Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snowboard Kiting

I had no idea.......... I was driving my granddaughter Audrey to Girdwood (from Seward) to meet up with my daughter Sarah and send the baby home (she'd been with me since Friday afternoon). As we drive through Portage, a desolate windy no-mans-land known for accidents because of the windblown icy highway, what do we see but SAILS! Sails! People (and by people I mean young male humans) were using sails to ski and snowboard!

I see it all, living in Alaska.

Here you can too because after I took baby Audrey to daughter Sarah, I headed home, pulled over in Portage and stood out in the godawful wind and cold to tape video on my little baby camera.

It's times like this that I love living here. Great weekend with Audrey and a fascinating surprise on the windy, snowy horizon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Death Valley and Los Algodones, Mexico

Death Valley was awesome! It was a trip Tom and I have talked about and finally just said "let's just go!" Wow! He was a braver soul than I and he did a bit of hiking. I could barely move in the heat. In the photo with people, we are at the lowest point, about 283 ft below sea level. For a guy who spends a lot of time on the sea, Tom was quite amazed. You can't see it in the photo, but there is a green street sign about halfway up the hillside that says "Sea Level". We were quite impressed.

Here I am at TLC Dental in Los Algodones, Mexico, where I walked across the border and stayed for 2 nights in the attached B&B style home. It was secure, clean, and completely professional and I am thrilled to be healthy and whole again! The temperature in mid November was mid 80's and I was totally miserable from both the heat and air conditioning and the hurried nature of the trip. I'd love to go back and spend weeks when the temperatures drop to 70's or so :)

Freemont Street and BainBridge Island and Seattle

Freemont Street in Las Vegas

to Seattle and Bainbridge Island - -what a trip!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am Thankful that I have made it to 50 and have helped a few people along the way

I'd like to help more and I am going to make that a focus for 2009. I had a great time at the CASA auction, best of all was seeing a quilt leave my pile and go to a good home!

I've been traveling, reading and contemplating and I left my camera with my daughter Sarah, so no photos yet. I desperately needed some (a lot) of dental work and my need coincided with a trip that Tom had already planned and paid for, so when my passport arrived *in less than 14 days* after applying, I made arrangements to leave him for a portion of the trip and go to Mexico for dental work. The climate change from Seward, Alaska to Los Algodones, Mexico was a shocker even for me, and I do a bit of traveling. The dentists there made my pain & infections disappear and I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to heal.

We stopped in Seattle and I visited a quilter and fellow author at Krause Publications, Maggie Ball. What an awesome woman and her efforts in Mongolia just tugged my heart. At home the snow was falling and it is looking wintery, which is just so different after spending 5 days in the southern desert. I am beginning to think that the Arizona snowbirds have the right idea :)

I am continuing to think of new videos that I want to make and post to YouTube, and it looks like one of them has gone viral - -the number of views skyrockets every day. It's my "How to make a cheap quilting table" video. I need to fix this video! I threw it up on YouTube for a few friends to watch and give me feedback on and then people started finding it! Yikes! It is so raw and not well presented.....oh well, I will learn and do better as I go :)

I hope that this finds you well, healthy, happy and whole and I wish you the best of the day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quilting for a Very Good Cause

My daughter Sarah and I love to donate quilts to the CASA program for their Quilt Auction each November. We also use the auction to see and visit with quilters that we only see once a year - -at the auction! I look forward to seeing my pals Kathy Harte and Judy Wedemeyer and Ruth (who bought one of my quilts last year - -thanks Ruth!!).

This year my offerings are meager compared to last year, and I am not too happy about that. I am donating the quilt you see here, made with RJR Fabrics (donated by them and Thank You Very Much RJR!), featured in our book Crazy Shortcut Quilts, called Sweet Sixteen. It is 60" x 60" and very pretty, with bright colors.

I'll also be donating a book called Fat Quarter Quilting and package of RJR Thimbleberries fat quarters and some batting too - -(almost) everything you need to make a quilt!

The Quilt Auction is on November 22 from 11am-2pm in downtown Anchorage at the Phillips/Arco building at 7th & G. I would love to see you there and I can't wait to watch the bidding on all of the gorgeous quilts :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sharing Expertise on

I love to share info and trade tricks and tips with sewers and quilters, so when Seth Godin posted on his blog about Squidoo and described its function, I went a built a few lens's. Here's one of my lenses (that's what they call the pages at Squidoo) on how I built my cheap quilting table and I recently inserted my new You Tube videos there too, for a really good tutorial.

A couple of things attracted me to Squidoo. First, it's a static page, not like a blog where after a while posts are archived. This lens is always up, front and center, for anyone to see. Second, it generates money for charity. The folks at Squidoo put ads on pages, relevant to the page content, and the lens writer can choose to get a cut of the money or donate their share to charity. Mine goes to charity and it says so right on the page.

I believe that millions of people have valuable experience or talents and that many of us like to share information and help others. If you have a subject near and dear to your heart but don't want to start a blog just to get the word out, try Squidoo and see if you like how it looks and works, and if you need some help building your lens just email me and I'd be happy to lend a hand.

Also, Seth's blog is one of very few that I consider a daily "must read".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh Beautiful America!!

My Heart Sings!

Tundra Swans and Cygnets

I love learning new things and that's one reason that I subscribe to the Alaska Science Forum Newsletter . Today's newsletter was about Tundra Swans and it included this photo by Ned Rozell, who often writes the newsletter and supplies the photos. I learn something new with every edition, and am never bored. Aren't these babies the cutest? Almost as cute as baby bunnies :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I have been having both fun and absolute total frustration - what a combo! And what can cause that? Either quilting a perfect seam and then finding a pucker on the back (oh, yes that has happened to me many times) or a computer. Heh. So, I bought a video camera that I needed to learn to use, didn't understand how to use the editing software; had a major computer crash while simultaneously uploading and downloading videos...well, you get the idea.

I have created an account at You Tube (my pal Trish has some vids there!) and so does Pat Sloan - -whom I greatly admire. and I've started uploading some things that I like to teach. I'll be adding more in the next few weeks and any comments or advice is very welcome! This is all very new to me so I am learning as I go, but overall I am having fun! Oh, and the "Bobbin" video has some squares that I am going to start quilting - in the hopes of making a quilted vest or jacket. I saw some sweet patterns at Market that motivated me even more to "get the lead out" and get to work on this project!

Here's a very short clip of my little pumpkin, Audrey (my granddaughter).