new place to call home

This post has been long overdue since the last one I have posted in January.  Many things has happened all too quickly after the big move in March 2014 that I was needing sometimes to digest them very slowly away from writing a blog apparently, and honestly, I have no logical explanation of that one. Now is September 1 2014, again so much things has happened: we found a new home, great neighbourhood, met and introduced ourselves to the neighbours, our shipment  arrived from Toronto, I turned 28 years-old, my husband also had his birthday, I was deeply apologizing that I killed the lavenders, we spend some quality time with extended family, had a house-warming with roasted turkey, friends came over to visit,  I lost my cellphone during a concert for Jokowi Salam Dua Jari presidential campaign, I voted and we have new president, Wira is attending grade 1 and he's liking it! overall, life has been really good.

Today is September 1 and I always have this thing in the back of my head that I should really be start writing blog again, just for the fun of it. It has always been a thought and never knew that today was the day that I actually did it! so what is keeping me from writing? Well, the first few months of me being here, pottery has kept me busy. I met few people in Jakarta and Bandung who practices pottery. Pottery in Indonesia is so much different that what I know back in Toronto. 

Practising pottery was quite a challenge; pottery studio in Jakarta was really hard to find and when I do found one it was very far from Bekasi, a district in which I reside currently. I only packed my pottery wheel and a few tools with me when moving, so connecting with someone who has a kiln is crucial in order for me to make my own ceramic pieces. One ceramic studio that I always go to is central and very accessible by public transport.  If you happen to live in South part of Jakarta, this is the studio that you should go to. It is called Studio Keramik Puspa at Jalan Puspa no.5 Senopati Kebayoran Baru Jakarta Selatan. It is located behind the street of Jalan Bakti which is known for its fried rice - nasi goreng; the studio just located behind the park of Jalan Bakti. I totally recommend this studio for its cleanliness and great organization of tools/materials and its strategic location. The overall ambiance of the studio is calming and relaxing, casual and it doesn't feel like you are being taught by a ceramicist. You can come and do your own thing if you already know what you are doing or have an one-on-one session with the owner of the studio: Pak Haryo.    


"The truth about not having everything you need, not being fully equipped or qualified or allowed is that these limits are the nebula of creative genius. When you have total freedom i.e: no limits at all. You stop trying to make the best of things" - Augusten Burroughs

I'm starting off this entry with this quote from the book that I bought from a recent trip to Indonesia where we spent about less than 3 weeks. It's a book by Augusten Borroughs entitled This is How: Surviving you think you can't. The quote above is one of few points that really sticks with me. The trip this time is truly an eye-opener. We spent a couple days on the first week in Jakarta, and West Java, followed by few memorable days in Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta is such an amazing, wonderful, peaceful, inexpensive, colourful, surrounded by culture, history, art and just pure joy. This is where the highlight of the trip has taken place. We also got to visit a family of Mr. Iskandar Waworuntu, who is the founder of Bumi Langit Institute,  a place where his family promotes, nurtures and maintain a balanced relationship between the food that is being cultivated and consumed with the environment and its capacity to produce.  The family has grown their own staples and produces. As much as they can, they have uses these ingredient that they produced to cook their dishes.  

At Pasar Beringharjo where we bought three basket full of flowers before visiting my greatfather's grandma cemetery near Taman Sari Water Castle. 

At Pasar Beringharjo where we bought three basket full of flowers before visiting my greatfather's grandma cemetery near Taman Sari Water Castle. 

Back to the quotes that I mention earlier about being limited, Mr. Waworuntu and his family was using the ingredient only those of locally produced and yet they have created a delightful meal from these limited ingredients. At times we feel in so many ways and so many levels, that we are 'limited', be it time or resources or connections. But seeing limits as the way it was described in the book, makes me see limits differently and embrace it. It is not a constraint but something that could help us aligned ourselves of what we can be capable of and what is not.  Limits also help us to say NO and delegate those to people who are best suited to do them.

So I am in the process of learning to make friends with limits and I am thankful for this trip to once again able to see the wonderful city of Jogyakarta and all its beauty. And thankful for stumbling upon this book while transiting in Dallas, TX.


wheel throwing

This month I have bought myself a wheel! yes, a pottery wheel. I haven't talked a lot about some of my clay work in this blog. It actually has been taking most of my time if I'm not occupied with my day job. Clay somehow has been many times, again and again, find its way to me and I found myself fascinated by this particular material. Making things on the wheel has been favourite activity to pass time, and trust me, I had some experimental phases where my curiosity leads me to metal, plastic and wood shop. 

Unlike other materials, ceramic doesn't really need a power tool to fabricate a product or maybe in some level, yes. But the fact that your fingers and palm become a tool in itself, I think it's absolutely incredible. One of the reason, as I mentioned before, why clay keeps coming back to me or manage its way to me is that clay is one of material that doesn't take a lot to set up. I remember those days when I used to work at the wood shop during my OCAD years, I had to split projects into two parts: things that I can do at home (like sanding and finishing) and things that I have to do at the shop (cutting or drilling) to efficiently finish a project. Motherhood partly also have an effect on this, since I was not able to hang out over an extend period of time at the school shop and had to mostly finish a project at home in between my son's napping time. With clay and ceramic, I'm pretty much can have it all done from the beginning to finishing ready for firing at a small corner in my kitchen. 

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With owning a pottery wheel, now making things out of clay ( mostly vessels) is kind of an addiction. I ended up with a lot of pieces that are ready to bisque fire, unglazed and unfinished. I have been keeping my eye for a ceramic shop that I could take these pieces for firing and hopefully I can fire there in regular basis. But so far, places that I found in the city is too overpriced and makes me think of owning my own kiln. well,  this is all happening too fast, I don't think I'm ready yet for having my own kiln. But we'll see.


Thanksgiving in New York City

This is a very late post of the last thanksgiving weekend I spent with my mother in New York City. I have to say that every time I visit NYC there's always something new and exciting about the city ; it seems like the city never fail to surprise me on every visit.

What makes this visit special was because not only my mother is in town, but I also get to see a good friend of our family who invited us for dinner at their modest yet super cool Williamsburg house. At the dinner, we met our new friend Betty, from My Friend Betty Says, a wonderful lady, a socio-activist focusing on issues surrounding Latino women, also a fashion and lifestyle blogger. She tells us story how she was living across the world moving from cities to cities and how that reflects in a way her son was brought up.  During the night we also got to hang out with amazing people from a sculptor to a textile artist/designer, a baker and a marathon runner! It was a night well-spent!

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We had a day to check out the Open House New York, where historical buildings and places that normally would not be open to public, was accessible during this event. Few architects and interior designers were also participated in this event opened their doors to invite the public engaging the dialogue of their thought process in designing their lovely home. Above picture on the left and right was taken from Steve E. Blatz residence of Steve E. Blatz Architect 

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Visit to NYC is not complete without a stop to the MET

Cottage Weekend in Port Severn, Ontario

One weekend in October we were invited by the family of Cindee and Ron to their most beautiful and quaint cottage the Logpointe Cottages,  of Port Severn, Muskoka, Ontario. This will be our third visit since the summer last year. It was drizzly rained most of the weekend, but that did not keep us locked inside the cottage. Bellow is pictures I took using my ever-handy iPhone5 camera, amazing how handy and reliable, this camera has been to me. For more pictures, please visit my instagram @alarasati

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Last summer we rent one of the Logpointe cottages and we knew then that this is the place where we should go and spend our labour day every year. This year we came back as a courtesy invitation. Away from the city but yet it is only a couple hours drive, Logpointe makes a perfect get-away haven for families. 

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