We've been away for almost 4 weeks! It's been fun and I am pretty much recovered from the operation that knocked me flat for a few weeks. We've been all over the place - from Bangkok to Koh Samui, back to Bangkok and then to Paske, Laos, then back to Bangkok! We're staying with friends now and start the journey home tomorrow...
Here's Jess and Malaya Vaughan outside their home in Bangkok
The Bangkok parts were pretty much dedicated to sourcing craft products to import into NZ - and I wasn't disappointed. We've been here a couple of other times - so we had some contacts and leads already. The flower shop was the most fun. Graham had the fun of standing with the calculator, camera and notepad! He's a great helper.
This is the crazy market in Sampheng, Chinatown. It was wall to wall with people during rushhour! And hot and stuffy...
Dinner anyone? The smells of Bangkok are incredible - not all good!! People eat and cook on the side of the road. It didn't look very appetizing to me...
This is Graham and Thakmany in an Ethnic Village in Laos. Thakmany lives with our friends in Paske and teaches them Lao in return for learning English. During the morning she weaves at her local village.
This was a lovely Spa Resort we treated our friends to for one night. Pool anyone? I hear it's been cold in New Zealand - so maybe I should stop putting up these great photos!And maybe it's a bit mean to show me getting a foot massage. They are so cheap in Thailand - it would be crime not to get one...
So, we fly home over 2 days. First to Melbourne tomorrow and then to ChCh the next day. The Kaisercraft Q2 release is due on October 1st - but we'll be travelling! You'll all have to wait until the 2nd... The goods haven't actually left Australia yet though - so we won't be able to send them just yet.
We've decided we will make Collection pre-orders available on the 2nd. The lucky people who order these will have the priority for the first shipment. We know there is a lot of interest. The second order is organised already!!
Today we organised the shipment of some of the Thailand craft goodies home. But I'll be honest, I wanted lots of the new products to come home with us - so we've packed those for the airline and sent lots of our clothes home instead with the courier! Who needs summer clothes in NZ?!
You'll hear from me in a couple of days - to announce the Q2 products!
My brother's wedding on Koh Samui, Thailand was a beautiful occasion. I took hundreds of photos and am looking forward to creating an acrylic album and a memorabilia box of the day for them. (I'll use the Tic Tac Toe box from Kaisercraft for that one). The table setting was filled with fabulous scrapbooking memorabilia! I'm such a hoarder - and what better hobby could there be than this? The day really was perfect. The beaches on here are stunning and the wedding was held at sunset. 35 people travelled across the world to attend the occasion - from Australia, New Zealand and England.
The groom entered firstly with his groomsman, followed by en elephant that danced for us and then the parents. To be honest the elephant really stole the show!
Then some dancers did a lovely ensemble for the groom, before he moved down to the sand to await the Bride's arrival.
Illana entered, looking stunning, and the ceremony began. My father had the privilege of speaking at the wedding - reminding us of the basis of marriage and the importance of it. It was a beautiful ceremony. The local paparazzi (me and a few other keen guests) snapped photos at every opportunity - petal throwing, sunset poses, tree planting, cake cutting, fireworks, lantern lighting, speeches and dancing.
I finally managed to successfully use my camera on Night Mode and I went through two batteries. So now comes the fun - trying to select the best of the hundreds of photos...
But the fun isn't over just yet! We are still enjoying everyone's company at the resort until Sunday. Then we head to Laos to visit our very good friends for a week. We know that when we return to NZ things will be crazy! We have to find somewhere else to live - and move the business too. And of course the Christmas frenzy will begin - starting with the Kaisercraft Q2 release in a couple of weeks.
Well. we are certainly having fun! We left Melbourne on Sunday (after the wonderful Q2 party)for Bangkok. My brother's wedding is next week and so we have been meeting up with family in Bangkok and will head to Koh Samui tomorrow.
Bangkok surely is a crazy city. It's hot and smelly and it's the rainy season. We have been here before so I was keen to head to the favourite craft market and find some suppliers of ribbons, bags, flowers and envelopes. My lovely husband comes along and he managed to find the Ribbon factory. Last time he found the envelope factory - so he really is an asset!
But he did have a day off to spend with the men at Pantip Plaza - 7 floors of electronic equipment. Mum and I thought we'd sit by the pool - until it started to rain... The rain is so intense that the streets were flooded up to the knees!
We've been to the Grand Palace and the Floating Market. It's been fun having family here to do outings with. And it's great to give mum and dad hints on what to expect!
The camera has certainly been used a lot. It's great to capture the expressions of people on the local bus as they are nodding off, or the old lady in the canal trying to sell you some fruit. I'm sure I'll have a chance to scrapbook those memories before 2020. That's about the rate I'm going at the moment!!
I'd better head off to see if dinner has been sorted... (maybe we'll do the $2.70 meal at the local roadside restaurant... or go somewhere high-class for $5?) I'll let the others decide!
Sorry there are no photos for me to add just yet. They are on the camera and I wasn't sure how to load them up on this computer.
And I want to say a public THANK YOU to Vicki and Juanita for running everything while we're away!! I hope you get some crafting done...
Well, what a great event! The Kaisercraft Q2 Product party was held in Melbourne last night... Graham, Hilary, Clarissa and myself attended this wonderful event and we were THRILLED with the new ranges! There are 3 absolutely fantastic Christmas ranges coming your way... with some Beyond the Page projects to match. (WOW you are going to love some of these!). There is also something for teenage boys, travel enthusiasts and pretty paper lovers.
Kaiser just keeps designing wonderful products. There were so many exciting things to look at and wonderful people to talk to. It's hard to know how to spend your time! It was so great to meet up with the lovely people we met last time. Everyone was so friendly and we spent a lot of time laughing and enjoying their company. The "Mel and Al" show certainly brought smiles to our faces. We plan on having some more to do with them (watch this space!!). It was great to have dinner with Christina (the NZ rep) and her lovely work colleagues and we hope to see her in NZ next year...! We always love chatting to the designers about their work and congratulated them on their outstanding designs.
I could go on - but I suppose you really want to know about the products!! Let's just say, they have put out papers in sets of 6, brads, buttons (you should see some of these) black and coloured rubons, stamps (yummy), embellishment packs (very cool), die cuts, more alpha stickers, embroidered badges and THE most exciting part of all... 6x6 Paper Pads!! WOW! These are outstanding. They each have 24 normal double-sided papers and then 10 specialty pages with flocking, foil and embossing! ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! These are going to be a HIT!
So, all up we had the greatest time! I will get a couple of sneaky photos posted on blog when we get a better internet connection... We're off to Melbourne City Centre today for a look around and we'll trek to the suburbs to find some other crafty outlets...
Last blog I admitted I was going to town in the car. I got there safely, enjoyed lunch with hubby and a friend and then found myself in THE most amazing Clothing Sale! (I don't need any clothes - or any more 12x12 papers for that matter...) but this shop was shutting down - and EVERYTHING was down to $10. It was a store jam packed with beautiful clothing and heaps of bargain hunting ladies! So I've bought a lovely top for the Q2 party tomorrow night, a summer dress for Thailand and a couple of other beautiful items. I walked out of there with a smile.
Who says Retail Therapy doesn't work?! I have been a 'blue' lately - apparently a very common side-effect of anaesthetic - and I did have 2 lots of that in the last 2 months! I've never really been blue before - so I didn't enjoy it at all! I'm starting to lift out of it now and I'm really looking forward to some time in the sun. (I've pretty much hibernated inside all winter too ... looking rather pale!).
So, by tomorrow we'll be at the Q2 Party in Melbourne. Which brings me to the "meanie" accusation from Hilary! YES, the Q2 mag did arrive at my house yesterday (an error on the part of the publisher meant they got sent too early...). So I had a choice to NOT read it, or to read it! I ooohhed and aaahed - and sought advice (EVERYONE said to read it!) and I decided NOT to read it! I am going to Melbourne and I love surprises. And I don't want to know if Hilary's Layout is in there until I arrive - and I don't want her to know either!!! I want to be there when she opens the mag and looks through and hopefully sees it...
But just because I excerised some self-control doesn't mean Vicki did!! She sat there and had a good look through the mag (right in front of me). She made all manner of wonderful noises - from mmm's to aahs to ohs. I get the feeling this new release from Q2 is REALLY great!
Okay, maybe I had a sneek peek at one page. I just HAD to know if the project on the front cover is one of their projects... WOW! It's FANTASTIC and I think every house in NZ will want one of these for Christmas...
Wow - I've hit the six-weeks mark since my surgery. Officially I'm allowed to drive today... As it happens I decided to celebrate by cleaning the shower (carefully of course). And I do need to use the car today to go to town...
I feel about 85% at the moment (that's up from 75% last week!). I do feel very tired though. Last week was a huge week keeping up with the Kaiser Kandy orders.
We are heading overseas on Friday and I'm starting to get very excited. We do have a great itinerary planned. We start in Melbourne for the Kaisercraft Q2 release. They just put their Sneeky Peek out yesterday. Go and have a look at that!!
Then we're off to Bangkok for a week. Here we'll be on the hunt for craft goodies to import into NZ. And we'll relax at by the pool on the rooftop garden of the hotel! My family will be there too - so we'll do some tourist activities.
Then we head to Koh Saumi for a week. My brother is getting married on this island. We can't wait to see him and his fiance again. They live in London. The resort looks amazing and I just want to lie on a beach... I have made a lovely wedding card for my brother. I'll load it on if I have time before we leave...
Then we will meet very good friends of ours (they live in Laos) and we'll go somewhere with them. None of us have had time to plan that part yet. But we'll just find a cheap island somewhere and stay there for a week.
After that we head back to Bangkok and tidy up any loose ends (shipping of goods etc...) and we hope to stay with other friends of ours for 3 days (they live north of Bangkok). Whew!
What an amazing holiday. We've certainly worked so hard this year and so I feel like I need this!!
Within 2 days of our return we will have the new Kaisercraft Q2 goodies available for sale.... we all know that will be a busy time too!
It sounds like hubby will be taking the laptop (even though I'm a little reluctant for him to since I'm a bit addicted to checking messages etc...). So, if he does, I'll blog every now and then!