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POSTED: Thursday, July 02, 2009

; LOOK » Dr. Carolan and his wife, Joanna, have a children's book being released on July 15. However, advance copies of “;A President from Hawaii”; ($18.95) will be available at the Aloha Tower Marketplace's Atrium stage at 5 p.m. tomorrow. The author and illustrator will be on hand for autographs at that time. Hang around for the book readings at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m., too.

LISTEN » “;Spritle”; by Deastro (www. myspace.com/deastro)

DO » If you happen to be in Waikiki on the Fourth, stop by the Doubletree Alana Hotel Waikiki, where the all-American treat of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies will be offered free between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, while supplies last. No purchase is required. The Doubletree is at 1956 Ala Moana Blvd. Call 941-7275.

AT HOME

Have a furniture swap

Chances are if you are on a budget, so are your friends. Kate Hart, owner of Hart & Associates Staging & Design in Philadelphia, PA., suggests hosting a furniture swap party at your home as a fun and free way to get new furniture and accessories. Hart, who has also been featured on The Fine Living Network and HGTV says: “; Invite your neighbors and friends and have them bring good condition home accessories, lighting, area rugs and small furniture. Draw numbers to see who gets to go first and then select the item of your choice. Furniture too big to bring to the party? Bring a photo and then arrange to have the winner pick it up later that week.”;

Mamapedia to the rescue for moms

Moms seem to know everything, but for those moments where they get stumped, now there's mamapedia.com. It's the Google (or “;goo goo”; if you will) for the mom set. Mothers with kids of all ages can ask questions and have them answered by moms who've been there. It's updated daily and it's free. It also tracks real-time searches so you can see what others moms are asking about. The hot topic right now is low-budget decorating ideas.

HOME & GARDEN

Ewa sale features orchids, prizes

The Ewa Orchid Society is having an orchid show and plant sale July 10 through 12 at Ewa Elementary School on Renton Road.

Besides orchids, desert rose, cactus and anthuriums will be offered and door prizes will be given.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 10 and 11, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 12, with demonstrations at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

There is no admission fee but donations are welcome.

Call 623-6226.

Foster Garden hosts storytime

Bring children ages 3 to 5 for storytime in the Garden, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. July 9 and 11 at Foster Botanical Garden. The program includes singing, nature crafts and a garden visit. Call 522-7064.

Learn about sustainability

Take in the “;Building Sustainability and Asset Optimization”; workshop from 9 a.m. to noon July 10. George Benda, CEO of Chelsea Group Ltd., will explain how to operate sustainable building maintenance programs with a budget for capital improvements. Cost is $55, $45 for University of Hawaii students. To register, call 956-8400 or visit www.outreach. hawaii.edu/summer/sustain.

Teach keiki about gardening

Hawaii Nature Center is offering a “;Tropical Organic Gardening”; workshop from 9 to 11 a.m. July 11 to teach the basics of home gardening. It is geared for children ages 5 and older. Call 955-0100, ext. 18. Cost is $20 for non-member parent-child team.

Lyon Arboretum raising funds

Join in the fun and help a good cause during the “;Lyon in Summer”; fundraiser from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 11 at Lyon Arboretum. The event features tours, a silent auction, dinner by Chai's Island Bistro and live musical entertainment. Memorial benches may be purchased for placement throughout the gardens. Garden attire and low heels are recommended. Parking and shuttle service is available at Paradise Park. Call 988-0464.

CRIB NOTES

Install a toilet in 5 minutes

You just never know when you're going to need a new bathroom in a hurry.

Such was the thinking behind “;The Refresher”; by New Paradigm, an instant complete bathroom introduced at the New Kitchen and Bath Show in Atlanta in May that promises a single, fully assembled suite with “;plug and play”; installation.

Touted as the latest in home appliances, the 30- and 36-inch units fit snugly in a 3- to 3 1/2-foot corner of a room. All you need is the same hook-up utility set as you'd use with a washing machine — two hoses and an electrical socket, and it supposedly is designed for a connection that takes less than five minutes.

Douglas Birdsall, shown below, a former airline executive turned entrepreneur, is behind the concept, perhaps inspired by airplane facilities. His Web site, newparadigm-llc.com, prices the 30-inch standard model at $2,000 and the 36-inch expanded model at $3,000, noting that typical new bathroom installations cost $10,000-plus.

WHAT'S IN STORE

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Tech gear goes fashion forward

Women who never appreciated the geekiness of cell-phone headsets have resigned themselves to wearing the devices now that the new law banning hands-on electronic devices has gone into effect.

That doesn't mean they're going peacefully. June Dillinger complained of the ugliness of the devices, saying, “;If I'm going to have to wear it, it has to look pretty.”;

Enter Eileen Tokita, who's known for her bejeweled Faberge-style egg creations and purses studded with Swarovski crystals. Over the years, she's also brought the bling to iPods, cell phones, memory sticks and other pieces of cold technology that need a warming personal touch.

“;I think what it is, and it's especially true in this economy, is that people feel happier when they have something pretty in their possession,”; Tokita said. “;If you wear something on your body or have something pretty in your purse, it makes you happy when you look at it.”;

Tokita shares her art during walk-in classes she teaches every Wednesday and Sunday at Bella Beads, 1001 Dillingham Blvd., across from Honolulu Community College, with one special Bluetooth session this Saturday. Sessions, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., run $35 plus cost of materials, about $20 for a Bluetooth device. It's best to start with small objects while you get the hang of the craft.

For those who aren't nimble with their hands, Tokita can also do the blinging for you, at about $35 for a small Bluetooth ear piece, to about $85 for a larger model. She can be reached by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Dillinger is happy with her new ear jewelry, saying, “;I've worn it a couple of days and have already gotten so many amazing compliments. I feel very popular.”;

STYLE FILE

Advice to our newest Miss Hawaii Raeceen Woolford: Book your appointment with Kathleen Bruening in advance of the Miss America pageant. The up-and-coming Maui designer's swimsuits just may have been the lucky charms for two Maui beauty queens, Miss Ulalena Marissa Petsas and Miss Lokelani Erica Daniels, as well as Miss Molokai Napua Hueu, who also won her pageant in one of Bruening's designs.

Bruening, owner of Suit Yourself Bikinis, will be in town this weekend, presenting a trunk show with window modeling at the Valerie Joseph Ala Moana Center boutique. The boutique hosts a “;Celebrate America BBQ and Bikinis”; event from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, with steak sampling, a live DJ and clothing discounts.

Bruening started designing when she was 5 years old, fitting her Barbies with designs hand-stitched from scrap fabrics. It wasn't a great leap to start customizing her own clothes. Unfettered by rules, she put her imagination to work and the result today is swimsuits far more creative than typical retail designs.

Suit Yourself Bikinis are found at Madison Avenue at Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center on Maui, but after this weekend, Oahu retailers may have to take the plunge.

Suited for a queen: T.P. champion

;  She's done it again!

Ann Kagawa Lee, who took third-place honors in the 2008 www.cheap-chic-weddings.com toilet-paper wedding gown design contest, came in first this year, winning $1,000 for her “;Gone With the Wind”; and origami-themed gown.

The sponsors said, “;We love her imagination and creativity and craftsmanship! Her dress has been compared to an Oscar de la Renta couture gown.”;

Lee knew the contest was coming up, so started work on a hat in February. She started the dress once the contest was announced April 17.

“;I started folding triangles while I was watching TV. I wanted to try to do 1,001, to make it like the traditional 1,001 cranes associated with Japanese weddings, but I reached 760 and I pooped out (no pun intended).

“;When I finished the dress, I had 25 (triangles) left over, so I'm glad I didn't do 241 more.”;

Considering the ephemeral quality of t.p., Lee said last year that she was tempted to put her design skills to use with more concrete materials, “;but the economy is so bad and I don't want to stress myself.”;

To see more visit www.cheap-chic-weddings.com/wedding-contest-2009.html.

For a video of Lee's work, go to http://bit.ly/2Q4y0.

Swap til you drop

Rock Shop and Cloth vintage boutique have partnered to host a monthly clothing exchange called Swap Shop, where one can turn trash to treasure.

All month long, bring your Swap Shop donations into Cloth to be valued. In exchange, you will receive tickets that can be turned in every First Friday at Rock Shop, at SOHO Mix Media Bar, 80 S. Pauahi St., for items of the same value.

Swap Shop donations will also be accepted at Rock Shop from 1 to 6 p.m. on First Friday, but those who get their items valued early at Cloth will receive 10 percent off their total purchase at Cloth, to be used the day of drop-off.

Rock Shop and Swap Shop make up Hawaii's original traveling shopping spree for both men and women.

— Nadine Kam

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BEAUTY SPOT

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Too Faced gives ink an update

Fear of commitment is what has kept me tattoo free. People and passions change. As one who watches trends come and go, the last thing I'd want is to be stuck with the same old imagery all my life.

If you've done the deed and want to dress up your body art for special occasions, take your inspiration from Too Faced, which has repurposed its Starry Eyed liner ($17.50) to add a sparkly dimension to tattoos. Colors range from Silver Lining to the bright fuschia of Super Freak.

I spotted the company's Senior Business Development Executive/Rocker Chic, Suzie Stacy, at the Ala Moana Sephora on Saturday, where she was wearing the glittery eyeliner on her sleeve, a look that's catching on companywide and drawing lots of attention when their artists hit store floors.

The eyeliner is easy to apply and washes off in the shower. You don't even need a real tattoo; a little pen, ink and the glittery liner will do the trick. — Nadine Kam