life

February 11, 2009

12 hours in tokyo

everything

on my way back to the states, i had about 12 hour layover in tokyo. immediately i knew what i wanted to do: shopping for fabrics! it has been a very long time since i was in japan last, but joujouka had agreed to chauffeur me around town. we had a few email exchanges before my departure, checking train schedules and even the shopping itineraries are drawn up. i was so hyped about my adventure in tokyo!

joujouka met me at the shinjuku station early sunday morning, immediately we took another train to ebisu for a visit to check and stripe. we took a short walk to the store front only to discover the shop was now closed. oh well. at least i have this picture showing what a lovely little shop it was!

we also stopped by Nimes Cloth House. joujouka told me this was also a zakka store. they carried some stripe knits, as well as cotton fabrics. and all the lovely things you would expect to see from a japanese zakka store: pottery, tiny spoons, linen handkerchiefs, bundles of linen fabrics, vintage children’s books... etc etc.

i ended up not getting anything from there, but it was a nice zakka moment in japan.

next, we took another trip to kichijoji, where we visited cottonfield, probably my favorite fabric store to date. it was unbelievably sweet, with rows and rows of japanese fabrics, trims, notions. two storey full of wonders, which we only had probably 45 minutes to spend. i would have gotten (a lot) more from this store if they accepted credit cards! i ended up getting some beautiful wool gauze and a traditional checkered print which you see a lot in japanese craft books. apparently this print was popular in japan, there was a bin with bolts of this pattern in various weight, fiber content and texture. it was difficult to have to choose just one.

cottonfield

finally, we visited yuzawaya. the best craft store ever. period. i literally can spend a whole week there! i love their liberty fabric selection (though i did not get any), craft books, notions and ribbons... and nani iro!

ribbons :: linen and cotton
nani IRO

needless to say, it was probably the best craft hours for my trip. by the time i was getting used to the idea of shopping in tokyo, i was already on the train back to the airport.

we did not go by avril, but joujouka gave me a couple of their yarns. beautiful as always. and i also received a stack of traditional japanese fabrics from my brother, when he was in kyoto sometime last year.

avril
japanese fabrics

fabrics, are definitely souvenirs for my travel.

February 09, 2009

hello singapore

i have been to singapore a few times when i was still living in new zealand. it was a perfect stop over destination between auckland and taipei. the perfect blue sky, exotic cuisine and culture did not hurt either. i’ve always loved visiting singapore and this trip was no exception.

the purpose of the trip was to visit my sister and her family, they have been living there for the past few years. and to visit my parents, too, as they were traveling back to australia. i also made an effort to visit some museums, tourist spots and tasted as much cuisine as possible. it was always nice to reconnect with families. i had a great little get away from the snow in new england. singapore was a lovely little tropical city. everyday is bright and sunny, and very very hot.

and i remembered these the most:

singapore river
:: the charming singapore river ::
the almost daily morning walk along the river, the cruise by boat, the walk with my dad from the asian civilization museum back to clarke quay. the river is both beautiful during the day as it is during the night.

national museum of singapore

streets of little india
:: museums, gardens, ethnic districts and the beautiful euroasia air ::
i think singapore has really nice, modern, well organized museums that celebrate its colorful history and culture. not to mention some very delicious cake at the museum cafe. singapore might be known for being a shopping paradise, but i adore the euro-asian past and all those beautifully preserved colonial architecture. during the new years holiday, i joined erin and her parents for a visit to the istana. that was quite an experience.

chilli crab
:: cuisine from a cultural melting pot ::
it is no secret to many but asians take their meals very seriously. i think my sister and i talk about what and where we are going to eat every morning, and sort of plan our daily events around that. i have been wanting to try the famous chilli crab, so that was the first thing we had when i arrived. and it was delicious! we had it again at a different restaurant later, it was still as delicious as the first time. i love having the chilli crab with fried little buns.

i stayed in singapore for a little over a week. i had delicious ramen noodles at waruku, dumplings and fresh made shrimp shumai at dintaifung, more dumplings at crystal jade. a delicious indian meal at the banana leaf apollo, and various lovely little eats at the food republic and other places i can not remember now. but most of all, i finally had the famous singapore sling at the raffles hotel long bar. this was the “it” thing to do while in singapore. i also want to say, my sister cooks a few nights and she was quite a brilliant cook. i went to bed stuffed every single night! my trip to singapore almost qualifies as a trip for the foodies.

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::friends and families ::
but mostly, this trip was all about seeing the family. and it was really nice to see the families again. i also met an old friend of mine whom i have not seen in 10 years, we had the most lovely chat, i love seeing old friends. this trip was also about meeting new ones. joujouka from japan was so graciously agreed to meet with me in tokyo during my layover, so i can go fabric shopping. thank you so much joujouka! we’ll talk about my fabrics from japan next.

January 01, 2009

new year, 2009

LMKG zipped cardi

hello readers! happy 2009!

i can't believe it is now 2009; this year has gone by so so fast for us. i remembered the same time last year, we had just moved from atlanta to connecticut. not really sure how things would worked out for us... but luckily, this has been the best year, we love connecticut, love new england, love our friends, and everything else in between. though i haven't been blogging, knitting or sewing as much as i would have liked, i did managed to finish joelle hoverson's zipped raglan cardigan for husband on christmas day. can you tell he likes the cardigan? i think he looks great in orange tweed.

we just got back from a skiing/snowboarding trip (i'm now in love with skiing). so maybe tomorrow, i will find time to take pictures and tell you more about this cardigan. and maybe 2009 will be a great year for all of us.

love,
b

July 11, 2008

summer thus far...

the weather is beautiful outside this friday afternoon, a little humid perhaps, but i love the smell of summer air. it smells like vacation.

it’s probably not very nice to admit, but life without blogging or crafting had been fun for the past couple months. work has been busy but i just love how fulfilling days have been for me. we have been doing lots of little excursions around new england area- visiting families in boston, an afternoon in newport, fresh lobsters in gloucester. fireworks and broadway shows in new york. we are not even half way through summer yet.

summer is also about reading. reading steph*nie’s twil*ght series to be precise. i can’t tell you how much i’ve enjoyed reading these books. it’s such a compelling story. i am now one of the followers of her imaginary world. i am sure there are a lot of people out there, waiting for the final book to come out in a few weeks.

oven mitts

oven mitts

pattern: oven mitts by denyse schmidt
difficulty (1-5): 2
pattern size: n/a
fabric: bits and pieces of leftover fabrics of all kinds
notions: bindings

i also did a little bit of crafting, a pair of oven mitts for a coworker who bakes the most incredible cakes. this project also gave me an excuse to work on denyse schmidt’s pattern and to use up some of my fabrics. again, i enjoyed the process of piecing together fabric pieces more so than the actual sewing part.

next time i’d probably use a heavier batting. other than that, i’m quite happy with the end result.

tomorrow, we are catching a train to spend a weekend in philadelphia. i’ve never been there, not sure what to expect, except having a big philly cheesesteak.

March 05, 2008

winter crafting

with the house progressively being set up, i am having more crafting time during the day. in fact, i have been sewing these past few days! so wonderful, the first thing i do in the morning this week has been cutting fabrics, ironing, threading... while listening to music.

bloomer set

today i was making the dress/bloomer set for my niece. it's red and white mostly. with sock monkeys all over the place. my sister suggested that i made a little quilt to go with it, too. i'm still thinking about that one.

orange tweed

and this orange cardigan is for husband. i tend to work on this when we are watching tv. progress is slow and winter is slowly moving away. oh well. i heard connecticut has long winters, though.

what i really want to knit is a pair of socks, but i really don't like casting on for socks. it's so cumbersome in my hands. i'm still meditating on what yarn/pattern i'm going to work with.

we went ski/snowboarding in vermont this past weekend. i finally learned how to ski properly, after three lessons, i went down a few green slopes. the snow was so powdery in vermont, every skiier was in love with the condition. i'm still too new to this sport to truly appreciate that.

icicles

vermont was completely covered in snow, i don't think i have ever seen this much snow in my whole life. we were also completely fascinated by the icicles. winter takes on a completely different meaning in new england.

February 22, 2008

hello from connecticut

snow

it snowed today, for the first time since we arrived last week. it's strange waking up to a totally different scene. it's also very cold. but i think we knew that before coming here.

i also shoveled snow for the first time in my life. i did not expect the snow to be so heavy, especially after pushing the shovel for a few feet. what a workout! cats are obviously not a fan of snow just yet. only one cat was brave enough to check out the snow up close, the other two were hiding.

but we love it here so far. i feel like a stranger in the city, looking around with a fresh pair of eyes. it's all very exciting. we can't wait to go snowboard/skiing.

craft room mess

my craft room is slowly being set up, it's a mess at the moment. i did manage to put a floor mirror in my craft room, this would ultimately make fitting and looking at myself a lot easier. and i don't care for the purple carpet, either. but i can live with it for a while, i guess.

just before we moved here, i bought some yarn for the first time since early 2007. i want to make a shawl/scarf, more precisely, a clapotis. in this beautiful yellow malabrigo! this color has been showcased here and here, i think it will look great with blue (you should all know about my color fascination by now, no?)

yellow merino

anyway, i'm also looking forward to some sewing. now that i am between jobs, which seems like a great opportunity to make a big project or some sort. another quilt, that winter coat i've been talking about and possibly some clothes for my cute nieces.

and more regular blog posting, for sure.

October 10, 2007

a wedding at sea

cruise collage
excerpts from our cruise vacation, click for details!

one of my friends i've known since grade school got married last weekend, we were invited to their cruise wedding! it was a fun-filled event traveling with more 70 friends and families on a cruise.

cruise vacation was interesting, but i think having friends really helped with the experience. we went to chichen itza, one of the seven wonders of the world. i think seeing the mayan ruins was the highlight of our trip, aside from the wedding.

we also went snorkeling in cozumel. the turquoise water was amazingly warm and salty (i am not very good at snorkeling). it was really difficult to come back to routine and work, after our vacation. or any vacation for that matter.

i did some sewing last night. and had realized that the weather is really getting cool. i need to finish my sunrise circle jacket soon. and get ready for more handknit socks.

October 08, 2007

back from maya ruins

chichen itza

it was a long way from home. we sailed across the ocean to find this land of lost civilization. it was eerily beautiful.

July 31, 2007

hello!

dining room
dining room with chocolate color wall and black apple's paintings

i finally took some pictures of our new place last night. it turns out that only our dining room is in a presentable form. see, black apple's paintings looks smashing here, don't they? we have been having dinner at our dining table ever since we moved in! which really was amazing, considering we always eat in front of the tv.

and we can never live without a grill, ever again.

the rest of the house is still messy, but at least now my craft room is not screaming scary purple. the only problem this house has is the lack of lighting, which can be a problem for a crafter! we hence painted the room a shade called barely green. and it really is a very non-committal green, and sometimes can even be a bit yellowy. i like it nonetheless, it's so refreshing.

craft room
messy craft room (with black apple's painting, too)!

i also changed the bulbs in the room with those energy efficient compressed ones with "sunlight" grade. it's sunlight bright alright. almost too much! so instead of having four, i swapped two out with the usual incandescent ones. it's sort of weird but i'm sure i can live with it.

for those of you who were wondering about our animals, they are doing great. we have yet to release them outdoor. maybe this weekend. last we counted, there were three neighborhood cats. i guess they'd need to re establish the territories yet again. and to make things even more complicated for the feline community, we just learned that husband's parents are returning the third cat we had asked them to take care of before we moved here last year. short notice. we probably need to get her next week. the tricky part: she's half feral (reason why we had to leave her behind in the first place) and always considers herself the alpha cat. and... the best part, we are not even sure how to capture her to bring her here. any ideas? blow gun? fish net?

will write again soon.

July 02, 2007

colors

wow! thank you for everyone who stopped by and left me a comment of my dress. it was a fun project from beginning to end, not to mention the wearability of it. i intend to make more dresses and a few other clothing items for myself before the summer ends. after that, my sister is waiting for something from me, she's expecting a baby girl later this year and i want to give her a package filled with handmade goodies!

we did a bit of house improvement this weekend, though. the place we'll be moving into needed a bit of work, we painted the craft room to be. this was what the room looks like before. i only had one thought in my head when i saw it: what were they thinking, i really wanted to know. anyway, painting is still in progress, so you'll have to wait a little for the after pictures.

needless to say, we'll be busy packing and unpacking for the next couple weeks. meanwhile, i shall indulge you in some of my oilily collection. thanks to hege, i was exposed to the wonderful world of colors a few years ago. since then, there was no turning back.

April 25, 2007

snow, and food

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it was mostly snow and rain in montreal when i was there last week. sunday night, after stepping out the restaurant kaizen, we saw snow flurries. by the time we drove back to the hotel, the whole city was blanketed with white powder. but kaizen was so wicked good, i can not stop thinking about the food. next time i'm ordering omakase.

it became pretty apparent second day into the trip that montreal, aside from the conference, was going to be all about food. every single dining experience i've had in montreal had undoubtedly been the best of its kind. aside from kaizen, we also visited zenya. their tuna tartar was so unexpectedly presented and excellent to taste. if you're like me, a sushi lover, you must try the chirashi sushi. the best i've had in my life.

also, otto at the W hotel, hip and modern and oh so delicious. tangerine mojito, smashed blueberry, grapefruit juice and a dash of gin. i love theirs cocktails. love their food, too. such a joy to eat, beautiful to look at. at otto, food was not just a meal, it was a wholesome experience.

the last night in montreal, i met up with a long lost friend at rosalie. we had dessert under the dim light setting and dreamy decor. montreal is a trendy place. so french and so chic, i even forgot about the yarn shops. all i brought back with me was a bottle of maple syrup, and lots of fond culinary memories.

and this completed sock.

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April 11, 2007

where in montreal?

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just wondering, if any of my readers are from montreal, canada. i'm going there for a conference this saturday, and i want to see if there's any yarn shops downtown i can get to easily. it's foolish not to get some handmaiden or fleece artist yarns while in the neighborhood, right?! along with a gigantic bottle of maple syrup. i also take any advice or tips for food. that's just as important to me as yarn (and fabric).

the weather has been cold, even in atlanta. sigh! i am digging out my packed sweaters and jackets. cold weather has also inspired me to knit up this skein of sock that rocks yarn. i am almost done with the first sock, it'll be great if i can finish the second one in montreal. that way i will get an extra pair of socks to wear. i never pack enough socks when i travel.

this isnancy bush's gentleman's fancy sock pattern, but it looks more like bubble gums to me.

April 08, 2007

only in new york

nyc - central park
my favorite spot in central park (click to view).

new york is as sexy as many tv shows and movies had portraited. however, seeing it unfold in front of my eyes was much better, beyond words even. we spent some time last week in new york. we were incredibly lucky as the sky was nearly cloudless. it's spring time in new york. what could be more beautiful than that?

we went to new york for a more realistic reason, not just because it's spring there. still, few days were not enough to catch a glimpse of her magic and charm. i even asked some local knitters for their favorite "only in new york" experiences. in the end, we trekked the city like tourists - picnic in the park, shopping around soho (honestly i was so overwhelmed i did not buy anything), pizza and hot dogs. i even dragged husband across chinatown just for some gelato (totally... worth it). new york was beautiful. it reminds me of london and paris with old architectures amongst the modern ones. but to a non-new yorker, like myself, nothing was more interesting than the people living there.

and i saw van gogh's starry night, up close and personal at the museum of modern art. that alone, was a trip worthwhile.

February 12, 2007

souvenir, part one

postcards of shanghai red leather bag

what i really love about shanghai is not all those fancy schmancy high rise buildings (exceptions to those historical ones on the bund and french concessions), but those alleyways. they are fascinating. each one with its own character and charm.

i was strolling near the art gallery district of the city, looking for this particular shop i found in the guidebook. a hand-crafted leather studio. finally i was there, the tiniest shop on the street. there were two costumers in there (along with the shop owner) and the whole room was crowded. i was greeted by the smell of leather, and instantly loving everything i saw in there.

the owner was a lovely young lady, she studies art and learned how to work with leather from her father. every bag in the shop was hand made (and only one copy)! it was even cuter when i asked if she had knitted the hat she was wearing, and she said yes! she was also admiring my rebecca shawl! oh, i was so happy to have found a knitter all the way across the ocean!

so i bought several items from her, and this lovely red bag was one of them! i've been using it every single day now and loving it more each day!

she even custom made shoes! too bad i did not have enough time to get a pair made (for about 50 US dollars!!). next time, definitely! and if you are ever lucky enough to visit shanghai and would like to visit her shop, you can find it here**.


**the web page was down it seems, check back in a few days!**

February 06, 2007

favorite

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outside the forbidden city, next to the inner golden river, this tree speaks to me in a very lonesome, wintery kind of way


thanks for voicing your preference of my "adding a tree" theme here. i was very surprised to see that my favorite was totally different from most of your choices. everyone appreciates art differently, let alone having to select only one. anyway, i thought this is quite a fun exercise for all of us who has a bit of artist inside.

in the end, it's brooke's tree that completely captured my heart. her wispy, whimsical tree. the banner will be updated shortly! thank you, everyone, for participating.

meanwhile, i've joined the flickr community. it's just a matter of time, really! i've added some pictures of our trip, if you would like to get a taste of china. will be adding comments to photos, and more pictures whenever time permits. and, ultimately some craft related goods from the other side of the world.

two and a half weeks of traveling, i only knitted one sock.

January 30, 2007

hong kong

i may be biased, but i am always captivated by the orient; it was just so full of beauty and mystery. you thought you had it figured out, but in the end, you really had just scratched the surface. hong kong, the gateway to asia, was our first stop of our recent journey.

it was especially exciting, even though this was my third visit to this city. but this time, we had a happy reunion of the siblings! no better place to take such picture than the subway station. very creative.

immediately upon arrival, we unpacked, we exchanged presents, and quickly we entered sweet dynasty for a late night supper. i was very happy to see my husband tried congee for the first time and loving it instantly.

china 009-1.jpg

beautiful sky, isn't it! it was just rare to see blue sky and white clouds in a city so crowded and possibly polluted. hong kong, through my husband's observation, exhibits strong british influence. to me, it is just a city for shoppers and foodies.

there are two things you must do in hong kong, aside eating and shopping. one, take a stroll along the avenue of stars. there are literally little sparkling lights on the ground, but mostly, your attention would be on this signature hong kong view.

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next, aboard the ferry and travel to hong kong island, take a cable car up the victoria's peak. late in the evenings, you will be greeted by another spectacular view of hong kong.

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i visited hong kong last year and went to the peak during the day. the view was different (but beautiful nonetheless), but if i must choose, i much prefer the night view.

and if you want a holistic, hong kong luxury style dining scene with the view, try aqua, like we did. it will be an experience hard to forget.

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the view from the bar. lots of red, glowing blues, beads and a spectacular view

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delicious mango and lychee martinis

with that, we entered shanghai...

January 17, 2007

on the road

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bank of china tower, hong kong

happy 2007, everyone!

the bank of china tower still looks as impressive as the first time i saw it. only this time i get to see it at night. to me, it looks even more beautiful.

right now, i'm sitting in my hotel, having breakfast in shanghai. a very contemporary hotel lounge, it's hard to believe that this is shanghai.

i have not forgotten about my craft. i visited stores for both luxurious silk fabrics and the traditional peasant blue nankeen fabrics. they represent two different extremes of the chinese art and culture, but to me, they are equally stunning and precious!

i have also not forgotten that the two year anniversary of whispering pine is approaching. and i need another tree. i will host a tree drawing contest when i get back. of course, in return, you'll get a nice package including souvenirs from china.

talk to you soon,
blossom

December 29, 2006

new years eve

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my niece modeling her handknits. i still haven't met her in person, but i was told that she looks like me when i was that little. it is such a wonderful feeling to see this wee family member wearing something handmade by me. her mother told me that she doesn't like wearing the hat, but i think she looks just adorable.

it's funny how life takes all of us to places we never expected to be. my family is scattered around four different countries for the past decade or so, it's a trip to get everyone together in the same place, literally. as such, some family members still haven't met one another. like my sister's husband and mine, we think that they'd get along great, why wouldn't they? an aussie lad and guy with southern root. and i am looking forward to meeting my little niece.

that would be interesting. and i hope that one day, we'll get to spend a holiday together.

this year has been great for us, we have accomplished a lot and hopefully we can enjoy the fruitful consequences in year 2007. knitting wise, i am not as productive as the year before but i'm happy with most things i've made. most exciting part of my craft this year was learning how to sew. i enjoyed every aspect of the process. it has been fun.

january next year will begin with a journey through hong kong and china. i'm excited beyond words. my siblings will make an effor to fly to hong kong and meet with us for a day. then, we'll be trekking through the ancient city of xi'an to immerse ourselves in the greatness of chinese culture and history. we'll get to experience the changing of seductive shanghai and then travel north to beijing. i hope to see traces of royal glamour in the forbidden city and summer palace, and to experience the vast north atop the great wall of china. we will have a chance to breathe the culture so intimate to me. and let's not forget the food. it is going to be an amazing experience. i'm sure of that.

thank you, for reading my journal, for supporting my obsession and loving what i do. have a wonderful new year.

December 23, 2006

patchwork trees

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happy holidays!

November 27, 2006

a long trip to fair isle

DSCN0771.JPGmotifs are big and small, i'm not at one with fair isleDSCN0783.JPGmotifs are stretched out when wearingDSCN0780.JPGclose up reveals it all


fair isle knitting is still a slow process for me. these pictures where taken couple weeks ago, i just started decreasing for calf yesterday.

norwegian stocking is definitely a great learning pattern but not so sure if it is a good beginner's pattern for fair isle. i first had struggle with knitting with two hands. it was so awkward. i think i am getting better using left hand to knit the contrast color but getting the tension consistent is still pretty sad. one of the reasons i knit so slow was i had to manually adjust stitches by pulling yarns stitch by stitch. it was very tiring and non-productive. i had tried to knit with just right hand, but my stranding looks better when knitting with two hands. plus, it would look so cool when and if i master two hand knitting.

anyway, i can't wait to knit the heels and gusset. that's like the coolest part of this pattern.

still in the thanksgiving mood. i cooked a huge turkey this year and we had so much leftovers. i had to cook a new batch of stuffings to go with the turkey last night. a friend was having a birthday bash saturday night, he made some glühwein (he's german), and we even went this bar for some authentic german beer. i love this place, it is like walking into a bar in europe, so small but cozy.

waiting for christmas and our january trip to china. i am on a quest to hunt down some cashmere yarn and silk fabric. but let's save it for another post.

October 31, 2006

beneath the suit...

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every action hero has an alter ego

Continue reading "beneath the suit..." »

September 25, 2006

pictures of the night

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it was seattle's sky that convinced me that this city is forever going to be beautiful to me. on the way to the hotel, i saw the skyline and thought of frasier. it was sort of surreal when a scene so familiar to me on TV finally came alive. the buildings seem bigger. with flickering lights, they were traveling with the moving taxi i was in.

i woke up every morning to a misty, rainy sky. most of the time it cleared up by midday. in between seminars and talks, i found myself wondering towards pike place, the unpretentious fish market graced by visitors like myself. elliot bay is so beautiful, i love cities that anchor near water; its waves and sounds tend to soften the hustle bustle a city brings.

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we went to an event one evening atop space needle. among luxurious hors d'oeuvres, drinks and people was the view of this metropolis, transforming from dusk till night. flickers of lights were much more vivid 520 feet above the ground.

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and who can forget the food? cuisines of pacific rim are dearest to my heart. and the coffee! i can not escape starbucks. it's okay, i love them. the morning we were leaving, i was quite determined to taste the fresh bakery at le panier. i had a chocolate croissant and a cup of latte, they accompanied me all the way across town, each crisp and buttery bite was washed down with silky coffee froth. it was by far the most satisfying moment of this trip.

September 07, 2006

silence

silence in blogging often tranlates into hectic schedules in real life. i have been quite productive doing my craft but i haven't been able to find time to write something decent. iris bolero's back piece was finished couple weeks ago. i am half way through making another kimono top for my sister. this weekend, i finished amy butler's intown bag for a friend. she was dragged to the fabric store by me and on a whim saw some japanese inspired prints, hence, the bag!

i like the bag, so cute. can't wait to show it to you, after the recipient opens up the package.

piles of yarns i ordered are here. they will be sweaters for my husband, and for myself. this is my crafting priorities so far:

1) finish kimono top
2) finish iris bolero
3) finish lemon tree socks
4) start sweater #1 for husband
5) pick up butterfly and finish before winter

let's see how well this list goes in a couple months.

i'll be traveling again soon, maybe i will find time to write again before then.

August 21, 2006

camping cats

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cats were bored in this house. my husband built a kitty fort for them last week, they were digging it completely. a fort built with couch pillows can last up to two days. we always have to find ways to please/entertain our cats. they were so used to being outside. do any of you walk your cats? perhaps we should try that.

--

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pattern: butterick B4461
difficulty (1-5): 1.2
pattern size: 12
fabric: 1.5 yd of alexander henry's screenprint in melrose, 7" zipper, double fold bias tape

sewing for my sister continues. here's item #2- an a-lined skirt with robert kaufman's fabric. i like it. it fits me, too. i need to find a better way to sew the interfacings prettier. i hope my sister wouldn't mind a less than perfect job. handmade items always have characters, she should know!

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close up

July 31, 2006

cape cod

i am not sure if you have ever read the book "garden of eden" by ernest hemingway, a story about an american writer and his bride honeymooning in the south of france and spain. it was a good story, provocative, but good.

when i was visiting hege last week. i thought of this book. how hemingway describes french riviera made me think of cape cod. it is like a fisherman's village. the quaintness is so new england.

i love the light houses, love the field of purple flower i saw in woods hole, and the beach. that place was so peaceful i could cry. sitting in the village, i can smell the sea.

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it has been so long since i was surrounded by boats. cape cod has lots of beautiful sailboats and yachts. how typical can this be? a perfect scene.

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i still remember the warmth of the sand on my toes, that day, it was just the two of us on the beach. we were embraced by the view of deep emerald sea, sporadic sail boats, sounds of the waves. i was floating in the sea, looking up to a cloudless sky. can you imagine?

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i brought back memories. these little quartz rocks were shaped small enough for my pocket. they are out of their natural habitat. without the ocean, they lost their luster. i'm keeping them alive in water, which is the least i can do.

then of course, there was food. the lobster, the clambake, i can never have enough.

i have probably said it somewhere, it is always the people that made you think of a place fondly, i love cape cod because of hege.

July 20, 2006

falling behind

i was traveling to washington dc for business the past few days, what an exhausting trip! i did not have time to mix business with pleasure, only some obligatory scenes of the place:

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an iron fence separating the lively demonstration on penn. avenue and the serene white house


capital hill can be an interesting place, wish i had more time to explore.

i was really happy to read all of the comments from you about my top. i've worn it to work already but nobody said anything, they probably think i bought it. this silence from others is really a compliment to me, strangely. i am glad that my friends no longer look at me and said "did you make this"!!

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i thought i'd knit a lot during my trip, but i had only managed to cast on and knit the second lemon tree sock. my cornflower tunic is close to finish and it looks like i may be able to wear it to cape cod next week, as i had planned from the beginning. lovely!

April 13, 2006

georgia's fish

i will be starting my new job next monday, so this week, we are trying to explore the new city like tourists. it has been fun! one of the places i wanted to visit is the georgia aquarium. it is currently the world's largest aquarium with many fishes... whales, penguins, sea otters and more.

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how impressive is this viewing window? the largest viewing window in north america. i am not a diver so this is really the closest i'll ever get to a whale and that big fish.

wanna see the diver in the tank?

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at one point his cart had slipped, that would have been interesting fo us and the fishes.

the line at the aquarium was crazy! i had heard about it so before we went, we reserved the tickets online. it really really saved us from standing in line for hours. anyway, i had so much fun, however, my husband is a diver, so he was not as impressed as i was. what can i say, i am a city bumpkin.

for those of you who are in love with ocean:
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a gorgeous jelly fish (it may has a more intelligent scientific name, but let's just call it a jelly fish)

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a beluga whale with a name that has currently escaped me. i never really paid attention to the writing on the wall

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a school of stingrays. their tails were being nibbled by the yellow fish. really. it was really weird

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a sea dragon. so beautiful it can be my desktop background

and lastly, at the river scout section, a bunch of hungry piranha. viscious fish, i tell you.
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atlanta is earning my love by the day.

April 03, 2006

catching up

hello.

i am here still, sitting in our messy house to write my overdue entry. the past few weeks, we have properly moved out of birmingham, the city where i used to work, and moved into the place in atlanta. what is left to do are tidying up our house here, organizing the biggest yarnsale yardsale* ever and moving the animals to the new city.

i will not bore you anymore with the move. it is only interesting if you are involved. here, let's talk knitting and sewing.

unfortunately, i have little to say about my craft. only things i do related to knitting are reading your blogs and window shopping for fabrics and yarns online. the next sewalong will be a bag project. i'm already thinking amy butler and her lovely home decor fabrics. delicious for the spring.

we are eager to settle down, really. this charming southern city is so vibrant, spring here is filled with energy, dogwood blossoms. i am also looking foward to discovering new yarn shops, fabric stores and possibly knit bloggers alike.

more later.

edit: did i type "yarnsale" instead of "yardsale"?? i meant to say yardsale. thanks, elizabeth. we have many furniture, nitty gritty stuff and work out equipment to get rid off, but yarns, i'm keeping them all.

March 13, 2006

little grey visitor

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the packing began last weekend and i will be having a few boxes like this with the same label. yarn, yarn, yarn and more yarn! knitting books, too.

the next couple weekends, we'll move from one city to another. from one apartment to this house, from this house to a bigger apartment. all of us, including all the cats.

just when you think life can not be more complicated... a little visitor was begging at the door.

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meow... can i come in?

aww, how could you not give this little grey thing some tuna or our cats' kitty treats? but we didn't. she was trying to make herself at home on our deck, and our cowardly cats were all hiding in the woods.

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i'm really hungry...

later that day, we found out that she actually belongs to our neighbor across the street. what a relief. though it did not stop her from coming to visit the next day, and the day after that.

February 26, 2006

my front door

stephanie tagged me lately for a view from my front door.

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english village, birmingham, alabama (summer, 2005)

this is a view from our apartment in the city. the neighborhood is beautiful, we love it there. the apartment is built in the early 30's. it is old but we love the view of this courtyard.

it is a perfect sunday morning here in alabama, mild weather and the birds are chirping. we are currently in our house in the suburb, where we stay on weekends only. our cats live here, they love it. and they will definitely miss it when we move away in a few weeks.

my cats love the woods. this is the place where we had found them about three years ago, the woods is their real home. they chase squirrels, birds and sometimes each other. they climb trees and i know they love their lives as cats!

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from the room i called " whispering pine", i can see them playing sometimes.
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speaking of my craft room... i'm still knitting, really! i started a pair of socks for husband, and am trying hard to finish the cobalt blue cardi. which i shall tell you more later this week. life has been busy.

November 14, 2005

toasty november

i think november is probably my favorite month of the year. the weather is really starting to get cold and the house is smelling warm and cozy. come second week of the month, my mind is no longer at work anymore, but mentally planning holiday meals. and honestly, i think my working attitude ends right before thanksgiving and it lasts all the way till the new year. how awful is that?

ever since i came to the states i fell in love with thanksgiving almost instantly. coming from a culture rich with culinary arts and fine eats, i was a little disappointed to find that many american families eat processed food on a regular basis. but, during the thanksgiving season, i get to experience the joy of many families preparing a home made meal. i cooked turkey many times already, and usually not just for thanksgiving, but christmas, too! i just love the smell of the cooking turkey in my house.

before i gone totally absorbed in the holiday food, i am showing you this pair of masculine looking footlets i made over the weekend for my husband (as he is now completely in love with handknit footwear!). he loves it, of course, who wouldn't love koigu kersti yarns? i based the construction off alison's ankle socks, it was an easy, gratifying project. also, it is a perfect thing to wear in front of the fireplace while watching movies and having some hot chocolate.

my next sock project will be for me. i know i have been saying that for a while but only now, after knitted for friends, families and husband, i can relaxed and knit a pair completely guilt free. and i'll start off with the handspun yarns from my SP, mac. bet she'd love to see that!

knit project: koigu kersti footlets for husband
difficulty (1-5): 1.2
size: men's medium (44 stitches, long tail cast on)
yarn: koigu's kersti in K315 (less than 2 skeins)
knitting specs: US 7 dpn

October 11, 2005

two years

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we had the loveliest wedding two years ago today. that was a perfect day. a typical crisp autumn with red and orange foliage as backdrop, a rustic cottage on top of the mountain. a warm southern town in america. it was a dream of many little girls but it was real for me and my husband.

we invited only a small group of intimate friends and family to share this day with us. we know each of them personally and we know that this day would give them a sweet memory as it would to us. my kind of wedding.

weddings and marriages have taken on a different level of meanings and definitions in today's world. however, i still believe in loving one person for the rest of my life and hold on to the old-fashioned kind of love. marriage is sweet, i have no regrets, only ineffable bliss.

i love my husband.

September 11, 2005

man and cat

yes, it's been a while since i shared pictures of our cats, well, they are difficult to photograph afterall.


drizzit: too tired. must sleep. even it's really sunny outside.


zoe: bored, just too bored. need to go outside and hunt.


pumpkin: the flirty furball of the house. she is my husband's girlfriend.


pumpkin: check out that claw! what a feline bitch!!

August 12, 2005

what is better than...

who needs campbell when you can do it yourself?

some homemade chicken noodle soup??

i love cooking, though i did not always love cooking. my sister has a degree in hotel management and is the person in the family who knows how to cater a five-star meal. not that i was a lucky receiver of that skill of hers on a regular basis (for she has always live in a different country from me) but it did made me think twice about acquiring some level of culinary proficiency, so when in times of need, i can also whip up fabulous dishes with ease.

so, chicken noodle soup. who won't love some of that after a whole day of hard labor, stress-filled meetings and exposing in the metro pollution, eh?

most of all, it's simple: chop up some veggies, get some chicken breast fillets, toss in some egg noodles... there you have it. ok, maybe a proper recipe is a better help.

happy weekend, more knitting later (hint: audrey is almost done!).


UPDATE: looks like spammers had creeped into "whispering pine", before i find a better way to stop them, anonymous commenters will not be allowed at this moment.

July 07, 2005

to friends in london

today, i am sending out my thoughts to friends and readers in london.

london was my temporary home for about six months few years ago while i was working there. my office located right on russell square and my morning rituals often included a stop at the manhattan coffee shop for breakfast, and i would purposely strolled across the square to feel the morning breeze. i like to alternate my routes between central and circle lines, depending on how often those trains arrive. commuting was a big part of my life when i was masquerading as a londoner, many moons ago.

during my short stays in london, i had experienced many tube incidences. the most significant one was on my first day to work, the tube was on strike! i was living near kensington palace then so i had actually walked three hours along the bus route and had hopes that maybe i would caught an empty cab, or a bus that would stop to take me. the journey home that evening was equally long and scary for i barely knew how to get around london.

as i got more comfortable with london, i became accustomed to the occasional tube mechanical problems, delays and even the may day riot! however, i can only imagine how terrible today's event must have been for the local commuters and visitors who happened to be there.

please know that our hearts are with you.

June 02, 2005

can i go out?

no, you don't need to be going outside from the second floor window!

our cats, unlike other domesticated cats, LOVE to go outside. but sometimes, they would try everything to let you know that that's what they want, like this silly furball here sniffing the window while i'm knitting! oh, my cats are funny!

i have successfully signed up for the sockapaltwoza! more socks to make! i'm slowly turning myself into a sock knitter and i love it!

knitting goal this week: finish the fluffy camisole and cowl. i have finished the cowl, it's light, warm and fuzzy! the other day i found out that craftster had a knitalong for this project and soknitpicky had posted a beautifully done camisole and cowl!

April 25, 2005

the least famous

the least famous cat of this blog, zoe. she can be a sweet and a trouble, depending on her fickled mood.

lazy monday

this is not the same cat, she is drizzit, another black/orange tabby that occupies our couch

April 10, 2005

here's pumpkin again!


i tucked myself in the down comforter...


yeap, i look fab!

March 21, 2005

getting ready for the day


that's my lovely cat pumpkin! she's nothing but a big goof!

March 01, 2005

it's wet and damp over here

almost a week into my vacation and i have yet to see the sun. taipei is wet and damp!

i'm afraid that my bamboo needles are going to soak up too much moisture and are going to slip open when i return the states.

but taipei, hmmm... food so delicous, shops so wonderful and did i mention yarn so cheap?

it's the first time for me to trek down yarnshops and knitting books in taipei. i can tell by browsing through the crafts section, knitting is not a popular hobby here. i did managed to see a lot of japanese knitting books here. a series called "let's knit series". they do have wearable patterns but i think the styles are all very conservative and traditional. not sure its really for me at all times. i will continue my quest for more local pattern books. i did purchased one intarsia stitch pattern book with many designs of storybook characters (i'd love to post pictures but downloading not possible here).

and the yarns... i went to this wholesale market. roomful of yarns. mostly wool, well i can say it's all wool. no cottons (sigh!). they carried many japanese yarn mainly by kanebo (i had no idea kanebo is also manufacturing yarn, i thought they only make cosmetics?). some from england (no rowan, debbie bliss, i did not recognize the brand). many alpaca (again, not familiar with the brand). i think i'm at a point of yarn selection that if i can not read a couple reviews online about the brand, i'm hesitant to purchase. but, having said that, are you at least tempted by the incredible price at $30 for 10000g pure alpaca? $20 for 1000g pure new wool?

i foresee myself stocking up some after my excursion to hong kong this friday. my sister is going to take me to a LYS at taikoo shing.

another exciting note: my mum, who conveniently lives in australia, brought me the complete jo sharp knitting books and a few balls of silkroad aran tweed for the amy vest!

vacation is wonderful. too bad it's rainy here.

did not start on rebecca29 wrap. maybe i'll order the magazine and GGH softkid before i left so they'll be waiting for me when i return to US.

February 14, 2005

2005 valentines

lots of love for my dear husband on valentine's day.

he is the joy of my life!

February 09, 2005

year of the rooster

it's chinese new year today, i had no idea! after living in the west for so many years, the meaning and the cultural values of chinese new years had gradually diminished.

i love this holiday for many reasons when i was living in taiwan:
many days off work (only if you are in asia)
money pockets from parents and relatives (for kids, that is)
unlimited supply of chinese food waiting to be enjoyed (love this part)
play dominos with money pockets receive

reasons why this holiday means less when living in america:
no days off (bummer!)
no firecrackers!!
no *real* homemade chinese food! (biggest bummer!)

February 06, 2005

birthday

sushi, sapporo and friends are the best when celebrating a birthday for someone special!

February 05, 2005

a dark elf in the woods - drizzit

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i am a cat in the woods, i was named after a dark elf

January 28, 2005

the flirty pumpkin - the first cat

they found me and my two sisters when we were really young in the woods. this man would come stalking my siblings, good thing we know how to hide and climb trees. but every time, he would bring some oh-so delicious food for us, there was nothing we could do but hope this man would leave immediately so we could eat... well, what can i say, a cat needs to do what a cat needs to do - live with the man who would give you unlimited supplies of cat food.

oh well, i like this man. he is nice to me. i like to sleep with him every night. i have done everything i can to flirt with him so he would take me and put me next to him when he sleeps. oh, so far my plan has not been too successful. almost two years now. but i will keep trying.

i'm not so sure if i like the other woman, she grabs me too much. i think she wants to give me a heart attack so i would leave her man alone.

oh well, we shall see. i'm good at cat-fight.

i have discovered that she hates it when i play with her yarns.. see, i'm good at making her go insane!


"i really don't want to be photographed but she is way too persistant for me to hide, how about just closing my eyes then?"

for greg

this weblog is dedicated to my loving husband.

he had no idea that he was going to commit to a knitting-obsessed woman when he married me that day.

wedding day