a visit to morris+sons

prompt: Fabric

Hello, March! From year to year, February has always felt like a whirlwind of a month to me. Sort of like the Tuesdays of the year, where things kick off gently, but not quite ready to go all out just yet. March, on the other hand, is especially starting with a bang this year. I’m starting both second semester of my degree and a new job, and my family are coming to visit this weekend!

Growing impatient waiting for more wool to arrive, I recently dropped by The Granny Square in Newtown, followed immediately by a visit to Morris and Sons in the city. And boy, I was blown away by the helpfulness of the staff in both stores. Not to mention the shelves and shelves of wool lining the store!

I had actually walked past Morris and Sons numerous times before, but never walked in. Both the entrances are quite subtle and don’t give away much of what’s inside. I initially only meant to pick up some wool to make my mum a small circle scarf, but ended up studying all the yarn they had for a few hours. I found it extremely satisfying to be able to ask someone questions about wool, as well as have a feel of the different yarns. Morris and Sons also puts up one ball samples of most of their wool, which is genius really, because up until then I had only been relying on pictures and blogs about the wool I wanted to get. It was here that I discovered my new favourite wool brand, Manos del Uruguay.

Manos del Uruguay Serpentina in Marie

This skein of merino wool completely won me over with its subtle imperfections and irregular colours. Each skein honestly looks like a work of art. I have vague plans to turn it into a scarf or a snood again, but just looking at this top-dyed and handspun bundle makes me very happy.



month of making: woolly goodness!

Crazy Sexy Wool in Cinnamon Dust
Working a moss stitch on the Moss Green



By happy accident, February became a month of making for me. While organising my art supplies a few weeks ago in January, I came across my embroidery materials that I’d left relatively untouched in 2017 (save for a quick tiny piece for a Christmas card). I resolved to do one big-ish hand embroidery piece this year, and maybe some other smaller pieces so that I can use the 10cm hoops I picked up over Christmas! (More on the embroidery stuff later).

This month, I got into knitting. Like, really into it. The catalyst was a free shipping combined with a first purchase offer from Wool and the Gang. The day my first bundles of Crazy Sexy Wool arrived, I set about casting on to the 20mm bamboo needles I bought in December. I’d knitted about 10 rows before realising I didn’t like the large holes in the fabric, unravelled it all and went to get 12mm needles as soon as I could.

So far, I’ve made two snoods without using a pattern — one in Cinnamon Dust using a 1×1 rib stitch, and the other in Moss Green with a moss/seed stitch. The Cinnamon Dust one came out a little too big, so a couple of days ago I undid it all and re-knitted the whole thing to make a narrower circle scarf that wraps around twice. It’s still the middle of summer, so it’ll be a while before I wear them…

Small notes on WATG Crazy Sexy Wool:
• Everyone has been saying this — it’s super easy to knit with and I find it was a great wool to pick up knitting again with
• The colours are all amazing. I spent hours and hours narrowing down my colour choices, and I still wish I’d gotten more
• The fibres did catch a bit, especially as I undid my first piece about 8-10 times in total
• The ladies at the wool shop in Newtown told me that some customers had come in with their Crazy Sexy Wool pieces matted a bit after washing. I haven’t washed any of my pieces yet, so I can’t confirm this

+ f

the illustrated log of books and films (i)


Last year, I started a personal project of sorts under the hashtag #the100dayproject, a challenge for creatives to make something over 100 days started by @elleluna and share it over on Instagram. I named it “The Illustrator Log of Books and Films”, intended to be a visual catalog of the films and books I have enjoyed, recent or otherwise. I made a set of 100 small 8x8cm cards to paint these on and managed to illustrate one consistently for about two weeks before life and stuff happened, and this project took a hiatus. This year I’m joining the challenge again to finish what I started. Here is the series so far (see my notes on each piece on my Instagram).


  1. The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
  2. Amelie (2001)
  3. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  4. Before Sunrise (1995)
  5. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  6. Good Will Hunting (1997)
  7. Brand Thinking by Debbie Millman
  8. In the Mood for Love (2000)
  9. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  10. +
  11. Léon the Professional (1994)
  12. Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame by Charles Bukowski
  13. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
  14. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  15. In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney
  16. Whip It (2009)

cinematic venture: berlin

Daily Prompt: Transformation

I am a monkey with an olive lost in the
circus sand of your laughter

-note to a lady who expected rupert brooke, charles bukowski


Out of all the cities I visited, Berlin would have the most impact. It even led to applying for a job here (it didn’t work out in the end. At the time I was a little relieved given the circumstances, but a year on since it happened, I can honestly say I am truly fucking glad. It led me somewhere better, but more on that later).

Berlin swept me up, to say the least. I arrived in the city initially feeling a little deflated. It was the first instance I was alone on this trip, in a hostel room inside an Altbau, six beds in all. I wouldn’t be meeting anyone until the next evening. Hoping that my visit to Berlin this time won’t end up as uneventful as the first time I went in 2011, I chugged half a carton of Chocomel, took a short walk around the neighbourhood and went to bed.

Having only visited essentially the Brandenburger Tor and Hauptbahnhof before, I discovered this time around that the charm of Berlin is in its neighbourhoods. I would not claim I know a great deal about the history of Berlin or in fact, much about the city at all – nevermind the many times I have watched Das Leben der Anderen or how closely I read In the Garden of Beasts. I feel like there are so many facets of Berlin it would be near impossible to experience much more than a sampler platter of the city in the five or six days I was there.

Remembering I had forgotten my itinerary and I hadn’t bothered to get any Internet connectivity on my phone, I relied only on screenshots of Google maps I had taken the nights before and let myself just potter around beyond that. I poked around an alley with a big Anne Frank graffiti on one of the walls in Hackescher Markt, climbed some stairs and pored over design books in a bookshop tucked in the far end. Topographie des Terrors had me sticking around for a couple of hours studying both the outdoor and indoor exhibitions. I fueled most of my walks with gel-filled Haribo in my pockets, and there was no particular pressure to be anything or anywhere.

Until now, I remember the sticky heat of the dance floor at the Balkan music party, and the empty space at the back where Lilith and I returned to swing around with all of the zest we could muster to Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing, and the lethargic walk home (did we want doner kebabs? Maybe. No, actually, not really), the gentle conversation before nodding off at 6am. Some of my favourite moments in Berlin were those spent waiting for the yellow trains at 3am.

I would say Berlin was transformative in the sense that I got to have a taste of how I’d like to spend my days, not just as a trip, but everyday. And the kind of people I love to be around. Some sense of belonging, and something that genuinely made me feel alive, for want of a better phrase. It was just this particular state of mind I was in at that point. The next time I visit Berlin will be different again, I’m sure.

It’s taken me this long to document this trip because when I first came back I wanted to savour it, rather than patching together a quick post on Facebook. I wanted to make a nice record of it that does the trip justice and something I can look back on.



Topographie des Terrors
Previously used as the headquarters of the SS, this site on Niederkirchnerstrasse right next to the wall was a great free museum to visit. The outdoor and indoor exhibition detail the years leading up to and during the second World War, both from the events going on at the time as well as its impact on daily life. The Westberlin is a pretty neat cafe nearby with good coffee and cakes.

Do You Read Me?!

Stocking a selection of magazines and design books from all over, this well-curated bookstore will definitely be one of the first shops I visit the next time I’m in the city. I went to a couple of others (Oculus was one of them, and another nearby) in 2015 but didn’t hear about Do You Read Me until last year through their Instagram.

Hackescher Markt
Good spot for bumbling around, particularly in the courtyard/lane I mentioned earlier (This page goes into a bit more detail on that).

cinematic venture / amsterdam

Daily Prompt: Purpose

well, I suppose the days were made
to be wasted
the years and the loves were made
to be wasted
the way – charles bukowski

This lady I used to live with constantly encouraged me to put experience above everything. “Money you can always make, but time you cannot get back,” she would say. I was 23 when that, and a truckload of those inspirational quotes peppered around Instagram, came together and propelled me to commit to three weeks of galavanting about Western Europe.

As I put together a detailed plan (which I forgot to bring) I couldn’t stop asking myself why I was going ahead with this, and even until now I’m not sure I have a satisfactory, logical answer. I consulted friends. I consulted family. Was it a stupid idea? I had an inkling that the purpose of it all was more than meeting a couple of complete strangers in the flesh. More than anything, the motivation for this trip was the ever-so-cliche idea to add a few exciting chapters – a bit more colour, if you will – to my life. In fact, forgetting aforementioned itinerary probably set free a whole bunch of constraints I might have otherwise put on myself.

And exhilarating the trip proved to be.

I rushed past the sliding doors at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol just shy of 6 in the morning. The train ride out of the airport was the strangest I had ever taken. All plane ride-long I tried to register that I really was heading off to the other side of the world. I was vaguely aware that people around me were on their way to work, to school, perhaps to a cafe to read a book of poetry or whatever it is these background characters do. The city was nothing but a setting and the people supporting actors. This was the tone for much of the vacation.

Eight months later, details of the first few days have settled into a blur of Albert Heijn salads (I liked the Morrocan one a lot), long walks around neighbourhoods I can’t remember the names of, and drinking in the architecture of the city centre. I remember tearing down Amsterdam streets laughing on the shoulders of a 6′ 6″ human at 2 a.m on the way home from a drum and bass party. Traffic lights looked massive from that height!

My most favourite memory from this leg of the trip has to be from this night out to an alternative music festival. It was located in the industrial-y part of Amsterdam, and we had about 8 or 9 kilometers ahead of us to walk from the train station to the festival site when a couple cycled up to us and offered to go together. I was propped up on the front of the guy’s bicycle (where a basket would normally go) for the ride. Wind in my hair and all of that. You know that over-quoted line from The Perks of Being a Wallflower – “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite” – that was exactly how this bike ride felt, freeing and tranquil at the same time. It was one of those things I could never have planned prior to the trip, but those kind of moments became part of the purpose why I had to do this for myself.



EYE Filmmuseum
Oh, this place. We accidentally stumbled on this place after riding the ferry across from Centraal station, and I was – still am – incredibly impressed by it. The geometric white building hosts screening theaters, exhibition space and an ace gift shop with an excellent selection of books about the industry. There is also a beautiful cafe with a view of the river. Perhaps it’s a special interest kind of place, but this didn’t appear on my radar at all when I was researching places to check out in Amsterdam! It’s the kind of place that makes you want to see a movie at random (we saw a 1960s Japanese film and Blade Runner for €10 each) and just sort of hang around soaking in the sun on the slants of its exterior. Grab a jam-filled oliebollen at the port when you get off the ferry for your walk up to the museum.

Walking along Westerdok
Apparently, peeking into people’s living rooms is a bit of a favourite pastime activity in Amsterdam (can someone confirm?). The residential harbor Westerdok, with dreamy houseboats all along the canal and a modern apartment building looking like a life-size architecture model just inviting you to stop and peer into the windows on the right, makes for a really pleasant stroll after sundown.

OBA/Amsterdam Library
There is a nice rooftop cafe attached to this library. A wonderful space to spend a couple of hours just sitting around inside or outside on the canal. I didn’t actually take a close look at their collection when I visited, so I can’t really comment on that.

Song Kran Thai Restaurant
Why am I recommending a Thai restaurant in Amsterdam, you ask? Well. The very first time I visited Amsterdam back in 2011, I had the best Tom Kha ever in a Thai restaurant in (possibly) Prisengracht somewhere. It had a big decorative chilli on the wall, and I have never been able to find it since. Song Kran is close enough in terms of the food quality – they do a pretty darn good Phanaeng curry (€14).

cinematic venture / prologue

Daily Prompt: Dream

éphémère – fleeting

The three weeks spent in Western Europe were close to living in the Wikipedia definition of a dream – “successions of images, ideas, emotions and sensations” and in the company of the strangely comfortable unfamiliar.

Stifled for the past few years in the hubbub of Jakarta, I was seeking space, and was in the right state of mind to venture off solo at the time. After mulling it over for months, it’s proven to be the one greatest thing I did for myself in the last three years. It was cinematic, riveting, and bittersweet all at once, and I’ll (finally) be sharing this trip in upcoming posts.