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.

Vintage fabric becomes a new skirt

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My friends P&T gave me this awesome vintage fabric. The design was so colorful and detailed I knew anything I made with it had to be simple to highlight the gorgeous elements. I cut the fabric to showcase a full circle and half circle on both front and back panels of a skirt.

The fabric had colorful edging so I cut one side off and added it to the bottom edge. The other side was thick enough to be featured on each side of the skirt. Josh, as always, was making me laugh during the photo shoot.

Though it’s currently cold in Taiwan, even in Xiao LiuQiu where these photos were taken, I knew the hot temperatures of summer weren’t far away. Side slits will help keep me cool this summer. In the meantime the skirt is light enough that it doesn’t add too much bulk when layering.

Wild Boar Trench is a beautiful nature walk on Xiao LiuQiu. The banyon trees curl gracefully around large rocks and vines have beautiful, large leaves.

Xiao LiuQiu also has a lot of stray cats. Locals feed them and there is a spay and neuter program.

They also have an adoption program. We could have taken a dozen of them home!

A girly shrug from unwearable leggings

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Last week I finished another sewing transformation project. This one actually started back in November. Grad school is great but also intense. You can tell Josh took these photos because he’s making me laugh.

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These leggings were supposed to be one size fits all but they didn’t fit me. I really liked the pattern though and suspected I could turn them into leggings. I took my trusty seam ripper and took out the elastic waist and separated the legs. After attaching them together by the waist ends, I sewed on some ruffled black trim I bought at a fabulous store on Dihua street that sells trim and groovy patches.

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There’s an abundance of art, history and food to explore in the Dadocheng neighborhood but if you love to sew like me it’s Dihua street that’s the gold mine. There’s so many fabric stores with a dizzying variety of textiles for sale. Josh wrote about the neighborhood here.

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The legs that became the sleeves were too long so I took a few inches off of them. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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These leggings made a shrug that’s stretchy and comfortable. I can see wearing this a lot in the spring when Taipei is starting to warm up but there’s still a hint of chill in the air.

While walking around Taipei we found this cool street art.

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This is an interesting bit of graffiti. The Formosan black bear has become an icon for Taiwan and is portrayed as happy and smiling. This gritty reboot is a new twist.