Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rolling into Fall


We've had one sultry, hot, stormy summer this year. Usually in August, I carefully water food bearing plants, and  the lawn goes into survival. This year, my garden threatens to swallow the house and it seems every week somebody is trimming, cutting or mowing.
Weather is on the minds of many as we whine about the heat or the rain, or stress about threatening storms. In truth, we all know that we are "Lucky to Live Hawaii."

 I tend to think of the changes in the clouds and sky as I contemplate the shifting seasons. This dramatic upcountry cloud stopped everybody in their tracks  a few weeks ago.
It rose straight into the air, reflecting all the sunset colors as it grew, making for a memorable day's end.

The trade winds are thankfully back for a short while bringing uplifted moods and renewed inspiration. We are closely aligned with nature, spending so much time outside. Daily swimming is a must for me.

 Even though it was very warm, summer season has been quite productive with wonderful Real Estate transactions, a new and improved Hale Ho'okipa Inn website, and some homestead work.
The new roof on my very old house is almost finished. It's been a time of updating, foundation work,  and roof work.. Homes require TLC, and my old gracious beauty is enjoying some  face lifting in between guests.

Fashion and lifestyle magazine shoots happen a few times a year in my vintage home. Biasa Rose in Paia took advantage of the summer mood and had a very successful outcome in their recent  photo shoot.

If you want to experience Maui in the Fall before it gets busy, pack your bags and come on over. Everything is so lush, green and inviting.

A hui hou,

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Upcoming Event, Jeff Peterson in Makawao

Makawao is in for a treat!

The talented Jeff Peterson, recognized as one of Hawaii's most versatile musicians, will gift our Makawao community with an informal performance June 14, 2-4 p.m..

We have an area in the  Makawao History Museum  dedicated to a rotating display.  The present exhibit  is focused on the influence of traditional Hawaiian music on Upcountry Maui.
 From the old mele to more contemporary Upcountry tunes, this musical journey highlights slack key and some of Makawao's notable musicians.
The late Eddie Wilson, a well loved Paniolo from Makawao, is featured in the exhibit as well. His daughter, Kellee Wilson will be dancing hula for our Kanikapila Sunday afternoon.

In the Hawaiian language, "kani"means sound, and "pila" refers to any stringed instrument.

Jeff's "Maui on My Mind"is a delightful and relaxing slack key collection of tunes. One of my favorites for sure. 

The volunteers of Makawao History Museum will provide lemonade and home made deserts for all.

Please join us for a lovely afternoon . This event is free to the public.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Quality Budget Travel Haleakala Maui

The majestic Mt. Haleakala beckons travelers worldwide . I look to the mountain several times a day knowing how fortunate I am to live  close to a place of such astounding natural beauty. People come from far and wide to visit, photograph, contemplate and hike in this spectacular national park.

While many dream about taking a break from our routines, making dreams come true takes a little ingenuity, effort and patience. 
Most travelers do their own research and no longer use agents to design their trips.  We now have travel information coming from several sources  with advice on where to stay and what to do. Quality budget travel in Hawaii is certainly possible. 

I love to travel, but have not gone far from home in awhile. Being self employed with two businesses does not afford me much time off.  However, living in one of the most beautiful places in the world makes it just fine to stay home.

The way I see it, travel writers  have a wonderful job. I always thought that would be a fun job, travelling with a purpose, intending to entertain others with your adventures and advice.

 Maui Visitors Bureau  sent me many media writers throughout the years. Most of those writers were fully scheduled during their time on Maui. I was not convinced  they were relaxed enough to enjoy their visits, running from one event to another.

 Hosting these writers and hearing their stories of the world travel makes for a lively breakfast while  also igniting my personal travel bug. 

 Darley Newman of  Equitrekking  was one of the travel writers I hosted. She recently aired her Adventures in Haleakala National Park  for a segment on Budget Travel. 

Darely's  Horseback Riding experience into Haleakala crater covered the unique geology and flora of the mountain moonscape. 
Trails winding through the pastureland on the flanks of Mt. Haleakala also gave Darley a taste of the lush land with breath taking bi-coastal views far below.

She managed to highlight her affordable stay at the Hale Ho'okipa Inn and I appreciated her  coverage of my quaint bed and breakfast. Nice to see photos of my little establishment on national tv!
Many Mahalos to Darley!

If a great vacation is just what you need, consider Upcountry Maui, one of the most beautiful places on Planet Earth.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Historic Restoration and Preservation Makawao


Historic Preservation is not for the faint of heart, or the light of pocketbook. If you are handy, or want to become handy then by all means, tempt fate and buy a 1924 house.  If you have gumption   and a soft spot for the old and forgotten, then roll the dice and look for a heritage home...or let one find you.

I wasn't looking when my house found me.
What originally tugged at my heart was the sadness I felt. It was an overwhelming emptiness, "where was the family, why let the ball drop on this beauty?"
  Reality has a different look now. Top to bottom restoration of a 5 bedroom home covered in vines on the island of Maui for a single mom on a paper thin budget would give me great pause at this point.

When "Under a Tuscan Sun" hit the big screen, I watched with tears rolling and laughing until my face hurt. The scene with the hot water steaming out of the toilet left me gasping for air. I knew that plumbing dilemma only too well as one of the ancient bathroom on the North side of the house was a plumber's mystery challenge. The hot water found a way into places it was not supposed to.  People appreciated that perk on cold mornings, but that is taking luxury  bit too far.

Twenty years later, I  have a pretty good  understanding of what is involved in buying and restoring these forgotten gracious beauties. 

Finding anything older than 1940 in Hawaii is very rare,  especially a home in it's original condition still standing. Termites are healthy here.
The last home I restored was a cute and airy 1939 Plantation home in Makawao.  My son and I worked on it together, sanding ,scraping ,painting and landscaping. We laughed, struggled and sweated, and it was a bonding experience that I will always cherish.

I have always been big on reuse, re-purpose and recycle before it became  popular. Saving antique bed rails to make picture frames ,and rescuing vintage stain glass windows is second nature to me.
The Cypress trees I had to remove  became flooring and trim for my home. Those wooden floors shine with a golden glow, offering a special softness under foot.

One of the most fulfilling experiences of this 20 year odyssey was the return of the original family for their family reunion. I had worked  hard in preparation for the event. Glimpsing  their experiences together, I could see the weekend was filled with love and excitement catching up and sharing memories in the old family home. 

My lofty goals have shifted and changed throughout the years. It started with saving the house from  demolition, then I thought it was about  honoring the history of the original family, then I hung on to building something lasting for my own family. As I sit in the Kona Wing this afternoon experiencing my own staycation in a quiet house,  I see that I have come to a place of simple observation and appreciation. 
With all it's quirks, flaws and unfinished restoration, the artist in me admires the elegant  lines, offset by formidable crown molding,  and plate rails. The 11 foot ceilings give me room to breathe and my dreams space to float. The irregular antique wavey glass windows make beautiful patterns on the walls as the afternoon sun shines. 
My senses are deeply satisfied as I contemplate true craftsmanship.

A 90 year old house is not too pushy in it's demands for preservation and restoration. It's patient  knowing that I do what I can. 
This summer I plan to take on the job of painting the outside of the house again. The shingles look thirsty and dry, it's one story,  so, I think," I can do this"... maybe I will see who wants to join in a painting party.

Any takers?

Aloha for now,
Hale Ho'okipa Inn Makawao

Friday, April 3, 2015

Orchids of Maui


Spring is in the air and this is the time of year  the Maui Orchid Society displays their award winning blooming plants for all to enjoy as part of the holiday weekend celebrations.

The members of the Maui Orchid Society are passionate about their plants. Their goal is to further  education, preservation and cultivation of orchids.
Whenever I visit one of their shows, I am impressed by the beauty of the blooms. Honestly however, the care, feeding and re-potting of  my orchids has not really every made it to my to-do list.
Although I  always enjoy orchids in my home,  I only know the names and types of a few of the more common varieties.  I've learned that orchids are much happier out in the yard  in the natural light and Hawaiian rain. Those living in the orchid house were feeling a bit neglected . 
Victoria, who has helped me here at Hale Ho'okipa for many years, is  knowledgeable about orchids and a member of the  Maui Orchid Society. 
Recently Victoria decided to give my orchids more of a chance to show off what they can do. She has scattered them around the yard, and they are obviously so much happier now. The plants that were moved to the front door of Hale Ho'okipa Inn have continued to bloom, welcoming arriving guests.
I noticed at the show today that several plants were not growing in soil, instead were suspended in open baskets hanging from lattice and screens. The nice grower I was chatting with, mentioned that this method of growing  is becoming more popular with great results. People will tuck them into the bark of large ferns or attach them to branches of tree trunks like air plants. They thrive in this manner as well. I just am not sure how to feed them if there is no soil. I'll have to ask Victoria how to feed these orchids with bare roots.

I am very happy that my orchids are blooming now with my appreciation and admiration, but not alot of needed attention.

May your spring be filled with fragrant and colorful blooms of all kinds.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center 10X10 Exhibition


One of my favorite places in Upcountry Maui is our community based non-profit Art Center. The Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center offers access to quality classes ,open studios, lectures, exhibitions and community art events.
Ceramics, photography, jewelry making, painting and printmaking are available to folks of the community and visitors alike.

  I use the print studio, which is in the old carriage house of this grand estate,  for classes and  my own  printmaking exploration. This studio is one of my "happy places". The more comfortable I become with the equipment and presses in the studio, the more enjoyable the open studio days become.
I use  the two smaller presses, but have yet to experience the large mechanical press.
I do enjoy taking classes and learning new techniques. However, to work during open studio experimenting with what I have learned, is a treasure.

The gallery space of the main house is so inviting. Large and open, the spacious room with high ceilings and great light creates a perfect environment for art shows. During Opening Night, artists congregate in front of eachother's pieces sharing  techniques and inspiration.  At the "10 X 10 Exhibition"  tonight I asked another printmaker if she would be willing to teach me a technique that she has mastered. 

 The challenge of this particular exhibition was to create 2D and 3D works of art within a very specific  and defined space of 10 inches by 10 inches. 65 pieces were selected out of 158 entries.

A nice additional feature is an interactive space in the back studio where the public will be invited to create their own small works on a 4 x 4 format to display in a rotating exhibition. For a small fee, participants will have access to small surfaces and tools to paint or draw their own creations. Hopefully all the 10X10 pieces in the main body of the show will inspire young and old alike to create something of their own in an even smaller format.

My selected piece for the show, showcases a day in the life of my ducks. I enjoy creating fanciful duck scenes. I watch my ducks and all their silly looks, poses and posturing as they go about being ducks in my yard. The two ducks featured in my piece  are perched on a hill in all their island style finery. 
My carving  usually creates strong lines, so I like embellishing and softening my images with very light torn paper  layered collages. The combination of these two techniques gives me lots of time for reflection and meditation while I work. This inner time is one of the most inviting and important aspects of the creative process. I love my quiet time, and it's fun to see light a hearted response to my creations.
I always look forward to playing in my own studio. Having this sanctuary just steps away from Hale Ho'okipa and my cottage makes me a very happy camper indeed.
Enjoy the Creative Process in whatever possible form it takes. It always adds a deeper level of richness to life.
With Aloha

Monday, February 2, 2015

Makawao History Museum


My fond nickname name for the Makawao History Museum is the  " Little Museum that Did".
After the first year of a skeleton crew of volunteers to create and organize a museum on the fly, we have come to an exciting crossroads.
Recently the Makawao History Museum moved from the outskirts of town to the very heart of historic Makawao.  Our new space that is less than 1/4 of the original size.

Once again, it was a scramble to sort items, return what we had no room for, and decide how to create displays with rickety walls . Rather amusing to try and get displays level in an old Makawao store front.

The ever talented Darell Orwig and I designed the space, did the graphics and the install. I have learned so much from Darell who is no stranger to gallery and museum installs. Working with Darell is one of the main reasons I make time to work on the museum. He is a quirky and very artistic guy. We laugh alot , and often think in similar ways for displays. We created a full size horse from Styrofoam fastened to the front entrance wall.  We recreate the horse with different paint every time we do a new display. Next up is a chestnut mare. Darell knows horses, I just like to ride them every now and then. The 2D horse is  flanked by two old saddles on stands and vintage Makawao paniolo ( cowboy) photos.

Kids visiting the museum are able to have their photos taken up on one of the saddles wearing something from our collection of cowboy hats.

I really admire the volunteers who sit floor and chat with visitors on a daily basis. Our new location is total gang busters, with as many as 80 visitors a day to the " Little Museum that Did."
Because our grants and donations are coming through, we are now focused on up grading the photo displays. We now actually have money to get photos matted and backed instead of the quick push pins we used to get it all up and running. If you see an empty spot, know it's "under construction"

Recently we created an homage to Haleakala Dairy. Check this link for a historic time line of a fascinating Maui operation. It's a simple display, there was so much to choose from and we decided on an interesting small slice of dairy life.

Please stop by for a visit, it will be entertaining, and you'll learn something about Makawao's colorful cowboy and ethnically diverse  past.

Aloha and see you soon,


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Maui County Legal and Illegal B&B,s, and Vacation Rentals


I have been in the Tourism Industry for  many years and it's great to know when people are enjoying their stays and explorations.

I share history, offer friendly advise, suggestions for safe adventures, and protocol for visiting areas, while also respecting the aina we call home.

I think it's only fair to let folks know that once again, illegal vacation rentals are on the rise on Maui, and that could spell problems for Guests during our  high season.

Maui went through  tough stuff in order to craft and enforce policies  and regulations about vacation rentals, and bed and breakfasts. Heated debates finally ended up with something that everyone could live with, and that the County and State would benefit from in Visitor's room tax.

I was seriously one of the very first bed and breakfast on Maui, and I went through the wringer as bills were crafted and the issue was addressed and hashed out. There was fear and tension about how this "new" industry would affect the quality of living on our island.
The large hotels were the only show in town for many years, and a new industry meant venturing into the unknown.

The legalization process was so cumbersome, that many chose to continue to operate without licenses.  It has since been streamlined and clarified and people can apply now, and licenses are still being issued to those who fit the criteria.  

A few on -line booking sites have become popular world wide, and with that popularity, a host of issues have arisen. They get their cut and have no investment in the community and really do not care whether a host is legal or not.

Our County Council, and most recently, State Tax Dept. have taken notice of this growing problem with council members citing " it is unfair to legal permitted operations who pay taxes, and also cuts into our long term rental pools".

Because the council and state are taking  issue now, there will likely be enforcement starting up again in the near future, and it would be really unfair for a Visitor to pay the price.

A few years ago, a previous Mayor worked on shutting down all the illegal vacation rentals after it had been allowed to go on for several years, and it was very harsh for all involved, as folks were counting on the income to offset their payments.
Guests who had no idea what was happening, had to scramble for accommodations during their stay or close to their arrival.
Maui did not look very welcoming ,and that was a sad state of affairs.

If you want to get more information about this subject, check out the  Maui News. you may have to subscribe  online in order to do so.

So, if you are planning a visit to the Valley Isle, and want a different experience from the hotels or condos , for your own peace of mind, please make sure the accommodations are licensed.

Here's to having a smooth and relaxing vacation on Maui.
We look forward to your visit.

With Aloha,