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)

Math Monday

math monday

mathsbananas

I’m getting better with the days. Granted it’s 1 a.m. (sort of) but for my purposes it’s still Monday night. I just managed to steal some minutes at the end of a rather longish day, and now it’s time to do the math.

  • 1 new listing on Etsy finally! Oh yeah, this banana has risen from the Etsy dead. I’ve managed to locate my beads, and supplies but the frames I use to take photos with the jewelry are still in the mysterious box no. 7 which is nowhere near me, right now.
Caution: not edible!

Caution: not edible!

  • 6 is the number of boxes I have unpacked. You might be wondering what’s taking so long — I keep going on and on about boxes. I should be done already, right? Well not quite. I’ve just moved to my apartment and it will soon undergo major renovation, so I’m not too quick with unpacking things that don’t need to be out of their boxes yet. It’s going to be a long while before I manage to call this place my home, but I love changes, and boy am I excited.
  • 5-digit number, which I dare not mention, is the cost of the whole renovation. I was doing the math earlier this evening along with the carpenter. I’m quite optimistically looking beyond the big sum of expenses and envisioning the big change and long-term investment. Wouldn’t you?
  • 1.5 job interviews for my sister. The .5 is for the second part of the interview which involves some hands-on creativity tomorrow with a live brief (by the way, my sister’s a graphic designer / illustrator and she designs anything plain bananas you see). I’m hoping you can cross your fingers too.
  • 1 new pair of earrings that I have yet to list. The perfect way to end a long day of numbers.
Look beyond the bad lighting

Look beyond the bad lighting

Coming soon, a photo of the kitchen I’ve chosen and my clean desk. Ok, I’ll sneak in one of the sea from my balcony too.

How was your week in numbers?

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.

Math Monday

math monday

Math Monday

If we look past the fact that it’s not really Monday today, we can get right down to the Math of things. Let me break it down in numbers for you:

  • 1 sale to Montreal. Thank you Stella for making my day with your wonderful message. I know that my plain yin and yang are going off to a great person!
  • 1 guest at home (though that number has now increased to two since Monday. It’s a testosterone-dominated home). Our friend George came from Cyprus with a great card that’s currently on our fridge.
The outlines are of myself and my boyfriend. This was taken on the beach next to my apartment in Cyprus.

The outlines are of myself and my boyfriend. This was taken on the beach next to my apartment in Cyprus.

  • 8 people who have shared their enthusiasm for the cycle journal. Spread the word — this will be a cool project and I need more people to make it work!!
  • 22 artists (including myself) taking part on the BIG Greek Summer Giveaway!
  • 2 little upcycled umbrellas. One of them was behind the shadow on the wall in a previous entry. This little cute pair is now available at my shop
Plain Mary Poppins

Plain Mary Poppins

  • 7 hours spent in a long photographic walk. We did stop to eat lunch and then some dessert too.
Fooling around with the camera mounted on the tripod. I'm caught mid-air!

Fooling around with the camera mounted on the tripod. I'm caught mid-air!

  • 5 is the number of days we have left until Berlin (though it would have been 8 if this were posted on Monday).
  • 2 is the number of ultra-cool charcoal illustrations I bought from Sam, of matouenpeluche. In fact, I’m getting 3, with the great sale she has going on in her shop right now. It’s a good thing too, because picking out favorite items is really hard with all those talented drawings she has on display.
One of the drawings I got!

One of the drawings I got!

How was your week in numbers?

Nerd with me

Musings

I had a fun little surprise in the mail yesterday. It was enough reason to get out of my pjs and promptly rush down the stairs to pick this sweet package up:

What lovely packaging!

What lovely packaging!

This came all the way from LA, from Gabbi, who hosted this giveaway on her blog. As I was reading her blog entry, I was pretty much with my jaw to the floor with the photos of books and actual libraries. It made me reminisce back to those years in the US, with library days and comfy armchairs and the general acceptance of being a little nerdy. The libraries I have seen here in Chania are in dire need of:

  1. space
  2. books
  3. librarians
  4. armchairs
  5. technology
  6. atmosphere

So I was head over hills to receive this giveaway. It brought back memories of times that now seem pretty unreal.

Reading IS sexy!

Reading IS sexy!

I’m definitely going to put that sticker on my car when I return to Cyprus in August! And what a great extra surprise to get a pair of earrings from Gabbi too — in a little re-sealable Hello Kitty bag!

So girly!

So girly!

And since reading is sexy, time to get back on that Berlin travel guide. What have you read today?

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!

Make a run for it

Musings

It’s always the case that when I opt for the flight with less layover time at the airport there is a delay with my flight. Result: I have to spend the entire duration of the flight to connecting airport huffing and puffing, fretting about whether I’m going to make my connection at all. Add to that the stress of knowing said connection is the last flight to the island and you’ve got yourself a nerve-wracking trip ahead of you.

That was me on Saturday.

I checked in on time and was informed that the plane had a 20-minute delay, at which point I had already started calculating average time it would take me to get from one gate to another in semi-running (quick pacing) mode. At Cyprus airport I also took care of my bookcrossing item and tried as much as I could to make it a surprise for the next person to discover it.

Chocolate lovers have an advantage.

Chocolate lovers have an advantage

I then waited around the gate patiently and finally boarded the plane only to hear over the speakers an announcement that the plane would have a further delay of 20 minutes. Estimated time to get from gate of arrival to gate of departure: 15 minutes. Swell.

I moved up to the first row of economy class and knew that upon landing I had to RUN. And I did. We arrived at the furthest possible gate and I raced through the entire Eleftherios Venizelos, the whole time feeling like I was re-enacting a scene from Run Lola Run. I got to the gate on the dot and managed to make it home in one piece. And breathless.

Being back to base and my beading-corner-of-a-factory feels great. Yesterday I made a lot of new earrings, which I’ll post on flickr today as well as Etsy. Gradually the shop is growing and by tonight I hope to have updated all of my items that are currently available for sale. First order goes out today and I might post a photo of it in the next entry because if anything, it’s the start of something big (or even big-small). And this leaves me breathless too.

On paper

Jewelry
It's official!

It's official!

Pour the wine, let’s have a toast because plain bananas is now finally on business cards. I still can’t believe it myself, and constantly need to check the stash in my wallet, that’s patiently waiting to more from hand-to-hand.

What’s more, my earring cards and stickers are done too, and here’s a sample (and the first thing I did as soon as I returned from the printer’s).

Pick me! Pick me!

Pick me! Pick me!

This day has been positively ecstatic and unquestionably tiring and I feel like I’m ready to collapse. Flying back to base tomorrow, where I’ll post more items on my etsy shop now that I’ve taken all the necessary photos. Look out for it.

If you would like to receive plain bananas postcard mail, let me know. Also if you love plain bananas and want to support it, let me know if you’d like your stash of cards to get going on the move. Remember, the power of this verb is great so feel it and PASS IT ON.

Stick to your choices

Jewelry, Musings

A boxful of pearly beads has been eagerly waiting for me at the post office for a few days now and I managed to pick it up today. I haven’t taken any photos of the new material I have to work with but I can tell you that I’m very inspired. If I add to that the inspiration I have got from the hand-me-down beads I’ve received thus far from all my great supporting friends and family who are more than happy to see old, forgotten or hated necklaces transformed in a brand new persona, it’s enough to have me doing nothing else all day here.

But that’s pretty much impossible as anyone who’s tried to cram a few months’ worth of a visit in one tiny week knows. I have been on the go constantly, maximizing my time here and trying to see as many of the people I have missed enough to last me through the summer. My efforts have been so focused on seeing people that it wasn’t until today that I managed to venture into downtown Larnaca for the first time. I have been here for 4 days and the shop / coffee-shop magnet just hasn’t had the same draw on me. It’s no wonder with all these new beads I have, to play with.

In fact, today I actually toyed with a new set of earrings featuring buttons, which I’ll probably feature tomorrow when I finish them off. I also made a new pair of earrings for a friend — her smile and excitement was the best reward and completely empowered me. I love giving presents, especially plain good ones.

Here’s a mediocre photo of the earrings: Plain Chris. It was taken in a rush because I had to dash off to dinner, so look beyond the lighting.

Customized to her aura

Customized to her aura

The top bead is actually silver and I personally loved this pair!

In other great news, my cards are off for printing. I hope to have them this week and I will include some photos of them in a coming entry or two. It’s just plain fantastic and I’m going bananas!

And lastly, I’ll leave you with a taste of real Cyprus. For those of you lucky enough to live here or be familiar with the place, enjoy this photo. In the true spirit of the island, it celebrates free will, public disregard and political correctness all in one.

Translation on announcement: We respect the choices of people around us. We don't smoke in non-smoking areas.

Translation on announcement: We respect the choice of people around us. We don't smoke in non-smoking areas.

This was on every table, as were the two ashtrays. In Cyprus, everyone’s choice is respected for sure.

You give me fever

Jewelry, Musings

The week is off with thermometer in hand, cold compresses and sickness soup just when I was to say good riddance to winter. I’m not the one sick (yet), but something tells me to hold for the symptoms to appear on Friday, before I fly out to my sister because I know that life is not without a sense of sadistic brouhaha.

As I did my best trying to fruitlessly alleviate any form of discomfort the fever may have been causing my sick boyfriend, I didn’t for a second convince myself that I was making much of a difference. Between making soup, hydrating and keeping him company, I managed to make two new pairs of earrings that I’ve posted on flickr. I’m sharing one of those pictures here, because it is actually taken from inside my not-completely wrecked journal.

Chewed and digested

Chewed and digested

Credit for the chewing goes to The Little Anorak Girl’s illustrator, who couldn’t help getting his teeth into it. Thanks J.

As promised, I’m posting another picture from the Pink Milk Vintage photo-shoot. This is one of my favourites, and simply love the whole scene. The jacket is too elegant for words. Go ahead, chew on this yourself:

Hang on to this

Hang on to this