Travel Diary: Kyoto
Kyoto Diary

Kyoto. How glad I am that we had another chance to meet. You may remember when I was there in 2014, for a mere 2 days. I wanted this time to be so much better. And it didn't disappoint. We flew from Tokyo to Osaka (with local airline Peach, super cheap no frills although it is pink and purple) and then took the JR train to Kyoto. Super easy and convenient, the Japanese way. We found it extremely hard finding accommodation in Kyoto as it was peak season (and we left it til a month before), I'd highly recommend booking well in advance so as not to pay over the top for airbnb or hotels. We really wanted to stay in a Ryokan - traditional Japanese guesthouse - but all were full and with crazy priced airbnbs we began to look at Hostels. Now at first I was against the idea (even though we had no choice), I thought being in my 30s entitled me to grown up accommodation. However, the place we found was pretty amazing. We stumbled upon Len Hostel, a super friendly, hip hostel that had private rooms as well as dorms with shared bathrooms on every floor. There was a cafe bar in the lobby which served yummy breakfasts and cold beers when you returned home from adventuring. Although it was only open a month when we stayed I believe that it will be kept in great shape, it was really cool and it changed my views on hostel accommodation.  The location was great too, very close to city and walking distance to a bicycle rental shop. If ever in Kyoto, I would highly recommend it. 

Kyoto Diary 1

The first thing on our Kyoto 'to-do' list was visit the red gates or Fushimi Inari-taisha to give it the proper name. This is one thing that I know I am sad for missing the last time I visited. So over a soy latte and granola that first Kyoto morning we planned our trip, which it turned out was only a few stops by train from the hostel. Like in Tokyo, the streets are mostly quiet until you reach the tourist spots and boy was there plenty. Here we saw many young girls and boys in traditional dress, couples especially. There was also the snack stands where I may have devoured a delicious fish shaped waffle thing with custard in the middle. The red gates are really impressive when you see them, the way they wind up the mountain is incredible. The hike to the top is not too strenuous and worth it for the lack of other tourists. There are cute little tea shops for refreshments halfway too. It was here that I wished the film in my camera wasn't black & white, the various shades of red were amazing and worthy of a Pentax capture.

The boy wanted to see temples, and one thing Kyoto has in abundance is temples. So day 2 we headed to the bicycle shop and rented some fancy bikes (with baskets, obviously) and headed north. The weather was perfect, sun was shinning and the air was crisp. Ideal for cycling. We headed towards Arashiyama, an area with plenty a temple and a Bamboo Grove to wander through. Fairly touristy but to be expected. The area sits along the river and is very beautiful. The roads in Kyoto are fairly flat which make it super easy to ride around, off the main roads the side streets are filled with cute little shops and restaurants. So many that I feel like I need to go back. 

Kyoto Diary 2

The next day was forecast to rain, so we decided to take a trip out of Kyoto to a neighbouring area. We were recommended the village of Miyama a 2 hour journey (train then bus) from Kyoto. Taking the train to Hiyoshi Station I was slightly anxious about how we were going to get to our destination once we we got off the train, but I needn't have been. There was a friendly bus driver directing us to his bus which then took us to another bus stop, where we waited on a smaller bus to take us to Miyama. True to the forecast the weather was miserable and I was not prepared for how cold it would be. Despite the rain and cold, when we got off the steamed up little bus I was taken back by how cute the landscape was. Just like the images we had seen Miyama was a village of gorgeous little thatched cottages set into green hills. Following signs we headed for the Folk Museum, a little community run house which served hot tea whilst you sat on tatami mats. There was a small entrance fee, but worth it. In keeping with my plan to stay out of the rain we followed the sign to the cafe, where our fellow tourists were hiding. It was cute and cozy with delicious homemade pudding and an adorable lady behind the counter ( I really love Japanese people). As well as wishing I had worn my Uniqlo heattech, I couldn't help but wish we'd come on at least a dry day . For the we could have done some wandering.

Kyoto Diary 3

Whilst waiting on the bus back to the train station I was flicking through the leaflet the little lady in the museum gave me (also adorable) which was highlighting the best spots in the area. It was here that we learned of the Hiyoshi Hot Springs - hello! count me in. The springs were a 10-15 minute walk from the station (head right out the station, then through the tunnel) and are located in front of a fairly impressive damn. The springs are located in a swimming pool complex and as I was a first timer I was unaware of the 'rules'. Which was why I spent 10 minutes stressing about a lack of costume. Rule #1 - do not wear swimming costume. Man I felt stupid. But along with the nervousness of being starkers in front of little old ladies the stupidity slipped away when I sank into the hot, hot bath. That night we joined some friends at a tiny Korean BBQ place, Aje where we sat on tatami and stuffed our jackets and bags in giant white plastic bags. A necessity to reduce the fried meat smell from lingering. It was very delicious and the beer helped too. 

Kyoto Diary 4

Kyoto has an old world sort of charm, like a small village. The streets are small yet filled with restaurants and bars. You can roam around for hours in and out of streets, especially in Gion where you may even see a Geisha or two. Coming back to Kyoto I was excited to visit the vintage stores from my last visit. I really wanted to buy a kimono, like REALLY wanted. The best shop I found in the centre was Chicago ( the have various outlets across Japan) which had a whole floor dedicated to traditional dress for women and men. Lots of dressing up can be done in there, believe me. The prices range from affordable to high depending on the style. There was so many gorgeous floor length kimonos but realistically I knew I would only stare at it rather than wear it. (which wouldn't be  bad thing) What I did find though was a Haori - a jacket for over the kimono. It's the perfect length and its monochrome colour makes it easy to wear with anything. Only problem is its now too hot to wear it, roll on Autumn. Side note: had some really tasty ramen (claims to be the best in Kyoto) across from the Three Star vintage store. Gyoza were pretty good too.

I was sad to leave Japan, I truly was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. I think I might want to live there. Never say never.

ありがとう Kyoto

Til next time. 


All photos are by me.

Black & White - Pentax K100, All others iPhone 5.

Travel Diary: Tokyo

I love Japan. Like really LOVE Japan. I knew that this trip to Tokyo would be amazing but it excelled every one of my expectations. Even with the bad weather. Japan, you stole my heart.

This trip to Japan was during our Easter holidays, a total of 12 days in Japan split between Tokyo and Kyoto - will update you in this very soon. We had planned this trip mostly to see the cherry blossom (as did thousands of others) but also because neither of us had spent any time in Tokyo and what better time to go.

We arrived in Tokyo very early Friday morning, but even then I could tell it was amazing. Even the taxi driver was excited - think he thought he was in a race his driving was so speedy. As it was high season we opted for an airbnb which was located in the Roppongi district. Known for its restaurants and bars we were lucky to discover that our place was still within walking distance to the main area but far enough away not to feel like we lived there. Although our apartment was small it was adequate and had everything we needed. I'd heard that accommodation in Tokyo was small for the price so it came as no real surprise. 

We spent the next day wandering, we had picked up a free copy of TimeOut which was useful in someways but the free maps they have for each district are quite good and can be helpful when the GPS isn't behaving. Getting around Tokyo is fairly easy by the trains with most journeys costing between 150-180yen. We spent the morning walking around the Imperial Palace, (secretly hoping to see Murakami) the cherry blossom here was super pretty. When the wind blew it was like being inside a snow globe. My favourite spot we went to the first day was the 300 Bar, where everything on the menu was 300yen and you stood at high tables. It was a super hip and relaxed vibe with cool patrons and staff mixed with salary men. 


On the Saturday were to join some of the boy's friends for Hanami - tradition of gathering at the park under the cherry blossom for a picnic, party, fiesta. We were to meet at Yoyogi Park near Harajuku. It is one of Tokyo's largest parks and yet it was filled with people all out to celebrate the season. Fast food vendors lined the entranceways selling everything from chocolate covered bananas on sticks to grilled octopus balls. Fast food is better in Japan. Once we located our party we settled down on the tarp and enjoyed the music from the surrounding groups. Some on guitar, some through speakers. Such a great way to spend spring afternoons. Saturday night saw us at Baseball. 'Let's Go Giants!' It was pretty hard not to get into the spirit of the game, especially when both the home and away crowd were so passionate. There was also beers, burgers and brass bands. What's not to love! 

Tokyo 3

The rest of the weekend was spent eating our way round the various districts, soufflé pancakes, ramen, Katsudon (so very delicious), DIY okonomiyaki, sushi we pretty much ate it all. The highlight of our Monday came from the fabulous and shiny Robot Restaurant. More just a show that a restaurant but it was so amazing I ain't going to argue. Seated in rows facing one another crowd is in awe of the spectacle of robot wonder before them. The story lines are a little strange but visually its worth it. You even get a lightstick to participate in for the final number. Sadly you had to hand it back. (reluctantly) If ever in Tokyo head to the Robot Restaurant in Shibuya it won't let you down. Check out TimeOut magazine and maps for discount on your tickets and recommend to book in advance - it really is that popular.

Tokyo Fish Market

With an afternoon flight to Kyoto the next day we thought we'd get an early night so we could head to the Tsukiji fish market early in the morning. And it was totally worth it. The fish was being brought in and displayed for sale in the many vendors within the market. Every kind you could imagine. And at the very back the prized tuna auction was taking place - which it seems we were not allowed to see. Ushered out by an official looking gentleman with a clipboard and a not before 9am sign. With our sneaking through fish moments over we headed to the area of restaurants to get some breakfast. And I am not joking when I say it was THE best sashimi i've ever had. Teamed with hot green tea ( it was chilly and rainy), perfect way to start the day.

We were able to spend the last couple of days of our Japan trip back in Tokyo.  When I told friends that I was planning on going to Disneyland, they were like 'REALLY?!'. They didn't understand the love I have for Disney. And I am not ashamed to say it, especially now that I have been to them all. (well almost, I wasn't allowed to spend another day at Tokyo DisneySea). Everything about Tokyo Disneyland was I had expected - Good Times were had. And how to finish the night after an epic Disney day?  A 3hr Karaoke session ofcourse, first song was ofcourse 'Let it go'. For this final leg of our stay we stayed at another airBnB in Shinjuku. This one was great, the space was a cute apartment with everything you could need and the host was super helpful and even had someone drive us to the station as it was pouring with rain. I would highly recommend his place. I only wish we had stayed there longer (didn't actually want to leave).  After reading something about this bar in a magazine the boy suggested we visit Kodoji in the Golden Gai. Similar to the hutongs in Beijing, the Golden Gai is a maze of mini bars (I believe I said it was AWESOME out loud about 10 times) with many up steep stairs. The Photographer's Bar as its known hosts exhibitions of local and international photographers. Once located (it took a couple of circuits) we headed up the stairs and pushed opened the door. We were immediately inside the bar. With only 2 spare seats (there was a total of around 8) we squeezed our way in and told the cutest little old lady our order. The walls and the ceiling were covered in images, with stacks of books on photography it obvious to see how it got its name. It's the perfect haven from the crazy streets of Shinjuku and if you have a love for photography you will most likely find someone in there to discuss it with.

I can't stress enough how amazing Japan is, the people, the food, everything! Possibly one the best trips I have taken in a long time. I can't wait to go back. Stay tuned for the Kyoto instalment of this trip.


ありがとう Tokyo 



All photos taken by me. 

Black & White : Pentax K1000, All others with iPhone 5.



Behind the Scenes: Making new from old

As a vintage seller I am always searching for new pieces to add to the shop. As well as finding ready to list styles I often find pieces that have 'potential'. Sometimes there are dresses or skirts or tops that have the cutest print but the shape is not quite right (look more like tents than dresses) which I know that with some redesigning I can use the fabric from the old style to make a whole new one. We have been spending most of our time here at vic&lily HQ going through our 'potential' pile and deciding which new garment we'd like to make it into. It's been fun brainstorming ideas for the new lives we will be giving to each of the fabrics.

Here is a sneak peek at what we have been doing so far:


... vic&lily... December Favourites

We can't quite believe that Christmas is only two weeks away, where has 2014 gone?! The past few months have been pretty quiet at the shop but fear not we are working hard at bringing you some new and new to you items over the next few weeks just in time for the start of a new year. I leave you with our current favourites in the shop for December...


1/Petite Doctor's Bag, 2/ Camel Coat, 3/ 1950s Crochet Gloves, 4/ Floral Print Dress,

Side note: The gloves actually belonged to my Grandmother.

Seasons Greetings!


Travel Diary: Shanghai

When the boy asks 'do you want to go to Shanghai for the weekend?' you don't hesitate to answer with a big YES. With our bags packed and cameras ready we flew up to Hong Kong's sister city.

I had only ever been in Shanghai for work so this was my first tourist trip and it was amazing. I didn't want to leave. Our refuge for the trip was a little apartment in an old building on Anfu Lu that we came across on Airbnb. It was perfectly located in the Former French Concession (FFC) with plenty of cafes and shops as well as hawkers selling their wares on carts.

Day one was to be a surprise I was told, I was to bring my camera and was assured I would love it. When I spotted a cute vintage motorbike and sidecar, I said 'thats what we need, one of those'. Little did I think that was actually what we were going to be sightseeing on. Best surprise ever (might have cried, but sh!). The sidecar belonged to a group called 'The Insiders' which you can hire for full or half day. The driver will take you wherever you want to go depending on what you want to see. I love 20/30s architecture and all things old timey so we drove across the city in search of hidden gems as well as soon to be lost ones.

Jack's Villa Shanghai 1930s house
Jack's Villa Shanghai 1930s house
Alleyways, Shanghai 1930s
Alleyways, Shanghai 1930s
Torn down housing Shanghai
Torn down housing Shanghai

We were told that due to the popularity of the Xin Tian Di area, older local communities were being forced to move to make way for more shopping areas. Some of the people living in these low-rise homes have stood their ground (for now) and are re-fusing to move, living in an area which the developers have already begun demolishing. It was quite eerie to see, but those that we passed seem to be continuing life as normal.

Driving through the city like we did was by far the best way to do some sightseeing. We whizzed past markets and weaved through busy shopping streets. Truly amazing.

Day Two of the trip started with some yummy breakie and then a wander through the street of the FFC. The FFC is beautiful, the streets are lined with trees, all the buildings are no higher than 3 or 4 stories. Such a contrast to the ever growing skyline of Hong Kong.

We ended up over at an antique flea market where there was stalls aplenty with various curios for sale. It is fair to say that I was more than a little excited by the many vintage tins and random pieces of furniture. I was kicking myself for only bringing a carry on suitcase. That Golden Cock biscuit tin though, that did make it home with me. I HAD to have it.

I also purchased this adorable mini doctors bag for the can take a peak here

Day Three involved lots of and street types. We headed over to the M50 area, an industrial area which has been converted to art galleries. There were many different types of buildings all holding different types of art. There was also some interesting wall art around, I particularly liked the patterns on the bricks.

On another of our wanders we walked down The Bund and I was amazed at how amazing the many hotels and banks are. The interior details had me in awe, you can just imagine what it must've been like in the 30s before the war. We nipped up to the roof of the Park Hotel for a drink and stared out over to Pudong and its ever evolving skyline. The world's second highest building is currently under construction. I am sure it is a remarkable feet of engineering but give me the stone architecture of The Bund over it any day.

Shanghai stole a piece of my heart, take me back. Please!


All photos by me. 35mm Pentax or iPhone.

Analogue Love
holga lomography camera
holga lomography camera

The sturdier brother to Diana is the subject of this instalment of Analogue Love. Holga, boxy and slightly more manly in appearance than the Diana is almost the same in function, with the exception of the built in flash - not all models come with flash. I'm not sure why I needed to have one of these bad boys ( I had an overwhelming to desire to own one) but I managed to score this one at a flea market here in HK. It was so much cheaper than the Lomo ones online and I even did some light bartering. Win, win. We haven't had quite so many adventures together but when I have taken it out with me recently I have been using Fujichrome Velvia 100F slide film (this will need to be cross processed when developed). This film is best in bright sunny environments which South East Asia provides nicely (and thankfully) I was lucky enough to travel to various spots to capture romantic toy camera moments. As ever light leaks and double exposures are happy accidents. As you will see from my initial snaps I had some trouble with the film advance, at first I was kinda annoyed at myself but really it adds another layer (literally) to what could possible be a boring photo.

Church near Sedona, Holga
Church near Sedona, Holga

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Hong Kong Roads Holga
Hong Kong Roads Holga
Transport in Seminyak Holga
Transport in Seminyak Holga

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Bohol Street Holga
Bohol Street Holga
Hong Kong Harbour Holga
Hong Kong Harbour Holga

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It really is a super easy to use and handle camera with results that always make me smile. I'm not sure I prefer to the Diana but it is a close call.

If you had to chose which wins Diana or Holga?

Happy Snapping!


By the Book: Embroidery Stitches III

Emb3 I've been a bit slack on my learning embroidery stitches, no excuses other than life got in the way I suppose.

For my third instalment, I have attempted the following stitches:

Back Stitch Threaded


This was pretty easy as far they go my only concern was how much of thread to leave for each winding stitch. This definitely could be interpreted in different ways.


Back Stitch Filling - Ringed


This took me three attempts, I blame Gene Kelly and his dancing, was watching An American in Paris at the time. It is still a little wonky but it at least resembles rings. Practice, practice, practice.



Lastly, the Basket Filling Stitch.


I decided to be a little bit more prepared on this one (it felt a little like cheating) by marking out the pattern before sewing. But after my last encounter with embroidery I wanted to at least have a straight example.


Although I have put this off for a month or so, I have to admit I do enjoy it. Need to make a note to work embroidery into some of my upcoming projects.


Happy Stitching.





Travel Diary: Umbria

When one of your dearest friends is getting married you don’t hesitate to RSVP. And luckily for me her wedding was in Italy, a place I had yet to travel to (thank you Amelia and Dave).  Her family had a home near Perguia in the region of Umbria, this was to be the setting for the wedding and it was idyllic. A picture postcard if you will.  We were staying at an agriturismo near by the wedding house - Sant’Illuminato. It was perfect, an ideal lodging in an ideal setting. Italy had won me over and I had only been there half an hour. (countryside, sunshine, wine and cheese - winner every time)

Asides from being in a great location the wedding was bringing together friends from all around the world. The wedding itself was incredible and there may have been some tears (sobbing happened), there was certainly some laughs and lots and lots of dancing.  A memorable one for sure. Such a beautiful day.

In the days after the wedding a group of us made the most of it and headed out on a road trip to Siena. Winding roads and hangovers aside the journey was a picturesque one. Arriving in Siena we made the most of the afternoon by grabbing a seat in the Campo and sipping on some Aperol Spritz. Before purchasing the worlds biggest hat and gelato, and wandering around the town.

On the way back we stopped for some more meat and cheese (obviously) and stared over Lake Turismo.

All in all it was a beautiful 5 days, amazing wedding, amazing company and so much good food I didn’t want to leave.

Gratzi Mille Italy (and Mr & Mrs Allen)


All Photos by me  - iPhone, Pentax and Olympus X2

Analogue Love
analogue love smena

analogue love smena Sometimes I like to wander over to ebay and browse the many, many vintage cameras that people have to sell. In an ideal world I would trawl through charity shops and antique malls in person but I live in Hong Kong where these sorts of places are rare and very very tiny hole in the walls. With ebay you can search from your sofa and you can travel the world seeing what it has to offer. On one such wander I came across a Smena 8 camera, I liked the look of this little gem and decided to watch it for awhile. It didn't take me too long to go back and purchase said sure to check that if you want to use cameras bought from ebay (or other sites) that they are in working order. When it arrived a week or so later (from Bulgaria) I was very excited to use it. It was similar to the Diana but with more twisty bits with numbers, the instruction booklet was in Russian so I just trusted my gut and loaded a film.

Now, confession time. I have only shot with this camera once and had actually forgot about it until I was going through some photographs (I'm ashamed). That being said I actually like how some of the photos turned out and will need to pack it for my next adventure. Below are some of my shots from that debut roll, I was in Manila for the weekend and took the Smena with me. It's a wonderful city and had plenty of things to capture.







I love it when things are rediscovered, don't you?



...vic&lily...August Favourites

Summer is almost over and I don't know about you but I am looking forward to some cooler temps, perhaps even an autumn breeze. I am loving the prints that we have over in the shop, you could say I am little obsessed.

Here are my faves:



Perfect for the coming autumn months no?

1/ Pineapple Print Dress, 2/ Lace Polkadot Blouse, 3/ Leaf Print Skirt, 4/ Bright Print Dress


Are you a print person?


Happy Wednesday Friends!



How to make use of scraps...Kids Cushion.
DIY Kids Cushion

  DIY Kids Cushion

The scrap pile has started to mount and I have been scouring pintrest to help me find an end product for all my odds and ends. I came across some cute images of cushions for kids rooms and thought it was perfect idea. I have opted to go for an animal shaped like this one here. Perfect for a little one and perfect for my scraps.

So here is how:


What you will need:



Embellishments for eyes etc - if desired.

Needle & Thread


I decided to make a bird shaped cushion so I drew out a template of the size and shape I wanted for the body and the wings.


Step 1.

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Iron out the fabric required for all parts of the cushion. Taking the template for the body and pin it to the corresponding fabric. The fabric should be double layer - one for each side. (note: the fabrics don't have to be the same). With the right sides facing each other.

Once pinned cut the shape out leaving a 3/4"/2cm all the way around the edge.


For the wings pin the template with the two pieces of fabric right sides facing each other then cut the exact shape, no allowance.


Step 2.

For the body use the template as a guide and mark along the edge with chalk or pencil, then remove the template.

Step 3.


Taking the wings, select a position on the body and pin one to each side. Using a blanket stitch attach the wings to each panel. I choose to use this stitch to create more interest in the cushion but a straight running stitch in co-ordinating thread would be fine.

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At this point, also embellish the cushion as per your intended design. I chose to use buttons for eyes, sewn on as tightly as possible so as not to come off too easy.


Step 4.


Place the body panels right sides together and pin to secure. Tack along the chalk line leaving the a small gap at the bottom open.

Using a sewing machine or by hand sew along the tacked line.


Snip the seam allowance at the curves to allow for a smooth edge when turning out.

Step 5.


Turn the body inside out and stuff as much as or as little as you want. My little bird will be quite plump.

Step 6.


Pin to secure the open edge and then handstitch along the edge to secure - I tried to be as neat as possible.

Step 7.

Voila! Your little cushion is complete!

photo (20)


I think I want to make an owl next...what about you?




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Analogue Love
analogue love2

analogue love2 In my opinion you are never too old to play with toys especially when they are toys cameras. My long standing favourite ‘toy’ camera is of course the Diana. I am lucky enough to own an original ‘Made in Hong Kong’ Diana, this was my first and we travelled far and wide together until I took just too many photos with her. Due to a spring malfunction on the aperture switch she had to go in to retirement. (There may have been tears in the back of Johnny’s tuktuk when this was first discovered, what can I say I get attached to things easily.)







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I loved using the Diana it was so simple and the photos always had an imperfect quality that I really like. And they are square! It wasn’t long before I came into possession of a new Diana F+ CMYK, which allowed me to continue to shoot square gems, and in the dark this time too.


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Nostalgia gets me every time. Love these cameras.




Happy Photo-taking!



Travel Diary: Bohol

Travel more has always been on my goal list and I actually can't believe how lucky I have been this year with the travelling I have done. Very happy girly. Last month I ventured to the island of Bohol in the Philippines for a relaxing few days for the Buddhas birthday. Once we landed we were whisked away to the port to take our little boat to the island of Cabilao on the west of Bohol. Here we spent a couple of days soaking up the sun, snorkeling and I even tried Scuba Diving for the first time. *very pleased with myself face*

After Cabilao we headed back to the mainland where we rented some scooters to drive to Bohol Bee Farm. As it was my first time to drive a scooter I was a little wary and thought I was speeding at 40km/h - I'm so wild. We eventually reached the Bee Farm and were blown away at the location. Situated at the edge of a cliff with a sun deck on the sea you couldn't really ask for better. We scoffed some yummy organic treats before basking in the afternoon sun. Highly recommend it.

The next morning after some breakfast we headed to back out on the road to Anda with a (massive) detour to the Chocolate Hills. The road to the Chocolate Hills was long, winding and up hill but it was beautiful. Just fields of green and little villages dotted here and there. It was all worth it. Sadly the damage of last years earthquake was still very visible with many churches taking the brunt.

The road to Anda took us along the coast, it was incredible...until it got dark. Then it was just a race to get to our accommodation. With numb bums and sun burn we arrived at the guest house which would be our home for the next few days. It wasn't til we woke the next day we saw just the paradise out of our window. Crystal clear ocean for as far as we could see. It was amazing. For someone who after a bad experience of snorkeling in Bali (jellyfish stings etc) I was all over it in Bohol, even saw Nemo! And some really impressive looking urchins.

All in all, I loved this little impromptu holiday. Bohol exceeded my expectations and it was very hard to board the plane for the return journey home.

Take me back.


all photos taken by me with my Pentax and iPhone. x

By the Book: Embroidery Stitches II

IMG_5679 So I have been continuing with my embroidery stitches from the Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. There is something slightly therapeutic about embroidery, all thoughts are on the task at hand making it very easy to tune out the chaos around.

The next stitch I attempted was the Algerian Stitch - Plaited which I discovered was like the one before it, practice makes perfect ( I've yet to perfect it).

IMG_3732 copy

IMG_3736 copy

It is a cute stitch and I can see myself using this on some projects, once I get the hang of it.

Feeling rather adventurous I attempted the Arrowhead Stitch.

IMG_3744 copy

IMG_3745 copy

Although this looked fairly simple it was actually quite tough to have perfect little arrowheads - i should have done what the book said and marked out the pattern rather than freestyling - lesson learned.

I strive to be good or at least capable of doing this. Stay tuned for the next installment.

Happy Crafting


Analogue Love

analoguelove1 It's a well known fact that I love film photography, so many things about it excite me. From taking the photos to the end results (especially the end results) I love the process. I am incredibly fortunate to have many a vintage and new film cameras and I thought I would share some of my images with these here.

First up is my favourite the Pentax K1000. It takes by far the best photos - i LOVE it. I have travelled to many places and captured countless images with this gem. I have used standard 35mm film which gives me gorgeous photos but I also love to shoot with the Lomo Redscale XR 50-200 which at the moment is out of stock - I do hope they make some more. This film is the best for sunny trips to the beach or desert as the colours are saturated and have a dreamier quality than regular film.

I don't shoot nearly as much as I'd like to, must try to change that. Here are some of my favourite images taken on my trusty Pentax.

Analogue Love 1

Analogue Love 2

Analogue Love 3

Analogue Love 4

Analogue Love 5

Analogue Love 6

Analogue Love 7

WWII Tunnels, Hong Kong 2014


vic & lily <3 angalogue

Happy Photo-taking!



Handpicked by I'm a Norbyah

NorbyahPicks Selling vintage has introduced me to some really great customers, especially here in Hong Kong when I get to meet them face to face. And when one of your customers keeps on coming back I think its safe to say that we become friends. One such customer is Norbyah of I'm a Norbyah, who not only loves vintage but wears it well too. As well as teaching, blogging and being a mum she has been kind enough to take some time to handpick some vintage pieces for the shop.

All the pieces that were picked will be listed in the shop throughout June and July, so stay tuned for them.

First to be released are these gorgeous dresses, they are available to purchase NOW!

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1/ 40s Style Printed Dress, 2/ Nautical Print Dress, 3/ Mauve Printed Dress


Happy Friday!




By the Book: Embroidery Stitches

IMG_5679 Whilst in Melbourne this past Christmas I picked up a book at a thrift store 'Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches'. It has sat on my desk hidden under piles of fabrics and papers and I think it is about time that I gave it some light and opened it up. I've never really embroidered before, not since the days spent round at my Gran's when I was little. And it's not because I haven't wanted to, I suppose life got in the way of craft. So it is only now that I begin my embroidered stitch journey. I shall now read Mary's Dictionary with the hope it can teach me some basics and I will share my efforts on here. Join in if you like.


For this hobby (lets call it) you need a few supplies:



embroidery hoop

embroidery thread


fabric that you wish to embroider - obviously


I thought it best to start at the beginning and after reading the introduction I felt ready to get sewing.


Stitch 1: Algerian Filling Stitch (click on photo for bigger photo)

Putting the  embroidery hoop on the fabric, I start to sew the Algerian filling stitch, roughly 1cm high, 3 in a row which is staggered in the pattern seen in the book. I'm not exactly perfect at first (see below) but the more I do the more regular the stitches start to become. Practice, practice, practice.



I felt that I was getting into a rhythm and it was surprisingly therapeutic.

photo (12)

Confident that with practice I will be as good as the next grandma I am ready to take on the next stitch.

Happy Stitching!




side note: in the book were these two random pieces of that this tells part of the books previous owner.


Travel Diary: Kyoto, Japan

This post will be as short and sweet as the trip itself but I had to share some pics and amazing vintage stores. A week after my beautiful Bali trip ended I headed to Kyoto for the weekend, complete opposites in more than one way. We landed in Osaka to find a light dusting of snow on the ground. Needless to say I was panicking - snow does not make for good marathon running weather ( the reason I was there). Trying to keep my cool we boarded the train that takes you to Kyoto Station and from here we took their version of the underground to our accommodation. We were staying down the smallest street in the cutest traditional Japanese style home that we found on airbnb. The marathon was on the Sunday so we had the whole day Saturday to explore the city while I still had power in my legs.

Despite the rain we managed to see quite a lot and enjoy some yummy eats. I absolutely loved Kyoto, there were sightings of Geishas, the smallest Scottish bar ran by a whiskey loving Japanese man and vintage stores galore. Not to mention the food. Food was good.

I managed to hit three vintage stores, I wanted pretty much everything especially the homewares but had to refrain due to lack of luggage (and cash, haha). There was Chicago which was the first one I came across down Teramachi. They had everything from dresses to denims and some pretty Kimonos. Next we wandered (read: I dragged the boy) into Roger's, this was where I fell in love with glassware, beer signage, round suitcases...I could go on. They also had a lot of clothing and shoes for both girls and boys. Finally, using some of the free wifi (we were the awkward looking tourists, hovering around) we managed to get the location of Hanjiro a vintage store I read about online. A few minutes later (thank you google maps) we arrived at the coolest vintage shop I've ever been to.

Bath tubs filled with fish, old stained glass windows and chandelier heaven, it took me awhile to focus on the clothing. I didn't leave this store empty handed, I picked up an old navajo style blanket and this beautiful red scarf. I love it, i've worn it multiple times since (actually wearing it as I type).

For antique homewares there was blue Parrot which had two stores at either end of Marutamachi Street. Worth checking out for sure.

Onto Race Day where I took to the roads of Kyoto to run 26.2 miles. I was incredibly nervous and wasn't sure if I was going to manage it. I wanted to finish in under 5 hours (due to lack of training), my target time was 4.30.

With the help of the amazing crowd (I love Japanese people, this became my mantra as I was running round) and an eclectic playlist (90s music never sounded so good) I managed to meet my target. It was as mentally gruelling as it was physically, but I did it and I am proud. I told myself I would never do it again, but then I entered the NYC Marathon draw. And I was accepted. I am a glutton for punishment.

I heart you Kyoto, take me back.   xoxo

All photos taken with my iPhone with exception of me running - courtesy of Kyoto Marathon.