Monday, 11 January 2010

A Guid New Year

I'd like to wish you all a belated happy new year
as some of my family on the Scottish side still say,
a guid new year tae yin an' aw!
Even though this is very belated, I'd also like to express my gratitude to everyone who has visited inkberryblue in 2009. My connection with you all genuinely inspires me. Thank you.

You may have noticed that I haven't been here much of late. It's not that I haven't wanted to be...but I've been spending most of my time valiantly clearing out my (incredibly) cluttered craft room in the hope that I'll get it organised before I go back to work in a fortnight's time.
I think I'm going to make it.

I have been knitting!!!
Inspired by a fellow Raveler Angeluna's beautiful work I've been making a Fascinate wrap using Noro silk sock yarn. I'm loving it! (By the way, you'll only be able to view Angeluna's projects if you're a member of Ravelry. I think that Ravelry is the best resource for knitting and crochet on the net and if you haven't already joined you should!)

I love the way the colours in the Noro unfold as I work
...and it's an easy pattern for a beginner knitter like me.

And now,
as promised in my last post,
here are more photographs from beautiful Vietnam:

Embroidered Screen, Dalat, Vietnam.
These flowers were stitched onto sheer material ~ the embroidery worked, painstakingly and with great skill, so that there is no wrong side to the fabric.

Man Sheltering from the Rain, Hoi An, Vietnam.

Young Woman and Little Boy, Hoi An, Vietnam.

Marble Buddha, Hoi An, Vietnam.

Mauve Waterlily, Hoi An, Vietnam.

Silk Lanterns, Lantern Street, Hoi An.

Hoi An is a magical place. The people are incredibly friendly and welcoming, the city is old and very beautiful (it's a World Heritage site) and there are many businesses which custom make clothes, shoes and jewellery ~ I had some beautiful dresses made out of Thai silk. I would looooove to go back!

Carnivorous Plant, Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam.
I found the Cuc Phuong jungle to be enchanting. Our night trek was especially wonderful ~ bushy tailed gliding squirrels peered down at us from impossibly tall trees, fairylight~like fireflies followed us into deep darkness...

Forest Giant, Cuc Phong National Park, Vietnam.

Cuc Phong is also home to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center which is doing much needed conservation work with lorises, macaques, langurs and gibbons.

Jungle Vines, Cu Chi, Vietnam.

Pink Waterlilies, Hoa Lu, Vietnam.

Tomb of Tu Duc, Hue, Vietnam.

White Waterlily (and wee moth), Hue, Vietnam.

Vietnamese Coffee, Hue, Vietnam.
Vietnamese coffee is drip filtered and mixed with condensed milk ~ the sweetness of the milk counters the coffee's bitterness. Actually, I don't usually drink coffee but this was delicious! I treated myself to this cup, from a roadside stall, after an exhilarating, hair~raising motorbike ride through wet countryside.

DIY spring rolls in Hue, Vietnam.
We rolled garden fresh zucchini and lettuce, piquantly dressed carrot and cabbage, fragrant baked fish, satayed pork and beef, and savoury omelette into rice paper, dunked it in a variety of mouth watering sauces and washed it all down with Saigon beer.

Vietnamese food really is sensational. In between decluttering, I've managed to make a few dishes that I learnt in the cooking classes I went to and I'd love to share them here
as this post seems to be taking on epic proportions,
I'll leave that for another time!
Until then, here are links to chef Luke Nguyen's television series and gastronomy blog, which both convey the fabulousness of the cuisine.

Blessings to you.