Sunday, September 29, 2013

Early morning moments

One of my favorite things about getting up in the early morning hours is to watch the sun come up from  my kitchen window. I sit at the table with my cup of coffee and watch the island awake along with the sun.


Since I could remember, perhaps as far as High School I use to sit at a table with my coffee and stare out a window. When I lived in San Diego with my mom and dad I use to sit at the kitchen table and stare out at my dad's lemon tree. All those beautiful dark green leaves and bulbous bursts of yellow.... makes me homesick a bit to think back...

Although the window view has changed - it is still the same. I sit at my kitchen table at home and stare out my window. I can see the ocean, and hibiscus, and cows on a hill.... and most of all, the sun rising - climbing higher and higher as the island awakens.

Our days start a little later on Saturdays and Sundays and I like to sit and do a bit of hand sewing. Mostly aplique on a few Hawaiian blocks I'm working on. I tend to wake up slow in the mornings, so hand stitching with my morning cup of coffee is definitely my favorite way to wake up.

How do you like to wake up?

A bit of functional crochet

Sometimes when you have the most time to do big sewing projects do you feel the least inclined to do them? Maybe that's just a me thing - but that was how I felt yesterday. 

Ross left after work on Friday to go night hunting with a couple of his cousins on the southern part of the island. So that meant a whole day to work on the projects in my sewing basket. I could have worked on a wall hanging for a friend, made cushions for the living room with my new fabric, or worked on my blocks that I'm doing for a virtual quilt along.... but no. 

I wasn't in the mood to set up my machine, the ironing board, my cutting mats, etc... I wanted quiet - and slow hand movements where I didn't have to measure or cut or to be honest think very much. 

So I found myself making very functional although very boring crochet potholders while watching Call the Midwife (one of my favorite series right now!!!) on Netflix. 

They're about 27 chain length, all done with a single stitch. I made them double layered and then closed off the layers with a single stitch border. They're very thick and don't burn my hands when I take stuff out of the oven which is a plus!. They were a very much needed addition to the kitchen seeing as how I've been using folded dish towels to take stuff out of the oven... and when I find myself rushing and not folding them correctly they tend to get singed on the burner at the bottom if they graze it. I have many a singe marks on my towels to testify to their abuse.... 

I plan on doing perhaps one more brown one seeing as I have the brown yarn in my stash. Don't you love it when you make something useful with things that you already have? I find it as one of the best feelings... it's right up there with a chocolate paired with a creamy cup of coffee.... ahhhh.... happy moments. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Anniversary Weekend

One year! Man it is crazy how fast this year went! A year ago I got to marry the best and sweetest and most loving man I know. =) 

Our weekend started on Friday night. Ross made reservations at a new restaurant that we both have never been to called Lava Lava.... and man have we found a treasure! The place was very classy local style. Everything was out door and very open and right by the sand and water. There was even live music and hula! A local group from our town was opening for the legendary Henry Kapono. (To be honest I didn't know who he was, but Ross said he was very big and everyone around me was super excited... can you tell I don't keep up much with local music? Or to be honest music in general!) The food was amazing! I got an onion crusted mahi and Ross got a steak. The sauces totally made the dishes. Mine was perfect with just the right amount of orange flavoring....

After dinner we came home and finished up the last three episodes of season one of Revolution on Netflix. Man that series so far is a winner! For those of you thinking that coming home after a romantic dinner might be lame - five months ago I would totally have agreed with you. But since getting our house this past July we haven't been inspired to leave our little nest for long... we love the openness, the cross winds we get, the quiet, and the privacy... it's our favorite place to be. =)

Saturday we went into Kona... instead of getting anniversary presents our plan was to spend a hundred dollars on something for our house. =) Since the island finally got a Pier 1 Imports that was the first place we were going to look. Ross has never been in that store and he was really impressed. While I was looking at serving platters, of course his eye zeroed in on one of the most expensive thing in the store... a beautiful eight seater dining table. After sitting and trying out all the chairs at the table, we walked out of the store with the print outs. We had to make sure the measurements on that baby didn't exceed our dining room space. As soon as we got home - we realized that it did. Hahaha... so back to square one.

I did manage to get some fabric from my local fabric store to make some much needed cushions for the living room though. =) I love blues and greens and browns. Don't you love how fabric speaks to you in a quilt shop. =) The green fabric on the bottom and the teal ones spoke the loudest. =) 

A finished project!

Today I had a whole day of sewing time and I knew exactly what project I wanted out of my sewing basket... so here it is! Ta da....I finished the snack bags using this tutorial for my niece and nephews! I'm so very excited to be able to send it to them! I'm going to put together a box to send to my sister hopefully this week. Isn't it great to finish projects! =) 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sharing A Space

Today I rushed home from work so excited to get started on making the snack bags for my niece and nephews from Ayumi's tutorial ! I got a lot done too! I got the body of the bag as well as the handles. Before I knew it it was six o'clock... ::sigh:: and dinner had to be started. 

 Do you share a sewing space? Currently I sew in the dining section of our home... the table being my favorite place to sew. There is such amazing lighting! There is enough room for my cutting mats and my sewing machine. The ironing board sits nicely to the corner for me... ah everything is so easy to access and it is so comfortable... until ::sigh:: I run out of time and have to start dinner. 

That means putting everything away in my sewing basket - putting away the cutting mats, my sewing machine, the ironing board, the iron, and all the other tidbits... then vacuuming up all of the stray threads on the floor - crazy how messy sewing can be sometimes! 


Oh! The picture up there of the handles is living proof that I'm starting to get better at top stitching!!! The first couple of times I did it I was horrible! Nothing was straight.... It isn't perfect but I love it in this project. =) 

Dinner was salmon cakes, blanched rainbow chard with lemon and shoyu, and bit of tempura broccoli.  For a starch we had basmati rice. Doesn't the rainbow chard look glorious with all of it's beautiful color?! A teacher from the elementary school left me a sweet note asking if I wanted it. It was from their farm down south in Volcano. For dinner I barely touched anything else! It was so wonderfully earthy. Loved every bite. Thank you Mrs. Hagio! 

Salmon Cakes 
(makes 6 patties)

1 fillet of Salmon cooked and flaked (I used the Alaskan Salmon from Costco that comes individually prepackaged) 
1/2 a small onion or green onion finely diced 
1 lemon's zest and juice 
2 eggs 
1 baked potato without the skin 
Panko breadcrumbs for filling 
Panko for breading
Oil for pan frying 

Mix all of the ingredients together (the filling should be wet but not too wet that everything will fall apart) 
Shape into patties and then bread with the panko breadcrumbs 
Pan fry until brown 
Serve Hot 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Finding My Happy

Have you ever woken up and started your day on a wonderful note? I did today. I woke up and made breakfast for my husband and I - a hot one too, not just one of those grab and go types I've been doing since the school year started. I packed our lunches - and kissed him goodbye. My husband works at the High School in our town and I work at the Elementary School. I am currently the ESL Coordinator at the school - and I get to work with helping the kids from foreign countries keep up with their work in their mainstream classrooms... but that is another story. 

I headed to work and had a wonderful first hour - working with the fifth graders. In this class there is a wonderful teacher that is able to keep the peace even during rocky times with some of the hard personality types... I am able to be creative in helping my students. They turn to me for help and trust that I will lead them to not just the right answer - but a way to understand the answer.... ::smile:: there is purpose and fulfillment. 

At the end of that hour I tend to linger a little longer... talking to my students in the hall... "Are you sure you understood that? Do you need me to go over it again?" "No?... ok..." Then I slink off with dragging feet to the dreaded 9:00 - 10:00 am hour.

During this hour there is no peace. During this hour there is no creativity. During this hour students scream their answers... grating the ears of everyone around them. During this hour students get out of their seats and throw fits. During this hour harsh words that wound the ears and the soul are said to one another. During this hour feelings are hurt and hearts and hardened. During this hour it is really difficult to see my purpose and fulfillment. I whisper and point to books and handouts to the one student I am responsible for. I pray that I am helping him - leading him and guiding him. I pray that I am a still and calm presence for him. 

Today was a particularly hard day for me. Today two students said some pretty horrible things to other students around them and the teacher either didn't hear them or chose to not acknowledge them. But I saw the faces of those students. Saw the hurt reflected there. 

I try to not let the negative be absorbed - but sometimes it soaks right into my core. Today I came home and sat at my table with every form of comfort I could think of. My bible. A cup of herbal tea in my favorite cup. My journal. And last, my sewing basket with all of my hand sewing projects. 

After a prayer - a deep breath - a sip from a now cooled cup - I took out a stack of material I've precut to make into this for my niece and two nephews that live back on the Mainland. I wanted to make them something special from me for their school snacks. Their mom - my oh so amazing sister!!! -packs them big lunches in compartmentalized tupperwares so this wouldn't work - but for their snacks and maybe a juice box, it would be perfect. 

I cut the fabric yesterday so I didn't have to worry about measuring and being around sharp objects like a rotary cutter. (Would probably have lost an appendage with the type of mood I was in) No... today I sat and I embroidered each of their names. I got to sit still and concentrate on creating.

 I sat. 

Concentrating on stitching one stitch at a time. Stitching beloved names that soothed my sensitive soul. Praying for happiness and peace and laughter with each pull of my thread and needle. 

And after I did the first name my heart stopped racing. After I did the second one my smile for those that I loved and everything that is beautiful came back. And after I did the third name...I found it... 

I found my happy. =)  

What's your happy?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Favorite Kind of Day

Today lined up to be a perfect kind of day... I hitched a ride with my husband to his jujitsu class. While he was helping out during the kids class I got to wander around my favorite thrift store.

For three spools of ribbon and a bit of elastic, I paid a grand total of :: drum roll :: thirty five cents!!! The 3 spools of ribbon were a quarter and the elastic was ten cents! I don't know of any other stores other than wonderful thrift stores where you can still buy things for less than a dollar! =) Made my heart happy.

Afterwards I walked over to the Farmers Market in our town. It is held every Saturday under the Banyan Tree.  All of the local farms come out and sell their yummy produce.  Also a lot of the local food vendors sell plate lunches. They have the yummiest spring rolls and lau lau. I had to be strong to walk away seeing as how we had a fridge full of left overs that needed to be consumed. Don't those carrots above look divine! I got a bundle of carrots, onions, lemons, and fresh ginger for the week. 

I've been working on a quilt and I was finally able to finish it day! I only had the binding left to do. While my husband was finishing up class I got about half of it done. The other half I was able to finish when we got home. This is my third baby quilt. The fabric for the blocks were 5 inch blocks that were in my scrap box. This is the first time I made a project where I didn't go shopping for new fabric!!! Isn't that an amazing feeling? Very budget friendly! I used fabric in my scrap box as well as fabric in my very small stash to make this baby quilt for my husband's cousin and his wife who are having their first baby. I used pearl cotton to hand quilt it. I love the effect of hand quilting. I'm excited to be able to give it to them tonight. We are heading down to Ross' (my husband) auntie's house for a cook out tonight. I hope they like it!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My first post

Hi everyone! My name is Karisma and I am so excited to finally be starting my own personal blog!!! I am a novice crafter/quilter that has totally been inspired by the other crafting/quilting blogs out on the net and am wanting my own personal outlet to share my creative spirit with. I live on the Big Island of Hawaii with my husband, a local boy from the area. I first started quilting two years ago when I begged my hanai (adopted) auntie to teach me so that I would have something to fill the long quiet hours with. Looking back it's crazy how uncomfortable I was in the quiet. Being from San Diego and then later living on Oahu, I was so use to the beautiful noise and flow of a city. Sometimes I find myself missing the white noise of a city. But often times now I can't imagine living anywhere but here.

I started my quilting journey by learning how to Hawaiian quilt - well, not actually. I've only done appliqué so far. I am currently in the process of putting my 16 blocks together to make a quilt top. This is my "coming home to kuuipo". Kuuipo means sweet heart. These 16 blocks tell the story of our first three years together. The row to the left, with all of the sea creatures show how my husband and I spent our first year in a long distant relationship. He was on the Big Island, and I was living on Oahu finishing my Masters Degree from HPU. The second row is our wedding story. I was able to actually use fabric we used in our wedding! The third row shows the family and that I love, who came and made memories with us during our wedding. Lastly the fourth row shows our first year of marriage. Each of the animals, leaves, and flowers in these blocks tell a story. Hopefully the next few posts I'll be able to tell them. I started appliqueing these blocks by hand when we got back from our honeymoon. I'm so excited to be able to put our quilt top together and start quilting it!