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Little Things 222 : Japanese Crafty Books and Handiworks

The Japanese are famous with their artsy-crafty classes and collecting crafty knowledge in books, magazines and zines. I remember looking at Ma's craft books when I was small. Ma had quite a collection of Japanese sewing books especially on bags, pouches and fabric dolls. Other than attending craft classes while she was staying in Japan, I think that's how she learned to sew and used it to make various Batik items. 

She sew a lot of stuffs for our house and the 4 of us. All the cushion covers, the slipper and telekung bags, our mini sling bag, tissue cases, curtain- anything she can think of, except for clothes. When we were in school, Aja and I helped her sew some of the batik items to be sold during school holiday - so we were both quite familiar with basic handy-works.

I just borrowed 3 of Ma's old sewing books last night (on the right) and that's some of my Japanese crafty books (on the left) :

Most of their books came out with a lot of clean step-by-step visuals so I don't have to know how to read it to understand, and they also compiled all the templates that can be used in all the books :


I don't really have time - yet - to experiment and all because of my current projects *I don't even find time to write blog as much! . But I managed to make a casing for my new power bank - *a gift from Af ! The fabric was bought around 3-4 years back in an art event. I was into matryoshka during that time. 

It can keep both my iPhone + Power bank and also the wires. I just don't want to accidently scratch the power bank with keys in my bag :


I also used to make these leather key-straps and camera straps for fun. I bought bunch of sheep skin leathers through Etsy and experimented with those. Ma has tools for leather, because she took leather classes as well while living in Japan. She kinda gave me all the tools so I don't have to buy any of it :D 

A delightful mixes of leather and bronze coloured key-rings + studs collection :


Little Things 221 : A Song for Goodbyes


I found a perfect goodbye song for me 
For years I've been openly accepted the idea of dying as something painful, but at the same time natural and beautiful. For me it is something so clear and so close, even though we don't really know 'when'. It's the idea of every living person in this world will die one day, and we need to live each day like it's our last. To be ready to say goodbye every single day to the person we love, to not regret the things that passed or those we haven't pursue. To accept that some stories are meant to be left hanging without conclusion. And so I found my perfect goodbye song.

Here is the song of my current obsession :

Mini Escapism : Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve + Mini Hike in the City

I've been wanting to bring Af to Bukit Nanas Reserve Forest or KL Forest Eco-Park *the new name since 3 years ago when we both explored the KL city together on foot. It was closed for construction, twice when we randomly visited the place. 

It is finally open last year but we couldn't find time to go until last Saturday. 
I really wanted to go before the fasting and Raya month, so we had to push aside other activities and focus solely on achieving that. The day before, one of the worst heavy rain hit KL and Bukit Jalil, that resulted the heavy traffics that Friday night, most signboards and trees along side of the road were broken and mutilated. We wanted to avoid the rain, so we went there right before lunch hour instead.

We used Waze, took around half an hour to reach there on Mex highway, and we parked right in front of Jalan Gereja. We started our mini hike in the city before lunch and I thought maybe we will take around 1-2 hours to finish the course?

Here is the view of the forest from Google Maps :


We started at the entrance near Jalan Gereja/Jalan Raja Chulan. I knew the path because I went there back in 2012-2013, the path was better than before :D We headed to the newly open Canopy Walk not far from the main entrance.
Length : 200 meter long
Above Ground : 15 metres
Fees : Free
Condition : Brand new 


We arrived at the other end soon after and decided to use the stair path to finish it up. It was a really short walk, until we saw an illustrated map near the exit showing a big forest trail map in the Taman Eko Rimba itself next to the other canopy walk exit that we passed through before ! We didn't know ! So we had to head back to the top and finally found the other entrance =.=

There weren't anyone during the hike except for a foreigner that we kept on stumble upon for more than 5 times because we took different trails and they were all intertwine at one point or another. We took the easiest course with the proper bricks trail instead of the jungle tracks because my legs were still badly sore from the hill trainings I did before - and I wanted the fastest route. We were both famished ! This is how the jungle track starts *we didn't take this trail :

Stairs, stairs and more stairs.  

We found a mentioned "Bamboo walk" by name - but just a long pathway to groups of huge bamboo on the left and smaller bamboos on the right =.= By that time, I referred to the map again and decided to take a detour and end our trail at the mini canopy walk with exit to the mini zoo. But alas ! The gate is closed, so we had to reroute.

Af said that we should continue our trail to the other exit like we planned. We stopped by at the abandoned par course to snap some eerie pictures before we sat a Chinese guy. He was all sweating and panting, he told us that the other exit is closed for construction, so if we want to continue our path, we have to take the jungle track way farther inside. He seemed a bit pissed of and exhausted, he then told us that he was heading back. 

There was no other choice than to return to our previous course and hike back towards the entrance T^T 


I was curious. Both my legs were cramping so bad *I had 2 days of hiking training and haven't had my rest day yet during that time, and it was my 3rd consecutive day of hill training =.= So I manage to count the distance of our trail path. We hiked and walked for approximately 'only' 3.5 km ! I thought it was more than that, considering we spent for almost 3 hours in the mini forest, finding ways and explored the places. Plus, I was exhausted like I've never trained in my life, and here I thought I was fit and ready =.= But Af said his legs were fine during the exploration, and I can conclude that this bad muscle strain was caused by my hill training at the gym + our mini hike. So normal people can go on any of the trails fine, they are less than 5 km pun.. You can choose harder forest trails, because there are a lot of trails you can choose from, we took the easiest ones but the one with the most stairs.

Here is a rough map of our trail that includes several repetition of the same trail because we keep on getting lost and some of the paths were closed for construction.


I think I need recovery time for at least 2 days before starting my next hill training because seriously, I can't walk properly, I can't even bend my knees or sit comfortably. Not even minor yoga stretches ! :D But I'm really happy we did this.

Note : My iphone 4s is currently dying and couldn't do more than minimal task. Not quite sure 'when' I will buy the new SE, so before reaching to that, I'm going to fully utilise my LX3 again to take photos. I've forgotten how fulfilling it is to use my old friend. Here is a highlighted picture of me with LX3 :

Book : Haruki (Wind) + George (a Game of Thrones) + Sailormoon

I relocated my mini book shelves into the living room again, I think it probably stayed in our bedroom for a month or two and I don't like the idea of letting them sit in the dark room without the sun for long. They will turn musty. For now, I only keep some books of the chosen authors : Haruki Murakami, Orhan Pamuk, Elif Shafak, Chuck Palahniuk, and Albert Camus, also some spiritual poetry books and quotes, plus almost all my graphic books and travelogues. It is so hard to leave all my books behind at Ma's - but this is what I manage to keep for now :


After finished rereading Wind by Haruki Murakami, I started on rereading his second novella : Pinball 1978. My main goal is to reread all Murakami's works in chronological order so I can imagine his world entirely based on how he created them all. Plus I'm waiting for his next book and praying hard that he will live long enough for me to read more of his books. My bookish nerd crush cannot end here. 

New to the addition, I bought George R.R. Martin's saga : A Game of Thrones in Kedah 2 weeks ago. I forgot to bring any books in the road-trip so as usual, I would buy a new one. This is a choice made to support my current fever in watching the series with Af *finally. Af has been watching the series for quite some time - I remember watching him watching the series when we first got married but I never really took any interest. The series was so 'orangey' and medieval. After a year, I finally became a fan :D

Af also suggested that we should watch the series from season 1 because I actually started 'really' watching the series in the middle of season 5. So I read the thick novel and watch the series from the beginning concurrently. I have something visual and moving to support my imagination and understand more about the details part of the story based on what's written by the original story-teller. This has been really fulfilling.  

Plus, I bought 2 more Sailormoon comics number 3 + 4 to add into my collection. I did searched for the remaining comics at my dad's house but couldn't find any. I wonder where they all went? We used to have a complete set.

Can wait to make a new little library in my own apartment, the books I currently have is way too many for the existing big book shelves in Azmi's room. I'll probably design one of the room with customized book cabinets to keep all the novels, and will take all my siblings' comics from our younger years' collection and probably adopt old magazines that still make sense. I'll have the whole room packed with books and when I die, if no one wants all the knowledge and the beauty in written words that I've been keeping - I would want them to be donated to school libraries and rumah kebajikan. So people can feel the joy that I had T^T

I managed to plastic wrapped all my new books while watching Breaking Bad season 4 :D


I also found Shaun Tan's latest graphic book : The Singing Bones, 2 days ago. The one with all his clay sculptures insipred by  75 short fairy-tales. I was in Kinokuniya, searching for graphic novel and I did found one of Lucy Knisley's graphic novel : An Age of License. I thought of buying that before I surprisingly found the Shaun Tan's book in the kids area. I left Lucy's comic and headed to the counter to pay for the oh-my-so expensive beautiful thick book. Things I would do for love =.=


Little Stories 223 : Interview + Shaun Tan + Blood Donation

Yesterday I went out in the city for the whole day - because surprisingly I got called-in for an interview *even though I'm not ready to apply anywhere yet. They found me through Jobstreet and thought I might be a good candidate so we made an appointment to meet up for the second-phase interview *ma was so happy and excited when she heard that people are calling in to "offer" a permanent job =.=' 

I spent the whole day window shopping and book hunting at Basheer, Popular and Kinokuniya around KLCC + Avenue K. I had short lunch at Sushi Box - ate a small bowl of plain udon while reading Game of Thrones. I arrived at the Intermark 2 hours early so I sat at the hall reading a comic that I bought to pass the time. It's been awhile since I relax and do nothing but reading and walking.

The interview was okay - I didn't come to impress so I got nothing to be nervous about, I had difficulties explaining the technical parts for some of the projects especially when they asked about projects I've done 4-5 years ago. I forgot, and I didn't practice and I don't think I'm fully qualified for a 100% - UI/UX position. I pointed out my major concern because I know my salary requirement is a bit high considering I am at senior level now - but in graphic design, I'm definitely new to UI/UX field. For this, I think I'll probably won't be short-listed for the third phase interview. But that's totally fine :D


For the happy exciting part is I found the latest Shaun Tan's graphic book : The Singing Bones. Basically there are 75 short fairy-tales that inspired Shaun tan's sculptures, so there's no illustrations this time around. I'm still his big fan, so I had to buy it for my collection sake 


After all the hassles and dramas in the city, I headed back to Af's office so that we can go home together. I waited for him at the hall, managed to finish several chapters for Game of Thrones. 

Our next plan for the day : Blood Donation program at our gym. 

I saw their poster last week so I took note in my organizer to remember the program. I know Af was reluctant so he would probably buat2 lupa but it's been a while since my last blood donation. I didn't want to missed it. 

We both finally signed up and filled in the form, there weren't many people so I didn't have to wait long. The process was quite fast and the nurses were nice and helpful. Unfortunately for AF's part, one of the assigned nurse couldn't find his nerve because of his built-up muscles. The nerve was a bit hidden and hard to find :D And to make it worse, he took longer to wait for his blood to fill up the pack afterwards because it was stuck a bit *the nurse had to circle/whirl the needle a bit to clear up the path :F Af must be feeling awful - he didn't even fully agree to needles and blood but seeing I was so excited, he must have done it because of me. 
Note : Thank youuuu Af, you are saving lives just by donating your 450ml of used blood, think about that! And your body will reproduce fresh new blood cells in 4-8 weeks, healthy ones 

What we also got from the Blood Donation are : 7days free gym days *I'm passing this to Tasy + Free basic body checkout. 

So based on the calculation : 
My body fat is normal, my visceral fat level is good, my bone mass is a bit low, my muscle mass is high which is good, and my water percentage is low. So she said that I will need a good healthy eating plan and keep on working out so that I can turn those extra flabs into muscle instead. I would also need to drink more water. 

Plus my metabolic age is 25, four years younger than my actual age :D Wihuu. 
My next aim is having a fitter and leaner body.

Little Story 222 : 1st Anniversary

We survived our first year as husband and wife !

Thank you for putting up with my drama and experimental home-made cookings,
and constant whines + random moods on my hormonal imbalance week,
and my "I'm always right" and "You married a genius",
and my awkward introverted attitude,
and your  time, your love and your patience. 

❤ ❤ 

Here I made an illustration of us, from the cake I did for Freepik task *hahaha ngelat :