Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lazy Sunday

Although my to-do list is as long as my arm, I decide to ignore it for today. Today is a day for lounging on the sofa and sipping tea, having a biscuit or two, zapping the tv, visit my favorite blogs, crocheting a little, reading a few pages and all that with my feet up.
Details of one more w.i.p. inspired by "The Royal Sisters"

Tomorrow is the beginning of a very busy week with a lot of work ahead and hopefully ending with a big bang on saturday when we will celebrate the first birthday of our "Green Fox Project"

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday too.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mandarin or clementine

About 10 years ago I planted a litte mandarine tree in the garden. I was warned that it might take a long time before it would bear any fruit and maybe it wouldn't even bear fruit at all. I didn't really mind because it is still a pretty little tree. Last year, for the first time, the little tree finally gave us 5  whole mandarines (!), they were the best I ever tried. And this winter it is full of the juicest, tastiest mandarines. Every day I pick a couple from the tree and enjoy them straight away.

The donkey on her beautiful blog today suggested a clementine curd. Hm, I am not sure now what is the difference between mandarins and clementines. I made it anyway with my little tree's mandarines. And here is what it looks like:

It looks a bit like a vanilla pudding but it tastes fruity, creamy and tomorrow it is going to be the perfect filling for this tart.
Thank you, Donkey, for the inspiration.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fantasy yarn

Or at least this is how I called this lovely soft yarn. I had bought only two skeins some time ago on the mainland. Not really enough for a big project. But just enough for a neckwarmer and that is what I finally made with it. 

The yarn had been laying around took me only half an hour to make the thing, ah well another finished project. That feels good.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pay it forward 2012

Almost every morning I start my day with a cup of coffee and a little virtual walk around blogland. I never end up anywhere close from where I started. There are so many inspiring, interesting, creative, colourful, yummy and funny blogs...I could go on forever. It is a little dangerous as well though since  I suffer from what I call the "me2!-syndrome". Do you recognize it?
Here is how it goes:
A blog about sewing? ...me2!, about crochet? ....me2!, or knitting?....me2!, maybe seaglass collecting? ..me2!, what about paper mache....me2!, mixed media...me2!, photography....me2!, cooking ..me2! and again the list is endless.
Maybe my word for this year should be focus instead of unfold? No, I just have to try a little harder to keep my me2!-syndrome under control.
What has all this to do with "pay it forward 2012" you may ask.
Well, this morning I came across this fine initiative and after googling it I could not stop my me2! since this is such another lovely example of what goes on in blogland.
So here goes: This is what I promise (and  I copied the text from here  )

The first 5 people to comment below with their email address will receive a handmade something from me. I'm not sure what it will be just yet but depending on who joins in will depend on what you each get! So go ahead and leave your email! There is just one catch you must do the same for 5 other people, so you can share it in your facebook status or on your blog. The time frame is that the handmade goodies must reach their new owner by the end of 2012.

And that's it. I am looking forward to start making something just for you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

May I be Frank

Well the snow didn't fall yet, at least not on our island. The sun is out everyday but it is unusually cold. Too cold to be doing any work outside in the garden so it is a good excuse to stay inside and be a bit lazy.
And today I had an extra excuse to stay in:
Some months ago, while I was clicking my way around the web, I came upon this website which is about an amazing transormation.

 I was intrigued by the story and wached the trailer of the movie and wished I had the chance to see the whole movie.
Well, the dvd of the movie came out not long ago and I ordered it straight away. It arrived in the mail this morning and I just spent an hour and more watching this lovely and very inspiring movie.

I am not sure if I would want to live on a only raw food diet. But the cafe "Gratitude" sounds like a great place and I would love to visit it some day and try out their dishes with the wonderful names.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow is in the air

Quite a few times over the last years we have had more snow than you would expect on a small island in the mediterranean.
And here are some pictures to show you what I mean.

It doesn't look like it yet, the sky is blue and the sun is out, but it is very cold and according to the weather forecast we can expect snow any minute. Well, I wouldn't be surprised.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Empty nest syndrome

The house is empty now that the boys have left and it is clean and tidy because as a kind of therapy I spent all day yesterday cleaning and tidying up. Life continues as normal but it takes me at least a few days to get used to not having them around.

Today it is cold outside and the fire is blazing and I am picking up a crochet that I started a while ago and left in the middle because I couldn't find the yarn I needed on the island. I am not sure what it is going to be but that doesn't really matter. The crocheting, the sound of crackling fire and a nice cup of tea will make me feel better (I hope)

What do you do when you need to be cheered up?

Monday, January 9, 2012


Every year in early January the municipality organizes an evening in honour of my island's most famous citizen, the novelist Alexandros Papadiamantis

2011 was a very special year to commemorate because it was 100 years since his passing away. Because of that many events were organized throughout the year. Last night we were presented with a review of those events.
For the second part of the evening some of his short stories were recited. First in Greek and then in some of the foreign languages that his books have been translated in. English, German, Georgian, Albanian, French, Russian, Italian and I had the honour of reading out in Dutch.

At first I was a bit worried that it would be boring for the audience to listen to languages they wouldn't understand but the writing of Papadiamantis is so strong and alive that even though you don't understand a word of what is being said in the foreign language, you can still feel the emotions that his writings evoke. And that is just magical!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Today we celebrate the nameday of my eldest. He was named after his paternal grandfather - my late father in law, as is the tradition. And since he has one of the most used names in Greece, I think almost every family has a reason to celebrate. So "xronia polla" to my Yiannis and of course to every other Giannis, Gianna, John and Johanna.
Tomorrow both boys are leaving again for Thessaloniki and already I feel this empty feeling as if something  inside me is missing.
We haven't really done very much these two weeks they were home except eating, sleeping, watching tv. So I treasure the few moments that we actually spent some quality time together like when we were doing the garden with eldest and baking with youngest.
My eldest cleaning the almonds he picked from the tree
Their clothes are washed and ironed and now I am going to make some speculaas for them to take with them.

The view this morning  is a bit like I feel today.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fun time and failure

How can these two words be in the same sentence?
Well that is not so difficult and I'll explain myself. 
The last few hours I spent with my youngest trying to make some pasta. 
And even though the pasta turned out a complete disaster, we had a fun time together. And that is so very special!

My youngest trying out his new pasta machine. Look at that dough!

We boiled some just to see what it tastes like but no, you don't want to know

Of course now I have to start thinking of what to make for dinner later on because the fresh pasta, that looks so easy to make on You-Tube and we envisioned it on our table with a tasty sauce, ended in the garbage bin.
And now I have to get back into the kitchen to clear up the mess we made.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wood and woods

To burn of some extra calories I spent a couple of hours of this beautiful day in the garden. There was a massive pile of woodcuttings that I had taken of the gardenwall some weeks ago.

I planned to cut them up so we can use the woodsticks in the fireplace. We light the fire almost every night because it gives such a cosy atmosphere. We are lucky on the island to have a lot of olive groves that need grooming and trimming very regurarly and so it is quite easy to buy wood. We are also so lucky to have some beautiful pine forests on the island. These forests are highly protected and so they should be. Every summer groups of volunteers have night shifts watching over the forests for the danger of fires. Unfortunately over the years some big fires have destroyed big parts of the forests.Which means we have to take extra care of the remaining trees.
This year one more side affect of the crisis has surfaced: Trees in the protected forests are illegally being cut and the wood is used for fire wood. 
The price of oil for the heating has gone up from 0,60 euro last year to 1,06 euro this year. Combined with a loss of income that has affected all of us,  these are difficult times and everybody is looking for ways to save money. But this is not the way to save money.
Nature is paying the highest price again and that just is not right.