October 2nd, 2018 / posted by paularath

A quiet morning in Stratford Upon Avon                                                    Photo by Grant Eyre

There. That sets the mood. And I hope it gives you a little pause to breathe and put yourself in that calm, serene place, on the River Avon in Stratford Upon Avon.

Now that you have had a little moment, I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me. I promised you blogs from our five-week trip to England…and then I disappeared. Tech is not my strong point (to say the least), so it may have been my fault. But I simply could not blog from anywhere in England. I really don’t understand why. However I did take photos and write journals and now I can report to you on a truly wonderful trip.

First, let me say that this trip was sort of like three trips in one. Each segment was quite different in mode and mood.

John Lovett, watercolorist extraordinaire, sets up to paint a bridge over the River Avon.

First, we spent two weeks in a watercolor workshop with John Lovett, a teacher from Brisbane, Australia whom Jerry has admired and followed for years. There were 20 artists in the group, from Australia, New Zealand, Czech Republic, England, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania and California. Most were very accomplished and some are professional artists and art teachers. And then there was me. Yikes!

Coopers Cottage, our home for two lovely weeks. Sorry about the garbage bin!

Second, for two weeks, Jerry and I rented a little thatched cottage in the tiny village of Lower Heyford, in Oxfordshire. Quiet, quaint and totally relaxing. We walked along the nearby canal and watched the longboats slowly making their way through the locks and bridges of the River Cherwell.

We stayed in a club just around the corner from my favorite park, St. James’s, which is teeming with wildlife.

Third, we spent a glorious week in London, my favorite city in the world. Jerry had never been to London, so it was great to share it with him.

So please visit paularath.com often to learn more about a trip that was educational, entertaining and truly enlightening for Jerry and me.

Paula Rath

August 21st, 2018 / posted by paularath

One of the most treasured Hawaiian fine jewelry pieces one can have is a kahelelani shell necklace, bracelet or earrings. So I was thrilled to find some beautiful kahelelani pieces from Moloka’i this week at Riches Kahala.

Ameron-John Kaikaikaokamana’omekekino Madela of Moloka’i creates his beautiful shell jewelry from all natural colors of the tiny shells: pink, red, salmon and beige.


Moloka’i shell earrings start at $60 at Riches Kahala.

When searching for your Moloka’i kahelelani shell lei, there are five things to watch for:

  • Color
  • Luster
  • Flaws
  • Size
  • Workmanship

This three-piece set sells for $1,000 at Riches Kahala, which is a great price for fine kahelelani shell jewelry.

A shell lei is a perpetual reminder of this special place we call home. And, unlike flower lei, it won’t wilt. Rather, it will become more and more beautiful with time. Shells love to be worn!

-Paula Rath


August 2nd, 2018 / posted by paularath

A view from our “tree house” in, Nu’uanu                                   Photo by Duncan Graham

When we are traveling, people always ask us why on earth we would ever leave Hawaii to visit (insert their home here – Carcassonne, Dublin, Bruges, Buenos Aires, Paros, Pittsburgh- you get my drift) and, yes, there are moments when we ask ourselves the same question.

The fact is, we love Honolulu and our little “tree house” in the rain forest of Nu’uanu. We never feel sad or regretful when we return to the often misty mountains my son Duncan Graham captured in the photo above.

Along the sea cliffs of Vestmanna, in the Faroe Islands

And yes, we often have waterfalls we can see from our deck. But our waterfalls are quite different from the waterfalls we saw in Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Ireland, and therein lies the fascination. No matter how beautiful our island is, it is a very small island, in the middle of the Pacific, and the world is such a huge and magnificent place. We want to see as much as we can, for as long as we can.

Gullfuss Falls, on the Golden Circle in Iceland

That said, we are now preparing for a five-week trip to England in late August. We will spend two weeks in a watercolor workshop with John Lovett, a teacher from Australia whom Jerry has admired for years. We’ll have one week in the Cotswolds, based in Stratford upon Avon, and one week in Cornwall, based in Plymouth. Wonderful subjects for plein air painting!

After the workshop, we will retreat to a little cottage in Lower Heyford, a tiny village in the Cotswolds, where we will paint the English countryside while our lessons are still fresh. During those two weeks we will take train or bike trips to nearby places such as Oxford and Blenheim Castle.

Then a week in London, my very, very favorite city in the world. I want to see if my old 1967-68 address, a third-floor walk-up at 60 Hogarth Road in Earl’s Court, has turned into something quite different from the frumpy old Victorian I knew.

Stay tuned for more travel blogs…..

  • Paula Rath

Cliffs of Moher, Western coast of Ireland



July 24th, 2018 / posted by paularath

My fave from Mao Mam


Meet one of my go-to dresses for the season. It’s by Mao Mam, and I get endless compliments on it wherever I wear it.

One day I was walking through the airport on my way to visit my dear friend Cheryl on Maui and I ran into uber interior designer Marion Philpotts,, one of Honolulu’s most chic women. She loved this dress and wanted to know where to find it.

Mona Lisa tunic from Tapestries Studio.

Well, it’s not all that easy to score a Mao Mam piece. You can find it online at www.Tapestries-Studio.com, but if you prefer to touch the fabric and try on for size, you have to go to a trunk show.

Hey, this coming weekend you’re in luck. There’s a Tapestries Studio trunk show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, July 27, and the same time Saturday, July 28. Look for it at boutique AllisonIzu/Ten Tomorrow, at 1114 11th Avenue in Kaimuki.

It’s a nice opportunity to say hi to Lori, former owner of Tapestries in Ala Moana, and Chie, creator of Mao Mam, Mona Lisa and You-Be.

Hope to see you there!

-Paula Rath

July 23rd, 2018 / posted by paularath

Cookie finds a treat

A few months ago, our “last cat,” EleEle, passed away. After living with pet cats for more than 30 years, we committed to being cat-less. It makes our travel plans much more flexible.

But I gotta say, it’s been really hard.

EleEle, and Scrimshaw before her, have been my constant companions.

Scrimshaw, our beloved cat of 21 years, always became quiet and serene at the vet’s.

Scrimmy lived until he was 21 years old, and he seldom left my side. He followed me from room to room and climbed on my lap every chance he could get. His purr could be heard across the room, and he loved to talk. He honestly seemed to be responding as I chatted with him while cooking, painting or sewing.

Once Scrimmy was silenced, so was I. The house became very quiet whenever Jerry was out and about.

Until Cookie came along.

Cookie is my “pet” gecko. I first met her when she crept up under my cookie cooling rack and started gobbling up the cookie crumbs. She’s one of the pretty geckos with the red spots on a green body. She’s put on a little weight since we met, which only makes her more adorable. She has become very social, and the sound of my voice causes her to pause and listen intently. She mostly lives behind a framed print near our kitchen windows, but comes out to visit whenever I’m cooking.

Now Cookie has a family, ‘Cado and Crax. They are far more shy, and they’re not good listeners. But oh how they love their avocado and their crackers!

Cheeky Cointreau will go to great depths for his fix – even diving to the bottom of a cocktail glass!

Cointreau’s cousin samples vodka, which was not a winner.

Jerry really was the first in the family to befriend a gecko. Cointreau the Gecko, who is ancient in gecko years, crawled up onto a Cointreau bottle one evening years ago and started licking…and licking…and licking…until the bottle cap was clean! Now a whole family of geckos comes out at cocktail hour to see what Jerry might be offering for their Happy Hour. He has tried lots of different liquors, but Cointreau, Fireball and Grand Marnier are by far the most popular.

Cointreau toddles off after a good lick of Fireball.

Jerry has long conversations with Cointreau, who is usually quite attentive, though the attention span lessens as he imbibes.

Do spiders make good pets?

We recently ran into (literally), this beautiful spider, who seems to appreciate guitar. But all she was interested in was weaving back and forth between the guitar and the desk. Not a social creature at all. Do spiders have the potential to be house pets? Shall we name her Charlotte?

Spiders, and their webs, are among the joys of living in the rain forest!

-Paula Rath