Friday, 31 December 2010

A Little Announcement and a Sweet Surprise

Hello my lovelies! I hope you're having a gorgeous day, because I have a little announcement to make... I just spent all my morning and a great part of the day to set up my own personal galleries, where I now display some of my work that are available for purchase.

The galleries are located just under the header and as icons along the sidebar on the right. Good news for those with no Etsy account, yes? So from now on, you can freely browse away here or hop over to my Etsy shop to buy any art I have available for you! Hours well spent, don't you think?
And to top that off, I also want to share with you a sweet surprise that was delivered to my door yesterday morning from my dear lovely friend, Tammie Lee.

Just look at those cards with her beautiful photographs on them! And just the ones I would have picked out myself! Thank you so much, Tammie, you are such a darling!

I hope little sweet surprises are coming your way today too...


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Early Resolution

Time is ticking and the end of year draws near. As with many years that have passed, the last week is always the crucial moment for me to pause and reflect. Not that I intentionally sit myself down and think about it, but thoughts just swim by every moment of the day and stops me at the littlest things I do. As if my mind tries to remind me of what's done and subtly leaves me space to ponder on.

Well, today I thought about my journey. The beginning, the process and the end I have yet to meet. I realize now that I tend to get excited when things start and rush myself to the end, leaving the process merely as a leap to get me where I want to be. At the end the sweetness just lingers on briefly, while something feels missing out of the picture. So I decided that from now on, the process will have its own spotlight, starting right here.

This is the initial black and white drawing I did. While in the beginning I had the image of a girl drifting at sea, apparently my hand just had a mind of its own. So flying on a cloud, she goes...

I've been experimenting with watercolor and acrylic washes these days. Having spent the past 7 years or so focusing on colored pencils, I've been trying to get myself out of the box this year and had played around more with other techniques. It's just good to know that I now have more options on the shelf for each project I'm doing.

Well, this is she... just before the final touches. I love the antique vintage look on her and how the paper had turned into an old scroll like form. And it smells wonderful, because I like using a little bit of tea stains here and there. (Jasmine is my fave!)

Wishes, acrylics and tea stains on paper, 2010

And here she is... up high in the sky, off to reach out for the stars. Don't you just wish that was you? I do! (impossible it may seem). So I think I'll just post that image in my head for safe keeping, in case I ever felt like crawling under the bed...

I hope you get time to pause and reflect.

My best,
Amalia oxox

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Another Ending... (IF - Mail)

 Fallen expectations, acrylics on paper

My dearest friends and loved ones,

I started this year with a long list of resolutions and expectations. Some came through, some didn't. Some ended in victory, and some remain as dreams to pursue. Either way, life proves to be as bitter and as just sweet as it always does. Never predictable nor easy, but thrilling and gratifying in the same time.

So thank you, life. For the love grown and friendships found, shared laughter and tears I shed, opened doors and sudden diversions. But most of all, thank you for leaving me the room to grow.

I hope this year was a good year for you. Hopefully the next will be even better.

Much love to you,
Amalia oxox

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

An Illusion in Between

Gemma & Daisy, acrylics on paper

Nothing is really what it seems...
What do you see the first time you see this duet?
Can you picture their story? 


Monday, 13 December 2010

Lazy Day, Crafty Hour

One cold and rainy day...

...when lazying around and doing nothing was the greatest temptation...

...I reminded myself that it was yesterday's agenda... I picked up the pencil, drew, painted...
...and proved to myself that I could still put a good use to scissors and glue.

It was wonderfully satisfying to do something different. I hope your weekend was great!

Many hugs,
Amalia oxox

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Latest Blog Entry at Art Memoirs

More than Just a Fanciful Twist

Featuring an artist with diverse talents and creativity...
Feast your eyes on her enchanting art over at Art Memoirs

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Standing on Grounds (IF - Savor)

Fourteen. That is exactly the number of times I have moved homes throughout my entire life. Starting as a baby, then as a child, a teenager, an adult, a wife and even now as a mother, I have had to deal with the constant changes of situations and surroundings that came with every move. I remember always having a new bedroom to unpack into, a new school to attend to, new friends to make, and eventually more friends to leave. So by the time I was a teenager, I had learned one very valuable lesson in life. That no matter where I am, learning to adjust and grow was the most important survival skill to have.

Standing on Grounds, watercolor & tea stains

Of course, as a child there was nothing I could do but to follow whichever course my parents took, but to my surprise, the pattern seems to stubbornly carry on until today. In fact, I am now typing this from a house which I have only called home since the very beginning of July. So what is it? A path? A process? A transition? Or is it simply a journey that hopefully leads to the very end of the rainbow? A flight that I wish would one day take me to the luscious green forest I could call "home sweet home" at last. Well, one can only hope.

But like many other unpredictable episodes in life, moving places has added plenty of colors to mine. Experience is always the best teacher, and believe me, I have more than just a handful of them. The downside? Other than having to constantly memorize a new address each time, I now have stacks of unpacked boxes scattered around the house, which will all stay unpacked in case I might have to move again soon. But until then, I'll soak up the sun and savor each moment for treasured memories in the future.

I hope life is sweet, wherever your home is.


A little reminder...

For those of you who remembered my donation posts for the Mentawai-Merapi victims in Indonesia, I'm delighted to say that I have gathered and transferred a total amount of US$150 (equivalent to IDR 1,320,000) to the PMI (Indonesian Red Cross) through purchases of my art on this blog and over at my shop. I know the amount may not seem much in US$, but in our currency the sum will be able to help many in need. Of course, those of you who would like to know more details on the donation book or see the transfer proof, you are welcome to contact me by e-mail and I will gladly give you the information.

I can't thank you enough for all the help, the prayers and the kind thoughts that you have given these people. I for one am deeply moved and thankful to have such generous friends as you.

My Best,
Amalia oxox

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Silent Nurturing

People say that being a mother is a God's given talent which every woman naturally possesses. The ability to endure physical and emotional changes for bearing and rearing children is unquestionably one thing only women are able to do. But why do some marvel from others? And how is it possible that many break down before their very own eyes? Is it because imperfection is in every human being? Or is it just a proof that like many other talents, being a good mother resides in some women but not in others?

I have been a mother myself for seven years. Seven minuscule years, colored with joy, excitement, hope, tiredness, weariness and self doubt. Not a day goes by in my life without wondering if I'm being a good mother to my children. Will I be able to cope when things go wrong? And most importantly, will I be able to shape them into good human beings for their future? Sadly, I don't think I'm very good at this so-called 'God's given talent'. I find myself struggling with each phase and episode, sometimes wishing I knew every answer to them. Answers which books and magazines don't seem to provide.

Silent Nurturing; graphite drawing with tea stains and watercolors

Recalling my own childhood, my mother was not the sort who showered her children with tender loving affection. Although I know how much she cares for her children, there were times as a child when I wondered if she loved us at all. She was always away during the day, trusted our care to nannies and even as we grew up shared no deep emotional connections with her children. And yet she provided all our needs, gave us things we wanted, made sure we went to the best schools, "pushed" us to be successful and well married. Were those her own way of being a good mother? Maybe this God's given talent comes in all shapes and sizes. That sometimes children are to learn about it by themselves?

With my childhood experience, I have vowed to provide my children with the one thing I craved as a child. My mother's presence. So I quit my job the day I held my daughter for the first time and never once looked back. I knew there would be sacrifices to make and I'm still learning to adapt every day even as I write this. No matter how big a doubt I have hovering above my head, being a mother is now my first priority and I'm in it for life, to endure and embrace. My only prayer is that one day my children would be able to see pass all my imperfections and understand how much they mean to me.

Special note: I have been lucky enough to have met women who seem to be blessed by this amazing talent. Some I met in person, and some through this blog. This is my dedication to them, and one that stands out in memory is this particularly lovely friend, who as I see it, blossoms each day with motherhood. Bless her heart. ♥

Monday, 15 November 2010

Faces and Reflection

I have been drifting around the house doing nothing particularly productive for the past week. The same cycle goes on. I'd sit at the drawing table, pick up a pencil and pause. Draw a face and stop. Get up to the kitchen, make coffee and read a book. A pile of laundry to wash, kids to feed and TV programs that steal none of my interests. Then I'd come back to the drawing table, take a longer pause, draw another face and stop. Strangely enough, I haven't been able to go anywhere beyond faces, faces, and more faces. So after kicking and forcing myself to paint my last pieces, which as you already know were yet again faces, I decided to call it quits for a while. That is until a fellow artist asked me a question that really stopped my drifting completely. He wanted to know if those faces were me.

Good question, I thought to myself. I never have models posed for my work, and I always start a drawing anywhere I please on a paper without thinking or imagining. From one single line and finish with another. So why do these faces seem familiar? Maybe they are me, just tiny fractions of myself that accidentally slipped through. Or maybe inspirations that have sneaked into my mind while I read the abundant copies of books that have now taken up as much space as the growing spread of toys in my kids' room. Well, call me a bookworm, but they are my ultimate source of inspiration. With characters alive in my mind...imperfect, not without flaws. Enchanting, yet human to the core.

So here goes another face, and her name is Meghann.The beautiful "ashes of roses".

"...There is a legend, about a bird that sings just once in its life. From the moment it leaves its nest, it searches for a thorn tree and does not rest until it's found one. And then it sings more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. And singing, it impales itself on the longest, sharpest thorn. But, as it dies, it rises above its own agony, to out-sing the lark and the nightingale. The thorn bird pays its life for just one song, but the whole world stills to listen, and God in his heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain..."

Maybe you could guess which book she lingers in?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


 After dark, comes light
After silence, voices speak
After grief, enters life


My dedication for the grieving victims of Mentawai - Merapi disasters. 
Hope and faith, always.
All images are available at my shop, where you can still reach out and help donate for them.

Again, my warmest gratitude for all friends who have bought my original black and white drawings. Your generous donations are deeply appreciated.

My best,
Amalia oxox

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Sow Your Light #5 & Donations with Every Art Print Purchase at My Shop!!!!

I'm overjoyed by the amazing enthusiasm I get from my wonderful blogger friends for this donation! And some of you may wonder why I have decided to donate original drawings instead of prints, which obviously involves more work and definitely more time consuming. Well, the reason is simply because originals are unique and special. I feel personally involved while creating them and I believe people deserve something special in the exchange of their helping hand. Nevertheless, given the slow speed I'm taking to create these drawings, I've decided, in addition to the original drawings, to donate $5 off each art print sale over at my shop throughout this month, until further notice. It may not be much, but it's the best I can do for now, while more people would have the chance to reach out. So please, help spread the word.

Anyway, here is my fifth drawing for the donation...

Sow Your Light #5
Original drawing
Size: A4
( not including shipping cost)

***** SOLD to a dear friend *****

Sow Your Light #4

This is my fourth drawing for the Mentawai-Merapi donation... I hope this girl brings you peace and opens your heart.

And thank you for all of you who have been kind and generous enough to purchase all my previous drawings for the donation. Bless you!


Sow Your Light #4
Original drawing
Size: A4
( not including shipping cost)

***** SOLD to a dear friend *****

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Sow Your Light #3

The tsunami came and destroyed many parts of Mentawai coast, Indonesia, over a week ago, and death counts have risen to over 430 people with more than 150 still reported missing. While much are being done to help these victims, they are still living out of fear that more disasters are coming their way.

The same goes for the victims of Merapi eruption in Central Java, where the volcano is still actively spewing lava and emitting smoke until this day. Sadly, it was also pointed out that 25 children are now permanently handicapped because of their wounds.

I hope many of you are still in the spirit to help, given my slow progress of creating new drawings for the donation. It's not easy to squeeze in some time to draw in between work and life, but I'm trying my best.

Sow Your Light #3
Original drawing
Size: A4
( not including shipping cost)

***** SOLD to a dear friend *****

Please, feel free to e-mail me if you'd like to lend a hand for these people.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Sow Your Light #2

The second drawing available for purchase. All proceedings will be donated to the victims of Mentawai tsunami and Merapi eruption. For those of you who missed my last post, please read more here. Again, I can't thank you enough for your kind prayers and warmest thoughts.

Sow Your Light #2
Original drawing
Size: A4
( not including shipping cost)

***** SOLD to a dear friend *****

If you decided to purchase this drawing, please send me a note, so I can put up the SOLD sign immediately.


Sunday, 31 October 2010

My People Weep

At the beginning of the week, natural disasters struck my country with a painful, destructive blow. Not once, but twice, one following the other. A powerful earthquake shook the grounds of West Sumatra on 25th October that night, when many people were sound asleep in their beds. Within hours, it was followed by the Tsunami that swept the coast of Mentawai, destroying everything in its path. From this catastrophe alone, over 400 people are now pronounced dead, and more than 150 were reported missing, while almost 23,000 people have been driven away from their homes now awaiting their fates.

Less than 24 hours after the disaster, the Merapi volcano, miles away in Central Java erupted.

 Photo source:

You may have watched or read about these in the news and saw with your very own eyes how nature really took course and how it was able to turn our lives with the palms of its hands. Some of you have even written and left me messages, asking about my safety and well being. For that, I can’t thank you enough. It warms my heart to think that there are friends, thousands of miles away who are concerned about me, thinking of me, even though we have never met. It makes me more certain that we can reach out to one another no matter the distance.

So I am now asking you, my friends, for your hand. To spare a little of your love and reach out to these people in need of our help.

I will be posting a series of drawings throughout this month, which will be available for purchase as a donation for the victims of these disasters. All donations will be forwarded to the Indonesian Red Cross through their public donations account at the end of November by the latest, when I will also be posting the financial details of these donations here on my blog.

Sow Your Light #1
Original drawing
Size: A4
( not including shipping cost)

***** SOLD to a dear friend *****

I am not noble, nor rich. Neither am I trying to justify my personal self with this. But I am just a human being with a beating heart, and if the deaths and sufferings of other human beings do not touch my heart, then what will? I’m sure you feel exactly the way I do.

Thank you for reading this. Please help me spread the words and ask your family and friends to join you here for a little helping hand. If any of you out there have the same idea and plan on or already have something going on, please contact me so we could link to each other.

With all my heart,
Amalia oxx

If you remembered, I started a Blog Anniversary giveaway a week ago and was supposed to announce the winner yesterday. However, given the grieving atmosphere surrounding us here, I’ve decided to e-mail the winner personally about it. My apologies. I hope you understand.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Do you find this image breathtaking?

Or maybe this one as enchanting?

See more at Art memoirs and experience nature 
from the eyes of a free spirit.


Saturday, 23 October 2010

Passing Year

Yesterday marked the first turning year of my blog. And strange as it may seem, I spent most parts of the day thinking and contemplating on all the things I have been blessed with through the experience. Come to think of it, creating this blog was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. Somehow it has helped me see myself from a wider perspective and each newly discovered angle is more than just a vision. Like a kaleidoscope of life, each one unique and colorful for my own viewing.

~ Forest of Playground ~

However, I think the best priviledge I have now is the friendships I've gained throughout the year. Never in my life have I met such a vast variety of people who are able to connect in a single line of mutual interests, all linked in one chemistry that seems to bond them together in spirit. So thank you, my dear friends, for your friendships, and I hope we could all keep playing together in this magical forest of blogland.

And just like any grateful blogger, I think it's time for me to have my first giveaway, don't you think so? Well, all you have to do is leave me one of your witty comments on this post and visit my shop to choose any item (Yes! Any item!) that you would like to have. I will have the giveaway starting from today and throughout the next week, where one winner will be randomly picked on the 30th October.

I'm also having a Blog Anniversary Sale over at my shop starting 12 pm today (GMT +7 hours), all items discounted just for you!! Just click this link to view the sale. So enjoy...

Lots of love,
Amalia oxox


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

More Than Skin Deep (IF - Spooky)

You think that I'm sweet and innocent....

Think again.

I may not be who you think I am.

 ...just a little proof that the human mind is a bottomless ocean...



Renaissance Art Through the Eyes of a Folk Artist

A brand new feature on a very talented folk artist over at  

Thursday, 14 October 2010

My Kind of Immortality

"What if you could live forever?" A powerful tagline for a powerful story.

I remember reading Tuck Everlasting for the first time when I was still at school, and like most classics, the story is safely stored in the back of my mind until this very day. Never for once did I think I'd have the chance and the honor to work within its realm. So for that, I am more than thankful.

This is the cover of the translated version which I illustrated, to be available soon throughout Indonesia, published by Atria.

And thank you to those who took time to visit my new branch. I'll be posting more over there, so you're always welcome to stop by for a cup of tea and biscuits! :)

My best,
Amalia oxx


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I am delighted to announce the sight of a new branching on my tree. 
You are welcome to come and take a look.
Just climb on up and you're there.

Amalia oxx


Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Devil and a Kiss

Sarwat Chadda's Devil's Kiss.
This is the Indonesian translation, published by Atria
It sure was wonderful to do the cover design for a great read!
 (Coming soon, to be available throughout Indonesia)

*** Note: Thank you, my friend. You turned out to be quite the lucky charm. :) 


Saturday, 2 October 2010

What's in a Name?

I have always been intrigued by names and their meanings. How different cultures and origins affect them, but most of all, how sometimes they seem to affect personalities in a very mysterious way. The relation of names and personalities even go back thousands of years, when Romans simply believed that nomen est omen, which basically means "names are destiny". And Muslims also believe that a name is a prayer, where a person's image and personality is mirrored by the choice of their names. It is said that psychologically, our names affect the way we feel about ourselves, which somehow determine (in many cases) the course of our paths in life.

So have you ever wondered what's the meaning behind your name? Let's ponder at these...

Amanda: worthy of love.
Andrew: manly, courageous.
Anne: gracious.
Bella: beautiful.
Brian: strong one.
Cecilia: the way for the blind (also from St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music)
Heather: a flowering plant (a very pretty one too!)
Julia: youthful.
Jack: God is gracious (diminutive from John)
Jessica: rich, God beholds.
Karen: pure.
Krista: Christ bearer.
Lauren: crowned with laurel.
Nicola: victorious people
Rossichka: tiny drop of dew, diminutive from Rossitsa (she told me!).
Shirley: bright meadow.
Tammie: palm tree (taken from Tamara, symbolizing beauty and fruitfulness).
Vanessa: butterfly (Oooo...pretty!)

...and my name, Amalia, means 'hardworking'... (*????!!*). Hhm, No wonder I feel tired all the time. (^_^)

These are just some examples of the names I'm familiar with, and my source is just one from hundreds (or maybe thousands?) to choose from. Although similar, a name may have different meanings according to cultural backgrounds and origins.

And of course, many people also believe that a name is just a name. That a person's name bears no significance to their personality and destiny. It's all just a matter of choice. After all, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." (Shakespeare)

Well, if you don't like your name, you could always change it.

Have a glorious weekend, everyone!
Hardworking, oxox ♥♥♥

PS: Anyway, just out of curiosity, what name would you give the lady in my painting up there? Any ideas?