Treasure Hunting: Japanese Dishes

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We trekked out to the South Shore of Maui over the weekend to pay a visit to the recently closed Makena Beach & Golf Resort.  All of the restaurant supplies are being sold in mass quantities. Their stacks of dishes, tea pots, steamers and more provided a every color and pattern you envision when you think ramen, sushi, green tea or miso soup. Enjoy the pattern play!

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Shop Around The Corner: Rainbow Acres Cactus & Succulent Gardens

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Magical succulent garden? Check.

A few minutes and a few miles above Makawao Town sits Rainbow Acres Cactus & Succulent Gardens. This Olinda nursery is home to hundreds of varieties of cactus and succulents. The friendly staff is super knowledgable and love what they do.  Short, tall, spiny, furry, hanging, potted, you name it, they got it!  Drive about 4 miles up Olinda Road, you’ll see the sign on the left.

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RAINBOW ACRES CACTUS AND SUCCULENT GARDENS

2233 Olinda Road

Open Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am – 4:00pm

Saturday 10:00am – 3:00pm

Sunday Closed

DIY: Shibori Tea Towels

DIY Shibori tutorial #hawaiianstylehale
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DIY Shibori tutorial #hawaiianstylehale

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Shibori is a time honored tradition in Japanese culture of textiles being intricately prepared for indigo colored dye baths through various types of resist techniques including wood planks, round pipe shaped objects and twine wrapping.  The masters of this craft vary from traditional artisans learning from generations before, to modern day artists researching, experimenting and learning on their own.  This tutorial is simple, easy way using the work Shibori in it’s simplest translation.  The time, dedication and effort put forth by those who truly study and work to master these techniques (the same for any medium) deserves the appropriate respect and honor.  That being said, this tutorial is a very simple process to create beautiful, tea towels.

What you’ll need:

White tea towels

Rubberbands

Dye (we used RIT Royal Blue & Aquamarine)

Rubber gloves

Plastic buckets

Clothesline

Clothespins

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There are several ways to prepare the towels for the dye resist.  We stuck to two of the more simple yet ultimately gorgeous styles –

1) Accordion fold the towel (anywhere from 1-2 inch folds) all from top to bottom creating a long strip, then accordion fold lengthwise until you have a rectangular ‘stack’ of a towel. Wrap the rubber bands around the towel using as many, or as few as you’d like.  The more rubber bands you use, the more white you’ll have remaining on your finished towel.  The rubber bands should be somewhat secure to resist the dye.

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2) The second method we used was literally a ‘kapakahi’ (anykine) method.  Scrunch the towel up in a ball  and wrap as many rubber bands around the ball as you’d like.

Follow the instructions and prepare your days bath. The RIT dye suggests adding salt for cotton fabrics.  Quickly dampen your rubber banded towels before submerging them in the dye bath.  The Aquamarine dye seemed to take a lot quicker than the Royal Blue did.  Let the towels site for anywhere between 30 -60 minutes depending on how dark you want your final color.  Keep in mind the final product will be lighter than when you first pull it out of the dye.

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Once your dye time is up, rubber gloves on, rinse the towels until the water runs clear.  Now comes my favorite part- slowly wring out any excess water, unwrap each of the towels and hang to dry.  Each is towel is a unique creation and I want to say it’s almost fool proof.  We unwrapped each one to oohing and aahing as they were all so pretty!

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We let them air dry, ran them through the washer with no detergent and then dryer dried them.  Our front yard looked like a folk concert / market and was so pretty!  These were so much fun to make with girlfriends!  Kids can help too!  Wrap them up or use them as wrapping, half the fun is sharing your stunning creations! Enjoy!

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Ho Mai Ka Hala: Bring Forth The Hala

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Had the opportunity to visit the Schaefer International Gallery at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center last weekend and was blown away by the gorgeous lauhala exhibit – Ho Mai Ka Hala, Bring Forth The Hala.

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The ancient form of weaving entails picking, drying and cleaning the leaves from the Hala tree (Pandanus).  Leaves are then cut into strips of various widths depending on the task at hand.  The weaving process can take hours or weeks depending on how elaborate the project.

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Strips of other material are sometimes interwoven to create different textures and colors.

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This practice was used for creating mats, roof thatching, hats and baskets.  The display showcases ancient and modern day uses.2015-11-10 20.09.57

You can feel the mana (power) and the aloha (love) that went into each and every piece translated through intricately woven shapes and patterns.

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SCHAEFER INTERNATIONAL GALLERY

MAUI ARTS & CULTURAL CENTER

1 Cameron Way, Kahului, HI 96732

October 18 – December 20, 2015

Open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm

Maui Nui Botanical Gardens

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Had a chance to rediscover the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens this past weekend as they hosted their annual native Hawaiian plant sale.  Lots to learn and lots of lovely photo ops as well!

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What a great place whose mission it to “protect Maui Nui’s rich native plants and cultural history”.  They offer self guided or docent led group tours.  It’s a magical garden filled with lots native and polynesian introduced plants.  Learn about how they grow, their unique and individual characteristics and their importance in the Hawaiian culture yesterday and today.

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MAUI NUI BOTANICAL GARDENS

150 Kanaloa Avenue, Kahului, HI 96732

Open Monday – Saturday, 8:00am – 4:00pm

Shop Around The Corner: The Maui Swap Meet

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Whether you are a Maui resident or visitor, the Maui Swap Meet truly has something for everyone.  While this isn’t a traditional ‘shop around the corner’ there are treasures galore here.  About 200 vendors gather each week on the UH Maui Campus (parking is a breeze) each Saturday to offer Maui fresh produce, food, handcrafted goods and an array of traditional ‘swap meet’ style items.

The selection of fresh fruit  ranges from common papayas, bananas, oranges, seasonal items like lychee and mango all the way to specialty treats like dragon fruit, jackfruit and sour sop.  The selection of herbs and veggies runs the same gambit of variety.

#hawaiianstylehale

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Fresh cut flowers flowers are set up in buckets on several corners throughout the lot.  Every tropical, colorful flower you’ve even seen makes an appearance ready to be a centerpiece for tonight’s dinner, a housewarming gift for friends, or a happy Saturday treat.

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The array of food trucks and delectable desserts offers your usuals and some surprises.  Mexican, Greek, local flair, specialty hot dogs, crepes,  baked goods, shaved ice, macaroons, fresh pressed juices & lemonades & more meet any craving that might come your way.

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There are booths filled with kitschy trinkets and genuinely  handmade treasures that will leave even the most discerning of shoppers walking out with something.

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THE MAUI SWAP MEET

UH Maui College Campus

310 W Ka’ahumanu Avenue, Kahului

Saturdays, 7:00am – 1:00pm

TIPS:

-Wear sunscreen, wear a hat

-Bring water and your own reusable shopping bag

-Have some cash on hand, the admission is .50 and the bulk of the vendors accept credit cards but just in case

-Go early!  It’s cooler and you’ll have first pick!