Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Day the World Stood Still...and then started spinning

This blog, as you know, is about more than just my bags. It is about my thoughts and my journey as I realize my dreams. It is about my successes and even my failures. It is about me and my family.

My family has been fortunate in many ways. For the most part, we've been healthy and when most of my grandparents have died, it has been after a full life while into their 80's. I've even had relatives live nearly 100 years! Friday, I felt that my luck ran out. My dad went into an outpatient clinic for a procedure to find out why he has been having difficulty swallowing. With the time difference, with the time it took me to wake up and check my email, my dad had been diagnosed with a 4cm squamous cell esophageal carcinoma. I know my mom well enough to read between the lines of her cryptic email. "Hi honey, the procedure didn't take me when you can so I can try to explain what the doctor found". You see, I know that my mom doesn't believe in delivering bad news via email or voice mail. So when she said to call, I already knew that it wasn't good.

I am thankful that they live in an area that has excellant doctors. I am grateful that they have loyal friends. But I feel so very far away right now.

There have been times in my life when I put my job ahead of everything else. I needed the money so badly that I feared losing my job if I put family first. I won't do that again. I am older and wiser.

My mom told me that she felt like the world as she knew it changed in the instant she heard that her husband of 53 years, has cancer. I understand to some extent. I must remind myself to breathe deeply, as I keep finding myself taking in short rapid breathes of air. This is my dad!

I know enough about his type of cancer to know that the next few months are going to be the hardest days of his life. My dad has never 'done' hospitals. He doesn't even like the smell of hospitals.

So today, my bags are packed and I am headed out to be with my mom and dad. I have wrapped up most of my larger pending orders here and notified other customers that their order will take longer than I initially expected. EVERYONE has been so supportive.

My "Menehune Man" is helping me so much. I even left instructions for him on how to ship one of my large orders. He will be popping a couple hundred packages of Kleenex into silk tissue totes for me, then boxing them all up and shipping them out! Have I ever told you what a special man I am married to?

I still have much to do this morning before flying out so I had better get to it. Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers.

a hui hou

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Design

I was visiting with the management of my primary wholesale account a couple weeks ago and we decided that with so many people getting into the burlap coffee tote bag biz, that it would be prudent of me to come up with a fresh design to keep my bags recognizable. With the increase in business and the addition of two new stores, I needed to keep the design simple, yet also wanted to add strength and durability to the design.
I am so very pleased with the result of measuring and remeasuring. The final product just has a much more designer look to it with a splash of color. I have added fabric to the bottom and lower edge of my Omiyage and Deluxe Omiyage tote bags to match their linings. Yes, it is more work, but I feel confident that the extra workmanship will pay off. For some of them I have even added nickel hardware to the straps but will keep it simple by only adding that on request.

I look forward to hearing your feedback. Let me know your thoughts.

a hui hou

Welcome Kendra!

Kendra is my newest Diva bag. She is made from black dupioni silk and lined with a leopard print cotton. Her straps are black faux leather. Black feathers accent her front side and she is crowned with a black feather boa. There are two decorative buttons on her front and a pocket on her backside. The interior has ...a magnetic snap closure and two more pockets. Kendra is a sassy girl with a wild side. She likes to party but will look just as good with a pair of tight jeans as she does with your little black dress.

She was born on June 23, making her a Cancer.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Holualoa Farmfest 2010

You all know how much I adore the sleepy little town of Holualoa. Well tomorrow it is going to come alive with the 2nd annual Farmfest and Ukulele Jam. There will be 3 stages stategically placed on the mainstreet of town so that you will probably be able to hear music playing from any of the stores and galleries. Around 25 vendors will be selling farm grown fruits and veggies.

I dropped off a supply of Sasaki Bags to Janet at Pacific Islands Gallery today so she should be fully stocked. I did see my Koloa bag, Holualoa bag, Kaloko "bag on a string", and market totes upon quick glance. She also has some affordable jewelry and artwork for everyone.

If you are looking for a fun way to spend your Saturday, take the scenic drive just 5 miles from Kailua Kona and enjoy the day.

a hui hou

Saturday, June 5, 2010

If your life was a book...

Have you ever thought about that? What if your life was a book?

Today I got up early and took a 2 mile walk down at the beach. It had just rained and the roadway was still wet and scented with the sweet wet aroma. I never know where my thoughts will lead me when I am all alone with them. Often times they bounce back to a bag design that has been tumbling about in my head and I try to work out zipper challenges or pocket placement to pass the time. But today I was thinking about my life.

If my life was a book, what section of the bookstore would you find it in? Drama? Adventure? Romance? Self Help? Humor? And would it be interesting enough to read? Would you recommend it to friends?

This thought first came to me many years ago. Perhaps it was when I was struggling through the fallout of a divorce. I tried to imagine that my hardships were but a single chapter in my "life story". They weren't the whole story!

What do you look for in a good read? I like a little mystery, with a hint of romance and adventure and it is best if it also makes me laugh out loud a couple of times. But I like it to keep moving. I like characters with colorful personalities that are sprinkled throughout.

I hope this photo makes you laugh outloud! It was my 46th bday and the prop is a candy cigarette and the lips are wax! No mom, I haven't started smoking! And no lip injections for me!

It isn't always the case, but I would like to live my life so that if it ever were to become a book, it would be one you just couldn't put down. What happens next??? How did she overcome that??? What crazy friends she is blessed with!!! I want it to be a "feel good" book, not a "look at all the mistakes I made" book!

All I really want before the last page of "my story" is one more triumph than there were tragedies! And maybe a few more laugh-out-loud moments! I hope to have many more chapters to work it all out before you see:

"... happily ever after. The End"

a hui hou