Welcome to the world of Kimona Creates

Welcome to the world of Kimona. I love to create beautiful things especially cards and customised stationery made from fabrics of all kinds. The process of making our products begins with the selection of the fabrics and materials and then is completely manual. We do not add bits to pre-existing printed card, we make our products from scratch.

We have an in-stock selection of cards which can be used for any occasion or can be adapted for special use Take a look at the posts to see some pictures of them.

We use several types of fabrics including a range of Thai silk, Chinese silk brocade, ribbon and sequins and a glittery Christmas range. We are always looking for new and exciting fabrics and ideas and can design anything to suit our clients needs and they have asked us to design special occasion stationery for weddings, barmitzvah's, christenings, parties and for corporate use. Our service is truely bespoke.

I would love you to join me on my creative journey and will keep you posted on what I get up to.

Be well and take good care,

Kim x

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Greetings for CNY

Traditionally Chinese New Year greetings are short and to the point. They use a play on words and are often only four characters long. The meaning of these greetings, whilst they have a literal translation into English, do not always make a logical saying and can somtimes appear to be just random words. Therefore, even though the meaning of Chinese sayings in Chinese makes perfect sense, in English they can often only be understood with explanation. Here are a couple of examples:

Let us start with the commonly used greeting which is "Happy New Year"

Literally translated this means 'Congratulations get rich'. Of course metaphorically, it means 'Wishing you prosperity' and is used as a CNY greeting.

There are many words and greetings which on the surface appear to say one thing whilst having a deeper hidden meaning. Let us look at another example:

When literally translated, this saying means 'ten thousand things according to your will'. Metaphorically, it means 'May your wishes come true'. The character 'maan' is the word for ten thousand, which is a Chinese unit. 'See' is the word for things or happenings. 'Yuu' means 'according to' and 'yi' can be put together with other characters to mean different things but in this case it's understood to mean 'what you want'.

And one of the most common characters you will see around and about during Chinese New Year - Fook

Fook can literally be translated as 'Blessed'. But it does have deeper significance which can only be expressed in English through combining several words, such as 'good luck', 'being fortunate', and 'auspiciousness'. That's why you often see this single character used on many things, especially during Chinese New Year, where this character is stuck on doors, printed on red packets (lei see envelopes) and many other things.

Here are some more with the literal translations attached:

lung ma jing sung
(meaning Spirit of dragon and horse)

Sam seung sih sihng
(meaning accomplish that in your heart)

gong ho san hei
Congratulations on new blessings

daai gat daai lei
Much luck and much prosperity

ng fuk lam mun
five happinesses bestowed on your household

chut yap ping on
leave and enter in peace and safety

nin nin yau yue
every year have bounty in excess

for children:

faai gou jeung dai
quickly grow taller and become bigger

tim dang fat choi
add more (male) heirs, and become prosperous

jiu choi jun bou
seek wealth welcome in the precious

sang yi hing lung
let the business be popular and prosperous

pun mun but mun
basins full and bowls full (of wealth)

siu hau seong hoi
laughing mouths opening frequently

tin tin heung seung
daily heading upwards!

Wishing you prosperity, may all your wishes come true and may you be truly blessed.

Happy New Year!!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Chinese New Year - 15 days of celebration!

As you may know Chinese New Year is the most important festival to Chinese people and lasts over a period of 15 days. Each day has a significance and a tradition attached to it; from eating with family, gift giving, staying at home, being kind to dogs, praying in temples and ending with lanterns.

The first day of the Lunar New Year is "the welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth." Many people abstain from eating meat on the first day of the new year because it is believed that this will ensure long and happy lives for them.

On the second day, people pray to their ancestors as well as to all the gods. They are extra kind to dogs and feed them well as it is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs.

The third and fourth days are for the sons-in-laws to pay respect to their parents-in-law.

The fifth day is called Po Woo. On that day people stay home to welcome the God of Wealth. No one visits family and friends on the fifth day because it will bring both parties bad luck.

On the sixth to the 10th day, people visit their relatives and friends freely. They also visit the temples to pray for good fortune and health.

The seventh day of the New Year is the day for farmers to display their produce. These farmers make a drink from seven types of vegetables to celebrate the occasion. The seventh day is also considered the birthday of human beings. Noodles are eaten to promote longevity and raw fish for success.

On the eighth day the Fujian people have another family reunion dinner, and at midnight they pray to Tian Gong, the God of Heaven.

The ninth day is to make offerings to the Jade Emperor.

During the 10th to 12th days friends and relatives should be invited for dinner. After so much rich food, on the 13th day people usually have simple rice congee and mustard greens (choi sum) to cleanse their system.

On the 14th day preparations begin for the celebration of the Lantern Festival which is then held on the 15th night.

And so it is..........the 15 days of Chinese New Year!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Lunar New Year Approaches..........And so does the Jade Rabbit!

I'm back!!

After the madness of Christmas and New Year has now passed we can look ahead to the celebrations for Chinese New Year. Over the next few posts we will be looking at different aspects of the festival and the related traditions.

So let us begin..........Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.

2011 is the year of the Jade Rabbit. The official date of the Lunar celebration is February 3rd although Lunar festivities last for 15 days.

People born under the sign of the rabbit are traditionally thought to be gentle, sensitive, modest, and merciful and have a strong memory.
They like to communicate with others in a humorous manner.
They cannot bear dull life, so they are good at creating romantic or interesting situations but they lack meditative abilities and often sink money into ideas that may cause failures in their career.
People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious.
They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste.
Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky.
They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind.
Rabbit people seldom lose their temper.
They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract.
They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise.

Chinese New Year gifts:
Exchanging of gifts is a prominent tradition followed by the Chinese community all over the world. Parents and relatives living far from home are sent greeting cards, gifts, lucky charms, and new clothes as gifts for New Year. Children will receive new clothes from their parents and elders. The popular Chinese New Year gifts for children can include the following:
Storybooks, Shoes, Clothes, Decorative items, Board games, Bags, Colour pencils, Toys, Dolls, Teddy bears.

Adult gifts might range from useful household things to luxury items. Couples will often exchange clothes, perfume, jewellery sets, pendants, rings, chimes, Chinese antique pieces, and household appliances.

Gifts for friends and siblings might include things of decorations, makeup, books, pens, and food baskets.

In the next post we will look at the festival itself...........