl. Covered it in cling film.
 I covered the cling film with Mod Podge (you can use Atlacol as well) and then started glueing various pieces of sea glass on it.

 When I finished it I let it dry.

 Then I added a rich amount of glue all over it.

 I let it dry for 24 hours.
 Then I took off the bowl and the wrap.
 And let it dry from the inside too.
 When the glue dried it looked diaphanous.

 The bowl is a bit soft and I often rearrange its shape.

 But I love the way it looks.
 And added some semi precious stones in it that I bought from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC.

Our trip to the U.S.A. (14)- tag sales

On the 6th of July, Sunday morning, it was one more glorious day! The sun was shining! There was no clue that two days earlier a hurricane had passed!Or almost!

We started the day with coffee and muffins that Marabeth brought from the local baker's. They were delicious! If I remember well they were pistachio (I loved it), walnut, blue berry and more!
Then we decided we wanted to hit some thrift stores but first go around the neighbourhood to some tag sales!
What is a tag sale you might ask!
People in the States do that usually on Saturdays and Sundays. As most live in houses they take out into their gardens items they don't need and sell them very very cheap.Sometimes whole neighbourhoos organize tag sales..And they advertise them in the local newspapers.
Other names for tag sales are : yard sales, garage sales, estate sales, car boot sales although each is a bit different. I would say what I went to were tag sales and/or yard sales.
Using second hand things is very popular in the States. People buy clothes, appliances, books, toys, everything second hand! I adore that!
Reduce, reuse, recycle!
So we started from a nearby house. The owner's grandmother had died and what he had inherited from her was the contents of her little beach shop. So he was selling new things but very cheap.

Some things that were there did not look American, mostly Chinese made. But what I later found out during my stay in the States was that most items sold are China made!Even the most popular souvenirs at museums like the Statue of Liberty  souvenir!
Anyway at this tag sale we bought a snorkeling mask (one for hubby and one for me for 10 dollars, that's about 7.50 euros for both).
There were so many beach related things but as I said before they weren't things I couldn't find in Greece.
What I did buy was this set of fishermen's glass floats. These are very popular among sea glassers especially if you find them at a beach but I loved those. And they were only three dollars.But it was one big heavy thing that I was afraid might break during the trip back to Greece. It arrived safely though!
 Here it is at the beach house along with my own store bought glass floats. See how smaller they are?
 I also bought these three Indian dolls. If we hadn't visited the casino a couple of days earlier I wouldn't know that such dolls are expensive. They are original,made by Indians with their own serial number on each and they are lovely, each one dollar!A bargain!
See the photo from the casino shop? They are at the bottom shelf.
Also the seller gave us a couple of gifts for free.
Then we went to one more house.
They didn't have too many things out.
 I wish I had bought that red suitcase then because by the end of the month one of our suitcases broke and we had to buy a new one.
 Me looking at books.
This is what I got. This lovely blue and turquoise runner for the beach house. Looks handmade.Sewn and painted.
And some children's readers for school.
And the lady who was selling her things heard that I am a teacher and gave me some books for free which was very nice of her!All for 5 dollars!
(to be continued)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

So much sunshine in a weekend!

At last after so much rain we had a gorgeous bright weekend!
On Friday evening we had a performance and it went exceptionally well!
And that was because inspite the fact that the lights and music went out twice during the performance and we continued acting and singing without music, the audience still applauded us warmly and told us how much they enjoyed the play!That is so rewarding! Especially because we are amateurs and we act for free and only for charity. It was fun too that after many many years I met a fellow classmate from Primary school! How time flies!
(photo of some members of our Teachers' Association Drama Club taken by hubby)
Then on Saturday we walked Barca at the foggy sea front...
 ...looking at the little sailors at sea....
 ...and ended up drinking tsipouro in "Volos" restaurant.
I had known the chef there since I was a student at University. Unfortunately Dimitris died in summer and in that bright sunshine we drank tsipouro and said goodbye to him! Isn't it the best way to say goodbye to someone?
Memories always blur my eyes...
...but soon I came to think that in the end life is matter how much we hurt....
Then we went to collect sea glass at that tiny beach at the sea front...

And although it was a weekend filled with shadow puppet performances and theatrical performances and art gallery exhibitions and lots of Christmas bazaars finally we decided to relax!
So we stayed in (apart from walking Barca again and again).
We simply watched movies (Forthnet and Nova gave us a free month so we are taking advantage of it!), did some more Christmas decorating (that will appear on another blogpost), read some craft magazines (I only bought two this Christmas!),
 and I made some felt ornaments for the school bazaar we will be having this Wednesday.

Have a nice week!