This week we visited the little known architectural wonder that is Tai O fishing village in Hong Kong. A fishing village built entirely on stilts, visited mainly buy tourists wanting to purchase dried fish and eat local snacks. But look a little further, delve into the back streets and you will find a community that has built (and is still building) an entire village on stilts in the inlet of the South China sea. Here is our photo diary of a quiet Sunday spent exploring the structures that seem to defy gravity, and watching the villagers build new structures and maintain the old houses.
A christmas wreath is a tradition, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be traditional. Follow our easy DIY wreath and give your guests a colourful surprise to look at whilst they stand on your doorstep.
- 2 old wire coat hangers
- Wire for securing everything in place
- Wire cutters
- A long strip of fake fern
- A can of white spray paint
- Colourful feathers
- Newspaper to protect your home
Start with spray painting your fake fern. Do this outside and make sure that you fully cover the area with newspaper before you begin spraying.
Now make 2 circles with your coat hangers, one smaller than the other and secure them together with the extra wire. Try to get a round shape but it really doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect, nobody will see it because it will be covered up with all your wonderful decorations.
Now start to attach the fake fern. Starting with small sections, build up from the outside in. You will need to use the wire to secure the fern. We added 3 rows, one on the outer circle, one on the inner circle and one between the two. If you place them in alternate directions you will get a nice bushy effect.
Once you are happy that your fern is nicely placed and secured with the wire, you can start adding the feathers. Add them in small sections building up as you go. Keep checking that it looks balanced. Keep going until you are happy with the overall effect, then secure all the feathers in place with the wire.
You will need…..
- Clear glass or plastic baubles
- Colourful feathers
- Colourful tape or string for hanging
- A chopstick!
Start by removing the hanging stand from your baubles and pull the feathers off the tape, selecting the colours that you want to use.
Once you have put in all the feathers that you want to, put back the hanger stand and add a colourful tape to hang the baubles.
We are super excited about our first Christmas at Eclectic East. Today we have been giving an Eclectic East makeover to last year’s baubles in preparation for decorating our tree. So we decided to do a little DIY “how-to” and help you bring a bit of Eclectic East merriment into your home this year. Today we will show you how to make the beaded, sequin and fabric baubles. Look out for tomorrow’s post on the easy peasy feather baubles. We had a ball getting messy and creative, be prepared to get sticky and glittery!
- A selection of baubles, we are using large silver balls, but feel free to use any baubles you have – it’s all about recycling!
- Beads, sequins and glitter for covering the balls.
- Fabric to make the fabric baubles
- PVA glue
- colourful tape or string to make ties (We sourced some neon leather tape)
- A glue spreader and lots of newspaper to protect your table
Multicolour beaded balls
We’ve been yearning for these neon beads since we saw them when we were making our post Behind The Scenes Of Your Wardrobe, it seemed that Christmas was a perfect time to bring some neon into our lives!
Leave to dry on a flat surface (otherwise the beads will fall off!) and thread some colourful tape or string to create a hanger.
We also did the same process with sequins and glitter. Tip – try to get as even a coverage as you can but don’t worry if they affect is a little random at times, this is part of the beauty because you will see the silver colour coming through.
Our Mini World baubles were made by first covering the baubles in blue glitter and then adding random patches of glue and re-dipping them in the neon beads to create your very own planets!
We have also been trying to find a use for these stunning neon fabrics that we bought in India. These easy fabric baubles are colourful and really effective at adding style to your tree.
Start with cutting a piece of square fabric a bit bigger than your bauble. Remove the hanger stand from the bauble.
Here at Eclectic East, we thought we would get into the Movember mood with this hipster sweatshirt from Japanese t-shirt brand Graniph.
Mr EE and I found this brand whist cycling around a very very cold Kyoto. We had to warm up, so we stopped at this interesting looking store, only to find that it was not only warm and interesting looking, it was full of limited edition t-shirts and sweatshirts using designs from emerging designers and artists. Bonus! Hunting down the quirky and warm option, I went for this novelty number which is very fitting for this Movember month. Mr EE took full advantage of the bulk discount and stocked up on printed tees.
If you are into printed t-shirts and also into design then Graniph is the brand for you. They work in collaboration with artists and designers from all over the world; I saw artists from Budapest, Tokyo, Sydney, London, Barcelona, Seoul, Taipei and Jersey. I will give a special mention to the artist Jonah Block since his moustaches are also in season it would seem!
If you are a budding artist and want to work in collaboration with Graniph you can find details here about how to get your work printed up and sold in their stores. Good luck, and happy hipster Movember!
Ever wondered where all the fabrics, trims and beads on your new dress come from? Or how the latest colours are so quickly translated from the catwalk to your local Topshop? The chances are pretty high that a little unassuming low rise area in Hong Kong – Sham Shui Po – will have been part of the fashion chain.
Before I moved to Hong Kong 6 years ago, I had heard of this fabled place through industry chatter. It sounded like a textile Mecca but I wasn’t sure if I was just hearing Chinese whispers. Fresh off the boat and straight into my job, I was taken to Sham Shui Po by a colleague on my third day in Hong Kong. Let’s just say I never looked back! The rumours were true; a place where you can freely pick up bundles of fabric swatches, ribbons arranged with scissors for you to cut yourself a free sample, beads by the bucket load, and sequins – well don’t get me started.
Colour, print, texture, wools, silks, nylons, trims, furs, stretch fabrics, knits, wovens, glitter, feathers and the list goes on. You name it – it is here. Fueled by the high street’s love of fast fashion, this is where fashion buyers and designers from all over the world will come to source fabrics and new ideas to create the latest looks for your wardrobe. I see Sham Shui Po as a giant moodboard and colour palette for the latest trends. When I want to see what direction fashion is about to take, making a trip to Sham Shui Po is normally a good place to start.
Putting my magpie tendency aside, I have also grown a special love for Sham Shui Po as an area over the six years I have been coming here. Certain shop keepers never change, the delivery men on bikes still make me smile and it is really quite photogenic when the sun shines! I enjoy coming here, not just for the textiles, but for the glimpses into Hong Kong life that has faded in other parts of the city. An afternoon in Sham Shui Po always puts a smile back on my face after a tough week in the office. Give it a visit if you ever have a spare afternoon in Hong Kong, with all that colour and sparkle – I challenge you not to come away with a smile on your face!
Japan is hands down, one of the most fascinating and inspirational places I have visited. If you have not already been – it should be on your wish list. The culture is so rich and that richness is carried through into all aspects of life – be it design, food, fashion or art. As you know, my passion is textiles and I have come clean as having an addiction.
Japan did not disappoint in fueling my addiction, the patterns that adorned so many of the traditional fabrics are unmistakably Japanese in style but, at the same time, incredibly current and contemporary when seen in a modern context. I found a wonderful store in Kyoto where I spent a happy few hours sorting through hundreds of vintage kimonos and somehow managed to select just 7! (Mr Eclectic East explained that carrying more than 7 kimonos around Japan for a week in his backpack was above and beyond the call of his duties as a husband). Here they are for your viewing pleasure in all their patterned glory! Note the beautiful embroidered details, rich silk fabrics and intricate hand stitching on each one.
This one is made with a traditional shibori technique which involves hand tying each of these white dots to create this resist dyeing pattern – the pattern and the colours are still very contemporary looking and the tie detail in coral makes a beautiful accent colour detail.
You get a free cat with this one!
I love the fluidity of the pattern in this one as it appears to flow up the Kimono. It is also printed with metallic pigment details which adds a little “bling” to the proceedings – shouldn’t every girl have a bit of bling now and again?
This one is the most classic Japanese pattern out of all the Kimonos I bought. I don’t know if it comes across in the photo but it is such a wonderful colour palette, such delicate subtle colours and the fabric (a stiff silk cotton blend) makes it have a formality that the others don’t have – it is stunning in the flesh!
By far the most decorative, with intricate hand embroidery. I can imagine this flowing silk Kimono adorning a beautiful young girl at a traditional ceremony. The colours are fresh and vibrant, the pattern is fluid and playful.