Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

 We celebrated the holiday in Central Montana. We shared a wonderful meal of prime rib and spiral sliced ham with many delicious side dishes.
 There are many great cooks in the family, including my mother who is in her mid 80's and made many kinds of homemade candies. 
Sorry my daily posts have been off for a while.  My laptop had some problems and had to be shipped back to manufacturer for warranty work.  I hoped it would be a short trip, but I was without it for two full weeks!  Happy to have connectivity in my life again.  Will get going on the blog soon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Exit Glacier Receeding

 I'm not sure how evident it is in this picture, but the foot of the glacier is actually quite a long distance from the end of the trail.  (probably at least a football field or two).  Note the red sign off to the right in the picture above.  I visited Exit Glacier 4 years previous with my daughter, Michelle.  At that time, the same trail took us right up to the foot of the glacier.  We could touch it!  Note the same red sign I am standing in front of in 2011 (below).
 President Obama visited this same glacier just a few weeks later when he visited Alaska after changing the name of Mount McKinley to Denali.  Exit is a really good example of a receding glacier, and we saw a lot of references to it in the news during Obama's Alaska visit.  There are actually a number of glaciers in Alaska that are getting larger, but they are not very well publicized.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Exit Glacier

 This day we drove from Anchor Point to Seward, Alaska - a reasonable distance.  The weather was very wet.  Nearly constant rain during our time at Seward.  It was a disappointment, as I was hoping for some more time on the water with the kayak.  But we were not interested in kayaking on rough sea water in wind and rain.  We had a little window of time when the rain let up enough to allow us the one mile hike to the foot of Exit Glacier.  Had the weather been more conducive, we may have hiked up for an overlook of the glacier.  As it was, the rain was starting up again before we got back to our vehicle.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Mount Redoubt First and Last Look

We watched for a glimpse of Mount Redoubt the entire time we were on the Kenai Penninsula.  This was our only chance to see the top of it.  We found a place to stop and take a picture in the dim light of early dawn.  It was back in the clouds again in just moments!  These tall volcanos make their own weather.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Mount Iliamna Last Look

A last look at Mount Iliamna in the early morning light.  So beautiful across the bay!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Halibut for Dinner

While we were staying at Otter Cove Lodge, a recreational fishing group arrived.  Some of them were locals and they were entertaining friends from Great Falls, Montana.  We were sharing the facilities at the cook shack so we visited quite a bit.  They were fishing for halibut and they had five one gallon ziplock bags crammed full of halibut fillets after their first night out.  They offered a bag to us, but that seemed like an impossible quantity for two people to eat on the road, so we took a couple of fillets and here is one of them cooking on our little travel gas grill.  We had a wonderful meal at Anchor Point and leftovers for the next day's lunch!  (I was wishing I had taken more of the halibut - so delicious!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Anchor Point Campground

 We camped at Anchor Point Campground along the Sterling Highway just out of Homer.  The campground is right on the beach.  Fishermen were using the beach as a boat launch.  There was an eagle hanging out on the beach.  I think it must have had an injured wing or maybe it was very old.  It was not afraid of people, at all.  It was just walking around savaging fish carcasses that had washed up on the beach.  We took a good long beach walk here before dinner.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kachemak Bay Last Look

 We had really great weather while in the Homer / Kachemak Bay area.  We knew a storm system was moving in so it was time to head down the road.  This is a last look from the Lookout.  Somewhere over across the bay is Otter Cove and Yukon Island - one of the highlights of our trip so far!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Two Settings

Here, I am trying out two different arrangements.  These can hang on the wall for a while.  I think I need to live with these before I start any sewing.  Maybe more arranging - grouping colors closer to try to create areas of color and pattern.

Friday, December 11, 2015

More Cutting

I went ahead and cut up some of the blocks into smaller triangles and placed them up on the design wall.  Now it just looks like a jumble to me.  There is still movement, but it is more chaotic, for sure.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

More Blocks!

Ok, by now - I have put all the pieces on the design wall.  Decision time.  I really like the movement of this piece, but it is not as visually cohesive or complex as I envisioned.  I hope I don't lose that wonderful movement if I cut it up more...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Few More Blocks

Here - I have added a few more blocks.  I am liking this so far, but it is not as complex as I anticipated  - yet.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hand Dyed Fabric Play

I have not been working with fabric a lot recently - at least not making art quilts - per-se.  But this is an idea that has been knocking around in my brain and sketchbook for over a year.  I thought I may as well make an attempt.  I selected several fat quarters of hand dyed cotton from my stash.  I made sure there was 30% dark value, 20% light values and the rest in mid range.  I stacked them up and started whacking them up and sewing back together.  These are a few "blocks" after several series of cutting and resewing.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Kachemak Bay Rock Formations from the Kayak

 We had a great time exploring the rock formations in Kachemak Bay.  We paddled around from one rock island to the next - observing the wonderful textures, wildlife and plant life - not to mention the beautiful water.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Kachemak Bay Kayaking - Mount Iliamna

 Our second day at Otter Cove in Kachemak Bay was remarkably clear and sunny (chilly, though).
We got out in the kayak early and had a terrific view of Mount Iliamna as we paddled out.

 We paddled around a lot of small rock outcroppings and islands where we were able to see many birds and lots of otters.  We also saw some sort of finned water animal - possibly a Killer Whale (dining on otters?) or a porpoise (not close enough for good pictures or good identification).