This is Beijing – Panjiayuan Market

Panjiayuan is an antique-lover’s paradise. It’s one of the largest and most popular antique markets in China, and you’ll find all sorts of Chinese antiques/vintage wares, furniture, and arts & crafts. It boasts over three thousand individual stalls with a wide variety of items ranging from vintage toys to telescopes to terra cotta statues. There’s some pretty kitschy stuff, like the Mao action figures and also a lot of really lovely pieces too. I loved walking around getting a glimpse of what each stall owner had collected over lifetime. Some of them were so well-curated, I wanted to buy the whole stall! I didn’t pick up any souvenirs this time, but will be sure to go back before I leave Beijing.

It can get quite hot in Beijing during the summer months, so you’ll often find Chinese men walking around with their shirts rolled up halfway. I was rather disturbed and annoyed how often they showed up in my photos. :P

These are walnuts. The Chinese extract the seeds, wash and polish them, then carve them into beautiful works of art.

Ancient Chinese money. I think they’d make fabulous necklace pendants.

Beautiful vintage suitcases.


Little E came along for the ride. He’s got four teeth sprouting already. :)

If you’re ever in Beijing, be sure to check out Panjiayuan Market!

Panjiayuan Market
No.18 Huaweili, Panjiayuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

Jewelry Cheese Box

Amazingly, one of the things that I haven’t missed eating in Grenada is cheese. In fact, the IGA grocery store here stocks some fantastic selections of international cheeses from Europe and other parts of the world. And sometimes, right before they’re about to expire, they go on mad sale (like $1 for a wheel of brie). My neighbors also happen to be cheese lovers, so we formed a little cheese club. Basically, when the cheeses go on sale, we buy enough for all three of us and distribute it to the other club members. :)

I’ve stored up a nice collection of these cheese boxes and have been trying to find a good use for them. I think they make perfect jewelry/trinket boxes, don’t you?


DIY Toilet Paper Ruffle Wreath

Like I’ve said before, I don’t have too many craft materials available to me here on the island. Rather than spend money on expensive, second-rate materials that they sell at the craft stores, I’ve been looking instead for recycled and/or cheap, local materials to use for my projects. To spruce up our apartment a little, I decided to make a ruffle wreath using cardboard and toilet paper! Normally, I’d use felt, fabric, or even tissue paper, but given the circumstances, I thought toilet paper would be a perfect substitute. :)

Here’s everything you’ll need:

toilet paper
2 round objects in different sizes to trace
scissors or Xacto knife
hot glue gun

Step 1: Trace your large round onto the cardboard and cut out. Repeat with the smaller object.

Step 2: Roll out a long length of toilet paper and slowly fold it accordion-style until you have a nice stack. Cut the entire stack into a circle shape. Separate the pieces.

Step 3: Gather the toilet paper circle into a ruffled bunch.

Step 4: Use hot glue to attach the ruffle to the cardboard cutout.

Step 5: Repeat until the entire cutout is completely covered with toilet paper.

Step 6: Attach a ribbon to the wreath and hang to display.


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