This morning, while waiting for our truck inspection, we decided to while away the time at Richardson’s Beach Park in Keaukaha on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It’s hard to believe this is winter though we have had our share of rain lately…but not today. It is cool enough for jeans, but not cold enough for a jacket (unless I’m in a grocery store where it seems arctic!). I whipped out my camera, which I now take with me everywhere, and took some photos of this picturesque park.
Richardson’s Beach Park
Richardson’s Beach Park, Keaukaha, Hawai’i
The palms of Keaukaha
a guide for the snorkelers in the area
Ki’ihele enjoying the perfect island day
It just doesn’t get better than this for a winter day. I’m at the beach park and it’s snowing up on Mauna Kea although it’s still a little too overcast to see from here. Maybe, if it doesn’t melt quickly, I will take a drive up the mountain and take pictures of the Hawaiian snow for another post.
English: Graduating Class of the Kamehameha School for Boys, 1896. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just when I’m afraid the aloha spirit is waning I take a trip to Kea’au campus of Kamehameha School for their annual ho’olaule’a. This a yearly event at all three campuses–O’ahu, Maui, Hawai’i and is the major fundraiser for each of the schools. There are always Hawaiian crafts, tons of food, plant sales, silent auction, and the highlight for me, the entertainment…music and hula. The schools are privately owned by the Pauahi Bishop Estate. Pauahi Bishop saw a need in educating children of Hawaiian descent to be “industrious human beings” so in her will she stipulated that her extensive estate go toward building a school. It is not easy to get into Kamehameha School. You must have a birth certificate proving you have koko maoli or the blood line, you are tested both personally and academically. My other half graduated from Kamehameha Schools at a time when it was run militarily. The students wore uniforms, the girls and boys lived and were educated in separate parts of the campus, Hawaiian language was not a subject. Times have changed, but the premise of giving Hawaiian children the best education possible remains their number one priority. Now, they learn Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian dance, Hawaiian games, Hawaiian music along with a stringent academic program. Everyone who ever attended the school has a certain pride they carry with them forever. Most go on to succeed in college, many succeed as musicians and song writers. Many continue their education at the University of Hawaii where they have an extensive program in Hawaiian language arts. Some go on to teach at Hawaiian language schools as Punana Leo or Nawahikalaniopu’u or become professors at the Universities around the state. University of Hawai’i at Hilo has a large Hawaiian language department and many professors went to Kamehameha schools.
After attending the ho’olaule’a I know that aloha will always be a part of Hawai’i. The future generations of beautiful Hawaiian boys and girls will see to it that it is never lost.
Conch Shell Blowers
Young men preparing to dance
ancient hula (hula kahiko)
Beautiful Hawaiian girls carrying on the traditions of oli and hula kahiko
English: Bernice Pauahi Bishop from the Kamehameha Schools Photo Archives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A few people have asked me how I make my na hula pa’u (hula skirts) so I thought I would walk you through the one I’m making for my shop today. I don’t consider this a tutorial, just a glimpse of the process. So…
The first thing I do is lay the fabric flat wrong side up across my bed (I know, but my sewing table is too small for the adult size pa’u.) I then fold over what will become the underskirt (wrong side to wrong side) measure and pin. This pa’u will be 29″ when finished so I measure it at 31″. The gathers will take up a little more than an inch and I usually use about 5/8 for the hem. I set the pins toward the bottom of the underskirt so they don’t interfere with the sewing later. Once pinned, I’m ready to sew up my side seam. I unfold the underskirt and sew a 3/8″ seam which creates a circle of fabric. Then I’m ready to sew my channels. I need three channels for elastic, one for a ruffle at the top and two separating the elastic channels. Therefore, I need to sew six lines all together. I have marked tape on my sewing machine to help me keep my lines straight and spaced right. After all the channels are sewn, I’m ready to put in the elastic.
A: I measure and then pin toward the bottom of the underskirt.
B: Six LONG channels. I suppose this could get tedious, but I listen to Hawaiian music and it helps pass the time.
My pictures are out-of-order and I can’t seem to move them…Onward. See I said it wasn’t a tutorial…at this point I serge the side seam from the hem up to the channels and the underskirt. Now for the fun part–putting in the elastic. First you need to open up the back seam where the elastic goes through. Then we thread the elastic. There are many ways of doing this, some use chopsticks, some an untwisted coat hanger, some use a large safety-pin. Whatever you use, it is much easier to do all three pieces of elastic at the same time. This takes a lot of patience and is usually when most people give up on “doing it themselves”.
In goes the elastic.
I have a sharp ripper so I do this very carefully.
As the elastic is threaded it will start to gather. Once all the elastic is threaded through the channels, they are sown together.
sewing the elastic ends together using a zig zag stitch.
The gathers are beginning to take shape.
Once the ends are sewn, you can move the gathers all around the skirt so they are even. Hem the bottom, and DANCE!
Tada! All done, ready for the shop. I like this fabric. I comes in red, green, orange, blue and purple.
A few days ago the island of Hawai’i joined Maui and Kaua’i in implementing the “bag ban”. Because we live on an tropical island, water surrounds us. We have forests and because we are somewhat isolated we have a lot of endangered species. There has been a problem with bags ending up in the ocean, rivers or in trees. These endangered species–the green turtle (Honu), the Monk seals, any number of birds, fish see them as food or building materials. I have seen turtles with bags wrapped around their flippers making swimming from predators a little chancy. Birds choke on them, fish think they’re bait. It’s been an uphill battle for several years. It’s easy to throw veggies and bread in a bag with handles, easy for the elderly to tote, so many people didn’t want to give them up. I’ve been using cloth bags for years, but occasionally I get a plastic bag. I re-use it for everything from lining the waste paper baskets to re-purposing them as water bottle holders. They are handy. However, I can remember when I was young, we didn’t use plastic bags for groceries. We didn’t line everything with plastic, we just emptied the waste basket, washed it and put it back on the floor. Convenience has taken the place of a little elbow grease.
With all that said, today I found something that is even better than a cloth bag. I must admit it is plastic and has metal handles, but is so easy to put things in, will last a long long time and is so darn cute! I now have my very own shopping basket. Not only is it roomy and easy to load, but it folds up like a baby stroller. I’m extremely partial to the print as this is the same print on the tissue paper I use to wrap my hula attire for my Etsy shop. I already have two re-useable bags made of this same print, so now I have a matching set. The next time I go to the grocery story, I’m will be stylin’!
Now isn’t this just the greatest idea? I can’t wait to go to the store! Ha, I never thought I would ever say that! Not my favorite activity. I would rather be in my little sewing studio making colorful hula skirts. But, this should make the experience a little more enjoyable.