Monday, January 31, 2011

Inspiring Spaces: Kim from Oh Sweet Joy!

Since Chris is leaving this week, I wanted to take a little time off from the blog and focus on him as well as just have some time to adjust after he leaves. So, I have some super fabulous friends sharing their creative spaces with you this week! (They happen to all be fabulous seamstresses!) They'll show you their spaces, what inspires them, and demonstrate that it's possible to have a lovely place to create whether you do it in a closet nook, on the dining room table or in a room all your own. 

 Kim from Oh Sweet Joy! is up first! Not only is Kim a creative soul, but she is also a beautifully sweet one. An inspiring friend and a fellow lover of Jesus, I am so thankful I've had the chance to get to know her. And I'm excited that you get to know her a little bit too today. 

Kim, meet Aisle to Aloha readers. Friends, meet Kim. 

Hey pretty people! I'm Kim, the writer ((err typer?)) behind the blog, Yellow Songbird,  as well as the designer of the shop -  Oh, Sweet Joy!  Lindsay asked me to help her out with some blogging this week while she soaks up some time with her man ((get it, girl)) and I was thrilled to oblige. Who can say no to her cute face?

I was also pumped to share with y'all my "creative space" and fill you in on how things around me inspire me. Are you ready? Grab a cup of coffee and get comfy. 

We recently moved to Boulder, CO into a cute two bedroom apartment. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty spacious condo, but there are only two rooms...which means I get to share my studio space with the spare bedroom. I decided I could make it work, as long as I used every bit of space wisely. The doors of the closet were non-existent ((weird, huh?)) so I decided to make a little sewing nook! I LOVE how it turned out. 

I sit down in that cute vintage chair and I'm PUMPED to get to work. Somehow all that cuteness makes even writing address on envelopes enjoyable...paired with oldies on Pandora, of course. 

You can get the low-down on all the details if you click here, but I wanted to keep things rolling with what inspires me. I love the crispness of a white space to work on, especially when I work with such fun fabrics. However, I *need* color, so robin's egg blue and yellow are my go-to happy colors. 

They are also the colors of my kitchen. I just can't get enough. 

I'll be honest. They go hand-in-hand, but nothing inspires me more than designer fabric. Anna Maria Horner is my homegirl ((I should make a t-shirt)) and takes unexpected color combinations that become my favorite...instantly. I mean, if you can make highlighter green, coral, ocean blue, and light brown work've got game. 

See what I mean?

I just love that I can look at a piece of fabric and get inspired. My favorite is when I look at a certain fabric and it SCREAMS (( fabric doesn't yell at me)) skirt, or necklace, or handbag. My stash is getting pretty impressive and I'm on my way to being on hoarders: craft edition, BUT it makes me happy and is the number one thing that inspires my work. 

Sometimes, getting inspiration is as easy as going out for a run, clearing my head, enjoying the mountain views, and dreaming up new designs. God's creation is crying out to be noticed...and when I take the time to actually notice and soak it in, I'm unstoppable that day in my studio. 

So, today I encourage you to take it all in and be inspired. Soak up any bit of color, beauty, and inspiration that's around you. Turn it into something even more beautiful. Handmade style. :)


Friday, January 28, 2011

Aloha From a Sponsor: Whitney Rae Paper & Blog

 When Whitney emailed me about sponsorship, I went to check out her shop and blog and immediately was so excited! Both her shop and blog are fresh and colorful and I'm thrilled to share them with you today! 

Aren't her and her fiance adorable??

Keep reading and find out more about Whitney, her shop and her blog!

You have such cute products! How did you start making notecards and other paper products?
Thank you so much! I have always had a love for paper and scrapbooking. After seeing how successful my mom has been at making jewelry in her etsy shop (A New Thing) I thought, that looks fun and exciting and the extra income would be nice. So I made a few cards and it took off from there! I opened shop in July 2010. I was blessed to be featured on the front page on etsy within the first week of being open. Ever since then I haven't looked back and hope to expand my shop in the near future.

I love the color choices you have in your shop! What's your favorite color and what do you think it says about your personality?
My favorite colors are green and gray. At least that is what they are right now. I tend to like a lot of colors! That was the hardest part of this whole wedding planning process. Picking colors. I'm not sure if my favorite color says anything about my personality. I am pretty shy and quiet until you get to know me. I would rather sit at home and read a book then go out with a bunch of people. Does green and gray say that? :)

What one thing have you learned about running your shop that you would share with others looking to start a handmade business? 

Just do it! And if you don't succeed at first don't give up! I have had some very slow months in my shop so far (and I am sure there are many more to come). During those times it is smart to work on new things. Listing new things in your shop is really good! That is something that I am trying to work on now. I am just doing this on the side but in the future I would like to do it full time. If I don't keep creating new things and putting myself out there I will never get to that point.

What has been your favorite part of the blogger experience so far?
I mainly started my blog to document things that happened in my life. I can never remember things so I thought that writing about it would help me to remember. I was away at college so it was a way to let my mom and sisters keep up with me. I then started finding other blogs with amazing things on them and I wanted to share that with my readers so I started posting things that were inspirational to me. After gaining a few more followers I came to realize that this blogging community is so encouraging! I love being a part of it.

What are your three favorite posts that you'd recommend new visitors to your blog read first?
My blog's subtitle is life love and paper so here is a post on each one of those:
and paper:

Whitney has also generously offered to give Aisle to Aloha readers 15% off their order when they use the discount code ALOHA at checkout! Woohoo! (Hmm... seems like the perfect place to pick up some cards or fun, small gifts for the Birthday Club! ;)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Come back next week to hear from some beautiful, crafty women and see their creative spaces!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Celebrating the January/February Birthday Girls!

Kicking off the first round of birthdays today for the Love and Envelopes Birthday Club! I'm so excited to wish each of these sweet girls below a very happy birthday!

Whether you are signed up for the Birthday Club or not, please feel free to stop by their blog (either today or on their actual birthday!) and leave them some love! 

Hopefully everyone signed up for the club received an email yesterday with the name and info of a special January/February birthday girl! Make sure you get those cards (and goodies, if you are feeling generous!) out to your girl as soon as possible so it arrives in time.

(If you didn't get an email, let us know ASAP so we can fix that! The longest email address ever--

Also, you might consider writing a blog post about your birthday girl on her special day. This is a great way to make her feel appreciated by her fellow bloggers!

Thank you to everyone participating! We can't wait to see all the posts linked up to our Birthday Club page after everyone is done celebrating!

Ann-Margaret Arnold
Birthday: January 26

Abigail Webster-Ratts
Birthday: January 31

Melanie Costello 
Birthday: January 18

Lulu Taylor
Birthday: January 22
 Hannah Wuerffel
Birthday: February 29 (or 28)

 Mandy Schotter
Amber Buchanan
Birthday: February 17

 Happy Birthday, lovely friends! May God bless you richly this year!

Okay, so what do you say? Do you love birthdays? Avoid them like the plague? I LOVE my birthday. I think it's my favorite day of the year. ;)

* We so appreciate everyone's excitement for the birthday club! Sign ups are now closed but will be open again in June if you would like to join then! :) Mahalo, friends!*

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sweet Inspiration.

 Sorry for the late post today. Well, I'm not really that sorry. I was enjoying some time with Chris last night and didn't want to break out the computer and lose any precious time with him. Thanks for understanding! :)

First off, I'd like to announce the winner of the custom design board from Second Street East! Congratulations to commenter #15-- Whitney from Frames and Names! Happy designing! (Shoot me an email today and I'll get you hooked up with Michelle!)

I wanted to share a few pieces of inspiration I have for some studio revamping. :) I'm trying to sell our queen sized guest bed on Craigslist so I can make more functional space in there. Here are a few tidbits of my inspiration for that space.

I would love to have a curvy, brightly colored dresser to store all my shipping and packing supplies! Can't decide between a bright turquoise or a bold yellow. Love both of these dressers.

The first is painted by my dear photog friend, Rachel.  She's not just an amazing photographer. Oh yes, every bone in this girl's body is filled with creativity.

And of course, this beauty is painted by Michelle of Three Men and a Lady. 

Love love loooove these beautiful clipboards from box64 studios on etsy. I think one (or three!) of these would be a great place to display my goals for the year. 

I know I've shown you this picture from Le Papier Studio before. This is my very favorite wall gallery and I'm definitely going to do something similar over the dresser. 

I also want to throw in some vintage accents. I'd love to get a vintage metal locker basket (like this one from Gingers Girl on Etsy) to hold all my paint tubes on my sawhorse table. 

And one of these ginger jar lamps from Modish Vintage on Etsy would look fab on that dresser, don't you think??

Okay, I know it's all over the place, but I think that's perfectly acceptable for studios. Studios should be a place of inspiration found in every nook and cranny. And I LOVE color, so there will be lots of that, of course. 

In fact, that's one of the reasons I chose to add the word "studio" to my Etsy shop name. That word evokes to me a sense of comfort, inspiration, a chance to get messy and creative. And that's exactly what I hope to morph my own studio into. 

I'm excited to share some fabulous guest posters with you next week and they were gracious enough to invite you all into their creative spaces to show you around. :) Can't wait to share! 

Okay, so.... big announcement time. So, you may have heard of Creative Estates, a conference for handmade shop owners/crafters/bloggers. I've been wanting to go, especially considering that a good deal of my sweet blogger/crafter/twitter friends will be there! (Oh, and I want to learn more about handmade biz! ;)

So, I talked with Chris last night about it and he's for it! He's actually really excited for me about it, so that's making me even more excited. So, here's the deal. Plane tickets from Hawaii to Arizona are expensiiiiiive! In order to pay for the conference, I'd like to announce that all profit from my Cuties will now be going directly to paying for my tickets to Creative Estates! 

So, what does that mean?? I'll be stocking up on more Cuties soon, so that means, YOU should go buy a ton of them! Fill a wall with Click-click cameras of every color, give them to your family and friends! And when I get back from my trip to MD, feel free to order up some custom Cuties, cuz that profit will go towards Creative Estates too! :) 

(Psst... there are two Cuties in the shop right now. Go check them out! Painting and listing one more later today, before my big shipment comes in next week! :)

I'm feeling the Cutie luv, people, and I'm feeling so blessed by it. In fact, my Cuties were featured on three fabulous blogs today! Hop over to Reviving Remnants, Much Love, Illy and Wild and Precious for some Cutie luv. 

Have a beautiful, colorful, inspiration filled Wednesday, my friends!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Here and there [and all over the place!]

 Just a random assortment of whatnots for you today, brought to you by my Droid Incredible photos!

We made guacamole a few nights ago. From an avocado tree in our neighborhood! Chris was literally watching an avocado sitting in the tree every day for two months and finally went to rescue it from the birds last week. YUM! (Talk about fresh and local!) A little salt, a little lime juice, some fresh cilantro, and you're golden!

On another yummy note, Chris had duty on Sunday and after attending church together at the base chapel, we walked across the street and had lunch at Mickey D's. We're treasuring every moment together and had to "splurge" on a hot fudge sundae! :) It's one of our favorite treats. 

Isn't this phone pic of us cuuuute? :) It's just a little hint at a new awesome sponsor coming in February!

I added a few new Cuties to the shop yesterday. And they promptly got snatched up by some amazing ladies! Thought I'd show you this little sewing machine Cutie--"Sew Cute". I'll be painting more once my next canvas shipment comes in! :) 

You know how I'm running a sprint triathalon in April? I've been running alot lately and went TWO miles yesterday! That's huge for a girl who never works out and hates (hated??) running! 

Sign ups for the Love and Envelopes Birthday Club are now closed! We have 62 sweet birthday girls signed up and we're so excited to send out emails this week assigning each of you to a Jan/Feb birthday girl! 

And finally, I signed up for a Little Sister/ Big Sister Blog Mentoring program through Krysten's blog a few weeks ago. I thought I'd introduce you to my three little blog sisters and their blogs. :)

Claire lives in England and she manages an ice cream parlor! Visit her sweet blog here!

Shannon is a spunky brunette who loves the beach. Check out her blog here.

Laura is a sweet Texas girl who is also an aspiring photographer. Jump over to see her blog here!

Okay, one more thing! If you haven't entered the giveaway for a custom design board by Michelle of Second Street East, go enter now! I'm picking the winner tonight! :)

Any fun whatnot's from your past week?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fresh Paint: Introducing the Cuties!

 I'm really excited to introduce my new line of mini canvases to you today! I call them "Cuties" and they are exactly that--adorably cute! At 6x6, they are the smallest of my paintings and they are also my lowest price point ($15-$25 each!) I wanted to bring in a way for everyone to enjoy some Aisle to Aloha Studio artwork without spending a lot of money or having to have a large wall space.

Here are some of the Cuties that I listed in the shop this weekend (4 out of 5 of them sold right away!). (Sorry--that's a lot of me's... focus on the paintings. ;)

And here's a little peek at the Cuties I have painted so far. Some of these have been sold, some are listed in the shop right now and some will be listed through out the week. Keep an eye out for them-- they are selling pretty fast so you gotta jump on them!

I also listed a few new 9x12 paintings in the shop late last week, and here they are. 

Wishin' in Honeysuckle pink on 9x12 canvas. 

Party It Up in aqua and yellow on 9x12 canvas 

Just want to let you guys know that since I will be going home to MD for a few weeks after Chris deploys, I will not be taking any more custom orders until I return at the beginning of March. I so appreciate every request for a custom order and am honored that you guys want my artwork in your homes! The custom queue will open back up in March and will be first come, first serve, capping out at 3 custom works at a time, so I can give my full attention to each one! :) 

I will leave the shop open while I'm gone and you are free to order a painting (or three!), but just know that orders placed while I'm away will be shipped on March 2nd. (Orders will ship out on time until February 8.)

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! We spent Saturday morning at the beach on the North Shore and then played an old school kickball game with our buddies for our friend's surprise birthday party. Complete with jerseys, sweatbands, and eye black. Oh yeah, it was awesome. 

PS. Don't forget to enter the Second Street East giveaway for a free custom design board for any room of your choice! Giveaway ends Tuesday night! 

PPS. We have almost 50 birthday girl participants in the Love and Envelopes Birthday Club! If you still want to sign up, make sure you do so before Tuesday! We'll be sending out emails this week assigning you with a birthday girl and I'll be posting this week with all the January & February birthdays!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Studio to Home: Victoria's Giveaway Painting

 I love seeing where my paintings end up after they get sent out of my house. I especially love when they are sent to people who take amazing photos. 

Victoria was the winner of my giveaway not too long ago and she generously sent me these photos of my Dahlia Dahling painting in her bedroom last week. 

Doesn't it look great with that  bouquet from her wedding? Check out her blog here. 

Wanna be featured on a Studio to Home post? Easy! Just purchase one of my paintings from my Etsy shop, send me your best pictures of it in it's new home, and you might just see your home on my blog! :)

(How do you like THAT for a shameless plug?)

Happy weekend, friends!

PS. Thank you so much for all the amazing comments on my deployment post yesterday. I continue to be blown away by this beautiful community.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thoughts on Deployment

So, it's here again. The D word. I hate deployment. Chris is set to leave in a few weeks and my heart sinks lower in my chest whenever I think about it.

I hate being alone. Oh, some nights it's nice when Chris has to work late or when he has duty. But being alone in this house for months on end can be depressing to say the least. Last year, I went to the commissary the week Chris left and found myself crying in the Mexican food aisle. The sight of Chris' favorite enchilada sauce and the realization that I wouldn't be making it for him for a long time pushed me over the edge.

When he's home for months on end, I sometimes forget how much I relish his presence until it's time for him to leave again.

How he always offers to drive {cuz I hate it}.

How he scarfs a muffin in one bite when he forgets he's NOT among his four brothers. And then looks at me bashfully with his mouth stuffed and crumbs tumbling down his chin. {And I crack up laughing at him.}

How he surfs for hours on the North Shore, and then talks for hours about the waves he surfed and his eyes light up because the Navy's not his 'mistress' but the ocean might certainly be.

How his voice sounds mingled with mine as we sing praises together at church.

So, yeah, deployment sucks, if I may say so eloquently.

But I'm determined to make the best of it.

I'm going to visit my family in MD and soak up the light and laughter of my 8 (almost 10) nieces and nephews.

I'm going to help host two fabulous baby showers (and pine for one of my own someday).

I'm going to train. Hard. And I'm going to complete a triathalon.

I'm going to paint my fingers off. And love every moment of it.

I'm going to hit 50 sales in my Etsy shop. Heck, I might even hit 100 if I feel like it!

I'm going to dig into the Word and grow my relationship with Jesus like never before.

I'm sure every military wife has heard this--"Wow, you are so strong, I don't think I could ever do that" I know I hear it alot. But the truth is, I'm NOT strong.

But my God is. 

And even when I feel like this life is so crazy and I hate being alone, I'm not really.

Because He says,

" For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. " Jer. 29:11-13

So, deployments are tough. And it hurts to say goodbye to Chris. But there's hope. And there are good things mixed in there with the tough things.

As deployment starts, I'll probably be including more journal-like posts about what's going on with me through the week. Chris checks in on my blog and I told him I'd write more about my days for him. And according to my survey, you guys like the [here and there] posts too, so you'll be getting more of those!
Don't worry, I've also got lots planned in the way of DIY projects, inspiration posts, sponsor posts and some great guest bloggers coming up too. :)

And here's a pretty picture for getting all the way through this rambling post. This is part of the mountain range we hiked on Saturday. Pretty, yeah?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Giveaway & Aloha From a Sponsor: Second Street East

 Ever have trouble envisioning what to do with a space in your home? You have an idea of what you want, but just don't know where to find that perfect coffee table or if the pillows should match the curtains? We've all been there, and that's why I'm excited to introduce you to my new sponsor, Michelle from Second Street East Interiors!

She not only has an adorable blog, but she recently started offering custom design boards! I'll let her tell you a bit about her business and herself, and stick around for a fabulous giveaway at the end!

So how does your custom design board process work? 

After receiving an e-mail that a client is interested, I send over a survey that helps me pinpoint their style, specifics of the space and budget. I also ask that the client send me photos of the entire space and any furniture or accessories they are wanting to keep. I will then make the design board and send it through email along with a source list and explanation of the design plan.

1. What is the story behind the name of your blog/ business name? 

I originally started my blog to update my friends and family on the renovations my husband and I were doing to our current and first home, which is on the street 2nd St. E. It was all I could come up with at the time but it has turned out to be very meaningful. I have fallen in love with design while working on this house, which is why I chose to carry the name over to my business. 

2. How long have you been interested in interior design and how did you get started designing inspiration boards?

I have been interested in interior design since I can remember. I always think back to a specific instance as a young girl when my mom took me the wallpaper store so I could find the perfect yellow and blue plaid wallpaper for my bedroom and how enjoyable it was. I should have known from that moment that I wanted to make it my career!  I started making design boards about 6 months ago when a friend asked for help with inspiration for her living room. I whipped up a design board and the rest is history :)

3. What is your favorite "go-to" store for home decor? Any fave online sources?

West Elm hands down. They have so many great modern, yet classic pieces that I normally end up using something from there in each of my designs.  The Kansas City location recently left and let's just say I have had a hard time coping!

4. If you could design any celebrity's home, whose would you like to do?

I would say Blake Lively (Gossip Girl, anyone?) and for no other reason than that I think she is a doll and has a great sense of style!

Not only is Michelle stylish and lovely, but she's generous too! She has offered to work with one of you on a FREE custom design board for any room in your home!

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 us which room in your house you would ask Michelle to help you design. 

**Additional entries**

2. If you tweet about the giveaway, leave a second entry. (Make sure you mention @aisletoaloha and @SecondStEast in your tweet!)

3. If you follow Michelle's blog, leave a third entry. 

**Please make sure I can find your email somewhere (on your blog, etc) or your entry is invalid! **

So, you have the potential to enter three times. 

The giveaway will be open until 10pm (Hawaii time) next Tuesday, January 24th. I'll choose the winner using and announce it on Wednesday, January 25th. 

So what's it gonna be? Your bedroom? The living room? Maybe a fabulous outdoor space?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love & Envelopes Birthday Club: hosted by Flawed Perfection Jewelry & Aisle to Aloha!

I was chatting away on twitter the other day, talking about how I just *love* birthdays and lamenting the fact that Chris will be missing my 25th birthday this year--the fourth birthday he's missed in a row! (It's March 19th, in case you need to write it on your calendar or anything.) My friend, Megan from Flawed Perfection Jewelry, said that HER birthday was about a week ahead of mine (It's March 13th, if you need to write it on your calendar or anything) and we should be birthday buddies.

And then the lightbulb clicked on in the attic. If WE love birthdays so much, then there must be many of YOU who love birthdays just as much and who love sending and receiving mail

And so the Love and Envelopes Birthday Club was formed.

Here's the deal. If you love birthdays, love getting mail, and want to spread some birthday cheer to other bloggers, then this is totally up your alley!

What to do:

1. Sign up using this form. Give us your contact info, as well as your birthday date and mailing address. You will get a confirmation email within the next few days from

2. Each month we will send out emails assigning each participant with a birthday girl. (If you would like to send a card or package to more than one girl, email us and let us know.)

(I'll also post on this blog each month with everyone's birthday for that month. That way you can be sure to wish them happy birthday on twitter, their blog, or even send them a card if you didn't get assigned to them and want to snag their address from us.)

3. Send some snail mail to your birthday girl! We encourage you to send a lovely, thoughtful card with a hand written note. You are also completely free to send a small package with some goodies (a great opportunity to support handmade!). Make your birthday girls feel special, celebrated and loved!

4. When YOUR birthday rolls around, please write up a post about the cards and any goodies you were sent after the celebration dies down! Make sure to link to the bloggers who helped you celebrate! I'll have a linky party on the Birthday Club page here on the blog, so make sure you come over and check that out too.

And don't forget to add the Love and Envelopes Birthday Club button designed by Dana Sears to your blog sidebar and your post!

Love & Envelopes

Additional details:

This is a monthly commitment. You will need to commit to send a heartfelt card or small package to at least one birthday girl per month.

Participants will need to have an active blog.

Sign up will close one week from now (January 24th). At that point, we won't be accepting any more participants (just to keep it simple for us), but we plan to open sign ups back up this summer.

More questions? 

Email us at if you any questions or comments.

PS. Click on the photos of the cards above for ideas of where to buy some fabulous birthday cards!