Sunday, July 11, 2010

Art on Fire 2010

     Growing up as a little sister with a big brother can be a good thing.  As a little sister, you always know that your big brother is part Superman and can do anything.  Now that I am an adult, I have a great respect for my older brother and am very proud of him.  He has become a good man with a good family.  He works hard and is incredibly talented.  I wanted to take a few minutes and share some of that talent with you.
     A couple of weeks ago, I got to go watch my brother at his craft and in his element.  He has helped organize and been part of a local event for the last few years known as Art on Fire.  It is an iron pour.  Artists come from all over the state to pour molten iron into their molds they have made.The public gets to come watch and even be small part of it by carving their own mold, which is then poured by the team of artists.


     I knew the basics of how this process worked but watching it in person was amazing.  I know it is fairly complicated and I don’t know all of the steps but here is my simple explanation.  The metal is heated to a molten mass over 3000 degrees Farenheit in a homemade kiln of sorts.  It is then poured into a lined bucket (concrete, I think) and from there poured carefully into a variety of molds and mold types.  After being allowed to cool, the molds are then broken to reveal the art.  The pictures do not in any way do it justice, but I still wanted to share a few.

     This was a truly unique experience and I was so glad we went and were part of it.  I was so proud of my brother, and to tell you the truth, deep down in my heart, I am still pretty certain he is part Superman.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Year In Cake

     Most of the time, or so it seems, my Mom and I have some project or another that we are doing or planning to do.  It makes for a lot of adventures and fun time together.  Our projects range from sewing, scrapbooking, baking, candy-making, and anything in between we can come up with or have time to try.
     Over the last year, we have had the opportunity and fun to make several birthday cakes.  Those of you who know me, realize this meant flour and powdered sugar everywhere because I can’t bake without ending up covered in ingredients.  However, it also resulted in some very fun cakes.  We have been trying to be more creative and adventuresome with our ideas and what we were willing to try.  I thought it would be fun to share the outcome of our efforts.
     First up, was Brady’s birthday last year.  I wanted it to be creative and surprise Brady with something fun.  So, after a lot of thought I came up with the idea of a cake that looks like a motherboard.  I pulled out one of his old motherboards, and we used that as a pattern of sorts.  He even recognized which one it was!
image      imageimage


     Last, but certainly not least, was Brady’s 25th birthday this year.  I wanted to be creative and surprise him again.  So, I got a little braver and tried covering my first cake in fondant.  He shared his birthday party with Chris, our cousin, this year and we all had a great time celebrating both of them.  We had Kuennings, Smiths, and Spurlins all together.  It was a lot of fun. 

image      I am sure that Mom and I will continue trying new and fun things with cake design.  We still have a lot to learn, but it sure is sweet and fun to do it!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Puerto Rico: Oct 2009: Church

     It seems every time I sit down to write for our blog the words kind of get stuck somewhere between my brain and the computer. The end result of that being that I post every 3 months instead of regularly.  
      I had a few more pictures I really wanted to share of our trip to Puerto Rico.  So thanks for your patience.  After that who knows?  Onward to the holidays or my new sewing projects..
     One of the most amazing things about our trip to Puerto Rico, at least to me, was going to a far off place and finding family.  I have never had the opportunity before to worship with the church in another country.  Although, technically Puerto Rico is a protectorate of the U.S.   It was incredibly humbling, comforting, and awing.  
    We had an adventure and a half trying to find a church, but it was well worth the effort and the 40 dollars the taxi driver charged us after getting lost multiple times.  The people there were kind, friendly, and welcoming to us, the pale Alaskans.  We also found out they had connections to our Alaskan family through Jeff and Dana Jaworski, who lived and worked with the church there several years ago.
     I value the time we got to spend with such caring people, and hope that this is something we get to do again, sometime!image      And that, for the most part, was our trip to Puerto Rico.  There are more stories, and wonderful memories, but these ware a few of our favorite.  We feel so blessed that we were able to have such an experience!  Hope you enjoyed all the pictures! 


Friday, November 13, 2009

Puerto Rico: Oct 2009: Fajardo

     Our trip was full of many adventures, beautiful scenery, and special experiences.  One of our favorite was a kayaking trip.  My wonderful husband, who knows my love for kayaking, decided we shouldn’t miss the chance to experience the bioluminescent bays of Puerto Rico.  They say there are only five consistent bays with this phenomenon world-wide and three of those are in Puerto Rico.  
     This adventure took us to the coastal town of Fajardo.  Not only did we kayak, but this trip was in the darkest pitch of the evening, the darker the better.  By the time we drove to Fajardo, suited up in life vests, and set up in our kayaks, the sun had set.  There was very little moon, which we were told helped create the perfect opportunity for such a trip.  
     First, across the bay. Then, down a narrow canal lined with mangrove trees.  Lastly, our goal the Bioluminescent Bay.  Actually, about half way down the canal we started to see the glowing water.  Each time a paddle hit the water or a fish jumped it created a blue glowing effect.  For all those who know of Brady’s love of everything glow in the dark, this tour was the perfect choice for us. 
     Unfortunately, we did not have a camera with us.  They recommend not bringing one in case it gets wet.  We actually stayed much dryer than we did in the rainforest.  I did find a couple of pictures online from the same bay and thought I would share those to give a glimpse of the experience.

image      The green light is a glow stick on the front of the kayak.  The blue bioluminescence is caused by tiny micro-organisms.  When they are excited by movement, they light up.  We heard many descriptions of this including: pixie or fairy dust or as if stars sparkle from the water.  They were all very poetic but the experience went beyond the descriptions.  We felt humbled and awed to view God’s glory and mystery in such a unique way.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Puerto Rico: Oct 2009: Old San Juan

     Have you ever visited a place that feels steeped in history?  That was how I felt as we walked the streets of Old San Juan. It was as if each building, each brick had a story to tell if you had time to stop and listen. Parts of Old San Juan did not seem quite as ancient, as the term refers to an area of a thriving city. However, the Spanish built up the original structures in the 1500s.  There were beautiful remnants of two massive, old forts and an ancient crumbling city wall.  Even though we spent two of our days there, it felt like we barely scratched the surface of this beautiful area.
    The forts that stood guard over Old San Juan were large beyond description.  If you look really closely I am standing at the base of the wall. This is on the 3rd level, I think, looking back up at two of the upper levels.
     Old San Juan had a very distinct look. Every house front was a different color and all of the cobblestone was this bright blue. It was as if an artist had walked through the area and said, “Ahhhh, this color here, this color there, and Voila!”

Old San Juan