Klarissa’s Kool Klean Kanteen Kontainer

Necessary cold or hot drinks Kontained in Klarissa's Kool Klean Kanteen

Necessary Kold or hot drinks Kontained in Klarissa’s Kool Klean Kanteen

When my friend Margie gifted me this thermos last Fall 2014, I thought it was sweet, nifty and thoughtful of her.  Little had I known I would use this precious gem at least once a day every day since!  It’s the perfect size, not too big, not too small.  I’ve traveled the ferry south from Juneau to Bellingham with it in my stateroom, traveled in my Chilkat Mobile along the West Coast down to Los Angelos over the Phoenix, up to Santa Fe and then Colorado.

This thermos keeps your hot drink hot for about 5 or 6 hours; keeps your cold drinks cold for about the same time.

I keep it handy at my side while I am at my desk, my drawing table, my sewing table, coffee table during music and of course my weaving loom.  It’s been my pal, my confidant (yes, sometimes I actually talk to it), and obviously my traveling buddy!  Yep, hot or kold drinks keep me hydrated serving me well…THE Klarissa’s Kool Klean Kanteen…!  Go out and get one for yourself!  Or better yet, maybe somebody will gift one to you…!

Thank you dear Margaret!

Alaskan Salmon Berry Pie

Fresh-picked salmon berries - Auke Bay, Alaska

Fresh-picked salmon berries – Auke Bay, Alaska

A few Juneau Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers gather together for a meal hosted by one of the weavers at their home; then we weave afterwards.  The “Wednesdaynite Weavers” we could call ourselves.  A couple of Wednesdays ago, Nila and Laine Rinehart brought fresh Salmonberry pies for dessert – none of us had had this taste before; not like this!!!

SalmonberryPie Recipe

Recipe for fresh salmonberry pie!

A couple of days ago, my friend Lis and I went out to her secret berry patch in Auke Bay – we picked all we could BUT we had to leave some berries behind because we didn’t have enough time nor any other containers!!!  We picked enough to make about three standard size pies, or as the photo below suggests:  2 large and 3 small pies!  Just in time for Father’s Day!

SalmonberryPieRecipe2

Instructions for making salmonberry pie!

NOTE:  I suggest you cut the cardamom in half….use only 1 tsp instead of 2 tsp!  In our opinion, 1 tsp of cardamom in the mixture is sufficient!

SalmonberryPieRecipe3

Additional notes…

Some folks may not like the unique flavor of cardamom which if I am not mistaken is a key ingredient in Chi Tea.  If you are a creative baker, you may experiment with other flavors to enhance the quality of this wonderful-tasting berry pie…!  Salmon berries are unlike any other berry — they are the first of our berry season in Southeast Alaska!

SalmonberryPies

2 large and 3 small Salmon Berry Pies celebrating Father’s Day 2015!

 

Clarissa’s Studio Part 5: “The Office”

Clarissa's desk sports a 6-year-old Samsung "SyncMaster XL2370" monitor

Clarissa’s desk sports a 6-year-old Samsung “SyncMaster XL2370″ monitor linked to her 6-year-old MacBook

10 years ago, I didn’t even know how to turn on a computer.  I refused to spend any time in the world of technology; like why would I need it, right?  There’s only so much time in the day and I’d rather create than look at a computer screen for hours.  Even though I had an official website since 1998 when most artists did not (only because my friend Cecil insisted I had a website so he created it), for the first nearly 8 years whenever I received an email from someone commenting on my work on my website, I always had to ask my kids to pull up my website to see what the inquirer was talking about and at that time it was a chore to do so!  Since then, my attitude has changed.  I had to surrender to the fact that every business interaction was all on line; there was no need for a hard copy of anything.  Not even what’s inside my wallet.

Clarissa's office in relationship to her living room

Clarissa’s office in relationship to her living room

My attitude changed too when I began taking control of how my website required many choices: the lay out, the choice of colors, the photographs, the text, etc.  I began to see the artistry of a website design.  I truly appreciate having a daughter in the family who enjoys creating websites.  She also encouraged me to blog nearly 5 years ago even though I initially resisted.

Clarissa's office in relationship to her sewing space

Clarissa’s office in relationship to her sewing space

In reality, I spend 1/3 of my year creating actual product, 1/3 doing administrative work, and 1/3 doing marketing.  Creating actual artwork is the best part; maintaining the business end of keeping one’s self from being a starving artist is 2/3 the work which includes: drafting up proposals, applying for grants, responding to emails, attending to bookkeeping, keeping track of receipts, applying to do art markets or artist residencies, doing the taxes, packaging and shipping artwork, preparing for, traveling to, attending and setting up/taking down an art market, researching and ordering supplies, updating the website, photographing the art, comparing insurance, posting blog entries, maintaining the vehicle, cleaning and maintaining the work space, and filing papers, etc.

Clarissa's office from the perspective of the kitchenette

Clarissa’s office from the perspective of the kitchenette

I spend at least half of my time as an artist in business on the computer.  I spend at least half my time sitting in this office.  Some artists have enough income to pay someone else to do the administrative/marketing aspect.  I have yet to make that kind of income to afford even a rental with running water and sewer,  let alone an administrative assistant.  Though some day you will know when I have an administrative assistant.  She will be the one who answers the call from you!

Clarissa's weaving area from the perspective of her office

Clarissa’s weaving area from the perspective of her office

People wonder if I even have a home.  Folks want to know where I live and work because it seems I travel a lot (though I have yet to afford a vacation.).  “Clarissa’s Studio” is a 9-part series showing the 9 areas of Clarissa’s studio where I work full-time and live part of the year in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  As you know by now, I remodeled a 2-car garage about 10 years ago as a studio without running water or sewer system because I had no plans of using this space as a place of residence.  I had no idea that years later, because of big changes in my personal life, I would not be able to afford paying rent anywhere else. so for nearly 4 years I have weathered insufficient heat during the winter and the inconveniences of not having a real kitchen and a bathroom, until someday I can afford a real home.

Over the next three months (starting this past May),  I will introduce you to various parts of my humble 700 sq.ft. sanctuary divided into sections.  Here are the parts of “Clarissa’s Studio Series”:

  • “The Living Room” where I play music, read, crochet, knit and clear out the coffee table to do Tai Chi;
  • “The Office” where I draft proposals, emails, FB,  grants, letters, update my website and post blog entries;
  • “The Sewing Space” where I sew button robes and clothing for the grandkids;
  • “The Weaving Space” for all my Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving projects on various size looms;
  • “The Grand Table Space” where I do large layouts of robe pattern designs and cut the applique for button robes;
  • “The Drawing Room” where I sketch and finalize drawings for robes, paintings, collages and book illustrations;
  • “The Painting/Collage-making” where I create just that, along with printing limited edition Giclee’ prints and shrinkwrapping them;
  • “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” where I zap an occasional Amy’s TV dinner for lunch and I keep a modest supply of drinking water;
  • “Clarissa’s Storage Units” for beautiful and practical storage of all weaving, spinning, sewing, dyeing, beadworking supplies and recent collection of books

The first three  blog entries on “Clarissa’s Studio” series include:

Part 1:  “The Livingroom” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-1-the-living-room/

Part 2:  “The Kitchenette” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/studio-part-2-clarissas-kitchenette/

Part 3:  “The Drawing Room” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-3-the-drawing-area/

Part 4 — “The Beautiful, Practical Storage Unit” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-4-beautiful-practical-storage-unit/

Clarissa’s Studio Part 4: Beautiful, Practical Storage Unit

10' wide x 7' high, beautiful, functional cherry wood entertainment center converted into a storage unit

10′ wide x 7′ high, beautiful, functional cherry wood entertainment center converted into a storage unit

A month ago I fetched this beautiful, solid wood “entertainment center” off of a craigslist ad in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I had been searching for about two weeks on Craigslists in Denver, Salt Lake City, Flagstaff, Santa Fe, Phoenix and Albuquerque.   Yep, once I saw this beauty, nothing was gonna stop me; I went and got what I had envisioned and drove it back home.  Everyone thought I was nuts to drive so far, that is of course until they saw it in my studio!

I replaced the storage boxes under the desks; I replaced the various sizes and mismatch of dressers and cabinets; I replaced the disorderly appearance with a unified, beautiful, functional piece of furniture that makes this part of my studio look like (I quote from a family member):  “…wow, this place looks like something out of an old museum…!”

Where the TV is supposed to go...

Where the TV is supposed to go…

I store all my dyeing supplies in one part, my weaving supplies in another, along with my spinning supplies, sewing supplies, beadwork supplies and picnic/camping baskets.  And lest I forget to mention, this wooden ensemble of 3 pieces cost $350 in excellent condition.  The seller said he bought it 10 years ago for $3500.00.

DoorsOpen

I placed a wooden closet bar across the top and hung three fabric sweater closet shelving

 

The top shelf inside each end cabinet features a recessed light showcasing all hand-made items including Northwest coast glasswork, beadwork, carvings, pottery and masks.  Sitting on top of the left cabinet is my hand-made Swedish musical instrument called the “Hummel”; on top of the center cabinet is my carved and painted “bentwood box” I made for my mother as a Mother’s Day gift in 1972, and on top of the right cabinet, are a painted box with the “Step Into the Light” NWC design created back in 1981, along with my trusty leather hand-made hat from “Head-N-Home” and my feathered headband made by “Feathered Flies.”

I was always unsatisfied with my previous layout of this part of my studio due to all the mismatch and irregularity of storage.  I wanted something that helped me be more sufficient as well as easy on the eyes.  This has been a pleasure.  If you ever find yourself in the same boat I was once in, do yourself a favor, choose unified beauty!

The grand work table

The grand work table to the left of the grand storage unit

Folks want to know where I live and work because it seems I travel a lot (though I have yet to afford a vacation.)  “Clarissa’s Studio” is a 9-part series showing the 9 areas of Clarissa’s studio where I work full-time and live part of the year in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  As you know by now, I remodeled a 2-car garage about 10 years ago as a studio without running water or sewer system because I had no plans of using this space as a place of residence.  I had no idea that years later, because of big changes in my personal life, I would not be able to afford paying rent anywhere else. so for nearly 4 years I have weathered insufficient heat during the winter and the inconveniences of not having a real kitchen and a bathroom, until someday I can afford a real home.

Over the next three months (starting this past May),  I will introduce you to various parts of my humble 700 sq.ft. sanctuary divided into sections.  Here are the parts of “Clarissa’s Studio Series”:

  • “The Living Room” where I play music, read, crochet, knit and clear out the coffee table to do Tai Chi;
  • “The Office” where I draft proposals, emails, FB,  grants, letters, update my website and post blog entries;
  • “The Sewing Space” where I sew button robes and clothing for the grandkids;
  • “The Weaving Space” for all my Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving projects on various size looms;
  • “The Grand Table Space” where I do large layouts of robe pattern designs and cut the applique for button robes;
  • “The Drawing Room” where I sketch and finalize drawings for robes, paintings, collages and book illustrations;
  • “The Painting/Collage-making” where I create just that, along with printing limited edition Giclee’ prints and shrinkwrapping them;
  • “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” where I zap an occasional Amy’s TV dinner for lunch and I keep a modest supply of drinking water;
  • “Clarissa’s Storage Units” for beautiful and practical storage of all weaving, spinning, sewing, dyeing, beadworking supplies and recent collection of books

The first three  blog entries on “Clarissa’s Studio” series include:

Part 1:  “The Livingroom” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-1-the-living-room/

Part 2:  “The Kitchenette” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/studio-part-2-clarissas-kitchenette/

Part 3:  “The Drawing Room” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-3-the-drawing-area/

Clarissa’s Studio Part 3: “The Drawing Room”

Patterns are being tweaked on Clarissa's old-fashioned light table before they are copied on her Epson printer

Hand-built in 1994, patterns are being tweaked on Clarissa’s old-fashioned light table before they are copied on her Epson printer

I use my Macbook for doing layout of designs to be printed on my large format Giclee’ printer, and I know that I can scan and duplicate small patterns, but golly, gee golly, I still use my wonderful light table for tracing patterns and other images worth duplicating.  There’s just something real about going through the motions of duplication on hard-copy paper in hand!

Really?  People still use light tables and overhead projectors!?!?  How’s that?  We’ve got computers and printers to do the jobs!!!

Well, call me from the old school where teaching a new dog old tricks can only go as far as the bone can be thrown, and some of us just can’t throw that far anymore!  So, sure this dog has learned new tricks like how to turn on a computer and where to push play on Netflix and “bookmark” this page to order more El Naturalista boots before they go up in price!

However, this dog still prefers to project the design on the plastic transparency placed on the overhead projector platform which projects the image onto the wall up yonder!  And this dog still prefers to trace the other half of the design by hand tolerating the bright, blinding florescent lights below.

Like I said, I can only throw the new bones so far; because old bones are familiar, I will continue to dig them up and out and naw on them affectionately.

One of Clarissa's most trusted tool, the old-fashioned over head project made by 3M Company

One of Clarissa’s most trusted tool, the old-fashioned over head project made by 3M Company

“Clarissa’s Studio” is a 7-part series showing the 7 areas of Clarissa’s studio where I work full-time and live part of the year in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Over the next three months (starting this past May),  I will introduce you to various parts of my humble 700 sq.ft. sanctuary divided into sections.  Here are the parts of “Clarissa’s Studio Series”:

  • “The Living Room” where I play music, read, crochet, knit and clear out the coffee table to do Tai Chi;
  • “The Office” where I draft proposals, emails, FB,  grants, letters, update my website and post blog entries;
  • “The Sewing Space” where I sew button robes and clothing for the grandkids;
  • “The Weaving Space” for all my Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving projects on various size looms;
  • “The Grand Table Space” where I do large layouts of robe pattern designs and cut the applique for button robes;
  • “The Drawing Room” where I sketch and finalize drawings for robes, paintings, collages and book illustrations;
  • “The Painting/Collage-making” where I create just that, along with printing limited edition Giclee’ prints and shrinkwrapping them;
  • “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” where I zap an occasional Amy’s TV dinner for lunch and I keep a modest supply of drinking water;
  • “Clarissa’s Storage Units” for beautiful and practical storage of all weaving, spinning, sewing, dyeing, beadworking supplies and recent collection of books

The first two  blog entries on “Clarissa’s Studio” series include:

“The Livingroom” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-1-the-living-room/

“The Kitchenette” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/studio-part-2-clarissas-kitchenette/

Alaskan Authors Whale-Watching Cruise

Audience1

100 audience members on board the Allen Marine whale watching tour included 15 Alaskan authors and 3 illustrators, of which Clarissa was one…

I was born nearly 60 years ago in Juneau and it’s only recently twice in less than two weeks I have been invited on a whale-watching cruise; both trips were something new to me since 1) we weren’t fishing? 2) we didn’t have a port destination, and 3) it didn’t cost me a penny.  And both trips were during the stretch of amazingly fine weather we had the entire month of May so it made whale watching all the more enjoyable!

AukeBayDock

Leaving the Auke Bay boat harbor on a fine early evening: 6pm. — The Mendenhall Glacier is at the base of the snowcapped mountains…

Every year in conjunction with Allen Marine, Hearthside Books hosts their “Alaskan Authors Whale Watching” tour/sail open to the public.  $59/person you receive all the appetizers you can eat and a chance to hang out with friends you hadn’t seen in awhile.

food

Lots of appetizers including salmon spread on croissants, fresh fruits and veggies, chocolate eclairs, etc.

Even though Nobu Koch and I are not authors, we were invited guests because we are the co-illustrator’s of Hannah Lindoff’s children’s book “Mary’s Wild Winter Feast” recently published in the Fall 2014.  To order a copy of the book, and check out other blog posts about this book:  Click here to read about “Mary’s Wild Winter Feast.”

HannahLindoff

Hannah Lindoff, author of children’s book “Mary’s Wild Winter Feast” introduces her illustrators, Clarissa Rizal (left) and Nobu Koch

HeatherLende

Alaskan author Heather Lende, introduces her latest book “Find the Good”

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Humpback whale

IshmaelHope

Ishmael Hope reads a requested poem from his book of poetry called “The Courtesans of Flounder Hill”

JeffBrown

Chief Editor Jeff Brown introduces his latest edition of “Real Alaskan Magazine” which he publishes annually on April 1st.

KimHeacox

Kim Heacox introduces his latest book “Rhythm of the Wild”

Alaskan Whale Watching Cruise - fluke

Alaskan Whale Watching Cruise – fluke

LindoffKochHope

Writer Hannah Lindoff, Illustrator Nobu Koch, writer/poet Ishmael Hope

LindoffKochRizal

Hannah Lindoff, Nobu Koch, Clarissa Rizal

MaryLouKing

Author Mary Lou King introduces her latest “90+ Short Walks Around Juneau”

Metcalfe&Ruddy

Authors Peter Metcalfe and Kathy Ruddy introduce “A Dangerous Idea”

SarahAsperSmith

Children’s book author Sarah Asper-Smith and her husband, illustrator Mitchell Watley introduce their book “I Would Tuck You In”

SeaLions

Sea lions cluster along a rock slab coastline of Admiralty Island

Stern

Many enjoyed the back deck in the second consecutive week of sunshine!

StuartArcherCohen

Last but not least, Juneau author Stuart Archer Cohen introduces his 4th novel “This Is How It Really Sounds”

 

Studio Part 2: “Clarissa’s Kitchenette”

"Clarissa's Kitchenette" includes the basics:  microwave, Fridge, Water with table and chairs!

“Clarissa’s Kitchenette” includes the basics: microwave, Fridge, Water, hot pot, with table and chairs!

A remodeled 2-car garage,  “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” does not have running water nor plumbing, so there is limited eating and/or cooking that goes on in this space, though I still have the kitchenette basics:  microwave, fridge, bottled water and a hot pot!  (And to the very right of my water jug is my metal cabinet tool box covered by a South American weaving).

Three, small, metal cups rest under the water spicket ready for small hands of thirsty grandchildren in "Clarissa's Kitchenette"

Three, small, metal cups rest under the water spicket ready for small hands of thirsty grandchildren in “Clarissa’s Kitchenette”

Grandmothers must always be prepared when their grandchildren come to visit, even if it is just one who lives next door!  And when the others come to town, well then, they gotta share their cups now, don’t they (until of course, Grandma fetches 4 more cups to accommodate!).

Always prepared to share a quick snack in "Clarissa's Kitchenette"

Always prepared to share a quick snack in “Clarissa’s Kitchenette”

High dining table and chairs have become the style; at first I didn’t like that, however, I like the height for certain things, especially eating.  To the very left is my free-standing, 6′ acrylic painting on canvas stretched across a curved column entitled, “Totemic Theories.”  Hand-made ceramic bowls are being collected one-at-a-time from Durango Pottery and woven placemats and napkins from Pier 1  via gift to me from grandmothers-in-law, Charla Ellis.  “Leaf” plates are from Walmart about 10 years ago.   A Northwest Coast shower curtain designed by Morales hangs between the kitchenette and the bedroom.

Throughout my studio, I have weavings from various parts of the world.  In photo below, on the wall is a field of geese with children walking camels past a lone house.  This weaving was hand-made by young teen-agers in Egypt.  The woven rugs and pillow coverings in the living room were made by the Zapotec in Mexico.  In the rest of my studio, I have rugs woven in Tibet, a Nepalese prayer rug, a large, English tapestry, a large, woven box from Sweden, an Irish throw from County Clare, and throughout my studio, my trash cans are large woven “baskets”.  Other baskets are from Africa, China, India, etc, and then of course, I use cedar bark baskets to hold my honorary weft yarns for Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving.  Then not to mention my bedroom wicker set with carvings, and my wicker living room furniture.  It wasn’t until about a month ago, I came to realize my surroundings are full of weavings!  Golly, does this mean I am really watch you might call a weaver?

View into the "Studio Living Room" from "Clarissa's Kitchenette"

View into the “Studio Living Room” from “Clarissa’s Kitchenette”

“Clarissa’s Studio” is a 9-part series showing the 9 areas of Clarissa’s studio where I work full-time and live part of the year in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Over the next three months (starting this past May),  I will introduce you to various parts of my humble 700 sq.ft. sanctuary divided into sections.  Here are the parts of “Clarissa’s Studio Series”:

  • “The Living Room” where I play music, read, crochet, knit and clear out the coffee table to do Tai Chi;
  • “The Office” where I draft proposals, emails, FB,  grants, letters, update my website and post blog entries;
  • “The Sewing Space” where I sew button robes and clothing for the grandkids;
  • “The Weaving Space” for all my Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving projects on various size looms;
  • “The Grand Table Space” where I do large layouts of robe pattern designs and cut the applique for button robes;
  • “The Drawing Room” where I sketch and finalize drawings for robes, paintings, collages and book illustrations;
  • “The Painting/Collage-making” where I create just that, along with printing limited edition Giclee’ prints and shrinkwrapping them;
  • “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” where I zap an occasional Amy’s TV dinner for lunch and I keep a modest supply of drinking water;
  • “Clarissa’s Storage Units” for beautiful and practical storage of all weaving, spinning, sewing, dyeing, beadworking supplies and recent collection of books

The first blog entry on “Clarissa’s Studio” series include:

“The Livingroom” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-1-the-living-room/

90th Birthday Party With Aprons For All

Apron patterns of various sizes from babies to adult laid out to be cut

Apron patterns of various sizes from babies to adult laid out to be cut

My children’s paternal grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday this past Sunday on May 17th with her 2 children, 6 grand children and 8 great-grandchildren.  For her birthday present, I sewed up Alaskan-inspired aprons.

Sewing the pockets

Sewing the pockets

10 years ago I had bought $600 worth of fabrics for a large wall mural that I was supposed to create for the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, but they re-nigged on the project so all the fabrics hung out in my attic until most recently.  Out of the collection I chose a few fabrics with colors of the Alaskan landscape, particularly the blue-berries!

The stack of finished aprons

The stack of finished aprons

The sizes of aprons ranged to fit people who were 4, 6, 9 and 16-month to 3 and 5-year old and two 7-year-olds and of course one for Great Grandma Shirley!  Though I was on a time crunch with all my other projects and business, I had such a blast during the making of these aprons!  I am reminded once again how much I love to sew for those I love and I get a kick in the pants dressing up people, whether for a birthday party, wedding or a traditional Native ceremony!

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All the kids and great grandma wear their aprons….Left to Right front row: Violet Hudson, Great Grandma Shirley, Amelie Haas, Louis Hope — L to R back row: Ursala Hudson holds Simone Haas, Rowenn Kalman holds Aisley Salas, Elizabeth Hope, Lily Hope holds Eleanor Hope, Ishmael Hope holds Mary Goodwin

 

Clarissa’s Studio Part 1: The “Living Room”

The Hibiscus blooms fully in Clarissa's livingroom

The Hibiscus blooms fully in Clarissa’s living room

Folks wonder where the heck I live and work; there are only a handful of people who have seen the inside of my studio home, so I figured I would introduce the general public to where I play music, weave, write, sew, draw, paint (and sorry, I won’t be introducing you to my bedroom!).   I work full-time and a half and live part of my year in a remodeled two car garage in the most beautiful part of Colorado.  The studio has no running water, no sewer and has insufficient heat in the wintertime, but I wear my sheepskin boots, sheepskin hat and gloves during the days and sleep in fleece and sweatpants during the bitter cold months in December, January and sometimes February.  Yes, I am working towards someday having a real home though it is gonna take awhile.

The sun sets upon the Easter lilies

The sun sets upon the Easter lilies with what I call  “middle-aged-ladies’-flowers” geraniums blooming in the background

Over the next three months, I will introduce you to various parts of my humble 700 sq.ft. sanctuary divided into sections.  Here are the parts of “Clarissa’s Studio Series”:

  • “The Living Room” where I play music, read, crochet, knit and clear out the coffee table to do Tai Chi;
  • “The Office” where I draft proposals, emails, FB,  grants, letters, update my website and post blog entries;
  • “The Sewing Space” where I sew button robes and clothing for the grandkids;
  • “The Weaving Space” for all my Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving projects on various size looms;
  • “The Grand Table Space” where I do large layouts of robe pattern designs and cut the applique for button robes;
  • “The Drawing Room” where I sketch and finalize drawings for robes, paintings, collages and book illustrations;
  • “The Painting/Collage-making” where I create just that, along with printing limited edition Giclee’ prints and shrinkwrapping them;
  • “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” where I zap an occasional Amy’s TV dinner for lunch and I keep a modest supply of drinking water;
  • “Clarissa’s Storage Units” for beautiful and practical storage of all weaving, spinning, sewing, dyeing, beadworking supplies and recent collection of books
Clarissa's hand-made Northwest Coast Tlingit carved harp

Clarissa’s hand-made Northwest Coast Tlingit carved harp with abalone inlay was recently repaired after nearly 25 years of collecting dust in the attic

I use sheer, white/off-white curtains to divide my spaces.  Since the space is one big room, I want some sense of controlling the cold and heat, keep each work space free from distractions from other projects in the other work spaces, and to create privacy when needed.  For example, compare the above photograph showing the closed curtains behind the couch, and then the open curtains in the photograph below exposing the small kitchenette.  In all posts of the “Clarissa’s Studio Series” take note where I use the curtains.

The open curtains exposes Clarissa's kitchenette

The open curtains exposes Clarissa’s kitchenette

I live a secluded life during the Fall/Winter in Colorado in comparison to my very social life during the Spring/Summer in Alaska and most recently Yukon.  In Colorado, I fulfill my need for privacy and seclusion, and other than hanging with my grandchildren and children, my main focus is my work; I work 70- 80 hours per week to create as much as I can within the time frame because once I land in Alaska, life is not about me, it’s about including others.  Because I was born and bred in Alaska, and I remain true to my roots and heritage so I attend Native functions and teach classes, and I must harvest my berries and salmon, and I have many long-term friends and family, and the hours of daylight are long and wonderful, so it is very challenging to get any work done, who has time to work indoors!?!?  There are beaches to be walked, oceans to ride, branches to brush aside and big trees to rest under, and always with others!

Clarissa's music room

Clarissa’s music room

So every Springtime before I leave for Alaska, I absorb my serenity and look about me at the little bit of charm I’ve created herewithin, and I appreciate the stillness and silence while I create, create, create.  Life is good as I nourish both aspects of this Gemini being!

Easter lilies at sunset in Clarissa's music livingroom

Easter lilies at sunset in Clarissa’s music living room; and I’m sure you’ve noticed Clarissa’s red, tenor ukelele to the right!

Chilkat and Ravenstail Weaving Return to Yukon

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Yukonian and Alaskan Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving students hold their wooden “warp sticks” along with dancers wearing Chilkat and Ravenstail robes (“Diving Whale” Chilkat robe woven by Clarissa Rizal, “Copper Child” woven by Lily Hope & Clarissa Rizal, “Grandmother’s Time” Ravenstail robe woven by Ann Smith —  Kwaanlin Dun Cultural Center in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory – June 2013

Today, as I was doing some research on line about other Native American, Alaskan artists or Ravenstail and Chilkat weavers who may have blogs, I came across this article from Radio Canada International’s website:

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2013/07/10/chilkat-and-ravenstail-weaving-renewed-in-yukon/

Ann Smith and I taught this class nearly two years ago; she taught Ravenstail and I taught Chilkat.  It was a blast.  It feels real good to help inspire the local Yukon weavers to come back to their “woven” selves.  Ann and I met when we were young like most of these gals nearly 30 years ago.  Little did we know then that we would be helping to revive our nearly-lost weaving traditions.  Who woulda known, eh?