Monday, August 30, 2010


Yesterday was one of those lazy Sunday's for me.  My husband and son had to drive to the east side of the island for an athletic function and my daughter and I opted to stay home and "relax".  About 15 minutes after the "boys" left home, I got a sudden urge to sew.  But I wanted to sew w/my daughter and was trying to think of away to get her involved and away from those little electronic gadgets that consumes time away from the "real world"....Sitting in the distance I saw that fabric that my daughter purchased for her BACK TO SCHOOL BAG we made together just a few weeks ago.   Bingo!  I called her in, we sat togehter and brainstormed what would be worth both our time to make out of her fabric.  I suggesed a top for school....She gladly obliged.... Off we went, cut, snip, trace, pin, etc., etc...In just a few hours, it was done!  Pattern is McCalls 5573, blouse A.
She's so proud of it!  The cute top was worn to school today....with the matching bag:

Job well done!

Oh, she's already thinking what to make the next time the "boys" are away....What did you make today?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I haven't been sewing much lately.  Yardwork has been calling my name to tend to those "I'll do it later" projects. This is one of my zen things that allows me to spend time to myself and be productive in a way that I can share with others....  My orchids actually have been consuming most of my time in the yard and garden.  Keeping them happy allows them to bloom and provide me with beautiful blooms. 

I remember my first Orchid gift came from an amazing person I worked with "Theresa" whom we all call "Gramma".   I believe it was a gift for my wedding shower about some 18 years ago and was quite amazed how long the beautiful delicate flowers lasted....get this, for three months!  This is when my Orchid addiction started.  From there, I've visited Orchid shows, purchased orchids from the local farm and garden shops where flowerless Orchids were sold for almost nothing.  My goal was to revive them and surprise myself with a bloom.  

Orchid farmers have educated me and inspired me in the care of these precious creatures...the less you do, the better!  Here are a few of my plants that have given me blooms this year:

Mrs. Joanz blooms

What kind of flower do you treasure?

Monday, August 23, 2010


I've been craving for something sweet and homemade BUT want to make a sweet treat that will satisfy everyone in my family.  Me, gotta have nuts (macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, whatever, you name it, just gotta have nuts!).  My kids, gotta have chocolate (white, milk, dark, whatever chocolate!).  My husband, love them all; but oats, he love oats the most!  So, what's out there with nuts, chocolate and oats?  Found it!  Found it here.  Press on "recipe",then desserts and treats and scroll to CHOCOLATE OAT SQUARES.

Here is the recipe if you are unable to download it:


1 cup plus 2 tbsp butter or margarine, divided
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs (I had mine at room temperature)
4 tsp vanilla extract, divided
3 cups quick-cooking oats
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp baking soda
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream 1 cup butter and brown sugar.  Beat in eggs & 2 tsp vanilla.  Combine the oats, flour, salt and baking soda in a seperate bowl; stir into creamed mixture.  Press 2/3 of oat mixture into a greased 9" x 13" baking stone (or pan).  It's also fine in an 8" x 8" pan.  You'll just have taller squares.

In a saucepan combine milk, chocolate chips and remaining butter and salt.  Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted.  Remove from the heat; stir in walnuts & remaining vanilla.  Spread over crust.  Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool.  Cut into squares.

Yield:  4 dozen

Anyone want to join me for some yummy homeade goody?

Recipe review results: thumbs up!  Thank you Beckly Higgins for sharing this yummy recipe on your blog and thank YOU for visiting!

Friday, August 20, 2010


Today is a State Holiday where we observe the day Hawaii became part of this great country. 

Hawaii’s Statehood Day commemorates Hawaii’s admission as a state on August 21, 1959. In 1898 the United States annexed Hawaii, which was declared as a “necessary” navy base for the conduct of the Spanish-American War. The United States’ interests coveted the islands for some time. During World War II, Oahu served as the command post for the US operations in the Pacific. Large portions of Hawaii were turned over for the US military bases. After the war, two-thirds of the residents favored statehood.

However, because of the many ethnicities present, there was resistance to Hawaii’s statehood from segregated southern states. A primary election took place in Hawaii on June 27, 1959, and various statehood propositions received many votes on that day. Following the certification of the election results, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation on August 21, 1959, declaring Hawaii to be the 50th state. This was known as Admission Day until 2001.

There is a fair amount of debate surrounding this holiday, which has sparked discussions among locals. Some say that the day, which was formerly known as Admission Day, should either be removed or celebrated on a larger scale. There are those who say that no official celebrations are held on the day and describe it as a silent day. Many opinions voice out that the anniversary of statehood is virtually ignored. Some people write messages or newspaper articles to promote the holiday, wishing the state a “happy birthday”.


Thursday, August 19, 2010


My cousin, "Holly", is a very talented bag/tote designer/maker and has inspired me to try out bag/tote making after seeing her creations.  Recently, I picked up an "envelope" from the Post Office and was really excited to see the return addy was from Holly.  

Aside from the goodies she packed for my two kids, she also packed me the cutest reversible handmade tote:

I have to give full credit to my at the time 9-year old "photographer" daughter who insisted this is THE photo for this post.   Why, of course it is!  Totally love the length of the handles and the size of the tote is perfect for many uses! 

She sewed in a strap on each side of the top to tie it closed and also sewed in pockets (I love pockets!).  It was perfect for my Farmers Market trip.  Got lots of looks w/smiles when they saw my tote so I take that as a compliment!  Love the earthy warm colors she used!

These are just a few of her fabulous handmade gifts that I am so lucky to be the recipient of:

Thanks Holly, I appreciate them all!  Don't you just love gifts that are handmade!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Here's a "healthy noodle salad" I want to share with you.  This is a quick and easy salad my family enjoys.  My daughter shared this recipe in her elementary class during Healthy Week where students demonstrated how to make something healthy to eat. 


1.  Chop into bite size pieces raw vegetables such as:

1 summer squash
1 carrot
1/4 of a head red cabbage
1-2 broccolli heads (I par boiled mine for this posting to give it a nice dark green color)
Shelled Edamame
Colored sweet peppers

2.  Cook a package spaghetti noodles (about 500g) according to directions on packagage.  Drain, rinse and set aside.

3.  Make sauce.  Mix together:
1/2 cup low sodium tamari (found in the oriental section of the supermarket)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

4.  Put noodles in a large bowl:

5.  Add raw vegetables:

6.  Add sauce and toss.

7.  Serve and enjoy!

In the past, I've tossed this salad with grilled shrimp, chicken, salmon and/or tempah with great results.  The colors of the vegetables are amazing and makes it a big hit at potlucks and bbq picnics!  My daughter's class enjoyed this and asked for seconds!  Oh, don't forget to add, if you have on hand, freshly chopped parsely and green onion for garnish, it does makes a difference. 

Hope your family enjoys this as much as mine.  This can be made one day prior, just toss prior to serving.  Oh, one more thing, there were times I substituted the spaghetti noodles with others such as:  ramen, somen, and angel hair pasta and it was just as delish!  Get creative and try it with groumet organic flavored pastas, too! Yummy!


Thursday, August 12, 2010


Here's a bag I have to share with you...I made it for my daughter since she was enrolled in the local P&R summer fun program and they had excusions to the local swimming pool as well as the nearby beaches.  It was clear that she needed a beach bag that was functional for her.  Luckily, the local fabric store, Discount Fabric Warehouse was having another "sale" and I found some really cool vinyl with and without print.  I wanted a bag where she could easily retrieve her items w/out having to dig through all the contents so using a clear vinyl was a thought;  however, I couldn't resist the tropical printed vinyl as it was really pretty.

Went through my sewing library and dug up a pattern from All People Quilt's website here and actually made the bag using only the exterior shell of the free reuseable market bag pattern .  As it turns out, it is the perfect summer beach bag.  It was large enough for a large beach towel, xtra change of clothes, her lunch, all the other little tidbits (brush, sunscreen....).  

There's a pocket in the front ther little things:

Handles were perfect for over the shoulder....Here's a little peek of the bottom where she can see what's in her bag....

Defiitely will make more since here in Hawaii, it's always summer and there's always a recipient for a "Summer Beach Bag".

 At the end of my daughter's beach excursion day, she brought home a bunch of sand that was not invited in our home so she emptied out her bag in the yard, hosed it down clean and left it out overnight to dry....Yes!  One less thing for me to worry about.  Perfect! 

Next on my "To Do List" is to try out the pattern as it is made for, a Reuseable Market Bag....Have YOU tried it, yet?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


First of all, I must apologize for the lack of blogging.  We were out of state to support a youth basketball team that traveled to Las Vegas.....Yes, it was FUN, FUN, FUN!  The basketball team gained experience and exposure that cannot even put a price on it!  Although they didn't win every game, they all had fun.  There were a few that visited Sin City for the first time and they had a blast!  All the hard work and fundraisers was worth it!  After a few weeks away, it was nice to come back home.  As Dorothy of Wizard Of Oz stated, "There's no place like home.".   So true!

Back to blogging.....

Can you believe it's already August?  Most schools in our area here started on August 2nd and we all know
how important a "good" bag is for all the homework that goes home.  Well, remember the Burda messenger bag  that was posted back in April.?......This was on my to-do list for the new school year, BUT then I thought about it.  If my daughter picked her own fabrics and sewed her own bag, it would be appreciated more.  So, during my recent blogging, I stumbled upon a site and found a bag pattern that I thought would suit my daughter's sewing skills and school needs. 

We took a trip to the fabric store where she picked her own fabrics on her own.  I went ahead and cut the pattern pieces out for her as well as fused woven interfacing to give it a little more strength for her text books.  We pinned the pieces together, she sewed, turned, etc...I gave it a good iron to smooth out the wrinkles and wallah, here she is:

Her favorite character on the fabric is this cute little girl with a pink dress and her Japanese fan:

Oh, the pattern of this bag is KWIK SEW # 3749:

This pattern is perfect for the beginner sewer as it has only four peices and zero hardware.  It fits a 2" binder and a few composition tablets amongst a few little more knick knacks perfectly!

Also, the model is "Eden".  I got her from a boutique that I frequent and is closing it's doors soon.  The owner, Lisa, was nice enough to sell her to me for a great deal!  Thank you Lisa and I wish you all the luck and success in your new career! 

I enjoyed the quality time w/my 9-year old.  With every project, she teaches me more than I could ever teach her!  It took just part of an afternoon to complete her bag.  I have a feeling we'll be making more of these cute bags together.  I can't wait!  Wadda ya think?