Archive for October, 2011

The Grand Tour of China map

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

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We had an incredible trip to China this August! Having been invited by friends from Beijing to show us around the country, the four of us traveled from North to South to see some of the most beautiful places in China. It was so exotic, vibrant and different from all the other places we’ve been to before, that I can’t wait to go there again!  I drew this map of our journey to remind me of it. Click to enlarge it.

I loved it there so much, that I couldn’t even choose a favorite experience, but one of the highlights of the trip was in Huangshan, where we were guests of a film producer Zhang ZhenYan, who has worked on such films as the House of Flying Daggers and Hero, at his boutique Xiuli Village resort, which originally started out as a movie set for either the Curse of the Golden Flower or Hero, I can’t recall exactly, but has since evolved into his private conservatory project of cultural heritage.

Set in a lush valley at the foot of green mountains in the southern Anhui provice, the village was assembled from parts of authentic 400 year old Chinese buildings that were rescued from disrepair and brought there to be preserved and reassembled into new structures, creating interiors in a unique fusion of ancient Chinese and contemporary architecture, all set inside seemingly ancient buildings.

As parts of the village are still under construction, with the exception of some staff, the place was empty. Alone, we wondered through a disorienting maze of narrow streets, bridges, ponds, great halls and tiny rooms, as if walking through a dream filled with humid summer heat and an incessant singing of a million Cicadas all around us. Insulated from the world in the quiet country side, staying there felt surreal and kind of magical, like being inside of a painting or a movie.

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It struck me as very sentimental that Mr. Zhang was using his knowledge of film set production to bring his fantasy to life and build his imaginary place in a real world for people to visit. It’ll be a lovely place to stay at once it’s finished. I’m grateful for Mr.Zhang’s hospitality and for allowing us to see his work in progress.

Although our first tour of China wasn’t really that grand in terms of the distance we covered relative to the size of the country, it was truly grand in terms of the experience it gave us. Gongli and Lily, thank you for being our guides on this unforgettable journey!

Post Moscow

Friday, October 28th, 2011

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I’ve been back from Moscow for a couple of weeks now, resting up after a pretty intense trip. The Salon show was fantastic and the Moscow weather was lovely. Very summer like. I’ve had a very long summer this year, because I caught bits of hot weather here and there in my travels. I’m really looking forward to staying put for a few months and working on a brand new collection.

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I wanted to thank all those who came to visit me at the exhibition. Special thanks goes to Dima and Katya-thanks for the wine and a pleasant river cruise, Sasha and Lena-thanks for the roses, Katya- thank you for bringing us Chad’s favorite chocolate truffles from St. Petersburg! Svetlana, thank you for organizing the show, there is just never enough beauty in the world. I hope to be able to attend again.

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Hey, what is that? A doll hand zipper pull? :)

While packing for this trip, I noticed that the zipper pull was broken on my favorite sweater, so I attached a bronze hand to it and now I feel like I’m shaking hands with my doll every time I zip. I think I might make some more.

Up Next: The map of my travels in China!



More pictures, you say?

Wednesday, October 05th, 2011

Well, here you go then!

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I made the bed from Maple and Pine and stained it with a cherry wood stain and varnish. I wasn’t sure I could do it when I started, but I had a feeling it would turn out somehow. It was a very fun project to do.

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Another Clue to new doll’s identity

Wednesday, October 05th, 2011

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Well, how about now?

New Costumed Doll

Monday, October 03rd, 2011

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I just finished another costumed doll. Ya, I know – another one! This one is a very special composition based on a popular fairy tale. Care to guess which one?

Echo….co..co..co..co..co

Saturday, October 01st, 2011

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As I’m getting ready to leave for Moscow on Monday, I thought I’d share more photos of my lovely little Echo#1 with you. She will be available for sale at the 7th International Doll Salon, Oct-6th-9th. Russians, come and get her!

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International collectors, please see previous post for purchasing information.