Friday, September 28, 2012

saturday's child

saturdays are busy here in Gib.  there's Big Band music provided by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Band in the piazza (think jazz and swing music!  awesome!) when i was living in Singapore, i used to spend my weekends sitting in the park listening to fantastic Big Band music in Symphony Lake
there is a craft market in casemates square too selling handmade stuff.  they just started this summer and only a few stalls have set up their stuff.  i am hoping this will catch on and eventually would expand and attract a lot of people. 
i love this stall below selling beautifully-preserved insects :)  on top of your purchase, the seller will also give you a free lecture about them :)
original paintings by locals...
the stall below is by my favorite local painter, Paul Cosquieri.  his paintings are very contemporary and colorful
you can also find one of a kind teatowels, fans, coasters and place mats...
handmade leather jewelry with Celtic knots... very creative!
 adorable mouse doorstops :)
here's my current favorite jazz singer singing my favorite swingy big band number with a modern twist :D turn up the volume!
enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

spic-and-span is the plan

"There are no random acts.  We are all connected.  You can no more separate life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind." -- Mitch Albom

this concept of connectivity is everywhere: the news, chaos theory, systems, six degrees of separation, serendipity, etc., and it has never been felt more strongly than in the place we call home.

so, the trash that we throw away carelessly (even that little piece of candy wrapper, yes) might one day come knock, knock, knocking on our door.  it is with this ethos that i am passionate to do my little bit in making our world a better place to live in.

this is my second year in volunteering for the CUTW movement and i have made a lot of friends (while picking up litter, of course) who share my passion and views about our beautiful, magnificent, powerful Mother Earth.  you can read my past post here and below are some of the pics i took.
i love this pic because this shows cleaning up the world is a lot like falling in love: it transcends everything; be it race, religion, political affiliation, etc.
there are soooo many historically important landmarks in Gib especially up the Rock that the Gibraltar Heritage Trust is protecting and preserving.  they do a wonderful job of taking care of what Gib is really all about.
i especially love this stall!  moms are taking action!  when you have kids, you know that they outgrow their clothes as fast as you can say "jump".  well, these moms help one another not just by saving a ton of money but also helping other moms find much needed uniforms.  aren't they great?
on our way up the Rock, we passed by lovely little patios and stairways like the one above
part of the reason why i love volunteering is the free historical tour that i get from historian Tommy (our team leader) who writes a daily column in the local paper about random bits of Gibraltar history.  this wall pre-dates the British invasion and could possibly be 14th or 15th century!  how did Tommy know this?  because of the type of pink limestone used in constructing this wall! 
at last we arrived at our assigned place.  THE TUNNELS!  the gates have been vandalized and people have made this tunnel a dump :(  it was pitch black inside so we had to use our flashlights/torches to see that the structures such as officers barracks and weapons rooms are all intact!  these are of historical significance!
 at long last we are done!
one of the volunteers found this frame :)  i would have wanted it for myself but he beat me to it :)  but i am glad because he said he is turning it into art!
one of the saddest things last year was there were zero locals who volunteered :( but this year LOOK!  majority of them are locals! i was sooooo happy to see their happy faces and the fact that they were all so concerned about the Rock.  i think i was the only foreigner and another was a Slovak guy who was just here for a couple of weeks.  
after a tiring 3 hours of cleaning, we got free lunch!  there were more goodies inside (an apple, a banana and two chocolate fingers) but i was too tired to take them out :D  thanks to the people who also organized the Urban Picnic!
i think Gibraltar is finally waking up and i think there is a silent revolution happening! i am soo excited to see the people of Gibraltar finally keeping up with the world :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

damascene jewelry

first, my big thanks to everyone who gave such positive feedback on these tiny black and gold earrings that i found for .50p at a church sale last saturday.  shout-outs especially to heidilisa of Never Rush Ranch for peaking my interest in doing more research on them :)

i found out that these are called damascene or "damasquinado de oro" which means, "the art of decorating non-precious metals with gold".  apparently, this  art of jewelry-making has roots in the Middle Ages and originated from Damascus, Syria  (hot in the news lately).

there are only two very different cities in the world which produces this type of jewelry...Toledo, Spain and Tokyo, Japan!

here in europe,  two distinct styles emerged:  the Renaissance and the Arabesque. the Arabesque features geometric designs while the Renaissance motifs include... you guessed it... birds and flowers!
i took a pic of it again with a 5-pence coin beside it for comparison.  i found a retailer online and you can see some pieces that are quite similar :)
i am not sure yet if this is authentic or not but i am stoked that i am now the proud owner of a Spanish Renaissance damascene piece :)  


Sunday, September 23, 2012

flea market finds: head to toe and everything in between

its lazy sunday!  

i finally went to my favorite shop last week and well, initially, i didn't find anything i like.  after a few more days of browsing and even with their new stuff coming in, i STILL didn't find anything i like.

oh well.  

yesterday was Clean Up The World day of which i am a regular volunteer (tell you all about it on my next post).  i thought... maybe... before i pick up litter i might as well drop by a church sale, the St. Andrew's craft and collector's fair.  might be good to check it out and maybe pick up a few things or two since i haven't dropped by in a while.  this church usually puts up this sale every first saturday of the month with just a handful of sellers.  true enough, i found a few treasures. these are my finds:
this is a small pair of black and gold stud earrings with a depiction of a bird.  i can't quite make out the maker because its so tiny but it looked like its made by hand. the clasps are a little crude but i think it has oodles of character which is why i bought it for a mere .50p!  tweet, tweet!  it also reminds me of Biba (an iconic fashion store in London in the '60's with an Art Deco vibe by Barbara Hulanicki which used a lot of black and gold back then)
if Sweden has their wooden dahla horses and Russia has their wooden nesting matryoshka dolls, Japan has their wooden kokeshi dolls!  this one however is made of ceramic and sporting pigtails instead of the usual bowl cut do the kokeshi dolls usually have.  she is 4 and a half inches tall, bought for a pound and is now best friends with my matryoshka dolls :)
y'all know i have a fondness for turquoise, teal, cobalt, seafoam... (well, basically all the variant colors in between blue and green. i can't quite make my mind up yet!) the tallest and bluest of 'em all in the picture above i bought for £3 in a Facebook page here in Gib selling secondhand stuff. forgot to mention that i didn't buy this in the church sale.
and lastly, in the church sale, i bought this brand new fluffy pink house slippers for .50p (but in the picture i have already worn them) all because my usual Homer Simpson house slippers were now looking a lot like Homey... in terribly bad shape!

i lurve my first finds for fall!

*linking to The PennyWorthy Project @ hey what's for dinner mom? :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

i moustache you a question...

how do i personalize my photos?  i see a lot of photos with the owner's name on it... and i want to do that with mine too :)  any advise is greatly appreciated!

and on to regular programming....this is what the Rock looks like more frequently these days with the levante clouds looming large over it.  very imposing structure! i took this photo while we were in the border queue going to Gib.  it looks a bit frightful really but nothing to worry about... this wind is fast and passes by as quickly as it formed.
so what to do really when there is a big mass of angry clouds hovering over you? why, have a moustache partie of course!
there's been a lot of these popping up in design these days.  in shirts, pillows, bags, etc.  there's even a number of blogs dedicated to this groomed facial hair like the Stachist, which is hilarious!
this is a tribute to Ms. Amy Farrah Fowler of The Big Bang Theory (we love her so!) and one of the fojol brothers, which is a delightful food truck in DC or as they say in their website, "a travelling culinary carnival" ;) a friend of mine said my ginger tache is The Lorax one ;)  

here's a clip from The Big Bang Theory that we took as inspiration for our Moustache Partie ;)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"it's not about the money, money, money..."

it's not over yet but i can say this September has been the busiest so far this year. almost everyday i have something to attend to or go to which eats up all of my energy and therefore, when i come home, i would slump myself on the sofa too exhausted to do anything other than flick on the remote!  on top of that, (horror of horrors!) i haven't been able to go to my favorite shop which opened the first week this month!!!!!!!!!!

we shall remedy that soon enough :D but first, as promised, here are pics i took that beautiful day when the part-therapist, part-singer Jessie J sang for the Rock :D
the Rock is a great backdrop for a concert because sound actually bounces off of it making for great acoustics!
there were stilt-walkers and street artists (which either delighted the little ones or scared them, i can't tell)
right next to the concession stands, life goes on in the runway (Gibraltar is on the top 10 of the world's most dangerous airports, being small and right in the middle of the highway!)
there were other booths next to the stadium that were such a hit with the tag-alongs like Man Vs Food, etc.
front acts were amazing local bands!  and then came Ali Campbell of the famous UB40.... ohhh the groovin' we did to "Red, Red Wine"... and little did i know this would cause major aches and pains in muscles i never knew i have!
and then, she came....  she was awesome!  a great entertainer with a heart for her fans :)  we love her songs.. especially the ones with empowering messages :)
 and here are two exhausted but very happy fans :)
once more, with feelings...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

snail mail time

Gibraltar has just celebrated their 20th year of being free.  much hoo-ha (both social and political) was made amidst the fireworks and the time and tested-- releasing of balloons.  i am crossing my fingers that those balloons are environment-friendly though...

well, also in the middle of all this hoopla was a package from a very dear good old friend of mine from the States who sent me this lovely wall decor in the style of a book with these magical words written on them.  its the sweetest thing there is in my garden :)
also in the package was this tiny, tiny book about tiny, tiny homes :)  its hilarious! but soooo cute and perfect for Gibraltar (one of the most densely populated places in the world with 13,000 people living per square mile!)
i am ending this post earlier than usual because i am aching all over due to the fact that the mister and i went to a Jessie J concert and danced our hearts out the whole 4 hours non-stop!  more on that on my next post :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

flea market finds: ready, set, game!

the mister's hobby is painting military figures from different gaming shops but he first started with WarHammer, a Citadel Miniatures Games Workshop product.  normally a box of these miniature figures cost around £10 to £80. so imagine his surprise when i gave him this big starter gaming kit (all figures intact and complete!) worth £60 that i found in the thrift shop and bought for only £1!

he was so happy and when we did some research on eBay, this is what we found!
someone must have been spring cleaning the board games unit because i got these Lego pre-school community minifigures set for only £1!  each box normally cost around £40!
again, bought for a song, this unopened brand new kit below will make a certain boy from across the globe happy this christmas but he doesn't know it yet :)  he loves everything that challenges his mind and he is an exemplary student especially in Maths and the Sciences so this is perfect for him!
before i sign out, lemme give you an idea of what the mister does on his days off;  if you are interested, you can also read his own blog here :)

(1) Orcs and Goblins, Warhammer series, acrylic on plastic
 (2) Attila the Hun, 75mm, acrylic on metal
(3) Rambo, 54 mm, acrylic metal
 (4) Templar Knight in Battle, 75mm, acrylic on metal
 (5) Freddy Krueger, 54mm, acrylic on metal