Taniku shokubutsu

Taniku shokubutsu, or “spoiled child”, according to Weblio‘s definition of the word “succulents” in Japanese:

translation of succulent in Japanese

I guess a spoiled child would probably be ta-niku (have plenty of meat)!

I had absolutely no IDEA about the succulent-verse online until I photographed the adorable little things as I was walking one day. Peeps are real serious about these plump plants! Using the PRISMA app, I made a colorful fabric pattern out of some little succies I photographed while walking near Date Street in Honolulu, HI.

Succulents Date Street Honolulu, HI

Then using the Prisma app on my phone, I applied different filters to the photo:


Then I took a screenshot of my phone and opened it in Photoshop (CS5, version 12.0). You can also save the photo or e-mail it to yourself. (Prisma cropped my photo so I had to run it twice, once on each side of the photo.)


After cropping out the phone stuff and the app, I aligned and joined the 2 halves of the photo together into 1 layer. Then I made a backup, duplicate of the entire layer and turned it off, just in case I messed up later.

Next I used the Lasso tool to duplicate a few flowers. I just traced around the edges of a flower and Copied as New Layer a few times, until I had a few extra flowers to be used later as ‘filler’.


Then I used the Offset filter (select menu Filter>Other>Offset) to turn the picture into a repeat with four corners.

repeat using offset filter
Offset filter applied. Now just gotta fill in the center area with some filler flowers.

Using my new flower copies, I filled in the blank space in the center where the four corners meet. Then I used the Smudge tool to blend the four corners together.


I think it came out pretty well, don’t you?

Waikiki — Fifth Avenue on a beautiful beach

The Hawai’i weather is awesome compared to New York City!  There is no checking the forecast here — one simply leaves the house. It is a thing of beauty.  And almost every day is a beach day, although for us ladies that can cut both ways!

So what do you get when you mashup Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive with a beautiful island beach? Seems you get Waikiki!

Night scene in Waikiki, Spam Jam
Waikiki Spam Jam 2016 (yes, THAT Spam®)

“Why would anyone want to perpetrate such a mashup?” is the logical follow-up question, and that is what I’ve often found myself asking since I arrived here a little over a month ago.  Why did the developers think this commercialization of the beach was a good idea?  Why is this area still dotted with construction cranes, when it seems so unsustainable? Is there no one planning long-term sustainable commercial/tourism development?  Well, it makes digging for the hidden gems of real Waikiki character a bit tougher, but all the more enjoyable when discovered.

I guess this over-commercialization explains why some residents of the other islands are so fiercely protective of them.  Stay tuned for my future forays to the islands…