I can't believe how time just slips by so quickly and you barely realise where it has all gone! Having said that I have been crazy busy leading up to the Asia tour as well as actually teaching on the tour, but still, it is December already!! FAR OUT!!! Christmas is almost upon me! Eeekkkk!!!
First up..... I need to announce a winner for the Art Venture giveaway I have not yet done!! Congratulations DeeDee Catron. I have passed your details onto Prima so hopefully they will be in contact with you soon! I would love you to say hi at the event so I can put a face to the name for this giveaway!!
Next up.... The Asia tour! It was fantastic. The best part was meeting the fabulous people who attended the classes, made us feel so welcome and made the whole thing fun! I was able to spend 8 days with the fabulous Ania Dabrowska, who is wonderful, fun and a good sport. She kind of had to be the first night as there was a bit of a mix up and I discovered the night before I was to fly out that there was no accomodation booked for me in Singapore for the first night. Guess what else, it was Thanksgiving in the US!! Eeeeekkkk!! I was lucky enough to get Anna on skype and she offered I stay in her room with her, but it only had one bed! Guess what, the first time I met Anna we slept together! Bwahahahahaha!! And to top off that, I screamed out in my sleep that night rather loudly! I swear I had hurt my wrist in my sleep, but as there was no pain in my wrist the next morning I have come to the conclusion that I had an EXTREMELY vivid dream! Poor Anna must have wondered what on earth was going on next to her! LOL!! Needless to say, we have bonded and can't wait to catch up in the US in less than 6 weeks time for Art Venture. We are so lucky to live opposite sides of the world but get these amazing opportunities to catch up. This is us at Singapore Airport on the start of our tour!
I feel like I have taken off and landed so many times during the tour! It kind of went like this, Adelaide - Singapore, Singapore - Jakarta, Jakarta - Surabaya, Surabaya - Jakarta, Jakarta - Singapore, Singapore - Brunei, Brunei - Singapore, Singapore - Adelaide!! On the last flight I was drifting off to sleep before we had even taken off. Obviously I have not flying phobias if I can start to drift off to sleep even as take off is happening.
Surabaya was amazing and we got to meet some of the most lovely women. I will admit that my fingernails just about dug through the car seats on my first journey from the airport to the MSI store that we were taken too! Seriously I have no idea why they bother to put any lines on the road in Indonesia, no one takes any notice of them. Unlike Australia where you wait for a break in traffic before pulling in, it is a given that you pull into the traffic and it is up to others to give way. Apparently a toot of the horn is also a universal code from 'oy you just cut me off,' to ' watch out I am pushing into that space regardless of the fact you are in it!" My obvious fear of the traffic, had them asking the drivers to go slow for me!! By the end of 4 days in Indonesia, I did get accustom to it but I will say that there was one point where we hopped in a van at the airport in Jakarta and went to our hotel and as it was late at night the roads were quite free flowing and I was silently freaking out as I could not for the life of me find a seat belt in the car and we were travelling around 80 - 90km/hr at that point. No one else seemed alarmed by this at all, so I have come to the conclusion that I have "car issues!" I did find those seatbelts eventually, they were tucked under the seats still wrapped up like it was a brand new car, never been used before! The rules on using seat belts in Indonesia must be far less strict than in Austrlaia!
It was arranged that I teach both of my classes on the same day and Anna could have a day off and vice versa. The delightful Fonny took me around shopping and it was FUN!! Fonny was also very naughty and kept asking me if I liked this or that and then she would get it all set aside and ended up buying it for me as a gift! I had to convince her I needed to use up the Indonesian currency I had withrawn and I wanted to buy some things for myself!! I purchased a couple of gorgeous dresses and could have gone crazy buying dresses as I loved the designs of so many, but there is always a limited number of items that can fit into a suitcase! This is the lovely Fonny! (on a side note Ashton saw this picture of me and at the tender age of 3 he pipes up....Mummy you have a fat tummy!! Got to laugh as it looks that way since I am wearing black and Fonny's black hair makes it look exactly like I have a fat tummy!! Paul heard him and had a good laugh!)
and here are some of the delightful ribbon / lace shops she took me into, seriously I have never seen so much ribbon and lace in one spot! There were rows and rows of ribbon and lace like this.
This is the delightful group of women in Surabaya that took Anna's and my classes. They were such a fun group and made teaching so enjoyable.
Now I was having no end of difficulty with wifi connections. My iphone was behaving badly and then we quite often found that the hotel would only allow one device to connect to wifi and in Jakarta it just happened to be Annas phone, so I have stolen some of her instagram pictures!!
Our next stop was Jakarta. Anna and I were funny on our evening flights, we were both so tired we were dozing off while in the air. You can't quite describe how exhausted you get from waking up WAY too early each day and then teaching all day. You are on your feet and talking (which should be extremely natural for me) but there is that element of nervous energy that goes with teaching a class, hoping that everyone is enjoying it, making sure it runs smoothly etc, that really leaves you tired by the end of the day.
Jakarta traffic is a beast all of it's own!! Our hotel was no more than a 5 minute drive away (if you lived in Australia), but on one morning it took almost an hour to get there!! Seriously, I think we could have walked there faster! The next day the exact same trip only took 15 minutes as we went very early in the morning. Again the ladies in Jakarta were an amazing group and we had so much fun.
What was a little disconcerting was that representatives were there from Martha Stewart Living Indonesia, taking photos of us and interviewing Anna and I. Looks like we will be featured in Martha Stewart Living Indonesia!! Another fun thing that Anna and I both did was attend day spas (I told you the lovely ladies from MSI looked after us while there!!) and had 2 hours treatments, comprising of full body massage, exfoliation and body mask. It was amazing, but both Anna and I came out a bit bruised on our legs fromt he massage! Dont be mislead by the petite size of these Indonesian women, they can give a VERY stong massage!!
Now after you have smiled and posed for the umpteenth million photo an element of craziness seeps in and you begin to fool around for photos just to make it more fun! Anna and certainly did get carried away with this at times. We may have encouraged each other in our antics! The photo on the right is Anna and I with the owners of MSI, Ina and Grace. Such lovely, lovely women, can not say thank you enough to these ladies for making our time in Indonesia so fantastic!
Next stop Brunei! Where we were greeted by the gorgeous Bev and her husband Darryl. They are such a fun couple. They have such a fabulous sense of fun, which did include lots of teasing of me about adding mushrooms to all my dishes (yep the difficult vegetarian in me likes all veges except for mushrooms). He would quite loudly say under his breath while ordering food, "add extra mushrooms" just to stir me up. Then came the references to avocado or wasabi icecream!! Seriously I thought wasabi ice cream was only a reference on the "Cars" movie!! I did try avocado ice cream, it didn't taste bad but just seemed so wrong to eat sweet avocado!! Think I will leave avocado for salads and on toast! LOL! Below is a picture of Bev and myself.
Bev and Darryl took me to see one of the most opulent hotels in Brunei. Apparently all the gold you see inside this building is actual gold plating! Photos just don't do this place justice, it was really beautiful. The ceiling was so so high, around 3 stories high. A photo just cant capture that huge expanse. I felt giddy each time I looked upwards to the ceiling! LOL! This photo was taken at the top level, you went down 2 more flights of stairs to the lower foyer.
Being a Muslim country, there were mosques everywhere. In the city centre, none of the buildings are really high as they can not be higher than the highest point of the main mosque. This is one of the mosques right in the city area.
The class sizes in Brunei were smaller than in Indonesia, but it was lovely to have a more intimate group at the end of the tour. Again it was the lovely ladies that made this trip so much fun. I apparently have an amazing quality of making Hilda jump out of her skin, sorry Hilda!! We really did have such a wonderful time teaching in Brunei. These were the lovely ladies in my last class.
The staff at Shabby Chic Brunei with Anna and I
Then after Brunei, it was back to Singapore for night and a day of sight seeing before we both flew back to our respective homes. We decided to take the train to Chinatown and Little India for a wonderrfully diverse culteral experience. Little India is just such a feast for the senses! The colours and smells are amazing.
Totally loved walking around this area in Singapore. The smell of Jasmine from these flower stands is beautiful!! But all good things come to an end and Anna and I flew out just before midnight to go home. Due to our schedules we will be catching up again in less than 6 weeks time at ArtVenture!! We are both so happy about that!! Then Anna is in Australia in March, so again we get to catch up. If you were wanting to do a couple of lessons with Anna in Adelaide you can book in at Paper Flourish, but classes are almost full (one class only had 2 spots left in it the last time I checked). Paper Flourish Lesson Bookings.
Our last bit of craziness at the airport! Yes we were getting rather deleriously tired!!! Now I am back home and rushing around like a crazy woman catching up on all the things that 9 days away accumulate in your absense! Fun times!! If you have managed to stay with me throughout this post, woohoo!! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Will try and update sooner next time!