Monday, June 24, 2013

Mega Mammoth Monday

Meet Shag
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SHAG : A Modern Tale of Mammoth Proportions

He’s furry. He’s cuddly. He’s mammoth.

Well…um, actually, he is a mammoth.

Woolly mammoth.

Click on the cover for a free preview

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, iUniverse and other notable booksellers online.

Leave a comment to win a signed copy of

SHAG: A Modern Tale of Mammoth Proportion

You'll get to experience the book as I did, in its first printed form as an editor's copy, to review the manuscript for errors and corrections. It is one of less than 10 such copies.

Winner to be chosen at random next week.

Great Summer reading!

Mammoth Monday

The Land of Eternal Winter

The herd of great, furry beasts lumbered through the frozen arctic tundra. They were migrating south to the warmer climate and regions where the conifer forests were abundant. With the spring thaw, the herd passed this way on their journey to summer pastures in the north. Now, months later, they retraced their steps in hopes of finding something to forage under thepristine pellicle of snow. Food was good here last time.
     The late afternoon storm passed quickly and hadn’t flurried heavily enough to cover their deeply trodden tracks, but it was sufficient to blanket everything in a fresh coating of white. The newly fallen snow incited the rambunctious young sters into playing tag. Running and sliding beneath the fringed undersides and tree trunk legs of the adults, the calves’ acrobatic stunts stirred up clouds of confetti-like frost. One of the elder females chuffed at the impertinent nuisance of a snout full of powder.
     She reared her head as she recovered from the sneeze and blurted a loud trumpeting from her three-meter long trunk. The calves scrambled out and away from her gracefully curving tusks with their gentle upward twist.
     The woolly mammoth, a thirty-five-year-old female and the matriarch of the herd, stood eleven feet tall at the shoulder. She was draped in a thick coat of fur; the ropy, cashmere-like locks of hair flowed over each and every one of her kind from head to toe.
     In a panorama of nothingness, each massive creature resembled a hairy oasis. Even in the murky dusk their distinctive shape and oafish size made them oddities against the background of eternal ice age winter.

to be continued...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

This Year I Had a Vacation Too!

When I have family and friends come to visit, I usually try to maintain a diluted stream of work during their stay. This year, a few weeks ago, when my dad and sister came to visit, I put aside all the trappings of work and took a vacation too! (But I should mention as I am always looking at the world for sources of inspiration, I am always working) =\ ...

I know it's cliche but it was great to explore my own back yard, and the best part was they rented a Jeep Wrangler - so I was a passenger and was along for the ride.

So here's a scrapbook depicting most of what we did during those 10 days.

Day 1:
Breakfast at the local grindz Jack's Inn

 A whole Opakapaka caught that morning... 
and charcoal grilled with a Sweet and Spicy sauce for dinner that evening. Oh so ONO!

Day 2:
 Huli Huli Chicken - hundreds of them grilled at once on mechanized spits

 Happy Hour pupus

A trio of Maui Cattle Co.burgers (from the bottom) beef, elk and boar.

Day 3:
 Old Glory waving in the late afternoon trade winds.

Maui Veterans Cemetery the day before Memorial Day: The Boy- and Girl Scout troops decorated the grave with flags and handmade leis.

 In honor of those who had served.

Makawao Cemetery 

Day 4:
Dad outside of the IAO Theater in Wailuku, an historic landmark known to be haunted

Dad posing with his ghostly koa warrior

 Maui Ocean Center

Day 5:
The Road to Hana 
the complete loop: the long way in and the short (54 Bridges) way home
From Haiku: East, North, West and then South
 Sculptures of hula dancers at the Tedeschi Winery carved from living trees (that were actually rotting from the inside out). They are still attached to the stumps in the ground.

Wind-driven turbines - the blades turn at 200 MPH at their tips

 Palapala Ho'omau Church - the resting place of Charles Lindburg

Day 6:

Sunset on Haleakala Crater

 The endangered Haleakala silversword.

Day 7, 8 and 9:
A weekend in Lahaina - the Pioneer Inn

On the way: Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop
 Freshly brewed ice tea and the some of the best french fries on the island - and as we all know: fries are just a vehicle for eating ketchup!

A very decadent home-made birthday layer cake: 
Lilikoi (passionfruit) pound cake and Lilikoi-Chocolate Ganache Buttercream; 
Maui Winery bubbly

Sis's birthday - you look fantastic, sweetie!

One of Dana's must haves in Lahaina: Local Boy shave ice - flavors unknown but it had Roselani vanilla ice cream on the bottom, not marshmallows but mochi and li hing mui (dried plum powder) sprinkled on top.

Hopped unfettered right up onto the blanket at the beach

This sat on the sand the entire time we were at Black Rock beach - this is so inspiring creatively because I could spin many different stories on this image alone

Dad posing outside before we grazed on the best buffet on the island: the KBH Sunday Champagne Brunch - dad's pre-Father's Day gift from us.

My lovely family: yes, I am related to them... =\

Day 10:

(Clockwise from top left) Grilled Okinawan (purple) Sweet Potatoes; Grilled Mango-Balsamic Chicken Paillards with fresh mango and black lava seat; Grilled Vegetables with Sweet Soy Mayo Dressing, black sesame seeds, Gingered Honey Carrots, Oven-dried Tofu, Poi 

Note: Mom stayed home taking care of the dogs, Kassi and Kona, basking in the solitude of the absence of my two visitors.

It was bittersweet seeing them depart but we already have future visits planned; I back East for the holidays, and Dana here for Whale Fest in February.

Next post:

What's furry, cuddly and really mammoth? Stay tuned to find out...

Monday, June 17, 2013

I've Been Burned Out


Sorry for the absence of posts recently but I have gotten a bit burned out -- intensely focused on a family visit, the MBD blog hop, madly hatting, and now doing taxes.

I have lots to say and much has happened to share, and I've sat down many times to write but the flow just isn't there.

So, here are a couple of pics of a bouquet of protea taken in the light of the late afternoon sun going on sunset.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together...

Just to have a laugh, or sew along.

Seams we just got started, and before you know it,

Comes the time we have to say, "Sew long."

My revision of the theme song of one of the greatest leading ladies of comedy
- Carol Burnett.

So they say all good things must come to an end. But the end, if taken from the opposite spectrum, is a totally new beginning.

We've seen the talents of 6 incredible devotees of something as simple as a piece of fabric. Yet these enthusiasts have embraced a piece of fabric with creative fervor, design genius and incredible enthusiasm as to raise it to a new level of consciousness.

I never knew the power I had in my hand with a pencil and a piece of paper. Sometimes I think I should be doing something else with my life to create a better good, a betterment of society, to help the world be a better place. And yet, when I see the joy and excitement I have created with a single design on fabric - a repetitive dot, I know I am exactly where I need to be. A piece of fabric has brought wonderful people into my life, has rallied disconnected individuals for a common cause, and has allowed kindred spirits to connect. And I hope, we have inspired you, the reader, in the process.

I thank whatever being or entity that has allowed me to be the creative spirit that I am and I thank all of you, devoted fans and newbies alike for showing me my worth.

I had originally planned on singling out one of the 6 MBD Enthusiasts that participated in the blog hop to be a shining star. But once the hop started to get under way, I knew that would be unjustly unfair. Each and every one of these wonderful people committed themselves to my crazy scheme without any monetary reward, without any question of sacrifice of their time, without any preponderance of ego, talent or competition. The support they have shown one another throughout the journey is outstanding.

Jamie Mueller gave us cute little iPhone covers and a wonderful reinterpretation of her quilt design Brick Road...

...while Linda Solovic showed us the beauty in simple shapes and forms in her stitchery and embellishment techniques.

Karen Neary ran circles around us (literally) with her Mirror Ball Quilts and 3-dimensional disco ball...

Elisa Albury's Breaking Amish interpretation of traditional Amish quilts shows us that in the right hands, a great idea or concept can be a timeless entity.

Dory Smith Graham showed us a sun hat made of torn strips of fabric for a relaxed and casual fashion statement

and Nanette Zeller seized the day - dare I say, Carp(e) Diem? - with her 3D fish.

If I had asked specifically for these incredible projects I would have never gotten them - all I asked is that the enthusiasts think outside of the realm of their comfort zone, to be boxed in by limiting the number of fabrics to be used, and to let the Mirror Ball Dot inspire creativity. This was truly a great exercise in less is more...

Unfortunately I am feeling under the weather today as I write this (a pesky and untimely malady to have to contend with - but I am generally fine) and I do not have it in me to follow up with more images of MBD projects that have been created. I'll make sure they're published in a forthcoming post and/or I will make sure that Dory has them pinned to her Pinterest Board.

Again, in my opinion, each of these incredible people are to be commended for their commitment, dedication and affection for a piece of fabric that I have called Mirror Ball Dot.

Please leave a comment and let them know how you feel. I won't pick a reader as winner this time from the comments because I have chosen to send a "Thank You" care package to each of the participants as my way of saying MAHALO! for coming together on my behalf.

Sponsors for the package include Michael Miller Fabrics, Sulky Threads of America, Fairfield Processing, and little things that I have gathered from the island of Maui.

M-I-R... Aren't you glad you stopped by?
R-O-R... Ready to create some MBD things of your own?
B-A-L-L Dot