Tag Archives: Alaska

Another Beginning

Hi! For those of you who have followed me (and I thank you kindly!) I want you to know that I have been in a dilemma of where to take my blog. For those of you who don’t know me, I started Alaska Locker Hooking in 1999 with locker hooking and in 2005 I got into crocheting with fabric and making rugs and crocheted felted wool bowls. I started my Etsy Shop where I still sell my locker hooking & crochet patterns. And somewhere in there, I was also making my “Alaskan Stuffies”!

As you follow my posts, you will see that in the summer of 2014, I fell in love with Zentangle® Art and became a CZT (Certified Zentangle® Teacher), November 2014 and I have been teaching Zentangle® classes ever since. I tried to add Zentangle to this fiber art blog (Alaska Locker Hooking) , but it hasn’t worked very well sooo...I have made a new Zentangle® blog called, http://wordpress.com/donnajacobsonczt   (which I hope you will follow!). I will also continue this blog, as I love fiber arts and still make things and I still do one Holiday Show a year! Does that make sense??

Fiber Art Website: www.alaskalockerhooking.com 

bLUE Bowl-ForWebsite

Zentangle® Art Website:  www.tanglealaska.com 

♥ Donna

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One Year CZT Anniversary!

Hi! It is really hard for me to believe it has been one year today when I was in Providence, Rhode Island, at CZT Seminar 17. After 4 days of intense instruction, I graduated and received my Certified Zentangle® Teacher certificate from Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. It was one of the biggest days of my life! It was absolutely magical! I learned so much and made so many wonderful friends who I still stay in contact with. Zentangle® has changed my life, it has given me life! Being the agoraphobic that I am, I still shake my head that I really did it because it is very hard for me to even leave my house most of the time. I wanted so much to get a beautiful photo of Maria giving me my certificate and all I got was this…and I could NOT stop crying and saying “I did it, I did it, I really did it!” Maria, being the beautiful person that she is, handled it well! I’m also still amazed at that person who could not draw at all, now draws beautiful art and I am excited about teaching and sharing the Zentangle® Method™!

GettingMyCertificate

So much has happened in this past year! It’s been hard and yet wonderful! My goal was to teach Zentangle® Workshops at Blaines Art Supply (the only art supply store besides Michaels) in Anchorage, Alaska. When I got home I interviewed and got the job but it was one of the hardest interviews I’ve ever had and having been an RN in the past, I’ve had some tough interviews. Working for Blaines Art, of course I promote their products, but the problem was they didn’t have the Zentangle® supplies I needed (supplies I had learned from seminar). Not being able to use Zentangle® products was a challenge and I had to reevaluate and rethink everything. It stopped in my tracts at first but I’ve learned to be open and flexible because there are great art products out there. I’ve been teaching classes there now since January and everything has worked out just fine.

It’s been hard for me because there was only one CZT in my town and she doesn’t teach classes and I cannot turn to her for support. So I am on my own. Fortunately I have the support of my Zentangle® family in Providence and other online CTZ’s. My first class was January 9, 2015 and I was scared to death but my love for Zentangle® is so strong, that I did it! I think I had about 12 students and they were all so nice 🙂 We did 2 tiles and learned 8 tangles. After that class, I had many students asking me, “now what??” I knew exactly how they were feeling because after my first class with a CZT I said the same thing and wanted to continue learning more and to tangle with others…it’s all about the process and the enjoyment of being relaxed, “in the moment”, and being with others who speak the same Zentangle® language. The end result is always beautiful art. So my wonderful boss at Arctic Rose Gallery offered me the space to have monthly Zentangle® Social Meetups! Yes fantastic!! Better yet, we gather on Sunday when the gallery is closed and is quiet 🙂  Perfect for the “Zen”!  The meetups have been so rewarding and fun and lovely friendships formed! And one of my students from my first class even went on to seminar and became a CZT!

1-9-2015 My First ClassZentangle Meetup

I have so much I want to share with you! I’m going to try to catch you up to the present and hopefully before 2016!
❤ Donna Continue reading

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Finally Friday Paint & Stitch

Hi!  We just recently wrapped up our Finally Friday Paint & Stitch Get-togethers!  Jake and I have been hosting these gatherings all winter long and now will take a summer break and come back in October.  Every month, on the 2nd & 4th Friday evenings, people from the community who share common painting & stitching interests gathered at the Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center, downtown 5th Ave, Anchorage, Alaska.  It’s a beautiful Art Gallery and so cozy in the back where we meet.  Thank you Jana for letting us get together there!  So Jake’s (Kurt) the painter and I”m the stitcher.

Our First Gathering

Our First Gathering

It’s been a lot of hard work but soooo much fun and rewarding!  Almost every gathering we’ve had different people come and join us along with a small core group that formed.  We also have a potluck and that has been really nice because we start at 6pm and many come straight from work and we all share our goodies together while unwinding from the hectic week.  We all share our talents too and I’ve learned so much and made friends.

Jan Instructing

I saw painters who started as beginners become experienced and awesome painters!  I saw crocheters who began to knit!  I saw friendships develop and blossom!  I’ve known some of the people for a long time but got to know them better.  The buzz was always “what are we going to bring to eat and work on this week?”  I saw the excitement each time we all came together, excited to share and learn.  I have a hard time around people (I fake it pretty good) but everyone made each other comfortable and was accepting of each other.   Even though we were all different ages, we were like one big family!  It was so wonderful to experience that! I love each one of them.

11-23-2012 Beautiful Paintings   Joni and BlueHands

We even shared things that we made, like I bought a beautiful pair of earrings from Cathe!  And Nicole brought handmade felted soap!  Jan and Joni bought some of Jake’s paintings and Angie showed her cute crocheted baby onesie & hat sets along with her Angry Bird hats she sold at Christmas.  We all watched Sarah work on her darling crocheted mushroom until she completed it.  Funny, I never did really complete anything because I always got side tracked looking at everyone else’s projects:)

Angie and Nija Turtles                Sarah

The last Friday the stitchers convinced me to show them how to locker hook and before I knew it I had a FULL class!  I honestly wasn’t prepared for a class….thought it was just going to be a demo!  But everyone, having stitching experience whether it was knitting, crochet, tatting, felting, weaving, embroidery, jewelry, sewing, and etc. all caught on fast.  It was a great class and I am so proud of them:)

locker hooking gathering

I know we are going to miss our Friday gatherings but it always seems that when spring & summer come we all are out doing other things.  In Alaska we take advantage of the good weather!  But we will all come together again in October and share more projects, fun, food, laughter, and friendships.   Hope everyone has a great summer and Jake and I can’t wait to see you in October!

Jake Painting

Donna

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Our Hurricane

Hi!  About a week ago we had a HUGE storm, in Anchorage, Alaska!  Up where I live it was recorded up to 100-130 mi. an hour winds and hurricane rain.  They had just started working on our road and had closed it off (for a month!) so I had to take another road which is dark, narrow, windy, and scary during the day time let alone the night!  I was working downtown in the Gallery that night and I found myself driving home in the dark, during a  hurricane.  Each time a wind gust pushed my car I wondered if I was going over!  But the biggest problem was the poor visibility because the rain was so fierce!  It was pounding so hard on my windshield and my wipers were full blast, and I could hardly see the narrow road!  I remember thinking, I may go over the cliff and there is nothing I can do about it!  I was pretty shaken up by the time I reached home and I sure was glad to be there!  When I got out of my car I was literally shaking!  Soon after (during the news), we lost power but got it back the next day.  We were fortunate because most people around us lost their power for about a week.  Many of our friends went without power for well over a week.  We lost our TV and internet for five long days 🙂

It howled all night long and shook our house, and the next day I looked out my kitchen window and this is what I saw…….

Fallen tree from my window

Photo taken through my screen window

The Tip of the Fallen Tree

The tip of the fallen tree

This is a BIG thick, tall healthy tree that fell!  That tree was right next to our bedroom, next to our heads!  My first thought was “I hope it didn’t fall on the neighbor’s shed!  We would be in big trouble”  It didn’t.  I went outside and took this photo showing how close it actually was to our house….

Fallen tree next to our house

Fallen tree next to our house & truck

I had just recently watched the coverage of Hurricane Issac off Florida and New Orleans and I could now identify somewhat with those who go through hurricanes!  I have an absolute love and fascination of the wind and of storms, but this one was just too close to home!

Click here for more photos of our  hurricane.

Donna

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Alaskan Landscape Series

Hi!  I’ve started a series of wall hangings, canvas, and etc. (which means the possibilities are endless!) featuring, “Alaskan themed landscapes”.   I can’t paint like Kurt Jacobson (Jake, my talented husband), but I love working with fabrics, yarns, beads, and mixed media.  When I first moved to Alaska, I was told that I’d “better get a hobby” because the long winters will drive you CrAzY!  All my life I’ve been into arts & crafts but to finally have an excuse to “get serious” about it, well it was just perfect!  PERFECT!  So…….. I took a quilting class and got a new start in my art, new marriage, new happiness in Alaska!  Back then I really enjoyed making small wall hangings and selling them, until I got totally  lost in my locker hooking with fabric…………and well, the rest is history!

I will be taking a “Painting on Silk Class” this Saturday and I hope to incorporate this into my Alaskan Landscapes.  I tried my hand at painting a silk sun catcher at Francine Dufour Jones demo and I loved it, and so all these ideas have been running in my head and I can’t stop running!  I’m pretty excited!!

This is my first official quilted wall hanging in my “Alaskan Landscape Series”.  It begins with water and fish, land with flowers and trees, to the Northern Lights sky.

Alaskan Landscape Wall Hanging

I entered this one in the Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center’s First Friday last month.

Donna

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First Friday

Hi!  The Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center has officially moved from L St. and reopened its doors on 423 5th Ave, Anchorage, and I was there!  It was absolutely fabulous!  We had a great turnout for the event and everyone was amazed at the transformation of the store.  The first Friday of each month, galleries and cafes downtown feature different artists and art shows and a lot of them are within walking distance.  We had old friends, other artists, and tourists stop by, which was really fun!   For our first friday’s “First Friday” we featured all the artists in our store!  It was awesome!  I brought in my quilt rack and hung two large crocheted rag rugs.

Opened 5-16-2012

Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center opened its doors

The front of the store is our Gallery (I’m on the right behind desk) …………

Front of Gallery

The Gallery at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center

………And the “Sled Dog Cafe”,  is in the back of the store where we have tables & chairs, couch, and comfy chairs by a fireplace.  We sell coffee and cookies which goes to support our classes and events.  Our cafe motto is “Stop. Sit. Eat a cookie”!  The Sled Dog Cafe is where we hang our “First Friday’s” featured art and lay out food and drink. The art will stay there for the month until the next “First Friday”.

Sled Dog Cafe in back of store

Sled Dog Cafe at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center

Our store also features the  Jon Van Zyle Museum, which is in the back of the store next to the Sled Dog Cafe (door on the left in above photo).  Jon Van Zyle is a well known and respected artist who paints beautiful Alaskan art and the Iditorod and has ran & completed TWO Iditorod races.  He also is the official artist for the Iditorod Poster, which comes out every year.  They are awesome!  He has illustrated many, many Alaskan books.  He and his wife, Jona, live in Anchorage, Alaska, with their dogs (and cats).

Jon Van Zyle Museum

Jon Van Zyle, at “Jon Van Zyle Museum” in Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center

It was a fabulous and successful evening and we are already getting ready for next month’s “First Friday” which will also be our “official” GRAND OPENING of Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center, featuring Jon Van Zyle!  He will be there, so write this on your calenders…….July 6, 2012.

Donna

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Remodeling and Opening Gallery!

Hi!  Our new adventure begins!  Our goal was to paint, remodel, put up track lights, and OPEN the Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center by May 16, 2012 and feature local artists work and the famous Alaskan Artist, Jon Van Zyle.

The building used to be a t-shirt shop and had been vacant a number of years.   What an absolute mess!!  Dark walls and ceilings are not good for art work so everything had to be painted white.  The Sled Dog Cafe’s ceilings had to be black because we needed to cover up big pipes on the ceiling.  A new sink for the bathroom was donated and the walls in the cafe were spay painted with “texture”.  They put in a door in the back for security and redid door knobs.  They also had someone come in and install dark film on the front windows to protect the art work.  I helped with the front display windows.  Soooooo many people donated things and their time and so much hard work!

Jake Painting Inside Slatwall

Jake is Painting My Slat Wall

Jake and I are now part of the co-op and we get 10 feet of wall.  Jake takes 8 feet and I get 2 feet 🙂   And I’m very excited because I get to work in the store, which is so much fun!

Donna Jacobson at Arctic Rose Gallery

My Little Space-After Painting!

Kurt Jacobson at Arctic Rose Gallery

Jake’s Space-After Painting!

The transformation was TRULY AMAZING!!

Sled Dog Cafe-Before

Sled Dog Cafe-Before!

Sled Dog Cafe-After

Sled Dog Cafe-After!

Arctic Rose Gallery and Art Center is located on 5th Ave, downtown Anchorage, across from the 5th Ave Mall and between two well know and respected Alaskan restaurants (Club Paris and Gingers).  YES, in the heart of the city where tourists love to hang out.

Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center will offer art, events, classes, and be involved with the community.   And………we will be right downtown for the start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race!  So Awesome!

Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center Opens 5-16-2012

Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center Opens 5-16-2012

WE DID IT!  We opened May 16, 2012!

(The official grand opening will be July 6, 2012)

Donna

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Our New Adventure

Hi!  Since I last talked to you, Jake and I were invited to a special meeting.  There were about 10 of us and the owner of Artic Rose Gallery and the Firefly Co-op presented a fantastic idea to us.  She wants to blend the two stores into one large co-op store and call it “Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center”.   It will be a beautiful professional art gallery for talented local artists (like Jake) as well as FIBER ART  (me!), pottery, jewelry, “Mush Girls” t-shirts, beading, photography, etc., AND will feature the art and a museum by Jon Van Zyle  (THE most famous Alaskan Artist who also completed The Iditarod Sled Dog Race two times!).  He is the “official artist” for the yearly Iditarod Posters!  What an honor!  Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center will offer art, events, classes, and be involved with the community.

My first reaction to the idea of a co-op was pure JOY, but suddenly my mind went back to those horrible days I spent after I joined a co-op years ago.  But the location, location,  location got me really excited because it will be in this huge building on 5th Ave, downtown Anchorage, across from the 5th Ave Mall!  WOW!  In the heart of the city where tourists love to hang out 🙂  And maybe I would get to work in the store…….I loved that part of it.  We knew pretty much everyone at the meeting and all are trusted and well known people.  It is the “PEOPLE” of a co-op who can make it or break it (speaking from personal experience).  So I swallowed my bad memories and kept on listening.

Now Jake (Kurt Jacobson) has never had his “own store” where he can hang his choice of art.  He has been in art galleries.  An art gallery “co-op” is different.  I thought it would be perfect for him and I could be involved in a small way too.   So we both said, “let’s do it!”………and that’s what I’ve been doing!  Our NEW ADVENTURE begins!  We open May 16 after we paint and totally remodel the inside.

Our New Adventure!

Our New Adventure!

Donna

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Warm in his Cocoon

Hi!  It is sooooo cold in Alaska!!  I love Alaska but I’ve always wondered why so many people take off every winter and I swore I would never leave.  I came up from Seattle where it rained all winter long and we ignored it and just went on our way.  No big deal.  So when I moved to Alaska, I adopted this attitude and I pretend it isn’t cold and there is no snow out there.  Of course I’m always prepared in case!

But this winter is different and I’ve had it!  I’ve tried to live with it, but this year there is NO pretending that it is TOO cold and there’s TOO much snow!  I’m caving in!  I really wouldn’t mind leaving Alaska and coming back when it’s warm!  I certainly don’t want to be around when break-up happens!  We are going to have a lot of MUD!!

This winter has been really hard on everyone!  I have friends that have literally escaped to their cabins and I haven’t heard from them at all.  Some friends who are up-beat people have admitted this winter is the first that they’ve experienced cabin fever.  Some have broken bones.  I walk through stores and I’ve NEVER seen so many SADD lights.  Yup, I bought a Happy Light!  Some swear by them.  I’ve been using mine and haven’t noticed anything significantly different.  But I haven’t had to increase my prozac again………..yet 🙂

But if you have to live and stay in Alaska, this is the time to bundle up, like Joseph!  I crocheted this warm cocoon for him when he was little and now his brother is at the right age to use it.  I bet it’s cozy and warm to sleep in!  I would LOVE to have one for myself!  I’d go into my cocoon the first sign of snow and not come out until it’s gone.

Joseph's Cocoon

Joseph's Cocoon

It is still snowing and this week we have MORE coming and even a blizzard warning for tomorrow!  One good thing is that it gives me an excuse to craft more!  I wonder how others “cope” with hard weather??

Donna

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Dance Through Life

Hi!  When I was a young girl I took classical ballet lessons from a mean old Russian woman who was soooo strict.  She always carried a stick and hit us when we were not performing perfectly!  But she was the best of the best (so my mom said) and I fell deeply in love with dance.  When I was fifteen (the summer I turned 16) I went to live in Seattle, WA, and studied dance at Cornish School of Fine Arts.  I lived and breathed ballet as I was grooming for a Dance Company in Vancouver, Canada.  Yes, I was serious and very good, but something else happened during that summer that made me look at my future and make a life changing decision.  I had discovered BOYS!  Sweet 16………a job, car, skiing, and boys!  So I put my ballet in the background, decided to become a nurse, and went on to take jazz dance lessons and WOW was that fun!  Yup!

While I was in my last years of college I started dancing at Bellevue College and became serious again.  I was asked to audition and join their Dance Company, which was a dream come true!  But once again I had to make another life altering decision………..marriage or dance?  My wedding date fell on the one day I was to audition.  Once in a life time!  Well, I got married, moved out-of-town, and had two beautiful babies.

I eventually moved back and when my kids were toddlers I went back to dancing at the same college and decided once again to audition and join their Dance Company.  I wasn’t TOO old!  Then another life turning event happened I wasn’t expecting………..I got sick.  I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t do my turns without losing my balance and falling!  I was eventually diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I not only had to quit my dance but ALSO my nursing career ended abruptly!

Years went by and something wonderful happened!  My son, Ryan, who is a complete and total computer geek his entire life (that’s what he graduated in!) become an accomplished and professional modern dancer!  He got into it during college and now is a member of the Momentum Dance Company in Anchorage, AK.  And he is GOOD like his mom!  This is the kid who used to make fun of me when I danced in the kitchen and BEG me to stop (and now I’m laughing at him)!!  He will be performing this Friday & Saturday at the Performing Arts Center in Anchorage and I can’t wait!  You should come too!

Ryan Nixon

Ryan Nixon

Funny how some things work out, don’t you think?

P.S.   One thing is for sure, I will never stop dancing through life!

“Dance like no one is watching”!

Donna

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