Friday, June 26, 2009

Moloka'i Coffee

Here is the new bag I just got from Moloka'i Coffee. I only have 4 of them but made this one into a shoulder bag with a coffee bean lining.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Coffee Sacks!

Yesterday, Menehune Man and I drove up mauka to replenish my coffee bag supplies. I got a couple of new bags to add to my stash which is always exciting! I have between 70-100 bags all the time from various farms. I made 7 tote bags today and promptly sold 2. I think that the old style Heavenly Hawaiian bag may be a hit with graphic loving customers. It has a coffee cup with a donkey on it loaded down with bags of coffee on his sides. Trudy Bateman, the farm owner, told me that it was the original design for that farm before they bought it. They now have a very attractive coffee logo with a line graphic of an angel with a haku lei on her head.

I also received my bags this week in the mail from "Coffees of Hawaii". I purchased 4 bags that say "100% Molokai Coffee". I am pleased to add these to my stash as well. I don't think they will last very long once the word gets out.

Monday I am flying to Honolulu to see a specialist about my foot. I hope to stop by the Hawaii State Art Museum to see their display of Sasaki Bags and Kimono Keys. I have never been there and am anxious to drop in to meet Alice in person.

In other news....over on Kauai...
Marjorie Desouza at Palm Palm boutique is a Sasaki Bag selling maniac! I designed a huge ole tote bag for her to sell exclusively in her store and they are NOT cheap! But that gal has called me and emailed me twice already to add to her July order! I trick her bags out with a big pocket on one side that is secured with a magnetic snap, a cellphone pocket on the other side, and an attached swivel hook key fob for convenience. I am using bold Hawaiian prints and designer prints from the likes of Amy Butler for the linings. The exteriors are of course...what else??? Coffee bags!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Japanese Evening Bag

I have been wanting to try my hand at making a handbag with the nifty purse frames that are on the market. So I went to the expert, Lisa, over at U-handbags. She really does give great tutorials and also sells the items to make purses. She is, alas, over in the UK...but I did order from her because I have learned many of the techniques I use by reading her blog.

So tonight, the first day of summer, a new Diva was born! I am naming her Natsu, which fittingly means, "Born in Summer".

Natsu is a petite gal. I used an oversized purse frame that extends beyond the bag and doubles as a handle. I did also give Natsu a removable silver-tone chain as well for the girls who like to wear their bags on their shoulder.

I used the silk from two different kimonos to craft Natsu. The exterior is navy blue with silver kanji that says, "wealth and congratulations". Maybe this would be a great gal to take along to Vegas with you!

For the interior, I used a red kimono that has a tone on tone print of floral fans. It is stunning.

There are all sorts of undergarments at work on Natsu, so she will stand on her own.

Being born on July 21, Natsu is a Cancer. She is an intellectual gal but has a big heart. She is the one friends turn to in confidence with their problems because she is both compassionate and realistic. Natsu is a rare find, indeed!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A little Whining...

My favorite "whine" used to be "I want to go to Ha-wa-ii!" *said in a squeaky whiny voice* But for the past 15 years, Hawaii has been my home so I no longer whine about that. Infact, usually there is little I can imagine to whine about...but occasionally we all have pity parties and I am having one so you are all invited!

I have been rolling along for several months enjoying the ride of the success of my bags and all that life has to offer and WHAM! a speed bump! Nobody warned me about the speed bump approaching! It seems I hurt my foot. I went to the doc today and was told that I have Plantar's Fascitis and a possible fracture in my heal that I have to have xrayed tomorrow! Like I have time for that! I have bags to make and orders to fill! My days are planned out in detail so that I can accomplish everything I need to. But I have been ignoring my foot pain for about 3 weeks and it nor the swelling are going I guess speed bumps are there for a reason. Time to slow down for a bit, breathe deep, and let my menehune man cook dinner. Tonight he made spaghetti! Love having a menehune man!

Since this is a pity party....what is YOUR favorite "whine"? Share with me so that I can quit thinking of my silly foot!

I promise to be more positive tomorrow...but for tonight....a little whining...a little wining (cabernet) and watching TV.

a hui hou

"What is a Treasury?" you ask!

For those who don't know, Etsy is an online marketplace sort of like a huge mall with thousands of stores inside. That is where I have one of my stores. Everything is supposed to be handmade unless it is listed as a "supply" to make things from such as fabric or purse handles. One of the fun features of Etsy is the treasury. It is a curated area in which other etsy members select 12 items from the millions of items for sale and they feature them in their little treasury. Sometimes it is things that they personally have on their wishlist. Other times they choose items that go together for their colors or themes. It is just an honor because the ones making the treasuries are your peers. Most etsy employees are artists as well, so some treasuries are made by them but most are made by other sellers. There are a limited number of treasuries at any one time and you have to be super quick to snag one. Etsy staff chooses their front pages from the treasuries, so if you are featured in a well done treasury, it gives a wonderful opportunity to gain more exposure for your shop. Hope this explains it a little better.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Featured in Treasury on Etsy!

See if you can find the Sasaki Bag in this treasury! A big Mahalo to "TwoLeftHands" on Etsy for featuring my Haute Potato bag in her colorful treasury!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blog Love

Hyla over at Green Earth Journey has "blogged" me. She interviewed me a while back but in the meantime has had a new baby so is posting interview today! She asked me to let everyone know about the give away that she is sponsoring. Some lucky winner will be gifted with a Sasaki Bags "Kimono Key" made from one of my lovely new obis AND I will toss in a free silk tissue tote just cuz I want to! check out her blog for all the details!

Go check out her blog!
a hui hou

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Vacation is Here!

The above photo is from a family vacation from 1968. We were visiting an Indian reservation in Montana. Thus the teepee in the background. I am the one on the right...age 7...Oh to have those skinny little legs back! Mom isn't in this one because she is holding the camera!

So June is here. Remember when that meant school was out "for summer"?! *Alice Cooper anyone?* It has been many years....infact, if you are speaking Gettysburg-speak, it has been 1 score and 12 years ago since I left chalk and blackboards behind me.

When my kids were still in school, I loved summer vacation because I got my kids back! It seemed that during the school year they would learn "charming" new things from classmates that didn't make this mamma proud and it would take a few weeks to "unlearn" some of them. I loved having them totally under the influence of MOM! But now, even my youngest has been out of school for 8 years now. In the words of my great grammy Ridenour...."where does the time go?"

With all that being said, what plans do you have for your summer vacation? My 8th wedding anniversary to "Menehune Man", is at the end of this month so we are thinking about where to go...what to do! I would LOVE to go to Molokai, a Hawaiian island neither of us has been to yet... but I am thinking that a stay-cation may be the way to go this year! Perhaps we will go over to Volcano and enjoy the cool higher altitude. It has started off being really hot here this month. I know 89 doesn't sound all that hot if you are in Arizona or Nevada, but consider the humidity, deary!

I also really want to make it out to see my mom and dad before the summer is over. Perhaps Indian summer?

All these thoughts and yet I must reach my goal this month of 90 bags! I am still on track to reach my goal of 1000 bags for the year. I have actually turned down opportunities to sell to new wholesale accounts recently. That was a tough decision but I decided that I want to keep on providing the best service I can to all of my current accounts and make all the bags "in house" and "Menehune Man". Some days I feel like I am walking a tight-rope....balancing my retail and wholesale orders...trying to grow my business yet keep from becoming overwhelmed. It really is tough! But I am doing what I love and I believe that it will all work out.

Can you believe that I am already thinking of Christmas? I know that by June 1st, I have to start working on preparing stock for Christmas orders and for the Kona Coffee Festival which is in November. Last year was a real wakeup call! I had to stop taking orders by November 1st that needed to be finished by Xmas because I had so many requests! I plan to be more prepared this year!

I hope you have started your summer plans. It seems to slip away so fast. I would love to hear what plans you have.

a hui hou