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.
Our Friday food post has gone festive this week with a traditional christmas pudding. We have a little twist of course! You might think Thai Rum (known as Sang Som) is better suited to being drunk from buckets on a beach in Koh Phangan in the glow of the full moon, and you might be right! But we challenge you to change your preconceptions about and give this a go – it might bring back some happy memories! Our second unusual ingredient is candied yuzu peel. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit with a milder zest than a lemon or lime – the candied version is quite mellow and adds a nice depth of flavour to this pudding.
We can’t take credit for this winning recipe. It comes courtesy of the failsafe Delia Smith – you can find it here. We can only take credit for adding the Yuzu and Thai Rum which certainly gives the pudding an Eclectic East kick. If you want to try the same, substitute the rum for Sang Som and sustitute the candied peel for yuzu candied peel.
Garnish your pudding with some yuzu peel (shown below) and serve with flames powered by Sang Som rum and some brandy (or Sang Som!) butter.
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.
This weekend at Eclectic East we visited the Hi 60’s installation project at Fine Art Asia.
The project invited a group of local Hong Kong artists to create artworks which expressed Hong Kong in the 1960’s. The exhibition was bright, playful and energetic with striking colours and experimentation with light and shadow. We were really inspired by the work of Cornelia Erdmann. Erdmann’s City Pattern showed the changes that went on in Hong Kong during the building of the high rise apartments and “new towns” which define so much of Hong Kong’s architecture today. I am often inspired by patterns in architecture and have used such inspiration to create textile designs. It was interesting to see how Erdmann approached this often divisive subject with humour and visual audacity. See more of Cornelia Erdmann here
The work of Otto Li also stood out. Li had created a perspex motorbike in sections. When seen straight on it clearly showed a bike, from the side you saw each piece broken down. Li used the motorbike icon because it reflected the Teddy Boys in Hong Kong in the 1960’s. See more of Otto Li’s work here
The final artist really made my heart sing! Man Fung -yi and her work which depicts traditional Cheongsam made from metal. Man Fung-yi is a renowned artist who has been internationally recognised for her intricate sculptures made from heavy metal work. As a textile designer I loved seeing the structure woven from metal and the colours and patterns were inspiring. Find out more about Man Fung-yi here.
There is still time to get down to Fine Art Asia, it is open until the 7th Oct. Have fun and hope you are as inspired as we were!
Today at Eclectic East we are enjoying a nice cuppa.
Not just any cup of tea but an eclectic one! We just returned from India where we were served darjeeling first flush, a wonderful light tea, served without milk. Today we have made our Indian tea in our traditional Chinese tea set given to us as a wedding present; the characters say “double happiness” which is always given to a newly married couple. To add to the eclectic mix we stirred our tea with a Japanese wooden spoon and served our tea with Japanese green tea cookies brought back from our recent trip to Kyoto. Delicious! (The tray is Ikea 😦 sorry to let you down!)