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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Glacier Day Cruise- lots of photos

One thing about living in Alaska is that there is literally a new gorgeous photo opportunity around every corner. I live in a postcard, surrounded by mountains and National Parks. When you get out of Anchorage, that's even more true. My husband and I took a short vacation to Seward to take one of the last day cruises of the year with Major Marine Tours.

There are some things that I didn't take photos of- like I saw a couple puffins in the water and just wanted to enjoy that moment, same with the Dall's porpoises playing by the boat.

Major Marine Tours has a partnership with the National Park Service, so we had someone from there who was very knowledgeable about Chugach National Park, the history, the animals and the trees in the area. That was wonderful and if you are ever in Alaska, I can't recommend this experience enough- it's educational and beautiful. You get to see places that don't have power lines, cell towers or buildings for as far as the eye can see, it's just Alaska. Built by nature in all it's beauty.

I took 300 pictures. Narrowing it down to just a few was hard, but I hope you'll enjoy them.

We started driving down the highway at 6:00 to Seward, which means we got to watch the dawn coming over the mountains.
Seward Highway- dawn
 The whole highway is a scenic bypass. You will drive by mountains, through valleys, and by large lakes. It's a gorgeous drive.

I took this photo through the windshield because the fog tracing across the road was so neat looking. There was virtually no traffic.

This is the small boat harbor in Seward, Alaska

And this is the catamaran that was used on our cruise. In the middle of tourist season, they use larger boats, but this was perfect for the number of passengers. The name of the boat is the Melissa Ann.
Major Marine Tours- Melissa Ann

While we were in the harbor waiting to leave, we watched an otter. It was the first sea mammal we saw.
otter be in Seward

The next couple of photos are examples of the type of scenery there is- I took a lot of photos of scenery and narrowing it down was hard.

Then we saw Steller sea lions and heard them "roar".
Steller sea lions

Steller sea lion

So many glaciers. It was hard to choose photos of those because there were a lot. 

Check out that glacier blue! 

Mountain goat climbing and eating on a rock face. 

My husband took this photo of harbor seals and I like it better than my own photos. He caught them all looking at his camera! Click to enlarge. It's worth it.

More of that "I live in a postcard" scenery. 

It's impossible to get any more Alaskan than a bald eagle flying over a glacier. 

bald eagle- glacier

Seagulls. Because my best friend loves seagulls and I need to get a picture of them for her. 

Like I said, I took hundreds of photos, and it was hard choosing the ones to post. But here's an extra from our drive back into Anchorage. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Flying Panda coloring page

Winged Panda coloring page

Okay, maybe it's actually an angel panda, not a flying panda- but flying pandas are a joke in my family which I referred to in a 2010 post with a cross stitch pattern here- Flying Panda Cross Stitch Pattern and I got an email from a nice lady named Michelle who said she liked it- but she didn't cross stitch or bead, and would I please do a box with a flying panda?

I do have a plain panda box (from 2009, please excuse the formatting!) but not one with wings. And I WILL do a winged version, but wanted to do a coloring page first. 

This coloring page is a lot more simple than most of my coloring pages. It's appropriate for kids, but it's also a good one people who want to draw in patterns. So hopefully you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed drawing it. 

The pages need to be printed in landscape mode. Click the images below for larger versions to print and color.

Small jpg version:
Angel panda coloring page available in jpg and transparent png format.

Large transparent png version:
Angel panda coloring page available in jpg and transparent png format.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Cast-Iron Cooking- book review with a bonus coloring page

Rachel Narins' Cast-Iron Cooking

I've been planning for a while to re-do and post the cast iron design I made for my daughter last year as a coloring page, then got this book to review and decided to combine the two. The coloring pages are at the bottom of the review!

Rachel Narins' Cast-Iron Cooking is a gorgeous book from Storey Publishing.

Open it up, and it starts with an overview of what cast iron is, the benefits of cooking with it, and how to care for it. For people who haven't started using it yet, it's the original non-stick, and properly cared for, it will last for generations. It retains heat well and can be used at high temperatures. Seasoning it and cleaning it are very easy and it's worth the effort.

Then it gets into the recipes- Oh my.. it gets into the recipes. So what I look for in a cookbook can be complicated. I want a good variety and good, clear instructions and ingredients that can be found easily. This one falls into that sweet spot quite handily. It's multi-culturally inspired recipes are a delight and as a bonus- it has a few recipes that are vegan or vegetarian. There are also some incredibly simple recipes like grilled cheese sandwiches- which I'll admit to be very partial to and picky about it. Making a grilled cheese sandwich in a cast iron skillet is simply the best way to get it perfect.

My favorite recipe in the book is the Salmon Cakes- they are a delicious use for leftover salmon and even my salmon-hating husband likes them. This recipe is savory, full of flavor, and includes a really good simple tartar sauce recipe.

Other highlight recipes for my family are the
Mango Curry with Cashews (vegetarian with a vegan option)- spicy and delicious and adaptable.
Cheesy Fondue- Everyone needs a good fondue recipe, this one is classic and simple.
Fajitas with Steak- this is one of those things that cast iron just shines for because of the heat you can use with it.

There is also a recipe for a spicy gingerbread that I'm looking forward to making when the weather gets cooler. I love a good gingerbread and this one looks fantastic for cold evenings.

You can get it from your favorite bookstore.

Check out Storey Publishing on Facebook!

Now for the coloring page, click the images below for larger versions.

Original Heavy Metal- Cast iron coloring page
You can get this design on a shirt on Redbubble HERE
Small jpg version:
Original Heavy Metal cast iron coloring page in jpg and transparent png format

Large transparent png version:
Original Heavy Metal cast iron coloring page in jpg and transparent png format

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Facets Mandala to color

Facets mandala- blank version available to color
I got a really bad cold this month. So the first part of the month was gardening and having fun with my family, then the second part was curling up with books and a box of tissue. Sorry! There wasn't much drawing this month.

I hope you enjoy this facets mandala. Click the images below for larger versions to print and color.

Small jpg version:
Facets mandala to print and color- available in jpg and transparent png formats. Click through! #coloringpage

Large transparent png version:
Facets mandala to print and color- available in jpg and transparent png formats. Click through! #coloringpage


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