did y'all have a good christmas, if you're the type who celebrates it? if you don't, did you have a good day-that-every-freaking-store-except-t&t-is-closed?
this has been a somewhat more stressful than usual christmas, since i got home a week ago, but it was still good. we had a huge brunch, which included my grandma's traditional pork pies, and the amazing farmer sausage that i brought home from manitoba (and then found at thriftys! i forgot that sobees bought them out. i'd be annoyed, but i'm too happy to have found a local source!). we talked to a million family members on the phone, had a visit from a family friend and met his daughter for the first time, and once we had enough room in our bellies, had a huge turkey dinner. we hung out for a few more hours, and then i came home. i was wiped and intending to go to bed until i saw that Home For The Holidays was on. it's one of my favourite movies of all time, and i hadn't watched it this year. despite the fact that i own a copy (or maybe two), i couldn't resist watching it. needless to say, i didn't get up super early and go shopping for boxing day!
i'm not a big boxing day shopper - i'm not a big shopper, period, unless it's a thrift or a fabric store! but i do appreciate the online sales that start christmas day, and i bought myself a new scanner/printer christmas evening. it scans way faster than my current scanner, which has been on it's last legs, or whatever it is that scanners have, for quite a while now, and officially died last night, so i'm excited to get it. that was good timing!
part of the reason i'm not a big shopper is that i HATE malls - which makes what i'm about to share a bit ironic. a few days before christmas i went to aberdeen centre in richmond to go to Daiso. they had a super fun holiday display, and i couldn't resist taking a bunch of pictures to share with you.
the display is where the mall's photos with santa were taken, and includes giant dolls, a mini gingerbread house, hella cute teacup chairs, christmas trees, a white picket fence and lots of stuffed dolls, clouds and birds hanging above. and everything is PATCHWORK! so cute.
once i was down on the same level as the display, i could read the signs set up around the fence, which showed that the display was display by Chocolate Rain. Chocolate Rain is a jewelery and accessories brand designed by Prudence Mak, a Hong Kong based artist. the name comes from chocolate, something that the artist loves, and rain, something that the artist isn't so fond of. she likes the contrast, and compares it to life.
there were several pieces that incorporated mail imagery - given my love of mail art, i was drawn to them first. they were designed as part of a collaboration with Hong Kong Post, and were what attracted the attention of the British Museum, who carry exclusive Chocolate Rain merchandise.
(there's another one here)
but there were also cute christmas themed illustrations to go along with the mail
of course, the main part of the display was the three large dolls. the dolls are all the same character, Fatina, whose name means "fairy" in Italian. the doll's eyes are always closed because she's always daydreaming.
the vast majority of the materials used are recycled, and that's a big part of Chocolate Rain. Prudence grew up in a low-income family, and her mother worked in a garment factory. her mother would bring home extra fabric, and her grandparents, who were trash collectors, would bring home what they found, and Prudence's mother would sew everything up into clothing and household items. Chocolate Rain also conducts classes using recycled materials to promote DIY, a listing of which can be found on the Chocolate Rain website (which is in HK$, before you faint at the prices!)
in addition to the recycled fabrics, there were also some fabrics that looked to be digitally printed, a la spoonflower, which showed images of Fatina with umbrellas and brightly coloured rain.
and where do you sit while visiting Santa? on patchwork teacups, of course! the furniture was a collaboration between Prudence Mak and a company called Giormani, and it's hella cute.
(those black and white patches on the mushroom pillows? they're the silkscreened patterns used in Chocolate Rain's doll making class)
in addition to the tea cups, the Fatinas, the pillows, etc, there were also a few giant giant teddy bears in the display. they were big and floppy, as you can see! (there's a second bear on flickr as well)
scattered among the trees and behind the main attractions were more illustrations on easels. there are more on my flickr too - here, here and here
so! wasn't that a fun display? much more interesting than the usual Santa's Workshop, don't you think?
more information on Prudence Mak and Chocolate Rain can be found here, here, here and here. The Chocolate Rain website has some english, and the Fatima Dreams website is almost all english, and both are full of info, as you'd expect. there's a fun little e-book illustrated by Prudence Mak that can be downloaded here, or you could check out the craft project worksheets and colouring pages on the english website. and if you're a local, check out the display at Aberdeen Centre, it'll be up until january 3rd!