My name is Kristina. I make things and go places.

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I’m feeling really good lately about the status of my shop. It’s been long neglected and is finally getting some of the attention it deserves.
Last night I got around to finishing all my remaining spoon photos and got a few listed. I love how they look together in colour order!
If you’d like to see my etsy shop you can find it here to see what I’ve been up to.

#Themakingof no bake chewy oatmeal bars, yum! They have to be frozen and they’re not really crunchy, so tomorrow I’m going to make granola and try to make these again with that. #Vegetarian, and made with #homemade applesauce. #baking #veg #cooking #yum #foodie #vscocam

#Themakingof no bake chewy oatmeal bars, yum! They have to be frozen and they’re not really crunchy, so tomorrow I’m going to make granola and try to make these again with that. #Vegetarian, and made with #homemade applesauce. #baking #veg #cooking #yum #foodie #vscocam

Reversible necklaces are back in stock, 2 left from the first series and 2 left from the second. I love these, wear mine all the time (wearing it now actually!) and they look great. 

Because of their being domed on each side, they will naturally roll back and forth to showcase each side at random. Fun!

You can find them, and other goodies, right here

A Uyghur man sharpening a handmade knife in Xinjiang, China.

A Uyghur man sharpening a handmade knife in Xinjiang, China.

Sun breaking over the mountains.

3ark:

Starlight bouncing over the dark expansive peaks of the mighty Tian Shan (天山).

An amazing shot by 3ark. If you like/follow my blog, you should definitely be following him. Great photography.

3ark:

Starlight bouncing over the dark expansive peaks of the mighty Tian Shan (天山).

An amazing shot by 3ark. If you like/follow my blog, you should definitely be following him. Great photography.

Abandoned elementary school turned hostel in the middle of nowhere, perfect for travellers who can’t make it over Tian Shan (sky mountains) before nightfall.

Abandoned elementary school turned hostel in the middle of nowhere, perfect for travellers who can’t make it over Tian Shan (sky mountains) before nightfall.

A young Kazakh girl gives me an apprehensive eye as I walk by her home in Xinjiang, China. I doubt many foreigners have come by this area previously.

A young Kazakh girl gives me an apprehensive eye as I walk by her home in Xinjiang, China. I doubt many foreigners have come by this area previously.

Yurts. The friendly local that let us ride his horses. Bee in a lavender field. Horse and carriage. Young girl waving. Bridge. He said we could pay to sit on his horse for a photo, but I instead took his. I doubt he noticed or I'm sure he'd have tried to get money from me. The lake view from up on the mountain.

Hey guys! Time for more China bloggity blogs.

This past weekend came with a last minute invitation to visit some parts of Xinjiang with Helen, one of the Chinese teachers, and her boyfriend, an opportunity Mark and I jumped on wholeheartedly. I definitely would not have seen or done nearly as much if we had just went on our own.

We left after work and started making our way around Tian Shan (sky mountains) towards Ili. I’ve never seen a more twisting road in my life, nor have I seen one with more falling rock signs. (Also, it was the first time I’ve actually seen falling rocks, the size of my head landing just a few meters in front of the vehicle. Fun.)

Our goal was to make it to their friend’s hotel in Nilka by sundown but we didn’t end up getting that far. We ended up stopping partway through at a small elementary school turned hostel located near Qiao’erma, with no heat and no bathrooms, but thankfully a lock on the door. It did also have friendly Kazakh owners who cooked us a hot meal at midnight and provided us with Wusu (Xinjiang made beer) so we could sleep comfortably with full bellies. We were up at the crack at dawn and started back on the road again.

Not much later we stopped at another local Kazakh’s family home where we had hot milk tea and bread. This wasn’t a restaurant, but many locals open up their homes to passing travellers and provide them with food for a small price. This woman spoke no English and almost no Mandarin, but we were able to get across what we wanted to enjoy a local style breakfast.

Further down the road again we spotted an area with a staircase climbing far up the mountains and beyond, and took a break to hike up. Mark and another Canadian teacher who came with us went to the top, while the rest of us went part way and turned back, deciding instead to spend time with a young golden eagle that was being trained to hunt by the man of the family living in yurts nearby. He was kind enough to explain how they train them, and let us pet/hold him. I was (and still am) exceedingly happy with that whole experience. What a beautiful creature.

Ran, Helen’s boyfriend, was hoping to be able to ride a horse, so he stopped and asked everyone he saw along the way with one if we could ride it. After many failed attempts, and some bartering, he was able to convince one man to let us ride his horses around a field for almost an hour. The field also held a black bee honey farm, so when I wasn’t playing with the horses I could stop and watch the bees. Awesome! Later we ended up buying 2 kilograms of super fresh honey, which is now currently stored in our fridge while we use up the rest of our store bought stuff. 

We finally made it to Nilka around lunch time and met up with their friends, who although we couldn’t directly communicate with, we had a wonderful time getting to know. The people in this area are extremely nice. We ate at their home, all local dishes, then later went to another’s home for tea. They also showed us an old growth park where we rode tandem bikes around and watched a 10 minute 3D movie with seats you had to buckle into. I didn’t know what we were getting into at that point but the movie was an animated film of a busted up roller coaster and the chair moved and shook along with the film. Super fun.

For supper we got to experience something really special. There was a farm house in the area that you can book reservations at, and they will cook a meal with virtually all the ingredients taken directly from their land. From the vegetables and fruit to the pig and duck, everything was grown by them. Us Canadians retired back to the hotel early while our Chinese friends stayed out and caught up more, them not having to adjust to any time changes. 

The following day we headed out to Ili, stopping at a Uyghur market for some snacks along the way. Upon arrival we went for a meal (kabobs, noodles, and dumplings) and took a horse and carriage ride to see the city. A lot of the children we passed smiled and waved, though some along the whole trip looked at us apprehensively. Odds are we were the first Canadians (or foreigners altogether) to go through some of these areas. 

After supper we stopped into a lavender field to see how it’s grown, and though it was a little late in the season and not fully in bloom it was still beautiful.

The next (and last) day of our trip we headed back towards Karamay around the mountains to see Sayram lake, where we stopped for another horse ride (this time with much less tame horses, a fairly unnerving experience when you’re on the edge of a mountain with a near bucking horse. We walked back down upon my request) and ate lunch in a yurt. We didn’t arrive back in Karamay until late in the evening but it was completely worth it. Without knowing the language there’s no way we would have been able to do this. 

Phew, okay. Longwindedness over!