Thursday, January 22, 2009

Living with Extreme Cold

Our weather plummeted to EXTREME COLD temperatures for 17 days after Christmas. Temperatures were generally in the range of -35 to 45 degrees below zero. One of the most dangerous parts of such extreme cold is when particles freeze in the air creating ice fog causing visibility to be severely limited. Life tended to move at a survival level of going outside only to go to and from work with a maximum of 1 essential stop. All energy is focused on the basics. Finally the extreme temperatures broke with a warm air current bringing us an unheard of 80 degree temperature difference within 24 hours.

The warm weather was welcomed for the fireworks display to kick the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Alaska statehood . The display had been cancelled three times during the extreme cold. The fireworks opened with a display of several large candles floating into the air which turned into stars forming the pattern of the Big Dipper -the design of our state flag. What a fun evening of watching fireworks in the warm weather! That's something unheard of here since we have sun all night long during typical July 4th fireworks we regularly have our big fireworks display on New Years.

Like everything my creative projects screeched to a minimum. I began the year with recycling many calendars by making them into envelopes for my cards. I recycled a piece of clear packaging plastic to use as a view finder to determine the best placement of the picture. I tried to layout the envelope so the most interesting portion would be on the left side to allow for the address.

I also participated in a sympathy card swap and enjoyed preparing one of my favorites techniques of white embossing on white vellum and coloring on the back side of the vellum to create a soft look.

I have also been busy creating a few RAK’s, birthday cards and such. I am enjoying the size of these short cards inspired by Godelieve. I also learned the vellum technique from her as one of 2 Peas special event challenges-many thanks Godelieve! On the short cards I added dye ink, stamping and shimmerz to the white paper primas. Glossy accents give dimension to the berries. The heart is cut from a recycled Christmas card. 3-D foam is placed behind the center of the petals adds dimension to the center flower. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Wow Jan, how fabulous are your cards! Thanks for sharing! I love them both. Stamping on vellum is a technique I often use, I like this look with the coloring you did, gorgeous!
    The other card is very pretty too. Fun shape to work with indeed.
    Fabulous recycled envelopes! I have to try that :) Thanks for the inspiration.
    Glad the weather is not THAT cold anymore... brrrr

  2. And I'm complaining about -20 temperatures :)
    I love your recycled envelopes. They are beautiful works of art.


  3. WOW I am so glad that your temps broke! When I temps were low for about a week- I was going stir crazy in the house!

    Your cards and envelopes are all awesome! You are so talented!

  4. I am so glad that you are warm and big in action.

    So I have a do you tell your body to go to sleep when its bright out all night long??? I bet you have some heavy duty blinds huh?

    Your work is simply gorgeous!

  5. I don't ever want to experience that kind of extreme cold. You are one hearty stamper my friend. Love the work you've been doing. These little cards are amazing. Would love to know what you colored on the vellum with. Beautiful technique.

  6. Oh boy, are we wimps here in the UK! -2 or -3 sets us all complaining and running for cover and there's no snow at that.

    I love your cards and envelopes. The short card is my personal favourite.

  7. Jan, I don't know how you all that live there do it!!!! I don't think I would ever crawl out of bed!!!!

  8. Wow! That's some cold weather! Lately here in Michigan we've been hovering around the zero mark, and I thought that was cold! Nice job on your sympathy swap too! I've nominated you for a blog award. You can see it here

  9. Hey, Jan, glad to see you are back! I can't imagine those temps, and I live in Maine! Your work is lovely, as always. I may have to give those adorable short cards a try. Fabulous idea.

  10. I love your mini cards. I gave you an award on my blog. If you get a chance, stop by and take a look.

  11. Jan! WOW! WOW! WOW! Your cards are amazing! Sooooo beautiful and your techniques used just add to their creative flair and beauty. The embossed velum is beautiful. Simply and delicately beautiful.

    I do not envy your extreme cold. We've experienced a bitter, bitter winter too.

    OK...I'm greedy. I want to see more of your wonderful artwork. These are simply stunning!

  12. Hi, Far North! Whew! Now that is COLD! Love that you were all able to celebrate with warmer weather and fireworks! The Big Dipper fireworks must have been awesome! :-)

  13. Brrrr. I don't know how you deal with all that cold. Your anniversary celebration sounds wonderful. 50 years, that doesn't seem very old. My town turns 100 this year.

  14. wow Jan, those temps are killer! Like Teresa, I'll stop complianing about 20 below. well, maybe not, but I'l;l think of you. lol fab crads and I love your envies


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