Sunday, January 27, 2008

Material goodness

I was pretty busy this weekend; busy doing nothing! I was going to write two papers, but I pretty much kept putting it off until voila! Sunday night. Oh well, hopefully I'll get them done before they're due this week.

My sister bought a skirt from Old Navy that she wanted to return, but she had to work this weekend so I returned it for her. Isn't it funny, you always end up shopping when you weren't going to? So I ended up buying a few things; but they were sooooo cheap! I got some T-strap sandals (like those up there, but beaded...) for $4, some grey corduroys that were $6 and a new skirt for $15.

I also recieved some things I've been buying online; it's definitely an addiction. Everybody always comments on how many packages of fabric I recieve, sometimes it's a little embarrasing! But, there's no way I can pass up fabrics like these: the two on the left are from happyhippo (she's in Hawai`i too!), the one in the middle I bought at Ben Franklin here in Hawai`i and the two on the right are from luckykaerufabric. My favorite has to be the one with the piggy butts!

Eeeee! Here are also a million billion (actually it is only 100) zippers I bought on ebay! They look so pretty all together, and the color variety is amazing! I will definitely be making pouches and bags with these babies!

I also bought a plant for my new office; I now have my own (last semester I shared) and it rocks! I'll show you guys pictures when I truly get settled :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Valentine's Day

Whew, what a mad rush! I had the bodies for these made ages ago (in anticipation for how busy I would be once school started), but I only just got the chance to put them all together and photograph them this weekend. Last year around this time, I was taking a break from school and work so I had oodles of time to make a million luvluv bearlets... but this year I really only have the time to have made these; so this year valentine's merchandise is really limited. I think they turned out really nice though, and they look darling all together. For the luvluv bearlets, I use the heart "noses" that come with washers and put them right above their tummies... kinda like a care bear. Ha ha, I loved that show when I was little, my favorite was the red one "Tenderheart" (is it sad that I had to ask my little sister his name?), hence the red luvluv bearlet with the light pink heart. Hopefully in the future; I will be able to expand on my line of bearlets with stuff on them/attached to them- for St. Patrick's Day I am thinking lots of leaf/clover bearlets and for the Olympics a line of element pandas!

The cupcakes also came out adorable; I used confetti hearts for the sprinkles. They are supposed to be red velvet (I love this type of cupcake... they seem so luxurious!) I actually got two sizes of confetti; small and large but when I was making them I couldn't find the large ones! So, I only made two cupcakes, and they both have the small hearts. If they do well, I may make more but with large confetti, or even mixed confetti. We'll see :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

School's in session!

School has started again, which explains my electronic silence for the past week. Let's just say I've been busy trying to get my act together, making my syllabis and deciding how I would set up my class. I think this semester will be a lot better than Fall as far as teaching goes; last semester my kids WOULD NOT talk to me! I would ask them questions about the readings, and they would sit there and look at me; I would make jokes, draw on the board, anything I could think of! I tried talking to them as one big group, I tried breaking them up into little groups, but nothing really worked. It was difficult because the lab was discussion based. In the end, I had to do all sorts of things to get them to read and learn and I think it turned out well; they got pretty good grades, and 28-35 evaluated me as the best TA ever (hee hee). This semester though, I had a headstart on making all the materials to give to my students and designing the course (so I am better prepared than before) and on the first day of class they actually smiled and laughed with me... I feel like because I am more comfortable, they are too :P Hopefully, we can all keep talking to one another (instead of me just lecturing). This picture is of a wild orchid I found at Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens on Oahu; because it's wild, it looks a little different than those orchids you can buy at the garden shop.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


I am obsessed! I made some new friends on flickr and they had some photos of these Japanese toys called unazukin made by Bandai... and now I really want one. Actually, I think someone on my cool blogs list had some too, but I can't remember who! For those of you who don't know, I love anything Japanese and kawaii! I love those Japanese solar toys, including the flipflap, and sunshine buddies (but I only have sunshine buddies right now). Anyway, these toys I just discovered (years after they first came out, mind you) look like little matroyshka dolls, only cuter, and they come in many different designs and rainbow colors (which is a big part of the attraction for me :). According to the official unazukin website, they are small fairies who like to listen and live under big mushrooms. In real life, they require two little batteries but are voice activated to shake their heads yes or no, in case you have any difficult decisions to make. I am currently saving my pennies to buy one (or two, heehee). I scoped out ebay but they seem expensive, other people were saying firebox has them; they seem pretty reasonable (and shipping to Hawai`i isn't that bad!) So, perhaps in the near future I will obtain some!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Years!

So I know it's a little past New Years, but I'm still recovering :) We had so much fun, I actually spent it with my family popping fireworks. In Hawaii, we are allowed to shoot fireworks and firecrackers (as long as they are not aerial) from 9:00 pm to 12:00 am on New Year's Eve and it is awesome; I've been doing it with my family for as long as I can remember; it's really a tradition in Hawai`i. People line up at Don Quixote (formerly Daiei which was formerly Holiday Mart) and Walmart to buy fireworks, and there are even little stalls that sell them. It's kinda funny because some of the stalls were selling Christmas trees (we get ours in shipping containers) and they switched to fireworks as soon as Christmas was finished.

Anyway, popping fireworks has long been a tradition, with mostly Chinese roots. It is believed that one must burn firecrackers to scare away the evil spirits and bring good fortune for the new year, which is why the firecrackers come in red paper (and rolls of 20, 30 or 40 thousand firecrackers!). In some ways it creates a lot of pollution (with smoke) but most people are responsible enought to sweep up the paper rubbish the fireworks make. In Hawaii, most people know that on New Years Eve they won't be getting much sleep because their neighbors will be popping fireworks long into the night! (It's also bad for pets and people with asthma).

There is actually quite a large trade in illegal fireworks too, aerials and really big ones that the stevedores (the ones who offload all of the shipping containers for all the islands) and construction workers (because they have connections) can get. On New Years Eve for example, they busted a guy who was selling illegal fireworks out of his garage; he had over $500,000 worth of fireworks!

They tried banning fireworks in the past because of pollution and noise complaints, but it really didn't work because it's so ingrained in the island culture, people were willing to break the law and could do so with relative ease (blackmarkets). And even though there are some bad aspects to it, I really feel it is a part of Island identity. Plus, it is sooooo much fun!

Here are my ultimate favorite fireworks; friendship pagodas! They come in little boxes all folded up, and you light them on fire and they spin and spark and at the end a little pagoda pops out! The older ones used to have red tissue in the window panes and when they popped up, the light on the inside would light up the windows :)

Hope everyone's New Year's was as fun as mine!
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