Monday, December 31, 2007

So Long 2007!

In few hours the year 2007 will be over, never to return. As it been a good year? I would say yes for many things. I got to travel even more than usual. Spain, Portugal, France, Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle, Walla Walla, Twin Falls, Grand Junction, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sonoma, Ashland, Homer. I got to visit with family and friends. I got to try out new cheeses (triple creme and purple haze...), I tasted fabulous wine, Three of my pieces were accepted in the "Earth, Fire, Fiber" show at the museum, I had my first solo show in December at the Snow City Cafe in Anchorage. I celebrated my 25 years anniversary. I completed a large commission quilt that took many years in the making. I had Christmas with my kids. I got a new puppy. My Mom came to visit us. Those were all so wonderful experiences. It was also the year of confusion. Few things that didn't go as smoothly as I wish they would. Papa Bob died in November. Some friendship issues that make me analyze myself as a friend and how I could improve as a person and also how the only thing you can control is yourself no matter how much you would like to control other things. So the "quest" goes on.
I hope that this new year will give me more time to read. I have been on the same book for months... it is not like me. I do like the book a lot too which makes no sense to me whatsoever. (Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides) I did go see many movies this year. The most memorable were: Fur, Darjeeling Unlimited, Waitress, Volver they were not necessary released in 2007 but that is when I have watched them. So, I am ready to brave another year. Bring it on!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas at the Stoner's of Eagle River

In celebration of our last real Christmas tree. Next year we are moving on to the world of fake trees. Ours is going to have a twist and will be an upside down tree.... to be continued on that.
If we were to describe Christmas with only one word at the Stoner's of Eagle River that word would be "Food": It seems that once again we managed to cook and eat and cook and eat. Talk about the next meal as we are eating one... We would think that we don't have a life.... So we started the holiday week with Paul's 22nd birthday party with a spiral cut ham with a savory glaze over. Few good friends coming over. Brownies.... for dessert. Beer and Wine. All good!. Then we had the Christmas Eve's feast.... Huge King Crabs, traditional oriental cabbage salad to go with it, Oysters, Shrimp and Scallops with Pastis cooked on the grill outside as the huge snow flakes where coming down. Just lovely night. We drank champagne rose and Newcastle Beers and Macallan 18 years Scotch. That was lovely too. So lovely that when Santa wrapped the presents (in fabric this year to help save the planet) she got really creative with the name tags!!!! Anyhohoho! It was a fun evening. Next morning we woke up to more food. Emily had made French toast (pain perdu) from a very decadent cinnamon sugar loaf from the Great Harvest Bread Co.( ) ( That and maple syrup on top with bananas slices and walnuts it was just yummy!!!!!! We opened our presents. We apparently were very good this year because we got a lot of good stuff. (here is Curt showcasing the present he got from his Mom that scored big this year with the first season of the television show "Planet Earth". He just loved it, I do too by the way) We waited few hours but got on with making the leg of lamb ready to get on the grill.... yes, it was still snowing big fat snow flakes. Gorgeous! I made mash potatoes and Emily made the fennel (fenouil) and carrots roasted in the oven. I love those. Just a little olive oil over them and heat does the rest to release it's amazing sweet taste. And for desert....... drum roll....... an apple pie! Nothing better than this in my opinion. So here we were eating again and again. Don't you love it? I do. Our traditional "Creche" or nativity scene with Santons from Provence, Germany and the US. It has been a nice time. Paul and Windy are very cute together. They went snowboarding in Alyeska one day. Windy's first time on the board. Emily has been very active between work, yoga, visiting with her friends and cooking for all of us and still finding time to spend with her Mom (Yeah!). Curt took few days off. It has been so nice to be all together again. The house is full of sounds and the walls are accumulating memories. My latest Santa is Hippie Santa and was donated by Gaylene and retrofitted by Emily.
Gaia and I and my new hat that I love love love. Thank you Bunny! It is so green and soft. Just marvelous.I could pass for an Afghan who stole her husband's hat. Here it is in color.... ready? ... tataaaa the fleece sweater is from Emily (she loves me) it is a LOLE (The brand name means "live out loud every day". I think it fits me....ahahhahah I went outside (10 degrees F. Today about -8C) and they both passed the test. My ears were sooooo toasty.
Happy Endings for this Year 2007.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

WInter Deco at Ship Creek

This is the ice formation at Ship Creek by the restaurant the Bridge in Anchorage. The sun was coming out around 10:30am.
Those are the alpenglow that painters are recreating with oil paints and look so strange and foreign when you have not seen it in person. One of the little thrills of living here. Purple pink and peach a nice change surprise in the black and white.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Play day on Wednesday

I had a play day on Wednesday with Nancy. We went to Anchorage to a new restaurant to both of us called "Ginger". The atmosphere is very nice and calming. The food is interesting and different. I had a pull pork sandwich with bananas and Serrano peppers, a miso soup on the side. Really tasty. A nice White Oak sauvignon blanc to wash it down. Perfect. Well almost... The square plates were very nice but wobbly and the light kept on flickering. Annoying! Not enough to not come back though.
Then we were off to a visit at the Museum. They have two exhibits that are worth driving for. One is "Ainu Ramati: Soul of the Ainu/ Art and Craft of Northern Japan.
Very nice mix of art used in everyday life. shoes made out of salmon's skin
wooden box with articulated crab on top
made out of one piece of wood those are magic wand...
The second is "From the Fire: Contemporary Korean Ceramists". It is hard to describe in words the kind of emotions that you feel looking at those pieces. Some are so beautiful that you can only stare. (This one was made by third generation ceramist named Ji Wan Joo) How can something so square give out such lacy shadow? I love it. Some have textures that defy the medium.(Like this one.It was made with the slab building technique by Shin Kwon and is called "Nest") You would think that they are carved out of wood or painted with lacquer. (the piece in the center was made by Roh oon Guac with a netting technique and is representing a Korean Imperial Burial Ornament of the Three Kingdoms period).Then you have the secondary show of shadows that those pieces give without their knowledgeI took few pictures to captures those emotions in order to share them with you so I wouldn't have to use inadequate words and you can feel those pieces as I did. (this one can be worn... if you look closely it was made with ceramic pretzels by Jin Kyoung Kim), this one is from Hoo Sun Lee(Book of Jushua Chapter 4), then it is a piece by See Man Kim called "Blind Spot" I had to show the other side too. Such a gorgeous piece. Then it is a very raw texture on this jar I didn't get the name of the artist who made it... sorry If you can get to experience it in person well I would encourage you to do so soon.
Oh I was going to forget to mention Rie Munoz( who is showing a retrospective of her art. A series of original watercolors. They are so whimsical and have so much depth and personality. I love everyone of them. The colors cannot be duplicated in her publications. It is wonderful to see them up close. I wish the framing had been a bit more up to the quality of the artwork but I could bypass it. It is in the Atrium gallery of the Museum so the light is really nice. Can you tell that I am a big fan of her work?
We ended our little adventure with a visit of one of my favorite shoe shop in Anchorage: Skinny Raven. They specialize in running gear but have some comfy clothes and shoes for the after run...hahahah. I was just going to check out a pair of Dansko clogs in the "grease brown" leather. Those are the best. Gives you the height when you needed.... the warmth and the comfort. I do have few pairs but I need many more...ahhaha. Nancy got a pair of those. I am waiting for Santa to bring me one. I am being very good! Well that is all for now. We have snow, Alyeska is open (our Ski Resort in Girdwood), the temperature is -10 C. That is more like the Alaska Winter that I am used too. That is good!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Show

Thursday was a busy day. Nancy and I went to hang the show at Snow City Cafe around 3:15. For once it was a good thing to be late because the previous Artist was still there taking down her artwork from the walls. Things went well and Nancy and I could "communicate" and we saw things the same way which made the process painless and fairly speedy. By 6pm we were on our way to party at the Sheraton where Tote was having their Costumer Christmas Party. We had fun until midnight or so... if I remember correctly. We even got to the Presidential suite for a Glass of Champagne that never materialized...ahahahah. It was a nice evening.
So just to give you an idea of the space I took some pictures. They are not the best. I didn't use my flash and the yellow color of the walls plus the terrible neon lights.... On top of it the place was close so chairs on the table and all doesn't really give you a real feel but that works I guess.
So last night was really nice. There was a good turnout and good comment on my work. We had some bluezy music and some readings from the Alaska Quarterly Review members. People stayed until 8:30pm when the staff had to flash the lights to make people leave. I sold one quilt. "Treeping". I got to run to Denise's show at the Laughing Lotus Yoga Studio. She has really interesting new art works of organza and wax and ink and some older pieces that I never get tired of seeing. It is elegant and strong, mysterious and wise, sensuous and passionate. There is good energy and good vibes coming out of those. I loved them! you are in Anchorage it is worth the trip. It is on 57th and the Old seward hwy. The yoga studio is fantastic too.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Since I got back...

It is getting very dark those days. The sunrise is around 9 am. It looks pretty incredible though. The stars have been amazing too. A really clear dark sky. Lovely. I took a little break yesterday and got to see the movie "August Rush".;_ylt=AuX_gmYfc8pRKqh0GB5QlqdfVXcA Lovely heart warming story. The actors are splendid especially Jonathan Rhys Meyers, very sexy in my opinion. The music is really good too. The flaw is the story is not flowing as well as you would like it to be. There are huge gaps. It is still great to see and I would see it again. Well since I got back I have done 3 quilts and finished two that were started before I left for California. It has been a bit busy in the dungeon.
Here are some pictures of the new babies. Still no title for any of the quilts. That is a first for me. Usually the title is there before I make a cut in the fabric. It often is starting the inspiration. I guess having a title for the whole show just justifies the quilts and might be enough to just have numbers or something like that. I think that I might work on naming the quilts tomorrow though. I must say that I have enjoyed myself this week. So take a peak. Let me know what you think.
The title might be "The Space Between" This is small about 12x9 something like that this is a detail of the center.
"Ocus Pocus".... Would that work? "On the Edge".... Maybe or"Step Down" "The Wreck".... or "Braving the Storm this one might have a couple shark bone beads on the side when it is finished.
Just realized that the color of the sunrise and the colors of those quilts are a bit similar...
. This one could be "Above all". or "The Golden Fleece" It is the largest of all of the new quilts. About 35x28 something like that.
Here is a close up Now back to the dungeon...