What I made in 2022

I like to do these end-of-the-year recaps of what I finished in a year. It always makes me feel productive, and I even want to start more projects.

Knitting

Hats were my thing this year. They are my go-to project when I need something to do. Several were donation hats, and the rest were gifts for friends.

Left to right, top to bottom: tape yarn pouch with vintage cloth lining, Antler toques for donation, Feather and Fern wrap, Year of hats, March hat, Scrapy shawl, Felicity hat for donation, Jelka hat, Kaarre hat, Maize mitts


I’ve also been slowly getting rid of my yarn stash. Luckily I meet “L,” an amigurumi crocheter, at the thrift shop. I’ve been giving her yarn for projects.

Stitching

I’ve been using stitching in my upcycling project this past year. The stitching keeps me present as I usually don’t have a well-laid-out plan, and I’m letting the stitches inspire me on the subsequent placement.

Left to right, top to bottom: Stitching to cover up staining, bookmark, top stitching on the underside of the whale, stuffed whale out of a vintage dress, Hawaiian quilt pillow for donation, Aloha shirt patchwork, blanket stitch top of trivet, trivet made out denim scraps and hand stitching, cat toys made out of scraps of fabric from my cousins mask making venture.


Cooking

I’m breaking this section down to savory and sweet, and I’m not including the jam I made this year. I’ll say the strawberry guava is always a hit and the cherry jam is also a favorite.

Savory

I’ve been trying to be more healthy for dinners. I need to use a lighter hand on the salt. Ahh, signs of getting old. My recent favorite is Mapo eggplant. Here’s the link to the recipe I used from Just One Cookbook: https://www.justonecookbook.com/mapo-eggplant/

Left to right, top to bottom: roasted tomato salsa, zucchini and caramelized onion quiche for Julie, my attempt at pad see ew, cheesy biscuits, tuna and tofu patties, pickled veggie slaw, lemon and capers halibut (thank you, Dave, for the fish), mapo eggplant, ginger pork.


Sweet

I’ve been going through my mom’s recipe box, making my favorite recipes. One day, I’ll put them in a book for my family. I made several batches of Tanaka bars (a family favorite) for my holiday bake, and a few bakes came out too gooey. I googled “blondies too gooey” and found an article from food52 saying the batter needed more air. I need to return to my hand mixer to get the air into the batter. Here’s the link to the article: https://food52.com/blog/21928-why-your-blondies-are-raw-in-the-middle-the-stella-parks-cure

Left to right, top to bottom: Pumpkin bread, pineapple cookies, garbage cookies, lilikoi coconut pie, mixed berry creme fraiche scones, Nutella rice crispy treats, Tanaka bars, Laurie’s pear cake, cherry scones, lemon loaf cake, Tre Leche cake, apple crumb cake, apple vanilla pound cake, lemon blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate birthday cupcakes for the birthday girls.


To my surprise, I worked on a lot of stuff. It didn’t feel like it. I’ve been struggling this year to find what I should be doing with my life since my freelance gig has dried up.

I’ve discovered myy stitching is good for my brain. It lets me move through the piece spontaneously, letting the stitches decide for me. So I decided 2023 would be my year to sell or show more of my works. I need to be brave and put it out there. So there will be more to come. I hope you stick around to join me on my journey.

Mending

If you look up stitching or mending, you may notice the term slow stitching. For me, slow stitching is a mindful practice to keep my anxiety at bay and to create and learn something new.

This spring, I found an online workshop called Making Zen from https://www.zenstitching.ca/ with demonstrations of all different stitching techniques and processes. The workshop lit a fire in me, seeing what others were creating out of stitching and mending. I posted about the blanket stitch technique I used on my scrappy jeans trivet in Seams and Scraps.

I’ve recently started doing random stitching projects involving upcycling items being tossed out. They still had a lot of life in them. It would be my job to address the staining, broken zipper, hole, or tear to have another round of enjoyment by someone.

Aloha Shirt

I got this long sleeve aloha shirt from the 2 for a $1 bin. Its only real problem was a brownish stain on the front pocket area. I had an idea about using a running stitch technique in a lighter blue to disguise the staining.


Slouchy Hippy bag

I should have put this bag out to pasture. Broken zipper, tears, and staining on the inside, especially on the big pocket. I saw its potential to continue to carry things.


I decided to address the staining on the inside pocket. I didn’t have a real plan, but I knew I needed heavier coverage at the bottom, with most of the staining. I don’t know what this stitch is called, but I’ve used it with flowers and grass. I like adding other colors to give it more depth. It is still a work in progress.


I’ll post more when I start working the outside, patching up the holes. Then I’ll tackle adding a working zipper back again. Stay tuned.

My Beloved Ollie

My beloved Ollie has passed. On Saturday evening, he collapsed and was screaming in pain. I rushed him to the emergency animal hospital. His lymph node was enlarged and was bleeding internally. The next step was to do exploratory surgery, but he was not stable enough to have that surgery. He was in pain, and I knew I had to put him down.

I’m so sad. It all happened so suddenly. Although Ollie was not feeling well on Friday, he got up to eat and drink on Saturday morning. I thought he was feeling better.

My Ollie was such a friendly cat who always greeted visitors to the house. I’m glad I listened to Oat and brought him home with me. For seven years, he kept me company, entertained me, and made me smile on my saddest days.

Orange and I will miss you so much, Ollie!

From Cora’s Garden: Pikake

Pikake blooms on the new growth

Cora’s pikake is in bloom. Pikake, also known as jasmine, is a drought-resistant plant that grows better in hotter weather. Waipahu is a perfect place for it. This leggy plant shares a pot with gifted papaya from the birds.

Mom trimmed it about a month and a half ago, and it recently started blooming. She’s so proud that she told me to share it with you. This plant’s variety is the double-flowered rose pikake.

The bougainvillea are also blooming. I’ve trying to be more attentive to the ones in the front yard recently. They need trimming and weeding, and have been fighting a good fight this hot summer during water restriction. These are shots from a couple that I’ve been taking care of.

Thrifty Finds: Two Musubis

On a slow day at Kuakini Thrift Shop, I was scanning the shelves, and I came upon this Christmas ornament of two musubis sitting on the couch. It made me smile. So kawaii.

Wouldn’t this look cute on your tree?

Here are a few other items that I wanted to share.

  • Vintage wooden cutout Christmas tree–I love the graphic label on the packaging.
  • Two small ginger jars–I loved the color of the jars
  • Vintage sunglasses–I thought these were very on point with today’s fashion, very 70s
  • Japanese charms–A tiny wooden cow and a carved bead with a bear(?) on it.

These two flowers aren’t for sale. They were part of vintage Japanese hair ornaments that were falling apart—now used as decoration for the shop—each petal of the flower created with ribbon. I remember wanting long hair so I could wear these types of ornament in my hair.

I initially thought this would be a weekly feature, but I realized there wasn’t always something to show you in my thrifty finds. I’ll post when I find something interesting to share. These pieces may not be something I’ve purchased, but they are thrifty finds I thought others would like. Look out for more of my Thrifty Finds.