Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quilt blocks and more

I have completed my fourth mini quilt for my series on "Wheels"...the workbook assignment was "innovative piecing" so I have included a couple of overlapping wheels, sliced the whole thing up and added a strip. I did this three times, offsetting the pieces each time I inserted the new strip which makes the "wheel" a little harder to see as a result. Neat technique though...I enjoyed it. I also embellished with small springs which I had gotten from a bracelet I had taken apart.

My art group, studioQ, met Monday at my house. Here are the blocks of those who were able to do the next "ingredient" in our recipe quilt. The ingredient was "part of a chicken"...however a person wanted to interpret it!

This block has many parts! Can you find them all?

And we have the KFC logo on this block!

Nancy concentrated on chicken beaks...she doesn't know how to work small!!!

Heather drew hers out, enlarged it and then created her "chicken" part block.

And mine is a form of the dominoe game..."Chickenfoot"!! Made out of fabric...12"square.
What a great group....we have so much fun together and are such an inspiration to each other! Our next ingredient is "Magical"....that will bring out lots of ideas from everyone!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More trip pics...wildlife in Denali

Our bus tour was from 6:30 AM until we got back to our Denali River Cabin at nearly 7:00 PM. The trip took us up into the very end of the road into Denali National Park. At the end of the road where we turn around, there is a beautiful lodge which is on the site of the original roadhouse, Kantishna. They fed us a great lunch and had a display of a dogsled team.

No one can drive more than about 15 miles into the park without permission or an escort. They are really striving to keep the park pristine and natural and are doing a wonderful job! We saw so much wild life and our driver was great about stopping and letting us look. We were not allowed off the bus when we saw the wild life which was OK by me...especially when we spotted the grizzlies. These pics are just a few of the wonderful creatures we saw.

This red fox was on the side of the road; he ran off then just stopped and looked back at us...beautiful!
This was our first grizzly...he had a buddy on the other side of the road, couldn't decide what to do then he just rushed down the hill and ran right in front of the bus to get to his pal! We had at least a dozen different grizzly bear sightings. Several were mama bears with cubs...all the berries were ripe and the bears were eating, stocking up for the winter to come.

And this ol' boy was wandering down the side of the road as we were ending our tour and heading back to town. He was so close, we could almost reach out and touch him! We saw so many others...caribou, wolves, beavers, Dall sheep, and birds of every description! I'd do it all over again if I could!
Now, back to the present...I am working on and about to finish my summer quilt exchange...and have drawn up my ideas for my two "recipe" blocks. Daughter from CA is at Yosemite Park for the night, tour tomorrow, and heading out to meet her dad on Thursday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

End of Quilt Show

My quilt show entries: "Age of Aquarius", "Inner City", and "Some Assembly Required". The Show ended today...very good show, lots of fun, and of course I did get some new fabric!! Like that is really what I need! I did resist any of the fun gadgets though...I have a few of those from past shows that really didn't live up to their demos!

Some of these I have shown before but I don't think my "Age of A..." has been on my blog. It is the result of my bee's Round Robin to which I have added the circles, black edging and lots of embellishments. I had taken this on the ferries with me and did work on it some while enjoying the passing scenery. I didn't quite get finished so plan to add a little more embellishments.
Daughter Andrea leaves California tomorrow....she will be driving, plans on a few touristy stops then meeting up with the dad in Vegas and driving back together....really looking forward to seeing her. We are trying to get a time together to see all the family and show our pics from the trip, but with teenager and preteenager things get busy around their house!!
Now that the show is over, I can work on some other commitments: a "purple 8" square exchange, a small quilt swap, and "Veronica's quilt" which is almost ready to put together then get quilted....a multi colored Snails Trail...pretty wild!
And I am having "studioQ" here next Monday and need to get caught up on our "Recipe Quilt". I am behind a ingredient is "Spring"...I know what I am going to do with it, just need to "git 'r dun"! and the other ingredient is "Chicken"...however I want to interpret that!! Should be interesting to see!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Finally finished! (and more pics)

Today, I finally finished getting my "sleeves" and labels on my quilts for the show. Tomorrow is setup day...nothing like taking it to the line! Dick and I will go in to help set up and then going to go eat Mexican at Blue Mesa....we haven't had our "Tex-Mex" fix since we got back so are looking forward to that!

These pictures are of Mt. McKinley/Denali. The park is Denali National Park, the mountain can be called either....the Indians called it Denali but the first person to climb it renamed it for the current President. The park used to be McKinley NP but was changed a few years ago in honor of the Indian name....which I definitely like better! A friend of mine gave me a book to read, "Two in the Far North" about Margaret Murie and her husband Olaus. I had not heard of either before but discovered they are very well-known conservationists, founders of The Wilderness Society. If you are into biographies and nature, I highly recommend it! I also picked up the book "Arctic Dance", more pictorial, continuing on with their tale.

This is a lake view above the Denali Visitors' Center where we hiked after visiting the center, and having our picnic lunch.

And this is the wonderful Denali Mountain range...she is the far right one. This is take from the river at Talkeetna where we spent the night before our Denali but tour. Talkeetna is a really neat little Alaskan is supposedly the prototype for the tv show "Northern Exposure" and I can believe it because there were some very interesting characters living there!

This is a close up of Mt. McKinley from the same spot. We were so lucky on weather; we were told that the mountain in cloud covered nearly 80% of the time...and we got to see her many times over a couple of days. The next day, on our actual tour of Denali Park, she was cloud covered!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday, rain and more pics

I finally finished quilting on my art quilt today...I had taken it with me on our trip and got quite a bit done on the ferries, but still had a lot to do as I hand-quilted it. Now just need to put on a sleeve and some embellishments. Also need a sleeve one other quilts and labels on all. The setup for the show is Thursday so I guess I will be spending a little more sewing time tomorrow and Wednesday!

And the weather is wonderful...we have had more than five inches of nice, slow rainfall since Friday...that should set us up well for going into the winter! The sun will be out in a couple of days and then the grass will grow again! Usually when we have Sept. rain, we have very nice fall colors....fall and spring are my favorite times of the year.

Trip pics are of Anchorage...where we lived for two years in 1964-66. Very little looked familiar, only the visitor's center with its sod roof...except now they have a large center with a museum and the little log center is just for looks and some info! We were talking to a lady there, one of the volunteers who has been in Anchorage for about 40 years or more, and she confirmed something we weren't sure of from when we were there before....that you can see Mt. McKinley from Anchorage...and we were so fortunate that "she was OUT" that very day...we walked down to the street corner and way down towards the bay, there she was!! We had wonderful weather so were able to see the mountain several times. Then up at the Denali visitors center, there is a plaque..."Yes, you can see Mt. McKinley from Anchorage"!!

I zoomed in as much as I could and there she is...peeking out above the trees!

This is the visitors center when we were living there. I don't know what they did with the totem pole. It was pretty neat. The building in the background is the tallest bld at that time.

Now here is the visitors center with a modern stainless steel sculpture of some kind. Maybe it is a symbolic totem pole!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trip pics

More pics from the ferry Kennicott....because the weather was so cooperative, we were able to get down some narrow channels for some beautiful scenery-looking and because the ferries are somewhat smaller than the cruise ships, some of the areas we traveled were too narrow for the larger ships.

Beautiful sky and clouds going down the channel to Pelican...a small fishing of many that can only be reached by boat or biplane.

Forty five years ago when we lived in Anchorage, we took a day trip into Prince William Sound from Whittier to see glaciers, etc. This is a rookery picture that we took then.

As we came into Whittier on the Kennicott, we passed the same rookery area! It looks pretty much the think, some of those birds there are the descendants of the birds we saw 45 years ago!!

Talked to daughter in California who is moving back to Texas in a couple of weeks. She is shipping her belongings and driving back by herself so the dad decided to fly out and meet her half wayish in Las Vegas and drive the rest of the way back with her. They will have a great time...some intense bonding time!!! And...Saturday we will be helping our grandson celebrate his 12th birthday...growing up way too fast!! Our granddaughter is in her high school marching band, plays the French horn. Last Friday night we went to the football game to watch the band perform...brings back such memories when our girls were in their high school marching bands!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some of my favorite triip pics!

I have more pics to show...and will continue to do so if noone is too bored with looking at them! Just say so if you are! We had such a great time and would highly recommend this trip to anyone that I just want to spread the word as much as I can!

We made a stop in Ketchikan AK on our way to Juneau...a pretty good sized town for those parts. Dick and I decided to pass up the opportunity to shop...mostly tourist traps! and took a hike up this really steep hill in a neighborhood near the docks. There was this really pretty little park. We had learned in one of the ranger talks that we were in the Tongas Rain Forest....very temperate weather during part of the year...and very moist. So this kind of vegatation and moss were very common....very different for us so we found it fascinating!

This is the Kennicott, the second ferry we traveled on...also a very wonderful experience..each ferry we were on had rangers on board who gave little talks about nature, the animal life, the topography of where we were traveling etc. We really enjoyed those and it help make the time just fly especially on those days that were kind of rainy...not many of them though!

Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau AK..we had an over night stay in Juneau while waiting for out second ferry on up to Whittier AK. It was raining the day we were in Juneau...typical weather...they say that the locals get nervous if it doesn't rain for three days!!! This is a fabulous of the largest in the world. From this view point we are over a mile away from it...maybe farther!

We had our poker bunch in for a slide show and dinner. tonight..always fun!! And now time for bed....tomorrow I HAVE to work on my quilts for the is getting close!

Monday, September 7, 2009

And more trip stories!

First, I must say that we did not travel the Alcan highway in 1664! It was really 1964...I have corrected my previous blog! Boy was that ever a big "typo"!!! We are old but not quite that old!!

We just loved the ferry...our cabin was bare bones but clean and very cozy. When we booked passage, all we could get was a four-bunk cabin which turned out to be ok as we had room to put all our luggage on the top bunks and we each got a bottom bunk. I think it would have been pretty crowded to have four people in there, but there were several families traveling with children...mostly military heading for stations in Alaska so I guess it could be done.

The food was excellent..on the Columbia..the first leg of our journey...there was a regular sitdown dining room, a grill to order sandwiches etc, and a lounge for the party people. Although we have been know to party, we were too busy whale watching etc to want to sit in the dark innards of the lounge! We saw many beautiful sunrises, lighthouses, whales, salmon jumping out of the water, porpoises, etc.

Now, I must get myself busy finishing up some quilts for our show next week!! And we are having our poker bunch over tomorrow night for a slide show of our trip and dinner!
This is a picture of a light house out in the middle of nowhere, called "Boat Bluff". The people there came out to see us and wave!
This is a house at an Indian/Eskimo fishing village...Klimtu..we didn't stop there but were alerted by the ranger on board to look for the house with the native art work so that brought all the cameras out on deck!

And this is our first sunset while at sea! I could have stayed out there all night but it did get a little chilly!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm Ba-a-a-ck!!!

Dick and I just got back last Monday from a wonderful three week trip! We drove to Bellingham ,WA...boarded the Columbia Alaskan Marine Ferry which "sailed" up to Juneau , AK. There we deboarded with our car, spent the night in Juneau, then got on the Kennicott, another Alaskan Ferry which took us to Whittier, AK. We then drove to Anchorage, looked around (we had lived there for about two years when we were first married...45 years wanted to see if anything was familiar...nothing was except for the small visitors' center and the 4th Avenue Theater.) We then drove to Denali National Park and Fairbanks, and came back through Canada driving down the Alaskan Highway which we drove up in was all gravel then..1300 miles or so...and now most of it is blacktopped!

Needless to say, we had a fantastic time so I will be boring you for my next few entries with pictures and tales of our adventures! I also have several things to do to get ready for our Trinity Valley Quilt Show which is 18,19 and 20th of September.

The Columbia River in Washington state on our way to Bellingham to catch our first ferry.

The harbor town of Bellingham WA where we got on the ferry, the Columbia.

Our ferry, the of the Alaskan Marine Ferry System fleet of ships.

Our cabin on the ferry...we were on it for three nights...really very cozy; had our own "facilities"..I learned how to take a shower at sea when it was a little rocky!! We loved every minute of it.....more pics to come!