June 27, 2018 · 1:56 am
Hi! I’ve been thinking of Alaska today.
I’m SO EXCITED because I have 3 friends from the same family who are becoming CZT’s (Certified Zentangle® Teacher) today!!! It’s the last day of the 4 day CZT-31 Seminar with Maria & Rick and Zentangle staff, in Providence, Rhode Island. Two are my students and are sisters (from Alaska) and the other is their niece (from Colorado). Mary and Tina have taken numerous Zentangle® classes with me so I’m thrilled that they are really loving Zentangle. I’m also excited because Tina lives down south around Kenai and there are no CZT’s there. It’s way too far away for me to cover! It will be nice to have some CZT’s I can talk to in Alaska 🙂 When I became a CZT in 2014, there was only one CZT in the Anchorage area, but she wasn’t teaching. So I’ve had to learn and struggle on my own. I’m very fortunate that I am a member of the CZT Facebook group and have formed many lasting friendships. It’s a loving and supportive group who have helped and guided me so much! I could not have done it without them (love you Brenda)! Tomorrow my 3 friends can join me!
When I attended my CZT Seminar, it was held in Providence Hotel. Now Seminars are held at the Biltmore Hotel. I spent one night there before transferring to Providence Hotel and joined the other CZT’s (here I am looking out my window at the Biltmore Hotel).
Every CZT Seminar is special. One highlight of my Seminar-17 was when Martha’s two boys got up and taught us a tangle! They were so awesome!! I don’t even remember what the tangle was because I was watching them 🙂
At the end of Seminars, when you receive your CZT Certificate, you get to put on “the Zentangle® Graduation Cap”! Here I am with mine but it was sooooo heavy it was falling off my head and someone captured that lovely and oh so attractive moment! LOL!!
Welcome Mary, Tina, and Ella! Congratulations on becoming Certified Zentangle® Teachers!! CZT 31!
April 3, 2013 · 4:17 am
Hi! We just recently wrapped up our Finally Friday Paint & Stitch Get-togethers! Jake and I have been hosting these gatherings all winter long and now will take a summer break and come back in October. Every month, on the 2nd & 4th Friday evenings, people from the community who share common painting & stitching interests gathered at the Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center, downtown 5th Ave, Anchorage, Alaska. It’s a beautiful Art Gallery and so cozy in the back where we meet. Thank you Jana for letting us get together there! So Jake’s (Kurt) the painter and I”m the stitcher.
Our First Gathering
It’s been a lot of hard work but soooo much fun and rewarding! Almost every gathering we’ve had different people come and join us along with a small core group that formed. We also have a potluck and that has been really nice because we start at 6pm and many come straight from work and we all share our goodies together while unwinding from the hectic week. We all share our talents too and I’ve learned so much and made friends.
I saw painters who started as beginners become experienced and awesome painters! I saw crocheters who began to knit! I saw friendships develop and blossom! I’ve known some of the people for a long time but got to know them better. The buzz was always “what are we going to bring to eat and work on this week?” I saw the excitement each time we all came together, excited to share and learn. I have a hard time around people (I fake it pretty good) but everyone made each other comfortable and was accepting of each other. Even though we were all different ages, we were like one big family! It was so wonderful to experience that! I love each one of them.
We even shared things that we made, like I bought a beautiful pair of earrings from Cathe! And Nicole brought handmade felted soap! Jan and Joni bought some of Jake’s paintings and Angie showed her cute crocheted baby onesie & hat sets along with her Angry Bird hats she sold at Christmas. We all watched Sarah work on her darling crocheted mushroom until she completed it. Funny, I never did really complete anything because I always got side tracked looking at everyone else’s projects:)
The last Friday the stitchers convinced me to show them how to locker hook and before I knew it I had a FULL class! I honestly wasn’t prepared for a class….thought it was just going to be a demo! But everyone, having stitching experience whether it was knitting, crochet, tatting, felting, weaving, embroidery, jewelry, sewing, and etc. all caught on fast. It was a great class and I am so proud of them:)
I know we are going to miss our Friday gatherings but it always seems that when spring & summer come we all are out doing other things. In Alaska we take advantage of the good weather! But we will all come together again in October and share more projects, fun, food, laughter, and friendships. Hope everyone has a great summer and Jake and I can’t wait to see you in October!
Filed under Alaskan Life, Crochet, Locker Hooking, Uncategorized
Tagged as Alaska, Arctic Rose Gallery, art, art center, crafts, crochet, fabric, fiber art, friendship, gallery, gatherings, instruction, knitting, locker hooking, paint, shop, store, yarn
August 22, 2012 · 3:10 am
Hi! Oh my gosh!! I’ve been having Soooo MUCH FUN making crocheted beaded dream catchers and learning all about the history! I love crocheting and I love dream catchers! I thought I’d see if they sell at my Etsy Shop, Alaska HomeCrafters Emporium, or maybe a tourist at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center might find them as fascinating as I do. When I moved up to Alaska someone gave me a dream catcher to keep the good dreams coming and the bad dreams trapped in the web. I still have it! I think everyone should have one 🙂
Dream catchers are arts and crafts of the Native American people. Traditionally dream catchers were made from willow branches bent into rings or oval shapes and sinew for the web. Feathers decorate infants and children’s dream catchers, but all dream catchers are embellished with totem animals, beads, and small stones. (I love to embellish!) The ring is believed to represent wisdom, strength, and unity.
One legend tells of an elderly spiritual leader who had a vision of Iktomi, the great trickster and searcher of wisdom. He appeared in the form of a spider and spoke to him. As he spoke, the spider picked up the elder’s willow ring and began to spin a web. He spoke about the cycle of life and and many lessons. The ring represents the cycle of life, for as we come into life as infants and grow into adults, as elderly adults we must be taken care of as infants, thus completing the cycle of life.
When the spider finished, he had spun a web inside the ring and told him that when the dream catcher is hung above ones bed, good dreams will float through the web’s holes and down the strings of beads and feathers, placing good dreams into your head while one sleeps. Bad dreams are caught in the web and tangle up in the web & beads and stones and with the first rays of daylight, they evaporate and disappear. Pretty awesome don’t you think!
Wishing you good dreams and peaceful sleep.
Filed under Alaskan Life, Uncategorized
Tagged as American Indians, art, beads, crafts, crochet, dream catchers, dreams, embellishments, feathers, legend, totem animals
June 26, 2012 · 12:56 am
Hi! The Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center has officially moved from L St. and reopened its doors on 423 5th Ave, Anchorage, and I was there! It was absolutely fabulous! We had a great turnout for the event and everyone was amazed at the transformation of the store. The first Friday of each month, galleries and cafes downtown feature different artists and art shows and a lot of them are within walking distance. We had old friends, other artists, and tourists stop by, which was really fun! For our first friday’s “First Friday” we featured all the artists in our store! It was awesome! I brought in my quilt rack and hung two large crocheted rag rugs.
Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center opened its doors
The front of the store is our Gallery (I’m on the right behind desk) …………
The Gallery at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center
………And the “Sled Dog Cafe”, is in the back of the store where we have tables & chairs, couch, and comfy chairs by a fireplace. We sell coffee and cookies which goes to support our classes and events. Our cafe motto is “Stop. Sit. Eat a cookie”! The Sled Dog Cafe is where we hang our “First Friday’s” featured art and lay out food and drink. The art will stay there for the month until the next “First Friday”.
Sled Dog Cafe at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center
Our store also features the Jon Van Zyle Museum, which is in the back of the store next to the Sled Dog Cafe (door on the left in above photo). Jon Van Zyle is a well known and respected artist who paints beautiful Alaskan art and the Iditorod and has ran & completed TWO Iditorod races. He also is the official artist for the Iditorod Poster, which comes out every year. They are awesome! He has illustrated many, many Alaskan books. He and his wife, Jona, live in Anchorage, Alaska, with their dogs (and cats).
Jon Van Zyle, at “Jon Van Zyle Museum” in Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center
It was a fabulous and successful evening and we are already getting ready for next month’s “First Friday” which will also be our “official” GRAND OPENING of Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center, featuring Jon Van Zyle! He will be there, so write this on your calenders…….July 6, 2012.
Filed under Alaskan Life, Uncategorized
Tagged as Alaska, art, art gallery, arts, crochet, crocheted rag rugs, fiber art, gift store, Iditarod, illustration, Jon Van Zyle, locker hooking, paint, tourist, travel
June 13, 2012 · 8:42 pm
Hi! Our new adventure begins! Our goal was to paint, remodel, put up track lights, and OPEN the Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center by May 16, 2012 and feature local artists work and the famous Alaskan Artist, Jon Van Zyle.
The building used to be a t-shirt shop and had been vacant a number of years. What an absolute mess!! Dark walls and ceilings are not good for art work so everything had to be painted white. The Sled Dog Cafe’s ceilings had to be black because we needed to cover up big pipes on the ceiling. A new sink for the bathroom was donated and the walls in the cafe were spay painted with “texture”. They put in a door in the back for security and redid door knobs. They also had someone come in and install dark film on the front windows to protect the art work. I helped with the front display windows. Soooooo many people donated things and their time and so much hard work!
Jake is Painting My Slat Wall
Jake and I are now part of the co-op and we get 10 feet of wall. Jake takes 8 feet and I get 2 feet 🙂 And I’m very excited because I get to work in the store, which is so much fun!
My Little Space-After Painting!
Jake’s Space-After Painting!
The transformation was TRULY AMAZING!!
Sled Dog Cafe-Before!
Sled Dog Cafe-After!
Arctic Rose Gallery and Art Center is located on 5th Ave, downtown Anchorage, across from the 5th Ave Mall and between two well know and respected Alaskan restaurants (Club Paris and Gingers). YES, in the heart of the city where tourists love to hang out.
Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center will offer art, events, classes, and be involved with the community. And………we will be right downtown for the start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race! So Awesome!
Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center Opens 5-16-2012
WE DID IT! We opened May 16, 2012!
(The official grand opening will be July 6, 2012)
Filed under Alaskan Life, Uncategorized
Tagged as adventure, Alaska, Anchorage, art, art center, art gallery, artist, Co-ops, fiber art, gift store, Iditarod, Jon Van Zyle, opening, paint, remodel, tourist
June 12, 2012 · 12:22 am
Hi! Since I last talked to you, Jake and I were invited to a special meeting. There were about 10 of us and the owner of Artic Rose Gallery and the Firefly Co-op presented a fantastic idea to us. She wants to blend the two stores into one large co-op store and call it “Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center”. It will be a beautiful professional art gallery for talented local artists (like Jake) as well as FIBER ART (me!), pottery, jewelry, “Mush Girls” t-shirts, beading, photography, etc., AND will feature the art and a museum by Jon Van Zyle (THE most famous Alaskan Artist who also completed The Iditarod Sled Dog Race two times!). He is the “official artist” for the yearly Iditarod Posters! What an honor! Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center will offer art, events, classes, and be involved with the community.
My first reaction to the idea of a co-op was pure JOY, but suddenly my mind went back to those horrible days I spent after I joined a co-op years ago. But the location, location, location got me really excited because it will be in this huge building on 5th Ave, downtown Anchorage, across from the 5th Ave Mall! WOW! In the heart of the city where tourists love to hang out 🙂 And maybe I would get to work in the store…….I loved that part of it. We knew pretty much everyone at the meeting and all are trusted and well known people. It is the “PEOPLE” of a co-op who can make it or break it (speaking from personal experience). So I swallowed my bad memories and kept on listening.
Now Jake (Kurt Jacobson) has never had his “own store” where he can hang his choice of art. He has been in art galleries. An art gallery “co-op” is different. I thought it would be perfect for him and I could be involved in a small way too. So we both said, “let’s do it!”………and that’s what I’ve been doing! Our NEW ADVENTURE begins! We open May 16 after we paint and totally remodel the inside.
Our New Adventure!
Filed under Alaskan Life, Uncategorized
Tagged as adventure, Alaska, Anchorage, art, art center, art gallery, artist, Co-ops, fiber art, gift store, Iditarod, Jon Van Zyle, paint, quilts, sewing, tourist
February 5, 2012 · 2:21 am
Hi! We’re into February now and last month Alaska broke some records for coldest weather and most snow! I’ve lived in Anchorage for over 15 years and this has definitely has been a winter for minus degrees and snow! In fact we have a problem…….. where to put more snow (and as I speak it is still snowing!)? I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been trapped in my home just waiting for Jake to come rescue me with the snow blower. But really I haven’t panicked because I’ve gotten a lot of crafting done and I have a lot of company here, like moose. I do have a job teaching classes at Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts and the last two “open houses” for class sign-ups we had severe blizzard warnings and Jake had to take me to work because I couldn’t get my car out the driveway. Cross your fingers because we have another open house this Saturday! Up on the Hillside we are the first to get snow, the most dumped on, and the last to lose it.
Did you know that I live in an Igloo! Actually I think it comes pretty close to one! It is funny to hear some people think we really do up here. But what is not so funny is many people down in the lower 48 think we live in another country! The postal services certainly charge us like we do! We don’t even get mentioned on the national weather channel unless something like one our towns gets shut down from all the snow or when the tanker couldn’t make it into Barrow recently because all the ice. We made some headlines this year! But hang on…………Hollywood came up and made a movie which came out this weekend. It’s a true story that happen here in the 80’s about several whales that got trapped under the ice and there was a massive rescue that took place to save them. And then we have tons of “Alaskan reality shows” on TV, like Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Coast Guard which I must say are excellent, and my favorite! Definitely the “real” Alaska! Oh of course there’s Sarah Palin……….. and I think they might be making that into a movie too!
P.S. We are the 49th state in the USA.
But back to my igloo 🙂 This photo was taken a day ago!
September 17, 2011 · 4:49 pm
The summer winds have come and gone……………. and so has the Alaskan fireweed. As you know, I LOVE fireweed (see “Alaskan Fireweed” Post)! You probably already know that just from looking at my blog banner. I was gone a lot this summer and missed much of the brilliant magenta colors, so I’ve decided I’m going to plant fireweed seeds in our front yard and maybe I’ll have a “fireweed garden” next summer. I’m going to try!
It’s September now and this is what the fireweed looks like. I love the fluffy stuff too! Maybe I can catch some and keep it through the winter so I can dream of when the next fireweed blooms?
Hope everyone had a GREAT SUMMER!
September 1, 2010 · 1:48 am
Hi! Anchorage broke a record a few weeks ago for raining 31 days in a row for a summer. It’s been cold and gray skies. Reminds me of living in Seattle! But the few days of sun have been wonderful and reminds me why I’m sooooo in love with Alaska!
Several weeks ago Jake and I went to Homer. The ride from Anchorage to Homer is breath taking with the huge snow capped mountains coming straight out of the ocean……….and FIREWEED!. In July the fireweed blooms and it’s the most beautiful pink sight you’ve ever seen! I took this photo in Homer behind a bookstore.
Fireweed from my camera
There is a story about fireweed that Alaskans love to tell.
Fireweed is a well known wildflower (OK, a weed) in Alaska. In summer you’ll see fireweed all over Alaska, like a velvety blanket of bright pink. It is one of the first plants to come alive after a forest or brush fire. Isn’t that amazing? It multiplies very quickly (that’s probably why they call it a weed and not a flower). Fireweed looks like large tall green stalks with bright pink color flowers. The rich pink flowers are one reason how fireweed got its name. Usually in July, you will see them bloom starting in the middle of the stalk. The flowers continue to bloom one above the other ones until the pretty pink flowers reach the top of the stalk. They are truly gorgeous! I personally think they should be Alaska’s state flower!
In August, the flowers on the lower part of the stalk start falling off and they turn to seed, a fluffy like cotton. Very awesome! The wind carries the cotton off to reseed for the next year and this is when Alaskans say………… there are about six weeks until winter begins.
In September, the flowers are gone and the stalks slowly change color from green to red with bright red-orange leaves and this is when Alaskans say……….that summer is at an end and Fall is upon us. Now, all you see is this beautiful bright red ground, miles and miles of red! This is the second reason how fireweed got its name.
They say the inside of the fireweed stem is nutritious and is used to make jelly, syrup, ice cream, ointments, soaps, lotions, honey, and the early leaves are used in salads. I bet you didn’t know that!
Did you also know you can buy fireweed seed in Wal-Mart, Fred Meyers, and Safeway? Many who come to visit and want to take home a little “Alaska” will take it home and grow their own fireweed!
I LOVE fireweed! And I don’t care if it is a weed. It’s beautiful and I look forward to it every summer!
August 11, 2010 · 5:32 pm
Hi! I love to locker hook or crochet in the evenings, relaxing and watching the news. I am a night owl. Jake is an early bird. Sometimes I’ll stay up after he goes to bed and hook into the night. It is so quiet and peaceful! We live up and on the side of a mountain. We are in Anchorage and there are many who live up here, but we have lots of trees and privacy. It feels like we live in the wilderness when we drive down our dirt road to home. Nights are when I get a lot of things done. This is when my creativity juices flow. I know I am not alone as many artists and crafters enjoy the nights solitude.
About two weeks ago, I was crocheting and watching a scary movie (I don’t very often at night!). Jake and the animals were downstairs sleeping when I thought I saw a large black figure go past our front door window panel. I absolutely froze! We don’t get visitors here, especially at night. And because we live in a dome home, we don’t have curtains. It went up the stairs to the deck. I shot up off the couch but my legs got caught in the yarn! I could see he was coming back and by the time I reached the front door I came eye to eye with this huge black bear. Scared me to death! I gasped and he went back to the deck while I flew downstairs yelling for Jake. Well, by the time he came upstairs the bear was gone. I was really freaked out! We have black bears here in the summer but NEVER that close! Well apparently our neighbors left their garbage out the night before and they don’t have a bear protected garbage can. Jake said there was garbage spread all over the street in the morning. Also bird seed attracts bears (we found that out the first year we lived here!). Several days later we hear that a bear nearby tried to enter a home and was shot. Wow, it could have been me!
Last week I went back to crocheting on my couch and enjoying the solitude of the night, feeling safe again. The dog started barking (she doesn’t very often) and I turned to look and we both looked right into the face of a black bear! AGAIN! The bear went up and down the stairs to the deck. When I got down to the front door window, I was looking right at this huge bear’s face, eye to eye! We were both standing. Then he suddenly leaned over towards us and took his huge paw with long claws and took a swipe at the dog, scratching his claws against the glass, then slowly walked away! This time I came running downstairs yelling “where’s the shot-gun”!! I love Alaska, but this is ridiculous! I knew if that bear came back again he would definitely bust the door down and come in. I haven’t slept well since! Jake didn’t think he could.
A few nights ago Jake and I were watching the news and they reported that for the last two weeks they have had trouble with bears trying to get into people’s homes on the hillside. Last Thus. three black bears broke down someones door and came into their home and they had to shoot the bears. But one got away! Jake and I looked at each other. I was thinking “I knew it could happen!” and he was thinking “Maybe I should have believed her!”. At least I hope he was thinking that. So……one is still roaming around!
Everyday living in Alaska is an adventure!
Some of my crochet rag rugs