30 September 2007

River Rock scarf - done!

I do believe that this is the most beautiful thing I've ever knit. I may have to figure out how to attach an idiot string so that I don't lose it! Don't know if the photos do it justice, but here's a stab at it:

1. Aphrodite and her new scarf!

2. Detail: Peridot Colourway

3. Detail: Pewter Colourway

4. Where the colourways meet

5. The whole scarf again!


Pattern: River Rock Scarf by Sivia Harding (No Sheep For You)
Started: 23 September 2007
Finished: 29 September 2007
Made for: Moi (who else, really?!?)
Yarn: Handmaiden Silken - 1 skein Peridot and 1 skein Pewter
Needles: 4.0 mm Addi Turbo Lace
Beads: Dark Gold 6/0 by Earthfaire
Length: 55"

- I started this project in part as my challenge for the Do Something New KAL. This month's challenge = knitting with beads
- in this regard, I picked a doozy. There is something like 1530 beads in this scarf!
- Do not knit this scarf if you don't want to end up with a habit for Silken that will bankrupt you!!
- the scarf was a relatively quick knit, aside from working with the beads, which were strung at the beginning and had to be pushed down all the way through. I got accustomed to this eventually but it is a bit of a hassle up front. Worth the bother though, don't you think?


I went with the pattern as written (nothing wrong with it! ) except for the following:
- I used 4.0mm needles instead of the 4.5mm needles called for, because I liked the tension I got with the smaller needles better
- the pattern calls for 2 skeins of the same colourway of Silken. I had initially wanted to go with the Pewter only, but couldn't locate 2 skeins of Pewter - so I bought the Peridot as well. Initially I planned to combine them both throughout as the pattern calls for. However, when I started to knit with the Pewter the colours were so lovely that I decided I wanted to show each colourway separately in the scarf. I was partly influence in this by a co-worker/friend saying that the yarns reminded her of sunlight falling onto the lake (when she saw my photo of the yarn). So - I combined the two yarns only for 40 rows right in the middle of the scarf... the greyer Pewter is meant to be just before the sunrise, the Peridot just after! ;)

Now, back to my next UFO - the Back To School Vest from Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel:

I started this last evening. This will be my "entry" in Pieheart's vest KAL on Knittyboard.

The yarn used is Colinette Lasso (polyamide). Love the colours, hate having to wind the skeins by hand, but hey. The vest will be either for me or for my mother depending upon which size it turns out (I didn't do a tension sample). I'm making the second smallest size (35.5", it says in the book) but think it is coming out a bit smaller.

29 September 2007

new toy!!!

I got a new camera yesterday... so we'll see if my photo-taking ability will be miraculously improved overnight!

Here's a snap of the (just finished!) River Rock scarf with the old camera:

And here are some snaps with the new: (a) Pewter:
and (b) Peridot:

Hmm... looks as though I will have to read that booklet after all! More pics tomorrow of the completed River Rock as modelled on the balcony by Aphrodite.

Here will be my October proect for the Do Something New KAL: the task will be learning to knit cables without a needle:

From the Twilley Denim Freedom booklet:

I got the Twilley Denim yarn on sale last month! ;-) in two colours.

Now, back to the Intoxicating sleeves, then the Tuscany, then... AUGH! Too many choices! Must also come up with a vest for Pieheart's Vest KAL on the Knittyboard - probably the Back To School vest in Fitted Knits. Hmm.

27 September 2007

Niagara Falls? - just ducky!

(Sometimes it strikes me that I would have an excellent career coming up with cryptic crossword clues - despite the fact that I couldn't get more than four or five answers in one to save my life!)

When I went to find my latest work-in-progress, the River Rock scarf, this morning at the unheavenly hour of 5:30 a.m. (the clock, after all, is ticking on my KAL deadline of 30 September!), it was not in its usual place on the living room table. I searched underneath the piles of newspapers ON the table... no joy. I then hunted throughout the apartment in my usual careless storage spaces - the vegetable crisper, the top of the toilet tank, etc. etc. No sign of my River Rock. I couldn't help but think that perhaps my mother had driven down from Kingston in the dead of night and absconded with it...! Until I thought to look on the balcony.

Well, here's what I found:

Apparently Quack enjoys the slippery sleek properties of Handmaiden Silken as much as I do!

Luckily I was just in time to rescue him from the inevitable devastation of rubber hitting concrete - I wouldn't want his battery mechanism destroyed, after all! (Don't ask...). After a stern scolding, I took him and my precious UFO inside.

But not right away - I did have time to snap a couple of photos first. Sorry to bore you in the event that you are not as fascinated with Handmaiden as I am!

I have introduced a second colour into the scarf, although I'm not sure that these photos quite pick up the full glory of both colours. Here are both of them together:

This is the (new to the scarf) Peridot colourway:
...and this is the lovely Pewter.

I must say that this will be the finest piece I've ever knitted. I'm in love with it already. Am tempted to wear it to work as is... but I don't know how well the Addi lace needles work as a fashion accessory. Besides, knowing me I'd probably manage to put an eye out while struggling to stay standing on the subway.

Wishing you all a wonderful day.



PS. Another stressor to start the day off right: I just learned that Nutella might not be health food after all... see the new food blog hosted by Jennifer and me!

PPS. the answer to the cryptic clue in the subject line is "crazyKB". ;-)

25 September 2007

a digression from knitting...

Another food-obsessed colleague and I have just set up a foodie blog. We don't quite know where this will go, but if interested we'd welcome any comments/topic ideas.

Check out Legal Eagles Who Lunch if interested. If you know others who are equally obsessed with food, perhaps you could send them the link as well?!

There, you can see lots of lovely photos like this:

...and maybe even grab some dinner ideas!

24 September 2007

River on a cloudy day...

I can't resist in progress pics for this one!

Yarn is Handmaiden Pewter. Beads dark gold 6/0 from Earthfaire.

Amazingly simple so far - the only chore is shoving the beads along as I strung them all on right at the beginning. SIGH. Should have used a crochet hook! Oh well.

I can tell already that I will have to hide this one when my mother comes to visit... ;-)

23 September 2007

village idiocy and other weekend frivolities

Well, here are the fruits of my weekend labours, starting from worst (but since improved) to bad to good to knock on wood!!

1. Village Idiocy

This is the end result of a disastrous attempt of a beret I tried to make this morning - perfectly good pattern by Monahan on Knittyboard. It was supposed to look like this:
Flemish beret and I'm not sure how I managed to make my version look like something that some old rummy troubadour was strolling around with in the 1400s. It is at least 51 sizes too big for me. Made using perfectly good Jo Sharp Desert Cotton. Time spent - 2.5 hours approx.

I'm in the midst of trying some controlled shrinking right now - I have washed it on hot in the machine and it's now in the dryer (not recommended). In the worst case scenario, I now have an idea for my Hallowe'en costume!!

ETA: here is the post-shrinkage result... a lot better.

Now I just look as though I work at Michel Baguette. ;-) I suspect part of the issue is that I just cannot carry off berets with any panache.

It is a very cool pattern (thank, monahan!). Think I'll try it again with a stiffer yarn. Ideas?

2. Another experiment gone, er - so so

This is a pair of felted slippers I made for myself using a pattern out of Knit One, Felt Two. You will see what the original pattern looked like below. I tried slip stitch straight lines on this version realising that this would make the pattern narrower - but I was hardly able to get them on! I have managed to stretch them somewhat - the other problem is that the heel didn't felt for some reason! SIGH. Made with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride - main colours Limeade and Blue Boy, 8mm needles.
Time spent - 3 hours approx.
3. Moral of the story: be less selfish

The slippers I knitted for JJ, by contrast, have turned out quite well (they're still drying in this photo):

His shoe form fits in them so I'm hoping they will be as cozy as they look! This was the original pattern from Knit One Felt Too - I think they were called "vintage chequerboard slippers". Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, 8 mm needles. Colours are Red Hot Passion and Loden Leaf. Time spent - 3 hours approx.

4. Onset of River Rock Scarf!!

Finally I've managed to start the River Rock Scarf, my September project for the Do Something New KAL. The fancy necklace is actually all the required beads strung onto the two skeins of yarn. Maybe I should just leave it like this!! Will start knitting this evening after finishing a bit of work I brought home. One week to go...!

And - another photo of the very fancy beads!!!

After this is done, it's back to the sadly neglected Intoxicating - 1 1/2 sleeves to go on that, then I'm not sure what quite lies ahead.

22 September 2007

naughty knitting

I just came across this one the other day when excavating (ahem, cleaning) my bedroom:

A saltire g-string!! (made for - guess who! Mr. Scotland)

Where did I locate it? In the back of a sock drawer, buried underneath some "I should throw these pairs of underwear out but they cost good money and are not falling apart yet" detritus. Ingrate. Hmph.

(mind you, I guess that a g-string made out of Lamb's Pride Bulky might not be the most comfortable thing to wear...and you may have noted that there is not a matching one with the greek flag).

If anyone comes across one of those annoying greeting cards which play music when you open them that has a scottish tune, please think about buying it and sending it to me. I'd like to take out the mechanism and sew it into the front of this beauty ;-)

I am NOT selfish... really, I'm NOT!

(stamping my feet).

Here is some proof that I do (deign to) knit for those other than myself (albeit on rare occasion):
Cool, eh? Pattern from Knit One, Felt Too. I know I said "no more socks" but these don't count as they are knitted flat. Yarn = Brown Sheep worsted in Loden leaf and Red Passion Hot (or Hot Passion Red, or...whatever!)

Of course, I had to share the wealth and buy some stuff to make myself some slippers as well:

I routinely curse Brown Sheep for coming out with the Limeade colourway. They might as well attach a pulley leading me directly to the cash register, really.

At least the slippers won't be hard to tell apart.

Unlike, for example, my eyewear. I'm trying generally to jazz up my life and look more funky as I am rather bored with my image. This can be an inherently difficult task when one has exceedingly boring taste in spectacles. I have just seen Holly Bee's fantastic new glasses and am seething when jealousy. Fact is that every pair of new glasses I have had since... well, since forever has been dark brown except for the penultimate time when I funked up my usual look with, ahem, silver.

So, the time came again for new glasses - bifocals, sigh - and off I trotted to my friendly neighbourhood eyeglass emporium. They had fabulous glassed in red, purple, orange, you name it... but guess what I settled for - not one but two new pairs in... well, the usual.

(a) Wire Frames

(b) Plastic Frames

You noticed the difference right away, didn't you? No? One word for you: BO-RING!!!!

Just picture my dilemma every morning "Oh, which glasses shall I wear? I can't decide which ones go better with my outfit!" (Of course, the real choice is dictated by which ones I can actually locate without any glasses on and very poor vision... usually after stumbling around for 5 minutes I locate one pair in the living room and stick those one, whichever they are. The second pair inevitably are located at dinner time, inside the fridge next to the Diet Coke).

But wait - here's proof that I am funky after all! check out the sidebar of the plastic specs:

Ignore the "mediterranean makeup" under the eyes (as my mother calls it). And if you suffer from this problem, a word of advice. Do not buy any expensive undereye creams. They do not work.

SIGH. Next time I will pay Holly Bee to come up to Toronto and be my specs consultant. My current specs consultant has equally good taste in glasses but is not forceful enough to twist my arm. At $450 per pair, however, this won't happen very soon. (Just think how much Handmaiden that would buy!! See
their newest colourway. SIGH. And for more on yarn spending, this rambling post will get to it eventually.)

So - how else will I improve my look? I've decided (for perhaps the 512th time) to grow out my hair. So, quite soon I will stop looking like this:

... and instead look like this:

fancy shoulder length messy look

Er... perhaps that length is not too realistic, so let's go with this instead which is the original style I liked:
Bourne Ultimatum

And not because I want to kiss Matt Damon either - eww.

There are some logistical problems with this plan, as usual:

* my hair is about 1/5th of the thickness of hers and probably far curlier.
* given my rather lackadaisical approach to makeup, hairstyles, etc. I require something fairly low maintenance.
* the only workout my hairdryer gets is in attempts to speed block knitted goods.
* I have no clue how to use hair products. When I do, the end result typically looks like I had an accident in the Vasilene factory.

The best hairstyle I ever had resulted from my trying to cut a particular hair colour out of it that I loathed when it had only grown out about an inch. I woke up the next day with bald spots and 4 inch length in the same do. The hairstylist had to do a brush cut to try to repair it. I kept the brush cut for 3 years because I liked the fact that I didn't need to buy shampoo (a bar of irish spring worked fine) and because I had a day job at the time that required my wearing wigs (don't ask).

So - please do wish me luck!!

Now back to me, me, I, I and yarn spending. The below, Emailed to a knitting friend and a non-knitting shopper friend (with some modifications taken out to protect the innocent), describes one of my forays this week:

I had thought that perhaps I should start up a group spend-a-long called "What I Sought and What I Bought". It could be either knitting-related only or re. shopping compulsions generally Maybe a colummar format or excel spreadsheet style entry with the total (plus GST plus PST... AGH!!!!! I wouldn't mind if we were actually getting services for all the taxes... but anyway)

I'm not going to do it on my own blog because it is depressing. LOL. Also, I don't want non-yarnie friends/relatives to see just how much I spend (especially re whining about "I still rent, I'll never own because it's too expensive in the city, wah wah wah). I feel like Meg Ryan in that movie where she was a big alcoholic and Andy Garcia was her husband. Can't remember the title. She was stashing booze and empties all over the place - in the linen closet, the clothes hamper, etc. I of course was never an alcoholic because I did all my drinking in the bar and did not have to resort to such tactics. Ah... the good old days. The more things change...

Anyway, the title just grabbed my fancy, really - on my way back from the yarn store. Today's entry for me:


- 2 skeins of Lamb's Pride Worsted, 1 dark blue and 1 dark green. Total projected expense: $9.25 per skein = $18.50 total.
- intended use: slippers for JJ who has been hinting that he wants something for himself since he has to watch me knit all the time, selfish bastard!


(Lamb's Pride colours):
- 2 skeins of Lamb's Pride Worsted, 1 red hot passion - M-197 on the website although they call it "red house passion" there!) and one loden leaf M-87 (apparently not on website - greeny brown) because I figured JJ needed a change.
Cost $18.50

So far so good... then:


- 2 more skeins of Lamb's Pride Worsted (because why the hell should I go to all the effort to knit JJ some slippers and not have one for myself?!) - 1 blue boy (M-79 - and you can just have a look at the skeins I sent you because I'm sure there was a blue boy in there and which I think you did receive! hmm) and 1 limeade (M-120. They might as well call this colour "green crack" as far as I am concerned, really). Cost = $18.50

Not too bad... but wait for it:


- (ED NOTE: having just received 7 skeins of Berocco Suede in a swap with one of the receipients of the Email)You will surely laugh... 2 skeins of Berocco Suede. http://www.berroco.com/shade_cards/suede_sh.html 3775 Sangria (and it's a good thing for me that they don't put the colour name on the label - I wonder why not, anyway... Super 10 doesn't either and the colour names are great! - anyway, otherwise I'm sure I would have walked out with 6 or so). Intended purpose: a cute page boy hat from Stitch Diva for which I bought the pattern yesterday. A necessary expense really, given that I am growing my hair out - and just think of all that money I'll save on haircuts! The fact that I don't really know how to crochet is just a minor barrier, really). Total cost 2x$12.50 or $25.00.

And then...

- a book - The Best of Interweave Knits. The worst of this is that I had talked myself out of buying it yesterday (where, by the way, I bought 6 skeins of Jo Sharp Aran Desert Cotton - but those were on sale so they didn't really count, did they?). In fact - you said you enjoyed my Good/Evil Kristina debate. Well, part of the debate (the "good" part) took place verbally out loud at the store while I was looking at the book. I might write out the debate at some future point... And, I don't even particularly like the sweater patterns in the book. I did like one lace shawl and one felted bag. The lace shawl is WAY beyond my capabilities and the felted bag I didn't need instructions for. The way Evil Kristina ultimately won the battle (which continued during my subway journey to work this morning) was by convincing Good Kristina that, as someone who only started buying IK two years ago, this was necessary archival material for any knitter, really. See what I mean about "evil"??? Why couldn't all the advocacy skills have gone to Good Kristina (it must be true what they say about lawyers, I guess). Cost: $31.95.

So - total spent $104.55 with GST, PST etc etc. Price of the intended purchase with the taxes: $21.09. Difference: $83.34. SIGH.


And this is the end of Kristina's Excellent Adventures for today. Off to finsh the slippers and then start on the River Rock scarf which I must have finished for 30 September as part of the Do Something New KAL. (augh!)

PS log cabin update (photographed on top of my deep freezer - 22x27")

18 September 2007

Intoxicating - and close fitting

I did say that I wouldn't post in progress pics... but Evil and Shameless Self Promoting Kristina has intervened.




But even the Gods have had to face hubris at some point or another! The yarns (SWTC Bamboo and Oasis, Handmaiden Sea Silk and Ella Rae Silkience) have all worked very well together.

What has not worked so well, perhaps, is Your Ever So Humble knitter trying out 4.5mm needles and 4.00mm needles, deciding on the 4.5mm and then putting those away by mistake and using the 4.0mm instead!


Having said that, a rather long bout of blocking this morning has yielded the correct length (more or...er, well, less!) and 1 inch off the body width only. So hopefully the end effect of my wearing it will not wind up somewhat less than Intoxicating due to the overt display of my...ahem... worldly goods! Or maybe I can just crank Aphrodite down a notch and schlep her wearing it around with me instead (I have seen stranger things in the public transit system of Toronto, and I doubt that the co-workers would be shocked at this point).

(I'm also not certain about the "stripe" effect in the maze pattern. However, it was the necessary result of attempting to ensure enough of all colours for the pattern, so I'll try not to bang my head against the wall too much).

Or, maybe this is just the fates intervening and whispering - nay, shouting - to me "It's time to make something for someone else for a change, you shameless hussy."

So - off I trot to the LYS over the next couple of days to pick up some felting yarn for a pair of slippers for Mr. Door Decoration Designer 2007 (and 2006, and 2005!), JJ. Expected cost: $20 or so. Anticipated Time in Progress: 6 hours plus several trips to the laundry room, effing and blinding as usual when in the laundry room. Potential for slapping oneself on the back and feeling virtuous and selfless, and corresponding justification for the next two years for only thinking of myself while knitting: priceless.

Let's not mention that if I were planning a trot over to the LYS for yarn intended for a project for Her Royal Majesty Kristina of Valleyview, the trot would most certainly not be scheduled "over the next couple of days". Instead, HRM K would be scheming how to leave late for work today to hit the LYS when it opens and still leaving by 5.

Let's also not mention that HRM Kristina was royally peeved last night when learning that the fuzzy yarn she had scored at the yarn swap for this purpose was actually 60% mohair and 40% acrylic. Have you ever tried to felt a mohair/acrylic blend? No? Don't bother, unless you're planning to dress up as an ultra-camp knight for Hallowe'en. The end result, for me, resembled electric blue chainmail. Where was I when they were designing costumers for Blackadder first series?!? Yet another missed opportunity... but I digress (quelle surprise!). Unfortunately I don't have a photo for you as the offending swatch was tossed over the balcony into the ravine last night, where some raccoon may well choke on it, causing more bad yarn-related karma).

Oh well. Rome wasn't built in a day, they say.

the Greeks invented everything!!!

If you're from the U.S. or even Canada, you most likely have heard the U.S postal slogan about prompt delivery of mail in about a million TV ads:

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

I had occasion to look this up in the aftermath of a yarn swap which went awry recently - the recipient (in the US) ended up with less than 20% of the package I had sent, without any sign that the package had been through customs. The thief apparently knew their yarn, as most of what went missing was prime Fleece Artist Kid Aran. But I digress. I was very surprised to learn who originally authored the above phrase:

Herodotus, Inscription, New York City Post Office, adapted from Herodotus
Greek historian & traveler (484 BC - 430 BC)

See more information and the ancient greek original of the phrase here.

Those ancient Greeks controlled everything, didn't they?

I'd better stop now. I'm starting to sound like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which is actually quite frightening!

what time of day are you?

Just the kind of on-line quiz I like. Only five questions and no typing required! Courtesy of Wannietta's blog.

No big surprise to learn that I am...

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

16 September 2007

why did the Greeks start breaking plates?

Well, have a look at these vintage beauties (circa 1955) and decide for yourself!

PLEASE NOTE: with my sadly lacking photographic skills, I could not hope to reproduce the true splendour of the colour of the sky in Greece as depicted on these plates. Picture what you see here and ramp it up in the turquoise direction another ... oh, well, the ensuing colour would be the love child of blue and green salt water taffy!

(I imagine the more appropriate sky colour for today's Athens is grey-brown, but that's another story for another day. And, that serves to make these plates very rare and valuable artifacts, akin to the Elgin Marbles, IMHO. But I, as usual, digress...)

1. The Parthenon

Did you know that the ancient Greeks built a large structure 2,000 plus years ago called the Parthenon? No? If not, here's what it looks like:

2. The Parthenon and Other Structures

...and just in case you don't know what the Parthenon looks like, here's another depiction of it, because after all it was a very important accomplishment of the ancient Greeks, just in case you didn't know that:

But... the creator of this plate obviously wanted to stress the multitalented nature of my forefathers (I only say "forefathers" because I doubt that the foremothers were allowed out of the house at the time, let alone off building future heritage properties) - it is a little known secret that the Ancient Greeks also built other buildings. So, here's one:

...and another...

...and yet another...
Oops! is that the Parthenon again? Must have needed another version in the border just in case the one in the middle wasn't gaudy... er, noticeable enough. And it IS a very important building...

3. A Rare Sight in Greek Modern Art

A whole plate devoted to a building which is not the Parthenon... !

4. Evzonas (Soldier) at the Acropolis
a.k.a. The Favourite Pastime of the Greek Male - Blowing His Own Horn!

Glad to see the creator of the plate didn't forget about the Parthenon. And - check out the detail photo:

Do you notice something unusual? I reckon that this guy must be the tallest Greek in history. Or at least the one with the longest legs - he appears to be about 7 feet tall with legs measuring 6 feet (from the waist - hard to guess the inseam measurement what with the cute little pleated skirt).

And on the topic of cute little skirts, a cross-cultural aside so that DH doesn't feel left out. Note the similarities in stance and activity engaged in:

However, the comparison of the two brings out (to me, anyway) why the Greeks are and always will be superior to the Scots:

(a) the Scot doesn't get to wear pompoms on HIS shoes; and
(b) what else is missing from the Scottish version... three guesses and the first two don't count... tick tock tick tock. Bzzz. Ah, yes... the Parthenon! In fact, no big ass buildings at all, really. I guess the workers were too busy running and hiding from the 50,123rd squeaky squally version of "Scots Wha Hae" or "Amazing Grace" to build all those columns. Hmm.

(No rude comments along the lines of "Ah, but wha' is under the Greek's skirt, hen?", please!!)

5. A Woman's Work is Never Done

And while Nick is up at the Parthenon carrying on YET AGAIN, here's what his wife and daughter are doing:

Note the monochromatic and dull colour scheme in contrast with the bright peacock colours of Takis the Evzonas (or was that Takis the Mangas... or Takis the Malakas? Hmm). Fitting, somehow.

But check out the detail:

What is it exactly she is collecting? The last time I saw something like this was on the school trip to Sharbot Lake and the maple bush, but as far as I know they don't have maple trees in Greece. Hmm. Perhaps it's what she needs to drink in order to stay shacked with Nick? Or...

(Nick rolls in at about midnight, three sheets to the wind yet again)

SPIROULA: Your dinner that I spent two days killing, plucking and cooking over the wood fire is COLD!!!! Were you out at that Parthenon again? You promised you would stop going there so much.

NICK: (staggering to the nearest chair and sitting down) Skase (shut up), woman. I'm tired. Why don't you use the microwave that Yorgo got me off the back of the truck, anyway??? Get me some ouzo/raki (depending on the part of Greece). AMESOS! (right away). It's not easy standing at the Parthenon and having your photo taken by all those tourists, you know.

SPIROULA: Your boss came and smashed the microwave because he was so upset that you hadn't shown up to work for the 3rd week in a row...or was it because you beat his brother-in-law at poker?! And I'm sick and tired of you...

NICK: I said, SKASMOS!! (shut the beep up). Enough! (muttering)... Women talk too much. "They told the old woman to take a dump and she went and s**t out her bowels". [NOTE: this is a perhaps not so ancient greek cliche standing for the that time honoured proposition "Women talk too much". In the Greek "ipane stin gria na hesei ke piye ke exakoliastike").

SPIROULA: You're right, hryso mou (my golden one), you're right. I'll get your drink right away (chuckling to herself as she goes to the urn containing the sap from the poison tree so painstakingly collected earlier that day for just such a moment...)

6. The Happy Couple

And, just in case you didn't think that Greek men and women ever did anything together...

I should note that this plate, unlike all the others, is only about 3 inches in diameter and is meant to go underneath a demitasse cup. They probably only put this image of the happy couple in full Greek Village drag because there was no room for the Parthenon on the saucer...

7. Greek Canadian Schlock

And finally (phew!) my attempt to live up to the proud artistic heritage of those whose works are so lovingly displayed above:

This is my attempt at an evil eye ("mati") plate which is meant to ward off the evil eye. It was originally gifted to a recipient who shall remain nameless, but who had apparently decided that this work of art was meant to collect cigarette lighters, matches and old unopened phone bills on the kitchen table (despite the plate stand that was gifted with it, which I had thought made the purpose obvious). So, this offended artist took back the gift. It now occupies a place of honour underneath my computer desk as it is so heavy that I am frightened to hang it. Materials: heavy plate from the dollar store, stained glass and tile grout.

I'm not so much worried that it would break as that it would inevitably fall down on my head as I was passing and cause permanent brain damage (having said, if you've made it all the way through this long ramble, you may well be thinking "Too late for that!")