Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Do you like Stamps?

Well, I happen to love stamps! Both the rubber kind and the postal kind. Here's another image share from my China Collage Swap. Hope you enjoy the stamps! I bought them from a street vendor near the Museum of Macau. I paid wayyyy too much for them (I think about $5, US) but I really loved them.

I also over-paid for a beautiful hand-carved antique ivory skull-head bracelet at the same time. I think I paid $12 for that. I'll post a picture for you all one day. I do love it and actually wear it sometimes, so it was worth the money to me.

Click to see the large image and right-click to save it!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oliver ATC

Oh, funny! I found this unposted ATC that I did for a "cat" swap a couple of months ago. When I made it I racked my brains searching for the perfect name for an orange kitty. Little did I know that I would soon have an orange kitty named Oliver (Ollie!) And we just got him by chance, too! I knew I really wanted a boy kitty and he was the only boy in the little so he was destined to be mine!

Stamp by Stampin' Up! Couch is hand-drawn, papers by foofala (I think!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kitten Update

Some of you have asked how the kittens are doing. As you can see they have settled in just fine and they now own us!

They play like wild demons until they pass out from sheer exhaustion. I'm glad we got them both so they could play together. When they are apart they will cry until the other one comes near.

Little Boo is the brave one, even though she is smallest. Whatever she does first, Ollie will follow. She hunts hard, plays hard and sleeps hard. When she sleeps it is like all the bones fall out of her body and she goes limp and just purrs like an angel. Don't let her tiny face fool you as she is hiding behind her brother. There is a reason her nickname is "Destructress" as you can see in the next photo.

Can you tell one of their favorite play toys? They love to play in the shutters. Boo loves to hang off them like a monkey. Little Ollie is getting a bit of a belly as he is growing so it is harder now for him to wedge himself into the shutters but that doesn't stop him! I will be glad when they are both too big to get in there because I have to be careful they don't accidentally tear the screen while they are chasing each other and looking at butterflies outside.

Here's sweet Ollie sleeping. Isn't he an angel? He and Matt have really bonded. Ollie likes to sit with Matt and watch TV. Kitty purrs at the drop of a hat; even if he's eating or playing he will purr. He's a happy little thing that just wants the kitty "good life." I think he has it, what do you think?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Well, since I am taking so long with my image shares, I figured I would give you the "big whammy" next! Here are some wonderful images for you to print out. If you right-click on the image above you can save it and print an 8.5 x 11" sheet of these lovely ladies.

I got these vintage cards in Hong Kong in a small antique district called "Cat Street". As romantic as that sounds the street was named because it is narrow and long ago was a great place for thieves and cat-purses! Despite the history, if you go to Hong Kong, you must check out this street! They have lots of thrift-shop and vintage finds if you don't want to take a chance on the pricier (and possibly phony) high-end antiques.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Chinese Collage Swap - Play Along!

I have a great group of friends I swap with and we have swapped for a few years together. One of the fun type of swaps we do is called a Collage Swap. The hostess will send each participant a package of similar goodies and then we all make something with it. I decided to hostess this time since I came back with such cool items from my vacation.

If you want to play along at home I will be posting spoilers and some images that you could print to use for your own art. If you make something, I'd love to see what you made. Please post a link! The rules we are following are pretty simple: Use at least three of the items (in whole or part) to make an ATC, but feel free to bend the rules or make anything you want. It is so fun to be inspired by what others did with the same items!

Here's what was in my package:
1. A piece cut from a modern map of Hong Kong
2. An old Chinese coin (the kind that is round with a square hole in the middle)
3. Some pages from a small vintage book that looks like a small comic story
4. An old Chinese postage stamp
5. A printed copy of some old Chinese images—each player got a different image
6. "Hell Money" which is fake money that is traditionally burned at a funeral
7. Decorative papers that are also burned at funerals
8. A page from a beautiful book that was illustrated with three drawings per page
9. Some ATC bases; one glossy base and two vintage playing cards from Las Vegas (obviously not from my trip, ha ha!)

Click the image above to see number 7, which I posted for your first image share. Once you can see the larger image, right-click to save to your computer for printing. This is funeral paper so you can give your loved one a good send off to the afterlife. I can't remember all the characters' meanings, but I do remember that part of it is supposed to mean "smooth sailing" which seems like a nice sentiment for a port city. The original papers are printed on soft paper with a metallic foil finish to the center. These were purchased in a small outdoor market on Taipa Island, Macau.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Macau Casinos

Did you know that Macau is a new gambling capital? It is wilder than Las Vegas and growing even faster. We're not big on gambling, but it is one of the main reasons people go to Macau and one of the few things to do there at night. And since Macau is so small, you can't help but walk through the casino areas on your way to the sites. This first picture is of the Wynn and MGM which we didn't see inside.

We went inside several casinos but unfortunately, they won't let you take pictures. The nice thing is that there's free air-conditioning and free bottled water inside. Well, almost free; I ended up gambling about $75 away while we were there. That ends up to be about $8 American, which is still a lot of money to waste on air-conditioning, ha ha!

My favorite building was the New Lisboa. It is a grand and crazy-looking structure that looks like a stylized Lotus flower, the symbol for the city. It was also explained to me that it was a dragon head; perfectly poised to eat the Wynn Casino! The bridge that connects Macau and Taipa islands serves as the dragon's backbone and his tail is a carved wall that runs up the hill on the side of Taipa Island. I love the symbolism of it all and the crazy-cool modern architectural vision of the building.

Unfortunately, it was my least-favorite casino inside. It was garish and overdone with no style whatsoever. It was covered with shiny things of different sizes, shapes and colors. Nothing matched, except in the contest to be the most gaudy thing ever. But the air was cool and the water was free!

This is the old Casino Lisboa. It is another crazy building that reminds me of old Vegas from the sixties. Wacky, kitchy and a little funky. It had that retro-Vegas feel inside too; full of black marble and gilded mirrors. Stylish with its own old-school fashion. And how could you not love its crazy charm?

The Venetian is on Taipa Island, tucked away from the other casinos, but it's worth looking into. It is the largest casino in the world and the second-largest building in the world. It is 50% bigger than the Venetian in Las Vegas. It was kind of stunning to be inside of it. I was really overwhelmed at how big it was and how *much* of everything there was.

We got lost inside the casino trying to find our way out and back to Matt's parents. I walked for miles it seemed to find the ladies room; past hundreds of slots and a band playing some old 80's tunes. I was distracted by all the lights and sounds and colors and it was a little too much for me.

There is a mall upstairs with top-quality shops and I think it was bigger than South Coast Plaza, our local upscale mall here at home. There is of course; an indoor canal system and it was a little eerie and beautiful to hear them singing as they wound their boats through the system; like bats trying to use sonar to find their way home. I loved the canals, but I was thrilled to leave the casino and head back to our hotel.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Identity Theft?

I got a funny email with a bunch of animal pictures in it with matching animals of different types. These two were my favorite—can you guess why?