Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I am just back from Holland again. Had to do some paperwork, and of course, I stayed a bit and visited friends. As a child we always went to Zeeland for our summer holidays. We stayed in a wooden summer house, just behind the dunes. The house belonged to one of my father's brothers. I remember having a great time over there. It was in the area of Koudekerke, near Vlissingen. We visited, (when it wasn't beach weather !!!) a lot of lovely places. One of them was the idyllic Veere. 


Beautiful small, typically Dutch, houses 


On the other side of the street the sailing boats. They didn't have to wait for wind to sail out! The weather was very cloudy and the wind was blowing with quiet some force!!


On our walk through the village/town? I spotted this beautiful garden. 


I love hortensias. In my garden in Greece I have a few, in the soil and in pots, but the climate doesn't really suit the plants. The flowers are small and not exactly abundant. But...... 


This is the one in my friend's garden in Ouderkerk a/d Amstel !!! Wow !!!  



She has not only an enormous pink one, but also this lovely white one, which I think is called Annabella. Aren't they beautiful !!

This time it wasn't Koudekerke I was staying in but Scharendijke. In the few days that I was there, my friends showed me also parts of the Delta Werken. Very impressive! And, although the weather was cloudy and rainy, I managed to have a long walk on the beach. We started from here, on top of the dunes.


 

I don't know the force of the wind that morning, but it was high! The curls were blown out of my hair! I have a picture of that, but I am not going to show that one. !!!!!


 
 
 

Friday, August 7, 2015

My Greek, Dutch summer

A long lasting heatwave is supposed to end these days. I must say that there is a cool breeze blowing since yesterday! One of the nice and beautiful things Sparta has, is an open air theater. In the summer months we have plays and concerts and lots of people go. You look at the, not so distant, mountains, with the lights of small villages, very serene, relaxing.


The theater is much more steep than the picture shows. This one was taken a few weeks ago, when I was attending a concert given by the Spartan Philharmonic Band, which was playing music from the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. 

But... I'm leaving Greece again for a week or two and are travelling to Holland, to pay my last respects to a very good friend, to see other friends and get a bit nostalgic !! When you live for 38 years abroad, this always happens !!


This picture was taken outside De Voetangel, a lovely restaurant outside of Ouderkerk a/d Amstel. What is more Dutch than a canal ! This time I might even go to the sea, so I need to take a beach bag with me. This is the one I choose.


I also want to make a round one for myself, like the one below. Maybe when I come back, because this one is going again to a Spartan friend, who stays and works the summers on the lovely island of Kythira.







Sunday, August 2, 2015

tobacco pouches

We all know we shouldn't smoke, but unfortunately still a lot of people do !

I am a lucky one, because I quit about 25 years ago and it is all out of my system now!

A friend of my daughter is still going strong and asked me to make her a tobacco pouch. 


Just one isn't enough, she should be able to choose, and there  might be other smokers who would like to have one, so I made four.


I also started the quilt I am going to make for a mediterranean  garden society friend. I made a pattern cut 220 squares and started to lay them out. Of course they don't fit on the bed, so I am doing it in pieces. I'll give you a preview !


I'll make the top, don't know when I will do the quilting. With temperatures still over 35 degrees C, I don't feel up to that now !!!





Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer

Summer has arrived and it is hot !! We have a heatwave with temperatures from above 40 degrees C in the shade! Sparta is boiling! Oh, how much I would love the be at the sea these days. 


To be able to take a swim, to feel a cool breeze, to hear the waves in the evening. The only air I feel is from the fan in the basement or the airco in the living room. I made some sea/beach blocks for the Greek QAL. That keeps me in the spirit and inside !!!


I had to go to Athens to renew my passport. Well, I was so happy to be back in Sparta, because at least, because Sparta is situated between mountains, it cools down in the night. Athens is a nightmare! It stays hot and if you don't have airco in the bedroom, you can't sleep. It is supposed to cool down after Sunday, so I just need a little more patience.


I made a beach bag for a friend. Thinking to make a few more, They are very practical and I have some nice bright coloured fabrics to use. I am very busy, though. Making a quilt for a double bed, a plaid for a couch, and some cushions.  This bag with the tablet cover went to a young girl, she loves purple.


I finished my two cups of coffee, to wake me up, so time to start working on the big quilt.





Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My trip to Holland

About a month ago I went to Holland to see friends and family. Except from a visit to my brother and his family in Wagenberg, a small village close to Breda, I stayed in Ouderkerk a/d Amstel, a lovely place near Amsterdam. I love Amsterdam and this time I realized how green the city is.


There are lots of parks, small plots with shrubs and flowers, streets lined with beautiful trees. 




Above pictures are taken in the Rivierenbuurt in Amsterdam. 

With my friends I visited the EYE, the film museum, located on the river IJ. It is a beautiful building with a great terrace. We were there on one of the few sunny days I had during my stay! Below the interior and the fantastic view from there.



One of the things we need everywhere in the Netherlands is.....bicycle parking !



On another day I went to the Spaarndammerbuurt. One of my friends treated me on a lovely architecture excursion, visiting Amsterdamse School projects. But ...another blog about that !


Saturday, June 27, 2015

colourful cushions

Patchwork and quilting is getting more and more known in Greece. Lots of women love it and want to learn the techniques, especially after they have been to an exhibition. That's how I started teaching. My last group made some lovely cushions as their first project.




The traditional crafts in Greece are embroidery and crocheting. I have beautiful crocheted bedspreads my mother-in-law made and lots of embroidered doilies and runners. I think I am going to make pictures one of these days to show you! 


The last few days I was busy making house blocks for the Greek QAL (Quilt Along) which is organized by the facebook page "και στην Έλλαδα αγαπάμε το πατσουωρκ" . My next blog will be about the houses. 



I never thought that I would like teaching, but it is great to see the enthusiasm of the participants, whether they know already how to sew or have no idea about sewing. The older generation has learned basic crafts at school, the younger one, though, has no idea!!! I really think that it is a lack in education. Nowadays they teach drawing/painting and no other crafts whatsoever. 


Crafting is so relaxing, so different from e.g. a day job, and the joy you get when you have the finished product is unbelievable! 








Thursday, June 25, 2015

Catching up

I was rather busy the last few months, so I didn't blog a  lot! The preparation for two exhibitions needed a lot of time. Finishing off some quilts, making posters, washing and airing cushions and quilts and lots of other little jobs.




Needless to say that the garden was left to itself for too long.... in desperate need for pruning, weeding, and putting in annuals. Luckily for the garden and me (!), my husband went on pension and is tending the veggie plot ! He even had someone come and prune the citrus trees when I was in Holland. 

Now that the weather is nice Flopsy is much more outside and follows my movements from the other side of the window.


When he is inside, however, he can't stop being naughty !!!



The summer project of the Spartan Quilting Bee is to make a quilt with the magic vine flower blocks. I got the book from Eleanor Burns "the Magic Vine Quilt, which has easy to follow instructions. I dumped scraps on the bed during our meeting to select fabric pieces for the flowers. When everyone was gone and I came back in the room to collect my scraps.....there he was !! With an attitude of saying: "don't come near me, I like this spot and I am not going to move !!!"