Monday, August 18, 2014

Around The World-In Greece

And Welcome to Around the World Blog Hop, today you will be visiting Greece, with me, Mara at Secretly Stitching!  Thanks to the lovely Sarah of Berry Barn Designs, I am so excited and honored that she picked me!  Her post was last week and she lives in Maine USA, she also invited, Heidi from Fabric Mutt and Heather from QA Creations to chat today, so be sure to head over there too after seeing what I am up too!

First let me tell you about myself, I am an American who on vacation to Greece met my Greek husband who was born in Australia, I have 2 children my son is 6 1/2 and my daughter is 4, yes they are bi-lingual and no I am not :)  I struggle with languages, but I am so happy to see that my children have their father's ears for tongues. (haha, that sounds funny)  We live in Kalampaka Greece, smack dab in the middle of Mainland Greece, check my previous post to this one to see a map of Greece.  You can also see other photos and blog post about Greece on my Travel Thru Greece blog.  
A Secret Monastery built into the rocks in my backyard
 I love to travel, I have been to 30 of the 50 States, I have been to Canada and Mexico and I have been to 16 of the 28 EU Countries, so there are a whole lot more places I need to go and see!

Now lets answer some questions:
     1. What am I working on?
Top secret!  I love swaps and challenges, in fact if you come across one, let me know, I would love it.  I just finished my Strawberry Swap items.
More pictures here.
I would also really love to win a new sewing machine or a serger, so I am in these 2 contest, both are still open if you are addicted to contest and challenges and you want to join me.
     2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Well that's a hard one, since I don't really consider my work, work, I just want to have fun and learn, especially learn.  It's not very often you will see me do the same thing twice, unless I do it wrong the first time and want to perfect it.  Like my recent embroidered feather, I will be doing another one of these since I wasn't to happy about how the last one tuned out.
Book Review and more pictures.

     3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Writing on my blog is for verification that I am doing something cool, lol, my husband is not to impressed with my sewing, my MIL baw-humbugs it and my son is fairly disinterested in it now that I haven't created anything for him in a while (so sad, working on that right now, some pants for school).  The only person who ever really loves anything I make is my daughter, but then she doesn't get to keep any of it, so that is very sad also. 
So please leave a message if you love what you see, cause I will love to know!
I do create for others, there is only so much I can think that I need, but I love swaps, cause then I am making something for someone else and in return they make something for me!!!  Like the Big Stitch Swap, I made a mini quilt for a gal who wanted some wall art.  She loved it, and although it is not to my taste.  I really enjoyed creating it, stepping out of my comfort zone and making something fun.
Made BY ME for the Big Stitch Swap
My partner made me an Awesome fabric basket, I don't know how to make those yet (they are on my to do list), so that is SUPER DUPER Awesome, that she made this really lovely RAINBOW basket for me!
Made FOR ME! more pictures here.

     4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Read all of the above, I get excited and I create!  My head is constantly thinking about what I am making what I can do next, what can I learn etc. etc.  So that's me, if you want to hang out and see more, then you can hit the bloglovin' button below or what ever way you like to follow.
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I am also the swap mama of a Fabric Swap called 8², it is an International Fabric Swap,  We just finished a Text Swap and our Next one will probably be Low Volume.  The price is good, this last one was only $18 dollars for 1 1/4 yards of fabric including all shipping charges to and from Greece with me doing the cutting.  Not too bad.

I have invited 3 Great People (it was so hard just choosing 3 to join the hop next week on August 25th)  First we will start the tour in Texas, I lived the first 5 years of my life living in and out of that State, and Shirley has lived in many places herself, even in Germany (me too), that is Shirley of SimpleSew.  Then a place I learned how to swim and almost broke my ankle we hop on over to Italy to visit Nesta of Ella and Nesta's Little Room.  And 3rd Around the World Blog Hoper is Deborah of Sunshine Through the Rain, she lives in Indonesia, I have never been there, but would love to visit someday.  I think I have heard that it gets rainy there :)

Also be sure to hop on over to New Mexico, USA (I went to High School and College in NM) to visit THE ONLY quilter/blogger I have met in person!!! Isn't that so cool that we share today together and were asked by different people, this blog hop is HUGE, so be sure to go visit Daryl of Patchouli Moon, she was so kind to come and met me and shop with me for fabric in Albuquerque, NM, when we were in the States last November.
I'm the big girl on the left in red, with Daryl!  Hugs Daryl, thanks for Shopping with me!
Visit Daryl today!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Our Vacation

And Re-Writing History!

Okay our Vacation wasn't history changing, but what we saw will change the way history books are written.
I can't believe it has been 3 weeks since we went on our very small trip of 2 nights away to the northern part of Greece.
The Heart is our Home and the Box is where we went.
  What I love about traveling is:
  • Seeing Historical Sights
  • Seeing Natural Sights
  • And Eating!
We had plenty of food to eat, first stopping for lunch at the mall in Thessaloniki for our bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (we eat this any time we are there).  Then we ate dinner in Asprovalta, calamari and tzatiziki (if you need a tzatziki recipe you can get it here).

 Enjoying Calamari
Yes, I get 2 Ice-Creams!

The shop owners offered the kids ice-cream and they of course said Yes, but it was a Mastika ( μαστίχα) flavored, which is pretty good in ice-cream form, not sure how to describe the taste, but this is something they only make in Greece, specifically Chios Island.
The next night we enjoyed Gyros in Nea Peramos
I don't have many pictures of the beaches, since I am always in the water.
This is near Nea Peramos, the beach is called Sand Dunes (but in Greek)
The 2 places we stayed at are starred and the little teardrop is where the find of the century has been discovered.
The signage at Amfipoli
The top sign says Macedonian Tomb, we wanted to see it, but when we crossed the road, there was nothing there, the nicely paved road turned into a dirt road.  We thought the Greeks must have gotten the signage wrong, but what it is is something that they didn't announce till this week.  They have discovered a new tomb to rival that of Vergina.  Here is an article in Greek(pictures are nice) and here is a smaller article in English(my husband and I have been arguing all week about who is buried there).

Amfipoli (amphipolis-Αμφίπολη)  is an Ancient City, if you have watched the Movie 300 with the Persian King Xerxes, this is where he was defeated.  And where Alexander the Great's wife and son were executed. (I believe they are the ones in the tomb)  My husband thinks that Alexander the Great is in it.  We can't wait to find out WHO is inside, I also believe that Alexander the Great's mother could possibly be inside.
Ancient Aqueduct.

Rolling Hills and the river meeting the Sea.
The most popular sight of Amfipoli right now is the Lion, it is right off of the old road from Asprovalta to Kavala.
The Lion Monument, was found in 1912 and rebuilt in the 30's.  I am using this as my color palette and the story behind it and the region Amfipoli to Design my Surface Pattern for my class that I took with Bonnie Christine at Creativelive.
I made this on Adobe Illustrator, aren't you proud.
The class was great, you can take it too, I watched it live, from 7pm to 2am for 3 days to see it for free.  But you can pay just $79 to watch it anytime.  I was a little scared when on Friday we didn't have any electricity all afternoon and then boom at exactly 7:05 the electricity was back on, phew.
Now I didn't know anything about Adobe Illustrator and it is a definite learning curve, but the I would have been really lost with out Bonnie's lessons.  The other cool thing is that you can use the Illustrator for FREE for 30 days.  Sign me up right, I have always wanted to make my own fabric line. (you will need to sign up for Adobe first and then the Creative Cloud and then you can download Illustrator for free)
You can find more info on the Design Surface Challenge from Bonnie's web site, Going Home to Roost.
Of course no trip is complete with out some fun!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fun Stuff

I had a Friday Finish, My Strawberry swap items, 2 bags, quilted kinda matchstick style.
 The Strawberry Daquiri pouch is lined with By Annies "Soft and Stable" and the inside fabric has Vilene Lamifix, ironed onto it, so if she wants to put a cold drink in it, the drinks should stay fairly cool and won't wick into the fabric when they defrost.
Lemonade Cup Pattern by Ellison Lane

Need a Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe:
  • 2 ounces Rum 
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup sliced Strawberries (adjust to taste) 
  • My tip for the Strawberries, during strawberry season, I wash my strawberries, grind them up, put them in a muffin tin, and freeze, after frozen I take them out of the muffin tin and place them in a freezer zip-lock bag.  I use 2 (muffin tin) sized strawberry batches to make my Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri and omit the ice.
Place everything in a blender, wet the top of your glass with water (or rum :) and dip in sugar,
Pour mixed Strawberry mixture into glass and  Enjoy!

The backs are quilted the same, just in case she doesn't like the fronts, she can have matching bags on the backside.

I sent my Big Stitch Swap last week and she got it today, she loved it!  Yippee!
I got mine in the mail this week and I love mine also!  Look at this awesome fabric basket.
I LOVE the sewing machine, and the tiny hexies!

 A rainbow of color, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink!  Interspersed with embroidered blocks, I really wish you could see it, the workmanship on the embroidery is amazing!
Jennie of Jennie's Threads is from the UK and she also sent a bundle of text and low volume fabric scraps.
 Kat patiently waiting for me to take the photos so she could nab the basket, she thinks it is for her.
Well I snagged it back and put some pre-cuts in it, down in my "fabric room", LOL, that is what I am calling it.
Sorry for the poor lighting it is pretty dark in the basement.
Other Swaps now taking sign ups:
The Fox Swap, all about Foxes.
The Christmas Brick Fabric Swap

The Cottage Mama Sewing Contest
The Pattern Design Challenge (this is what I have been busy doing)
Ultimate Button Lovers Sweepstakes (if you loved my button jar, maybe you want to make something with buttons)

Some Giveaways
Indygo Junction
Wacom Spoonflower Giveaway
$50 button giveaway
And I still have my giveaway going on, the Shorts on the Line Challenge finished, I didn't win, but you can still hit the button jar a few times.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop, Part Εna

Some Around the World Giveaways, below!
Have you heard about the Around The World Blog Hop?  I just heard about it last week when Sarah of Berry Barn Designs invited me to join and my day will be next Monday on August 18th.  You can see what Sarah's world is like in her Around The World Blog Post.  The fun part is to follow along or to trace back, I went back a few Mondays and found Roslyn of Sew Delicious, she is also in the Strawberry Swap (I'm in it too) and she also made a pair of shorts for the Shorts On the Line Challenge, and guess what they didn't fit her daughter either, phew, I am not the only one!  But she has a younger daughter they can go to, that's good.
I can't leave you without a picture so here is one of the monasteries and the rocks that I live under.
Now if I can just get my lazy big butt walking shoes, find my walking shoes, I will have some new photos of "Secret" monasteries that not many people see or go too, for my post next Monday!

Don't forge to enter my $25 Southern Fabric Giveaway!
And one of  the first times I have seen an EU only Giveaway, enter this sweet Indelible and Aurifil Giveaway on Quilt It Out.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My American Fabric Hoarders and a Giveaway!

I live Internationally, in Greece, and everyone knows that all of the good fabric deals are in America and shipping is crazy.  SO I have some lovely friends that have become my shipping hoarders, Thank you to my awesome quilty buddies that hold on to fabric for me.  When I am in a fabric swap, I always like to "fill up" my package, so I will do my yard or two for the swap and then I ask the swap mama if I can send some more fabric her way so she can load up the package.  This is when I shop at shops that give free shipping so there is no more shipping cost added.  These 3 gals have done this recently for me, Erin of "Sew At Home Mummy" (currently doing a whole Cotton and Steel fabric swaps), Amanda of "What the Bobbin?", she does some really fun swaps (open right now is Round 2 Christmas Brick Swap), and Mel of "Missouri Mel" she does a 1930's continuous fabric swap.
But my Bestest Fabric Hoarder Buddy is Shirley Tener of SIMPLESEW!  Anytime I come across a really, I just can't not buy it fantastic fabric deal, I purchase it and have it sent to Shirley's house.  Now if you are International and don't have a fabric hoarding buddy, you are missing out, get yourself one right away.  Look what Shirley hoarded for me in a recent Southern Fabric $25 Layer Cake deal.
5 Layer Cakes, Weeds, Bee My Honey, Wishes, Color Me Happy and Solstice.
the Kona Jelly roll (Ash) is from Pink Chalk.

Plus 2 Charm Packs, 25th and Pine and New Muslin Mates and my first ever Honeycomb in Simply Style.

To share the love I am giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to Southern Fabrics, who knows when they will have another $25 Layer Cake deal, or you can check out their Tuesday charm pack $2 deals.  Buy whatever you want if you win, use the Rafflecopter widget below.
Do you want to see what else both Shirley and Erin sent me this week, oh yeah I got 2 packages this week.
From Shirley a Big Ass Box, filled with yummy fabric and books.
Pink Chalk was having a big birthday sale so I got my first Voile.
And some Free Spirit Linen, this has an amazing feel, not harsh at all, will definitely be buying Linen from Free Spirit again.
I bought a whole bunch of yardage of this "Rosey" by Tanya Whelan print to add it to some "Country Girls" to make a dress for my daughter, this is a minty blue color and it's almost a perfect match for the blue in Riley Blakes "Country Girls" line.
see the little blue barn, the "Rosey" has more of a green tint to it, but it will do.
Shirley also sent some extra goodies, books, patterns and magazines.
Cording, Clear Plastic (yes I so need this!) and a doo-hickey, (what am I supposed to do with the blue thing Shirley?  I have no idea what it is?)
And even my kids got some fabric!
One of my favorite designers Ann Kelle, mermaids, and girl and boy superheros.
She also sent some other little gifts for my kids, but they didn't want me to take photographs of them.
Oh and this bundle of Rainbow of Riley Blake Chevrons goes perfectly with the bundle of Rainbow Spot On Tiny Dot Robert Kaufman, that Erin sent!
My first Pearl Bracelets Purchase!  Tone on Tone, lovely additions to the stash
Erin packed these items up for me during the recent American Made Brands Solids Swap.

You can still make something for the Farm to Fabric Challenge.
All 50 American Made Brand Solid Colors in Brick Charm form (5"x10")
She also sent me some extras, machine needles, sewing needles, 2 FQ's of Liberty Tana Lawn, and 2 Half Yards of AGF!
Now this is where you can win, you see I made some shorts for my daughter with the Liberty Fabric, but so sad they are to small, you can read about my experience and the book review here.  Good news Erin's daughter is smaller than mine, so this pretty little fabric is now going back to Erin all sewed up.  I would like your vote in the "Shorts on the Line" challenge.
You will need to log in, to "Heart" my shorts and I hope you don't mind doing this, voting continues until 6pm EST on Thursday, August 14th.

I also want your vote on my Singer Sewing Machine Block, this vote is easy, you don't have to sign up for anything and you can vote EVERYDAY!  till August 31st!  (the link for that is on my side bar, you can also add this link to your blog by going here and at the bottom in blue is a "Vote For Me" widget that you can copy, go to layout on your blog and enter it in the "Add a Gadget" HTML code area.  If you DO want to sign up, you can be entered in a contest to win a Singer Iron from Quilting Daily.

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Vote for the Liberty shorts
Vote for the button jar
Linking to Sunday Stash
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