Paint and Sip

Over the years I’ve heard of Paint and Sip parties but have never the opportunity to attend one until today. This was a fun(d)- raiser for the daughter of alaka’i of our hula class. Tehani is running for Miss Hawai’i Teen America so I wanted to help support her in that effort. I had no idea what to expect. What fun! Along with the Merlot and Chardonnay we had pizza, katzu chicken, pork and string beans, sushi, veggies and dip and a variety of cheese and crackers…and did I say wine?

We each were given a table easel along with an 8×10 canvas and an example to follow. The painting we were to try to copy became just a memory as each of us “made it our own”. Several did get a very close to the original, but many decided to add to, subject from or just totally change the topic altogether. The original was that of a huge moon which covered the top half of the bigger canvas. Under the moon was a silhouette of Mauna Kea with palm leaves and the ocean in the forefront. Melia did a very Tolkienesque landscape in soft watercolor like purples, blues and pinks, with a touch of gold and a little greenery.  Patty went with a smaller moon with the fluttery leaves of ohi’a in the top corners. I decided to depict my mountain with a snowy top. I have four leaves instead of three. I put my moon into the corner, but generally stuck with the program as painting is certainly not my forte. I took photos of my progress along the way. In the end I didn’t hate it though it isn’t quality work, but for my first painting, well, I don’t hate it.

My first attempt.

 

Adding the palm fronds and the shoreline.

 

This is coming along, but the snow looked too “pointy”. So three glasses of Merlot later, I change it once again…about the tenth time!  I softened the snow and at this point I also added a sprinkling of stars using a cool splatter technique. I then added my favorite constellation–Orion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Added stars, smoothed out the snow…all pau!

This was a fun experience. It has given me some insight into where my creativity lies. This evidently is not as an acrylic paint artist. I will continue to keep on my path as a fabric artist!

 

 

 

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Secret Places

With this stupid Windows10 program, this post will have no continuity AT ALL. So, just stay with me.

I have lived on the Island of Hawai’i “The Big Island” for over 40 years it took a newcomer to the island to show me one of the most beautiful places on the island. I’m sure it has a lovely Hawaiian name which, of course, I do not know, but Bill calls is Glass Beach. It is of volcanic origin and is not quite sand. Instead the beach is comprised of tiny smooth rocks and bits of polished glass. The wave break is quite strong, not a swimming type of beach, but the wave action is strong and tumbles the rocks and glass together. It was like treasure hunting. I collected bits of green, cobalt blue, amber and white.  I have no idea of where the glass comes from– maybe Japan, or Tahiti, or Bora Bora, or maybe just up the Hamakua Coast. The weather at my house was beautiful– warm and sunny, but unfortunately, it was a rainy day here. Rain has never bothered me, but the photos are not as clear as they would’ve been. The walk down past a meandering river was spectacular…a few more photos though I have no idea where they will land as they are flying into all the wrong places.

I would like to go back again, on a sunny day and dance hula next to the river. It is quite inspiring.20170302_141727

The river bank had changed and was delivering some forest debris to the oceanside.
The river bank had changed and was delivering some forest debris to the ocean side.
Some of the path down was paved with large stones making it an easy trek
Some of the path down with large stones making it an easy trek
At the river with my bag of glass and smooth rocks.
At the river with my bag of glass and smooth rocks.

 

Showing a bit of a railroad tressle. A train use to go up the river from a mill
Showing a bit of a railroad trestle. A train use to go up the river from a mill

Reflections on a RiverReflections

 

The trail was like a walk through Jarassic Park
The trail was like a walk through Jarassic Park

Winter Golf in Kapalua, Maui, Hawai’i

I am not a great golfer, not even a good golfer, but I have played a few times and enjoyed it. I occasionally watch a major tournament on TV and am familiar with all the top names. When I found out that I would be off on the first day of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions with a line up that included Patrick Reed (last years winner), Jordan Spieth (who won five tournaments last year), Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson and the “old man” David Love III, there was no way I was going to miss this opportunity.

I arrived in the morning to the parking lot and was transported by Roberts Hawaii (the company I work for) on a huge motor coach with individual lights, air and TV. It was like being on an airplane. We arrived at the Kapalua Plantation Course about 20 minutes before the first tee off. I found a bleacher seat on the first hole and watched while one after the other hit the ball looking like it would finally land on the island of Moloka’i! Phew, but they hit those balls hard!
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It was a perfect Hawaiian summer day in winter. There was a very light breeze, 83 degrees, the fairways were soft due to a rain the night before, but the greens were extremely fast. I watched all the teams tee off before going on to the course to walk a bit. Because the course was built on the side of a mountain it is way too high up for a trek in sandals, so while the groups were going from hole to hole about a 1000 ft. up I was enjoying lunch at the clubhouse.

Plantation Clubhouse
Plantation Clubhouse

One fun thing I was able to do was to have a mini-lesson with a PGA pro. I watched him correcting previous golfers and golfers-to be. When I stepped up he asked if I had played before and I told him a few times. He just said let me see your swing and he placed a ball on a pad at my feet. I did remember much of what my ex-boyfriend had taught me so I placed my feet and swung. It felt perfect. He looked at me and said, “you should be playing golf”. He asked me to take a few more swings and each ball just sailed into the backdrop just where it was suppose to. Finally, he just said, “you should just play!”. I felt really good. I think I will get out my clubs and go to Pukalani a little way down the mountain to take a little practice swing or two.

The leaderboard changed throughout the day. But some the of top players started slowly climbing up the board.

Kapalua, Maui
Kapalua, Maui

When the top pairings started coming down from the 15th or 16th hole, I took a seat in the grandstands at the 18th hole. There were five players tied for first. Each of he first three pairs made par. The last pair was Spieth and Reed. Spieth was in first, Reed tied for second. Reed hit an amazing shot and so did Spieth. But, the second shot by Reed took him to just a couple of feet from the hole. He finished with an eagle and Spieth birdied the hole. So, Spieth is now alone in first and Reed alone in second with ties all the way down the board. Needless to say it was a grand ending to a fabulous day and I was so thankful to be attending this prestigious tournament.

My souvenirs from the Tournament of Champions...my ticket, program, tee times and visor.
My souvenirs from the Tournament of Champions…my ticket, program, tee times and visor.

Musical surprises

On Friday while working at the airport I was surprised to see Kuana Torres-Kahele at a baggage claim carousel. I hadn’t heard anything about a pending concert. So, not being shy, I walked over and asked him if he were here just for a visit from the Big Island or did he have something coming up on Maui. Well, yes indeed, he was having a CD release party that night at the Bailey House Museum. Tickets would be selling at the door at 4:30pm. I was scheduled to get off work at 3:00pm. Perfect timing. So, I decided to stay in town and not make the long trip back up to my home in Kula. However, I was clad in my airport uniform–a bright yellow blouse and black pants. I decided the pants could stay, but the blouse would have to go. Off I go to Ross for an inexpensive top. I found a cute black and white striped shirt with a sparkly graphic print and a bonus little short sleeve “jacket” attached. Perfect. I was wearing my utilitarian shoes, had only rubber slippers in the car, so since the pants covers all but the toes, they remained. I was good to go. One stop at the ATM and off I went.

The Bailey House is a lovely little museum just past Wailuku town on the way to Iao Valley. Though somewhat small by museum standards it houses a wonderful array of ancient artifacts–carved fishing hooks, lovely feather lei made from now extinct birds, fighting implements, a wonderful replica of the sailing canoe “The Hokule’a”, huge swaths of tapa. There were little gift shops, upstairs rooms, nooks and crannies of displays, artwork painted by the once owner Mr. Bailey. So many things to see and do. I made a note to myself to visit again when I had more time and a camera.

The concert was to be held on the grassy grounds of the museum. It’s an intimate setting seating maybe 100-150 people. White tents had been erected to cover the musicians as well as the audience in case of rain. However, the night was clear, starry and, wondrous to me, balmy.

The price of the ticket was $35 which I later discovered included Kuana’s latest CD–Pi’ilani Maui. I would’ve paid the $35 just for a chance to see Kauana again and was pleasantly surprised to received the signed CD as a bonus. The island of Maui is the featured island on his “island CD set”. CDs with original songs of Hawai’i Island and Ni’ihau have already been released and Maui was the third in a set of 10. There will be a CD for each of the five remaining islands as well as a CD of original oli (chants). The 10th CD? I have no clue.

The audience was decidedly “local”… colorful aloha shirts, lauhala hats with flower lei or feather bands, glittering Hawaiian bracelets, flowers tucked behind ears. Since there was a booth selling beer, wines, soda, etc. This was a 21 and over crowd. One could buy a dinner from a booth selling a selection of food not normally found at a concert. There was pulled BBQ pork bao which is a soft sweet manapua dough folded over delicious pork. There was poke nachos (a preparation of raw fish, seaweed and spices served over chips), dried saimin, brisket and ceviche. Wow! I had the bao which was absolutely mouthwatering and a beer.

The warm up band, Komakakino is made up of a group of young men from Hilo with whom I am quite familiar. The father of one of the band members, Paul Neves, is a talented well known kumu hula from Hilo. He added to the entertainment by dancing to several of the songs. Though the band members are young and a relatively new group, they are quite professional in their musical talents as well as their look–nice matching aloha shirts and shorts.

Komakakino
Komakakino

Kuana came on after most everyone was done with dinner and feeling cheery from the beer and wine. He was in rare form and was hilariously entertaining, joking with the audience. It was a family lu’au atmosphere…a backyard kanakapila! People from the audience got up and danced. Local Maui singers were called up on stage to thunderous applause. Kuana sang a variety of songs from his Maui album as well as songs from previous albums. He told stories about the backgrounds for some of his songs. He also did melodies from the past adding his own style. The crowed sang along to old classics. I nearly cried at his version Pua Carnation…a beautiful rendition of an old standard.

Kuana Torres-Kahele
Kuana Torres-Kahele

I’m so glad I worked on that Friday or I would have missed out on a perfect evening of song and dance.

Global Warming

This is July, right? In the middle of summer? We are struggling through an unprecedented heat wave that is setting records all over the state. In Kahului at the airport it has been coming in a 92, 93 degrees with little breeze to dry the sweat on my brow. However, last night we had a storm blow through…at least that’s what I was told. I hadn’t slept the night before so last night I slept through it all. This was a little disappointing as I still miss the sound of the rain on my tin roof in Hilo. When I got the newspaper this morning I was surprised to see the photo of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawai’i (my island) covered with snow! In the middle of July! I do remember getting snow in June around 2011 and occasionally in the 1980’s but it is still incredibly surprising. And, it’s still beautiful. Of course, it has melted now, but what an amazingly stunning site while it stayed long enough for photos.

A Maui Sunset

It’s been cold, rainy, windy and cloudy and I’m so over winter. But, yesterday evening the clouds sat above the horizon and produced the first sunset worth photographing since autumn. I always have to take pause and remember those who are living through some of the worst storms in history on the East Coast and Mid West. However, they have parkas, and hats, and gloves, and boots. I have a sweater, sweatpants and crocheted booties. It’s a matter of acclimation and clothing! It’s dipping into the mid 40’s up here in Kula. I’m not use to it yet. To me it’s freezing and I sometimes wonder if I’m going to make it through the night. In the morning my fingertips are snow white and numb. I can feel nothing and find it difficult to get my sewing done. About 10:00am my fingers finally thaw out. But, last evening it seemed different. The rain had stopped, the wind stopped blowing it’s icy breath from the north, the clouds parted and from my back yard I was able to see the sky brighten as the sun slowly sank, not into the sea, but behind the West Maui Mountains. It makes me think that maybe winter has loosened its grip and I will once again have feeling back into my fingers.

Taking from my lanai up in Kula
Taken from my lanai up in Kula

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Kilauea in Fabric

Occasionally when I am wandering through the aisles of the fabric store, especially when a new shipment comes in, I will spot a Hawaiian fabric that catches my eye and tells me its story. So, last week when looking for yellow gingham I came across a print that immediately took me back to the Big Island and our very active volcano.WP_20150205_001

Kilauea had been erupting non-stop since 1987. There are periods of time when the lava flow is just a trickle and doesn’t put anyone in harm’s way and there are those times when it threatens and then carries through with that threat by inundating a district or now, threatening the town of Pahoa on the East coast of the Island of Hawai’i. As it travels through the upland forests (Waokele) it can be a flaming yellow and red hot molten lava burning the forest in swaths of destruction or it can branch off into rivulets of lava circling around with a path through the trees and once again joining the main stream further down the slope. This leads to an area of untouched forest of ferns and foliage that flourish as an island. These verdant islands in the middle of a flow are called a kipuka. Once the particular flow slows or stops it cools, the lava changes colors from a burnt orange to a solid black.

And so, this hula pa’u tells the story of the kipuka..the flow changing from molten yellow, orange, red, through the cooling stage to black with the flowers, ferns, foliage remaining untouched.