Tuesday, September 15, 2015

RealChinaTea.ru

Hi there and yes, I know this site is in Russian, but I can't help writing about it. It's one of the best resources about Chinese teas that I've ever come across, and as most of you guys know, I've been into Chinese teas and culture for quite a while now (like, wait... 15 years?!)

They have a cool blog with great videos on how they live and make tea in China, and they also have a shop, where I placed an order as soon as I saw the assortment of teas and teaware they have. The package came in a month, and when we opened it, the insides looked like Christmas morning.

I was actually going to make a video for you to get a better idea of all this gorgeousness, but I was waiting for a chance to buy a tripod and an extended arm first, and while waiting I was drinking the teas and using the teaware (those of you who know me in real life have probably guessed that not much of the teaware survived).

Slowly I started to suspect that by the time I actually get the tripod I'd probably have nothing to shoot. So here I am just writing a blog post with a few pictures because it's better that nothing, and I really, really want to do something. I'm so filled with gratitude for these amazing guys and all that they do. 

But wait. You'll see for yourselves.


Let me start with the teaware, cause it’s pretty simple: a plain white gaiwan, a set of cups (there were four, but I broke one), a tea brush, a tea tray (not available at the moment), tea scales, a strainer (with no handle — broke it, too) and a tea towel with a dragon and a phoenix having an intense relationship (if Sensei and I ever become entrepreneurs this is what our company is going to be called — Dragon and Phoenix — cool huh?)

Then comes tea.



See this picture? The only thing I ordered was that little box of tea samples in the right upper corner. There were 19 packets of delicious tea (7g each).

All the rest was a gift.

!!!

I mean. While it’s common of internet shops to put a little something in the box, I’ve never ever got as many free gifts for just an ordinary order. 

The teas were excellent, and we had a wonderful time trying them out. Our favorite? This yellow Meng Ding Huang Ya. Sweet, soft, fragrant. Mind blowing.

And last but not least there was this little Yixing teapot.


We had a hard time choosing a teapot, because when you can’t hold a teapot in your hands it might be kind of tricky. Sensei and I scrolled through a ton of pictures online, and when we saw this one we both liked it instantly (which is a miracle in and out of itself), so we went on and ordered it.

It came in this box (it's sort of hard to tell in this picture, but those red shapes are dragons, and they always warm my heart):


It opened up like this:



Revealing a silk envelope hiding its little treasure:



And a master certificate in Chinese:


Written by hand on beautiful gold-speckled parchment-like paper:


The red stamp is the same one that we found on the teapot, so I'm cherishing the thought this paper was written by the master himself. We admired this beautiful calligraphy for a while, and then we got the teapot out of its cozy home.



You should have seen our faces when we finally had a chance to take it in our hands. They were just like heart-eyed emoji.



It’s beautiful. It’s made of dark old Yixing clay with a subtle purple sheen. It’s almost wet to the touch, like a bit shiny, which means the quality is awesome. It’s completely symmetrical and completely airtight. It pours and pours beautifully, and when you put your finger on the hole in the lid, it stops immediately. You may pour from a feet above the table, and the jet will be straight and strong, and it won’t drip no matter what.



This teapot is perfect.



When George first saw it, he said: «Mom, it’s so beautiful. So small. Can it be my teapot?» George is four. I’ve never seen him thrilled by a teapot before. A gun, a plane, a robocar — maybe. But a teapot?

It’s that good. 

When I reread this post I thought it sounded like advertising, but it’s not — I'm not affiliate with RealChina in any way, and neither is this post sponsored, so you can be sure I'm doing this out of pure excitement and gratitude. If some of my readers would like to order something from the site, I'll be only happy to translate the content into English for them (shoot me a message if you're interested, or just leave a comment below).

Good luck and warmest wishes to you RealChinaTea guys! Thanks for wonderful teas and a job well done. And for the presents.

Love,
K





Friday, August 21, 2015

random cards

Felt like playing with watercolor lately, so made these two cards - one to my dear parents for their 31th birthday anniversary, and the other to my dear friend for his birthday.

The first one comes in an envelope:


The paper I used here was Prima Art Paper (some old collection) and the flair is from Everyday Vintage.


I painted the card on a Prima Paintable I've had in my stash for a while.


The number is a wood veneer piece from Ali Edwards December Daily 2014 kit...


...painted with gold acrylic paint (Studio Calico 24 karat).



I inserted a picture of all the four of us (the only one this year so far taken back in January - I should take more family portraits, really).


The greeting is under the picture but I forgot to take a photo of it.


There's a wood veneer heart on the back of the card painted gold, too.


And this is the birthday card (the same paintable, but a different background and shape and one of my favorite color combos):




This is the second time in my life I've made cards, so please don't judge too severely. Thank you so much for reading!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

week in the life 2014!

Hi there!

Let me share, I have to spill it out, I'm so, so happy today! I've actually just finished my Week in the Life 2014 album.

IT'S THE FIRST ALBUM I'VE EVER EVER COMPLETED!

Isn't it something to celebrate?

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

No, honestly, I've been meaning to do this forever. I took part in Week in the Life last year in October together with amazing Ali Edwards and a whole group of cool folks, meaning I was taking pictures of our life for a week, and then I started printing them out and writing the words and putting it all together... and got stuck, and never returned to this project again.

One of my intentions for this year was to finish all my unfinished albums, and now I believe I can do it because well, I did it with this one!

I feel so excited and happy and grateful, that I decided to film a video walk-through of the album. Mind you, it's not only the first album in my life, it's also the first video in my life, so PLEASE BEAR WITH ME.

I'm filming it while holding my camera in one shaking hand and turning the page with the other. I'm nervously stammering in my far-from-perfect English. I'm also bursting with happiness and excitement of someone who's just finished her first ever album and filming her first ever video. You get the idea.

So that's it. You're watching this at your own risk. You've been warned!


Thank you so much for watching! And my hugs to anyone who'll leave a comment. They make me so happy.

A few pictures for those who prefer it this way:







































Have you really made it this far?!

Love you guys.