Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hong Kong Repeat

I have been away from the blog for a long time, mainly due to travel.  Lots of travel; much of it quick trips within the US seeing family.  Still, getting ready for a trip, being on the trip, recovering from the trip and then regrouping and planning for the next one is very consuming!  It is for me, anyway.

...but hey, I'm back and have a recent trip to share!

Due to recent Major Drama at my husband's company here in Mongolia, he was in real need of a vacation.  Mongolia has a week-long summer festival (we checked this off our life list long ago ;), so we took advantage of the extra days off and decided on another
trip to Hong Kong as it's a mere 4-hour direct flight AND it's in the same time zone!

Hong Kong was hot and steamy and we left to return to UB with Typhoon Rammasun hammering southern China and the Philippines and causing  crazy winds and rain in Hong Kong.  Still, we had a great time.

Warning:  this is a picture-heavy blog!  I'm anxious to get on to some sewing posts :D

We took a day trip on a Chinese junk to Stanley Beach.  So fun!

The urban parks!  All over.  Gorgeous.  Huge.  Quiet.  Clean.

3 large pools in this public pool complex!

Every day on our way to and from sightseeing, we walked through a gorgeous park next to our hotel and fell in love with the flamingos!  SO FUNNY!  They're very social--and noisy! and active--pics just don't do them justice.  Bath day was a real hoot.

Then there were a bunch of turtles that captured Randy's heart ;)  He took this pic of one "frolicking".  He talked of making a vedeo.  Enough said.

The shopping!  The city is dominated by consumerism.  Shopping tourism (primarily Chinese mainlanders) is huge--cruise ships pull up to the malls.  No lie.
 Forget Prada and Louis Vitton.  We tracked down printer cartridges (unavailable in UB, grr) at this 3-story electronics place in Mon Kok.  Score.  The place went on forever.

Then, there was my fabric shopping.  That little linen thing.  Stay tuned.

The streets!  Noisy.  Chaotic.  Crowded.  At times lovely

A stylish hard hat!

Really?  Bleck

Check out the little china dishes :)

Old & new
 Talk about high density living!

The trees.  Growing out of walls

The boats!

A great vacation

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Bunch of Sand Crabs

Here's some pics of our recent trip to visit Ben & Jana in Camarillo, California.  The place was drenched in sunshine and there were flowers everywhere.   The smell of flowers is almost overpowering (as if ;)

But...of course, it's the ocean that calls.  and that makes for the best pictures:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Travel Duds

As I've probably whined/stated before, the trip to and from Mongolia involves about 30 hours of travel spread over 3 flights,
Incheon Airport, South Korea
the long leg being 11-13 hours.   For almost 10 years I've resisted wearing anything closely resembling sweats.  I know, I know.  Call it an anti Ugly American thing.  

About 5 years on, I had to ditch jeans with any kind of buttons on the back.  Finally, the knobby seam joint of the back yoke got to me.  Never mind having to unbutton midway through.

Sigh.  I finally caved into wearing comfy pants (hereafter referred to as Happy Pants) on the long leg of my international flights last September.  These were made up in my favorite yoga pants pattern, Laura Lounge Trousers (I'd made 3 pair for Pilates already :)  by Maria of Denmark (her Kimono Tee pattern is another one of my go to's!).  In purple stretch velour.  Still, I couldn't bring myself to hang out in the airport in them.  I changed in the (very clean!) Korean Air airplane bathroom.  Hmm.  Pretty darn comfortable.

So, I made up another pair of Laura's in the gorgeous Ponte knit I get in UB, for my recent trip back to the US.  I would have made them up in my Style Arc Barb Pants, but left the pattern in US.  Drat.  But the Laura's worked great and the heavier ponte was a perfect weight.

No picture of the Laura's.  Try as I might, a photo just doesn't do them justice--on my body or on a hanger.  Trust me.

I wanted a couple of travel tops and they had to be:
1.  Long enough to cover my behind and allow me to reach to the overhead, etc., without revealing 57-year-old stuff.
2.  Loose around the belly.
3.  Soft

Hence Butterick 5354:

I didn't have enough for the sleeves, so the Church Lady Dress morphed yet again!

Lastly, I made a drapey sweater for a soft layer:

McCalls 6408, an OOP Nancy Zieman

 Happy in my Happy Pants.  Despite this goofy picture.  Must be my travel face ;)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Le Coat

At last!  Here's Burda Coat 08/2013 #103 that I started on in the fall--much too late to wear in Mongolia, but I've gotten to wear it lots back here in Colorado.  It has been very warm and snuggy even in the low 20's F.

I just noticed that the hem is not even in this picture.  It's perfect on me, though.  Whew!
 The fabric--spied by my husband (!) in my favorite jam & cram fabric store in UB-- is just perfect--body enough for shape yet is soft and has some drape.   Note:  he was with me.  He doesn't normally just hang out in fabric stores.
Wrong Side:  soft & smooth

Right side:  textured & woolly

The fact that Black & Blue is On Trend is a total accident.  I've always liked the color and I bought the fabric before the trend arrived.  Usually trends go on without me because I'm such a slow sewer!

Here's a close-up of the clasp thingies I found in UB.  Perfect match!

It's so soft on the inside that I didn't line it.  I found some mystery fabric in UB that was smooth on one side and slightly fleecy on the other for the facings.  I interfaced the facings and collar with French fuse interfacing.  I used the same facing fabric for the pockets.  Less bulk.
I also did Hong Kong finishes on all the seams.
Just to look nice.

Ta Dah!
Here's the coat with a blue (Mongolian cashmere ;) scarf I already owned.
I am so enjoying this coat!

...and hey, I left Mongolia at -25 F or so and landed in Denver at -13!  What's up with that?