Sunday, June 29, 2008

Blog Give-away, Juneau AND some art!

Let me start by saying this is going to be a mega-post! I'll start off by introducing the wonderful little town of Juneau in Alaska, another port of call on our Alaskan cruise......okay, you can hurt my feelings if you like and just scroll straight to the free art that I'm giving away - I won't know will I!!!

We were in Juneau on Mother's Day, the 11th of May and oh my, what a day it was! The highlight of our trip was definitely the helicopter flight we did from Juneau that took us over four glaciers before landing on one and having a 20 minute walk-around - very carefully.....ravines & crevasses all over the place where you could easily fall hundreds of feet to an icy death.....oooooooooo......... The scenery was spectacular, as seen by my paltry little digital snaps below. Thank goodness my memory in my own head has a much better capacity for replicating the awesome sights much more effectively than any camera will do.

First two shots are Grant, myself and Joan as well as a lady from Singapore who was also on our flight - her husband took the picture so with the pilot as well, it made 6 in the helicopter. You can see in the next picture how the mountains come straight down to the sea, yes, that's our ship in front of another ship. These small towns swell in numbers when the cruise ships come to town, a small town of 800 (Juneau has around 32,000) can easily have 10,000 visitors when 5 ships are in port for a day!!! You can see why tourism is their mainstay.

Like I said before, the camera doesn't do it justice, I must've taken at least 100 photo's of the glaciers and surrounds while up in the helicopter.

Joan, Grant and myself in front of our helicopter (figuratively, not literally!!!) on the glacier. Next pic is looking down at the other helicopter that landed with us - they go in groups of 3, we figured for safety reasons.

Check out the colour of this blue!!! This was absolutely amazing, the wonderful blue colour deep down in the crevasses was spectacular. This is me standing as close as I could get to the edge and taking the picture straight down. Next picture is a little stream on the glacier, the crusty looking black stuff on top of the ice is just dirt, it's actually very crusty and crunchy to walk on.

Just another couple of shots of another glacier....ho-hum......NOT!

After the helicopter flight we took a bus to the Mendenhall Glacier where you can actually walk right up to the lake in front of the glacier and there's also a waterfall down one side of the rocks of the mountain. The lake in front had huge ice crystals, they were crystal clear and the whole place was surreal! We even saw a bear up in a tree as well as mountain goats on the mountain.

Here's the Mendenhall Glacier with the visitor centre in the foreground and the view of the glacier across the lake. Just to the right of where this picture was taken is the waterfall that you can walk up to, so you can see how close you can get to the glacier itself!

Ice crystals and bigger chunks of ice in the lake....there's that beautiful blue again! sweet......... and Grant at the waterfall with glacier in the background.

There was more escapades in Juneau (Mount Roberts Tramway & an Irish bar!) but I'll revisit that in another post....onto some art....
Yesterday at Scraptivate I taught Faux Metal using credit cards, here's the raffle atc won by Lisa....who I must say seemed very happy with her win!

Next two are the examples I made with Grant being responsible for naming the second burgundy coloured one. (I named the dark one "Untitled #3....imaginative huh!)


Now for the free art give-away....if you want to leave me a comment on this post to win, I'll do a draw on Monday 7th July and you can choose from either of the pieces below. These 2 pieces are both canvasses, 5" x 7" (13cm x 18cm) and it will come with a little easel to stand on.

Important: please remember to leave an email address in your post so I can contact you and remember to check back on Monday 7th July to see who this goes to.

Hmmm....maybe no-one will leave a post now as these pics are crap!!! The green one says "In all things it is better to hope than to despair" and the orange/gold one says "In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves". Fingers and toes crossed that blogger will let my pictures be clickable so you can enlarge them to see details.

Thank you for persevering with me this far, did I not say it was a mega-post! lol

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ketchikan, masks....and a give-away

Next port of call on our cruise was Ketchikan, our first stop in Alaska and oh, the beautiful scenery was just beginning!

Every time you turned around, at the end of the street there was another beautiful scene with mountains, trees and snow! Coming from the very flat lands of Western Australia, this was just so wonderful, even though it was a bit cool!

I was telling my atc girls in the class last night that one day while getting rugged up ready to go outside to brave the elements, my hubby made a comment that sort of took me aback. There I was with 4 layers of clothing on including gloves, a scarf wrapped right up around my neck almost to my mouth, a beanie on my head and Grant looks at me and says ......"You know, you're eyes are really pretty with the rest of your face covered up like that". Well, I stood there, contemplating the statement for a few moments, then asked him "was that a compliment?"........I knew what he meant but it just came out so funny.

This next pic is the famous Creek Street, as you can see it's actually a street that IS a street! Very picturesque, Joan and I walked along the boardwalk and visited some of the shops along the way as we were heading to the Totem Heritage Centre. Joan bought a lovely silver & gold nugget ring as a birthday gift for herself from one of the stores as it was her birthday & her wedding anniversary on the same day while we were on the cruise.

There were a lot of Russian dolls in the stores too, bought a couple as gifts and one for myself!

My big purchase of this trip (besides a "little" splurge on a blue diamond ring on the ship.....but we won't talk about that!) was a mask made by one of the American Indian tribes. Now I don't know whether I've mentioned before that I just LOVE masks and have been collecting them for several years. I have masks that my folks bought me from their last Alaskan trip as well as others from Venice (they went, not me!), Bali, Thailand as well as Australian ones. I also picked up a couple in Acapulco and Costa Rica on this trip.

First, here's a pic of some masks that were in the Totem Heritage was one thing I made sure to do, check out each and every shop that even looked like it might have had a mask or two in it. Love the scary looking dude with all the black hair!!!

These are my masks that I've collected and take pride of place in my entrance hall in my home....starting with my newest acquisition and my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE!!!! He is called "The Defender" and is 15" (38cm) in height. Bought from an authorised Indian seller, the one I really coveted was about 2-1/2 feet in length, but also cost $2,000! Nah.....

These are a couple from a previous trip to the US 25 years ago.....Idyllwild, California! Lovely place, great shops.

Next are various wooden masks from Thailand and Bali.

Love this set of metallic Comedy & Tragedy masks bought in Australia.

Next two are the Alaskan ones that my folks bought for me on a previous cruise 8 years ago. The one below those is a leather mask made by a French woman bought from the Sydney Markets years ago. To the right of that one is an enamel mask.

Next few were gifts from various people.

Last 3...first 2 from Acapulco and last one from Costa Rica, all bought this trip.

If you've managed to last the distance and read this far, then check back in the next couple of posts as I'll be putting details up about another blog giveaway that I'll be doing. Haven't done one for a while so figured it was time....stay tuned.....