This may look like a scene from “Sanford and Son” but to me it’s sheer beauty. This was our make-shift kitchen for nine-months while our real kitchen was being worked on. I remember not caring if a drink was spilled or crumbs fell, the promise of this place was that someday my dream kitchen would be a reality. I did my best to decorate and keep things warm and cozy, with candles, banners and tiny quilts on the wall. We had everything one needed to cook, serve and eat meals! There was a part of me that did not want to leave this space because our life in our garage was simple and easy but time marched on and we did indeed shift back into our house. I’m grateful to have had such a wonderful set up during renovations! It was a refreshing step out of our ordinary lives!
One of the things I was grateful for with this home was the wrap around fence and hedge. We had an electric gate and although we replaced the driver a couple of times, it works very well to keep the dogs in and unwanted cars out. Being in a neighborhood where all the lots are large and neighbors scattered, I felt safer being surrounded by this gate. The hedge is schefflera and for years we needed to water it, but now it thrives without irrigation. It’s a very full and thick hedge, and it ads beauty and greenery to our large lawn.
One of the things I’m so grateful for is that our children grew up in a place where they could be kids. The boys loved tromping around in the yard, doing things that boys loved to do! Jamey built a tree fort around one of the trees in the back and occasionally I would catch them perched up there carrying about in an unencumbered fashion. At one point we installed a zip line that ran from this fort to the yard below. The kids would zip down at speeds that made me nervous but nobody ever got hurt. It was as if they too appreciated having this space to expand that they tested the limits but never went to far. Those boys were silly, they were fun… at times the mother in me would worry about that random bird or my laying chickens, but thankfully these boys spared them. Here now, years later our boys are gentle, kind young men and I cannot help but be thankful to have lived in a place where they were free to explore and thrive as only young wild boys know how.
I have such gratitude for this lovely gas stove with interesting backsplash. My windowsill served as a cheerful place to keep small potted plants, ceramics made by the kids at school and photos that brought me happiness. The view as I washed dishes was of our backyard and occasionally I could watch horses and goats that our neighbors kept from where I stood. I was truly grateful to have raised our children in this peaceful rural place.
Having a large yard meant having access to fresh firewood. Not a year went by that some tree needed to be trimmed or removed. The yard thrived like that! Of course I had many opportunities to display those colorful vibrant quilts I made at that time! I’m grateful to have had this massive yard where my husband could cut firewood like a man and I could decorate those piles of wood like a woman 😉
I’m grateful to have had a hedge of red torch ginger surrounding the house, and clumpy zoysia grass in the mix. The kids enjoyed riding their bikes in our large driveway and sometimes “off-roading” it in the two-acre yard. To the right of the front porch is a large night-blooming-jasmine bush and I can remember how sweet the air smelled in those cool Kula evenings. Finally, I was always grateful Jamey let me paint the front door red! It gave the house a warm cozy feel and it looked sharp with those torch ginger in the foreground!
It may not look like much but this is a photo of our mantle and tiled wall over the fireplace. I loved how mid-century the tile looked and it was the perfect backdrop for photos and artwork. The mantle (wish you could see more) was milled from a tree harvested near the sugar mill in Wailuku. It’s a solid richly hued piece! I was so grateful when it was installed and we enjoyed it for many years!
One of the things I was grateful for in this home were those huge walls! They allowed me to hang many of my beautiful quilts as well as this giant chalkboard! It was actually used in the school our children went to! I used to post schedules, photos important papers, lists and notes on it. Sometimes it served as a convenient way to plant a little seed into the minds of our young ones! I’m grateful to have had this centralized command center if you will, and it helped me keep track of our busy little family!
This series would not be complete without mentioning that fabulous kitchen! For years we had a stubby common kitchen that was fine, but not this! From hiring an architect to using quality materials, we did this one right! I love the honed marble, the retro pulls and lights, the little nook in the corner and of course that giant 4″ slab of wood that serves as a built in kitchen island. I remember when they installed it; the thing used to be a table-top to a large dining table from Indonesia. It was too big! Our contractor and three guys took four inches off each side with this giant skill saw… everybody carefully working together so as not to damage themselves or this lovely piece. I’m told the wood is monkey pod and we finished it in a lovely durable type of varnish which makes it smooth and easy to clean! I am so grateful to have had this lovely kitchen and it was truly a joy to cook, gather and eat in!
One of the things I was grateful for was this garden on the side of the house. Years ago, we installed a cedar fence to provide the backyard with a little privacy. After some time, the fence was removed and we were left with piles of useful planks so we installed raised beds and kept a small garden. I was grateful to have fresh spices, vegetables and occasionally flowers. This place too served as a backdrop for my colorful quilts and I’m sure I’ll find more photos of quilts in this space while revisiting photos of this house that was once home. To see the listing click here!
I realized quickly on that my gratitude for this lovely house would have to include that stunning studio! For years it served as my workshop, where I created and explored during my life as an at-home mom. The carpet was a soft low-pile wool and I never grew tired of walking in this space. We’ve replaced the carpet with hardwood and all of this quilt-related stuff is moved but when I return I am still filled with happy thoughts of working and playing in this peaceful space with large design walls, lot’s of natural light and high ceilings. With the birds cheerfully keeping me company, I can honestly say I loved this space and am grateful to have had such a wonderful studio!
One of the things I LOVED about this house was the walls in our son’s room. I had originally painted the walls a most lovely color of sky blue, but I used a glossier paint than I should have so the walls really shined! Wanting to keep that beautiful hue, I hired a guy to come in and airbrush wispy clouds all around. This served us well for many years! The solid blue below was added years later when we replaced the carpet with wood flooring, replacing the molding in the process. I loved photographing my quilts in this room because it was the perfect backdrop to a peaceful child’s room!
I’ve decided to start something new today… a photo essay about our family home. This house is currently on the market and I’m so excited to share it with you! While I admit there are some bittersweet feelings to see this chapter of my life come to a close, these feelings are overshadowed by the immense feelings of gratitude for a life well lived and the inspired feelings of hopefulness for the life yet to come! Moving on is what people do! It’s a cause for celebration! With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you some of the fantastic photos I’ve taken over the years with this lovely house as a backdrop! We are hoping to find a buyer soon and you can see the listing here! Check back daily for more lovely shots of this beautiful place!
As we wandered through Japan, we found ourselves in Arimatsu, a small town on the edge of Nagoya which is famous for being the birthplace of Shibori. This was not a planned situation; we simply woke up that day in Nagoya and flipped through our book to see what there was to do. I was delighted beyond words to discover Arimatsu nearby, given that dyeing fabric in all it’s forms is something near and dear to my heart! As we walked the streets there, I could only imagine we were stepping back in time. The architecture was different than other places we had been. The buildings looked weathered yet still very much sturdy and strong.
We visited the Arimatsu Tie-dyeing Museum. There on the second floor, were many beautiful examples of all the different varieties of Shibori one could imagine. The kimonos were breathtaking. Two women there were actively demonstrating shibori techniques. In my limited Japanese, and with the help from Google Translate, I was able to learn that one of them had been working like this for 60 years! I asked about aching fingers or sore knees, but neither was bothered by anything of the type. Instead they simply sat and wrapped small gathers of fabric with thread, with contented smiles on their faces. I was humbled to be in such a place.
Recently we went on a trip to Japan! It was our fist time and it was amazing! Growing up in Hawaii, I’ve always been exposed to the Japanese culture due to the large population of Japanese Americans living here, so much of this seemed somewhat familiar to me. The crowds tho, oh boy those crowds, were massive; I had never seen so many people before! I could not have imagined how immense these cities are and despite being warned, nothing could have prepared me for the amount of people we saw. I’ve been to crowded cities before, and there is usually chaos, but not here. These throngs of people exist peacefully; everywhere we traveled the fruits of respect, consideration and tradition were apparent. We always felt completely safe.
There were several nights at traditional Ryokans and long leisurely baths in the onsens. Everyday was a feast for our senses. One of the highlights was actually a matter of serendipity. When we travel, we are good to only plan a day or two ahead. In the evenings we would open our book and ask ourselves where we wanted to go the next day. One day we found ourselves in Nagoya and on that day we visited the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. To our surprise, the car manufacturing company we all know as Toyota, got it’s humble beginnings in the fiber industry! Yes folks! They got their start manufacturing machines utilized in the spinning of thread, and weaving cloth. If you ever have the chance to travel here, I cannot encourage you enough to see this place because we were mesmerized. Many of these machines are fully functional and production of thread and cloth continue today. There were enough signs in english to make us feel informed and each station had a guide who in limited english explained to us how the machines functioned. I leave you with more pictures from this museum. Tomorrow I’ll write about my trip to the birthplace of Shibori!