Tag Archives: Art

Contemporary Hawaiian Music

Contemporary Hawaiian Music, Hawaiian Pop and Jawaiian have their roots, arguably, in the 1970’s, and have become a big part of the ever growing music scene in Hawaii and on the mainland . Listen to some of the artists below from then and now and then click on the links to their sites for more information about them and many more great Hawaiian artists.


Jerry Santos and Kamuela Kimokeo
The Green
The Green


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Sedona and Oak Creek, Arizona

Rather then being a new discovery, this visit to  Sedona is more of a rediscovery. It has been more than ten years since we visited the lovely Sedona/Oak Creek area.

We are planning to do a series of crafts fairs starting in the fall and have been attending various fairs in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area so that we can get a feel for what other artists are doing.  We thought that it would be interesting to get the flavor of some of these venues outside of the “big city.” The fair we attended was in Oak Creek just off Highway 179.

Crafts Fair
Oak Creek Outlet Crafts Fair


Oak Creek Outlet
Oak Creek Outlet

There were a few big name outlet stores in the  shopping center hosting the fair but most stores seemed to be out of business which made this a great spot for a crafts fair. The feeling was real laid back but everything seemed to be well organized. It was a fraction of the size of most of the Scottsdale/Phoenix crafts fairs. There was a nice mix of hand crafted and mass produced items and we even made a few purchases of leather goods and eyewear.

The town of Sedona has changed quite a bit since we were last here. The biggest changes are in the upgraded roads and traffic circles which make getting around easier.  There is also some new lodging, built to accomodate the increased number of visitors. It is still a very beautiful place, especially in the spring.

Sedona New Road
Sedona Town

We were with our dog Teddi and had to make the obligatory stop at McDonald’s. The architecture of this particular McD’s was right in keeping with the general look and feel of the town. Nice to see that new building is controlled and not haphazard.

Sedona McD
Sedona Mc Donald’s

We will be heading back to Sedona/Oak Creek in the fall with Kathy B’s watercolor creations and our line of Hawaii inspired t-shirts and accessories.

Have a great Spring!


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Getting Started With Watercolors

Aloha, I’m Kathy.  If you’re new to watercolor, it’s important to know that using the right tools is essential for good results. So, let’s jump right in.


A good watercolor brush’s job is to hold and release water (and of course, the paint).

There are so many different types of watercolor brushes (see links below), but for the beginner, I am making suggestions based on the easiest and quickest way to get started.


Again, there are many different shapes of watercolor brushes, the most common starter brushes are rounds and flats.

  • Rounds  Rounds are the most common shape used by watercolorists because they are very versatile. The round, pointed shape allows you to paint small details as well as broader strokes and washes.
  • Flats  Flat brushes are useful for painting washes and strong, straight strokes


You should know that there are two basic hair types. Natural hair and synthetic.

  • Natural  The hair in natural hair brushes comes from a variety of animals: sable, squirrel, ox, goat, etc. No animals are destroyed for the purpose of brush making.

Natural Hair brushes have superior paint-holding ability because of the tiny, microscopic “scales” along the shaft of the hair. Shorter-length hair is more readily available, making the longer lengths more expensive. Natural hair may be used alone (pure) or blended with other hairs or synthetic filaments to achieve a combination of performance and price.

  • Synthetic  Synthetic brushes are man-made of either nylon or polyester filaments. The advantages of synthetics include:
    • They are less prone to damage from solvents and paints
    • They are easier to keep clean than animal hair
    • They are less prone to breakage and are durable on many different surfaces

The key points are that natural brushes hold a lot more paint and water but tend to become worn with use. The synthetic brushes are usually less expensive, tend to hold their shape longer, but do not hold as much paint or distribute it as evenly as natural hairs.

My suggestion would be to start with a few round brushes for the detail work and a couple of flat brushes for the washes.

Rounds-8, 10, 12, 20

Flats-1/2 inch, 1 inch

Quality is important, and since the natural hair brushes are the most expensive you can look for some of the very good synthetic blends that are available.

Useful Brush Links



www.emptyeasel.com/2013/07/22/how-to-choose-good-mid-range-watercolor-brushes-and-where-to-buy-them-online/ Continue reading Getting Started With Watercolors

Making Your Own Perfume

Getting Started

Do you like perfume? Have you ever thought about making your own blend? I have been making perfume for about three years now and have come up with some pretty good formulas. I have also made plenty of really awful scents. But, with this endeavor, you learn as you go.

There is some investment and a lot of time involved. You also need a good area to work in. For now, I am only posting one formula and not an entire list of formulas or equipment and techniques. I will say that the chemicals need to be mixed in a specific order. This is very important! 1. Alcohol  2. Base notes  3. Middle notes  4. Top notes  5. Fixative, Curing takes a minimum of two weeks. I will provide a set of links to very good websites to help you get started. The following formula is for a fragrance that I call “Ariel”. This formula makes 2oz of Eau de Parfum. It is inspired by the fragrance “Angel”.

If you’re already making your own fragrances, try this formula out.

Use the best chemicals you can afford and your product will be something special. We will be adding our own custom fragrances to the product line as time goes on

Books & Essential Oils


Supplies & Chemicals

www.creatingperfume.com  (This is a good place to start)



Bottles & Glass


Beakers and Measuring Equipment




Continue reading Making Your Own Perfume

Jake Shimabukuro

Ukulele Virtuoso

If you haven’t heard of Jake Shimabukuro, well then, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jake came to prominence in 2006 with his heart pounding rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” performed in Central Park.

We discovered Jake at the Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum while wandering through the stringed instrument exhibit where his performance was being shown on a large video screen.  And as fate would have it, we soon got to see him perform live on Maui at The Maui Cultural Center. Rock-n-Roll ukulele. Amazing!

Jake is to the ukulele what Eric Clapton is to the guitar!

If you get a chance to see him, don’t pass up the opportunity. Here is his official website and touring schedule:  jakeshimabukuro.com

Spread the aloha!

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Musical Instrument Museum

The Tools of Music

Guitars Only

Without a doubt,  The MIM is one of the crown jewels of Phoenix. There are so many instruments and costumes to see and experience from around the world that it is impossible to see them all in one day. We were only able to experience two of the exhibit halls on our visit. We chose the USA Gallery and the Artists Gallery.

Steinway I
A Steinway







One of the best displays is of the Steinway Piano Factory. You can enjoy a wonderful video and see first hand, a breakdown  of all the major component parts of a Steinway.

Steinway II
Steinway Pianos

There was also a wonderful exhibit of the manufacturing process for Martin Guitars and an extensive exhibit of Fender musical instruments.

Martin Guitars
Fender Musical Instruments
Fender Musical Instruments


Johns Piano
John Lennon’s Piano

Downstairs in the Artists Gallery Hall is the piano on which John Lennon wrote the iconic song “Imagine”. Other great displays included Women in Jazz, Country artists, Hip Hop artists, Pop stars and so much more.

And, of course, there is the gift shop featuring a wide variety of music related items and jewelry from around the world.

The Cafe Allegro  serves a variety of international dishes, snacks and beverages.

If you live in Arizona or are visiting, The MIM is a must!

Hope you can see it.


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