Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Narcissism: the best [twitter] gift

It is my brother's birthday today. A couple of months ago, I started brainstorming what the perfect gift for him would be. As per usual when faced with an important task I immediately procrastinated and went a surfin' on the Internet. Which as fate would have it offered up the perfect gift for a young, social-media proficient adult.

And so, behold as I present to you: Narcissism. Basically, I was reading a trend watch blog [would totes look for it now and paste the link here if I was so inclined to dig through my web page history] and stumbled across a Dutch website that creates portraits out of a users twitter feed. A users image composed of a mosaic of the users words. Brilliant, humble fun. Do not be fooled into thinking Kunst Buzz is for any over PG-13 related use - they are a graphic design website that have utilised social media in their products. Click here if you seek twitter portraits - it simply uses the current twitter profile picture and composes it using the tweets, in a variety of color combinations. Bad news for those who aren't current residents of Holland: at present one has to order within Holland. Despite my rather dubious Dutch past and passport [only lived there as a wee lass] I was lucky to have a computer proficient friend there who helped me out. Note that if one chooses a photo different to the current twitter profile pic [as I did] expect extra charges.

It really is a one-of-a-kind gift. And awesome fun seeing a person's tweets all together on one page.

Happy birthday!

Lots of love

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Visit to a French Country Estate in the Normandy Region

In September, it will be a year since I first visited Paris, and I realized I haven't even told you about **EVERYTHING** I saw and did there. My recent conversation with M-T of The French Touch reminded me of this. And so ... here I am, to show and tell you more about my trip to Paris.

One rainy and chilly September morning, we took a train outside of Paris, to a country village in the Normandy region. We were going to visit friends of our tour guide at a country estate. Before walking to their estate, we strolled along the village streets in the early morning; it was just as the village was preparing itself for a weekend outdoor market.
 The village was beautiful even with the morning rain!
 We walked with our umbrellas past very old buildings ...

And we paused to admire the architecture and go inside a church that dated back to the 11th century.
Before visiting our hosts' home, we picked up baked goods at a local shop in the village. This is where I bought my first package of macarons!
Notice one of the baked goods is named "Le Normand" - after the region. Wonder what it tastes like? I didn't get to find out. But I loved the macarons~

Within a short distance, we approached the country estate ...
 There, we were greeted by the horses who stood regally amid the apple trees.

Once inside the estate, our guests treated us like long-lost family. This was a personal and private experience one cannot get by booking a trip on - simply priceless.

Our hosts' were somewhat celebrities in their village, having generations of family history rooted in its soil. Politics, hunting, and international pursuits were akin to this family, who treated us with generosity of spirit and were so kind to open their home to us.

We learned about the French hunting tradition - which differs from the English in many ways, such as the French horses don't jump over water as the English do, they go through it. We heard the different bugle horn calls for the chase ... what each set of notes was meant to convey to fellow hunters and to sound off commands to the dogs who assisted them. One of the woman in our group played the piano in the hall and we stood around to sing some songs. It felt like being with family at the holiday! How nice to have that feeling so far away from home, in another country, with people I had only recently met.
 "All for the horses," the woman of the house said to us as she and I walked by these boots.
A giant pumpkin that the woman of the house harvested right before our visit sits on a stoop overlooking the back of their property.
After spending time having a lovely cocktail hour with champagne in the sitting room, we were treated to a delicious yet simple veal stew meal.
 A side table with a pretty, colorful arrangement catches the eye!
Dessert was our baked goods from the village and fromage - a trio of local cheeses from the region that were so fresh, you could taste what the cow grazed on before it was milked; in one case, my taste buds detected cabbage! With a pallet like that, I knew I'd be good at the wine tasting event in Paris, which we were going to attend on our next jaunt.

I hope you enjoyed revisiting this country estate with me. Until next time, bonjour!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Erosion wood top bag

large Eve (blacks) and small Eve wallet (reds)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chinese street style: Lace, stripes and peaked shoulders

Been so busy lately I've barely been blogging. That and the fact that I frequently post blurry mobile pics in lieu of using my fancy Canon DSLR camera [that shiz is heavy!] further undermines my tenuous status as a 'blogger'. Just thought I'd post a couple of cute street style esque snapshots around Hong Kong/ Guang Zhou [capital of Guang Dong, site of many a factory]. Above is taken at a wholesale bag market in the latter area where I had the delightful task of taking around European buyers to select ladies handbags. A cornucopia of real and counterfeit, it was fun trying to 'spot the fake' [was that the sound of Chanel turning in her grave?], which came in various qualities and degrees of authenticity. Some were downright insulting to one's sartorial intelligence. "Gu Chi?! Really? You're sure you're not a fake bag supplier?" All equally amusing.

Above: This lady, who probably has no idea the honour bestowed upon her by being displayed on my blog, caught my eye with her monochrome outfit. I especially liked the harem pant with the striped top that had peaked lace covered shoulders. Each shop had a curtain to cover the bag designs lest neighbouring bag manufacturers try to steal designs. Crafty.

Speaking of peaked shoulders, look what I spotted on the subway....

Seen these Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Wings Platform Sandals everywhere in Hong Kong.

And how could I resist snapping a pic of a cute boxy purse?

Visiting the bag area again tomorrow for inspections on material, style, hardware etc. Have more blogs I've been "planning" on writing for a while...will update once laptop is fixed!