Saturday, December 29, 2007

Break time

I thought I'd take a short break from sewing and crocheting, so I made some new keychains/phone straps and earrings! Remember those beads I bought at the bead show a few months back? Well, I finally got a chance to make things out of them! This little strawberry keychain is made with glass strawberry beads from the bead show, and so are the pearls in this earring set. I must say, the strawberry looks positively delicious!

The little pink flower bead on this keychain is pretty special too; I got them at our local Ben Franklin and the girl who rang me up said that they are the only store in Hawai`i that imports the beads from Japan. They are pretty expensive, but sooo cute! They come in a rainbow of colors, and in star and flower (I think maybe heart too) shapes. I'm thinking about using them on my clutches...

It's good I got a chance to take a break, because I am now swamped with orders yet again :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone is having a nice holiday filled with yummy food and family and friends! I actually went to my grandma's house where we had a roast (I don't like ham at all) and my dad made a lot of cookies for Christmas gifts to family members, which made me extreeemely happy. Usually, he makes thumbrint cookies and fills the print with chocolate, only I prefer "naked" cookies with no chocolate! I know, it sounds crazy that I like them without chocolate, but they actually have chocolate chips already in them, so it's kinda too much for me. Anyway, he usually only leaves me a few with no chocolate on them, but this time he forgot to put enough flour in them so they were kinda spoiled- no thumbprint was on them after he baked them, and they are flat and hard like cookie crackers. So now, I have 80 naked cookies all to myself... Well actually 76 naked cookies because I already ate some. Hee hee!

I've been hard at work crafting and crafting, so I seriously needed the cookie nourishment. Although I have a lot of items ready to list (photographed and everything!) I'm trying to do it in little spurts. That leads me to a little side note- if anyone sees anything on my blog that they are interested in, just convo or email me... I'd be happy to reserve it for you special people you. Anyway, here are some new plushies that I am so happy with! They went from the drawing board (actually a scrap piece of paper I found lying on the floor) to cutie mcgees! I especially like the little touches, like the lily pad for the frogs and the flower on the bunny! I'm so happy to finally have the time to work on my plushies... I've been thinking about how to make them for a while! I am also working on a new drawstring pouch design which I LOOOVE! Plus, buttons, clutches, pins and some earrings. Ahh Christmas break... :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Back from Kauai

Well, I'm back from Kaua`i and my computer is finally back up and running... we had to buy a whole new monitor! I had a blast on my little vacation within a vacation; my family (mom, dad, two sisters and grandma) went to Kauai for two days and one night to take advantage of the fact that everyone was home from college and also the $19 airfares on Aloha. When I first found out about it, I was kinda disappointed because it was such a small amount of time and Kaua`i is a really beautiful island, but after spending all that time with my mom and grandma (they feed off of each other's hyper kinetic energy) I think one night was just fine! I also ended up driving the ENTIRE trip because I had just gone to Kaua`i last year and was the most familiar with where things were; I think that may have freaked out mom and grandma because I like to drive really fast and accelerate on corners and turns :P (Kaua`i has a lot of wiggly roads, which made me happy). We went all around the island, saw the sights, etc. I didn't really buy anything; now I really only covet crafty items... so this was mostly a sightseeing trip for me. Luckily, I brought my camera this time! This first picture is of Kalalau Valley; we were really lucky because the day we went it wasn't raining very heavily, only misting so there were rainbows EVERYWHERE we stopped... quite nice actually. I was so happy I brought my trusty camera, because my pictures turned out really nice (like postcards I think :).

Here is Lumaha`i Beach, really nice; there are several songs about it and I think my Grandma was saying it was where South Pacific was filmed...(i dunno, I never watched it).

Here is Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon" of the Pacific.

Here is a vista of Hanalei, which is known for its lush taro farms. Taro=Kalo= POI, yummy.

What I love about Kaua`i is it is still relatively undeveloped, not like O`ahu with all the high-rises and buildings. It is also so lush and green... the kinda place that makes my Hawaiian soul happy :) In one part of the island, the road was actually built under a stream, and to get to the other side you have to drive across a little under-water roadway.

It was actually great that I got to go to Kaua`i again, because as you guys know I am currently working with a publishing company on a manuscript. Well, the manuscript I am dealing with is ALL about Kaua`i, and so I actually go to visit a lot of the places I have been researching and writing about for the past half a year. This is the Ka Pa`ula `o Hipo, which became the Russian Fort, which plays an important role in the manuscript (I finally got to see it). It was actually really nice, the sun was setting and there was no one there, so I got to reflect in peace.
Now that I'm back I can work on my crafting again... my shop has been woefully empty for a loooong time!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Break!

Wow it's almost already Christmas, and not a single post from me for the month of December... shock! I have truly had a busy semester and I just finished grading all of my students' exams and calculating their final grades. Many of them did so much better than I expected, and some of them told me I was a better teacher than the proff *I am smiling inside*. I even got cookies from one of my students (in case you were wondering, she was already getting the highest grade out of all of my three sections; there was no bribery involved :) I will miss them.

You guys can see the fruit of my labor, and the reason my blog and my shop have not been updated (and also because I'm so proud)! Here is my 29 page paper on the sandalwood trade in Hawai`i... A+! Hee hee!
Aaaaand, because I'm playing post catch up- here are some very lovely items that sweet Nia sent me... I ADORE them. The necklace came with earrings and they both look like candy: you know, the kind that you get at the sweets store and the ones that come around Christmas (I think they're called sugar plum candies). I at first didn't see the strawberry; I was too busy trying to open the tissue paper wrapping nicely... and when I saw it I had a spaz attack! I love it so much; Nia's embroidery is so neat and tidy. You can see more of her lovely work here.

Anyway, all this came about in part because I sent Nia a little horse! Hopefully I'll be able to make more over the holidays for by store. I'm planning on blue, pink, white and black.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas is coming...

Well, Christmas is sneaking up on me faster than I imagined. It's a weird dichotomy, because on the one hand I need more time to finish up the semester but on the other hand, I want a vacation! (Although I think I would be perfectly happy if I could fast forward time to the last day of school). I'm still trudging along on all of my papers; I've found no matter how early I start it I will always need right up to the night before it's due to work on it.

Yay for the long weekend for Thanksgiving; I was thankful indeed. It gave me a chance to work on some of my amigurumi and I had the opportunity to sew two more clutches. I felt like I needed to make more stuff for my etsy because right now my shop is filled with practically all custom orders (which are like the ultimate teaser, especially since I have a "no custom orders please" announcement in my shop). Also, I realized that I don't have any Christmas items! So this weekend I made an icicle bearlet (blue stripey fur), a glitter polar bearlet, a buttercup leaf bearlet and a christmas pack of berries.

I thought the berries would be good for Christmas ornaments; I also have three holly berries that I have to manufacture still.

My polar bearlet was partially inspired by the ice in my sprite cup (since that is usually the closest to snow we get in Hawaii!) I was really pleased with the way the glitter polar bearlet turned out; he is made with a yarn that has a silver thread of glitter running through it, so you get little flashes of silver in his white fur. It was kinda hard to make all the snowflakes float around him, but I ended up using chopsticks to hold them up! Hopefully, a lot of the new things I made will be in my shop tomorrow (so that people will have time to buy them in time for Christmas!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! And for everyone who doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving today, Happy November!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Office and paper work

Well, today I took my sister to her exam (pedagogy for educators?) which was conveniently held at UH where my office is, so I went in to write my paper. For some reason I have been suffering from brain block (instead of writer's block), probably because I spent all summer writing and researching as a job. So now, when I have a paper due for my own class, I find that I just don't feel like writing. I got lots done today though, right now I have about 13 pages of my 20-30 page paper, and I find that the closer I get to the deadline the better my quality of writing (how's that for procrastination?). Suprisingly, a lot of people were in their offices too, so it was like a work party where everyone was writing papers!

Here are some sprinkles which are my office mate's ( I was looking at them all day trying to figure out if sprinkles could be substituted for lunch) and my cacti who I have named fluffy 2. Fluffy the original was a really cute succulent cactus that I got in Target when I was living in California, but I couldn't take him home to Hawaii with me so I planted him on my college campus and hoped the janitors would take care of him. fluffy 2 is from my mom, like an office warming present!

Other than that, I've just been finishing up some custom orders. I'm also trying not to buy more fabrics online, because I'm running out of room (right now I have a lot of my craft junk on my little sister's bed; she's away at college). But it's so hard... I feel like there are so many cute fabrics out there!

I can't wait for Thanksgiving break... I'm going to need it to catch up on my crafting!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Shop preview

Happening now... shop preview! I've been like a little busy bee, sewing and sewing! I have a bunch of new pouches from kawaii Japanese fabric and clutches which I am going to list slowly, and today I went to the beach and photographed some of my new earrings. The earring photos turned out really nicely... it's amazing what you can do with some leaves and rocks and a picnic table! I am still loving my camera which is amazing for macro; you can get as close as 3" away from the object. I got it about 2 years ago because I needed a digital camera when I went to China; it was okay for scenic faraway shots but it rocks with the light on for macro shots! It is a Panasonic Lumix with a Leica lens, and it works absolutely fantastically. I take a mess of pictures (items in nature usually sell well) and then I edit them (enhancing color, lightening and darkening, cropping) in Microsoft Office picture manager (which works extremely well for the minimal tampering I do.) I have photoshop, but it's on my old computer which overheats after about 30 minutes. I probably spent a total of 5 hours photographing and editing all my pictures, but now I'm finally ready to list some new things :) PS. I'm trying to post more frequently... we'll see how it goes!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Anniversary to me!

Huzzah! I have reached my 1 year anniversary (Nov. 8) and boy does it feel good. :) I have sold over 280 items and gotton more than 700 hearts... I absolutely feel loved, and there is now way I could have done it without each and every one of you, thank you soooo much! To celebrate my anniversary, I am going to give a free button with every purchase, made with a new stock of super cute Japanese papers I ordered from shopkawaii. I was also developing small amigurumi berries that would be available for my anniversary, but I haven't gotton around to finishing them... as always I am bogged down by custom orders. It's really great, because one of the custom orders is for seven different bearlets for presents for bridesmaids... very cute!

And here is a tote my mom and sister got me from the mall... it's a tote with french fries saying "bon jour" and a taco saying "hola." Haha, guess they know I like cute things...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Farewell days of my youth

Well, it has been another crazy week... our home computer crashed! Many of my photos, all of my music, and some of my files for school are now gone. Forever. It's okay though, because I mostly learned my lesson from the first two times our family computers crashed and I now keep mostly everything of importance on jumpdrives. The only bad thing is that some of the photos I had for my etsy are gone, and now I have to reshoot them (which takes me kinda long time).

We had a very fun party at work (aka the University), where a whole wing of the History Department (basically all the Teaching Assistants from the A wing) decided that we would have trick or treating for our undergraduate students and then have a "grown up" party afterwards. You know you are truly a geek when you and your fellow teachers decide the coolest thing ever to do on Halloween is to have a party in a narrow hallway and to sleepover in an office. Despite elaborate attempts on our part (with games set up in our offices like "go fish" for candy)Approximately 5 undergraduates students came to get free candy all day. No matter, after our after seminar we broke out the booze! Each office had a themed drink; my officemate made "butterbeer" like in Harry Potter (really just butterscotch schnapps and vanilla cream soda) and I made appletinis. Yum yum, like liquid apple jolly ranchers. I'll put up a tutorial on how to make those yummy appletinis later! It was actually really funny; I don't have a shaker so I used a guava jelly jar to shake up the drinks (talk about your poor college student). They turned out quite good, actually; for future reference, jelly jars make excellent booze shakers.

I found out my alcohol tolerance level has been SEVERLY diminished; I probably only had about two shots of vodka the entire night and woke up in the middle of the night with a splitting headache and a mild hangover this morning. Does that sound possible?

I also decided to play hooky from school today; I skipped Hawaiian and US in the Pacific. It felt sooooo goood! I took some of my amigurumi mushroom sets to the park and photographed them au natural for a change.

Well, I've got lots of orders to do, and I was hoping to finish 1/2 of one of my huge papers this weekend, so we'll see how it goes!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Busy again this week; I've decided to limit the amount of custom orders I can take starting November 7th. I know, it seems really early but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I'm going to try and give myself a little break from crocheting this weekend (although I still have many custom orders) and get to sewing some new pouches with my fantabulous stash of fabrics. I mailed a bunch of packages today, hence the picture! Some of my amigurumi, such as the cupcake, are too big for my traditional packaging so I had to get a new type of bag... they are really cute-cellophane with little strawberries on them. I decided to tie them with yarn, which kinda makes sense because my amigurumi are made with yarn. I also listed some new little bearlets, this fuzzy plush one sold within an hour or two! I will miss him...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Sorry its been so long... I have been buried under paperwork! Yep, my students had their midterm this past week and I had to have them all graded by Friday to ensure that the ones that were failing the class had enough time to drop the class (I know it sounds mean, but its true!) Thankfully, none of my kids were failing... in fact, some of the ones I was worried about did really well, probably because I scared them into studying until their brains were like jelly... Anyway, it took me a really long time!

The fun part is this weekend I got to go to a pumpkin patch; we never used to have pumpkin patches; in fact the first time I ever picked my own pumpkin was the first year I went to California for college (and even then I was too intimidated to pick one, so I just chose three mini ones out of a box). But now, I can pick all I want; Aloun farms now grows many types of pumpkins, and for a parking fee and pumpkin cost you can pick all you want! Oh the fun.

I mostly love the tiny pumpkins; I got about 25 for $5. I think they may have felt bad for me; I lugged a plastic bag full of little pumpkins around the farm for about 2 hours, and I think it weighed like 20 pounds!

I also love weird pumpkins, like warty ones, white ones and green and yellow ones! As you can see, I got a nice selection of weirdies.

Hope your pumpkins bring you as much joy as mine have to me!

Monday, October 15, 2007


Yum, have you guys ever tried mochi ice cream? Sooo good! It's a little ball of ice cream (they come in many, many flavors) inside a mochi (japanese sweet rice flower). You can buy them in supermarkets here, and they are expensive, or you can go to Bubbies, where it is also expensive (~$1 each) but quite the experience. Bubbies is this really great ice cream place really close to the University, so you always have the young crowd getting their sweet tooth on. They have a really extensive menu, with cake names like "Inflamed Prostate" and "Triple Orgasm," peanut butter shakes and side orders of gummi bears and then they also have mochi ice cream! They have flavors like azuki bean, sakura (like a cherry), green tea, melon, pumpkin, and so much more! It was my office mate's birthday, so we took her to Bubbies after school. You should have seen us, there was a trail of graduate students walking down the mountain and crossing traffic to get some ice cream! Hilarious. Anyway, I got these three; the yellow one is cantaloupe (the best), the pink one is strawberry and the brown one is mint chocolate chip. I know, I know, not very adventurous, but I will be next time!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

toy from small kid times

Do you guys remember these? I've seen them on Etsy and on, and I used to make them when I was little! These are those little perler beads that you can iron into different shapes and such; I always enjoyed the star. Anyway, there was a point in my life over the summer where I would make weekly visits (actually it was more like every two days) to the various craft stores here; lately with school though, I've been too busy! So yay when I didn't have any obligations last Friday, I took the opportunity to go to Ben Franklin, which is kinda like a more expensive and less extensive Michael's. They had a bucket 'o beads for like $8 (which may not be that cheap compared to prices in America but it is here... normally they are $13)! I am so excited, I have to plan what I want to do with them...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

baby unicorn

So I made this little unicorn for my sister's birthday (specially requested) and he turned out really cute! She loves him so much; now she's requested a little black one as a friend. This little one's body is made out of white acrylic red heart yarn and his mane and tail are made out of cotton rainbow peaches and cream yarn. I am thinking about putting one in my shop, but I'm a little hesitant because it looks similar to some of the amigurumi I've seen on etsy (that's actually where my sister saw it). I made up the pattern myself though, so technically it would be alright. If I do, I'll probably make his body a little longer and his legs a little skinnier. Also, his horn isn't very conical, so I may just make the next one a little horse.

Right now I'm working on a bunch of special orders, so I'll have a while to think about whether or not to put him in the ol' etsy shoppe. Also, I have a whole heap of cupcakes and mushrooms to sell, so they'll probably end up in my shop in the next couple of weeks. The only thing is, the cupcakes are too big to fit in the bags I usually send them out in. Ahh, dilemmas.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fall amigurumi rolling out

Well, I finally had a chance to finish some of my Fall amigurumi, and I think they came out really cute! I'm experimenting with some of the paper's I've gotten for different colored backgrounds; I hope they're not too distracting (though I think they might be). It may be hard to see some of the finer details, and some colors actually look weird against certain types of backgrounds. No hurt in experimenting though, eh?

This little gobbler I made using my mommy and baby chicken pattern, and I just cut out felt to match the features of a turkey. I especially like his little naries (nose thingie).

For the pumpkin, I had a really hard time deciding how to make his face! I chose to crochet the leaves instead of making them out of felt, and I think it turned out sweet :D. I actually had tried to cut out little triangles and a snaggle-tooth mouth, but when I showed people they said "I don't get it." Perhaps my scissors skills are not too garens, but a little more experimentation and voila! Tres jolie :).

I still have to finish a little ghost and attempt a bat before Halloween; I'll also try for a blackie cat! Then, it will be the first time I've had holiday appropriate things in my shop BEFORE the holiday, yay!

Monday, September 24, 2007

bead show

This weekend was the awesomest bead show! I bet it's nothing like bead shows on the mainland, but still; pearls, glass, gemstones and everything in between! It's usually held at Ward Center (Oahu, near Ala Moana Shopping Center), and it's held twice annually, once in September and once in March. I was so disappointed in March because I got my dates mixed up and I totally missed it! This time, though, I got it right and my sister and I spent like three hours just looking at all the beads. It was really crowded, but in a good way; like you and a bunch of other women are bending over the same table of beads and you help each other finding nice strands and stuff.... ahhh the comradery!

I mostly got glass beads this time, but they were sooo affordable! Unfortunately, because the dollar is doing so poorly internationally, the prices were pretty high for the gems (which is probably better for the people in the countries where the gems are from); there were some really nice faceted briolites, but they were out of my price range (so I mostly just looked at them and felt them). But, they were so pretty!

So I ended up getting glass bicones in pretty citris colors for earrings, flat coin pearls for pendants and some dyed quartz. I also got some glass strawberry beads, which are too cute! I had ordered some little white flowers from Fire Mountain Gems a while back and they would go perfectly with the strawberries; I really want to make some cell phone straps with them!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

rainy days are like sunshine in my mind

I love rainy days! I love gray skies, storm clouds and the smell of wet asphalt and rain. They make me really happy and..... calm. I could probably live for a little while in someplace like Ireland, where I hear it is pretty rainy (I also love the juxtaposition of verdant green fields/mountains and a cloudy grey sky). Is this weird coming from someone who lives in Hawai`i? I dunno, but I really do love our winters here, because they are more like rainy seasons. The temperature has cooled off a lot in recent weeks; global warming had been making it uncharacteristically hot and muggy. Lately though, it's been pretty rainy here, which isn't conducive to waking up and going to school, but it is conducive to letting your creative thoughts wander... I've been trying to think of new amigurumi designs in between my work and I think I've come up with some. Probably you'll see one of them soon in my shop; a little amigurumi ghost for Halloween is but one example.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Have you guys ever been to Todai's? Maybe there isn't one in your city. We have one in Honolulu though, in Waikiki. My family and I went there today to have an early celebration of my sister's birthday! SOoooooO yummy... they have a huge sushi bar, with a place that they can custom make handrolls, as well as a hot-line buffet, tempura and yakiniku stations, huge dessert selections and a crepe station! Aww man, I ate soooo much! My favorite was the sukiyaki, which is like boiled beef, won-bok cabbage and tofu in a tasty broth. Here are some of the sushi I ate, including inari (seasoned rice in bean curd wrapping)hoso and tekka maki (the little ones with radish and cucumber) a tempura fried salmon roll, futo maki (egg roll) and ebi special roll (shrimp). The soybeans are called edamame in Japanese, very healthy and very tasty!

The desserts were amazing too; the crepes are phenomenal! I get banana with whip cream and chocolate sauce. These little cakes were good too; a chocolate cheesecake, a strawberry delight, almond cookies, tiramisu and pineapple yogurt.
Haha, I was so full right after I ate all this, but now that I am writing it (like 7 hours later with only a tuna sandwich in my tummy) I kinda feel hungry again! That's the Hawaiian in me.

Anyway, the lunch was a nice break from hectic school, I am now teaching the Ramayana. I also snuck in a couple of hours to make some amigurumi, show you guys later!

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