Monday, 25 August 2014

Kintsugi - adding new beauty

I recently broke a very special cup. It's not really a special cup and the saucer has long since been mislaid. But it's the cup I remember my dad using for tomato soup when I was quite a young girl. My parents divorced early on so I never spent as much time as I would have liked with him, but my memories of moments in time from that period are special; hence this tomato soup cup is special.

So I've made an attempt at mending it, inspired by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pots - repairing the pots with gold, making a feature of the brokenness and celebrating it.

"The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places." ~Ernest Hemingway

I like that I have spent time with my dad in my thoughts while I attempt my repair. I've not followed the traditional methods, just used modern glues and gold powder, and I've not done an amazing job, but I have my cup back and it may feature as a prop on some of my product photographs.

I found this blog post by Sequins and Cherry Blossom really interesting:

Have you ever had a go at Kintsugi? Do share your photos with us!



Monday, 14 July 2014

Beauties and the Beast

Just a few beauties from the Great Yorkshire Show last week - I thought I'd focus mainly on goats here as there were plenty of lovely sheep for you from the Royal Norfolk Show last month. 
Goats - I really rather fell in love with them, but only had a very short time to admire them. That's the downside of doing shows on your own - just not enough time to look around.

Just a few shots of wash and brush up before the day begins:

And a little walk to stretch the legs:

And if all the goats were the beauties from this show, then this has to be The Beast - ugly pig!!

Finally, in case you thought I'd abandonned my love of all things woolly, here is a rather lovely teddy bear of a sheep:

some of the caged prize winning fleeces: 

and a rather splendid chair:

Friday, 27 June 2014

A Grand Norfolk Show

I don't get much chance to look around at the shows that I attend as these days I'm on my own. But in my short little wander this is some of what caught my eye this year at the Royal Norfolk Show - some of it is mighty big

A fab display from the oh so posh Breckland Orchard  - their Posh Pop is so refreshing during a long show

Tomatoes, on a grand scale:
And a chopping board on a grand scale. This is one of the amazing food safe boards from Paul Williams - made from Norfolk timber - all ready for one of the cookery demonstrations by James Martin at the show (Oops, I got into trouble for taking this!)

If you wanted something more manageable for your kitchen, how about one of these:

Back to large again - some of the farm machinery is enormous! 

Cows have always seemed huge to me - maybe because as a child I had to walk through a field of cows to get to the next door farm to collect the eggs.

Noses - I love animal noses!

 And the Norfolk Show is a fabulous place for spotting some classy dogs

Couldn't resist this collie, keenly watching a demonstration of something or other

 Always love this sign!

 A boy and his sheep

And last, but not least, this was my stand:

When you go to an agricultural show, where's do you head for first (apart from the loos, if you've had a long journey!)

Style Guidance from our Woolly Friends

I thought I'd help any of you who are wondering whether to change your hair style - to fringe or not to fringe. Have a look at some of these - some great styles here, I thought!

And then, how about this look:

I do love the Norfolk Show, and I do love the sheep. I might be inspired to add a few new breeds to my range of sheep cards....

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Joys of the Unexpected - in Taiwan

Hi, it’s Emma from Taiwan again!

Today, I thought I’d look back at what I was expecting when I came to Taiwan, and what I’ve actually experienced. When you say the word Taiwan, maybe you think mass production, electronics and plastic toys – I did! But I’ve been so surprised in what I’ve found on my little explores and adventures around the island.

When mum and my sister Nicola visited a few weeks ago, we took a trip to Yingge, a small but renowned ceramic township. Here there was an artist village, where we found a great exhibition of local students work (all around the theme of eateries and restaurants). Some of the pieces were really quirky and made us all smile. I was delighted to find good design and skilled craftwork, and such a lovely display too.

Outside of the indoor gallery area, we were met by small sculptures that were dotted around the park – it really was a lovely day out!

A similar thing can be said about the kindergarten where I work every morning; I teach small class (2-3 years old – very small!) and they have a routine which they all follow every day. At first glance maybe this seems too disciplined and doesn’t offer them a chance to use their imagination, but I disagree. My kids all feel very safe in knowing what they are supposed to be doing at certain times, and throughout the day they have plenty of time to play and invent their own little games. I love watching them during play time, as I can see new worlds come alive every day – a recent play time turned into a garden filled with spiders and angry mums chasing them

I loved this collection of Post It Notes from one of my classes, welcoming Teacher Emma's Mum and sister to Taiwan:

I have found so much more in this country than I was ever expecting; the people are all so friendly and can’t wait to offer a lost looking foreigner some help; the landscape is very varied and much of it is incredibly beautiful and full of natural wonders.

I’m hoping to go whale and dolphin watching soon, and am planning to stay another year – there’s still so much I want to see and do. The kids I teach are lovely and I couldn’t wish for nicer Chinese assistants in my classes! Why wouldn’t I want to stay!