By July 3, 2014 contributor, Places

Everytime I hear the word ‘ukulele’  and ‘Hawaii’ together, I instantly remember Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and his breezy version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” medley. The late singer use an ‘ukulele as his instrument. (A ukulele. Or An ‘ukulele? Actually both can be correct. Hawaiian pronounciation is ‘an ‘ukulele’). So when Rachel told me about her tour inside the ‘ukulele factory in Hawaii, that medley song kept playing inside my head while I read her story.

We always love to hear stories about interesting places aside from the usual tourist attraction. We love how people curiosity lead them to look beyond the well-known places, and find another hidden gems. The ukulele factory is surely an interesting place to put on that list. Thank you, Rachel for sharing your experiences with us! Want to take a peek inside the factory? Here’s the rest of her story:


“Tour a ukulele factory” was at the very top of my Hawaiian bucket list – underlined, circled, and highlighted in bright neon yellow. It was a slow Tuesday morning in Honolulu (the parentals had some business to attend to), so I decided to catch a hotel taxi and make my way to Kamaka Hawaii.

“Hm, what’s that?”, I mumbled.
“You said YOU-kelele. Here on the island it’s pronounced OO-kulele” replied the cab driver.

Tucked away in a small industrial area between Downtown and Waikiki, the Kamaka Ukulele store looked rather humble from the outside. “Welcome to Kamaka Hawaii!”, shouted the lady behind the counter. “Are you here for the 10:30 factory tour?”. The aunty (as we would say so in Hawaiian), asked me where I was from and we chatted for a bit while waiting on other people to show up for the tour. Let me point out that I absolutely LOVE Hawaiian people. Most of the ones I met were incredibly warm and friendly, and made me feel like giving those aunties and uncles a big bear hug.

The store walls were covered in pictures, posters, and plaques all showcasing the achievements and popularity of Kamaka ukuleles. There was a picture of George Harrison strumming his prized Kamaka instrument, and beside it a movie poster of 50 First Dates, in which Adam Sandler showcases his custom Kamaka uke. Positioned in the center of the wall, right behind the cash register, was a dated photograph of a man. According to the fine text underneath it, he was Samuel Kamaka Sr., founder of Kamaka Ukulele.

Suddenly, a figure emerged from the back of the store and walked towards me. He introduced himself as Fred Kamaka, son of founder Samuel Kamaka. Fred is in his late 80′s, and when he spoke of the his dad’s legacy and the company’s history, I couldn’t help but feel chills running down my spine, in awe of the scene I found myself in. The Kamaka story is very fascinating, and I strongly recommend you give it a read here.

Fred Kamaka Sr.,son of Sam Kamaka, holding Kamaka's signature pineapple ukulele. photo credit:

Fred Kamaka Sr., son of Sam Kamaka, holding the signature Kamaka pineaple ukulele. photo credit:

After our history lesson/discussion which lasted about 45 minutes, Fred took me to the factory. As we walked outside and behind the store to where the factory was located, he told me today was a special tour as the “entire group” consisted of me, and myself. Being the friendly guy he is, Fred was gracious enough to run the tour despite there being only one guest  that day. Here are some pictures from my private tour.

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very uke at the Kamaka factory is touched by the hands of at least 20 craftsmen in the building process. The Beatles’ George Harrison particularly favored Kamaka’s. He would buy out all Kamaka Ukes in a local Maui store and give them as gifts to his friends. Kamaka Ukes can be seen on: Beatles’ “Anthology” DVD. Adam Sandler also holds one on the movie poster for “50 First Dates”, which was filmed in Hawaii.

This may sound incredibly cliché, but my visit to Kamaka Hawaii was breathtaking, wondrous, and awe-inspiring. It was all that I fantasized it would be and more. Visiting an‘ukulele factory is an experience that I HIGHLY recommend. Much love, or aloha, to the Kamaka Hawaii family.

Note: The ukulele factory tours is available from Tuesday to Friday at 10.30 AM. For more info and other interesting stories about Kamaka ukulele, see their website here.

Kamaka factory photo courtesy of Rachel Leoni Saputro


Rachel Leonie Saputro is an International Affairs major at the George Washington University, in Washington DC. The 17-year-old’s insatiable curiosity for all things creative leaves no room for a dull moment. Her passions include travel, music, reading, and writing. Follow her adventures on Instagram: @raesaputro

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By June 30, 2014 Events

Back in 2012 when we started Living Loving, we’d always talked about how lovely it is to make a small event of sharing and making. A place where we can bring our friends and meet the new ones in a laid back atmosphere where everybody comes to have a good time making lovely things.

We finally made it on March 2014 where we invited 11 bloggers and crafters friends to gather and make at our first Afternoon Delight. It was one of the loveliest days of the year. Now, we are preparing to make another one and we called it ‘Afternoon Delight: Play with Flowers’.


Afternoon Delight will take a place in Sinou Kaffe, Panglima Polim V/26, Jakarta on June 12th 2014 at 2.30-6.30pm. We collaborate with our friend, Kitty Manu who will share her tips on creating beautiful things with fresh flowers.

And Ms. Claradevi will share her tips on making flowers headpiece too. Go visit her Lucedale blog for style inspirations and more.

We also collaborate with one of our favorite bloggers, Tia from Rumah Dua Pohon, and our favorite home decor & paper goods store Linoluna.

It’s an intimate gathering so we only have 15 seats. Register now at Eventbrite.

Thank you and have a lovely monday, friends! :)



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By June 24, 2014 sponsored

I always love to visit places. Thank goodness I have a husband who’s also a keen traveler. No, we’re not that kind of free spirited travelers who can spend weeks or months wandering cities, mountains and seas. We’re just a regular married couple who happen to love beautiful places.  This is why we already took our daughter to more than 5 cities before she even turned one. Nowadays, I know I can’t make a travel plan in a blink of an eye anymore. No more ‘go-show’ kind of trip. And the bliss of being a light traveler is quite hard to achieve when you have a baby/toddler. One large suitcase, one backpack and a stroller have always been the best method for a family trip like us.

Now, our daughter is a toddler. We don’t have to bring that much clothes and cooking tools, but she always ask for her favorite toys. And when the night comes, she would ask for her favorite books. I learn one thing about this ‘bring her/his favorite toy’ thing. Most of us probably love to see new places. We are always fascinated with beautiful sights and stories we find while we travel. We can’t get enough of delicious food to satisfy our pallet. BUT we always miss what we called home. It’s a place where we feel safe, comfortable and we can be who we are. And this is why we need to bring some of our favorite things too while we travel.  They represent ourselves, and most important is they represent our home..and well you know what Dorothy said, there’s no place like home. :)



One of the easiest things to bring while traveling is books. I always love to bring books even though I know I probably  won’t have that much time to read. But books make me feel like home. I also love to bring a piece of scarf or a small blanket and put it somewhere in our hotel room. Last week during our trip to Balikpapan, I brought Haruki Murakami’s ’1Q84′ for me and Olive Jeffers’ ‘The Heart and The Bottle’ for her. I also brought this black and white small rug from Bobobobo (along with a black and white toddler legging. Sorry! Couldn’t resist simple pattern kids clothes). This rug is actually a table runner, but I put it on my two-seater sofa. I even used it as a mat when we went to the beach.





Anyways, we really had a great time in Balikpapan. We went to our favorite breakfast spot, Depot Miki, three times! They served the best Kopi Susu I’ve ever tasted, and their chicken bakpao was yummy too. I strolled around art and craft market called Kebun Sayur while husband had a lunch at Haur Gading (they had this enormous tasty shrimp and seafood). We went to Komplek Pertamina Gunung Dubs for a little walk on the hill surrounded by beautiful old houses and stunning view of the sea. When the sun down, we played at the beach. It was lovely and our daughter had a fun experience too. When we came back to our parents’ house, she occupied herself with toys and books. Things we brought from home kept her happy and content. :)

How about you? Do you like to bring your favorite things when you travel?

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By June 20, 2014 Decor, Living

Last month, we visited BidiBidiBongBong, that’s the nickname of the house, because we interested in its decor. Diana Rikasari’s love for colors were already known to the readers of her blog or  her followers on Instagram. She also incorporated lots of colors into her home. What we loved most about it is that Diana really can play with colors very well without making it looks tacky. The key is to use a neutral tone, like white and gray, as the dominant color to balance other bold colors. The total looks gave a clean, eclectic, and playful feeling.


Diana and Sharjeel picked a bright red color for the front door because they both love the houses in UK, which sometimes have the doors painted in bright colors like red, yellow, and blue. Stairs adorn with beautiful vintage-ish tiles (tegel) made a nice impression as we enter the house. A foyer decorated with wooden nesting tables, colorful crochet throw, and beautiful illustration of Ayang Cempaka gave a warm welcome to every guest. Diana also used these tiles at her kitchen floor and backsplash wall. She picked yellow tiles to match her yellow-tone countertop. The house has many openings that provides good ventilation, so it reduced the need to use much ACs.

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By June 16, 2014 Decor, DIY, Downloads

We already told you about our playdate time with friends on Martha Stewart Living Indonesia June 2014 edition. It really was a fun thing and we were lucky we got so much help from the girls, including Putri from The Blackcatss & Co. We asked her to make a black and white animal garland, and she came up with this adorable garland! :D

Besides garland, you can also print the pictures onto a card stock then attached a paper straw or wooden chopstick at the back of the paper to create an animal paper puppet.

inspiration-playdate-martha-stewart-living-for-livingloving-cropped-5Why black and white? Well, because we can never get enough of these colors..and they’re also nice to add a bit of modern touch into your decor. these little animals will suit perfectly to most kinds of kids room or party.

You can download this printable animal garland (file size: 10MB) right here.

Thank you so much Putri and The Blackcatss & Co.

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