Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Mix It Up a Notch: Reddish Chunky Cardi

As autumn is subtly closing in the northern hemisphere, I thought I would open up my outfit archives and look through my favourite autumnal pieces. This chunky cardigan will have to be my number one champion. Since purchasing it from C&A's children's section in 2012, I have been wearing it every single autumn without fail. Some people might find the wool quite itchy and uncomfortable, but I for one feel absolutely cozy in it. Although I've ever only worn it 5-6 times on the blog, I used to wear it around the house in the colder months. The autumnal colour is definitely swoon-worthy and the oversized and loose cut makes it look super cozy and cute. It might actually be more appropriate to be worn indoors with its almost bathrobe-like style, but I do love to wear it out and about, especially under coats. Now, living in a tropical country, I can hardly wear it anymore—unless I'm feeling really, really cold or really, really sick—but I do wish an opportunity will present itself for me to reunite with autumn and break this out again.

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Friday, 25 November 2016

Ethical Fashion: ALAS

Hello, everyone! After a bit of radio silence for the last couple weeks, I thought I would come back with a new ethical fashion feature. Do you know that ethical fashion is no longer a niche? More and more ethical fashion labels are popping up all over the world and it's simply inspiring. More brands are providing clothes for everyday wear, not simply for the fashion conscious crowd, including our brand of the month, ALAS. ALAS itself stands for All Light All Shadow, which is the basis of everything their label does, from their design aesthetics to their supply chain. It is their philosophy to shed light on their manufacturing process.

Starting with two friends in Australia, ALAS has built a reputation around the world since 2011 designing and offering first only sustainable sleepwear. Today their collections can be divided into three categories: Wake, Move and Sleep. Wake is basically casual wear for your daily routine, Move is their sportswear collection and Sleep is the array of pyjamas and night dresses they design. Talk about the perfect everyday wear, no? Their fabrics are all woven sweatshop-free in Jaipur, India, while also collaborating with a knit factory in Tiruppur (also India). You can read all about their worker ethics here. Their concern for the environment shows in the variety of fabrics they use, such as organic cotton, organic chambray and even recycled PET Polyester. The dyeing and printing method they use also avoid using toxic heavy metals, AZOs and formaldehyde. Even their packagings are recycled and recyclable!

For someone who is crazy about novelty prints like I am, ALAS is definitely easy on the eyes. I absolutely love the mix of vibrant and subtle colours in all the patterns that they use. Their patterns are also so modern, albeit drawing inspirations from vintage pieces and motifs. If you're not into patterns, though, fret not as they also provide a lot of solid-coloured items as well—and even intimates. The cut also tends to not be body-specific, allowing people of virtually any body type to fit into each design. I love how they design unisex items as well, although I would love to see more of those—or, you know, the men section. But I'm seriously excited about more ethical brands like this, providing clothes for necessity and not just style. Don't you agree? ;)


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Friday, 18 November 2016

Orange You Glad to See Me?

Feels like it's been forever since I've been on the internet—which is funny, because I scroll through my social media all the time. I guess it just feels that way because I haven't really been posting much lately. Is that actually normal for you guys, finding very little content from me? I feel so disconnected somehow, because the only time I have to actually leisurely catch up with what everyone else has posted on social media is before and after bed. And even then I am always rushed to go to sleep or get ready for class and whatnot, so I usually simply skim through everything. It's currently midterm season and I've been staying up all night trying to catch the deadline—barely making it and pretty sure I'm going to fail most of my classes this semester. Work has been quite demanding of me lately—bored of me saying that yet?—and I'm gasping for air, trying to balance the two. But enough about me, how are you guys? Are you doing well?

old top + skirt + shoes // Kaboki bag (old) // heart necklace via Etsy // photos by Akita

These photos were taken on one Saturday where I went on a little date with my sister, a chance to get away from the piles of to-do lists and pending works. It was probably a bad decision that I made. I stayed up quite late that night, trying to catch up with all of the things that I needed to get done—and didn't even crack the surface. Anyway, I thought I would wear something casual, comfortable and in my absolute favourite colour. My sister said I looked like a hobo—after unsuccessfully referring my style as boho—but I really like its carefree silhouette and the vibrant colour and prints. Ah, comfort zone~ The special thing about this outfit is the shoes, which I stopped wearing after this outfit merely because the soles came off. My Stepmom glued them back together but we were all doubtful they wouldn't fall off again, so I walked really carefully and slowly the whole day—and brought spare shoes LOL.

P.S.: That last photo is the sequel to this instagram post, in case you guys want more :')




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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Tuna + Spinach Macaroni Schotel

This month I wasn't going to do a recipe either—because I've been swamped lately and (let's face it!) recipes are the last thing on my mind. However, I feel like I would be betraying my commitment by not creating another recipe this month, so here we are! (Sorry for the super long prologue to this recipe!) Anyway—ahem!—today's recipe has no theme whatsoever other than upcycling some leftover tuna from dinner, which makes any cooking experience easier, to be honest. Schotel is basically dutch for casserole and macaroni schotel has been an essential childhood food for many Indonesian children—it dominated my childhood, anyway. It's not vegan/vegetarian-friendly, I'm afraid—sorry to all my vegan friends—and the preparation does feel a bit tedious, but it feels like it can be a future comfort food. Enjoy!

Ingredients 
  • 300 gr macaroni
  • 800 ml milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 100 gr spinach
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 nutmeg, grated
  • 200 gr cheddar cheese, grated
  • 250 gr steamed tuna, shredded
  • 100 gr mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • oregano (optional)
  1. Pick the spinach leaves off its stalks and steam it for 5 minutes
  2. Boil the macaroni until al dente
  3. In a small pan, melt the butter, add in the onion and sautée until fragrant
  4. Preheat the oven at 180ºC
  5. In a bowl mix the eggs, the sautéed onion and grated cheese, add in the nutmeg and mix well
  6. Put the spinach into the mixture, mix well
  7. Put the macaroni into the mixture, mix well
  8. Add the salt and pepper, then the tuna and mix well
  9. Line a baking dish with butter and pour the whole mixture onto it
  10. Sprinkle some more grated cheddar on top
  11. Bake the mixture for around 20 minutes then take it out
  12. Put the mozzarella on top of the half-baked mixture and stick the dish back into the oven
  13. Let bake for another 10-15 minutes
  14. Serve while hot!

Tips: As usual, make sure the ingredients are room temperature before starting with the mixing. It's not really essential, but it does help ease the mixing process. In this one, I used long pipe-like macaroni, but you can use the rainbow-like macaroni as well. The nutmeg is used to give a typical dutch aroma, while the oregano gives a more Italian twist—I used both and they work perfectly together. The only reason I used tuna was because we have a few leftover, but you can use sardines or mackerel if you want—I would recommend that, because tuna is one of those overfished fishes. Would recommend eating this on rainy days or days when nothing seems to go right. Lass es euch schmecken!


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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Illustrators Arise: Junissa Bianda

Well, hello there, artsy folks! How are you doing? Hope you're well 'cause I've got some great news: it's time for another edition of Illustrators Arise! Woohoo! In case you're unfamiliar with it, Illustrators Arise is where I introduce my favourite illustrators from all over the world every month through an interview so you guys can read along and get to know them too. This year has been all about showcasing Indonesia's best illustrators and this month we're going to talk to an illustrator who creates adorable children and have a passion for Indonesian folktales. Meet Junissa Bianda, a young illustrator currently pursuing her education in San Francisco. It was through instagram that I found her works and fell in love at first sight. Her adorable style and light use of colour is absolutely refreshing. Growing up with six siblings, she always identifies herself as a story-teller among her brothers and sister. Now living in California, Junissa spends her free time jogging, cycling, cooking and exploring the coffee places in SF.

Hello there, Junissa! Can we start with when you first started drawing and what made you decide to become an illustrator?










It all started at an early age for me. Back in kindergarten, my mother had put me in various art classes such as painting, paper crafts, knitting and even enrolled me to a drawing competition using crayons. I didn’t win, I was dead last I believe, but that didn’t break my spirit at all. It wasn’t something that I was forced to do, yet I love drawing from the very start. Throughout my years, I was torn between fine-art and illustration, even until I graduated my bachelor in UPH studying DKV. Then it occurred to me, I want to learn more than just graphic design, and I want to test myself by studying abroad just to see what it’s like to have my own full responsibility. I visited many university websites and one caught my eye, that is the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. This school had established many well known illustrators, and as I saw all the works that they produced, it made me decide to be an Illustrator.

If I’m not mistaken, you are currently studying Illustration in San Francisco. What made you enrol in the program and would you recommend it to other people?
What made me enroll in the Academy was mainly because I want to test myself if I’m good enough out there, and also to earn new knowledge. Not based on art skills alone, but managing my life alone in the city. It did build up my character both as an artist and as a person. I do recommend studying abroad, but it does require a lot of self discipline.


What kind of materials do you usually use?
For manual, I use colored markers and gouache on mix media paper. In digital I mainly use Photoshop.


On your website you say that you want to re-introduce Indonesian folktales to get children excited about reading books. Why do you think this is important? Which folktales do you want to re-introduce the most?
I grew up reading Indonesian folktales actually, and I loved hearing most of the stories. It’s a shame that kids nowadays have little knowledge about it. Right now in the Academy, I’ve made one of Indonesia’s well known folktale titled “Timun Mas” as my thesis, and I’m planning to publish it once I graduate. Hopefully if the market likes it, I’ll publish another one. One step at a time :)


Your little project “Nice to Draw You” looks so adorable! What inspired you to start this project and what have you learnt from it?
I've always wanted to do this for a long time, but never found the free time to start. What get it going was actually the jet-lag I got from traveling back to Jakarta from San Francisco. So I drew around 5am every single morning, and it took me an hour for each piece. The purpose was to make my friends happy of course, but to also practice. The more I draw, surprisingly the quicker I become.


Although you technically live in the US at the moment, you still manage to land a job with Erlangga. Would you mind sharing about the collaboration?




Erlangga’s project landed at the most perfect time for me, which was during at the start of my Thesis. They first reached out to me through email, then we start emailing back and forth about the deadline etc. There was no obstacle at all, time difference actually helped, weirdly. The finalization of the book thankfully was at the time I had a summer break in Jakarta. It will be released at the end of the year, very excited.

Your illustrations always manage to tell a story and you have an apt for character designing. Would you ever consider writing and illustrating a book of your own?
Thank you, and yes. I was also considering to make an educational children's book using my own characters.


Aside from story-telling, you seem to have a gift for creating novelty prints to be used for merchandising. Are you selling them? If not, have you ever thought about the possibility of doing so?
I’m considering that to be a side career in the future. For now I think that I would probably approach more into licensing my prints, or for small commissions.


What does the future look like for Junissa Bianda?
Graduate first from the Academy. Then publish more books I hope, and we’ll see from there.

If an amateur illustrator comes up to you and ask for advice, what would you tell him/her?
You have to love what you do, if not better not do it at all. Self discipline and don’t be afraid to explore new techniques or medias.

A little note from me

One of the first things which attracted me to Junissa's works was the simplicity of her style, which doesn't take away from the cuteness level of the characters that she illustrates. Her more cartoon-y, disney-esque style is quite different from most Indonesian illustrators who tend to lean towards the anime/manga style—including myself. I absolutely love how Junissa's illustrations can always tell a story yet at the same time applied to many uses and items. Her passion for story-telling clearly shines through and, after learning of her love for Indonesian folktales, she becomes more and more impressive. Geography doesn't seem like an obstacle to her, be it for job opportunities, making friends or pursuing her education—which I think shouldn't limit us as a person either. Really looking forward to reading her Timun Mas thesis when it gets published!

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