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How to Make Your Own Pearl Headband

I’m probably not the most craftsy person in the world (is that even a word?). But every now and then I get an idea on what I’d like to wear and it can be frustrating if I can’t find the exact item that I’m wishing 🙈

Like this week. I remember that I have a really nice green/blue dress and suddenly I got an idea to pair it with a pearl headband. Yes, just all of a sudden. So I started googling the tutorial for making a pearl headband and I found this really simple tutorial. But the problem was… I couldn’t seem to find this 1/4 inch elastic band anywhere in Sweden. The majority of the band I found here was wider, or round instead of flat. Since I didn’t want to take any risk, I looked for another tutorial which materials I could find here. So this following instructions are actually based on the tutorial on this blog and this magazine.

(Actually, I don’t think we should call it instructions either, since I don’t actually have a very detailed descriptions of everything 😂)

Materials:

  • 1 headband (I used the plastic one, 8 mm, black)
  • 2-3 m of jewelry wire
  • Pearls (I used the glass one, waxed)
  • Velvet ribbon (I used black, but this is actually optionals; since I wear veil and it’s easier to wrap around my head as a tiara, I used the ribbon)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

Methods:

  1. Cut the velvet ribbon for the inner and outer layer of the headband. For the inner layer, measure the length exactly as the inner part of the headband. For the outer layer, measure the length of the outer part of the headband, plus the desired length of the ribbon to be tied up later.
  2. Begin by wrapping the wire at one end of the headband. Try wrapping the start of the wire tightly so that it doesn’t suddenly untangled in the middle of your work. Keep wrapping until you get approximately 1 cm of wire.
  3. Put the glue on top of the wire at the outer layer of the headband and place the velvet ribbon on top of it. Remember, you have to leave some ribbon unglued later, so think of the starting point of the ribbon on the headband. It’s probably better to glue a small part first and working one step at a time. Continue glueing (is this even a word?) until some 2-3 cm at the end of the headband. Leave this part unglued for later.
  4. Now the fun part: putting the pearls. The pearls I bought have 4 different sizes (4, 6, 8, 10 mm) and 4 different colours (dark green, light green, lighter green (there were 2 different light green), and white). I found that my head band could accommodate 2 pearls per row, so I paired the pearls into 4 mm-10 mm, and 6 mm-8 mm. If the colours should not be repeated in this 4-pearls pattern, how many combinations will I get and what are they? 🤯
  5. I actually stopped in the middle of the process to solve the above-mentioned question because I was not satisfied with the chaotic combinations I’ve made 😂😂 so I did actually ask my husband to create a program to solve this 🤣🤣🤣 you can see the solutions here #nerdalert
  6. Place pearls in the wire and wrap it around the headband. Arrange as you see fit.
  7. When you reach the end of the headband, wrap the wire again as in the beginning, then put the glue on top of it. Press the remaining ribbon on it and make sure the whole outer part of the headband is now covered.
  8. Now put the inner layer for the headband. Glue the surface and place the ribbon on top of it. Work one small surface at the time.
  9. You’re done!

I know this method is far from perfect, but it was fun to try! Oh and did I mention that I love pearls? And green? Well now you know!😂😂

What about you? What’s your favourite DIY project? Comments below!

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On Art and Fundraising

Several weeks ago, I saw an advertisement on social media about a fundraising effort by the Royal Swedish Opera to cover the pointe shoes cost. Apparently they need around 500,000 SEK per season for the shoes only.

That surely is a lot of money.

I read some of the comments on social media as well. Some people discouraged others from participating and encouraged them instead to give to “real charity”.

Well, I have a mixed feeling about that.

On one hand, I understand that point of view. As someone who works within public health, there surely is a bunch of problem in the society relates to health alone. And it’s real, the impact is real. But on the other hand, I also participate in different artistic activities and well, let’s face it, it’s often considered unimportant, you know. And honestly it makes me sad.

So I think, for me, if I actually have means to help both, why choose only one?

In the end, that’s what I did.

A token of gratitude by the Royal Swedish Opera. Maybe someday I can wear pointe shoes, too? :p

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(A Rather Long) Highlight of 2018

I’ve seen so many bloggers wrote their 2018 highlights on their blog, and I can’t help but feel, ‘I want to do that, too!’ (Yes, I’m easily influenced 😅) so here goes…

January

It’s our wedding month, so I wanted to do this post-wedding photoshoot (again) with the winter wonderland theme. Luckily, we had enough snow and the weather was really good on our wedding date, so it was really lovely.

February

We traveled to Poland to arrange the new residence permit (more story here). Turned out to be a nice trip, after all. Poland was lovely.

Sunny day in Gdansk

Gdansk covered in snow

Dream comes true! Visiting Marie Curie’s Museum

Also, time for some winter sport, obviously. Tried skiing for the first time (and probably last 😂) Honestly, I would choose ice skating over skiing any time.

Skating on the lake. Not the easiest thing, but fun!

Tired face after try skiing for the first time

March

I don’t think many things happened in March, actually. But it was still snowing in Stockholm so it was cool. I did visit the Natural History Museum for the first time because I wanted to see Erik Johansson’s exhibition (it was the last day when I visited). Let me say, I was hooked by his works 😍 I really love this ‘Full Moon Service’ picture and keep on dreaming that someday someone will give it to me 😂 The museum itself was nice, with beautiful building, but I saw that the it was targeting children more. Eh, but it was still fun to visit anyway.

Erik Johansson’s Full Moon Service

April

SAM SMITH CAME TO STOCKHOLM!!!!!!!!!! OH. MY. GOD. Fangirling so bad. It was amazing. Hands down.

Also, met my high school friend Dixie who just recently moved to Sweden! We hadn’t met for, like, a decade? It was unbelievable 😆

The cherry blossoms just started blooming at the end of the month.

And I also took this 1-day self defence training for girls. Highly recommended!

May

It was a beautiful period in Stockholm, because all the flowers were blooming. I had my first violin performance since forever (it was awful, I had to say), but it was fun anyway. Also, the new Karolinska University Hospital was inaugurated and I accidentally came at the right time to see the King cut the ribbon (important moment!)

Beautiful campus in spring

I always make this funny face when performing

King of Sweden!

June

Eid Mubarak! My mom sent me 2 beautiful dresses, one which I wore during the celebration at the embassy.

Also… WE WATCHED WORLD CUP IN RUSSIA!!!!

Although it was definitely a sad moment for team Germany 🤷🏻‍♀️

Happy face, before we knew the fate of team Germany

But it was a fun time (aside from seeing Germany lost and trouble with the passport). Kazan was a wonderful city, and so was Moscow. We took the free train provided by the government to travel between the cities and it was comfortable. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, but they did a good job arranging the World Cup.

Kazan. See the green roofs? Super love!!!

Moscow. Look at the colours!

Also watching opera in Bolshoi Theatre, because why not? 😀

Also, Russia can be very hot in the summer. Just saying. I did not expect this at all, to be honest 😅

July

It’s time for a trip to Cyprus!!! I really can’t thank my best friend Marios and his family enough for letting us stay in their apartment throughout our stay, and having him driving us around THE WHOLE ISLAND for the rest of our holiday (since, well, none of us could really drive 🙈).

But seriously, Cyprus has some of the best beaches I’ve ever visited in my life. I’m so glad I bought that swimming donut 😂 (I’m suck at swimming), but some of the water was really shallow you can technically just walk to the middle (it was amazing). Of course we did not only go to the beaches, although that was the big proportion of what we did there. The archaeological sites there were also magnificent. Although be prepared for the hot weather if you visit in the summer. At some point it reached 40 degrees Celsius, but when I asked my friend if we should just stay at home he said, of course not. So that’s that. 40 deg is fine. With right precaution 😅 (to be fair we visited the mountain that day, so it was cooler. By cooler I mean 36-38 deg 🤣)

Larnaca, the seaside city where we stayed

Cape Greco

Fig Tree Bay. Of course it was full of people.

Lunch under the grape tree (?)

The bakery in the traditional village

Kourion Archeological Site (just a part of it, the site is HUGE)

Larnaca Salt Lake. You could see the mosque to the left

Aphrodite’s Rock

Meeting this fur ball again *love love love

August

It was Risan’s birthday, and we celebrated at home. I did not have a decent picture to post here, unfortunately 🙈 Also, I attended the Europride Parade in Stockholm.

September

Time for a trip to Lisbon! I read somewhere that it was the sunniest capital in Europe, yet it was mostly cloudy during our trip there 😅😅😅😅 I am not sure if I like it or not. I mean, Lisbon was fine overall, but nothing has a really wow factor for me. But don’t let my judgement affect yours! The oceanarium and monastery were wonderful, though.

Jeronimos Monastery

The famous yellow tram

Also, I participated in the election in Sweden for the first time! So since I’ve been residing here for a number of years, I got to participate in the election for the kommun and landsting. I am not sure what the English translation should be. Municipality and county? One thing I liked about the election here was that you could take a lot of different valkompass (literally: election compass), an online ‘quiz’ (usually by news agency) to determine which party has the closest vision with you. And honestly, it helped a lot!

October

Time for an autumn photoshoot! It was another wonderful time in Stockholm since the leaves were changing colours and there were plenty of sunny days.

Also, I attended my friend’s Dr. Lisa Blom’s defence and afterparty. So, it seems customary here to hold an afterparty after your defence and invited your supervisors, opponent, family, and friends for a nice dinner. Some even said this is like a second wedding. And honestly, I am freaked out a bit because this kind of party is never cheap in Sweden. And as strange as it might seem, it is apparently common for the host to ask the guests to pay for the foods (not for my friend’s party though). But coming from where I come from, I can never think of asking my guests to pay for their foods! But we’ll see…

Speech from the supervisor

November

MY BIRTHDAY!!! Although technically the celebration was done later 😆 We went to an Indonesian restaurant and for some of them, it was really the first time they tried it. I had a hard time describing the food, there should be a guide to explain this 😂😂 How would you actually explain the differences between rendang, gulai, and kari?

December

My first debut as a violist! Funny enough, I was placed early in the program because the person who arranged the schedule, upon seeing the name and the song I was gonna play, thought that I was a kid 😂😂😂 (the kids were put early in the program and adult students were put later). Well, I couldn’t blame her, since I only played a Christmas song with my teacher 😂😂

I also visited the newly renovated National Museum in Stockholm. I loooovvve it! Now it’s number 1 on my must-visit list in Stockholm!

Entrance to the museum

And last but not least… Winter trip to Italy!! We were originally only planned to stay in Rome, but we saw all the major highlights in 3 days and so we thought, why not make a trip to another city? So we also went to Venice!!! So excited!! 😆 Rome and Venice were absolutely wonderful! The foods were also amazing! (Well my favourite food has been spaghetti since I was 5, so it was absolutely a trip of a lifetime 😂)

My favourite site: Trevi Fountain

Vatican

Colosseum

Roman Forum

Grand Canal

Sunset in Venice

So that’s pretty much my adventure throughout 2018. I sincerely hope that 2019 will be a good year for all of us! 💚

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Watching Concert in Gröna Lund… Finally!

Every summer, the amusement park in Stockholm, Gröna Lund, arranged a series of concerts in the site. The lineup is usually good, a mixture of both Swedish and international artists. And you can attend all the concerts freely (?) once you have this seasonal ticket (gröna kortet).

I have had my seasonal ticket since years ago because Sam Smith was scheduled to have a concert there. But then it was cancelled and I almost never use it ever since. This year, I was planning to attend the tango lessons that were arranged there (yes, they have salsa and tango lessons too for the whole summer). But as usual, as we say in Swedish, det går inte (it doesn’t happen)… 😅😅😅

So as a backup plan (not really), I have listed all the artists I would like to see at this year’s concerts. It has started since May, for God’s sake, but until this month, I have not even stepped my foot in the park. This cannot continue. So last Thursday, I actually went to see the concert. It was Molly Sandén.

The moment I arrived in front of the stage, I knew I was totally out of place. I came from work, with all this work attire (not that formal, actually), but everyone around me was TEENAGERS!!! 😂😂😂

Oh no, wait. I actually saw a mother beside me accompanying her teenage daughter 😅

Anyway. It seemed like everyone around me knew the lyrics for ALL THE SONGS. While I can only remember 1 for the whole songs. And 2 other refrains #fail 😂😂😂

But it was fun anyway. Molly was really energetic and interactive. And she brought a lot of guest artists. And the staging was great. But the best moment was of course when she sang my favourites: Större, Utan Dig, and Rygg mot Rygg 😍😍😍 I think I could scream on top of my lungs for that (which I did, obviously 😂). She even went back to the stage to give 2 encores after the final song.

Overall, I would recommend going to these concerts if you really like the artists. Or if you are just regular concertgoers. Then it would certainly worth the amount of money you spent on the seasonal tickets 😂

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Meet the New Jazz Sweetheart: Amanda Ginsburg

I don’t always listen to jazz, but when I do, it’s Amanda Ginsburg.

I first found out about Amanda when I was looking for performances at the Stockholm Culture Festival 2018. I have to admit that jazz is not something I am always passionate about (having been trained as a classical musician previously, I personally found it difficult to understand what’s jazz is all about *facepalm, I know 🙈). But there’s something about her that captivates me. I don’t know how to explain it. Perhaps it’s the song itself (I first listened to Havsmelodi – Sea’s Melody). It has this… sadness but also happiness at the same time. Or perhaps it’s her voice? It sounds so dreamy and beautiful to me.

Anyway, I decided to come and see her performance yesterday. After being misled by Google maps (who has lived in Stockholm for 4 years and still use Google Maps to navigate around the city? Yours truly, obviously), I arrived in front of the scene. The concert had started, and it was so crowded. I almost could not see the stage (short posture and late arrival is definitely not a good combination). However, I managed to listen to some of my favourites: Vem är du? (Who are you?), Flykten från vardagen (Escape from daily life), En kväll i september (An evening in September), and Havsmelodi. She sounded just like the recording. I’m in love 😍😍😍

I have to admit that I cannot catch all the words in her songs, despite having learned Swedish for years. But hey, isn’t the music itself the universal language? 😉

Amanda Ginsburg at Stockholm Culture Festival 2018
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EuroPride Parade Stockholm 2018

If I could be honest with you, I used to be rather ignorant about LGBT rights issues. I mean, I basically believe that people have the rights to be whatever they want, but that’s it. And coming from where I come from, it was certainly not the easiest topic to discuss (with anyone). People have their own prejudice, the most extreme could borderline to violence. So most of the time I would just shut up.

It was kind of changed when I moved to Sweden. I learned. I met people. I discussed. And then I realised that what people have been doing in my country is not okay. I am ashamed. But honestly, I also feel helpless. I don’t really know what to do.

I think we have long forgotten to value human beings as they are. Regardless.

So today, I decided to join the EuroPride Parade in Stockholm. Not yet participating in the march, but I wanted to be there. One of my friends came out last year and I am very proud of him and I wanted to support him in any way that I can. Frankly, I had my own doubts too. As a heterosexual woman with a hijab, I myself am afraid of the prejudice I might receive by being present there. I was afraid of what people would think. Would I get harassed? Would I be jeered? Would people think of my presence as an insult? All that negative thoughts came running to my head. But my friend assured me that this event was supposed to be inclusive. So I steeled myself and gave it a go.

I positioned myself around 1.5 km from the finish line. The weather was rather strange. Sunny and cloudy and drizzly and sunny again. It took around 1.5 hours before I saw the first group came marching down.

And then I cried. Like, really cried.

I thought of my closest friends. I thought of my childhood friends. I thought of a friend who came alone to this parade. I thought of all the people who got prosecuted for who they were in my country, in other countries. I thought of a guy who sought asylum in another country. I thought of all the loving parents who accepted their kids for who they were. And I thought of all the estranged families who probably still found it hard to do the same.

I have experienced various heartbreaks. But I could never imagine how it feels for not being able to be with someone you love because you did not conform to the “societal norm”.

And I know, coming from myself, this writing means nothing. Or it could be the other way around and turned to be controversial. I have been contemplating myself in what language I should write this. I could probably write in Swedish, it would likely be safer since Sweden is such a progressive country. But I want people to know. I am tired of pretending that I don’t care. I do care. I believe that we should put humanity above all the boxes first.

And to my friends out there, I am here for you. You know who you are.

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Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav (Book)

I am not sure since when my blog turned into a kind of book recension website. I do not have any intention to turn my blog into one, actually. It’s just that I’ve been reading quite some books lately (nothing related to my studies unfortunately 🙈🙈🙈 #shame).

Anyway, Love and Misadventure is the third Lang Leav’s book I’ve read. I should have probably read it first, since this was her first book. But I did not get hold of the book before now, so… 🙂

Overall, I like this book, but not as much as Memories. Probably because I have read some of the poems in Memories? But I think it’s also because I feel that the poems are not as dramatic, sad, and dark as I had hoped (yes, I am a very dark person 🖤). But it’s still worth reading, though. I will give 3.75 stars out of 5 (strange score, I know 😂⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️).

And… here’s one of my favourite poems from the book:

Just Friends

I know that I don’t own you,
and perhaps I never will,
so my anger when you’re with her,
I have no right to feel.

I know that you don’t owe me,
and I shouldn’t ask for more;
I shouldn’t feel so let down,
all the times when you don’t call.

What I feel—I shouldn’t show you,
so when you’re around I won’t;
I know I’ve no right to feel it—
but it doesn’t mean I don’t.

– Lang Leav, Love and Misadventure