Fabric is Here!

I’m so pleased to share today that select patterns from the 100 Nature Pattern project are now available on Spoonflower as fabric, wallpaper and wrapping paper. I did several stories on Instagram showing photos of the fabric with my library card for scale, but in case you missed it, here are those same photos and videos that I shared a couple days ago. Some of the photos look a little fluorescent, and it’s because I took the photos using the Insta stories camera which I probably shouldn’t have done. The only one that actually does look a little fluorescent in real life is the kalo pattern (top left). Overall I love the colors saturation and the sharpness and detail of the print. They turned out EXACTLY as I imagined them to be and I’m very excited to make these available to you! Please feel free to comment here or email me with questions. I’m very new to Spoonflower so I’m open to suggestions/feedback until I figure out how things work on the site. CLICK HERE TO SHOP!

My Latest Obsession: Screen Printing

I have spent months AND MONTHS thinking about screen printing and possibly trying it out, but I shied away from it because of the upfront cost and learning curve, not to mention the mountain of supplies that would inevitably end up stock-piled in my house. There’s a TON of stuff out there and it was all just completely overwhelming.

On the flip side, hiring someone else to do your printing is also quite an investment (especially if you’re ordering in small quantities – you end up paying more per unit) and stuff just takes longer (emailing back and forth, waiting for your order to be complete and being nervous the whole time about whether or not it’ll come out the way you envisioned.)

I ultimately decided that I want to move toward screening my own stuff, and if you follow my SoPupuka account on Instagram, I’ve been sharing a little bit of what I’m doing. And now I’m going to recycle those exact same Instagram pics (sorry but those are the ONLY pics I took of this whole process).

To get the ball rolling, I ended up purchasing what looked like the easiest possible screen printing kit – EZ ScreenPrint. It totally lives up to its’ name. It’s virtually foolproof and I’ve made several screens successfully already.

As I understand it, creating a traditional screen goes something like this:

1) You start with a silk mesh stapled to a wooden frame.

2) You squeegee emulsion fluid to the screen and let it dry. It has to be THE RIGHT amount. This fluid is light sensitive.

3) You print your design in black onto a transparency (whatever’s in black is where the ink will go through).

4)  You put the transparency onto your screen and expose it in direct sunlight (exposure time varies)

5) You take your screen inside, remove the transparency and rinse your screen in water. The emulsion that was not exposed to the sun (because your design was blocking it) will rinse off, leaving the bare screen, and the areas that were exposed to the sun will have hardened emulsion that prevents any ink from passing through.

6) After everything dries you print.

Did I mention that if you have a multi-color design you need to create a screen for each color? Ya. It’s involved.

EZ ScreenPrint takes out a few of the steps. The process goes like this:IMG_4223

1) Print design onto transparency.

2) Places it on a clear plastic plate (provided)

3) Take your screen (which already has the perfect amount of dried emulsion on it) and place it over your transparency).

4) Place a black board (provided) over the screen and clip everything together with binder clips (provided)

5) Expose for 1 minute in direct sunlight.

6) Soak for 15 minutes, rinse emulsion off, let it dry in the sun again, tape it to a plastic frame (not provided – I had to buy it separately and didn’t realize it until I was ready to print) and print.

So basically, the process is shortened drastically by the fact that the screens come with emulsion already on it. All I have to do is print my design and expose it, then rinse and dry and voila! I have a screen ready to go, reusable for as long as I want – provided that I take really good care of the screens.

IMG_4271

I’m still of course, getting used to the printing technique. I have one tiny bottle of screen printing ink and I obviously get the best results from that. This print above was made with acrylic paint, and it’s a little too runny. Because the screen is flooded with paint and the paint drawn down with a squeegee, it’s important to have paint that is the right consistency so it fits through the mesh but doesn’t run everywhere like it did in this print. See the strokes from the squeegee? Too much paint, and too runny. Still, I’m completely stoked that this printing method is now within reach. I’m going to try this particular design on hats, shirts and tote bags.

I gotta say though, what REALLY excites me about screen printing is the potential to design and create my own fabric. I don’t want to make whole garments with it, just small little pieces like zippered pouches. Today I created a screen using this lokelani design (the photo below is just a small sample screen). Lokelani is a Hawaiian variety of rose, and I’m so excited to use this design in small zippered pouches. Assuming that I enjoy this process (especially the sewing) this will be the first of several designs. IMG_4268

After being so much into digital stuff and not actually making or printing stuff with ink, making screens and working with actual paint over the last few days has been really refreshing, and addicting. I can’t wait to have some final products made. I’m hoping that soon I’ll be able to do all my own printing for my business. This could either be really awesome, or really exhausting and time consuming and not sustainable. 72 hours in, it’s still really awesome.

Wrappily Update

Remember when I talked about entering a few designs to Wrappily’s wrapping paper contest?

Well…I won!

I’ve known for a while but I wanted to wait until I actually got my hands on the paper so I could photograph it, and it arrived yesterday.

Two of my designs tied for the top three (so cool!), so we decided to use both designs on on sheet.

IMG_2115

The lūʻau leaf design was also not detailed enough, and when I tried to add more detail, it stopped looking like kalo, so we decided to tile the positive and negative sides. I LOVE the result.

IMG_2120

I was also, so happy with the way the different shades of yellow turned out in the sun design.

IMG_2118

IMG_2116

I don’t see the new line available online yet, but I will share here when it is, or you can sign up for email updates at Wrappily  to find out.

Many thanks again to Sarah Smith of Wrappily for supporting local designers for her new collection!

One Little Word Check-in

IMG_3916
Periodically I plan to do a little self-evaluation and to see how I’m doing with my one little word for this year, “thrive.” Looking back on that post, there are some things that are going well, and some things that aren’t, which comes as no surprise:

“I want to write more. I want to really get this blog off the ground. I want to make more things, I want to simplify our food, and my wardrobe. I want to get more art on the walls, and take my business more seriously. I want to make more room for things I’m curious about, things I want to learn, and I want to spend more time learning with my children.”

I’m blogging more, but not really journaling the way I want to. I’m not really making things because I haven’t really found anything that I want to make. Food is something I still haven’t really gotten a handle on. To be honest, cooking is one of the HARDEST things for me to get the motivation to do, but once I get going I enjoy it. I HAVE put up more art on the walls and will publish an update soon. I am taking my business more seriously than at any other time. I’m thrilled by it, but I’m still trying to figure out how to make it all work.

Here is where I’m really struggling right now:

“…thriving is about lightening our load so that we can move quicker, do more, have more energy, more light-heartedness. It’s about having a mindset of abundance, it’s about being grateful. It’s about savoring the moment and really, really being in the present…”

I feel like I’ve allowed too much stuff into this house and I’m starting to feel that claustrophobic feeling, so I’ve been doing some binge-purging. I’ve found that if I take stuff out and put it in the car, that I’ll be 100% more likely to donate it when I’m near a thrift store. Getting stuff out of this house and keeping stuff from coming in is a huge priority for me, and a battle I feel I’m currently losing. As a result I’m feeling a little bit sluggish.

We’re also beginning to accept the fact that Keola might not have a job by August of next year (his job is funded by a federal grant), and I used to be completely confident that the right opportunities will come, but the closer and closer we get, the easier it is to let worry seep in, which messes with my desire to have an attitude of abundance.  Worrying about the future is making it hard to live in the moment.

Yes, I am a little stressed. Some things are working, some things aren’t. I am still confident however, that you do not need much to thrive. It can be done in the best of times and the worst of times and there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

Spun Paradise Photoshoot

A few weeks ago I did my first ever photo shoot for a local cotton candy company, Spun Paradise. If you’re thinking “Man it must’ve been fun taking pictures of cotton candy,” you’d be right. I had a great time getting to know the mompreneur Danna and eating photographing her delicious product. She’s put a tropical twist on her candy by using flavors like coconut (my favorite), watermelon and mango.

Everything was taken with my iPhone (my only camera – and yes, I warned her beforehand) and we had fun playing around with different ideas and getting our fingers all sticky with fluffy, sugary goodness. In humid places cotton candy will start to melt when it’s exposed to the air, and the result was a sort of “icicle” effect that laced the candy. I think it created great contrast and made for some interesting shots.

I never thought I’d make a dime taking pictures, so much so that my pitch was something like “if you want better than average pictures without having to hire a pro then maybe I could help out.”

I know I’m a million miles away from a career in photography, but this was a fun experience for me.

1IMG_1741 copyIMG_1759 copy1IMG_1765 copy collageIMG_1694 copyIMG_1734 copy IMG_1721 copy IMG_1705 copy IMG_1699 copy IMG_1745 copy IMG_1752 copy IMG_1779 copy IMG_1806 copy IMG_1826 copy

Design Challenge with Wrappily!

Ok I don’t usually wake up in the morning and say “I think I’m going to design some wrapping paper today…” but that’s just what happened after I was invited along with other local designers to submit some designs to Wrappily. What is Wrappily you ask? Wrappily is an eco-friendly, Maui based wrapping paper company founded by Sara Irene Smith. They reached out to local designers to come up with their newest line themed “Lucky We Live Hawaiʻi.”

Did you know that conventional wrapping paper is not recyclable? I had NO idea! I figured..it’s paper right? So it must be recyclable. Well it isn’t. And now we know. Wrappily solves this problem by printing on newsprint paper. Genius!

Aaaanyway, I was SO IN. I had never designed wrapping paper before, and I wasn’t sure exactly what I would create. I mean, there are LOTS of things I love about Hawaii but I couldn’t settle on any one thing, so I asked Facebook. I got a lot of weather/beach variations, so I thought I’d incorporate those elements. Being Hawaiian, it HAD to be about more than just “Oh the weather’s great!” or “Hawaii has the best beaches!” The elements around us are what feed us, nurture us, purify and protect us (ok maybe a little deep for wrapping paper, but I see it as a modern effort to aloha ʻāina – care for the land.) With that in mind, these are the designs that were created:

Wela i ka lā – Warmed by the sun

Celebrating the life-giving warmth of the sun we all enjoy.

SoPupuka-Wela i la La

ʻOluʻolu i ke kai

Inspired by the soothing temperate waters that surround us, feed us, connect us.

SoPupuka-'Olu'olu i ke kai-2

Ola ia ka lūʻau: Nurtured by the lūʻau leaf.

Featuring a closer look at the lūʻau leaf of the kalo (taro) plant, the foundation of Hawaiian society and culture, by which we are all fed.

SoPupuka-Ola i ka lu'au

There’s no guarantee my designs will be sent to print. Only backers of Wrappily’s recent Indiegogo campaign are allowed to vote., and only three designs will be chosen. If these aren’t the ones, no worries. I created something I’m proud of and I can use them for something else. There are some awesome designs made by some fabulous designers (seriously if I had known who I was up against, I might not have done it.) Every submission is unique and it’s cool to see everyone’s interpretation of a phrase Hawai’i people know and love. Go enjoy the eye candy!