Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Well I was supposed to be working tonight, but John and I just watched CRAFT AMERICA ON PBS and were mesmerized, awed and moved by the 3 part series. After 3 hours of no blinking and mouths agape there is no way to really single out any one artist that was profiled as to who would be our favorite, but when furniture designer Sam Maloof numbered and signed his name with a wood burner to the bottom of a chair, we were nearly moved to tears. It was truly amazing to see the emotion of his staff as they sat and watched with admiration. It makes us a bit envious of all these artists and their dedication to all things handmade.
Really... all I can say is that you must, must, must try to catch this series. It will make you want to create something with your hands.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the series.
Fiddleback maple with cherry inlay occasional chair.

Mary Jackson, Cobra Basket.

Jan Yager, The Tiara of Useful Knowledge, 2006.

Melissa Banks with a quilt top she made.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


What a busy 2 weeks we have had. My mom and grandma are coming in next week so we have been working really hard to "stage" the house for their visit. I finally got the Thonet dining room chairs recovered. I used tan linen and pressed a different leaf onto the seat of each cushion in gold silkscreen ink. John stripped and stained the legs. They came out beautiful. I also finished the sofa recover. I originally bought this fabric for the chairs, but something felt wrong about it. So I went back and bought more and used it on the sofa, which I think looks amazing. We also got our 2nd polka dot Todd Oldham by La-Z-Boy chair (now we have his and his chairs) delivered this week which completed the whole look and feel. Well..... actually it was the new paint that rounded everything out. John finished all the painting yesterday while I ran errands in town. We painted select walls a pale yellow called White Corn and all cieling, doors and trim are white. We wanted to keep it bright withought going BRIGHT or all white. the White Corn is really calming. I also hung new white curtains on a bamboo rod in the doorway from the kitchen to the living/dining room. That way when we have guests stay over... the sofa pulls out into a queen size bed... there will be a bit of privacy for them. Besides, I love the way the blow back and forth with the breeze. The curtain for the bedroom closet was hemmed, the bedskirt was hemmed and the kitchen window curtain was hemmed. I was really happy to put the sewing machine away. We also got a trio of orange and white cieling lights hung in the living room. PRETTY.
Alright... off to plant along the fence. Watch for the post of that transformation soon.

I also did a guest blog entry over at the TODD OLDHAM STUDIO BLOG about the dining room chairs. It's a combo about the history of bent wood and the DIY recover of the chairs. Check it out.

View from the kitchen entrance into living/dining rooms.

The dining table and chairs with curtain to kitchen.

The sofa and new Todd Oldham by La-Z-Boy chair.

Sofa detail. there was no fabric anywhere that was wide enough to cover the cushions in one piece so I had to seam it down the middle. Not bad on matching the center seam I must say.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Here are the lovely Surinam Cherries from our new tree. They have to be picked when they are perfectly ripe (the darkest red possible) otherwise they are rather tart. These cherries have a wonderful spiciness to them followed by slight sourness. Tonight I mashed them up and poured them over our new favorite ice cream by Roselani - Haupia (coconut pudding) and topped it all off with whipped cream and of course a Surinam Cherry. It is like eating a cloud of coconut! Roselani also makes my 2nd new favorite ice cream - Banana Mac Crunch (Banana Ice Cream, Mac Nuts & Toffee Brittle). I mean really! Can't wait until I can have more Haupia tomorrow night.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


We had a busy week this week, all because of the new moon. By planning our yard work around the moon phases, it has forced us to prioritize. So it was all about planting and transplanting this week. We purchased a Surinam Cherry tree and a Rainbow Shower tree, finally found some strawberry plants at Wal-Mart, tackled the bird problem in the garden and planted more seeds (brussel sprouts, corn and beans), went to the eye doctor because of mysterious redness in my right eye and we finished refinishing the components of our Thonet dining chairs. Oh, and the most important especially special thing was planting a bunch of coco palms because after all, we are cuckoo for them. (one of which is pictured above)

Thursday, May 10, 2007


This is growing behind the shed. Anyone have any idea what it might be? I've looked in the few books of Hawaiian flora that we have and came up empty. It's kind of shrubby, but it's been pruned that way.

UPDATE: Heather in Austin gets the prize-it's a Brazilian Plume Flower, Jacobinia carnea.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Sunday morning we took an early morning hike just a short walk down the road from the house. It was a pretty steep descent leading to the bottom... black rocky coves and tide pools with wild surf. We literally pulled ourselves back up from the bottom of the valley.
We're going down there?
Are we there yet?
A view from where we came from. We pulled ourselves back up with the assistance of a rope between the 2 clusters of trees.
The rocky shoreline.
What are you two looking at?Come on... not much further.
What a view. Waipio Bay backed by Haleakala. Yeah...the is the same slope we went down and came back up. You can see why we needed the assistance of the ropes.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I was out trimming back an aggresive passion vine when I uncovered this little guy attempting to do the same. After doing a bit of research, it turns out it's a Gulf Fritillary I thought I had discovered a rare, exotic caterpillar, only to find out it's common throughout the US. Oh well, it was a first for me at least.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


With the guest roster filling up, we decided it would be best to put up a curtain on the small window in the bathroom that faces our lanai. I made this one out of white linen and stretched it between 2 tension rods... one on top and one on bottom. I thought the plain white panel was a little blah, so I wandered around the yard and found an monstera leaf, maile-scented fern (the upermost leaf) and another fern I have not identified yet. I painted each leaf with white silkscreen paint then pressed them onto the face of the curtain. The pattern is a bit mre pronounced than I expected, but I really love it. I also love the way it is equally as nice from the outside. Next project... the fabric I bought for the digning chairs is now going to be the new sofa covering. The dining chairs are now going to be a cardboard colored linen that I have had for years. I think it will suit the chairs better than the barkcloth. I am thinking about doing a single gold monstera leaf print on the seat... but I'm not sure yet. Stay tuned.

From outside at night.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Hello kids. I haven't posted anything in while because, well...because i've been busy damn it! We finally planted the seeds in the garden and there is still room for more...we need to plant corn and beans and especially strawberries. Sigh. I remember picking strawberries with my mom at Greig Farm in upstate in New York and eating every other one (I was a slow picker). There is nothing like fresh strawberrries warmed by the sun. After lots of reading up on the subject of planting a garden, I decided to just put the seeds in the ground and see what happens. No fancy compost, no miracle fertilizer. Then, if it grows, great--we will have saved ourselves the trouble of getting all of that stuff. If nothing grows, then we know we have to get creative (I draw the line at manure though) I started a compost pile but that will take a few months.

Here I am in the field of weeds that was destined to be the garden.

And here it is now. One thing I did read that i found helpful was that you should at all costs not walk on your garden beds and keep others from doing so as well to prevent the soil from getting compacted. Paths and smaller beds make that a reality.

Another view. I wish I had the "after, after" shot where everything is green and growing. In a few weeks hopefully!