"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “people at work

The Quest for Sock Yarn in Alaska

Alaskan sock yarn was the quest.  And this was the place to find it.

I ‘d researched on the computer from Pittsburgh, prior to our trip.

Knitty Stash is the home of Alaskan Yarn Company , right in Homer, Alaska where we were headed.

Gorgeous hand painted sock yarn with special Alaskan colorway names that invite you to knit your Alaskan experience, right into a pair of socks ( or shawl, cowl, etc)  “Our Alaskan color way:  Kachemak Bay, Lupine, Arctic Autumn, Northern Lights and Fireweed and Denail Autumn and High Bush Cranberry”  You can click here to see what they look like knitted up

Yarn store number three on the great Northwest adventure.

You meet the nicest people.  My friend Lisa and I went back on Tuesday night and watched the three women use spinning wheels, turning fiber into yarn.

Meet shop owner Jules and her sweet dog Ruby.


Jules made the knitting artwork out of duct tape  with the help of a friend!  Weatherproof..

img_2458You can see some of the colorways on the wall in this shot.  I focused on Jules so the background a bit soft focus.

My quest was satisfied and I mailed some skeins the next day. It was here, waiting for me when I got home.  I’ve wound one colorway already.  Will keep you posted.

Here are the colors close up, borrowed from Knitty Stash site so you can see how lush they are.

I did not take the yarn photo below, but I wish I had bought all the colors and taken it!  Thanks Jules.screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-11-48-28-pmp.s. If you missed my  4/27/16 post on The Satisfaction of Sock Knitting you can read it here

Book Quest

Quest.  Remember looking for a certain book? I’m talking pre-google, search engines?

Out dad would scour used book stores and stalls for books he wanted for himself or one of us kids.  He was always searching for another copy of In Clean Hay to read at Christmas.  Nowadays you  type a title or author in a  narrow white box, press search and voila….options, usually in a few seconds.

An actual physical search can be incredibly satisfying cause chances are you will see another title or volume as you sift through shelves in a cool used book store.

That’s  what happened when I found a Peter Spier book from my kids childhood on a upstairs shelf.

Old Inlet Bookshop in Homer, Alaska is such a place. We went there after our Thai lunch in the mermaid themed cafe attached to the bookshop

Meet Andy Wills. Third generation bookseller. IMG_2448.JPG

I don’t know how many books he has in his bookshop but if you are looking for something, he knows where it is.   You don’t have to go to Homer, Alaska though  You can email him   books(at)ak(dot)net      Hope that method of writing email address avoids spammers

IMG_2445.JPGHere is he taping up the cover of the Peter Spier book.

Wooley Mama’s on Apple Street- Omak, Washington

Wooley Mama’s

Meet Laura Hayner.   And Shadow.  What a sweet doggie. She follows Laura everywhere.img_2902

She is spinning fleece of some local sheep.

Here’s a skein of some of her handspun yarn from a spinning workshop. It was a grab bag of different fibers and has a really cool and varied look to it.


Spoiler Alert for Christmas Gifts-  Made in the U.S.A.- World’s Warmest Socks for Winter.  I’m sure she’d be happy to send you some.  They are thick and cushy. Perfect in a big boot or to wear around a drafty house.


img_2904Thanks Laura for welcoming us to your lovely shop.  Love the name of your store.

Thanks for showing us your logo.  My sister likes the buttons she bought, too.

I enjoyed seeing your spinning and will enjoy knitting all the yarn I bought and shipped to myself.  It’s great you get your fiber from local ranches and farms- 4R Ranch in Tonasket and Good Farms in Okanogan for two.

Wildflour Bakery Anchorage, Alaska- Guest Blog

My wish is you get to Anchorage Alaska and taste Wildflour Bakery pies. Although I am back in the lower 48 today I have some more Alaska posts.

When visiting friends in Homer Alaska, we met some very nice people in their interesting home that our host had helped build.

The first thing they did was offer us pie and coffee.  Who could resist?

Three types of apple pie.  As we sampled a sliver of each type, we talked about the excellent flavor and crust (one gluten- free) and then I learned about the pie creator, Wildflour Bakery Owner Olivia Allen of Anchorage.  Although I took a few photos of the pie (see below) I wanted to know more.

Meet bakery owner Olivia Allen- photograph by Julia Bevins, I  asked Julia if she would like to be guest blogger! What a great photo.

Then I called Olivia. She returned my call just as we were entering our departing flight but emailed me more photos and information about Wildflour Bakery.  Here is her blog link Look into the World  See Olivia’s watercolor illustrations and follow her on Instagram Wildflour Bakery Handcrafted pies and galettes made with foraged wild berries, organic ingredients and lots of love 🌸

Olivia writes-

Wildflour Bakery uses locally sourced and foraged wild berries, herbs, flowers and backyard honey to craft beautiful and sweet treats with creative flair.

Each pie or galette is handcrafted with the intention of highlighting the Alaskan spirit of our wild spaces, near and far.

imageBeautifully photographed by Julia Bevins.

Gallery of photos below , sent to me by Olivia

Here are my pie photos so you see why I needed Olivia to send me some more.

And here is her artwork. I love the part about “serve generous slices.”  Yes!!


We fairly well decimated the pies! You can see why I needed more photos to create this blog post as you look at my three photos I took at the kitchen table.

A few years ago I featured friend and pie judge Rob Bard.on National Pie Day.   I know he would have enjoyed the pies.

Alaska Railroad Conductor

Meet Will H.  Our conductor on the train ride from Denali to Anchorage. Army veteran. They even slowed the train so we could photograph Denali and two other mountain ranges which were all completely visible on a beautiful clear day.


Although we are back in NYC and I like to keep the blog in RT, now that computer access/internet is available, I want to post some photos I had in my real camera not iPhone.

Train Ride to Denali

Mary and I got a cab to the Anchorage Railroad Depot, checked in our tagged bags, drank a delicious coffee and waited to board the glass roofed train to Denali.

img_1320At the start of the train ride there were just nine of us and then 58 joined us at Talkeetna.  It’s now the end of the season that started in May.

We decided to get breakfast after an early start


Mary ordered the reindeer/ egg scrambler skillet.

img_8351Chef Malachi cooked our breakfasts to perfection!  Delicious.



Jerrica tended the bar at the front of the car

Our conductor A.J.   He has to get off the train to manually switch the tracks so we could wait on the side as another train passed, going south.

Matthew our excellent server on the left and Crystal our knowledgeable tour guide.

Both of them made it a fun and memorable adventure. The train ride is about eight hours.  We didn’t knit or nap, didn’t want to miss a single second.

(Good sports to let me photograph them, thanks!)

We saw a pair of Trumpeter Swans who mate for life.


Their young ones were swimming on their own



img_8408After the lunch crowd left the dining car and went back upstairs, I enjoyed a Forest pie with rhubarb, apple, blackberry and strawberries topped with vanilla ice cream. Matt asked if I wanted a lot of whipped cream or a little.🙂

Everyone was so nice, the scenery so incredible. Andy took a photo of us at the table too,  which was great for the memory book, but unfortunately I did not take his pic.

We highly recommend the train tour.



Species-Specific Nests Made in Twisp WA

We walked down from the center of town to TwispWorks (in Twisp, Washington) today.  A nice woman in the Office/Art and Craft Supply Store recommended we walk down and see a native garden and check out some of the artists’ studios. More on that tomorrow….

One of the workshops, Nice Nests was open and Patrick Hannigan was working on building species-specific nests, using salvaged scrap wood.

I bought a Swallows Nest that had a purple edge, signifying the color of a lilac bush on a homestead in Carlton. The homestead is gone, but the lilac bush thrives, he told me.

My sister-in-law Carolee feeds a lot of birds and I wanted to get a nice hostess gift for her.

The rust color represents a certain lichen found on the trees in the area.  All the colors represent native plants in the region.


Meet Patrick, owner of Nice Nests and creator of all the species specific nests

“Installation/consultation services available. I work with private landowners, land conservation organizations and public agencies to create, enhance and preserve critical breeding habitat for native cavity-nesting birds.” from website


Be sure to click here to read an article about how Patrick began his business

Nice Nests: Not Just for the Birds

by Ashley Lodato
Methow Arts staff writer


Click the photo to see the features, there is also drainage at the bottom. He’ll build you a custom nest for your needs.  the one above is the one I chose.

Swallows and bluebirds nests-  There are nests for owls, and chickadees and many other types of birds, large and small.


Swallows and bluebirds nests

IMG_0824A giant nest for a Kestrel



IMG_0831Flying Squirrel Nests


The tiny ornament nests are made by Patrick’s daughter, Posey

IMG_0830The tools of the builder of Nice Nests

Meet Flashes of Fire Author


Ed Lipsman.  Author of Flashes of Fire. His debut novel.

(Priced reasonably @ 3.99)  download onto a kindle. I love the Pittsburgh place references in it but you can live anywhere and enjoy his writing.

I know Ed from working together in an After School Program where he ran a terrific physical fitness program for our 4-8th graders.

He’s a loyal blog follower since the beginning, too.  An all around great person!

I’m honored to have taken his author photo and happy to get the word out about his book.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 11.18.06 PM


For most of his adult life, Ed Lipsman studied a variety of martial

arts, including sword. He was a successful fighter in a medieval group,

winning a number of tournaments. Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor

at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where one of the

courses he teaches is a sword class. Flashes of Fire is his first book.

“What’s Chase Harte to do??

He gets struck with lightning while leaving a medieval fighting tournament and is transported to a strange, brutal, feudal world where swords rule and law doesn’t.”




Hart’s Artist Consignment- Carson Street- South Side

Meet Claudia Hart- People at Work Series-  Artists’ Consignment Shop OwnerIMG_2960Watermelon Onsesie (tie-dye) by artist Susan.  (yes, I bought two!)

IMG_2961There it is, tucked in the middle with the green awning. 1905 Carson St., SouthSide.


Look Up – Panza Gallery

Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up

He looked up.  I looked down.  Can it count for the challenge?

Mark Panza, artist, photographer and gallery owner.

He looked up at me on the stairs. Oh no, all I had was my phone.

You’ve met Mark on the blog before.  He creates those peaceful mediation lights.


I was in Millvale Friday afternoon.  The Pittsburgh Society of Artists Show is up and the opening is 6PM Saturday night.  They were asking members who are photographers to volunteer to photograph events so I said I would. Thought I’d check it out when it was empty first.  A sneak peek below. More to come.

Tomorrow night the gallery will be filled with people!

Etna Memorial Day Parade 2016 is my piece on left.

On the way home, stopped at a light in Lawrenceville. I looked up -saw the Artist Crossing Sign

IMG_5536Sign on Butler Street, Lawrenceville in front of  Paint Monkey

(Note to self: I’d better get my windshield washed if I am going to photograph through it)