Wednesday 20 December 2017

Online Advent Calendar 2017-December 20th

Jo of Serendipitous stitching organizes an Advent Calendar every year for stitching friends.
This is the second year I am taking part.
This year I am showing you three Christmas related things I have stitched this year.
First Winter season in crewel work (or simply embroidery) from There is a season for everything by Dimensions. This is a stamped kit of fabric and I decided to stitch it in another way as I don't love stamped cross stitch.
Here is a photo of that one.
I have already stitched Autumn too.
Then I stitched a felt ornament which was a freebie kit from Mollie makes and gifted to me by my friend Juliana from Scotland.
 Finally while taking part in the International Hermit & Stitch Weekend I stitched almost half of this runner. I had a dark blue piece of 18 count aida which I found too difficult to stitch on but I happened to find this pattern in Prima makes magazine and it is for a knitted cushion. So I adapted it and hope to finish it by Christmas.

Jo also sets a question every year. The question Jo set this year is....

How do you plan to spend Boxing Day?  Do you have any traditions associated with this day?

Boxing Day is not celebrated in Greece so there is nothing special about it. Usually shops are closed but restaurants and cafes are open and people have fun. Families walk around the city to enjoy the lights and this is what we will ptobably do that day too.Walk around the city and enjoy friends' company.
Finally I am  adding a photo of this year's huge beautifully lit tree in Aristotelous Square in the centre of my city Thessaloniki!
 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

Thank you Jo for this lovely Advent Calendar.

Monday 27 November 2017

Paperless Post

It's that time of the year again.
Christmas is coming. I really can't believe how fast time flies.
 At this time of year I usually make my own Christmas cards and accompany them with a handwritten letter to my pen friends all around the world.
This year with my mum's condition I decided that I will write a handwritten letter when I find enough free time and that I will send digital Christmas cards to all of my relatives and friends.
I guess if you are one of them right now and you are reading this you already know that you won't be receiving Christmas mail from me!Sorry! (Unless I change my mind or I find enough time to do so.)
The funny thing was that as soon as I had decided that I wanted to send digital cards this year I was suddenly contacted by Anagram Interactive , a firm that connects bloggers with business sites  and was offered a free trial of Paperless Post, a firm that has digital Christmas cards and all kinds of cards and invitations. They also have a paper branch.
I was offered to try their paperless branch for free and express my opinion and so here it is.
Their site is really user friendly and I made my own Christmas card along with envelope, postmark etc.
I won't be telling you all the details so that at least my Christmas card to you is a bit of a surprise.
There was a great selection of fonts, settings and designs to choose from and I really enjoyed changing the background and the setting of my card till I finalize it. The changes are saved so you are not afraid to lose what you have created.
You can upload a family photo to make your card or you can simply use one of the cards they have. There are some exclusive designs too made by world famous artists.
I really loved the process so  I can say that Paperless Post is an amusing way to make digital Christmas cards.

I can't really say if it is cheap or expensive as mine was for free but you could try and see for yourself.
In Greece it is not very  common to send digital cards but people do not really care in sending real cards either. For me who so much enjoy sending and receiving cards especially at Christmas this is really something new.But I admit that the last few years my mail has been a disappointment as far as Christmas cards is concerned as more and more people have stopped sending cards altogether.
What are your plans for this year's Christmas cards?
(I was in no way compensated with money to write this review. My opinion is totally honest. This blog review was written after communication with and in collaboration with Anagram Interactive.All the photos are from the Paperless Post site.)

Sunday 22 October 2017

July the holiday month.

After a long delay here I am again friends and readers (hello!Are you still out there?)
July and August were the months of my holidays. Schools closed, mum was at the rehabilitation centre and we at the beach house which is closer to the rehab so that was really convenient.
July started with a day with my crafty group girlfriends at Saint Nicholaos near Naoussa.
It's a lovely place, a huge forest park with streams and rivers and lots of grass and trees.

We went there to attend the christening of the daughter of one of the girls in the group Kikitsa, the blogger behind DIY my day!You should visit her blog, it is so sweet!
The christening had all the beautiful girly things one expected from Kikitsa.Sweets,
handmade christening favours,
summer decorations....
and a pro photographer, Kikitsa's sister, who took amazing photos of us!
Of course the focus of all this was the gorgeous little Ariadne!Oh yes I attended the christening of a baby named with my name!I am so so happy!
The very next day my niece was graduating from her University in Kastoria.
The highway was decorated in sunflowers!
And here is my niece with my son at the dinner after the graduation.Aren't they both gorgeous?I am so proud!
Kastoria lake was beautiful as usual.
After those two days out we moved to the beach house. Three to four times a week we visited my mum at the rehab. She was slow in her progress but she seemed happy to be there.

Sometimes we took Barca with us and mum seemed to enjoy her visits.

At the beach house things were relaxing and simple.
I went to the beach every day and put my little beach chair under the shade of the clay cliffs.
I enjoyed the sea so very much.

I always took my coffee and snack with me.I especially enjoyed these special edition strawberry Oreos this summer.They had a taste like when I was a kid.
This summer the flamingos were much in fashion. Some of them though died at our beach.
I spotted lots of little creatures this summer. The permanent resident, the green lizard was there of course.
A lovely jelly fish swam around me one day. Later in the summer we spotted a huge one like this but unfortunately we couldn't take a picture of it.
I found sea urchins in the shallow waters and some dead ones on the beach too.
I even found the spikes of a hedgehog.The little creature was missing from inside probably eaten by a cat.
Insects are all around us at the beach house.

And hubby tried some fishing too.
We didn't go much around this summer but we did pay a visit to our friends Areti and Fondas at Posidi. We swam and had dinner out together. The sea was fantastic and so was the food and Areti's homemade ice cream! She was my inspirations for later making lots of homemade icecream in the city.

Another day my friend Elpida and her friend Dimos visited us. We had a great day and Barca adored them. Elpida is the great crafter of  Elpida's amigurumi creations so why don't you have a look at her page? She is now in Sweden working as a teacher there but I am sure we will meet again next summer.
There is a big mall near the beach house now with mainly shops for tourists. There was a marble art exhibition at the time and we saw that hippo there.
We also attended a shadow puppet performance by our friend Odysseas Kanlis at Fokies village.
In July I read some books too.
As you can see that book was accompanied by both hot and cold coffee depending on the weather conditions.

The first three books were excellent.
This summer I just rearranged a few things around the beach house.
I made this candle holder out of an old lamp.
I loved taking photos of my glass paper weights.
I put the sailor and the mermaid on the wall.
The rest of the decorations stayed the same.
I also made a new door number as the previous one was stolen.
I stitched a bit too.
That doggy kit was sent to me by Chiara of The Grey Tail a long time ago as it reminded her of Barca.
It turned out so beautiful!
This summer Anna of In My Closet organised a summer crafty challenge in which I took part. Every week she gave us a theme and we worked on it. Here's what I made in July. Something out of an old pair of jeans.I made a bag for my book for my beach bag.
A toy. I made a Noughts and Crosses by painting on sea tiles and pebbles.And made a bag out of an old bed linen.
And here's a pic of the cross stitch I started this summer. It is a Blue and white theme that I love but unfortunately I haven't moved on much. 
Nature around the beach house was lovely as usual. This is our pomegranate tree.
And that's the view from my back balcony.
We had a couple of flowers too.
But it is so beautiful all around that the neighbours' daughter even did a photo shooting there. Don't they look like fairies in the forest?
The views from the beach house are always breathtaking! That yacht  made its appearance three times during summer.

In July we had a rare weather incident. It rained continuously for 29 hours!It was awful! I admit we don't like staying at the beach house under such weather but we couldn't do otherwise at that time.

I even put on the right shoes to go out.

And hence the hot coffee.
Even Barca didn't enjoy it.Look at that face!

The sea looked awful after that rain storm!
And all the flowers fell from the bushes.
But in the end there was a huge rainbow.
And lots of sea glass of course!
In fact there was lots of sea glass all summer.
Some pieces were especially good.

I even took some photos with my macro lens.

That crab shell is really small.

Barca enjoyed the sea a lot and when there were no people around we put her in too.
She is adorable isn't she?
She so enjoys staying around the barbeque for obvious reasons!
The sunsets are usually the end of a blog post about the beach house!

But this time we will close with some underwater photos I took with my underwater camera.

I hope I will show you some August blog post soon!