Wednesday 11 January 2017

新年快樂 Menu

...or why to acknowledge the Chinese New Year

While we are looking at the new year, planning how to organize our months and almost in the rhythm of every day life, people from far east are preparing the most significant celebration of the year for them - the Chinese New Year. This tradition of New Year's festival has stayed for centuries and is a reminder of how ancient and wise the culture of Asia is. 

What I love the most about this celebration is the existence of the colours - mostly bright red with gold incrustation, but also the prints and blossoms as a reminder of the upcoming spring. The festivities are busier and more colourful with every day passing and "the cherry on the top" is the Lantern Festival. It seems like a gentle and romantic way to close the ceremony. 

I could not resist the temptation of representing some of the symbols in a super welcoming menu-organizer. 
It does take a lot of effort to prepare a festive dinner. Why not showing off with a menu?! I live in a country where people from all corners of the world, or I would even say from different worlds, meet and celebrate together. Sometimes it is hard to accept a different cuisine - food that one is not used to is not always delicious. I am excited to learn all kinds of cooking tricks (after all, I am firstly a food/desert preparing passion-ist). I find it easier to fight the fear of trying new food, when get to know what it is. 

The menu serves two purposes - presenting your guests with the information of what they would be served, and, of course, a little formal, and also joyfully innocent show off. Before we come to the stage of assembling the menu, we get to use it as a notepad carrier and organizer.

On the right side of the organizer, there is a pocket that holds the notepad - a place to keep the shopping list and plan the days ahead of time so there is no stress on the day of the party. There is another pocket underneath the notepad, that further notes and papers could be hidden. Because of its shape, it could serve as a cover of a note book that need to be carried around through the busy running of organizing the event.

For those of us (mostly you), who do keep their shopping list on their mobile devices, well, the device freely and safely fits in the pocket. I like handwriting notes and scratching noice of a dragging pen over a purely white paper. I am sorry, but when I here the sound of fanning a notebook, I feel alive. So it is a choice anyone is free to make - how to use the pocket. No judgement is allowed!

It must feel good! We are on the right path: first - getting organized! 

There is something very interesting I noticed in the post office today - Canada Post reacted to the bright celebration with a print of stamps. The Chinese zodiac is a repeating cycle of 12 years. This year is the tenth from the Chinese zodiac and is the year of the Rooster. 

After all the organization is done, and the menu has been decided, it is time to get rid of all the notes and reminders and fit the printed menu into the strap holder in the middle. Done! All happy and ready for the date to arrive.

I think I should introduce the menu holder in some details:

It is made out of Haori yarn dyed cotton fabric. The lanterns on the front are appliquéd, using Haori bright red batik fabric. The branch with the cherry blossoms were embroidered with DMC cotton thread in two strands. And also, how appropriate and fun it was to use the sparkly shiny gold DMC floss for the accents. As I mentioned earlier - red and gold are the major colours for the Chinese New Year celebration.

The menu holder/organizer was quilted - it is more fun this way. But mostly, when used as an organizer, the softness of the product makes the elegant appliqué and embroidery stand out even more. Also it has been given some structure with heavy fusible interfacing.

I will present the working experience of this product in another post.

I wanted to keep the back of the menu holder/organizer pretty simple. Only one cherry blossom was embroidered on the bottom left corner.

And that is all from me for now! I hope you liked the experience. 

I am really happy with the result and have learned a lot while doing my research on the Chinese New Year and making it. 

It has been more than a week, since I sat down with a pencil and a paper to create the picture. Transfer it onto the fabric and finishing at the stage where it is now was a heartwarming and satisfying experience 

What do you think?

♥ Ivelina

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