LiPeony Shop

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It's that time again, this September 22 is the Mid-Autumn Festival aka Mooncake Festival. My friend said something very important whilst we were in bakery where people were clamoring for boxes of these mooncakes. "Why do we celebrate the Mooncake Festival?" Being born and raised in the USA sometimes we are caught too much into mainstream culture that we sometimes forget our heritage's culture and traditions.

That is the first thing I asked my parents. "Why do we celebrate the Mooncake Festival?" My dad replied that in China this was when the rice had ripened and was harvested. The people who worked in the huge rice patties sometimes far away from their families would go back home and celebrate being a family. Coincidentally this is also the month when the moon is at it's fullest and brightest. The moon being whole reflects the time when the family is once again whole. During this time people would celebrate by baking things and eating things that were round... like pomelos and mooncakes. There are also other myths related to this day such as the Goddess Chang'e and the one about the Jade Rabbit.

Mooncakes are these pastries that are normally roundish. Inside has stuffing made from lotus seeds paste with a whole egg yolk in the middle. The outside is thin and flaky and the inside is generally sweet and thick Though nowadays they also make them with all sorts of filling such as red bean, mango, lychee, green tea... to name a few. The one on top is inscribed with the characters indicating the filling inside and the bakery it hails from.

It would be very rare to find mooncakes unless it was from an Asian bakery and they're fairly expensive it's about $20 a box. I was very happy I asked because I had learned the reason on why we have these traditions and holidays. If someone were to ask me why we celebrated the Moon Festival I'd say what my dad said... to celebrate family...

Until next time... have a happy Moon Festival day =)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dumplings nom nom!

Dumpling time at my house and my mom just happen to be making some and I jumped on the chance to take pictures of her in action! Dumplings are fairly easy to make and keep for a long time the freezer. It takes about 10 minutes to cook'em up which is great for breakfast or a a snack. Also you can put in a whole lot of different stuffing. The dumpling skin my mom got the premade ones and they're about slightly bigger then the palm of your hands.

She got her little work station set up. On the top is the dumpling skin, a single cracked egg in a bowl, the chives and shrimp stuffing mixture and a lightly flour dusted pan to put the made dumplings on.
First mom puts in a nice spoonful of stuffing in the center.

She dabs her finger in the egg white mixture and spreads it along the edges of the dumpling.
Then she pinches them tightly.
Then folds the outside corner. I assume this is to prevent stuffing from coming out when you're cooking them.
And ta-da! Dumpling! There are many different ways to make dumplings and many types of dumplings. Which reminds me if you don't have the time to make these little delectable there's The Dumpling Festival in Manhattan this month September 25th! Check it out =D.

Until next time... keep on cooking!

Friday, September 3, 2010

DIY Wedding Invites

The real reason I've been extremely busy this last couple of weeks was doing a favor for my buddy and making her wedding invitations. The above is the final result. The blank pocket invitation was part of a DIY from AC Moore though there are other stores online and in stores that sell blank pocket invitations. This is when those coupons come in handy! They ended up being around $11 for 25 pack that consisted of the pocket invite, invite envelope, RSVP card, RSVP envelope, and two/three various sheets of printable paper for the invite itself and maybe directions etc.
The cherry blossom design was made by me and has soft petals falling down as per her suggestion. For this I printed the invite on bright white card stock that was 4.5" x 6.5" an odd size but with some tweaking was able to print it. Using double sticky tape (ones in dispensers aka tape runner) designed for photos and scrap booking we (me and my other buddy!) stuck the invite on pearlescent pink 5 x 7 card stock and that onto the brown pocket invite. (I highly suggest not using glue for this as it may cause the paper to bubble and warp as it dries). I also printed out the RSVPs and address on the RSVP envelopes.
There was this odd little slot on the pocket for like a card to slip into but to my dismay it was smaller then business card size. My friend saw this other invite with a cute calender with the date circled on it. So we made a calender and stuck it on covering the slits.
Last but not least my friend wanted to put a wax seal to fasten the envelope. She brought a metal stamp with the character "double happiness" on it. She brought a glue gun and the wax sticks that was a champagne color but against the slightly metallic brown pocket invite looked slightly good. This one was a challenge. The wax is melted into the glue gun and my friend made a dime sized puddle on wax paper where I put the seal (that was soaked in ice cold water) onto it and waited about 10 seconds and ta-da! Every time one seal was finished I had to dip the seal in cold water so that the metal seal won't adhere to the wax. (We made a lot of booboos here)

To me the best way was to have a nickel sized drop on wax paper and have the stamp cold from being in ice cold water. Gently press on the molten wax and count till 10 and gently remove it. Press one finger on the wax paper while removing it. Though it's recommended that the wax paper also be cool which would make it easier to remove the seal from the paper like maybe cold damp cloth underneath but I didn't get the chance to try it.

We gently removed the emblem from the wax sheet and put a glue dot on the envelope and the seal on it. We get the above. Not too shabby! It reminds me of the old fashioned royal sealed super important documents which is what my friend was going for.

Next up centerpieces? Table cards? Bouquets and Boutineers? OH MY!

Until next time... what's your DIY project?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yarns on the Brains

I've been going though an artist block though maybe it could be due to the heat wave coming though. Yesterday I did have a stroke of inspiration and drew some new sketches like the one above and I'll be having some Chibi Boy drawings up too! I'm very excited since at craft fairs people ask whether I have some boy drawings. Which reminds me of a forum post I was reading about "Etsy Product Gaps" which mentions the lack of boys and men items. If you want some ideas or mention something of your own it's still quite active so check it out!
Lately I've been busy between making something for a friend and also crocheting away a blanket for my boyfriend. I just think of it as a really really big scarf. So far the length covers a king size bed and the width is 18 inches and building. I used about 6 skeins of yarn and i brought four more but I know I will need a lot more. My deadline is the third week of September... so a bit a day... a bit a day.

Which reminds me living in NYC the closest Micheal's is quite a bit away and the nearest A.C Moore is somewhere in Long Island or New Jersey... so I rely on this small place called P & S Fabrics Corp in Lower Manhattan. The place is fairly big and they have tons of yarn including the one color yarn that neither Micheal's or A.C Moore sold (to my dismay) and crochet/knitting supplies. They also have random notions... ribbons, thread, fabric chalk, buttons etc. I spent tons of time browsing though the patterns that include things from kid's costumes to everyday wear. I found a Pokemon pattern I want to try!
They also have a lot of fabric including some cheap scraps which are pretty big. There's also a downstairs for heavy fabrics and batting. One thing I did like about this place is that it's cheaper to buy using cash like 50 cents cheaper here and there but they add up. The things were slightly more organized then the other fabric places I've been to in NYC. The location and the sheer variety of stuff they have makes this place a go-to for me. Plus it's also close to Pearl Paint a huge store of art supplies etc.

I found out about another knit/crochet store close by in SoHo called Purlsoho that looks very very promising. I will have to stop by sometime today =D . As you can see I'm a pretty big fan of Yelp because it offers reviews and comments on tons of stores and places in the city. If you're ever in NYC and wonder about places Yelp is a great place to gauge where you want to go.

Until next time... get crafty!