Friday, August 28, 2009


If you have visited Hawaii before, you may recall seeing these green soccer-ball-like fruits hanging from the trees. They are called breadfruit, but in Hawaiian they are referred to as 'ulu. With a breadfruit tree growing in our backyard, we are fortunate to enjoy this delicacy whenever it gets ripe.

There are many ways to cook a breadfruit. When peeled it can be boiled like a potato, microwaved, baked, broiled or even thrown on top of an open fire! One of our favorite ways to prepare breadfruit is to boil it and then drizzle a little oil and shoyu (soy sauce). If you like a little kick, add a few drops of tabasco. Another way to prepare 'ulu is featured in the following step-by-step video below that we put together. This 'ulu and bacalao (salted cod fish) salad recipe is commonly cooked by those descended from the Puerto Rican immigrants that live in Hawaii. He learned this recipe from his mother and often cooks this for family parties.

For more info on breadfruit, there is a great article on Wikipedia: and one more specifically on 'ulu in Hawaii: .

I hope you have enjoyed this article and can cook up some of your own breadfruit recipes some day!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Silk Painting Techniques

Silk Painting Techniques
A Silk Painting Tutorial from my August 2009 Newsletter

Silk Painting is definitely one of my favorite classes to teach. It's really easy to do once you know a little about the necessary materials and techniques. It's also a lot of fun!

First, the silk fabric (8mm Habotai China silk scarves with hemmed edges) needs to be stretched on a frame before painting. I use heavy duty stretcher bars that are a little larger than the silk I am stretching and attach the silk with push pins. There are a variety of stretching techniques out there, so you'll just need to find one that works for you.

Once the fabric is taut (like a drum) then slip your design underneath the fabric on top of some magazines so that it is resting against the silk fabric. Using a vanishing fabric marker (often used in quilting), trace your design directly onto the silk.

koi step 1Next, comes the application of the resist. The resist is essential to "fence in" your design so that the paint doesn't flow outside. It is often referred to as the "Serti Technique" in many silk painting books. There are many resists out there for silk painting, but I prefer to use a thick fabric paint made by Scribbles. The paint is applied directly using a small tip to achieve nice lines. Dry thoroughly with a hair drier before proceeding.

The silk paints I use are made by Dye-Na-Flow and they are koi step 2wonderful! They are heat set by using an iron once the painting is complete (with silk dyes one has to steam set the paint). I use old watercolor or sumi-e brushes to apply the paint and blend and layer much like watercolor painting.

Once the paint is dry in my main design, I then wet the entire background with water and apply the paint (two or three colors) in an abstract way creating designs, patterns and drips. Next, I use my "secret weapon" to create even more interesting designs - Hawaiian salt. Although, any coarse salt will do including kosher or rock salt. Next, just kick back, relax with a cup of coffee, and wait for the background to dry naturally so the salt has a chance to work it's magic! The salt makes really wonderful designs by attracting or pulling the pigment in the paint across the wet silk.

koi step 3Next, dry your creation and remove it from the frame. Brush off any extra salt, rinse it in cold water and let the painting dry. To set the paint, just iron on the back with a medium heat iron.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. To get some real hands on experience in silk painting, feel free to sign up for a class or two at Painting Paradise!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just Listed - Two New Original Watercolors

Pink and Red Hibiscus Original Watercolor with Pen and Ink Painting

Cute Cottage Original Watercolor with Pen and Ink Painting

For more Original Art from Kauai, please visit my Etsy Shop at!

Aloha and Have a Warm and Sunny Day,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Watercolors at Lawai Beach Resort

I just started teaching watercolors at Lawai Beach Resort, an amazing tropical location! If you would like more info, please visit: Aloha!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

It's Kauai Coffee Time!

My first painting I did for Kauai Coffee of their lovely Visitor Center.
You can buy a print at my Etsy Shop

This year they used my Visitor Center image to commemorate it's 10th anniversary on their burlap bag and t-shirts!

Here's my hubby driving the "cherry truck" during the coffee harvest. This year's harvest will likely start sometime in September.

One of Kauai's roosters taking a stroll through the coffee plantation. I can smell the coffee roasting!

Here are some random tourists learning about the coffee harvester machine. They are actually modified blueberry pickers. I bet you didn't know that!

Here are some items from CafePress that you can purchase with the Kauai Coffee Visitor Center image on them: (magnets, t-shirts, journals, tiles, aprons, and tote bags).

Aloha from Kauai and Have a Nice Warm Cup of Kauai Coffee!

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Kauai Vacation

Sorry for the long absence from my blog. I've been on vacation with my family visiting from the Mainland for over a week! This was their first time to Kauai, and I was so excited to be able to show them around my beautiful island of Kauai! Above is a photo of a native, Hawaiian hibiscus.

My niece is "digging to China" at Hanalei Bay.

Here's my sister looking at a banana tree for the first time.

We were so lucky to see a Hawaiian monk seal sunbathing at Salt Pond Beach Park. Later on he went for a swim with the keikis in the kiddie pond!

Here I am with my niece at my art studio, Painting Paradise.

My sister is painting a Kauai Rooster. I think it's a law that if you are an artist and live on Kauai, you have to paint at least one rooster or chicken!!! (NOT!) LOL

The two serious artists at work. My niece loves arts and crafts and often spends two to three hours a day creating! It's in the blood!

My niece asked me if she could, "paint the manikin." I thought she was going to pose him, and paint her rendition of him on watercolor paper. Instead she literally PAINTED THE MANIKIN!!! How cute!

Here's the whole gang at the Plantation Gardens restaurant at the Kiahuna Plantation Resort. From left to right, my brother-in-law, my niece, me, my sister, and my hubby!

She's a "coconut girl in a high fashion world!"

Having fun with the boogie board at Salt Pond.

Kickin' back and relaxin' under a coconut tree!

Shoveling sand at the Kiahuna Plantation Beach.

Looks like Kauai Coffee has a new coffee picker! I'll have to sign my niece up for the next harvest season in Septemer!! LOL

It certainly was a lot of fun spending time with my ohana! They thoroughly enjoyed Kauai. Mahalo for visiting!!!!