Featured blog: Land of No Cheese

This week’s featured blog is Land of No Cheese by Emilie. It’s the first Hong Kong blog that I came across that I added to my (then) Google Reader feed – it’s such an interesting insight into Hong Kong! Emilie takes such great photos. And I love the blog name too!

Here is Emilie to tell you all about it…

Describe your blog in one or two sentences.

I would call it an excercise in making visual connections about Hong Kong by putting two (or more) photos side by side in every post. It’s not really meant to be about photography, it’s more of a repository for my eclectic visual ideas. For pure photography, I use flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/landofnocheese/

spot of light (1) (900x601)

What made you decide to start a blog?

Land of no cheese began when I moved to Hong Kong some four years ago as a way of sharing my Hong Kong impressions with friends and family overseas, but after a few months it began to transform into the semi-art project that it is now.


Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere I go in Hong Kong – the city, the countryside, and for the past year, underwater too as I attempt to improve my underwater photography skills gradually. My interest in photography grew exponentially after I settled here in Hong Kong. This place is unendingly fascinating to me.

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What has been the highlight of working on your blog so far?

What is wonderful are opportunities this blog has given me; as a result of it, I was contacted by Time Out HK magazine and I am now a regular contributor (my photos appear in the ‘Hidden Hong Kong’ section). I have also sporadically participated in fun art and photo projects which would not have been possible without the online presence of a blog.

129 Hidden HK small

What do you like to do when not working on your blog?

Over the past year I have become fairly obsessed with scuba diving and the underwater world. Although I try to go overseas to dive whenever I can, having limited time available I find myself underwater locally very regularly to satisfy my waterlust! I also love singing and am a member of the HK Bach Choir: making music makes me happy.


What is coming up in future posts?

Impossible to say for sure: the posts appear very organically based on photos I take during the week. You can expect more underwater themes though alongside street photography, pictures of people and assorted randomness.

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What are your top three favourite blogs?

I don’t spend a lot of time browsing other blogs (!), but for content related to Hong Kong I would note the currently hibernating but otherwise excellent ‘Hong Kong and Macau Stuff’ by Philip Kenny which is bursting with info and trivia about HK heritage sites and places of interest, and which has been a very useful source of reference and ideas for me. http://orientalsweetlips.wordpress.com/

For nature photography I would recommend Sai Kung resident’s Andrew Hardacre’s stunning photoblog. I particularly admire his bird photos. http://ajh57.wordpress.com/

Finally, although not exactly a blog I would mention Hong Kong creative spirit Sasha O’s online artworks and projects: http://www.osasha.com/#!projects/cm8a


Thanks Emilie! Check out the Land of No Cheese blog and the Land of No Cheese facebook page for more great photos and observations.

Thanks for reading!


Featured blog: bluebalu

First of all, apologies for the lack of posts last week. A combination of being very pregnant and celebrating Tom’s birthday meant that I didn’t get much done!

This week’s featured blog is bluebalu: Living in Hong Kong, written by Ruth. The blog features a range of posts about life in Hong Kong, including lots of great photography, articles about hiking and restaurant reviews and tips on what to do and see in Hong Kong! She posts every day, so you are treated to regular updates!

Describe your blog in one or two sentences.

I started my blog ‘bluebalu: living in Hong Kong’ in January 2011 to keep my friends and family in Europe updated about my life in Hong Kong. Since then my blog has evolved and I write for a wide audience of people interested in what’s happening in Hong Kong in general, from good places to eat, scenic routes to hike, exhibitions to visit, interesting photo locations as well as trips to other cities and countries in Asia.


What made you decide to start a blog?

My main reason was to stay in touch with friends and family, then over time, it became a way to keep track of what I was experiencing in Hong Kong and an outlet for my pictures and stories.

People of Temple Street 1

Where do you get your inspiration?

From everywhere around me – sometimes it’s a story that I read on the SCMP or the web. Other times it’s something my colleagues told me over lunch or what I’ve overhead on the hiking trails. A few times I just looked through the pictures I had recently taken and picked the best to share on my blog.

Tram travel in B&W

What has been the highlight of working on your blog so far?

It allowed me to connect with some really great people. I’ve had quite a few emails from people that have lived in Hong Kong many years ago and are sharing their thoughts and experiences. Other times I received emails from travellers that are soon coming to Hong Kong and either would like to have a few tips or would even like to meet up for some dim sum or drinks.

quintessentially HK 1 - people eating on the street

What do you like to do when not working on your blog?

Hiking, taking pictures and playing with my kitten Sam, a British Shorthair cat that we’ve adopted in May this year.

Shopkeeper in Wan Chai in B&w

What is coming up in future posts?

I don’t plan my posts – they just happen. I’m currently blogging about my recent trip to Singapore, then I’ll feature some new restaurants I’ve tried recently in Hong Kong.

quintessentially HK 2 - raining day in Wan Chai

What are your top three favourite blogs?

Can I select more than three? When it comes to Hong Kong and Macau I love the recipes on http://jasmineandginger.blogspot.hk/, the food reviews on http://www.hungrysu.com/ and the pictures & stories on http://julianaloh.com/. Jen from http://expatlingo.com/ makes me laugh with her humour and cartoons and Gary’s pictures on http://www.f8photography.com.hk/blog/ are mind-blowing.

Thanks Ruth! Please check out bluebalu: Living in Hong Kong to see more of Ruth’s great photography and insights into Hong Kong life.

Thanks for reading!


Little Koo Jewellery sneak preview

I’m very excited because the Little Koo Etsy shop is in progress and I hope to have it up and running by 1st March (that’s the deadline Tom has given me)! There’s loads still to do but in the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on my photography. I’ve read loads of articles on how to take photographs of craft items (and especially jewellery), but this video was definitely the most useful. I know very little about photography but am learning so this is very much a work in progress!

Anyway, as my lovely blog readers, you are privileged to get a sneak preview of some of my jewellery items, and some of the photos that will go on the Etsy shop. I would love to hear any comments and criticisms (preferably constructive) about both the jewellery and the photography.

The jewellery is made from semi-precious gemstones and Swarovski crystals, with sterling silver clasps and ear hooks. The aim of the designs are that they are simple enough to wear everyday with any type of outfit, but will add a little colour and sparkle to your day. I use wire-wrapped loops throughout to avoid the risk that the jewellery will come apart, I want it to be durable and something that you can come back to time after time.

Tiger’s eye and Swarovski crystal earrings:

Tiger's eye and Swarovski crystal earrings

Blue Tiger’s eye and Swarovski crystal earrings:

Tiger's eye and Swarovski crystal earrings


Shell pearl and Swarovski crystal earrings:Shell pearl and Swarovski crystal earrings


Crystal and Swarovski pearl earrings:Swarovski pearl and crystal earrings


Crackled glass and Swarovski crystal earrings:Crackled glass and Swarovski crystal earrings


Coral-coloured shell pearl and Swarovski crystal earrings:Shell pearl and Swarovski crystal earrings


Crystal and crackled glass earrings:Crackled glass and crystal earrings


Chrysocolla and Swarovski pearl earrings:Chyrsocolla and Swarovski pearl earrings


Rose quartz and Swarovski pearl bracelet:Crackled glass and rose quartz bracelet


Coral and striped jasper bracelet:Jasper and coral bracelet


Coral-coloured shell pearl and Swarovski crystal bracelet:Shell pearl and Swarovski crystal bracelet


Blue shell pearl and crystal bracelet:Shell pearl and Swarovski crystal bracelet


Blue Tiger’s eye and Swarovski crystal bracelet:Tiger's eye and Swarovski crystal bracelet


Thanks for reading!