Monthly Archives: October 2013

Project 365, #294: Across Hilo Bay.


Looking out across Hilo Bay to where land meets sea meets sky…

Liliuokalani Gardens is a jewel among the many gorgeous parks in Hilo, and one of the most peaceful places in town.


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Project 365, #287-293: A Week of Bookshelves.

Today you get special extra-long themed post! (since I’m over a week behind…)

One of the first things I ever do upon entering someone’s home for the first time — or watching a YouTube video from someone’s room — is to look at their bookshelves. It’s like a magnetic attraction for me; I can’t help myself!

(Same goes to playing with their pets, but that’s another story…)

I feel like you can tell certain things about a person from what books they have. You get an impression of their interests and personality, what influences they might have, what shared interests, and so on. They have all the works of your favorite author? Yay, potential BFF! All the works of your most hated author? Scornful raised eyebrow.

In case any of my readers also enjoy perusing strange bookshelves, I though I’d give you a peek at the ones here at home.

Mind you, these are mostly my Mum’s books, not mine… That said, many of these books are ones I grew up with and therefore I have nostalgic memories attached to them. I’ll share a bit of that with the photos:



The stack facing the camera are, in fact, the only books here that are mine. However, I have not actually fully read most of them… Many are ones I brought to Hawaii when I moved back, in the hopes that I would finally get around to them. This obviously did not go as planned… There are also some that I have bought/been given since moving here.



Mostly Harmless, of course, was part of my everything-Douglas-Adams reading.

And I’ve read basically everything Neil Gaiman I can get my hands on, American Gods being no exception and also being one I’ve used to convert people into his fanbase.You’ll notice, I’m sure, more of his books in other photos.

Eaters of the Dead, which they loosely based the movie “13 Warriors” on, was excellent. I’ve read most of Michael Crichton’s books, too, and this was one of the better ones.

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey is the particularly battered-looking spine near the middle-left. It’s a family classic, and when my sister had her husband read it for the first time, his reaction was “that explains a lot about your family” and also “you were allowed to read that as a young teen?!?!?!”, which, really, also explains a lot about our family.

Oh, and of course Shakespeare Wit and Wisdom got flipped through and read aloud a lot in our family, and critiqued for not including this or that quote.



A bookshelf of classics, at least to me and Mum.

Mary Stewart, Parke Godwin, Dorthy Gilman, Mutant Message Down Under, Stranger in a Strange LandNationFire, Storm, The Hundredth Monkey… All excellent literature, and many are ones that Mum would quietly point out to me when I reached a certain age and mention I should read this one some time…knowing that I would instantly fall in love with it the moment I did. Some of these also took a turn as family read-alouds.



A peek at some of the spiritual and philosophical influences over the years… We are an eclectic family, to say the least! But there is a harmony to it all, too; a certain pervading attitude infusing theme into individual works.



Books of my childhood!

The Phantom Tollbooth is especially beloved in my family, and one that I’ll still re-read.

Wise Child, and the not-pictured prequel Juniper, are absolute favorites of mine and my Mum’s.

Master Skylark, A Walk in Wolf Woods, Johnny Tremain, The Root Cellar, and many of the others were all read-alouds — and many of them counted as history lessons, too.

Lloyd Alexander was a favorite author of us kids growing up.

All these books, even if I hadn’t read them, have been around most-if-not-all of my life, and they give me a warm nostalgic magical feeling of being a child looking through the family bookcases, wanting to read every book I saw.



Books of wander-lust, mostly. I inherited mine from Mum, whose homesteading life kept her tied down to a piece of land. But we live vicariously through books, so memoirs of travel were, and are, essential reading.



Last picture!

Some of my favorite non-fictions as a teenager are pictured here: Understanding Comics is a classic with more than just my family for a reason, and definitely fed my comic obsession; Alice in Quantumland was a perfect pairing since I was also obsessed with both the Alice books and quantum physics at the same time (before I read it, actually); and Talk to the Hand is both hilariously clever and quite informative.

That’s it for the tour! I hope you enjoyed it!

And now that I’m only a couple days behind on posts, I’ll get back to one-photo-per-update again.


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Project 365, #286: “New” Tank Top.


The blog “Trash to Couture” has given me lots of great ideas. Here is the one I was using this time. The link to the video was very helpful, too.

I started by taking a tight-on-me Tee, and cutting the back horizontally into about a finger’s width strips. Then I tugged on each strip to curl and stretch it into the ribbon/fringe so I could start weaving them. Pictured above is after the first pass of “spider-web” weaving.



This is after a couple more passes down the middle, including one with a twist to the weave.



More passes, down each side.

After I’m done weaving and have secured the ends of the pattern, I cut away the sleeves and extra fabric. This lets the weaving pull closer together, which creates a natural racer back tank top and also gives it a tighter, more finished look.



Finished! It’s cute, comfortable, and perfect for a hot, humid Hawaii climate. Plus, even though the original shirt was tight on me, the stretching, weaving, and restyling into a racer back means it now fits perfectly!

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Project 365, #285: “New” T-Shirt.


As mentioned previously, I’ve started altering some of my clothes. Now here’s one of the finished results! (Please ignore the blurry white spots; I hadn’t realized the mirror was dirty until I was sorting out my photos.)

Here is it from the back:


I had previously modified the original t-shirt by shorting it and narrowing the body at the side seams and up the back. I had also cut the “V” neckline. But I never bothered finishing before.

Now, I sewed the seams of the body together, gathering slightly at the bottoms of the sides so it created a nice slightly tighter fit close to my body, rather than hanging straight down from the bust. Then I widened the neckline near the shoulders to create that nice open line you see along the back. And I slashed-and-pulled the fabric of the sleeves to create a built-in fringe. sleeve.

That was pretty much it! It’s really comfortable — if a little warm for Hawaii due to the thick material — and has a nice loose-tailored feel to it. I’m happy with it, and it only took an afternoon to finish. Not bad!

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Project 365, #284: New Cane Juicer.


Dad finally found an affordable motorized juicer for sugar cane!

Here you can see him feeding the cleaned stalk of cane into the top of the juicer. The fresh juice pours out the faucet on the left, and the squeezed-dry stalk feeds out on the right. After each use, Dad takes it apart for cleaning and air-drying, and puts to together again before the next time.

Fresh cane juice is now a staple of our diet, especially since Dad is now getting about twice as much juice per stalk as before. I’ve taken to brewing a strong black tea and mixing it half and half with cane juice after it cools to make an all-natural, non-processed, healthy, filling, very effective energy drink on the days I work. It has become essential in order to get through those last few hours before lunch or closing, especially on those ten-hour days.

Dad has also started offering to press cane for other people, at five dollars a gallon, on Wednesdays and Sunday (which are the days he’s pressing anyway for a local restaurant’s standing order). And he’s been referring people to a local guy with over 20 acres of non-sprayed sugar cane, which he’s selling for one dollar a stalk. It could turn into quite a nice little side business for both of them!


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Project 365, #283: Flapper Headpiece.





I bought the headband with the black fake rose already attached. I took it off, created the feather piece using feathers from one of the roosters we’d slaughtered, and re-attached everything in a slightly improved position. It was actually pretty simple and didn’t take too long, but it looks fantastic and absolutely perfect for my 1920’s flapper outfit!

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Project 365, #282: Shelves.


Dad recently bought some handy wire shelves to use around the house and porch. Mum decided to put one of them in place of the two TV tables that had been housing the CD case, and whose ledge I’ve been using for some of my stuff. This meant I would get a whole shelf to myself, that one of the TV tables could be re-purposed for the printer/scanner (getting it off of Mum’s desk, though the CD case was then moved on to the desk), and that there was now shelf space for some of the pantry overflow.

Living in a small space that was supposed to be temporary with three adults means some tricky and careful planning with how to use each inch of room, but we’re slowly making some improvements…

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