Summer hat

Summer break has arrived and I finally have time to hang out with my sewing machine again. Mostly I’ve been working on my mending pile which had grown considerably this past semester. My first sewing project was tarting up a new summer hat.

I have a pretty pink hat that’s my standard go to but it feels weird to wear if I’m dressed all in green or blue. This option was found in Taipei’s underground mall on sale for $150 NT (about $5 US). The sash came from a dress I recently scored at a clothing swap.

It seemed cute at the time I tried it on but once home the design seemed a bit off. So I’ve been recycling it and am happy with this first result. The flower was a nice score also found underground.

Josh and I took another trip to our new favorite place Oia Cafe. It’s an alpaca and cat coffee shop. Yup, you can sip a latte and pet an alpaca. We made our first trek earlier this month and Josh blogged about it here.

This time we got to bath one of the alpacas, a one year old named Kurosawa, after the famous director. It was not an easy task but Kuro forgave us after we offered him carrots.

This little kitty was my new friend for half an hour during our first visit. He was adorable and I so wanted to take him home! But alas, we’re living pet free for the foreseeable future. Isn’t he adorable?

Living in Taiwan means access to fresh fruit and varieties not easily found in the US. Josh and I scored some cheap durian recently and it was delicious.

UNI Magazine Article

Taiwan’s Street Art Comes of Age

For the May issue of UNI Air Magazine I wrote an article about street graffiti in Taiwan and featured artists Mr. Ogay and Rainbow Grandpa. I have loved street art for years so am particularly happy that I got to write an article focusing on the interesting twists Taiwan puts on the art form. Josh and I had the opportunity to meet both artists while traveling for Formosa Moon and both of them appear in our book.

Formosa Moon Advance Review Copy and our first interview!

We recently received the Advance Review Copy of Josh and I’s book Formosa Moon!

It’s so exciting to finally hold it in our hands. Though I will confess it’s a little surreal to see our photo on the cover.

Currently we’re proofreading the book looking for any errors and writing captions for the surprisingly large amount of photos. The book is large too; it numbers 329 pages.

Josh and I recently went up to Maokong to do some proofreading while enjoying coffee and the splendid views.

We had our first interview on James Thomas’ show 4 Seas 1 Family. You can listen to the interview here. The interview was fun to do even with Hazel and Floyd making unscheduled appearances. You can’t stop those two.

Topics Magazine and Photo of the Day

Last September I met Vanessa Tseng at the Taiwan International Beauty Show to interview her about her product the Formoonsa Cup. I reviewed the cup on my blog here.

I wrote a feature about Vanessa’s company in the February edition of Topics Magazine. The article is called New Strides in Promoting Women’s Health and also includes a write up about GlaxoSmithKline’s partnership with a Taiwanese company. GSK has developed a new drug to treat lupus and the Taiwanese medical device company has developed a device to allow lupus patients to inject the drug themselves through subcutaneous injection.

In other news Taiwan recently had a rush on toilet paper. Stores across the island sold out and the panic even made international news. I snapped a photo of Josh leaning on some newly stocked shelves and it made Taiwan News’ photo of the day.

Photo of the Day: End of the roll for Taiwan toilet paper panic

There’s some exciting Formosa Moon news on the horizon. Stay tuned!

Latest Top Transformation

I’m happy that I managed to finished one more sewing project before winter break ended. Spring semester is another heavy load of classes so my sewing machine time will be limited yet again. The above jacket was originally this top:

The elastic created an unpleasant silhouette but the pattern design was quite lovely. The design reminded me of a painting I saw at the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Even better it was on sale for $100 NT which is roughly $3 US.

First that elastic had to go. After it was completely removed the top was a loose fit. It felt like an artist jacket so I sliced it up the middle.

The shoulder laces were an odd detail but would be problematic to replace as there was none of the garment underneath. I went to my favorite neighborhood-Dadaocheng to find some trim that matched and sewed it onto the front seams.

I’m really happy with how this turned out! It pairs well with several tops and makes a great cover up that is lightweight and has excellent drape.

Costume Sketches

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I’ve been filling up my winter break with artistic endeavors. While on Xiao LiuQiu I started working on these costume sketches. Colored pencils are ok but I really prefer the look of these new watercolors.

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I also experimented with gouache watercolors. The colors are more opaque that I prefer but maybe I’ll try one more sketch with them to see if I can get better results.

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Faces, hands and feet are still a challenge but I feel I’m getting better at body proportions. Next up I’ll work on some male characters.