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Friday, July 30, 2010

Bead It!

Had the opportunity to join a beading workshop last night. Just in case you didn't know, Sarawak is located on Borneo Island and it consists of many different races and tribes so we are basically a huge mix of different cultural ideals. We are very lucky to be living in complete harmony and last night I had an opportunity to learn how to craft a bag out of beads, a specialty of one of the races in Sarawak and apparently I learnt the hard way that it is not so easy to bead!

So, in case you're interested, this is how it's done:



Step 1: Prepare some beads. Actually it's better if you prepare a lot since you might be running out of them. And you may want to prepare in different colors (depending on the designs that you'll be making)


Step 2: Thread in and out. This is a wee bit complicated to explain on a blog. If you're willing to learn more, do buy a book on beading *sheepish smile*


Once the base is complete, all you have to do is continue beading and it will naturally go upwards (if you're not a pro, like me, sometimes it falls limply to the side instead of going upwards) *geez*


Full concentration is a complete must. Otherwise, it may not develop into what it's supposed to be.


The unfinished product after three hours of labor. That means that it takes a very, very long time to complete your beading. This is certainly not for the impatient :-/

Cheerio!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Batik Workshop

Yours truly (which means me by the way) had the opportunity to participate in a Batik workshop at Kuching Waterfront. For those who do not know it is, batik is a handpainted cloth. It is a traditional art, considered as a symbol of cultural heritage for the Malays both in Indonesia and Malaysia. Although I must say that the batik designs for both Indonesian batik and Malaysian batik are very, very different. Even for us in Sarawak (by the way, I am a born and bred Sarawakian), the Sarawak batik is also very different as it showcases very distinct Sarawak motifs life the hornbill and such. The background color of the cloth is usually white, though not necessarily so. But for this workshop, we were given a white cloth to begin with.

Here's the process of batik making (or at least what I had gone through):


Step 1: Prepare a blank piece of cloth. Make sure it's tightly held. This is to ensure that the colors will not spread all over the place.


Step 2: Prepare hot wax. The wax will be drawn onto the cloth to create a divider on the cloth to display the different designs and motifs.


Preferably you are supposed to draw a draft of your design with pencil on the cloth. Afterwards, layer the lines with wax. In this case, I had to forgo drawing on pencil as I couldn't even see what on earth I was drawing. I decided to chant the lines with wax freehanded.


Step 3: Fill in between the lines. I was told to fill in the motifs color first (although I do not know why). At this moment it seems like my motifs consists of fern leaves and eggs (do you see the resemblance?)


Voila! This is the finished product! Although I must admit that it does look very colorful, initially I did not intend it to be that way. However, I am still very, very happy with the end result.

So, what do you think? Not too shabby for someone who's a total lefty brain. I think this would look well in my bedroom.

Cheerio!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Homework

Attended another session of Mandarin class last night. As I am now currently in intermediate class, I have to do sentence construction and also complete my homework.

Homework?

The homework consists of sentences (it could be in the form of essays or dialogs, whichever suits your fancy) that will hopefully improve our mastery of the language. Luckily I am a Malaysian. The advantage? Well, Mandarin sentences sound somewhat akin to Manglish (if you don't know what Manglish is, it's a combination of Malay and English words put together in a sentence). An absolute rojak of terrible English grammar but it actually suits us just fine. This is a sample of my homework:

Wo you yi ge mao.
I have one unit cat.

Wo de mao shi liang shui.
My cat is two years old.

Ta hei se.
It color black.

Ta hen fei.
It very fat.

Wo de mao xi huan chi yu.
My cat like eat fish.

Ou er wo de mao xi huan shu.
Sometimes my cat like mouse.

Wo hen xi huan wo de mao.
I very much like my cat.

(Disclaimer: My Mandarin is not perfect and nor is this an example of good usage of the language. Definitely my lao shi had to correct a few sentences and those corrections are not shown in the sentences above).

So, what do you think? Funny English right? Well, it sounds perfectly alright in Mandarin and if translated, it is are perfectly usable in Malay.

Cheerio!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another Outing

So I went on with another photo shoot today. Was scheduled for a workshop at Alvin's but unfortunately it had to be cancelled due to the lack of numbers. Well, that doesn't mean that we can't practice, can we?

Although I really want my skills to improve (in terms of mastering the manual adjustments of the camera) I decided that it is more important for me to know how to capture first rather than mastering the technical side of the camera. Besides, I am a wee lacking in the skills of being able to read and comprehend a manual (a female habit, I assume) so I'll take the easy way in learning how to photograph.

So we went scrounging the streets of Kuching and this is what I got so far;

Went to a Chinese temple. I totally love this shot!

And I love the details of the roof. I really like this shot!

Really like the bright red background.

Somehow I fancied the window =p

Raden loves this shot. I told him it's gray upon gray upon gray.

We also liked this shot.

Tried my hand at silhouette photography.

So, what do you think? Am I getting better?

Til next time!


xoxo Fashionista in Action

Friday, July 23, 2010

For the Love of Photography

So I attended another talk on photography.

No, I am NOT addicted.

But, I am INSPIRED.

These amazing speakers, with years of experience showing fantastic pictures (or as Peter Tan would put it; showing off) but whatever it is, the WOW factor is definitely there.

Hopefully one day my work will be as good as that. But for now, it's back to practice, practice and practice!

But one thing I know for sure, I want to join a photography academy!

Not now though, the dosh is not there yet, but definitely somewhere in the near future. And, I've set a date. It must be after I've completed my Mandarin classes. So, hopefully by next year I'll be in a photography academy. Let's revisit this post by July next year and see whether I've enrolled in Alvin's academy.
That is a picture of me!
Raden submitted it as his work for the competition =p

So, these are my photos for the competition. I am so proud of myself! I know the photo quality is not as a pro but I am so proud that I managed to put aside my self-consciousness and participate. Although I am usually very confident of myself, but as for photography, and knowing to the fact that my skills are very, very basic, I am self-conscious of my work. But I managed to put those feelings aside and submit my application. I wished that I had submitted more pictures. But then again, I know I'll try again in the future.
This is the photo that I submitted. What do you think?

To dreams and realities =D


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wedding Photographers Seminar

Had an opportunity to attend a wedding photographers seminar last night organized by Alvin Leong and WPPM (which stands for Wedding and Portrait Photographers Malaysia).

No, I am NOT a wedding photographer.

Not because I don't want to (that would simply sound arrogant now, wouldn't it?)

It's because I simply don't have the skills. At least not yet.

So the talk featured three speakers, Peter Tan, Patrick Low and Alvin himself. As a newbie (and the main reason I came was because there wasn't enough workshops/ trainings in Kuching for me to go to as starters), I was impressed with the amount of camaraderie these guys had between the three of them (considering the fact that they are competitors in the same industry). I was also touched by the fact that they were willing to share their methods and practices which is a great tip to any novice photographer like me.

This is Alvin. You can check out his website: http://www.alvinleong.com/
Couldn't find proper links to the other two's photos but you might also like to visit their website:

The talk really inspired me to be better and to improve my skills (or whatever that I have now).

Wished there were more aspiring photographers who came to the seminar but then again, for those who didn't want to come, it's your lost.

Cheerio!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fashionista's Movie Review: Inception

Went off for a girl's nite out last night and we decided to watch Inception, the new movie that has been rolling in big bucks in the box office. I was a bit intrigued by the trailer so I decided to give it a go and see what the movie is all about.


Hmm.. Where shall I start? Definitely the main star is Leonardo Dicaprio (starring as Mr. Cobb) who seems to have issues with his wife. His dead wife. Who seems to be bent on revenge (which will later be revealed in the movie) and seems to be stalking him everywhere.

So, what do I think of the movie? For one thing, the whole movie lasted 2 and a half hours (which to me is a very, very long time). The movie's theme is more towards suspense added in a bit of drama and thriller. Although it is a very heavy movie (which what I mean by that, has a serious plot and is not for those who are looking for a relaxing time at the movies). But then again, Leornardo's pick of movies has always been very intense, emotional and the plot is usually very thick. But I do like the way the film play's with your imagination and sort of questions the reality that you live in.

All in all, I'd recommend the movie for those who loves drama and suspense. There are many twists and turns in the movie which makes the movie an interesting watch.

Happy watching peeps!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Monday, July 19, 2010

Second time's a charm

I took the afternoon off to try and practice a bit more photography. Knowing to the fact that I was not born with a camera in my hand and definitely without an eye for photography, the best way for me to improve is to practice, practice and practice.

Sarawak layer cake sellers

I went out to test the streets of Kuching and to tell you the truth, I was scared. Not that I was scared that I wouldn't be able to take photographs, but I was scared that people would chase me away with a parang. Definitely not my idea of a perfect afternoon. So, I tried to be as quiet and unobstrusive as I can. Knowing me, I do not know how other photographers do it, but I never seem to be unobstrusive. Everybody seems to notice that there was a huge camera hanging from my neck and seems to be looking at me suspiciously. It would seem as if they are thinking that I am planning for a heist or something.

Met my student along the way

But I proceeded on anyway. Took a couple of shots here and there. Due to nervousness and being scared that people would find me rude (snapping to heart's content without asking for permission might seem a tad rude) I didn't manage to snap as much photos as I liked. I was half expecting that someone would scream obscene words at me (luckily that never happened).

Another Sarawak layer cake seller


But this is what I like best =p


What do you think?



xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Here goes...

So I went out for an outdoor photoshoot, in an attempt to see whether I could submit anything of value to the photography competition. So, here goes nothing...


Teamwork in action


Penambang in action


Kites in action. I like this pic the most!

So, what do you think?

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Shhhh....

There's a photography competition.

Shhhh....

Not that I don't want people to know, but I am thinking about participating.

Yup, that's right! Lil ol' me is thinking bout joining a professional competition.

I know that I'm not a professional, and not that good anyway, but, it will be a good platform for me, don't you think?

So, should I?

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Friday, July 16, 2010

A bit of shoppin' before breakfast

What a great way to start the day!

Gosh, I am SO thankful to be born in an era where we have internet. I can literally start my day with shopping. I'm all giddy from my purchases and before I make you dizzy, let me give you a brief update of my day (which in fact just started two hours ago).

I woke up (obviously, otherwise how could we start the day?) then had an early morning workout (a bit motivated by Taylor Lautner I must say, a good body makes you look super hot) then I went online.
Told'ya he's hot =p

Surfed here and there and found what I liked. What can I say? I am just a helpless female in the midst of a fashion frenzy and voila! a sale crops up. What are we to do? Obviously, there is only one answer, we MUST BUY. Now I sound like a zombie, yikes!
Caught in action *oopps*

Anyways, I made my purchase and must make good on my word. Will be off to bank in some ka-ching!! later to the lucky proprietor. Thanks for the sale you made my day better already=D

Have a good weekend peeps! Don't forget to shop!

p/s: I bought this really gorgeous platforms the other day, I will post it up. It's five inches and it makes me look supertall (literally) *happy sigh*

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fashionista's Movie Review: Twilight Eclipse



Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

So I went for a movie session last weekend (happily noting that my sense of style is back and definitely that added cheery notes to my already exciting day). We decided to watch the most-anticipated Twilight movie, Eclipse.

Although it is hard to predict the flow of the movie as I have not read the book *gasp!* Unfortunately time does not permit me to relax and read a book or three of the twilight saga and therefore I was caught unawares of several of the movie plots. And for some of the other plots, I was able to foresee the direction with the help of kissing and hugging scenes here and there. It is a love story after all.

Unfortunately, I am baffled by some of the scenes in the movie which made absolutely no sense to me. Like the part where there was a snowstorm the night before the fight and a few days later when both Bella and Edward were sitting in a field of flowers, it seemed like spring. It would seem that the season changes pretty fast in Forks. Another part is on how accomodating and understanding Edward is knowing to the fact that Bella had kissed Jacob passionately just moments before.
Well, who am I to say, maybe that is the stuff blockbusters are made of, love triangles and such. But it is a rather stressful affair that I think I might be tempted to forego the next installment in the Twilight saga.

Cheerio!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ni Hao Ma

I started taking Mandarin classes ever since I knew that I was going to Beijing. As the class levels were within a four-month period (Basic classes for four months then Intermediate classes for another four months and finally Advanced classes for the last four months), I thought that by the time I went to Beijing, I'd complete my Intermediate classes. Apparently I thought wrong. Due to delays and replacement classes and also yours truly missing a few more classes, I'd ended up only completing my Basic class two weeks before my trip to Beijing. Safe to say, I could mumble a spatter of Mandarin here and there but wasn't really able to converse as well as I hoped.
However, just yesterday, my Intermediate classes have started and hopefully by the end of four months, I'll be able to quarrel in Mandarin, how's that for a change. I think I'd like that very much =D

Well then peeps, as we in Mandarin say;

Wan An, Zai Jian!

Cheerio!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fashionista Travels: Beijing, China

I bought a ticket in August 2009 for a trip to Beijing in June 2010. Wasn't really sure that I was able to make it but since the fare was really, really low, I decided to jump at the chance of going to visit China, a place where my ancestors once came from.


To cut a long story short, we finally did go to China and it was wonderful! The people are really nice, the transportation system is really efficient and there wasn't much occurrences of cheating and swindling that I thought I would be subjected to.


An old man playing a traditional instrument at one of the subway's alleys.


Another busker. Life certainly is not easy in China, but they're not begging for money, which is a good sign of self-respect =).

There was certainly a lot of places to go to. The first on the list was Great Wall of China. It's HUGE. The walk is not for the faint hearted. It made me wonder how on earth did these people manage to build such a huge wall at a distance of more than 600km. Gosh, it's amazing.


The Great Wall of China via Badaling.



Forbidden City


Bird's Nest Stadium.


Water Cube Stadium.


This is where we stayed, Qianmen Hostel & Cafe. Right in the middle of Qianmen, Mei Shi Jie Street. I really recommend the place as it's location is very strategic. To get to the hostel, you can use the subway and stop at Qianmen station. The hostel is just 2 minutes walk to the left of the station.


The hostel's entrance.


And there's a common area for house guests.


My room at Qianmen Hostel & Cafe. My room costs me about RM100 per night. There's actually cheaper options (i.e. hostel bunks, 4 people sharing room and shared toilets at RM50 per person per night) but I prefer a single room with an ensuite bathroom to myself =).


Urumq Muslim Restaurant selling halal food. It's located not far from the hostel. If you're staying at Qianmen Hostel & Cafe, just walk slightly to the left of the hostel where you'll find a street. Walk about 7 minutes into the street and you'll find this restaurant on your right. Halal food is not that easy to find in Beijing so be prepared to stick with a halal outlet that you know of. Or alternatively, you can always opt for McDonalds, fish fillet or french fries are fried with vegetable oil, so you should be safe =).


At Dazhalan Street, looking for souvenirs.


Qianmen Street.


If you want to get souvenirs, get them at Qianmen Street. The souvenirs are simply amazing and you could even bargain for lower prices =).



Can you see the Tiananmen Square building in the back?



At Qianmen Street. To read more on the street click [here].


At one of the Hutong in Beijing.


Cheongsams are definitely cheaper in Beijing than they are in Malaysia. So make sure you stock on your cheongsam here. One of the popular place to shop for cheongsam and other stuff is the Pearl Market or also known as Hongqiao Market.


Managed to pick up a souvenir or two from Hard Rock Cafe, Beijing =).


Raden and his dislike for any team that opposes Manchester United.


At Xidan, one of the shopping areas in Beijing.


An outdoor escalator. How cool is that?

Tips for those who are planning to go to Beijing:

1. DON'T LISTEN to WHAT PEOPLE SAY. Well, at least, take it with a pinch of salt. If we listened to what people say, we wouldn't have gone. There are so many negative stories of vacations gone bad in China and all I can say is, you have to experience it for yourself. However, do take extra precaution because the stories are a result of other people's experiences and there is always a probability that something bad could happen to you.

2. SURF the NET. Try to find out as much as you can about where you want to go and what you want to do. It is a haven of information and there are a lot of other tourists out there who are willing to share with you their travel experiences. It actually made our trip a much better experience.

3. DO BRING a DICTIONARY (if you don't know Mandarin). I took a basic Mandarin class for four months and was able to converse basic Mandarin which really helped in cases where I had to ask for directions to the nearest subway or halal eatery. If you don't know the language, a dictionary would be most useful.


Oh, a map of the city (or at least the subway map) is definitely very handy for trips like these =).


Lastly, just relax and enjoy your trip. If something doesn't happen according to plan, well, you can't plan everything, right? So have fun and enjoy!


xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo