Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

finds: summer dress up has never been so cheap

May 11, 2011

VINTAGE SHOPPING IN TAICHUNG

I wanted to share with you my amazing clothing finds from this morning’s trip to the flea market near Taoyuan train station here in Taichung. Not one but TWO dresses, a belt and a Japanese-style jacket that I think will be great come autumn.

FleaMarketDress1

FleaMarketDress2

FleaMarketDress3

What did it all cost?

First dress: NT$100
Second dress: NT$100
Jacket: NT$150
Belt: NT$100

I’ve written about this flea market before. Click here to read my story: take a look at some more buys and find out how to get there.

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News: I’m going to be blogging once a week!

December 31, 2010

Hello!

Image source: flickr.com/photos/fil/

Image source: flickr.com/photos/fil/

Because I’ve been so super slack at posting on this blog in the last half of 2010 I’ve decided to sign up to be part of WordPress’ PostAWeek 2011 challenge. Yes, they sent me an email and I spontaneously decided to join in.

I think it’s a really great way to inspire me to post regularly on all the little things I make and buy and all the restaurants and places of interest I stumble across during my time in Taiwan with, of course, a focus on what’s going on here in Taichung.

Oh, and I’ll be posting more on contemporary art in Taiwan. I’ll talk about the interviews I undertake and the galleries I visit. And about my job with Art Radar Asia. And…

If you want to join in, too, then here’s the instructions as written by WordPress. They’re running a post-daily challenge, too.

How to Join:

Signing up is simple – do the following:

  1. Post on your blog, right now, that you’re participating
  2. (You can grab a sample post from dailypost.wordpress.com)
  3. Use the tag postaday2011 or postaweek2011 in your posts (tips on tagging here)
  4. Go to dailypost.wordpress.com
  5. Subscribe to dailypost.wordpress.com– you’ll get reminders and inspirations every day to help you bring your full potential to your WordPress blog!

So, stay tuned for heaps more content from this little blog. And happy New Year!

JoB likes: HAND-MADE WEDDINGS

September 12, 2010

My fiance and I recently spent about five hours hand-crafting a large number of invites to give out to our guests for our slightly off-beat Taiwanese wedding. (We are both New Zealanders but are getting married here in Taichung.)

I’ve written up a how-to after the pics and will post on how we organised our (very) low-budget event after it’s all over. Only two weeks to go!

The first stage - stamping 40 or so pieces of cardboard.

Production line crafting - stamping 40 or so pieces of cardboard. There were a couple more colors - maroon, green, yellow.

Next: hand-stamping 40 or so brown envelopes.

Next: hand-stamping 40 or so brown envelopes.

The stamps - bought from a shop in Chung Yo department store here in Taichung.

The stamps - bought from a shop in Chung Yo department store here in Taichung.

The finished product. 1: invite card with party details. 2: Cat Lair business card, map to Cat Lair and drink card attached together with wool.

The finished product. 1: invite card with party details. 2: Cat Lair business card, map to Cat Lair and drink card tied together with wool.

Here’s how:

1. Buy two contrasting kinds of cardboard. We used corrugated cardboard as the backing card and a lighter polka dot card as the base card. You’ll also need some plain white heavy printer paper to print out the event details. While you’re at the stationers’/craft shop pick up some double-sided tape dispensers (better than glue because it doesn’t set all lumpy), some wool or string, a fine black marker or two, some rubber stamps, stamp ink in black, a craft knife, a cutting board, a strong ruler, some large-sized envelopes and a hole punch.

2. Measure and cut all the card to the size you want it. Remember that the base card needs to be a bit smaller than the backing card so it will fit inside it.

3. Stamp the base card with your chosen stamp and attach with double-sided tape to the backing card.

4. Type out the party details and print onto heavy white printer paper. Cut these out and attach with the tape to the cardboard. While you on the computer make a Google (or other) map to the venue and print this out on the heavy paper. Cut it out also. We needed to make a drink card for our wedding so we created and printed that at the same time.

5. We used some of the card leftover from the invite to make the “dog tags”. It was already cut to size. Just attach the map to some and any other materials you need to include to the rest. We included a business card from the venue in this set. Hole punch a corner of each card and then tie them all together with the string or wool.

6. Stamp all the envelopes with a stamp of your choice. We then typed and printed out addresses/names of guests and sender addresses onto the heavy white printer paper. We cut these out and attached them to the envelopes with the tape.

Notes: It’s a good idea to create a dummy copy of the invite before you go out and buy a whole lot of unnecessary stuff that you won’t use. Oh, and buy tons of tape – it goes really fast.

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baking teensy: edition 6 (the NZ lolly cake disaster)

April 30, 2010

Well, my streak of bad luck seems to be never-ending. I should have known from the beginning that my attempt at participating in an extracurricular activity would be thwarted. I have never really had much success with group activities.

You know how I wrote here about making some sweet NZ treats to sell today at the International Food Festival at Feng Chia University?

Well, I decided to only make lolly cake. I asked a creatively inclined friend and fellow teacher to draw a cutesy border on a piece of paper within which I was going to print the recipe to give out with each piece of cake sold.

I bought all the ingredients from Jasons. I couldn’t find Malt Biscuits so used Digestives. I also couldn’t find anything like eskimos so I used some tiny marshmallows my mum sent me from NZ and some soft jelly lollies. It’s pretty easy to make, you just put everything in a big bowl and stir it together.

With very sticky hands, I made the mixture into a log shape and rolled it in the coconut flakes. I covered it in plastic wrap and went to put it in the fridge. The fridge didn’t seem very cold, though. Then, I looked in the freezer. Everything was melted: the ice in its trays, the (no longer frozen) peas, the ice cream…

Our fridge had broken down.

So, at 11.30 pm at night, we had to throw out all of our food, of which we had a lot, and it meant that I couldn’t set the lolly cake. I admit to shedding a tear or two over the incident. I’m really not good at dealing with disappointment.

In a desperate attempt to salvage the situation I decided to place the lolly cake (not)-to-be in the freezer which was still a little cold. I left a quickly softening ice pad (the blue thing in the picture below) in there to see if that would keep it cool. It didn’t. Don’t you think the cake looks like a giant poo?

I went to bed, hoping for no nightmares of being crushed by giant lolly cake logs.

When I woke, I checked on the cake. Not set, still squishy. It’s now in the bin.

So, with my hopes dashed, I went to the food festival anyway, expecting to be cheered by the sites and smells (and purchases) of global flavours. However, the event which I thought began at 10 am actually didn’t start until 12 pm. I had to leave at 12 pm for a Skype meeting at one.

Was today a good day? No sir, it was not. I am now waiting for the electrician to arrive to fix the fridge. Our land agent promised one would be here before 4 pm. It is now 3:44 pm.

Does any one else have any group activity nightmares they want to share? If so, post a comment. It might make me feel better to bask in other people’s failed attempts at participating in extracurricular activities.

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JoB likes: FREE FOOD

January 8, 2010

I was reading in the latest Taiwan What’s Up newsletter that Taichung has it’s own Chinese New Year shopping street. And it’s just down the road from my house. I visited Dihua Street in Taipei in 2009 and I was over-awed by the sites, smells, sounds and tastes. Particularly the tastes, as you can sample different traditional and international snacks from pretty much every vendor. I’m excited that I’ll be able to check out Taichung’s equivalent this time round.

Visit Tianjin Road (Section 2) in Taichung’s Beitun District during 5-16 February. The bonus about this market is the opportunity to purchase cheap clothing, as I did earlier in the year on a visit to the street.

Dihua Street, Taipei

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finds: chong-yo

December 13, 2009

Introducing finds – a new section highlighting recent purchases and lucky stumbles upon things of beauty and intrigue.

Today I went shopping for the first time at Chong-Yo in south-east Taichung. It’s a huge department store. While I still prefer the Eslite bookstore mall near Hotel One, I definitely like Chong-Yo more than Sogo or Mitsukoshi.

I overspent at the M.A.C. counter, purchasing a beautiful cherry red lipstick, a stick of matching lip liner and some great black liquid eyeliner that has a slight green tinge to it. Lovely.

M.A.C. Liquidlast Liner – Inkspill
M.A.C. Retro Matte Lipstick – Ruby Wood
M.A.C. Lip Pencil – Cherry

I also found that Chong-Yo contains one of my favourite stores, a la sha. I absolutely love their stuff and splurged on a cute red blouse and a super comfy yellow overcoat. Here they are:

But, my most excitement-inducing purchase was a copy of waterfall magazine. I bought it at Eslite on the 12 floor of Chong-Yo.

I haven’t seen this magazine before and have no idea whether or not I’m behind the times announcing this one, especially considering it’s been on the shelves since July 2009, but I don’t care. I’ve only flicked through it and I’m already smitten. I haven’t dared to pry open the covers too far yet. I really want to savour my deep-sea dive into it, holding my breath and searching for treasure. Therefore, I won’t elaborate too much on the content and what I thought of it (or will think of it) in this post. Stay tuned for an in-depth review.

One last thing. An old friend from New Zealand has bundled together some artwork on Mischief Champion. I laughed a lot at many of them and particularly enjoyed Deer Deer, Beautiful Hat and Rabbit Pig.

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write up: shopping on tianjin road

August 20, 2009

Well, I finally made it to Tainjin Road, Section 2 (Taichung City), after many a taxi driver pointing the area out to me on my way home from various places. I had actually avoided going there because I thought it would be a case of much shopping effort for little reward. I was wrong. I did have to put in a bit of time and practise a medium level of patience but the rewards were many. And all for around $2000 NT. Crazy cheap.

shortsskirtdress

lacetop

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JoB likes: FLEA MARKETING

August 17, 2009

P1030976

There is nothing I love more in this world than browsing through junk. And to learn that Taichung has flea markets and that the biggest one is only a 15 minute walk from my house was a revelation worth shouting off the rootftop of my apartment. (I didn’t actually do this but I really wanted to).

So, Typhoon Morakot came and went and my planned day for flea-marketing went with it. But all was not lost. I went yesterday instead. Rummaging through the rows of stalls selling everything from ceramics, stereos and clothing to tools and sex toys, I came to the happy realisation that flea markets the world over must have the same feeling of exciting discovery to them. That great bargain or one-off find is just around the next vendor. And yes, there actually was a stall selling, among other things, second-hand dildos. Gross.

The market was covered in the rainbow material so often seen covering markets across Taiwan. The range of stalls was huge. Some people had only a few things, maybe gleaned from picking through other people’s actual trash, and some vendors had sophisticated set-ups selling brand new items. The market extends back in a “T” shape with two wings left and right. Scattered through the market are tea and snack stalls providing energy to hungry early morning scavengers.
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The only tangible difference between this flea market and the ones Kiwiland or Australia is that the vendors chew a lot of betelnut and speak to you in Taiwanese or Chinese. We did meet, as we often do, a fellow browser who spoke great English. After asking us where we worked he said, “Oh, Hess, cram school. You make a lot of money.” We said, “I guess so”. We do earn well above the minimum wage here, a fact that makes me feel downright guilty sometimes. Hence the reason I didn’t barter for any of my purchases. I figure we get paid enough so if I want something I’ll just deal out what’s asked. If it’s seems too expensive I just say, “No”, and move on.

I think my favourite purchase was a wooden Spare Parts Box. I have already used the bag, which is leather, and I know it will be a great accessory to all the outfits purchased recently on a trip to Tianjin Road, Section 2. I’m going to make pies in the bowl. It’s going to be my official pie bowl.
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I want to find out what the Chinese on the medals say. One is from 1949 and has 1949.4 stamped on it and the other is from 1946 (1946.12). I couldn’t find out much about them with a Google search but I think this is around the dates that the Nationalists left China for Taiwan. They look like bronze military medallions. If you know the significance of these dates please leave a comment.

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I have decided that the sacrifice of a Sunday morning sleep in for a flea-marketing adventure is well worth it on occasion. You can always partake of a lovely afternoon nap, surrounded by your newly gleaned treasures, to make up for it.

This flea market is near the Taiyuan Train Station on DongGuang Road in Beitun District, Taichung.

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reads

August 10, 2009

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JoB’s recent book purchases. Since coming to Taiwan I’ve found it difficult to get my hands on good new releases in English. All the classics are available here, though, so I’m finally making some dents in my “To Read” list. These were bought from Eslite Bookstore in Mitsukoshi Taichung.

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JoB likes: YUANLIN

August 7, 2009

I once spoke with a fellow teacher who told me he had asked his manager why our company had placed my boyfriend and I in Taichung (to live) when our branch was in Yuanlin (nearly an hour away by train). He said his manager replied by asking, “Have you ever been there? No? Well, there’s nothing there.” In other words, Yuanlin, in the opinion of this teacher’s manager, is a %$#&hole.

Well, since I’ve been travelling there on a regular basis and have had the opportunity to explore this not-so-little country town, I’m happy to report that it actually has a lot to offer, maybe not to the average tourist but certainly to anyone who happens to be passing through on their way to other areas of Taiwan. Or to the Taichung resident who wants to explore their extended neighbourhood.

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Yuanlin has the feel of an eccentric, semi-rural township. I liken it to Castlemaine outside Melbourne, Australia. (Sorry for those reading who come from anywhere other than Melbourne but it was my only point of reference.) There are a number of shops, cafes and restaurants that have a unique charm. Among my favourites are:

Moustache
This store is located in the block of shops to your left that edge the public square outside the train station. I love this store for its name alone, let alone what it contains inside its four walls. This is one of the best streetwear stores I’ve come across in Taiwan. Their stock of urbanist sneakers is constantly renewed; there is always a new pair my feet cry out for. I mainly stop by for the sneakers, but my boyfriend has purchased chequered shirts and tees from this store and they have a great range of guys pants.

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Lulu
Walk straight ahead from Moustache towards the city, past the High Life on the corner, and keep an eye out for a small white and black sign above your head that says, “Lulu”. This teensy store oozes cute. It is hidden down an alley so always feels like your own personal shopping secret. Literally filled to the brim with clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery, it contains many covetable items. My favourites are their selection of dirt-cheap watches (only $150NT), which come in tons of eccentric designs, and their cluster of cute and crafty wooden pendants. Their range of long-length tees and tops are also must-haves. My only regret is that my huge size-10 feet are far too big to fit any of the shoes in their charming collection.

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Tony’s BBQ
Tony’s is a traditional Japanese BBQ and a favourite with the locals. It’s completely open plan but has moved away from the standard Taiwanese outdoor restaurant setting and developed a style of its own. Their menu is in English and Chinese and they serve Taiwan Beer in huge mugs. Saki is also available for those who like to avoid the TB headache the next day. The squid with green onion is so good: whole barbequed squid, stuffed with green onion and wasabi. I also really enjoy the lamb with thyme and the grilled mushrooms. There are plenty of vegetarian and seafood options available for those of you so inclined.

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Pali
This bar is retro-fitted in the actual sense of the term and spans three floors. It’s cluttered with knick-knacks in the way essential for kitsch and houses comfy lounge-about chairs, the kind you can curl up cat-like in. The top floor is home to items for sale: original 50s to 70s furniture and household stuff that I’ve found very hard to locate in Taiwan and will be perusing for purchase once I’m debt free. The music sifting from the speakers ranges from corny local pop to jazz to DJ Shadow to early grunge classics. Pali’s menu offers some Western choices, generally mucked up in the way only the Taiwanese can (although I have yet to try their pastas and they could prove me wrong), so it’s best to stick with the bar snacks, which are great. I have a deep regard for the deep fried tofu. The drinks menu is outstanding, with many imported beers, including Hoegaarden, dozens of cocktails and the usual mixers. This bar is best enjoyed on the second floor, with an arrival just before sundown, after which the friendly staff dim the lights to a flattering and chill-out inducing level.

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So jump on the train and take a trip through the now-harvested rice fields and rural communities to a sleepy, artsy little town, host to a crop of shops and eateries that are both welcoming and oozing cool.

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