Wednesday 31 December 2008

December Giveaway Winner

Congrats to Joanna. The beaded rose in the December giveaway will be sent to her. Thank you to all who participated. Tsuru was most accomodating.

Tatted cross pattern from Elizabeth’s Tatted Lace

Not much tatting done but tatting cannot be neglected, so no matter how busy, 30 mins of tatting is better than nothing. I saw this tatted cross pattern on Elizabeth’s Tatted Lace blog and wanted to try it out. Thank you for sharing the pattern, Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s tatting is so perfect and neat. Mine, not so. Instructions were easy to follow and it stated that joining picots should be made small. I did not know which picots were joining picots so I made them all standard size. After a few practice runs, I should be able to tell or maybe not.

Thursday 25 December 2008

Have a blessed Christmas

I wish you all a blessed Christmas.
I am almost always home for Christmas, sharing it with family.
I hope you will be sharing yours with family too.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Ferguson Lane, Shanghai

When you are here you would not think you were in China. It looked more like a place somewhere in Europe. Have Sunday brunch at the French restaurant or spend a lazy afternoon wandering through the small stores there or have coffee at the café.

The photo shows the salad we had ‘fruits de mer’. The daily menu is different.

Tuesday 23 December 2008

A maze of small shops

An afternoon wandering a maze of old houses converted into little shops. Lots of small cafes, art galleries, jewelry shops, and other knick knacks.

Here I bought this snake necklace which you could wind and create your own design. Ruz and I had a great time trying out the many ways of wearing this snake necklace.

We also had a fun time photographing Fluffy, a white cat who had one eye blue and the other yellow. She was just adorable. Fluffy and her human companion was most accommodating.

We found a small market nearby. Look at the photo and see whether you can tell why I took this. You may need to enlarge it and look at the details.
There was this cat on a leash next to her owner among her table of goods for sale. It is a wonder the cat did not eat up all that uncooked food. Hmmm, are you also wondering where the food safety officers were.

Sunday 21 December 2008

Yu Yuan Garden

This was the only tourist attraction that we visited in Shanghai. It has a bazaar just outside the garden selling lots of souvenirs and of course a Starbucks.

Can you see the silhouette of the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Shanghai World Financial Centre in between the Chinese architecture.

I had a Chinese paper cutting customised for a friend who was watering my plants while I was away.

Bargaining/Haggling at the bazaar to about 20-40% of the original price is a must. For example a small table clock for 350 yuan can be bought for 160 yuan. At another shop, the same clock was 160 yuan but can be bought for 90 yuan (~US12). Even then, I wasn’t sure whether I was paying too much.

Saturday 20 December 2008

Tuina and the traditional Chinese pedicure

Tuina is a type of Chinese massage which I have experienced in Singapore. But the tuina I had in Shanghai was the most painful massage I have ever experienced. Yet, I made sure I had another before leaving Shanghai. I love painful massages.

I also had a foot massage which was good but what was amazing was the traditional pedicure. No pumice stone or the usual nail clipper used. Instead it was a set of surgical-like tools which in expert hands did not hurt or tickle. In fact I did not feel a thing and my feet felt so much lighter after that. I took photos (before and after) but I do not think it would be good to display my feet here.

Friday 19 December 2008

M on the Bund

Another view of the bund while we had lunch at M on the Bund. It was too cold to dine out on the balcony but we went out for a few photos. It would be lovely to have afternoon tea in spring or autumn there. Look at these lovely postcards which we collected.

Thursday 18 December 2008

December giveaway

This is a woven beaded rose (1 inch across) which I made and sometimes include in my jewellery pieces. You could use it in one of your projects. Just leave a comment and tell me your favourite colour by 30 December 2008, I will do a draw on 31 December 2008 and list the winner then. Do check back to find out who the winner is.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

A shopping centre in Shanghai

MC insisted that we visit a shopping centre with all the designer stores where most locals would shop. I don’t remember the name but it had all the usual stores a shopping mall would have. This was where they had a Swarovski crystal Christmas tree. Most imported goods in Shanghai are more expensive when compared to Singapore.

Monday 15 December 2008

Transporting long bamboos

I took this photograph because it reminded me of the DHL advert. They do a lot of transporting this way. Not only do they carry bamboos for scaffolding, they carry boxes of goods and furniture along the streets of Shanghai.

Driving in Shanghai is not for the faint hearted and traffic seems to go everywhere. Cars do not stop at zebra crossings or pedestrian crossings at the traffic lights.

We were having lunch at a restaurant called Simply Thai at Xintiandi. Xintiandi is a modern shopping area converted from old Chinese architecture. The first Communist Congress meeting was held here. By the way, if you are craving for something hot and spicy, the tom yum soup here is good. So is the lemon grass chicken, fried rice with seafood, ginger tea and a dessert with deep fried bananas wrapped in wonton skin and eaten with ice cream. Hmmmm yummy!!

While walking towards Xintiandi one night, we heard this lady singing in French and wondered which live stage the performance was at. It turned out to be a CD vendor on a motorbike, blasting the music on this old custom-assembled speaker. The sound system was just amazing. I had to stop and buy one cd, okay I bought 2.

Check out the Christmas tree outside Simply Life where I got some cute magnets of local Chinese paintings. They also had these beautiful bone china ceramics by a Beijing-based artist. Lots of beautiful stuff there.

Saturday 13 December 2008

Food and restaurant décor in Shanghai

Like a tourist, I spent my time taking photos of the food we ate and the beautiful décor.

Pasta at the Italian restaurant by a Japanese chef. This restaurant was set in an old stone and wood building and all the furniture and table lamps inside look like they were collected from flea markets. Very good ambience.

Beautiful setting for teppanyaki and an even more beautiful ladies powder room.

Shanghainese food: Stir fried young peas and yellow bean soup.

Shanghainese food: Fatty pork in sweet black sauce.

Shanghainese food: Deep fried fish marinated in black sauce.

Shanghainese food: Seven Treasures: Nian gao (sweet cake), water chestnut, prawns, bamboo shoots, mushroom, pine nuts and pork.

Table at Paul’s where we had the warm open sandwiches, coffee and éclairs.

Hyatt on the Bund Vue Restaurant: The assigned chef cooks our food near our table. Food was not that great but the view was. I suggest you have drinks at the Vue bar, book the day beds and Jacuzzi and of course feast your eyes on the fantastic view. I loved how they did the décor of the restaurant and bar, collections of wine, glass sculptures, plates, jugs, smoking pipes, vintage cameras etc. Please excuse the bad photography.

Along the streets people enjoyed baked sweet potatoes and steamed corn. It looked delicious as a hot snack but we did not have a chance to try because we were always on our way from after a meal or to a meal.

If you are shopping in one the huge modern shopping centers, please try this chain of eateries called Chamate. It serves individual steam boat (a Chinese cuisine where everyone dips uncooked food into a communal pot or soup and eaten with different sauces, similar to Japanese nabe), local set meals and this fantastic fruit tea that we had. The fruit tea is a must and most delicious.