25 May 2010

I'm going to miss these views!

I went on a 5 1/2 hour hike with London's class for a field trip today.  We hiked the West Glacier Trail up to the face of the glacier.  The weather was amazing,the scenery was amazing, and I enjoyed every minute.  I even got a pretty good sunburn on my forearms.  Right now my whole body is sore and I'm sure tomorrow I will be stumbling around like a grandma...but it was so worth it!

The beginning of the hike we walked along the shoreline.

Some of the icebergs out in the lake.

Another iceberg

London hiking

This is a wild lupine.  They grow everywhere up here...and I love them!

This is a view of the lake (and the visitors center) from the trail

The cloud you see in the trees is a spruce pollen cloud!  It is so thick you can see it!  Everything here in Juneau is covered with a film of pale yellow spruce pollen right now.

This is a little pond at the base of the steepest part of our hike.

The kids call this "The Cliffs of Insanity"

The first part of the climb.  If you can see, we had to rest half way up.  It really wore us all out!

Here they all are resting...and waiting for stragglers. =)

Second half of the steep climb

Here are the stragglers...and a view from the resting spot.

More of the "Cliffs of Insanity" =)

The west side of the Mendenhall Glacier.  So beautiful!!  We ate our lunch right here!

Ice break-up

Close up of the glacier ice

I think this one is my favorite!

This spot of rock was covered with ice last time we lived here!

All the kids at the glacier

London and Me...
...and Emma's head...lol.

This hike was great and I am going to sleep so good tonight! =)

23 May 2010

Piano Recital

The girls had their final piano recital yesterday afternoon.  I am so sad that we are going to be loosing Mei as a piano teacher (since we are moving).  She is a classically trained pianist from China.  She has only been living in the United States/Juneau for the past three years.  She is very strict and pushes the girls (sometimes to frustration and tears) but they have both improved SOOOO much in the past 21 months!  Both girls did an amazing job on their pieces and we are so proud of them for their accomplishments.

 London playing Waltz by L. Streabbog

 Brooklin playing "Variation Theme" (Var. I and Var II) by Beethoven and her own composition of "Love Story" by Taylor Swift

Sewing Mania

This past week and a half I have been sewing like crazy.  I've put together four dresses, finished a set of six placemats I started back in December, put together two shoulder bags, and made one headband without a pattern...which isn't hard, it's just I don't usually do anything without a pattern.  I have also watched several movies this week as well...my sewing room has a TV and a DVD player in it...but no cable, so I watched Robin Hood Men in Tights, 50 First Dates, French Kiss, How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days, Hope Floats, Ever After, and Bedazzled.  Next week, I am going to have to spend my days preparing for a garage sale.  Hopefully a big one.  Not sew much fun as last week, but we only have four weeks left, and we're afraid we may be a little over our weight limit... =P

Here are some pictures of the things I have sewed this week.

20 May 2010

Darwin turns 38

Darwin's 38th birthday was last Thursday.  The London got him a Nerf sword, Isaiah got him a play bow and arrow set, and Caleb gave him a 12 gauge shotgun (that I bought)...and the weaponry theme continues.  (I've bought three guns, several knives, a hand saw, and a machete for him since we've been here in Alaska...and the kids always get him foam dart guns, swords, and the likes).  He also got a tie and a giant brain cell from Brooklin, and I gave him a painting of a Coast Guard boat painted on a map of this area.  We went out to eat at Bullwinkles Pizza that night and found that someone had fed the pinball machine several quarters before we got to it, and so everyone got to play a little pinball. =)

19 May 2010

My First Tutorial!!

Placemat Bag Tutorial

~*~ 1 Placemat – has to be cloth, and can’t have plastic in the middle.
~*~ 2 1/2 yards of 7/8 in. wide grosgrain ribbon
~*~ one larger button – about the size of a quarter (optional)
~*~ thread, sewing machine, scissors, pins, measuring tape, sewing needle


1. Measure in 4” from the long edge of the placemat, and starting at the center (which will end up being the bottom of your bag), pin the ribbon to the placemat. When you get to an edge, measure out 18” of ribbon and mark ribbon with a pin. Make sure the ribbon doesn’t get twisted, and then measure in 4” from the other long edge and continue pinning the ribbon in place until you get back around to the beginning. Fold under the edge and pin it to match the beginning.

2. Use a straight stitch, and stitch near the edge of the ribbon. Begin at the center, and stitch down to the edge. With the needle in the down position, lift the pressure foot, and pivot 90 degrees. Stitch across the width of the ribbon, and then pivot again, and stitch clear to the other edge. Pivot again to stitch across the width of the ribbon, and pivot once more, and stitch to the center where you started. Backstitch to finish. Repeat on other side.

3. Fold bag in half so right sides are together, matching handles. Pin the sides shut. Match up the fabric edge to the edge of the pressure foot, and sew using a straight edge.

4. With both sides sewed together, open the bag, and flatten one of the sewn edges to match the center fold of the bag to form a triangle at the corner. Measure up from the point 2”, and draw a line using a washable ink marker. Sew on the line, using a straight stitch. Repeat on the other side.  (No need to trim off the triangle).

5. Turn the bag right side out. At this point you can be finished. If you want to add a button closure, you will need a 7” piece of the grosgrain ribbon and a larger (not giant!) sized button. Fold the ribbon in half long ways, and straight stitch down the long, open edges to keep it in place. Mark the center point inside the top and back of the bag, and pin the ribbon to form a loop. Sew into place. Hand sew the button to the front, top, center of the bag.

I originally made this tutorial for a Relief Society activity in Maui.  I thought it was part of my blog, but didn't find it on here.  My desktop computer is dying a slow death and I don't want to loose this (and the many other things on it).  I hope you have fun with this!  If you make a bag, I would love to see a picture...leave me a comment with a link. =)  thanks!