Putting All the Hours into Creating my Art

We were so lucky with the weather in January.  It was sunny and mild for the whole month but in the first week of February it turned cold and stormy with lots of heavy rain – even hailstones!  And suddenly the mountains were full of snow!  This lasted for about two weeks and now, for the past week the warm sunny weather has returned.


On one of my power walks in Almyrida

The weather did affect the walks.  A couple of David’s walks were dotted with showers, some of them heavy and I was glad of my rainproof jacket, even though the zip broke!  Nevertheless we also enjoyed warm and dry conditions on our walks to Stylos and Nippos.  What is so lovely about David’s walks is that I always learn something about the local flora and fauna and David is also very knowledgeable about climate change.


Never too far from the white mountains.. a rest stop at the Kefelas monuments during the Happy Wanderers walk.

I’ve actually only been on one of the Happy Wanderers walks since New Year and this is down to various reasons.  If a walk is postponed due to bad weather, it is moved to the following week.  As they are always held on Sundays, it’s not a good idea to have a late and boozy night on the Saturday before and this is the reason I missed one of the walks.  There was a Saturday Night in Vangeli’s when two different bands were playing and I knew it was going to be a late one (and there have been quite a few of those lately).  I think it was around 4am before I hit the sack!  What a dirty stop-out I am… and at my age too!!  An early start and a long strenuous walk were never going to happen!

Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting 40x50cms

One of the larger designs I took off Etsy to sell from Almyrida beach last summer – 40x50cms Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting

Yet I did make last Sunday’s walk around Selia and Kefelas, followed by a lovely long lunch at a taverna in Kalamitsi Alexandrou.   It was good to see some familiar faces again and to catch up as we trekked along the way and over lunch.  It’s always so nice walking in the winter sunshine.

Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting 40x50cms

Another design I took off Etsy to sell from Almyrida beach last summer – 40x50cms Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting

I have been putting all the hours I can muster into my art business.  A busy winter always follows a successful summer season and I have too many designs to replicate in time for next season.  I especially need to replace some larger designs I took off Etsy in order to sell last year.  These I can only create in the winter months because in the summer I am too busy with selling and producing the smaller designs that always sell well.  Hey but I have made a great start.

Although I do nothing to increase traffic to my Etsy Shop, I have some really good customers and amazing reviews.  I recently completed a custom order for one such client.  I know I could do a lot more marketing on social media in order to try and attract more sales but…  I really don’t have the time or the inclination to do this.  Etsy isn’t the marketplace it once was and all my efforts would probably make no difference anyway, from what I can gather on the Etsy Community and forums.  I could easily write a whole blog post telling you how bad Etsy has become, but I don’t have the time!  Otherwise I would spend that time uploading all my work onto another marketplace.. and we are talking about a lot of work involved in doing that.

Beautiful cove on the outskirts of Stavros

The beautiful little cove on the outskirts of Stavros, where Lisa, Debbie & I were beachcombing

All I want to do is to create!  When I am not creating I want to beach comb, explore, walk, socialize…  I make sure now that I maintain some balance in my life because it just can’t be all about my work, all of the time.  Life is too short and there are never enough hours in it for me!

Every winter I look forward to my beachcombing trips.  Whole days of exploring the awesome empty-of-tourists beaches.  Ross was over for a couple of weeks and offered to drive Debbie and me to Georgioupoli beach for the day, making a nice change for me not doing the driving.  Ross has been beachcombing with us many times before and he enjoys exploring the different areas we visit and in the summer he also loves swimming and snorkeling from whichever beach we are on.  We had a lovely day out and decided to end it with an early dinner at The Loft in Plaka.

Overlooking one of Bali's many beaches

On the way down to one of Bali’s stunning beaches, where Debbie & I were beachcombing

Last week, Lisa, Debbie and I visited Stavros again.  We always stop now at the little cove we recently discovered, which is just on the outskirts of Stavros and where there are always teeny tiny seashells to find.  The weather was simply gorgeous and we collected lots of ocean treasures.  Yesterday, Debbie and I spent the day at Bali and although there wasn’t that much to find along any of the tidelines, we still enjoyed walking the 3 beaches there and soaking up the winter sunshine.  We also found another small sandy cove which we stopped to explore on the way back.

The Awesoms Lefka Ori Mountains in Crete

The Awesome Lefka Ori Mountains.. a zoomed in, early morning image taken from my balcony

Tomorrow Carnival is back at Kalyves!  It has been a few years since they held carnivals all over Greece, mainly due to Covid.  I don’t think I have been to one for many years… but I’m going this year.  It’s going to be 20 degrees and sunny again tomorrow, so another perfect winter’s day for being out and about, socialising and having some fun!

Enjoying Wonderful Warm Sunny Weather This October

These past few weeks we have been enjoying some wonderful weather, especially for October and it is such a contrast to this time last year.  We had a really bad rainstorm in mid October which caused severe flooding on parts of Crete, but luckily not near me!  For the rest of the time it’s been lovely and warm with sunshine all day long! Continue reading

Making More Memories with Family & Friends This Summer

As predicted, August has been mega busy sales-wise and I sold 51 Seashell Mosaic Paintings from my beach stall and 3 more from the Gavalochori Gift Shop.  This is over double the sales I had for this period last year.  Demand has been so high for certain designs that I have not had the time to make more. Continue reading

Having Lots of Fun Playing with the Grandchildren!

Emma, Ralph and Neve returned to the UK almost 2 weeks ago and I have been so busy with my art business that this is the first opportunity I have had to write a post about their stay with me.  We had a rather worrying start to the holiday with Neve being poorly and Emma unsure whether she was well enough to travel. Continue reading

Tourists Return to Almyrida and My Art is Selling Like Hot Cakes Again!

It’s been a busy month especially for selling my Seashell Mosaic Collage Paintings. I have still only been setting up my stall 2 days a week – usually on Mondays and Thursdays, yet I am already struggling to keep up with demand for several popular designs this year. I’ve spent all the free hours I have at home, creating more Mosaics to replace the ones I’ve sold. Continue reading

Ange & I Enjoy Walking The Imbros Gorge

I have had three good selling days so far this month but the weather was not good enough for a couple of days last week and disappointingly I only managed to sell on the Monday. Tomorrow will be my last day in May before I fly back to the UK for 16 days. The weather otherwise has been sunny and hot and for the first time in two years there are plenty of tourists – including British – around and about Almyrida and Plaka.
Continue reading

Now I Have Time for Everything Including Lots of Socialising!

The weather has much improved since my last post and Almyrida has fully opened up for the early tourists. I am going to set up my stall and display in a few days and I am thrilled to be able to start this summer season in May instead of July or only August, as was the case in 2020 and 2021. I am particularly looking forward to welcoming the English tourists back to Crete. Continue reading

Disappointing, Dull & Miserable Weather For October

For the rest of September the weather here on Crete was much more comfortable to live and work in. I did well from my beach stall and sold 29 Seashell Mosaic Paintings, the majority of which were the larger and more expensive designs, which surprised me! Last September there were virtually no tourists here so I couldn’t sell at all that month. Therefore this is indeed a good result and I am happy! Continue reading

Crete’s Long Hot Summer Continues into September

I am pleased to report that the temperatures gradually came down to a more normal level and by mid August, were a lot more bearable, especially with the return of the cool breezes coming off the sea. By 9th August I was back selling from my stall by the beach. It was busy in Almyrida and Plaka yet still the majority of tourists were from France and Germany. By my recollection of the past 13 summers in Almyrida – I have never seen so many French and German tourists. There were hardly any British tourists this August and I am not surprised, given the way the UK government has made it so difficult for British people to travel this summer Continue reading

Another Heatwave Way Too Hot to Work or Play in!

The post you are about to read was actually posted on 6th August, but the hosting company migrated my site and in the process I have been offline for several days and have lost that post.  As it was a special one (well all of them are special to me) and because luckily I keep drafts, I am re-posting it now.

It is the 6th August and we are in the midst of another dreadful heatwave here on Crete. The Greek authorities have declared it the hottest on record and wildfires have been raging all over Greece and the islands. This is putting enormous pressure on the Electricity supply and this morning we had the inevitable power cut! I am so grateful that this heatwave didn’t happen last week, when my family were over. Out of curiosity I put my fridge magnet thermometer outside on my balcony overlooking the sea, to record the temperature. It went off the scale at over 120F (over 50C) and burst the bulb! Continue reading