Friday, December 28, 2012

The New Year is Coming Fast

And there are so many things I want to do!

Blog More..
Clean More..
Listen to my kids better..
And some awesome sew alongs..

Well there's mine
 A really awesome quilt along to the oh so pretty quilt above.

Then there is this EEP challenge going on over at Quiet Play

Or how about this skill-builder from Pile O'Fabric

I was seeing this quilt in Black, White and Red on a background of Turquoise blue, what do you think?
So I don't think I can do all of them, and obviously I have to do mine, so can you help me out, should I do the EPP or the Skill's quilt?  Any suggestions would be great.
Hugs Mara

Monday, December 24, 2012

Fun Fact

I was watching a documentary yesterday and the women said that Pizza originated in Greece! What?  Wow!  I love Pizza, I could eat it 5 nights a week and have leftovers on 2, just kidding,  but it is one of my favorite things to cook and eat.
As an American I always thought that pizza originated in Italy and this is true if your are talking about a tomato based pizza with cheese on top (Italian invention date 1889, fairly recent as far as dates go), I mean Europe didn't even have the tomato until the 1600's.
But if you are talking about the dough baked with toppings on top then that is Greek in origin and from Platos' writings as long ago as 500 BC, dough baked with oil, herbs and cheese on top. Even the name is Greek in origin- Pizza (Italian pronunciation: pittsa) from the Latin verb pìnsere, to press and from the-Greek- pēktos, πηκτός, meaning "solid" or "clotted", (pita).

There you go a little fun fact for you, Merry Christmas.

In case you don't have your own Pizza Dough recipe, here's mine:

3/4 bag of flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
1 package of yeast
Mix those 4 ingredients then add:
2 cups of milk warmed to (100-110F)

Mix it all together, add flour until not sticky, make it into a round ball, put it into a bowl and cover with a towel and leave it in a warm spot for 2 hours.
Tada great pizza dough, now the hard part what kind of toppings are you going to put on it?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Anchors Aweigh Quilt A Long

Have you seen this awesome quilt pattern?
It's so pretty but masculine too!

From Tula Pink for her new fabric collection Salt Water for Free Spirit Fabrics.

This quilt is done in the mostly Aqua color part of her collection, but she also has seaweed and coral colors, you can check them out here.

The quilt pattern is FREE and you can download it directly from Tula Pinks blog, here.

I thought it would be really fun to have a Quilt A Long and share the process of making this quilt.

I don't need such a big quilt for myself (it's finished size is 90" x 96") so I thought I would make 2 smaller quilts, I have already downsized the pattern to fit my kids beds (or they could make great lap quilts).  I will share with you 2 rows on the first Saturday of the month starting February 2013, we should finish the quilts by the end of June, just in time to Anchor Aweigh and go sailing somewhere.

Since my blog is supposed to be about Traveling Thru Greece, I thought it would be a fun idea to visit each island group during our QAL, here's the schedule:
February 2 - THE IONIAN ISLANDS (row 1 and 2)
March 2 - THE CYCLADES (row 3 and 4)
April 6 - CRETE (row 5 and 6)
May 4 - THE DODECANESE (row 7 and 8)
June 1 - THE NORTHEAST AEGEAN ISLANDS (binding and quilting)
Show off your quilts on June 30th, I will be setting up a Flikr group for this QAL.
Grab a the button on the side and join us for a tour of the Greek Islands.
Get Ready to Sail Away on the Anchor Aweigh Quilt A Long.

Monday, December 17, 2012

For Your Eyes Only

Bond, James Bond that is.
Did you know that they filmed several scenes in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only, here in Greece.  The awesome chase scene through olive groves was filmed on Corfu, and trust me when I say that this area has not changed at all, just take all of the people picking olives out of it and rent yourself an old Citroen and you will feel like your in the film. This next part I stole from Wikipedia because I like how they said it.

"For the Meteora shoots, a Greek bishop was paid to allow filming in the monasteries, but the uninformed Eastern Orthodox monks were mostly critical of production rolling in their installations. After a trial in the Greek Supreme Court, it was decided that the monks  only property were the interiors – the exteriors and surrounding landscapes were from the local government. In protest, the monks remained shut inside the monasteries during the shooting, and tried to sabotage production as much as possible, hanging their washing out of their windows and covering the principal monastery with plastic bunting and flags to spoil the shots, and placing oil drums to prevent the film crew from landing helicopters. The production team solved the problem with back lighting, matte paintings, and building both a similar scenographic monastery on a nearby unoccupied rock, and a monastery set in Pinewood.
Roger Moore said he had a great fear of heights, and to do the climbing in Greece, he resorted to moderate drinking to calm his nerves."    

The particular Monastery that they filmed at is called Agias Triados (Saint Trinity) and it happens to be the one that is just above our house and you can get there by walking a footpath that takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 45, depending on how athletic you are and then you have to climb the stairs to take you to the top of the rock and the monastery, another 15 minutes.
Saint Trinity, Meteora, Greece
A fantastic and wonderful view greats you at the top, you have the valley below and the Pindos mountain range across.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Vote For Me!

Okay total Self Promotion and only 1 day left.
On my Meteora Greece, Roka post I showed you an English Paper Piece that I made and now they are voting on the best one, it might not be the best one but it is fun.
And I plan on making more, 2 more to be exact in the next upcoming blog hop "In Your Words"
But right now they are voting on the Travellin' Pic Stitch over at Quokka Quilts, I am of course in the Europe division.  You can also check out the ones done in Australasia and Americas.  SO GET ON OVER THERE AND VOTE FOR #17.

Thanks Mara

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Agiou Nikolaou Anapafsa Monastery, Meteora

Today is Saint Nikolaos Feast Day, so it makes only sense that I would talk about one of our Monasteries here called Agiou Nikolaou Anapafsa, it is the first open monastery that you will come upon if you are driving from Kastraki and up the road to visit the monasteries.  If you are walking or are approaching from the opposite direction then it will be your last one.  I normally hike from Kalampaka and by the time I get to Agiou Nikolaou I am to tired to walk inside so I have actually never been in there and have also borrowed the images used in this post from different sources.  You can find some fascinating information here and here and of course good old Wikipedia has more information about Meteora.

This is one of my photos, do you see it, down there
oh there it is, this photo was taken from the road under the Rossanou Monastery.
I would like to say that if you have been here before and it has been before this summer of 2012 then you will be happily surprised at the new and improved road, for the most part the road has been widened and now you really do not need to fear that you will be run over by a bus or pushed off a cliff.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meteora Greece, Roka

I live in one of the most beautiful places in the World, or at least that's what I think.
Would you like to know where I live?
Between these 2 big rocks and a little tiny rock in the middle called Roka.
Where do I live?
In Kalampaka, Greece, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Meteora, surrounded by these wonderful rocks and several monasteries
When I heard about the Travelling PicStitch Bloghop, I got very excited what better place to come visit than Greece and wouldn't it be fun to make something that looks like home.  I used the Palette Builder from Play Crafts.

Of course when I first read about it I thought that the idea was to make something look like a place.  When I started seeing all of the other blogs during the blog hop I was like oops, but I already had my idea and once I get an idea it's hard to change it.
So I made my own little EPP's in a design that I thought looked like the above pictures.
There's the Roka Rock between the 2 big rocks
 I thought I would make this into a pillow but my sewing machine is out for a little while until I can find another converter, I blew my last one up using a crock pot.  This is another reason why I did this EPP (English Paper Piecing) project because my sewing machine was not in working order and I also spent several hours in the hospital and this is an awesome way to while away the hours keeping busy.  I cut my paper pieces and my fabric before I left and I got the first part of the project done in the Hospital (sewing the paper to the fabric), while Nik my son slept.

I finished it at home, this is my first attempt at EPP and I love it.
You can find more examples of Travellin" Pic Stitch here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Donkey Layout

I swear this is the last Donkey post and my last Donkey page layout, you can see the others here and here.

I even didn't use 5 photos and cut up several more to make this layout a grid style that Scraptastic talked about.
I am so happy to have found challenges they help me step out of the habit of using just 2 papers, here I have used 7 different ones, okay only 2 are print and the rest plain paper, but still an improvement.
2 comic bubbles

Linking up to:

Purple Pumpkin November Sketch Challenge
Scraptastic November Challenge #2

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Double Donkey Layout

This is a continuation of Kamaki Ass, with my pictures of when I was on Santorini and rode a donkey up from the old Thira port to Thira.
Both Layouts are using the November Color Challenge from Scraptastic "When Skies are Grey" .
The background pages are blue and then a strip of gold/yellow and grey on top and the donkey tails are in black.  It's raining and the skies are grey here right now so I could not take good photos.
Double Layout, on the left showing the sheer cliff to climb and on the right with the donkeys.
The Layout on the left is for the Studio Calico Nov. 15th challenge, with a Donkey Tail in the top right hand corner.  The 2 photos show the trail that you either have to walk, take a tram or by Donkey, well I picked the fun one, the donkey.
 The Layout on the Right is for Creative Craft World's Scrap Map Challenge, I used 4 photos and a banner in the right top corner with donkey tails (using pop up stickies) and then pinned a blue donkey tail on the picture in the middle with a brad.  A little journaling at the bottom and I drew on the island map that was already on the background paper.

Linking up to: Scraptastic Color Challenge -both layouts
                      Studio Calico's Sunday Sketch-layout on left
               and  Creative Craft World Scrap Map Challenge- layout on right

Is this okay if I do double layouts?

More Santorini Info:

The old port is not where you will be dropped off if you come by ferry, instead they unload and pick up travelers from the new port and this is fairly far away from Thira (the main town) so you will need to find transportation to your destination. 
At the bottom of the old port they have boats that will take you to the volcano as a day trip, loads of fun and I suggest going with an old bathing suit and towel because the boat will drop you off at some Thermal Springs that have a yellowish color and sulferish smell (it ruined my bathing suit).  They also have Tavernas located in the old Port, walking down is easy and walking up not so hard either, but really who wants to when you can ride a donkey!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kamaki Ass

I just had to make another Sock Donkey from the tutorial over at Missy Mac Creations (Sock Donkey),
they are so easy to make and the kids really like them, plus they use up some old sock that have holes in them.  I love to up-cycle and this is one of the best and cutest projects to do just that.
Now you may be wondering at his title, Kamaki (καμακι) means harpoon, and it's what they call the Greek men that try to get foreign women into bed with them.  Some of them can be real asses, I mean donkeys.  If a Greek man says to you "Would you like to get some coffee?", he is hitting on you.  A little word of warning, most of them are harmless and will go away when you say no, but some can be persistent, then you just head for somewhere else and hopefully he won't follow.
Here are some real Donkeys (maybe mules too) in Greece, they still use them for transportation in some areas, we always see a few when we drive around, carrying wood or just pinned up outside.
This man was selling vegetables off of his donkey in Pireas (Athens area)

In Santorini I rode one of these babies up from Thira Port.
If you get a chance you should make your own little Sock Donkey, you will get hooked fast.  You have until Friday, November 16 to make one of these Donkeys and you can join the Donktober Festivities.  It was super easy to put together and would make great Christmas gifts, so check it out.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Baklava Recipe

Baklava Recipe

3 cups nuts (I used a mix of walnuts and almonds)
1 cup sugar
1 grated peel of orange
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1 stick of melted butter
1 roll of filo dough
whole cloves
1 1/2 cups honey

Finely grind the nuts then mix in the next 3 ingredients (sugar, orange and cinnamon)-set aside in a bowl.  Melt the butter and spread some on the bottom of the pan, add 2-3 sheets of filo, butter the filo then sprinkle the nut mixture on top, repeat- filo, butter, nuts, until you come to the last 2-3 sheets of dough.  I had 4 layers of dough/nuts, on the top add your filo brush the rest of the butter and then cut into squares before baking, press a whole clove into each square.
Cook at 325 F, for 50 minutes.
In a saucepan put the honey and 1/2 cup of water, bring to a boil and then let it simmer for 15 minutes.
When the baklava comes out of the oven pour the honey over the top.  I like to swirl it around the pan until you can't see the honey moving anymore, then you know it got all soaked up.
Eat and Enjoy.

Some tips for success:
Use real cow butter and real Honey, makes all the difference.
Second layer of nuts and dough.
All cooked and half eaten.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Santorini and the Sunset

If you go to Santorini then you will be shown a beautiful sunset, every tourist gathers in the evening hours along the sidewalks and at the castle in Oia to see the sun slip below the waves.
Colorful Oia
 I was there in October and even though the hotels and domatia had few people, Oia was packed with camera snapping tourist.  If you have lost your friends during the day then you will be sure to find them in Oia for the sunset.
The old port at the bottom of Oia
 We drove down to the bottom of the pier and enjoyed dinner at on of the Tavernas lining the port.
Notice the Red Lava and the Castle remnants
 Then we walked up the path to the top to shop and view the sun going down.
Oia, Santorini as seen leaving on the Ferry

Thursday, November 1, 2012

History of Map Making

CARTOGRAPHY- The art or technique of making maps or charts.

Did you know that this word is Greek, it derives from the word χάρτης (written in greek) -khartēs (sounds like), "map" (means); and γράφειν (greek) graphein (sounds like), "write"( means).  Everything in Greece is backwards so it basically means write map!
A Greek man by the name of Anaximander is considered by many to be the first mapmaker, a philosopher who lived between 610 - 546 BC.
A possible rendering of his map, libya is Africa's old name
 I personally love maps, and am so glad we have gone from thinking that the world is a flat circular surface with only a few places to travel, to seeing Earth from Space and all of the beautiful places out there.
"The Blue Marble"
A map on a main road in Corfu, Greece

Kalami, Corfu, Greece
 I especially find maps helpful while traveling and some places are great at telling you where you are, one such place is Corfu, a beautiful island in Greece.  Corfu is located on the west side of Mainland Greece and is a quick ferry ride (1 1/2 hours) from Igoumenitsa, or you could fly there direct from any number of large cities in Europe.
Just in case your lost, my son will show you the way.
Maps have gone a long way from being drawings on caves and I for one and happy to have the benefit of such a useful instrument.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Clock

I took a standard IKEA clock and made it into a pretty one of a kind clock to go into my daughter's room and since she is my little Ladybug, it only made sense to make the face numbers with ladybugs.

           Buttons of your choice from Button Mad ( I needed 3 button cards to put in 12 places) 4 Large Ladybugs L6, and 8 small ladybugs L530
           IKEA clock         
          The clock cost 2 euros, or in the States it is $2
IKEA Clock

Incomparable Buttons
 I especially love the sticker on the back of the card, "handmade fully washable giving employment to women in South Africa".  The quality of the clay button is really hard to believe, they charge 2 euros for a plastic button here, I couldn't believe I got a whole button card of these hand crafted beauties for 6 euros.
small ones for the 1,2,4,5,7,8,10 &11 spot, big ones on the 12,3,6 &9 numbers

 My picture really doesn't do them justice, you have to go and see their catalog and all of the cute buttons they make.  If your a dog lover a cute idea would be to use these button cards on a clock.
Okay So Let's get down to making one.

  Carefully remove the plastic lid, I popped the 3 clips from the back and then slowly lifted the lid with a screwdriver.  Next take the second hand off by unscrewing it going counter clock-wise, then pop the battery off from the back and the minute and hour hand will come off also.
Next trace a circle on your colored paper from the plastic lid, and cut just inside of the line you traced.
Make a little hole in the center.
 Place dots, where you want the buttons to go, I just followed the ones on the clock, I put mine a little to close to the edge to begin with- you will want to be careful because you need to leave room so the plastic lid will fit back on without bumping the buttons.
I placed my buttons on using Zots Dots, medium for the large buttons and small for the smaller ladybugs.
I also cut my hour and minute hand a little bit so as not to hit the buttons, the second hand just skims over them so I didn't cut it.  Put everything back in making sure everything is secure with your choice of adhesive and viola you have a pretty one of a kind clock that will fit your decor.
A special clock just for my kids.
I had a couple of extra buttons so I used the 2 small ones to make this project.
And have not decided yet what to do with the big ladybug, maybe add it to an outfit for my daughter or in a quote that will go in a frame for the wall, when I do I will let you know, or if you have any great ideas please let me know.

Thank you Button Mad for giving me one of your lovely button cards to make this project.