Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Top Food Markets of the World: Kreta Ayer Wet Market

Up next in our Top Food Markets of the World Series is number 6 on National Geographic’s list – the Kreta Ayer Wet Market.

Located in Singapore’s Chinatown region, this market is said to be bursting with all sorts of eats and treats. It’s no wonder that this market is popular among locals and tourists - you are able to find everything from live frogs to standard Asian vegetables!

via Flickr by Khalzuri Yazid
The Kreta Ayer Wet Market is renowned for its fact, it’s even alluded to in the market name! “Wet Market” refers to the practice of regularly hosing down the floors. This particular market actually has a long history of being a little damp; Kreta Ayer actually refers to the oxen carts that were once used to bring water to the market!

Kreta Ayer Wet Market

Location: Chinatown, Singapore at the corner of Kreta Ayer and Keong Siak Road

Operating Hours: Daily from 6AM to 1PM

Where Should I Go?

via Flickr by yeowatzup
Begin by perusing the many fish and vegetable stalls – if you’re feeling adventurous or in the mood to cook, then definitely pick up some ingredients to get you started in the kitchen. However, if the thought of purchasing live seafood makes your stomach turn (’s not for everyone!) you might be better off visiting the food court on the upper level. This particular food court specialises in a wide variety of local dishes, so take your pick!

What Visitors Are Saying:

“A great place to observe and browse the local culture of Singapore.” – 
“Chinatown is a must do when you go to Singapore, allow plenty of time to stroll around the markets/shops/eateries.” – anthea1004 
“Don’t miss the chilli crab and Hainan chicken Rice.” – 
“Singapore’s Chinatown is a cacophony of different flavors, colors, and sounds, but in a good way. It is kept amazingly clean, and given the Singaporean obsession with cleanliness, that is a good thing.” – slaintenh 
“If you enjoy markets that are busying with colour and everything under the sun this definitely is a must. Eateries by the dozen, all serving great food at reasonable prices. [...] On the cultural side, do gaze up and admire the wonderful old buildings that are lovingly cared for.” – David T

The Bottom Line

If you feel like living life on the wild side, check out the live frogs, snakes, eels, turtles, and preserved eggs (yes, these are for cooking!). Don’t worry though, there is an abundance of more mainstream seafood and produce to choose from as well. Make sure to check out the surrounding area as well – there are many historically and culturally significant landmarks to visit, such as some of the local temples.

via Flickr by William Cho
Have you visited the Kreta Ayer Wet Market before? We’d love to hear about your experience (and what you bought!) in the comments below.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Cute, Crafty Things: 4 Projects for World Environment Day

In honour of World Environment Day on June 5th, we've decided to do a Cute, Crafty Things post with a special twist: recycling! All of the projects that we've listed in this post use primarily recycled and/or thrifted materials.

These types of re-purposing projects are awesome for helping to reduce our waste and reuse "tired" items that might still have a bit of life in them, all while upping the cute-factor of our homes, offices and closets.

Flea Market Trixie: Re-purposed Vintage Doilies and Frames

Re-purposed vintage doilies and frames make for some interesting impromptu wall art! This project comes together in minutes once you've gathered your materials...and what a unique way to display Granma's cherished doilies.

Image by Flea Market Trixie
Click here for the full tutorial.

All You: Milk Jug Desktop Organizer

Instead of tossing your next empty milk jug, why not re-purpose it into this handy-dandy supply organizer. This would be perfect on a child or adult-sized desk, or in place of the kitchen junk drawer (...I know I'm not the only one with one of those drawers!).

Image by Amy Bell, Positively Splendid
Click here for the full tutorial.

Mommypotamus: No-Sew T-Shirt Tote

Be honest. How many t-shirts do you have in your closet that haven't seen the light of day in the last year? Perhaps it's time to re-purpose one (or several) of those bad boys into something a little more useable. If you're like me, you'll like this sewing required!

Image by Mommypotamus
Click here for the full tutorial.

EPBOT: "Dew" It Yourself Jewelry Stand

And to cap it all off, a little DIY using empty bottle tops. What a cool way to display your baubles and bling. I especially like that the bottom tier is shaped so that bracelets can be hung as well!

Image by EPBOT
Click here for the full tutorial.

And there you have it! Did any of these projects inspire you to get crafty with your recycling bin? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fun Food Creations: The Portraits of Giuseppe Arcimboldo

It's been a while since we've had some fun with a foodie artist...

While we usually feature contemporary food artists, we came across a series of interesting portraits painted by renaissance painter, Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593). Instead of using food as his medium of choice, Arcimboldo actually painted portraits re-imagined by incorporating images of fruits and vegetables, as well as flowers, birds, and other various items.

He was definitely ahead of his time in terms of artistic conception and inventiveness! Many twentieth century surrealist painters (including Salvidor Dali) are said to have admired Arcimboldo's work.

Here are two of our favourites:

Spring (1573)
Summer (1573)
Interesting paintings, right? And to think that these paintings are almost 450 years old!

All images via

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Artsy Afternoons in Scotland: A Sampling of Galleries

What better way to spend an afternoon than in an art gallery! And since we’re in the midst of our virtual tour of Scotland, we’ve done some digging to find you the best galleries in the country. Of course, we couldn’t choose just you get three!

via Flickr by Moyan Brenn

National Galleries of Scotland

Visiting Information: Open Daily

The National Galleries of Scotland is actually made up of three galleries located in Edinburgh as well as two partner galleries located outside the city. You will find the Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art within Edinburgh; Paxton House located in Berwickshire and Duff House in Banff are the National Galleries’ two partnering galleries. The National Galleries primary purpose is to present a vivid picture of Scotland’s art from the turn of the sixteenth century to present day.

via Flickr by Spencer Means
Right now the National Galleries have a selection of interesting temporary exhibits which include a portrait series focused on the relationship between Roland Penrose, Lee Miller, and Pablo Picasso, a newly assembled grouping of works by American artist Roy Lichtenstein, as well as a display of highly celebrated Scottish painter David Roberts. The National Galleries show their selections from the Scottish collections “within a wider international context,” so they often have visiting international exhibits.

Perth Museum & Art Gallery

Visiting Information: Open Tuesday through Sunday

The Perth Museum & Art Gallery holds a recognized collection of national significance, which can be further divided into the art gallery, social history, and the national history. This gallery is home to many permanent collections, including a diverse natural history collection, a photographic collection surrounding life in Perth and Perthshire, and an archaeology collection that spans over 10,000 years of history.

This museum and art gallery has a history spanning almost 200 years! This Marshall Monument is one of the oldest purpose-built museum buildings in the United Kingdom, and was first opened by the Antiquarian Society of Perth in 1824 as a museum and library. In 1915 the Society gifted the building to the city with the understanding that it would remain a public museum and library.

via Flickr by John Lord
At present, the Perth Museum & Art Gallery is housing a number of interesting temporary exhibits, which include a collection of artwork from Perth nursery, primary and secondary school students, an exploration of medieval “bling,” and an in-depth look at the ways in which clay was used to shape many Scottish buildings and artifacts.

The McManus

Visiting Information: Open Daily

Located in Dundee, the McManus Museum & Art Gallery has been the hub of the arts and culture scene in the city since 1867. The McManus collection finds its home in an impressive Gothic Revival-style building and totals approximately 150,000 items of all different shapes and sizes.

via Flickr by MolybdenuM 91
The McManus permanent collection includes artifacts which detail the local community’s history, decorative arts and crafts (including a variety of ceramics, porcelain and art glass), and a wide array of fine art. Of significant importance is the exceptional selection of nineteenth and twentieth century Scottish art, and especially the work of notable Dundee artists, John Duncan and James McIntosh Patrick. 

Do you have a favourite Scottish art gallery? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cute, Crafty Things: The Creative Kiddo Edition

This is another post for the little ones! There's something so magical about getting kids involved in artsy, crafty creative projects. They're little learning sponges and this superpower usually translates into some pretty interesting artistic works.

via Flickr by Philippe Put
After our previous kiddo post, Doodles to Dramatic Art, we just couldn't resist doing an entire round-up of awesome kid-friendly art projects that you can proudly display in your home for all to see. The main trick is to help in the initial "inspirational" phase, then step back and watch the magic happen.

Today we've got three awesome art projects for you and your kiddos. Keep in mind that the posted ages are only suggestions; with a little extra assistance these projects can easily be tackled by younger children!

Geometric Abstract Painting

Ages: 4+

This is an interesting mix of geometric and abstract ideas. This project by Robin Egg View takes a little bit of initial set-up time, especially if you're working with a really young child. But once you've got all of the tape in place you just let your kiddo go to work. Depending on how old your child is, this project might take a little bit more involvement...but that really just makes it more fun for both of you!

via Robin Egg View
Click here for the full tutorial.

Sunburst Paintings

Ages: 6+

This fun project from guest blogger Bar over at Small for Big provides a great outlet for a creative math inspired project. This project is easily adaptable to suit the materials you have on hand and is a definite upgrade from regular hum-drum colouring books.

via Small for Big
Click here for the full tutorial.

Winter Birch Trees

Ages: 8+

This is a great way to mix it up by using tape and watercolours to create a really beautiful, frame-worthy piece of art. Kathy of Art Projects for Kids dreamed up this beauty, and has so many more fantastic art projects that are sorted by age for navigational ease.

via Art Projects for Kids
Click here for the full tutorial.

Do you have a favourite kid-friendly artsy project that you and your little one(s) absolutely love? Share it with us in the comments below! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Market Round-Up: June 6th & 7th

Saturday, June 6th

Arts & Crafts Fair
9AM-4PM, Caloundra Arts Centre, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Craft Party at NGV
11AM-3PM, The Ian Potter Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Sunbury Craft and Family Market
8AM-1PM, Sunbury Neighbourhood House & Community Centre, Sunbury, VIC, Australia

The Olive Tree Market
9AM-3PM, Civic Park, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire
10AM-6PM, PNE Forum, Vancouver, BC, Canada

via Flickr by Orin Zebest

Sunday, June 7th

Arts & Crafts Fair
9AM-3PM, Caloundra Arts Centre, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Blackwood Craft Market
10AM-4PM, Blackwood Memorial Hall, Blackwood, South Australia, Australia

Market Republic
11AM-4PM, Newton Shopping Centre, Newton, South Australia, Australia

Salisbury Craft and Hobby Fair
10AM-4PM, The Gardens Recreation Centre, Salisbury, South Australia, Australia

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire
10AM-6PM, PNE Forum, Vancouver, BC, Canada

via Flickr by crabchick
Are you planning on visiting any craft markets this weekend? Tell us about it in the comments below so we can add them to our list.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Market Round-Up: May 30th-31st

via Flickr by Orin Zebest
This time around we've got a very wide selection of Australian markets; the temperatures may be dropping as we head into Winter, but there are still a lot of craft and farmers' markets to take in. Lace up your comfiest walking shoes and hit the road!

Saturday, May 30th

Burleigh Farmers' Market
7AM-12PM, Burleigh Heads State School, Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia

Craft Alive - Shepparton
10AM-5PM, Mcintosh Centre, Shepparton, VIC, Australia

Fernie Spring Craft Fair
10AM-4PM, Fernie Community Centre, Fernie, BC, Canada

Handmade Harvest Spring 2015
9AM-4PM, Bell Sensplex, Kanata, ON, Canada

Moe Art & Craft Market
9AM-2:30PM, Gippsland Heritage Park, Moe, VIC, Australia

Sunday, May 31st

Craft Alive - Shepparton
10AM-5PM, Mcintosh Centre, Shepparton, VIC, Australia

via Flickr by barockschloss
Handmade Harvest Spring 2015
10AM-3PM, Bell Sensplex, Kanata, ON, Canada

Lake Macquarie Art Bazaar
10AM-3PM, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia

Market on the Mountain
10AM-2PM, Olinda Hall, Olinda, VIC, Australia

Pall Mall Art & Craft Market
9AM-3:30PM, Pall Mall, Bendigo, VIC, Australia

Are you planning on visiting any craft markets this weekend? Tell us about it in the comments below so we can add them to our list.