March 15, 2018

Kyoto - 2018

We visited Kyoto 7 years ago. It was actually our first trip to Japan trip. This time the trip was more tailored to specific things I wanted to do and see. We stayed in this beautiful hotel Misui Garden. The room was almost big enough for the two of us! But in saying that, the hotel was beautiful and the Japanese style breakfast was plentiful and delicious. 

Apart from planning to hit the Toji Temple flea market on the 22nd of each month we also went back to the places we visited 7 years earlier. The flea market was a success. I was glad I decided to go there. There were so many cool stores and lots and lots of boro/indigo vintage fabrics to die for! The market was so big and busy that I feel I need to go back for another visit to see the rest of it. 

Our son and his family joined us on this trip so we got to spend time with them as well. I suggested that we should visit Nara while we were there. So we did. I knew the grand kids would enjoy the deer park in Nara. 

After Kyoto, we went to Tokyo in time for the Tokyo International Quilt Festival. I will blog about that on the next post. 


Japanese Garden

View from the hotel lobby into the garden

Kyoto Manhole cover

Kimono ladies in Kyoto

Fushima Inari Shrine

Nanzen-ji Garden, Kyoto

Warning sign at Nara deer park

Deer feeding

Toji Temple flea-market store

Toji Temple flea-market, more store

BORO/Indigo/ Vintage fabric
at the flea-market

Ikebana arrangement
at Kyoky Station

I got a lot more of photos, but I don't want to overwhelm you in one post. The next post I will blog about Tokyo and the Tokyo International Quilt Festival.

Until next time
Nat

March 2, 2018

Hong Kong 2018

I have recently been on holiday in Japan. On our way we got a free stopover in Hong Kong. The last time we were in Hong Kong was before it was returned to China. We didn't see much change except the usual development of the crowded city.  Hong Kong was the first overseas city I went to, so it was interesting and sentimental for me. We stayed on Kowloon side which was vibrant and lively, specially in the evening. We had street food where the locals hang-out. 

We did the usual sight seeing, museum and a few galleries. We love trecking into the back street areas, soaking the atmosphere of the city. We went to where we used to visit years ago - Stanley Village. We had to travel over an hour by local bus to the other side of Hong Kong island. Stanley Village wasn't how we remembered it. The old fishing village is now as touristy as you can imagine. It was so disappointing, but the bus ride was fun. 

A friend who used to lived in Hong Kong told me to visit Mountain Folkcraft shop in the heart of Hong Kong. We tracked it down with the help of Google map. It's a shop you can easily spend a whole day in.

Then I found the Sham Shui Po market. It's full of fabric and sewing supplies where local tailors and dressmakers shop! It's mostly an outdoor and pavement market. You can buy beads and sequins by weight and sewing pins by the thousand. It was such fun strolling along and just looking. Mostly just looking!  

Hong Kong Victoria Harbor

Prayer shrine found in HK back street

Wo On Lane, HK

Mountain Folk craft

Back Street, HK

Stanley Village - what's left

Original cottage at Stanley Village

Sham Shui Po Market

Chinese New Year
decorations

More Chinese New Year
decorations

Heart beads I bought from the market

More goodies from the market

As usual I always take some stitching projects to work on during my holiday. It's the best way to pass the time while waiting. I even stitched on the 9-hour plane ride. In Hong Kong I stitched a roll using eco-dyed and scrap vintage Japanese fabric. 





In Japan I did boro stitching using vintage indigo fabric. I will share all of them once I tidy them up a bit. 

When I returned I got the flu and wasn't feeling well for a couple of weeks. Even though I was back at work, mentally I didn't feel that good. I was tired and didn't have energy. I was feeling low in general. I'm glad to report that I'm back to my old self again. I picked up sewing and started creating again. I've also gone back to the gym. Keeping myself fit is the key.

On my next post I will write about our time in Kyoto and the Kyoto Toji outdoor market. I won't leave it too long in between posts this time.

Until next time
Nat





January 12, 2018

First Post in 2018

Happy New Year all. I know that Holidays are done and dusted, but my holiday is finally about to start! Hope everyone had a relaxing and safe Holiday. Last year was the busiest year for me. Work, family and home life took most of my time. I did quite a bit on the creative front too. I only made few handmade gifts this year. I made up a few heart ornaments and one for myself to use as a brooch (see photos). 

Late in November I signed up for a textile art course online workshop with Sue Stone. I'm slowly working away on each module and loving it.

Then I finished Indigo Moon quilt and sent it away to get it machine quilted. I am looking forward to getting it back. I also finished another quilt top using blocks I made for a border of Indigo Moon quilt. I have enough blocks to make a throw sized quilt. I'm thrilled that I can use leftovers from one quilt to make another quilt. Does anyone do that? Then to wrap up 2017 leftover project, I finished piecing the heart blocks I did throughout the year, but it needed something to finish it off with. I used whatever fabric I had to piece the border for it. So, is this what they cal improv quilting? I am very pleased with myself and how it turned out.

Below are the photos of what I've mentioned above. 

Hand stitching Christmas tree as part
of my online workshop

Hearts using vintage quilt and blanket

I kelp this to use as brooch

Stitch samplers from module #1 online workshop

Sample from module #2.1

Sample for module 2.2

Playing with blocks from Indigo Moon quilt. I've also made up a few bunnies to applique around Indigo Moon quilt. I only made 4 bunnies. I don't want to waste them so I just randomly placed them in the quilt. I think I'm happy with that!

Leftover blocks

Quilt top with bunnies

Basting ready for hand quilting

Hand quilting has begun

The Love and Kisses quilt top

The most exciting project is my journal cover that I started sometime during the year. It's for our trip this January to Hong Kong and Japan. In Japan I will visit Toji Flea Market in Kyoto and the Tokyo International Quilt Festival. I have managed to combine the trip to visit both events. We will have a few extra days in Hiroshima as well. 

The travel journal front cover

Travel journal black cover

I will be posting on Instagram and Facebook. If you are my friends on Facebook please come along for a ride virtually! Some of my regular blog readers are not happy that I've been neglecting my blog lately. Living life in the fast lane can only fit so much in a day. IG and FB are must easier and faster to update than a blog format. Blogging is a journal for what I'm making. I like to print them out each year, but this year will be a very thin book!

Until next time
Nat





November 21, 2017

October or November?

When I loaded up the photos for this post it was October, but life is getting away from me lately. So by the time I got back to it again it was almost halfway through November. A lot has happening since my last blog post. One thing for sure is that I'm looking forward to the Christmas break! I get 12 days off work starting from Dec. 22nd through 2nd of Jan. 2018 - woo hoo! 

In January we taking our holiday to Japan, stopping in Hong Kong for a few days on our way. I've planed to get to Toji flea market in Kyoto on the 21st and also to the Tokyo International Quilt Festival at long last! I'm really looking forward to this trip. Apart from that, our son and his family will be joining us there too. Extra excitement to have the grandchildren coming on holiday with us!

On the creative front! A lot is happening on the creative side actually. I have finished piecing the Indigo Moon quilt top. I have enough moon blocks for a queen quilt which I'm very happy with. Next thing is to find a backing big enough for it. Guest what? I walked into my local op-shop and found exactly the fabric I need. I always feel because you love fabric, in return fabric loves you right back too. In this instance I found this gorgeous designer label blue fabric, 'R.M. Williams' just right for the backing of my indigo moon quilt. A perfect marriage between Japan and Australia. How can you beat that? 

More on the creative side. I finally finished Sashiko stitching on my denim jacket. I get lots of compliments every time I wear it. I am also working on some bits and pieces as time allows. See the captions for details. 

Indigo Moon Queen Quilt Top, done and dusted!

R.M. Williams fabric is a lucky
find for quilt backing!


Sashiko stitches on denim jacket

Cutting up old rug to re-purpose into coasters

Some coasters ready to go

The complete commissioned scarf
I did for Martha in Austria. 

The big news from me has to be about my daughter Kitiya Palaskas. I'm so proud to say Kitiya's published her first book! Pinata Party is the ultimate DIY craft book for those wanting to create their own version of this party accessory. The book has now launched in Australia. It will be launched in the US in Feb. 2018. Below are some photos of Kitiya's book launch in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago. A great gift for Christmas to those creative hands...

Bruswick Bound bookstore were
onsite at the launch.

Kitiya started the lunch
with the bank/bottle!

Lots of friends came to give support

Fun night were have by all and Pinatas!

Lovely dudes came to give helping hands

One of the pages from the book. 

Lucky find:

I haven't been shopping or looking at anything to buy lately, but last weekend I took my gym buddy to my local op-shop and I just stumbled into these two adorable stools. I sat on each one of them and I fell in love with them so, got to take them home with me!


This post ends with the update on my 12 Weeks Challenge I started almost 12 weeks ago now. This is our last week in the Challenge. Unbelievable how fast the 12 weeks have flown by. Next Friday is the presentation evening. We all get to dress-up and receive our awards or the badges of attendance. I will make sure to get a good photo of us to share with you. 

I think my next post will be a Christmas post. It's going to be a low key Christmas for us. A busy time in my family this year. Will keep you updated once it is all over.

Until next time
Nat






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