I just dropped by the Etsy Made Local market at Battery Acid Club and thought i’d blog bout it quickly so you could drop by too if you’re interested in shopping for handmade goodies like me!
It’s open 12pm – 6pm today and tomorrow (12 & 13 November) Battery Acid Club
21, Jalan SS 21/34
The 2-day event takes place in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong to connect and celebrate the makers, designers and collectors that sell on Etsy.com, the online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods. Besides encouraging people to buy locally handmade items which are unique (and make great gifts! Xmas is a-coming!), the event also includes a watercolour workshop, a letterpress demonstration, a petite calligraphy class and also a basic understanding on urban farming.
Taken from The Royal Press website: “Launched in October 2013, The Royal Press is a letterpress living museum. It began its existence in 1938 as a letterpress printing house on the historic Jonker Street. The Royal Press is one of the oldest surviving polyglot letterpress printing houses in the world. It has withstood the vicissitudes of time, and continues printing for a small clientele today. The museum houses a range of letterpress machines and printed artefacts from its 78-year printing history. There is also an extensive letter-block library with over 150,000 blocks in four writing systems: Roman alphabets, Chinese characters, Arabic and Tamil scripts.”
Last weekend i popped by Malaysia Fashion Week to explore the exhibition which served as a trade area for designers to show off their wares to potential buyers, and caught a few shows, including Zang Toi’s.
Zang Toi is a brandname i’ve associated with fashion since the 90s, having being one of the first Malaysian names to make a name for itself in NYC before the end of the millennium. Its bridge line, Toi – The Dressmaker; celebrates Hollywood glamour and charm with exquisite tailoring, classic styles with a sexy twist, and mixes of fabrics and palettes- all contained within a signature body hugging suit.
For the first time, the internationally acclaimed Malaysian designer label collaborated with an equal in the world of digital imaging and printing solutions – Epson Malaysia. The duo came together to create six looks featuring special wayang kulit designs made with taffeta fabric that was digitally printed by Epson’s SureColour digital dye-sublimation textile printers, which Zang Toi’s dedicated team custom-created.
Presenting for the first time at Malaysia Fashion Week, Toi – The Dressmaker collection for Spring/Summer 2017 took inspiration from the Zang Toi New York Spring Summer 1990 Collection in a desire to bring back Malaysian heritage. The 18-look collection showed off power suits for day, and cocktail + evening pieces (using the Epson digital prints) for night.
“This is the digital era and we need to keep up with the current trends in technology especially for fashion. Trend, technology and fashion work hand in hand. This collaboration with Epson will stand for unrivaled glam and unrelenting approach to perfection and craftsmanship. Fun with technology has never been more fashionable,” shared Zang Toi.
“I think that the high quality digital textile printing will ultimately replace the silk screen printing for the mass market. Working with the Epson digital textile printer was truly exciting. It’s just amazing that the machine uses the silk screen technique but works more like a photocopy machine. I will definitely consider digital textile printing for my future work. Based on my experience, it complements the fashion industry and hopefully will eventually cater to the couture market too.”
One of my main thoughts in anticipation of going to Japan is always, “I can’t wait to EAT!”
Japanese food is one of my ultimate favourites in the world… and i have many.
I eat Jap cuisine in KL at least twice a week, and that habit didn’t cease before nor after our 2-week trip there last month.
Given, having had such wonders of sashimi enter my mouth brought my spirits down when eating it back in KL.
Japan spoils you cos once you taste such wonderful fresh seafood from the land it originates from, you’re ruined.
Thanks to Jun who researched all the places to eat!
I left it to the expert while i searched for art exhibitions and music gigs, blogpost on that to come!
We had many amazing dishes and meals there but these are my personal top favourites in no particular order.
1. Ei / Hide Sushi, Nakano
One evening, Jun and i made our way to Nakano to eat at this restaurant that only serves tuna. We didn’t have reservations (a little tough when you don’t speak Jap and neither do they, English) and they said (or rather, gestured) that they were booked all night so we got turned away. Rejected and hungry, we walked away planning where to go next, when we walked past this hole-in-the-wall sushi restaurant that looked warm and cosy. I got a good vibe just peeking in at the local families, singles and couples eating there and decided on the spot it was where we were gonna eat.
It was amazing. Everything was in Japanese, nobody spoke English, even google translate couldn’t save us cos the menu was written in handscript kanji from up to down. It’s just the sort of place we strive to eat at – where the locals would love to go.
We ordered chutoro (medium fatty tuna) sashimi on the left that’s got me dreaming for days.
Playing it safe, we ordered a sushi platter to share, before watching the other patrons select individual sushis to their liking, and wizened up.
When i was in Tokyo, I found myself staring at a painting of the iconic Great Wave off Kanagawa, which at the time (of my observation) was printed on a scroll located in Mount Fuji.
It is one of the most recognisable images in Japanese art history, and i’m sure everyone has glimpsed at it at least once.
Drawn to it, i felt a longing to have it in my home… somewhere.
After staring at the scroll for 10 seconds, i decided ‘nope, i can get a better picture of it somewhere else.”
I’m a swift decisive shopper like that.
Instead, i got a tattoo of it in Tokyo a week later when Jun and i impulsively decided it would be a great idea to get one as a souvenir in Japan. True, we could have put that badge on the many things we bought there, but any reason to get a tattoo… plus I hadn’t got one since summer ’15 and it was time.
Jun got one of ramen because he’s so OBSESSED with it, and i decided on The Wave in a circle on my forearm.
I initially emailed Mustcat Tattoo in Shibuya cos i really appreciated their style but they were fully booked, so we headed for Three Tides which was equally reputable, recommended by Fin at Pink Tattoos, and Jun seemed really set on the place.
Jun went first. He asked “Do you want me to go first?” which is his polite way of saying “I would like to go first.”
My paternal grandmother turns 87 today! She counts her birthday according to the moon, so we always remember that when it’s Deepavali, it’s her birthday.
She was born in 1929, and has been described to me as being extremely creative, intelligent and cunning in her younger days. She would gamble with some folks in Seremban (the harmless kind where you draw lots with other peeps in the coffeeshop then whoever wins claims the whole pot) and whenever she won- would buy precious stones or jade with which she would set into intricate jewellery she designed with the goldsmith to create matching sets of earrings + necklaces + rings. She passed them all down to us a few years ago, claiming ‘she’s gonna die soon’ to which i’d softly smack her and ask her not to be silly.
When she was a young girl and the Japanese invaded Malaysia, Aunt G told me that Mama and her sisters had their hair cut short and charcoal smeared all over their faces cos they were so pretty. My great-grandfather would disguise and hide them so they’d pass as boys as not to be raped by the soldiers. I shuddered inwardly when i heard that. She’s been through so much… and to think we wanna complain about the traffic jam(?!)
After my Yeye passed away, Mama moved to London to live with Aunt G, where she made a whole bunch of new friends, took all sorts of classes (English, computer, exercise, others i don’t recall) and would go sailing to exotic locations with her buddies.
Mama is diabetic, and i’ve always had to hide my chocolates from her (with strict instructions from Aunty Gerry) so she wouldn’t find them and scoff them herself. Having a wild sweet tooth; she’s known to eat half a bar, wrap it up nicely and then tuck it away somewhere like a squirrel hiding their nuts. When she’s questioned about it, she’d look at the ceiling and blame her bad memory / old age saying she doesn’t remember, much to my aunt’s frustration. Tho we’d laugh about it later.
My grannie is a talented writer. I read some letters she wrote decades ago, and was moved to tears as how seamlessly her words flew on the page like poetry, bubbling up mixed emotions of pride and anguish in me. If there is someone i got my writing bug from, i would highly suspect it from her… I think a fair number of my qualities come from her genetic end. I once posted a pic of Mama in her 20s which many commented looked astonishingly like me. 😀 I liked hearing that.
The last time i was in London to visit (exactly a year ago), i followed her to the Chinese centre where she had 1.5 hours of aerobics exercise with a large group of seniors in their 50s-80s. I’m pretty sure there were a few who were in their 90s cos they looked like wrinkly old turtles and i had so much respect for how they were still moving about staunchly! I must mention that i got tired after an hour of that aerobics, and i do powerplate! 0_0
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Mama was in KL for a few months with Aunt Gerry & Uncle Mark joining in from London, so i gathered together all the pix we took together as me memory of their trip here.
My mum cooked dinner for us one night. Home-cooked is always the best!
Look, Mama and i are colour coordinated!
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3rd April 2016: Klang with Mama and Aunty Jeanette
One Sunday, the three of us got into a hired car to visit Mama’s hometown where she grew up. I was unabashedly snapping pictures like a tourist cos dude, i’m in Klang! XD
We went to eat bak kut teh at this coffee shop one row away from the shop lots (that used to be where Mama grew up)