Friday, June 26, 2015

Tlingit Home Decoration - Part Four

The Tlingit peoples lived communally through the winter months in large shelters housing about 40 people.  They are dark inside with a large fenced sunken area in the center for cooking and an open fire for warmth.  I have taken pictures of the inside decorations, hope you can see them! (Lights are for tourists, but our eyes still had to adjust.)

Notice that the house pillars are also carved.

Fence around the cooking/fire area

picture of native celebration and dress
"Thank you" for following this totem series!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this series and it was good, 
please leave a comment and say, Yak' ei, meaning "good" 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Decorating and Finishing a Totem Pole - Part Three

(Part three of a four part series.)

Welcome back, ax xoonie!  (My friend)

Totem pole decorations, done by these Alaskan native people, were primarily painted three colors, Red, Black and Turquoise.  Paint ingredients were readily obtained and processed from elements in the world around them.

Totems were placed at the dwelling places of each clan, almost as a sign, or address pole.  The designs told their story and were basically part of their identity (We might say, today, part of our 'brand').  Each story is told from the top down. Each figure is a section of the story.

These pictures show the nearly finished totem, being painted.

Take a closer look, see the paint cans?  Our guide, Joey, said that it easier to buy the ready made paint these days, than to use the old process of having the native women chew salmon eggs and minerals to make it!  :)

Another picture of the size.  See the notch in the bottom of this pole?  Modern regulations will not allow poles to be set in the ground like the people used to do.  This notch is for a steel pole set in cement to secure and attach the pole.  Even so, the people will no longer use the old methods of team work to set the pole up, but will bring in a crane and have a huge party (called a potlatch) to celebrate!

Part four tomorrow about other art and decorations that the native peoples used.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sea Monsters At Potlatch Park

I gu.aa yax x'wan!
"Be brave" in Tlingit (native Alaskan language)

These "totem poles" were made of curved trees to stand guard at the river's edge.  They were later decorated by non-native peoples.  Each tile was painted by a child visitor from a Disney cruise ship! Look closely and you may see a modern signature on one of them!

P.S.  Tomorrow, back to the totem series!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Totem Pole ART - Part Two

The art of totem pole making was fascinating!  Here we go, for all you creatives out there!
(Part two of a four part series.)

You can see the size of this pole, inside of the rustic building built to house the artists work. Even the building is interesting! There are two totem poles in this building, one nearly finished after a two year process and one in a raw form (barely seen in the bottom left of the picture.)

Trees are meticulously sought from dense forested areas.  This is because the native carvers want trees of a certain size that do not have branches on the lower portion of the tree.  Trees that have had plenty of competition, have grown tall to reach the sun before putting out many branches, therefore the branches are higher up on the trunk.  Branches leave knot holes and are not the best fodder for a totem pole.  You can see two rather large knot holes in the side of the pole in the picture below. These were up near the top of the pole.

Native peoples waste nothing.  Here the inner bark has been stripped off and is waiting to be stripped into smaller pieces for weaving baskets etc.

Primitive tools are still used, some from whale bones or a horse jaw bone, as in the top shelf of this tool case.

Another picture for size of the pole. Our guide is standing between the finished and the unfinished poles:

This raw design is starting to take shape.  Eagles and ravens are important to the Tlingit people.  Not sure which this will be.

Look closely to see two circles, hand drawn, makings ready to guide the carver in the next section of his work.

I think that is enough for this post.  Next post will be about totem pole stories and decorations.

Stay with me, ax xoonie (my friend)! 

P.S. Tomorrow we will take a "rabbit" trail in Potlatch Park,  before returning to totem poles posts on Thursday!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Native Art - Part One

Art is found in many places. 
(Part one of a four part series)

Recently I found some interesting art.  On a shore trip on our Alaskan cruise, we visited Potlatch Park, in Ketchikan. We were able to see the making of totem poles, up close.  (But I will share more about totem pole art in my next post.)

I was impressed with a hand carved boat that was lying out in the park, almost forgotten.  It had been carved from a single log and I was intrigued with its simple decoration.

An eagle adorns the front of the boat

close-up of the eagle wing carving on the side of the boat

There was so much about Potlatch Park that we enjoyed, so in my next couple of posts, I will share information and several pictures of the totem pole making process, for all you artists and wood carvers. 

Stay with me "ax xooni".  
(Translation in next post.)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Play Date!

And move to the sewing machine, I did!  But did I work on the afore mentioned projects? (See last post.)  Well, no!

I had a pre-planned "play date" with my friend Ritha, on Thursday and Friday and we sewed "up a storm", as the old saying goes! She chose the projects and in-between-times, I worked on UFO's (unfinished objects).  I finished up three aprons and a banner.  Ritha's grand-daughters enjoyed receiving two of the aprons!

First, we made bowl covers to use on a picnic or to take a salad to a potluck.  She had some animal print oil cloth, so that is what we used!

The next day we made hexagon pot holders/ hot pads.  And I made a pot holder of my own design out of scraps (anyone who knows me knows that I love scraps! Love seeing them used!!!!)

The hexagonal pads are LARGE!  Over 9 inches point to point!

I loved this project and after I tackle my impending 'to do' list, then I will make more of these!

Thanks, Ritha for a wonderful day!

P.S.  BTW, this is the 200th post in this blog!  Yay!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tying up loose ends . . . and onward!

Several things occur to me today, little facts and they are a bit unrelated, but they fill my mind.  This is sort of a "what has been happening lately" post.  Ever get so much on your mind that you just have to get it off your mind (clear it out!)????

FIRST and foremost, I was so excited and preoccupied about my Alaskan cruise, (still am!)

that I totally forgot about posting who won my little give-away!  I did a tutorial before I left on vacation, of a t-shirt makeover and offered it as a giveaway shirt.

So, "without further ado", the winner is LeAnn of pasqueflower fame!  I hope she can use it, even it if doesn't fit her, maybe for a gift!  I know she is an excellent sewer herself so . . .LeAnn, don't look to closely at the stitches!  :)

SECOND, today my family gathers to send off another granddaughter on a student exchange. You might remember that Kayleigh went to Taiwan for a year.  Her sister, Taylor, age 16, is going for the summer to Brazil, and then her host's daughter will come to the USA for three months over Christmas!  Yay!

THIRD, I have soooo much work to do!  Curtains to make for a friend's sailboat, three hooded swimming robes for  a family friend,

including one extra thick robe for a granddaughter that is in early morning swim team. Also a baby quilt to finish for a great-grandson, another t-shirt quilt project for a just graduated granddaughter, and several aprons for my wholesale client!  Whew!  Not to mention the spool quilt I was working on . . . more project pictures to come!!!   Stay with me!

And LASTLY, since my URL for this blog is 'attic reflections'  I have to throw in this picture from our cruise--just for fun!  Can you see the reflections?

because of colorful flags on the Ketchikan dock
Well, that's about it!  
Now,  I'm moving to the sewing machine!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Vacation over . . . .

Our Alaskan cruise is over and since it is summer, and most of you  are enjoying the sunshine and the heat, I thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of me from the cold weather!  

On deck of the cruise ship, freezing my face off!  Looks like it huh? 

Anyway, back to blogging, watch for new artsy and crafty blog posts in the next few days!