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Valentine's Day and 500th post

Whoa. I just realized that this is my 500th post since I started my blog a couple of years ago! How fitting that I'll be talking about some of my favorite things today. I should probably take a moment to say "hello" and "thank you" to everyone who ever looks at or reads my blog. I appreciate all of you, so please don't ever feel like you're a stalker. It's nice to be noticed and feel the love!
I'm not a huge Jell-O fan, but for some odd reason, I was in the mood to create some heart shaped jigglers for Valentines Day.
I used strawberry, orange, and lemon flavored Jell-O to make these cute li'l sugary hearts.
The super sweet treats are SO easy to make and just pop right out of my deep heart molds.
Speaking of sweetness...it was a joy to receive all the cards that friends and family sent us when we went home to Austin for a couple of weeks in December for the holidays, but I never got around to reciprocating and sending out Christmas cards myself, which I typically do.Kelly's solution was to send Chinese New Year cards. Brilliant! I love that man. Why didn't I think of that? So, I designed a card and whipped up several to send.
I spotted this beautiful rubber stamp with these four lanterns at a little stamping store I stumbled upon here in Hsinchu that I could not resist.
It turns out that there's another Chinese holiday that we didn't know about until this week which ties in perfectly with the cards I just created! The lantern festival holiday, a few days after Valentine's Day, is the last day to celebrate Chinese New Year, and some of our new friends were quite generous to bring over an assortment of colorful paper lanterns and candles for us, along with a special soup that is traditionally served on this occasion.
We turned out the lights to get a glimpse of how the lanterns look when they're lit up.
I was worried that we might burn down the house, but fortunately, we didn't. We just put little small "birthday-like" candles into the centers by anchoring them down with a little hot wax that gets dripped onto the bottom first.
The children walk around on the evening of the lantern festival with the paper creations to continue the tradition.
The special soup features these miniature spongy balls that represent the moon to wish good luck. One blogger summarized the holiday well, "Tonight is the night the Chinese New Year celebrations come to an end, on the 15th of the First Full Moon with the Lantern Festival known as Yuan Xiao. The highlight of Yuan Xiao is when people go out at night to watch lanterns, solve riddles, enjoy fireworks and traditional performances such as dragon lantern dance and lion dancing at parks or open squares. Families usually get together again to eat "Tang Yuan," sweet glutinous rice dumplings which represent the happiness of family reunion and affection and good luck for the New Year." --Betty Wong
Check out the apron I made last week with fabric my mother-in-law brought me! I crocheted the little flower on it too. I used every square inch of fabric she brought, including strips of 1/8 yard pieces, plus about a yard of the light blue print.
Take a close up peek at the glutinous rice balls that were cooked with red beans in a thin broth, slightly sweetened with a strong ginger scent infused. It was so very thoughtful of them to share these customs with us and we felt so loved!
We all sat round the living room table and enjoyed a nice visit and I was delighted to get better acquainted with these new friends from our church. Abish translated for us. What a life saver she has been for me since I have been a slacker at learning Chinese.
I wish everyone a happy Valentine's Day, and happy Lantern Festival too!

Comments

Julie said…
That is so fun o learn about the customs over there. I can't wait to get my card, I love the lantern stamps, so perfect!
Heidi said…
I love the heart mold and the jello jigglers you made. And that stamp is too perfect, love that you just found it over there.
Bobbi said…
I'll bet your family and friends loved the heart jigglers. The lantern stamp is very cute. It was fun to read about the festival. They have a lantern festival in Germany, too, with a kids' parade around the neighborhood with the lit lanterns, singing a song. It was in February, also.
500th post--a big milestone! Keep blogging, your posts are interesting and enjoyable.
Kelly said…
Thanks, Julie, Heidi, and Bobbi!
~ Tina said…
so perfect that you found that stamp, and then about the festival! You must have had a 6th sense experience! hee hee!
I think I have a diff. version of a lantern stamp (sorta funny)... hope I get a card - just kidding, it's great to see the pics. Your jello-hearts (not pepperonis) look so delicioso!
Julie said…
The apron is so adorable! I love that you used your mad crochet skills on it too with the flower.

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