Thursday, 29 September 2011

Ancient Rhodes

The wonderful weather we are having at home has made it so much easier to settle into the darker autumn evenings. The light is fading so quickly was nearly dark by 7.30 last night.  As promised I wanted to share with you one last set of photos taken on our recent trip to Rhodes. For this post I thought I would show our visits to the Acropolis of Lindos and to Ancient Kamiros.

Lindos is very near to where we stay. It is a beautiful town full of steep cobbled streets and shops and restaurants. The acropolis is at the summit of the hill there as seen in the centre of the photo. The only way up is by foot or by donkey.

As we arrived quite early we decided to follow the donkeys up by foot. It is quite a steep climb and I do not think we could have walked it much after 10 in the morning as the sun gets far too hot.

The temple inside the acropolis is dedicated to none other than Athene the goddess of love. Parts have been rebuild to show how it would have looked in the 3rd century BC. How on earth did the ancient Greeks manage to build these impressive structures so high up without modern technology? Such incredible feats of engineering.

This is the view back down into the wonderful blue Aegean Sea, the sky and the sea just seem the bluest of blues.
After our lunch we retreated to a wonderful roof top cafe in Lindos and sat in the shade drinking coffee and sharing an ice cream......mmmmmmmmmm - it was even served in a deep blue glass dish.

Later in the week we also visited Ancient Kamiros

This ancient city was 1st established in the 6th century BC and it was the first city on Rhodes to cut its own coins. It fell into decline when people moved to nearby Rhodes Town in about 400 BC. The remains of Kamiros were first discovered by archaeologists in 1929.

  You are able to stand at the bottom of the "Road" which took the ancient Greeks through their town. There are still building and shop ruins remaining.

In Kamiros you could really feel the presence of all past people who had walked these streets thousands of  years ago. I wonder what on earth they would made of our modern day life?!

Again we were able to find a terrific spot for our picnic, a bench in the shade over looking the ruins. Not bad for a view is it!

As the heat of the day built up we were always glad to return to our resort,

 retreat to our beach and swim in that wonderful blue Aegean Sea

Keeping on a old fashioned theme, but on a more "retro" than an "ancient" note, during my recent giveaway it was suggested by my great blogging buddy Robin that I made some bag charms with a crafting theme. I thought that was such a great idea. As I am busy making up my jewellery stock for a few parties I decided to make one.  I thought you would like to see the very first one which has a sewing theme.......
I have called this one "Sewing Queen" and it features a  fun retro Singer sewing machine charm together with a pair of scissors
Here they are in close up. I have used  2 gorgeous one of a kind green themed lampwork beads here made by a talented UK artisan. What do you think?
I have put this one for sale in my Etsy shop here.
I have put postage rates for it to the EU and to the USA for any international buyers.
I am also working on a knitting one and I will "show  and tell" soon.
(Edit 30.9.11, Knitting Queen is now on sale here and as the bag charm shown left is now sold here is a new one)

We are not reaching the dizzying heights at home of the temperatures we had on Rhodes but it has been well into the mid 20os and we are really enjoying an "Indian Summer" this week. This morning the sky is already clear blue and the sun is up and shining.  This weekend it is  forecast here in the south of England to reach 30oc by Sunday, so there is a fab weekend to look forward to. We have been warned though that that will well and truly be the end of this sunshine and by the following weekend autumn will have arrived.

On Saturday my Dad is coming over to help my Hb install the power and lighting in my Studio. The bench is all installed and is fabulous. We have been looking a some shelving systems too. I absolutely adore my new outside work space, I promise to show some interior photos really soon. I have a very special trip planned on Saturday, my daughter and I are going to the Bridal Fair in London, so exciting!

I hope you all enjoy an exciting weekend. Sending you sunshine, wherever you are. Thanks as always for your visits and comments.

Back soon,

Bye for  now,

Jane x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Return to the Butterfly Valley and a butterfly winner!

Last year was the first visit we made to the Butterfly Valley during our September holiday to Rhodes. It was such a memorable place that we decided to return this year and if possible walk down as well as up the valley. It was a blazing hot day when we arrived and we were so pleased to escape into the beautiful cool valley. We came armed with a packed lunch (we always do this as there is nothing worse that finding somewhere beautiful and then having to leave it to find something to eat and drink).

We found the cooling stream flowing in front of us as we entered.
We made our way up hill until the valley opened out

If you look at the next photo, where I have zoomed in, on the bottom of the tree to the left you will see the start of the multitude of butterflies

Look carefully......

Here they are...thousands and thousand of them

Around the trunks

And literally dripping from every leaf. The effect is quite magical and every so often a group takes off and there is a flurry of the red of their wings as they take flight.

This year we looked into history of them a little more. It turns out that all the butterflies are of one type;
Panaxia quadripunctaria. And they are actually  a type of moth, the Jersey Moth. On Rhodes they migrate to this one valley and spend from June to September here as adults.
I managed to get a of photo showing them with their wings out
On this visit we also spotted more of the wildlife, including lots of wonderful freshwater crabs

Have you spotted him here........................

 well hello there Mr Crab!

We also spotted some cool lizards basking in the dappled sunshine
After lunch we wandered back down the valley and saw a part we had not visited before with cool deep ponds

We felt privileged to be able to witness such a unique event which only takes place for a few months of the year.

All this butterfly talk very neatly brings me on to the other part of this post which is to announce the winner of my 100th post giveaway.

The names went into my holiday hat.......drum roll..........................

and out came....................

Teresa- one of my American blogging buddies!  Teresa chose my Gardener's Delight bag charm as her favourite and guess what features on it..
Yes, a little butterfly, amongst the ladybird and flower lampwork beads and the basket of flowers charms!

Congratulations Teresa, I shall be in contact with you and will get this off to you as soon as I can . Teresa has had a tough time recently as her dear little grandaughters have moved a long, long way away from her, I really hope this might cheer her up.

Thank you everyone for your very helpful comments - it really was the most useful feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave them.

 As the number one favourite design was the "Tea for Two"
 I have decided to put that one for sale in my Etsy shop. I will also be listing some new bag charms in the coming weeks including a sewing and a knitting themed set. Watch this space. They are great stocking or cracker fillers (dare I mention the C word in September ;0)

Summer has returned here for the weekend and we have got back up into the mid 20oc, which is lovely. The garden is still just about hanging on to its summer bedding, a real bonus weekend. I hope you have enjoyed your weekend. I shall be back soon with one last post from Rhodes, just to keep the sunshine levels topped up for us all.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The warm blue Aegean Sea

Hello! I am back from my holiday to Rhodes. We had a wonderful relaxing week and the first thing we see when we arrive at our apartment each  year is the wonderful blue Aegean sea.....
This is the view which greets us when we pull back the curtains of our bedroom and step onto the balcony...what bliss. We arrived late in the afternoon but the sun was still so gloriously warm that we headed straight down to the beach

 which lies just a few feet away down these steps.

The sea just gently laps up towards the the sun chairs and the feel of the warm honey coloured sand under your toes just warms the soul. My Hb and I just stand for a second and breath in sheer relaxation, it is a time when everything else just slips away. The sea is so warm too...sheer magic!

There was enough time for a swim in the warm blue Aegean Sea before showering, changing and wandering the short walk to one of our favourite beach  restaurants  and enjoy some of this....

followed by a delicious meal

Whilst we watched the sun set..

Thank you all for your super ideas and comments you left me on my 100th post and giveaway. I am going to pull a winner out of the hat later on this evening and I will be back soon to show your a few more photos of this sunny island and our visits.

The weather really is becoming very autumnal here, the trees are changing into their golden hues and there is a slight nip in the air. It was the first day of autumn yesterday...time to start thinking about getting cosy during the longer nights.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 8 September 2011

100th post and yes another giveaway...:0)

Well goodness me I am stunned that I have already reached this landmark. One hundred on earth could I have written all of those?

It's only when I look back I realise just how many things I have made, grown, visited, celebrated, admired and so the list goes on.

Do I have a favourite post....hmmmmm, that's a tricky one, I really enjoyed writing my Countdown to Christmas ones last year and this one is one of my all time favourites, but if I look at my blogger stats the favourite post of all time is actually  this one.

I know I have had a few giveaways this year but I just cannot let this landmark go by without doing something. So I decided to let you in on what I am working on at the moment. If you remember in April I made some bag charms as gifts for my family and friends who came to celebrate my big birthday. Here are photos of some that  I made.

They really went down so well and the recipients genuinely loved receiving them. Even the mens' key chains I made were really popular. I get a real buzz when I spot them on my family and friends' bags.

I have been thinking for some time to start to sell these at my jewellery parties and in my Etsy shop and recently I had an enquiry about a commission for making a few of them.

This spurred me on to making some more.

They are quite time consuming to make as I have to wire up the lampwork beads and putting everything together is quite fiddly. Obviously there is no sterling silver in these, the costs would be far too high. I do use silver plated wire though and all the clasps are really good strong quality ones.

 I have made 4 new ones and I am going to offer one of them as a prize for my 100th post giveaway, in return for a  little bit of customer research!

Below are the 4 new ones I have made, captioned A,B,C and D. I also had fun giving each one a name. To enter my giveaway I would like you to say which is your favourite and also if you were buying bag charms either for yourself, or as a gift, what others colour ways/ themes would you like to see? This could be something completely different to the ones I have shown. Please don't be shy, I would like as many people to comment as possible. It will give me valuable insight into what people like to buy. My giveaways are always open to anyone who visits my blog, you do not have to follow me etc etc.  I really can't quite get my head around all of that, there are no requirements from me, it's all just for a bit of fun.You don't even need to have a blog to enter but if you don't you will need to leave an email address that I can contact you on if you are a winner. I will also post worldwide.

So here we are;
A. Girlie fun
B. Handbags at dawn
C. Time for tea
D. Gardener's delight

 Below gives you an idea of how they look on a bag. I plan to sell them at around £6.75 each depending on the lampwork beads I use. What do you think of that price? Each bag charm is totally unique and one of a kind. Although I can make similar they will never be identical as the beads are handmade glass, not factory produced.

The final day for entering my giveaway will be 4pm on Thursday 22nd September. I will then pull one name out of the hat.

The winner will win their chosen bag charm so please ensure that you at least write A,B,C or D in the comments box, any additional feedback would be really appreciated.

So there we are 100 posts already written. Thank you  for being such great blogging buddies. I really so enjoy your company and friendship, from here in the UK and all around the globe. I love sharing my journal with you all and reading all you comments you so kindly leave me.

After all the lovely late summer sunshine we had last week the weather has turned so autumnal. It's been so windy and dull. I even thought about turning my heating on last night...but I resisted and put on another layer instead. Now I am such a lucky girl as I am off on holiday to catch some of the last summer sun early next week. I will leave this post up and will not be commenting on it whilst my giveaway is running.

There are no surprises this year where we are going as you have seen my photos from this lovely island just to cheer everyone up who is not blessed by year round sunshine...

Here's to the next 100 posts. Cheers!

Bye for now,

Jane x