Thursday, September 30, 2010

My 200th Post and Aisle to Aloha Studio Giveaway!

 Well folks, you are reading my 200th blog post since I started writing in March of 2009. I have so much fun writing this blog and can't explain how thankful I am for each one of you who reads and leaves comments every day. Some of you have been here since the beginning (hi Crystal!) and some are just hopping on the train (Chudney is my 111th follower-welcome!). So, to express my gratitude and say thank you to YOU, my awesome readers, I painted something especially for you.

Yup, it's a mini-wave. One of you will win this little guy and give him a home! It's a mini version of my giant wave painting that I originally created for our living room. The canvas is 9x12 with a 1 3/8" edge. I use acrylic paints and add a protective varnish so your painting is looking fab for a long time. It's painted on the sides so it's ready to hang (or prop on a shelf or dresser!) and is signed by me on the side. 

Ready to enter? I think you know the drill. 

1. To enter, 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 telling me about your favorite piece of art in your home. Crayon drawing? Monet print? Grandmother's watercolor? 

**Additional entries**

2. If you blog about the giveaway with a link to Aisle to Aloha Studio Etsy shop, come back and leave a second comment/entry. 

3. If you tweet about the giveaway, leave a third comment/entry. 

4. If you become a fan of Aisle to Aloha Studio on Facebook, leave a fourth comment/entry. 

**Please make sure I have an email contact for you or your entry is invalid!**

So, you have the potential to enter four times. This giveaway is open to US readers only--so sorry, I love my international readers but just can't ship there quite yet!

The giveaway will be open for a week. It will close on Thursday, October 7th (wow, it's October already??), 10pm Hawaii time. I'll choose the winner using and announce it on Friday, October 8th.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My New Art Gallery / Frame Wall / Whatever You Wanna Call It

 This is what our frame wall looked like a few weeks ago. Yeah, the frames started falling down so there's a big hole there. And even though I loved the photos we had up of our travels, the frames were too dark and heavy. 

Heere's the new wall!

I really love the artwork by sarah and bendrix, but I just don't have the money to spend on their pretty paper hearts. So I created my own little version out of scrapbooking paper. 

The left side of the wall has a sketch I did of me and Chris back in college and a poem my little brother wrote for me on our wedding day. Under those is a "W" initial from our wedding that I repainted and covered with scrapbook paper and a little remnant of Garden Trellis fabric from a pillow I bought on Etsy. 

This photo of my grandparents when they were young is so special to me. I like that I'll be able to see it everyday as I pass by. 

The square shadowbox frame is filled with slips of paper. When we were 100 days away from our wedding (and for Valentine's Day), I wrote Chris 100 reasons why I love him and put them in a jar for him to read one slip per day. I just stuffed a few of those paper slips into the shadowbox randomly. I like how all the colors look together jumbled together in there. 

Sorry for the glare in this picture. I finished up just at sunset and the light wasn't ideal. So, on this side I framed a photo from Chris' semester in Fiji (at the top). I also made a little chevron pattern from some gray and citron scrapbook paper. I'll probably change that out eventually but it's a fun place holder in the mean time. Under the chevron pattern is a page out of my old passport. It's my student visa from my semester in Spain.

In the middle of the collage is a pair of photo booth strips from our friends' wedding last year. Love these photos of the two of us! 

And finally, a newspaper clipping from the day we got married. Our photo was taken at Chris' commissioning the day before and showed up in the paper the next day. 

Eh, I might take better pictures in the morning. Or not. **Edited with a few [slightly] better pictures. This is just a weird spot in the house to photograph. Shadows galore.**

Oh! I forgot to mention... Come back tomorrow for my 200th post! I'm having a giveaway from yours truly. :) Yes, one of you lovely readers will win a painting from Aisle to Aloha Studio


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

[over the weekend] Calling All Angels

 Growing up in Annapolis, Maryland, I looked forward to the last weekend of May each year as the whole county celebrated Commissioning Week at the Naval Academy. There was bound to be lots of traffic, midshipmen in the streets and of course, the Blue Angels! The Blue Angels are a team of F/A-18 Hornets that perform amazing acrobatic feats at speeds of up to 800 mph. Some years I'd skip school with my family to go sit in the fields at the Naval Academy to watch, some years I went on field trips with my class and other years I'd just watch with neck craned at recess as they zoomed over our school.

I was sad to miss them this past May but couldn't believe it when I saw a poster for the Kaneohe Bay AirShow on the Marine Corps Base here on Oahu. **Featuring the Blue Angels!!** 

I picked Chris up from duty on Saturday morning and we headed across the island in his Jeep to get there early. (Um, that thing is SLOW on H-3. I think every car passed us as we chugged up the highway. Ha.)

We stopped at my faaaavorite breakfast place on the windward side--Crepes No Ka 'Oi. If you are ever on the island, I will take you there. Mostly cuz I want to eat crepes. Also, we can hang out. 

When we got to the base, we set up our blanket under the tail section of a commercial airliner to get some shade, just like hundreds of people were already doing. Genius.

They started out the air show with sky divers. It was really cool to see as each diver leapt out of the airplane. One diver unfurled the POW/MIA flag while another held the American flag as the National anthem was played. 

Have you ever seen a trick helicopter? Neither had we. This one is flying upside if you can't tell. 

I loved getting to hang out with Chris all day. Special thanks to the US Navy for making sure each moment with my husband is precious and treasured. 

There were lots of stunt planes and helicopters but most of my pictures of those are tiny little dots or blurs. We also spent the day hanging out on our blanket, napping, eating food from the vendors and getting sunburnt. 

And then, the Blue Angels came out and all our attention was on them. 

Have you seen them fly? Do you love them as much as I do? Do anything cool this weekend?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Inspire Me Monday: Spirals (& My Fan Page!)

 I've always wanted a spiral staircase in my house. When I was a kid, one of my best friends had one in her house and I thought it was so cool. I still think they're really cool. Not sure how practical they are, but I don't really care. I'd love to have one that leads up to a reading nook with huge comfy floor pillows strewn about and stacks of books waiting to be poured through. That would be suh-weeeet.

Anyone else have a burning desire for a spiral staircase in their home? Any other "gotta-have-its" for your dream home? 

And in other news... I started a Facebook Fan Page for Aisle to Aloha Studio! Do you 'like' me? Become a fan of Aisle to Aloha Studio on Facebook and get sneak-peeks on my art work, discounts and other promotions. Plus, you'll be helping promote my new shop and I'll love you forever for it. 

 Sources: 1 and 2-Tart House Blog, 3-unknown. Anyone know where this image is from?


Friday, September 24, 2010

NutMeg Doodles Giveaway Winner and some other stuff

First of all, to announce the winner of the NutMeg Doodles giveaway! The winner is "kp"!

Blogger kp said...

Love these! And we are already praying that your namesake does not follow in your footsteps when it comes to her veggies. Love you!

That's right, kp is my beloved sis-in-law and she's got three amazing little girls, the most recent addition being my namesake, Sofia Lindsay! Sofia is gonna look adorable in her tshirt from Nutmeg Doodles! :) Thanks to Megan for this cute giveaway!

Head over to Megan's shop and check out what else this girl's got to offer! 
Now for some things that made me happy this week. 

I made my first sale yesterday! This guy is headed to Texas today! You should have seen me doing the happy dance in my living room yesterday afternoon. 

Last Saturday, Chris and I had some buddies over to the house for "make-your-own pizza' night. Every one brought a favorite ingredient and we made a bunch of really amazing pizzas. Mmm, it was delicious. Oh, and we have pretty cool friends too. 

I love this guy. On Tuesday, I was expecting him home around 8pm. At 5:30pm, I got a call from him and at the same time, the doorbell rang. Frazzled, I told him to hold on while I got the door. And there he stood, smiling with a single rose, chocolate covered pretzels (my fave!) and a movie to watch. He knows surprises are the way into my heart. 

(Chris got this headband in Japan. He broke it out for our "at home" date night. I think he's really cute. It says "Take a test" apparently. Sarah, do you remember that crazy store we went into in Kamakura?)

Sometimes I have "Faux Fall" days. I close the curtains, light some yummy candles and bake. Or read. And on Wednesday, it was rainy all morning which is rare, so it was perfect for a faux fall day. Oh, I miss my seasons. 

What made you smile this week?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jewel Tones and Moo Cards

I finished two more paintings yesterday. The first one is a "companion painting" (I totally made that up... but you know what I mean...) to my other palm branch painting. This one has a bright white background and turquoise branch. 16x20 canvas, peeps. 

This next one is on a 9x12 canvas. I'm loving working with these rich jewel tones. Actually, I ran out of my beautiful blue turquoise paint already so I have to order some more. I've tried mixing it but can never get it as good as this particular hue. 

I think this peacock feather looks a little quirky and a bit alien-esque but I really like it. This guy's on a pale gray background. 

Gonna list them later today. Don't you feel special that I show them to you before I put them on Etsy? That's cuz you are special. :) *Cue warm fuzzies and floaty hearts from me to you*

OH! And I also got in my super dee duper awesome business cards from the other day. Wanna see? 

I'm gonna show you 180 different shots of them because I love them so much and because I can. And cuz you guys told me yesterday that you love everything that I do. :)

One side has a picture of my artwork and the other has a picture (that I took and think is really rad) of a paintbrush and my 411 (that means info).

I think it's bad to love your own business cards this much. They exist to be given away, but I just want to keep them to myself. 

Along the same line, I feel the same way about my art. I go into my studio and look at my paintings and feel really joyful. And I'm really looking forward to my first sale, but I think it's going to be hard at first to let them go. Especially this first batch, cuz they are really special to me. 


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Ask, You Answer (please).

Ok, so I have some questions for you, my readers. As you can see over on my lil' sidebar here, we're almost at 100 followers! And next week, Aisle to Aloha hits 200 posts! (Which is grrreat for you, because there's going to be a really good giveaway and I think you might like the prize!) 

I want to know how I can improve this blog. I started out like a lot of bloggers out there, writing for friends and family back home as Chris and I headed out to the Pacific to live on this little island. And it's turned into this fantastic little community. I love interacting with you guys and I am so thankful for your supportive comments and kind words. (Got two super nice emails from two readers yesterday--mahalo!)

So help me out, if ya will. Answer me these questions. 

What do you love to read about on Aisle to Aloha? Do you like Inspire Me Mondays? Do you like my random musings on [here and there]? How do you feel about my DIY projects and my artwork posts? 

If you could pick a favorite post, which would it be and why? 

What would you like to see more of? A guest post from Chris? Featured Etsy sellers? More art stuff?

What do you prefer not to read about here? Is there something that bores you or makes you click to the next blog? How can I improve my content?

Also, as you know, we have put the lime green couch on the sidelines for now. And so, I need a new tagline. I need something a little quirky, catchy, succinct. Got any ideas? (It doesn't have to be about a white couch... in fact, I prefer it not be!) 

I'd love to hear from each one of you who stops by today. If you've never commented before, jump on in. Feel free to comment anonymously if you want to speak freely, but remember to be kind. :)