Zürich Zoo

Our last visit was four years ago, but not much has changed this time. It is still somewhat disappointing. Many animals could not be seen, or their pens were too small and sad looking. There was even a tortoise “habitat” which looked neglected and weed-infested. I don’t know if they even feed it anything. Nothing really beats Melbourne Zoo, in my opinion.

Of course, we seem to always go during summer, and that is when I feel the most uncomfortable and lethargic in the sun. We didn’t explore the new elephant enclosure because the walk there was unbearable. Domestic animals caught our attention the most and were fun to watch.

Only the gift shop seemed to have improved after all these years. It was a lot of fun to explore and pick out a plush toy from one of their many zoo-exclusives. I chose a llama, which is fitting because we watched the llamas for some time.

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014I was impressed by their air plants. Mine seem to be stunted right now.

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Llamas….

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Alpacas.

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Zebra backsides. I didn’t know they had such long fur. So fuzzy!

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Chickens!

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Zoo Zürich 31-7-2014

Lazy pigs. I didn’t see any plush toys of these pigs, such a shame. I would have bought one.

To view all photos, head to my Zürich Zoo Flickr album.

The Liebster Blog Award

A good friend of mine, Juanita Tortilla, tagged me for this award recently. I really enjoy writing up these things, it must be my next guilty pleasure. You also get to know me better, but I hope you like what you find out, and not run away screaming!

About the Liebster Blog Award: It’s an award that was reputedly started in Germany in order to give smaller bloggers recognition for their hard work. You receive this award from a fellow blogger that feels your blog is both worthy & important to them. The rules: Post 11 facts about yourself. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create 11 questions. Nominate 11 people to give this award to (with fewer than 200 followers) and link them in your post.

Eleven questions from Juanita Tortilla:
1. What are you looking forward to, in this new year?
I think it’s very obvious to those that know me, that is to start a new life in Zurich with Michael, I have the right visa this time! I’m looking forward to decorating the new apartment too.

2. What is the best gift someone can give you?
Something I admire or look at often, but never push myself to buy. I know that makes it very difficult for gift givers… I am also happy to get anything I don’t already have. :)

3. What did you aspire to be when you were younger?
I wanted so much to be an airline pilot. I just loved the thought of controlling those magical flying machines. But I only wanted to be a commercial airline pilot; I didn’t want to fly military jets or small propeller planes that always seem to crash when the weather gets bad.

4. What was your most dramatic hairstyle?
When layering goes wrong (too much layering), I would call that hairstyle dramatic because it’s ugly. Makes me look like I have a pumpkin for a head.

5. You have a free travel ticket. Where would you like to go and what will you do?
I’m afraid I’m not very adventurous… I would go somewhere I have not been to before, but they are places that every other traveller has been to. My main objective for travelling somewhere is usually for the shopping. 😛

6. How do spend your weekends?
In Australia, I would normally go to a shopping mall for a few hours, then spend the evenings doing some gardening with my sister. Some weekends, we would do absolutely nothing.

7. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years’ time?
I see myself maybe doing more jewellery designs in a dedicated home studio. Some will be available for sale. I would make more Blythe pull rings too, in more styles, although I can’t really do custom orders (not economical)…  and of course I’ll have a hearty collection of dolls, toys, bags and other things that take my fancy! 😀 No, I don’t see myself with kids.

8. How do you like to spend time with your friends?
I like going for a small meal or coffee, while we chat, then walk around the city and do some (window) shopping. A movie is fun, too.

9. Is your blog different from the rest? How so?
That’s difficult to answer, I don’t consider my blog to be anything special. I used to blog only about my crafts, but now I’m just going to blog about what ever takes my fancy. I’ll still post my work when I make something new.

10. In the parallel universe, who and what is your alter ego like?
I’d like to think my alter ego has everything I don’t, and is also better in personality! Or it could be the opposite, she could be the most evil person in that universe…. or perhaps I would be a man instead. 😀

11. Never say never. What did you say ‘never’ to but now find (or have found) yourself happily guilty of?
I said I would never pay the exorbitant prices for a used, broken and messed up Kenner Blythe doll. I thought they were so stupid, and who would pay so much for broken old plastic. Now I have one, with another on lay by — it’s my latest doll obsession. I always think of the time I posted on a forum in reply to someone’s question on whether to get a Kenner or a newer (but quite rare) release. I said, don’t go for the doll that could form a butt crack once you get it. Ha.

Eleven facts about myself:

  1. I don’t really play competitive games because I don’t like losing.
  2. I drink one cup of caramel latte every morning, unless I need to rush somewhere.
  3. I feel that animals without tails, or those that have stubby tails, are strange and not very cute.
  4. I form bonds with some inanimate objects and the thought of them being mistreated upsets me.
  5. Trees have souls. I often admire and pat my trees after I water and fertilise them.
  6. Classical orchestra and instrumentals for me, any day.
  7. Gambling is not a favourite past time. I can’t stand the thought of losing money in just a split second. If I do gamble, I only do so in tiny amounts and quit while I’m ahead. A $20 win makes me ecstatic already.
  8. The teeniest noises can stop me from falling asleep.
  9. I don’t follow trends — I wear or carry what I feel comfortable with.
  10. I can’t ever have a successful business because it gets boring after some time.
  11. I do like driving, but only on familiar roads.

Eleven questions I would like to ask you:

  1. What would you create or make, if you could make anything you wanted without issues?
  2. Which would you choose first and why: Owning your own house or spending all your earnings on travels?
  3. What is the most extreme sport you have ever done?
  4. What is the one thing you seriously want to do but have not tried yet?
  5. What do you collect?
  6. Who could you spend a whole week with without getting tired of him or her?
  7. What do you enjoy blogging about most?
  8. What is your favourite nail polish?
  9. If you could relive one part of your life, what would it be?
  10. Is being popular important to you? Be honest!
  11. What is your greatest pet-peeve?

My 11 nominees: I don’t think I really can list any one, and certainly not 11. I don’t know any person that would feel comfortable being tagged (because I mainly stalk blogs but I don’t interact much). So I think, everyone who sees my post and wants to play is welcome, even Juanita again because I think she’s cool!

13 goals for 2013

Following my friend, Juanita’s example, I’ve decided to make my own list of goals. I don’t think I’ve ever set out any goals for the year that I’ve actually accomplished. I always just forget about them and my life changes halfway in between.. but I still like to make lists anyway, so here goes 😀

  1. Complete A1 German
  2. Head up to checkout counters to pay, not make Michael do it
  3. Set up jewellery work bench before April
  4. Make real jewellery for selling
  5. Make more Blythe pull rings and designs
  6. Refrain from having pets
  7. A meal a week
  8. Stop envying others
  9. Take more interesting photographs
  10. Have my own chilli, herb and salad garden (indoors)
  11. Take more care of my appearance so I won’t end up looking ugly in candid photos
  12. Go swimming once a month
  13. Do something new

I did not include the most obvious goal: Stop buying. That is because it’s unrealistic for me to stop shopping. I just love getting new things too much. New things, designer things, cool things — I just can’t stop and actually don’t want to. 😛

Most of these goals are very possible. I don’t like paying for things in Zurich, because I’m not confident enough to speak German, and I tend to freak out when I hear something I don’t understand. Making jewellery for selling. I can’t claim to be a jeweller unless I do this.

Pets. I want them, yet don’t want the additional worry when we have to travel or move. Cooking is something I don’t really enjoy, but I want to force myself to make a meal a week. They’re not going to be pretty meals, so I doubt I will blog them, ha. An indoor garden is something I am looking forward to.. would that be an appropriate goal then?

Hm, not sure about the swimming part. I dislike going to sports centres without a car. But who am I kidding, I don’t even do it now when I have a car. And last of all, do something new. I couldn’t think of anything else as a goal, so trying something new seemed like a good one.

Go ahead, make your own list  😀

Seven deadly sins

I saw this post on my friend, Juanita’s blog, and decided to play too! The idea originally came from here.

Envy Seven things you lack and covet
Height
A voluptuous bosom
A classic beautiful face
Drawing and painting skills
Musical talent
Cooking skills
Be allergy-free

Sloth Seven things that you neglect to do
Keep in touch with people
Donating to charities
Be thankful
Clearing out old stuff
Backing up my important data
Go swimming
Learn German properly

Greed Seven worldly material desires
Owning a big home
A whole boatload of Kenner Blythes
Designer bags
Prestigious, powerful, but fuel-efficient car
A new-model DSLR
New mobile phone
Kiln

Pride Seven great things in your life
Husband
Loving family
No debt
Lots of material possessions
I “work” when I feel like it
Never hungry
Cherished childhood toys/relics

GluttonySeven guilty pleasures
Online shopping
Doll photography
Flickr
Daily caramel latte
Savoury snacks
Chocolate
TV shows/movies

Lust Seven things you love about love
Someone to confide in
Laughs
Support
Good company
Fun outings
I’m never fat or ugly
Someone to get rid of that insect

Wrath Seven things that make you angry 
Seeing forests/jungles cut away for needless development
Whaling
Inhumane treatment of animals
Religious pontification
Cigarette smoke and people who smoke because it’s “cool”
Singing and dancing competitions on TV
Bad grammar (“There’s two ways”, “Your welcome”, “His sitting over there”)

What a Treasure!

Look at what I received from a friend, yesterday!

It’s a huge 3cm lampwork foil glass pendant! As soon as I saw it on Juanita’s shop, I loved it. And to my surprise, she so generously gave it to me! :)


I love love love it. It is purple, juicy and kitschy. I left the pendant as it was, and added a really long 21 inch stainless steel chain. Definitely a keeper for life, and will always bring back fond memories.

This also makes me want to make glass beads. I just can’t stick to one craft, can I? 😛

What I Did Yesterday

So, let me explain to you what I spent my time on yesterday, and I’ll also give you a small tour of my workspace.

After using coloured glues for simulating ‘sauces’ and creams, I realised that the glue still remains sticky. Even when I try baking it, dust and even contact with plastic makes the glue turn ugly and distorted. So I had to come up with a new idea. I started using up a lot of my liquid clay to make coloured clay sauces. The sauces bake to harden, and are slightly translucent and shiny. The best part: they are solid stiff. No stickiness. The look still isn’t quite the same, but I believe it’s a lot better than ending up with a squashed piece of jewellery or one covered with particles. I made four bottles:

Coloured liquid clay
I bought 3 at first, and the cashier at the Migros Do-It thought I was crazy because I came back the next day for more bottles. I completely emptied the store of squeeze bottles. At 2 Fr. a pop, they are horribly expensive!! They need to restock quickly.

Next, I made banana canes, enough to last me…. almost forever. I didn’t manage to buy these, and since they looked easy to make, I tried it. Okay, so I did make a few mistakes, but they were my first banana canes… cut me some slack! So, my mistakes were, (1) not adding enough of the yellow clay, so the dots ended up too close to the edges. (2) I tried to fix this by adding a layer of yellow clay over it, but I missed some bubbles which are likely to show up in some places when I slice the cane. (3) I didn’t bake them long enough because I was worried. My oven had been burning clay lately. When I sliced them up, the pieces crumbled. I think I wasted a good 20-30 slices by trying to figure this out before baking them again for much longer. Yes, I am an amateur and I learn from experience.

Banana canes

Still, the banana canes are very photogenic!

Workshop 1 Workshop 2

Now for the brief tour! I only took photos of my workspace, next time I’ll photograph the oven and other small areas. So this is where I sit to work. I didn’t clean up after last night’s session, so this is how it normally looks when I work. Haha… I didn’t even bother to make it look presentable. Okay, my little pasta machine on the far right, followed by brushes and pliers and tools, storage boxes for jewellery findings and scrap clay, varnish, etc. Then there’s the area where I line with baking paper, and above it is a jewellery tray, which is littered with finished/semi-finished pieces of food. On the far left is my paper ice cream box full of opened packets of clay, but you can’t see the whole picture. I’m quite embarrassed about it, because it’s such a crappy box!

Next time, I’ll be sure to add photos of the oven and the entire corner of the living room that I have taken over.