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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My 'Batik Painting' Day!

Did lots of interesting stuff this past weekend.  Painted  myself a batik tshirt, started a knitting project and went on a short 2d/1n makan trip to Ipoh.  Superwoman... haha... But I gonna just blog about our fun-filled afternoon painting batik this time round.  Knitting & Ipoh will come in another entry.

This is where it all took place - Jadi Batek, located along Jalan Inai, somewhere behind Imbi.

Before we start off with our own creations, we were first taken around it's workshop for a short tour.  Colin, the owner, showed us how each pieces of the beautiful batiks were made. 

Long fabrics were stretched across the room on wooden frames before the designs were outlined on with an equipment called "canting" which is filled with hot melted wax.  In fact, this "canting" thing look something like a smoking pipe....hehehe

The colouring part will only come after the 'canting' part.  Purpose of the wax outline is to ensure that the colour stays within where it is intended for and not smear out to other parts.  Eg, red colours should remain on the flower's petals and not smear out to it's leafs.  Like that la...

Actually, this is not my first time to batik painting.  My first exposure was when I was 14 years old I think.  How it happened was, I remembered I was very angry and agitated cause I do not know how to paint a stupid batik artwork which is part of our art class in school and which I need to submit to a very strict art teacher at school.  After brooding over it for couple of days, my mom came up with this bright idea.  She said, "Why not go ask so and so and see if he can teach you?". This so-and-so (I can't remember his name... Mansor? Syah?) is a friend of my mom who owns a batik workshop near my mom's stall.  An image of an average Malay man with sarong and songkok must have pops up in your mind when I said he owns a batik workshop.  But I tell you, this man, look anything but an average Malay man in sarong and songkok.  Lols.... He has long curly hair like those of a rocker, kept a moustache, wore funky fitting tshirt with skinny jeans, Rayban sunglasses and speaks good English.... More like a Mat Rock than a Mat Batik... hehehe.... 

He got one of his Batik Artist to sit with me and explained how a Batik was done.  And that, was my first experience meddling with canting and fat brushes. I still remember what I said to my mom after my first lesson.  I said.. "I dont know whether to call her Kak or Bang...so I just kept quiet throughout... :p"  cause she is a he.  Mom said... "Then mah call Kakbang lor..." *faint*  lols....

Anyway, enough of 'Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah' (Today in history).  Going on... 

After the short tour, we gained some understanding on how it was being done and so we start off with ours. 

Since our lots are not much of the artistic kind, instead of creating our own design/motifs, we sieved thru the many designs they have and pick out the one we fancy most.

Some of us painted on tshirts, some on silk scarfs and some on hankerchiefs.  They are all laid out on the table for us when we arrived.

Again, since our lots are still long way from being an 'expert', we started off with tracing our selected design onto our piece with a pencil instead of drawing freehand with a canting like how the experts does it.

Only then, we traced the pencil's outline with 'canting'.  Here, like how Terri put it, the expert is doing damage control to my piece. :p  Making sure there is not breaking lines. 

What come next was the colouring part.  Seriously, it was not as easy as it sound.  Painting on fabrics does require different technique.  But once you get a hang of it, it is easy peasy once again :)

Me having a great time play colouring...lols... Then a friend aimed a camera at me and I warned her to make sure it was my pretty side.  Lols...... We all had a good laugh.  It was nothing... saja only...
The many different colour dye that was prepared for us.  Green, red, blue, magenta, yellow & etc....  But I think the brushes they provided us was those they rejected.  Cause some were pretty coarse like over used already.  Pretty difficult to colour within the lines.  Evie's brush was worst.  According to her, her brush were like overload with MSG (ajinamoto) cause the hair kept falling off... hahaha....  See la... how not to laugh when we have all crazy people like this together in the same room?  It was already a feat to hold the brush steady ok....
And this is Evie, our friend who took it upon herself to organise this fun outing for us all... 
"Thanks Evie, I had a great time and so are the rest I am sure!"
Hot wax boiling amidst the many brushes and colourful dyes.  This is the wax that will be filled in the 'canting' to draw the outline.

Took 5 to spy and laugh at each other's masterpieces.

"Why like that one???"
"Why you gecko that colour one?"
"Why got colour outside one??"

And we concluded that we definately need to keep our day job.  :p

This orange flower on the left is the creation of Evie. :)  Not too bad eh?

Little kid also can do it.  By the way, he did a pretty good job ok.  Only realised it was painted by a kid when I look thru Evie's photos.  When I first saw the finished piece, I thought it was done by an adult.  Very nice.

This one here, the gecko, belongs to Terri.  Seriously nice lor after the damage control.
And here, I present you, my work of art.  =)  Honestly, I think I got potential lor...lols *perasan*  I think my piece turned out quite alright.  Picture below shown how it look after being treated (meaning, removing the wax outline). 
All of us had so much fun at Jadi Batek and cant wait for another session soon! :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Almost working fulltime again!

My boss just proposed that I come back to work full time should a project come thru.  I said 'No, I dont want to.'.  He said maybe on contractual basis like perhaps for a year or two.  My eyes almost pops out.  A year or two??? 9 - 5:30pm, Monday - Friday???!  No.........................................!   

Then three hours later he said, "Maybe by hour basis la... like, at least 32 hours a week and we'll put you in full time payroll with income tax, socso and kwsp".  Ran a quick calculation in my head, that is like 4 days a week... not very enticing but not too dreadful also... sounds alright.  At least I get play 3 days in a week.  To further push my luck, I said... "...and it is flexihours??" and he said.. "Yeah, flexi".  Much better now. 

Whatever it is, this is only effective IF the project come thru.  :p

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our Longest 4d/3n in Kuching... (Meow!)

This is a long overdue entry. The 4d3n trip I took with mom over to East Malaysia again, but this time round, to Kuching in Sarawak instead. I tell you, it was the longest 4d3n we ever had. Reason being, there were nothing much there actually. :p Please be forewarned, that this is gonna be a really long entry with lots of photos.

Arrived Kuching town at noon with nobody waiting for us even though I've prearranged with the hotel to pick us up. After walking around for awhile, found the hotel's van and waited by the van instead. Found out later from the driver that apparently he was given a wrong flight schedule and he waited for us somewhere else.

Checked into our cute little windowless twin-sharing room with colourful interior. Not only did it not have any window, the room was just right behind the receptionist counter. Mom & I had a good laugh. Never in our life stayed in any rooms that is so near to the lobby...Though it doesnt have a window, it's wall mount flat screen tv has a channel to the video camera outside the hotel. So, can pretend it to be the window la...

After refreshing ourselves a little, we went around exploring the city of the felines. We had Singapore Chicken Rice (SCR) for lunch which tasted nothing like the real Singapore Chicken Rice in Singapore. Lols....

Walked around the town after lunch and found this cats' statue. This is my second trip to Kuching. The first time, I was there for work. Never really get to see much of it.

I always wonder why is Kuching named Kuching. The person who named it must have found lots of cats in the city when he/she first set foot on. Or does Kuching have a different meaning?

We strolled along the waterfront and saw many little boats ferrying tourist along the river.

The sharp golden roof building is their Dewan Rakyat. Nice clouds setting in the background.

My hercules mom lifting up the building... hahaha...

Some white castle like building opposite the waterfront across the river.

The 'Tua Pek Kong' temple in the city. From far, it look like a decorated festive float.

Mom & I finds the broom they used to sweep the street very fascinating. They were made out of some leafs.

From the Tua Pek Kong temple, we walked thru some colourful alleys to the other side of the town. Market area I was told later.

Out of the alley, we saw another temple and right at the back of it, perched on top of the hill, stood a depilated church. Looks like something out of horror movies.

Colourful multi tiers carpark. A landmark in the city.

That night, we had dinner at Top Spot Seafood Center (which was once known as the Kereta Park). Unfortunately for us, Ling Loong Seafood was the only one opened that night cause there were some upgrading works going on at the seafood center.

Out of curiosity, we ordered this 'oyster pancake' (orr chien). If you are ever there, please don't. The oyster are all dried and the crisp are tasteless and it cost RM20. Totally not worth it.

Other than the oyster pancake, we ordered bamboo chicken, paku vege and some garlic butter grilled prawns. Paku vege are unique to Kuching. Those found in the Peninsular are usually not as fresh as those found in Kuching. Basically, the yummiest of all was the paku vege and grilled prawns. The rest were just ok ok only. Edible. Altogether, it cost approximately RM70+. A little expensive. But then again, that place is memang to slaughter tourists one.

The next morning, we took up a local tour to Sarawak Cultural Village where the Rainforest World Music Festival was held every year in July.

In the cultural village, we get to see all the different native's houses as well as understanding their cultural and way of life.

Our guide walked us thru this bamboo bridge. Halfway thru, mom said... "Aiyah, got proper walkway dont walk. Walk this kind of bridge. Crazy..".. haha... I turned around and saw... "oh yeah hor, stupid guide."... lols

Here are how some of the houses looked like.

They have different activities in different houses. Some have people in the kitchen cooking up some traditional cookies for sale and some have demonstration of how traditional handicrafts were made. This uncle in the picture below showed us how a bamboo is carve.

This counter here rent traditional costumes to tourists for photography. The accessories were really pretty and colourful. I was very tempted. But too lazy to go thru the whole process and the thought of unknown germs freak me a little...

At the Penan's House, mom took photo with this Penan man. Mom asked... "You stay here??" I almost fainted! Lols... It was pretty realistic that mom actually thought these natives actually stays in those replica houses... lols... Earlier, she also asked a makcik who manning a stall in one of the houses the same question. The makcik replied, "oh, no, I worked from 9 - 5pm". Lols....

At the Iban's long house (I think), mom decided to get a temporary hornbill tattoo. I like this long house. It was built on high stilts. Very nice with the 'tree of life' painting on the wall. I like.

Our tourguide which I paid extra for was lazing away instead of doing his job. Sigh... incomparable to the guide we have when we visited Mt Kinabalu.

Took a picture with an Iban woman with the 'tree of life' painting as the backdrop.

Our tourguide decided to look for birds instead....hahahaha... well, at least nice shot for me. ;)

At the 'Malay House', there were some dancing going on. The makcik there taught tourist like us how to do the 'joget'. Lols.... She really can goyang lor.... hahahaha....

As the cultural show was starting soon, we abandoned the last house and went for the show first. Hmm... the show was boring. The theater was really cold.

At the end of the show, we were invited on stage for some dancing. Cant feel the 'warm' of the performers lor... unlike those in Thailand or so forth. They just dont show the enthusiasm. What a pity.

After the show, we quickly hopped over to the replica of a 'Chinese House'. According to mom, it was exactly like the house she used to live in when she was a little girl. The only difference is, that one was haunted and this one, we don't know... hahaha..

Mom felt so at home at this Chinese House replica... lols... Anyway, that was the last house on our list and we bidded farewell to the park after that.

Back in the city, we went to a coffeeshop recommended by the hotel receptionist for the much talked about 'Laksa Sarawak' and 'Kolo mee'. Mom had the laksa. It was yummy.

I had the Kolo Mee. Hmmm.... I dont know. I find it tasteless. Pretty difficult to swallow. :p Maybe must find the best. But nevermind la... After lunch, we walked a little and went back to the hotel. Watched Academy Awards and many movies.

That night, we walked further down waterfront hoping to find some action but found none. Found a stall selling this colouful layered cake instead. They were known as the Sarawak Layered Cake. Mom thought it was really unique and nice and bought one. Manatau, the next day, when we were there in the afternoon, there were so many stalls selling them. We dare not eat ours after that. They must have tonnes of preservatives.

On Day 3, we went on another tour to this Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. We saw 3 wild Orang Utans. Apparently, we were once again, very lucky (like Mt Kinabalu kind of lucky). As it is the season of fruiting in the jungle, the Orang Utans usually do not come out for feeding. And for some strange reasons, there were 3 of them on the day we were there. 2 adults 1 baby.

The oldest Orang Utan there is a chick named Seduku who is older than I am.

The Orang Utan feeding on milk bottles.

Honestly, to me, Orang Utan mah Orang Utan lor... what's the big deal... just some oversized monkey with long arms :p The mat salleh went ooing and ahhing throughout... *shake head* When I got back to KL, I told the husband. He said... "of course big deal la... Orang Utan is going to extinct ok..."... now I know lor...

On way back to the hotel, we popped by a pottery workshop to check out some of their products.

Some very nicely crafted lamps. Didnt buy any. Lazy to carry. Better to buy from Bali. More varieties. :p

We got the driver dropped us off in town. After some yucky lunch, we chilled out for awhile at the tourists information center as we need to pack up our raincoats (yeah, it was raining too). There, I got mom to pose for me and she willingly did so...lols.... actually she secretly like it very much one lor...lols

From there, we wanted to go check out some museums but abandoned the idea halfway thru as we were too lazy to wander further :p. Instead, we went into their Chinatown. According to mom, Chinatown all over the world always have an arch like that.

Came across another old temple smacked in the middle of Chinatown.

After walking about for awhile, we decided to have some coffee at this quaint little shop. The verdict: Coffee dont taste like coffee at all. Like some diluted coffee but extra bitter. :p.

This is usually what happen if u get your mom to take picture of you. Blur. Sigh..... susah susah I smile for the camera, waste energy only... *shake head*

At least 1 turned out alright... Praise the lord!

Laugh? Hmmrff.... hehehe

Whatever those characters means.

This is nice. Look like something out of a magazine. I like.

Her 1 day old hornbill faded. Lols... Ciplak one... Anyway, after wondering about for awhile, we headed back to the hotel. We watched uncountable number of movies on StarMovies after that till nightfall. Nothing else to do already....:p

You know the rest of the story for the last day, that we almost missed our flight. Now you know why we cant bear the thoughts of spending another night in Kuching should we missed our flight. We were actually bored to tears.

On the plane, mom said... "since you ran so much just now, I spend you lunch on the plane la"... lols... She ordered some satay rice dish for herself...

According to the menu, it suppose to look like the above picture. When we open the actual food, it look like the picture below. What a big difference.

Mine is even more drastic. I ordered what looked like the picture below.

And it turned out like this.

Tony ahh Tony.... time to go onto your own planes to inspect the food lor....

Anyway, that concluded our longest 4d3n in Kuching, the land of felines. Will we be back? A definate 'NO'!!!! :p