Saturday, June 23, 2012

More Alaskan Adventures

I have so many beautiful photos of such a beautiful place - not quilt related but some great inspiration for quilts. I always loved little houses on the side of a hill, especially when they are painted different colors - what a good idea for a quilt. Below is Juneau - first stop on our cruise and the capital of Alaska. It's not very big for a major city. Another interesting fact - there are roads throughout Juneau but they end there. We were told there's only 3 ways to get to Juneau - by boat, plane or birth canal (-:    
 The day we were in Juneau we went to the Mendenhall Glacier which was beautiful and also a beautiful day.
 We also took a boat to go whale watching. Orcas don't stay in Alaska year round unlike the Humpback whale which does. The Orca's had just arrived to these waters, they were so playful.  It was so exciting to see them in their natural habitat. We also saw lots of Humpbacks and Sea Lions.
 The mountains around were breathtaking and so massive.
 Skagway was another lovely city and again, pretty little houses on the hillside.
 One of my favorite side trips was on the White Pass Summit Railroad - the original route used during the gold rush.
 As we moved further and further up, it got colder and colder and more beautiful with each turn of the bend.
A fun perspective from here to the front of the train.
 We went all the way to the border of British Columbia - 5 flags - US, British Columbia, Alaska, Yukon and Canada.
 And the trees were so beautiful in the mist. This will definitely be a silk screen.
 And quilting is alive and well in Alaska! A beautiful shop!
More adventures to follow and pretty soon, it's back to my studio.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Towel Animals

One of the "silly" things they do aboard a cruise ship is to leave towel animals on your bed each night, along with pieces of chocolate.  I loved the chocolates, the animals I had to think about. But as the week went on, I found myself looking forward to seeing what was awaiting me each evening. I honestly don't recognize the first animal - any thoughts?
 The next night was a stingray. Every animal came equipped with plastic googly eyes that would fall on the floor. By the end of the week, there were eyes everywhere!
 A butterfly perhaps?
 One of the afternoon lectures onboard the ship was how to accomplish this "feat of folding" and of course a book to buy.
Neither of which I took advantage this skill will remain a mystery to me.  My guests will always get nice, clean towels, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) in the shape of a towel!  :-)
 This little puppy was my favorite. I really wanted him to remain a pup for a while but next morning, they took him apart  :-(
So it's been hard getting back into a routine - lots of lazy moments. I did get the vacumn out today, tomorrow I may even plug it in.   :-)
Til next time......

Friday, June 15, 2012

Home Again

It's fun to go away and even better to come home, but oh so hard to get into a routine again.  We were both so exhausted from spending 12 hours (not including the time changes) each way either on a plane or in an airport and the time change is always hard but all in all worth it.  We started our trip in Seattle where we have family and friends. Seattle is beautiful this time of year - such a wonderful, eclectic city.
The Space Needle...
 And always on the lookout for trees (below) - there were some beauties. Everything almost a fluorescent green.  This might have to be part of a quilt; I love the moss and texture.

 Pike's Market is always fun to visit, lots of flowers and
 the the very popular "fish throwing" vendor. Someone will pick a fish and it will be thrown to someone behind the counter for cutting and cleaning. It's great fun to watch and they've been doing this ever since I've been going to Pikes which is over 25 years.
 We stayed with my friend Sandy who is a wonderful quilter and has an even more wonderful fabric collection. What you see is only half of what she has.

 And some of the wonderful quilts she's used in the 9 books she's written.
 One of the houses Sandy took us to was this one below - a tiny little house tucked in amongst tall apartments and right across from the water.  The woman who bought this, did so many, many years ago before it was built up and then purchased the one next to it. She has a passion for flowers and gardens and having a concrete front lawn, this is how she solved the problem.
 It's absolutely wonderful to see in person; I could have spent hours there.
 One of the highlights of Seattle was discovering my great-grandfather's house. My dad's family were among the original settlers of Mercer Island and I knew my great-grandfather was the first postmaster of the Island.  My step brother who's into geneology discovered this house and took me to see it.  The owner was kind enough to let us in and take photos - it was thrilling to see a little piece of my family history.
More to come, still tired but lots of good memories.