Archive for the ‘craft’ Category

Ernie's legacy

December 20th, 2013

I mentioned in a previous blog that our family friend, Ernie, died. His hobby was to make dollhouses for children. He had such a soft spot for little ones.

He gifted Olivia one when she was born, and it was well-loved for years. In the past year, though, she lost interest in it. It was just taking up space in her room, so we decided to give it away.

I asked her half a dozen times over a couple week's period if she was OK with giving it away, and she said she was totally fine with it.

I looked for a new home, but not everyone has space for a four foot dollhouse, so it took a while. Finally, I met a preschool teacher, Ruby, who accepted it. She didn't have a lot of space in her class, either, but was touched by the backstory of who made it and why.

The week after I dropped it off at her classroom, Ernie died. What timing!

I mentioned it to Ruby, who was saddened to hear of the loss of her indirect benefactor. In his honor, she actually posted a laminated information sheet about Ernie on the back of the dollhouse, telling parents about his story and why this toy was so special.

I went by to look at it. Very nice; such a fitting tribute to a man whose life revolved around making people happy. I'm absolutely certain that if Ernie could know what was happening, he would love the idea that his handiwork will bring smiles to the faces of dozens of little children in this little corner of the world.

Posted in child, craft | 1 Comment »

Easy Halloween Science Experiments for Kids

October 30th, 2013

Glowing lights, eerie sounds and ghostly images - Halloween is the perfect opportunity to introduce science concepts to your children and explore changes in matter and chemical reactions. By using ordinary household items, parents can easily create these Spooky Science experiments compiled by the education team at Kiddie Academy® ( Set them up one at a time as boredom-busters, or incorporate all of them into a mad scientist-themed party! Your kids will have so much fun, they won't realize that they're learning.

"Conducting fun holiday-themed experiments allows children to use their senses to see, touch, hear and smell science concepts. In fact, by conducting these Spooky Science activities, children are making predictions, observations and testing hypotheses, just like real scientists," according to Richard Peterson, Kiddie Academy's vice president of education.

To download a set of free Spooky Science activity cards with full directions for five easy Halloween projects from Kiddie Academy, along with an explanation of the science behind the magic, visit the Kiddie Academy blog at:

Here's what you'll find: Bubbling Potion, Creepy Slime, Ghost Writing, Glow-in-the-Dark Mad Scientist Jars and the Ghostly Glove.

I checked it out and it looks really cute, like something I can see doing with my daughter. All are designed to be done with everyday materials and parental supervision (mostly to deal with any messes).

`Ohana Sundays at Shirokiya

October 18th, 2013

Twice per month in October, November and December, Shirokiya at Ala Moana Center will have 'OHANA SUNDAYS AT SHIROKIYA, a fun, family-friendly, free* event at the popular department store. (*not including items for purchase)

The schedule of semi-monthly events is:







All events will be from 1-4 p.m.

Here’s a detailed look at the first event on Sunday:

Enter the world of Harajuku, Anime and Sci-Fi as Shirokiya's first 'Ohana Sunday will put the spotlight on the 1st Annual Oni-Con Hawaii ( November 1-3, at the Hawaii Convention Center), and feature the following activities:

Graphic courtesy Mona Wood

Graphic courtesy Mona Wood

"YU X ME MAID CAFE & HOST CLUB" will be serving you your orders from Kulu Kulu and BRUG. Play games at your table with our costumed maids and hosts, and get a taste of what Japan's famous maid cafes are like!

Courtesy Mona Wood &

Courtesy Mona Wood &

"COSPLAY RUNWAY" invites cosplayers to walk our runway and display their costumes and portrayal of their character.

"MINI MASQUERADE THEATER" will share a small sampling of musical numbers and skits from Oni-Con Hawaii's Cosplay Masquerade.

If you've never heard of "COSPLAY CHESS DEMO," the Cosplay Chess Brigade will show you what it's all about.

A SHIROKIYA EXCLUSIVE: The U.S. debut of "NINJYASIZE," the ultimate workout routine! DVDs of this fitness program will be available for purchase for the very first time in a store outside of Japan! Enjoy a "Ninjyasize" demonstration for the first time in the U.S.! (see

ENTER CONTESTS AND WIN PRIZES like passes to Oni-Con Hawaii and Shirokiya gift cards! And, of course, you can purchase tickets for 3-day passes to Oni-Con Hawaii, as well as souvenir items, at Shirokiya on 'Ohana Sunday.


Here is a detailed schedule of the day.

1-4 p.m. Oni-Con Hawaii Marketplace

Tickets and Merchandise Sales (retail area, mall level)

1-4 p.m. "Yu x Me Maid Cafe and Host Club"

Snacks and games (Brug Cafe at Meika Plaza, mall level)

1 p.m. "A Taste of Cosplay"

Presented by Oni Con Hawaii and Babel Entertainment

(stage, mall level)

1:10 p.m. Cosplay Runway #1

Attendees in family-friendly costumes may participate on the runway!

1:30 p.m. Prize Giveaways #1

1:35 p.m. Live Cosplay Chess

2:00 p.m. Mini "Masquerade" Theater #1

2:25 p.m. Prize Giveaways #2

2:30 p.m. Cosplay Runway #2

2:50 p.m. "Ninjyasize" - FIRST TIME IN HAWAII!!!

3:10 p.m. Mini "Masquerade" Theater #2

3:30 p.m. Prize Giveaways #3

4 p.m. Finale

“Lovers of Harajuku fashions, anime and sci-fi will not want to miss this exciting premiere event," said Kevin Kaneshiro, Shirokiya Asst. Store Manager. "We're expecting a lot of people to come in costume, but everyone is welcome to watch and enjoy - and even participate - in the fun activities throughout this unique, fantasy-themed day."

“We are so thrilled to partner with Shirokiya on this event,” said Oni-Con Hawaii Event Coordinator & Co-chair, Steve Okubo. “We hope to see a lot of folks who are new to the whole Cosplay culture, as well, so we can introduce them to the fun of this phenomenon that is growing by leaps and bounds around the world!”

For more information or to register, visit

Form & Function

June 3rd, 2013

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

Videojournalism and editing by Sisto Domingo of Hawaii New Media.

If this video isn't uploading in your player here is the direct link:


From this simple lump of mud, artist Dustin Miyakawa creates art. “The wheel is a unique instrument. I like that it happens so quickly and so dynamically. Form just is born out of clay and speed,” he explains.


The 26 year old University of Hawaii art student throws towering vessels, tiny teacups, useful bowls: Beautiful -yet functional -objects for the home.

“I’d like to think people can look at everyday objects and see art and beauty in them,” he hopes.

His main tool: The potter’s wheel. This most ancient of crafts - believed to have been developed in Mesopotamia more than 3,000 years before Christ- today produces modern works of art.

Sisto shooting Dustin

Sisto shooting Dustin

“It’s just a moving experience, and I want people to feel the same way I do,” Miyakawa says. And it still fascinates with its hypnotic spinning, both for the audience, and the artist.

“Many of us look for that transcendent experience, that zone space when you’re completely engaged in a task,” he continues. “It’s a very personal space within myself that I can only access through throwing.”

Diane interviewing Dustin

Diane interviewing Dustin

The process of giving life to a lump of clay can take minutes – or days. Miyakawa shapes it, fires it, glazes it, and fires it a second time. What he likes most is the journey, not the destination.

“On a good day, it seems I’m not dictating to the clay, but entering a dialogue on the wheel. It gives me feedback on what it wants to do,” he reflects. “Controlling that is a large part of my process. It’s built solely around controlling the materials.”

Particularly, he likes the challenge of making large objects. “It has a lot to do with the relationship between the scale of an object and us as people. Something that’s 20 inches tall isn’t so threatening. But once you get into something that’s taller than you, it has a different effect. It makes you feel power,” he details. “That’s what I want to convey in my work. I want people to feel the same power as I feel when I watch something throw or when I’m on the wheel.

Sisto, Dustin, Diane

Sisto, Dustin, Diane

Miyakawa would also like to shape something else- the dialogue in the arts community. “The current dialogue in the art world is that between art and craft. That art is something that must have concept, convey meaning. But at heart, I’m a craftsman. I’m not an artist. I want people to understand that concept can be made from craft. And craft can express just as many ideas as sculpture,” shares Miyakawa.

At KITV4: Jill, Dustin, Paul

At KITV4: Jill, Dustin, Paul

Miyakawa wants to bridge the gap between form and function. “A simple cup can say just as much as a sculpture,” he insists.

If Miyakawa has his way, his pieces will say something more. They’ll tell the world to look out for the next big name in ceramics.

With many thanks to Sisto Domingo of Hawaii New Media (808) 554-6968 for videography and editing.

Posted in craft | No Comments »

Emmy nomination!

May 6th, 2013

I'm pleased to tell you that this blog has been nominated for an EMMY® award. Specifically, a video I did on a candy artist in 2012 has received recognition from the regional EMMY® chapter. The category is News Writing.

Emmy nom

The nominated story is here:

A full list of nominees is here:

More information about this chapter is here:

I shot this with my video partner Mr. Tracy Arakaki of Tracy Arakaki Productions. I'm so lucky that he wants to partner up annually to create a video story. We do this as an unpaid hobby as we both have day jobs.

Tracy shooting the Tanakas

Tracy shooting the Tanakas

We do it because we love the creative process of putting a story together, and all the elements that go with it - the discussion over the direction of the piece, the brainstorming over what visuals are important, the opportunity to meet new people in the community in ways that our real jobs would not allow, the comfortable dynamic between reporter/photographer, producer/editor - roles we once shared together at KHNL.

Us at work, with grip Joe Aikala in background

Us at work, with grip Joe Aikala in background

Tracy shooting Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble for the opening shot

Tracy shooting Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble for the opening shot

The EMMY® award is presented for outstanding achievement in television by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). This is the same award you are probably familiar with from the red carpet shows honoring your favorite television shows. This group covers all television programming, including a division to honor news.

There were 674 entries this year, so I'm honored to even be nominated; the winners will be announced at a ceremony in San Francisco on June 15.