Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back to Work!

So the vacation is over and I am refreshed and energized to get back to sewing! Unfortunately my sewing machine, "Sven", (he's Swedish!)is still in Hilo being serviced until Wednesday so all I can do is some prep work until he is back home. I have a lot of supplies on order that should be here Monday. 100 yards of cotton webbing, 3 bolts of fabric, earring supplies and 10 burlap lentil bags to make some more "vegetarian" bags! I have kimonos to disassemble and some new bag handles to order.

The coffee festival will be here before you know it so I have lots of work to do with both my sewing and my hypertufa projects that I will be featuring on November
15th at Hale Halewai. This should be a great fall for me! I have lots of work to keep me busy!

Vacation in Kauai

Here are just a few more glimpses of what a beautiful island Kauai is!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation...

As some of you knew, Earl and I were off island for a week. We hadn't been back to Kauai since our honeymoon 7 years ago so we decided it was time!

I love Kauai! In my humble opinion, it is the most beautiful of the Hawaiian Islands (although I do adore my home island of Hawaii too!)

Before we left Kona, Earl started searching the internet for adventures we could go on. We've done the ATV tour, several hikes and kayak'd. He had heard of "Zip Lining" and thought that sounded like fun. My husband is such a quiet and seemingly serious man that his sense of adventure surprises most people. He has been sky diving, helicoptering, horseback riding and in a submarine. But on this vacation, he decided he wanted to be strapped to a small cable 80ft up in a tree and go zipping down it!

A few of you who know me, know that I always choose a "word of the year" and use it as a theme to learn life's lessons. One year, my word was "organize" --That year, I went through my file cabinet, merged and sorted out folders, cleaned closets and used my trusty label maker to assign a place for everything (and everything in it's place). Another year that I enjoyed was the year of "educate". That year I took a couple classes on-line, read books and learned new things. That was the year I began making Japanese lanterns out of hypertufa

So with all this being said, by now you are probably wondering why suddenly I seemed to have taken this detour down memory lane rather than proceeding with my story. WEll, this year, my word of the year is "NO!" Say it with me "NO!" What a powerful word!

You see, last year, I tried saying "yes" way too often and the result was the panicky overwhelmed feeling that comes from over-extending myself. So this year, as I have been living and learning from my word of the year, I have said "no" more than once to several things including a few small jobs that I really didn't have time for. It was exhillarating! "NO!" It is a complete sentence!

So when my DH suggested Ziplining, I did contemplate exercising my powerful word of the year. I could just say "No" and that would be that! You see, I am really, really afraid of heights and of falling! Earl knows this because when we were visiting the California Adventure Park in Disneyland a few years ago, we stood in line for 30 minutes for a ride that took you up, up and up slowly... and then plummetted your body to the earth at speeds that I am sure could induce wet pants. We stood there waiting, watching, waiting...and then we were next. Suddenly tears started flowing down my checks. I was terrified. I decided then and there that I really had nothing to prove to anyone. I don't like feeling scared so I apologized to Earl and got out of line.

Because I CHOSE NOT to exercise my right to say "No" this time, (which by the way is also empowering!), I began trying to mentally prepare for this adventure that I knew would be very frightening for me. I started re-reading "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff". There are so many short little suggestions and exercises in that book to use to become a "better you". Examples are:
1. Don't sweat the small stuff.
2. It's all small stuff.
3. Live in the moment
4. Imagine you are a student and that everyone you encounter today is here to teach you something.
...and so much more
It was with these ideas in my head tht I went to bed, knowing that we had booked a non-refundable Zip Line excursion for Wednesday! For my "last supper" we had dined at the Hanamaulu Cafe and when the fortune cookies came I was hoping it would share some profound truth like, "Crazy woman who swings in the trees, lands with thud". I could have taken it as a sign! But no such luck! I didn't sleep well. I felt so nervous and apprehensive. So why go through with it? Actually it had nothing to do with "conquering my fears, But everything to do with confronting them, acknowledging them and moving on. I ran a marathon years ago but that was all about trusting in myself and my abilities that I had trained for. This adventure of Zip Lining, to me, meant trusting in someone else. I had to trust the equipment was safe and I had to trust that the guides knew how to hook me up and how to catch me!

I believe with all my heart that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. So it was with this belief that I introduced myself to our group.

There was a younger married couple, Dan and Michelle. Dan was often our leader in stepping off of tall platforms and traversing swinging bridges. I admired that.

Then there was Frank and Sandy. I am guessing Frank to be about my dad's age. He and Sandy have gone skydiving and loved it. Sandy was such an adventurer. With a "why not?" attitude. She cheered me on and wasn't afraid to be silly.

Completing our team were Emily and Judy. They too had been skydiving but Judy was not afraid to admit that she "hated" it and was a little nervous about Zipping! I felt an instant bond with her! It may sound odd, but the fact that Judy usually followed me jumping off the tree platform and knowing she was scared too, gave me courage to keep going. Judy, I hope that somehow my fear gave you courage as well. I really liked these two women and would perhaps preferred sharing a laugh over cocktails!

Our guides were great. Kaishun was a young agile boy whose nonchalance inspired confidence, while Cindy, a gal in my age group, encouraged me in other ways. More than once she would remind us that the fear was "just in your head" But not in a belittling way! That mantra helpled me to traverse two scarey-as-hell swinging rope bridges. The first one was daunting! Each two foot by 6 inch wooden slat was suspended by two ropes, making each slat free-swinging! You had to step in the center of the slat, keep good posture, and pull yourself along with your arms and hope that the strong winds would ease up as you picked your foot off the slat for the next step. We were hooked up to a cable overhead at all times....but fear can still be paralyzing. I listened so closely to the directions on how to do it the easy way! After sucessfully arriving at the next tree, the following 'zip' seemed like a piece of cake!

It was on the second ...uh.."bridge" (2 ropes armpit height and one rope for your feet like a tight rope!) that I decided it was time to exercise my word of the year. I had gotten half way across and someone yelled for me to turn around for a picture! HA! Are you kidding? That seemed like a good time to "just say no!"

We all made it safely back to base without ruining "Just Live's" safety record. Once we were all done, did I feel invigorated? NOPE! I just felt spent! I wanted a nap! All that adrenaline and then it was over! Was this adventure life changing? Did I conquer my fears? NO, I don't think so. But it was empowering and I did add another color to my palette of life which is a good thing---because when it is all over, I want to have had a colorful life!

A big Mahalo to all of you who share this memory with me.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sasaki Labels!

Name Maker woven labels have arrived!
On my birthday this year (May 31st) my sis and I were on the phone for about 2 1/2 hours designing my labels for my handbags. I knew I wanted damask woven labels because they are of such high quality and I couldn't put cheap looking tags in MY bags! In the end I decided to keep them simple yet bold. I wanted something that would translate my style well, plus bring me future business whether it was in a fun novelty bag or an elegant bag. I am really happy with the outcome.

So I just want to give a big shout out to Tatiana at Name Maker. She was absolutely the reason I decided to go with that company. She was patient, helpful and never pushy, even when I was "wishy-washy" and uncertain! If you need quality woven labels at a reasonable price, do not hesitate to contact Tatiana at

I can hardly wait to finish my next bag so I can attach my first Sasaki label!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Haute Potatoes! Recycled Bag

Girls you have been asking for a larger Sasaki Bag. This one is a "power bag" with pockets and a shoulder strap! Show off your inner green by carrying a recycled handbag!

The exterior of this bag is a recycled burlap Idaho Potato sack. I machine washed and dryed the bag before sewing it.

The front of the bag has one huge pocket that is 16" wide x 7" deep. It has a velcro closure and would easily fit a compact umbrella!

The other side of the bag has two pockets created by triple stitching down the center of the large pocket. Each pocket is 7.5" x 7.5"

Both exterior pockets are accented with a bright red cotton piping and lined with an Amy Butler cherry colored polka dot print.

On the inside of the bag, on one side you will find a cell phone pocket and a small divided pocket to fit two pens that are lined with a black and white pindot print fabric.

The other side has two pockets 7.5" x 7.5" that are secured with velcro closures.

This bag has a magnetic closure to keep all your items secure.

The strap on this bag is attached to two 2" O-rings. It is a bright red cotton webbing.

The print on the potato sack says:
(back) "Idaho Potatoes. Packed in Idaho Western Potato, Idaho Falls, Idaho, Net WT 50lbs.
(Sides)US NO. 1, Produce of USA
(front)"Idaho Potatoes, produce of U.S.A. ...farms potatoes ...Idaho"

This bag is 16" wide, and approx. 13" from the tallest point on the burlap to the bottom of the bag. The shoulder strap is a total of approx 20" long counting the nickle O-rings.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Knitmare on Elm Street

My daughter, the knitter, has been coaxing me into making some of my wristlets into sock knitting bags. I made her one with a sheep theme. Today I was feeling whimsical and came up with this one. The fabric has a chocolate background with aqua and white print. The exterior body of the bag is little skulls with knitting needles crossed behind them instead of "cross bones". The exterior front pocket has a skeleton holding a pair of knitting needles. There is a book on the floor titled "Quick and Easy Knitting Projects". Obviously, this knitter wasn't able to complete her project! The back pocket has a puppy-eyed dog with a chewed up knitting project in his mouth. The pockets are accented with aqua piping and lined with the "skull and knitting needles" fabric. The interior is a reverse of the outside. The interior fabric is the larger print with the dog, skeleton and a little kid wearing a too small sweater and mittens which someone lovingly knit....but he doesn't look too happy! The interior pockets are the smaller skull print as are the 16" handles. There is a self fabric loop which slips over a covered button boasting yet another skull! I placed a decorative gold rim around the covered button, making it stand out! This bag is stand up on its own so you can carry a small skein of yarn with you where ever you may be.

busy busy busy

Aloha everyone!
Wow, what an incredibly busy week I have had. Here it is Monday and I am just sort of regrouping. I am still working on my handpainted bags and have also recently purchased some burlap feed bags that I plan to recycle into some great bags! I have been working on a project that I am going to call my "Signature" bag....and those of you who know me very well, and my warped sense of humor may appreciate the pun that is going to be associated with that. Stay tuned! I have more fabric on order and am looking forward to the arrival of my "Sasaki" damask woven labels that should be here next week and in all my forthcoming bags! Thank you everyone for your support and interest in my bags.
Back to the "sweat shop"!
A hui hou (until we meet again)