Saturday, September 5, 2009

click click clack

One thing you should always be thankful for is your talented friends. These are some photos of me and my talented boys, photographed by my talented photographer friends.

These ones are by Noorman Wijaksana,the always-smiling guy from next door town, Bandung. The mural of the "Headless Songstress" on the wall was done by my also very talented best friend, Painsugar. All photos taken at Flat Sarijadi, courtesy of Forum Pekerja PTDI Bandung. They're fighting a real cause, so google them if you would and give your support

But along the process, we sadly had to part ways with one of our band members. Leaving the five piece band to only four peeps left. This also mean that we must do another photo shoot for the new formation.
This time, lovely photographer Adnyani Dewi lent a hand (and an eye), and these are her results

Friday, September 4, 2009

Whatever it was i did, it was no excuse for abandoning my blog this long.
I have been purrty busy, that is apparent. Have i turned into one of those boring people who doesn't have the time to stop and smell the roses?
Well, yes and no.
Yes... because i haven't been making good use of my fingers and right brain for months. Not a single craft work. Not even little origami or collage.... nothing!
This was my last work, and it was done moooooonths ago.

But... the good news is, I haven't been completely useless. My coffee shop is still buzzing nicely, thank goodness. Although i wish i could have given it more attention than i actually am now. The other good news. My album was finally released last month. I've decided to self-release it this time, meaning i'm not only singing , but also taking care of everything from design, distribution, promotions, and management here and there. Of course i get tremendous help from the band and our friends.
Anyway, the music project is called TIKA & the dissidents and the album is called "the Headless Songstress"
And in case you're wondering, it's doing wonderfully marvelous!
Great reviews, sales are unexpectedly good, and the CD packaging that I designed is getting lots of cool responses.
You see, in replacement of your boring old plastic jewel case (why do they call it 'jewel case' anyway? it's nothing but break-a-lot rectangular plastic).... I went for a fabric pouch instead. I slipped in a scrapbook inside with all the necessary info - lyrics, credits, etc- plus 70 pages of blank sketch paper for the CD buyers to use as they wish.
Of course, the CD is in there too, tucked in the last page of the book inside a nice powder blue envelope.
Here's a picture.

Bottom line, as much as i am ecstatically happy with my music project, I really miss doing all the other things that i love. Crafting, cooking, traveling, and sharing it all right here on this blog.

go to to get more information about "TIKA & the dissidents" and "the Headless Songstress"

Friday, January 2, 2009

the shop is on the way

It's been almost a year since me and my two buddies shali and ika talked about starting our own shop.
The three of us thinks its about time we have a place that supports and distributes the craft works we've been making for years. And other crafters' works as well of course.
We want a feel-good business. Something that gives and gives back.
And so we came up with Bikin Barang, which in Bahasa Indonesia translates to "making stuff". A shop that sells handmade stuff and vintage treasures as well as craft supplies to support the craft movement. Our products will range from plushies to furnitures, knit pillows to screen printed artworks.... everything handmade.

Then we started making plans, having meetings, concepting, calculating.... and then we get distracted.... and we make plans again, have meetings again, we re-concepted, we re-calculated, and then... we get distracted again.

This time we dont let our self get distracted. This past few days, we've been busy decorating the shop. We've contacted fellow crafters and told them the good news we've been waiting to say since the day we came up with this idea "Our shop is opening, would you like to participate?"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Majestic Playground

Here in Jakarta, lies a little piece of chaotic playground we call Majestic. There's nothing really majestic about our Majestic. Its a pretty big traditional market. But it has all kinds of treasures hidden and buried in its little corners.
From kitschy kitchen wares, miles of beautiful fabrics, to dusty vintage knick knacks piled in the back of a shop.
This photo shows one of the many kiosks that sell sewing supplies inside the market. Each kiosk has their own unique wall of buttons... new shiny colorful buttons... old retro patterned buttons... buttons buttons... i can never resist.


White Tee Project, part 2

This one was a challenge i got from a local magazine called Spice, to customize an oversized White T-Shirt.
I turned it into a dress. That chicken drawing on the bottom part was sort of an act of last minute desperation. Like always, i procrastinated on this project until the day before the deadline. I tried to fancy it up with a couple of red feathers that i 'plucked' off a boa feather syawl.
Overall I think I could have done a better job, but it turned out okay.

White Tee Project, Part 1

I LOVE plain white t-shirts. I love it on men, women, children, babies. I even love them when they're just hung to dry in my back yard. I love them alone and in a bunch. I love them so much I cant help using them for props in the photo session for my next album's cover.
This isnt supposed to be published yet, so lets call it a sneak peak... ;-p

Saturday, September 6, 2008

the idle piano

It stands merely as decoration now.... after enduring years of abandonment hidden in my auntie's garage, being moved from one house to the next, and surviving a thigh high flood that soaked up Jakarta last year, this piano can sing no more. Not in tune at least.

But this beautiful piece is the witness to me and my cousins' dissidence and dilligence during our years of fruitless piano lessons. Speaking for myself, as a little girl i had always managed to avoid piano lessons with every stupid excuses i could think of.
Now i regret it. Really really really regret it.

Now everytime i walk through the living room and see this piano, i feel mocked... as if it is saying "Dont you wish you had taken me seriously back when i sounded beautiful?"


Sunday, August 24, 2008

its THE dress

Old dress pattern books are just great, arent they? The illustrations are so fabulous, and sometimes you are so busy admiring them that you forgot all about the real essence of a pattern book.... the patterns.

I have had this one vintage pattern book since the mid nineties, but never occured to me to actually use it to make a dress. Untill one day i found this beautiful floral print fabric which not only looks good, but feels great too.

I suddenly thought of the book, went right home and took it out of the shelf. And oh yes, i found the perfect dress pattern for the fabric and began snipping and seaming right away.

I loooooooved how it turned out.

A year later i wore it for my video. Perfect.

oh, mom....

meet my mother...

i took this during one of her visits when i was in seattle, around 2001. she's too self concious to pose in front of the camera, so i told her to just relax and be herself....and this was what she did.

again, i used a slide film and no digital retouching. i love slides.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

zine library in a jiffy

We had only one night and no budget at all to turn a drab corner of a hall into a display space and reading area for peniti pink's zines. This was for an exhibition of Jakarta urban culture that Peniti Pink participated in.
We had no idea what to do with the odd space, so we did what most desperate people have done (at least once) in their desperate moments of deco block (deco block is like a writer's block, but in decorator's context, hehe).... we used newspapers.
We photocopied a bunch of images, stuck it along with the newspapers, brought stuff from our homes that we could use for display, and spread a rug and throw pillows for the reading area.

And voila... we were the belle of the hall....

oooh yay, whatta saturday!

Its one of those days that I can really call 'a wonderful day'!

I woke up at 7 in the morning, icing 45 cupcakes that a nice lady ordered for her daughter's birthday. Then went back to bed... haha...

Woke up (again) just in time to cook lunch and bake apple crumble for my family. Something that i havent done lately.

Then went with my buddies to the national gallery for an exhibition of some young local artists. Another thing that we rarely do lately. There were some really fabulous artworks there.
Out side the gallery, we accidentally run into a jam session and saw a man with the most magical voice i've heard in a long time.

Then we went to the park, bought little kites- yes kites!!- and flew the kites. Another thing that we rarely do at all.
Kites are fun... kites are so much fun!

Then as our stomachs instructed, we had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant. Something that we've never done. Deeeeelicious!
Afterwards, we walked around to explore the neighborbhood, and found this old hat shop. A hat shop. Something you dont see much in Jakarta.

We ended the day at Ika's place a and had a very stimulating conversation about sex. Something that we really should do more often.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

i've got 'letting go' issues

when it comes to the things i make, i tend to be a little picky on who i sell them to.
there are even certain items at certain times that i wont sell at all...

like these brooches and bag that i made years and years ago. i get attached to them.

brought them to a craft fair, and when some lady ask me how much they were, i said
"ummm... you know what, i think... i'm not gonna sell those."

i've got 'letting go' issues... and not just in bags and brooches hahaha.


my space

messy... messy... i cant even keep a library neat.

this is my home library. you cant see the book shelf because its at the other end of the room....
this is where i read, write, work, craft, watch films, and spill way too many juice on the rug (dont be nasty, i mean fruit juice! ).... hehehe.

its a work in progress. there's plenty of empty spaces on the walls yet to be filled with even more wonderful stuff. an eyesore for my minimalism lover friends, but my true soulmates love it.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Sit Anywhere, its a public space

I took these series of photos in 2002 using a black&white slide film which brand i cant remember. I won the films in a prize. The camera was my ol' Canon EOS 300.

I was so happy with the result and did not do a single digital retouching on these photos at all...

The theme Sit Anywhere is about reclaiming public space... Cause nowadays, there are less and less places where you can sit your ass down without having to pay.


some things that never got done

in 2004, i attempted to make a portfolio website containing my works in fashion, product design, and photography.
i organized all my works together, did a photoshoot, and designed the layout,,,, but, i couldnt get the website to work.
being a bit of a control freak, i refused to let anyone help me with the god damn programming... so here i am nearly five years later, still not having a website of my own... hahaha...

but well... i still like the grass and cork backgrounds in the layout, which i wouldnt change even if i choose to continue this postponed project. maybe i'll make just minor detail changes, and a lot of addition to the content... because these are clothes that i made/altered/styled in 2004... i have lots more now...

the photographs are taken by Merdeka Adrai, and modeled by Annette and Tania..
photo retouching by Merdeka Adrai, Iman Fattah and me
layout design by me

the wiggywigs

i took this picture years ago at downtown seattle where i used to live.
the sign on the door says open when i walked past it during the day,
and says close when i walked past it again on my way home at night.
yet for some reason, the light was never on, even when it was open....
no matter how dark it gets outside.
it always looked dark and dusty.
and i never saw a single person in there.

i always wanted to come inside just for the sake of curiosity, but i never did.
instead, i took this photograph of their display window, which have been used and traced for
a lot of the graphic design jobs i got.

if i ever go back to seattle (yeah right), i hope it will still be there.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

a wall for us all

I think everybody needs a space to call their own (although in reality, we dont alway get it that easily), including a display space in your own home.
In my family's home, where three is definitely a crowd, i created a separate section on the wall for each family member to treat as their own display space. What goes into that space is up to the 'owner' to decide.
I created the framings first using gypsum (the cheapest material) and then painted each section a dark red to create a more defined separation.
I rounded together old frames and some really cheap ones that i bought at a market, and painted them all black...
Its a fun and savvy way to have a more personal display space if you share a home with other people


i hear wedding bells

went to an oldskool cake decorating shop and found these super kitschy cake topppers hidden in the back of a shelf. they're made of paper, so old that her dress is all stained and yellowish.

i thought of incorporating the bride and groom onto fabric or make a lampshade with them.

i bought three of these happy couples.. one for myself, and two for my girlfriends... they're so cool they might change our minds about marriage, hehe.


gender bender

Its called Love Sees No Gender, a photoshoot that i concepted for a magazine back in 2006. The idea is breaking gender barriers and putting love above all gender related prejudice.
The photographer was my one-of-kind friend Merdeka Adrai, and the location is at Peniti Pink. A collective home run by my gal Ika.


its bed time, you bad girl!

this past couple of weeks, i have been trying to stick to a healthier sleeping cycle. but last night i really missed the serenity that comes only in the wee hours of the night in jakarta... so i stayed up, doing silly things by myself in my bedroom...
...until the bed calls my name

the lamps, chandelier, and dressoir are all second hand findings revamped. shelves on the wall are made with gypsum ceiling crownings... so cheap...


all to myself

went home at 2.00 am....
got my self a cup of warm milk and read my new craft magazine in the kitchen before going to bed....
i love how quiet everything is at these hours...


a splash of hot pink in the workplace

Why give in to cubicles, boxy desks, and unflattering lights when it comes to offices? An office can and should be fun too.

Here is an office that i designed... it was the quirkiest, girliest office i ever worked in. Full of colors and a mix match of old and new furnishings. In the afternoon, sun light floods in through the big windows, giving the room a warm natural light.

Unfortunately the company disbanded in 2007, but the space is still there. And we're turning it into an even more fun spot... you just wait....

most of the furnitures are second hand findings revamped or once belonged to my sweet grandmother, rest her soul.
sofa is a lucky find from a hotel remodelling sale. about 1/3 its original price. bookshelve was from was from a closed down boutique.


KEDAI cakes

Yeah, i admit i still suck big time in decorating cakes, but i assure you these babies taste goooood. These are the cakes that i make (almost) everyday to sell at KEDAI.
I only use fresh ingredients. Real fresh fruits, non-bleached sugar... sometimes the fruits are freshly picked from a tree in my own backyard.

These ones here are:
1. honey glazed carrot cakes with lemon creamcheese icing
2. almond vanilla cupcakes with strawberry & white chocolate icing
3. vanilla chocolate chip cupcakes with peppermint icing
4. vanilla cupcakes with blueberry and creamcheese icing
5. vanilla cupcakes with tangerine and apricot buttercream icing

More flavors to come, but i only bake when in baking mood. That's about 3-4 times randomly a week. If you want to come over to KEDAI for cupcakes, do call first to make sure we're baking that day.... 021-7819945...


silly cow laptop

Just dont get me wrong, i love that a lot of people are using Macintosh now. It makes my life so much easier.
But when i bought my first Mac laptop in 2000, i never had to worry about getting it mixed up with someone else's.
Yes, a couple of months ago i actually took home my friend's laptop, thinking it was mine. I boot it up the next morning and boom! A picture of a woman on a beach.... Uh oh, no this is not my laptop.
So right after returning the lost and confused poor thing to its rightful owner, i bought a bunch of sheet stickers on the way home and started to cow-up my laptop.
Now its easier to tell her apart from the other MacBooks.

I have a thing for cow prints, you'll see .......... (just how corny it gets).


Jakarta is so big yet it lacks breathing space. The city is cramped with malls, cars, tall buildings, housings and millions of people. We hardly have room to do the things we desire.

Me and my buddies, Shali and Ika tries to accomodate those in need of space in our little multifunction room that we call Bikin Ruang (make space). Wheter you want to do an exhibition, a workshop, a class, a discussion or even film screenings, we're definitely your pal.

Last Friday night, we had the opening of our first event at Bikin Ruang. An exhibition titled, PANGGUNG. It was a work of collaborration between 8 photographers, and two interior cheerleaders (we darenot claim to be interior designers), all with one similar theme...
'the Stage'.

I was responsible for giving the room an atmosphere. So what i did was tried to find an old dressoir and painted it a bright hooker-lipstick red. I made a round mirror with lights around the frame, scatter some make up, masks and a tiara on the table.... and voila, i got a very sexy backstage dressing room feel.

My friend Shali did a mural of a red velvet stage curtain on two wooden boards, that we put up to add depth to the room. I adore them.

As for the photographers' works, they're a show stealer on their own... bravo!



This is KEDAI, a little cafe that i own in Kemang - South Jakarta. Against most recomendations, i decided to do everything myself for a more personal touch instead of goin through the conventional route of hiring a 'restaurant consultant'. Including designing the interior.
Kemang is a very fancy schmansy neighborhood, where modern minimalism rules. But i myself am not big on minimalism.

I want KEDAI to be have a very relaxed, homy feel without going too traditional. To have an edge, without being trendy.

In the big picture, i try to give it a lofty feel. Why? because lofts feel spacey. I leave the plaster in the high ceilings and floors unfinished, and leave big spaces in the middle so people dont feel crowded in.

I've always loved kitschy and vintage stuff, and those elements are evident in the details, like the old indonesian film posters and other wall hangings you will find.
And colours. I love incorporating colors that you dont think will work together, but actually do. Clashing bright hot tamale red with pastel green, and bubblegum pink. I'm quite happy with the colours.

As for furnitures and lightings... they're aaaaaaaaaaaaaaalll recycled from used objects, sceond hand furnitures, and refunctioned everyday objects. I went hunting all over the city for old woods to make tables and cup hangers, and found more than i expected.

I had a lot of help from some amazing handymen and my amazing powertool mother during the making of this cafe...