House, Haus, Chaos

Jewelry, Musings

Replace the word home with chaos, which sounds like “house” with a foreign accent, and welcome to my world. Coming through the door is still a struggle as there are various boxes and the like blocking the view. My mental sanity? In shreds, packed away in bubblewrap somewhere.

The other day, with all the cleaning and whatnot, we managed to lose the dog. Lose the dog in an apartment, mind you. There are only so many places it could go:

  • under bed? CHECK
  • under chair? CHECK
  • next to the couch by the wall? CHECK
  • the veranda? CHECK
  • squeezed by the laundry basket? CHECK

I was running out of places and she wouldn’t answer to her name. Then I stumbled onto this:

Are you looking for me?

Are you looking for me?

She found her way into the wardrobe and thought it looked nice and cosy. She made her own little version of “Do not disturb”.

When I’m not looking for dogs or fighting my way past the entrance, I’m busy in more ways than one. I recently got a big job that’s exciting but will keep me very very busy. Right now I’m finally back on normal full schedule and this is totally catching up with me. Despite all this, I managed to make a new pair of earrings that I have yet to photograph for Etsy because I’m always working at the time when I like the light the most. Maybe this Saturday…

plain buttoned up

plain buttoned up

This should be listed in my shop soon. I will start working feverishly for some new stuff because I’ll be taking part in a crafters’ fair that’s taking place around Halloween. It’s going to be my first fair so I’m very excited about it, and I have all sorts of ideas about new plain bananas items. Be patient, will you?

Speaking of bananas, I was ecstatic to discover that I made the front page on Sunday! This totally made my day and I’d like to thank palepink for this. Here it is:

plain africa in the spotlight!

plain africa in the spotlight!

Hope you’re enjoying your week. Soon, some photos of my chaos. And I’m not messing with you.

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Just mental

Jewelry

I’m happy to announce: I’m back.

And by back, I mean back to the beading fun. Last night before going to bed I really felt the urge to make a set of earrings, which I shared with you yesterday. They are now available at my shop. The same feeling greeted me in the morning, and I made another set while having my dose of Vitamin C in the sun. The nutrients worked, because look:

Indulging in my girly persona

Indulging in my girly persona

And in general I’ve been on the hyper side of things. Just thinking about all the changes that my apartment will undergo — this major face lift — really makes me lose sleep at night. Not from worry or stress, but excitement. I think about the major changes, and pepper those thoughts with a lot of great accessories I come across on Etsy and interior design blogs and magazines and oh my, I’m in mental heaven! If only mental money could work as well in reality as it does in my head, where budget is a word that is foreign and utterly meaningless. But that’s in my head — and as regards most things in there — pretty useless to the real world.

But I promised a little view of the kitchen plans. In the absence of a scanner, I photographed the catalog. I think it gives you the overall idea:

Be my guests!

Be my guests!

And lastly, all your crossed fingers did the trick! My sister got the job and now it’s time for celebration. Bring out the wine and some food because I’m famished. But before I go, here’s a view from my balcony along with my little friend. Enjoy!

The beach waits for you (and me)

The beach waits for you (and me)

Front Page News

Jewelry

My Poster Sketch was pretty dusty since I hadn’t used it in over a month. Yesterday I was determined to catch myself a treasury, and as luck would have it, both T-Main and T-West opened at the same time. I couldn’t miss one even if I tried.

In the mini heat wave we’re going through right now, all I could think of was cooler weather. I never used to be an Autumn person, but then I grew up. I used to think that it was perfect to lay on the beach scantily clad frying, but now all I think about is skin cancer. Or my skin shriveling. Or dying of dehydration.

So Autumn, I welcome very enthusiastically. My treasury proves it.

This was the first treasury I made from home, Cyprus, and perhaps I wouldn’t have been as inspired otherwise. My mom was trying to get through the Etsy lingo as I explained what each button and purpose was, and in my secret exasperation (why doesn’t she just know this stuff?) I failed to notice the good luck she was sprinkling all over the place.

Why?

Well, check this out:
etsy fp

Oh yeah. Total surprise! I was so thrilled my 5-minute Internet browse turned into a little more than that.

So mom, thanks. Autumn, hurry up!

Enjoy your Sunday. I’ll be painting the wall of my teaching room and don’t worry, I’ll share some before and after photos!

Plain best customer ever

Jewelry

I must have mentioned that at some point in July, I got home to a wonderful surprise — Stella stumbled upon my shop and fell in love with my plain yin and yang earrings. I got a wonderful message from her that completely made my day. Recently (read: a month ago, in my recent internet past), she sent me a photo of herself wearing the earrings! One more location on the plain bananas map: Montreal.

Thank you Stella!

Thank you Stella!

You can catch more of Stella here.

Our Big Fat Greek Summer Giveaway

Jewelry

Greek Summer Giveaway

Everyone likes freebies. I’m a big sucker for the buy-one-get-one-free deal, because let’s face it: a present is a present. And giveaways are giveaways. The Etsy Greek Street Team, has put together a big giveaway that will be won by seven people! On the edge of your seat? Sit tight and read on how you can be a lucky winner!

The rules are simple: Visit the participating shops through their links, found below, make a purchase of $10 or more (excluding shipping costs) from one or more shops and enter the draw to take place on September 2, for the seven free gift packages on offer! All purchases in the month of July and August will be considered as entries.

Oh and the bonus: The more items you buy, the more entries you get in the draw.

Shops participating in the giveaway have the banner and announcement on their shop.

Oh and the prizes? Here’s some eye-candy for you:

pack_1

1. from FLORENTINES – Leather Flip Flops / Custom made
2. from MATTAK – Handmade pendant / Silver & Bronze
3. from PLAIN BANANAS – plain Walk on the Beach — Leg bracelet / beads, shells, charms
4. from THEPRINCESSNEXTDOOR – Papier Mache earrings

pack_2

5. from TRISEVYENI – Copper earrings / Goldfilled earwires
6. from NAZOZUBUS – Handmade Rose Brooch
7. from KARMOLOGYCLINIC – Colorful Summer handbag
8. from AMORONIA– Alice in Wonderland – Rabbit / Paper Mache Brooch

pack_3

9 . from NAFSIKA – Ethnic style sterling silver earrings
10. from ARTISTICO – You are always here / Limited Edition – Print – size A4
11. from MOONSTONEJEWEL – Necklace Antique Golden Butterfly
12. from ONSTAGE69 – Summer fun shell bracelet

pack_4

13. from EVRYDIKI – Sterling Silver earrings / pearl, amethyst, red coral
14. from HEARTSHAPEDCREATIONS – Polar Bear / polymer clay 1,4” in height
15. from SIVYLLA – Dreamy Flip Flops / Custom made
16. from LACRAVATTENDUCHIEN – Multi strand necklace

pack_5

17. from THEPRINCESSNEXTDOOR – Papier Mache bracelet
18. from AMORONIA – Alice in Wonderland – Mad Hatter / Paper Mache Brooch
19. from ARTISTICO – Only Time / Limited Edition – Print – size A4
20. from NERAIDODHMIOURGIES – Blue Love – Key chain

pack_6

21. from VANTIDESIGNS – Felt Necklace / wool, beads, ribbons
22. from ANTIGONI – I like to rock… / Sterling silver earrings, Swarovski, lucite
23. from ONSTAGE69 – Lambwork Lady Bug
24. from ARTISTICO – U2 / Limited Edition – Print – size A4

pack_7

25. from ANTIGONI – Flower bracelet / Sterling Silver, Natural flower, gemstone
26. from CREATIONSBYEVE – Lipstick case
27. from POLINDIM – Adjustable ring / polymer clay, robbon, tulle, button
28. from AEGEANSEA – Six handmade batic gift cards / Blank

Those are a lot of presents waiting to be won!! If you would like some more information about the giveaway, click here. If you already have your eye on the group of prizes you’d like to win, start checking out all that wonderful Greek talent on Etsy.

Happy shopping and good luck!

Come along for the ride

Jewelry, Musings

In true Austin Powers style I have to say, “I got my mojo back.” Yeah, baybeah, yeah!

I was leafing through the Berlin guide, when I was overwhelmed by a sudden feeling of restlessness. Hey, I’m used to that. But lately my restlessness has hardly lent itself to jewelry expression. I don’t know what went wrong (or right) today, but I suddenly felt I had a calling to answer. And I’m thrilled with the result!

Want to see? Great, because that’s exactly what I had in mind. The problem? Poor lighting for any good photos…so, why don’t you take a guess…

shadow on the wall

Any wild guesses?

I promise to take some good photos of my new creations tomorrow when there’s some good old natural light. I can’t wait!

But hold on — you didn’t think my mojo only brought back this little number? Think again. I have a new fun project / idea that aims to bridge distances and connect artists and non-artists all-over. To complete it, I need your help. What am I on about?

A cycle journal

A cycle journal

What’s a cycle journal? One that will start from here and travel around the world until there are no more pages left to fill. Each person has a page or two to fill with anything from thoughts, photos, drawings, poems or even favorite quotes. Once it reaches the end, the person holding it, should return it to me and I’ll scan in the pages, one-by-one under a new theme day. So what now?

Who’s in?

If you are interested in participating in this, please send me an e-mail at plainbananas@gmail.com or start a conversation with me on Etsy, with your mailing address. I will collect a bunch of addresses that will be indexed at the back so whoever holds it can randomly select and tick off where they would like to send it off to next.

And that’s what I call good mojo! Are you game?

It’s a rich man’s world

Jewelry, Musings

Money, money, money.

Thanks to last summer’s box office hit musical, the classic slogan has become a tune and motto for youngsters all around (in addition to adults who have long been familiar with this, of course). I was promptly reminded of this every time I would mention the word “money” in class, which my students would mistake for a cue to start singing the song (or at least those three words in maddening repetition). Mention the word ABBA and suddenly the class goes quiet thinking it’s an acronym for a new tense.

Works every time.

As for the money in my pocket, I have been in a fix this past whole month because all of my credit cards expired. Location of new credit cards? Cyprus. So finally after a whole month of careful planning around the cash in my wallet, I received my new plastic money in the mail on Friday and proceeded to cut up expired cards in tiny pieces. In the end, I was left with a mount of colorful plastic inscribed in bank formalities.

Old money

Old money

I heaped it in my hand and just when I was about to throw it out, I had a bright idea (think lightbulb over head). Why put all those funky colors to waste? I had better plans for them, and the next day they came into fruition.

plain plastic money

plain plastic money

Old money – taken care of. The new cards must now be put into good use — namely in the form of a haircut. In fact, I am in dire need of one. I almost had my hair cut a couple of months ago, but was so unsure of what I wanted I ended up not doing anything.

Let me tell you a little something about my hair: It has multiple personalities. As a child, I had curls much to my general disbelief growing up, because for the better part of my life it was straight. Then, it started testing the waters with a wavy look that looked like I was stuck in a perpetual moment of hair indecision. In the past 4 years it has turned decidedly curly again. Now it looks like it needs a haircut.

In an effort to save money in the absence of plastic security I chose to delay the cut thinking that the perfect hairdo would come to me when I least expected it. Yeah, right. I am now at my hair’s split ends with this story: I even told my boyfriend that he can go ahead and cut it for me because I no longer care. His eyes glimmered and he got so excited over this, I swiftly retracted my statement of desperation, much to his disappointment.

He did try to win me over, though: “I may not be a hairdresser, but you can’t beat the precision of an engineer.”

Out of sheer curiosity I almost gave in to him, but then the new cards arrived. This week I’m taming the mane with professional scissors and leaving my engineer’s precision to other matters.

Oh and in other news, Antigoni from novely jewels awarded me with this:

blogaward

Thanks so much Antigoni! Now if I can figure out how to add it to the columns it would really be something worth celebrating!

In acceptance of this award, I will post the Rules of Blog Award Acceptance:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other fabulous blogs. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here’s is my list of lovely blogs I love reading:

1. http://www.boulieblog.com

2. http://finelittleday.blogspot.com

3. http://www.kreativling.at

4. http://lovarevolutionary.blogspot.com

5. http://matouenpeluche.typepad.com

6. http://novelle360.blogspot.com

7. http://pamelaangus.blogspot.com

8. http://paper-flower-girl.blogspot.com

9. http://theadventuresofcassie.blogspot.com

10. http://www.thespottedduck.com

11. http://wemakewords.blogspot.com

12. http://thankyouenjoy.wordpress.com

13. http://felinofelice.blogspot.com

14. http://abeautifulparty.blogspot.com

15. http://brooklynrehab.blogspot.com

Whew! That was a long list!

Have a lazy Sunday and Dads everywhere: Happy Father’s Day to you!

Technically speaking

Jewelry

Just when I was convinced that phone / internet companies were truly incompetent and would never actually get the technical problems sorted, I got a surprise.

I had come to terms with my indefinite absence from the online community, and had moved on to other things that made my days more colorful: beads! I was sitting in my little corner, inspired by hot pink and blue and had jazzy music in the background, when I suddenly get a text message. It read: Your technical problem has now been resolved. We are at your service, should you have any other problem.

A text message! Internet! Whoaaaaa!

But the past few days without it snapped me into shape. I briefly checked Etsy and my e-mails and then promptly closed the laptop and finished the necklace. First things, have now reclaimed their order and must come first again.

Here is the new necklace:

Plain tribal

Plain tribal

What followed, was of course a celebration that came in the sweet form of strawberry cupcakes. Incognito cupcakes, that is. Why? Well have a look at them yourself and see if you can spot what’s wrong:

Straight out of the oven

Straight out of the oven

Still can’t see it? Well, how about now?

Adding some color

Adding some color

Well, the whole mixture made 6 mega-cupcakes. I don’t know about you, but in my experience, cupcakes come in small, pretty shapes. Well, not in Greece, they don’t — because apparently, in Chania at least, there are no cupcake paper cases in sight. Only some gigantic aluminum ones, that look so wrong. But better than nothing.  At least I had this huge sweet pink delight to satisfy my evening craving.

This had my name all over it.

This had my name all over it.

So cyber world, hello. I’m back and it’s sweet to see you again.

To-do or not to-do.

Jewelry

To-do. To-do. To-do. Almost sounds like a beat, doesn’t it? Day in, day out I’m drumming to my own beat as defined by my ever-expanding to-do list. Yes, post-its used to cut it, but no, now I need to jot things down in a special to-do notebook. The pleasure of crossing things off is hardly a secret; all you have to do is flip through pages and pages of messy, lines almost carved into the page. Such satisfaction, such sense of achievement.

Of course, I have recurrent items in this list. One of these that keeps creeping up on me is a classic: Spend less time online, more time in real life. This one is hardly ever crossed off, but it serves as a kind reminder. Until yesterday, that is.

The night before I diligently added this on my to-do list, and woke up into the set of any basic Christmas movie — my wish had been granted: I had neither a phone line nor internet. Sure I was exasperated, but first things first: I got a pen, and crossed this haunting bullet point off without any restraint.

So a day without internet (yes, it only lasted one day), suddenly gave me a lot of free time. In fact, it was enough free time to do another little something I’ve had on my list for days — change the plain banana look. It’s only appropriate to show you a “before” picture:

Old bananas

Old bananas

More old bananas

More old bananas

So yesterday, stuck without internet, I finally started on the project to revamp my shop with some more cohesive photos. I loved using different backgrounds and textures for my photos, but after some reflection, I decided that the general look was all over the place and there were too many things to focus on at once. So, with this in mind, I wanted to take some fresh photos that tied the bananas jewelry together as a good cluster of fresh items.

What do you think?

Some fresh bananas

Some fresh bananas

Some more fresh bananas

Some more fresh bananas

Your feedback will be appreciated! Please tell me what you think of the new plain bananas. Personally, I’m liking the fresh look of cohesion. Thank you failing internet!

Of course, Internet was reinstated today and so I was able to slave away all day in front of my monitor to renovate the shop’s look. It was a perfect dose of withdrawal and I got to scratch out two things from my to-do list.

Next up, get the phone working. Tech support claims to be working on it, but who believes them? There wasn’t meant to be a phone / internet cut to begin with, but here we are now. A new look and no phone.

You can’t always win.

Let there be light

Jewelry

Project du-jour: How to make a cost-effective (read: no cost) lightbox for great photos of your jewelry.

I found various how-tos online and ended up making two lightboxes (using the same box — after all, the point is to be cost-effective). In my general excitement I clearly equated lightbox to photo perfection.

Lightbox #1 brought no such thing. Lightbox #2 ditto.

There I was, sitting on the floor as though meditating — an oxymoron of sorts, given my exasperated expression and sweaty brow, because let me tell you, having those lights around the lightbox is no laughing matter. It’s definitely not you’re average “don’t sweat it” project at all. Add to that the fact that I was leaning and craning my neck over the box while sitting on the floor until my brittle sense of logic  turned me toward the table and you have yourself the iconic sign of blondness. I can stand AND take photos? My, what luxury!

Here’s what the homemade version of a light-box looks like (well, my home-made version, anyway):

In the spotlight

In the spotlight

And just when I started getting the hang of things, my camera battery died. At least that gave me a chance to cool off and take a photographic break.

Tomorrow, this lightbox is my new toy and I’m just going to play with it. Also, planning a major revamp of shop, which will hopefully happen tomorrow. Till then, stay away from the spotlight — it makes you all icky.