Happy Birthday, A & Some of His Birthday Memento in Review

My significant other of six and a half years (feels strange to type this, I barely realized this is how long we’ve been together) had his twenty-something birthday yesterday!

The spotlight of this post should probably be on him, but I’m afraid this won’t be the case. If you read this with the intention of hearing a story about A, be prepared to get disappointed. Mainly because in this post, I would talk mostly about some of the past birthday gifts that I’ve crafted for him throughout the years – thus this post is more about my crafting journey than A himself, lol.

Although in the past few years we’ve been getting each other more practical, functional, and long-lasting gifts – mainly because we’re way past the adolescent era where we still had the utmost need for attention, treatment, and so forth, and now we realize we could really use some useful “adult” tools to help each of us get through life – today I’m feeling nostalgic and just feeling like reminiscing the good old days where I would try so hard to shower him with those self-made pretty-pretties excessively.

Those who have known me since at least my undergraduate years may know that I’m a huge fan of DIY, designs, or basically anything that screams arts and crafts. So basically, I’ve been using A‘s birthdays as an excuse to nurture my passion about creating artsy-craftsy handmade knick-knacks – apart from the fact that he deserves the token of appreciation as well, of course. From the classic birthday card, birthday book, birthday lunch decor, and a couple of other things, his birthday has basically been a special occasion for me to experiment with papers and scissors.

2013

His birthday was actually a couple of months before we started dating, and even until this point I still don’t understand how I got possessed to have the courage to send him these handmade gifts. I made him a birthday card with lyrics from Sufjan Steven’s “Happy Birthday” and a  desk decor from a modified film roll.

2014

This was our first year together, and I think I probably, most definitely, went a bit too extra. Well, I mean, we were in our first year of being together and I was in my earliest stage of being 20’s, so obviously I was being all “bucin” about it. The gift was a book that is still available online to check out here, and on a Tumblr link that apparently has been deleted by Tumblr now due to its years of inactivity, and also printed out as a physical book.

One thing that I particularly like the most about this book is because I’ve always wanted to design and create my very own book. This book is not about me at all, but technically, I’m the creator, so it counts! (Amazing how I manage to make this post all about myself when the title indicates it should be about A, right. Yeap, sometimes I hate myself too.)

My favourite part was that I got in touch with almost 70 people (!!!) to ask for their birthday wishes for this book. For an introvert like myself, I would gladly take it as a personal achievement any day of the week. In the end, there were 60++ pages which I designed by myself (with a lot of help a.k.a inspiration and ideas from Behance, of course – because who are you kidding, I’m not a certified graphic designer) about his family’s and friends’ birthday wishes as well as mine, some song lyrics, some movie quotes, and so on.

Looking back at this particular gift, I think it’s strangely amazing that the power of bucin-ness could unleash the ultimate productivity potential within us – considering that at that time, I was juggling between schoolwork, field school, some organization stuff, and so forth for most of the behind-the-scene. Things we do for love, am I right. Especially when it’s a combo between someone you appreciate and also the love for arts and crafts.

2016

There was a bit of hiatus of creativity in 2015, probably due to this year being the year where I was trying to complete my undergraduate thesis. I still made some memento for A’s colloquium, undergraduate thesis defence, and graduation, but more on these in a later post if I ever feel like sharing it, perhaps. Maybe in a post about my crafting journey overall beyond this scope.

Move along to the year after, 2016.

This was the year where we were going to embark upon separated journeys for our graduate school. His birthday was the only occasion where we were both still going to be in Indonesia, so I made for him a small birthday bash attended by his (mostly) high school friends – because they all lived around Tangerang area where he lives – and also his family and mine.

Everything that involved designing, crafting, and decorating was created hand-made by me. I know, I know, I went quite a bit too extra, again. From decorations to souvenirs for those who came, setup, and so forth were meticulously designed and selected by me. Even food selection was also primarily based on whether or not they were pretty enough to be on display (wink).

I must admit that especially for this one, I didn’t do it only because I wanted to make A’s birthday memorable, but also because I had this passion about event decor that I had never got the chance to channel somewhere else before. It just so happens that his birthday conveniently occurred when I felt like finally executing that idea, before commencing my further studies.

Apart from that, I made also these designs with birthday wishes from most people who attended, that you can still find here. Still one of my favourite designs to date!

2018

We were equally occupied with schoolwork in 2017 and the year after, that I didn’t manage to create anything other than this quick collage design I made last-minute. Nothing fancy, I know, but it’s the thoughts that count, no?

That’s it, that’s the recap. I guess as we both got older, we came to the realization that it’s better to give each other things that each of us could use as well when we move in together later in the future. It’s not really because the passion for these kinds of stuff that is lost per se, but we’re perhaps already past that era when affection requires some evidence that involves dedicating a lot of times to creating something handmade for each other. And luckily, none of us is complaining.

I certainly miss those days where I would do something purely out of passion and curiosity. I’ve had about a half-year experience in earning pocket money out of those, back when I created this @dhaniaalbani side project on Instagram, but that’s it. It’s still on hiatus up until now – although certainly not stopped – because at that time eventually I had to continue my school somewhere else. Always wanted to come back but never really had the time ever since I started my full-time office gig. Maybe sooner or later, hopefully.

How about you? If you’ve ever been involved in any artsy-craftsy project, maybe for your loved ones as well, let me know! I’d love to see some inspiring craftsmanship to keep my passion ignited.

Also, feel free to drop any question you might have about any of the projects above. I’d be more than happy to answer.

Until next time!

Written by

A geologist, self-taught photographer, hobbyist writer, and wanderer who loves subtle colours, sunrays, mother nature, wilderness, adventures, flowers in the afternoon, quiet corners of a city, being literally - yet not figuratively - on top of the world, solo travels, trips by train, fascinating rocks, vintage postcards, and aesthetically pleasing urban landscapes.

31 comments / Add your comment below

  1. komen pertama pas baca, “CIEEE….!!” <— jadul banget ya, hari gini ada yg bilang cie? haha

    si eta baragus euy hasta karyanya, kenapa dulu ga kuliah graphic design? tapi kalo soal hobi mah ga usah sekolah dl ya, keren sih asli, bagus-bagus… emang ya tangan-tangan perempuan itu, ga diragukan kalo soal kerajinan yg menuntut ketelitian, misalnya kyk ngerajut.

    dari awal kalo nyebut pacarnya dgn inisial A, di hati saya suka dibaca adi (padahal belum tau nama cowonya siapa),tp bener kan ya namanya Adhi?
    yang namanya Adi itu emang ganteng-ganteng ya..ya.. iyain aja lah ya. haha

    kalo aku mah ga punya kerajinan yg patut dibanggakan kecuali dulu pas kuliah, di kosan iseng ngeprint foto-foto hasil hunting dan dipajang di dinding, digantung dan dijepit kayak jemuran. liat di pinterest sih bagus, tp aslinya mah biasa aja, jadi weh ga bertahan lama.
    next sih pgn beli canvas yg buat ngelukis gitu, tp mau ditempelin foto-foto, kyknya gitu aja,,,ga akan yg sulit-sulit.

    1. HAHA anak sekolahan bgt kayaknya ya yg masih main cie2an. Dulu ada segelintir (halah) orang yang sering nanyain kok gak kuliah di fakultas sebelah yang jurusan2nya seni dan desain, tapi sayangnya ku gak jago gambar hehehe. Iya emang, tangan yang bisa apik dan mesti sabar gitu kayaknya ya…

      Benar namanya! Weh ini narsis terselubung ya😅 Kayaknya buat yang dipajang gitu cocoknya diprint pakai Instax printer. Di post yang soal kamar saya bikinnya digantung pakai pita kaset kalau notice. Pake kanvas oke juga tuh, saya majang post it yang isinya ucapan semangat dan selamat dari temen2 jaman kuliah pakai kanvas gitu juga. Ditunggu hasilnya!

  2. wow so impressed with your creativity. Aku pernah buat scrapbook juga buat orang terkasih, tapi beli setnya karena nggak sekreatif itu buat make it from scratch. Keren 😊

    1. Makasiih🖤 Waah if one day you decide to share it on your blog or if it’s somewhere online already I would love to see it😃 Scrapbook takes a lot of patience so that’s really cool! Aku sendiri gak pernah bikin karena collage stuff sepertinya isn’t my natural talent, lama banget brainstormingnya hahaha.

  3. aslik, saya tertegun kacaw :’)

    momen-momen ulang tahunnya selalu diabadikan dengan amat mantap, dan itu ucapan-ucapan terus potong-potongan poto-potonya ampun :’)

    orang-orang sunggu gemas-gemas sekali ya buset 😀

    1. Waah terima kasiih😄 saya juga suka heran dulu udah pernah (lumayan) seniat ini berkarya tapi orang2 lain masih banyaaak banget yang jauh lebih niat lagi. Rumput tetangga emang selalu lebih hijau ya, hahaha.

  4. Selamat ulang tahun untuk pacarnya kak Bilaaaa. Semoga selalu langgeng sama kak bila. Btw kenapa kamu kreatif bgt bgt sih kak yaampun!😍😍😍😍 Gemes bgt aku tuh liat yang kayak gituan.

  5. Happy birthday untuk pasangannya mba Nabilah 😁 semoga sehat, bahagia, sejahtera, dilancarkan rejekinya, dimudahkan segala rencananya, dan tambah sayang sama mba Nabilah, tambah bijak serta dewasa, plus selalu dikelilingi kebaikan dalam hidupnya 😄 ehehe ~

    By the way, saya selalu kagum sama orang-orang kreatif apalagi kalau sudah urusan craft dan bermain bersama gunting 😂 karena menurut saya, butuh kesabaran tinggi untuk bisa menghasilkan karya-karya tersebut, yang mana selain butuh sabar, juga butuh waktu yang banyak 🙈 saya pun sempat mencoba buat kado craft, sebelum akhirnya give up karena gagal dan berganti haluan dengan memberi surat tulisan tangan 🤭

    Well, saya rasa, pasangan mba Nabilah akan sangat bersyukur ketika suatu hari nanti membuka kembali atau melihat kembali hadiah-hadiah yang pernah mba berikan. Karena terdapat efforts dan hati mba di sana. Doa saya, semoga langgeng bersama hingga maut memisahkan untuk mba dan masnya 😍💕

    1. Makasih banyak tuk doanya Mbaaak aku jadi terharu hihi☺️ doa yang sama untukmu Mbak!

      Begitulah kalo udah passionate Mbak hahha memang pasti ada moments of frustrationnya gitu tapi karena gak sabar dan penasaran pengen lihat hasilnya pas udah jadi, yaaa mau gak mau lanjut teroos aja hehe. Waaa lucu bgt bikin surat tulisan tangan, aku suka rada geli gimana gitu kalo aku yang bikin jadi keknya nggak cukup vulnerable untuk bikin gituan🤪

      Sekali lagi makasih banyak doanyaa hihu uwu banget Mbaknya🥺 btw aku panggilnya apa niih?

  6. Kak, yaampun seneng banget lihat update kakak yang ini. Gaboohooong. Kakak so sweet bgtsih. Btw kita share the same love language kak, seneng bgt ngasih printilan DIY ke org terkasih instead beliin barang yg blm tentu dia suka kesannya ada effort…

    Semoga langgeng teruuus kak!!💛

    1. Haiii maaf aku baru login lagi jadi baru baca commentnya haha. Thanks for taking the time to read🖤 kalau kamu ada link post DIY projectmu aku mau lihaaat!

  7. Oo, I might have to steal your birthday wishes idea! Just for fun I think I might incorporate terrible pictures in an album and write funny/goofy captions and stories.

    I’m also loving the how I met your mother quotes! I love that show. Once again, I will also be stealing this idea.

    1. Hi Sophia, sorry I just logged back in after a while. That sounds like a goofy yet fun idea! If you decide to make one and write a post about it I’d love to see it!

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