Around Here

Around here we’re feeling overwhelmed with hope and possibility.
Around here inkscape has given up on me (despite many re-install attempts) and my computer has slowed to a C-R-A-W-L and EVERYTHING business-related has come to a stand still so…
Around here i’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of my shiny new toy. You all convinced me. Because I check Fedex like a maniac, I know it left Oakland and should be on my doorstep tomorrow! I can’t wait to start over! (I also saved $200 by buying refurb – sweet!)
Around here I’ll soon be up to my elbows in envelopes. I decided to stop making them and just buy them because I don’t want my business card to say “Professional Envelope Maker,” which is what I would become.
Around here I’ve resorted to re-designing my business cards on my iPad while I wait for mr. slim to arrive. I’m gonna go with the moo minicards. Muy adorable!
Around here I’ve been filming Noweo more. There are no home videos of me as a child so I keep reminding myself that I need to capture Noweo moving, talking, dancing, living.
Around here I’m so thrilled that my brother’s home from his church mission to Oregon. We went for two years with only email and phone calls on Mother’s day and Christmas. He now speaks fluent Spanish because he worked mainly with Mexicans. If two young boys or gals show up on your door with a message about God, please be nice, even if you don’t agree. They’re someone’s brother/sister and are far from home and family. I’m grateful for those who looked after him while he was away.
Around here a certain Mr. Keola has turned 30. What a busy decade the 20s were! I LOVE what he had to say on facebook about it:
Isn’t that what life is? Adding some things and letting go of others and learning to be ok with that.
What’s going on around your neck of the woods?

Artful Afternoon

Saturday afternoon found my cousin and I in lovely Makawao with no children! She was such a sport for lugging her pregnant self around with me.
Our first stop was to meet the lady behind Maui Country Farm Tours, Marilyn Jansen. She is as sweet in person as she looks, and the first Maui blogger I’ve met in real life. She and her husband are both entrepreneurs and they have always hustled to make their life the way they want it. Since we’ve been waiting around for Keola to find a decent job, we’ve spent more and more time saying to ourselves that we need to just go and use our opportunities and skills to our advantage and make things happen rather than wait for someone to offer us something. This is exactly what Marilyn and her hubby have done and I have oceans of admiration for their “can do” attitude and courage to explore every lead and opportunity when it comes to looking for sources of income.
She gave me lots of advice for creating products on a shoe string budget and generating something out of nothing. If you don’t know her yet, check her out on twitter @jamarilyn or @mauifarmtours and her websites Artful Hawaii GirlMaui Country Farm Tours and Amarillys of Hawaii.
We had so much to talk about we completely forgot to take a picture so I found this one. Hope you don’t mind Marilyn!
(pic borrowed from another friend, Toby who by the way also wrote this book)
We made a pit stop in Makawao town to get a snack and check out some galleries but since it was a little rainy and cold and we were quickly losing afternoon we decided to head to straight for the Hui Noeau to check out the Open Studios event going on there. We were greeted by THIS AMAZING THING:
You can literally walk around inside it. It’s a lot bigger than it looks too, with another “room” behind this one. It made me feel a bit like a hobbit, and if I had seen nothing on Saturday but this, the drive would still have been totally worth it.

We walked around the main building. This was by far my favorite piece and I would love to design a nursery around it (look at me getting all design-ish like I know how). The words on the side of the house are the lyrics to a simple Hawaiian chant about nature. I love the colors and the whimsical images, perfect for a little keiki. Priced at $400+, they can only look, not touch!
We headed over to the print shop for an enlightening look at how to print the old fashioned way.
Wireless printing!
We found a nice guy carving a copper plate to print. Can you tell what it is?
We also spoke to two other artists who simply overflowed with passion for their art. One was from Italy and the other from Germany and would you believe the Italian lady came to Maui because of the economy??? I guess locals are flocking to the mainland and Europeans are flocking here. Apparently artists can’t sell anything in Italy, but art flies off the shelves here, especially if you’re willing to do Hawaiian stuff. I asked her if she felt like she was compromising her own personal style to paint what sells, but she says art is her passion and as long as she can paint, she’s happy. She sees other artists driving taxis to make ends meet because they’re too proud to paint what people want, but she feels that she maintains her integrity by doing what she loves even though it’s not her personal style. In this economy, that’s a great attitude to have.
I hope to make it back over to take some classes if not to just bask in the energy of passion filled people.
Thanks Esther for keeping me company! Hop over to her blog and read more about our little kid-free stay-cation.

I’m Back!

Hello friends!
Well I really wasn’t gone that long but what was different about this break was that I had very real purpose. Here’s what I’ve tackled over the last several days:


It’s not about just being in the same room as my family. It’s about losing myself completely in THEM. And when I take the time to bask in their love, I don’t need to look elsewhere (like social media) for validation. Real, face to face love is so much stronger than virtual adoration.


Wow it’s amazing how much more I can get done by utilizing the morning hours. I’ve been waking up at 6:15 and plan to slowly get up earlier and earlier. I do my morning exercises, read scriptures, pray and then plan out what I want to get done that day. Then I eat breakfast, get ready and get to work. I’m working on refraining from checking email immediately after getting out of bed and waiting until I have my essentials completed.


Since when have we become trained dogs, running to the phone every time it beeps? I’ve become determined that social media is a valuable tool and resource but when I’m working I refuse to let it break my concentration, so I’ve turned off all alerts and badges on my phone (except for calls and texts). When I’m ready to respond to online interaction, I’ll jump online.


I’ve been at a mental fork in the road over my business, trying to decide between Etsy, selling at craft fairs, approaching retail business to carry my products (yikes!), and maintaining an online store separate from Etsy.
All of this is taking up too much space in my brain and only causing stress so I’ve decided that rather than splitting up my energy in all the different directions, I would hone in on Etsy. Why? Because it’s the most established, I can gain the most exposure, it’s easy, and I need to be okay with baby steps. So you’ll notice I’ve removed my shop here on SoPupuka. Everything is now available on Etsy. This frees me up to CREATE – which as we all know, is where the fun is at!
And to jumpstart my renewed Etsy focus, I’ve re-vamped my photos, trying to make them brighter and more interesting. I’ve also added a couple new products and worked on simplifying my listings as much as possible. I’d love for you to pop over and tell me what you think!


WWHAAAAAAT??!?!?!?!? I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend a couple weeks ago. We were talking about Hawaiian issues and she pointed out that I’m REALLY passionate about that, so several nights ago I started a blog and just wrote. You probably won’t even recognize me, but it really is me, just a different side of myself. I don’t know where it’ll take me, and I’m quite content to not have any expectations for it. I have no posting schedule. I write when I feel the need to say something, so there are only two posts. I haven’t done anything to customize the design. It’s all about the words. It’s unique in that it’s written mainly to Native Hawaiians (not tourists or newcomers to the islands, or even non-Hawaiian locals), but anyone interested is of course more than welcome to check it out. I try my best to be honest and raw yet sensitive to a diverse audience. I hope I’ve succeeded so far.


I’ve made peace with the fact that my interests are very narrow, and therefore the things I blog about and especially the things I create for my business probably won’t be appealing to the masses. I can’t promise I’ll never have blog envy again, or that I’ll never be discouraged by people who are further along the path than I am, but if I try too hard to create things that I think people will like, I’ll lose myself. All that matters is MY passion for it. Period.


I’ll hit up your comments later, but I just wanted to thank you all for your show of support both online and off as I’ve retreated into myself. It’s helped me to feel that I’m not alone and that I don’t have to be everything and do everything. I was surprised by the new friends who popped up in the comments, affected by the things I’ve been feeling. More than anything I want this blog to be the vehicle for meaningful friendships, and so far, I feel like that is what it’s become and I really couldn’t be happier about that. So thank you for being a part of my life and for letting me into yours.