Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to Brooklyn


I'm finally getting settled again at home. I'm so glad we decided to extend the trip to our friends' beautiful wedding into an awesome Hawaiian adventure. I am filled with happy memories and picked up some awesome sewing materials on the way. With a little effort and research, you can do some amazing traveling on a budget. I definitely see more journeys in my future!

 A pile of awesome fabric finds from my trip. Now I must hand wash and organize them. These materials will definitely be a strong part of my next spring collection.

Returning home from the high of any vacation can seem a little sad at first. The spectacular beauty of the nature and weather of Hawaii is quite consuming. Also, traveling back east over a time zone difference of 6 hours can definitely take its toll on your internal clock. I spent the first night sleeping like a baby, but the second night I couldn't sleep and ended up obsessing over the weather channel with Hurricane Isaac and sewing all night. My hometown and most of my family is in south Louisiana. I am happy to report that they are safe and sound. Jumping back into my work reminded me that I have so much to come home to! I'm am working very hard right now and I am so excited about what is to come.

My sewing desk when I returned home. I had to photograph it as it is never this empty! It will quickly be consumed by piles of fabric and multiple projects going on at one time...

 New York City is not the easiest place to live sometimes, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. It is important to create your own peaceful living and working space, and I have found an oasis in my cozy Brooklyn neighborhood.

My little kitchen/office/draping space. I love that it faces trees and is full of natural light. 

My tree-lined street.

Yesterday, the weather was 79 degrees and sunny. In much need of a sewing break, I took an afternoon stroll to my favorite close by coffee shop and then to the park. I love soaking in the happiness of the park - cute dogs, happy kids, friends gathering to visit, someone reading and enjoying the sun. Not having my own outdoor space, you learn to appreciate nature big a small- the vastness of Hawaii or the simplicity of a park in the middle of a city.
One of my favorite park spots. 

Alright, back to work now for me! Want to know about blog updates as soon as they happen? Click subscribe by email at the bottom of my blog and become one of my followers!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Vintage and Volcanoes


 We hopped over the the Big Island, HI this past Monday and have been nonstop ever since. We've spent the first part of our time here exploring all things Volcano, past and present. I, as always, did manage to get to a few noteworthy shopping and dining spots along the way.
 After arriving at the airport in Kona, we decided we would road trip around the entire northern part of the island and end up at our new lodging spot the for the next couple days- a cabin on an organic farm. This route is one of the most interesting and beautiful drives you can do here, and we were not disappointed! I added a basic little map for some perspective :)

First on the agenda was a hearty breakfast and I started researching our options immediately. The best local spot on route mentioned online and by word of mouth was a little spot called Dave's Plate Lunch. (From the fancy to the non-fancy restaurants, most menus in Hawaiian restaurants have a "plate lunch." Often it just means some kind of meat entree, rice, and veggies.) Dave's was not far off the highway, but was a little hard to find. It's nestled behind an auto-shop and a post office in Waikoloa Village. It's just a little wooden shack, but the minute you walk in, you realize why tourists and locals are flocking to this place. You're greeted by the owner, who tells you first to relax and then shares with you about his simple Hawaiian menu. Sitting next to us were families from Italy and Houston, Texas, that flocked to Dave's when disappointed by their overpriced resort breakfasts.

Upon reading reviews online of Dave's after our experience, I realize that some families drove 20 miles everyday of their stay from their resort to have a yummy and cheap breakfast at Dave's! His ingredients are all local and the coffee especially was good and cheap - 100% Kona Coffee (lots of coffee farms in this area of Hawaii, so you must try some when here).

To give you an idea:
Resort coffee only = $6.50
My entire Dave's breakfast + coffee & OJ = $6.50


After our hearty breakfast, we drove up to the northern most part of the Big Island and stopped in a historic, cozy town, called Hawi. I gravitated towards a particular shop because of it's name, 4joi. To my delight, this shop was stocked with lots of vintage fabric, locally made clothing and accessories, sewing supplies, and an enticing closet of vintage dresses. The employees were especially warm and nice, and I had a blast exploring this little shop.

The business cards were encased individually in little fabric pouches made with scrap fabric - very memorable and personal. I've been keeping all the other new cards I've picked up in my little pouch :)

After walking around the rest of Hawi, we hopped in our car and, rolled down our windows, and embarked on one of the most beautiful drives I've ever seen (pictures to come!). If you ever road trip Hawaii, wear layers as the elevations and climate changes so much over a short period of time.

We arrived at our cabin for the next couple of days, hidden on an organic farm in the Puna District. We were quite off the grid there, and sometimes that is the best medicine! We were excited to receive fresh fruits and veggies by our hosts. We cooked yummy breakfasts and dinners, drank fresh fruit cocktails, and woke up to the sounds of the rain forests.

our cabin balcony :)

While staying in this area, we spent our days exploring the nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is quite overwhelming to even explain seeing and experiencing this in person. Two Volcanoes are very much still active. We ventured out to see Kalapana, a town partially destroyed by lava flow from Kilauea volcano in 1990. On route to this ghost town, we were surprised to encounter, beautiful beaches, breathtaking views of the coastline, warm lava pools (natural hot tubs), and incredible beach homes. It was not what I expected to see in the surrounding areas of this destructive lava flow. Then, hidden in the trees, I of course spotted a little shop!

We pulled in to Kalani, and oceanside retreat with good food and a vast selection of spa treatments. We received a warm welcome, as I checked out the little shop of aloha wear and accessories. We then snacked on locally made sorbet and ice cream. There was a beautiful lanai, where we soaked up the scenery and enjoyed our cold treats.


What a great little pit stop on our way to Kalapana. After experiencing the jolting scene of a young ghost town, we continued on to our next area of this Big Island. 

Remember, life is all about the journey!


Dave's Plate Lunch



Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Small Island, Big Inspiration

Small Island, Big Inspiration - exploring the east side of Kauai

 After 2 days of intense hiking, a beach and shopping day was definitely in order. This time I mapped out a few spots on the east side of the island that had street cred with local residents. I ended the day with some incredible finds and loads of inspiration- I couldn't be happier.

 My first stop was a lovely fabric store called Kapaia Stitchery. Most of the fabric here was either made in Hawaii or Japan. One corner of the store was filled with clothing made by local artists. My favorites were little baby Hawaiian shirts - so adorable! I walked out with a few souvenirs and a yard of awesome fabric in a vintage Hawaiian print. We are going to make throw pillows for our sofa from all of our travels.    

Adorable little Hawaiian shirts!

Kapaia Stitchery

Fabric for my pillow :)

 Next in my journey was Ho'omana Thrift Shop. Don't be fooled by its humble appearance. This place was perfect for my treasure hunting. Rows and rows of handmade, vintage Hawaiian dresses in unique prints. I was excited to hear that I would receive 1/2 off by making a small donation to a local children's charity. It's a good thing that I have limited luggage space and money, or I would have walked out of there with a pile of things!

Rows and rows of awesome vintage dresses!

I found so much inspiration and silhouette ideas- check out this cute cropped top!

Some of my vintage finds- I can't wait to get my hands on these!

My last stop was the Kauai Products Fair. There were so many items here, but it felt a "smidge" to touristy for me. Luckily we stumbled upon great coffee shop, Small Town Coffee, that displayed local art and sold locally made products. We sipped on refreshing ice coffees while checking out all this shop had to offer. See below!

Small Town Coffee

Kind of hard to see in my photos, but the chandeliers were made of pots and coffee mugs.

Yummy ice coffee. Under the glass on the tables were old family photos from the owners. This made the shop feel very personal a cozy.

One if my favorite finds here, reversible bags made of recycled tee shirts.  

In the back of this coffee shop was a small bookstore called Blue House Booksellers. To make a purchase at this store, you write your item down and leave cash in the this little box(disguised as a book).

It was an awesome day as I love being inspired by new places and people I meet on the way. Hope you enjoyed reading about my little journey. 




3-3551 Kuhio Highway
Lihue, HI 96766
(808) 245-2281

Ho'omana Thrift Shop,  
4531 Kuamoo Road
Kapaa, HI 96746 
(808) 821-2818

Kauai Products Fair
Fair Location: 4-1613 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI 96746
Mailing Address: 3416 Rice Street, Lihue,HI 96766
Phone: 808-246-0988
Fax: 808-245-7019

Small Town Coffee/ Blue House Booksellers

Tee Shirt Bags 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Food over Fabric


 My next shopping excursion did not involve any fabric finds, but was so delicious that I feel compelled to share it. In the morning we hiked down to one of the best beaches I've ever seen called Secret Beach. It's not very easy to get to, but well worth it!
After we hit a nearby local farmer's market. It was full of local artisans as well as community farmers. We picked up some awesome produce and met some great people. Fresh pineapple, mango, passion fruit, some types of fruit I've never seen, and the list goes on...We then found 2 types of local fish, Akule and Ono. After receiving some cooking advice from the kind folks at the market, we were on our way.
One funny fact about Kauai: There are wild, tropical chickens/roosters just walking around everywhere, and I mean everywhere. In rural and urban areas, you'll encounter these guys. The story goes that post a big storm in the mid 90's, many chickens escaped their farms and have been roaming free ever since. Another bird you might encounter while walking around in the more mountainous areas is the Nene(a goose), the Hawaiian state bird.
We spent dusk at another breathtaking beach in Anahola Bay. I think the picture below says it all.
Lastly, we cooked all of our farmer's market finds on the grill back at out little bungalow and the result was yummy!