Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Wedding: The Cake

Ta-Da! The wedding cake! It has three tiers, the top was lemon buttercream, middle was orange sponge, and the bottom layer was chocolate fudge. The cake was designed more with him in mind, hence the Superman topper and teddy bears all around. There were 99 red roses representing everlasting love and if you want to know who made it and more pictures go here... no surprises really who made it ;-D

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Wedding: Five Ceremonies

This is for my international friends, blog readers and followers, a brief description to what each ceremony was about... and the reason why I was having such a wedding outfit dilemma since I have five occasions to dress up for...

The Nikah... the solemnization, taking the marriage vow. For the muslims, this involved the groom to utter the vow with the condition it is said in one breath with no breaks or pauses, if he does, he has to repeat until he could. The microphone is there for everyone else to hear it. It was held at my home, in the living room and it was packed with families from both sides and a few friends. This is the most important ceremony out of all as this is the one that says you are married in the eyes of God. You can skip out the rest of the ceremonies as long as this one happens.

The Berbedak... Powdering. This was more for culture than religion. Typically the bride gets all dressed up in the traditional outfit that was the descendent of the Chinese Princess that came to Brunei and married one of the first few Kings at that time, which king I can't remember, and the local people saw and decided to adopt the get up. Along the decades the head gear was updated and made lighter, before it was made from bronze, and other stuff added on. The yellow and white that was wrapped around my head was made out of paper is the present day substitute to flowers that were used originally. In the olden days, the gold woven wrap around the waist was to show the wealth of the country and family as well as to hide the tell tale signs of pregnancy. The powdering purpose is for families and invited guests to wish the bride on the marriage. The powder is made into a thin paste which is coloured, the rule of thumb is for it to be of seven colours. I have yet to get an explanation as to why seven, my guess is it's to do with the seven colours of the rainbow that represent the future. At the end of the ceremony the leftover paste is scrubbed onto the bride (I had mine done the next morning) for smooth skin. The groom have this ceremony as well, only his outfit is different, for one thing he didn't have to wear that thing on the head.

The Berpacar... Henna ceremony. This came from the Indians as they are part of our heritage too, similar to berbedak only instead of powder it's the henna that people put onto your hands. Needless to say the palms of my hands were stained orange for a while. My sister called in a professional henna lady who did flower patterns on my hands and I treated whoever was over at that time to have henna designs too.

The outfit I was wearing is the traditional songket, or woven cloth with gold thread. Usually people getting married would wear outfits made out of this material as only royalties are able to afford them, as you are king and queen for the day it is fitting that you should dress up like one. I for one dislike it as it was hot and stiff. This one was rented, the tiara was my sister's when she got married twelve years ago (something borrowed!)...

The Bersanding... King and Queen for a day! It was held at a hotel ballroom, with a sit down lunch for all invited guests. This was the grandest out of all the ceremonies as you invite all your friends, it is not uncommon to have guest lists that goes beyond hundreds as they are made up of your friends, parents friends, your siblings friends, your aunts and uncles friends... 

We both decided to wear a western style of outfits as a homage to our parents when they got married in gowns and suits. Threw in a couple of page boys and flower girls, made up of nephews and nieces in their dresses and bow ties. The older two on either side of us are known as pengiring, I was told it's an honour to be selected as one, that's his nephew and my oldest niece. The wedding dias is bigger and grander to the one at home, it filled up the whole stage and almost reached the ceiling.

The procedure was that we hold our respective sit down lunch, his was at another place and mine was at the hotel, then he would come over to the hotel with his entourage where I shall be waiting for him to come and we enter the hall together with the kids heading towards the dias. Then it's photo op time!

Malam Ambil-Ambilan... night reception for the groom's side of the family. During the day, not all of his family would have come and therefore didn't see us together. This function is mainly to give an opportunity for his side to see and take pictures with us. This white wedding dias was in the living room for over a week as the nikah ceremony and this ceremony was a week apart. I took the opportunity to wear a different outfit and had a different bouquet, heheh...

So, just a quick rundown of what the past few months and weeks led up to as well as an insight to the wedding culture here.

More photos here:
My make up artist, nikah, berbedak, berpacar, bersanding and berambilan
My aiki friend nikah, berpacar and bersanding

Got more pictures coming...!

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Wedding: Only In Brunei...

Occasion no.2, the 'Berbedak' outfit, fooling around for the camera

Once upon a time, before this whole getting married bit happened, I was adamant not to have so many functions because I was single, was not in the frame of mind of getting married, didn't see the point of the functions and was skint. At that time.

Then I had my wedding. With five separate functions. With five different attire. For five different things. Mom had her hands in it. That's Malay weddings for you... more specifically that's Brunei Malay weddings for you. Nikah (solemnization), berbedak (powdering ceremony, the get up is picture above, only in Brunei nowhere else), berpacar (henna ceremony), bersanding (royalties for the day) and berambil-ambilan (that's for the groom side of the family to come see a repeat of what happened during the bersanding for those who were not able to come).

Official pictures are still in the works. Can't wait to see them. Pictures floating around on the net were taken by family and friends. If you're on my FB contacts just click on 'view pictures of me' of people posting up wedding pictures and tagging me. You can tell they're the wedding ones because of the full makeup and fancy shmancy outfits which you'd rarely see me use and wear.

Right now we're trying to get our house sorted, the sooner we get that done the sooner I can set up class! Oooh, aren't we looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to a working studio again, I feel kind of lost not having it. Strange isn't it...

I like to thank all friends and families who helped out and came to the wedding and the gifts and those who were not able and sent their wishes. You are very much appreciated for showing up and did your best and I'm so proud to be your daughter / sister / cousin / niece / aunt / friend. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

That sounded like an award ceremony speech, hehehe. Stay tuned for more weddingy stuff, I want to post up stuff I did for my wedding. And then the drama about the dress... crying was involved.

Honeymoon? I'm on post wedding recovery, advance apologies if I haven't answered your email yet. I'll get around to it. I have a 'buku permintaan' order to get ready before the weekend...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Wedding: Prologue

Officially I'm now a Mrs! But it still hadn't sank it...

Right now it's running around, getting stuff done. Still working too, my leave hadn't started yet, managed to move a huge chunk of workload. Got lots of pictures wedding preps and first wedding function last Sunday, can't wait to show them especially to my readers in the States and Europe, Brunei Malay wedding is just going to blow your mind. It's full of tradition and culture and my personal twist to where I could... the invitations, corsages for family members, decoration of the dowry, beading my veil...

More stories later but right now, THE dress is not yet done. As of this moment it's in pieces, they had to redo it. Am I panicking? I can't say. THE outfit for THE major function in a few days time is not done. My tailor is working miracles to get that dress done. Wicked bead work that's for sure. I was only able to have my first fitting yesterday, it made me wonder if this is how this normally happens (was asking people I know who went to the same tailor) I wish I could redo this part, but that was past. Concentration on what we can do now and hope for the best.

This weekend is packed with my wedding, I can't wait for next week to start! I love how Monday is going to start. Honeymoon? Heheheh... Gotta remember to charge up the camera and a waterproof casing...

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Red & Black Oriental Coptic Stitch

A while back, I made an oriental journal, the cover was using what I called the 'Louis Vuitton paper' because the pattern reminded me of one of their handbags. I quite liked that book and saved a bit of the paper to make another version.. supposedly... but it never happened, it went into one of the bookmaking kits instead. But I still wanted to make another red and black book with the chinese coins, and decided to use the black Indian paper with the silver leaves print.

It's been a while since I last did a coptic binding, over a year I think and figured I better make one to add into my library. My intention was to have at least one book per binding style in my collection. I may not necessarily keep this book, if somebody out there wants it, it is always up for sale.

Like all handmade paper this particular Indian paper the leaf print had an imperfection. Some times we get lucky, other times we might not. To echo the red ribbon that tied the chinese coins in front, I added a strip of red on the back cover. I like how it's horizontal on the back and vertical on the front.

In feng shui belief, tying three chinese coins together will bring wealth or money luck. You can have in in your wallet, taped onto the cash register or cash box, even your book of appointments and accounts. Click on the link if you want to read more about the different types of chinese coins. Contact me if you want to get some for your wallet ;-p

I'm not too sure what feng shui say about the red and black combo...

The end paper I used for the inside cover is black with gold speckles. I like this paper, and the place where I normally get them I notice is running low and I don't think there're getting any more in, some of the other colours are all gone already. That's ok, it just adds on the uniqueness and limited edition of the book, one of one. I like how the tied up coins float in the middle of the window like that. The red black pages are slightly thicker than the ones I normally use.

Coptic binding was developed by the Copts in Egypt in the early 2nd Century to the 11th Century. In the world there are about just over 100 original complete coptic bound books from that era. All we can do is try to mimic the style. 

The characteristic of a coptic binding is that the sections are sewn through their folds and attached to each other with a chain link stitching across the spine. The good thing about coptic is that you can open the pages flat, 180 degrees, just like a long stitch. The covers are two seperate pieces, which is easier to cover and you can do things to it and jazz it up any way how before you bind the book. How long it takes to bind using the coptic method depends on how many stations (holes) you have and how you arrange it. One day I'll do the woven spine decoration one, right now I'm pretty happy with this, until the next book I make.

Pink & Purple Basic Stab Book with Flowers

This started out life as a demo stab book in one of my classes, the original binding was silver with a small bow at the top corner. After a while I got bored with the look and figured it needed jazzing up. I took off the binding and used the pink and purple ribbons, added my unlimited supply of paper flowers to the tail end of the ribbons...

... and to the bottom corner of the book. I think the rose buds looked really sweet here.  Much improvement to the look of the whole book. Sorta like being dressed up :-D

Add on: I just realised the previous post was pink and purple too, I more or less made these around the same time and the colours just worked together.


Contact me at rzyunos@gmail.com