Side projects.

Yesterday was a foggy, drizzly day.  Not a day for battling the salmonberry bushes if you had any regard for your physical well-being.  The fish is all up in the drying house, with heat and fans on it (note: fog=no wind) so that it will continue to dry and not spoil.  So…what to do.  Not clean house!  It was Saturday, so no grandson to watch – although he did end up spending the night!  Instead of making chocolates, Mom and Diane shamed me into working on a project I started at least 4 weeks ago. 

My design phase of a fur seal throat pouch.

You can see my basket start, which will be used on the pouch, as well as my mock up.   Diane and Mom have already finished theirs, basically, so yesterday Diane was working on a wild rye grass basket that she is ready to start the turning stich on. 

There is nothing like the sheen of a wild rye basket.

Diane was commenting, that no matter how many baskets she makes, she always drags out the Svarny-girl bible…Aleut Basket Weaving, or Sophie’s book, when it comes time to turning. 

Mom was forced to get out the graph paper to work on her blueberry design for the basket she is weaving.  She hates to do graph work, although not as much as Diane.  Diane says she needs to do more planning and design work – but it just ain’t gonna happen!!  As you can see, Mom decided that piano work was a bit more interesting than anything else! 

Lalala....even the best of artists procrastinate at times!

We will get it together.  There is just so much else to do, though.

Unalaska at its finest.

We have been enjoying our beautiful February weather over the past week or so.  Mom and Dad say that they have always done a lot of boating in February because the weather always offers up a couple of weeks of beautiful, flat calm days with brilliant sunshine. 

This past week has also shown another finest of Unalaska, besides its February weather. It has been an action-packed showcase of the generousity of Unalaskans, from the Channel 8 auction (with their awesome and hilarious soap opera, Dutch Harbor 99692 ), to the Ballyhoo Lions bowling, spilling over to the Museum of the Aleutian’s Chocolate Extravaganza, and ending up on Sunday with the Preschool Ice Cream Social.  Where else but Unalaska, could you wear yourself out donating money to great public ideas in action?  And having fun doing it? 

A couple of my indispensable chocolate making tools.

I also wrapped up my segment for the Unangan Program at the elementary school.  My last week with the cutest little first graders you will ever see, was a breeze after my previous week with almost 30 second graders!  Not that the second graders weren’t cute…..there were just soooooooooooo many of them.  Keeps you on your toes when you are working with hot oil. 

Awesome journal-ing.

Suzi Golodoff now has five weeks with the students, teaching about our Aleutian feathered friends, and, last but not least – in fact, most importantly – Laresa Syverson will give 5 weeks of her afternoons in the pursuit of passing on Unangam tunuu (the Aleut language) to a generation younger than her!

Can you find the grey-crowned rosy finch?

Nawan Alaxsxan Ax^anan helps Unalaska celebrate MLK Day

Unalaska celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, by celebrating diversity.  In a program presented on Monday, January 18, I inadvertantly captured the Nawan Alaxsxan Ax^anan (The Unalaska Island Dancers) on video, and then did it again, and again.  Unfortunately my captures are quite unprofessional…I will have to practise.  I like totally forgot that my camera did video…hahaha…old timer!

So this is a clip of Qalngaagin, or Raven.  It was composed and choreographed by Laresa Syverson.  The unfortunate part of this clip is that I cut it off before the dance was totally complete…just a few seconds, but…  The song sings about the ravens seeking food near the beach, flying and performing in the sky, chasing each other.  Then flying toward the mountains, landing in the snow and sliding.  Just typical raven behavior!

Drummers from right to left:  Jacob Hawthorne, Nicky Hawthorne, James David Gregory.  Dancers from right to left:  Delores Gregory, instructor Laresa Syverson, Ariel Gustafson.   (Unalaskans:  After it buffers through, you can hit replay for a smooth version!)