Friday, March 26, 2010

Dreamy Blue...

Yesterday I got informed by Sema from that my blue flower earrings were featured on another Etsy treasuries that she collected! How exciting!!! The blue theme for this treasury is sooo wonderful and just looking at them soothes my soul. I definitely think that Sema has got a talent for collecting a wide range of items and putting them together harmoniously. It is such an honour to be included amongst other beautiful items that she featured. Thanks Sema! =)

Please have a look at Sema's amazing handmade creations at

To have a look at my earrings that she featured, click on this link:

Good day everyone!=)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stuff I made...!

Just showing you off some stuff I made well actually... last week. We changed our internet provider at home and it's way too slow to load photos. The only 2 places that provides me with descent internet is at the office or at starbucks. So, if I'm a bit slow uploading photos in the next couple of weeks, that would be why.

I also gave up taking acceptable photos with my pocket camera. I'm trying out photo-shopping my pictures until I manage saving up to buy a better camera. No cut and pasting involved, don't worry. It's mainly to do justice of the colours more than anything. Enjoy! =)

"Spring This Year..." simple jewelry set with crystal, pink jade and faceted light green serpentin. I use sterling silver chain, earwires and a heart rhodium toggle. Light, simple, sweet and stylish!

"Cornelian Dream" Long necklace. An interesting mix between cornelian stones, crystals and biwa pearls. A great piece if you like dangly necklace.

"Sundusk" is a 2 tiered choker necklace using various cornelian stones, sterling silver chain and wire. This piece is slightly experimental, I imagined it, sketched it, failed some experiments and finally came up with this necklace hence the out of the ordinary result.

The following jewelry is heavily influenced with the copper vintage look. Materials are mainly swarovski pearls, swarovski crystals and chains.

"Copper constalation" matching bracelet and necklace. The pearls and crystals are placed randomly but making sure that they are placed in balance. It requires a little bit of putting out and replacing pearls which chews up a bit of time, but I really can't help myself... XD

"Classic Beauty" bracelet, adorned with vintage-like rose charms and other dangling beads. I love this bracelet so much and very tempted to keep it for myself... it's... so... preeetty...

Want to see more pictures or more info? They're all being kept in my Etsy shop so drop by for a visit if you like. Go to and just click on the "New This Week" Link in the shop sections on the right hand side of the page.

Good day everyone! =)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blackberries for the win!

My blackberry bracelet got featured in one of the Etsy treasuries today! This is my first time to be featured and I'm so, sooo happy!!! Somebody out there like my stuff! Yaaay! This treasury looks so mighty delicious! Just staring at it makes me smell blackberries in the air, and blackberries don't even grow in Indonesia. The other items make my bracelet look 10 times better than when it is out of context. O, the power of treasuries. I love, love, looove it!

Thank you so much Sema for adding me! Please check out Sema's shop at for her amazing handmade items! :D

Cheers everyone!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Engaged, Officially

And so here we are, the final weekend of my Australian trip is ending with my own engagement party. I have successfully put on so much weight during my trip ( you can tell from my photos), clearly I have been having too much fun eating those Australian chips.

We invited Greg’s family and our friends to have a bbq beside Ginnendera lake to celebrate… other than that, we didn’t really plan much else.

I treated myself to go to the farmers market in the morning with Jess and Anita to buy whatever I feel like serving on the party. It also worked out as an excuse because I'm in love with markets! I end up getting some fabulous sugar plums and an amazing bunch of dahlia’s to decorate the table.

It was a chaotic morning to begin with. Our picnic spot had been taken over by someone else, and what’s left is picnic table and bbq in the middle of the sun. The rest of the place are extremely crowded with people too. I got upset and panicky… it took me awhile to convince Greg to move at the state I'm in, but we finally did. It was a bit of a hassle to move everyone, but the place we moved to is very shady and quite. It was worth it.

It was a great BBQ. Greg's dad said grace for us before we begin to eat. Our guests are involved with 3 groups of people. There’s Greg’s family, Greg’s church friends, and my friends. This party had confirmed me of the random collection of friends I have. None of them belonged in a particular set of group, just random people I meet that I somehow get along, and they somehow knew each other from somewhere else. Greg’s friends are the cool people sitting on the picnic rug under the tree looking at my friends going, “What’s up with all the hats?” Haha, I love my friends, they’re all fruitcakes. I’m still trying to get to know Greg’s friends, I guess I’ll have more chance when I move there.

I spent most of the time talking to people I forgot to eat. I sent out invitations with more of ‘sorry I can’t make it’ response than positive ones I thought I’ll only have 10 people on the picnic table with a $200 worth of meat and a bucket-full of fruit juice ice cubes. But in the end I had so many surprises I feel like I’m sitting in a concert with the ‘surprise guests’ turning up. There were friends I haven’t met in years, and friends who had driven up from out of town to be there. It made me so, so happy to have people that I love to be there.

And guess what? All 3 couples that got married in these past weeks had somehow finished their honeymoon and made it to our party.

Mr. Darran and Mrs.Sarah Holder:

Mr.Henry and Mrs.Joanne Halder.

And Mr.Nat and Mrs.Melissa Walker.

One of the highlight there is that we were going to have speeches. I wanted to hide behind Greg the whole time because I was shy… for good reasons. It’s not our wedding day and people already said embarrassing things about me and Greg. I have to say that in this case, Greg’s friends are the better story tellers. My friends had known me waaay too well to be able to blow all my secrets that made me want to dig a hole and hide, and Steve particularly is having difficulty to know when to stop. But all of them made me laugh and some made me want to cry even. My relationship with Greg would’ve been so boring without the people we share our lives with.

At the end of the speech, Greg’s grandma said prayers for both of us, and when she finished it felt like we are now properly engaged.

We took another quick family photo as we might not be together for much longer. I'm leaving for Jakarta the next day, Joanne and Henry are moving to Bangladesh permanently sometime in May and I wouldn't be back again sometime after that. So here's to us!

When the party was almost over, there is one thing left to do…. I have to announce my bridesmaids. This issue had been one thing that had been scaring me for years. Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night feeling all worried about it. One time I got so desperate I asked David (who's living in Germany) if he would be my bridesmaid. His response was "Can I say no and still be invited?" I told him that he's allowed only if he brings back a life-size gingerbread man from Germany to my wedding. He liked the idea, and planned to get an extra one way plane ticket for it.

The problem is that, I don’t have a sister or that one particular best friend. But during this trip, I have made the decision, and they will have to know before I leave the country the next day. Greg wanted 3 groomsman, so I picked 3 bridesmaids, and one of them is Caroline. When she told me she’s leaving because she needs to take some people home, I had a little battle inside my head. Should I just email her? Call her via skype? No, no I have to tell her face to face! Ok, how?

“Don’t go yet!”

“Why? ”

“Just, don’t go yet!”

“Do you need help?”

“Yes, I need help!”

O great, now I have to find an excuse for help…. O look, Jess is just sitting on the picnic rug by herself, and Liz vaguely standing behind me! Quick, grab her! I pulled Caroline and Liz and sat them down on the picnic rug where Jess is and said, “Ok you guys, I’ve thought long and hard about this… but… you guys are gonna be my bridesmaids for my wedding… I’ve thought looooong and hard about this… … blab la blaaa….”

Ok, so I couldn’t get over about the ‘long and hard’ thoughts because it was super long and hard to come up with that decision, but all 3 of them were a little too shocked and happy to notice the weight of seriousness in this matter. Jess said, “Wow… that’s a big honor…” Liz was giggling going, “Wow, I’m sooo… happy…!!!” and Caroline was making ambiguous Luis Armstrong sound sort of laughing voice and smiled so crazy it made her face look stupid. Hahaha… I’m laughing my head off as I’m writing this… aaaah… memories…. So, why was I so stress again?

I didn’t realize this, but I picked 3 different people from 3 different era’s of my time in Canberra. I don’t know how well they knew each other, but I’m sure it will all be crazy and fun!

Another highlight of the event is of course, the presents! I have never seen piles and piles of real presents dedicated for my household before. Not since my 6th birthday or something. It’s fun opening them up too. Pillows, towels for two, queen bed sheets, a set of wine glass…. Hm… was that my engagement party or my wedding just happened?

Because I felt nothing but love, love, love and looove...!

This is the triple layered chocolate cake that my friend Prabha made for the party. It disappeared as soon as it was served! Thanks Prabha, it was sooo yummy!

Notice how this post had better pictures than usual? My friend Ben Thomas took all these photos except 2 of them. You can visit his amazing site at:

And so, let the planning begin! =)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Melissa and Nat's Wedding

The third wedding is of my x-housemate, Melissa who is now married to Nathaniel- also known as Nat. Their wedding was held in a small town called Nimmitabel, 2 and a half hour drive South of Canberra.

Having to live with Mel for one year, I get to know her well more or less. She’s got some habits that people would think of as strange. For example, she likes to bring empty yogurt buckets from the cafĂ© she works everyday. She doesn’t want to waste them so she brought them home to be used as pot plants to grow herbs. Though… she had collected so many of them that our house verandah have got stacks of bucket from floor to ceiling. She loves the earth and in return hates wasting resources, and will go with whatever is green and organic. She studied rocks at university, but came out not wanting anything more than to be a mom with lots of kids. She also thinks systematically. Her arguments are usually verbally numbered. She’s also very quiet at home. Coming back home from work she would go straight to her computer and stayed silent… and I guess that’s how she met Nat on a facebook game.

It wasn’t until I went to the place that Nat grew up in, I realize how Nat, and the rest of his family is everything that Mel had ever dreamed of. Nat’s parents bought thousands acres of forest where they brougt up their kids. I quite enjoy visiting their property. Their living space is a combination of a house that they've buit themselves, a junkyard, Bianca the guard dog, chickens, ducks, vegetable garden, a green house, a half-made mud house and a dam. Nat is the oldest of 8 siblings and his youngest sibling is still a baby. For some reason he also likes to verbally numbered his argument….

The following are some photos from the Walker's property, This is their organic garden:

The half made mud house with the glorious forest background:

And the dam with the tilted sign that vaguely translates to, "Do not jump in":

Mel had asked me to make her and her bridesmaids jewelry as well as their bouquets. I finished making all the jewelry at home, but I was quite nervous in making her wedding bouquet as this is my first time, and it’s for real! Argh! Mel might not care so much about the flowers, but I still think she’s got a lot of trust in me.

I was lucky enough to get the flowers that I need from the wholesaler since the wedding is on the valentines day weekend. I got pink and yellow lilies from the supermarket as a backup, purple lisianthus and irises from the wholesaler.

On Friday when we arrived at nimmitabel, I had to go on a quest to pick some wild flowers to put in the bouquet. We went to Nat’s parent’s property to look for them. I end up picking some wild purple clovers and brackens for the bouquet.

I also took this advantage to have a little tour of the is so, sooo beautiful in there. No wonder Mel and Nat wanted to get married there.

That night there was a bushdance held in the Nimmitabel townhall. The band was excellent, there were little kids running around everywhere and delicious home made food being served, it was a great! I get to dance with tall men that I swear nearly catapaulted me flat on the wall. I don't know how the little kids cope...

While the bushdance is still going, I decided to duck out early to the hall’s kitchen to start arranging my flowers. I was a little nervous as I have no idea of what I was trying to do, but I was so fortunate that I had so many friends and strangers to came over to say hi and watch what I was doing. They also offered me help which made everything a lot faster and fun!

I realized as I was doing my flowers, there were about 50 times where I thought my bouquet looked so bad and I have to start again. If I was working by myself, I think I would, but people who saw me or watched me arrange them would sincerely say that it looked nice. Some even asked me if I've had training before because it looked like I knew what I was doing. I'm surprised, but I take it anyway, because I can't go on without those kind words and I can't handle the pressure of Mel not having her wedding bouquet looking great. It made me realize how important encouragement are.

I finished arranging the flowers at 3am and didn’t get to sleep until around 5 am on the floor in the townhall without a mattress… and yes, It was a stupid idea but at least my bouquet is done. My friend Caroline stayed up with me until 3 am. She's so funny she made time flies. I was arranging my flowers in the same room as where the girls were all sleeping, so both of our stomach hurts from trying to hold too much of our laughter.

I'm particularly proud of Melissa's bouquet. The pink lilies look so sweet againts the purple lisianthus. I was a bit worried that the Iris's didn't bloom in time, but I used that as 'spikes' coming out of the bouquet, and the purple clover helped toning it down. I would like another florist come up with this arrangement... I can't imagine anyone else using clovers and closed iris in a wedding bouquet :p

The next day, I woke up at 8 am to the sound of chairs being moved around inside the townhall. Everyone who slept in the room had disappeared. I peeked out of my sleeping bag and there he is again, Mr. helpful and cheerful (aka:John) is happily sweeping the floor away. “It’s Fionna!” like I just popped out of my cocoon or something.

“What? What’s going on? Where’s everyone? What’s with all the noise?!”

“They’re moving the wedding to the townhall. It’s still raining and this morning the wedding venue is covered in a layer of mud.”

“For a split second I thought about the prayers I whispered to God asking Him for a better weather today so that we can have the wedding in that beautiful forest. I was rather disappointed that it wouldn’t go as planned. But since yesterday the venue was covered in a layer of mud and the pizza oven is sufferring from the rain, I guess the townhall will have to do.

So the ceremony and reception happened spontaneously inside the townhall. Not just that, but it also functioned as a bushdance hall, kitchen, dining room, flower arranging table, and a sleeping hall. It feels like a thousand memories are jammed into that one building. Like any good country town, everybody is more than willing to help out. Everything seem to go in place as they move along. All the food are from their contribution and even though it was a buffet style sort of eating, some of the food there are just amazing! Especially the pizza! Unless I go to Italy and have the real deal, I will taste a better pizza. The townhall was packed with 200 or more people in it. That made me realize the fun of not having a 'seated' reception.

One of the wedding's highlight was when Melissa gets to cut Nat’s hair that he’s been growing for awhile. Story is, he made a deal with someone that he won’t cut his hair until he gets married… that was 6 years ago. The crowd got so involved they went mad! They even went all the way and got his head shaved.

The other highlight is… well… they’ve got a cookie monster cake topper.

So there it is, another country wedding. I spoke to yet again so many friendly and helpful strangers. Speaking of helpful, Caroline was amazing that day! She didn't just stayed up till 3 am helping me, she also helped out in the kitchen during the reception while everyone else was busy eating. She also brought cups of tea to people who really need it. She's like a superwoman, I wish I could be as sensitive as her.

I left early to Canberra because I was exhausted, and needed a timeout with Greg. Later I found out that Melissa did a bouquet throw, and guess where it landed? Carolineeeee.... !!!

Ehm... and so... a new adventure had begun for the new Mr and Mrs Walker... and where are they heading? Into the mysterious land fully populated by a 4 legged creature called a 'married couple'- congratulations you two! :D

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Henry and Joanne's Wedding

The second wedding is of my fiance's sister, Joanne Melmoth. She is marrying Henry Halder from Bangladesh. Henry managed to become the talk of the town in tiny West Wyalong- the little country town where Joanne grew up in with a population of around 3.500. It wasn't because Henry is not Australian, but more of because their relationship had been a long fierce battle to finally reach this wedding.

Henry met Joanne when they were both studying to become missionaries. Weeks before Henry had to go back to Bangladesh for good, he got together with Joanne. Anyone would think that this decision is completely mad, but they successfully went through 2 years of long distance relationship and finally got married. Thank You God for Skype.

The Melmoth family is very involved with the community church. Before they were married, Henry had been having a lot of problems in getting his marriage VISA to Australia. They’re wedding was postpone from June 2009 to October 2009 and now it’s finally happening on February 2010. It was a long horrible wait, and the church was praying for Henry for so long! I was there when Greg’s dad announced to the church that Henry’s VISA finally got approved. Everyone instantly applaud, and they've never even met the guy! I love West Wyalong...

They've decided to have the wedding in West Wyalong which is a 3 hour drive North West from Canberra). Greg had the honor to be the driver for Jo and Henry, while I had the honor to do the flower arrangements for the church. Their color theme were red and white. Earlier during the week, Greg and I actually did a one night trip to West Wyalong just so that I can have a second look at the church, vases, also a garden that a lady from church is offering for me to just pick any leaves, berries and flowers that I want.

Back in Canberra, I went straight to the flower wholesaler and bought some giant red roses, red carnations, white alstromeria, white lisianthus, pink and red lilies and pussy willows. In the arrangement I also add a little bit of Australian flowering gum which are intense red in the flower arrangements- and that was a good move because I had a lot of positive comments on them. They looked like they’ve been commercially grown, but really I’ve just picked them off a tree at the side of the road. The flowers had to travel for 3 hours with us, and there were a couple of sharp turns in the car… (which caused a tiny bit of drama and excitement) but they managed to survive.

When arranging, I can't start without drawing a little sketch of what I think they arrangement is going to look like. I did 4 arrangements in the end. 2 for either side of the church, one for the church alter and another one for the welcoming table. O, and a vase full of gum flowers and leaves to decorate the morning tea tables, which is fast and look really good. Joanne's hen's night was held the night before the wedding. Us girls went out to get some chinese, walked around town to get some ice cream and then hang out at some random spot to have a chat. I stayed up late to finish my arrangements afterwards.

I was staying at the Melmoth's house, and the whole time, I was treated as part of the family. I shared a room with Martha, the maid of honor and when I woke up in the morning, it felt special. Today my future sister in law is getting married to my future brother in law. I feel like my own family is expanding even though I’m not married to Greg yet. It was a surprisingly relaxed morning. There were times when we were all just standing around wondering what is there to do. Greg and his younger brother Luke helped me move the flowers to church while the band was rehearsing. When I came back, Greg’s cousin Jess was doing Joanne’s make up at last minutes notice because the original make up artist pulled out. And, maybe I’m over- reacting, but I’m so psyched that I was there to help Joanne and Martha put on their dresses so that I get to be the first one to see them in their dresses and become all smitten at how pretty they look.

I loved the church service, it has a real community feel to it. Our grandma did the prayers and Joannes mum and her sisters did a performance. Being a little country town, a lot of people contributed to the morning tea after the church. Some anonymous people had also cleaned the church, washed some banners to decorate the church and did some minor things that I wouldn't notice if nobody had point it out to me.

A quick family shot after the ceremony:

They had their reception at the local country club. There were round tables but nobody was seated so that everyone can move around and talked to different people. I had so many people come over to talk to me that I barely got off my chair which is unreal. I felt like the shyest person in the room because I couldn’t bring myself up to talk to any strangers! Some people approached me to give me actual cards and gifts because they heard that Greg and I just got engaged. I was so embarrassed because I couldn’t remember half of those people are. A lot of them came to complement me on my flower arrangement, so much that it made me feel like a pro for once!

My favorite moment on the reception was when they had some of their friends performing music in between the meal and speeches and also when Jo and Henry were about to drive away on their honeymoon, the crowd spontaneously started singing . It sound so amazing. It was an incredible night and everyone was happy, which taugt me something. A wedding doesn't have to be expensive to be great. To celebrate love, you just gotta have love... Period.