Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Laos - part 4

And onwards to the very south of Laos.
We travelled by overnight bus. And what a bus!
I've never seen anyting like it!
A sleeper bus with no seats, just beds, with clean pillows and quilts and supper, water and lollies were supplied.

I thought it was great and slept most of the way just opening my eyes now and then to peer out the window at the moon above the rice fields.
G, being taller, found it less comfortable.

We were then transported by mini bus for a couple of hours, and then boat to the island of Don Det, where we made the unfortunate mistake of getting off the boat.
It must be about the only place in south-east asia where there is not a tuktuk waiting to take you somewhere.
But we actually wanted to stay on the next island Don Khon which is connected to Don Det by a french built railway bridge.

So we walked - in the middle of the day, through the shadeless rice fields - to Don Khon.

G on the railway bridge - minus the rails

It was worth it!
We found the wonderful Mr Pan's guest house next to the river and promptly fell asleep!

From our verandah we had a great view as the afternoon storms swept along the river.

We rode bikes to the falls which surround the islands.

And to the very south of the island where the afore mentioned french railway began, and where you can see Cambodia.

Despite all the bike riding and losing my glasses (which luckily were later found) it was very relaxing.
The islands have no electricity, but the restaurants manage to serve up the best food, keep cold beer, and generally be a great place to chill out for a few days.

Mr Pan's guesthouse

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday treasuries

I'm finally getting back into the swing of things after our holiday.
It's taken a while and one of the things I've been neglecting is treasuries.

So last week I checked and I'd been included in three!

Many thanks to artish for picking my antarctic artifacts necklace amongst other lovely Aussie sellers.

Artish is an amazing knitter and I just spotted this cowl/head wrap.
How colourful and soft looking.

I just love the colour choices in this treasury by getfunked.

I was so happy to see my venice lagoon earrings with these other gorgeous creations.

Robyne of getfunked is multi-talented, and some of her newest listings are digital collage sheets.

I love all things japanese and so I was instantly drawn to this wonderful collage.

Finally earlybirdcreations put together another great selection af very talented aussie artist and I feel so honoured to have my poppy fields earrings amongst them.

Earlybirdscreations makes fabulous, bright jewellery using resin beads.
How much fun is this purple, orange and blue resin necklace?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Fill In

1. She had a great enormous tea pot full of piping hot tea.

2. A mug of tea is by my side, always.

3. I know this: that the square on the hypoteneuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.

4. My husband makes me laugh, still. (after all these years!)

5. These words apply to me: mum, organiser, worrier, sook.

6. The best days were when the sun was shining.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching the tennis later, tomorrow my plans include cooking pumpkin soup and massaman fish curry for friends and Sunday, I want to make up some more tshirts!

Monday, June 22, 2009

From my desk

I bought some strands of mixed gemstone beads and some stone pendants -

and Voila!

almost instant necklaces!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Fill In

And...here we go!

1. All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting perfection.

2. Show me a good loser and I will show you a liar.

3. Being with my family is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one time.

4. Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy twittering and blogging.

5. I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine ironing and cooking.

6. It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without fat or sugar in it.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having an early night, tomorrow my plans include having a stall at the winter magic festival and Sunday, I want to recover!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Laos - part 3

As I said travelling in Laos was very easy.
Mind you we had done a fair bit of research before we went away.

Thanks goodness for the Lonely Planet guides!

We had 3!

When I first thought of doing this trip I bought "Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and the Greater Mekong".
It has a great overview of the region and I used it to plan the basic shape of our trip.

Fly to Bangkok, fly to Luang Prabang, fly from southern Laos to Siem Riep in Cambodia ('cus we werent sure about land crossing), fly from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, fly home!

We filled in the details as we went.

I also bought Lonely Planet books "Laos" and "Cambodia", because they had more detail.

Another very informative site is Travelfish.
Travelfish has acccomodation reviewed and rated by travellers and is fairly up to date.

the view from our room at the Elephant Crossing Guesthouse at Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng was the second place we stayed in Laos, reached by a 5 hour road trip through the spectacular mountains of northen Laos.
We stayed in the scenic Elephant Crossing with views across the Nam Song river to the limestone peaks.

The second morning we woke up to see a herd of water buffalo on the opposite bank.

blue lagoon swimming hole, near Vang Vieng

Being typical limestone counrty there are lots of caves.
We hired bikes and rode to some caves out of town and were doubly rewarded to find this delicious swimming hole. Vang Vieng is a bit of a party town, but I would have liked to stay longer and explore some more of the surrounding hiils, lanes and caves.

going to work in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is a bit of a party town, but it wasnt hard to escape the crowds and I would have liked to stay longer and explore some more of the surrounding hiils, lanes and caves.

But we had to push on to Vientienne

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wishlist Wednesday - 10

What I really wish for this week is -

1. To still be on holiday.
2. That people would stop stealing my son's van from outside our house.
3. That I was two sizes thinner.

BUT, instead I will choose some gorgeous japanese inspired items to cheer me up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A new shop

I did it!
I decided to open a new shop on etsy for the tshirts!

They seemed to a little lost amongst the jewellery, even though I had a separate section for them.

I'd like to introduce BoosTees.

We have made some new tshirts - some black this time and some bigger sizes.
So we have sizes from Australian 8 to 18 (US 4 - 14).

wilma the wise owl in size 16 (US 12)

Monday, June 15, 2009

new czech glass earrings

Even though I really didnt need any more beads when i went to the Craft show in Sydney last week, I couldnt resist stopping by my favorite czech glass supplier, the lovely Sue from Beadglass.
Sure enough she had some wondeful new rivoli shaped beads which look great on the sterling silver ear wires from Bjulde.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Fill In

1. I grew up thinking I was loved.

2. http://nevereveremma.blogspot.com/ was the last website I was at before coming here.

3. Why don't you buy one of my new tshirts?

4. Doing the crossword every day helps me relax.

5. Thanks for the opportunity of meeting some great on-line friends and reading some awesome blogs.

6. Experts on the interwebs are very off-putting.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to um! sitting in front of the fire, maybe, tomorrow my plans include not shopping for a new dishwasher and new clothes dryer and Sunday, I want to meet up with my etsy friends at the craft and quilt show in Sydney!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Laos - part 2

Travelling in Laos was surprisingly easy.
In Luang Prabang there are many travel offices offering day trips and extended adventures or organising travel to the next town, next country, whereever.
The guest houses will also organise things for you.

With only a couple of days in Luang Prabang, we first went on a boat trip to the famous Pak Ou caves, up river on the Mekong.
I was filled with emotion as we sped, um er chugged upstream in the longboat, my dream of travelling up the Mekong was realised!

The tour stopped at a small village, where Lao rice whiskey is made.
We tasted, even though it was 10 o'clock in the morning!

Wandering through the village we found the weavers.
This lady let me take a photo if I bought a scarf, and as it was only $2, it seemed fair enough.

The caves are filled with hundreds of buddahs.
It seems that in Lao more is better and there is great spiritual merit in the many buddah images.

The boats tied up at this wonderfully rustic bamboo pontoon.

bamboo pontoon and boats at the Pak Ou caves

Another day was a minibus trip to the Tat Kuang Si - waterfalls and beautiful blue swimming holes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Fill In

1. Travelling is better than being at home.

2. My favorite thing for dinner lately has been fish curry.

3. What's on the tree, tree, tree? bark! bark! bark!

4. A nice long walk is what I have planned for next year (in the Himalayas).

5. Waiting, waiting for some good news.

6. When all is said and done, there is more talking than doing.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going out to dinner with friends, tomorrow my plans include maybe going for a small bushwalk and Sunday, I want to make some tshirts!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Laos - part 1

It seems so long ago we flew to Luang Prabang in northern Laos.
Not knowing what to expect!

Luang Prabang is world heritage listed because of its ancient monuments and unique beauty.

Wat xieng thong is over 500 years old and is so beautifully decorated inside and out.
It is one of many temples in the city, and only one of the very many we were to see on our trip!

There are also over 200 guest houses in Luang Prabang.
We chose ours on the internet, and what a little beauty!
For A$26 a night, aircon, TV, a baclony and delightful hosts!

We soon discovered the local brew!
Beer Lao is very good and justly famous through the region.

We had dinner next to the Mekong river as the sun set.

Another day we climbed all the steps to Mount Phousi which has a temple on the top (surprise!)

the view from Mount Phousi over the city and Nam Khan river

Getting around was very easy by bicycle, everybody goes by bike or motorbike.

We stayed here for 3 nights, but could have stayed a week or two, it was so relaxing and interesting.
and it had a fab night market!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wishlist Wednesday - 9

I've been away for a while in steaming hot south-east asia and am really feeling the cold now!
Time for some warm snuggly things -

a new lyptis dress -

a beautiful scarf -

and some socks to unfreeze my toes -

rainbow socks by rainbowrevolution

excuse me now while I go and sit in front of the fire!! brrrr!

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