Saturday, 30 June 2012

How to wear a shawl: Style 1 ショールの着こなし方:スタイルその1

One thing that makes scarf or shawl so versatile is the number of style you can create with just one. By changing the way you tie it or drape, you will look differently in just a few seconds! That's how incredible a scarf or a shawl is.


Here is the very basic and most worn style when people wear a shawl or scarf:

1. Drape it around your neck with one end shorter than the other.
2. Wrap the longer end around your neck.
3. Pull closer to your neck and voila!


1. 片方をもう片方よりも短めに、首に掛けます。
2. 長い方を首に巻きます。
3. 軽くひっぱると、ほら出来上がり!


One thing you must remember. To create this style, you need a shawl or scarf that is at least 1.8 meters long so that both ends can hang nicely.


For more shawls, check out my Etsy shop: Jagatara Art

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Stitch Thru' Batik バティックへひと針を・・・

Look scary and creepy these sharp tools, don't they?


Up until about two months ago, I hadn't had a clue what they're for. How these sharp tools would help create dresses, skirts, pants, etc I never knew? They reminded me more of tools at the dentist's office that conjure up pain than those that create beauty.


But that silly thought of mine was over. Now I know what they are for and how to use them. I timidly started to buy each of them. Sometimes, I bought a tool after I'd made a mistake by simply thinking that one tool could do 2 or 3 tasks altogether. For example, I thought I could just use the ordinary scissors I'd already had would be enough to do all the cutting work such as cutting paper pattern, fabric, seams, etc. Then I realized that I needed a special pair of scissors to make a nice clean cut on the fabric. So I bought these pink bent-handled scissors. And others too like the seam ripper, thread nipper, etc.


How I ended up taking up sewing was kind of obscure. I love handmade batiks and I often buy just because I can't help myself when I see beautiful batiks. They are so irresistible! But living in Japan where tailors are hardly to be found and if there's one, they're incredibly expensive, I can't have those batiks made into something usable or wearable. So, I had piles of batiks that I didn't know what I would do with.


Suddenly I thought why not taking up sewing? Some people seem to have taught themselves to sew. They didn't go to any sewing schools. Plus there's plenty of sources where you get information on how to teach yourself to sew.


I mentioned the idea to my husband who thought that wasn't a bad idea at all.


Every time we went to the electronic shop, we always checked out the sewing machines available there. I wasn't sure what kind I should buy. And suddenly my husband got home with a sewing machine. It's my mother in-law's! She has had it for about over 10 years. And apparently it hadn't been used for many years.


Next things I needed was books about sewing tutorial since I'd decided to teach myself. But choosing the right ones was not easy because I had no clue as to what would be suitable for me. I found these and bought some patterns too.


And so I began my sewing adventure with batik :-)


Friday, 15 June 2012

Tempe (Part 1) 美味しいテンペの作り方

One of the interesting things about living overseas is that you start to value things that you take for granted in your home country.


Take an example: food. It's common when you are in your home country, you don't finish your meal (for being too full perhaps) and you just throw it away without feeling guilty (or just a little bit of it). There's plenty of this food in the country so we often don't think much before throwing it away. But when you're in a foreign country, this particular food is immensely valued for its rarity. You look for it, search, hunt..You pay a great amount of money for just a tiny amount of this food. Then you start to realize how valuable this food is..


In my case, it is TEMPE or TEMPEH.


This molded soy bean foodstuff is served almost daily at the dining table of almost every household in Indonesia. It's kind of like misoshiru to Japanese. We, Indonesian, eat tempe everyday. It's cooked in 1001 ways. Fried, steamed, stir-fried. Served it as part of daily meals or as snack.


In Indonesia, it doesn't cost much to buy tempe. Here, in Japan it costs me over several hundreds yen to get about 300 gr of tempe. It's like 10 times!!! Given the price, I treasure tempe like I never did before.


I made the best of my visit to Tokyo last month by shopping at Toko Indonesia Okubo. It's a shop selling Indonesia's foodstuff and other South East Asian's. It's located near Okubo station, Tokyo. I bought 3 chunks of tempe. I was so happy!! It's like finding a treasure!


How do I cook tempe?


This is the simplest way of cooking tempe: deep-frying it.


I'm going to share this simple recipe. Easy and delicious!


About 300 gr of tempe
1 clove of garlic ground
a teaspoon of coriander seeds


First peel the garlic, chopped and grind it using stone grinder if you have it. since I don't have a stone grinder either,  I use goma suri. It looks like this.


Garlic, coriander seeds and salt are ground into paste.

Then add some water.


It will look like this.

Now take the tempe.


The spongy cottony tempe. This is about 300 gr.

Slice the tempe thinly about 3 mm or as you like.


As you cut it, the tempe reveals its soy beans.

After that marinate the slices of tempe in the mixture. And leave them for about 15 - 30 minutes depending how you like it. I like it with strong saltiness and coriander flavor. So I usually soak them for 30 minutes.


Then what is left is frying it. Deep fry it until golden brown.


Prepare some oil paper sheets to absorb the oil. Put the fried tempe on the sheets.


And finally the simplest fried tempe is ready. Served with piping hot rice. Yummmm!! Bon apetit! Itadakimasu! Selamat makan! :-)


The simplest way to enjoy tempe ^o^

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Exhibition at DO Boutique Tokyo ブティックDoさんでの展示会

We thank DO Boutique, Tokyo for their generosity in hosting a small exhibition for our batik items. It was a great pleasure to know that batik is accepted in Japan.


The window display and announcement.

One corner where they displayed our batiks.

Batiks and batik silk shawls.

Batik tunic and silk batik shawl.

A piece of hand-drawn batik at another corner.

Choosing a silk batik scarf.
We hope that we're able to do another exhibition soon in Tokyo or other places in Japan or in other parts of the world!