Archives for posts with tag: birthday


W560xH340mm, China

Every year on the birthday of the Queen Mother of the West, 3rd of lunar March, there will be a peach party and all the saints will be invited and feast on special peaches.  A bite of these magic peaches will make one immortal but there are extremely rare, they take 3000 years to flower, 3000 to bare fruits and another 3000 years to ripe.

In the middle of the wood block print is the Queen Mother with two of female saints by her sides.  Below, holding a bowl full of peaches is the Monkey King who mischievously stole some of the peaches.  On the left side of the Monkey King is the God of longevity with his deer on the Monkey’s right.  The crane by the God of longevity is saint Dong Fang Shuo who was so obsessed with tasting the magic peaches that he turned into a crane in order to be nearer to the peach. The 8 saints joining the party are Eight Immortals –  from (left to right, top to bottom) are Philosopher Han Xiang Zi (with the xiao pipe), Philosopher Han Xiang Zi, Lan Cai He (with magic basket), Leader Lu Dong Bin (with sword), Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu (with castanets),  Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li,  Immortal lady He Zian Gu (with magic lotus) and Elder Zhang Guo Lao.  Click here to see the symbolism of the magic tools.

This word block print will make an ideal birthday present.

Come to see the actual print and many others at the
New Year Print Exhibition




W200xD330xH260mm, Hong Kong (NOT FOR SALE)

For Spikey‘s birthday, we have a paper mache Spike!


You can see more of spike in his own blog

dishDIA200xH100mm, China

A wash bowl from the past.

The painting on the bowl of an old man and a child with a background of plum blossom and pine tree.  The words around the bowl describe a time of meeting and the wishes for the other to be affluent and a long life, seems to be by the same hand.   Could it be a gift from the pottery to his friend or was it a commission work.  It would be quite funny if I were to present a wash basin at someone’s birthday party.

golden wood carving

L230xD30xH90mm, China

This golden wood carving makes a perfect birthday present.

The four figurines are full of blessing, Fu Lu Shou and Ma Gu.  They are all Taoist saints, representing blessings and happiness.

Fu (far right) – the planet Jupiter which was also attributed to Yang Cheng of the West Han period.  Yang, after being nominated to be the Daozhou official, abolished the practice of present contribution to the Emperor, relieving the stain for the people and therefore seen as a blessing.

Lu (left of Fu) – god of prosperity.  The stars Ursa Majoris humanized as Zhang Xian of the Shu dynasty, a brave general who was respected by the Emperor and worshiped by the people.

Shou (left of Lu) – god of longevity.  The stars of Canopus, translated as Peng Zu who is believed to have livd to an age of 767!!

Lady (at the far left) is Ma Gu, goddess of longevity – with the appearance still being in her teens, she has witnessed 3 times the sea turned into fields (judging its not from any dramatic climatic changes, she has been around for a long long time).  Her immortality and her yearly birthday tribute to the Queen Mother of the West is seen as a blessing and so Ma Gu is a popular subject for pritns, figurines, embroidery and alike.

W1070xH1180mm, China

A wall hanger embroidery, use for festivities such as birthday for the elders or for new born babies.

The embroidery is full of well wishes;

Blossom of the Four Season Flowers – (Narcissus, Lotus, Chrysanthemum, Plum) representing good fortune all year round.
Dragon & Phoenix – (Dragon a concept of mammals, fish and reptiles while the phoenix of the birds) the combination of the dragon and the phoenix is the totality, the perfect match.
Kirin Delivery of a Baby Boy – (legend of how Confucius was born) and of course every parents would like to have a son as smart as Confucius.
Ru Yi and the Birthday Peach – (man on a horse was holding a scepter and a birthday peach).  The birthday peach representing longevity while the decorative scepter has the name of “as you wish”.

spike treat trayW100xD100xH70mm, Hong Kong (NOT FOR SALE)

For Spikey‘s birthday, a treat tray for my father for dishing out munchies.
He really does behave like this with his food…


Can’t believe that you are already 6  years old.
Happy Birthday Spikey!

You can follow Spike’s own on

8 immortalsDIA165mm, China

The figurines on this necklace used to be the ornaments of a child’s hat.  A special hat would be made for the child’s birth, 100 days celebration and the first birthday.  The hat is seen as a blessing for the child, depending on the gender, family social status, the design of the hat varies.

The gold plated enamel ornaments would have belongs to a hat of a wealth family.  The 9 figurines are the 8 Immortals (one either side) + the god of Longevity (in the middle).  The 8 Immortals are; Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li, Philosopher Han Xiang Zi, Elder Zhang Guo Lao, Lan Cai He, Immortal Woman He Zian Gu, Leader Lu Dong Bin, Han Zhong Li and Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu, they are Taoist saints who are not very powerful and have a few human frailties.  One of the many stories of the 8 Immortals is about their birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West and thus the appearance is associated with birthdays and blessings.

Here is a clip from the Xiang opera “8 Immortals birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West”

 Collectible Jewellery
Something Old Something New

cookie mould

W100xL230xD40mm, China

On your birthday if someone made you a cake in the shape of a turtle, you will probably thought they taking a piss at you.   However, the “red turtle cake” is a special birthday sweet for the Chao Zhou, Fujian, Taiwan area, the sweets are made to be given to friends and family at the celebration of birthdays, for the new born or birthday of the land god.  The red colour is a symbol of happiness and the turtle a symbol of longevity.

If you cannot wait till birthday to try it out, they are also use a celebratory food for Chinese New Year.

spike nail

H100xL100xW60mm, Hong Kong (NOT FOR SALE)

For our dog Spike’s birthday we have on the blog a pottery I made of him having his nail trimmed.  Some of you might have seen the little fellow running about in the shop.  For those who are spike or sealyham terrier fans, here is his blog:

Patch work is a piece of fabric formed by little pieces of fabric.  The idea of patchwork started early in ancient Egypt and northern China, possibly because of the shortage of material and the cold climate.  It was later developed as an art in Renaissance Europe and then became a popular during the period of new settlement in America.  The patchwork quilt at one time was the symbol of reminiscence of their mother countries.

In China, patchwork is called the “hundred swatch quilt”.  Upon a child first birthday, village friends and neighbors would each contribute a swatch of fabric, old or new, to the child as a present.  The mother would then patch these pieces of fabric to make a vest or a small quilt for her child, depending on the quantity she acquired.  The vest or quilt is supposed to embrace hundred of blessins and render the child a happy and healthy life.

Step by step guide for making a patchwork quilt from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

%d bloggers like this: