So what did I do during my free time in the Summer of 2018…?

Well, I wasn’t blogging!

This year, after an India and Oman trip during April, I headed back to Cyprus for the summer.

Now I’m not working in the UAE, visiting the region during the summer months isn’t appealing but my home in Cyprus is.

Sorting the years of never sorted clutter (still an ongoing and tedious project) and fixing the house ( Luckily the OH does D-I-Y extremely well) were my priorities and working on the garden is my ultimate pleasure.

I was happy to be here enjoying my home at long last, but I want to learn new skills, my background has been leaning towards the arts forever and last year I started Mosaic classes with a local Mosaic artist, Sharen Taylor ( interesting links below) who is extremely talented and has her own unique take on the ancient art and is an established face within the Arts scene in Paphos.

This year I moved onto the intermediate level and joined a course where we were to make a table.

My choice was to make one for outside, I have a lovely seating area in the shade, but, no table for the morning frappe or glass of vino that perfects a Cyprus summer’s eve.

Measurements taken, 60cm x 120cm, 50cm high, a perfect fit.

Then I drew a blank on the design, vague notions of vine leaves, grapes, olives, and pomegranates swirled around in my head but wouldn’t flow on paper. So, I left the designing, feeling inspiration would eventually arrive.

Teacher messaged to advise to have our design expanded to the actual size.

Hmm, panic, this was my project, I had to do something, I only had a head vision which wasn’t coming together.

I spent the evening cobbling together a little design ( you will note this has nothing to do with the aforementioned head plan of grapes, vines or pomegranates, but leans towards lemons, oranges and almond blossom, such are the vagaries of head art, but it’s all relevant to Cyprus life).

Scrabbling around in cupboards for pencils, crayons, old geometry sets, observant folks will note the ruler in the pictures and understand just how old that is!

I like precision and it started to take shape. Enlarged the next day with some blank parts (To be decided), working on the principle that the design would flow as it evolved.

Head thoughts, to be worked on in progress…

This was quite a big project and I was going to be living with the end result, so I needed to do what I wanted to do, break a few rules if there are any and go with my art heart!

Once it started, it became my nightly pleasure. “Darling” son who lives with me, is working in the hospitality industry, late nights are the norm, there was no one who needed my cooking skills and I can live quite happily on cheese and biscuits, bread and cheese, biscuits and cheese, cheese and… well, you get the picture!

Work in progress…

July mosaiced into August, my daughter arrived for three weeks holiday so I put my tile nippers and glue away and became social again, but there was a deadline to the final session ticking away so whilst she was out clubbing away some evenings, I was snipping, cutting and gluing, racing towards completion day.

Grouting day appeared, a messy time, plus apprehension as to whether I’d done it right, had I used the right amount  of water and grout, had I stood on the tiles hard enough to make it level ( Yes, one way of ensuring a big piece is glued down evenly, I didn’t think of that either! Thank you, Teacher!)

Finished-pre-grout…

Luckily the OH had appeared for a D-I-Y visit, he helped me and we brought it home. Horror, there were cracks appearing, panic built, but Teacher passed by on her way home and taught me the grout fixes.

The mosaic panel was inserted into the table frame.

The result for me was the pleasure of the whole project.

I’d enjoyed the creation and the finished table was something I’d completed, finally!

A very satisfying summer and a new table!

Finished, post-grout…

I did mention I’d only be doing this once, but, well, I’ve now joined into another glass and mosaic workshop and guess what, I’m doing another table! The table journey to be continued…

And I need to catch up on rather a lot blog-wise. Hmmm…

My excellent teacher:

http://www.sharentaylor.com

www.facebook.com/SharenTaylorMosaics

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Story…

It’s early Spring in Cyprus at the moment.

20/3/18 is the official date for the start of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, ( I checked, just to make sure) but the hillsides in Cyprus are already in full Spring bloom.

The trees are bursting out into blossom, the ground is full of wild iris, orchids, and field gladioli, not to mention the numerous other small flowers that pop up through the undergrowth and the weather is glorious.

It’s a time for walks in the hills with a camera in hand…

My story starts with an Almond tree, in full blossom…

 

and then I spot a bee…

 

Let’s follow the bee…

 

Oh, that nectar is so worth a deep dive…

 

And it’s so good I’m going in for more…

 

Finished! Time to go home…

 

Now, where’s my hive?

 

 

Story

Weekly Photo Challenge, Silence…

The Daily Post photo challenge this week asks us what Silence looks like in a photo.

This was the one for me.

A January trip up to the Troodos mountains in Cyprus, choosing a little used road, we came across a view point high up in the mountains with a perfectly placed bench looking across this view.

No sounds, remote from anyone else, this is my take on Silence.

The view from my seat was totally silent……

Silence

Thursday Doors, 16/11/17. A door memory….

In 1990 I purchased my first house in Cyprus in a village outside of Paphos. It was an old village house, virtually a ruin. But my dream was to renovate a village house and this was it.

In 1993 we finally moved in. I had, by virtue of lack of funds, chosen the cheapest builder and the promised 8 month renovation time dragged out for 2 years. Close to completion we realised he was spending all our payments for work completed on brandy and after a few incidents we had to find another builder to complete.

The entry to the house was via the street, and through a courtyard. My desire for the street entrance was to find some old Cypriot doors and after searching for a long time, I finally came across a pair strapped to a tree at the back of the local junk dealers courtyard. Price negiotated, we delivered them to the carpenter who renovated them beautifully. Varnished and with brass handles gifted by my father, they were my pride and joy.

But, as the children grew and the village was just a tad too far from our business, we decided to sell. My one lasting regret is that I left the doors.

This morning, having an appointment close by, I decided to go and see whether they still existed.

Yes, they are there, now a funky blue, but still gorgeous. Regrets? Yes…

The street view, just an interesting blue door glimpse on the right…

Aren’t they gorgeous…

And they were mine once! Ah, well, they look cared for and I like the blue…

Linking with Thursday Doors hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over and see some of the other doors featured this week…

Thursday Doors, 2/11/17. Finding village doors, Akamas, Cyprus.

Last time I posted in Thursday Doors, I hadn’t found any worthy doors in the abandoned village of Theletra, so we carried on to search in more of the villages leading towards the Akamas peninsula, the promentory leading to the northwest cape of Cyprus. There are no paved roads to the cape due to the mountainous nature of the terrain, but some dirt tracks are accesible if you enjoy some offroad adventure and some fabulous views.

This time, with sunset on it’s way, was not the day for being adventurous, so we headed to the end of the paved road via a few of the little villages that dot the landscape and I found a few, traditional doors, worthy of inclusion for this week’s post.

Not quite a village door, but not to be missed…

Post office boxes have doors too..(Pano Akourdaleia)

There is always a church in the village, this time with some unusual doors…(Pano Akourdaleia)

 

Old and very typical doors into a house yard…(Kritou Tera)

I love the handles of this one…(Kritou Tera)

Bright blue on the corner…(Kritou Tera)

And blue on the roadside…(Kato Arodes)

With brown character…(Kato Arodes)

Time for a coffee in a village square( Ineia), the priest, pithary ( traditional pots) and threshing board…

One last wrought iron door in the sunlight…(Ineia)

And a glorious sunset to finish the day…

 

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton.Pop on over, click the blue frog link and check out some more doors this Thursday…