Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Sunday, June 29th

A Word from the Undead

I've been sick for a week and a half now and I'm STILL sick. What gives? My sweetie rented a bunch of zombie movies for me during my convalescence but I was so nauseated that I couldn't even watch most of them.
Plus, I had a ton of things I'd wanted to get done as there are only 2 weekends left before the wedding, but alas, I haven't been able to do anything.

Aaron has taken very good care of me though. I used to be very happy as a Singleton, it's true, except for when I'd get sick. There is nothing so horrid (imho) as being alone when you're really sick and helpless.

Anyway, to respond to a couple questions I received in comments in my last is a link to my wedding dress (no peaking Aaron!). This store was great, I didn't take measurements and I had to send two dresses back and they were super helpful and freindly about the whole thing.

I was going to keep the way too small dress and try to lose weight to squeeze into it in time, but I realized that would stress me out too much. So instead I ordered a size way too big because it was the only size close to mine they had in stock. So, Aaron's mom is going to take it in for me. Right now it hangs almost to my ankles and is massive BUT it is also totally adorable and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it (Plus I can eat whatever I want!).

Another question we've been getting *a lot* is if we're registered anywhere. We debated that quite a bit. I have this weird anti-registering thing. It seems so strange to me to tell people what presents to buy you. I know that if you don't, you can end up with 10 toasters, and I've never minded when friends have been registered places, it's just a personal weirdness of mine. Not that I don't LOVE getting presents, because I do. I mean, it's one of my favorite things ever!

The thing is, we pretty much have everything we really need already. I mean, we have some big ticket items (like, we're absolutely dying to buy a wood stove since electricity here can be iffy at times and oil has gone up a bagillion dollars per gallon) but that's not really the kind of present you can register for!

So, we are refusing gifts from people flying in from out of town because getting here is crazy expensive and their coming to the wedding is present enough. For people in town, they can bring a pot-luck item to the wedding as their gift or just come and not worry about it. We also gave people the option of making a *small* contribution to our honeymoon and we've started a savings account for it. We've never really been on a vacation together except to Anchorage and Gustavus. So, going to Hawaii for a week is going to be a huge deal for us!

Since we're using frequent flyer miles for the tickets there, and we have a free place to stay, if we have anything left over afterwards we're going to buy this wood stove! A girl can dream!

Elise on 06.29.08 @ 02:56 PM AK [link]

Tuesday, June 17th

The kindness of others

So, the wedding is just about 4 weeks away and things are starting to fall into place. A friend and very talented photographer Patrick McGonegal is going to photograph our wedding as a present. If you like the snap shots I post on this site, be sure to check his work out, it's soooooo much better than mine. He also has a site more about Juneau called

Another friend who is a wonderful baker is going to do our cake in exchange for a painting he's wanted for a long time.

The wedding dress has arrived and it's too big... so Aaron's mom is going to take it in for me, free of charge.

Then there is the friend who is doing the music (thanks Kate!) the friend doing the flowers (thanks Maren!) the friend helping with the food (thanks Jen!) etc. etc. etc.

Then, unbelievably, we met a woman at Aaron's aunt and uncle's dinner party who is letting us use her gorgeous ocean side condo in Honolulu for our honeymoon!!!! (thanks Karen!) Can you believe that? She only met us the one time, how sweet and generous is that?

Anyway, we have already received more presents and offers of help etc. than I ever would have has made the stress of the upcoming wedding much more tolerable.

Speaking of which, yesterday I spent the entire day sewing table cloths for the picnic tables at the shelters where we're getting married. It's a ton of work, close to 20 tables and each one has a base table cloth and a runner on top. It has been (so far) the biggest expense for this wedding, and more work than I'd ever imagined.

So, was it a good idea to cancel the July exhibit? If I hadn't, I can honestly say I would have lost my mind. I promise that once the festivities are behind me, the painting will resume!

Elise on 06.17.08 @ 05:09 PM AK [link]

Thursday, June 5th


This morning on my way to the bus stop I was almost able to catch the Grand Entrance for Celebration 2008! Darn!

Check out this gorgeous slide show posted on our local Juneau Empire website.

You can even watch it live on UATV!

For those of you unfamiliar with Celebration, here is a brief explaination from Sealaska Heritage Institute's press release:

"Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will kick off its biennial Celebration next week, marking the 26th year since the inception of the popular dance-and-culture festival.

The institute anticipates up to 5,000 people, including 52 dance groups and approximately 2,300 dancers from Alaska, Canada and the Lower 48, will attend Celebration 2008, held in Juneau at Centennial Hall, the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, and the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. SHI will announce winners of its biennial Juried Art Show and Competition on June 4. Dance performances and other events are scheduled June 5-7. The theme is “Tlingit, Haida Tsimshian Dancing on the Land.”

I hope that I'll get to attend some of the events.

Elise on 06.05.08 @ 02:43 PM AK [link]

Monday, June 2nd

Feeling my age...

After college I started taking ceramics classes and became seriously addicted to clay and if it weren’t for my arthritis (started in early 20s) I’d probably have a wheel and kiln set-up at home today.

For years I’ve had several kitchen cabinets full of funky hand-made mugs and bowls from those days, some my own and many from friends etc but each with a memory attached. The only problem with my collection is that they’d become decorative only. Neither my honey nor I ever used them and we have a wee little kitchen with no room to spare. So, this weekend I sold all my treasured hand-made ceramics for .10 cents each at our garage sale! The cool thing is that the majority were bought by a young woman who acted like she’d just won the lottery; that made me feel great.

But letting go was hard. It almost felt like letting go of that “image” of myself as a young, funky artist…for I am neither so young nor so funky anymore.

Later we took our garage sale earnings to celebrate at the Island Pub where a great band was playing. The crowd was *much* younger than usual, they were all texting and snapping cell-phone photos and videos of each other throughout the performance and again, I was feeling OLD.

But then towards the end of the night, a woman (in her 60s) went out with a younger woman and started dancing with such enthusiasm and joy, it was amazing. Soon tables were cleared and a whole assortment of people (young and old alike) began dancing…including my honey and I. We had so much fun, and I guess I realized that you’re only as old as you *allow yourself* to feel.

Which reminds me of a funny Woody Allen quote: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying."

In totally unrelated news, in our local paper is a touching story about a tour boat skipper attempting to rescue an orphaned baby goat. Enjoy!

Elise on 06.02.08 @ 10:17 AM AK [link]