Friday, October 30

Cold and rain call for...

...more waffles with hot cherries! These are homemade. I made them with lactose-free milk, since I'm lactose intolerant, and instead of the red goop that usually accompanies restaurant-bought waffles, I simmered the not-too-sweet cherries lightly, and added a bit of cornstarch to thicken the juice. The waffle is lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Yummy!

Monday, October 26

The tote bag goes to...

Thank you all for participating in my giveaway. It was so much fun! As I mentioned yesterday I decided to hand pick the winning entry myself :) I allocated a number to each of your comments in consecutive order (1 through 71), printed them, cut them out, and folded them up. I put all the numbers in my pink polka-dot box. Now, find out who the lucky winner is...
Yay! Congratulations!
I will be contacting the winner by email shortly! And to everyone else - there's always a next time :)

Sunday, October 25

Open Sunday

Wow - the sun has deigned to make an appearance this afternoon, and since it's 'Open Sunday' (*) and Farmers Market today, we thought we'd take a leisurely stroll into the town center and maybe eat a waffle (or two) with hot cherries. That's probably my favorite part about the Fall season! Sammy couldn't come with us, but he nevertheless enjoyed the rare sunshine too :)
sitting on a bench, enjoying the sun. bad hair day.
Reminder: Sunday isn't over yet, so you still have time to enter my tote bag giveaway! The winner will be announced tomorrow, Monday 26th. Oh, and I've decided to forgo the random number generator (too conventional), and rather draw the winning entry myself. Watch out for my video tomorrow! * shops which are normally closed on Sundays open twice a year, today being one of those times

Friday, October 23

Craft Fair in Germany

The biggest national craft fair is taking place here in Germany next week. All types of suppliers, small business owners and individual artisans will congregate here! Someday I'd like to participate...but I'm not ready for something on this large a scale yet. If you are interested in what beaders, knitters, felt artists, patchworkers and other crafters are doing over here, the link below will take you to an amusing video of last year's fair. The cute kiddies shown near the end made me smile. Enjoy. Don't forget - my tote bag giveaway ends October 25th !

Wednesday, October 21

Stay in or go out...

...that is the question. ♥♥♥ Quick Reminder
You have five more days to enter my tote bag giveaway. Don't miss! The response so far is great, and your comments are too kind! Some of you have a great sense of humor, and it's so thoughtful of the male entrants to think of their wives! This is the kind of interaction that makes this giveaway so much more fun :) Oh, and just to clarify: I will be shipping to anywhere in the world - but please understand I do not have any control over what happens once it arrives in your country. There shouldn't be a problem, normally. So, what are you waiting for? Leave a comment on my giveaway post and you're in! It's that simple. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator and announced on Monday, 26th October. Have a nice day!

Sunday, October 18

'Lovely Purses' Giveaway!

Hi everybody! From today, 18th October, until Sunday, 25th October you have a chance to win this tote bag - designed and made by me! Everyone is welcome to join. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post including your contact information! The bag measures approximately 30 x 22 x 10 cm (12 x 8.5 x 4 inches), and is made from a rich, dark brown fabric featuring tumbling flowers and leaves and delightful birds! It is fully lined with a dark brown soft linen and includes a zippered pocket. Those handles are real bamboo - not plastic. It closes with a magnetic snap button. I will ship this bag via registered mail to wherever you happen to live, but please be aware that certain countries may levy custom-related taxes/duties, for which I'm not responsible. Meanwhile, I wish you all a pleasant Sunday and good luck!!

Thursday, October 15

New fabrics

In the coming weeks I hope to be able to sew a few new tote bags with the new fabrics I bought. These fabrics are all decorator-weight cottons or cotton blends, and are printed with bold patterns. Also, watch this space for my new purse giveaway...

Tuesday, October 13

If you love fabric...

...and you happen to fly out to Asia, don't miss your chance to do a spot of fabric sourcing (and buying)! I did my research before we left, scanned local forums and discovered that there seems to be a lot of confusion among those looking to buy economically-priced fabric in Asia, especially Hong Kong. Some of the advice given was quite dubious, not to mention conflicting. It was a real headache trying to figure out the whats, wheres and hows, but I finally narrowed my choice down to three places. Fabric junkies - I've put together a little guide to spare you the headache and make your (buying) trip so much easier: 1. Spotlight (shop opens 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.) this fairly large Australian-based store is located in Megabox Shopping Mall in Kowloon Bay. The station is easily reached by subway, but once there you need to get into the queue for the free shuttle bus, that will take you to the mall. Look for the bus depot and a large green bus. Spotlight is on the 5th floor. Here you will find a good selection of quilting, decorating and fashion fabrics, plus all the notions. The prices here are average to high, only slightly less than what I would pay here in Germany, so I refrained from buying anything, but if you're looking for high-quality buttons and zippers in all colours and widths, (and you're not into bargaining) then this is the place to go. 2. Western Market (open from 10:00 a.m.) Firstly, this is a tourist trap. If this doesn't bother you then go up to the first floor of this revamped Edwardian building and you will see middle-aged men sitting among a row of textile shops - more like stalls, really - either side of the escalator. You will find mostly polyester silks and synthetics here, some linens, a few cottons - but don't expect any designer fabrics. The prices are reasonable, but you could try bargaining a little. Not all shop keepers speak English, so practise a few phrases of Cantonese before coming here. I bought a length of subtly patterned 'silk', to be made into cushion covers. 3. Sham Shui Po (open from 10:00 a.m., closed Sunday) This is the place everyone is talking about, when they want to buy low-cost fabrics, ribbons, zippers, buttons, beads, embellishments and whatnot! It's a fabric paradise, but it is also the most confusing, especially for first-time visitors. Plan to spend at least two days here, and... Go here with a sense of adventure ☺ Again, easily accessible by subway, you will emerge into a sprawling industrial area with two main streets and a couple of connecting streets tightly packed with textile manufacturers, haberdashers, bead shops etc., interspersed with stalls selling raw meat hanging from hooks - try not to be put off ;-) You won't find bolts of fabric here, rather walls and walls of fabric swatches, which you can take with you for future reference. Descriptions are mostly in Chinese. Keep in mind that most shops are wholesalers, but some offer their goods by the yard as well, the minimum being 5 yards. Also, expect to pay a small yardage fee, if you buy retail. More often than not, fabric needs to be ordered, unless you are lucky and they have some stock of the fabric you want. The shop keepers speak only a little English, if at all. So you need to be creative in your communication. Take a notepad and pen with you to write down figures. As I mentioned, the area is vast. You could easily get lost here. Check the street map down in the subway station. The streets to look out for are Nam Cheong Street, Ki Lung Street and Yu Chau Street. Prices are cheap. The cottons I saw were priced at approx. 3 - 5 Euro per yard. If you're looking for dirt-cheap, go to India or South Korea!

Thursday, October 8

Bumpy ride - but safe landing!

Hey everyone! I'm home again! I have missed you guys and look forward to getting back to my usual blogging routine. The flight back was awful. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared getting on that plane - particularly since the flight was delayed due to a technical defect. Thank you, airline staff, for being so brutally honest ;-) Typically we landed at Frankfurt Int'l Airport in the middle of a rain storm. There was massive security over there too, due to recent terrorist bomb threats. The Federal border police were even lined up right outside the plane when we got off, checking each and every one of us, but I was horrified to see that Asian passengers in particular were singled out! My apolgies to our Asian guests on behalf of the rather grumpy officers. When we collected our baggage hubby and I experienced 'a moment' while passing through the immigration. There were about five burly officers standing there watching us in complete silence. It was so intimidating. I don't know why, but I felt like I had to arrange my facial expression to neutral, you know! I mean I've got nothing to hide, so why was I feeling guilty?! I was even holding my breath while I shuffled past. It was so strange. I had to swallow the urge to say something, like 'good morning' or 'hi'. I didn't even dare look at my husband, because I knew exactly what he was thinking and I didn't want to burst out laughing! Those were the longest two minutes... Sammy greeted us from the top of the stairs then dropped straight into my arms! He must have been pretty bored, because every table cloth, blanket and kitchen cloth was lying in a heap on the floor! Hahaha. Did I get a tan? No. And not because of the fickle weather. It's because I later remembered that my skin has become more susceptible, due to the medication I'm currently taking. Oh well. Despite the freakish weather we had a lovely time! I really enjoyed eating out and not having to wash up afterwards. I'll tell you some more in upcoming posts. Till then,

Friday, October 2

Fireworks and other stuff!

Last night there was a harbour fireworks display. It went on for about half an hour, but due to intense fog we weren't able to see the last ten minutes. I captured some of it with my digital camera, although I wasn't sure it would work, due to impaired visibility. You can see the beginning for yourself in the above mini-video! Meanwhile I'm saddened by all the disasters happening in quick succession in this region. Normally, back in Germany, we would hear only a few snippets on the main news, but since we are currently in Asia I feel quite affected and a bit helpless by all that's been happening. The rain has eased now, but more has been forecast for the weekend, by which time we'll be packing up and ready to depart for back home. My deepest sympathies go out to the families of all the victims and the thousands of people made homeless by the recent typhoons and earthquakes. Here we donated to the Ketsana/Ondoy cause, which we were happy to do (not forced - see previous post). According to the latest weather report there is another typhoon on the way...