Tuesday, August 31, 2010

[here and there] fireworks and aviators

 My sunglasses broke about a month and a half ago. For about a month, I was wearing them around with scotch tape holding them together. (Yes, I was THAT nerd.) And then on a shopping trip to IKEA on the East Coast, I gave them to my 18 month old niece to play with. Now they're gone but I think Chris' aviators look better on me anyway.

So Chris' ship is on three section duty lately, which means that he's home for two nights and then has to stay on the ship overnight on the third night. I hate it but we try to make the best out of it. On duty nights, I usually bring him dinner on the ship. He often requests enchiladas and I make him tell the other officers that that's not the only dish I can make... just the duty night favorite. :)

I lug my tote bag filled with food to the ship. We eat in the wardroom and the other night we even played Bananagrams with a few of the other officers on duty. Love that game. Have you played it?

Last month I won a giveaway on MB Photography blog for an EmersonMade clutch! If you haven't heard of EmersonMade, you are missing out. They make beautiful fabric flowers and clutches and just launched their clothing line! 

Anyway, I chose the Fireworks clutch and it came in the mail yesterday! I can't wait for a night out so I can create an outfit around it! (Ooh, girl's weekend to Maui is next weekend. That'll be the perfect time to debut it!)

Go check out MB Photography too! Melissa is a friend from high school and her work is really stunning.

I'm still hashing out all the details for the Etsy shop. Steaming ahead painting-wise but hitting a wall when it comes to the shipping end. Who knew cardboard boxes were so stinkin' expensive?? At the UPS here, I was quoted $10 per box!! I've checked out Uline.com and their stuff is less expensive but the shipping prices to Hawaii are astronomical! So, that's frustrating and I'm hoping to find a good solution soon so we can get Aisle to Aloha Studio off the ground. 

And one last thing... the Tidepools jewelry giveaway closes tomorrow night (10pm Hawaii time). So go enter! Legend has it that you can't win if you don't enter.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What's a 'Paisle' Anyway?

 I got some new canvases in last week and I'm excited to be working on 12 x 12" square canvases. I thought it would be a fun size to offer those who just want a small painting to add a splash of color to an empty wall (or art gallery wall!)

I think this little pair would be perfect in a nursery. They'd perch nicely on a shelf or look great hanging out on the wall. 

Chris doesn't "get" paisley patterns. He's confused why someone would want a pattern with a bunch of amoebas (he calls them "paisles"). Whatevs. I like it. And this one has flowers in it too so maybe it makes more sense to him. :) 

Where I Blog

Good morning friends! Inspire Me Monday is going on hold for this week. Instead, I'm participating in a Link Party over Centsational Girl! Kate is hosting a "Where Do You Blog?" party and I thought I'd take the chance to show you guys the spaces I write to you from. 

(If you're coming over from the link party, aloha and welcome! Make yourself at home and click around a bit!)

I spend most of my time blogging from our lime green couch. Even though no one else is home, for some reason, I just like being in the center of the house. Just prop my feet up on our LACK coffee table and spend time researching, editing pics and writing posts. 

(Oh, and that wheat colored throw from Target is pretty much the softest thing known to man. Looove it.)

I also write a lot from bed. Wake up a few hours after Chris has left for work, grab my Mac, check email and start writing up the post for the day. If I stay in bed too long though, I get scared that someone will ring my doorbell and I'll have to rush around to put on decent clothes. (Is that anyone else's irrational fear?)

In fact, here's a shot of me right now (in the reflection our closet o' mirrors). Sheesh! That mirror needs some Windex. It's only 7:30am on this side of the globe so don't judge the fact that I'm still in bed.

I pretend that I would love a beautiful office space to blog from, but reality is, even if I did have one, I'd end up gravitating towards one of these two spaces anyway.

So, where do you blog from?? Join the party or hop in on the conversation here. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Some Reminders

 Not much going on today but just wanted to give you a few reminders.

Numero uno. The Bowie Crofton and Severna Park Pregnancy Clinic in Maryland is doing wonderful things to change  the lives of women and save the lives of the innocent unborn. Please consider sponsoring me as I join in the Walk and Run for Life in September. It doesn't take much to make a difference ($1.70 buys a pregnancy test and free counseling session for a scared and confused young woman!). Currently I'm at 11% of my goal and I'd love to be able to meet my goal of $750 by September 18th! Click here to check it out and donate (it's easy!)

Numero dos. Enter the giveaway people! Yesterday I told you about the fabulous TidePools Jewelry and if you take a minute to leave a comment and enter, you can be the owner of a sweet necklace.

Numero tres. Have a great weekend! Do it.

[Enter completely random photo that has nothing to do with anything except that turtles are cool and you wish you lived in Hawaii.]

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Giveaway: TidePools Jewelry!

So, I was really excited to be doing this giveaway for my 200th post! Except that apparently Blogger Dashboard counts my drafts too and so really, this is a giveaway in honor of my 173rd published post! Woo! Hey, I love any excuse for celebration! :)

I'm thrilled to introduce you to Christie Akagi, the owner and creator behind TidePools Jewelry Etsy shop. 

Christie is from Hawaii and lives right here on Oahu! She's an incredibly talented self-taught artist and has been making jewelry since 7th grade. Her fabulous Etsy shop opened in 2008. Much of her dainty jewelry is made up of tiny shells and bits of seaglass --treasures she has found while combing the beaches of Hawaii. She says, "Finding that perfectly smooth piece of sea glass or a gorgeous seashell always puts a smile on my face." 

I was looking through her shop yesterday and literally every page I went to I would say, "This is my favorite piece!" Needless to say, it was hard to narrow it down to a few pieces to show you. You'll have to click over to her shop to see each beautiful creation for yourself. Here are some of my faves (descriptions are Christie's).

"Dusk" - Sterling silver teardrop pendant with labradorite coins with freshwater pearls

"Pretty Pearls" - Freshwater white coin pearl necklace with silver, peacock, white, pink, and mauve pearls

"Snow White" - White sea glass with creamy white and pearly pink freshwater pearls 

"Droplets" - Sterling silver earrings

"Green Seas" - Green sea glass with freshwater pearls 

Aren't they fabulous? Do you want one?? Of course you do. :) 

Christie has generously offered one of her beautiful personalized necklaces for one lucky reader! One winner will receive her very own...

"Sandy Beach" - Personalized sterling silver starfish necklace

So dainty, so feminine, just perfect, isn't it? Of course, should you win, you get to choose the initial of your choice to personalize it! Here's how to play. 

1. To win you must be a follower of AisletoAloha using the Google Friend Connect feature. (Click the"follow" button on the right side bar.) Leave a comment on this post. I'd love to know about your treasured finds. Thrift store goodie? Amazingly delicious candy bar? The perfect comfy tee?

2. If you blog about the giveaway, come back and leave a second comment/entry. 

3. And if you tweet about it, leave a third comment/entry. (And don't forget to follow me on there!)

***If you leave a comment as Anonymous, please leave your first and last name and a way for me to contact you should you win (blog, email, etc).***

So you can potentially enter up to three times. Giveaway will be open until 10pm Wednesday night (Hawaii time) (September 1) and the winner will be announced (using random.org) on Thursday, September 2nd. 

Have at it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wanna See Some New Paintings?

 I feel like a horrible wife. Currently our bedroom looks like a suitcase exploded on the floor (which is exactly what happened) and our kitchen is still void of food because four days after our arrival back home, I still have not made it to the commissary. Why?

Because I've spent the last two days painting my fingers off. :) And having fun doing it. And don't worry, Chris doesn't think I'm a horrible wife--he assured me several times during our Panda Express dinner last night while I apologized for not feeding him. 

So, yeah, I'm working on stuff for the Etsy shop. It's opening soon people. In just a few weeks. So get your credit cards and Paypal accounts ready. :)

Wanna see a few of the paintings I finished? I'll let you get a sneak peek since you are such amazing, faithful readers. 

These three are all 16x20 with 1 7/8" sides (which is pretty thick and looks awesome). I have some other sizes of canvases coming in the mail, which I'm excited to work on. 

Recognize this one? Seems like a lot of people like my dahlia painting so I created a different version for the shop. Each dahlia is a different hand mixed color. 

This one is a really yummy buttery yellow (handmixed by moi) and the birdies are a dark charcoal gray. At first I envisioned them as being love birds but I realized that they just look like they're having a philosophical debate instead. 

So for right now, they are just hanging out together in my guest bedroom- turned- studio. They've got a few more buddies coming along to hang out soon.

I hope people like my paintings because I really have fun painting them. If no one buys them, I'm just going to have a whole wall full of canvases I guess. 

Seriously though, thanks for all your support. I really appreciate all the input you guys gave on the shop name. After much debate and asking many friends, family and strangers their opinion, I decided to stick with Aisle to Aloha Studio. Each one of your suggestions was great but this was the only one that seemed to stick in my head. Hope it sticks in yours too! 

Come back tomorrow morning for a really fabulous giveaway! I'm so excited to introduce you guys to this vendor and if you don't watch carefully, I may just enter myself in the giveaway to win this prize! :)

[Hey! Have you thought about sponsoring me in the Walk and Run for LifeYou can save lives with just a few clicks! We're at 11%! ]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

[over the weekend] We Went on a Hike.

Yep, it's true. We did.

Sunday after church Chris and I headed out to the West side of the island and drove until the road ended. Seriously. And then we got out and hiked two hours in the Hawaii sun with no sunscreen. We're geniuses. (I was forbidden to post pics of Chris in his sun-clocking getup. Let's just say it was very "Lawrence of Arabia").

We stopped to eat lunch under this natural archway. I'm glad it didn't crash down and kill us while we were enjoying our jalapeƱo bread and salami. That would have ruined our lunch break a little bit. 

Per usual, I took the high road. (har, har)

We found a cave. Do you see me pouting there while Chris takes my picture? I didn't want to crawl into the cave cuz I saw a huuuuge spider web occupied by huuuuge spider and I was positive we were walking into a trap. Glad Chris captured the moment. 

Um, love this boy. 

[Hey! Have you thought about sponsoring me in the Walk and Run for LifeYou can save lives with just a few clicks! We're at 11%! ]

Monday, August 23, 2010

Inspire Me Monday: Framed.

We're home! Chris and I flew into Honolulu on Saturday afternoon (and are so thankful for the United Airlines desk agent who got me onto his flight at the last minute so we didn't have to endure the long day of travel alone!) And now that we're home, I'm hitting the ground running with tons of projects. 

One of the projects on my to-do list is to re-do our gallery wall in the living room. (Right now about half the frames are on the wall, the other half have jumped off the wall in the past 5 months and I've been too lazy to put them back up!)

Here are some of my favorite images of gallery walls around the nets. 

I love the following three for their mix of frame colors (and sizes), the pale, neutral walls and the asymmetry going on. This is the look I'll be going for and I grabbed a few RIBBA frames from IKEA while we were on the East Coast to help achieve this look. Can't wait to show you the finished product.

And of course, I had to throw in a bright one for ya.  Cuz I just luurve color.  (Though I'm craving a bit more toned down palette recently. More on that in another post.)

Do you have a gallery wall in your home? Is it filled with photos? Art? Mementos? Do you love RIBBA frames as much as I do?

[Hey! Have you thought about sponsoring me in the Walk and Run for Life? You can save lives with just a few clicks! Seriously, how cool is that?]


Friday, August 20, 2010

The Gift of Life: How You Can Help

Today I'm going to be delving into a deeper subject than I normally touch on on this blog. It's a subject that is very close to my heart and I want to share how you can help. 

My mom has been the executive director at the Bowie Crofton and Severna Park Pregnancy Clinic since 1982. As a little girl, I went to work with my mother on her work days. I spent my Tuesday and Thursday mornings on a couch in a counseling room watching cartoons. As I watched my kids' movies and used the fetal models as dolls, I knew something important went on there, but didn't realize of the impact of the work going on around me. But once I started reaching my elementary, middle school and high school years, I grew to understand the life changing ministry more. 

Thousands of women each year are faced with an unplanned pregnancy and have little or no resources to help them make life-changing decisions. The Pregnancy Clinic offers completely free services from pregnancy tests and counseling, LifeSense classes (on subjects from breastfeeding to budgeting), STD testing and counseling to 3D/4D ultrasounds and more. 

 From their website: 

"The Pregnancy Clinic is a faith-based, medical non-profit serving those facing pregnancy related and sexual health issues by offering physical, emotional and spiritual support, and empowering them to make healthy and life-affirming decisions. Established in 1982, the Pregnancy Clinic has served over 21,000 women and their families with totally free services, empowering thousands of women to choose life instead of abortion. Two offices, Bowie Crofton and Severna Park meet women at their point of need, listening with compassion and offering help, healing and hope. The Severna Park office was opened in what had been a large abortion clinic and is now a life saving- life changing sanctuary."

photo by Tina Modotti.

On September 18th and 25th, the Pregnancy Clinic will be hosting their annual Walk and Run for Life. Walkers and runners can register and ask sponsors to pledge them. Each penny goes towards helping the Clinic continue to offer these free, life changing services. 

While Chris and I will not be in Maryland in September, we will be going on a hike on September 18th as our own Hawaii version of the Walk and Run! We know that financial times are tough but each dollar can make a difference towards helping women choose life for their child. For example, $1.70 pays for one pregnancy test. $25 pays for 10 Bibles for clients. $200 pays for one sonogram that can make the difference between life and death for an unborn child. 

Would you consider sponsoring me? My goal right now is $750 but I hope to change that goal to a higher number once we pass it. :) 

You can go to my fundraising website and click the orange Sponsor Me! button on the right. It's easy and fast and changes lives. Pledge to donate the cost of your Starbucks coffee, a soda per day or (if you're like me), maybe that new area rug can wait a few months. Remember, every dollar goes towards changing women's lives. 

I'll put a link on my sidebar so that if you need some time to crunch numbers or pray about it, you can come back any time between now and September 18th and give the gift of life. 

Mahalo friends! Thank you for your prayers and support for the Bowie Crofton and Severna Park Pregnancy Clinic!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

From Yee-haw to Aaah: My Parent's Bathroom Re-do.

Two weeks ago, I showed you the sea glass inspired stripes that I painted in my parent's downstairs bathroom. Today I'd like to show you what a world of difference some paint and new accessories made in that dark and dreary bathroom. 

If you don't already know, I have four brothers. (And two sisters. Yep,I'm one of seven kids.) At one point, most of them were sharing this bathroom, so my mom had to come up with some decor scheme that would appease them all. So, yee-haw, she went Western. Very Western. Yes,  those are longhorns on the wall. 

I've gotta give it up to my mom. When she commits, she commits. 

Yes, this is definitely a bathroom for teenage boys. Who else wants to brush their teeth with good 'ol John Wayne and Clint Eastwood??

Let's fast forward to the 'after', shall we?

My dad painted the walls with "Blue Silk" from Olympia. I think it's amazing what a bright coat of paint can do to lighten up a room without windows. Adding a bright white shower curtain helps too. 

My mom added coastal accessories like a glass bowl full of sand dollars (found by my grandmother on the beach), vintage blue bottles and a Chesapeake Blue Crab print as an ode to our home state, Maryland. 

She took a paintbrush to that branchy towel rod and once again turned 'blah' into 'bright'. Doesn't it remind you a little of bleached driftwood now?

And here are the bathroom cabinets, complete with starfish knobs and those sea glass stripes I painted a few weeks ago. 

Great job, Mom and Dad! Anyone else have a cave-like room with a need for some bright paint?

In other news, our living room was featured on It's Great to Be Home yesterday. Check it out here!

Chris and I are headed to IKEA today. I've got my wish list in hand and Chris is working on bringing along his patience (he's such a good husband! :)