Monday, 29 October 2007

Phu Quoc

What a wonderful relaxing weekend !!!!

Phu Quoc is an Island South of Vietnam, just in front of Cambodia. The weather is hot in winter and very hot in summer. There are long sandy beaches with coconut trees...

The weather was hot, 35 degres and 96% humidity. The temperature of the water was 29 degres. We were staying in a 5 stars resort (La veranda) and believe me, it was a well worth treat.

I let you enjoy the pictures....

Thursday, 25 October 2007


Tomorrow morning we are flying to Phu Quoc.We will come back on Monday afternoon.

My fever is dropping with some help: paracetamol, ibuprofene, actifed, vitamins, hot teas and steam bath with local fresh herbs. My nose is still blocked which probably ruled out the diving for this weekend but I am sure I will find something else to do.


Just a quick post to show you what I found on the market in Sapa: pure silk. It is very soft and can be died as well. They were selling natural dye on the market but I didn't know the quantities so I didn't buy any.
I did buy all the silk though :0)

I bought these in Hanoi. I suspect it is acrylic but it is very soft. It looks like unspun but it doesn't break when you pull the strings. I am sure I will find a use for them.

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to find any Lantern Moon product. I suspect it is only exported to avoid any copy. Also, I spent an hour to draw a pattern in a shop where they used to do custom made bag, to have beautiful needles cases in embroided silk made, unfortunately, they are too busy with all the orders for Christmas so they don't do individual orders anymore...


Despite the fever, I am going to my lacquer classes.
I am progressing. It does look very messy but it is during the final sanding stage that the picture will revealled itself !
For the moment I am working on the layers. It does not look nice as you have to overlap all the layers at the edges.

I did put some lacquer with pigments, then silver leaves or silver powder on top, once dried, another coat of lacquer and pigments and silver. And again more lacquer.... I must admit that for this one I have lost the plot concerning the number of layer, the colors..... I cannot believe the end result will give something nice !

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


First of all, thanks a lot for your comments I really appreciate them.

The night train to Laocai was a nightmare. I couldn't sleep, it was shaking so much ! Additionnally, I was sleeping just underneath the airconditionning.... The return was worse and today I have fever (more than 39.5). I hope it is not the flu. I am not feeling great at all, so I will make it short and let you appreciate the pictures.
From Laocai train station we took a taxi to Sapa (1h- 40km). We visited several villages around Sapa and did some shopping (I'll take pictures later of what I've bought, espacially some extremelly nice laceweight silk). There are 54 different ethnic minority living in Vietnam, several of them around Sapa. You can distinguish them by their clothes.

Indigo. This plant is used by the black Hmong to dye their clothes.


I took some pictures of the lacquer I am making.
This is the voc after I digged it, glued the shells and covered it with limon+lacquer mix. Then it's been left to dry for 2 days in a wet room.

You have to sand it with a stone (not sand paper otherwise you would cut the voc) and water. It is hard work and takes hours. The end result must be flat.

Then, I had to draw the full picture on the voc and apply lacquer mix with pigments where appropriate. Finally you had some silver leaves depending on the final result you wish to have.

Today I applied more lacquer with pigments and silver leaves. Still a long time to go before the end !!!!

Ouaf Ouaf !!!

On Thursday last week, I went to a dog restaurant with Oanh. If you really want to eat dog properly, you should take the full 12 courses but I don't think the two of us would have manage. It was great. We had a 5 course menu. Sorry I don't remember the name of the dishes.

It was a vintage restaurant. We had to remove our shoes and seat on the floor on bamboo rug. the table was a piece of paper.

The kitchen !
Apparently it is possible to eat cat as well, however it is illegal as cats hunt rats.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Tight schedule

Just a quick note to let you know that we are taking the night train to Laocai tonight. We are going to spend the weekend in Sapa, North of Hanoi. We are coming back on monday morning.
Yesterday evening I went to a restaurant with Oanh, the nanny, to eat dog. It was a very interesting experience. I took pictures, I hope I am going to have time to post them next week.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007



I didn't take any pictures so far. I should remember to bring my camera on Friday. This morning I had to undo what I had done on my first voc as the lacquer didn't dry properly. I wonder wether I will have time to finish a piece before coming back...


Some of you wondered how the brioche went.
Very nice indeed. The first one was a bit burnt at the bottom but it was my fault, I am not used to this oven.

Next time she will make chocolate chips brioche on her own !