luna love

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Recently reminded of my fondness of Luna, adviser to the Sailor Moon and her friends. She has all her flaws, with her moments of panic, embarrassment, disappointment, fury, exhaustion, melt-down, uncertainty, even occasional meanness (in one episode she drew a picture to make fun of Usagi for becoming “fat” :S), but she always holds on to her purpose, and determination to fulfill her purpose. And she doesn’t take crap from people.

AND! She shows us that unpleasant moments can be quite comical! (in some ways)

Must have to do with our recent trip to Asia. We’ve in fact come across a lot of Sailor Moon merchandise while there. Wonder if Sailor Moon is popular again, in a nostalgic kind of way, or its popularity has always been consistent in South Korea and Hong Kong?

Anyway, didn’t buy anything Sailor Moon while on the trip, so I was searching on Etsy a couple days ago, and came across this perfectly Luna pin back button in this shop, I just HAD to get it :D

I need a feline mentor to demonstrate how to say no (there are more of these if you also feel like you need to say no more often). It’s making its way across the continent as I type :D In the meanwhile, I found a plastic Luna key ring somewhere at home, so I sawed the plastic ring part off its top and glued a pin back on it. Ta-da! My very own portable feline mentor.

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Have a very good weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

HK love

This place will always be my home <3

But I haven’t been able to be there as much as I’d like in the past 20-some years. So, even though there’s so much to see and do and so much fun to be had, it always feels a bit emotional to visit. Childhood memories, and such.

We crossed the harbour between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula almost daily. Usually we take the MTR (subway), but realized that we can also take the Star Ferry, so we tried that one day. The Star Ferry has been in operation since 1888. It used to be much busier when the MTR wasn’t as extensive. I remember taking it every time we visited my grandparents, and it would make me sea sick (it still does :P). It’s an excellent way to take in the views of Victoria Harbour.

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Near the Star Ferry pier we could see the smiley Ferris wheel ^_^ We didn’t go on it though. It was very rainy that day.

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Aberdeen is one of the neighbourhoods where my family used to live. The Aberdeen harbour is home to many boat houses, and the many people who live in them.

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People could cross the harbour with the commuter boat, it costs $2.20 HKD (about $0.35 CAD) for the 3-minute journey. So of course we went for a ride :D It was also a nice way to look at the boat houses.

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The hotel we stayed at was very close to the North Point Pier. There were quite a few people fishing at the pier. This is one of my favourite pictures from the whole trip.

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Springtime is very foggy.

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Mike recently started reading Moomin comics and was very excited to find a Moomin Cafe :D We had lunch there one day. The server would bring over giant Moomin (and friends) plush to sit at the table with people.

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And we found not one, but TWO Studio Ghibli stores! (Donguri Republic at Harbour City and Times Square)

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We also found the BEST cat cafe ever!

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There were cats everywhere. Right beside me curled up in a chair, on top of the tables, inside the counter…

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Most are sleeping, but the ones wandering about were quite friendly :D

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And in the same neighbourhood I found a yarn store! (the red framed windows with the sweaters) Causeway Bay is the place to be! I bought some discounted acrylic but exercised quite a bit of self-control — there’s only so much space in the luggage and there are so much fun snacks to bring back!!

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Switching gears to see places outside of the city, we joined a boat tour to visit the volcanic rock region in the Hong Kong Geological Park, which consists of sea arches, sea caves, and hexagonal rock columns! The tour leaves from the Volcano Discovery Centre at Sai Kung Pier.

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Pictures don’t do these mountains justice, they are absolutely magnificent. Here is a sea arch!

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And some sea caves, and waterfalls!

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As well as fishing villages…

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And vendors selling seafood from their boats.

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Foggy days mean low clouds hanging in the middle of the mountains and this heavenly scene.

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Then we went to the opposite side of Hong Kong and visited Tai O, which is a fishing village on Lantau Island, with many stilt houses built on water.

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The small streets and houses are very different from that of the city.

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Residents making salt fish, shrimp paste and dried seafood.

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We took a boat tour to watch for the famed pink dolphins, but didn’t see any :( maybe next time.

Going back in time, we visited a museum of a 200 year-old restored Hakka walled village, called Sam Tung Uk.

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We visited partly because my sister and I have Hakka ancestry. Some of the things in the museum indeed remind me of what my grandparents used to have in their home, and still in the village where they live now, like the ancestral hall.

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Back in the city, we visited the historical Stone Slabs Street (aka Pottinger Street) in Central district. Some of the stone slabs are restored, and some are original I think. Vendors keep stalls on both sides of the street. I remember being there once when I was young, and it being a lot busier back then, but this is exciting nonetheless :D

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And guess what I found on these fabulous stone steps? A yarnbombed railing!

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Nearby there is a Starbucks dressed like an old times Hong Kong coffee house :D

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My sister took us to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where she went to graduate school several years ago :D It might not be a place that most tourists would visit, but since it’s built on a mountain it’s actually a good hike, with lots of beautiful scenery, like this fountain near the top of the mountain, which seems to be built to blend with and interact with its surrounding views.

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The tiles make up the words, “spread wings and fly” :)

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And so we did, at the end of our trip, flew back to our other home in Toronto. But surely we will be back :)

I hope you enjoyed the photos! :D Because I have more! :D Mostly street photography using the Diana Mini. I’m still waiting to finish my last roll and for the rest to develop, but will pick some good ones to show you.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

hello from Seoul! :D

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Long time no see everybody!! :D

Mike, my sister and I went on a trip to Seoul and Hong Kong earlier in the month :D We’re now home and feeling dizzy with jet lag, but we had such a good time! Thought I’d share some pictures of places we’ve been and loved, in case you’re thinking about visiting these cities as well and looking for ideas!

We caught the cherry blossoms while in Seoul, the picture above was taken at Gyeongbokgung Palace, largest of the five palaces in Seoul. The architecture at the palace is absolutely spectacular. It feels as though every tile, every beam, every brick is thoughtfully and meaningfully made and placed.

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The palace grounds also has some lovely ponds. We didn’t have time to visit all 5 palaces, and the ponds were the reason why I chose to go to this palace. It’s difficult to not get beautiful photos here.

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There were many people wearing hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) strolling about :)

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We also visited the Namsangol Hanok Village, Hanok meaning traditional Korean houses. The architecture of civilian houses is no less stunning than that of the palace. I love the neat, clean, simple aesthetic.

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At the Hanok Village we participated in a tea ceremony activity. We were served traditional Korean sweets as well :D They’re made of crispy rice. In the picture the museum docent is pouring the tea from the teapot to a tea bowl for the tea to cool down a bit, before pouring it into the teacups.

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We thought we didn’t have time to visit other palaces, because we were only there for 4 days, and palaces are huge! But found out that there is a relatively small palace in the centre of the city, which we would pass by anyway on our way to other attractions, so we went in. This is the Deoksugung Palace. It has newer additions with western influences, like the light fixture and wall decorations in the picture.

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It also has a couple of western style buildings, which I certainly did not expect to see in a Korean palace.

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Speaking of architecture, we visited the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, which houses some shops and exhibitions, as well as a museum of an excavation site of a number of dwellings that were built in the 1300s. This spaceship-like building is just incredible to look at, and to walk around and underneath.

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There is this beautiful stream that runs through the city called the Cheonggyecheon. It was a creek that got covered by transportation infrastructure in the 1950s, and then was uncovered and restored as a city green space in the 2000s.

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It was lovely to take a stroll along the stream. A bit of a resting spot from the busy streets on either side above. A lot of local residents sat on the rocks and ate lunch, hung out.

One of the staff at the hostel we stayed at recommended going to a market for traditional Korean snacks. So we went, but I can’t remember what the market is called >_<… it looks like it could have been the Gwangjang Market. Once stepped into the market I was at once amazed and overwhelmed, because it reminds me of Spirited Away with the people sitting at stalls and the light bulbs above head, and because I’m not so great with crowds.

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The staff recommended Korean fried pancakes, which we got, it was indeed delicious :D

And then through recommendations from a friend we went to the Insadong neighbourhood, where one could find arts and crafts of all kinds, and a kimchi museum! :D There are videos about how different kinds of kimchi are made, interactive displays where one could experience making kimchi Cooking Mama style, and very informative displays about the benefits of kimchi.

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In and around Insadong there are also a number of traditional Korean tea houses. We visited one with a beautiful courtyard.

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And got ourselves some green plum tea and shaved ice, with dried persimmons, dried red dates and red beans. We drink the tea with a spoon.

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We stayed at a lovely hostel called the Twin Rabbit. The staff are very friendly and helpful, the room is very clean, the rate is quite reasonable, and the breakfast area has a giant artificial tree which is super cute. It’s located in a university neighbourhood with lots of affordable eateries and hip shops and cafes, and some street arts and music too. Highly recommend it!

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Here I was trying to work on the crochet project I brought with me under the tree. I’m a bit sad to say that my project is not complete by the end of our trip, and I may have to take apart what I’ve done so far because the yarn isn’t working out the way I want… but that’s a different story for another time. Next stop, Hong Kong! Stay tuned for more photos! :D

 

across the seas

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Hello from Seoul! :D

We are here for a few days to do some sightseeing before heading to Hong Kong. And in the week before I left I scrambled to finish 3 shawls and a hat for my grandparents and aunts. Didn’t have time to take a picture of them before I left, so here I am doing a make-shift photo shoot of the shawls and writing this at the guesthouse where we’re staying :D

The shawl in the picture above is made following the Lion Brand Yarn South Bay shawlette pattern, using Red Heart Unforgettabe yarn.

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This one is made using the Lion Brand Dorathea Wraplet pattern, with quite a few extra rows, using Caron Simply Soft. Kind of looks like wings :)

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And this was from the Tangier Wildflowers Shawl on Ravelry, also using Red Heart Unforgettable.

I think I will save the blogging till I get home, or keep it very brief, because Worldpress is very wonky on my phone. This is why I can’t even link to the pattern pages, and the pictures are tiny :S But the patterns should be pretty easy to find if you do a search on google or Ravelry, if you’re interested in checking them out :)

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

 

 

this week’s awesome finds

Spring is in the air! :D

These cookies are too beautiful to eat! From Flutter Magazine.

 

I must have posted these bunny nuggets before, but can’t help but have to post them again, they’re SO CUTE!! Look at their fluffy tails! By Rebecca Danger on Ravelry.

 

Love the texture of this stitch sampler neck warmer, and it’s knitted flat! :D By Fiona Kelly on Ravelry.

 

Want to hug these giant origami rabbits. From Oh Happy Day.

 

Perfect for transitional weather. By Nicki Hirsch. Scroll down for English crochet pattern.

 

These sweet flowers are made of nail polish! Great idea for a craft party don’t you think? :D From Wonderful DIY.

 

Spring chickens! :D From Potpebbles.

 

A glitter tumbler to brighten up your day :D From Studio DIY.

 

Happy spring! :D

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