Flying Fish

inspired by nature, fueled by irony, life and art in Alaska

Coping with winter

Some of us hibernate, some of us just get out and play!ImageImage

When it’s good and snowy, I want to get out and play, ski or skate or just enjoy the brilliant white light.  When it’s warm and rainy… I’d rather snuggle with the cat!  It’s 35 and stormy…

Life chugs along in the winter, no matter the weather.  It’s a time of not much work for money, no seasonal tourism work until the heli skiers come to town, then the summer visitors start up in May.  Now is make art for next  year, eat the fish and berries collected last year and hope for snow tomorrow. 



home again home again, jiggity jig

Here in the wee little town of Haines, AK we don’t have a regular veterinarian, we have a vet that visits about 4 or 6 times a year. She is an amazing woman, patient and kind (unless you’re a bad pet owner, then she’s pretty fierce) and she has amazing stamina. However… the next time she’s in town, she won’t be doing surgeries so I had to take the new doggie to Juneau to be spayed.

That means a 4 hour ferry ride with a new, untested, dog in the car on a noisy car deck with no supervision. That means traveling by ferry if there’s room on board for the car, traveling with lots of high school kids if there’s an away game or competition, scheduling an appointment at the vet, they don’t do surgery on weekends, staying at friends’ with a young dog then a young dog that’s disoriented and in pain from surgery and on and on. It also means time in Juneau where the bulk shopping gets done at Costco and Fred Meyer and (yay new dog) Petco. In other words it takes time, money and patience.

Usually I stay with good friends of my parents (my folks passed away years ago). This couple and their daughter have been my second family for ages, a place of ease and comfort. Except this time. The daughter G had her wisdom teeth pulled a few days before Birdie and I arrived on the scene. Suffice it to say the dog and I were in the way and not really welcome this time. THANK gawd for the kindness of a friend I worked with on the Cruise West boats! Carol welcomed me into their chaotic lives with open arms and lots of laughter. We watched lots of chick flicks with their daughter, hours of football on Sunday and ate and drank and laughed some more. I haven’t sat around that much for a long time, my hips were sore and ready for yoga when I got home. Whew.

Home again with a years’ worth of toilet paper, a non fertile dog, a few months worth of dog food and a couple flats of fresh fruit.

Juneau was my home for the beginning of my life, my anchor spot until Dad died. It isn’t anymore, in spite of the amazing arts community, it’s just too dark and depressing there.



find momo

find momo.

I think I need to do something like this with Birdie the all black dog.

Dogs Dogs Dogs!

First wee little needle felted dogs that I gave to J and N for Christmas.  They are the best dog people I know, caring for special needs dogs, for crazed sled dogs and for any dog that happens to cross their paths.  Image

On the left the recently dearly departed Sol on the right the madness that is Edisto.  Sol was J’s life long best friend, she predates N, she is forever known as ‘best dog’.  Edisto is a rescue from a litter of unwanted sled dogs in Whitehorse, YT.  She has mysterious anti gravity leaping abilities as well as superspeedy sled dog running abilities.  She likes to sleep on the back of the couch like a cat.


This is Birdie my new dog friend!  She’s an 8 month old lab/rottweiler mix that was recently turned in to Haines Animal Rescue Kennel.  She’s part of a litter that was born just up the hill from here, mom is a dainty rotty and dad a big goofy lab, I met them one morning while they were shopping in my compost pile, a lovely couple.

Apparently Birdie (formerly known as Amber, almost named Spot) was too much for a harried mom who got the dog when her brother left town… typical Haines.  My good luck, I have a new friend!

New Year’s Masquerade Ball

This is the skirt made from the pattern in the Party Dress Book by Mary Adams.  Really fun and easy pattern… but I need practice sewing silk organza on the bias. Bwahaha, like I’ve ever sewn silk organza on the bias before!ImageImage

Poppy Gall Design Studio Blog · Design & Color Inspiration

Poppy Gall Design Studio Blog · Design & Color Inspiration.

One of my favorite design and inspiration blogs, Poppy Gall started the Isis line of women’s outdoor gear way back when.

Art tables are cleared!

2012 Art Obligations are done!  ImageImageImage

These cuffs didn’t sell this past summer… bad in that I didn’t make money, terrific in that I don’t have to do a winter marathon beading session.  Meaning I don’t have to spend months nagging myself to finish some cuffs!  The one with the 3 ravens in a row  hasn’t sold for 3 summers, people want their black birds flying on a blue sky.  I like the parade, but it’s not up to me.

Not having to do art that sells means I can do weird eyeballs and scarabs work… yeah.


ImageParting shot…  “endangered goose doesn’t like salty potted meat product”  silly bird.

Solstice Yoga was beautiful

Bwahhaha, that title makes me sound so very… very yogi.  I’m not, but a group of people moving together, breathing together and singing together is a beautiful thing.  In Alaska, winter solstice matters even if we can’t see the days getting longer for a while, we know they’re not getting shorter!  Yoga stretches muscles that get short and tight from trying not to fall on ice, from shoveling snow and from tensing up when a blast of north wind comes whipping down t he river. The combination of solstice and yoga… yeah.


And here’s the “I’m going to share more of what I’m doing” photo… These are little shale rocks from a beach on the Chilkat River here in Haines.  I’ve been using my wee little diamond drill bit to make holes…tedious but rewarding! 

Next up: Maybe I’ll let Megan take a photo of me wearing my New Years Eve Masquerade ball dress!  Maybe.

Snowy Sunday morning

Yesterday was the annual winter parade with Santa on the fire truck and the snow dragon.  It’s a rite of passage for a kid when they’re tall enough and have the stamina to carry part of the dragon from the old Elks Club to the fire station.

Last night it was The Haines Uglies Gifts for Grub dinner at the Legion Hall.  The Uglies are our version of a motorcycle gang… they are our best, most generous, philanthropic group, they’re a group of guys you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley if you’re a bad guy.  Money raised at the dinner is regifted to another non profit.

After that was the annual Christmas party thrown by Phyllis and Joanne, Haines most out couple, at their B & B at the Fort.  An amazing gathering of us mid winter.  A bright spot in the slush, where you’ll get at least two of the best hugs of the year.

Tonight is the Holly Jolly Christmas Follies…something I’d never pay to watch, hours of amateur comedy sketches and bad singing.  I’m volunteering to help behind the scenes instead.  Susie who lives up on the mountainside beyond where a car can drive in the winter ends up doing 90 percent of the work, how can we not volunteer to help her?Image

Closing shot: Heron in Tenakee when I was down there with Norman in October fishing for sea cucumbers.

first post

testing out a new blog platform. Image

Post Navigation

The Sartorialist

inspired by nature, fueled by irony, life and art in Alaska

From the Silicon to the Tanana Valley

inspired by nature, fueled by irony, life and art in Alaska

Stonekettle Station

inspired by nature, fueled by irony, life and art in Alaska

Flying Fish

inspired by nature, fueled by irony, life and art in Alaska

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.