Interesting Facts and Things Happened To Me In 2012 You May Didn't Known

>>  12/29/2012

Today's morning I came to work to clean my office and throw away old scrap. Do you think I was done with the cleaning? NO! I crossed with some things I can't leave for the moment. I understood that I had to clean my head first. 

Thoughts and remembrances were floating in my mind and I wrote a list with bright and interesting things happened to me in 2012.

Things Happened To Me In 2012 
That You May Be Interested to Know

  • I celebrated the new 2012 year in the forest in Mongol yurt. That was a real Mongol tent which is a private eco-museum now. Read my story with photographs about the night published at 'Sakhalin Tourism' website. It's in Russian so use Google translation to get in.

  • One day in January 2012 I got an email from a guy asking me to sell my website to rebrand it into a russian portal about carving. The deal was 2300$. I refused.

  • In February I met Marina, a Feng Shui advisor. She made me business and private life analysis. My opinion about Feng Shui is It Works and Helps. By the way, Marina speaks English.
Feng Shui apple carving

  • The year 2012 was full of artistic projects. I was involved in Ikebana activities.  I embed new carving ideas and made large fruit arrangements for events. Lots of work, challenges and satisfactions.
My spring ikebana display in March 2012

  • Contests. 
Samsung Global Blogger, my hope and my failure.
Watermelon Carving Contest, 50$ win

Soccer ball carved in watermelon won 50$ Amazon giftcard

  •  Someday I visited a DVD movie shop. That day I was borred with my life, I was looking for something, I didn't know what I was looking for, indeed. A shop adviser gave me the Game of Thrones season 1, He said that I would like it. He was sooo right! I am looking forward to watching the season 3 now. Game of Thrones DVD has taken a special box together with other favorite movies of mine as 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', 'Barbarella', 'Lord of The Rings' and 'Lexx'. 
The other movie passion of 2012 is Japanese anime.  I bought a collection of Hayao Miyazaki (Ghibly studio). Just love them!

  • September 2012. My trip to Vladivostok, a beautiful city located on hills between two bays, in the Far East of Russia. It was my first visit to the city. Vladivostok has all romantic things beloved by me. They are sea, ships and beautiful bridges. I shared photos of the trip in my Facebook album.  

Bridge over bay named Zolotoy Rog, Vladivostok

Intersting facts about Vladivostok:

a. Yul Brynner (Hollywood actor, starring in 'Magnificent Seven') was born in Vladivostok. The Brynners house still exists and it is in the city center.

b. APEC Summit 2012 was hosted by Russia in Vladivostok in September. I visited the city just after that.

c. Eleanor Pray story.

Eleanor Pray was an american. She came to Russian outpost named Vladivostok together with her husband for a purpose of family trading business in 1894. Eleanor fell in love with a strange but beautiful place. Every day she sent letters to her american home with stories about her daily life, russian traditions and town news. She loved photographing and often attached photos to her stories. Eleanor lived in Vladivostok for a long period and experienced good and tough times along with russian, japanese, chinese and korean people residing in the town. Wars, revolutions and wars again. Finally she left to China and then to USA.
Many years after that in our days letters of Eleanor have been found by her granddaughter. The young woman did a great job to collect all letters and photographs and published them in a book. The book is published in English and Russian, one copy can be found in the Library of Congress in the USA.

I heard about Eleanor Pray a couple of years ago from a TV report. I got much impressed by her story. So Eleanor Pray was in my To-Do List when I went to Vladivostok. I managed to find the book with her letters and photographs (it can be found at Arsenjev Museum and a publishing house book store right by the museum in Vladivostok, just in case FYI). I learned from the book that the Prays house still exists too and a guided tour is provided to there. I was much surprised to learn that the house was located at the same area of the place I stayed. According to a map the Prays house was just 'around a corner'. I went for exciting search and... couldn't get it. There was no paths to the supposed place. I found a brick wall which I ment as a private area. Houses in Vladivostok are built on hill terraces. The terraces are connected with stairs, it makes  streets being complicated. So if you want to get the Prays house one day you are better to take a guided tour.

  • Carving Contest 2012, a first contest organized in my blog, in November 2012. Trully the Contest was a great and important event. I got many visitors in my page, new friends and close relations. Especially with Temple of Thai (award sponsor) and Samsam Bubbleman (guest judge). 
Honestly speaking my relations with blogger friends became warmer and closer this year. I feel it's important for us.

  • December... filled with fruit job, carving art presentations in schools, demo at exhibitions and on TV.

In front of camera showing how to do fruit chistmas tree, on a local TV

New Year tree with fruits and sweets made while demo on TV

I hope 2013 year will be bright and safe. My special wish for 2013 is to have some enjoyable adventures with happy end! 

Happy New Year!
Mask 'Night in Chicago' made by Anna Solo


Ideas for Nice Food Presentation from Restaurantware

>>  12/27/2012

Finger food served in bamboo boats

I found this idea of nice finger food prsentation at Restaurantware. A cute bamboo boat makes the appetizer look great. If you like cute plates and nice dishes I am sure you will stuck in the website strolling its pages.

Restaurantware is online shop specializing in bamboo plates and cones, disposable dishes, decorative skewers and catering food products. All the plates are useful for nice presentation of Asian and European food. Finger food, one-bite appetizers served in curved plates and bamboo boats look just adorable. 

Mini spoons for one bite appetizer

In my fruit work I often use decorative skewers to fix fruits in towers and cake constructions. offers a number of nice bamboo and plastic picks (some of them are really festive).

If you are a catering business take a look at the disposable plates page. The shop has white, black and seagreen tableware collections.

My favorite items are the double cups. Dessert served in them gets unusial look!

Double Walled Cup

Duet Tasting Cup

The shop sells the goods from thier location in Chicago and California providing international shipping to all possible countries. They accept payment via Paypal and credit cards.

Enjoy your cooking and food garnishing!


Winter Soap Carving - Snowflake Design

>>  12/21/2012

This design has lot of small details. When I did the flower in blue soap it reminded me a snowflake, and the circles looked like traces from skates in ice.

Happy New Year!

new year soap carving design
Snowflake soap carving

Natural winter design in a plant


New Year Apple Garnish

>>  12/19/2012

christmas fruit decorations
New Year apple decorations made with Triangle "Gourmet" carving tools

Would you like to have something special for your New Year party food? Why not try these apple garnishes looking like new year sphere decorations?

You will need:

Red apples,
decorative picks,
a nice ribbon.


Take a decorative bamboo pick (various cute picks and skewers can be found at and attach a nice ribbon knot to it.

how to make new year apple sphere garnish
Decorative bamboo picks

Make the pick shorter and pin into a red apple.

apple garnish new year style
Red apple looks like a New Year sphere decoration now!

You can stop at the point or add a little carving work to the apple, it will look much impressive then.
For making the patterns on apples I used riffle cutters from Triangle carving tool set "Gourmet" .

how to carve apple garnish new year style
Carving New Year styled apple

Here we go!

apple garnish how to do
New Year apple carving 

Happy New Year!


Christmas Food Ideas. Gnome Sandwiches

>>  12/12/2012

cute gnome sandwiches
Gnome sandwiches

Cute Gnome sandwiches to make you smiling :)

bread cut in half,
Hochland cheese,
olives for eyes and mouth,
small cherry tomato/carrot ball for a nose,
bell pepper (red, green, yellow) for hats,
mayonnaise for hat's fur.

funny gnome sandwich
Gnome sandwiches and cucumber curl
Shared at 


1 Year Birthday Party, Christmas Theme. Fruit Santa, Fruit Christmas Tree and Macaron Towers.

>>  12/10/2012

Last weekend I was asked to make fruit and sweet displays in Christmas theme for 1 year birthday party.
I must say that we have no customs for sweet tables yet here in Sakhalin. The sweet industry is not developed well and it is difficult to find all the sweets, candy and cake pops to organize a sweet buffet. 

After talking with a client we deciced on a large fruit tower to the chocolate fountains, sweet macaron towers and some Christmas fruit sculptures

The party was held in a restaurant with about 150 guests including children. The sweet table was organized in a special zone there children could have fun, being face painted and enjoying the games while adults were enjoying their meal. 

Christmas Theme Birthday Party

Fruit tower 
height 70 cm
the base diameter 35 cm

Macaron towers
height 40 cm
base diameter 16 cm
85 macarons for 1 tower.

birthday party christmas theme
Fruit tower and macaroni tower

fruit christmas tower macaron tower fruit sculpure for kids
Fruit buffet and sweet towers, chocolate fountains come later

Fruit sculptures for kids:
Fruit Santa in Sled
Orange Baby Penguins

christmas fruit buffet
Fruit Santa in Sled and Orange Penguins

orange carving baby penguins
Cute Baby Penguins out of oranges

christmas theme birthday sweet table
Macaron tower


Christmas Soap Carving Ornaments - DIY

>>  12/08/2012

cute christmas ornamnets soap crafts
Cute Christmas soap ornamnets
soap carving
Soap carving for Christmas

I got this idea of Christmas soap carving ornaments after reading Soap Carving books of Miho Morita.
Mrs.Miho Morita ( is a famous carving teacher and tutorial book writer in Japan. We have met at Carving Contest Event held in Tokyo in 2011. I took a lesson from Miho-sensei and it was a great impulse for me.

Miho Morita's style is elegant and looks like a lacework carved in melons. She also does cute carvings in soap like soap cakes, flowers and jewelry.
In 2012 Miho-san published a new book on soap carving. I was lucky to get all the books, the first (2009) and the second (2012).

Soap Carving Tutorials by Miho Morita

These books are high quality printed with bright and beautiful photographs of the soap carvings in the beginning and photo tutorials afterward. It is written in Japanese, but understandible pictures make it easy.

What I like about the books is that tutorials have brief schemes showing possible mistakes, so you can awoid them. This made me feeling my teacher is always close by me to help :)

The books gave me a new vision for soap carving art. They are inviting to soap carving and crafting, I am sure they will be interesting for people with basic and advanced carving skills.

You can order the books in Amazon Japan. They have English page and provide international shipping.
Soap Carving, Blue 2009
Soap Carving, Pink 2012

Miho Morita soap carving book
Soap carving books by Miho Morita,  blue (2009) and pink (2012)

soap carving book how to tutorial Miho Morita
Inside the book
Inside the book,
photographs of cute carvings and How-To photo tutorials afterward

Christmas Soap Carving Ornaments

click photo for a bigger size

Though Miho Morita teaches to use a thai knife only with a little help of cutters, I used my Triangle tools for making the soap ornaments. So you will enjoy the soap carving in any case with having tools or not.

soap for carving
Palmolive and Nivea soap bars are good for soap carving

I used Nivea ans Palmolive soaps for the crafts.

Glue soap details with water. Foam a soap surface using a wet cotton bud, attach the details and let them fix.

Santa Boot
1. Slice a red soap bar.
2-3. Cut it in a shape of a boot using a thai knife.
4. Slice a white soap bar.
5. Give it a 'cloud' shape.
6. Make a hole in the boot with a toothpick, insert a thread. After that glue the white details in both sides of the boot.

christmas soap carving ornaments how to tutorial

Christmas Flower

1. Use a red soap slice. Make a hole in the center with a smal U-knife.
2. Make a same hole in the white soap slice. Insert the white detail in the red.
3-4. Make holes around the central one and replace them with the white details.
5-6. Use a goffer U-knife for shaping the flower and cut it out.

how to carving soap

christmas soap crafts
Christmas soap ornaments in Wonder Tree

palmolive soap carving
Palmolive soap bar for Christmas tree 

Christmas Tree

1. Slice a green soap bar.
2. Use small and big U-knives and thai knife for the craft.
3. Cut the soap to point to make a tree top.
4-10. Use smal and big U-knives for modeling the tree.

soap carving ornaments
How to carve Christmas tree in soap

how to carve soap tutorial
how to make Christmas tree in soap

Soap is a nice material to play with. I am sure you will enjoy it :)


3D Chocolate - Christmas Tree, Hearts and Eggs - DIY

>>  12/01/2012

I have good news.
1. Some of the Carving Contest's winners have recieved their prizes.
2. It is December and it means Christmas Rush is on.

I have a big hope that all winners will get the prizes before December 31. I wish they can use the things for  the Holiday food presentation. 

As for me, I have got new toys too :) I try the new things out. One of them is Lekue silicone mold for 3D chocolate. 

3D Chocolate made in Lekue Silicone Mold
Christmas Tree, Hearts, Hare and Easter Eggs

Chocolate christmas tree 3D
3D Chocolate Christmas Tree

3D chocolate hearts

Chocolate made in Lekue 3D molds

You need:

Lekue silicone mold (Christmas Tree, LoveMold)
Chocolate (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, orange, green, white and any),
Sugar decorations for cakes (sugar balls, flaked coconut, sprinkle mix).


Melt chocolate in a microwave/water bath 
I use water bath. 
Fill the mold with melted chocolate and spread the chocolate by shaking the mold. When you shake the mold  you make air ball go out and the chcolate surface becoming smooth and shiny.

Put some sugar decoration on the chocolate surface.
Or you can go other way. Draw an ornament on the mold using a bright chocolate, let it freeze, and after that fill the mold with dark chocolate. 

Let the chocolate freeze. 
Gently demold chocolates and build the sculptures by bringing the parts together. 

heart chocolate 3D mold
Spread the melted chocolate in the mold.
Shake the mold to make the surface shiny and smooth

easter chocolate idea how to
Easter eggs and hare 3D mold

chocolate christmas tree
freezed chocolate ready to be demolded

christmas food idea 3D chocolate
Easter eggs and Hare looks great idea for Christmas

3D lekue chocolate how to
3D chocolate Christmas tree and hearts


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