Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Asheville Fiber Festival

Last weekend I attended a fiber festival in Asheville (http://www.saffsite.org). Fiber, as in yarn. There were also fiber animals there, and classes (I took two classes).

Mitch and I met up with our friend Stan there and had a wonderful visit. It was so good to see Stan again and spend time together. Except that he went into booths I hadn't and then I wound up spending way more money. It's your fault Stan! 8-) Never, ever follow another knitter into booths on the second day, when you think you finished all your shopping on the first day. That way lies madness.

(except that is how I got that wonderful angora skein...my absolute favorite. I would have never touched it if Stan hadn't been in there touching it. Thank you Stan! Now I need to get another job so I can support an angora craving. I need more. Much, much more. SO much more.)

Here's some photos! (When viewing online, you can click to enlarge.)

The main sales arena and workshop area...there were two levels filled with booths.

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Guys in sheep hats they knitted themselves...one of them is a ram, not a ewe:

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Here is Dianne in her booth...she's an indie yarn dyer and I bought a wonderful skein of sock yarn from her:

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A hand felted scarf I made in a class (using bubble wrap and a pool noodle). I saw a similar one made using the same method for sale in an Asheville boutique for $150:

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A hand felted pillow top I made, felting loose locks onto wool batting (again with a pool noodle and bubble wrap...although some needle felting was needed at one corner):

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An angora bunny...soooo cute:

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An alpaca...luckily he did not spit at me:

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An angora goat...they make mohair:

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Silk cocoons!

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A Jacob's sheep...he has four horns! He's looking down so you are seeing the back of his head.

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Me, going seriously overbudget on:

Hand dyed yarn for a retro poncho I will make:

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The hand dyed yarn by Dianne:

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The jewel to beat all jewels EVER, a skein of 100% angora bunny yarn that I have already knitted up into a scarf:

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A Fair Isle "yarn bowl", already in use for the hat I'm making. The bowl's weight keeps it in place, no sliding. It has two holes in it, one on each side, to separate the yarn colors and keep them from tangling while knitting. It's genius:

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A bag of loose locks the teacher insisted on giving me when I offered to help unload her truck of class supplies:

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Poehler Raps Palin

See this before they take the embedding link down. Sooooo so funny.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One of the Coolest Vids I've Ever Seen

This video includes some of my very favorite things in life: knitting, lots of yarn, claymation, punk rock and guitars. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a Godzilla or Moth-Ra.

Kona Coffee and Ukelele Music

Mitch had his birthday while we were on O'ahu. For gifts, I got him a pound of 100% Kona coffee and a cd of Jake Shimabukuro.

Now at home, tonight he did something different with the Kona coffee...he made a tiki drink called "Crackatoa" which has Demerara rum, dark rum, fruit juices and a Kona coffee float. Scope it out while listening to something else unexpected with something Hawaiian, Jake's music on ukelele.



Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Night Out With Andy

Andy showed us much aloha by taking us out to see the Society of Seven show, now featuring American Idol finalist Jasmine. Here's Andy (center) after the show, with the show members and Jasmine.



Before the show, Andy took us to Chuck's where he introduced us to award winning mixologist Bobby, seen here. His Mai Tai was the best I tasted in all of Waikiki. We had never been to Chuck's before...they have a fabulous, FABULOUS corner view of the beach and Diamondhead, and the BEST ahi puupuus I ever had. We went back another night for more.



I think I posted this one already but here it is again.

A Downtown Honolulu Church

While walking downtown to see 'Iolani Palace, we happened upon a beautiful church...I believe it's Episcopalian. Inside were two very moving paintings.

This one shows a torn painting of the Queen with her ghostly hand reaching out, clasping a rose, while propped onto a second painting. In the foreground is sheet music; she was an accomplished song writer. I wish I knew more about this painting and will try to find out about it.

It drives me up a tree that Hawaiian history is not taught on the mainland. We conquered them for business reasons and no one talks about it, knows about it, or wants to hear about it. Unconscionable.



There was also this wonderful painting, set in the church itself, showing a homeless man resting inside the church and attended by ghostly priests. I hope he gets help from live priests, too.



Close-up. You can see the stained glass window; these are a main feature of this church.



Here's one of the real windows. They crank open (this one is open). One one side of this very large church/cathedral, all the windows are dedicated in memoriam to someone.



There was also a kahili (feather standard) here. I saw a mind boggling display of these at the Bishop Museum but did not get photos there. These standards indicated the presence of royalty and were painstakingly made with bird feathers. Hundreds and hundreds of feathers. (I'm not sure what this one is doing in a Christian church...)




Here's a photo from the Honolulu Star Bulletin of a few of the kahili in the Bishop Museum. To understand how tall these are...the paintings are at eye level. Read more here from the article.



And on the grounds of the church, St. Francis.



Above the entrance:



A detail from inside the church:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Video For My Mom

I took this camera video of a moving sculpture at the Contemporary Arts Museum for my mom.

The main exhibition was traveling one, about puppets. It had puppets in many media...marionettes, hand puppets, sculptures of puppets, claymation videos, movie skits with marionettes, paper cutout silhouette puppet movies in black and white, and even one installation of 3 marionettes with wires attached to a ceiling mechanism. The marionettes would tap dance at intervals powered by the machine. One odd one was a film of marionettes, with the marionettes themselves in the viewing room with us humans, watching themselves from the front row.

The puppet exhibit was freaky, moving and scary. One offering was described on the museum description page as "couldn't be more offensive". Several of the offerings depicted graphic sexual abuse and murder. Really, really weird. The entire exhibit had a parental warning on it, but people were still taking their kids in. (We didn't know any of this before going.)

Go here to see a photo of one of the paper silhouette puppet scenes, and a description of the show.

My favorite part was the end of the show, where there was a bulletin board with pins. The museum asked for viewers to write their reactions to the show and pin them up. Most of them said it was scary and would give them bad dreams, as well as some mentioning fear of clowns (I don't like clowns either, ever since hearing about that Steven King book).

After escaping the puppets, I relaxed on the grounds with this moving sculpture and took video of it to share with Mom. Nothing scary or offensive about this video. Just peaceful.

Honolulu Fabric Mart

Here's a photo of Fabric Mart, taken from the bus stop where we were sitting after shopping there. We purchased fabric for our living room curtains that I will make, plus fabric for a muumuu and a pareo for me.



Below: here's the fabric for curtains. It will really tie together the vintage blue sofa and retro green chairs we have. We saw curtain samples hanging in the shop window. The aloha fabrics really looked nice as curtains, with the sun shining behind them.





I intend to make the full length pareo with the fabric below it.




I noticed that these patterns have all the sizes in one, unlike most mainland patterns. These are petite up to XL for this pattern, and XXL for the other one. I'll make this muumuu with the fabric below it.


We are Home

We made it safely home! I have more photos and video to share in the coming days.

Tried a new fruit from Chinatown, Mangosteen (last time we tried Dragonfruit).

It's rarely available in the United States. Read more about it by clicking on the Mangosteen link above.

below: the tray of mangosteens in Chinatown where I purchased one. One fruit cost $2.70...it was $10 a pound and Wikipedia says it can go for up to $45 a pound in New York City.



Here's what it looks like when cut open. You eat the white part. It's sort of like tangerine sections. Except softer and some parts of it are gel-like.



It was very sweet, hard to describe. Wikipedia says some upscale NYC restaurants serve it as a dessert.



On our last full day in Honolulu, we unexpectedly came upon this Hawaiian Pueo Owl sitting on a fence between the downtown library and I'olani Palace. Very rare, this species of owl is on the endangered list and is endemic to the Hawaiian islands (not found anywhere else in the world). A woman walked up and said she'd lived on O'ahu for her entire life and never seen one before. A clerk at our hotel said it made the local paper. Here's my photo.



Before leaving for the airport on Sunday, we went back to Art at the Zoo Fence and got photos of 2 of the artists whose work we had purchased.

Here is Yuri Farrant with his photos on canvas. An Emmy award winning cinematographer, he has worked on movies such as "What Dreams May Come" and "Abyss" among many others, and loads of commercials.

We purchased his bamboo forest near the top center of the photo. The one near the wave. It will be about 5 ft. long and 2.5 ft. high.



Another wonderful artist was Hey Hirayama. We got 3 of his paintings.

Andy Sexton and Dean Lum @ Harbor Pub

Here's a short clip of friend Andy Sexton playing with Dean Lum at the Harbor Pub in Honolulu, during our vacation. Andy on soprano sax and Dean on ukelele.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quan Yin Temple, Chinatown, Honolulu

When we went to the Quan Yin Temple in Chinatown, Honolulu recently, there was chanting going on inside. Here is a brief video with sound from the outside of the temple.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm Still in Hawaii

End of the road. Can't go any further around the island than this...past the glider airport.



Mitch and friend John Sexton. They went to high school together and played in a band called Hawaiian Express.



Photo I took of Diamondhead volcanic crater, from Tantalus Drive.



A very large sculpture on the grounds of the Contemporary Art Museum. It's a bra!



Here's a rainbow we saw from the top of Punchbowl Crater.



This is a tree in Foster botanical garden. They call it the Elephant Tree because it looks like many legs of large elephants all together.



In Foster garden.



Sunset over the marina at a tiki restaurant, La Mariana. Where even the taxi driver goggled that we were out there, saying it's a locals place.



Us at Pali Outlook.



John and Mitch at the island dead end.