It’s been all quite on the PNW front here for a bit. I currently have lots of projects in full swing and have been working hard not to drop the ball on any of them. First and foremost, Joel and I have launched our company Raya Exchange. I’ve been sewing up a storm to fill our textiles shop and we’ve received our first shipment of teak furniture that we’re selling locally as well as through our Chairish store. We’ve also participated in a couple of markets including Seattle Makers Market, SODO Flea and an artist showcase at Tirto Furniture in Seattle. So December has been a busy month over here on the island.
Another fun project I’ve been working on is collaborating with the lovely ladies over at CoCapsules. They’re two stylish, young Seattleites whose brand promotes a lifestyle of quality over quantity- a sentiment that I can really get behind! The CoCapsules brand offer tips and kits pertaining to wardrobe, home, travel and stationary all to help introduce the capsule lifestyle. For my first feature with them I weighed in on my must have travel essentials. I’m really excited to see where this collaboration will take us in the future!
Okay that’s it for me today. Time to get back to my holiday preparation that includes making lefse with my mother-in-law and finishing up a hat I’m knitting for my niece.
Indonesia feels like a long ways away, mostly because there’s snow in the air as I type this. But our pictures from the second half of our trip need to see the light, so here are some highlights from Jepara and Yogyakarta.
Jepara is a city by the sea known for its wood carving and we definitely had Indonesian wood on our minds. Joel and I have started a company called Raya Exchange and our focus is on supporting small businesses in Java by importing handmade, home goods that we sell via our web store and Charish. So far, we had been concentrating our efforts on handwoven textiles- pillows, throws and runners- but this trip was planned in order to expand our efforts into teak furniture and planters. We visited our furniture partner in Jepara to check out the progress of our order and we were thrilled to see our products coming together so beautifully.
Next on our list was Yogyakarta, affectionately known as Jogja. This portion of the trip was a little bit business, a little bit pleasure. Jogja is our favorite city so we always have a good time scooting about seeing old friends, visiting our favorite restaurants and taking in the sights like the Affandi Museum.
We met Ina from Animal Friends Jogja and got to meet all the dogs that she’s rescued from the dog meat trade in Indonesia. We purchased some AFJ tote bags to support their cause and brought them back to Seattle where they were sold on Joel’s cousin’s doggie food truck.
Our two weeks in Java hit on almost all of our favorite spots that we enjoyed while living there. It was also a glimpse into the future of our business that should hopefully be taking us back to Indonesia on a fairly frequent basis. If you’re interested, you can learn more about our business and the artisans we partner with at RayaExchange.com.
We didn’t actually drink a Singapore Sling (a drink I envision to be similar to a Long Island Ice Tea), but Joel and I did go to Singapore together on our long trip back to the US. We’d each been many times on our own, as it’s the closest place to renew your visa when you’re living in Indonesia. But because we had moved on different dates (him first and me following a few months later) our visa schedules weren’t in sync and we always took these trips alone. It was fun to explore the city together, show one another our favorite spots and finally visit the place we’d been saving for our couple’s trip- the Buddhist hell museum at Haw Par Villa.
Moving back to Washington just in time for summer has proven to be a solid decision. These past few weeks of 75 degree days have been just what I’d been craving during our time in Indonesia. We’ve taken advantage of the pleasant temperatures with lots of dining al fresco and strolls on the beach. But our best outdoor activity thus far has been our days we’ve spent crabbing. My husband Joel grew up coming to the beaches in northwestern Washington so he’s an old hand at this crabbing thing. But the experience was new to me and I learned a lot after a couple of trips out. Here’s what I’ve picked up so far.