Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekends!

It's Friday and the weekend is upon us you guys!! I'm so glad that this week is finally over. Well, I don't go to work in offices on a 9-5 basis, but I'm very strict with myself. I have a schedule that I follow rigorously, because I really need to get my thesis over and done with.

mon schedule
And I'm like 2 days ahead of schedule, so yay! I'm pretty happy about that.

Plus it's the weekend! do you know what that meanssss? It means that it's time to say goodbye to ALL these


And helloooo to these!!


I really can't wait to start with this project. Gonna do it properly this time. I'm gonna use ruler for the hems and use pattern and bobby pins and everything! 


I bought the above material super cheap. It's a cheap ass material, only about RM5 per meter, and I'm super happy with how it looks. It's very unusual for me since I usually go for black. I'm a very black person, as you can probably tell from the title of my blog (and my bed sheets).But I don't know, I'm starting to dig all floral flowy chiffony things these days. I guess I've grown up (I don't know what growing up has to do with my color selection but...).

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the material I got. It's chiffon, so it's super flowy, and it's got red, green and yellow on it, and the colors remind me of a flower garden. So it's KIND OF flowery without being too flowery. And the pattern looks like it's been drawn on using markers, so that appealed to the architecture side of me too, kind of. It looks like a presentation board a little bit.

I really can't wait to start doing the pattern for it, getting lost in the steady hums of my (tiny) sewing machine.

So here's to having a good weekend ahead! 

Will post pictures once it's done!
x

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Outcome of Sewing Project 2.

Haro.

Is everyone having a good weekend so far? 

So as promised! I'll be showing you how my cape turned out,and I'll also be showing you the process of sewing it. The pattern is kind of wrong for a cape, but since, I'm only using leftover material, and there was not much of it, the pattern that I did will have to do.

Ok, so, anyway, the first step was to make the hem. This is the first time that I did a hem using satin. I forgot how flammable it was. The first press of iron on it, and I burnt a hole. lol. Also, I did the hem, to use an architecture student term, by freehand. I did not use any precise measurement, or draw any lines on my material. It was really all dependent on my sense of "agak agak sama size" and "agak agak macam straight". I kind of feel obliged to put a "Please do not do this at home" sign. And of course, my hem turned out crap. lol. Straight line is really not my forte. I can't sew, draw, cut straight to save my life. I can't even walk straight. I'm glad that I don't drink. Otherwise, I would be arrested a lot for DUI even when I'm sober because of my inability to walk in a straight line. Ok, so here is how my hem looked like;

bad scissors. -_-


Do you see how all crooked my hems are in the top picture? yeah, now do you see what I mean about not being able to cut straight? lol. But it all turned KIND OF ok after I finished it (see picture below), so I'm not beating myself up. I totally forgot to take a picture of the cut material, so we'll skip that, but you'll see how it looks in a little bit. So, the next thing to do was sew on the hem.

It was really tricky, mind you, because for a cape, I needed to sew it on to the slit where my hand comes out. That was the trickiest part for me. The rest is a breeze. 


Putting hems on the slit.

This project was very in-situ, no exact measurement nor patterns, and I just modify everything as I please, as I go. Not my kind of thing, but I kind of enjoyed it anyway. After sewing on the hems, this is how it looked like; 


The pattern of a cape is supposed to be a half-circle, but I didn't have enough material. :( So, I worked with this one. and it turned out ok. :) now the only thing left to do is to sew the sides together, finish the hem, and Voila!! It's done!

you sew it on the front first, flip it over,and sew it again.
It's neater that way. :)

The bottom hem is still undone, but I wanted to see
how it looks.
I finally (with excruciatingly painful effort) managed to convince my sister that taking pictures of me is the next best thing since One Direction, so I got her to take pictures of me wearing the finished product! :D








Did you get what I was going for with the red shoes, bag and turban? Red Riding Hood!!! 
Wait...why do I feel blank stares? Oh, you know...cape??? Red?? Red Riding Hood's ca... Oh never mind, It's probably me over thinking again.

That aside, this was a fun project for me, and I'm really glad that It turned out ok (albeit the butchered hemline.lol). And I really can't wait to start on my yukata. (but with the amount of work for my thesis, it might have to wait a bit longer. boo) :)

Till then!!
xx

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Indonesian Cultural Night

So last night, I had an amazing night! Mom's a teacher at the Indonesian School of Kuala Lumpur (to those who don't know this, I'm an Indonesian), and they had this amazing Indonesian Cultural Night last night. and it was breath taking!!!! Well, at least for me, because I LOVE culture and art. I think I love it so much that I want to make a t-shirt of it. You know, like the ones that say "I *heart* NY", but instead of NY, I'd put "I *heart* art and culture"(as if I don't come off as a nerd enough as it is already).

So anyway, the whole night was magical, from the dance performance, to angklung, to gamelan, to the food, everything was absolutely perfect! The moment that the music started playing, my heart started beating really quick, pumping all the Indonesian blood inside me. I even got goosebumps from singing the Indonesian national anthem (which I still can sing flawlessly btw!) Amidst the aggressive beats of kecak dance, slow and beautiful gamelan music, and the majestic Javanese dance, there I was sitting down surrounded by all those beauties, engulfed in the darkness of the night only lit by pelita, soft warm breeze blowing on my skin, feeling so proud of my roots, of my culture. So proud of being Indonesian. 

I took some pictures to share with you, but please, please excuse the poor quality of it. I took it only using my Blackberry from a distance, so everything is rather blurry. Please enjoy!


Awesome modern/traditional interpretation of
Asmaradana Dance


Traditional Indonesian songs.

Modern interpretation of Balinese dance 









Awesome display of food

Right: Gudeg, Left: Krecek. Javanese (Jogja) food

This is how you eat it!



Seriously breathtaking performance of Traditional Indian
dance that left me menganga by ASWARA

Like I said, menganga.

Out of that, one of my favorite, and the thing that I want to talk about was YB Senator Datuk Maglin Dennis D'cruz's speech during the opening, about the relationship between Indonesia and Malaysia. It was something that I have said before, and in complete agreement with. 

I'm aware that a number of Indonesians are unhappy with Malaysia for "supposedly" stealing their art and culture. Well, I found myself nodding enthusiastically to YB's take about it. I think I've said it before, but, It is impossible for one country located so close to each other to not share some cultural similarities. People migrate all the time. Even during our forefather's era, even before the concept of "country" even exists. And when people migrate, they don't just take what's physical with them, they also take their ideologies, way of life, religion, and culture along with them. I mean, that is how Islam traveled too isn't it? We don't see the country where Islam originated claiming the religion to be exclusively theirs now, do we? 

So, back to the topic. Our forefathers traveled to foreign land to trade, and so isn't it natural, that the land that is now, by geographical boundaries named Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore share similar cultures? These cultural similarities, or integration if you will, had been happening even before our existence. Why in the world would we jealously, possessively, and obsessively insist that it belongs to us? Like the art of batik for example, how can you be upset that other countries have similar form of art? I mean think about it, people from Land A migrate to Land B for various purposes. In Land B they feel like they need to make some beautiful clothes. a group of people just happen to know how to create intricate print on cloth using only melted wax and fabric dye. So they do it, and maybe to a point, traded it. It got popular, and the people from Land B(which also consisted of Land A migrates, mind you) started practicing the technique, and passed it down from generation to generation, with some adjustments of course. 

So it just doesn't make sense to me that people would argue about which art belonged to whom. The traditional art, folklore, dance, and music belonged to Nusantara (which by the way includes countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philipines, East Timor and South Thailand) which means that it belongs to ALL of the people in southern asia region. 

I'm an Indonesian through and through. I need my fellow Indonesians to open their minds and try to see it from this perspectives. Because the behavior and hatred that a tiny number of you portray towards Malaysia, is embarrassing us Indonesians as a whole. Indonesians that I grew up with are very  polite, soft spoken, generous with smile, friendly and very helpful. Can't we portray that instead? Because as far as I'm concerned, THAT is what true Indonesians are like. Not these short tempered barbaric hooligans acting like uncivilized human being, causing chaos, and tarnishing the name of their own country in the eyes of the world. Seriously guys, burning things and hurling eggs at people will not get you what you want. 

I hope that they stop it soon, because my face is starting to hurt from all these facepalm I do whenever I hear about it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another Sewing Project

So here I am,10 days after my last break, mentally exhausted, and needing another break. Man, I burn out fast. But you know what they say.. The brightest star burns out the fastest. lol. Oh, who am I kidding. I'm not even the brightest crayon in the box, but hey, humor me.

So, I thought I'm gonna start with another sewing project. I had some left over material from my last piece, you know, the one from my best friend's engagement ceremony, so I think I'm gonna use that. I have started cutting the material, and making some hems (burnt myself in multiple places), so all that's left to do sewing the  materials together!!! That's my favorite part. The steady hum of the sewing machine has this soothing affect on me.

Oh, btw, I lost my reference book, on how to make a pattern -_-, so until mom can get it from Indonesia for me (my aunt makes it, and it's the best! it's like "making pattern for idiots", so it suits me), I'm stuck with pattern-less pieces. But that's half the fun I guess..I really don't know if it's gonna turn out ok though (or if it's gonna turn out at all) I'm making a cape this time. I have always wanted one, but it never seem to be available here (which is the major reason that I start sewing at all), so Imma make myself one. I'm so giddy with excitement!

Hopefully I can get it done tomorrow, and bribe my sis to take  a picture of me in it on Friday so I can put it on here, to show you how it looks. I have also documented the process, if it's any use for anyone.

Till then.
x

p.s: decided to do an impromptu photoshoot for my sis for fun (paying it forward, so she'd take a picture of me) in one of my pieces. It's a yukata, and one of my favorites. I LOVE the floral prints. I got myself a lovely print chiffon too, so THAT's gonna be my next next project. so anyway, here's the picture. Maybe I'll post a picture of me in it in the future, if I can persuade/nag someone to do it for me.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Taking A Break


I haven't really realized how important it is for me to take a break from writing a thesis.

I have been kind of stressed (well, bordering on being depressed) lately. With the amount of work that I have, the expectations of being able to pull off my thesis and my case study. Everything is just kind of a whirlpool. I in  fact found myself in one of those episode of emotional breakdown. It used to happen a lot during my degree days nearing submission period. To those who are not in architectural field, design submissions are the most stressful time for architecture students. It's very nerve wrecking. I still shiver at the thought. So yeah, I found myself in one of those episodes. I just suddenly feel the weight of everything, and it made me just curl up and cry. Not the silent-tear type either. You know big sobs, out of breath, red face, snoots all over your face type. It wasn't pretty.

I'm an emotional person. I think my blog posts have established that fact enough. But I like to think that I have got a better grip of myself since my degree days. But I guess, what I have had to deal with is just beyond my emotional range, hence the emotional break down.

So I just shoved everything at the back of my mind, put everything on hold, and took a break. I cooked, I sewed, I read, I helped my siblings with their homework, went on dates, watched marathon of Friends, I did everything I could to put my thesis out of my mind.

And it worked wonders!

After a week or so of break, I now can't wait to start writing again (liking to write doesn't hurt my chances either). hehehe. I guess taking small breaks, allows you to kind of miss your work again. You know, the way relationship is too. Being apart gives you the chance to miss your partner. The same concept applies to thesis or work as well I think.

I guess I'm having a relationship with my thesis now.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Competition

source: s3.amazonaws.com

You know how at some point in our lives we look at a person's life and feel envious? Of their achievements, of their perfect family, of their relationship, of their pretty babies, of their beautiful homes, of how a person has all the little aspects of perfections all wrapped in a rich golden box tied perfectly with pretty bows which makes their whole life?

I sometimes do.

I think envy is the most negative feeling in the world. It makes you feel as though you are beneath those you envy, it makes you forget what blessed, beautiful life you have, because you're so focused on other people's perfect life, it makes you forget how gifted or talented you are in something, because you're too busy wishing that you're as good as someone you envy in other things. It brings down your morale. It's different than being inspired, where you admire a person's achievements/talents and you strive to be as successful as them, that's very positive. 

Envy, on the other hand, is just a poison that blackens your soul and weigh down your spirit. It makes you feel like you have to compete with someone in a such a mundane way, without realizing that everyone has a different path, different gift, different talents, different rezeki in life. You have to constantly prove that you're better than everyone else. It's a bit like that cliched ad about makcik-makcik in hari raya. You know, the one yang goes;

"Bang, tengok la orang sebelah tu. Diorang beli sofa set baru, langsir pun dah tukar jadi baru, takkan kita takde apa apa baru kot?"
Padahal, what they don't know is that maybe, their neighbour's toddler baby, accidentally set fire to the curtain ke, or their new cat scratched their 10 years old couch ke. Who knows. When a person envies someone else, they just can't see past their jealousy, and that's very destructive.

I will not preach of how negative or sinful being envious is. Instead, I'll speak out of my own experience, and  maybe, hopefully, help you should you experience any kind of dark, envious feeling, because sometimes, this feeling comes to visit me too, and it is not very pleasant.

Firstly, just realize that everyone has their own path, and are (it's so cliche and cheesy to say this, but it's true) special in their own way. So people are better than you in something. So people earn so much more than you do. So people live a more privileged life than you do. That's okay. All that matters is, you try your best. Jangan pula make it a reason to give up all together, and use "dah memang nasib" as an excuse. Turn your envy into something positive.

Failing that, stop and look around. Take in everything that you have, every little things that you have accomplished so far, as little as you being a good daughter to your mom, or managing to cook lunch for everyone. Consider that and think how lucky and blessed you are to still be able to do that, and to have all that. Think about people who are much less fortunate than you are.

Just try with all you might to get rid of such dark feelings, for it is like a speck of dirt on your windscreen of your car. A tiny speck of dirt. Irrelevant, and small, but if you choose to focus on it, you will lose your vision altogether.

So be grateful of what you have, give credits to yourself where credits are due (I'm trying my hardest to do this too), shift your focus to giving something out other than just wishing to have/receive something that you don't have.

For those are the only antidote of a poison that is envy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Reading

source: bookliciousblog.com


I love to read. No, correction, I USED to love to read.

I can spend hours just reading, and doing nothing else. I can start reading, and suddenly nothing else exist around me. Just me, and my imaginary world. It's so amazing how a book can just transport you to a completely different dimension all together. I was so immersed in a book once, that the sound of my cellphone made me scream out loud in shock. I get excitement out of visiting book stores, and happiness out of sniffing the smell of book. What makes me the happiest though, are used books stores. There was a time where all I want for my birthday is a book. I used to even envy inmates because they can read all day in their cells and no-one will complain about it.

                 This is exactly how I feel when I read 
source: bookliciousblog.com

However, writing a thesis has kind of ruined it for me. When I read an article, I can't afford to read every single line, and in between the lines. I have A LOT to read, so to do that to every one of the article may cost me my thesis. After all, I only have 2 years to finish it. So I don't really read, I scan quickly. I get the point that I need, and either put it in my thesis, or store it for future uses. Nothing wrong with that of course.

BUT...

That style of reading has become a habit for me.I get very impatient very quickly. I was reading Stephen King the other day. And instead of enjoying the rich story line, and the detailed description of every characters, their surrounding, and Mr. King's impeccable style of writing, I grew really impatient. I often find myself skipping a page thinking, "Jeez!!! Get to the point already!!" trying to find the twist, or the answer to the mystery in the book. And of course, that  style of reading takes the joy right out of it. I can no longer leave reality and be in a world constructed  purely out of my imagination and the rich description provided by the author, I can no longer be so immersed in a book that even the sound of footstep startles me because now, I'm on constant alert all the time (trying to not miss any detail crucial in figuring out the mystery in a book), and I can no longer enjoy books the way I used to.

This kind of loss, the loss of the things that you used to love doing is devastating. For me, this loss has so many dimension to it. Thinking of how a simple thing like reading a book can no longer bring you so much joy, or a sense of contentment. Losing the ability to just enjoy life slowly, instead of always rushing. I think that since I've poured all of myself into a lot of these books, abandoning them just does something negative to my spirit.  Hence, I think, this great feeling of loss that I'm experiencing now every time I look at books.

I think I'll start trying to relax my reading habit a little bit, and become that girl who can be content by just having a copy of old, battered book in my hand, again. :)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rants About Travelling.

Source: Tumblr.
Good idea isn't it marking places we've been to? 
I have the same idea for my house in the future, but I'll draw a string 
from the marked visited place, and attach a picture of when I was there.:)
 

I LOVE travelling. In fact, I don't mind living in a tiny house, driving a tiny car, if it means I get to travel. I'd probably blow most of my salary on travelling. I have been very blessed to have parents who consider travelling as an important learning process, which means that me and my siblings get to travel quite often. (yay!)

For me the anticipation is always the best part. Googling where to go, the picking out what to wear, packing things, sleepless night due to dire excitement (especially if I have an early flight, then I'll just pull an all-nighter), the drive to the airport, looking for the check-in counter on the airport screen, lining up for check-in, going thhrough immigration, the walk to the waiting room, and waiting for boarding. No matter how many times I do it, this routine just NEVER gets old. It always makes me feel all tingly. All butterfly-in-my-stomach nervous. My brother gets exasperated a lot because I squeal so much out of excitement during this process.

Then,of course the long flight is just as exciting. The in-flight movie, the in-flight food, and of course, reading a book. I don't know if it's just me, but reading a book in a flight to a holiday destination is just so different than reading at home. The whole atmosphere of being confined 50,000 feet above the ground with a book, makes it that much more interesting I think. Then, there's the talking to strangers part. We usually travel together as a family, and there are 5 of us. So, being the eldest, I always end up being alone (they pair up in 2's: mom's paired up with my sister, dad's with my brother), and sitting next to a (usually friendly, and chatty) strangers. On my flight to Rome, I sat next to a friendly Italian gentleman, who taught me Italian, the difference between white and red wine (and which compliments what food best), what the best kinds of pastas are, and which part of Italia is filled with friendly people, and which aren't, and how important a family is, in exchange of me telling him how lovely KL and Bali are (I'm a better listener, and he talks a lot so, we're good). All within the 6 hours flight (We had to transit in Doha, so this is a Doha-Roma flight).

Then once we landed, there's a whole new excitement of being in a place I have never been before. The smell of the air, the environmental ambient, the foreign language on signboards and those blaring out of the airport speakers, and a whole different crowd than what we have back home. It's just so amazing! Then once we step out of the airport, the first misty, chilly winter air (we usually travel in late autumn/winter) that hits my face, always sends me off to another round of fresh frenzy.

When we were in London, we rented (what looked like) an apartment unit which were located right on the opposite of an office building. I still remember watching the building intently, trying to see what those people are working on and how they work, and things like that amuse me too. Not to mention local TV programs without subs, food (we overdosed on lentil soup in Turkey), public transport, how people dress, and behave, the arrangement of convenient store, the local currency, well, basically EVERYTHING (including what seem to be some mundane stuff) excites me.

But what interest a person really differs from one to another. My dad and my mom for example, are more interested in nature views (other than shopping), my sister is in that age where all she's interested about is taking her pictures to be put in her social networking site(which is a good thing, she doesn't complain too much as long as there's a camera present), my brother meanwhile, is interested in physical activities, strolling and sight-seeing doesn't count. While me, I'm interested in cultures (which is probably why mundane everyday life excites me), and architecture (preferably old ones). Strolling around the city is my kind of thing.   I like architecture, but old buildings are my favorite though. Anything with masonry, high arches, rose window, flying buttresses, and gargoyles..oh alright, alright! I love gothic cathedrals!!! I almost wept when I went into Notre-Dame. heck, I almost wept when I saw the cathedral outside Piazza del Duomo from afar, heck, I almost wept when I saw a glimpse of St.Paul's from the top of red London bus. I can rant on and on and on, when it comes to old buildings. Like how gorgeous the mosques in Turkey are (especially, the Blue Mosque, which of course, for me to like it, is an old masonry building), and their intricate, baroque and rococco decorations in the gorgeous, gorgeous Dolmabahche palace, but I'll just stop right here and say, to set things straight, I JUST LOVE OLD BUILDINGS! I'm kind of relieved actually that the sight of a majestic building sends me in a spasm of excitement, it means that somehow, there's still an architect living somewhere deep within me, lols. (btw, Borobudur and Prambanan are among my favorites too. old? check. masonry? check).

I'm really grateful that I get the chance to actually get to experience everything that I have experienced.To me exposure to the way of life of the people from other countries is plays a crucial role in shaping our thoughts. It opens our minds and broadens our perspectives and point of views, it improves our people skills, it enhances our awareness of what goes on around us, and most importantly, helping us find a common ground with those foreign to us, and consequently, I think it is not too much to say that it arms us with tolerance to others, and love for peace.

I really really hope that I'll be blessed with another adventure to another foreign land in the (hopefully really near) future. Thinking about it is enough to make me all tingly inside!

**Additional note: I just saw Adam's album from when he went travelling in Barcelona and I'm so jealous!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sewing Project


I love clothes. But the thing is, I'm a very particular person. I have a very specific ( and slightly eclectic, might I add) taste, which of course is a problem for me when it comes to buying clothes. Being kind of tall, and largely built doesn't really help with the selection of clothes either. So, the only solution to that is: Sewing it myself!!

My aunt is an excellent seamstress, so I spent 3 weeks in Indonesia learning (fast track) how to sew back in 2010. And I bought a tiny sewing machine so that I can sew just anytime I want. I've sewn several pieces which I designed myself. Oh, no, wait, one piece was inspired by Hana Tajima. I saw this lovely skirt she had on in her blog, and fell in love with it. Waited for it to be sold in Maysaa, but being me, I ran out of patience really fast, and I decided to sew it (by hand, mind you. because this was pre-sewing machine, pre-sewing lesson times). With my work amount in the office and the great procrastinator in me, it took me almost a month! and the sewing was really terrible, lol, because towards the end, I just wanted to get it over and done with. hahaha.

This skirt was the end product

Holy cricket! look at me back then! I was skinny! well, not skinny, but at least my chin hasn't decided to elope with another chin and decided to reside around my neck. Well, anyway, that was the start of a spark of interest in sewing.
And then, my first ever sewing project. A black jump-maxidress(?). This was the outcome of my 3-weeks sewing lesson in Indonesia. I had to make it from scratch. Sketching out the design I had in mind, looking for the suitable (and cheap!) material, measuring myself, coming up with a pattern, and finally putting the needle and thread in my material, and joining them together! I had loads of help with this one, since I'm a first timer, but I had loads of fun!

Sketching Lesson
Initial Sketch
Initial Sketch
Drawing Pattern
End Product! :D




And then, of course seeing ridiculously over-priced gorgeous clothing also has some effects on my desire to make my own clothing. I saw some cape-like kaftan by Rizalman I think, and I thought I just had to have it, but not pay for it. So what did I do? Sew it!


That's not the best picture I have of the cape, but It's the only one I have. :( sorry.

And since then I've been sewing some outer-wear, slouchy batwing cardigan, and kimonos! I'm so happy with them since, you have no idea how hard it is to find a decent kimono(more like yukata) you can wear as an outer wear. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the said garments.

The most recent achievement was another cape-kaftan to wear to my best friend's engagement! I have only just finished it, and I am happy with how it looks (despite the fact that it looks a bit lingerie-ish). She decided what colour she wanted us to wear, and left the design to us. So this is what I came up with.


I even saw Lily Van Der Woodsen wearing something similar as her nightgown. So I'm not sure how to feel about that. On one end, she has immaculate taste, but on the other, she wears it as a lingerie. Not sure what it says about the design above.lol. I like it though. I can even pair it with jeans. So, it's very practical.

What I realized when I'm sewing this (it took me a month btw. I really have to work on my procrastination), that sewing soothes me. I'm instantly transported to another place. A happy place. The same goes with cooking and playing the piano. So I might make this a habit. Heck, it saves me a lot of money, and gets me a lot of new clothes that I actually like!

I'm looking forward to sewing and designing again! Who knows, maybe I can pull a Zaha Hadid (you know, architect turned fashion designer), and make this a career.

Will (hopefully) post the finished product soon! (meanwhile, I have got to get a decent camera, and maybe bribe my brother to take a picture of me)

'Till then!
xx


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