english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Chinese Character Door Mat Version 2

Chinese Character Screenprinted Door Mat
Last weekend I tried out a revised design for a Chinese character door mat, this time using just two characters, 欢迎 meaning welcome. I also went for larger sized characters than in my previous design.

Chinese Character Screenprinted Door Mat

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Chinese Character Door Mat

Chinese Character Screen Printed Door Mat

Having screen printed some tote bags with Chinese characters I thought they might also look good on a door mat. This door mat features the characters 欢迎你 and lets guests know they are welcome. The door mat itself is shop bought with a screen printed design added by me.

These are available to buy from my Etsy store.

欢迎你 Screen Printed Welcome Doormat


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袋 Chinese Character Totes

袋 Screen Printed Shopping Bag
Last Friday it started snowing here in the UK and it’s been intermittently snowing since. I took advance of an afternoon off work – we were sent home due to travel issues – to do some screen printing. One of the items I printed were tote bags featuring the Chinese character for bag, 袋 (pronounced Dài in Mandarin).

I printed the design on a basic cotton tote and a canvas tote with gusset using blue ink. You can see the bags (and the snow) in the pictures below. They are also available from my Etsy shop.

袋 Screen Printed Shopping Bag
袋 Screen Printed Shopping Bag


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Ruan Lingyu (阮玲玉) Lino Print

Ruan Lingyu 阮凤根 Linocut Print
Ruan Lingyu 阮凤根 Linocut Print

This is my second film star lino cut print in a couple of weeks. This time the subject is Ruan Lingyu, 阮玲玉. Ruan was a big star of the Shanghai film industry in the 1930s. She has become an idol partly due to her suicide at the age of 24, which is attributed to a combination of abusive relationships with her lovers and pressure from the press.  I discovered Ruan through Liu Ye’s beautiful paintings of her, and then went on to watch her films and admire her work as an actress. Her films are fairly easy to get hold of, especially her most famous film The Goddess, and also check out the Stanley Kwan film about her Centre Stage featuring Maggie Cheung.


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Printed Mooncakes (月饼) for Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节)

Two years ago me and Phil were lucky enough to be in Hong Kong during the mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节). Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the major lunar festivals and there were a wide variety of celebrations taking place while we were in Hong Kong. I’ve included some pictures at the bottom of the post of some of the lantern festivals and the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance which I managed to visit.

To celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival this year I decided to make some mooncake (月饼) cards to give to classmates at the Mandarin evening class I attend each week. I tried two different linocut print designs, my favourite of which is pictured below. This card is available to purchase on either a white or recycled brown card from my Etsy and Folksy stores. Cards are priced at £2.50, with free postage to any location.

Mooncake Linocut Print Card
Mooncake Linocut Print Card
Mooncake Linocut Print Card
Mooncake Linocut Print Card

If you’re not familiar with mooncakes, they are pastry cakes which typically contain red bean or lotus seed paste and yolks from salted duck eggs. This type of mooncake is very high in calories (typically around 1,000 calories per cake) and filling, so they are usually eaten in small pieces with tea. You can also get more modern variants on the mooncake, including Häagen-Dazs ice cream mooncakes. I was dying to try a Häagen-Dazs moncake while I was in Hong Kong but didn’t manage it as they sold out too fast.

Urban Lantern Carnival for the Mid-Autumn Festival, in Victoria Park, Hong Kong
Urban Lantern Carnival for the Mid-Autumn Festival, in Victoria Park, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Memories Lantern Exhibition for the Mid-Autumn Festival, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Plaza
Hong Kong Memories Lantern Exhibition for the Mid-Autumn Festival, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Plaza

Urban Lantern Carnival for the Mid-Autumn Festival, in Victoria Park, Hong Kong
Urban Lantern Carnival for the Mid-Autumn Festival, in Victoria Park, Hong Kong
Urban Lantern Carnival for the Mid-Autumn Festival, in Victoria Park, Hong Kong
Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, Hong Kong
Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, Hong Kong
Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, Hong Kong


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Decoupage with Chinese Propaganda Photos & Finnish Comic Art

I had some decoupage glue arrive from Fred Aldous a couple of weeks ago and have been going a bit crazy with it. Even the shoe-rack in the hall ended up getting decoupaged.

I also used it to cover two boxes which I use to hold bits & bobs – brooches, hair pins, etc.

One was a nice wooden box but I wasn’t crazy about the images painted on it. Plus, I’ve had it for a long time so I thought a change might be nice. I used a number of Chinese Mao-era photographs taken from a magazine article – mainly pictures of rallies – to decorate the box. These were glued on and then given a couple of coats of garnish for a secure finish.

Decoupage box with Chinese propaganda photosDecoupage box with Chinese propaganda photosDecoupage box with Chinese propaganda photosDecoupage box with Chinese propaganda photos

The second box was a cardboard box with drawers purchased cheaply for the purpose of decoupage. I covered this one with images from an anthology comic which I picked up last year at an exhibition of comic art at the Design Museum in Helsinki.

Decoupage box with Finnish comic art
Decoupage box with Finnish comic art

Decoupage box with Finnish comic art
Decoupage box with Finnish comic art


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Chen Man exhibition at the Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

Me and Phil spent the weekend in Manchester, visiting galleries, shopping & generally wandering around. One of the reasons we made the trip was to see the Chen Man exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre. Chen Man is a leading fashion photographer within China, but this is her first solo exhibition in the UK. I wasn’t previously familiar with her work, but knew it as for me when I saw the exhibition advertised! Chen Man’s work has a very kitsch, stylised look – with her images heavily edited in post-production. I found some of her work, in particular the second image below, reminiscent of Liu Ye. The exhibition is only small (as is the gallery as a whole) but includes a mixture of early and more recent works, including the following:

From the Double Mickey series:

Chen Man Exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

From the Young Pioneers series:

Chen Man Exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

From the Vision magazine cover series:

Chen Man Exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

Chen Man Exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester