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 Girl, Maui 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!
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.
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.