Friday, January 24, 2014

chinese new year

chinese new year

Chinese New Year is a week from today!

Like last year, we'll be spending it in Cuba. And, from memory, last year I had big ideas of getting some shots of both my girls wearing their silks on the beach! I'm not even going to put that pressure on myself this year, if it happens it happens.

This week (and next), our photography class is working on an assignment centered around creativity. An item, location, something... that we can creatively see in our minds eye and build a photography session around. Well, you can imagine my creativity is pretty much centered around the beach at the moment… swimming suits and summer dresses are the only things I can envisage during this brutally cold winter, even the ‘hardy born-and-raised Canadians’ are saying it’s brutal, so that’s sayin’ something! I am not proud to admit that I have even driven the 1 block to pick Lilah up at school! Aha! However, all that aside, and since I always aim to get a few pictures of my girls in their silks each year, I thought this would be a great opportunity.

We visited the Hunan Embroidery Museum of China just 4 days after Phebe joined our family. Embroidery is a pretty big deal in Changsha, Hunan and our in-province-guide, Amy, advised us if we wanted a true Changsha, Hunan souvenir, this was the way to go! So we bought Phebe this gorgeous little jacket and pants in the little shop (within the Embroidery Museum). It cost an arm and a leg, compared to the dresses we bought in the markets, but it is oh so beautiful and totally worth the money we spent.

I found this little blurb online about Hunan Embroidery…
Hunan embroidery is one the four famous embroideries in China. It’s developed from the needlework from the countryside of Changsha. In the end of Qing Dynasty, handicraftsman Hu Lianxian and Yue Weishi mixed the stitch of Jiangsu and Guangdong embroideries with that of Changsha local embroidery, forming a new style Hunan embroidery. It is known for its bright color, vividness and strong expressive force. 70 kinds of stitches have been developed by craftsmen of Hunan embroidery. In recent years, they developed “double-faced embroidery”. On a transparent material, each side has a subject, both subjects are very perfect. Hunan embroidery has won several prizes at international expo and is popular all over the world.

These silks are very precious to us.
And I know this is very forward thinking, but I imagine one day in the future, seeing my Phebe girl's children wearing them.

So this past Monday, we pulled out our big box of China souvenirs. We found Phebe's special outfit and she really liked the mini umbrella, so we went with it as a prop. And when I asked her if she wanted her hair curled, she was thrilled and totally excited, repeating to me: "Just like Reese, just like Reese!" - he is a little boy in her preschool class and has very curly hair! Her hair is a little short for curls, but we did get a few waves in it!

Here's a few of my favourite shots - I have a pretty cute little actress on my hands!


  1. I love these photos! She looks so sweet with her hair curled. I love how you got the blur at the bottom and even in the middle of one photo… did you do that in photoshop?

    1. Hey Paige - thank you! The blur at the bottom of the photo is the bed footboard, I caught it in the frame a few times. Not sure about the blur in the middle? I did put a haze action on the all these photos, using Florabella Sheer Haze... maybe that's what you're seeing. :)

  2. These are so precious, Jill. Thank you for sharing the story about the outfit - it makes it all the more special, doesn't it? It truly is a beautiful outfit even just seeing it on a screen compared to in person. The colours, the style, the trim - it's all more unique and lovely than the usual outfits available in the markets.

    Good luck capturing the girls in their silks on the beach on CNY - but no pressure!

  3. Too cute!