I am to become an AUNT :)


I can't believe it! Just last Saturday, my sister called up saying that she is expecting a baby! Though she is 5 years younger to me, I can very well imagine her becoming a doting mom. That's what she's wanted ever since she was a kid :). And I am SO SO SO happy that I had to share this baby news with you!

With this news a lot of nostalgia came floating by.... my first glimpse of my sister at the nursing home, her naughty antics at school which made her teachers summon me, all of us (there are 5 of us, cousins included)stealing the yummy pickles made by our grandma, playing cricket and hiding whenever we broke the neighboring office's window! :D All that stuff! Now we have grown up and gone our separate ways geographically. But emotionally, the bonding hasn't reduced one bit :).

This photo is of my sister when she was about 6 years (I think) old. She was so naughty that we always had to be careful of her. She would do all kinds of things and blame it on us. Like she told a very dear family friend that our mom had asked us not to visit them! My mom had never said anything like that and had to do a lot of apologising and explaining before they understood that it was one of my sister's pranks!
I also received the news of my cousin's wedding. Ronnie, my maternal uncle's son is my sister's age and has always been the typical, dutiful, Indian brother to me :). I am very happy to know that he's finally found the person he wants to spend his life with. The wedding is in December and we are making all efforts to be in India for the event. Keeping my fingers crossed! :)

Tropical Flower Course

At the DECO Clay Craft Academy we had an accelerated Tropical Flowers Course for instructors like myself. We had three extended sessions, which were a lot of fun. To me, away from my home country and my parents, this class has been like a surrogate family to me. It might seem a little bit exaggerated and I haven't admitted this before :), but that is a fact. I hardly socialize (apart from hanging out with my only friend here - Maria. More about her later. She deserves an entire post). I am the type that likes to curl up with a book or watch a movie or go swimming with my husband when I am not doing my clay stuff. And my husband too, is the same way. We hardly meet other people. So, when I get to go to my clay class, that is about the only time I get to meet people and totally love it.
There is a Japanese lady in my class, who comes down to Hawaii all the way from Japan to take classes. I really look forward to meeting her, though I speak no Japanese and she hardly speaks any English (She's taking classes though and is getting better and better at it).
Coming back to the tropical course, we made anthiriums, tuberose and different kinds of jasmines and orchids, apart from the flowers which we had learnt earlier.We also learnt to make leis and even Haku Leis. I hope to share photos soon!
I have made some prints of some of my work and plan to put them in an album and carry them around with me. Way too many people ask me to show them what I do.... and I don't have anything with me. So, I am guessing this album might be a good start.
Alright? I've got to get back to work now... See ya later...

A Busy Saturday!

Today morning started pretty early. Woke up at 5.30. That is usual for me :). I called up my parents in India. Yes, that is usual too :). I do that almost every single day. Then, my husband and I decided to go to the Farmers' Market near Diamond Head in Honolulu. We made it on time. But it was awfully crowded. So, we decided to move from there and take a drive and see if we could spot some turtles. We did not find any turtles, but we found a great little Farmers' Market on the North Shore. Three vendors especially interested me - a Thai Food Truck, a lady farmer and an old couple selling Hawaiian Handicrafts.
The Thai Food truck had awesome Thai Food. I am usually apprehensive of Thai style noodles. They are awfully oily. But these guys made some great stuff and the right level of spice too!
The lady farmer owns a 4 acre piece of land. She does all the farming, weeding, cleaning and packing ALL BY HERSELF. And she sells great, fresh vegetables and greens for less than half the price than in stores! That proves that we can produce agricultural products right here on Oahu, sell them and make a decent living. The high realty prices here are just an excuse not to grow food here, and fly them/ship them in from the mainland. The result - not as fresh food and sky-high prices. Is it any wonder then, that we pay 9 dollars for a gallon of milk or 3 dollars for a pound of tomatoes? I think all of us can take a lot of inspiration from this lady. I wish to write more about her soon. Let's see if I can get to talk to her again.
The third interesting vendor was an old couple. We bought some tapa cloth pieces from them. We plan to frame them and put them up in our home in Arizona. The couple was really old. I only wish someone would offer to do the job of selling for them voluntarily, so that they can rest at home. The Hawaiian Handicrafts groups can definitely help here.
We also met a HUGE Rotweiller Zak :). I hadn't seen a more friendly Rottie ever. He was gave me a few licks and then sat down to enjoy my petting him.
Once back home, I got back to work - the bridal order. I finished the Maid of Honour's Bouquet and then took some photos to send to my client, the bride. Back to work now...

See ya soon!

I am back!

I know a lot of you have been wondering where I disappeared. Well, I have been around, but been extremely busy. I have been busy with my computer(s). First, my old one broke down. Just the screen started going blank. The rest of it is functioning great. Anyway, before it totally blackened out, we managed to get everything moved to an external hard drive. (Having a Computer Engineer for a husband really helps at times like this!) Then, we got a new computer... the Mac that I used to write some of the other posts. But soon, I got fed up. It is very different from a PC and I didn't really have time to learn it all. Also, it did not help that everything I wanted to start working on my computer, needed a lot of money. So, I returned the Mac and got myself a small laptop from HP... the kind that has a swivel screen. It was really nice and cute and very very light. So, I loved it! But it heated up a LOT! It got so hot at times that I couldn't touch it. I tried working the customer service, and but nothing happened. I had almost resigned to my fate when a key started popping off the keyboard! So, we gave that back to and got a brand new computer.... a Gateway this time, just like my old one. But this is a weird red color! (they did not have any other color, with the configuration I wanted!!!) So, here I am, working on my relatively inexpensive computer (I savede $700 when I switched from Mac to Gateway! Ha! Ha!) ... it doesn't look awesome, but it WORKS!!!
That is my sob story of the day with a happy ending! Also, there is some good news that I have been dying to share with you! I got a wedding order! I am dilligently working on it right now and the back and forth conversations with the bride-to-be have proved to be enlightening to say the least.

I have also got a couple of other orders from ETSY.COM and a few enquiries about classes from my website as well. So, its really been an exciting couple of weeks.

I also had a make-and-take sessions at the Craft Supply of Honolulu at Pearl City and at the Hobby Company at the Pearl Ridge Mall (something I do once a month). Amongst others, I taught a cute little lady a rose to wear for her prom night. She was delighted with the way it turned out :). There was also a bride to be, with her friend. They are together doing the bride's wedding flowers. They are going to attempt Clay Magnolias with beaded centers. Isn't that great? Since they hadn't handled the clay before, they wanted to try it out at my make-and-take class. I taught them gardenias. At every step, they squealed with excitement! It is always such a joy when you elicit such responses from people. Ultimately, that is what crafting is all about, right?

Here's a small gift I made for an aunt. I hope she likes it. Let me know how you guys like it. I shall await your responses.
Oh! There's another good news. My parents have been granted a visa to come and visit me in the US. My dad managed to get leave from his job.... so, they will be here in another 20 days!! I am just counting the days and dreaming of eating food cooked by mom. Such bliss! We have planned some trips for them. We will be going to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas when we visit Arizona (Did I tell you that we have a home there?). So, if you guys have any travel tips, or any list of must-see places, please feel free to write in. It will be a big help!

Time to get back to work... see ya soon!