the highlight of 2015

after a dark period in my life in spring/summer 2015, something came up that cheered me up and made me look forward to it. you know how you get excited when there’s something good to look forward to? it gets you going no matter how tough your present day feels like.

this thing is a gift from my mum: a year-end trip to Bali, Indonesia.

before i start, i would just like to say that many people (Indonesian and others) take it for granted that they can be around their families throughout the year. many of the people i know who live outside of their own home countries can visit their home countries & families at least once a year, some even many times a year. those people are quite lucky, and i hope they know it.

the last time i went to Indonesia and met my family was 4,5 years ago. the last time i spent Christmas and new year’s eve with them was 10 years ago. i couldn’t even remember anymore what it feels like to celebrate both events in +30C degrees!

the last time i went to Bali was about 5,5 years ago, and all my life i had only always visited Bali for a maximum 7 day trip. this time, i was there for 2 weeks.

so what all did i do there in 2 weeks, you might wonder. which temples did i go to, did i surf, did i snorkel, did i dive… well, sorry to disappoint you, but both my husband & i had been there as tourists a few times that now we didn’t even do any tourist-y thing. the main point was to just spend as much time with my family as possible, doing everyday stuff that might be boring for some but very precious to me as i can never do it while i’m here and my family is half a world away.

in a true Indonesian style, to be honest we had some mishaps in our trip, one of them was my sister getting food poisoning right on Christmas day and ended up in the emergency room. other mishaps included unexpected traffic jams that lasted 2 hours (it was in front of the Monkey Forest in Ubud), the AC in our hotel room being broken (not funny when it was otherwise +35C degrees outside), and… actually, let’s just forget about the other mishaps. :p because the most important thing is, i was with my family! yay!

the highlight of this trip, and probably of my whole 2015, was the new year’s eve. my whole family & i went to stay at a villa in Umalas, and not only the place itself was gorgeous, but what we did was something i hadn’t done in a long time with my family: sitting down together watching TV, playing cards and dominoes, listening to my dad’s choices of music, having lots of laugh… and when midnight came, we watched the fireworks (& flying lanterns) from all around Bali and hugged each other at 12 o’ clock. 🙂 that was simply priceless.

now i am back here in cold Finland (it just turned -20C degrees right on the day we came back here. thanks a lot, mother nature!), and seeing these pics got me teary-eyed again. i don’t think parting with my family will ever get any easier, no matter how many times i have visited my home country and family over the course of my stay abroad.

but anyway, without further ado, here are some pics of my trip.

first, our hotel, which is more like a lodge than a hotel, since it only has 10 rooms. very peaceful & lovely.

next, the sights we saw and things we did when we visited Ubud. unfortunately it rained every day when we were there, and then there were the traffic jams. but like i said, at least we were all together during those days!

after our stay in Ubud, these were all the other things we did, which was fun for us but maybe boring to you… 😀 some were taken in Sanur beach, some were in Batu Bolong beach, and most of them just around our hotel.

and lastly, our new year celebration. 🙂

that’s it for now, and my, what a lengthy post this turned out to be! again, i wish you all a great 2016! may love and happiness always be with us! 🙂

PS. the pictures shown in this blog post were taken by 3 different cameras & people, but most of them were by my husband and my sister. thanks for letting me use them here!

Advertisements

don’t be mellow, be yellow

who can stay mellow when they wear yellow? at least i can’t and won’t.

yellowbatikdress1

self-made dress & pink necklace, yellow necklace from India, Indiska bracelet, Just Kulkith shoes, batik bag from Indonesia.

so the test i did by making this top was all meant for this dress. i used pattern no. 133 from BurdaStyle magazine 06/2015, which is basically the same pattern as the one i used for the top (132) plus the dress pattern. they’re all in kids size, so i just used the biggest, which is for 158 cm tall girls.

picture borrowed from BurdaStyle.com

i got this fabric/sarong the last time i went to Bali, Indonesia… that was, uh, 2010. it was one of those cheap & beautiful sarongs sold on the street markets, about 115 cm x 160 cm in size, which are meant to be used as bikini covers, beach mats, dresses… whatever you please, actually. it’s 100% rayon, and usually the print is handmade using batik technique, hence the uneven colourings & patterns. but those are exactly the reason i love it: imperfection makes us human. 🙂

yellowbatikdressdetail1

i don’t really remember why i even bought this sarong in the first place, i think it was because i ran out of clean clothes. 😀 this was a quick fix as i could wrap it around me and put a belt, and that’s it. or maybe it was because my mum-in-law wanted to buy some, too, and the vendor said that if we bought plenty, she would give us good discount. haha! well, whatever the reason was, i already planned to sew it into something else than a sarong one day. the day never came until now!

this kind of double layered dress has been kind of a trend this summer, as i saw the displays of H&M, Gina Tricot, Mango, Cubus, and the likes. and of course i had been examining those dresses to know how it’s made. luckily for me, the BurdaStyle mag had the pattern so i didn’t need to draft my own!

due to the small-ish size of my fabric, i had to modify the “under” dress pieces into a lot more narrow shape than the original one. but actually i think it’s a good move, because i saw that somebody else did it as it was supposed to be, and it turned out to be so wide that she had to put elastic band on the waist.

yellowbatikdress2

i again added sleeves instead of just using shoulder straps, and this time i think i succeeded into making the sleeves to look more like what i had envisioned. it took me a while to figure out how to attach them to the dress, but once i had, pffftt… that was easy! 😀

yellowbatikdress3

wearing this dress puts a smile on my face. maybe it’s because i got reminded of my trip to Indonesia. maybe it’s because the fabric was made in Indonesia. or maybe, just because it’s yellow.

yellowbatikdress4

so let’s not be mellow. bid farewell to August, and say hello to September!