Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day Dinner

Keep it small. Keep it simple. Keep it close to the heart - that is what Christmas Dinner was for me. A close and very dear friend of mine, Megan, and I spent the lovely Maui afternoon watching a movie and sharing in the food, warmth, love and flavors of friendship!

Mele Kalikimaka and love to all!

 Baked Croissant, Brie and Kula Strawberry and Fresh Lychee Jam

 Roasted free-range chicken with Wild Rice-Sausage and Shrimp Stuffing

 Roasted Root veggies

Butter Cookie Tarte with Big Island Estate chocolate

Monday, December 22, 2014

Snippets of a Birthday Dinner 12/18/14

Entree: Macadamia Nut Wood Smoked NY Strip steak
Lilikoi-Nasturtium Flower-Bay Shrimp Butter

Ensalada: Mixed greens, bacon, goat cheese, edamame, vine-ripened tomato, macadama nut-parmesan crumbs

Tarte: Hazelnuts and Walnuts, Fresh Cranberries, Fresh Blackberries

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Invitation to a Blog Hop

Nanette Zeller: NanetteSewZ

As Nanette mentioned, she was assigned as technical editor for my C&T publication Strip & Knit with Style. We bonded immediately. We have never met, face to face, yet we're always in contact over the years. That's how I got involved in this hop. Thanks, Nanette!

I answered the four questions as I had been asked. After much thought what I have came to me as I started writing the answers on the blog. 

I passed the blog hop reigns to Karen Neary of sewkaren-lycreated and took her introduction from her blog profile.

"I'm a quilt and pattern designer, award winning quilt maker, author and teacher. Since 1989, I have published well over 300 quilting patterns in magazines such as McCall's Quilting, Quilter's Newsletter, Quilt World, The Canadian Quilter and Quilter's Connection. I have contributed designs to 14 different books and co-authored Canadian Heritage Quilting with Diane Shink."

What am I working on? 

At present I am working on creating a new product for my label The Mad Hatter of Maui. I use minky (a plush fabric) as the backing for large and small children's blankets. Although the fabric yardage of 2-1/2 yards yields 2 large and 4 small blankets, there are plenty of usable scraps and I have been developing a new product from the leftovers. I have the logistics of the product worked out but now I am stymied as to the design... I could simply make it a rectangular shape, but my products for MHOM are reflective of Hawaii, and a simple geometric shape doesn't speak of this. I am drawn to the simplicity of the rectangle and the ease with which I could produce the item - that is very appealing - yet to make a fun shape is more labor intensive, and therefore less appealing - so right now I am letting the idea boil, boil - toil and bubble until I hopefully am given the epiphany I am seeking and have that, "Ah-ha!" moment that gives me my cake and the ability to eat it too!

How does my work differ from others in this genre? 

The first answer that comes to mind is, "Because it is mine!" I know that sounds a bit flip, egocentric and a non-answer answer but in essence, simply put, that is the truth. Like most (many? all?) artists, the fact that an idea or concept has been filtered through my brain makes it different from others because I believe we all are wired to process the same stimuli, information, and reality that is innate and unique. The best example I can think of are languages. Each language has a different way of conveying the same word - red, for example. Rouge, red, rojo,rot... would be a few familiar ones. Each word different yet similar and all conveying the same thing (and I have no idea why I chose the color RED).

Why do I create what I do? 

I create what I do because I see many things around me as useful art materials - and I am not just referring to the mediums that can be found in an art supply store or craft and hobby shop. But my sight is limited to that which I can relate to: just because I don't see something as being useful does not mean it isn't... it just isn't useful to me... So I create things that are a reflection of my aesthetics, my psyche... my soul; of my likes and dislikes, my personality traits and lacks thereof, of my preferences and prejudices... There is a piece of me in everything I do and if you look at my work, there is a common thread that sews all of my creativity together like a string of lights or telephone wire swagged between poles, or popped corn and sugared cranberries on an old fashioned style Christmas tree garland.

How does my creative process work? 

For some reason when I read this question I immediately thought of the saying, "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?" Does the process dictate the intended outcome or does the intended outcome dictate the process? I believe it is both. I might see something that I want to create and then I might want to create something that only I can see in my head. I might see a beautiful flower and want to document its beauty in creating it for what it is and I might "see" a cat doing the breaststroke and need to create it for what it is I know will be seen and accepted by others. Whichever it might be, the creative process is always a journey of exploration, striving to learn and to push myself artistically and technically, and to express myself by using as many of the senses as possible.

Karen will be the next on the list and then after that we both tried recruiting others to participate to only find that they had already done so. If you're just joining the hop here, then keep traveling back in the timeline and you'll surely find many, many interesting creative bloggers that might help you in your artistic pursuits.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lilikoi Butter

Lilikoi, or Passion fruit blossoms. Notice the similarities and distinctive differences in the blooms. The one on the left produces the yellow skinned fruits, while the one on the right, the purple skinned ones. The flavor is basically the same with the purple skinned fruit tasting a bit more perfumy, in my opinion.

The fruits from both of these vines shown whole and cut in half.

The lilikoi scooped out of the shells into a wire mesh strainer over a measuring cup to collect the juices

Strained lilikoi juice

Organic sweet butter and local eggs

Butter melting in a pot of just boiling lilikoi juice

The butter and juice mixture with the addition of raw organic cane sugar

The mixture after adding the tempered eggs to the butter/juice/sugar

The butter poured into the individual canning jars

Friday, December 5, 2014

Got Pin?

Do you pin?

If you don't then just skim through the boards and look at the pictures. 

It's a work in progress but eventually I hope to have a comprehensive online portfolio of my work - everything from designs, fabric, projects, photos, food and whatnot.

So why don't you hop on over and see what I've got pinned thus far?

See ya there!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bottled Water

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water, that is...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hawaiian Chili Peppers

I've had an Hawaiian chili pepper plant for quite some time now. The one I have in a large plastic pot I believe is several - three, four plants. 

It's produced many peppers since I relocated to Kahului - I think the warm and dry of the sun complimented by regular watering were all key.

I've been picking and freezing the firey-red 3/8"-1" peppers.

Today I made Chili Olive Oil and Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water.

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Oil

Hawaiian Chili Peppers and local Garlic simmering in a reduction of coconut water, Hawaiian salt and rice vinegar. I replaced the filtered water with the same amount of coconut water.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Shave Ice Bib

New bib fabric pattern for the Olowalu General Store - - they sell shave ice and this print is a natural... the order is for 6: the front will all be the same each with a different color back - red, yellow, pink, purple, blue and green - the colors of an Hawaiian rainbow.

And a couple of related pics...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Business Card

The background design is from my WONDERLAND collection for Blank Textiles (years ago) and called "The Mad Hatter".

Monday, November 3, 2014


750... that is the number of yards of that is on a spool off 100% cotton thread that I purchase at Steinlauf & Stoller, Inc. on 39th STreet in NYC. It's a Coats & Clark that has been discontinued. I just love working with it.

I use a particular color Aqua to sew together the pieces and topstitch the Turtles and Mermaids, and for production of hats, bibs and blankets, today I have started my 3rd spool. 

Now that's a lot of thread, considering all the pattens of fabric and backing colors I have.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Variation on a Theme: Pretty in Pink

Same honu embroidery, same tie-dye technique, both in shades pink.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 6

Day 6: Saturday - as I write this (4:32 pm) it's odd to think that one week from now the MIMCF will be over... on the enthusiasm meter I was very low on the scale - and that's all right as my motivation either from excitement or fear (or both) has kept me on an even keel all day. The rest of the evening will be spent printing business cards and promotional materials. And for those of you who only look at the pictures, here's another embroidery: my art, Sue's digitizing and embroidery magic, and a T-shirt custom tie-dyed by my friend Meriah of Meriah's Maui Tie Dye.

As an FYI - this embroidery has 33,435 stitches!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Day 7: One Week Away

Took stock this morning. Found a few gaps in my inventory. Feeling good but not really chuff. Too early to start panicking. I have a week, including today (which is not over for me yet - still 
mid-afternoon here!)

Here's an exciting item I received today. I had my great friend Sue of The Needlework Factory digitize and interpret my art for a T-shirt I'll be wearing for the Made in Maui County Festival. The embroidery is on the back left, so it looks as if the gecko is crawling up my shoulder...

Isn't it BRILLIANT?!

Thanks, Sue!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trimming Time is Here!

First there is cutting: pinning the pattern pieces to the flat folded fabric and cutting the pieces. 4 layers of printed fabric and 4 layers of corduroy. Next the pinning of the cut pieces together into like pairs: crown and brim. Sew. Unpin and then pin the top of hat to crown. Sew. Unpin. Sew decorative top-stitching to the crown. Pin the finished crown to the brim. Sew. Unpin.

Ahhhh, done....

Not quite.

Match finished inside and outside hat parts and splice (baste) them together. Sew the inside and outside together.

Wash the hats, dry, and then finally trim.

Dozen upon dozen of hats that have been cut, pinned and sewn end up washed and awaiting trimming.

R U a Facebook user? Check out the Hatter on his newly developed Facebook page!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Holy Basil, Praying Mantis!

When I was watering my little holy basil seedlings, it was quite breezy out but it seemed that some of the leaves of the plants were not just swaying in the gusts, but were actually moving. That's when I saw the praying mantis poised on the side of the ceramic pot.

Holy basil is known as tulsi in India, or the Queen of Herbs. The health-promoting properties are said to help the body combat stress. The plants are very fragrant and make a delicious tisane by steeping the fresh leaves and flowers. The brew is flavoured with notes of spicy clove, fruit and anise. I can't wait for the plants to mature to try this wonderfully refreshing and beneficial tonic.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Hatter's Facebook Page has FINALLY Arrived!

Lots and lots... AND LOTS of peer pressure and a very enlightening conversation with Kim, one of the key people spearheading the Made in Maui County Festival, has prompted me to tackle the task of finishing my Mad Hatter of Maui Facebook page.

Now you're gonna ask me for the little blue-and-white "f" button as a link to the page...

And I'm gonna have to say to you, "Hey, relax - this ain't the mainland." Facebook isn't set up like Blogger and there some similarities and many, many differences but in due time, I'll have them all under my belt and it'll be like walking a chewing gum while patting my head and rubbing my tummy....

So please bear with me and check back often to see the progress for yourself!



Mark Hordyszynski or Mad Hatter... you decide...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Official Announcement and LIKE us on Facebook Contest

2014 Made in Maui County
Festival Vendors Announced

Drum roll, please! The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce proudly announce the over 130 vendors who will be participating in the first-ever Made in Maui County Festival at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

These awesome local businesses offer a wide variety of made in Maui County products including foods, produce, art, crafts, jewelry, fashion, gifts, collectibles and more! The Festival will also feature demonstrations, a fashion show and food trucks.

For a listing of this year’s product vendors, click here.
For event information, visit

The event will open to the public on Saturday, November 8th from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
Admission is $3.00. Children 12 years and under free! Parking is also free.

The GREAT Made In Maui County Festival Giveaway!
LIKE us on Facebook and you could win an awesome prize from one of this year’s participating Made In Maui County Festival vendors.  One winner will be randomly drawn from those who have liked our Facebook page every Friday starting from October 10 through November 7, 2014.
No purchase necessary.
Event Website
Event Website



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Maui County Mayor's Office of Economic Development Board
2200 Main St. One Main Plaza Bldg, Ste. 305
WailukuHI 96793

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Made in Maui County Festival 2014

So it's official!
The Mad Hatter of Maui shall be one of the 130 Maui County vendors displaying their products at the premiere launch of the...

Held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center the first weekend in November, this 2 day event showcases some of the leading producers and manufactures of locally crafted items from the  3 islands in Maui county: Kaua'i, Lana'i and Maui.

Naturally, I've been spending every spare moment building up my stock, adding new prints to test market and will be available only at the festival.

For a link to the full list of vendors click here or on the banner above.

And an article appearing in the Maui