Friday, July 29

Couple of projects

A friend is expecting a baby;  mom and dad love 'The Mouse'.  They love Disneyland, so, what better way to acknowledge that than with a Mickey  for the baby's room.  They chose not to find out if they were having a boy or girl so this can work for both.  This is my attempt at painting the famous mouse.  I do have something else for them too, in case Mickey has to live in a closet and only come out when I visit.  I put a gel with glass beads on the sun's ray's to add a bit of sparkle to it.  I so like sparkle.  He is 9" X 12" so he isn't too big.  

A friend taught me how to make the pins.  You cut circles out of material, burn the edges with a candle and heat the center to cause it to pucker.  Sew together with button or bead (I glued a Swarovski crystal to the red one). Sew a pin thingie to the back and enjoy.  The material is the key.  Satin and taffeta works well.  The blue/green and purplish ones were harder to work with.  I think they are too thick and didn't bend as much as I would have liked.  Use your scrapes, just not cotton.   When my friend first 'tried' to teach me to do this, I kept setting the material on fire, not good.  Using a small tea light works well because the flame is not as hot as a bigger candle.

When I wore the red one I took a small strand of pearls and just wrapped it and let it hang down.  
Adding the bluish/greenish to my denim dress added a soft touch to it.
 These can be made in all sizes to be put on head bands, purses or whatever your imagine takes you.  Another friend of mine who is an amazing seamstress, added some to a skirt she made.  
 And I have to add a gratuitous garden picture.  Okay more that one.  Caught the blue bird taking his morning bath.  I love when he visits; its not often enough.
Come have a cup of coffee with me.

Tuesday, July 26

Final Alaska Cruise Adventure

When we departed Skagway on Friday evening, we set out for Victoria, Canada.  During the night and on into Saturday, we traveled through many Passages and Straits.  Knowing that this was the last 'hurrah', there was just a tad bit of 'oh rats' this is it!   I don't know if I was ready for the cruise and fun and eating at all times of the day and night, to end!  

We only got to stay for a short time in Victoria and I had picked the Butchart Gardens excursion to go on.  My 5 buddies picked that one too.  We rode a shuttle bus from the port to the gardens and were surprised to find out that our driver was also a comedian and sight seeing guide.  He did make the ride interesting.  We only got to stay about 2 hours at the Gardens and I knew it was going to be a fast walk through. This is my third time to the Gardens, I love going there and would go again.  It was the evening tour, but the evening didn't really get very dark until about the time it was to leave.  My partner in crime and I did a last minute run though to get pictures with the lights on and were almost late getting back on the shuttle.  But, it was worth it.  My camera did not like the way the light was and I did not get it set correctly so my pictures are not as good as my buddy's are, I wish I had hers to share.  But I did get a few....  So, heeeerrrreeees the pictures!

The following picture is watching the sun 'go down' while out to sea.  This was about as dark as it ever got while we were traveling in the Passage.

We passed ships as we were going through the channels.

Just some sky pictures as we we cruising along.
On my balcony looking to the back of the ship.  Aft?
Toward the front.  Forward?

Coming into the port at Victoria.

The Garden - ta da!!   Not dark yet.

Still not dark yet.

They had put in a Merry-go-round since I had been there.  I hope they don't turn the gardens into an amusement park.

My  pictures are starting to get blurry because of the light changing but I love this house.  I want it.  Can you see the little squirrel at the foot of the tree?  He was there 3 years ago when I was there.  I'm sure he is the same one!

Finally starting to get a little dark.  This is when it magically turns into a wonderland, as if it wasn't before.  Also, most of the people were heading back to the shuttle bus.  I would love to be in this garden with no people around, just a friend to share it with.

Well, if I had better pictures there would be lots more.  You are saved by the bad picture taker person.  But maybe, just maybe, you saw enough to want to go.  Do, you won't regret it.  The little town of Victoria is beautiful and you could spent two or three days there exploring it.  

This looks a little more like a sunset.

Goodbye.  :(

Saturday, July 16

Welcome to Skagway, Alaska - Early Thursday Morning

Skagway sits at the top of the northernmost point of the inside Passage in southeast Alaska.  Over a hundred years ago, the White Pass route through the Coast Mountains was used by countless stampeders.

Skagway was known to thousands of hopeful gold rushers as the gateway to the gold fields.  In August of 1896 gold was discovered on the Klondike River. The gold rush was a boon to Skagway - by 1898 it was Alaska's largest town with a population of about 20,000.  But, when the gold yield dwindled in 1900, so did the population of Skagway.  Today Skagway has less than 1,000 residents, but it retains the flavor of the gold rush era.  

The gold rush lasted a few short years and during that time Skagway erupted into a state of chaos.  Visitors called it "hell on earth" (not my description what the legend says).  The most notorious  criminal (we would probably say crime boss)  was Soapy Smith.  Today his body rests just a few miles outside of Skagway.  He was killed in a famous shoot out/ambush on Juneau pier.  Both 'shooters' died and is now a story they tell as you are riding the White Pass train.

The excursion I chose to go on in Skagway was the White Pass Railway.  It was 27.1 miles one way just across into Canada. The White Pass fleet consists of 20 diesel-electric locomotives, restored and replica passenger coaches and 2 steam locomotives.  The oldest car was built in 1883 and is on the line each day.  One of the coaches was used in the movie "Diamond Jim Brady, and one carried Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on a royal tour in 1959. 

There is so much to tell; but I'm going to leave it at that.  The pictures will, hopefully, help to fill in more details and to give you a bit of a look at what it was like to be there.

First view of Skagway.

 As we were coming into the dock I saw these painted rocks.  I thought how strange...
 Then I saw there were bunches of painted rocks all along this mountain side.

 Maybe this is Alaskan graffiti? Or a way of advertising?  Didn't find out why.
 We are on the train now, didn't take a picture of the train coming up to the dock, should have.  This is an old train just sitting there.  Don't know why.
 There will be a lot of pictures of just scenery,  I think it can speak for it's self.  And most of the pictures were taken from inside the car, through the window, leaning over my friend.  Just saying, they are what they are.

 The next couple of pic's are taken while I'm standing outside, just had to see what that was like. 
 That's us going around the bend.

In this picture and the following one,if you were to enlarge it you would see the Skagway harbor. 

 Yep, outside again, looking down, that's what we are going over.

 Two of my friends, it was fun to share this ride with them.
 See that bridge way up there?  Yep, going over it.  I think they called it the oldest trestle bridge?  Just a note here: The White Pass & Yukon Route climbs from sea level in Skagway to almost 3,000 feet at the Summit in just 20 miles and features steep grades of almost 3.9%.  The tight curves of the WP called for a narrow gauge railroad.  The rails are 3' apart on a 10' wide road bed.  Scary but not, if that makes sense.   I'm so glad I didn't miss this ride.

 This guy was just sitting there, watching and waving as we went by.  Alaska's equivalent of standing on the corner and people watching?

 That steam/river down there was very far away.
 Going into the first of two tunnels, I don't like tunnels.
 Can you find the white mountain goat?  There was a herd of them.
 Nope, didn't go over that one.  Apparently it was built but never finished.  
 Yep, second tunnel, it was longer.
 We are now across the Canadian border.  We wait here for another train to pass and then we start our trip back down.

 The conductor had us stand up, take the back of our seats and swing it over so that we were now sitting facing the other direction from which we came, and the train had an engine on both ends, so we didn't turn around. So, we were now going backwards but not.   Should have taken a picture.  Got it?  It took us a bit to figure it out.  You can see the other train passing us.  We were suppose to wave and make faces at the other people as they passed.  Some did.
 This coach can be rented out.  It is fixed up like a cabin.  That could be fun I suppose.
 This is the cemetery where that Soapy Smith is buried and with the other guy. 
 Just some of the building in Skagway.
The front of this store is made out of twigs.

 The painted rocks were everywhere on that mountain face. I liked the watch.

 We are leaving.  Goodbye Skagway, I really enjoyed visiting here.

From Thursday evening until Saturday evening we were at sea.  Heading for Victoria, Canada.  My friends and I spent the time eating, seeing a show, eating, playing games, visiting with new friends, eating, walking around the ship and exploring, eating.....okay, you get the idea.  My next post will be small and will be my final one.  Thanks for joining me on my journey!