1 hour ago
Monday, September 28
The typhoon signal #1 was hoisted this morning, and it's still raining quite heavily, so we're pretty much hotel- bound at the moment. What a drastic change from yesterday! We had a strange encounter yesterday... my husband and I were taking a leisurely stroll along the waterfront back to our hotel when all of a sudden this monk turns up out of nowhere (we were the only people there) and blocked our way, grabbed my wrist and thrust this card into my hand. Talk about over-stepping boundaries! While I was protesting feebly he then launched into what I can only describe as his 'sales pitch' in his local dialect, every other sentence ending with 'peace'. Now I'm all for peace - but not with a price tag attached! While we were planning our route of escape he pulled out this booklet and blocked our way again. I don't mind donating money to a good cause, but not if it involves a number with a long row of zeros in the back! Our particular monk actually expected us to part with thousands right then and there. Sorry, but as it so happens my family is befriended with a 'real' monk, and I know that monks would never force anyone to pay such large amounts of money. He was really, really persistent. We finally managed to move past him, and yes, for the sake of 'peace' we gave him a small donation, but I couldn't shake the feeling that somehow we had been thoroughly duped. I still have the card, as a gentle reminder to be more alert while walking along unfamiliar and often deserted paths. So, while we are more or less stuck indoors we have no choice but to sample all the local delicacies on offer here. Yum :) Wishing for clear skies tomorrow...
Friday, September 25
Hi everybody! After our gruelling flight (thank you, Erika, for advising me to keep my shoes on) and battling jet-lag for two days, hubby and I are finally beginning to relax... It's a glorious 30°C with a mild breeze. Perfect. Nessa wrote I should be getting a nice tan! I'm trying, I really am, but I burn easily, so I've got to slap on the SPF50! Yes, I hear you, Frances :) Today we decided to take a break from the sun and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. The pastries and scones were soooo delicious, but even though they were dainty we couldn't finish off the tray. We were so stuffed! I tried the white tea, which I have never tasted before. It was superb: mild and fragant. Oh yes - we could get used to this :) This weekend we have some sight-seeing planned, and well... more relaxing! See you next week!
Sunday, September 20
We're all packed and ready to go! I can almost smell the ocean...just a 2 hour train ride and a 12 hour flight and we're there. It's been ages since I last swam in the ocean, and I must admit I had a hard time finding my bathing suit! I finally found it crumpled up in the back corner of one of my drawers. The hubs will need to buy a new pair of swimming trunks over there, because no way am I going to allow him to wear his old pair from the 80's! Haha. As a compromise he gets to take along his laptop...so he won't be cut off from the outside world entirely! Plus I get to keep up with your blogs every now and then too - don't want to miss the action :) The difference is I'll be reading up on your blogs lying on a sun-drenched beach slurping a cocktail. bye bye, take care everyone...
Thursday, September 17
The official Oktoberfest in Munich is opening this weekend. No doubt the ladies down in Bavaria are all busy dusting off their Dirndl dresses! These don't come cheap, by the way. Expect to pay at least 200 US$ plus traditional jewelry, ankle boots and matching purse. In case you don't know what a Dirndl actually is, here are two examples (the short version). The dresses come in calf-length and ankle-length too. (forced) down to the Fest by my company to participate in some fun and games (mandatory team-bonding exercise) with my colleagues. During the course of that prolonged weekend I learned how to drink beer properly - don't hold the handle: push your hand through the handle and grab the jug with your palm - received a handful of drunken marriage proposals, and was almost schunkelt* to death! * linking arms and swaying to and fro to traditional brass-band music Cheers!
Saturday, September 12
Well, my doc gave me the green light yesterday. As long as I feel the way I do now, on the meds I'm taking, everything should be fine. He even mentioned reducing the dosage when I get back. So, I have one more week of work and getting everything in order - then we're gone for two weeks! This'll be the longest vacation since our last one eight years ago. I can't wait. I'll be taking along this new shopping tote. It's nice and roomy for all the souvenirs I might pick up here and there :) There was some fabric left, which I used to make a detachable flower brooch. Here it's pinned to the bag... ...or you can make a fashion statement by attaching it to your shirt or jacket lapel! I hope you all have a great weekend!
Friday, September 11
...to thank you, dear blogging friends, for all your helpful advice, support and encouraging words on my previous post. I have been listening, and now know both sides of the coin. After careful consideration I have decided that I will give the established online selling venue 'Etsy' a go - joining teams sounds exciting, and will be a new experience for me! All this after our vacation, though! Right. I'm off to the doctor's office now... Thanks again to all! I really appreciate your support! take care,
Wednesday, September 9
Picking up where I left off in my last post... Judging by what I have read in the Dawanda forums, I don't think I'll be relieved of my problem anytime soon :( Time to consider other venues, i.e. Etsy. The fees on Etsy seem reasonable enough, and the selling process is pretty straighforward as far as I can tell. I'm just a little daunted at the overwhelming number of handmade bag shops, plus I'll be catering to an entirely different market with different demands, expectations etc. On the plus side, Etsy definitely gets more business overall than Dawanda. Then there's the matter of shipping. My shop may be on a US-based selling site, however I'm still here in little old Germany. I've reduced the cost by shipping the make-up bags flatpacked in padded envelopes, but it's probably still high from the customers' point of view. Here's where I need your help and honest opinion. Do I have a snowball's chance selling my products on Etsy? I appreciate any advice you might have for me! Thank you.
Monday, September 7
I have been on Dawanda, my online selling site, for almost a year now. No complaints, so far. Recently though, there have been a number of technical problems - power outages, templates not working, statistics not updating etc. Even worse, I finally figured out why my new items are getting so little views - it's because they aren't even showing up in the new listings! I've done a search by title - but nothing, nada, zilch. Annoying, since I'm paying listing fees. What I find even more annoying is that I haven't had any reply to my emails. I wish there was some sort of technical helpline or other customer service I could contact (because yes, I'm a customer too), but there is only this one email address, and I really wonder who handles them all. The Dawanda team is fairly small, and I get the feeling they only have one poor techie guy handling everything... The only bright spot appeasing my frazzled mind is the fact that my cupcake pencil case was included in their recent back to school feature. But until my problem is fixed I won't be adding any new items, unfortunately.
Friday, September 4
The last few days it has been decidedly chilly in the mornings...the short summer that we've had is quickly slipping away, making way for rough winds, rain and the turning of leaves. I'm trying to cling on to the summery feeling a little longer, and perhaps that is what I have expressed in this new make-up bag :) I will miss you so, lush green trees and chirpy birds!
Tuesday, September 1
Here's a new make up bag I just listed in my shop. It's a compact, boxy shape and has a long loop, so that you may hang it up on a hook in your bathroom or on a door handle. It measures approx. 16 x 10 x 8.5 cm (7 x 4 x 3.2 "), is fully lined and softly padded for stability. I am currently testing this bag shape - I received 30 hits on the first day. Most of my visitors come from German-speaking countries, so I don't get a huge amount anyway, plus new items quickly disappear off the front page. We'll see how it goes! Meanwhile, I have started sorting and assembling my fabrics for Autumn. It seems like Autumn is here already - it's been raining all day and temperatures have cooled down considerably. I really, really hope I'm well enough to go on our planned vacation in three weeks, because I desperately need some sunshine!