Friday, October 24, 2008

Little Miss Kona Coffee Pageant

So, yesterday I was finally able to buckle down and get some serious sewing done. Atleast, that was the plan because I have 82 bags on order right now with Kauai Coffee, the Coffee Festival and Xmas orders. Plus I am trying to keep some bags in the Kona Mountain Coffee Store here too! I started my morning by prepping several bag parts. I don't have a serger so I zigzag around each burlap piece before I sew it into some of my bags. That is kind of nice "no brainer" work but it is time consuming. I love it when I don't have to think too hard! But while I was doing that, the director of the Little Miss Kona Coffee Pageant called. She had seen my bags down at Kona Mountain and wondered if I would be willing to donate to the girls this year. They have 5 different age group categories. So I made 5 different bags that hopefully the girls will like. I even made a little bag for the 4-6 year old age group! Thank you to Mary at Kona Mountain Coffee for letting me use their coffee bags to make the Sasaki Bags out of!

The Coffee Festival is just around the corner. In fact, it is only 3 weeks from tomorrow! Yikes!

I am trying so hard to get everything done so that I can be organized with my booth. I still have to sew some table covers and embroider a new sign for "Sasaki Bags". I have Hypertufa instructions to print (see
Business cards to make...oh my other job is busy right now so I also have to punch a time clock and do some physical labor! I really need a 36 hour day...can anybody help me out???

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ironman 30th Anniversary

Can we talk for a moment about what inspires you? No, wait...let's talk about what inspires ME! This is MY Blog after all! I started watching the Ironman triathalon competition back in 1982. I was sitting in my mom's living room watching TV on a Sunday afternoon and caught Jim McKay's Wide World of Sports report on the Ironman broadcast from Hawaii! I watched as Julie Moss who had been in the lead at the end, crumble into a pile of knees and elbows. I saw that she had indeed "hit the wall" and that even her bowels had given up but the strength of her will and mind kicked in even when her body was failing. I felt tears as she was crawling the last few feet of the race and another runner came up from behind and passed her. Funny, the name of that gal escapes me....but I remember Julie Moss! Now some people saw this same event and spout off about how foolish it is to put your body through such an ordeal. Only crazies would try it! But me....I was inspired. It was memories of that race that later inspired me to sign up for and run the Honolulu Marathon. That is a whole other story, for another day, but today I just want to share some of the memories of yesterday's Ironman.

I worked the night before so didn't wake up as early as I had wanted to. But I got up and hit the sewing machine to start on my Ironman Finisher's Autograph Bag. I chose some athletic themed fabrics for the lining. One has bicyclists, the other for the large pocket and gusset is runners and wheelchair racers, and the third is a print with "26.2", running shoes, and stop watches" on it. The exterior is of course the blank canvas and I accented it with red piping and a red strap. I signed it in red sharpie ink and made sure that I didn't take a red pen with me for the athletes to use! So even with all the signatures/autographs, SASAKI stands out!

I went to town just about the time the finisher was coming into town. The press helicopters were hovering just over head as I made my way to Alii Drive. The town was "a-buzz". I chatted with a sweet gal named Pam for a bit as we cheered on the sidelines.

The eventual winner had a nice lead as he passed me by. I could tell you who the winners were, but you could read that on any sports page, and besides, for me, this race isn't about "the winners". It is about anyone who finishes. It isn't about time....just finish the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run in 17 hours! Piece of cake? Hardly! Infact last night the crowds were cheering the last 14 runners with only 30 minutes to go until cut off. All but one made it. The last one was a 60-something year old named Ida. She was cheered in 3 minutes after the cut off....Sorry Ida, no t-shirt! But you still are an I-R-O-N-M-A-N! And you inspire me.

But I am not talking about being inspired to "DO" Ironman. I don't think I ever will do that. These people inspire me to push myself further, to know that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Last night I saw a 77 year old man RUN across the finish line even before the 18 year old girl who had the energy to SPRINT across at the end!

Ironman is also about the great people I meet. It is my chance to share a little ALOHA with these visitors. I love to pick a spot on the race course that has few volunteers to cheer the racers on. Tell them how strong they look, how they are almost there and to welcome them back into Kona after a long day. I remember those words of encouragement that I received when running in Honolulu....the faces I don't remember, but the words gave me the strength that I hope I passed on last night.

I took my "signature/autograph" bag to town with me and got hundreds of signatures. There were finishers who signed my bag who were from Monaco, Switzerland, Phillipines, Slovania, Australia, Austria, Korea, Japan, Belgium, South Africa, Canada, France, Northern Ireland, and of course USA! No one denied my request. And most seemed pleased and a bit surprised to be asked for their autograph. Several had their friends take their photo while they were "autographing" my bag!

Shortly after I had arrived near the bike to run transition area, I saw a small group with "Team Turner" or something similar on their shirts. Being a "Turner" (my maiden name)I had to go say "hi" and find out who they were rooting for. A proud father was watching for his son, Hart Turner to come down Palani. Also on Team Turner was Dorothy, a beautiful girl who I wish I could have chatted longer with.

Dorothy, if you read this, keep looking forward, girl. Believe that everything happens for a reason and don't try to second guess your choices. Trust yourself!
I was happy that on my way home last night I ran into Team Turner and was able to have Hart Turner sign the finisher's bag too!

So much of what we accomplish in life is because someone inspired us. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be someone's inspiration? You just may be and you don't even know it! Hey, Julie Moss, have you ever heard of Barb Sasaki? I would love to make you a handbag someday!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Potato Bags

I just finished and mailed off my first big order to Idaho. One of the potato companies I contacted regarding my "Haute Potato" bag ordered 16 bags to take to their trade show coming up later this month in Florida. I made 11 shoulder bags and 5 grocery totes. I have now made over 500 bags for the year! Somedays I feel like I could actually sew in my sleep! At times I almost do. For this order I was so worried that I wouldn't finish it in time to account for the occassional Postal delays so I would get up at 4 or 5 am some mornings to sew a few hours before Earl would awake. And of course sew until bedtime.

You can't tell from the photo but I used some great fabrics for the linings of the shoulder bags. I mixed polka dots of different sizes and introduced some bright prints that kept in line with the companies "red, black and gold" theme.

I had some other bags arrive today. Angela D., I can start on your bag soon! I have started taking orders already for the holidays. Looking forward to a busy season. Sew, Sew, Sew!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A New Signature Bag

I have a customer who is a travel agent. Her secretary is leaving so she ordered one of my signature bags to have all the girls in the office sign as a memorable send off. Had I had more time, I could have special ordered some fun themed fabrics, but I couldn't risk ordering something from the mainland and missing my deadline. So I decided on this beautiful Amy Butler print to line the bag with.

I added to the whole "travel agency" idea by making her a tissue tote out of a Rand McNally map. And to go one step further, I got a map of the location of the travel agency, laminated it and sewed it to a key fob. A heart shaped split ring was attached and I hung it from the decorative swivel hook along with the sharpies for signing! I thought it would be a fun little addition and it will remind this gal that she can always find her way back "home".

I am a busy girl these days with no let up in sight! But I am loving it and doing what I enjoy. What more can a girl ask for?