Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Open House Around the World

Come on in to my Open House!
I know that the Internet world can be slow during the holidays as rubber stampers are maxed out on stamping and busy with activities. Yet some of us have moments where we would like to enjoy seeing what other stampers are doing. So I created this Open House to share some of my home and community's holiday traditions with you. I announced it as a swap at the Stamp Shack. Nine other bloggers have joined in this Open House with posts to share their holiday traditions from their corner of the world.

Welcome to Fairbanks, Alaska!
Thanks for stopping in...please help yourself to some goodies!

Let me begin by showing you around my town. Know you can double click most blog photos if you want to see something larger.

Recently it has been about zero degrees F most days but no wind - unlike many other places. We are enjoyng a much milder season than in many years. Of course the snow came at the beginning of October and we can expect it to be with us until at least the end of March.

We celebrated solstice last weekend and are thrilled to now be gaining sunlight. We have 3 hours and 49 minutes of daylight today and will gain another 59 more seconds of daylight tomorrow!
A river runs through the center of town with decorative displays on both sides of the banks. These pictures were taken at about 10 o'clock last Saturday morning. I used no flash so you could see the beginning of daylight.

The Northern Wind blows some light onto the riverboat. Lots of lighted characters fill the plaza across the river adding brightness to our dark days.

Ice carvings are a big part of our community’s holiday decorations. The polar bear, aka Nanook, is the mascot of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Dancer and Prancer welcomes us to North Pole, Alaska…just a 20 minute ride down the road.

Of course Santa Claus House is the big attraction in North Pole.

One of my personal favorite traditions is finding some quiet of the winter to enjoy making and mailing lots of holiday cards. These highbush cranberries are enjoying their own special quiet.

This year brought a new challenge as the electric was off for over 6 hours one Sunday during prime writing time. So like the pioneers before me I wrote many cards by candlelight huddled under a blanket.

I truly enjoyed making this peaceful resist card.
I made many other cards this season but this became my personal favorite...I love using a resist technique.

Many stamping friends from around the world shared beautiful holiday greetings. Many thanks to all!!

I enjoy cooking and sharing time with friends. Please help yourself and take a few seconds to look at how this ice bowl is made. Two stainless steel mixing bowls, with about a half to one inch space between the rims, are taped together and filled with water, greenry, flowers, and fruit. The whole thing is then frozen outside in nature's freezer. Bring inside and warm up so the ice bowl is released.

I am sorry you are running out of time but there is one last thing I must show you before you leave. Look at my favorite manger scene. It incorporates many different Alaska native cultures in traditional dress. You really must plan to visit again next year since there still is so much to see. Please leave me a comment for I have a doorprize for one randomly selected visitor.

Thanks for stopping in and sharing my holiday!

I wish you a most wonderful holiday season!

The next Open House stop is Mrs. Fence in Maine.


  1. WOW! Thanks so much Jan for sharing Alaska with us. You know I have said it many many times I so want to come visit Alaska one day. And meet you of course! This was so much fun and I am glad I joined! Merry Christmas. Sherri

  2. Thank you Jan for sharing. The pictures are beautiful and that ice bowl looks wonderful! You have received some gorgeous cards and I feel very priviledged to have received your own favorite!

    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and lang may your lum reek!

  3. I had so much fun visiting your home, Jan. What a wonderful warm welcome despite the weather. You have so many beautiful places there. Writing by candle light in a blanket sounds unbelievably cold, yet you make it sound so warm. Your resist card is gorgeous. Happy Holidays!

  4. Thank you Jan. Visiting Alaska is high on my list and even more so now. The pictures are wonderful, the cookies and hot chocolate delightful and the shrimp delicious. You were brave to continue writing cards by candlelight and under a blanket. Cold it may have been, but very pioneer-looking.

  5. How sweet of you to give us all this gift...thank you and Merry Christmas!

  6. Your town and house are so gorgeous! I have to say that the manger is my favorite! WOW how cool is that! Ben is looking with me and Loves the polar bear ice carving...he has a think for polar bears :)
    Thanks for the tour :) Merry Christmas!

  7. Thanks for the tour. And, for hosting the virtual open house. I love your nativity scene too.

  8. What a great idea!
    I have truly enjoyed visiting your Blog, home and town!

  9. Much fun. Thanks for the invite.
    May your new year be filled lots of time for stamping. iupindiana/JoAnn

  10. Thankyou Jan for sharing your home and traditions with us all. Its really nice to see how others celebrate christmas.

    The Ice carvings are beautiful, I think Alsaka is a place to add to my places to visit.


  11. Jan, your Alaskan tour is spectacular. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I love the ice sculptures.

  12. What an awsome idea you have come up with here. You are the first stop on my world tour today, and I have to say a great big thank you for a wonderful look inside your holiday!

  13. Hi Jan, what wonderful pictures of your corner of the world. It is beautiful. I have your Christmas card here on my desk enjoying it every minute of this season.
    Jan/Mere Deaux

  14. Touring up north in your part of our country was nice. I hope to visit there one day. There is an Ice Carving festival in our part of Michigan in January. I always visit the exhibits.Thanks for sharing those in your area.
    hugs to you!

  15. Wow, what a different world you live in! It's amazing to see so much ice and snow. I'd love to come to North Pole Alaska sometime when it's snowy. Thanks so much for sharing the beauty of your town, and your creativity all year round

  16. I know I left a comment this morning, but perhaps I didn't publish it. I love your pics especially of the ice sculptures and the sign post! Your town is so beautiful. Thank you for letting me tour your town and your home. This was a fantastic idea. Merry Christmas

  17. Thank you for taking the time to share with us! I don't think I could handle the lack of sunlight hours in the winter. I am glad you are increasing now. Have a happy new year

  18. Oh Jan! I love your tour of Alaska! Just beautiful and so much information. So interesting. I have a cousin who lives in Alaska and loves it there as well. Thanks so much for sharing with us! It really paints a picture.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  19. Oops! Jan that was me/ Darleneh710/ anonymous that posted at 5:01am 12/25/08..sorry!

  20. Jan, I love the ice sculptures and your neat ice bowl! Just lovely! I wish I was there in person to see all of it!

    Thank for sharing this! Have a wonderful Christmas! Pat G

  21. Jan, I love the sculptures and the way you shared your special town. Thank you for organizing this wonderful open house. Merry Christmas!

  22. What beautiful pictures of your town especially the one of the church. I love your resist card and can see why it's your favorite!
    Thanks for sharing the beauty of Alaska with us. Hopefully someday I will be able to visit for real.
    Amy (Scraphappy908)

  23. Jan, thanks for the wonderful tour of Alaska. I love the ice sculptures. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  24. wow Jan!! I loved your stop in the opne house! such wonderful pics and you write so well!
    Merry Christmas to you my friend

  25. Jan, first of all, this trip was a wonderful surprise and a lovely gift at the end of a wonderful Christmas day with family!

    Secondly, I want to thank you for sharing a part of your world -- Alaska is amazing and I can't imagine living in your world. You brought it alive -- thank you!

    Have a very Merry Christmas, my friend!


  26. I'm a huge fan of ice sculptures! Thanks for sharing! :) Merry Christmas to you and yours...

  27. Jan, thanks so much for sharing the beautiful photos of your house and town. It's such a treat being guided through all your traditions. Love the ice-bowl :) It's started freezing around here since yesterday, should have a try at that :)

  28. Jan,

    I loved learning about your Christmas traditions! I complain about how dark it gets here in Scotland during the Winter, but to only have 3 and a bit hours of daylight is far worse! I'm impressed that you can endure it!

    Season's Greetings to you and all your friennds in Alaska!

  29. Merry Christmas, Jan! And I'm wishing you all the best in 2009 as well. This has been so much fun to tour your home "with" you. THOROUGHLY DELIGHTFUL!! The next time, though, I hope you will be my personal IN PERSON tour guide. I do hope to get to Alaska to visit you.

    Wonderful photos! Thank you so much! :)


  30. Thankyou for letting us visit and giving such a warm welcome. The pictures are all fabulous and I especially love the reindeer ice sculpture.

    We haven't seen snow like that here in the middle of England for about 17 years, and when we did everything stopped for a week. No water, electricity or gas. Fun for about 24 hours!

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you health and happiness for 2009.

  31. This was soooo awesome! I looooove the ice sculptures!

  32. Great photos of your area! I really enjoy seeing all the cards you create. They are really little works of art. I've nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  33. Hi, Jan! Thanks for the open house! What a great idea! Love the ice sculptures! Wishing you and yours a happy, prosperous New Year!

  34. Ooooo! Thank you for taking the time to organize and show off your home there Jan. I've enjoyed looking around the world to all of our friends homes/Christmas traditions.

  35. Wow, what a great idea this is!! I have loved seeing pictures of the Great White North! It looks as beautiful as I had imagined. I would one day love to see it in person! Thank you for sharing with us!

  36. Sorry I missed 2008 in dropping in, but here today and wanted to extend my thanks for a wonderful Open House - I enjoyed myself thoroughly... still warming up after that zero degree weather:)) hehehe... Arlene (Clarian's Hawk)

  37. Hello again! Just stopping by to say "Hi!" :-)


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