Since things are pretty much finished at the factory and we're just waiting for stuff to dry, my friend and I traveled to downtown ShenZhen. This (above), along with Starbucks, was a welcome sight.
Went to the infamous Lo Wu Station for great deals. Thanks to my friend Janne's prompting I went for the silk. Just a few meters for crafting. Can you believe only $3.70 USD per meter and the roll was about 5 feet tall! If you ever get to this part of China this place is a must.
Dinner was Korean BBQ. I did try cold noodle soup which surprisingly wasn't too bad.
Pricing on the product has been negotiated, samples packed and I'm ready to head off to HOME SWEET HOME! Can't wait to see my family.
I'm excited to be closing in on the end of my trip. We finished painting the samples today. Now everything needs to be sprayed, put together, final approval and pricing. I think this piece is my fave.
While waiting for the painters today we ventured off to visit a couple lighting factories.
I'm thinking about doing some lamps. What do you think? Be honest.
These factories were huge and impressive. The machines above are small compared to some they had. Both of these factories do manufacturing for IKEA. Can you tell which part of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was my favorite as a child?
Another highlight of my day... The weather has cooled off in the mornings and I actually got an 8 mile run in without being miserable. AND, I almost forgot, no gross food!!!
I was so proud of myself today for pushing through my fear (and gagging reflexes) to experience something new. I wouldn't consider myself a picky eater. But, I do have major issues with some textures like fat, gristle and chewy rubber.
Above are the 3 snakes (about $50 US dollar worth) that the factory boss picked from the cages below.
How nice of him! We were also fortunate enough to be sitting quite close to the cages and I had a perfect view of them cutting the heads off each snake, with scissors, before weighing them.
Snake flesh waiting to go into the pot of boiling snake bones.
If this doesn't look appetizing... UGH! Did I mention that I did run 5.5 miles this morning and I am now starving! Wishing that I had dropped a bar in my bag before leaving this morning.
This is what snake looks like all cooked up.
I ATE it! I ate like 7 pieces! There was NOTHING else to eat! It was a bit chewy with not a lot of taste.
think calamari, think calamari
And lucky us, with 3 snakes comes 3 SNAKE GALL BLADDERS! Supposedly SGB's are good for your eyes and stomach. These are fresh out of the snakes, soaking in some sort of alcohol. The factory boss proceeded to add more alcohol and squeeze the green fluid out of each SGB.
Yep, then he poured us each a mini glass. OH BOY! This is NOT a good lunch!!
The alcohol was so strong I couldn't taste anything else, thankfully. I did pass on the whole SGB when those were being passed around at the end. I had had enough adventure for one lunch!
Today was a traditional Chinese holiday to celebrate the poet Qu Yuan. The Chinese people eat Zongzi (or zong) a traditional Chinese food, made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. They have also been known as "Chinesetamales" to the Western world.-wilkipedia. I had this for breakfast, it was simple and good.
As far as work is concerned, the day was spent painting samples. I was so focused I actually forgot to take any pictures. Sorry :(
Lunch was some fried shrimp with the heads STILL ON!
Some sort of yummy black mushrooms.
Some tofu (right), fish with head, type of roll with peanut and coconut filling and some SPICY peppers!
Just when I think I might be really warming up to Chinese food something like this comes up. ha! I'm not sure what this is? When I asked she said it was penguin!!! haha! Is it like cornish game hen?
Dinner was Hot Pot at a very popular Chinese chain restaurant. The English name is Little Sheep.
At one point during dinner I had to laugh-here I am in China, the temperatures are hot to begin with, now I'm having SPICY hot pot which is burn your mouth temperature hot and to cool myself off I am served HOT tea!
I took a little walk while waiting for the factory to finish the sculpting. This man was on the street peddling his fruits. Again, I'm not sure what this spiny fruit is but it's very good. Almost like a strawberry with a pit.
He was using this handheld weighing gadget that seemed quite old fashioned.
Lunch included one of my favorites-spicy cucumbers. The green stuff is some sort of bitter vegetable that I wasn't totally keen on.
Finished with the sculpting stage and now onto the painting.
I did manage to run 3.5 miles. It was a fight for me mentally to even do that. I'm really missing my running friends and the cooler weather.
Look at how much she's grown, such a cutey! She's 4 now and already knows all her colors in English.
In case you haven't been following my blog for long I'll catch you up a bit. I design gift product (mostly pendulum clocks) and have 70% of it manufactured in China. The rest we make in Battle Ground, WA. We've been doing the US line for 13 years and started manufacturing in China about 5 years ago I believe. Hence, I travel to China twice a year to develop new lines with the factory.
The first day at the factory always includes going over sculpts of art that I had previously sent by email. Many changes are made in this stage. Things that work on paper sometimes can have a hard time translating in 3-D.
An unknown fruit that is quite tasty. It's about the size of a golf ball. Anyone know the English name for this?
Some sort of steamery outside where we ate lunch today.
China is VERY concerned about the Swine Flu, they were taking people's temperatures at every corner through customs. China Customs even called the factory to find out how I was feeling and said they would be calling everyday of my trip! I'm really praying I don't get sick :) I would probably end up in some sort of solitary confinement somewhere!!
Journal pages from a while ago. You can see my list of running songs for my daughter to download for me, a blog that my friend Janne told me I'd enjoy and ramblings about being married for 16 years.
I've been working on many new things lately. Above is a little peek that I'll share more with you at a later date.
I'm in the SF Airport waiting to board a plane to China via Hong Kong, where I'll be working on our Allen Designs summer line for the next week. Please check back, see the progress and keep me company along my journey.
I took my darling OLD sewing machine in for service a few weeks ago, I ended up walking out with a schmancy, new sewing machine with all the bells and whistles. So...to make myself feel less guilt over buying a new sewing machine, I must get to work making that machine a good investment!
My MIL and her husband really don't like "stuff", which I appreciate, but it makes it a little hard when it comes to holidays. Since they do enjoy the arts I've been wanting to make them something special for a long time.
Sid had sent me a picture of himself as a boy that I just love. I made a color copy and transferred it onto the gessoed canvas using the Golden gel medium technique. Of course I wasn't patient enough and half of it pulled up when I removed the paper. When I do these things I always just tell myself "it adds to the character".
I added paint mixed with fabric paint medium, some textures, stitching around the face and a little rosy on the cheeky's.
I sewed the beads on after I sewed the body but BEFORE I stuffed it.
It was a workout trying to turn these little arms and legs right side out and stuff them. I'm sure there's tricks, I'm a total NOVICE!!
I had this little bead that I learned to make in Linda & Opie Obrien's workshop at Artfest that I stitched on. I'm LOVING this dyed silk ribbon! I need to try to find where to get just raw silk ribbon at a reasonable price, I think it would be fun to be able to dye it myself.
Using StazOn, I stamped "Sid and Sharon...sittin in a tree".
This was a really fun project. I'm guessing it took me about 4 hours in total. Can't wait to do another!
Making gifts sometimes is very difficult, you put yourself out there, it's very personal. Putting your heart into something that may or may not be well received. My heart has been crushed on more than one occasion by a less than enthusiastic recipient of my labor of love. Do you know what I'm saying?
At this point in my life I'm very selective about who I make things for.
More challenges to myself. I made this list at the beginning of the year and haven't come close to fulfilling a single one of them. The year is almost half over already!
Another RANDOM journal page. Below is the beginnings of this page. I don't always work in this process (of painting around things), it's definitely not the most efficient!
The fun little feet things coming in from the lower edges is a little stamp I cut from a scrap of eraser.
If you're a visual journaler there's a fun Journal Pages Group on Facebook you may want to join. It offers weekly prompts, a place to share techniques, info and inspiration.
Last Saturday I ran the Hippie Chick Half Marathon with my friends Tammy (left) and Stacey (right). This was Tammy's FIRST half marathon! She was amazing! She will tell you that she wasn't athletic growing up and that this "running thing" has been very difficult for her, involving lot's of frustrations with her performance and so on. You wouldn't have known it, she pushed through enormous pain and finished 13.1 miles RUNNING! I'm SO PROUD of you Tam! It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
I'm itching for another running goal. Not sure I want to commit to serious training through the hot summer months... hmmm. what to do?
I did get out a few times this week, keeping my HR under 147 to stay in "recovery zone".
Ready for the sun to shine around here this weekend! We've had a very cold and WET week.
hi and welcome!!! i'm so glad you're here! my name is michelle. i'm blessed to be a wife (to gary) of 18 years and a mom of two girls; alexis(16) & jess(11). i've been a full time artist for 15 years. i made my start at Portland Sat. Mkt. and art fairs around the country, and then headed into wholesale shows when our oldest began school. i love ART-ing, art journaling, running, cycling and downing junk food!