NORTH TO ALASKA the cruise is on…

Well about 1973 I brow beat my husband into going on a cruise to the BAHAMAS…we had only been married a few years and we were living in Florida …. my then and current BFF’s husband was working for a company that had a group of tickets for the 3 day cruise and they asked us and another couple we were friends with to take the cruise with them… I really wanted to go but hubby and done this cruise in high school (he’s a bit older than me both physically and mentally lol) and he was against it …finally as the deadline for signing up approached… to get his attention I sat on his chest and looked him square in the face and said… I AM GOING …am I traveling alone or are you coming… he agreed to go… we had a good time but I was slightly depressed at Nassau. I thought it would be casinos, glamor, glitz…it wasn’t it was rips in the blackjack table tops, burns in the drapes and nasty carpet…. still we had a day on a private island which I am told they still do and of course now Nassau has the ATLANTIS on paradise island so I am sure its much more fun now… still I wanted to try another cruise and yes I have been whining about it for a while …finally he gave in and scheduled a 7 day cruise to ALASKA FROM SEATTLE I love it

FIRST STOP JUNEAU..…..we left on a rather sunny ( for Seatte) day and headed up to JUNEAU…where we had scheduled a trip to MENDENHALL GLACIER and a whale watching boat trip ….I actually thought they were both a boat trips or one trip that did both… turns out the Glacier was a bus ride with a slightly cranky no nonsense bus drive and a very jerky bus however the Glacier was lovely to view from a great distance ( again more than I thought) and also a tremendous waterfall which we did not have time to hike to due to the next leg which was whale watching… as it turns out I could have skipped this …it was a fun scenic boat ride and we did see lots of whale blows quite close and very frequent …however due to the time of year they were not breaching ( that’s when they leap out of the water and crash back) because they were feeding for their return of I think they 5000 miles to the hawaiian islands to breed so just eating as much as possible and not really surfacing so I we saw tails which taking a photo of was harder than taking a photo of lightning…lol…

MENDENHALL and the waterfall to the right

MENDENHALL and the waterfall to the right


Mendenhall zoom

NEXT STOP SKAGWAY here we took the train excursion up into CANADA and then back …again I thought it was an HO narrow gage steam train…it was HO AND NARROW GAGE and they did have steam engine however on our ride they used desiel engines… so that was wee big disappointing but it was a fun ride and I love trains so that part was fun..and the guide told us that a waterfall was coming up on the right and that we could see it but probably don’t bother to take a photo as its so close to train it always comes out blurry and yet….indomitablel spirit that I am I jumped up and went to the open platform between the cars ( this was allows for those of my friends who know that I run with scissors) and when the waterfall came by I snapped….and look it came out great and even the guide was impressed…for my sister in law who takes great pictures always …I DID IT.

may great photo of the waterfall from moving train

may great photo of the waterfall from moving train

one of skagway's old buildings made of driftwood

one of skagway’s old buildings made of driftwood

close up of driftwood decor on outside of building

close up of driftwood decor on outside of building

UNLIKE JUNEAU we had time to wander around SKAGWAY before we left on the train ride that afternoon…loved it… they had walking tours and I found the postoffice so I mailed quite a few postcards and the postman was impressed most people don’t send postcards anymore…too sad…I also found a quilt shop which I went into for my Mom and for my friend STEPHANIE who has just started quilting… and I found this incredible seam ripper if I don’t sew what the heck do I need with a seam ripper…. well I do needle point and cross stitch and sometimes you have to rip out …and I had been looking for these seam rippers and hadn’t found them. The one I was looking for was the one with the resin handle as I have one if Fl and I love it… but when I also saw the wooden handle one and that they slip in side to protect people and point on ripper well I boosted SKAGWAY’S economy and bought them both …train and then back to ship..

and on to GLACIER BAY...this was definitely the most scenic part of the cruise…First according the captain and crew we had the most incredible weather they had had all summer…and this was end of august.  It was sunny and bright and what they do …the cruise ships as there were 3 more behind us they go into the bay a boat brings a ranger from the park ( yep its a national park) out to the boat and you turn your TV on and they show what you are seeing and the ranger gives you information and our concierge had told us that we had the best viewing spot from the back of our deck…we were on the aft ( butt end )of the boat and she was correct..the captain slowly rotates the boat in a a 360 about 4 times and those with decks can see everything without scrambling to get to a railing and then running to the next side…remember this lounge chairs I showed you from my deck well l sat in one in the sun and slowly saw the whole of the bay several times… its was perfect… well a bloody mary to go with would have been even better if I had thought of it and I could have had it but I was too busy looking…eventually we had to give up our space and allow the other boats a chance.. it was the best..

glacier bay

glacier bay

glacier bay

glacier bay notice my deck neighbor also taking bomb




NEXT STOP KETCHICAN… I fell in love…. if I was going to live in Alaska this and Homer are the two places I have seen that I could do it…. here we only took the DUCK TOUR so we would have more time to see city and while the guide on tour was born and raised here and obviously loves it the boat itself was covered in plexiglass and it was scratched etc and hard to see thru so wish we had skipped this one all together…Wandered the town and had the best fish and chips ever….and I found a level antique ivory whale tail necklace and bought myself a ulu pocket knife that folds and has antique ivory for the handles… wish I had had more time to wander the town as it was just so pretty perched on the side of hill.

our room on ship

our room on ship


our view at breakfast each morning

our view at breakfast each morning

yes, there were 4 hot tubs on board and each evening we thought maybe as we returned from our excursions we go get in one..but we didn’t want the next day’s news to read “elderly couple found drown in hot tub…LMAO

WE WATCHED them Jog as we ate our breakfast each day ...does that count???

WE WATCHED them Jog as we ate our breakfast each day …does that count???

our wonderful deck at the aft end of boat...highly recommend aft end..

our wonderful deck at the aft end of boat…highly recommend aft end..


critters each night

critters each night


LAST STOP WAS VICTORIA BC..While this is one of my favorite places we go there several times during the summer and we were going there the week after this with cousins and aunt and uncle so we didn’t get off the ship just hung out in the sun on our deck and enjoyed the view and read…at midnight we sailed back to seattle and arrive around 6 am… I love SEATTLE it is such a wonderful city regardless of the fact that it rains A LOT…

HOME SWEET HOME… AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY…wire headed cyber toad….aka kath

JUST A FEW HINTS FOR GOING ON A CRUISE… take less clothes than you think..

bring an extension or power cord unless you have no devices..there are not enough electrical outlets to re charge

bring stick up lights for the was very dark

take some salty snacks… they brought snacks every night but always sweet

decide before you go do you really want to do excursions or do you want to see the location…

don’t bring new shoes even if they are sneakers unless you have broken them in…

go for priority boarding … that was the best think we didn’t know we did…







The title for this blog is from my older business cards… I didn’t really have a business but I did teach a lot of lettering classes in various places and I made up my own business cards and that’s the phrase I used on them so here is some more info along that line…

I recently rewatched the movie JULIE AND JULIA…if you haven’t seen it its wonderful about a girl who decides to spend a year cooking all of Julia Childs recipes from the MASTERY OF FRENCH COOKING book… and in addition to cooking them all she is going to blog about them …. now the movie never says she does this daily , but we assume that…anyway I got to thinking about my blog and decided it was a very narrow focus and to be quite frank its a focus that I am growing weary of …. I love making cards but STAMPING UP has the market covered in demos on line of how to do these cards and mostly while I may share a tip or hint about them I am basically just referring you to one of their websites …. so I am in a position of wanting to do more with my CALLIGRAPHY… that was how I got started with the cards in the first place….so you may find that do the movie and my waning interest there may still be mentions of cards etc but also more about calligraphy and paper and inks etc…I hope I will not loose those that have been following but as Julie mentions in the movie she has no assurance that anyone is looking…she later finds that they are in fact but unlike Julie … I do know that I maybe have about 20 loyal fans but I rarely get comments so it feels like it is just going out there in the ether…and that’s ok too since I didn’t do this to make money and when I think about why I did I realize that I was spending a great deal of time in a location where I had very little reactions with other calligrapher’s or even other crafters.. Since Pens, Paper and Ink were original focus in 1984…I have decided to try to go back to that…. I am also going to try to share more EYE CANDY and possibly a less structured /scheduled posting … as I said I hope this will not frustrate you and that those of you that are not spam( I get a lot of that) will continue to hang in there and maybe you will even be motivated to make a comment now and then…

WOW does that sound like whining…sorry….I just thought you should know so you make your own decisions..then again maybe you are as bored with this format as I am…

THE MAKING OF PAPERI THINK you will find this video quite interesting… the first time I took a paper making class I was amazed at the fact that while I was told to bring 12 inch squares of cloth ( which I bought in lovely patterns and colors think it would be used to CREATE the paper) ha no way it was used to couch your paper i.e. lay your wet sheet on to dry … lmao… so funny…and because it was a big class they just had us pile it up in a stack so and they helped us use the first one we came to so I didn’t even DRY my sheets on my lovely cloth… really funny … that’s how it was done with small group of 20.

Every year for quite a while not sure how long there has been a WASHINGTON STATE CALLIGRAPHERS CONFERENCE…its open to all the WA groups and I am sure we would not deny any Oregon calligraphers either or even California…lol Its held at CAMP HUSTON which I believe is owned by the Luthern church AND its in GOLD BAR WA… its a beautiful setting and about 20-40 of my closest friends come to gather and share and play… for the last 3 or maybe 4 yrs we have extended it from friday to sunday to THURSDAY TO SUNDAY… so 3 whole nights and lots of time to share and play …sometimes there is a teaching moment and this year I am teaching a monoline class it will only be about 2 hours and since most of the attendees are calligraphers it is rather easy to teach… Monoline means just that only one line and it does not go from think to thin …there is no pen angle and the letters can be any size you want… the TOOLS are generally just a bullet tip ball point, pencil, colored pencil, gel pen, ruling pen etc… anything that writes basically but not with a chisel nib or even a pointed pen… you could use a pointed pen nib but you’d have to becareful not to allow it to make thick and thins… even a fountain pen is good .  I taught these a lot at local scrapbook stores because scrapbookers for the most part don’t want to do formal calligraphy or spend the time and practice it takes to achieve good letters.  But monolines were quick and relatively easy and gave a nice look to their page which maybe their own handwriting didn’t. It also provide a lot of variety …so basically I am teaching a type of typography which in fact is where a lot of my scripts come from… I am especially fond of ART DECO STYLE LETTERS as you can see from my exemplar below.

I don’t own this version but I did spend a lot of time creating it and making the exemplar so I don’t mind you sharing but share the blog please and if you teach this even for free somewhere make a smaller copy of mine to share and show and then do your own exemplar… its hard to teach someone else’s letters so do yourself a favor and do your own version based on  mine…I called mine ORNATE STYLE



As you can see a lot of that style is from the unique idea of cross bars on letters and dots under a small  o  with all the other letters being larger…while my script is based on typography by TONY is some original ART DECO letters by RENNIE MACKINTOSH



as you can see its very similar but he has also added dots with some of the other letters like M in capital letters and l and w in lowercase ..his lowercase letters also makes 3 crossbars instead of two but otherwise his caps and lower case look very similar… personally I love it… you can not be two quirky for me…. and don’t ya just love that capital Q and the lower case q … clever don’t ya think…. any way here are some letters to play with.  I’d love to see what you do with them make cards, weathergrams, banners posters, scrapbook pages whatever… just have fun…

I also promised you photos from my cruise to ALASKA…it was fabulous but I will have to post it separately this one is getting too long…

EYE AND EAR CANDY..Mike Rowe’s letter from his MOM.. This is a medium length video of Mike reading a letter from his mom regarding loosing her BIG BLUE BAG in the Walmart ( WALLY WORLD ) parking lot… I laughed so hard tears ran down my leg…. but for all us women you know just how awful that feeling of having left your purse or wallet or credit card somewhere can be…so this is a lighter look at him and I’d love to know how long after the chaos his mom wrote the letter…. hope I am sending you a smile when maybe you need it…

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY….wire headed cyber toad aka kath


OH MY GOSH….ya’ll know how much I love interactive cards…well this one is just too cute and not that hard to produce… just cut your pieces first then go forward with the creation…and don’t worry if you don’t have the stamps she used…. you more than likely have others that will work… ONE HINT..I can’t find any place where she gave you the measurements except ON THE VIDEO…so keep paper and pencil handy and write them down…. DAWN’S HAPPY DAY SPINNER ( I CHANGED THIS TO FLIPPER because it was too confusing to have two spinner names…)

Dawn's spinner closed

Dawn’s spinner closed

Dawn's spinner open

Dawn’s spinner open

this can be almost any type of insert… it could be square or round or oval…or funky…as long as it fits thru the opening and frankly while I love that is will spin…many who receive it at least from me…don’t do this kind of thing and so they may not even realize that you can spin it… still its MY KIND OF CARD…

In addition… I didn’t have those same flower stamps so I used what I had…and in fact I have a flower punch ( old stamping up i think as I can’t find it now) so punched out flowers or whatever designs you might want for the inside of the card….like maybe seashore type images or cakes and candles etc…

front of flipper/spinner card by nah

front of flipper/spinner
card by kh

inside flipper spinner cd kh

inside flipper spinner cd kh

as you can see I did not get the image in the correct position on the back side… ha…but I am sure my uncle will not care he will just flip it… I do like this and I want to try another one using circles…



VAN GOGH ON DARK WATER this is a paper marbling video and its the most amazing thing I have seen… I know about marbling and how its done but this goes way beyond and remember I told you I can’t draw hence the stamps and dies and etc… well this guy is just too fantastic for words… warning though as soon as its over click off as apparently Youtube had a new trick called jump right into another video or ad and they may not even have anything in common with this one…..still its worth it to see this guy work….

THE LETTER N ….this was an interesting video on carving jewelry the old fashioned way by hand… its kinda noisy so you may want to turn you sound down..its just background noise not music.

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY…..wire headed cyber toad…aka kath




SHARP DRESSED CARD…. well maybe that ‘s not a term for cards but both of these are pretty cool … Dawn is still using the WILD RIDE set but hey they work well on the first design  and she does used flowers on the second design which is actually the same but just the second Z fold is larger.. I like it!!!! then on the third image… if you look closely she had a PICTURE ON THE RIGHT AND TREMENDOUS TIP:6a00d8341c09ea53ef01b7c87257f8970b-500wi

she talks about the fact that she will loose the cling stamps on her desktop when she is creating several of the same cards or even several using the same stamps… I do know that feeling and she says she has even lost them in the trash can …..aaarrrggghhh because I too have done that l learned a while ago to put my trash can several feet away from my desk…. so I kinda have to throw the trash…better to have trash on the floor that ya gotta pick up later then to loose a stamp in the bucket and not even know its there… anyway her tip is to purchase one of those inexpensive lucite frames for your photos and to flip it over and as shown and use that to stick your stamps while you are not using them …yes you could just put them away and get them out and put them away and get then out but hey would I do that ….no way…so this is great idea…she suggested dollar store so i think I will pick one up next time I go to grocery…. as its right next door…but they have them everywhere… I am going for the 5×7 but you can use any size you want…. THANK YOU DAWN…. worth the price of admission… 







This is the same design as the balloon Z FOLD POP UP


as I said same design just different embellishment… I love the balloons but the ONE WILD RIDE is great for a man’s card…


Again I found this on Youtube and had to share it with you I have done some paper quilling but nothing like what YULIA BRODSKAYA

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY……wire headed cyber toad….aka kath