A Day at Huliheʻe

Every year at the palace on the scenic Kona waterfront the Daughters of Hawaiʻi hold a wonderful celebration in honor of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaʻole. It is a day of Hawaiiana with emphasis on hula plus fabulous bake sales, lei making (and wearing) all in a garden setting unrivaled on the seashore in the grounds of the impressive palace building.

However, at setup the weather was unkind and it was difficult to erect my display in the wind and rain. Quite unexpectedly with no coercion from me a strongly built, good looking young Hawaiian just came to my aid and it would had been very difficult to have succeeded without him. He would accept no reward and seemed only pleased to be of such help.

He had two other distinctions – one being the longest Hawaiian name I know Preston Kekaninahemaiukaikai Palos and the other a lovely younger sister, Chesney Kalokepuanani whose dancing he had come to encourage. These two were a delight and were a highlight of the show for me.

Thank you both so very much.

It’s That Time of the Year Again…

1Time to harvest our Hawaiian Orchids!

Every late Spring and early Summer, we have to drop all other activity to focus on recovering the Hawaiian orchids as fast as they bloom and then begin our special preservation. They wait for nobody. Even urgent customer orders have to be put aside to wait for them. Here Rya has her arms full as she brings the latest batch of orchids from the nursery.


Na Lima Hana Festival

Two vivacious, happy friends enjoying the Na Lima Hana Charity Artists' Festival sponsored by the Hilton Hotel Waikoloa, Hawaii.


2Elvie Cacho is modelling the colorful blue silk scarf adorned by my new combo design that makes no holes in delicate fabric. 

1Kiara Martinez is sporting my pink dendrobium whole flower earrings.

 3Not to be outdone, in the picture of them together, Elvie is wearing my ever popular orchid petal earrings in blue.

For further information on the lovely silk scarf hand painted by artist designer Valerie Pagni of Kaʻū , go to Konasilk.com or phone her at 808 854 4597

Hapu’u Fern Jewelry

At an Artists' Charity event "Na Lima Hana" at the Hilton, Waikoloa (as long ago as Thanksgiving in 2014) I was flattered by another artist there - Laura Roberts -  who purchased earrings of a trial design that I was considering for possible introduction at some uncertain future date. She wore them at her own exhibit for the rest of that event.

Laura catches everybody's eye with her gentle good looks and the trim slender figure of the confidant professional Boat Captain and PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Master-Instructor that she is. She is also a skilled artist in clay, pottery, painting and iron work and presents herself as Dread Pirate Pottery from Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Her unexpected endorsement for my unconventional product, was a boost to me yet with conflicting priorities I was not able at that time to bring that design to finality.

Imagine my surprise when a year later, at that next annual Na Lima Hana, there was Laura, not only wearing my earrings, but having carried their theme through into her pottery with a series of delightful Hapu'u fern designs.

That did it!  Because of Laura's so positive endorsement, I have at last finalized the formulae and am currently making enough finished product to launch real Hapu'u leaf pendants and matching earrings for Easter, the Merrie Monarch Festival,  the Kona Annual Orchid Show and Mother's Day and in early June, the Hilo Orchid Show. They will be in the website very soon.

For contact with Laura over her full Hapu'u leaf pottery range go to www.dreadpiratepottery.com or contact her directly at dreadpiratepottery@gmail.com or 808 339 3070.


Which was the Unique Orchid?

Orchid comparisons

One's alive, the other's a Real Flower Jewelry piece.

Several attendees at the Hilo Orchid Show in August this year were drawn to one small table by a very different display. It was mine - a collection of 25 hybrid orchid flowers attached to a dried tree branch, each of which was obviously of a different color, some even with stripes! 

With them was posted a challenge: to identify which flower had characteristics unlike any other on that branch. From a drawing of only the correct entries, a winner would be selected and then invited to choose from a catalog of my own pieces as a thank you gift for participating and entering the spirit of the challenge.

I was surprised at just how many people submitting responses, failed to recognize from a many branched arrangement of those colorful orchids, that only one orchid had its natural lavender color and was fresh picked & not preserved, whereas every other flower in that arrangement had an enhanced or false color, some in gold and copper and silver or were preserved.  It was an eye catching and pretty display eliciting numerous entries describing particular flowers as unique for every reason but the right one. I have taken this as a compliment that my preserved flowers looked so fresh and alive that the only real, fresh-cut, live flower was so hard to differentiate!

The winner in this particular competition was a young visitor from Texas named Andy Nguyen, visiting family in Hilo only for a short period of time. His prize is any one of my pressed wild flower or Limu items. I await his decision of his favorite piece or will it be his mother’s or girlfriend's selection?  Thank you Andy and all the other contestants for entering the fun.

Winner of the orchid contest, Andy Nguyen

Congratulations to the always observant Andy Nguyen!

*UPDATE: Andy chose the Limu Oval Locket for his mother. Another correct decision from a sharp, young man.

What on Earth is the UH800 Peloria Mutation?

UH800For many years, the Hawaii orchid industry could supply white orchids for only a limited seasonal period each year. Then, in 1990 UH Manoa released UH800, a hybrid similar to existing popular white orchids, but which bloomed at a different and longer time of the year thus extending availability.
This has been a great benefit since. However, sometimes and with no warning, it produces flowers dramatically out of shape – the “Peloria” mutation. In one variety of these mutations the petals distort to heart shaped tips – much sought after for weddings – sometimes appearing several times per individual blooming, others not at all throughout a whole season.

Heart-Shaped-TipsThe biggest difficulty is finding these heart shaped mutations among all the other misshapen flowers. Worse, pairing them for earrings is like solving an incredibly complex jigsaw puzzle. But worse, how does one excite a bride with “UH800 Peloria Mutation”? Is there no romance left in botany?

So, for the challenge and prospect of winning a wonderful prize of their own choosing (within limits!), visitors to the Hilo Orchid Show were invited to give this beautiful flower a deservingly lovely and more appropriate name.
Significantly more people contributed this year by comparison to a similar contest last year. It was gratifying to see the enthusiasm.


All the names submitted were fascinating and many carefully thought out. Some were sent in by mail several weeks after the Show, from as far afield as the U.S. Mainland, Canada, Spain and Australia and had obviously been researched in the interim. This was not just a Hawaiian affair.

Left-PetalMy purpose was to select a name best identifying with this particular flower and its condition so that it would not be confused with other beautiful flowers. Hence therefore “wedding flower” was not an option as there are other popular named wedding flowers, particularly a beautiful white rose. Likewise other generalities that could apply to more than one flower, such as “snow white” and “white heart” flowers were eliminated.
There was no requirement that the proposed names be in Hawaiian, yet a majority were. This year’s flower does not have any connection with Hawaiian tradition, being a mutated dendrobium orchid hybrid developed by UH Manoa only twenty five years ago.

Finally, after much enjoyable and stimulating internal debate I plumped for “Imperfect Perfection” submitted by Marilyn Denio, of Hilo. I considered Marilyn’s oxymoronic phrase so appropriate as it is the very imperfection of the peloria mutation of UH800 that is its beauty.

So, congratulations Marilyn, and grateful thanks to all contributors for spending your time so constructively thinking of my products. In return, Marilyn may select any item from my website as a thank you gift. Every other contributor will be advised a special code entitling them to a substantial discount on any items they may purchase from my website between now and 31 December 2015 with no minimum or upper limit.
This note will be posted well in time for Thanksgiving, for which I wish you all happiness and close family ties. I will look forward to another challenge at next year’s Orchid Show.


Marilyn Denio, the winner of Hilo's Orchid Show competition!

Marilyn Denio, the winner of Hilo's Orchid Show competition!

The Imperfect Perfection Earrings

Hilo Orchid Show


 Hilo Annual Orchid Show with its beautiful displays under the strikingly roofed open ended Edith Kanakaole Stadium.

Those Real Flower Earrings!

A happy night at the Sheraton – here Mom Michelle proudly shows young Delanie looking lovely with her new real flower earrings – proving they are indeed for all ages and currently the hot rage with visitors to the Sheraton Hotel and Spa at Keauhou. This follows their so successful introduction at the Made in Hawaii Festival only a few weeks ago.

Nature’s Products Never Clash


Customers sometimes see a piece of Real Flower Jewelry and exclaim, "oh, that's not my color", or "oh, she never wears gold (or silver)". Sometimes these are simply excuses not to buy. More frequently though, these customers are symptomatic of simply not understanding what I am offering.  I caution them that they are looking at my products as jewelry and not as "flowers". I am mindful that "nature's products never clash"; for an example, just look around you. In the synthetic, materialistic world we live in, there are certain color combinations that we view as unacceptable, however, they are positively beautiful when produced by nature.

If someone were to surprise you with a beautiful, fresh-cut corsage, would your reaction be one of hesitance and the expression "oh, those are not my colors"? Or, would it be more likely an expression of delight and eagerness to wear it, no matter what the colors and no matter what you are  wearing at the time, be it a ball gown or scruffy jeans with paint splashed over them. The same applies to my products.

I am not offering jewelry - I am not a jeweler - I don't emphasize gold or silver. Just enjoy my pieces for what they are - permanent, real, wearable flowers.

Give this design a name!

Hilo Annual Orchid Show 2014

Eden Patino (pronounced Edden by the way) is a striking lady under any circumstances and all the more so when bedecked in my rainbow of colorful preserved orchids making up the featured head lei selected for my 2014 “Name this Design” competition.


The event drew an enthusiastic response from a flatteringly large number of attendees, of both genders.The competition invited suggestions to name this design, the winner to select from any item on my display as their prize and thank you for his or her contribution. All other participants were offered a substantial discount from any items they may choose to buy from my website before the end of the year, unlimited by how many items or how often they might purchase.

Such was the response that it became very difficult to select the winner. Consequently I resorted to inviting all who had originally submitted a suggestion, to examine a short list of seven wonderfully appropriate names chosen from the well over forty submissions. They were asked to name their first and second preferences. Ultimately, through this “democratic” selection process it was Aleysia-Rae Kaha who won with “Lehupulu” as featured here. Aleysia is a delightfully modest young lady such that I do not have any photo of her. I’m working on that!

Thank you everyone who entered into the spirit of this event. I will repeat this next year with a very different design with similar incentive prizes, and hopefully there will be an even more enthusiastic response.

Looking forward to seeing you all there next year!

Wearable Floral Art

Wearable Flower JewelryI personally view my products as "wearable floral art", not jewelry. That last word in the company's name is for simplicity and identification in a general sense only. The settings for my pieces are merely the vehicles to display the flowers themselves. Much like how a painter's canvas is the vehicle for which the painted picture may be showcased, or how a tee shirt is the vehicle for a screen printer's eye-catching design.

My art therefore is in my flowers, their preservation and presentation. The backing - while pretty - is only there to hold together the true artistic focal point: the real wearable flowers.

New Products! New Designs!

Busy time in the next few weeks … I am preparing full-time for the following events:

  • Haleiwa Art Festival July 20 & 21 (Saturday and Sunday) on the North Shore of Oahu
  • Hilo Orchid Show August 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Thursday evening through Sunday) “Orchids Around The World” on the Big Island in Hilo
  • Made in Hawaii Festival August 16, 17 & 18 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in Honolulu.
  • For location details see “Shows” in www.wearablerealflowersofhawaii.com

At these exciting events see my latest designs and developments not shown until now with

  • New Petal Earrings Constructions and Designs!
  • New Zipper Orchids Presentation (probably the smallest orchids you have ever seen!)
  • New Naupaka – the popular Big Island “half flower” – the stuff of legend!

Do hope to see you there!


Feature in Ke Ola Magazine


Couldn’t be happier with the “Ke Ola Magazine” article spread on Real Flower Jewelry in the 2013 July Issue.

Thanks to the Ke Ola Magazine team for doing such a wonderful job!

A special thanks to editor Renee and reporter Le’a for such an amazing article!

Peter Honeyman stands inside a booth at the Hilo Farmers Market addressing passersby.

“That’s not silk, it’s not a fabric, not a synthetic. They’re all the real thing,” he says, pointing.

It’s hot. Everyone who passes by looks flushed. Peter squints into the sun at them, without a trace of the heat or a drop of sweat on his smiling face. The slight wrinkles at the corners of his eyes reflect a certain soft determination one can only identify as love.

He’s talking about Hawai‘i Island grown flowers and sea plants: dramatic orchids, limu (algae), and miniature wildflowers that undergo two unmatched processes of preservation. The first, a method of preserving orchids, is a patented process developed by Peter himself.

“They’re not brought in from anywhere else. I live here, the flowers and plants grow here, and I preserve them here,” he says.

He adds, “They’re preserved to be pliable. They come with a written guarantee that says that if they ever get spoiled for any reason, you can send them back and I’ll replace them,” he assures onlookers.

Looking at the table, these orchids are amazing. They look, feel, and behave like fresh cut orchids. And yet they are completely preserved, almost as if he’s captured a pristine moment in nature.

The second process involves sealing miniature wildflowers and limu in resin.

“This here is an algae that grows on the rocks right down there,” he says, pointing towards Hilo Bay across the street. “Its beauty is in the way the little tendrils go out and form those fascinating designs.”

These particular onlookers eventually thank him and walk away. His work is not for everybody, he says, and, “Every now and again some gem comes in who is really interested.”

Peter’s customers have “an appreciation of flowers in a manner in which they’d like to wear them, as opposed quite distinctly to someone who loves a beautiful garden.

My customers are not necessarily gardeners at all, but they do have a great ‘feeling’ for flowers.

My customers are relatively intellectual and thinking people, more mature, and mostly women,” he explains.

He also adds that 90 percent of his sales are bought as gifts.

Another couple passes by. “Have you seen these before?” chirps Peter. The couple shakes their heads. “Well then you haven’t lived!” he chuckles.

Peter’s business, Wearable Real Flowers of Hawaii, is somewhat the product of many years of figuring out what he didn’t want to do in life.

Peter spent his formative years in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he inherited a love of botany.

“My mother would never throw away a live flower. Her favorites were grasses. She was fascinated by them, saying, ‘Why doesn’t everybody see what I see in grass?’ As a little boy I was schooled with grass. The flora [in central Africa] is just wonderful,” says Peter.

As a young man he went on to acquire degrees in law and economics, and a Master’s Degree in business. He worked for a time with the police, then as a public prosecutor (district attorney), later an assistant magistrate, and went on to join a large South African based international corporation where he worked his way ultimately to Chief Executive.

“Back here, totally on my own, doing what I’m doing, have been the seven happiest years of my life. When you’re in a business atmosphere, they’re all doing what is most important for them. I realized that what I was doing was proving to myself I could do things that were not naturally what I wanted to be doing,” says Peter.

He has been working with flowers since 1989, doing so-called “slow work” in exchange for the “fast work” of his past. Even so, his success with his preservation techniques has taken him all over the world where he sells out at most flower shows and TV shopping networks.

“I do not just turn a machine on and produce all night. There’s a season when the flowers are growing, and I’m watching them and emotionally urging them to look the way I want. For instance, when I go underwater looking for limu, I don’t just go out and grab something. Something makes me want to ponder them, and there’s something there that calls out, ‘This one is going to appreciate what I’m doing’,” says Peter.

Perhaps most notable about Peter’s work is his unique patented preservation process. Prior to developing the method, he ran a business on O‘ahu that sold exclusively to gift shops at airports all over North America.

“I would never fail to be impressed by the huge number of flowers at airports. I thought, ‘You can’t get out of Honolulu in less than a four or five hour flight, and what do those flowers look like at the other end?’ Sometime later, I was in San Francisco and I came out of an airport business meeting right as a flight from Honolulu was disembarking. These women came out looking exhausted and the flowers looked worse,” Peter says. He began to brainstorm a business opportunity, looking for a way to preserve the flowers so they could be enjoyed long-term.

“It took me forever to get it right. I thought you could go to the floral industry and buy a bottle of something. They all laughed at me, and when I told them what I was trying to do they said I was looking for the Holy Grail. I thought they were trying to keep me out, but after about six months of research I didn’t see any of them doing what I wanted. I came to the conclusion that they did not know how to do it,” says Peter.

While researching how he might preserve flowers, Peter discovered it is common in Europe to see pressed flowers under glass. However, this allows a minute space for air which can oxidize the flowers, thereby discoloring them.

“I researched and was not happy with the risk. I didn’t invent this, I read up on the technology. I place my dehydrated flowers into whatever setting I’m using and pour hot resin over them.

Because the flowers are so dry, they suck up every bit of the resin in every cell, which allows no air inside, hence no discoloration.”

With one technique up-and-running, Peter continued to experiment. Through a lengthy process of trial and error, he eventually developed an unprecedented method of preserving orchids and roses so they remained pliable, retain their colors, and were strong enough to be practical to wear.

“There’s a certain amount of satisfaction at having solved what hundreds of people have not. I’ve got this need to feel that what I’m doing is unique,” Peter adds.

As for his pressed flowers, Peter has chosen flowers that the average person might pass on a daily basis.

“I’ve chosen them because the average person going down any nice country walk or down the side of the road would see them. I’m astonished how tourists notice them and the locals don’t,” says Peter.

Later, standing on the lānai of his Ainako home, he points to the lawn.

“In this patch of grass there’s one particular little flower used in my designs. I go out there on my hands and knees picking these tiny things. To anybody else I’m being a nutcase out on my lawn—I’m not, I’m actually working,” he laughs.

He also smiles as he talks about gathering limu. “The other day I collected my latest batch at Richardson’s Beach. I was putting the stuff into containers and labeling them.

Somebody came up and asked, ‘What on earth are you doing?’ And I said, ‘I’m working.’ He didn’t believe me. It then dawned on me that I’d been having fun working at my daily job,” he says. And while some might think Peter is reaching retirement, he attests to feeling 21 years old.

“The technical aspects of it give me some satisfaction in that I’ve achieved something that nobody else has done. When I see the facial expressions of someone opening a gift of my product that someone’s given to them and puts it on, I know I’m bringing to them a wonderful feeling,” he smiles.

Recently, a teen passed by his booth and picked up a flower that he turned and put on his mother’s lapel.

“I don’t think she studied the flower. What she knew was that she was wearing what he thought was beautiful, which in turn made her beautiful. I think of how I am exciting and satisfying emotions. When I see that pleasure, I know I’ve something worthwhile,” he says.

As Peter sits on his lovely shaded porch, looking out at the mountain stream that bubbles through the gardens, it seems that maybe he doesn’t even realize how he’s touched others.

“My oldest daughter was talking to my younger daughter, and she said, ‘Look at him, he hasn’t been happier in years. He’s working with the Divine’,” he remembers.

A humble artist, he begins to protest, “It totally caught me unawares. I didn’t realize that she appreciated what I’m doing. I work with flowers, people dismiss it—it’s fleamarket stuff—but she understood what I’m doing,” he says, with just a hint of wetness in the corner of his smiling eyes. In that moment he finally exposes the real man behind the flowers. ❖

Peter Honeyman’s Wearable Real Flowers of Hawaii can be found Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Hilo Farmers Market, at the monthly Kailua Village Stroll, and on his website.

The full article and issue can be seen here: Ke Ola July-August 2013

Elaine turns heads at the Kupuna Festival

“WOW!” At the Kupuna Hula Festival last month – Elaine Mayer turned heads wherever she went!

This strikingly attractive lady in her own right, was even more so wearing these ivory colored real orchid earrings from Wearable Real Flowers of Hawaii. Made by artist Peter Honeyman, she acquired then from his presentation at the Kupuna Hula Festival at the Convention Center at Keauhou. These particular orchids are relatively rare and frequently not available because they are irregular and infrequent mutations of a particular dendrobium orchid hybrid developed by the University of Hawaii. Although not visible in this picture, these earrings are set on a delightful gold filigree butterfly design, best visible from the back of the wearer and giving a beautifully finished image. Any one seeking to look as Elaine does in this picture should phone Peter (808 854 5609) to check availability before ordering them from the website.”

From Hilo Hat to Japanese Blouse

Hideaki & Tomoyo Ueta are four times repeat visitors to Hilo from Japan. Here Tomoyo, on her most recent visit in September, has selected a gift for her Mother from my Farmers Market location in Hilo. This magnet brooch starts off decorating Tomoyo’s hat but finally ends up as a lovely adornment for Mother at home in Japan, who can hardly believe my flowers are preserved permanently. She uses the wonderful translation that they are “eternal” which might be flattering to me, delightful misuse of English to linguists but a challenge to pedantic botanists!



Renovations done at last

After months of disruption and confusion the Sheraton Hotel & Spa at Keauhou is now ready to showcase the final and wonderful results of its major renovation project. On Saturday 8th September visitors are invited to see stunning upgrades to the hotel.


Start with the new entrance and reception area with its beautiful coastal views through the large display windows, focusing on the shoreline and gardens immediately North of the building; Then visit the new gift shop as you go through the reception area and see spectacular items never shown here before; Next the upgrades to what was the main dining room, now set aside as the banquet room, cannot fail to impress; And finally the new Ray’s by the Sea, the magnificent new main dining room with fine dining at a choice of different levels giving unobstructed views of the sea and particularly the Manta Rays at night. Before your meal there is an inviting bar to help you prepare for your repast!

For those of you having experience of this fine resort, and aware of the names of the different rooms and locations, there will be a need to re orient yourselves with all the new names, many of which are of Hawaiian origin.

Throughout the premises there will be artists and artisans showing a wide variety of their work on each of the different levels of the building. In particular look for Peter Honeyman at the pool deck level next to the internet link and coffee bar. His is the brightly lit display of “Wearable Real Flowers of Hawaii” – all wonderful gifts of real Island flowers that don’t wilt and become thrown away in a few days! Seek him out, examine the exclusive products only he has been able to create, and if you haven’t made up your mind as soon as you see them, then over a drink and dinner at Ray’s By The Sea think over your choices plus all those for whom you need to provide gifts and go back to him after your meal as he will be staying until 9.00 that evening. Be careful though, for with the larger than usual crowds expected this particular night, from past experience, many of his most beautiful pieces will be sold out before the night is over!

Made in Hawaii Festival

First Hawaiian Bank presents the Made in Hawaii Festival, August 17-19, 2012
HONOLULU – Save the date! The 18th annual Made in Hawaii Festival is coming to the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall and Arena, Admissions Day Weekend August 17, 18 and 19, 2012.

The Made in Hawaii Festival is sponsored by First Hawaiian Bank and produced by the Hawaii Food Industry Association. The annual festival features nearly 400 exhibitors who showcase food products, books, gifts, apparel and jewelry, arts and crafts, produce and many more home-grown products from around the 50th State.

Live entertainment and celebrity chef cooking demonstrations also will have the “Made in Hawaii” brand. Award-winning musicians share their talent on the entertainment stage throughout the 3-day festival as Hawaii’s Hale Aina Award winning chefs heat up the stage in the Arena with cooking demonstrations and tasty samples.

This annual event attracts more than 35,000 attendees each year. It also draws more than 1,000 buyers from Hawaii, the U.S. mainland, Canada and other countries who seek the latest locally made products to purchase in quantity in the months following the event.

Real Flower Jewelry, also known as Wearable Real Flowers of Hawaii, will be especially making the trip all the way from The Big Island (The Orchid Isle) over to Oahu to be featured in booth 255, a prominent corner location in the Main Hall best accessed from the doors of the outdoor concourse between the Main Hall and the Arena.
Peter Honeyman will be there throughout the event showcasing his new designs and colors and in particular, for first time viewing, his delightful new real orchid earrings and hair picks in various styles and colors to suit all personalities and the different tastes of both local Island girls and tourists.

For information and updates, visit www.MadeInHawaiiFestival.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Like Real Flower Jewelry on Facebook

What: First Hawaiian Bank Presents the 2012 Made in Hawaii Festival
A 3-day showcase of “Made in Hawaii” products, including food, books, art, gifts, fashions, plants, crafts, produce and more. Plus cooking demonstrations and ongoing entertainment.

When: Friday – Sunday, August 17-19, 2012
Friday & Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall and Arena, 777 Ward Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii

Cost: $4; children six and under free; look for $1.00-off coupons at First Hawaiian Bank’s Oahu branches, starting in mid-August (while supplies last)

Information: (808) 533-1292 or www.MadeInHawaiiFestival.com

Hawaii Food Industry Association ~ 1050 Bishop Street, Box 235 ~ Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 ~ (808) 533-1292

Made in Hawaii Festival
Made in Hawaii Festival