December 16th, 2014 / posted by paularath
Just four of Misa's new fine jewelry pieces.

Just four of Misa’s new fine jewelry pieces.                                        Photos courtesy of Misa Jewelry.

Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Misa Hamamoto of Misa Jewelry is combining a homespun holiday with the Honolulu introduction of her new line of fine jewelry. She will unveil her simple, elegant new collection:

6 – 8 p.m.

Riches Kahala, Kahala Mall

Tuesday, December 16

Misa is from Honolulu and first learned her jewelry skills at Punahou. It took about two minutes for Lo Kaimuloa, owner of Riches Kahala, to decide to carry Misa Jewelry way back when.

Misa in Los Angeles, now her home.

Misa in Los Angeles, now her home.

Misa sculpts organic forms from nature and uses the labor-intensive lost-wax casting method to produce them. Her work has always been inspired by her Hawaii roots.


New diamond and gem stone rings by Misa Jewelry.

New diamond and gem stone rings by Misa Jewelry.

Misa recently introduced bridal jewelry and she treasures the times she spends with brides and grooms, helping them custom co-create the most important pieces of jewelry in their lives.

Her designs are always imbued with the rhythm of nature, yet carry with them an urban vibe. With the addition of diamonds and other precious gems, Misa’s work has taken another leap forward….just in time for Christmas giving – and getting.

- Paula Rath

Misa's new lariats are sophisticated and serene.

Misa’s new lariats are sophisticated, simple and serene.


December 12th, 2014 / posted by paularath

I saw Bev Creamer, a long time friend of mine from The Honolulu Advertiser and an extraordinary jewelry designer, at a luncheon Hawaii Business Magazine gave for its freelancers yesterday.

Bev has been doing more traveling in recent years and last September, she spent time in Europe.

In the early years of her jewelry making, the multi-talented Bev crafted her own beads from clay. A gifted ceramicist, she opted for bold colors and shapes. The busier she got, as a mother of two daughters, full-time newspaper journalist and volunteer extraordinaire, she found it impossible to make her own beads. So she began collecting.

This year she found Venetian glass in Venice, handmade glass beads in Prague and intriguing antique beads in Vienna. Her favorite treasure trove was in Paris, in the Place Maubert Market (near Notre Dame Cathedral), where vendors bring beautiful beads from all over the world to show in the open market.

Bev has been busy ever since September, madly combining the beads to create unique and eclectic necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Check out her latest work this Saturday, at Magnolia in Kahala Mall.

Bev will be joined by Elizabeth Kent, who repurposes kimono into au courant jackets, scarves and table runners, and Michelle and Sharon Saorit, who create botanical designs.

- Paula Rath

Magnolia HOliday Sale


December 11th, 2014 / posted by paularath
Marsala 1

Photos courtesy of Pantone.

MARSALA is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015. Why should we care? A few years ago we didn’t. It was something you could ignore unless you were knee-deep in a profession such as interior design, furnishings, textile design or makeup.

Now, however, the Pantone Color of the Year rocks. It has spawned numerous collaborations between Pantone and major corporations that create color lines, such as Sephora. It is picked up by every fashion blogger and magazine and spun into a whirlwind of stories. Companies of all stripes jump on the band wagon and tout products that have even a smattering of the color du jour. I have already received news releases from companies that make pillows, stilettos, sunglasses, jewelry, dresses and makeup, all clamoring to show me their Marsala-colored goods.

Marsala Swatch Card

Deborah Lippmann has already introduced a Marsala-hued nail enamel called “Let’s Misbehave,” while Cle de Peau offers a lipstick that nails the hue.

For inspiration, the Pantone Color Institute‘s style sleuths look to the fashion and entertainment industries, as well as art, trendy travel destinations, technology and sports.

Marsala makes a warm, inviting color for the home.

Marsala makes a warm, inviting color for the home.

Marsala, which is the name of a wine, is an earthy, warm red-brown sort of hue. It reminds me of antique bricks, lived-in and comfy. It’s a great color for upholstery, an accent wall or table linens. Picture a Marsala table cloth with a crystal bowl full of pomegranates. Marsala will also be beautiful in lipsticks, nail enamels, blush and eye shadows.

Marsala in the kitchen - and not just in a wine glass.

Marsala in the kitchen – and not just in a wine glass.

I would like to see Marsala paired with some soft and lovely neutrals such as tan, navy, a blue-gray or slate gray.

If you have olive undertones in your skin, be very careful with Marsala. Try, try, try before you buy – and be sure to check it out in natural light, whether it’s a lipstick or a blouse.

- Paula Rath

Berry-stained lips and pomegranate-stained fingers come to mind.

Berry-stained lips and pomegranate-stained fingers come to mind.


December 3rd, 2014 / posted by paularath

Holiday Fayre 2014

I know there are a lot of choices for holiday shopping this weekend, and I would like to mention a really worthy way to spend your time and gift budget: Holiday Fayre.

Here’s the critical info on it:

Date: Saturday, December 6

Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Location: Cupola Theatre at the Honolulu Design Center

Free parking and no admittance fee.

Holiday Fayre Paradisus

This first-time event promises to be a lot of fun and a treasure trove of gifts for everyone on your list – and for yourself.

There will be lots of Made in Hawaii vendors, including clothing, accessories and jewelry designers.

To name a few:

Kim Taylor Reese

Pualani Swimwear

Colleen’s Vintage Collection

Sky Dreams

Catherine’s Closet Vintage Boutique

Dawn Pitre Fine Art

Art Attack

Full Fathom Five Hawaii

Salt Water Swim

Paradisus Jewelry

Trish McEvoy, one of my favorite makeup lines from Neiman Marcus

My sister, Roberta Cullen of Fashioned by Roberta, will also be on hand with her newest designs, hand crocheted necklaces in varying lengths punctuated with beads. Some are monochromatic, while others feature multi-colored beads. There are also some uniquely Christmasy designs to accessorize a favorite Christmas outfit. They come in silver and gold. My fave is a five-strand necklace of silver crocheted thread with blue beads and I wear it a lot, as it goes with everything from jeans to a cocktail dress. She has recently introduced earrings that pair perfectly with the necklaces. So simple and simply elegant – and I would write this even if she wasn’t my sister! (In fact, I’m afraid I sometimes give her the short end of the stick – or should I say story –  because she is my sister.)

Holiday Fayre Colleen

In addition, there will be a special Low Tea (which includes savory finger sandwiches, scones and sweets) and a fashion show with uber fashion designer Ari South in the Lime Lounge. Cost: $38.95. Reservations are required for the tea and fashion show. Call 237-5429.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that the Design Center is generously donating a considerable portion of the proceeds to Palama Settlement, which is my family’s legacy and the charity with which I am most involved. Helping Honolulu’s most needy neighborhood is just one more reason to come and enjoy this innovative inaugural shopping adventure.

- Paula Rath



November 30th, 2014 / posted by paularath
Photo by Jerry Mayfield

Photo by Jerry Mayfield

The photo above was taken early in the morning as Jerry and I walked around Lake Manapouri. A little duck family was just heading out on the lake. This was our favorite moment in Te Anau, a tiny lake front town where we visited the Glowworm Caves with a guide from Real Journeys. I hope it will inspire paintings for both of us.

I think I forgot to mention that to get to Doubtful Sound we had to take a bus from Queenstown, a little ferry across Lake Manapouri, a four-wheel drive bus (yep, for real – the roads are quite rough) to get to the Fiordland Navigator. When we left the Navigator, we were more than halfway to Lake Manapouri and Te Anau already.

The ancient Maori name Te Anau means “cave with a current of swirling water.”  As the brochure says, “your journey through the caves by path and small boat takes you into a dynamic and exciting environment. Please take a moment to read our safety instructions.”

Uh huh.  They don’t warn you that it’s pitch dark in there and the pathway requires a good deal of skirting rock walls that slant toward you and walking along a narrow stone pathway with a waterfall, a whirlpool and gushing stream beneath you, making a deafening sound. It didn’t bother Jerry at all but, in all honesty, I was terrified for a few moments.

I don’t recommend this adventure for anyone with claustrophobia or fear of water or fear of total darkness.

Entrance to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

Entrance to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

After this walk, you get into a boat and travel up through the caves to see the glowworms. No photos are allowed, unfortunately. You can feel the water rushing beneath you as it heads for the waterfall. The water was especially high because of all the recent rains and snow melt.

Jerry and I commented that this adventure would never be allowed in the U.S. The attorneys would have such a field day with it.

In the end, I was really glad I did it, though. Those little glowworms are amazing creatures. And I realized I could handle it after that one moment when I was frozen with terror.

- Paula Rath