Tuesday, June 30, 2015

North Pole

We didn't need to go all the way to the North Pole to find it! There is a North Pole, Alaska and who knew the coffee could be so good.
Sadly our last morning in Alaska spent at the Fairbanks Airport at a very early hour, although the sun had been up since 3am. We are now back home and were surprised by the dark nights after living for a very brief time in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bubble Tea

The Viewpoints 9 challenge reveal is underway. My quilt Bubble Tea was made in response to the neon/sparkly challenge by Hsin-Chen. Detail above.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Our afternoon tour was on a 4 tier riverboat down the narrow Chena River in Fairbanks.
We had a float plane demonstration, dog mushing and stopped at a recreation of a native village to see fish smoking, reindeer and learn about the way of ancient ways of life to survive in the harsh winters of minus 40 F.
A beautiful Muskrat fur, stitched parka with a Wolverine trim near the face and  further Wolf outer circle on the "sunshine hood". It was a very warm day to be wearing such a warm garment but our lovely model smiled so sweetly for the cameras.

 Hand beading on the leather garments.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

One Tree Point Textile Art Retreat in NZ

For anyone interested in workshops in mixed media and surface design, Kerry Glen of Tulis Textiles in New Zealand has a retreat organised for August 21-23 in Northland at One Tree Point. Sounds interesting, with details online.

Gold fever

Interesting to step back in time and see the gold mining operations from last century and try our hand at gold panning. We won't get rich quick as between us we found $9 worth! What a fun morning tour  out of Fairbanks to the Fox area.
This was the one we were aiming for!
The Gold Dredge 8, an historic relic from a former gold operation- the front end.
The back end on the left can be seen in this photo.
The oil pipeline from Prudoe Bay to Valdez also passed the area and this section was set up to show visitors some of the engineering that goes into the pipeline.
The pipeline sits up on stilts away from the permafrost ground and is immune to earthquakes with the type of support built to hold it in position. We were all reminded of the James Bond movie and his adventurous journey through an oil pipeline!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015


We have been luck to see wildlife in the park while we were on a Natural History Tour. Mother Moose and twins and four Caribou, which when domesticated are called reindeer. There is a place in Alaska named North Pole! Our lodge at Denali Princess had many statues scattered around the grounds.
This is one of the Dall Sheep common on the rocky hillsides and reminded me of my recent quilt Chinese New Year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Eskimo Potato was the common name for this plant found along the roadsides. [I hope I have it correct] The roots are eaten by bears and native Alaskans and we were told are similar to turnips.
These were found in Denali National Park established in 1917.



Alaska, yeah! Bob's King Crab cakes with hot sauce.

Monday, June 22, 2015

On the glacier

The most amazing thing we did was fly over the mountains, valleys and glaciers and land on the glacier, in this little Otter plane specially fitted out with skis.
Two glaciers converging.
I had a seat under the wing, so took photos with the wing and the strut. We seemed to be close enough to touch the mountains dusted in powdery pristine snow.
The whiteness was blinding without sunnies.
And it was very warm up there.
Amazing landforms and patterns from the Ruth Glacier as we flew back to base. Blue lakes of melt water and brown lines of lateral moraine.
Don't think we really qualify for this photo as we took the easy way, part way up! I felt very bored being back on the ground after the amazing flight.



Alaska souvenir

My truly Alaskan souvenir. The letters and numbers are raised so I am thinking of all the great rubbing possibilities! And it was put into this genuine envelope.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Talkeetna was the inspiration for the TV series Northern Exposure shown in the 1990's.
Yarn bombing.
And lots of decorated and dressed moose.
Could have spent more time in this little spot especially after discovering Kym Swift and
Swift Stitches in her little log cabin on Main Street. Kym had stitched all winter and there were many appliqued small quilts for sale as well as patterns which she is branching into.

Going to the dogs

Visited the Sun Dog Kennels in Talkeetna to see some of he dogs that run the gruelling Iditarod race over 1,000 miles of snow. This puppy could be a future champion.
A poster from the race.

Inside the hut where we were had a very informative talk about the race and the dogs.

Summer in Alaska with lots of flower baskets.


Saturday, June 20, 2015


Wow, glaciers are awesome sights when seen from the sea. Giant sheets of moving ice- the crackle and the pop, bits calving off and ice bergs floating by.
Glacier Bay and College Fijord were highlights of the cruise with massive glaciers and thundering waterfalls in this pristine environment.


Walrus whiskers

An unusual find- walrus whiskers! They were dry and stiff and used as needles by Native peoples.
On the other side of the street from the quilt shop!