at home with a hanasaurusrex

Do you know the feeling?

photo cabineDo you know the feeling when as you’re driving you round a corner, pass a building or crest an overpass and all of the sudden the sun is blinding you. And for a few seconds you can no longer see the road ahead of you. My heart sinks every time and for a split second—even when I am all too familiar with the road I am traveling—I question if I am going to drive into a ditch or cross the lane into oncoming traffic. Have you ever had that feeling?

I just had that feeling this morning. I was coming home from getting coffee after pulling an all-nighter trying to fix my computer. Being a graphic designer, my computer is practically my life. It’s my income, it’s my muse, it’s my baby. Well, two days ago my baby decided to have a fatal error and refuse to run my operating system. boo! I had that same sinking feeling when I realized it was something more than a mere glitch. But I refused to be intimidated by the temper tantrum. This time it wasn’t going to be a total freak out moment. For one, I had partitioned my hard drive into to 4 different disks, and after starting up from the OS install disk and running disk utility, I found only one partition was damaged. More importantly, at the time, I did have all my data backed up on my terabyte external… or so I thought. It seems through an innocent mistake, after backing up the damaged disk, I managed to reformat my external thinking it was my startup. I know.. I know… a total amateur move. I promise, I really do know what I’m doing.

Long story short, I was able to recover most everything—thank you DiskWarrior. It took me a complete day and night to straighten everything out and get this contraption running smoothly again. It won’t ever be exactly the same as it was, but I can now breath a sigh of relief, at least. And as I am constantly learning, change is one part of life you cannot change.

I’ve taken a bunch of pictures over the last two days, though. I have a butterfly report—with some gorgeous closeups of the two butterflies that hatched in my studio—and a crochet reef update (I’m making pretty good progress on that project too). I took pictures of our BLT lunch and I have some recent found images that inspired me through my debacle. BUT! Posting them will have to wait until tomorrow. Because right now… I am going to go to sleep. I want to hit up my knitting group tonight, to work on the crochet reef, so I’d better get at least a few hours in—minimize the mistakes in my stitches. ;)

Hope this photo strip makes you smile… it’s my delirious-sleep-deprived-self trying to show you some of the faces I wore over the last two days. The second face lasted by far the longest and the last face is me right now—headed off to bed!


french toast dinner night
March 26, 2011, 6:35 pm
Filed under: Foodz, Haps | Tags: , , , ,

French toast for dinner?!! You betcha! I love French toast! And French toast for dinner is where it’s at, like you can get with this or you can get with that, ’cause this is where it’s at at! Okay, that was just a very bazaar sentence. Seriously, though, serious, I hope you enjoy this french toast for dinner montage as much as we enjoyed making it!

french toast montage

How we make French Toast

4-6 Slices of bread (any kind *using real french bread is Ahh-mazing! but this time we used potato, and it was yums too)
1/4 C. Milk (or milk substitue)
1/2 tbls. Cinnamon
1-2 Eggs
Syrup (Blue Agave Sweetner is yum sans the spike to your glucose! Honey works too.)
Fruit if you’d like!
Powdered Sugar is also optional

fred french toast press

Heat your skillet up on medium heat.

Next, in something with a flat bottom, pour the eggs and milk (or milk sub) together. You can add a little more milk if you want to stretch the egg wash to make a few more slices or you can use less if you want a more eggy french toast. We use this awesome round silicone baking thingy (called a thingy ’cause it’s not really a dish or a pan) but you can use anything that will hold liquid and still allow you to submerge the bread. Mix in the cinnamon and whisk them all together.

Now here’s where you gotta be kinda quick. If you have a helper that rocks! If not… it’s still totally doable. You just use one hand to submerge a slice of bread in the egg wash, wet on both sides, then lift it out of the wash and let it slightly drain off the excess wash. Then with the other hand, cut a small pad of butter off of the stick and throw it into the skillet. Place the slice of bread on top of the sizzling butter.

I guess this does seem a little complicated, but if you put the butter in first and then wet the bread the butter could burn off before you place the bread over it. Aaaaand I suppose we could butter the bread before we submerge it, but eh—it’s all relative—this works for us! Really, once you get the hang of it, it goes really fast and it can be done by one person, and it saves on using more butter than necessary.

Now that you’ve got that sweet piece of bread turning brown and smelling yummy you can sit back and enjoy some chocolate milk (or milk sub) and chat it up with your helper or make some eggs or coffee or flip the bacon. Depending on how brown you like your toast you can flip it when you like and then just repeat the above bread dunking, butter sizzling steps with each slice you want to french up. Add fruit and or powdered sugar to the plated slices and drizzle with your choice of syrup!

When we were in Austin last summer, we stopped by Toy Joy. Their website is a little crazy, but if you ever actually find yourself in Austin, you must check out Toy Joy! While we were there perusing, we found the French toast press made by Fred, who incidentally makes some of the cleverest devices. As a French toast lover, I could not pass it up! Simply press it into your slice of bread and voilà! Your French toast is instantly that much more French, which I know, is not really French at all. You can read the French bread history, of sorts, here, interesting stuff.

Yay for French toast dinner! Now who’s with me? :P

what’s the haps?!

Fun things I’ve been up to lately, enjoy!

crochet knobby finger coral hawaii hyperbolic crochet coral reef

This news actually deserves its own separate post, which I will do when I have a few more pieces to show, but for now… I’ve recently joined the artists and crafters currently working to create Hawaii’s own Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. Founded by two sisters in 2009, the HCCR was and is a project aimed at bringing awareness to the endangerment of the Great Barrier Reef and all reefs worldwide. Now currently on exhibition at the Smithsonian, the HCCR has evolved from being the work of the two sisters to now encompassing the work of thousands of people worldwide. A fact which can be directly compared to size and number of species actually seen in our ocean’s coral reef systems. The Hawaii HCCR will be on exhibit at The Arts at Marks Garage the month of June. A reception will be held on Slow Art Friday, June 17th, where I will have the pleasure of being one of the artists giving live demonstrations of crochet! The photo above is the beginning of my first piece, not completed yet, but it is inspired by Hawaii’s Knobby Finger Coral. If you crochet and are interested in becoming a participant in this project there is still time to join! Follow the link above or let me know and I can help you get acquainted with the group! I will definitely be posting more info on the show as well as more of my creations in the coming weeks.

still shot from live eagle cam

I’ve also been watching this Eagle Cam! It’s live footage of an family of eagles, two adults and three chicks at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. It’s really sweet to see how nurturing the adults are with the chicks. The photos are screen grabs from the cam, one during the day and the other at night… Try it out! One thing to note, though, if it doesn’t work at first you can try again later. I’ve gotten errors a couple of time, but then later it would work.

Another fun happening around here is we are about to start painting the kitchen! The bedroom is on hold until the carpet comes in, so we figured why not start the kitchen while we wait! I am super excited to see the room all white with the pop of bright red. I’ve been thinking about covering the Formica on our homemade countertop with steel or aluminum? Hmmm… I still need to go check out the prices and sizes of what’s available at the hardware store here to see if it’s even a possibility.

This morning we went to Moanalua High School to watch the senior project presentations. I recently mentored a student from there who had contacted me last semester. She was doing her senior project on graphic design and the difference between graphic design and art. I was really impressed with her presentation. She was an organized speaker and made excellent points arguing her thesis very intelligently. I felt honored to be one of the designers there who played a role in her research!

Hope everyone has a great rest of their weekend! I’m going to go help empty out our kitchen now… tomorrow we paint! Yay!


Mia goes to the vet
March 25, 2011, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Haps | Tags: , , , , ,

mia dog

I haven’t really written about my Mia before. She’s my 1+ year old mix puppy. Most people think she’s a mini Golden Retriever and want to know exactly how did we do that?! But she’s not. She is actually a mix of 5 different breeds! Here we go… so she’s mostly Corgi (body shape, coat, energy level) along with a pinch of Chihuahua (coat color, snout), Lhasa Apso (?), Pomeranian (coat, tail curl and haunches), and Jack Russel (her brain, energy level). All small dogs, she weighs 22.5 lbs. She’s smart as all get out and a great runner per her Corgi roots.

Today we went to the vet for shots and some kind of rash she has developed on her belly. She usually doesn’t do well in the car and today was no exception, but she managed not to get car sick until we got there. Poor baby. She was so well behaved while we waited, I was so proud to be her owner! There were many dogs in and out—we were there 2 hours because we were walk-ins—but she managed to sit or lay down the entire time, staying very close to me. She’s not a barker so no worries there. Thankfully, she did not inherit that habit from any of the small breeds in her genetic make up!

mia's day at the vet

Now that I think about it, I wish I would have taken her picture in the vet’s office, but at the time I was trying to comfort her while the doctor checked the slides he made to evaluate her condition. She’s such a little trooper! I can’t imagine not being able to communicate to someone when I’m scared or hurting, but I could see it in her eyes. And I could tell she was so glad to be home when she proceeded to pass out… tuckered out from all the day’s excitement! Don’t worry Mia, it’s all better now.

garage sale saturday
March 24, 2011, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Haps | Tags: , , , ,

Yay for garage sales! One man’s trash is truly another man’s treasure, my treasure! I don’t go as often as I’d like, but when I do, it’s on!

mound of garage sale clothes

This past Saturday, the neighborhood one over from us was having their annual garage sale event. My husband’s mother, Haidy, who is an avid garage sale shopper asked me if I’d like to go check it out with her. I figured, since I am in the market for a pair of matching nightstands for the new room and I hadn’t been to any in forever, this could be fortune smiling down on me.

This was an event for the serious garage sale lover! They had a map of the neighborhood and a list of which addresses had sales going on. More than a few streets had at least four homes with their garages full of possible treasures hopeful to find new homes. Some were even offering coffee and muffins for a hopeful donation or selling plate lunches. There were several raising money for various charities and one sweet old couple who said all the proceeds from their sale would go to aid the Japan tsunami victims.

garage sale traffic

It was a very popular place to be, I must say. Cars and people everywhere and the hunt was on for some serious deals! What did I find? Oh! Well, I’m so glad you asked!garage sale purchases

I scored a cashmere sweater vest for .25¢, which I might “frog”, or unravel, so I can knit something new with the yarn! I also found a Diane von Fürstenberg wrap dress (not sure what season—like I care) for $7 bucks! I picked up a Calvin Klein dress for $7 and a CK black jacket for .25¢. A sweater from Ann Taylor, and two pairs for J. Crew capris (one pair with cute little martini glasses embroidered on them) both a quarter and a pair of turquoise suede Ralph Lauren loafers made in Italy for $1 dollar—win, win, win!

garage sale books

I promise I am far from being a fashion snob, although knowing my labels does help, and when I happen across something good, I know it. I was mostly stoked about the Fürstenberg dress because—like I’ll ever own anything that expensive—I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes. So that was a real win for me. Yay for me! Haaahaa…

garage sale stationary

Anyway… I also found some really great cigar boxes, books, cookbooks, some kawaii stationary from Japan, a couple cute belts and—shhhh… don’t tell the lady—a genuine leather purse. She said she didn’t think it was real leather and sold it to me for $2.00. Werd. I don’t really know why I bought an entire box of golf pencils—I guess I was on a roll? And I’ll probably make a patio pillow out of the vintage rice sack.

garage sale random

As we were leaving the neighborhood we drove by this really great old Dodge truck. It was so rusted out, but I was amazed at how perfect the grass was trimmed around it! The neighbor, who came out when he saw me taking pictures of it, said it was one of Kailua’s oldest landmarks; he was serious. He said the man it belonged to had tried to get it running, but parts here are scarce. I explained that, being from Texas, I have a soft spot for tough old trucks and muscle cars as well as lawn ornaments ;) so I had to stop and take its picture.

old dodge pickup

All in all it was a really fun day, and I’m definitely thinkin’ I should do this garage sale-ing thing way more often!

bedroom update
March 24, 2011, 4:18 pm
Filed under: Haps | Tags: , , , ,

So where did I leave off last time… oh yes, I was on my way to pick out some new carpet, which I did do! Unfortunately, it won’t be on island for 6–8 weeks—I am making my perturbed face right now. Oh well, you gotta pick your battles, right? I am really looking forward to installing it, though. It is a lovely shade of silver gray. I was originally thinking I would pick out a gold, to try to play up the gold wall. But it as it turns out, the gold wall looks like a different shade of gold depending on what kind of light it is reflecting. I’ve now seen it have a huge range from the pretty romantic gold it is suppose to be, to a more yellow gold, to a horrible gold that hints of kiwi green?!?? I was pretty irritated with it while it was going up on the wall, but there again, I was reminded to trust my instincts, and soon we realized the drastic color change was due to the terrible florescent overhead light that was installed in the room forever ago. Since we plan to NEVER use that light again and now have two beautiful lamps to replace it, I am breathing a sigh of relief as I am really pleased with the color.

bedroom renovations

bedroom renovations lit branch headboard

Ooooh… pretty lights… we had bought these lit branches at Ben Franklin last spring and were using them in the corners of the room for nighttime light. But they were propped up in an old wine bottle and a red vase, neither of which I wanted to keep in the room. While I was fumbling with them trying to figure out where to put them, I had a moment. I grabbed a staple gun and a couple old pieces of ¼ inch ply wood that I’d previously had cut down to paint on and in 15 minutes I had a new DIY headboard. Don’t you just love those kind of moments?!

bedroom renovations lit branch headboard

The first picture is one of the lamps I found at Ross; I picked up the pair. It was fate. It was like the chair!!! Oh man, for those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter… I found this amazing chair at Ross—there is a picture of it below—and almost fell out at how perfect it was for the room. I chose all the room colors from our Alexander Girard duvet cover, the gold color to off-set the aqua and the grays for a touch of masculinity. But even after adding the sliver carpet, I still felt like I needed more of those grays present. And then, like a bolt of lightening, I turned the corner and there it was, that chair! A classic cut for not a lot of buck—it’s no Chippendale piece—but with the lamps, it totally adds a sweet little touch of wham-bam-thank-you-glam, without being too fem. I love it.

the chair

carpet and side table

As it turns out my garage sale day last Saturday didn’t yield me any nightstands. But I was taking a friend to Saver’s on Tuesday and, on a tip from Haidy, decided to stop at the Salvation Army first. Immediately upon walking in I saw two matching side tables. They were small and round—I love round—dark like our dressers, a pair, they were perfect! Ouch! They were a hundred dollars. What?! Oh no! Where’s the manager…

I found the manager and argued a good case for why that price was totally unreasonable. I mean, I know it’s for charity and all, but geez. He agreed to mark them down to what I offered, which was $50 for the pair. Still a decent exchange, and whoo-hoo, my furniture searching is over!

Now we’re patiently waiting for the carpet. I still plan to hang some wall decor, although I am not sure what just yet. Also, we plan on antiquing the dressers with either the aqua or the cream… I think I’m leaning toward the aqua, but we might do them gray also? Whatever we decide, I’ll be sure to give y’all a look see into our lovely new room!

a sweet surprise

Outside one of my studio windows is the peak of Olomana. It’s green year round. This is by far the best place I’ve ever worked in my entire life. It definitely beats the drive-thru window at Checkers (a hamburger joint in Biloxi, Mississippi) and it most certainly beats being a 4th of July fireworks stand operator—especially during a drought summer in Texas. I had to live in that shack for two weeks, even sleeping there. And then, I didn’t even get paid for it until a year later! But we won’t go there. Long story.

monarch caterpillar

Outside my other window is a Milkweed plant, which every year around this time becomes a host plant for the Monarch Butterfly. My husband’s mother loves butterflies and she often will go out and find the branches with caterpillars, gather them up, and put them in buckets of water so she can watch their metamorphosis into the creatures she adores, ever careful not to disturb them.

monarch caterpillar

So about a week ago my dear husband gathered some himself. He put them in a small bucket with water and placed them our office. When he told me about them he said they’d already been in the office for three or four days. To which I replied, “What!? You mean they’ve been there this whole time and I never noticed them?!” I’m usually a keen observer, but I guess when it comes to his desk, I’ve just stopped looking at the mess.

monarch chrysalis

He told me how he’d hoped one of them would turn into a butterfly and surprise me one day while I was working—just flying around my desk. I know, how cool would that be? But I had unexpectedly busted him while he was watering the plant so the cat was outta the bag.

monarch chrysalis

We now have one Monarch chrysalis. My husband super glued the leaf it’s attached to up high by my window. And two more caterpillars happily munching away… one is pretty big and will soon—any day now—turn into a chrysalis itself.  They are just lovely, and I will certainly take more photos as this one emerges. Hopefully I’ll catch him in the act! And when he’s ready to fly………… we will let him go.

I knew my husband was a sweetheart the day I met him, but he continually finds ways to show me just how crazy cool he is.

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