Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Feeling Crafty in Sham Shui Po

Recently, feeling crafty, I went to Sham Shui Po to indulge in some supplies shopping. Sham Shui Po has a mouth-watering supply of ribbons, buttons, fabric, leather, and beads - walls and walls of beads.  Located north of Mongkok and Jordan, Sham Shui Po is the place to go when you need something in Hong Kong and are not sure where to find it.  Even if you don't manage to find the thing you need (for example, we have been looking for a tarp for our roof deck for approximately nine months now, and still have had no luck finding one…) at least in Sham Shui Po chances are very good that you will find something else to buy!

You have to take Exit A2 when you arrive at the Sham Shui Po MTR.
 Immediately across the street is a store that sells lots of scraps of leather…
 spools of thread of every imaginable color...
 I wandered into a store that sold these to-die-for chains that I just wanted to scoop up by the yard.  Thankfully for my pocketbook, I could not figure out how to use these chains to create necklaces.  That will have to be for a future project.
 The upstairs of one of the stores just had an entire wall of beads.

 And quite a bunch of ribbons.
And then I got serious, and walked into a few bead stores that reminded me of a candy store.  Floor to ceiling beads, with colors and shapes in every imaginable color!
 Seriously, candy store comes to mind.
 My brain quickly short-circuits in Sham Shui Po, completely overburdened by the insane amount of colors and materials on display.

 Eventually, I wandered into a ribbon store that took my breath away.

How beautiful are these patterns?!

This boggles the mind, truly.

Thankfully, my utter ignorance of what to do with ribbons kept me from buying much in the store.  Any creative ideas?
 There are tons of leather scraps to be found in Sham Shui Po.
Feathers of every color and length you can think of, and mesh and baseboards to make hats or fascinators.
Green stalls abound here, selling everything you can think of.

This old man uses a machine to apply a screen protector on your gadget.  I waited briefly, but could not stomach the wait.  Impatient, I wandered away after purchasing a new cover for my Samsung galaxy.

Here is a store selling paper goods of everything imaginable - these are purchased for the purpose of burning during ancestor worship holidays.  The idea is that your ancestors need these goods in the spiritual world as well - so you need to provide it for them.  A convoluted and rather amusing mix of materialism and filial sentiment, I know.  I particularly liked the iPad and iPhones and the luxury designer purses and shoes. 

I was quite intrigued by this store front, crammed top to bottom with herbs and roots, which incidentally was also full of babies. 
Unless I am reading this sign completely wrong, the sign says that this is a traditional Chinese doctor, Mr. Deng.  His name is a play on words - "bao sheng" which in Chinese means to maintain the body or health - but "bao" is the character for "baby".   I have to think he changed his name in order to make himself more palatable for his profession, but maybe this is just pure coincidence?
After all of this shopping and strolling, I was so tired and parched I needed to sit down in an old school local institution and eat a steaming hot bowl of congee and sip a soothing, cold soybean milk.
Stay tuned for future posts of my crafting projects, stemming from my purchases on this trip to Sham Shui Po!

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