oldies, but not that old

it’s been raining quite a lot here in Finland for the past week, but believe me, after continuous heat for more than a month, i for once am not complaining!

whenever it rains, my mind goes back to the past. when i was small, rain was something nice. until one day, i forgot how old i was, but i was still pretty small, i woke up and felt water on my hand that was hanging down from bed (i was sleeping on the lower bed, the kind that you pull out from under the other bed, where my sister slept. so my hand was practically on the floor). i was so startled that i called my mum right away. it turned out that our house got flooded. unfortunately, our house was not the only one that got flooded. perhaps thousands of other houses in Jakarta these days get flooded every year, so really… it’s not that big of a deal anymore.

so, ever since that time, and many more floods afterwards, i always associate rain with panic. panicking for yet another flood that will hit our house, for yet another thing i would have to say goodbye to if the flood was that bad and washed away some book or drawings that accidentally got left on the floor. for cleaning up in the aftermath. gone were the days when i could just relax and fall asleep while listening to the raindrops.

all that changed when i moved here. now i can just calmly see the rain from our balcony, no matter how hard the rain is. i can even just go to bed with no worries that flood will come to our house. except that now i can’t hear the raindrops at all from our bedroom, thanks to the thick Finnish home windows. 😀 ah well, it’s a problem easily solved when i open the window, so, again, i’m not complaining!

but still, rain brings back old memories. and as my mind goes back, my head starts to play tunes from the past as well. i don’t mean old songs like from before i was born, of course, but those that accompanied me while i grew up back home. Indonesian songs from the 90s, to be precise.

as always, when i’ve heard the tunes too many times inside my own head, it’s time for me to let it out here in my blog. so here they are, some of my nostalgic tunes.

PS. none of these videos nor songs are mine, neither am i claiming them to be. they belong to the artists, i just borrowed the links from YouTube for my personal use.

all in favour for covers say aye

i don’t know why, but i like finding new artists (musicians) to like and obsess about. to be honest, i am actually one of  those people who have a hard time listening to music these days, as in, pop music or whatever else from the hit list. but i try to force myself to listen to other music than those i like (classic/80s-90s) while i sew, for example, just so that i have some music in the background to keep me going, without having to really like or dislike it. and sometimes, i do hit the jackpot by finding some newer artist that i actually can appreciate.

among these rare jackpots, lately i’ve found some real nice covers (of new songs and old songs), nice enough for me to mention here. and yes, i’ve been so obsessed with these lately, it’s time to put these numbers down in a blogpost just so they get out of my head. 😀

the beautiful thing about covers is that the songs are usually already embedded in my brain, and yet i’m given a chance to listen to it from a new dimension, so to speak. some covers are just so-so, meaning that they resemble the originals so much, that i don’t feel touched by them. but some are actually quite different, they are giving the songs new meanings. i can never say that these covers are better than the originals, because, well, they’re just different. i like both the originals and covers. but there are some cases in which i actually never cared for the original until i heard the cover and fell in love with it.

like this one, a version of Losing My Religion by Lacuna Coil.

the original is an old one from REM, that you can listen to here.

i didn’t specifically like that song from REM back then, it was just okay. but listening the cover from Lacuna Coil made me love it! i think it’s because they gave a new depth to it, and their rendition is rather gothic, which explains why i like it. 😉

but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything darker or more gothic makes me automatically like it. for example, i like this cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart by Nouvelle Vague:

the original from Joy Division is somewhat darker and haunting (and i love it so! you can listen to it here), but i very much enjoy this beach-y cover as well.

but where are the new ones, you ask? so far all the examples i’ve given are covers of songs from the past. again. well, that’s because the newer songs i listen to are quite new, nobody who’s established enough has had the time to make covers of them. but here’s one super talented guy who does covers with his electric violin of newer songs:

this one is his cover of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, which you can listen to here. Bryson Andres is a one-man show, he uses some sort of loop pedal instrument to record parts of his playing that will then act as the “background music” to the rest of his playing. you can see it from his other videos (like ones where he plays on the streets, so you can see the instrument i’m talking about), but i am a fan now already! another confession, i used to listen to Vanessa-Mae. so i do have a thing for violins.

that particular video i gave the link to up there is the first take that he did of that song, so there are of course some imperfections here and there. but i think he’s going to get big! can’t wait for his album to come out. 😀

before i found out about this guy, i’ve listened to Vitamin String Quartet covers, and i think they’re amazing too. if you like violins & other string instruments as much as i do, and also enjoy rock/pop songs, maybe you can try their tribute to Fun.’s We Are Young:

the original can be heard here. they have hundreds (if not thousands) of other covers/tributes, including that of The Cure, Guns N’ Roses, Garbage, Gotye, Lana del Rey, Lady Gaga, to name a few.

okay, so what about parodies? oh, i love them, too! 😀 i grew up listening to one of our local parody bands in Indonesia, called Padhyangan Project. and then, of course, there’s the notorious Weird Al Yankovic, which my husband also loves. so here’s one of his latest parody which hit me in the right notes (or words)… because i hate Word Crimes as well! 😀

the original song is called Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, and if you really must, then go see it here. (i wouldn’t though if i were you, just hearing the first row of the lyrics from the actual song already made me roll my eyes.) for this one, i must say that good old Weird Al’s version is much much better!

and to wrap this up i’m just gonna give another link to another one from Bryson Andres, a cover of Counting Stars:

the original is by OneRepublic (listen to it here.)

if you have any discoveries of good cover songs, past or present, do share it! i’d love to hear them. now, off to bed!

PS. none of these videos nor songs are mine, neither am i claiming them to be. they belong to the artists, i just borrowed the links from YouTube for my personal use.

dummies, elephants, and Africa

dummyelephant1

self-made blouse & bow tie, Gina Tricot skirt, Just Kulkith batik shoes, Swatch watch, unbranded glasses.

one of my previous co-workers brought me this fabric as a souvenir from California some years ago. the design is by Fabrice de Villeneuve for Robert Kaufman, called “Dress Up”. it has little images of dummies (or mannequins) with all kinds of different dresses, and my ex co-worker said that she immediately thought of me when she saw this fabric. that was so sweet of her! 🙂

for years i’ve been saving it for something special, and now finally i found just the perfect pattern for it.

burda7255it’s one of BurdaStyle’s vintage collection, pattern no. 7255. the size starts at 38, so i downsized it as i usually use size 36 for all my previous BurdaStyle patterns… and let me save you from all the trouble of doing it by yourself, because it turns out that the result was a bit too tight. i guess the pattern also has vintage sizes or something, and 38 then is the equivalent of 36 now. d’oh!

but anyway, it ‘s still wearable (it wouldn’t be me if i just declare it a failure!). all i needed to do was put more buttons than the original version, because otherwise i would be stripping even with the slightest movements. :p

dummyelephant2

dummyelephant3

the special detail about this pattern is the back side, where there’s a small …er… flap (?) in the middle. anyway, i suppose back in the old days they used net-like fabrics, to add some sort of ventilation to the shirt. pretty handy in the summer. 😀 and this is perfect for me, because the fabric i got was actually not big enough for me to make this shirt… so using the old trick, i combined it with another fabric, just for that flap thing in the middle of the back side.

dummyelephantdetail1that’s where the elephants came in. 🙂

this elephant fabric is an Indonesian batik fabric, and i think the colours are just perfect to be combined with the Robert Kaufman fabric, don’t you? and since i already put the elephants there, i thought, what’s the harm in putting them also on the bow tie?

dummyelephantdetail2

 

the other project i’ve just finished also uses old fabrics (yay for sticking to my 2014 resolution!). just like the rest of my poor old fabrics, they had been waiting in my closet for far too long just for that perfect pattern… or actually, in this case, for an idea to come up in my head. because not only did i use old fabrics, i also used an old pattern. by old, i mean, only 2 years old. 😉

burda106-05-2012

picture borrowed from BurdaStyle magazine.

it’s pattern no. 106B from BurdaStyle magazine, May 2012 issue. when i first saw this pattern, all i saw was that it needs over 2 meters of fabrics and i thought, well, i don’t have any fabric that is that long. only now did it occur to me that i could actually combine 2 fabrics for it. so that’s what i did.

african1

H&M t-shirt, self made skirt, Spirit sandals, jersey fabric worn as headband, necklaces from Legian -Bali, earrings from ITC Permata Hijau – Jakarta.

those brilliant-looking fabrics i used for the skirt are called African wax cotton fabrics. it’s basically cotton, but the colouring technique uses wax (kind of like batik) so that the end result is a bit stiffer than normal cotton.

the first time i saw these lovely fabrics, i was screaming joyfully inside. i had always wished Indonesian batik fabrics could use neon colours like these, so when i saw these it was like i found a distant cousin of Indonesian batik. it made me happy too, because i was so fed up with the kind of impression that “African look” = safari look. i mean, yeah sure, if you, as a tourist, go to Kenya or something, then you would probably want to go on a safari and wear those jumpsuits, but i mean, come on… there’s much much more to Africa/African look than those boring khaki jumpsuits (that are not even originally African). now THIS is what i think of when i think of African look. ❤

anyway, enough ranting. so, i ended up using 2 separate fabrics for this skirt, which thankfully have the same colour palettes. i made it using the size 36, which is one size smaller than usual for bottoms, because i usually feel too much looseness in the waist when i use size 38. since this skirt has very wide hemline, i thought i’d be okay with 36. but yeah, i was wrong yet again. the skirt ended up a bit too small even on the waist area, which resulted in a small alteration on the front part. and this is why i couldn’t make the graphics on the center front of the skirt align with one another. thank God i don’t have OCD.

africandetail

african2

african3

 

all i need now is warmer weather (it did actually get very warm here for a while, +20C and even more… but for the past week it’s been cold again, snick!). well, hopefully these colour therapies would help summon more sunlight & warmth!

now for a small bonus, i’m gonna put on a Julia Fordham song about South Africa, called Happy Ever After. i just LOVE this song, and it’s been playing in my head ever since i started sewing this skirt. it’s time now to pass on the catchy-ness. 😀

PS. i do not own the video, the song, nor the lyrics. i just borrowed them for personal use.

don’t you just love goodbyes?

i know i’m not supposed to feel this way, jealousy is bad for my health, and regrets will get me nowhere.

but i can’t help feeling it right now, argh.

okay, to cut the drama short, i just saw some pics of my old workplace that i left last October to work at my current workplace. i mean, i knew then that they were going to have some renovation, but we didn’t know that the renovation includes the whole interior of the place. at least i didn’t. for all i knew, they were going to renew the pipes, and everything else that’s hidden under the floors and above the ceilings.

and now i just saw the pics of the newly renovated place… and it looks so good, i wanna cry! they changed practically all the interiors and have like a completely new concept which looks awesome! ESPECIALLY the department where i used to work at, dammit! i mean, i truly am happy for my ex co-workers there, but it’s kind of like this big joke that almost exactly after i moved out then they did something THAT nice. and not that i would go back there again anyway, but still! why?? why now??? why not, like, five years from now??? *scrapes the ground*

rumour has it that the renovation will also be done to all the other branches, and since i basically still work for the same company, it is bound to happen to my current workplace, too. but knowing my company and their ‘plans’, this would take a while. like, 5 years from now. isn’t it just grand?

don’t you just love goodbyes?

indeed, just like one of my fave bands of all times, Mew, sings it best in “156”.

PS. i do not own the video, the song, nor the lyrics. i just borrowed them for personal use.

tiny update

i won’t be able to write any blog posts for a while now, and i can’t really tell the full story yet (yes, i enjoy being mysterious, especially when everyone else is always writing their minute daily routines to their Twitter and FB status).

but this much i can say (or sing):

the hint lies within the first verse. 😀

so, all together now: millions of peaches! peaches for me!

PS. i do not own the video, the song, nor the lyrics. i just borrowed them for personal use.

song of the moment

yesterday, my summer holiday officially ended.

today i had a day off, so technically, tomorrow is the first day of going back to work.

but tonight i’m still here. tonight i belong to you.

i first heard this song when i was just a toddler, i think. it was the The Chipmunks version. 😀 some weeks ago i suddenly saw this on TV, and i just fell in love with the duet version, in all its simplicity. also it probably helps now that i can understand what the song is all about (when i was a toddler i didn’t know English yet, of course).

anyway. enjoy the song. 🙂 (or i will, at least, for the night.)

Tonight You Belong To Me

I know (I know)
You belong to somebody new
But Tonight you belong to me
Although (although) we’re apart
You’re part of my heart
And tonight you belong to me

Way down by the stream
How sweet it will seem
Once more just to dream
In the moonlight
My honey I know (I know)
With the dawn that you will be gone
But tonight you belong to me
Just to little old me

PS. i do not own the video, the song, nor the lyrics. i just borrowed them for personal use.

PPS. to my sister –> what do you say, shall we record ourselves singing this one day? it would go to the same album as our (future) Something Stupid duet, hehehe!

vakansi

i think that no matter how long i’ve stayed here in Finland, i would still always be happy when i hear some strangers passing me by here, talking in my mother language. i would still be ridiculously happy whenever i see something in IKEA or H&M that says “made in Indonesia” on the label. my day would still turn brighter when i see someone wearing Indonesian batik clothes. i would still jump at the chance of tasting Indonesian food in the ravintola päivä (restaurant day) or Indonesian bazaar at the embassy (because no matter how convincing my husband can be about how good the Indonesian foods i make are, when the food is made by someone else, it always tastes better for me!).

so it was only natural that my heart leaped when my mum told me that one of my most fave Indonesian bands, White Shoes And The Couples Company, is going to perform here. in Finland. very soon.

it was just by chance that i got to know this band back in the year 2004 (or was it 2005?). i was taking tabla lessons at the JNICC in Jakarta during that time, and one day one of our classmates, who is the drummer of the White Shoes band, said that they were going to perform somewhere (can’t remember!), and that we were all welcome to see their performance. back then the White Shoes band wasn’t that known yet, and if i remember correctly that performance was to promote  their first full length album. i was already planning to go to the said event anyway, because i wanted to see another local indie band, Goodnight Electric, which was also going to perform there.

so there we went, and i think the White Shoes band performed before the Goodnight Electric band. right there and then when i heard the singer sang her first note, i fell in love with them. 🙂 i’ve always loved anything from the old days (1920s – 1990s), fashion-wise and movie-wise. this band sings in the style of ’30s jazz music and ’70s Indonesian movie soundtrack. they also always dress up accordingly (wearing mostly ’70s styled clothes), that just by seeing them would already make you feel that you’ve gone through a time travel machine back to the past.

that was unfortunately the first and only time i got to see them perform live, because not long after that, i moved here. i brought their only album (at that time) when i moved here, and listened to it continuously, even played it on my wedding reception day. 🙂 i would always envy the people who live around Asia and the US, because ever since i moved here, i noticed that the White Shoes band would sometimes perform in those countries. i thought for sure that there was no way they would ever come to a (rather) remote place in Europe like Finland. :p but as luck would have it, now almost a decade later, they are coming here. Finland is not such a bad place to live after all, LOL.

when i traveled back to Indonesia the last time in 2011, i found out that they just released another album, and quickly got it for myself. this song here is taken from that latest album of the same name, Vakansi.

their performance here will be held a short time before my first batch of summer holiday starts. it seems appropriate to “start” it by listening to their Vakansi song, since it means “holiday” in the old Indonesian language (most likely taken from “vakantie” word of the Dutch language). as the lyric in the song says:

“Setahun bekerja kita membanting tulang
Inilah waktunya kita berlibur panjang”

which translates to: [after] a year of working hard, it is now time for us to have a long holiday.

i can hardly wait for both the band and the holiday!

PS. the music, lyrics, and video/still photos are not mine. i just borrowed them for personal use.