Monday, February 16, 2009

Sea Glass Beach

Across a big green golf course, down a sandy path, around the bushes, and finally down to the shore, we reach a beautiful secluded beach. We are two of only three people within a mile stretch of sand, accompanied by one other local old fisherman. Storm clouds in the hills contrast with the blue sunny sky shining over the ocean and David and I decide to go on an adventure to comb the beach and see what treasures this new land might hold.

Large slabs of aged dark black lava flow divide the sand from the waterline. Tidepools filled with purple coral and tiny fish are speckled throughout the valleys of the lava formations and small waterfalls flow as the small shorebreak washes in refilling the tidepools like Niagra. The sand is smooth with no footprints giving away the signs of others having been there. Grabbing a stick I dig the big letters, "Sea Babe," in the sand, figuring I had to seize the opportunity. As we make our way along the shore, we start to notice a few pieces of seaglass mixed in with the debris, and soon enough we're finding piece after piece of beautiful sea glass. Dark greens, brown, white, and my favorite, light blue pop out from the beige sandy shore and even hide just inside the waterline. We spend the next couple hours scouring the beach and even wading through the water for pieces we could possibly use in some jewelry and leave with great additions to our current collection. We've been back a few other times and call this spot our secret seaglass beach, for which we feel very blessed to have found.

After finding our seaglass, I wanted to get a little more informed so I checked out the North American Sea Glass Association online. I learned about the specific differences between
Genuine Sea Glass vs. Artificially Tumbled craft glass. Genuine Sea Glass originates from discarded bottles and tableware or glass from shipwrecks and household items lost in natural disasters. Here in Hawaii, the seaglass is mostly from beer bottles tossed in the water by fishermen. I found a ton of dark green seaglass and people do drink a lot of Heinekens here. Haha!

The rarest colors of seaglass are orange, red, yellow, cobalt blue, purple, turquoise, "black," and vaseline.

Genuine seaglass may have "C" shaped patterns on the surface.

Monday, February 2, 2009

There are many believed stories about how Valentine's Day came to be, but after reading a few versions, this one was my favorite...Supposedly a Christian martyr named St. Valentine was thrown in jail and while he was fulfilling his sentence he fell on love with the jailer's daughter. She would secretly come visit him in jail and the night before he was executed he wrote a love letter to her, in which he signed it, "From your Valentine," hence the idea of giving Valentine cards.

What would Valentine's Day be without a little romantic music? There are a lot of classics out there, but I put myself on the mission to find a wide range of Valentine's Day songs that caught my attention for one reason or another. So if you like playlists, this one goes out to all those lovebirds celebrating the day.

"Gimmie Love" Collie Buddz
"Love is the Drug" Roxy Music
"Love You Madly" Cake
"Love Song" 311
"Sugar, Sugar" Bob Marley & The Wailers
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe" Barry White
"Don't Dream It's Over" Crowded House
"Crazy Love" Van Morrison
"Groovy Kind of Love" Phil Collins
"And I Love Him" LTJ X-Perience
"Light My Fire" Black Mighty Orchestra

Some nice things from a few of our friends. Sorry we couldn't fit everyone!

Who is Mitchell?

Mithell is the son of Gail of the Etsy Shop whatshername. Mitchell is a talented cardmaker with special abilities and disabilities. He absolutely loves Etsy hearts!

I am 26.
I live in N.C.
I like to watch movies,keeping up with birthdays(family,friends,&church),being with friends,walking,bowling,eating out,time on the computer and some TV.
My fav color is red.
My fav food is cheese burgers.
The next project is maybe some Easter cards and Mother's & Father's Day cards(as well as the birthday cards).
I like selling to different areas and being in treasuries on etsy.I also sold cards at our church craft show.
*He started out doing birthday cards as a hobby. He still sends to some of his friends at school and to alot of family members. His class at church sends them to all church memebers. (He doesn't make all of those cards. ;>)

Mitchell and Gail are true inspirations. Don't forget to give his cards a little love for Valentines day!

Coupled up? This year why don't you...

...greet them first thing in the morning with something special whether it's a handmade flower arrangement, coffee just the way they like it, or even an actual valentine-this will get the day off on the right foot.

...Each be on your best behavior. Everyone hates the Holiday drama!

...get them something specific they mentioned. This could be something they wouldn't splurge for themselves on, or even something simple that they need to pick up, like a new toothbrush.

...hold hands. If only for this day, it seems to bring two people together.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinatown Giveaway!

CHINATOWN GIVEAWAY: To enter, just check out "Our trip to Chinatown" and leave us a comment. Make sure we have your e-mail please. We'll enter all names in a drawing to win one of our Chinatown collection Jade Wire Wrapped Ring in your size! One winner to be selected and notified by Febuary 15th, 2009 5pm PST

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Our Trip to Chinatown

"Please take a ticket," a small voice from the ticket booth says as we pull into the Chinatown Municipal Parking Garage. David and I park and are soon in the microcosm called Chinatown within the large city of Honolulu. As we step out onto the streets, we move into a steady flow of pedestrian traffic moving like clockwork as people bob and weave through eachother, delivery dollies full of boxes, and loads of produce being brought to the market for the day. Many of the people are indeed Chinese and this seems to be their daily routine. It's a beautiful sunny day and we've come to take in the Chinatown experience that we've already grown to love through our previous adventures here on quest for unique pieces to incorporate into our jewelry designs and display.

We start by visiting the produce vendors. There are heaps upon heaps of fresh fruits and vegetables lining the streets. David snaps some pics because the colors look so vibrant and delicious. Bok Choy, Jabong, lychee, and I even spot some fruits with names I can't pronounce. It's an overwhelming variety! As we keep meandering through the crowds, we enter the meat market. Here butchers chop fresh meat and slop it on scales right before your eyes. Pig heads, hoofs and even the skins line the cases. "Splash," I look behind me and see a large tub filled with catfish splasing and practically jumping out of their bin as if trying to make an escape. Fish tanks swimming with live fish like Uhu, milk fish, sun fish, and so many others create a steady humming sound mixed with the banter of vendors and customers making deals and purchases. Plucked chickens strung by their wing in long uniform rows and shiny shrimp lay in huge piles from which you hand pick your own to buy. Many smells fill the air-both good and not so good and we pick up on them all as we pass through. Yum...that smell is the food court and plate lunch is the main draw. Huge pans of authentic Chinese cooking made from fresh ingredients are served in heaping scoopfulls with all kinds of rice, noodles, meats, veggies, and sauces. We continue on and find many small family owned Chinese restaurants are interspersed along the streets as well, and we are suddenly halted by a window display with Dim Sum being served for lunch. Wow! I can't believe how pretty it all looks, like little works of art, all handmade, hot, and steaming right before our eyes. This is David's favorite and he says it's some of the best food he's ever eaten!
As we move on, we see an older man handpainting signs in honor of Chinese New Year coming up January 26th. It is year of the Ox and we choose a painting that reads, "May your business flourish." We'll post it in our workshop and hope it brings us luck!

We've come today also on a mission to find a money tree to add to our farmer's market display table, so we enter into the Maunukea Market. Two cute little girls sit eating their plate lunch in the back of one of the shops and we ask if we can take their picture. Their mom says "10 dollar, no just kidding!" Rows and rows of miniature bamboo shoots and money trees line the large metal racks. Certain animals, like frogs, that hold significance in the Chinese culture decorate the vases. David spots the perfect tree and we leave, victoriously, with our prized money tree.
One stop is a must for us everytime we come here, and that's Kimi's Bead shop. I can still remember how amazed I was the first time I stepped through the door. Strands upon strands of everything you could imagine fill the walls, aisles and every place in between. Huge cases of all kinds and colors of pearls, red coral, Chinese turqouise, carved stone and wood, cinnabar, and really unique beads that we've come to love and use in our "Chinatown" line of jewelry. Our best find here came one afternoon when we happened to be on a quest for a variety of nice round beads or stones for our handmade wire wrapped ring design. I had been rumaging around for a few minutes already when I spotted them. Beautiful real Chinese Jade balls in the perfect size we were looking for. I called David over and he too noticed them right away, confirming that we had to have them. We call one of the workers over to get a price, and we can't believe how reasonable they are. Sold, we say, and head to the register with the rest of our finds. As we are about to hand over the money, an older Chinese lady appears from the back and the two start talking in Chinese back and forth, we don't understand but it seems that the worker is in some kind of trouble. In the end, the lady tells us that we got a really good deal and that her son, the worker, sold us the real Jade for too cheap. What a find! The Chinese say jade brings good luck and in this case, it definatly did for us.

As we walk along our journey, I can't help but notice the great variety in people all gathered within these few streets. Mainly Chinese, but also tourists, eclectics, shopkeepers, homeless, and we even spotted a couple transvestites. Being the perpetual people watcher that I am, I am easily intrigued by these random individuals and enjoy just observing. One man catches our attention by strolling the courtyard singing to a bunch of flowers he has acquired. He boldly poses for his picture to be taken, and David snapped it. In such stark contrast, we then pass by and quickly turn back around to peak in on two ladies quietly hand stringing beautiful leis in a small broken down building. They have a grace about them that is so elegant and their work is just beautiful. We are the minority and it feels like we stick out amoung this place, but what an adventure and so much to see and apreciate!

If we had more time, we could have stopped in to check out some of the art galleries that also make up a good portion of Chinatown. Art is promoted in many forms, and one of my personal favorite galleries features an artist that uses surfboards as their canvas. Within the same gallery is another artist that handpaints really colorful trucker and fidora hats with skulls, and birds, and tattoo like inspired art. Every first friday of the month, Chinatown hosts an art walk called "First Friday" and this is when we like to come check out such galleries and also vintage shops. The streets line with vendors, all doors are open, wine is served, and live music pours out of all the bars and restaurants. If you ever get a chance to come check out "First Friday," it also happens to lead up to a fun night out of dancing and socializing as the afterparty continues at places like Indigo and Hotel 39. The lights dim and the whole Chinatown day vibe turns into more of a nightlife aura with D.J.'s and live bands playing a large variety in playlists.

Well, it's back to work for us. Time to head back to the workshop with our finds. We'll be back another day for more of the great culture Chinatown has to offer us, and as always a few great beads along the way. For more about Chinatown, visit