Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Cats of Greece & more

Every visit to Athens we see stray cats, often well fed. They are fed by people in local communities and there is an active spay and neuter scheme, however kittens are still born as not all the cats can be caught. Restaurants will often feed a cat enough to keep it in the area so it will keep rodent populations under control.

These rather handsome fellows were part of a group of four that looked so similar they were probably litter mates. They weren't overly social unless you had chicken in your hand and then they would approach cautiously.

Another trip around the Monastiraki flea market, I can't get enough of this place and its weirdness.

An evening out in Fokionis Negri, a large pedestrianized zone full of bars and restaurants (and other shops) about 10 minutes walk from the apartment we were staying in. The evenings were still warm and pleasant enough to eat out in even though it was March.

And a stop at the Max Perry chocolate shop on the way back at almost 11pm and it was still open. 

And finally some pics from inside the slightly quirky apartment. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Skyros Island Schooner Sampler & More

I'm part of a group on Facebook that is stitching reproductions of this sampler. I had the good fortune to be in Athens and to visit the original at the Benaki Museum near to the Parliament and Amalia Gardens at Syndagma

You can find the facebook group here

The museum write up is:
Bridal cushion from Skyros, Sporades - 17th Century
The ship, a central motif in the composition, is framed by a host of complementary human figures, fish, birds, and flowers. The helmsman stands at the stern, while the captain is shown in the upper left corner enclosed in a frame. Executed in the Byzantine stitch, it is one of the best known and earliest embroideries from Skyros

Partial reconstruction of a sitting area from a house on Skyros, Sporades
The settle is piled with embroidered cushions and covers, distinguished by their exquisite technique, the great variation of their designs and their bright colours. The rest of the furniture includes a wood carved baby's cradle, a copper tray table and all around small chairs, typical examples of 19th Century wood carving from Skyros. The corner fireplace is equipped with domestic vases and vessels and a brass lamp-stand of the 19th Century. Placed above the fireplace is 19th Century Venetian glassware decorated with gold leaf and on the shelf around the room are ceramics from Italian workshops from the 16th-18th Centuries. From the shelf hang mastrapades, wine jugs with floral decoration and Greek four-line verses on wine-bibbing, made in Pesaro, Italy in the 18th Century. Displayed on the wall are tinned copper plates from various regions, with inscriptions and 18th Century dates, a small icon of the 17th Century, with St John the Baptist in a wood carved frame, and two small icons, a clay one representing St Spyridon and a stone one depicting the Virgin with Child. A flatweave covers the floor.

Gold embroidered towels for the decoration of the house. From Skyros - early 19th Century

Various ceramics decorated with ships, particularly schooners, that were frequently used for trade between the islands and wider destinations. 

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