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.”

IMG_1180

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

IMG_1190

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?

Advertisements

Now it’s funny

Living in Indonesia means you have to be accustomed to natural disasters and mysterious parking men whom we have to pay money to for their unavailing assistance. Western part of Sumatra island is prone to earthquake, that is where I had most of my earthquake experience when I stayed there for five years since my senior year in high school until I finished college.

I hate earthquake not only because it scares the hell out of me but also because it forces me to make ultra super quick decisions about my life. I am very bad at being spontaneous, even when I navigate a journey with a GPS, if the driver asks me suddenly which way to go, I often say the wrong direction. My brain could not synchronize under pressure.

My first earthquake experience in West Sumatra happened to me in the worst situation anyone would want to be during an earthquake, which is when I was totally naked. I was enjoying my bath like a princess, shampooing my hair like Pantene commercials, life was perfect. Until then all of a sudden I felt my boarding house was moving like waves, I thought my shampoo had caused me drunk, but it’s not possible because I used the shampoo on my hair, not in my mouth. It was the bloody earthquake! OMG, can’t you just wait until I get dressed, earthquake??!!

That’s the first time in my life I had to choose between my self-esteem and my safety. What if I ran out naked and the earthquake stopped after I threw away my dignity–that I actually questioned if I had one. But if I chose to at least get dressed first, what if the earthquake got worse and torn the house apart? Then I could have died while locking my bra, which is not the dead position I want to die in. I waited for some seconds, still naked, but the shaking kept getting harder so I just got out of the bathroom and found something to cover my body with. No bra, underwear nor pants needed, a very simple and cover-it-all clothing, which was a mukena (RED–a praying cloth for muslim women) that was not even mine!

I managed to escape out of the house with my emergency-dignity-saving cloth, my flatmates and landlords were already outside, frightened. Not because of seeing me coming out of the house, but because of the earthquake of course. I saw some of the neighbors were also wearing mukenas, I wondered if they were also naked underneath.

Then my landlord decided to take us all to safer place heading to higher area in the city because we were afraid it had tsunami potentials, so we should move from the downtown area to a more hilly place. So my landlord commanded us to hurrily pack our belongings and valuables. We entered the house with anxiety and fear of following earthquakes. The first thing I did was of course getting dressed, then another earthquake hit when I just finished clothing my self, but again and again I had to make a quick decisions about the things I had to bring for my survival, what are the things I couldnt live without that I had to pack in my pink backpack. I didn’t think much, I just grabbed anything I saw and ran downstairs.

In the car, my flatmates and I were still shocked by our experience. Since now I had more laxness to think and breathe normally, I wanted to check what I had packed inside my backpack, because it felt heavy. And what I found inside made my eyes out!! I just put my school textbooks into my survival kit! WTH was I thinking?? Ironically the textbooks I brought were Math and History. Seriously, of all subjects that Indonesian kids are forced to learn, why did I choose to save my Math book, a subject that I am most allergic to!! History book was still okay, just in case I couldn’t sleep if we had to stay in evacuation place, the book would be useful for my bedtime story. But Math??? It’s the first thing that I said “I hate you” to in my life, I felt haunted by it, like it forced to stay in my life. To make it worse, that goddamn math textbook was fricking thick like 300 pages, meanwhile my history book was only 200 something. For real?? As I can remember math books were just filled with numbers, spaces, brackets, and Xs and Ys, how could it be thicker than my history book?? Whose idea was this?? I needed to kill him/ her.

I looked at my friend’s next to me, I realised that the t-shirt she chose to wear on that scary day had this writing : “Oh, what a wonderful experience!” along with drawings of sunflower, rainbow and butterfly. Really?? Of all her clothes she chose that reality-contradictory tee?? I wondered if what she had in her bag was worse than my choice or not.

From that first experience, I learned that I had to always prepare my survival backpack so that I could easily directly grabbed if earthquake happened again. I promised my self to directly prepare my survival and pack my valuables as soon as we got back.

It’s almost midnight that we reached back home and chose to sleep in our boarding house as the condition was getting calmer. With a strong determination, I walked to my room, ready to pack my valuables. Then I just realised, I was a high school student and hadn’t started earning money, the question was not even “What valuable things in my life that I have to CHOOSE to save?” but “Do I even have anything worth-saving??” What I treated like gold and diamond at that time was my Naruto DVDs collection, that wouldn’t help me if Armageddon came to me. I didn’t have laptop or netbook, just a very old computer inherited from my brother that I would have been so thankful if anything destroyed it. It’s a kind of mixed feelings knowing that everything I had in my life was worthless, but at the same time relieved that I didn’t need to worry about anything but my own life.

I knocked on my flatmate’s door, she was also packing. I saw a teddy bear doll in her survival bag, I asked why she needed a doll for an emergency situation, she said it was from her boyfriend, she’s taking all the gifts from her BF inside her bag, maybe she thought that would be a romantic way to die. That’s a proof that love makes us stupid sometimes. I looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t need to save any stupid dolls because I didn’t have any BF to give me any silly furry things, I hadn’t even dated at that age as I was a late blossom. My nothingness was complete. I felt free.

smartselectimage_2017-09-01-13-35-56.png

 

Yoga Mat Sprays by Utama Spice

IMG_1133It’s very important to keep your yoga mat clean especially if you practice with it often. Not only that the fresh aromatherapeutic smell can energise you but also that you don’t want to get breakouts on your face as a result of a dirty mat.

When I did yoga in Bali, I noticed that almost all the yogis always clean the mats (whether the ones they brought or provided by the studios) before and after use. Most yoga studios provided yoga mat sprays, which is very different from yoga studios and gyms I’ve been to in Lampung and West Sumatra. In fancy gyms I went to, the mats are cleaned by the gym staffs weekly with brush and soaps which can damage the mats obviously. Regular yoga studios also don’t provide any yoga mat cleaning sprays. It feels gross to me that’s why I’d rather use my own. But if you’re a mobile person and do yoga while travelling, bringing your own yoga mat could be a bit troublesome. Using studio’s mats is one easier option. For that reason, having a go-to yoga mat spray could be the solution.

I made my own yoga mat spray with the how-to I learned from the internet, minus the essential oils because I couldn’t find them in West Sumatra. Sometimes I only use wet tissue to clean my mats. But was curious to try this Utama Spice’s Supa Dupa Yoga Mat Spray when I was in Bali because the brand’s other beauty products have stolen my heart and it was not pricey, only Rp 47.000 (US 4$). Then I got a gift package from Utama Spice after I made a review video, so now I have two more yoga mat sprays from Utama Spice; Energizing and Lavender.

I gotta say if compared to my homemade yoga mat sprays, these sprays by Utama Spice smell so much relaxing. It affects my practice and sooth my mind as they’re blended with essential oils. Out of the three variants, my favorite is the Energizing one meanwhile Supa Dupa that I bought is too strong for my nose, that I have to let it dry for some minutes before use to reduce the strong scent.

I have mentioned about this 100% natural beauty brand before in my previous post. It’s super quick and easy to clean your mat with this. You just need to spray it on (spray at about a 15-20 cm distance) wait for like 10 seconds for the spray to settle and then wipe it with paper towel or simply let it dry. What I like is the size that’s so travel friendly and portable.

Even though I like these yoga mat sprays, I don’t think I will repurchase after I finish all of them. Not because I dont like them, I do like them a lot, but I use yoga mat sprays often, I am too stingy to spend regularly on my yoga mat cleaning, haha. I already have essential oils by Utama Spice, so I’d prefer to create my own like I did before, but this time it will smell better coz I will use essential oils!

Freebies from Utama Spice

cIMG_1122

When I visited Bali two weeks ago, that’s the first time I heard about this brand I’ve fallen in love with this Bali-based skincare brand so much! Therefore I made a video about it where I review the organic skincare products that I bought in Bali, most of them are Utama Spice’s products.

And hey, the video has brought me to this gift set from Utama Spice as a thank-you gift for reviewing and choosing their products! Aww, that’s such a honor for me and that’s the first time I got gifts from my video, hehe. That makes me feel appreciated as a newbie youtuber 😀

The package came in a very cute and very Balinese tin box, my mom directly took the box when we unboxed the package. Inside, I got four lovely products that I actually wanted to buy when in Bali, but I decided in the last minutes when in the airport, so I couldn’t find them. Lucky me that the universe attracted them to me! They are:

  1. Yoga Mat Spray Lavender (100 ml);
  2. Yoga Mat Spray Energizing (100 ml);
  3. Argan Oil (30 ml);
  4. Essential Oil Lavender (10 ml).

IMG_1124IMG_1125

I am really fond of organic skincare, skincare from big names such as Kiehl’s or SK-II or whatever pricey brands people are talking about on the internet are not appealing to me, so for years I have been a loyal The Body Shop customer. But the price is always increasing and I am looking for a more affordable alternative, I gotta say Utama Spice is the answer. The range of products is not as big as TBS as TBS has make-up products, while Utama Spice only focuses on body treatment. Their yoga mat sprays are one of the best-selling products, especially in Bali, the Mecca for yoga in Indonesia.

I bought one of the yoga mat spray in my Bali haul, so now I have three, and I’m loving all of them that I am too greedy to share, haha! I will make separated product review for the yoga mat sprays later.

So now I’ve collected several products from Utama Spice and will surely re-purchase them!

IMG_1135

Learn more about and shop Utama Spice from their official page and the Instagram page. Or you can also find them on Sociolla.

The Artist Is Present : How Is This Art?

Marina Abramovic. I guess this name is probably not familiar to your ears. I also hadn’t known anything about her nor her works until I stumbled upon her documentary film that traces her prolific career during the preparation of her exhibition in Moma in 2010. The exhibition itself is titled “The Artist Is Present” which is also the title of the doco. In the exhibition, the Yugoslavian-born performance artist sat for 750 hours (nearly 3 months), no talking and just staring to each visitor that kept coming and lining to be given attention, the artist’s and audience’s communication is performed without speech nor body contact, just by looking at each other’s eyes, as it’s true, eyes are the windows of the heart.

But why??? Why did she do that? I can’t even sit in the same position for 2 hours (that’s why I quit my job), and she nailed 750? And the question is, how is this art??

My question is also mentioned in the beginning of the doco, I guess that’s what most people think of in the first place, especially if we never thought deeply about art and which can be called as art. The doco doesn’t state the answers explicitly, because art is the interpretation towards it. Art explains in the way that makes people think and feel and done using techniques that can be learned.

After reading some definitions about art by respected artists and authors, I conclude (for myself) that if something can only touch the brain, but not feelings, it’s not art. If it only moves feelings but doesn’t make people think, it’s not art. And if it’s done coincidentally, no techniques, it’s not art. That’s why, being an artist is not easy. Hence, sitting and giving attention to strangers with no talking may sound easy peasy, but look deeper before you judge, it’s not easy to be done, the performer has to make preparation to train herself to be able to not only physically do it, but also to be mentally ready to focus and clear her state of mind to every new stranger, giving everyone the same clear start and be present.

Well, ask yourself, how much are you really being in the moment with the people you’re with without thinking of other things. Sometimes we forget to really enjoy the moment because our head is somewhere else, whether it’s on the laundry, Instagram feeds, the country’s economy, or the Game of Thrones’ episodes.  That’s why I like yoga because it unites the mind, body and soul, to really be present and clear the noise in my restless mind. Savasana, the sleeping position in the end of a sequence is truly the hardest asana if we really understand what it is about. As Marina herself stated, “We always project into the future or reflect in the past, but we are so little in the moment.”

quote-the-function-of-the-artist-in-a-disturbed-society-is-to-give-awareness-of-the-universe-marina-abramovic-0-8-45

For me, some of her other works are also amazing even though it put herself in potential serious dangers. Like in Rhythm 0 (1974) she invited audience to use any of 72 objects on her body in any way they desired, completely giving up control. People hate her and call her satan worshipper, whether it’s true or not it doesn’t matter for me. I always find artists make their selves ambiguous. Anyway, the artist’s beliefs and other personal stuffs should not be an issue to appreciate art. I idolise the works, not the artists, because the works remains the same while the artists may change.

I also dig in about her works with Ulay–her true love who then cheated on her **Oh man, that’s the most blunder thing in your life! One blog post cant be enough for me to talk about her works, they really make me think of deeper questions in life and about society we live in. I really hope to meet someone whether in person or online to discuss about it. Please let me know if you think there are other artist names that I should learn about, I will be happy 😀

Cute Aprons by CRAFTOPIA

cIMG_0893One of the products that I make on my online shop is the very stylish and girlish aprons. You know I love making things, especially cute things. Making apron is one of the new things I’ve tried this year since March 2017. I started my online craft shop in late 2013, but because of my job at that time, I only did pillows for 2 years because making pillows is the easiest and fastest crafts to make for me. It was going really well, like I made 80 pillows every month at the same time having a full-time day job. It made me have no life. LOL. But because of my job, I hibernated my shop for about a year or more. It’s in mid 2016 that I started to focus on my shop again. However, of course I couldn’t make a comeback with the same strategy. Also making only pillows for enough time doesn’t make me proud. I challenged myself with more complicated crafts, started with yoga bags then aprons.

The aprons that CRAFTOPIA makes are possibly too stylish and fancy to be actually worn for cooking, I know, hehe. Well I design them not for actual kitchen-related activities as the function of aprons has shifted to many ways. My shop can be called a gift shop, so my customers usually buy them for gifts for girlfriends, friends, mothers etc or for their own selves because they love cute things. My customers also range to business owners (mostly fashion boutiques and culinary business) who want to set a uniforms for their employees instead of giving the employees clothes which costs more money. With aprons, the employers do not need to think about the size nor worry if the staff quits, they don’t need to buy new clothes for future new staffs as aprons can fit all size. So the employees usually just wear t-shirts underneath the aprons.

Also, people ordered to me for special occasions like pre-wedding, bridal showers, and even arisan! I like to be part of other people’s happiness, if my crafts make people happy and their special days more special, that means more than material rewards. I myself maybe haven’t flown all over my country, but I know thousands of my products have been spread all over Indonesia.

Sewing apron is also the baby steps for me to eventually make clothes. I set the target that this year I have to able to sew clothes. Follow my creative passion on my shop’s IG account and youtube channel. And here are some of my apron designs. To shop, click here.

Have a nice day, peeps!

#Forever25

One day before my 27th birthday

Yesterday I turned 27, two years passed my favorite age and hopefully still far from death.

For me in my own world, my age has stopped counting since two years ago. I want to believe and feel–and look–like I’m forever 25 even though I haven’t been bitten (nor kissed) by a vampire.

25 for me was the best age. People said life begins at 30 or 40, I haven’t been both, for me that couldnt be true unless you’re George Clooney, who still looked like 27 in his 40s. Everybody has different favorite age, for me it’s 25 because during teenage years, even though we have the fitness vitality, we’re still emotionally unstable compared to the mid 20s.

My wake-up call in life occurred at 25, where I totally stop being socially dependent on friends or guys and have become more money-wise compared to when I first started making money. Every year, I always try to do new things in life and improve my self, I am happy that none of my 20s so far has been boring, there’s always new things that I did. But my 25 is special for me. I’ve tried many things at 25 and was not even afraid to fail as for me it’s better to fail at young age than feeling dissatisfied in old age. Also, because I was (and still am) not married yet, I had total freedom and financial asset to try and do things I wanted in order to really discover who I am and what I really want in life, I didn’t need to care nor to share, only when I wanted to (luckily, my parents and family don’t need me to help to support them). At my 25, I’ve stopped caring about others’ opinions towards me and stopped following trends. I’ve become more immune to people’s disagreements as I am the one who’s gonna live my life anyway.

By the way, I found this chart on ages we peak at everything throughout life. According to this chart, I’ve passed the peak age for female attractiveness. This hurts, haha, but hopefully it doesn’t apply to me like it doesnt apply to Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne, seriously those women still look like the first time they appeared in show business!

And after this age, I will be supposedly in the best age for running a marathon! Haha, really? TV series marathon I think… Anyway, I’m still so excited about turning 27, because of my turning-point in my 25, 27 doesn’t feel old at all. Especially because many people still ask whether I am still in college if they first meet me. Lol! I don’t know whether I really look younger or they were just being nice. But if I do, maybe that’s because I keep believing and feeling that I’m 25. Like it or not, I’m forever 25!

25 y.o me