For some of our followers, you already know that our hearts and souls still reside in Hawaii, a place we fell in love with way back in 1986, which represented our true honeymoon after four years of marriage. Being from Texas and Oklahoma we rarely saw the beauty the world has to offer and the magnificent creatures it holds. Living on Kauai for two years was a dream come true, but a long and difficult task. During our time on Kauai we saw humpback whales breach the surface, sail side-by-side with spinner dolphins, and most of all swimming with the Honu – The Hawaiian word for the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is the only indigenous reptile found in Hawaii, but for Hawaiians, the Honu is a symbol of wisdom and good luck in the form of a guardian spirit, or Amakua. The Honu pattern is depicted in ancient petroglyphs as well as in modern graphic form. For Hawaiians then and now, the Honu represents the navigator, and the eternal link between man, the land and the sea. One Hawaiian legend tells of a large Honu, Kailua, who would transform into a human girl and served as protector of the Keiki (children) playing along the shore of Punalu`u Beach.
Just off Anini Beach and sheltered by the coral reef, there was a spot where the Honu visit and allow fish to clean them, and humans to snorkel around and float about to watch them. It is a humbling experience taking me back to my childhood days of watching the undersea world of Jacques Cousteau. It was in the third grade that I loved to watch Sunday night programming of the natural world. I was convinced I wanted to be an oceanographer. Instead, I was limited to the flat lands and a career in accounting. This year, accounting finally depreciated me (accountant humor) to the point where I mentally needed to go back to a day when I wanted to be a designer and architect in high school. I love to design and create, and bring joy to people – something accounting never did. I have decades of technology experience and when I saw how much The Beachy Quilter (That’s Tracy) was spending on digital downloads, I decided my retirement plan depended on keeping some of our money in our account and possibly sell my designs to others. The problem is that Tracy has been doing quilting for over 30 years, I’ve only used a needle and thread to repair a button, but with my big hands I tend to stick myself, followed by a stream of loud foriegn words taught to me by my mother, who just recently passed on. Let me say my mother could make a sailor blush and invent new sentences with each one. But I digress.
This year I threw out my ten-key calculator and bought a six needle (Babylock Intrepid) embroidery machine. Tracy named her Gammill-Statler “Stella”. I named my machine, “Threader”, a very macho and manly man name. It’s how I roll. At first I wanted to do the things that embroidery companies do, until I decided it merely would not be profitable for me. So, I decided to merely create designs and build quilts as displays (and for sale) for what you can do with my designs. Since June I’ve been learning Art-N-Stitch to create digital designs for Stella and Threader. I’ve also learned EQ8 to design quilts with the fabrics and embroidered blocks. My overall knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud supplements all my digital knowledge I’ve learned as a technology consultant and self-published author. Working with my daughter, Courtney Nicklas, we plan on bringing on a horde of digital designs.
My first project is “Aloha O Honu“, or the “Love of The Green Sea Turtle“. This project will in the end be my first experience in the world of quilting and embroidery. I have designed 20 – 5” blocks with 20 unique Honu designs based on traditional Polynesian and Hawaiian tattoo art. All these designs surround the mother Honu in the center, the image you see here. The Hawaiian block motifs that will appear are my designs. The edge-to-edge Honu design is also my creation. The layout is my creation, and I will will piece, quilt and bind the quilt on my own (I’m sure a few choice words will be said). Like a scene out of “Cast Away” where Tom Hanks shouts “I have created fire”, I will scream out “I have created quilt!” Tracy will merely roll her eyes and get back to quilting, crickets will chirps, and all the Bears, Panthers and Raccoons here in our backyard paradise of Naples, Florida will merely run for the deep woods.
Stay tuned for the unveiling this month. In the meantime, dare to dream, dare to plan, date to explore this marvelous blue ball we call earth. You only get one chance. Mahalo Nui Loa (Thank You Very Much).
Eddie “Threader” Greenlee, CEO (Carries Everything Out).