Friday, December 14, 2007

islandy snowflakes.

islandy snowflakes

i have always loved the idea of cutting out snowflakes from squares of paper, but was never really thrilled with the designs that i came up with. they were always rigorous, severe little numbers. i needed a little something to decorate one of the white-painted rooms at work, so instead of going for a white on white look, i pulled out some unused astrobright paper, and went a little more fluid with the cuts. the inspiration was hawaiian designs for quilts, although as you can see, there was a little freeform improv going on. maybe not so much christmas spirit as island spirit. it's all good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


i am currently working on my new condo in manila; i have had to hire an architect because of electrical and some minor structural issues. since he is there and is not only able to obtain the necessary permits, he can also access "to-the-trade" resources i can't without a professional. he is a respected architect, who works on both small residential projects as well as multi-million peso/dollar commercial ones.

however. i am finding it increasingly more annoying and frequent that he is imposing his style on my space over mine. wtf??? if i want something, no matter how unorthodox, it should be my decision. my mistake, possibly, but i think that he should act more as a facilitator than as an authority. am i wrong about that?

i'm just effing annoyed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

library love.

bookshelf spectrum, revisited

bringing the outdoors in, in an unexpected way: i had wanted to colour-coordinate my books for a long time, and when i finally did, i was surprised with not only how well it came out, but how it opened up and brightened the dark room. the addition of the blue walls and rug grounds the space, and mimics the sky and ocean just beyond the walls. sitting on the comfortable daybed covered in basic canvas is like lounging on the sand dunes below; or, if i'm feeling particularly capricious (read: ridiculous), like sitting on a cloud amongst the rainbows.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

swimming pool blues.

pool at sunset

wouldn't it be wonderful to actually have a pool that led out to the ocean?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Asut dreams

Taking pics around Saipan, there is a common blue hue, with random shots of yellow.

Saipan - "pairi" detail

Saipan - Ellezza mural
Latex duty free?

Saipan - amariyu yan asut
amariyu yan asut

Saipan - bowling alley, Garapan
Garapan bowling alley

Saipan Fishing Center, Garapan
the defunct Saipan Fishing Center, Garapan

Saipan - slow & steady
modern day latte stone hauling.... kidding. pre-party prep -- whoa!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Saipan, Uncle A'be's house

Saipan, A'be's house - porch, originally uploaded by *caramimi*.

My Uncle A'be, lives a fairly natural life on his beautifully tended property. Although he has one of the last tin & wood houses on our family compound, his tidy house and garden is the charming ideal of tropic life.

I spent a few afternoons at my uncle's house having lunch. After a filling meal of tuna and rice (cooked on the wood-fueled stove), I took some pics of the inside and outside kitchens, and the surrounding property. The carnival of plant life and color, was almost too vibrant -- a feast for the senses. I especially loved the Asian touches Aunt Amy accented throughout their home.

Saipan, A'be's house - petta (door)
petta (door)

Saipan, A'be's house - kusina (inside kitchen)
kusina (inside kitchen)

Saipan, A'be's house - firewood stove
All the cooking is done in the outside kitchen. Most families have gas-burning stoves, but Uncle A'be still prefers cooking with firewood -- even rice, despite the fact he owns a rice cooker.

Saipan, A'be's house - concrete sink
The poured concrete sink in the outside kitchen. Utilitarian, yet beautiful design.

Saipan, A'be's house - tree trunk utensil holder
A tree runs through the outside kitchen, conveniently used to hold the cutting board.

Saipan, A'be's house - aga yan chotda (ripe & unripe bananas)
aga yan chotda (ripe & unripe bananas)

Every home, I visited, had bunches of bananas hanging to ripen. I'm not certain of these varieties, but the small bunch in the back are the tiny thin-skinned bananas with sweet, firm, almost tart flesh, usually found in Asian or Latin markets.

Saipan, A'be's garden - tire swing
The huge tree with tire swing was perfection.

Saipan, A'be's garden - trunkon niyok (coconut tree)
Uncle A'be was particularly proud of this bunch of coconut trees, he made sure I photographed it.

Saipan, A'be's garden - Hibiscus
multi-petaled hibiscus

Saipan, A'be's garden - Mother-in-law's tongue (acalypha hispida)
acalypha hispida aka "Mother-in-law's tongue!"

Saipan, A'be's garden - fireworks
garden fireworks

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


sunset shadows

i wanted to take advantage of the nearly three full walls of windows in my living room and make the most of the sunlight that pours in all day. i painted the walls white, but didn't want to get bored with it so i mixed pearlescent mica flakes (available at a well-stocked art supply shop like dick blick) into the paint. depending on the time of day/reflection of the sun, the walls change colour. here is what it looks like in the morning and through most of the day (you can just make out a silvery purple blue reflection); during sunset hours, however, the room takes on a lovely golden sheen like the beach below.

blue striped sunset, later

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Saipan - willy nilly

Saipan - red slumber
Saipan - asut

Ai yi yi.... Old habits die hard. In the span of 3 months, my textile-collector-bug kicked in and I find myself with blue prints and a red bed. Chaotic bliss....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saipan - Roger's abode

Saipan - Roger's abode, originally uploaded by *caramimi*.

Roger is a farmer who lives in a little shack behind my uncle's house. He helps tend to the big garden and banana trees, and will often accompany my uncle on his nightly hunts. Roger's one of the many folks who have stayed on the family compound for many years he's become an extension of our huge brood.

I took this during a visit to my uncle to gather the silk/cotton-like fibers from the kapok tree, known as Ceiba pentandra, or algidon in Chamorro, for use as stuffing for a plush animal project with my nieces. The kapok fibers are sometimes used as a "green" resource for stuffing. A pic of our kapok fiber harvest below.

Saipan - Algidon, kapok fibers

Saipan - Algidon, kapok fibers, originally uploaded by *caramimi*.

The harvest of silk/cotton-like fibers from the kapok tree, known as Ceiba pentandra, or algidon in Chamorro, for use as stuffing for a plush animal project with my nieces. The kapok fibers are sometimes used as a "green" resource for stuffing in pillows, quilts and the like - they are harvested from the dried pod fibers, with no harm to the tree.

The old algidon tree on my Uncle A'be's property is about 3 to 4 stories high, and has been thriving for over 60 years. A big thank you to Roger (shown above) for gathering this kapok harvest.

Kapok web sources:

Friday, April 13, 2007

Saipan - Crusty x sustainable design

I heard about a little land crab on our property, that uses a baby jar for a home. By sheer coincidence I found him hanging around the discarded coconuts last night. Apparently they hold nightly meetings between the trash can and coconuts. Funny huh?

This is an umang or hermit crab. Usually they occupy discarded snail shells to protect their soft lower bodies, but looks like this one decided to modernize. Very resourceful!

Monday, April 9, 2007

fuzzy day at the pool.

talk zori coming soon