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Entries in keiki (102)


sketch artists

tools of the trade * ocean of peace

the arrival of my winter cold meant very little shopping was done on my trip home last month. after a leisurely lunch with friends at uncle's fish market, i mustered up just enough energy for a quick stroll around chinatown and popped by super citizen to peek the shop's eco-friendly goods.

my plan was to nudge the mister over to the super soft organic tees by vers, but, happily, he was immediately drawn to the very cool screenprinted designs all on his own. the newly released tools of the trade tee with its collage of surf necessities was quickly snapped up while the ocean of peace tee was the perfect gift for our dear friends' two-year-old cutie who delighted us with his sweet declarations of "aloha" and "malasada!" during his first trip to hawaii.

lady logger * pen belt
malolo & love tree

the hand drawn designs are from the sketchpad of local artists roxanne chasle and matthew ortiz who produce each organic offering in small editions. the pair founded vers with the intention of crafting wearable art made for everyday, and their detailed depictions of waves and nature (along with the occasional irreverent design) will be a happy find if you also happen to be on the lookout for sustainable style.

prices range from $20 for toddler togs to $35 for grownup tees. although the online shop is not taking orders just yet, you can browse the gallery of designs for your wishlist then shop locally at super citizen in chinatown, drift in kaimuki, and aloha 'aina in waikiki.

take a peek and share your favorite vers!


introducing pretty swell

vintage carnival garland + preppy citron hairpins

happy 2011! my wicked winter cold has lingered on into the the new year and a stuffy head sidelined any hope of writing pithy posts until now (fingers crossed). i always heart a fresh start and today's etsy find encompasses just the type of loveliness i hope to share with you this year.

i chanced upon the playfully named pretty swell while browsing etsy and immediately swooned over the chalkboard backdrops and gorgeous product photography. (take note: shop purveyors-in-the-making.) although little pockets of modern goodness have popped up since h|h was established many moons ago, delightful design experiences are, alas, too few and far between so a glimpse inside pretty swell gives me hope that there are more lonny-reading, design lovelies hiding out around the islands.

all of the playful confections are handmade by katie speed of laie who scores a well deserved gold star for the modern yet old timey reusable decorations in addition to the spot-on art direction. the whimsical fabric floral garlands promise to be an instant charmer, and i can just imagine the smiles of guests when greeted by such a cheery welcome.

the little sage cottage makes my heart happy too. as does this noel edition. don't you just want to string up a few strands and invite your friends over for cake?

the price tag hovers in the $20-range with complimentary shipping on orders over $9. in addition to garlands, fabric floral crowns, hairpins and cake toppers can be found in pretty swell's etsy shop. custom orders are also welcome for those wishing to coordinate a color palette just for you.

have you discovered any fresh island delights for the new year?

{photo credit: party/natalie norton}


happy hale*days 2010: keiki edition

the islands are beckoning me back home so posting will be in limbo for the next few days. in the meantime, please enjoy a few adorable possibilities for the tiny stockings on your gift list:

1 - let's go fishing with an adorable wooden play set by korean designer jae keun song {$36; limited quantities available at super citizen}

2 - test your hawaiian vocabulary with hulo!, an island style puzzle game for ages 5 and up. {$12; via lovely clusters}

3 - storytime fans will want to gather round for the lovely legend of the gourd translated by kaliko beamer-trapp and illustrated by big island artist caren loebel-fried. {$16.95 - ring bishop museum's shop pacifica to order}

4 - little dew drops handpaints tiny scenes of aloha on its line of organic keiki togs. {$25 and up; personalization available for $3}

5 - playtime kitchens will be delighted to serve berrysprite's crocheted sushi set complete with wasabi and ginger.

6 - handmade baby blankies from cuddle with aloha reverses to a very cozy fleece minky. {$35}


new peeks: machinemachine

although machinemachine was one of the very first designers featured on h|h way back in 2007, with the exception of a few small peeks here and there, it's been quite some time since the last big show and tell of kauai-born (& now honolulu-based) designer shannon hiramoto's indie label. the etsy shop remains a must stop on my interweb wanderings if only to see what's new in the one-of-a-kind collection which has evolved from the line's signature smocked pa'u waistband to fresh and flirty separates and minis, keiki tunics, and the summer introduction of simple yet sweet bikinis.

the entire lineup continues to be constructed from discovered castoffs and upcycled textiles rescued from local thrift shops and yard sales, and shannon is constantly experimenting with new ideas and approaching design with a thoughtful, artistic philosophy paired with a playful dose of serendipity. a favorite project shared on her blog was a birthday dress made for her niece where a drawing was transformed into an abstract screenprint. the resulting fabric became a darling keiki frock rocking the little one's very own charming, handmade pattern infused with a whole lot of love once you discover its behind-the-scenes production story.

machinemachine swim
keiki before & after

notecard set

since machinemachine is a favorite of modern island girls near and far, i asked shannon to share a glimpse into her day along with a few hints of daily inspiration floating around her studio which may pop up in her next sewing session.

{designer notes}

how has growing up in hawaii influenced your designs?
i can never - and would never want to - forget my fondness for growing up on kauai, where life is lush, friendly, colorful, old, quirky, hilarious, and laid back. i want that playful island attitude to resonate in each machinemachine garment. you wear something beautiful, you feel beautiful. you wear something that could only have come out of hawaii, you feel connected to the islands. i want to help customers feel that connection.

i try to accomplish this sort of recognition of self into something wearable by utilizing vintage prints and certain clothing styles to twist up nostalgia and humor. when you put on one of my handstitched hats or pa'u shorts, you recognize yourself. and hopefully you say, "ah, yes! this is so me. this gets me."

describe your design philosophy and how has it evolved since you launched machinemachine?
first is fun: everything has to be fun - needs to make me smile and giggle. that's one reason why i love vintage fabric, it's ridiculously funny. second is context: we are in hawaii, it's warm, sunny, bright, beautiful, and loving - i want my customer to wrap themselves up in those qualities. third is comfort and simplicity: i am drawn towards quite loud prints which i let do their thing without competing with overly designed or complex structures. fourth is to be true to my own self. i dubbed the company machinemachine for a bunch of reasons, but primarily to poke fun at the machines (literally and metaphorically) that run our lives and muffle our voices.

machinemachine has evolved a lot since its first rumblings in 2007. i've learned/played with new sewing techniques, textures, and audiences - managing to fine tune some wacky ideas into more wearable pieces. also, i have been designing a few more mature and conservative looks, a consequence of my own personal growth. my circle of friends are now starting families, which prompted keiki/mini-machinemachine garments.

and the men are begging for machinemachine, so i began the handstitched hat line (which women love too). the company is moving along with its own momentum; i am just along for the ride - enjoying the creative process, meeting customers, and cooperating with the wonderful shops that carry/nurture machinemachine. it just keeps getting more exciting!

if we peeked into your studio, how would you be spending a typical design day?
waking up is important - it's best to do that before anything else - so i make sure to have my 3 cups of coffee as i read the paper and do computer tasks. then i do some quick tidying up, as the workspace is an inevitable mess. i mean, seriously, it's messy. one would almost wonder whether the tsunami really did hit, except it just hit my house.

i spend a few moments staring at my 3 tall shelves of fabric and ponder, considering which garments would work with which material. then i sit on the floor and cut. this is how my grandma taught me to cut fabric, so it is the way i will always do it. the next few hours are loud. my machines and hands are busy whirring, snipping, and clanking with npr, podcasts, audiobooks, and netflix to keep my mind occupied.

i make sure to do a bunch of downward facing dogs to stretch out my back - sewing is tough on the body. i usually pop out for a little bit and run to the post office, thrift store, or to see friends, but i always hurry back to finish up a project. before i know it the sky is dark and it's evening. sometimes i forget to eat lunch.

of all the loveliness posted on your inspiration board, what is capturing your fancy most these days?
afghan blankets, baskets, origami, batik, classic movies, branches, ferns, and hawaiian/aloha prints.

little moments of bliss that recharge your soul?
iyengar yoga, walking around kaimuki, hugs, thrift store hunting, coke icee, google reader, playing with adobe illustrator, playing in the ocean, eating thai with the mr., midweek's crossword puzzle, and backyard bbq's . . . oh, and even though it is a rarity, getting super groovy on the dance floor.

local delights that are a must in your beach picnic basket?
li hing mui sour patch kids, wasabi peas, and govinda's ginger rush juice. i guess i like flavors that bite back.

pay it forward with a few words of wisdom that were passed on to you:
i was impacted a few weeks ago by a radio interview with the author karen maezen miller. she said, "attention is the most concrete expression of love you can give." i've been thinking about this statement a lot and feel it can be apply to all aspects of our lives - relationships, work, friendships, art, the environment, our own bodies - to help us express love and create more solid connections. i want to connect more and connect deeper.

mahalo shannon!

selections are slim in the etsy shop since shannon is stocking up on looks for machinemachine's weekend appearance on kauai, but pieces can be hunted down at local stockists including the butik and split obsession (honolulu), pueo (kona), and wings hawaii (paia).

if you call kauai home, hele over to halele'a and meet shannon and her newest handmade designs during machinemachine's i'm ok, you're koke'e trunk show:


photo.phile: leiko beck

bostyn's bubble

happy monday! today's photo.phile is leiko beck, a keiki and 'ohana photographer from the big island introduced by my friend kym who booked leiko to capture a few photos during a family getaway. flipping through leiko's portfolio, i found myself charmed by the absolute sweetness of her photography. her camera seems to be smitten with all the cheerful, fleeting vignettes that make up an idyllic childhood from neighborhood adventures to tiny giggles forever remembered in one picture perfect moment.

{photo.phile notes}

what inspired you to pick up the camera and start shooting?
the root of it all is probably my dad. he is a hobbyist and does AMAZING landscape photography (being a physical scientist for the u.s. geological survey based at hawai‘i volcanoes national park on the big island allows him great photographic opportunities!). i picked up his canon slr when i was 14 and fell in love with capturing memories through the lens.

photography muses that spark your imagination?
i love beautiful imagery. period. so i follow a very eclectic group of photographers, not necessarily for inspiration in the work that i shoot, but for inspiration towards life in general.

i love jen altman (an amazing polaroid photographer), audrey woulard (a natural-light child/family photographer), the image is found (mind blowing wedding/engagement imagery), clark little (surf/ocean photography), and james rubio (wedding/engagement photography) just to name a few. not only is their work awe inspiring, but it really gets you imagining what life could be like when you're doing something that you are absolutely passionate about for a living.

favorite island moment caught on "film"?
in general, i recently discovered a love for capturing any ‘ohana living the island lifestyle. for the past 2 years i primarily shot children + teens and while that has been awesome, there is nothing like watching a family interact and being able to "see" and feel the aloha they have for one another.

now, if i had to pick a specific image of an island moment, it wouldn't be one from my work portfolio but one of my son entitled in the air. it's a shot of him playing at the beach during sunset. every time i look at that image i am brought back to that day. that beach. that sunset. that moment. and for me, that's what photography is about.

any simple tricks to share on how to best capture an in-the-moment family portrait?
when dealing with keiki, especially little ones, the best way to capture an in-the-moment image would be to make sure that they are comfortable before we even begin the session. that means fed, changed, and not ready for a nap!

once that is accomplished, i often ask mom and dad to "play" with the child as they would at home. singing their favorite song, pat-a-cake, tickle-fight. you're then able to shoot the family interacting + connecting. the bonus? play time allows the family to forget for a moment that a camera is there, allowing me to capture genuine emotion.

which camera stays close by for everyday shooting?
because i am constantly inspired by the things around me, i do use my canon 5d markII almost daily. if i want something lighter that fits in my purse, i use my old canon rebel xti with a 50mm lens.

pay it forward with the best photography advice shared with you:
shoot what you love. i know it's simple, but it's so true.

local delights that are a must in your beach picnic basket?
mmmm . . . if i'm in my hometown of hilo, i'd definitely hit up hilo lunch shop for some musubi or kandie's for a bento to go. for a little something sweet, i'd stop by big island candies to pick up some delicious chocolate dipped shortbread for dessert.

mahalo leiko!

p.s. big island readers wishing for a sweet family photo of their own will want to click over to leiko's blog where she is giving away an october photo session. good luck!