Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Tuesday, May 27th

What a (3-day) Weekend!

This week in Juneau has been amazing! Sunny skies since Thursday I believe. I have been having a blast, going for walks, hikes, bike-rides, etc.

This past Memorial Day weekend Aaron and I hiked out to the back of Mayflower Island to photograph the start of the Juneau Cup sailing race. We were supposed to be on the boat with the purple and yellow sails but we decided to stay in town and get stuff done instead...which we did...but we also had a chance to play.

memorial-weekend-08-joyspri (57k image)

Sunday night we went to our special spot on Thane beach to camp and it was heavenly.

This is why I live here! I have to remember these days once the rains return...but for now, my batteries are fully charged.

Elise on 05.27.08 @ 09:06 AM AK [link]

Tuesday, May 20th

Just a Little Green...

basin-fiddlehead2 (89k image)

basin-fiddlehead (124k image)

basin-3-leaf-clover (167k image)

basin-2-leaves (104k image)

basin-poison-swirls (134k image)

Elise on 05.20.08 @ 09:49 PM AK [link]

A "Sun" Day, Three Little Bears, and a little Toot Toot

When you live in a rain forest and the sun comes out after weeks and weeks of rain, people will sometimes leave work early or take what's locally referred to as a "Sun Day". Aaron's boss canceled their evening work plans last night because of the glorious sunshine so we were able to go for a walk through Last Chance Basin.

On our way back we saw a mama bear and her adorable cubs right along the side of Basin Road near Gold Creek. They were *so* close, it was a little scary actually, but we stopped and watched them forage and play for quite awhile (there was a car pulled over near us that we could have jumped in if the mama had charged).

All the plants are really coming up now too. The leaves on the trees seemed to come out full-grown overnight. Fiddlehead ferns (one of my favorite things to paint) are in various stages of unfurling and the skunk cabbage blossoms (another fav) are in their peak state of pointed yellowness. If it's not raining after work tonight, I plan to go back up there and take photos of all the little living bits starting to poke out.

Our walk really inspired me artistically. I've been in kind of a dark and cold space for awhile (literally). Right before our walk Aaron told me we received an $900 oil bill! So, in addition to the 500% increase in our electric bill, our oil bills have doubled! I am feeling very poor, and yet, there is *nothing* like the sun on my face to rouse the muse. Plus, despite the high cost of living I feel like I really *am* living and there's no where else on the planet I'd rather be.

btw, I asked Redimat to send me a copy of the article they wrote about me in their newsletter (unbeknownst to me) and they did. It's the most glowing thing I've ever read about myself, made me sound like a rock star! I only wish it were true!

"A multimedia and figurative artist, Elise Tomlinson's blog combines the best-practice tools and methods that rise small talented sectors into social media giants. Her blog is more than a working artist's journal - it's a multi-faceted blend of slice-of-life personal diary, gallery and marketing artblog."

I'm listening...

"Reader comments provide evidence of Tomlinson's social power and the support from engaged audiences that are as reflectively diverse as the many facets expressed through her chronicles. "

Go on...

"Altogether, it's a blogging work of art and genius that makes a bold, impressive statement in the blogosphere."

I'm blushing...

Elise on 05.20.08 @ 11:46 AM AK [link]

Monday, May 19th

Ups and Downs and loooooong flights of stairs

Well, this past weekend my intended and I went to an open house where we viewed our dream home. The current owner is a painter too, and has a lovely little studio by some big windows with a stunning view...and the basement had a shop where my honey could build his fantasy wooden ketch sailboat. Not to mention the wood stove where I could burn stuff, and the huge deck overlooking downtown Juneau and the Channel.

It's in the neighborhood where he grew up, Star Hill, and as it turns out, I've had a print of the house done by Rie Munoz (a gift from a close friend who visited me here in Juneau years ago) hanging up in our bedroom for years.

I thought it was a sign!

We did all the paperwork to get pre-approved for a mortgage (which we did) but in the end, cooler heads prevailed. That is, we have recently set up financial goals for ourselves and a plan to get out of debt and getting this house didn't fit into the plan.

So, we decided to let it go, for now.

Instead we're going to fix up the cute little place where we currently live (and can afford) and continue to try and get out of debt and save for a bigger place without risking financial ruin.

I'm sharing all this because last night I talked to my dad and he said "you know, you really should update your blog more often", this one's for you dad!

Elise on 05.19.08 @ 04:50 PM AK [link]

Friday, May 9th

The cost of Avalanches...

Well, Aaron and I have made some changes at our house which is why I haven't been posting as much recently. For one thing, with a 500% increase in our electric bills (and the bills of all of the businesses in Juneau) and the state unwilling to help out, everyone here has had to make some serious lifestyle changes.

In order to pay our increased electric bills over the summer, we've had to give up cable TV and high-speed internet (we're keeping both the TV and computer mostly off during the evening) and since I don't blog from work, that has limited my options somewhat.

We are also trying to get rid of our storage unit (another bill we suddenly can't afford) so we've been making trips there and identifying a bunch of stuff we can sell at our upcoming garage sell. We're also having to sell the Opportunity, Aaron's 22" Catalina sailboat as we can't afford the slip fees.


Anyway, some good that has come from all of this, we are actually *doing* a lot more stuff, as we used to spend too much time watching TV (me) and surfing the web (him). However, there are a lot of cold, dark homes here in Juneau, as everyone hunkers down and tries to get through the next 3+ months on back-up diesel generators.

We bought an indoor clothesline (you can't dry anything outside as it's always rainy) and we've switched to low-flow shower heads, bought an insulation blanket for the hot water heater, and all of our lights are compact florescent.

I *do* hope to spend more time painting, possibly out-doors as it's too dark at our place to paint inside.

Elise on 05.09.08 @ 02:18 PM AK [link]