eat the salt


January 1, 2012


Celebrated Christmas in California with family! I love this photo of my grandparents, holding up the Indonesian figurines my mom gave them.

July 27, 2011

Cillian Murphy

When Ami and I are browsing Facebook and Google imaging different celebrities, girl-ing out, I realize that I have a very short, nearly nonexistent, list of actors/celebz that I like. A while ago I posted about Jennifer Connelly and how I find her intriguing and glorious, and I recently remembered that - hey! Cillian Murphy is, too. My love for intense dark-haired people with light eyes lives on. (If you know me, you know I have a bit of a preconceived 'ehh' with blondes.) Many think he's creepy, but maybe/definitely that's part of the appeal.

The red beard!

His demeanor in many interviews isn't particularly appealing, but I just attribute that to his apparent discomfort with the celebrity circuit (or so says Wikipedia...). He's fine in this one below, though it cracks me up how he's 100% hunched in the first minute.

I just watched Peacock. Amazing acting (disappointing end) - watch this rehearsal scene.

July 26, 2011

Project Tie

A few months ago, I stopped by Mood and B&J fabrics to find a nice tie fabric for my dad. That was when I realized that I know nothing about what makes a tasteful tie, not only in regards to fabric but also the width, etc. I know what kind of tie I would probably wear as a guy - skinny, minimal - but my dad is not an emo rocker or tweed blazer-wearing indie guy (though, hey, neither am I). I must admit, though, I went through a huge Interpol phase in 7th grade and may or may not have worn ties now and then...notable outfit - black tie, white button down, gray blazer, lame hair, black skirt, slip on Vans. Those were the days x_x Anyway, I tried calling Ed & Mack for some tie advice, to no avail. I called my mom to ask what kind of ties my dad wears, and she sent me a couple of pictures. Still couldn't find something...

I recently revisited project make-dad-a-tie and found some tie silk + lining at Mood. I looked at these different tutorials and patterns and took something from each.

Puking Pastilles - I used the pattern from here. The idea of a "rather thick tie with a nice fat knot" turned me off, so I didn't line the whole thing. I also reduced the width.
The Purl Bee - I slip-stitched on the lining pieces as in this tutorial.
How to make a custom made bespoke tie - I considered this probably the "real" way to make a tie. Next time maybe I'll try a wool interlining. I loosely followed the keeper instructions here.

I gifted this to my dad yesterday, and he said he'll wear it this week! As it turns out, my dad, since moving to Jakarta, has been opting to wear formal batik shirts to work instead of the ol' suit and tie! My mom says he stills wears ties sometimes, though I think she's just being nice, haha. Pictures later hopefully.

Batik Class, Jakarta

So today was my second day in Jakarta visiting my parents! I'll be here for a little over a month. We'll be going to Singapore, and when my sister and her boyfriend join us, we're all going to Bali and other parts of Indonesia. This week we're taking it easy.

Today my mom and I visited the Musim Tekstil in Jakarta, which showcased some amazing batik. Batik is the traditional fabric of Indonesia, decorated using wax and dye. Different motifs and colors hold different social implications/regional significance. Unfortunately, there were no captions detailing any of the pieces (I would have liked to know more about the different methods used), and some areas were terribly lit. We whizzed through the main section of the museum in a mere ten minutes, the second in probably fifteen-twenty. My mom said it's funny how so much money is put into shopping malls but not the museums. Cool experience either way.

The museum offers batik classes, which we, of course, hopped on. The class cost less than $10 for the two of us combined! Amazing.

The workshop was this nice naturally lit, sort of open air room. We first chose our motifs from a pile of probably forty. I had feared having to BS my own batik design, you know, just because I wanted to focus more on understanding the method. We then traced the design with pencil onto a white cotton square. The pencil lines disappear by the end of the whole process.

We put our squares into embroidery hoops and sat down to trace back over our lines with a tjanting, a wooden handled tool with a tiny metal cup with a tiny spout, out of which the wax seeps. My mom and I both spilled a few drops of wax on the fabric. I also spilled wax from the tjanting onto my hand twice (I'm not talking a few drops), and kind of killed. The girl helping us/our instructor gave me what I am guessing was some aloe vera gel. Spilling must not be uncommon.

We traced our designs with the wax on both the front and back (something I found annoying because it's hard to tell what parts you have and have not gone over on the back). Batik is a wax resist dyeing technique, which means all parts not covered with wax get dyed.

Shit is tedious!


Our instructor painted wax around the edges of our squares. After it dried, she cracked the wax with her hands. You'll see why later, though I'm sure you can guess.

We didn't have to get our hands dirty with dyeing. Not that the first part wasn't messy enough. It didn't take long for the dye to take.

My mom's piece. Our instructor suggested we write our names on the side. Easier said than done, my friend.

Haha, see the drips? Anyway, I thought the cracked wax came out awesome!

So it turns out that batik is a headache-inducing craft that demands patience and fine attention to detail (both of which I apparently lack), but if you take your time, you can come up with something quite beautiful (which I didn't). Not sure if I'll be filling up a tjanting with hot wax any time soon, but this experience has opened my mind to wax resist dyeing techniques... The wax-cracking thing seems manageable.