Sunday, October 17
it's so easy to slide into the life of the fishing lodge, i never take for granted the slower pace, the absence of all things technical (although i keep my ipod close at hand... josh groban really does make cleaning the smokehouse go so much faster.) the days are long, the work is hard, but the stresses are easier to handle...instead of having to be three places at once i only have to figure out how to make my last 4 eggs into a breakfast for 12 clients....piece of cake. there is no wondering which shoes to wear in the morning. most of the time it's the xtra-tuffs. easy-peasy. choosing evening entertainment? a cinch - by the time i'm done in the kitchen i'm pooped - a quick walk down the beach and it's time to hit the hay. 4:45 a.m. comes around really fast. i love everything about this simple time of my year.
i will admit to missing my youngest son, who has to head back to town for school several weeks before i'm done. but he and dad managed to get to the first day of school fine, made all the swim team practices without me reminding him, and kept the house reasonably clean. now i just have to remember i'm only cooking for three, not eight to ten...
i have lots of photos to post as soon as i get them downloaded. it was a beautiful sunny summer for the most part. a few good foggy rainy days which delays some client switch-outs, but it wasn't too bad. so now i look forward to catching up with the blog world...and my laundry...
Thursday, August 5
so, how easy is housekeeping for an oyster catcher?? check it out - let's just scatter some broken shells and lay our eggs! jeekers! no twigs, no fluffy stuff. obviously there is no pampering for baby oyster catchers. looks like they have to break the shell and hit the beach running! i'm going to point this out to my children the next time they think they have life rough.
i found this nest a couple weeks ago when we took the skiff over to long island, just a quick 20 minute ride from town. it's taken us 8 years to talk my mom into going on the boat with us, but we finally did it:
she just turned 83. she had a blast on the ride, but made me promise not to post any of those photos because her hair was messy. it was a beautiful day, the kind that reminds you why you love living on an island in alaska.
my pal duffy loves to be the navigator. he frequently dives in and swims along. we let him go until we see the sea lions snort, then yard him back in.
see what i mean? the perfect place to live.
and every morning when i wake up i say a thank you prayer that i no longer have to stand on the back deck of a seiner, piling corks and getting slapped in the face with jellyfish. you should too. you should also be sure to find out if the salmon you are eating is wild alaskan salmon, because if it is farmed fish, it is taking away the livelihood of fishermen and their families like the folks in the picture above.
with that soap box moment, i will say my goodbyes, as i am leaving tomorrow for ugak bay. i can't wait to get back to the lodge, meet new folks, and cook! having all that fresh seafood to work with is incredible. i sure wish chef ramsey would drop in for a visit, so i could wow him with my fresh crab cakes - ha ha. if he ever did show up in my kitchen i would be cowering in the corner...
at any rate, there is no internet at the bay, so i'll be snapping photos like mad to share with you when i return in early october! all of you take good care! and if you are in one of those places that is sweltering in temperatures i can't even imagine...this photo is for you. it's my front yard at ugak bay. just visualize yourself there for a quick cool down.
Wednesday, August 4
in the end, my inner feng shui master and i came to an agreement. i think it all worked out okay. i painted, changed my mind and repainted several times. i now rest easier knowing there isn't a single spider in my workroom. all the cracks & dings in the drywall have been patched. i have good lights. i've put all my awesome old wooden fish egg boxes to great use.
all my stuff is in its own special spot, and yes, the walls are the colour of pea soup, as my youngest son pointed out. i really like pea soup. i'm not a frilly person, but darn if i don't like my pink shelves. when i asked my husband if he could make me a simple workbench tall enough for me to work at without getting a neck ache, he made me the Ferrari of all workbenches, that 3 elephants could dance on. i won't be moving the workbench around anytime soon.
archie and edith, my super wonderful new washer & dryer, are thrilled to have a room befitting their status. i am thrilled to have 3 separate work areas dedicated to my different medias. my fabrics and sewing machines are housed in my son's old room for now...with the door closed so i don't start in on that room yet...
it's a great feeling to be finished. sadly, i won't be able to dig in and use it as it's time for me to head out to ugak bay for another season of cooking for the fishermen, but i will be smiling knowing my room, which has been taped off to keep they boys out while i'm gone, is waiting for me.
you may have noticed della up there in one of the photos. let me just share with you she wasn't a whole lot of help with this project. she got pretty testy when i mentioned she might put down the egg beaters and pick up a paint brush. but, i have to hand it to her, she does know when it's time for a nice glass of merlot.
Wednesday, June 30
and how did she get so much stuff??? (what a good girl though, see her box of wild alaskan cod fillets!)
so, she is all graduated. she is the first one in our immediate family to do so (her mom still needs a math and oral communications credit. not going to happen at this point) and she managed to get not one but two degrees, in anthropology and english. she has a good job and a decent apartment. and a lot of stuff. we are really proud of her. and while i really really miss my snowboarding partner....
Wednesday, June 9
yay valene & della!
Friday, June 4
Friday, May 7
check this gal out. fearless in the grips of a world famous kodiak brown bear. just goes to show you what a pair of egg beaters can do for a women's courage. well, that and a bottle of mad housewife merlot
i really loathe being photographed, but della wanted in on some "deadliest catch" limelight, and i didn't trust her at the edge with the breeze that was blowing (the poor thing is thin as a reed) mostly i was hoping the fellow making google eyes at her from the wheelhouse on the left would show up, but he hid too quick. trust me, it was comical. stay tuned for lots more from della soon!
i am excited about my new camera - a far cry from the super simple point & shoot kodak i've had for years, this is a brand spanking new scarey black canon powershot G11, with buzzers, buttons and twisty things. i've got a lot of reading to do. it took me a week to get photos downloaded from it...but look what popped up out of the dirt for me to take my first photo of! see, it is spring for us now too! and it hasn't snowed yet this week!
Sunday, May 2
okay, break's over. the next time you hear from me will be with photos (from my new and amazing camera if i can figure out how to download them....) of moira the halibut tail. oh, and of della meeting her first kodiak brown bear.
Thursday, April 22
this piece is called "time and tide" two things that are a very big part of our life on the island. the base wood i found on our beach at ugak bay, it cleaned up just right for its day in the spotlight. i put down a piece of muslin i rusted by wrapping it over an old wrench i found on the beach & left outside for a few days - i love the way it turned out. i stitched a bit of embroidery to keep the mermaid happy. the paper layer is covered with old local navigation charts, pages from tide tables, some teabags, a mermaid and her fishy friend. this layer is held down with wonderful metal bits i found on the beach, all aged to beautiful patinas, and old brass screws. i added a piece of rusty screen which i sewed some pearls & crystals on (for the mermaid) and there it is.
between whale fest and crab fest is the opportunity for twelve artists to create halibut tails for the Kodiak Island Visitor and Convention Bureau's annual Chocolate Lovers' Fling and Halibut Tail Auction. (phew that was a mouthful) some of you may remember clarice, the halibut tail i created last year for this event. i am currently working on her sister tail now. the event was a huge success last year, and i'm tickled to be able to participate again. you can see photos of all the tails from last year on Kodiak Island's facebook page.
here's the beginnings of my halibut tail for this year. we all get a fiberglass taxidermy form of a halibut tail to build on - you can see it in it's naked glory on the back of the table. it's a pretty intimidating blank canvas, and i have been "dragging my tail" getting started...
on top of these events i'm working on a super secret project i can't wait to spill the beans about. but i have to.
i've recently had the great opportunity to take a class on PMC- precious metal clay, taught by martha biggar. we so rarely get teachers here to the island, so this was such a treat. i'd never worked with this medium before, and was a bit apprehensive of it being like polymer clay, but this was not the case. i still don't comprehend the whole alchemy thing of it, but here's what i got - you start out with a lump of clay (expensive clay) you make something out of it, it gets fired in a kiln, and when it comes out, it's .999 fine silver. amazing. mind-boggling. and super duper fun. i'm hooked. martha was a wonderful teacher, she's a certified PMC instructor, and was a lot of fun to get to know. she was generous in sharing her experiences with the processes, her tips & shortcuts. her jewelry is stunning, check out her website here!
here they are after burnishing. i haven't put any of the pieces together yet, i want to patina them first. i'll show you again once that's done.
i will leave you now with one last photo. this may be my last post for a bit as i finish up my top secret projects. i'd like to introduce you to my new friend, della. della arrived on my doorstep last week with quite a bit of baggage...from Mad Housewife Wine. three cases of wine!!! my prizes from the cork slogan contest i won! i have to say never pass up an opportunity to enter a mad housewife contest gals. they have showered me with gifts: t shirts to share with my pals, 100 corks with my slogan printed on them (go get yourself a bottle and see for yourself!) pretty pink spatulas, fun matches...etc. but i have to say, della tops it all. ever hear the story of flat stanley? he was a little boy who folded himself into an envelope and mailed himself all over the world. in grade school my kids used to make flat stanleys & send them to relatives or friends in the states, who would take stanley around & photo him , then send him back with the pictures. that's what della and i are going to do, around kodiak. i can't wait to introduce her to everyone!!
my pal duffy does not like della. at all. look at his face! he snarls every time he sees her. ha!
Sunday, April 11
one of my favorite blog spots to visit is magpie's nest. if you haven't found patty yet, please take a minute to go meet her. every day she posts the most wonderful photos, stories, and art pieces. her blog is almost serene, her artwork is detailed and beautiful and almost always makes me either gasp or sigh. she shares trips she takes to inspiring art exhibits, and even the local farmer's markets and parks. frequently she includes little quotes or bits of poems. she touches my heart. plus, she also has creepy doll heads. she used one as the angel on one of her christmas trees, it was awesome. i just love it.
for a person who doesn't travel much, she brings it all right to me. she even shares her tea! and at easter, she really shared, giving away precious little bird nests she made from wire & beads by having a drawing for followers/commenters. i am beyond thrilled to have had my name pulled from her big blue bowl, and just look at what came to my mailbox!
again i apologize for the poor photo, you really can't see the beautiful colouring, and i couldn't get a good close up of that precious nest, but to get this beautiful little work of art was just over the top. patty didn't stop with the nest ATC, she filled the envelope with all kinds of wonderful art papers, book pages and other usable goodies. i was touched by how kind a person i have never met could be. so, go visit, you will love her work and her beautiful photography. thank you, patty!!
while on the giveaway topic, i urge you all to click on my Mad Housewife link - they are having a mother's day poem contest right now, and let me tell you, they know how to treat a winner! i keep getting boxes of more goodies in the mail...too fun. i am waiting for the wine to get here and then will share photos, hopefully good ones, of everything.
Tuesday, April 6
eastie egg hunting!
Tuesday, March 30
i've been seeing a lot of beautiful spring posts on blogs i visit lately. lots and lots of photos like this:
see him down there between the railings? i'm just not getting any "gosh i'm ready to bust out in blossoms" vibes from him today. in fact he's pretty chilly towards everyone.
my friend chuck the yard gnome is feeling pretty good about himself right now though, in spite of the fresh snow & bitter winds.
...because i finally finished his wishbone scarf. i'm not showing you a close up of it, because the majority of it was knit during the olympics, and the cables went kind of wanky during the half-pipe and snowboard X events.... i haven't yet reached the knitting stage where i can happily tear out row after row of my stitches. especially for chuck. i do need to tell you about this beautiful yarn though - it's another Noro yarn called Kochoran. it's 50% wool, 30% angora and 20% silk. so so soft! wonderful to knit with, and all my favorite colours in one ball!
you might be wondering if that's the eastie bunny back there behind chuck. nope. just another arctic hare.
enjoy your springtime, whatever the climate! and yay, i made it through this whole post without one cranky computer glitch.
Friday, March 26
Thursday, March 11
here's a classic example of me & colour~ i couldn't decide on just one fabric for my dresser drawers...so i used all of them.
we are supposed to post a photo showing a grouping of colours that inspires us. i've spent all morning going from room to room in my house. those of you who have been in my house will understand...how can i settle on one small photo.
this is just one corner of my kitchen. the others are green, and orange, and yellow...
in an effort to get my husband and kids to embrace their inner artists, i have spent years surrounding them in every colour i could get from a paint can. our walls are covered with maps, mermaids, witty quotes, and stuff. nothing matches, nothing really "goes together"
and there you have it. that's how i find my inspiration.
phew, that really stressed me out...
Sunday, March 7
but then, when mother nature knows she has pushed us all to the end of the wet and slippery rope, this happens:
sun! clear blue sky! this was saturday, in all it's glory. all it takes is a single day like this, and we all know we could never live anywhere but here on this jewel.