Tuesday Trivia

This Lovely Thing Called Batik

In the beginning, there was a dot …

My friend, who came to visit me about a week ago, was adamant about buying ‘batik‘ in Indonesia instead of in Malaysia or Singapore. I always assumed batik was a special type of cloth printed with intricate tribal-inspired designs. It therefor surprised me to be presented with ‘batik bali‘ by a shop owner which was basically just a cheerful yellow number with black polka dots.

“Oh, she’s probably pulling my ‘bule‘ leg” – I thought.  But I went home confused and thinking “now there’s something I should blog about” 🙂

And so with the help of the internet, here are 10 things I found out about Batik – but you might want to view this video I found for you first:

  1. It is a technique of wax-resist dying applied to whole cloth or cloth made using this technique.
  2. To make batik, selected areas of the cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them, and the cloth is then dyed. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour. This process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated to create more elaborate and colourful designs.
  3. Batik is found in many other Asian countries but the Indonesian batik is the best known. (my friend did her homework!)
  4. Indonesian batik made in Java is the most developed in terms of pattern, technique and the quality of workmanship.
  5. UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2009.
  6. The word batik originates from the Javanese word “tik” which means “little dots” or “to dot”, and the word “ambatik” which means a cloth with little dots.
  7. It’s believed by some experts that batik might have originally been reserved for Javanese royalty since certain patterns were reserved to be worn only by royalty from the Sultan’s palace.
  8. Batik cloth must be of natural materials like cotton or silk so that it can absorb the wax. The cloth must also be of high thread count to maintain batik’s intricate design qualities.
  9. Major batik designs are the “kawung” which consists of intersecting circles, “ceplok” consisting of geometric designs, and “parang” consisting of slanting rows of knife-like segments running in parallel diagonal bands.
  10. The evolution of Indonesian batik has been influenced by exposure to foreign cultures. Batik Indonesia, also known as Batik Modern, is made of bright colors and was influenced by Indonesia’s freedom from Dutch colonial rule.


So I was right about it being of “intricate” design.  I best go back to that shop owner and haggle now that I am armed with new knowledge 😉 Oh but wait, I’m not really into polka dots XD XD

batik dresses
my daughter’s own stash o’ loveliness 😀
Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

“The Authors Have Deleted This Site”


This short post is for my new followers – whom I am not able to follow back.

I want you to know that I am honored and happy by your follow and I do follow back – it’s just that for some of you this is what I get when I click on your avatar:

(blogname).wordpress.com is no longer available.

The authors have deleted this site.

I don’t know why this is. If you’re reading this, it might be a broken link? If so, fix it asap!

Glitter & blessings,

Paardje 💋‍

Home & Heart

Paardje’s Preoccupation of the Week: The 10-Item Wardrobe

Do you have a closet full of clothes and yet still have nothing to wear?  Then maybe the 10-item wardrobe is your knight in shining armor.

The 10-item wardrobe is a concept I came about when I read Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic.  According to Jennifer:

The point of the 10-item wardrobe is to free yourself from a jam-packed closet full of ill-fitting, underused, or poor-quality clothing. Your ultimate goal is to create a wardrobe that you love, in which every item of clothing speaks to who you are, and to create a space for your clothes to breathe – by eliminating clutter.

Here’s Jennifer discussing how to start on your 10-item wardrobe – essentially:

  1. clear the clutter – I did mine earlier this year
  2. store all seasonal garments
  3. write a list of what you’d like your 10-item wardrobe to consist of

And here’s one more discussing how to go about creating a spring 10-item wardrobe:

A 10-item wardrobe might seem scary or too drastic especially if we’re used to having a lot of options (clutter? 😉 ) in our closets.  But the 10 items do not include outerwear, occasionwear, accessories, shoes and under shirts.  It also needs to be reviewed every season, and items exchanged accordingly, to keep us looking fresh and relevant.

After cleaning out my own closet – and before I came across the 10 item wardrobe concept – I didn’t know what to do.  I definitely did not want to go about blindly accumulating more clothes again that weren’t gonna play nice with each other.

Working from a well-thought out list has been liberating. I’m no longer slave to attractive displays and bargains! 🙂 Plus,knowing that I’m only going for a few choice pieces allows me the budget for higher quality items.

…. but probably the best part of it is that I no longer stress out about what to wear 😉

Home & Heart

You Are What You Wear – A Few Nifty Tips on Closet Evaluation

shopping-606993_640There is no escaping it, what you wear says a lot about you. Your fashion choices reflect your self-respect, the occasion, and even your deference to the company you keep. What you put on has the power of a visual voice. Your clothes are a tool that can convey confidence, capacity, creativity and charisma without a single spoken word. ~ Andy Paige, beauty and style expert.

Are you best friends with your closet? Does opening it to its contents elicit a smile of satisfaction and a feeling of confidence? Do the items in there present you in your best light, whether it be at home, at work, at play, in bed?

Well, in my case the answer is an absolute “no”. My closet used to be filled to the brim with items that no longer made much sense. There was a lot in there, but only a third was being used.

About 2 weeks ago, I tackled the daunting task of clearing out my closet with the intention of building a wardrobe that would echo Ms. Paige’s words at the beginning of this post. Building a wardrobe deliberately takes a lot of work, and is perhaps a never-ending process. But starting with a closet evaluation (and purge) is the first step.

Here are some tips I can offer to those of you thinking about doing a closet evaluation:

1. Purge into boxes.
With boxes I mean those that you label as, for example, “donate”, “keep”, “think about” and even “alter”. I chose to be very scrupulous with my closet purge, so I only had 2 boxes: “donate” and “keep”.

2. Create guidelines for items you choose to keep.
My guidelines were the following:

– Does it flatter me? Does it fit me well?
There’s no point keeping an item that looks nice on a mannequin or on somebody else, but is just the wrong cut, color or style for you. Donate it!

– When was the last time I wore it?
If I wear it repeatedly, it’s telling me something about my preferences, so I keep it. But if I haven’t worn it for some time, then I probably don’t enjoy how it looks or makes me feel. So off to the donation box it goes.

– Does this item project the image that I want to project?
I also screened an item on the basis of the message it would send. I like street casual that’s put together and well thought out. So the tight tees in flashy colors & cartoon prints definitely went into the donation box.

– Can I wear it with something else?
In asking this question, I realized I wanted to build my wardrobe on pieces that would work together, that I’d be able to mix & match seamlessly. Color was definitely a huge consideration in this department. And to be honest, most of my clothes failed this test 😦

– Is it feminine?
Last but not the least. I am proud of my strong and healthy body and prouder still of how I exercise it to stay in shape. Naturally, I want my clothes to reinforce that. Boyish tees, pants that didn’t show off my curves, even clothes for sleeping, working out and puttering at home went through this screening.

At the end of it, I was left with just a handful of pieces. But ironically, dressing up became much less time consuming as every piece I’d pull out would be ‘right’. I’m now thinking of building on from here one deliberate piece at a time using the same guidelines I used above.

Have more tips on evaluating your wardrobe? Do share! 🙂

Fitness & Vanities

Just Because You’re Beautiful Doesn’t Mean I’m Not


Last night as I was watching reruns of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show 2014 I was reminded of a time not too long ago when I was mistakenly under the foolish assumption that life is like a beauty contest – there can only be 1 most beautiful female in the room.

How silly and ignorant 😀

But really, growing up in a small town fond of beauty pageants and a stage mom who ‘obliged neighbors’ by signing me up to most of them, I had that kind of influence. It’s a competition. There can only be one. The rest are merely runners-up.

I blush in shame 😀

I carried that burden for so long. It was oppressive. I was either in competition mode or not. There was no in between. And because there would always be people who were less, I’d feel good. But then inevitably someone ‘more’ would come along and I’d wilt and feel ugly and insignificant.

<Shaking head in self-pity>.

Then one day the Universe took pity on me and I read somewhere these very very very wise words “just because someone else is beautiful doesn’t mean you’re not“. And forgive me for I no longer recall who wrote those words.

But they freed me.

All of a sudden the weight was no longer there. I no longer felt threatened when a bombshell walked past. Just because she’s beautiful doesn’t mean I’m not. And I’d keep my head held high and smile genuinely and feel good.

So last night, where I’d normally change the channel, I was able to enjoy the Victoria’s Secret fashion show through to the end. As a matter of fact, I used it as inspiration to continue exercising and eating clean ❤

Just because he’s smart, doesn’t mean I’m not. Just because she’s creative doesn’t mean I’m not. Just because she’s happy doesn’t mean I’m not. Quit the competition. We were all placed on this earth with a unique and beautiful message to carry. Wake up! There doesn’t have to be only 1.