Wednesday, August 1, 2012


This was my first newborn photography. Lyla was so wonderful and tiny. It has been awhile since my son was that small, and I kinda forget how it felt like to have such a small, warm and soft being in my arms. It was such a joy.

Friday, June 29, 2012


This session almost did not happened. The weather forecast predicted 80% chance of rain that day, and it had been raining for days throughout the week. Lisa and I discussed the possibility of postponing the session. However, we decided to brave it and went ahead and head out to the park anyway. Lucky for us, the rain held off until we were done. I am glad that we went ahead with the plan. The breeze helped cool the summer morning and tousled their hair it that wind blown look which looks very nice on them.

I wanted to use an L, the baby's first initial, as a prop for the photoshoot. Since we did not have one, I custom made it for the family. This was the first time I have ever attempted decoupage. It turned out rather well I think.

I imagine the baby will be as beautiful as her older brother. Hopefully I will get a chance to shoot her newborn photographs :).

Monday, March 12, 2012

PAIN DE MIE [ well, sort of ]

My baking curiosity this weekend brought me to try tackling baking bread. Growing up, I watched my mom (who owned a bakery by the way) make bread and other goodies. It seemed so hard at the time...perhaps because I was little or because my mom looked like a mess whenever she made bread. The dough looked so heavy and hard to knead. So that's what I came to believe: it's sooooo hard to make bread.

Nevertheless, my curiosity got the best of me. I decided to try making pain de mie, but not without my mother in law's help mind you. I wouldn't dare :). To my surprise, it was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I am sure it's because my mother in law was standing next to me, making sure that I didn't mess up anything. The dough was not as heavy as I had imagined...of course, I was making one recipe instead of the tons my mom used to make for her shop.

Pain de Mie is basically white bread...square white bread...which is baked in a rectangle pain de mie pan with a lid which I do not posses. Instead, I rolled my bread dough and baked it on a baking sheet. After waiting most of the afternoon and 45 minutes baking, I had a wonderful, moist, buttery, fresh bread. It was very exciting!! Imagine that...freshly baked bread straight out of my oven!! Woo hoo!! If you asked me, it was worth it...only the best bread I have ever served on my table. Next time, perhaps I will fold in some prosciutto and some sort of cheese in it :)

Here is the King Arthur's Pain de Mie recipe for all of you curious minds out there.

Pain de Mie
2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces) milk
1 cup (8 ounces) water
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (1 1/8 ounces) Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) potato flour
4 3/4 cups (20 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
Manual Method: In a large bowl, combine the milk, water, butter, salt and sugar. Add the dried milk, flours and yeast, stirring till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 5 to 8 minutes, or until it's smooth and supple. Because of the relatively high fat content of this dough, it's a real pleasure to work with. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Mixer Method: Combine the ingredients as above, using a flat beater paddle or beaters, then switch to the dough hook(s) and knead for 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your machine, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. When the cycle is finished, remove the dough and proceed as follows.

Lightly grease a 13 x 4-inch pain de mie pan. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, shape it into a 13-inch log, and fit it into the pan. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until it's just below the lip of the pan, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen (it may rise even more slowly in a cool kitchen; don't worry, this long rise will give it great flavor).

Remove the plastic, and carefully place the cover on the pan, let it rest an additional 10 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully remove the lid, and return the bread to the oven to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until it tests done; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 loaf.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This was such a comfort for a cloudy and cold Sunday morning. What a treat!! The edges were slightly crispy and the crespella itself was airy and tender. You can make your crespella plain, but the banana compliments the flavor so well. Topped with warm nutella sauce...nothing could make this boy happier for the moment. Well, Lego Ninjago was playing on the TV, so this completed it.

Crespella reminds me of a sweet street snack we have from my hometown, Indonesia, calls martabak manis. Martabak manis is somewhat more airy than that of the crespella, but pretty much similar. With the banana and the chocolate...oh, it's calling home to me :).

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons whole milk, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium banana
1/2 cup Nutella

Put a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet in middle of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Cut the banana into two, lengthwise, then diced. Put aside. Whisk together flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and 1 1/2 cups milk in a bowl.

Add butter to skillet and heat in oven until golden, about 1 minute. Pour batter into skillet and scatter the banana pieces evenly throughout the batter. Bake until puffed, set, and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

 Meanwhile, whisk together Nutella and remaining 3 tablespoons milk until smooth. Thin sauce with additional milk if necessary.

Adapted from's recipe :: Oven Crespella with Nutella Sauce

Friday, February 10, 2012


I love love love natural silk cords. They feel so soft and luxurious to wear. You can see my macramé silk cords bracelet on my previous post. However, the colors they come in are very limited. Thus, this girl decided to try her hand on dyeing silk cords. Not being too particular about dyeing with regular dye and all the chemicals in it, I decided to try natural dyeing. My first choice to try as my first dye mix was plum, but with it being winter, it was out of the question. However, I did find some nice looking beets that I thought would make a nice rich dark red...or at least that was what my resources said.

I used one beet for this experiment. As per instructed, I boiled the silk cords in salt water fix (1/2 cup salt to 8 cups water for fruit dye. Isn't beet considered fruit???) for an hour and rinsed. Then, I cut up the beet and put it in two quartz of water. The water turned medium violet-red right away as shown in the photograph. I thought it would certainly turn darker after boiling it for one hour like I supposed to. It did turn somewhat darker. Taking all the beet pieces out, I placed the silk cords back in the pot and boiled them for an hour. I left the cords soaking overnight hoping to reach even darker and richer color. But it didn't happen. I took the cords out of the pot, washed and hung them to dry. Well, I supposed the color did deepen a bit...just not as dark as I would like it to be.

The color did not turn out the way I had envisioned it to be, but it's still lovely. Instead of dark deep red, now I have soft rosy-gray silk cords. Perhaps next time I should use less water or more beets. Or perhaps I should use a vinegar fix that is used for anything else other than fruit. I cannot wait to use my lovely cords!! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I am so in love with this macramé silk bracelet. My first macramé jewelry was a choker, given to me by my husband's best friend. It was made out of beige hemp cord, and I love it. But now I'm older....much older that is (lol) and need my jewelry to be more sophisticated.

The first macramé jewelry I made out of silk was for a lovely lady in Australia who loved my leather lariat, but wanted something other than leather. Thus, I came to suggest making it out of weaved silk cord for her. It was a lovely piece although I didn't think anything about it then other than I was weaving it for Rosemary. This was about a year ago or more like one and a half...maybe two. Boy, where did time go!!! Anyway, Rosemary lost my contact info and just found me again last month. She sent me a sweet message of how many compliments she received whenever she wears it and how much she loves it...and how glad she was to find me again. Very kind of her :).

Her message reminded me of that particular lariat necklace and how lovely it was. Thus, it inspired me to make this particular double wrap bracelet I named Raka, meaning full moon, for the wonderfully marbled blue picasso beads and how the sterling silver beads and the silk cords shine all around them....echoing their mysterious beauty.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


This is a page from my old Moleskine notebook. I ran into it while looking for something else. Seeing it, I remember how I longed to do what is truly mine. Losing the corporate job I had at the time threw me into a whole other world altogether where I have all the time in the world to do my art. Thus came the question, what is it that I really want? What is it that is truly mine? Needless to say that I was scrambling, reaching for air...trying not to drown. It has been a long journey since then, but I came out of it as a better person. I have a better understanding of myself now...closer to my true self and what I am about. Although the journey will never be over, I am many many steps closer since then and glad of it. I feel tired and glad at the same time. Glad that the past is over and glad for the now and the future. Thanks Universe for what was and what is...and what will be. 2012 will be great!! Happy New Year all!!