Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Inspiring thoughts for Tuesday

I love inspiring thoughts that lift me up, 
especially on days where I feel weighed down.
Today I thought I would share some that I have personalised with my own photos. 

This is a seagull from Suffolk in England,  
I hope one day I too will be able to call it home
But I realise
that my happiness is here and now
so dreaming is part of the plan.
 Mount Ranier symbolises the peak I am moving towards.

Alice reminds me that lunch is always on the menu!

Remembering a day last summer in Denmark,
when part of our family 
was together from all parts of the globe.
We all need a sense of belonging 
and to help others to feel they belong too.

Thanks for belonging long enough to read through my blog. 
Have a great day.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Treasures from the Dirt Market

Anyone who loves flea markets and things chinese should definitely add a visit to Beijing's Dirt Market as one of the 100 places they shop at before they die.
I must have been there 100 times since I moved to Beijing 
and I hope I will be back a few more times before I leave.

Sometimes visitors to our house wonder at how 
I could find a place for more treasure... 
well nothing like having a problem to help me find a solution!

Yesterday I was back there again.
I love to go with friends who see new things
and cause me to stop in new places and thereby find new treasures, unseen before.
Taking a camera is a good solution for me - as it helps me to snap a shot instead of a 'bargain'!
From the collection above I only purchased 2 categories- clocks and ceramic pots!
I had no problem resisting the wide eyed dragon! But the little red hen alarm clock was very tempting.
I wish I had come home with the Mao plates - but it's good to have something to go back for.
These 'Ming' miniatures were irresistible. Less than 2 inches high and beautifully glazed, I succumbed to buying more than I am willing to admit to in print. 
Maybe they will be there next time but I have learnt that life is ephemeral here in China and never take things for granted!

Pan Jia Yuan, also known as 'The Dirt Market', is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 7am till 4pm. Located on the south east corner of the 3rd Ring Road, it is well known and easy to get to. It is popular with locals and tourists alike and if it's made in China there is likely to be some version of it here. Be prepared for some haggling especially if you are not local. But as long as you don't believe it's an antique and never pay more than you think it's worth - then you are a winner.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Road

Monday morning
felt like
I was in another landscape
like a grim, post-apocalypse world
where only my dog and I
 were left to wander 
the desolate, ochre coloured surroundings.
Sand storms change everything 
from the light 
to my mood.
One thing 
would have brightened me up ...
Viggo Mortensen coming towards me
but that was the movie 
and this is real life.
you'll have to be my hero for the day.

Post script: Tuesday saw the winds blow away the silty air and we got blue sky for a while.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

March 20 - Yellow, yellow, completely yellow

Woke up this morning to find we had a sand storm blowing and everything 
outside was bathed in an eerie yellow light here in Beijing.

P.S. No photoshopping /funny filters or iphone apps involved 
in the production of this photo.

P.P.S. Blog title a reference to a favourite blog of mine!

Thoughts on Ideas and Creativity

~something I am accused of having too many of.
~something that wakes me up at 3 am and brings me to my computer screen
~something I am thinking about having read a marvellous list of quotes on quirksltd at 3am
~some of which I would like to share with you today.............

Linus Pauling: "The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, then throw the bad ones away."
Ok here are some of my good ideas from 2010, a year I want to be overflowing with good ideas
~ January I started doing an 8 week online course called Unravelling. This has led me to meet, read and do much that excites me.
~ starting a 365 -flickr group which has led me to take a photo every day since I started on Feb 14th and reconnect with friends. Although I was the only common link at the start, we really are becoming a group who know each other. Think about starting one yourself, it is a lot of fun.
~ deciding to make 2 quilts a month - at least one for charity.
This is made for an ISB project to give to a sheltered home for young adults with mental challenges
~ committing to writing a book on .... you'll see later!
~ starting work with a life coach to help me get to the next stage!

Anonymous: "Exhilaration is that feeling you get just after a great idea hits you and just before you realise what is wrong with it."
This happens every time I have an idea to write on this blog and now I am writing it I am feeling the second part! Hope you will indulge me by reading to the end.

Scott Adams: "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
My blog clearly shows I don't now yet.... but thanks for reading it regardless

Mary Lou Cook: "Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun."
That sums up for me what it's all about and I am trying to find it in the photos I take and the people I am with.

Having fun in Beijing art district last week with friends over from Denmark

Maya Angelou: "You can't use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have."
So on with the next photo, quilt, chapter and whatever new things come my way.

Albert Einstein: "Creativity is courageous. Pass it on."

So thanks to all those wonderful friends and blogs who keep passing it on to me. 
I'd be nowhere without you - Astrid, Linda, Kendra, Anne, Pia, Mai, AyumiBeth and many more.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The most treasured gift - I never received

This morning in my email box was a lovely message from my daughter Astrid and a beautiful photo of a quilt. This is what she wrote to me on my birthday - "It was my first little quilt... supposed to be a Thai temple dog at sunrise for your Chiang Mai apartment! Anyway, sorry it never made it to you, but I wanted you to know that my first quilt was made for you!"

I feel this is the most treasured gift I received today - but didn't.
Sadly the chinese post is very unreliable and things often don't arrive... but this is the hardest thing to lose. 
But the thought that went into this makes me so warm inside.

I was exceptionally lucky today to spend it with friends, husband and younger daughter - beautiful gifts and warm words. 
Just what I needed to start the next year of my life.

Thanks to everyone who made the start of my next year a special one.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. --Leo Buscaglia 

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Quilting in Beijing

What a week we had together. 
Five friends from Copenhagen - reunited in Beijing.
By day we saw the sights 
by night we sewed.
We each finished our quilt tops.
 Chinese coins was the design we all worked on.
Each of our quilts uses a little fabric from the other four.
The white Buddha in my garden 
served as a beautiful model for the quilts.
Hope they bring some colour to your day.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Time Out in Beijing with friends

Four fabulous friends from Copenhagen come to visit me in Beijing for a week and this is a glimpse of some of the fun we had....
The Temple of Heaven
The Great Wall at Mutianyu in the snow

798 - The contemporary art district
Getting in line with the sculptures
Buying art at PanjiaYuan - also known as the dirt market
and finding time to quilt every evening together .... tomorrow's post!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Stillness and excitement

No time to write much
but I just wanted to share
this photo I took
with my newly purchased 'Shibuya' film
for my iPhone
It makes my room look like an old dutch master.

When in fact
 reality is 
the last crazy stage of 
before Linda, Gerd, Jo and Marie
arrive from Copenhagen today,
to spend the next week
exploring Beijing
with me.
Can't wait.......
Hope your weekend
is filled with both
stillness and laughter.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

An Ode to Fabulous Fabric

Just wanted to share with you 
a bit of the fun i had today
 at my favourite place in Beijing - 
Mu Xi Yuan  ( the wholesale fabric market).
Those of you who have been here before 
will know that i LOVE this place. 
Covers a huge area, 
 is dirty, 
 piled high with bolts  
and endless possibilities
Oh the decisions to be made....

That is Phuong top left and me bottom right and my favourite fabric guy in Beijing helping us.

i would have bought the whole bolt of this amazing fabric (below)
if only
 i could think of how to justify it
so i bought 3 yards and 
then went back and bought 5 more 
and may just decide to go back and
 buy the rest.
Does a fabric ever have this effect on you?

Some of the softest satinised cottons
ready to be turned into 
tiny outfits for my granddaughter
who is expected to appear
in June
in Texas ... 
and could very well be appearing on this blog 
in just a matter of months
wearing one of these very fabrics.
There will never be a time 
when I won't need 
to buy fabric -
 that's one thing I know for sure.

Monday, 1 March 2010

The first day of March

We woke up to 2 inches of soft snow 
No good for riding the bike......

so Rufus and I enjoyed, what I hope is, the last snow fall of the winter.

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