-By Tammy

Happy Birthday Papa & Martin Luther King, Jr!

I believe that everybody, if given the chance, can be amazing. I believe that everybody has hidden talent just waiting to be discovered. I am finding that I enjoy designing and decorating spaces. My artistic side is a far cry from my training as a scientist, but I some how discovered it and am glad of it.

I met an amazingly talented and inspirational person this past weekend. My favorite Carnival activity is Haku Lei. Sharlene Arita has a wonderful ‘How To Make A Haku Lei’ website. I have zero experience but am in awe of the creativity and talent required. For the past five years I have volunteered to prep for lei making. Last year I made wristlettes (kupe’e). I lack the talent and the confidence to make a real 22” haku lei. Every year I attend the Lei Making Workshop and this year I was lucky enough to meet and learn from Bill Char.

Bill Char is an award-winning lei maker that is generous and patient enough to help us newbies. He was able to teach us so many details about the creation of haku lei by the wili method (wrapping with raffia). He taught us rules and clearly explained why things go awry. Every single mishap that he described has happened to me! This year, thanks to Mr. Char I think that I finally ‘get it’! My trial lei laid flat; was a consistent width; and some how looked purposefully more random than usual. I was so thrilled that I kept it at kupe’e length (6”) and took a photo. Mr. Char has inspired me to try to become a better lei maker. He says that you can make a lei out of just about any plant material that is sturdy and dries well.

Mr. Char was selected as the artist for the 2011 Bank of Hawaii calendar. Every month features a lei of Hawaiian flowers and greenery created by him. The calendar cost me nothing and I do not see any copyright marks, so I’d like to share the images with you monthly on Facebook. If you are not already a friend of Pacific Retina Care on Facebook, become our friend now so that I may share this beauty with you every month! Thank you Mr. Char!

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