My actual name is Colleen. “Coco” is a nickname given to me a long time ago by a good friend. As grandchildren entered our family, the name Coco stuck with me so the grandkiddies wouldn’t get mixed up with their other grandparents!
Paia, Maui was my hometown and I am a “sansei” or third generation Japanese American. I grew up with my Japanese speaking grandmother in our home. She was an immigrant from Hiroshima, Japan. My love for sewing and crafting was inspired by many hours of observing my Obachan use her creativity and frugality in making blankets for us. She used her old Japanese newspapers for creating her original patterns (which I still have) and didn’t let any scrap of fabric go to waste. My mom followed suit and made sure I knew how to sew through countless sewing classes. Homemade gifts are truly given by the heart as much thought and labor are involved in creating the treasured item. Mass produced, identical items cannot replace those made with hands and are one of a kind.
A dream of all crafters is to have your own craft fair and welcome friends and, make new friends. About 15 years ago, I and two very good friends decided to try to have a home craft fair. The three of us were always the nucleus of our fair and each year, many ladies who eventually became good friends, solicited the opportunity to join our fair. We called ourselves the “Patchwork of Friends”. The annual, Fall craft fair was held at our home. We turned my home into a country home filled with an abundance of crafts from Hawaiian, tole painted wooden crafts, sewed items, dried protea and floral gifts, Christmas ornaments, handmade sewn dolls, punched tin and baked items just to name a few of the extensive variety of creations which flowed through our fairs over the years. Christmas music, aroma of baking breads and pot potpourri filled the home. The variety and great quantity of items made for standing room only but never discouraged people from coming, shopping and talking story with friends. Some came just to talk story with others. In one day, we would have about 400 visitors (mostly ladies) come visit us.
For 8 years, my girlfriends and I enjoyed planning these fairs. Busy schedules and changes in our lives enabled us to conclude a very memorable chapter of our crafting years. I followed a mantra my husband and I made as we began our craft fairs. My crafting was purely an avocation and not a vocation. That’s what made it fun.
My love for crafting and sewing has never ended. Cooking is another passion I have with an affinity towards sweets! When planning a dinner, I never have problems thinking of what to make for desserts! My collection of cookbooks (and sewing patterns) is endless!
As we embark on “Coco’s Corner” I am excited to share ideas that have brought joyful surprises and pride in my creations! We create and give to see the joy it brings to others! That’s what it’s all about. That’s what the giving of “aloha” is to many of us here in Hawaii. I look forward to hearing from you. Talk story with us so we can make more friends and you can join our Ohana of kama’ainas!