14 Jan

It’s Crafturday! (5) The Hawaiian-ish Edition


It’s customary in Hawai’i to give lei on special occasions. The event could be a birthday, a graduation, congratulations on a job well done, or a welcome to the islands. Normally, lei are flowers, but sometimes they are made of shells, candy, origami lucky stars, or paper blossoms. My sister and her family arrive today, and while she and my BIL will be bedecked in flowers and kukui nuts, I figured she wouldn’t appreciate candy for her young kids, and conversely, the kids wouldn’t appreciate the fresh flowers.

So I got crafting. I’m definitely NOT the first to make this kind of lei. Elementary school teachers have been helping kids churn these out by the dozens every May for Lei Day. They make theirs from construction paper, but I used double sided scrapbooking paper for a fancier look. I really wanted aloha prints, but my stupid craft store which used to have them no longer carries such regional stuff, and I wasn’t willing to drive all over the island looking for hibiscus patterned paper. But, I digress. I used two punches to cut out about 40 flowers from three different papers.

After punching out the flowers, cut about 6 regular drinking straws into 3/4 inch bits. Cut a piece of string about 60″ long and thread it onto a large needle. Tie a knot about 6 inches from the end of the string. Poke the needle through the center of a flower to thread it onto the string. Add a straw section, then another flower, then a straw section, and so on until you’ve used up all the flowers. Tie another knot after the last flower. Put a straw bit on both tail ends of the string (as spacers) and tie the ends together with a square knot. If desired you can cover this plain knot with a little bow or puff of curly ribbon. Plastic pony beads instead of straw sections looks really nice too, but remember to punch out about twice as many flowers.

Place lei over the head of a deserving kid and give them a big hug and kiss. Aloha!

09 May

Flowers for Mother’s Day

Actually, these are my lei from the quilt show reception, and the rest of the flowers below were for Lei Day, but since I didn’t post them then, they’ll do just as well now.

The highlight of the Lei Day festival is the lei contest where local lei makers compete for ribbons in several categories. Here are just a few of my favorites (so hard to choose!).

The lei in the center is the Mayor’s Choice winner by Bill Char. The monstera leaf surround is just it’s “frame.”

I liked the bold colors (and thought of Deborah’s love for all things green and purple) on this one by Nikita Lenchanko.

All the white lei were beautiful, but I particularly liked the one on the left by Kathleen Tanaka. Sorry, I didn’t get the name of the other one’s maker.

Laure Adaro had several lei there and I liked them all. This one with larkspur was my favorite.

Hot pink, by Randy Akau, for my daughter.

Even kids were competing. This is one by Austin Dela Cruz in the 9-12 year old category was one of my favorites.

In addition to the flowers, there were crafts booths, food, dance and music. Oh, and my man Jason (of the beautiful luau), decorated the pavilion (though my photo doesn’t show it off at all — trust me, he did a wonderful job).

15 Sep


We hadn’t been to the beach in a few weekends, so we went to Pupukea Beach this morning to explore the tidepools.

The tide pools were OK, the rock clambering was great, and I just like saying “poo-poo-kay-ah.” Zavi impressed us with his knowledge of the various volcanic rocks. A’a is the really rough stuff (you can remember that because you’d probably say “ah, ah” or worse if you walked on it barefoot). The smoother rock is pahoehoe (pah-ho-ay-ho-ay?) which he likes much better.

Then, because we were on the North Shore, we went to Matsumoto’s (home of the original Shave Ice).

I went for Green Tea flavor this time (very refreshing).

And because commenter Sally M said I should, I went for the adzuki beans this time. I have to admit, the beans didn’t do much for me. They are nice and sweet, but still beany — which is weird with ice and ice cream. I am now on a mission to become a Shave Ice connoisseur. Our next quest will be to find the Dave’s closest to us and try the Shave Ice with Mochi balls. Zavi says he wants to try a bubble drink (so much so that he’s willing to go to the laundromat with me).

Next to Matsumoto’s is a cute little gift and housewares shop. I went in looking for plastic tumblers with 40s-style travel poster images or old C&H Sugar ads on them for a bit of retro Hawai’i kitsch on my lanai. They didn’t have any, but they did have a gorgeous book, Lei Aloha, that we came away with.

Which, of course, led to trying one of leis since we had the right plant in our yard.

Not bad for a first try!

I hope you had a nice Sunday too.