Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Facebook helps to make it a small world after all!

Today I had an opportunity to meet with one of my facebook friends. Takeshi Sumita brought his family to Hawaii from Japan. He brought me a beautiful gift of a silk kimono that had belonged to his grandmother. We exchanged gifts and as I was trying to give directions to him to the local coffee farms, I suddenly decided that there was nothing on my "to-do" list that could be more important than to help show this young family our beautiful island. I knew that the Hula Daddy coffee farm would be closing within an hour so I called ahead and told Debbie, one of the employees at the visitor's center, that we were on our way. Even though the owners were away on vacation, their employees did them proud by showing aloha and island hospitality to my guests. They showed the Sumita family the coffee trees, the roaster and even the resident Jackson chameleon who is residing in one of the coffee trees.

While they were purchasing coffee, I called ahead to the Heavenly Hawaiian farm and Trudy Bateman, the owner, was such a doll, as usual. She assured me that we could drive up there and I could show them around the coffee drying floor and the beautiful view. While we were there, Trudy put together a bag of fresh avocado, papaya, apple bananas, and a bag of freshly roasted Heavenly Hawaiian coffee. What a treat! Just to add to the experience, a couple of wild turkeys made their way towards us and the Sumita's young son got to pet the elderly dogs.

I bid my new friends a warm aloha and look forward to seeing them again. In the meantime, we will see each other on facebook!

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Hardware Spurs Creativity!

I have been keeping SO very busy working on my corporate orders since December, that I really miss being creative! My big order was for 800+ bags but I had 3 other corporate orders besides that one totaling over 1000+ bags. So, I recently ordered some new hardware gizmos to try out and somehow snuck in some time to work for fun instead of $$$ over the past weekend.

My first bag was this clutch with an exterior twist lock. The oval gate rings are attached to grommets on either side. There are some changes that will appear on my next attempt but it was so much fun just "playing". IMHO it needs a larger flap and an adjustable strap. I also would like to make this design out of my kimono and obi silks! Yum!

While I was at it, I decided to update my design on my backpack. I have added a 5" gusset which gave it a better shape. I am happy with the results of this one! Evidently, my customers do too because I already sold 2 of them yesterday!

Then, just because I got SO carried away, I have been toying with my old Kealakekua design. Some gals like to cram so much girlie stuff into their bag that I found the magnetic snap closure may not be sufficient so I am experimenting with a twist lock closure on this bag as well. You can't see it in this photo because I am showing off her backside. Love that hula graphic!

I know I've said this before, but I really see a need to schedule time for designing and just being creative. Sometimes I get orders for something before I have had time to perfect it so I just keep making it 'that' way. Most often, my first attempt at a new design is not the way I want it! It can be so easy to spend a whole day on a bag that is rather....ordinary! Now that isn't the way I like to roll! But with my work load...somehow I am sure that in a few months I will be back to working my fingers off and longing to be creating again...*sigh*.

a hui hou