Monday, September 28, 2009

Buku Hantaran: Cha's Silver Black Theme

Remember this...

They contained these...

Silver black with a romantic Emo...

Inside the black folder

Inside the silver folder

I almost had a hard time trying to figure out how to do this. The request was for two folders that could fit an A5. One has to be black with silver, and the other has to be silver with black. And Cha wanted it to be an emo romantic love theme and she loves hearts.

With trusty old google, I checked out 'emo romantic love' and all I'm seeing was red, black and depressing looking characters. Oh dear... Cha added me on FB and was hoping to find some pictures which inspired this whole emo romatic love theme. Surprisingly, there were none. Double of dear...

After trying out several ideas and not liking any of the designs and last thing I want is to recreate depression, I went back to her original email. She mentioned she liked one of the folders that I have already done, and I decided to use that idea and it fell into place. I was over complicating things originally, thought too much about it. I keep on forgetting to stick with my preference of clean lines.

I finished one first before I finished the other. By the time I glued on the roses, it was missing something. They were nice, but they weren't nice enough for me. The roses looked too flat. I messed about with glitter and wondered if using glitter was emo, I messed about with tiny padded hearts and I didn't have any in black for the other folder, it needed something bling, something catchy, wondered where my mini rhinestones were...

Tiny silver beads were perfect! They looked like drops of water catching the light. Added on a pair of budding roses at the corner for blooming love.

When she picked them up, she was so happy. I was happy that she was happy. Makes all that work worthwhile. Later that night she sent me a text which I told her I'm going to share with you all:
Rozi.. thank you very much! I'm loving it! Feel like I wanna cry just now and my hands were trembling (when I first held them)! Hehehe, thanks SO much!
What a fantastic client, I really appreciated her telling me how she felt. You're very much welcome Cha, and I hope your engagement function yesterday was a joyous one!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Wedding: The Dower and Dowry

I know it's been months, I just haven't had the energy, but now, we'll continue with my instalments about my wedding! Ha ha! More cultural lessons...

In an Islamic marriage, one of the requirement is the dower, groom giving to the bride. In the Malay culture, we have the mas kahwin and the belanja angus or belanja dapur as the dower, the mas kahwin goes straight to the bride herself where as belanja angus is to help pay for the wedding expenses on the bride side. There is no fixed amount, but there is a minimum, it's negotiable and depending on current market situation. This sum is normally asked during the engagement proceedings.

The dower consisting of mas kahwin and belanja dapur

This was the dower I received, my mum-in-law and her sister decorated it. The mas kahwin is the brown notes rolled up on the lower right of the arrangement and the belanja dapur is the greenish notes cradling the crystal flowers MIL made. The red box tucked around back is the jewellery, necklace with pendant and bracelet.

Male members of the bride family inspecting the hantaran received from the groom side

The dower is part of the hantar berian or hantaran, loosely translated as gifts given. Traditionally these gifts consists of items that are to help the bride prepare for her wedding and new life as a wife. In the olden days one of the items were material to make her wedding outfit as well as a complete sewing basket set. This wasn't that far back, maybe about two generations ago.

Nowadays, the hantaran can consists from anything from the latest Ipod to a brand new car, depending on the wants of the family. Usually the bride and groom prior to the wedding would get their own stuff for the hantaran, and families can contribute to add on.

Part of the hantaran I received, my beaded wedding shoes

The hantaran is normally arranged and decorated on an elaborate tray which has a stand (click here for picture) or baskets. Depending on the number of items will depend on the number of trays required. The fun part, or headache, is decorating.

Normal practice is the family members will do the decorating, it is a time for family bonding. For his hantaran to me, it was my mother-in-law, the sister, and several female cousins who did the decorating. I wasn't allowed to enter the room where they did it.

People can get real creative with decorating the hantaran, some of the length of cloth given to me got turned into flowers using paper and wires as backbones. Others can be a disaster, like my aunt's white goldfish when her son got married (it looked like a white ghost to us cousins) Then there are those who use hantaran decorating and the hantaran themselves to really show off, sort of like keeping up with the Joneses.

Some soon-to-be-married-couples would send their stuff for the hantaran to the shops to have them 'professionally' decorated, you get charged an arm and a leg per tray or basket!

The balasan hantaran for him from me

Traditional practice was receiving the hantaran from the groom, nowadays the bride would give which is known as balasan hantaran, exchange of gifts. The amount can be the same or less as the hantaran from the groom side and most of the items would consists of food. I'm speculating on various reasons why this practice is becoming more common, maybe because the guys didn't want to be left out, or the girls just like to get stuff for the guys, or the girls just want to have fun decorating the gifts too. So it's a dowry, only it's optional *hehehe*

I remembered helping my cousins who got married with their hantaran and it was always a family affair, each person would decorate at least one item and I have done quite a few.

When it was my turn, I was quite surprised that nobody helped me with arranging and decorating my trays. Turned out all my aunts and cousins figured I could handle it while they were busy decorating the rest of the house.

I spent a week doing the balasan hantaran, one or two tray per night with very minimal tools and items. The trays and tray covers were rented, and I was determind to spend as little as possible on the decoration yet pretty happy with the outcome. I realised several lessons about decorating and arranging hantaran, cellotape, double sided tape and pins are your best friends because I don't believe in using a glue gun and I wanted for the ribbons and roses to be reused again without damaging them when they get taken apart.

Us after our solemnization looking at my handywork

I stuck with the wedding colour theme of red, black and white. Since the tray covers were already white all I used were red, black and silver ribbons in various sizes (which I already have), styrofoam circles (which I had to get, they're costly! about $20 in total), and four bunches of fake red roses (less than $10). Other tools I needed were scissors and wire cutter, double sided tape, cellotape (which I already own) and two containers of darning pins (which were only 20 cents per container). I like clean lines and non fussy, simple and elegant.

I 'm proud of the dastar I made (on tray behind shoes), I learnt it during the adat istiadat, royal protocol, workshop I attended. My DH was well impressed, he didn't want to take it apart *big grin*

By the end of it, I quite enjoyed decorating my balasan hantaran. But I'm not sure if it's something I want to do again. It's a lot of pressure especially when people know you're capable of such things, it has to come out looking really good.

All the decoration pieces I used, his aunt from out of state took them all! The ones they used for mine, my MIL loves her glue gun, I salvaged what I could :-p

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Someone Was Really Pleased Today...

This was picked up this evening, they're for this weekend. I promised her I'll keep it under wraps until next week, then I'll show you what is underneath the wrapping :-D

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Selamat Hari Raya or Eid Mubarak

I just love Illustrator don't you, a simple quickie to commemorate.

To celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, the whole month of Syawal is a time for celebration, to seek forgiveness from your love ones and friends, to strengthen ties, to start anew from the awareness of lessons learnt during Ramadan to be a better person. I seek forgiveness to those of you out there friends, clients, potential clients and bloggers alike for any slip ups or wrong doings that happened with and without me realising it.

On the first day of Syawal, my parents, sister and us will be having an open house, all friends are invited and families and relatives will be coming over too. Friends tend to come during the day and bulk of the relatives will come in the evening I noticed. I'm looking forward to this year, I have a whole new set of families and relatives to get to know from the husband side.

Through out the month, there will be open houses invitations. I like going because it's fun to see how people decorate their homes and the many variety of food they searve up from sweet to savoury. Chirstmas or Thanksgiving is a one day affair right, not Eid, it's a test of strength and will power to resist from indulging on all the food and come out unscath by the end of it.

I haven't been doing a lot of Raya or Eid business this time round, which is a blessing really because I don't think I would've been able to cope with so much change that had been happening in my life this year. I know this blog has been quiet of late, am still trying to get used to these life changes and not to mention a whole slew of wedding orders to finish, I got a few due in the next week or so and panic is set on simmer.... *breathing deeply slowly*

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Purple Bins

See this mess, remember a while back I had this to deal with. All my papers and anything that's rolled up. A mess I tell you, a mess!

Then one day, I saw these purple bins with lids. Ooooohhh, how cool is that I thought, because they normally come in black, red or blue. But this one is purple! Wondered whether it was tall enough for what I had in mind, I bought them anyway. Plus, it was a buy one get one free, and for two bins after currency conversion, each bin cost me about USD $5. That's a bargain right?

Turned out it wasn't tall enough as I hoped for but made it work anyway. And look, you can actually see the floor! The basket in front of the bins contained all the wrapping paper that our wedding presents came in, project waiting...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Phone Beeps

Text message received from a crystal friend:
Who am I? I love my life, my work and home. I make mistakes and I put them right. I love to try new things and I want to live my dreams... What about you?

My reply to message:
I am creative,
I make things pretty,
I live in a world where love is aplenty,
I dare to dream,
I dare to try,
the sky is the limit,
I learn to fly,
No earthly shackles can hold me still,
For as long as I have my will...


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