Handmade Crafts- Qingdao, China

It was another birthday but given this week’s events, I wasn’t in a celebratory mood.  In fact, all I really wanted to do was crawl in bed, binge watch Better Things (love this show!) and eat chocolate.  But we needed to do something and getting out of the city was the next best thing.

In search of handmade wicker crafts, we took Driver Don out for the day to go to a little village in Jimo city about 2 hours from Qingdao.  Sounds sorta random to journey this far out to see something you can find in any store or market.  But it felt more like going back in time, and a racing against time, to a witness a dying art form (sadly enough). From the highway we took a dirt road to get to town, got lost, then took another dirt road the opposite direction to tumble upon this humble farm village that peeked out behind the fields like a curious child playing hide and seek.

things to do crafts qingdao china expat
image by Renee

Once we arrived, it was the solace we all needed.  Pure tranquility and a visit back to an honest way of life.

qingdao china farm village things to do
images by Renee because I could never be this talented.

This little village was surprisingly vibrant and colorful.  Many of these villages in China have a …well…industrialized and conventional look about them.  But this village had a soft spoken energy about it.  Dynamic yet modest.

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

things to do crafts qingdao china expat
Hand painted murals, Jimo, Qingdao
things to do crafts qingdao china expat
Renee caught this beautiful little lady walking home with a bag full of eggs.

From where we parked, we still walked through the fields and the cabbage patch to get to the crafts.

 

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

And then we arrived to this little… “Umm…Don what is this exactly?”

“Please go inside,” Don replies.

“Uh…Shenme?? Why is my in-slow-motion day dream being abruptly interrupted with a movie circa 1990 [that destroyed my innocence and all faith in man-kind] ringing in my head?  Are those the cries of Clarise I hear? or her ill-fated lambs?  If we agree to your persuasive, yet menacing request to ‘go inside’, can we come back out?  You know what, I’m gonna take a step back and use the birthday card.  Really, you first.  I insist.”

qingdao farm village china things to do

The brave one. See you on the other side, Jo!

But what we saw inside was beyond our expectation.

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

A small, dark cellar that was built to keep the wicker cool and moist so it stays pliable.

things to do crafts qingdao china expat
image by Renee

Handmade in China.  A modern-day oxymoron.

things to do crafts qingdao china expat
image by Jacq…just kidding, it’s Renee’s

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

Imagine the stories these hands could tell.

things to do crafts qingdao china expat
image by Renee

It takes him a full day to make this grain sifter, endlessly sitting and bending forward on this rickety stool.  Just from writing this post on my cushy kitchen chair, my back is hurts.  Now that’s achingly embarrassing.

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

 

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

Time to head home for lunch…

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

while we went shopping out of their storage closet!

things to do crafts qingdao china expat

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Thank you ladies for a lovely birthday.  And thank you Renee Dustman for lending me your beautiful photos! You just have this knack for catching the moment.  mmexport1480346392837_red

So now how to get there?  I can only recommend you call Driver Don to take you on a day trip there.  It was worth it.

2 thoughts on “Handmade Crafts- Qingdao, China

    1. Hey there lady! Thanks for your comment! Im sifting thru over 3,000 comments, all but 4 was SPAM…ugh. Anyway, Haiyang / Qingdao misses you all!

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