Candid Hong Kong – alternative Christmas lights

Every fortnight I share a photo that shows a little insight into Hong Kong life. Sometimes they are things that made me smile, classic Hong Kong sights or just really unusual things.

Near where I live is a fake ship (because the area used to be a shipyard) which has shops and restaurants in. As part of their Christmas decorations they have planted a ‘sea’ of fake light up roses around the ship – I’m not sure what it has to do with Christmas but the effect is quite nice!

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By the way, if you’re interested in some of the more ‘Christmassy’ lights that are up this year in Hong Kong, check out this post.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Christmas lights on the Kowloon waterfront

A couple of Christmasses ago I wrote about the Christmas lights in Hong Kong. They are on a massive scale, with many taking up the whole side of a skyscraper! Back then, I lived in Happy Valley, so my view was mainly of the lights on the Hong Kong side, but there are more lights to see on the Kowloon side too. To take a look at this year’s lights, I took a nice stroll along the promenade from Hung Hom all the way to the Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) (which takes about an hour).

As you walk along the promenade in Hung Hom, you get a great view of the eastern half of Hong Kong island. There was only one building with lights on, possibly in Quarry Bay, so I didn’t take a photo of the view in this direction. But as I approached the end of the walkway in Hung Hom, I could see some buildings with Christmas lights in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai.

christmas_lights_in_causeway_bay_and_wanchai

At this point the path cuts in, away from waterfront, and takes you up along the side of the Harbourfront Horizon estate and over the Central Tunnel. You soon descend again into East TST, where you can see the lights on a group of buildings that are full of shops and restaurants.

looking_towards_christmas_lights_in_east_tsim_sha_tsui

This is the first of those buildings, the Empire Centre:

christmas_lights_on_the_empire_centre_east_tst

Then, the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre…

christmas_lights_on_the_tsim_sha_tsui_centre_east_tst

…the Shangri-La hotel…

christmas_lights_on_shangri-la_hotel_east_tst

…and Wing On Plaza.

christmas_lights_on_wing_on_plaza_east_tst

The Shangri-La is definitely the most tasteful, although it may be limited as to where the lights can go since guests won’t want lights in front of their hotel room windows!

At this point we were diverted away from the waterfront again, this time due to a massive building site which has shut the Avenue of the Stars, so we had to walk along Salisbury Road instead – not very scenic! But at least it did mean that we could see the Peninsula Hotel lights, which were very similar to last year but very pretty – with snowflake-shaped lights hung across the gap in the middle of this U-shaped hotel.

christmas_lights_on_the_peninsula_hotel

After the Peninsula, you can see the display in Heritage 1881. There is some kind of display here all year round, and it’s never really to my taste but there are always tourists having their photos taken with it! This Christmas they seem to have gone for an ice-palace type theme (excuse the terrible quality of this photo which was taken from the other side of the road!).

heritage_1881_christmas_display

Our next stop was the Cultural Centre and clock tower, where I had heard there would be lights, but there was nothing to see! I was a bit puzzled at the time but now I realise that we were just there at the wrong time. There is a 3D light show at 8.20, 8.45, 9.15 and 9.45pm every night until 28th December (more details here), and we were there about half an hour too early to see the first one! Oh well.

You do get a great view of Hong Kong Island from the waterfront here though, so I was able to get a shot of some more of the buildings that were lit up, this time looking towards Admiralty and Central.

christmas_lights_in_admiralty_and_central_2015

Finally, we headed over to Harbour City (just the other side of the Star Ferry) to see what display they had outside this year. They seem to have gone for a retro Disney themed street! Not really to my taste but it was pretty packed with people having their photos taken with the displays.

harbour_city_hong_kong_christmas_display_entrance

harbour_city_disney_christmas_street

harbour_city_retro_christmas_lights

And now our walk was all done! We turned around and headed home on a bus from the Star Ferry.

I feel like many people stick to the Hong Kong side when looking for Christmas displays, but as you can see there is lots to see on the Kowloon side too! Let me know if you check them out!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Candid Hong Kong – Christmas Street

Every fortnight I share a photo that shows a little insight into Hong Kong life. Sometimes they are things that made me smile, classic Hong Kong sights or just really unusual things.

A little while ago, I wrote about Toy Street in Hong Kong, a street filled with cheap toy shops. I had heard that around Christmas time it is the place to buy Christmas decorations, but when I went a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t quite prepared for the transformation – Toy Street has become Christmas Street!

So if you’re looking for some cheap Christmas decorations in Hong Kong, you now know where to go! (FYI, it’s Fuk Wing Street in Sham Shui Po)

151202 Candid Hong Kong - toy street turns into christmas street

151202 Candid Hong Kong - Christmas decorations on toy street

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Candid Hong Kong – Christmas statues

This is the start of a new series of posts called Candid Hong Kong. Every fortnight I’ll be sharing a photo that shows a little insight into Hong Kong life. Sometimes they are things that made me smile, classic Hong Kong sights or just really unusual things.

First up is a photo of the statues outside the Shangri-La hotel in Admiralty. I really like these statues anyway, they show some of the different kinds of people you might see in Hong Kong. But I took this photo in December and someone had stuck Christmas hats on the people!

150120 Candid Hong Kong Christmas statues

I particularly like the guy doing tai chi on the far left :)

I hope you enjoy the series. Check back in a couple of weeks for the next installment!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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3D paper star Christmas garland

Our Christmas decorations this year are a fairly minimal affair. For a start, we don’t have a tree because the twins would just pull it over and try to eat it! (I’m very much looking forward to the time when they don’t put everything in their mouths) All decorations have to be out of their reach, so we hung some tinsel over the picture frames and we have some baubles hanging from the ceiling. And I decided that what we really needed was a pretty garland! After looking at some of my pins on Pinterest, I decided to go with a garland of 3D paper stars.

3D Christmas paper star garland - Little Koo

I used this tutorial for my stars (mine are a little less blingy than theirs!), and I made my stars from large sheets of fairly heavy plain red and green coloured paper. I wouldn’t say I have much to add to the tutorial, other than the fact that I scored all the folds before folding them because I found it difficult to accurately fold otherwise (although it might be easier with thinner paper).

Papercraft 3D stars - Little Koo

I made my stars as big as I could, which meant the template just fitted onto a sheet of A4 paper. When I was glueing the back pieces together, I thought that I would overlap the two sides as much as possible, but I found this made a very pointy star, and it actually looked better when the sides were about halfway across each other. I used tacky (PVA) glue to stick the back pieces together and held them in place with paper clips while they were drying. N.B. make sure your star is the right way out when you start glueing – I didn’t realise this with the first one I made and ended up with an inverted star!

3D Christmas paper stars - Little Koo

I stamped gold and silver motifs onto the stars before folding them, but you can’t really see it all that well. Oh well!

Stamped 3D stars - Little Koo

I think the 3D shape is quite effective for what is a very simple papercraft, especially when the light is not shining directly onto it so some of the sides are in shadow. What do you think?

Christmas garland - Little Koo

Let me know if you have made any of your own Christmas decorations, I’d love to see them!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Handmade calligraphy Christmas cards

I really wanted to make my own Christmas cards this year. Last year the twins were so young that we had barely any time to prepare for Christmas at all, let alone make cards. In fact, we didn’t even post any cards! This year I was resolved to do better.

I had an idea that it would be pretty quick if I created a calligraphy design that I could repeat easily for each card. I chose to write ‘Merry Christmas’ with a couple of swirls and it took me about an hour to fine tune my design. I’m really not very good at swirls! I see so much beautiful swirly calligraphy, but I just don’t seem to be able to design something similar myself at all. I guess it just takes practice.

Anyway, once I had my design sorted, I created the layout and used my light box to see the layout behind the card blank so I could write on the card. I originally was going to use red and green card blanks but when I placed them on the light box I realised that I couldn’t see the guidelines because the card was too thick! So I had to use white card instead. But I do like the combination of white and gold at the moment so it wasn’t a complete disaster.

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

I used gold and silver Manuscript italic marker pens and the script is my own – it’s a bit of a hybrid between italic and foundational hand!

Once I was up and running, it didn’t take too long to do the 30 or so cards that I wanted. I was really pleased when I laid them all out together, I think they look great!

 

Metallic calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

Gold and white calligraphy Christmas card - Little Koo

I managed to get them them in the post last week so they’re currently winging their way to the UK. I missed the last guaranteed post by quite some way so I hope they turn up sometime in December!

Did you handmake your cards this year? Please share a photo or a link if so, I’d love to see what you came up with!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Black Friday sale… and a little reminder

The Little Koo Black Friday sale is now on! From now until the end of Monday 1st December, all designs are now 20% off. No need to apply a code, the prices have already been reduced. So head on over to the Little Koo Etsy shop to check out the sale!

Turquoise chrysocolla and pearl 1920s style bracelet

Also, just a gentle reminder that the last order date for guaranteed international Christmas delivery is 2nd December. That’s next Tuesday!

Simple handmade mother of pearl and pearl earrings

And one more thing…

If you happen to be based in Hong Kong, then lucky you – I am offering free Hong Kong postage until the end of December! Again, this discount has already been applied in the Etsy shop. The last order date for guaranteed Christmas delivery in Hong Kong is 21st December so you’ve got a little more time to think about buying your Christmas presents!

So why not head on over to the Little Koo Etsy shop to take a look at the sale?! Don’t forget, in addition to jewellery, there is also a range of Christmas decorations now available!

Little Koo beaded cluster gold and pearl Christmas tree decoration

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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