How I Clean My Yoga Mats

I’ve been doing yoga for over 1.5 years though I skipped for some months in between and sometimes don’t do it regularly. I need yoga mat not only because I like to go to yoga classes but also because bare floor is too hard for my skin and bones. I’ve had four yoga mats so far, with different thickness, brand and materials. I dont like using yoga studios’ mats even if the yoga studio is clean and provides mat cleaner after use. Hence, the cleanliness of yoga mat is important for me as we sweat or put lotion before practice and it drips off to the mat. Smelly mat is a big No-No, imagine when you’re doing caturrangga and child poses and your nose is exposed to a stinky mat. Yuck!

Cleaning mat regularly even when you dont use it is essential as dirt and dust cant also stick on the mat during storage in your trunk or closet. If you already invested in a good expensive mat, better know how to properly clean it, otherwise your mat won’t last as long. A thorough cleaning may be needed when the mat starts to smell bad. But I personally choose to ALWAYS clean my mats after use regularly rather than soak or machine wash them, because the spinning can tear delicate materials. Then I just air-dry it for about 15 mins before rolling it up. It’s better to directly clean the mat after use instead of waiting until it gets really dirty, because sometimes the dirt can be very difficult to clean after some time. My Reebok PVC yoga mat for instance, until now it has brown dirt at some parts even after I cleaned it out with brush.

I have two PVC mats, one TPE and my favorite towel-like surface mat from Yoga Design Lab. Every material should be treated differently. I’ve never used brush on my TPE and towel-like mats, only on PVC ones and not so often.
What I use to clean my mats:

1. Wipes
First I wipe it with wet tissue or just wet soft fabrics. Actually body wipes are not the best to use eventhough it sounds like the simplest go-to cleaner, because the materials in it that’s made for human body may contain chemicals and soap that is too harsh for mats. Actuall wipes that’s specially made for yoga mats is the best choice, but it’s too expesive for me and not easy to find in Indonesia. Usually I use wet clean soft cotton fabrics to wipe it before spraying yoga mat cleaner. But if I go to yoga classes, I use just non-perfumed wet tissue.

2. Yoga Mat Spray

Then I spray my mat deliberately with yoga mat spray from Utama Spice that I got as a gift from the brand for my video review (read my review here–red). I usually also make my own yoga mat spray with these ingredients:

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup water

3 to 5 drops of essential oil

Avoid harsh cleaners like commercial kitchen and bathroom solutions when treating your mats. Not only it’s gonna be bad for the mat, but also for your skin. Choose essential oil fragrance that helps to calm your mind when practice.

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My Youtube Milestone: 500 Subs!

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Celebration time!!

Today my youtube channel just hit a milestone of 500 subscribers in less than a year with 14 videos! I know that for many people 500 subs mean nothing, but for me, even 10 subs is big and I really appreciate them 😀 . I mean, they’re real people, not just numbers, we should see and treat people as people, not just digits on our profile page to show off to others. Showing off and fame are not the reason why I make content (videos and writings), it’s because I love sharing and the people who love sharing. So, knowing what I made have influenced other people, even for just 4 minutes, that’s priceless!

A month ago, I just wrote about my Youtube start for the first time, and at that time–25 Nov 2017–I had 340 subbies. Fast forward to today (2 months later), it’s risen to 500! At this time, in every 48 hours, my videos are shared on other soc-med platforms for at least three times!

I actually have posted 18 videos on Youtube but I took down some videos after evaluating my 11 months being on Youtube that now I need to only focus on only 1-2 streams into only tutorials and review vids. This also because I’ve seen how my craft blog, craft shop and vids have synergised together, then I decided to remove/ separate the contents that are not consistent with that stream. I’m thinking about changing my channel’s name to my craft shops name because tutorials videos seem to be my specialty, I can’t never be a travel vlogger, I’ve tried and couldn’t enjoy my trips because of vlogging!

Every big thing starts with one small step. Even Pewdiepie hit 1000 subs after his 100th videos. Thank you so much for all the subs, likes, dislikes, views, comments and shares. They mean a lot to me 😀 . For you who happen to read this post and haven’t subbed, please visit and see if you like my channel 😀

Have a great year, everyone!

 

My Craft Blog: CRAFTOPIA.ID

I hate doing DIYs.

That’s such a lie if it’s coming from me.

As it’s very obvious, I’m the type of girl who loves making things, I give people that I care about handmade gifts (well maybe some of them prefer branded stuffs than my gifts, but I don’t care, I’m poor. Lol.). So as my dedication to the world of DIYs, I decided to start a special blog for craft that’s not related to my personal life and political point of view.

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Unlike this blog, the new blog: www.craftopia.id , is neutral from my political agenda with aliens to take over the world and kick out patriarchy. It’s purely about creative stuffs, from DIYs, tutorials and creative product reviews, ranging not only about sewing and room decor DIYs, but also tech-related How-Tos, like setting up blogs/ blog layout, basic graphic design, and movie/photo editing.

Beside as a marketing strategy for my brand, CRAFTOPIA–I dont want to just sell products, I also want to educate–this blog is also my ways to give solution to the problem of the scarcity of Indonesian craft blogs. There are many good craft blogs like A Beautiful Mess and Tilly and the Buttons etc but they’re all in English, meanwhile I’m from a country where less than 50% of the population understand English well. That’s why my DIYs youtube videos are in Bahasa Indonesia instead of English. I specify my target market to Indonesians (well, it’s the 4th largest population in the world! Still not a small market ;D )

There are some Indonesian craft bloggers, yet their craft posts are mixed with their personal lives, meanwhile others are too formal in language. For instance, Indonesian sewing blogs that I found are still using too formal language and boring lay-outs. All this time, craft lovers have been associated with dullness and away from cool or sexy. So I want to change the stereotypes, with more lively layout and language.

This is the first time I subs to paid blog hosting and domain, I see it as an investment. I designed everything by myself, including the layout even though I’m not a coder, haha thank’s Uncle Google! Took days for me to make the landing page and everything! –..–“

Lately I’ve been busy with my fashion project, so I haven’t got back to the blog, however, even with just few posts, it already has stable daily views. So I’m positive about it once I get the time to put my head back to it. I hope that it can connect me with alike-minded people. Please kindly visit and follow, you’re welcome to contribute articles too!

Two, O, Seventeen

I’m writing this while lousy new year party’s fireworks are outside, coloring Bali’s night sky, every corner in Bali has its own firework party.

Can’t believe it’s already a brand new year. Time flies fast when you’re enjoying what you’re doing. My 2017 was great, especially since the second semester of the year, after my 27th birthday. Or maybe my 27th is great.

I am happy that every year of my life I’ve never had a dull year so far, hard times yes but never dull. Because I always try new things every year, every age. There’s always new lessons I got, new skills I improved. Haven’t achieved all that I planned this year, because life happened and plans changed, but I have major goals that I’ve carried out.

The greatest thing about this year for me is the fact that I’ve lived in three different places in just one year; Lampung, West Sumatra and Bali. Meaning I moved every 3-4 months. The beginning of this year I started with big decision to come back to my parents’ house in West Sumatra after having been away from home for almost 10 years. It’s actually normal in Indonesian culture for kids to stay at their parents’ even until after marriage, but I had too much pride to do that, to admit that I needed them to help me go through the hard times, in order for me to achieve next steps. I felt very embarrassed before but in the end it’s proven as the right step, I am glad I did, otherwise I wouldn’t have been experiencing what I have now in Bali.

I can say 2017 is my most favorite year of my 27 years dwelling this planet Earth. The more I explore my self, the more I love life and living. 2015 was like the moment I started to be ‘awake’. 2016 was very hard, like my rock bottom since the ‘awakening’ as the consequences of all the turns and directions I decided to take that were very different from what I used to do/be in many aspects. In 2017, things slowly got better, even though the first semester was very stressful for me, affected by my past relationship at that time. But the second semester has been really great, I could put more focus on my plans without feeling being pressured, I’ve been back to who I am, easy-going, chilled, and carefree. I’ve become my own person. I’ve met people from whom I can learn many things, new experiences and led me to have clearer goals and how-tos. Even though maybe we met for just one week, one hour or even 10 mins, there must be reasons why we met.

This year I started my youtube channel and this blog, also made another new blog specialized in crafts and DIYs. My craft shop with my cute aprons has been running pretty well (but since I’m in Bali, I close orders due to my busyness with my course and first collection production. But still I got customers who wanted to order even though I didn’t promote my shop when in Bali.)

In 2017, I went to several cities and places with people I met offline and online. Maybe there are still some aspects in my life that I still haven’t found the best answer yet, but that is life and I don’t want to put pressures to my self about things that I cant control, what I can do is to just react, adapt and overcome. I decided I’m done including other people’s plans in my plans, I just wanna focus on my plans and see who I will meet during the journey. Because I can’t force myself to run in accordance to other people’s timer. Neither can I do the same to other people.

I was not really sure when starting my channel and blog(s), now I’m glad I did what I am doing. Things are just getting better. Slowly but sure.

In 2017, I’ve learned to be more patient, that everything good takes process, endurance and consistency. Can be full with trials and errors sometimes, and I lost my motivation for some moments, because I felt that I’ve tried to give my best efforts, but it resulted below my expectation and deadlines I set for myself. I felt sad and cried, feeding my mind with negative thoughts; maybe I should stop, maybe I am not good, maybe I can never get better, maybe I started things too late. But then I got back to it, evaluate what I missed and try to admit I can’t do everything, but I can either drop it, delegate it or add something to it. And I keep going to that direction instead of taking other new direction.

The only thing that is a bit harder happened this year is only something that happened to my family in the end of 2017. We’re having a ‘not-easy’ time—I don’t wanna call it difficult, because we’re stronger and we’ve been through hard times before and we passed it. I keep telling my self that things can only get better.

My first bridal collection will be ready soon in 2018 and it’s still a long process to build my dreams. I have more dreams than I did before coming to Bali, before 2017. And that’s how life should be, to never stop having goals.

New year, new feels, new chances, same dreams, fresh starts.

Thank’s for the ride, 2017. Let’s bring it on, 2018!

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Starting My Youtube Channel at 26

cIMG_9940 copyAt the age of 26, when most of my friends are filling my soc-med timeline with their wedding or kids photos, I shared my first youtube video. Yes, that’s my second child in 2017. My first daughter was born in 2013, which is my craft shop, got rebranding this year, so it’s like reborn. 

All my kids; my shop, blogs, and youtube channel, may not have blood and flesh, or chubby cheeks and thighs, but their ROIs (Return of Investment) are faster than those with. LOL. 

What was I thinking that made me suddenly join the youtube pond? To be honest, I’ve never planned to broadcast myself before, that just looked too narcissistic for me, haha, and I didn’t have the guts to talk in front of a camera. I can talk more confidently with my thesis supervisors or bosses than to a camera. I feel it can be so judgemental. 

But since I am a true millennial, I realized the importance of putting my self on the internet map. I want to reach and be reached by more people. Besides the fact that I love sharing and the people who love sharing, I believe that my personal branding is my future investment. If I’m good at something, I have to find ways how to present it. Especially that I’ve already decided to stop working back-stage for other people/ company/ organization. 

I do many different things, from blogging (this personal blog and my craft blog), youtube content making, making and selling my crafts and studying fashion design. But in the end, actually all of these are connected into one stream that will help each other. 

It was on February 28th 2017 that I made my first youtube content. Weeks before that, I spend days and nights to brainstorm what the channel is gonna be and what I expect from it. I collected ideas, listed what I need etc, and even the scripts. Maybe sounds too much for some of you, but believe me making videos–moreover if you have no background knowledge in film-making and directing–is hard. Even making stupid videos is still not easy.

I may be a bit late to start at 26 if compared to many famous indonesian youtubers are so much younger than my age. But I think in one side it’s good because at this age I can think more deeply why and how to start things, meanwhile at younger age, fame (which they call a success) is most likely accidental than by design/ hardwork. That’s why many people are racing to do more and more stupid challenges or cringe-worthy videos for five-minutes fame. 

At this age, I know my self and dont wanna be dictated by trend nor other people’s standard. I understand that it’s better to attract people who are also into your things than just people who demand you to entertain them by doing stupid controversy. I understand this because it’s actually not the first time I posted my videos to entertain/ share with people. When I was still a student I posted three lipsync videos of me to local songs that I kept on Facebook for years (now they’re erased in order to reduce the number of evidence of my puberty stupidity). At that time I didn’t know why I did it, I didnt care about what people can learn or get from me and how it would affect me in the future, but you know what, those vids got many views and likes instantly. I started with one stupid shallow video, then due to the good response I felt motivated to be more stupid (yeah, blame the audience too. Why they like to make stupid people famous!).

But the so-called quarter-life crisis hit me, what is living and doing what we’re doing truly all about? Something that only looks fun or interesting is temporary. I dont wanna feel ashamed of my self when I look back to my past and realized that I’ve contributed the morality degradation. I dont wanna be found on Google search as the untalented girl who lipsync traditional songs. And I have to be realistic that by being idealistic, it will not be easy sometimes, because not all people share the same interest. Especially that crafting and sewing is not considered as a sexy hobby. LOL. Not many people know that girls who craft are actually the dream partner, we have the patience and loyalty not to just follow what’s in trend. Note that down, boys!

My channel’s subscribers and views growth are not fast, but we should not compare ourselves to others. And in fact, even though it’s slow, it keeps making progress, and it’s better than nothing. After 8 months, I’ve gained over 340 subscribers and thousands views. The numbers are always growing so far, that I’ve reached the stage where I get one subscriber daily. In the first week, I could say I was feeling hopeless and unmotivated because I thought nobody’s gonna watch them. Seeing the statistics, I feel proud that I actually just had super low expectation, like ten people to watch my videos were enough for me at that time. So, now after seeing my videos gain hundreds of likes, it feels very great knowing that number of people liked and watched my videos and they found them useful or interesting. 

But well, the other side of putting yourself on the internet is that you have to be ready with criticism which sometimes are not in the form of constructive criticism. There are many useless bullies on the internet that just like to bring other people down. I got my first hate comment just recently, saying that I looked like a crazy person and needed to go to mental hospital. Well that’s okay, I respect freedom of speech, besides, it’s also true that I am crazy. Sane people rarely make history.

During 8 months, I evaluate what I’ve done not properly and what needs to be improved. One example, I underestimated myself and videos, that I used copyrighted music because I thought maybe only 100 people would watch them. I was wrong. Then I didn’t set clear target nor organize the social media optimally. In Bali, I’ve met some people making money from social media, youtube, blogs, podcasts, etc. I’ve learned from how they do things, so professional and dedicated. Money is not my priority, but it’s true everything in life should have a clear target.

I haven’t monetized my videos, but I had been offered twice to speak in events about crafts. One of my target in 2018 is to reach 1000 subs. And there are still so many things I plan to do. Wish me luck and watch me nay-nay-nay!

#BaliDiary: Who Let The Dogs Out

Bali is known as The Island of Gods. Many people come to Bali for the spiritual quest. Been living in Bali for over a month, I can give another title to the island as the Island of (wild) Dogs.

In the island I am from–Sumatra–people don’t like dogs, mostly for ‘religious’ reasons so that they can do irreligious things to this ‘haram’ animal; like throwing them with stones for no reason, even kick them out if the dogs just want to lay down under cars for shade during a super hot day. I’ve never had pet in my life because my parents never allowed us to have one. So until now I don’t know how to pet one even though I actually want to. In Sumatra, especially West Sumatra, the dogs are afraid of humans. I feel sorry for the dogs and I never want to hurt them or any other animals. My achievement was when a dog which was beaten and kicked often was not afraid of me because I let her sleep under my car for shades and I talked to it–from a distance, because I still don’t know how to do physical contact with animals. I told her that she should not listen to those mean humans, she’s a normal beautiful animal and those people are just shallow. I don’t know if she could understand human language but she became protective of me that when a stranger came to my house when I went to a nearby ‘warung’ and let the door open, she barked at him and stood in front of my door. The guy was a delivery courier though.

I found it sweet and that they’re very very loyal. Reminds me of some movies I watched in my childhood in which dogs joined in and played  for a hockey club. So I began to imagine to play and run along the beach with cute fluffy short-legged dogs, with my long-black hair down and beautiful sunset sky. Imagine how sexy that scene would be in a slow-motioned clip. I was waiting for it to happen before my flights to Bali.

When in Bali, it happened, unluckily with some modifications. Instead of running along with me, they ran behind me to chase me for no reason with unstoppable barking. The dogs in Bali, especially in Canggu and Ubud, are very different from what we have in Sumatra. They’re not afraid of humans, but also not in a friendly way. They’re as scary as Japanese Yakuza (though I haven’t met Yakuza in person).

I wanted to do a morning walk. A morning walk in Bali, that sounds like a movie, ain’t it? What happened next was indeed like in movies,  HORROR MOVIE though. Sensing I am an easy prey and has a lot of bones, three dogs chased me. WTH, they have 12 legs and I only have two!! I screamed for help in my girly sundress, made me look more like Annabelle than a sexy sweet beach girl that I planned to be. I literally almost cried having thoughts in my head that my family and friends would read my name in newspapers; GIRL KILLED GANG-CHASED BY WILD DOGS IN CANGGU. Luckily a tourist couple helped to rescue me from the frustrating situation meanwhile three local guys–who previously cat-called me–just laughed and one was ready to record a video. How dare you, you son of sandwich!!

That was just one of my numerous thriller experiences with wild dogs in Bali. These dogs are not always street dogs, they have owners. But how could they be so different if I compared to dogs that the tourists bring. In Bali, you can find people drive bike with dog, even two dogs in one bike, that looks very cool and cute. And these dogs are swag, friendly and tamed. I believe that the way animals behave to humans are the reflection of what is wrong/right about the community.

Later I made friends with a local who loves dog so much and always travel with two dogs on his bike. He loves dog from the heart as real friends, not as fancy accessories or toys that you sell when you get bored of. He told me that many locals treat dogs just as house security and don’t give them care and affection that they long for. Also common that they’re left in the street when the owners don’t need them anymore. Well, even humans can behave wildly in that situation. So please, if you can’t love your dogs, don’t have one so that a sweet girl in sundress like me can have a peaceful walk in Bali.

PS: Not all areas are like this. Only in Canggu and Ubud that I found dogs are a bit uncontrollable. Other than that are safe(r), people treat dogs as pets they love.

Cihud Bali Dogs

It’s always been there

IMG_1176I was arranging my bookshelves when I stumbled upon my old notebooks and binders. I realised that I used to always keep two kinds of journals; diary and inspiration books. When I wanted to write about my feelings and experience, I poured in my diaries. Inspiration books are where I collaged everything that I liked from printed media, whether it’s quotes, articles, illustration, language learning, and fashion styles.

These are some inspiration books I kept since 2006. At that time internet was expensive and there’s no Pinterest, I couldn’t just pin-and-save all the inspiration I like. I was a magazine addict, I hunted old English teenage magazines because I wanted to learn English (later I found out, English teenage magazines’ content was too ‘mature’ and ‘experienced’ for an ordinary nerdy Indonesian teen like me, seriously they talked about sex and sexual identity at that age, I was like, “Ouch!! Is it porn?”)

I didn’t keep inspiration books anymore since I befriended more intensely with internet. Also after highschool I was distracted with so many silly things. Also, we often listen more to what other people say than to our selves. Now at this age, 10 years later, re-reading those books makes me realized there are some parts of me that’s always been there and haven’t changed. Yet, at some stage, I didn’t know it :

  1. I’ve always been fond of fashion; about 60% of the content is fashion collage. I cut all the looks that I like, they all have similarity, that explains my style. After learning fashion at 27 y.o, I knew that method is called Mood-boarding, that’s what fashion students and designers have to do to design a collection and to find what their styles are. Meaning I have had done it before I even know that’s a part of a curriculum in fashion design study. No wonder now I go back to what I dreamed at 16-17, to be a fashion designer.
  2. I love languages; I collected vocabs and idioms from books and movies. I always watched English movies with notebook and dictionary in my hands. I watched a movie more than once, first to follow the story, second to check the new vocabularies, third time to re-play with new knowledge I got. And not only English, I taught myself Japanese and Spanish ( I still can understand a little Japanese, but Spanish has been gone forever from my brain and muscle memory, haha!). Now, I am a big fan of illegal movie streaming, too many movies and videos to watch, I can’t waste my 6 hours for just one movie!
  3. I like writing; I created fiction, short stories and sometimes poems. But majority of my short stories dont have endings yet, I dont think it’s because I didnt know how to end them, I just hopped to other stories/ things that caught my attention.

I see I made progress in my drawing and writing, language as well. I think these fashion moodboards by far have given me more inspiration than other resources I have now, because it’s already filtered by the old me to define the future me. The present me is stealing from myself in the past. Like Austin Kleon said, “We steal from ourselves; from dreams and memories.”

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I drew this when I was a Japanese Manga-lover 16 y.o kid.

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Those on the right are from 9 years ago. The green one is the most recent, a month ago.

How about you, what have you stolen from your dreams and memories?