Just too Hot to Work in!

Temperatures have really soared these past few weeks and I have often found it just too hot to work in! About two weeks ago we had a heatwave which lasted 4 days and left everyone feeling drained and lethargic. Temperatures were in the 40’s and it was too hot to do anything! Luckily I only had one selling day during the heatwave period. Working on my seashell mosaic artworks, under the shade of my parasol and with the breeze coming off the sea, I am usually quite comfortable. But where was the sea breeze when you really needed it? It made me realise how much I rely on it to keep me cool during the long days that I am selling my seashell mosaic art at the edge of the beach in Almyrida.

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On gorgeous Georgioupoli Beach, playing Rummikub with Nick!

On the first day of the heatwave I had my air conditioning units serviced and cleaned. Then after my selling day on Friday I spent the Saturday indoors with the air conditioning on non-stop! On Sunday, the last and hottest day, my mate Nick and I spent the day at Georgioupoli beach. There was actually a breeze and the sea was the warmest and calmest I’ve ever known it be there. I could have drifted in that sea all day long, feeling the intermittent waves of cold river water mingling with the warm sea water. It really was heavenly! With every dip we took we saw people just standing in the sea, chatting! We had Lunch on the beach and played a couple of games of Rummikub in between frequent stops for a swim or cold shower – all within easy reach… although Nick almost burnt his feet on the sand! Talk about walking on hot coals! This wonderful day on Georgioupoli beach saved me a fortune on my electric bill and was the absolute obvious and best thing to do to escape the heat – Spend time in the sea!

Greek Urn in Seashell Mosaic Collage - 20 x 30cms

Popular this summer – Greek Urn in Seashell Mosaic Collage – 20 x 30cms

With world economic circumstances prevailing I am lucky to be still selling my seashell mosaic artworks, albeit a lesser number of them. My larger and more expensive designs have been selling, as well as many of my new designs. But it is my small 5 x 7” designs that are suffering. They are the cheapest artworks I sell and they’ve been super popular with all the tourists who have visited Almyrida during the last 7 years. Now everyone is having to tighten their belts and all the local services and businesses have noticed reduced spending. This recession began during the middle of last summer and I can’t help wondering if Brexit has much to do with it!

Anyway, I am most excited about my sister and brother-in-law’s visit! Karen and Mike are arriving on Saturday, for a much needed week’s holiday. I am really looking forward to spending some quality time with them and having a little break myself – but only on non selling days!

Greek Donkey in seashell mosaic collage - 20 x 30cms

Popular this summer – Greek Donkey in Seashell Mosaic on Sand – 20 x 20cms

Back to the present and with temperatures in the mid 30’s it’s been hot, hot, hot again but rain is forecast for tomorrow and that is most unfortunate as it’s a selling day! But I am going to turn up regardless and pray the rain is contained in the mountains, over which already there is heavy cloud cover. At least if it does rain, everywhere gets refreshed again and temperatures drop to a more manageable level.

Almyrida has that Holiday Atmosphere Again!

It’s Easter Sunday and I’ve been busy getting the spare room ready for Zoe and Donnas’ visit in a couple of days. The weather has been glorious again and so later this afternoon, I couldn’t resist a couple of hours working mosaic on my amazing balcony! Now I am enjoying the peace and tranquillity and the early evening sun, whilst I lounge comfortably on the balcony sofa. Quite a contrast because yesterday I was taking a break at the same time, but it was anything but peaceful! Bangers and crackers were going off intermittently, making me jump out of my skin every time! This in turn, was setting off all the dogs barking and even the sheep below me were starting to protest! Clio the cat who frequents my balcony, jumped 3 feet into the air when one particularly loud banger went off! That did make me laugh!

Easter Saturday in Plaka Square

Easter Saturday in Plaka Square. You can just see Judas hanging from the gallows in the middle of the bonfire!

All day the villagers had been building the customary bonfire in Plaka Square – ready for tonight’s big burn! As I’m sure I’ve mentioned in previous Easter posts – this bonfire is for burning Judas on and is a night when Plaka is full of people carrying lighted candles. It all makes for an atmosphere of warmth and togetherness.

Because the evening doesn’t really get going until nearer midnight, I didn’t walk up to the square until around 10pm last night. Lots of people I knew were already out and about and all the restaurants in Plaka were packed with locals and tourists alike. We based ourselves at Vangeli’s and took two tables outside. It was a mild evening although it got chillier as the evening wore on. We chatted while watching the square fill up with people leaving the church after the service with their lighted candles. All night the bangers were going off at odd occasions, making us all jump, but as Robert my Dutch friend said – and I agree – you’ve heard and seen nothing until you’ve spent a New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam! Finally, after the church bells started ringing, they lit the huge bonfire which for those of us that were feeling the chill, was most welcome! It was a lovely evening and I was home for just after 1.30am – so not too late really!

Seashell Mosaic Collage - 30 x 40cms

Seashell Mosaic Collage – 30 x 40cms – available to purchase from my Etsy shop – SeashellBeautyinArt (Shop link on menu bar above)

Back in the here and now, I’ m looking down on Almyrida and it’s like a picture postcard! All the shops and restaurants are open again and I imagine it’s been really busy down there today, with many Greek families, tourists and local residents. Yesterday I noticed a couple of sailboats and a few canoes out on the water. Now I can see an enormous cruise ship leaving Souda Bay so I’ll bet Chania has been majorly busy too.

I wish David and I could have had an exhibition on the Harbour Front in Chania this Easter. I think we’d both do really well. Sadly yet again, we cannot have an exhibition there this year because they changed the whole system again. Applications were received electronically in February. Because the information was on a different website, David was unaware of this until just recently, so we’ve missed out! Also it sounds like they are prioritising applicants that are local Greek organisations and artists, so who knows if we would even have secured a slot? Whatever will be… there’s always next year.. but I am so disappointed because I love and miss those wonderful exhibitions.

Seashell Mosaic Collage - 25 x 30cms

Seashell Mosaic Collage – 25 x 30cms – available to purchase from my Etsy shop – SeashellBeautyinArt

Ever the optimist, I have the whole of the summer season to look forward to and so much else besides! I am excited to see and spend time with Zoe, followed immediately by a week’s holiday in Spain with Mum and my sisters and then some quality time with Emma and gorgeous Grandson Ralph.  After another great Skype call with Emma and Ralph, I reminded Emma that she hasn’t sent me any recent photos of him.  I will soon put that to rights when I am back in the UK.  Hey though, starting from Tuesday, and after having had three intensive months of creating my seashell mosaics –  I will be having three weeks of socialising, holidaying and relaxing with family and friends! Absolutely fab!

Help! I Desperately Need Colourful Coquina Seashells!

It’s been a while since my last post and that’s because I’ve been totally absorbed in my art, continuing with my creative splurge while I can. I have loved and enjoyed every single minute of it! All of my new designs can be purchased from my Etsy shop – the link for which is just above on the menu bar. Continue reading

Happily Enjoying my Creative Splurges!

white mountains

The amazing view from my balcony – you can see why I love working here!

I’ve been working on my balcony this afternoon. Recently we’ve had some odd days in between rain and cloud that have been so warm and sunny – that it was just plain daft not to work outside! A few weeks back we had so much snow and it wasn’t just confined to the mountains but crept into our villages as well! I got stuck in the snow and ice several times on my way to the dentist in Vamos. A journey that normally takes around 10 to 15 minutes took me over 45 minutes and was so treacherous that I was holding my breath for most of the way! In 8 winters of living here on Crete I have never seen so much snow! Continue reading

My New Etsy Shop is Opening Soon!

A whole month has flown by again and I have been totally absorbed and occupied with expanding my art business.  As explained in some of my recent posts – I have been shocked at the fall in sales, which appears to be due to the spending power (or lack of it!) of most of the tourists visiting Almyrida this year.  All the local businesses here have suffered and I have realised that my marketplace is too restricted.  Continue reading