Hawaii, Photography, Travel, Yarn/Roving

2017 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 1 – 9

Aloha! Happy New Year, Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Almost March!

I hope you had a lovely holiday season and a wonderful 2017 thus far. Hubby and I did a big loop for the Christmas holiday, first by traveling from Los Angeles to Florida to surprise my 97-year old grandmother for the holiday! She was happy to see us and it was Jake’s first visit to her beautiful hometown of Sarasota.

Next, since we were already on the East coast, we traveled to Ohio to visit with Jake’s family. After a brief stay, it was back to California for some sun and fun.  We’ve had lots of rain since, which is fabulous for combating this multi-year draught, but the cold weather is something we’re not used to. LOL!

Lots of colors and plans this year for AlohaBlu. Firstly, soon I’ll be launching a new shoppe which will have the link AlohaBlu.com.  My Etsy store will still be active and you can find it at AlohaBlu.Etsy.com. I’ve been working on the layout for the past month on the new shoppe and am excited to launch it!! I will be posting new colorways on this one as soon as it’s active.

Secondly, I’m also launching a new Facebook Group: AlohaBlu Yarn & Fiber Luau! I’m hoping to share more about my products, show you a bit about me and AlohaBlu as well as get to know you better! Feel free to join and I’ll add content in the next few weeks.

Ok, now for some colors!! Here are the colorways for January and February:

As I was rooting through Mom and Dad’s vacation photos, I came across this wonderful image of a fountain from their trip to ASPEN, Colorado. I loved the pinks/magentas of the trees, against the green hills with the gray concrete street. I did this colorway as an immersion dye which will result in a random pattern!


CHESHIRE CAT was inspired by our 16-year old niece’s drawing. When she showed me this image, I immediately asked her if I can make it into yarn (she gave me the quintessential teenage response: a thumbs up). I thought Hannah’s color palette was just amazing and scoured my dyes for the perfect match.


This colorway happen to coincide with the Chinese New Year so that was serendipitous! CHINESE GARDEN is one of the many gardens you can visit atThe Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Here they have acres of various gardens and multiple buildings housing precious artwork. I took this photo of the Chinese Garden, which is artistically designed to combine Chinese culture with Henry Huntington’s style. Learn more about the Chinese Garden @ www.huntington.org/chinesegarden.


Back in November, during our Maui trip, we had lunch at the Hana Ranch Restaurant which was fantastic! Along one wall was this whimsical display of colorful UKELELES, and of course I thought of yarn immediately.


I touched on this colorway in the previous post, then decided to add it to the shoppe so I created a few more skeins of STUDIO CITY SUNSET AT VENTURA BOULEVARD, clearly one of the longest titles I’ve yet to manage. 😉 My hometown of Studio City was aptly named since many movie/tv studios used to be housed here. Over time, most of the studios dissolved but there is still one here today. CBS Radford Studios is located near where I took this photo and produced some well-known TV shows in its 91 year history: Gunsmoke, Gilligan’s Island, Mary Tyler Moore, Hill Street Blues, Seinfeld, 3rd Rock from the Sun, CSI: New York and That 70’s Show to name a few. It’s always fun to watch some of these shows and see our happy haunts on screen!


Another colorway inspired by our latest Maui trip: HAWAIIAN MACARONS. Jake and I visited a gourmet market at the Shops at Wailea and in the display case were these wonderful confections with names like Cookies & Creme, Guava, Melona, Mango, Toasted Coconut & Lilikoi. I knew I had to create a colorway for them.


For Valentine’s Day 2013, my hubby gifted me a box of chocolates, handmade by a local artisan. They were so pretty that I had to take a photo of them and didn’t want to eat any of them. Eventually I did of course and they were amazing!  I re-create BOX OF CHOCOLATES each year for Valentine’s Day.


Another one of my parents’ vacation photos, EVENING AT NANOOSE BAY, was taken in Beautiful British Columbia. I’m such a big fan of shades of blue so I was eager to dye this up. When Dad told me this was one of his favorite photos, I wanted to be sure I did it justice. (He did like the end result – whew!)


My most recent colorway was inspired by hubby’s photo from our trip out to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. We arrived mid day, with the sun overhead so it was illuminating the bright red/brown/orange rocks and the ridges below. We’d love to visit again during warmer months, though WINTER AT BRYCE CANYON, was rather pretty!


In my next post, I’ll share some of my finished projects (5 pairs of socks knitted so far in 2017) and new updates!

Stay tuned!

Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Back to the island : photos of Maui, November 2016

Aloha and Happy December 2016!

For this post, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos from our trip back to Maui last month. Of course, we could have stayed forever but we know we will return as the islands always seem to pull us back . . .

These will be scenery photos with a food photo blog to follow!

For this trip, my parents decided to treat us for a week’s stay at their timeshare in Kihei. They’ve had this timeshare for over 3 decades and were able to give us some time they had stored up. Maui Hill is a fairly good sized resort with some native creatures on the property like this beautiful gecko, whom we named, Mr. G:


Here’s a photo of the sunset from the resort:


One of the things I love to do in the mornings is take a walk from Kihei to Wailea and enjoy my morning cappuccino at the Honolulu Coffee Company at the Shops at Wailea. The walk is just under 2 miles each way so we get our exercise and our breakfast all at once!

And what better company to share coffee with than Louis, Tiffany and Prada?


During our last night there, the Shops at Wailea hosted a very special musical guest, the super talented Keali’i Reichel and his hula halau, Halau Ke’alaokamaile. The last time we saw Keali’i live was about 10 years ago at the Hollywood Bowl. This was definitely a more intimate setting with many of his fans in attendance. Hubby said I looked like Beatles came to perform, the way I was fluttering about 🙂 Well, it was that special . . .



Hubby and I decided that we would try something new on this trip and since he’s never done the famous “Road to Hana” we added it to the list. I’ve done it before with my family but that was many years ago. So, I do get carsick and the Road to Hana has about 600 turns (yes, that is SIX HUNDRED turns) so I was really anxious to say the least. Armed with Dramamine, ginger ale, ginger gum, pretzels and ahem, plastic bags, we set off early Sunday morning and headed to Hana. I ate nothing for breakfast, had the windows rolled down and hubby drove slow and steady. I had no problems whatsoever.

Here are some of the fantastic views and waterfalls we saw during the journey to Hana:






Once we arrived at the town, we decided to keep going! All the way to Haleakala National Park where we spent some time at the Oheo Gulch. Here you can see waterfalls and lagoons cascading down until they reach the ocean.



Here’s the reverse shot of the water heading into the sea:



On our way back, we decided to visit the Hana Lava Tube! Hubby and I love this kind of stuff so we were in heaven. This truly is an old lava tube that the owner discovered over 20 years ago and has since made it into an attraction. We had some super powerful flashlights that illuminated such a majestic space.




Even though it was early in the season, we decided to go Whale Watching with Pacific Whale Foundation. We have gone snorkeling at Molokini Crater with them before so we knew the great service and education we would get from the company.

What a beautiful day to be out at sea. We did see one small humpback but wasn’t able to get too close to him. Ah, well, next time then . . .



Since we launched off of Ma’alaea Harbor, I HAVE to take this opportunity to share my most favorite sticker/sign I’ve seen. I actually took this photo years ago and it still gives me a giggle each time I see it:


Lastly, I’ll end this blog with a Hawaiian sunset. Hubby took me to Makena Beach, near the place we were married years ago.

Here is a panorama he took:
The lone boat offshore . . .

And of course, I had to get some knitting in before dark.

Hope you enjoyed this little journey through Maui, my most favorite place on earth!

Stay tuned for the food blog . . . and more yarn stuff.

Aloha Nui Loa!


Christina & Jake


Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Images of Hawaii 2013 – Part 3

Aloha all – here is Part 3 of my Hawaiian photo blog. These photos were all taken on the beautiful island of Maui.

My family has been staying in Kihei in South Maui for decades. Though it has changed dramatically in that time, it still is pretty laid back and the views are wonderful. This photo was taken while on a morning walk on South Kihei Road.


This photo of the last itty bitty bit of sunset was taken in the car – yup, I’m one of those people hanging out a car window with a camera . . . or two. I love that the lens focused on the horizon and everything else is nicely blurred. I also love that the orange just about matches the color of the rental car we had (mix-up at the rental agency awarded us an upgrade to a sports car with a rather loud bright orange paint scheme. We affectionately called it “The Monarch” after the Monarch butterflies found on Hawaii). Sigh, I miss that car.


We hopped over to Lahaina one day since I had to do some last minute shopping for Christmas. Doesn’t everyone need a box of cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company? We strolled Front Street and I snapped this photo of the sailboats on the water.


Taking a drive along the northern part of the island, we ended up at Honalua Bay. There was a single sailboat in the bay and you can even hike down to the beach for some lounging and swimming. I took several photos of the bay and the single rainbow. A few minutes later the second rainbow on the left started to appear.


We often wondered if these fields with the flowered tops were sugar cane and during our ziplining expedition, our guides did confirm they were sugar cane fields. The flowered tops meant the fields were already past the harvesting time. I took this photo from my vantage point in the Monarch and loved the lighting at sunset.


We visited the Maui Ocean Center which is a fabulous aquarium on Ma’alaea Harbor. They have a wonderful collection of sea life and beautiful views from the outside exhibits.




This glass tunnel through the shark tank is AWESOME! There is even a glass panel on the floor so you can see sharks above and below you. I did get rattled once when I failed to see a Hammerhead coming around me. Despite the heart-racing drive-by, I would still venture to dive this shark tank 🙂


OH – I also updated my storefront, so some of these photos are now available at Society6. Enjoy!

Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Images of Hawaii 2013 – Part 2: “Flyin Hawaiian Zipline”


Here are more photos from our recent trip to Hawaii from the beautiful island of Maui and the amazing time we had ziplining.

I’ve always wanted to go ziplining and luckily my adventurous hubby, brother and sis-in-law were game too! After doing some research online, we found Flyin Hawaiian Zipline. They had the longest zipline in Hawaii with a 4-5 hour tour! I am not afraid of heights, but like any unknown event, I get some butterflies in my tummy at first.

We awoke before sunrise and traveled to Wailuku to the Maui Tropical Plantation where the 7am tour started.


One of the sugar cane fields was being harvested so we saw the smoke from the harvest during the morning sunrise.


After weighing/checking in our guide, Alika, got us harnessed up. One of drivers, Caleb, took us up the mountain in one of these ATV’s.


Our other two guides, Nick and Kupono, took us through the safety protocols, braking methods and we did our practice zip that was only a few feet off the ground. Then the fun began. They start you with the 2nd longest line and I just had to go first. . . you know, to chase the butterflies away.


Here are some views from the mountain. The hikes were quite manageable and the guides always offered their help, snacks or water.



This gives you an idea of what the lines look like from ridge to ridge. This was one of the smaller lines.


In the middle of the tour our guides took us to a garden where FHZ is making an effort to bring back native plants to the islands. They are planting the Hawaiian State Flower, the yellow hibiscus, on the mountain and had us help water them. The first plant I watered was called “Hibiscuits and Gravy” – awesome.


Our guides took turns going to the next platform, and that first person over was who helped us ‘brake’. Alika is getting ready to head out.


Here is Alika’s way of heading to the last platform. That little speck on the far ridge was where he was heading. No, we didn’t get to go upside down, but we did go backwards once!


And here’s me coming in for a landing. I can’t think of a better way to ring in the Winter Solstice than ziplining Flyin Hawaiian on my favorite island with my hubby and siblings. Photo by Hermine.

Tina coming in for a landing.

Maui, Hawaii | 21 December 2013

Flyin Hawaiian Zipline
1670 Honoapiilani Hwy
Wailuku, HI 96793-9347
(808) 463-5786 | flyinhawaiianzipline.com

Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Images of Hawaii 2013 – Part 1

Aloha and Hau’oli Hakahiki Hou! Happy 2014!

We had a nice Christmas holiday back ‘home’ in Hawaii and already miss the islands. After going through my photos, I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

On the island of Oahu, we visited our favorite beach, Waimanalo. It was a beautiful day though there were red flag warnings for Man-Of-War jellyfish in the water – hubby even spotted a baby one on the shore – so we stayed on the sand.


We stayed on the famous North Shore where the sunsets were just spectacular. Here is what it looked like on the first night.


This rainbow came out early in the morning so I hurried to snap many photos before it disappeared.


We had lunch twice at Ola’s where the view was stunning and the food was delicious. I tried the fish called hebi (shortbill spearfish) for the first time. Yummers.


We loved being back home, but eventually it was time to leave. So, we boarded a hopper flight (aka propeller plane) over to our next destination. On the way I took this aerial view of Waikiki . . .


 and Diamond Head.


35 minutes later, we touched down on my favorite island of Maui.


to be continued!

Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Ono Grindz – Flavors of Hawaii

One of the things I like to do before I go on a trip is to check out FoodNetwork.com and see if there are any ‘famous’ places to check out. Of course there are the Zagat rated places but we love visiting Mom-n-Pop shops that have tons of character and history.

When chef Guy Fieri finally visited the islands for his show, Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives, I recorded the program and mapped out each place so we can go there on our next trip. We were able to visit 2 of the places he went to (one more than once!) and was so glad we did.

Here are Ono Grindz (good food) from Oahu – some famous, some not-so-famous, but all very very delicious.

Our first stop whenever we land is GORDON BIERSCH BREWERY @ Aloha Tower. Yes, they do have GB’s on the mainland, but they don’t always have the same things. Our favorites are the Ahi Poke and a new dish, the Cajun Ahi Taco, crispy and soft with a great sauce on top.

If you’re craving a hamburger, our favorite is TEDDY’S BIGGER BURGERS. These burgers are served with Teddy’s sauce which is sort of like Thousand Island, but not quite. And their onion rings are killer. They have a number of locations on Oahu and Maui, but started branching out to the Mainland and even one in Japan. We visit Teddy’s quite often . . .

Keeping with the ‘handheld’ theme, this next place was one that Guy Fieri visited. The POKE STOP has two locations on Oahu and we visited the Mililani store. It’s about a 20-min drive from Honolulu but totally worth it. We got a 1/4 pound each of 4 different types of poke (which is an appetizer made with cubed raw fish mixed with spices or soy sauce), then decided we were still hungry and went for the OMG Burger, made with a beef patty topped with creamy spicy ahi poke on a taro root bun (that’s why it’s purple). GASP!

The photo doesn’t do it justice, but it was to-die-for. So much so we went back two days later and had another one . . .

and Guy’s poster

Speaking of fish, let’s talk sushi! No better place than the islands – ok, maybe Japan? – to get fresh fresh fish! Here are some of our faves.

In Honolulu, CALIFORNIA BEACH ROCK N’ SUSHI, is one of those place where you can’t seem to eat enough. It was there we first had hamachi sashimi with chilis and ponzu sauce, that was 10 years ago, and now that dish is everywhere.  We tried a new roll this past visit called a Tamanaha Roll, crunchy crab roll topped with their spicy tuna tartare mix.

We tried out a new restaurant called UNCLE’S FISH MARKET & GRILL. Well, ok, this one IS Zagat rated and we loved it so much, we went there twice! They are known for their Poke Tower which is kind of like a layered dip, but with poke, avocado and rice. So pretty!

If you want a more normal poke experience, try their Uncle’s Special Poke with cubed ahi in a rice ‘bowl’.

In the same area as Uncle’s is our second “Guy Fieri” stop. It’s called Nico’s At Pier 38 and there is always a line! It’s a plate lunch restaurant which means you get amazing food in a to-go carton and you’re hoping someone will get up so you can snag a table before your growling stomach becomes too much to bear. They were constructing a new building when we were there so I’m sure they’ve expanded by now. This was one of their specials, Ahi Furikake, a tuna steak cooked with herbs, spices and sesame seeds.

I have to end the seafood portion with probably the most amazing dish on the island. I know that is saying a lot, but we LOVE this dish and it was one of the first places my now-husband took me to when we first started dating. GIOVANNI’S SHRIMP TRUCK in Haleiwa is one of the places you probably look at and think “Ew, why would anyone eat there?” then you would see the crowd of people waiting to order, the crowd already eating and the gala of cars parked every which way around the truck. Their most famous dish is their Shrimp Scampi – a dozen huge shell-on shrimp cooked in garlic-y sauce, accompanied by two scoops of rice topped with crunchy fried garlic bits.

It is sheer heaven, but bring your own wet-naps! I used to share a plate with hubby but now we just order our own. They used to sell their bottled scampi sauce online and Mom and I would get them shipped to us here in CA. They have since stopped and every time we go back to visit Oahu, Mom makes me check to see if they started bottling it up again but so far, no go. Coming to Giovanni’s is an experience and be sure to bring a sharpie marker to memorialize your visit on their truck. We’ve done it many times – here’s our 2011 signature:

I have some desserts to post but am thinking that will be another day. . . Enjoy!

Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Images of Hawaii – Part 5

Aloha All! It’s been about half a year since we’ve last been on the Islands and of course I’m homesick. . . again.

I thought I’d share some more photos from the last trip to try to quell the homesickness.

At the Kahala Resort

We drove around residential areas up on a hill (yes, beautiful homes with breathtaking views) and found this wonderful view of Koko Head Crater

A view of Chinaman’s Hat

Another view from the Kahala Resort

And lastly, a view from the Hawaii Kai Makapu’u Point Trail


i just love Hawaii . . .

Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Images of Hawaii – Part 4

Aloha All and Happy Superbowl Sunday 2012! Here’s another installment of photos from our latest trip to Oahu.

This is a photo from the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Hike in Hawaii Kai.  The photo is almost identical to the one I took back in 2010, but this version seems a little bit more blue.

If you hike farther up the mountain there is another look-out point you can take photos of the shoreline. I love how the water changes colors from turquoise to dark blue. As always the clouds seemed to be moving at lightning speed across the sky . . .

How did we get up here? There’s a view of the hiking trail. One of the first stops is a big marquee talking about the migration of humpback whales since this is the route they take. Sadly we didn’t see any humpbacks on our hike, but what a pretty trail! We see many folks hiking up here with their dogs, baby strollers and some even run the length of the trail! If you do take the hike, be sure to wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses and bring some bottled water.

During another outing, we started driving around and stopped at a look-out point off the highway. Very important to read the signs! I wish I could say we followed this sign, but . . .

We decided to take pretty photos of the ledge near sunset. So we scaled the wall and hiked down this rocky ledge (you can see the road where the white fence is on the right side – luckily we didn’t have to hike down that mountain). . .

. . .  to get to this pretty ledge where a local man was fishing nearby. As the sun went down the water level went up and at one point, hubby and I were getting sprayed with sea water. Quite fun actually.

We walked over to a cove and watched as the waves came in, broke on the rocks and turned the water into beautiful suds.

Another view as the sun is going down. About the middle of the photo is where the road continues. We didn’t go farther than this point as it would have gotten more dangerous. But we did get some nice photos!

(Oahu | December 2011)

Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Images of Hawaii – Part 3

Aloha and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year!

I was hoping to post more photos while in Hawaii but my internet connection was poor, so I had to wait until I returned home. Without further delay, here’s Part 3 . . .

The banner (above) for my blog page is a photo I took from the Lanikai Pillbox Hike a few years back.  We did the hike again and here’s another picture from just under the eve of the pillbox overlooking the Mokalua Islands.

One of the places we stayed was in the town of Hawaii Kai and this is a view of Koko Head Crater. I thought about attempting the challenging hike up the crater, but after reading about it online, I think this photo will suffice . . . for now!

Sunset @ Hawaii Kai

I love this photo! I had never done the “World’s Largest Maze” – the Pineapple Maze – at the Dole Plantation before so we decided to take a crack at it. This tree was near the entrance. Well, we didn’t go through the entire maze, but it was awesome to see that the maze ‘walls’ were created with pink hibiscus plants.

Sunsets are magical in Hawaii and we were able to catch this sunset last minute at a beach park in Diamond Head, Oahu. By the time we arrived, there was already a crowd gathering for the big show. I took this photo just before the final sliver of sun went down. (For you yarnies, I just posted Diamond Head Sunset yarn on the shoppe.)

Although it was kind of rainy during our stay, the last week was absolutely beautiful. This is a view from our favorite beach, Waimanalo.

Here is another Diamond Head sunset photo, after the sun went down. I love how the lighthouse is silhouetted amongst the trees.

Another photo from the Lanikai Pillbox hike.

And lastly, we were driving back to town from the quaint north shore town of Haleiwa and caught this gorgeous sunset with the dark clouds above. It looks like it’s on fire!!  (Yes, a colorway will follow shortly.)

A knitting update: I was able to complete 2.5 pairs of socks over the holiday and it was great getting time to knit. I’ll post those on the shoppe and blog shortly.


Hawaii, Knitting, Photography, Travel

Images of Hawaii – Part 2


 It’s been rainy here so we get bits of sunshine poking through rainclouds and strong winds, but still is beautiful every day. Here are some of our recent photos.

Sunset over pineapple fields.

We drove to see Chinaman’s Hat and found these mountains opposite the water to be just spectacular.

Chinaman’s Hat.

Red flag warnings for dangerous beaches.

One evening we decided to drive up a nearby ridge to catch the view. Here’s what we saw from a hilltop neighborhood. What a view!

Since it’s been quite rainy, rainbows are abundant. This pretty one is right over the ocean.

Cloudy sunset at Kailua.

One of our favorite places to get a refreshing treat is the Dole Plantation. Their ‘Dole Whip’ is a pineapple sherbert-y dessert that is just awesome. The plantation has a side garden where different types of pineapples are growing on display and this was a small pineapple in the garden.

Also in the garden are these beautiful trees/flowers. I loved how the bright pink/red of this contrasts against the bright blue sky.

And for some knitting. Here are photos of my finished socks.

And my work in progress socks