Monthly Archives: May 2010

Memorial of a Best Friend-JoAnn Sakuoka

Normally, I refrain from personal posts, but sometimes life just seeps in and it wouldn’t feel right NOT to post it.

On Monday, May 24, 2010, I lost one of my best and closest friends.

Here is a photo of me and JoAnn (with the glasses) together at my son and dil’s wedding back in August 2009.

JoAnn found out that she had colon cancer in the second week of May. The doctors gave her 6 months time to live, she swore that she only had a month, if that. JoAnn died just shy of one month after finding out about the cancer…just like she said she would. She was 49 years old…she almost made it to 50…her birthday is in July. By the time 3 weeks had passed, we had just enough time to help her get her belongings in order and to help her find some peace of mind.  She had just barely found out about her diagnosis and she was already on oxygen and morphine.  Her brother cared for her for the short time that hospice was involved. She had just enough time to speak with her closest friends then, she died peacefully at home.

JoAnn was one of my best and closest friends. When I started my Elementary Teaching Career, after teaching 4 years of Intermediate school,  back in 1997 or so, she was the one person who helped me survive teaching the 4th Grade.  She had just finished one year of 4th grade. We were the ones way out in the field…far away from the rest of the grade level…and we stuck together and had a great start to close friendship. She and I have had many adventures together…personal fun, karaoke, crafting, beading, taking all kinds of classes…and just goofing around. We shared so many secrets and so many of life’s ups and downs…and through it all  she has been there for me, my husband, my son, my mom and my dad, no matter what and no matter when.  I know that I was as good a friend to her as she was to me.

To a wonderful, caring person, JoAnn Sakuoka…you were a true blessing.


your closest friend…



JoAnn Sakuoka was currently teaching at Iroquois Point Elementary School and was previously at Ewa Elementary School.  We were both very active with HSTA while I was teaching and she continued to represent her teaching colleagues within HSTA.  She also taught English abroad in Japan prior to being a public school teacher. She always said that she had some of the best times of her life living and teaching in Japan. Teaching: It was an experience that she cherished.



Filed under Memorial

Tutorial-Embroidery Tools–The Sulky Hot Iron Transfer Pen–Creating Iron On Transfers-Tarot Card Purse Panel

Here is another tutorial about creating Iron On Transfers. This is how I have created hot iron transfers with the Sulky Hot Iron Transfer Pen.

1. Have a pattern image. Copy the image onto plain printing paper. You can even enlarge or reduce the image size!

For this project, I want to create an embroidery panel for a purse using a  card that my husband created. He made a deck for me a few years back and this card is one of my favorites. It shows both of us and our little Jack Russell Terrier, Mr. MacKenzie.

I copied the card image with my computer printer. For this one, I even ENLARGED the original image to get the size that I want for the purse panel.


2. Get a hot iron transfer pen…and an iron.

This is a brown Sulky hot iron transfer pen. I used to buy mine at, but they no longer carry them. If you know of a good place to buy this pen online, please share your source with me.

The iron will come into play later. 😉


3. Trace your design on the reverse side with your hot iron transfer pen.

I flip the printed paper over and use my cutting mat as a solid surface since light can travel through the plastic. You can see here that the design is visible and easily traceable when I hold the mat and the reversed sheet up to the door.

After you have the entire design traced out…go on to #4.


4. Place the pattern image, hot iron PEN SIDE DOWN onto your fabric. Just decide where you want it to be…and get ready!


5. Press with hot iron. Set your iron to the cotton setting. (That is the setting that I usually use…unless the fabric is some type that will not survive the heat.)


6. Leave iron placed on the transfer. Peek under a corner to see if the transfer is done.


7. The transfer is done.

You’ve created a Hot Iron Transfer for embroidery…or for just about anything!

Let the embroidery begin!

Your life needs fun. Go ahead, have some fun! –
alicia in Hawaii


Filed under Bags/Purses, Iron On Transfer, Projects, Tarot Card Purse, Tools, tutorial

A Birthday Card Twist – In A Tin

I was looking for these wonderful little tins to do up some cross stitched or embroidered covers. A wonderful friend, Joan, ever faithful Needle Shop extraordinaire, gave me a whole box of these little wonders. She was so kind to share them with me.   🙂

I needed a Birthday Card for my mom…and I had these tins…and some colored pencils…and some watercolor/chalk paper… so was birthed:

(I call it) Film Can Greeting Card

I did up a sketch of our little Jack Russell, Beagle and one of the many kitties for a birthday gift/card cover.  I created a little cover for a tiny tin. Here it is.

I then cut a teeny tiny sliver of paper-strip to write my message on, curled it up into the tin like a film can, and called it a ‘card’.

It has a cover, you open it, and the message is inside!

Now, my little creatures images are featured in color pencil and in thread.

Too see the creation of the thread square go here (to my Counting My Bessings Blog) or here (New Post on Embroidered Square)

I created the drawing before doing the piece up in embroidery.  🙂

Your life needs fun. Go ahead, have some fun! –
alicia in Hawaii


Filed under Colored Pencil, Embroidery Ideas, Favor Tins, Film Can Greeting Card, Pets