Saturday, November 28, 2015

Prince William Sound Sea Lions

Truth time:  I am not a fan of sea lions.

They always seem like they're yelling at each other or burping.  No cute animal sounds coming from these guys.

I mean, I have tons of pictures of these guys, but most pictures have at least one sea lion with their mouth wide open, or giving me the side-eye.

But I do agree that they look like they must be mer-dogs.

And once in a while you see a cutie who is just trying to stay away from all the meanies.

Or one who looks like he is trying to be a teddy bear.

If I was a sea lion, I too would find a little rock out in the water to call my own...

But I would totally take another cruise to see these guys in the wild...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wild Puffins!

Honestly, the cruise we took on the LuLu Belle the end of August with Mom & Dad was freaking amazing!

I was so darned excited to see real, live, wild puffins, I just couldn't stand it!

Do you see where these guys live?  It's amazing the cracks in the rocks they find to live in.

This was all almost straight up and down; they found a ledge to stand on.

and this guy was literally right above me!  It was just amazing.  Oh my gersh...

The rocks had some really neat colors too.  Lots of that pink and green.

I wonder how far back that crack goes?  Do I see little baby puffins in there?

And the water was just so clear!  And watching them take off and fly, for some reason, was just amazing to watch, like "Oh, they are real!"

Okay, I have to go on that cruise again...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mixologie Baby Quilt

I finally did it!  I finally made another quilt!

The first one I made was a Packer Blanket for my hubby.  When I got the email about a baby shower for my cousin Bethany, I knew it was a good opportunity to make my second quilt.

I was able to use fabrics from my stash.  I used a Mixologie (Moda) jelly roll, a grey with white dots by Michael Miller for the center of the back, and a lighter gray with polka dots for the binding.  I received both of the polka dot prints in a Mystery Parcel from Whimsy Quilts.  It was a great deal and I was so happy to have fabrics on hand to use since we live so far from a fabric store.

I'm sewing!
I used the "jelly roll race" instructions for the quilt top (check it out on YouTube if you're interested).  I really liked the process because it was just so darn fast!  I'm not super happy with the results, though.  I'm not sure I would do it again, unless it was in order to then cut the fabrics again to make blocks or strips or something.

I made my own binding!  Making binding and actually binding the quilt were the things that I was most apprehensive of, so I'm glad I've done both of those things now.

does anyone else use grips to hold their binding?
I chose to straight line quilt it, attempting to "stitch in the ditch" which ended up so not perfect, but I still like it.  And I took the easy way out and machine stitched the binding.  In fact, I did it backwards because I was worried about a double stitch on front.  But I like how it looks so no regrets.

And then it was done!  Oh my gosh it was so exciting to do the binding which was so way easier than I anticipated!  I knew it wasn't a good day (chilly and kinda cloudy) to try and get a picture with mountains, but I realized I had some decent "scenery" here at home, so I did a 10 minute photo shoot with the help of my hubby.  Now, on to the next one!

final dimensions:  41.75x48.5 inches
And the day that I mailed the quilt, I found out that little baby Luke has arrived!  I didn't know if they were expecting a boy or girl, and felt this was a good "gender neutral" color palette, and I hope that it keeps Luke warm, gives a good place to have tummy time, and/or looks cute in a stack of blankets in his nursery!

Congratulations Daniel & Bethany!

Sharing on:
My Quilt Infatuation
Sew Fresh Quilts
Sew Cute Tuesday
Freemotion by the River
Quilt Matters

Friday, November 6, 2015

a cruise on the Lu Lu Belle... scenic views & glacial ice

Three years ago Jeff and I were supposed to cruise on the Lu Lu Belle, but it was not meant to be (sad face).  And since we now live 2 hours away from Valdez, where the boat cruises from, we knew it was time to take the trip!  We decided to wait until Mom & Dad could go with us.

The drive to Valdez was not so good.  Cold.  Overcast.  Snowing at Thompson Pass (on August 31, no less).  But luckily once we got out of the port the weather greatly improved!

Mom, trying to stay warm

the back of the ship was a good place to sit (it was dryer than the front)



oh, you wanted to see animals?  you'll need to wait for the next post....

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Caribou in the freezer

Alaska is the last frontier.
Hunting is essential for survival.
Some images are disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

In Alaska you can give someone else your hunting license and tag, and they can harvest an animal for you.  That's how we ended up with caribou in the freezer.

multiple caribou hanging in Jeff's co-worker's garage
Jeff got a call on a Saturday morning in early October that his coworker had gotten his caribou and we could come over and pick it up...
head/rack with the "cape" (the hide removed from the body)
It was so much work and neither Jeff nor I had ever broken down an animal.  Luckily we ran into a co-worker of mine and she ended up coming over (spending many hours) teaching us about how to take the meat off of the carcass.
it was cut in half.
front half and back half.
Yep, it was a boy...

It was very interesting, but in the end, all I could smell was raw caribou meat.  Unfortunately, that smell is ever present when trying to cook it, even after it's cooked.  I think if we had received the caribou processed, I probably wouldn't have such an aversion.  Now if we could just get us some more moose...

It was funny because when the hunter saw me get out of the truck, he said,
"it's not for the faint of heart..."
to which I replied
"I went on a field trip to the butcher shop when I was in grade school - I'm good."
Who was he trying to scare?
That Tupperware was quite helpful...

2 pounds per bag - over sixty pounds of ground 'bou in the freezer....

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

9-3-2015: Alaska State Fair - Palmer

I was super excited to go to my first Alaska State Fair!  It ended up being a cold, rainy day that just kept getting colder and rainier *boo!*, but hopefully next year will be better...

Jeff ate a turkey leg.

the coolest part was all the huge veggies!

These things were seriously ginormous!

yep, the zucchini weights around 10 pounds...

the flowers were so huge!

quilting goals...

I just thought this quilt was so pretty....  I want to be able to mix colors and prints like that some day...