Sunday, June 15, 2014

Magnificent Alaskan Cruise

Home from our Alaskan Cruise and I'll share some of my photos of the beautiful scenery we saw there. Mom and I flew to Seattle and boarded the Norwegian Jewel there. I taught the two days we were at sea... and we played tourist when we docked at the ports.

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Sunset from our balcony on the Norwegian Jewel.

I taught Zentangle drawing and quilting on this cruise.
I challenged the students to find tangle designs throughout the ship.
Check out this carpet. It even has shading between the curved designs.

 As we cruised along, there was a lot of snow melting,
creating rivers and waterfalls running down
the sides of the mountains.

Port of Ketchican

We took a trolley ride to the largest park with totem poles.
There were also two eagle nests near the entrance so
we got to see a lot of eagles too.

Mom standing by one of the totems - and this was a very short one.

This eagle flew toward the ship as we pulled away from the dock and I snapped this photo from our balcony.

Port of Juneau

Mom and I hopped on a shuttle to go to downtown Juneau where we did a little souvenir shopping (had to get some Ulu knives) and strolled along a boardwalk which gave us the best view of our ship. Usually we were too close to it and couldn't get the whole ship in the picture. 

Juneau: We just had to stand in front of this big stuffed bear.
Temperatures were cool enough for a light fleece jacket.

Large and small pieces of the glacier. The ice was a blue-green color.

This was our first view of Sawyer Glacier from our balcony.

Then the captain stopped the ship and turned it in a 360-degree circle so everyone could see the glacier from our balconies. We expected to see a tall mountain of ice. Instead it was a collapsed-looking mound of ice.

Our next port was Skagway, where Mom and I boarded the White Pass Yukon train. The sights were unbelievable. I spent most of the trip standing on the rear platform of our car so I could take photos. The train twisted and turned along the edge of the mountains.
There were several trestles and two tunnels on our route.
Now don't you just wonder how long it took them to build a trestle like this
on the side of the mountain.

This was a large falls that we could see from the train. It was closer to the Yukon Highway.

When we reached the turn-around point, the engineers used a side rail to move the engines from the front to the back. This was a large glacier lake right next to the tracks. The guide said it was 2.5 miles long and was 250 feet deep in spots.
Looks cold in this photo, doesn't it? Well, it was cold up there.

Check out how high that snow is piled outside our car.

As we headed back to Skagway, the guide pointed out the
Class 6 rapids in this area.

Engine #52 was the first engine to traverse this rail line.
They keep it parked at the workshop for the White Pass Yukon Rail Line.

Our trip ended back in downtown Skagway.
This train ride was a highlight of our trip.

 This was the million dollar photo from our train ride.
We were 20 miles away from where our ship was docked,
but you can see it in this photo.

And then we sailed on to Victoria, British Columbia.

At Victoria, we visited the Butchart Gardens. Mr. Butchart had used this
site to dig limestone to make cement. As Mr. Butchart exhausted limestone deposits, his enterprising wife Jennie, made plans to create something of beauty in the gigantic exhausted pit. From farmland nearby, she had tons of top soil brought in by horse and cart and used it to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little, the quarry blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden.

And, oh my, were the flowers beautiful! At home we have flowers that bloom at different times. In this garden, many of them were blooming all at the same time.

Butchart Gardens

The Rhododendrons had huge blossoms... in many different colors.

This is a view of the Sunken Gardens

A momma bear and two babies were made of
moss and tucked into the trees.

Tucked under this group of trees were many different varieties of hostas.
The variety of colors made this a beautiful garden.

A pond with a fountain in the center made a great backdrop
for these wild flowers.

Mom and I took a break in the garden and
enjoyed sitting in some of the chairs sprinkled among the flowers.

Bonnie sitting in the Sunken Garden.

Loved the blue poppies!

Mounds of colorful flowers lined the walkways throughout the gardens.

We rented a wheelchair so Mom wouldn't need to walk up and
down the hills in the gardens. Made it easier for us to stroll and roll
through the gardens.

The azaleas were profusions of color everywhere.

Some walkways were lined with tall, straight trees.
After we left the Gardens, our driver stopped downtown so we could
take a few photos. They were planning sailboat races that weekend so
the bay was full of sailboats.
This is the government building in Victoria. It is a very old building.

Last photo of the trip just before we boarded the ship
to head back to Seattle.

We enjoyed our trip to Alaska on the Norwegian Jewel.

Thank you Gloria Cook for scheduling our
Magnificent Alaskan Cruise.
And thanks to the quilters who joined Patti Hempen and me,
and made the classes on sea days such fun!

Be sure to take a cruise to Alaska!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Dogwoods in Paducah - Beautiful for AQS QuiltWeek

Today Wayne and I took a drive on the Dogwood Trail. The dogwoods have bloomed just in time for the quilt show and all of our visitors. Here is a pictorial trip on the Dogwood Trail...

Redbud and Dogwood trees along Jefferson Street

Love seeing the American flags in so many yards this year

Dogwoods wild in the timber

The trees on the grounds of the Grace Episcopal Church are really pretty.
The Church was one of the winners in the Dogwood Trail Contest.

The trees in front of the Grace Episcopal Church

Really pretty red dogwood tree

Closeup of the bracts on the tree above

White dogwood
Hope we will see you next week in Paducah. The quilts are beautiful - can't wait to see who the winners are - the winners will be announced on Tuesday evening at the 30th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Presentation, 4:45 - 7:00 p.m. at the Carson Four Rivers Center.

If you need information on the show, go to The show runs April 23 - 26, 2014.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Zentangle in the News

Sherida Warner of The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, CO wrote a wonderful article featuring quilter and Certified Zentangle Teachers Nancy Smith, Judith McCabe, Suzanne McNeill, and me - Bonnie Browning - the quilting tangler, in an article titled "Zentangle Art Zooms into the Mainstream Consciousness". Thanks Sherida, for sharing the news about Zentangle®.

If you haven't discovered Zentangle® yet, check out the main website,
And you can search my Blog for information on me and my Zentangle activities.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Looking Back and Ahead

2013 is winding down and in looking back, it has been a very busy year. It's time to sit a bit in front of a nice warm fire.
Wayne and I traveled a lot this year - to all of the AQS QuiltWeek® events: Lancaster, PA; Paducah, KY (didn't need to travel but worked the show for nine days); Grand Rapids, MI; and Des Moines, IA. And then we traveled to Muscatine, IA, for Bonnie's class reunion; to Moline, IL, for Mom's 90th birthday party; to Marion, IN, where Meredith Schroeder was inducted into the Quilter's Hall of Fame; to Williamsburg, VA, for Wayne's annual Army reunion with the guys who were stationed together in Viet Nam; and to Huntsville, AL, where Bonnie judged the quilt show for the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville.
Mom (Mary Kirkland) turned 90 years young in July. We had about 50 relatives from across the country join us for a big party for her. But we also celebrated several other things - brother Gerry turned 70 in June, youngest sister Marcia turned 65 in May, and Wayne and Bonnie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June. Now that is a lot of celebrations!

Bonnie made another trip to Egypt in May to select more of the Tentmakers' applique to display and sell at our AQS QuiltWeek events. It takes four days to visit each of the 21 shops that we work with. Bonnie bought some pieces for her own collection on this trip, including the one shown behind her in this photo. This piece is an unusual style for a Tentmaker piece. It looks like it should be pieced, but every piece is appliqued to the background. And, you can see that it is in the colors that Bonnie likes!
At the reunion of the 222nd Aviation Battalion in Williamsburg, Wayne planned a big surprise for all of the other veterans. We contacted Quilts of Valor and they presented every veteran at the reunion with their own Quilt of Valor. I did a whole blog about that - just scroll down to find all of the photos from that very special evening. Every veteran was thanked for their service - this was the first time that had happened for many of them. Wayne had received a Quilt of Valor from the group in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2012; we took his quilt and they also gave him a very nice certificate of appreciation for service to our country.
Wayne spent two weeks in the hospital in December - started with a fall at home and they admitted him for cellulitis in his right leg. That led to other tests, and he is now home recuperating. His leg is improving daily and with the help of OT and PT, he is walking better every day. He has a new lift chair that will make it easier for him to get up from his chair and to sit more comfortably with his leg elevated (like it is supposed to be).

What's ahead for 2014?
AQS has added three new shows to our schedule of events - Phoenix, AZ, in February; Charlotte, NC, in July; and Chattanooga, TN, in September. These are in addition to Lancaster, Paducah, Grand Rapids, and Des Moines. That's a total of seven shows for 2014.

Bonnie is working on another book that combines Zentangle® with Quilting. You'll learn how to add Zentangle designs to many other projects - from dishes to linens and already-made lampshades and pillows. Then we'll take those Zentangle designs and convert them to quilting designs.

In May, Bonnie will be teaching Zentangle > Quilting on an Alaskan cruise aboard the Norwegian Princess, along with Patti Hempen. We'll have hands-on classes when at sea, and explore Alaska when we are at port. When Wayne and I have cruised in Mexico and the Caribbean, the stewards have always told us that you don't want to miss a cruise to Alaska. Join us and cross that one off your bucket list!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Bonnie B