30 July 2018

Quick trip to Athens

Hello Everyone, Thank you for your concern regarding the fires in Athens.  A terrible tragedy, but we are very far removed from the horrible disaster. We did happen to be in Athens last week, just before the fires started, but were there for only 1 night, a quick trip to renew the kids passports.
Here are some pictures to show you what we did while there, mostly all about the food!
We immediately stopped at KFC, Arthur's favorite fast food place, Nik gives it a thumbs up as well.
Katerina was bummed she wanted McDonalds
SO 5 minutes later we walked across the street and ate at McD's!! Now everybody is happy but mama(me).  It really is fantastic that they have both KFC and McDonald's in such a local location of Syntagma Square, the main metro station stops here just across the road.  It's an easy walk to all of the ancient sites.  We are what I would call expats, so I can understand why we were eating at all of the American fast food places, but what I find disgusting is seeing all the Americans that are just off of the plane from America eating at these places.  I mean come on people, you cross half the world to eat this *&%* ????
What I have been craving is some Mexican food, so we looked on-line before leaving the house and found a Mexican restaurant just down 2 blocks and around the corner from these American fast food places, woohoo, so excited and it was so good!
Oh but wait we did take a food break first and walked around the National Gardens just across from Syntagma Square and next to the Parliament building, which is worth seeing the changing of the guard if you haven't been to Athens before.  The gardens are huge and we got a little lost, and never did find the playground, not sure if there really is one?
On our way out we saw the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
Inside the park the greenery was amazing, different plants from around the world, check out this huge cactus, I can't even imagine when it was planted, it was next to a pond filled with lots of Koi fish.

They also had a Zoo, now I will use this term loosely because well it was not very impressive, haha.  They had some goats and rabbits and several different kinds of birds.
A lot of it was abandoned and perhaps at one time it was so much grander,

but now it was more like a forgotten part of history the most populated area was a pond filled with turtles, a lot of turtles, I mean a lot, no photographs of that, because it was kind of disgusting.
I really liked these flowers, very cottage garden style and they were growing in abundance, does anyone know the name of them?

 It's back to eating time!! Let's do Mexican food, we found this place called Mamacita's, the art work on the walls was fantastic and it had the most authentic Mexican food I have had since living in Greece (I will have to tell you some of my horror stories another time).
Pina Colada anyone?  I haven't had one of these in years, decades! It was kind of a tie, this or a margarita, but the margarita glasses were super tiny, so I went with the bigger glass, wink wink.

We ordered nachos and soft tacos and I had fajitas, so so good. The guacamole dip was fresh and not brown, like other restaurants I have been to.
In typical Greek style it was a little too much food, I would have preferred a cheaper price with a little less food, I am guessing there was 2 maybe 3 chicken breast on my plate, so much food.  But really good!

Also for my fabric loving friends I finally found a fabric store that had cotton fabrics, it is right across from Starbucks, just down and a little off of Ermou street, a very popular street for shopping.
 I was really impressed with their selection and wish my husband wasn't with me, cause that meant I didn't get to buy anything, boohoo.  But a great selection of linen and cotton and in so many beautiful colors and at great prices the one piece I had my hands on was only 7.50 euro's a meter, sigh, such a beautiful blue.  I will definitely be returning here when we need to decorate our new B&B.  There are several other fabric stores, up and down in this area, but most are old style fabrics, not in my style and the husband wouldn't let me explore the interiors, but I would suggest visiting Natural Greek Fabrics if you are in Athens.  Also who could ask for a better view, just looking down the street and I could see the Parthenon!

So that was our day in Athens, we also enjoyed some Ice-Cream and the next day we went to the Embassy to renew the kids passports, we ate KFC and McDonald's one last time.  We also purchased enough to take home for the 5 hour train ride. 
We love to travel to see historical sites, but our favorite thing to do when we leave our house and explore new areas is to eat.  While normally not in Athens or Thessoloniki we enjoy great Greek food and if you are traveling here, please eat Greek food, start with Tzatiki a greek yogurt dip, then have a Greek salad, then enjoy a dish specifically Greek, Pastitsio (greek lasagna), Greek lamb, Calamari, or even if you want fast food, eat a Gyro, please don't come all the way to Greece to eat at KFC or McDonald's, please.

07 April 2018

Easy Quilter's Washi Card

This is by far the easiest card you can ever make, super simple.  If your favorite fabric designer is Alison Glass or Tula Pink, you can find their fabrics in my Etsy shop as Fabric Washi.
Supplies: Quilter's Fabric Washi, Stamp, Ink Pad, Card Stock and zigzag Scissors/Pinking shears (optional)

First Trim your Quilter's Washi Tape with the zigzag Scissors, this step is optional, but I think it adds just a bit of fun to the fabric washi.  I cut my strips to 2" and then trimmed around them.

Next stamp your image on the fabric, you may want to test your ink first to make sure it shows up on the fabric, I used some Craft and Every Surface ink that I happened to already have on hand.
Then just peel the tape backing off and place it on your card, see easy peasy!
I also used the Quilter's Washi Tape in Alison Glass's 2018 SunPrints
To make this Pennant card, using the Diatom print.
You can pick up your favorite Fabric washi in my shop MaraCreates!

17 March 2018

Mind Blowing

Hello, hello, I am about ready to share what has blown my mind this last week!
A new to me way to get the photographs I have always wanted!
When I see someone making great photos, I ask them, how do you make such great photos, and they are always so nice to share their secrets.  The top two seem to be...
1. Photograph next to a sunny window
2. Use a photo enhancing program, like photoshop
Well I try to photograph by a sunny window, I only have one room with a window, but I do try to make it there when the sun is shining.  The photoshop thing though was way out of my pay league at this moment, so that was a big fat no, on using that tip.

I have also taken Photography classes with Craftsy, I found these 2 really helpful, Product Photography At Home using the tip about the paper backing was helpful and I found something similar at my local paper shop.  Look at this before and after photo, just from changing my "background"
Not a huge difference, but noticeable, just by changing the background to a flat white roll of paper

The next class was Basics of digital photography I really likes his class, because I was actually able to remember all the information about Aperture and etc.  I have taken many photography classes, but most of the info just goes in one ear and out the other, but for some reason when he talked about it, I was finally able to understand.  Of course it might of helped that he did his photography in New Mexico and it made me slightly homesick so I watched the videos with an eagle eye.

How were you able to watch all of these classes you ask?  Did you come into some money?  No I didn't come into money but Craftsy now has a program called Craftsy Unlimited and it is awesome, I only signed up for a month, but I would love to sign up full time, it was wonderful being able to watch whatever class I wanted without feeling the pressure of what if I don't like the class.  When in College I always signed up for 18 or 21 credits, just in case there was a class I didn't like, I could easily drop it and not worry about going below my 15 credits a semester rule.  This is how I felt about the Craftsy Unlimited, I could start to watch a class, but if I didn't click with the teacher or found the subject wasn't what I wasn't looking for, no problem I would stop watching and look for a different class.
On the left is the flat white background, and on the right is after I have used FotoFuze

Now to tell you about the FREE computer site that will take your photos from looking drab to fab..
This takes your I tried to make this a white background and makes them truly white.  I think it adds a professional look to my pictures, like they are out of a magazine.
This one here is more noticeable in the difference, using the FotoFuze photography editing software.

Where did I hear about this site?  Well this is another thing you will need to do if you are a Etsy seller or a Small Business owner, go sign up for Renae Christine FREE webinar titled,"Your First 100 Etsy Sales", you can find her HERE.

So what do you think?  I'm excited to do more of the things that Renae mentions in her webinar, exciting things to come.
  #washisnackpacks filled with fabric washi and 2.5" charm pack.