Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New design

What would it be like to work a 5 day work week?  Hmmm....But when you do what you love, are you really working?  I have been trying a new schedule lately.  I "work" 6 days a week and on the 7th day, I let myself make whatever I want to.  It is my version of a "day off".  So although I may have projects that I am working on, I really need to allow myself the time to "create".  Otherwise my ideas stagnate and I become a factory instead of a designer.  If you are one of the gals waiting on her bag, I'm sorry, but this is really something I need to do.  I promise to finish them all in the order that they were taken!

This week on my "day off" I was working on a new clutch design.  All of my boutiques that I sell to keep saying that they want clutches!  Yet, when I polled my facebook friends, the majority want a shoulder strap.  Go figure!  It may have something to do with the age group.  Most of my FB friends (34%) are 50 and over.  That is basically ME!  So I have been trying to think outside of my box and putting myself in the mindset of a 20-30 something gal, I came up with a new design.  It is very angular.  Much like the skinny girls I imagined carrying it!  ha!  I just won't copy other bag makers (intentionally). So I really wanted to try something a bit different. 

To keep everyone happy, (I've been trying to do this all of my life!) I added an O-ring on each side so  that the bag can have a shoulder strap OR remove it and attach a wrist strap....or not.  This bag is sturdy and padded.  As I went along, by my 3rd bag I added on piping and some fun lining.  But now I am in a quandry over , "should I sell the bag as a clutch and offer the shoulder strap as an extra?  or should I charge a bit more and include both a wrist strap AND and shoulder strap?"  Oh, my! 

Then after all that was said and done, I was sorting out some of my stash and came across my "bin-o-feathers" from when I was making my diva bags, which I haven't done for a very long time.  So I got this wild feather up my....uh...nose and thought...."why not?".  I love contrast so did something a bit daring and added some feathers to my burlap bag.  What do you think? 

It is a bit sassy, like me but even MM likes it!  But then, MM even likes that I'm sassy!  You can't beat that!  The backside of the bag still boasts "100% Hawaiian" so I'm not getting TOO serious with my design.  However, I did start thinking of this angular design done in silk or even a kimono silk with or without feathers.....  Maybe I need to take 2 days a week for myself!  But for now...its back to my sweat shop. 

It even stands up and celebrates the life of a "Couch Potato"!

a hui hou

Salvaging a Rainy Day in Hawaii


You've saved for months or even longer!  You've just flown 1000's of miles only to see that rain is in the forecast for Hawaii.  What can you do?  Don't despair.  Your vacation plans may have changed but they are NOT ruined!  Be flexible, like the bamboo.  There is a reason that our islands are green and lush.  It is from the rain.  Here are some suggestions for how you can salvage a rainy day in Hawaii:

1.  Spa Day!  Oh yea!  I love spending at least one day of my vacation in a great spa even if the weather is sunny!  Call ahead.  Book a couple of treatments but go early and spend the day enjoying the jacuzzis and saunas. 

2.  Take a class at a local bead shop.  Many of the little shops are quite flexible and even welcome drop-ins.  I recommend a wire wrap class.  You can learn how to turn anything from small pieces of driftwood, coral or beach glass into pendants and earrings.  It is a skill you will have for life and even young ones can get in on it. 

3.  Go shopping!  Like you really needed a reason to do that, right?  Hawaii spawns creativity is seems.  There are SO many talented artisans on each island that I am always amazed and inspired by them.  If it is safe enough to be on the roads, drive to the little out-of-the-way towns and check out their galleries and boutiques.  On the Big Island, check out Hawi!  Oh how I love that town.  It is just charming!  Also Holualoa and Waimea have some great shops.  On Oahu, drive to the north shore and see what Haleiwa has to offer.  Molokai?  Yes, they have great shops too.  I think they are all on the mainstreet.  Specifically stop in to Kalele Bookstore.  Kauai?  Oh yes, who doesn't know how much I adore that island?  Pretty much any little town on that island will have unique gift boutiques.  In Koloa, check out Palm Palm.  There are also little shops near Eleele and over in Princeville and Hanalei.  Adventure out as long as there are conditions safe enough to do so. 

4.  Find a LOCAL coffee shop.  Get a cup of Kona Coffee or even coffee from the other islands.  Don't wast your vacation time drinking coffee at the big mainland name shops.  You could do that anywhere!  Shop local.  Be friendly with the staff and they may even offer more suggestions exclusive to their island for rainy day things to do.  Buy a local paper, do a crossword puzzle and RELAX! 

5.  Take a walk in the rain.  Most often tropical rain is fairly warm.  A huge downpour is an experience you will never forget.  There is something quite liberating about walking with no umbrella and knowing you are going to get soaked.  Don't fight it.  You won't melt.   Just be safe!  Stay on high ground and be aware of your surroundings.  We don't want to lose anyone!

6.  Go to a movie.  I know, you could do that anywhere.  But some warm buttery popcorn on a rainy day sounds pretty good to me. 

7.  Get a day pass to a local yoga studio or gym.  Most fees are $10 or less. 

8.  Make lei.  Longs drugstores carry the long lei making needles near the checkout stands.  Ask if you don't see them.  There are many things you can make lei out of.  My suggestion is to always make one more lei than you need.  Drive to a local beach and present your lei randomly to someone you don't know.  It will make their day.  Usually they expect you are wanting money!  ha!  When you just say "Aloha, have a great day", it truly is a welcome random act of aloha. 

9.  Wine, don't whine!  Some of the wine shops on the islands offer free tastings.  Call ahead and ask. 

10.  Accept that you can not control the weather.  Go with the flow and don't let it ruin your day.  The islands will give you just what it is that you need and it isn't always a sunny beach.  Take this time to slow down, enjoy your loved ones and make some new memories.  Remember, no rain, no waterfalls!

A hui hou