Sunday 30 January 2011

In memoriam-for my dad!

My dad died of cancer twelve years ago. He loved the sea and nature,handicrafts,cooking and making sweets.He taught me how to choose and eat the best of fish and seafood.If he was with us when I bought my summer house I know he would fall in love with it because it was his own dream to have a house by the sea. I know he would love to visit me there and go sea glassing with me.I know that he is with me when I go sea glassing!I miss him so much!
After he died I took part in a cross stitch round robin with a sea theme called Tropical Fish in his memory.
I stitched a fish on a light blue cloth and then sent it on to the next lady on the Round Robin.
If you don't know what a round robin is I quickly explain. You stitch on your piece and send it to the next person in your group who stitches on your piece the theme you have chosen and passes it to the next person in the group and so on. All members (usually nine) stitch on all of the other members' pieces.
This was my fourth Round Robin and it was started in April 1998 and finished in October 1998.
This Round Robin was organised by Joanne MacAulay in Australia who was a pen pal of mine at the time. In it participated Tina Chapple,Jilly Taylor,Berl Locke,Kim Bateman,Kathy Gould all from England and Nicky Clarke from Mallorca. Kim is my pen pal ever since and we have met once in England in 1999.
Anyway my plan was that after the Round Robin returns to me I would stitch some shells and seaweed on it and then frame it. But alas, life took on. The sea sampler was left in a drawer and only when I bought my summer house in 2005 I decided to take it out again and finish it. Again it took me too long a time. By now you must have understood I am a slow stitcher!

At first I decided to stitch a starfish and a shell. Then I added the coral and the central seaweed. Then I decided I wanted to make it look like the real bottom of the sea so I added the sand and little shells and even sea glass but still I wasn't satisfied. I decided I wanted more fish and then added the jelly fish. Finally I added the blue lines that are supposed to be the water waves and shadows of sea weed.
And at last I had it framed professionally. I wanted to put it in  a frame where I can add extra outside details like a shell or some sea glass. So my framer had to improvise. Unfortunately in his attempt he forgot that I wanted my stitched name and date to be in the picture,it should be on the right bottom corner but well he couldn't make that but it doesn't matter.
I am including lots of photos! I hope you like it.I want to thank all the ladies who helped me in this sampler in memory of my dad and apart from Kim who will see this soon I will try to communicate with the rest of the ladies as well. Maybe some of them will still be in the same address!
 Spot the stitched sea glass!

Here are also a couple of photos from my balcony plants. I admit I hadn't seen the spider web until I uploaded the photo,I love macro lens.
 I am also adding today some pages from Les Idees de Marianne French crossstitch magazine that Brigitte sent me. Aren't the cyclamens lovely?I am also partial to blue and white china.

Saturday 29 January 2011

Yesterday it was my birthday!

And I did not manage to blog!Every time I tried to there was a phone call for my birthday or a message so I didn't have time enough to blog. I probably should try to write my blog at any point during the day and not in the evening as I have been doing up to now!
So yesterday in the morning my school went to the cinema to watch Tangled. What a great Disney movie!It is the story of Rapunzel but so well made in cartoons.I loved it ! Only I don't like this idea that blondes are the good ones in a movie and always the bad one or the witch has long black curly hair like mine!
 The cinema canteen got filled with the children buying sweets and popcorn.
 Inside the cinema it was calm and cozy and all the children were very quiet and enjoyed the movie.
Outside it was cold and rainy!
 This birthday had no visitors,no gifts,no birthday cake. I spent the whole afternoon and evening answering the phone,skype,e-mails and facebook messages. Thank you all for taking the time to send me your wishes!
                                                       Only my mum brought me roses and my brother sweets!
In the evening hubbie and I went to another New Year's pie cutting. This time it was in a beautiful restaurant called Ladiko (freely translated Oilbottle) organised by Koperti ,our friend's Kindergarten and Nursery School.
As you must have understood by now,it is a custom in Greece,for groups,firms,companies of friends,to cut their New Year's pie at some point at the beginning of the year in January or February and it is a chance to meet with colleagues,friends and chat and see well the New Year.And the lucky one gets the coin from the pie and a present.
Today,the day after my birthday was a cold day. In the morning we did something we wanted to do yesterday afternoon but with the phonecalls we did not manage to. We went to a shadow puppet theatre exhibition in the French Institute.
Hubbie loves the Greek Shadow Puppet theatre called Karaghiozis and he attends everything that has to do with it and collects figures and also plays the stories himself. The exhibition we visited had Greek shadow puppets as well as from other countries.Also posters from various plays and exhibitions.
 There were cardboard figures  and paintings of  shadow puppet scenery like this beautiful sarai (palace in Turkish).
 There were albums filled with pages of old books that showed shadow puppets.
 And colourful figures painted on animal skin like these Karaghiozis and Hatziavatis,the two friends.
 There were shadow puppets from around the world. This one was my favourite but unfortunately there were no details about it.
 Hubbie loves Karaghiozis.
 The details of the puppets are amazing.
 The black and white ones look really interesting behind the white sheet.
 There were posters of plays and books about Karaghiozis.
This one is of  a book about Karaghiozis who meets Little Red Rididng Hood and the Bad Wolf.
 These are puppets of the Indonesian Shadow Puppet theatre.
 They are amazing in their detail.
Last but not least a photo of me with my new hat!I love hats and caps but don't buy them often. I usually wear the same all the time. This one was on sale and hubbie promptly bought it for me when I said I like it!

Thursday 27 January 2011

Seaglassing is addictive!

Today was so cold in the morning that the plants at school were all covered in mist that looked like snow!

I got warm later in the day with the consideration of a friend who was kind enough to send me a birthday gift.
Brigitte is from the Seychelles and she lives in France.We had lost touch but we are back in track again and I am so happy about it. She is one of the few pen pals I have met in person when she visited Greece.I introduced Brigitte into sea glass and she has been finding some great things some of which she shared with me!Isn't French sea glass lovely? And she also sent me a cross stitch magazine. She knows how much I love cross stitch! I will share pics of the inside of the magazine tomorrow when there is better light to take photos.
Isn't this stamp of hers on the envelope fantastic?
 Les Idees de Marianne is a French craft and crossstitch magazine that we don't get in Greece.
 Spot the kick up!
Isn't Brigitte's birthday card lovely? She added a heart shaped sea glass shard!Ah the luck of the novice!
And if you want to smile and feel better, go and watch this lovely short film (16 minutes) that dear Sonia blogged about. I watched it and it touched me so much!

Milk.The Theatre.

This was the third consecutive week that we spent Wednesday at the theatre.
I love the theatre. I  have acted in two drama clubs in the past. First in The Bald Theatre of the English Department of the Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki.When I was a student there I was one of the founding members/look at page 7 on the link and acted in their first play and then in Dithyramvos Ex Amaxis the Teacher's Association Drama Club where I acted for 10 years.
Still we don't go to the theatre that often since tickets are really expensive.
We were lucky we were invited in today's performance of Milk, a play by Vasilis Katsikonouris,a teacher.
It is an amazing play and the four actors and actresses acting were fantastic. The author talks about a family of Russian immigrants, a mother with two grown up boys who settle down in Greece. The younger son has schizophrenia and the play shows the emotions and difficulties that the family encounters as being an immigrant and with the stigma of  a mental illness. I couldn't stop crying during the perforamnce. And I was especially touched by the absolutely talented Demetres Patsis who played the young ill man. Anna Vagena played the mother.It is going to be released as a film,too.
Today an interview I had given about the Teacher's Association Drama club appeared in the online magazine 10top. I know you can't read it since it's in Greek but at least you can see it. It is on issue 2,page 202-207   of the magazine.It is the last one on the contents column.
(I am sorry the links are in Greek apart from the first but I couldn't find anything better).
The photos are from various performances of the Teacher's Association Drama Club.
First,second and third pictures are from The Big Bam where I was playing Claudine.

 The white Persian Cat in The cats' garden.

And in Midsummer Night's Dream where I was playing Elena.
 I have also acted in Denekedoupoli.

Tuesday 25 January 2011


Greek cinematography is excellent but not always recognised.Of course we have Theo Angelopoulos and his masterpieces but we haven't had a nomination for the Best Foreign Language movie in the Oscar Academy Awards since 1977. And yes after so many years a Greek movie made it to the nominations. It is George Lanthimos' film Dogtooth. I had seen the film when it was on our cinemas. It is a strange film,a very original script,and it is a great food for thought film.I won't give out details but if you happen to be able to watch it don't miss it. A very different film.
I quote :"Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, in a statement, said the nomination "goes beyond the sphere of cinema, arts and culture. It concerns an entire country, its people, a new generation of creators who personify the 'Yes, it can be done' in difficult period."  I agree.
Today the mail brought lovely things.
Sometime ago I had seen the collaboration of Arounna and Jill of Today I saw blog and I really liked the four seasons that were the result of this collaboration.They arrived today and I will have them framed the soonest.They are lovely although the photo does not do credit to them.
 There was also a colourful parcel today from Portugal. And it included two beautiful delicate pieces of art by otchipotchi Paula Valentim. Paula had made those a long time ago as tests for her final diploma work which is not reproduced.She was very kind to send me those two last pieces and I am lucky and grateful. I love her work. These are her shells empty....
 ...and here filled with some multis,the exceptional sea glass pieces from Seaham,England sent to me by another generous sea glass friend Joanne.Don't they look lovely in Paula's shells?
 And here are her doily pebbles at my Christmas night dinner table.

Going back in time here are a couple of photos I took this morning at school. I love finding details and corners at school and enjoy their beauty.
My coffee warm and bitter sweet with a little milk next to the window. I don't have that much time to sit down though.
 A lovely blown glass blue vase and a potato urchin shell and a bowl filled with shells and pebbles both in the headmaster's office.Aren't they lovely?
 And on the way back home I stopped to take pics of two great graffitti pieces on the wall of my son's High School. Aren't they great? I don't think I have ever seen a better aubergine!But why an aubergine?