Monday, June 27, 2011

What's Up!

Guess what, I'm on the April issue of "What's Up"! This is a newspaper targetted for students and available in schools that subscribe to it. The article was talking about trading, focusing on the ATC trading and our local trading sessions in Bishan Library.

A lot of mails came while I was away. First of all, another Springtime Button Fairy came, this one from Lisa Alff. She has used her daughter's hair, and it is just lovely. Anyone knows Susan Malacari (PA/USA)? She seems to have just vanished after signing up for the swap, wondering if everything is alright? Barb Glasier's (USA) pair of green ladies for the theme "Shades of Green" - very clever way to match up to the theme!
All the inchies from the Flower Mingle have arrived too. Cheryl Russ' (USA) paper-punched flowers,

and Rae Ann O's (USA)'s hand-drawn flowers. Rae Ann has also generously sent another 4 chickadee (her favourite bird) inchies as an extra treat for me.

There was also a "bumper crop" of alphabet ATCs! However, I'll reserve them for the next post :)

I started on these paper Rag Dolls before my trip and just completed them. I will have to hold on to the doll for Maureen Blakeley who is in Canada, with the current postal strike which suspended all urban postal operations countrywide since mid of this month.

Back to my China trip. It was a great one - we went to quite a number of places and tried a fair bit of the local food. While in China, I couldn't access blogspot and a lot of websites. They are restricted there!

Spent the 1st day (8 Jun, Wed), flying over to Guangzhou in a 4-hour flight. A small hiccup when DH's domestic flight from Guiyang to Guangzhou was delayed due to heavy fog, but we spent the time exploring Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. Not as big nor as many shops as the Singapore Changi Airport, but impressive enough and I found a nice collector set of <<红楼梦>> ("Dream of the Red Chamber" written by Cao Xueqin and is one of China's Four Great Classical Novels) in a bookshop, which I would have bought had it not been so thick and heavy.

It was pretty late in the day by the time we checked in Baiyun Hotel, we only managed to shop a bit at the Onelink Plaza (万菱广场), which is a wholesale market for a variety of products. Most of the souvenirs we brought back for friends were bought here.

On the 2nd day (9 Jun, Thu), we visited Baiyun Mountain as mentioned in my last post. This was the cable car trip down the mountain.

Then we went to the Canton Tower (广州塔), with a height of 600m (450m high body tower and 150m high mast antenna), which surpasses the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Shanghai and briefly held the title of tallest completed tower in the world.

The Canton Tower is in the background.

The highest viewing gallery is at 428m. Here's one of the views from the tower.

A new attraction, the Spider Walk, is located on the external of the Tower, spiraling up the circumference from the 33rd to the 65th storey, between the height of 168m and 334.4m of the tower, with a total of 1028 steps and 1000m in length, and is purportedly the longest staircase in the world. Part of the metal platform is on transparent panels, but personally, the feel and the view was not as fantastic as when I was walking on the transparent floor of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Oriental Pearl has a big sphere which protrudes out and the width of the transparent platform is much, much wider, hence, one really feels very excited to walk on it, and many legs really go jelly. The Spider Walk here is more of a challenge of one's fitness level, walking up more than a thousand steps, but ok, the platform is totally open with only railings on the side, hence it is not for young children and those physically unfit. Walking with my girl, we took about half an hour, with 2 brief rests in-between. I'm not one who exercises much, I almost wanted to give up on the last few flights had it not been my girl walking ahead of me! I guess if one is walking in the night when all the lights are on, the feel might be much better!

Here is my Spider Walk certificate!

Bao Mo Garden (番禺宝墨园) is one of the top 8 signts in Panyu District of Guangzhou. It was built at the end of the Qing Dynasty based on Lingnan architecture - buildings, gardens, hills, lakes and bridges – a place where man-made art sits among nature’s art in the form of sculptures and edifices which boast intricate clay, porcelain, brick, wood and stone carving, all making grand sights.

The place here also records the culture and cases investigated by Bao Zheng, an upright official in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) with a small museum housing life-sized wax figures depicting scene of some of his famous court cases was realistic.

There is splendid water scenery inside running through a one-thousand-meter river, and supposedly more than 30 stone bridges crossing those charming rivers and lakes. The water is clear, the surface of the water is rippling and the trees surrounding the lake are swaying in the breeze, just like a fairy dreamland, nothing lesser!

Millions of carps are swimming and chasing each other in water, splashing around especially when someone throws fish feed in. Everyone enjoyed the feeding session - young and old, fish and us!

And oh, there is a pond with hundreds of tortoises of all sizes, and stream where children can fish, boat where you can sail, restaurants where you can savour Panyu cuisine, and even a swimming pool where you can take a dip. To sum it up, it is a very tranquil place with beautiful scenery of the gardening in South China, a place where one can be totally relaxed and happy to be in.

The Pearl River flows through Guangzhou City. A night cruise on the river is a great way to see the night view of the city. We enjoyed the breeze and lights, which were fantastic, especially the Canton Tower - it was breathtaking, and I just love the colours. Architectural lighting on the Canton Tower was designed by Rogier van der Heide, based on the principle that the tower should not be "lit up" but "radiate a glow" at night. 7,000 LED light fixtures light the rings of the tower's structure each from underneath, to form a continuous glow. The night lights of the Canton Tower surpasses the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower.

This was the most rewarding and exhausting day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Baiyun Mountain in Guangzhou

I managed to finish these ATCs just before I left on my trip last week. Fabric ATCs "N is for Newt". Do they look like newts? I tatted them by modifying Martha Ess' gecko design.

Doll ATCs "Shades of Green" for Karen Bassie in Canada. And more doll ATCs, collage-style background, for the theme "Food, Glorious Food!". A pair will be going to Peggy Bainbridge in USA.

This has to be one of my longest holidays. For this 11-day China trip, we flied to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and later to Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport (mainly domestic flights at the latter airport but flights to and from Hong Kong are treated as international flights).

We stayed in Guangzhou first for 3 days at Baiyun Hotel located in Huan Shi Dong Road. This is quite an upmarket district, the mall beside the hotel consists mainly international luxury brands. As my mother-in-law couldn't walk far, we travelled mainly by chartered car throughout. We started our sightseeing with a trip to Baiyun Mountain (白云山) literally "White Cloud Mountain", taking a park tram up and the Baiyun Cableway down. The name of the mountain derives from the view of peaks shrouded by white clouds in late Spring or when the sky clears after rain, Baiyun Mountain has been a scenic spot since ancient times.

The top lookout point of the mountain offers a good view of the city. On the lush, rolling hills, many of the locals are enjoying nature and holding various outdoor activities there, from just a morning walk up the mountain, badminton, dancing, taiji to group telematches.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Fabric Little Book

This is an auto-post as I'm currently in China on holiday :)

A very beautiful blue tit arrived at my house, just before I went on my trip, all the way from England, for the Stitchin Fingers' Textile ATC May swap (theme: birds, nest or feathers). Michele English made her base with handmade felt of Merino wool fibers, hand embroidered the paper part of the bird and edges with silk threads, crocheted the blue flower and beaded the purple flower and part of the edge. Wow, it's a handful of techniques to create this lovely unique piece of art!

In my last post, I mentioned about signing up for Lenna Andrews' little book swap and have shown 2 of the 3 books I made. Here is the third book which I sent in for the swap. This is the first time I did a fabric book and it's about 5" by 4" in size. It was real shiok to rip and tear the cottons!

Again, I used bits of ribbons, laces, fabric & crocheted flowers, and more tatted flowers to embellish the pages.

I also tried my hands at stamping on fabrics with my new ink pads. Love it!

Finally, the back cover - that's all for now!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Little Books Filled with Tatting

I forgot to show what I have sent to Kayenderes Green (Canada) last week, in return for her lovely garden fairy ATC. The ATC doll I sent is Miss Quinlee L. from My Petal L Missy Series. Accompanying Miss Quinlee are some cancelled stamps and thread samples for Kayenderes to try tatting with. Kayenderes has been ill the past month, hope you are feeling much better now.

I signed up for Lenna Andrews' little book swap, and have been working on the books for a while, or rather, on both the books and the tatting, as I wanted to fill the books with tatted motifs - flowers, birds and butterflies. Finally, they are done and mailed!

First, it's a 3" by 3" book. This is something new to me, creating from a 12" by 12" piece of paper. It's fun and addicitive, meaning I have a number more done, waiting for more tatted embellishment!

I have made all 5 pages "open" at the side so that I can insert a tag sheet into each pocket. So there are 5 tag sheets altogether!

For this second book, I used QuicKutz's Sugarplum album found in the Santa's Workshop Limited Edition Set to cut the cover and inserts. Thin oriental papers lie between cardstock; the papers and cards perked up with colour from different types of ink pads. I used bits of ribbons, laces, fancy adhesive tape and sequins too. Of course, more tatted flowers adjorned the pages :)

This is folder pocket insert.

Below left is another folder pocket insert.

A pocket filled with words on the inside back cover.

The third book is a fabric book - my first fabric book; it was shiok ripping and tearing up the cottons! I will post the photos of this book in my next post, which will be a auto-post, as I'm going off on Wednesday for one and a half week holiday to visit DH in China. My previous trip was to Shanghai. This time, we're going to Guangzhou and Guiyang, where DH is working.