Friday, September 30

Woop weekend!

Dags för fredags mys! But first, after a crazy typhoon yesterday there are more warnings of another tomorrow! Two typhoons in such a short time is very unusual, and I shall be witness to it! Altho it would leave me quite upset because today was payday and tomorrow I'm going shopping in Hong Kong. Unfortunately getting to HK requires a ferry, and should there be a typhoon, waters aren't travel-able, which means no shopping, no expensive holiday buffet (celebrating the international holiday) and no awesome fireworks, apparently newly upgraded this year. So fingers crossed the weather is shiny!

You'd think the Chinese would spell-check their Engrish before publishing thousands of high-quality gloss magazines...

Thursday, September 29

Typhoon Day!

So the typhoon warnings that started yesterday came true as I turned the lights off for sleep. All night long wind and sleet pounded on the walls. Needless to say I didn't rest well. Despite that negativity, I woke up to find out that everything is closed due to the weather, so it's a typhoon day! I'd prefer a snow day but I guess you gotta worth with what's available. I still need to work from home but at least I can do it in comfy clothes while watching TV :)

The view from my living room window

Wednesday, September 28

Macau: Weather watch!

So today I worked a painful 10 hours....these work days are killin' me... but after getting off I got told there are typhoon warnings in the area for the next few days! As exciting as it would be to experience my first typhoon, I also have plans to go to Hong Kong on Saturday to celebrate the big international holiday. All lucky mainlanders get a week off but I don't get anything than a normal weekend. No fun. Regardless, should the typhoon strike, there is a chance it won't be safe for ferry crossing and that would mean no festivities for me! Fingers crossed the weather brings great excitement for the next two days only!

Beautiful ceiling sculpture at the MGM hotel
Artist: Dale Chihuly

Tuesday, September 27

Macau: Week 3

So week 3 in Macau has begun! Usual work days as always, 9.30 - 19.00 .. which sucks a lot but I guess that's just the Chinese. Today I ate at a Western café which was a nice change from all the Chinese food, however traffic was so horrible because one of the construction workers must've busted a pipe under a road because it flooded like 5 main streets! It was insane... unfortunately I didn't get a picture.
I have this tho: the party favour from Saturday's fest. Gotta love being able to put your own face on a bottle of wine.

Saturday, September 24

Tonight we party!

Going out for the first time since my arrival! Oh boy!
My newly bought outfit for the event: (the Mulberry purse is my boss' but it's mine until further notice ;).)

Macau: First shopping

Today I had lunch at Hyatt hotel where I tried the Beijing specialty. Duck skin that you put in a paper-thin wrap with a sweet sauce, onion, celery and some duck meat if you wish.
The hotel is connected to The City of Dreams, an area filled with casinos, 5 star hotels and shopping areas with Gucci, Armani, LV, and anything your fashion-loving heart could desire. After I went into the city of Macau to do some first shopping and experience my first tourist area in the city.

Chef cutting off the skin of freshly cooked duck.

The little wrap!

One of the casino rooms

Out of focus, but one of the many the shopping halls

The elusive mermaid people stood and waited to see in the enormous digital water tank.

Main tourist street

It's very busy...

Friday, September 23


Nothing says welcome home like clean bedsheets covered in Mickey Mouse.

Thursday, September 22

Macau: 3-day update

So I have been away in Mainland China for the last 3 days on business and as many of you know, China has banned Facebook, blog sites, and any other pages that allow self expression. Fortunately for me Macau is across the border from Mainland so I can use these websites. Therefore, here is my update for the last 3 days.
We arrive in Fuzhou on tuesday and went straight to the factory where I met the staff and watched how the production takes place (if you've never been to a factory but you've seen movies with them, it's exactly like that). It was really interesting, actually. We were there many, many hours meeting with the manager and discussing production possibilities for my designs. That night we stayed at a really beautiful Shangri-La hotel but had to wake up 5 in the morning to catch a train out to Ningbo.
The train took 3 hours and I saw what the Chinese countryside looks like. When you're not seeing old run down buildings and rice fields, it's absolutely gorgeous. It's only a shame I didn't bring my system camera with me.
In Ningbo we went to another factory (far more clean and better quality) where Baleno, the company I am designing for, is interested in transferring their production to. I spent about 6 hours without moving designing two more shirts and two pairs of pants. Today I finalized a third pair of pants, a jacket, and another shirt. 7 full product designs in 10 hours is not bad! Although very exhausting. However all the effort paid off! All 3 pants, 4/7 jackets and both shirts will have samples produced. Two of the other jackets will be produced once the third has been modified. Can't wait :)
On a side note: if you have no experience in being an insane lunatic, don't drive in China. Ever.

Chinese countryside (not wonderful pictures)

Who needs elevators when you have narrow sheets of slippery concrete?

Not bad, Howard Johnson

Best breakfast I've had since I got to China...and it was French.

Monday, September 19

Macau: Vecka 2

Week two in Macau. Absolutely swamped with work. The collection they gave me last wednesday to work on, I found out today, is actually 10 days overdue so I have to get it in gear! I have 6 jackets finished with patterns and materials. I fly out to Mainland China tomorrow for 3 days to visit the factories and meet with the company to show my design proposals (fingers crossed!) Only 6 more jackets, 4 pants, 4 polos and 4 shirts to go...holy crap.
Today we went to lunch at a fabulous restaurant at a nearby hotel. The food was so, so, so good and so was the entertainment (my boss' brother whistling at the hot asians in a local tabloid..)

Restaurant name (for those in Macau anytime soon :).)


SO TASTY - diced tempura vegetables in a really doughy wrap in a delicious sauce.

Sunday, September 18

Macau: Söndag 2

After a very cozy cup of coffee and a rain down-pour this morning, I went out with the woman I am staying with, her boyfriend, his son, and his wife-to-be. We went out to lunch at the same beautiful mall as yesterday and walked around a bit where I fell in love with a Juicy Couture and Versace dresses. Maybe a Marc purse too :).
The mall is connected to a very luxurious Four Seasons hotel where we went to look at their largest banquet hall where their son and fiancée would be getting married. Very gorgeous room with high ceilings, large chandeliers and polished wood walls. Apparently the hall was too small for the 500 guests they wished to invite.... The wedding takes place next september so I can maybe return to attend (as invited). :)
It was nice not to have to work today and experience a bit of Macau life. I have noticed Chinese like to chew with their mouths open. Big problem of mine and really quite unpleasant to watch. Today I got offered chicken's feet but couldn't bring myself to try it. Instead I ended up eating a medicinal jelly actually made from herbs and ground turtle sad.
For now I must go try to decipher what one of the Philippino housemaid is trying to tell me. For some reason she thinks I understand her language. My clueless face and inability to speak in return isn't a hint enough...

Saturday, September 17

Weekend 1!

Spent 80% of my Saturday drawing softshell jackets for my client. It's been quite stressful and I am very exhausted. Had lunch at a very fancy mall by the casinos and walked around, checking out the different styles of jackets shops had. Unfortunately I may need to work tomorrow, which is not so fun. Not the best first-weekend here! Well it's all a part of the learning experience :)

The outdoor mall..indoors!

Yes, the indoor mall had a river.

Friday, September 16

First Weekend!

Unfortunately I don't get to celebrate. I'm working all day tomorrow at home to meet an urgent deadline for a large collection for Summer 2012. A bunch of jackets, pants, training shirts and the such. Wohoo...
For now, I treat myself to a relaxing evening. Hot cocoa and a movie :)

Wednesday, September 14

Macau: Day 3

Today was my first day at the office! We went in a little later (10.00) only after we went out for breakfast which is apparently standard for all Chinese (they think it's odd to eat breakfast at home). I was in the office for a few hours then we went to lunch and after attempted to get an extended visa for me (not the one-day visa I got yesterday). However I had to first book a ticket out of the country within the next 4-6 months so I could get the visa, so now I have my Christmas ticket booked! :)

Ah-mazing. Sweetly glazed bun filled with BBQ pork. Odd sounding, I know. But so good.

Tuesday, September 13

A little gift :)

A lovely little gift from the woman I'll be working for and whose spare flat I am staying in. Makes me wish I hadn't bought my DKNY perfume before leaving the US.

Macau: Day 2

For the record I probably won't be keeping track of the next months day-by-day but the first few are the important ones! Today I woke up feeling better than yesterday so I traveled over to the border (to mainland), and after having a complication with passports and needing to cross back and forth 3 times thru control, 3,5 hours later, i had a visa!
We spent the rest of the day (what was left of it) at a spa, which I can say without hesitation is not for me. I found myself quite tense and uneasy the whole time. Not so much a luxurious feeling for me.
Other than that it was enjoyable seeing a little more of the cities I'll be living in and around. It seems to have quite the nightlife too.

The main marketplace just beyond the boarder in Mainland China

Monday, September 12

Macau: Day 1

So I woke up around 11.30 feeling quite unwell today. I think it's jetlag but it may have been food poisoning from last night too. I was on my way to get my worker's visa buuut didn't make it far before the few contents of my stomach ended up in a local gutter.. needless to say I've been lying idly in bed since then.
Here are pictures that basically cover the layout of the flat I'm staying in. Very nice and modern, newly redone. My room is a bit bland and cold but I think I'll survive :).
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for my stomach...

Living room


My Bedroom (not nearly as impressive as the rest of the flat)

Sunday, September 11

Macau: Upon Arrival

After a 15 hour flight, a misguidance on how to get to the ferry which resulted in a 45min taxi ride to downtown Hong Kong where I had to take the hour-long ferry to Macau. I am finally in my bed after having eating my first (rather extravagant) meal. Made at home, we had shark fin soup, lobster w/ ramen, baby crabs, fish and vegetables. I'm sure there was some chicken too but I didn't eat it :).
This city is strange but really beautiful and lit up by enormous casinos and hotels that tower so high they almost vanish into the clouds. Some buildings have such unusual shapes I'm not sure how they stand. It's almost not nighttime with all the lights.
Now jetlag is kicking my ass. More later.

Saturday, September 10


On the bus now headed to O'hare Airport.. Got up nice and early to prepare for the 15,5 hour flight I'm about to endure. 1 bag, 23kg, I'm not sure how I did it but barely managed to make it work. I'll bring more clothes over Christmas :).
Some more photos from my brother's basic training graduation. All the smoke provided for a wonderful photo opportunity. It was a pretty cool ceremony.

Friday, September 9


Got to surprise my younger brother by flying to Georgia (postponing my trip to China by 2 days) for his basic training graduation. It's been very nice! I'm happy I came to see him. Unfortunately today was my only full day here.. tomorrow I fly back home to finalize packing and leave early for China on Saturday. One long 12 hour flight to come...

Tuesday, September 6

Old work

Dug up some old artwork I made for a painting class in university a few years ago :).

Made with watercolour and paper-collage


After spending 3 fabulous weeks of partying, boating and enjoying the beautiful weather by this wonderful Lake Geneva, WI, I must take my leave. Today is my last day, unfortunately. Soon off to China. I'll miss my friends and this house I've called home for many years which hopefully will still be here for me when I return in 9 months!

Saturday, September 3


Mmmm eggs benedict! Sitting at home on my sofa watching Star Wars while it rains outside. It's just one of those days :)