Cynthia St. Charles Store

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Mail Art - November 30

"A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually
uses in conversation."      -Mark Twain-

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Batch of Scrap Quilts

 Through the fall, I spent some time putting together, then quilting some scrap quilts with the idea of clearing some space in my studio and using up scraps.  These are kind of fun to do - and quick.  I made 9 of these this fall.  Six of them in what I call a nap size (a bit smaller than a twin quilt) and three are baby sized quilts.  All are fully quilted and bound.  Whew!  The one above measures 64 x 46"  The one below (which is shown both in detail and full images) measures 74 x 46"  These were both made with 100% wool batting. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Visual Journal Bird Pages - Scanned

 This page is essentially the cover. (above)

The writing I did in the journal is all connected (no spaces).  I am not necessarily writing anything that would be interesting or inspiring to anyone - so no need to make it legible.  I am just sort of filling in some background with another layer that makes it personal (with my own unique handwriting).....doing this cursive writing is my least favorite part of the whole visual journaling thing I am exploring right now (partly because it hurts my hand!)  I may try creating a journal with no personal writing,  but as I work on the pages - I find the pages without handwriting are less interesting to look at.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Scanned Visual Journal Pages - Mixed Media

 There are many layers to these pages.  I probably should have taken more pictures as I developed the journal, but honestly, I was not sure it would turn out well in the end or be worth sharing. 

Additionally, this is supposed to be just a personal thing I am doing for my own artistic development.  It seems sort of invasive (and stifling to the creative process) to be taking process pictures and thinking about sharing it with the world.
 We saw SO MUCH of this vibrant and beautiful Fireweed on our travels through Canada and Alaska.  It was literally along every roadside of the trip.  As we drove along, I really thought a lot about what imagery from the trip would make it's way into my work and I knew I wanted to work with Fireweed.  I spent a cloudy afternoon in Chicken, Alaska (our last stop in Alaska) taking pictures of the Fireweed up on a hillside so I would be able to come home and make Thermofax screens of Fireweed.

 The Swallowtail Buterfly image below is a Thermofax screen converted from a photo I took of a butterfly on my iris!

I am quite satisfied with the way this journal turned out.  I feel it has a lushness and depth that is visually gratifying.  It inspires me to do more.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Journal Spreads - Inside the Bird Journal

 These are the interior pages of this first visual journal.  This set of pages - I feel is a bit too dark.  However - I suppose another way to look at it - it is visually rich....?  At any rate, I am pleased with this first visual journaling attempt for 2015.  It inspires me to do more.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bird Journal Progress

 Last month, I showed the beginning of a visual journal project.  I have been working on an accordion folded journal.  Each page is 9x12, and there is a design on each side. 

Here is a link back to the beginning when I added the first two coats of paint:

This link shows how it looked after the first layer of block printing was added:

Here it is after I have added more printing, collage, sketching / doodling / outlining with markers and pens, watercolor painting, and some stream of consciousness journal writing.  Then, I added Thermofax screen prints and colored those in with watercolor paints. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Mail Art - November 23

"There are receptors to these molecules in your immune system,
in your gut and in your heart.  So when you say, 'I have a gut feeling' or 'my heart is sad'
or 'I am bursting with joy', you're not speaking metaphorically.  
You're speaking literally."
-Deepak  Chopra-

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Elephant Rock in our Kayak

Click on this link below to view a Youtube Video of us kayaking through Elephant Rock!  It is right out in Kachemak Bay and we were able to pass under the arch because it was high tide.  It was thrilling!

Through Elephant Rock in our Kayak!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Otter Bay Lodge in Kachemak Bay

 We arrived at Otter Bay Lodge early in the morning so we would have a full two days at this primo location.  Above, Joe and the lodge caretaker unload and transport our kayak.  Below, the water taxi departs - we had our pick up scheduled for mid afternoon the next day.  Sigh....what a thrill to be here!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Homer, AK Water Taxi

 We were so excited about our water taxi excursion across Kachemak Bay!  We loaded our kayak, groceries, sleeping bags, etc. on the taxi.  Destination - Otter Cove Lodge across the bay.  We had a reservation at the rustic lodge.
Heading out from the harbor on the Homer Spit.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Beach at Homer, AK

 It was overcast the day we arrived at Homer.  This parking lot is very near a cabin my daughter lived in for 2 years.  I wanted to stop here and get some photos to send to her (they are building a new cabin next door to the one she lived in).  We did go out on the spit, as I was wanting to ask around and see what suggestions we could come up with for kayaking on Kachemak Bay. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Captain Cook State Recreation Area Beach Walk

While strolling the beach at Captain Cook, we met a woman who grew up nearby at Nikiski.  She was in the area to fish the family net set spot.  We talked about finding agates on the beach and she directed us to the best spot down near Nikiski to seek out agates.  Looking for specimens on the beach is a favorite activity for Joe, so that was our plan the next day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Captain Cook Alaska State Recreation Area

We drove to the furthest north point on the road on the Kenai Peninsula - all the way to the Captain Cook State Recreation area (end of the road).  We were delighted to score a camping spot on the beach (although the beach itself was much lower than the land and steeply eroded.  We could not actually access the beach from our campsite (had to make our way to the boat launch to do that).

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ferry Ride - Valdez to Whittier, AK

 We spent three nights in Valdez, boarding this ferry for a 6 hour trip to Whittier, Alaska.  These pictures were taken early in the morning as we watched our ferry arrive.  It rained the entire 6 hours of the ferry ride.  Several whales were spotted from the ferry, but they always seemed to be on the opposite side of the ferry from where I was - although Joe saw them every time. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Glacial Collapse - Sunny Day at Valdez Glacier

As I mentioned in my previous two posts - we went back to Valdez Glacier in our kayak a second day.  It was much warmer, sunny, and there was a lot more melting going on.  While walking on the glacial moraine, we heard some big splashes back in the area of the ice caves, so we thought it would be interesting to go investigate.  Paddling along, we saw a number of new (within the past hour) icebergs floating along in the fjord near the entrance to the ice caves.  We cautiously ventured a little bit further and discovered a couple of huge chunks of ice had dislodged from the entrance of our most recently visited ice cave!  Yikes!  Joe made a short video of the scene:

Friday, November 13, 2015

Valdez Glacier Lunch Break

Our second day kayaking on the Valdez Glacier Lake, we stopped for lunch in another part of the glacier.  We parked (is that the correct term for what you do with a kayak?)  on the edge of the moraine and walked around exploring once again.  This really was the highlight of our trip to this point! 

Our second day was warm and sunny.  There was a lot of melting going on and as we walked the glacial moraine, we heard a lot of big splashes back in the area of the ice caves we had previously explored.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Another - More Dramatic Valdez Glacier Ice Cave

This ice cave is one that we were a bit afraid of.  We looked at it our first day on Valdez Glacier Lake, but we were not brave enough to enter it.  On the second day, we were more confident.  We had been encouraged to explore this cave by two more kayak tour guides we met on the lake.  One guide said, "It looks kind of sketchy, but it is perfectly safe and really exciting to explore."   So, we gathered up our courage and paddled in.  Joe took a video with his smart phone, while I paddled.

Here is the Youtube video I uploaded from our visit to this ice cave on the Valdez Glacier:


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Walking on the Valdez Glacier

 We were able to park our kayak on the edge of the glacier and climb up atop the glacial moraine.  There was a thick layer of debris - mainly sharply angled shards of volcanic rock.  Beneath that - the ice .....and we had to watch our step, as there were crevasses - places where the ice was not firm, but it was hard to see that on account of the rock layer on top.  We stepped carefully.

I really loved coming across these deep isolated pools of green glacial melt. We were "pinching ourselves" as we experienced this - just the two of us walking around on this glacier!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

360 Degree View from the Valdez Glacier Moraine

After several hours in the kayak on the Valdez Glacier Lake, our bottoms were getting pretty cold (that water was ice cold and the kayak / kayak seats just made of rigid plastic) and we were ready for a lunch break.  We found a good place to park the kayak on the edge of the glacial moraine and we climbed up to take in the view.  The link below will take you to my Youtube video of that 360 degree view.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Mail Art - November 9

"They say such nice things about people at their funerals
that it makes me sad that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days."
-Garrison Keillor-