19 September 2014

Dance Like a Pirate Day

Scurvy dog, be she jolly!

Friday Funny


Twofer...

18 September 2014

Are We There Yet?

Mama Bear

Did our vacation seem like a very long trip to you? Did three weeks of trip reports two weeks after the fact get boring?

If so, you might want to close out this browser and come back another day, because I still have more photos to share...

Little Tyke

Mama Smells Something

Baby Smells Something

Follow the Leader

Peekaboo!

You can't see me!

Mama, where'd you go?!?

There you are!!!

16 September 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Lizard and Highland Mary drooling over Vestal and Arrow

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Needle Bear

October Crestone Bears

Sneffels Bear

Princeton Bear

Blanca Bear and Little Bear

Twilight Bear, West Twilight Peak, Twilight Peak and East Twilight Peak in autumn glory

Half Moon Pass Bears Discovered

Holy Cross Hair Bear

Handies Bear

Capitol Bear

Bells Bear (or is it Bear Bells?!?)

Pyramid Bears

Snowmass Capitol Bears

Pyramid North Maroon Bear

Bear Lake (big grin!)

Bear Creek Trail

Goin' to Beartown

Beartown, San Juans.  Let me see if I can remember all their names...Belle, Twilight, Stony, Mary, Carson, Winnie, Emerald, Snowdon, Hair Bear, Harv, Cinnamon

Bear and the Lizard

Bearly Home

Mama, look at all the fun food down there on the road!

Yet another case of being in the right place at the right time...

We arrived in Gardiner, Montana, too late to try to make it through Yellowstone and still get photos. It probably was too late to get a camping spot anywhere in about 100 miles, as well. Driving through the tiny hamlet, we saw a few hotel/motel signs proclaiming "vacancy." We both assumed the rooms were available because they were too expensive. However, the further from the park, the more chance of vacancies.

So we decided to give the furthest one out a shot...

Home Sweet Hotel

And we got a room! With a quilt on the bed! Not a cheap, run of the mill comforter just like all the other hotels on the planet. A real quilt! And on the front door...

Our room was the only one sporting this little harbinger!

on our Yellowstone hotel door

We settled into the room and then traversed into Mammoth Hot Springs for what we thought might be a little sunset gold reflecting on the falls, but overcast skies and a foreboding-looking storm to the east dashed any hope of radiant hot springs. The springs also were MUCH dryer than I remembered from my last visit, more than a decade ago.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Yellowstone rarely fails to accommodate hopeful photographers, though. What it lacked at Mammoth Hot Springs, it made up for in wildlife. Before returning to our hotel room well after dark, we'd caught a few glimpses of some favorite characters.

Springs Dipper

Yogi

Speedy

Unwooly

We also picked up a carton of TruMoo chocolate milk to share the next morning, since we planned to depart before the complimentary continental breakfast at the hotel the next morning.

Another night NOT in sleeping bags was a bonus for two road-weary travelers. Home was beginning to seem so far away, even though it was inching closer. We must be getting old!

The final leg of our journey took us through Yellowstone during daylight hours and whittled off so much on our memory cards, we can't wait to go back. The fountains and geysers were so overcrowded by the time we passed, we decided we HAVE to go back, when the national park is not as insanely crowded.

The Lizard had given Old Faithful just a quick drive-by back in the thesis days. I, on the other hand, had spent many vacations here with a pair of pint-sized, excitement-addicted, ritalyn candidates. Even though Yellowstone and Alaska make jokes about the mosquito being the state bird, both venues have a stranglehold on me I just can't fight. I don't want to. The Lizard knew this, but wasn't as excited about Yellowstone until this trip.

This trip changed everything.

sunrise

misty mountain meadows

sunburn

wildflowers galore

mama and child

We had bearly (yes, I meant to spell it that way) 24 hours between Gardiner and Jackson. No Bullwinkle this trip, yet this trip cast a whole new meaning on the phrase, "a day in the park."

We can't wait to go back. Both of us. Together. Perhaps even with bikes. We can't wait to go back!

a walk amongst the wildflowers

15 September 2014

Bearflake Monday

Bearflake

This is Bear Week here at Snowcatcher! All week long!

Anyone who's been following along for a while may have figured out I like bears. I like making little bears...

Playin' in the Flowers

I like taking creative pictures of the little bears I make...

Goin' for a Ride

I like taking my little bears on hikes...

Snowdon Bear at waterfall on Cunningham Creek.  I was really, really hoping Snowdon didn't get blown down while I took this long exposure!  The wind was horrific, and the drop was about 200 yards straight down!

I like seeing real bears in real life...

peekaboo

And I like taking pictures of real bears in real life. As long as I can stay safe.

Today's Bearflake was inspired in part by the wonderful sight of a grizzly and her cub last month in Yellowstone.

Mama and Cub

I had to make a Bearflake because I thought it might be a cute idea for Halloween, but also because our Sisters of the Snowflake Yahoo Group has decided to make snowflakes for children's hospitals or senior centers this autumn. I thought a Bearflake would be an adorable snowflake for a child in need of hope and/or smiles. I've got a couple more cute snowflakes suitable for giving to children up my sleeve the next couple of weeks, and I hope you'll join us in trying to make the world a little brighter this winter.

I'm taking brief breaks from my special project to make snowflakes for Children's Hospital in Denver. If you would like to participate in this service project and don't have a facility in your area you would like to donate to, Children's is one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country. My adopted daughter was treated there many years ago. I know a couple of doctors and several staff members there, and I have known many children who have been treated there over the years. I currently have one friend whose infant is being treated there.

Although I think this is a fun snowflake for children, snowflakes are addictive because they are all different. The snowflakes we give away should all be different, too! The bear motifs on this snowflake may be attached to just about any snowflake bigger than 1.5 to 2 inches.

Here is a Bearflake made with a popcorn center Blanca Snowflake (which pattern is available only via tax-deductible donation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in my name or my husband’s name and specifying you would like the second booklet, which also features one of my favorite amigurumi snowflake patterns, Little Bear and Blanca Peak).

Bearflake with Blanca Snowflake Center

Here's a version with last week's Island in the Sky Snowflake.

Island in the Sky Bearflake

a snowflake bear

This Bearflake is made from the first motif snowflake pattern I designed, Pyramid Peak Snowflake.

Pyramid Bearflake

Here are some snowflake patterns my five-year-old neighbor thinks would make the best gifts to children:

Candid Snowflake
Candy Corn Snowflake
Christmas Stocking Snowflake
Little Bear and Blanca Snowflake (pattern available only via tax-deductible donation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in my name or my husband’s name and specifying the second booklet)
Lollipop Snowflake
Loveland Pass Snowflake Key Chain
Medallion III Snowflake
Northern Lights Snowflake
Peacock Snowflake
Skullflake
Snowflower Snowflake
True Love Snowflake (inspired by the movie, “Frozen”)
Turtleflake (pattern available only via tax-deductible donation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in my name or my husband’s name and specifying the third booklet)
Twilight Peak Snowflake
Webflake

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, 6 removable stitch markers, optional 12 seed beads for eyes and 6 seed beads for nose (eyes and nose may be embroidered, may be made from small buttons, may be made with googly eyes and tiny pompoms, may be made from tiny pieces of felt, may be drawn with Sharpie after stiffening or may be skipped altogether); empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, glue, water, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line
NOTE: For small children who tend to put everything in their mouths, the best eye/nose option may be to skip them altogether.

Bearflake

Bear Motif Instructions (make six)

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same st, 2 dc in each dc around for a total of 24 dc.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 3: Sk next dc, 7 dc in next dc (first ear formed), sk next dc, sl st in next dc, 1 sc in next dc, 3 sc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc, sl st in next dc, sk next dc, 7 dc in next dc (2nd ear formed), sk next dc, sl st in next dc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Place stitch marker in middle st in bottom of each bear motif.

Bearflake

Bearflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: 1 sc in ring, * ch 3, 1 sc in ring; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 1, 1 dc in starting dc to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: 1 sc over post of dc directly below; * ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th ch 5 sp of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 3: 1 sc over post of tr directly below, * ch 7, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 1 dtr in starting sc to form 6th ch 7 sp of Round.

Round 4: 1 sc over post of dtr directly below, * ch 12, 1 sc in next ch 7 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 12, sl st in starting sc.

Round 5: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), * 6 dc in next ch 12 sp, yo and draw up loop in same ch 12 sp, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook, insert hook into dc next to stitch marker, draw up loop and pull through 2 loops on hook (joining dc) made; repeat joining dc in next 2 st of main body of snowflake and bear motif; joining stitches should be centered at bottom of bear motif when done; 6 dc in same ch 12 sp, 1 dc in next sc, ch 6, 1 sc in 6th ch from hook, ch 6, sl st in sc, ch 5, sl st in sc (tri-picot made, sl st in top of dc, 6 dc in same ch 12 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 instead of last dc of final repeat, ch 6, 1 sc in 6th ch from hook, ch 6, sl st in sc, ch 5, sl st in sc, sl st in same ch as join; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

A link to the blocking template I use is located here. That website has some of the most helpful snowflake information I know of. I also have a link to it on my sidebar to the right. I try to keep all the important links there so everyone will be able to find the information they need.

Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Apply eyes and noses, dabbing with an extra drop of glue if necessary. Paint snowflake with glue mixture. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

Bearflake Motifs

Bearflake Motifs

Bearflake Motifs

Bearflake Motifs

Bearflake Motifs
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