June 27, 2022
Vibrant is a word often used to describe Tarryn Zerbinos’s acrylic paintings. She enjoys mixing realism and abstract art to create a world that is thought provoking and warms your heart and home. She pulls inspiration from the world around her. This includes the mountains of Alaska, wildlife, traveling, and motherhood.
Tarryn was born in Alaska, but raised in Wisconsin. It was there she spent a short time studying fine art at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, before traveling to Utqiagvik, AK where her love for Alaska was rekindled. Quickly her two week visit in Utqiagvik transitioned to a permanent move. It wasn’t until a few years down the road when she had her two children, that she realized she needed to get back into doing what she loves, which is creating. She now spends her time living in Anchorage, AK painting murals, windows for businesses, creating art on her down time, and exploring the backcountry of Alaska with her husband, her two sons, and their dog.
Can you tell us about your "process" / if there's a certain way you go about deciding your subjects/compositions - or favorite things to capture?
- My favorite things to paint are underwater critters and sunsets. I am in awe when I see a sunset in real life and I am so inspired to capture every color.
What is your favorite art form?
- Painting- specifically murals, there’s nothing like painting on a giant wall and then standing back to see the whole picture come together.
When did you first start creating?
- I’ve been creating my whole life but I didn’t start to hone in on my craft until I was around 17 years old.
What inspires you to create your work?
- Alaska is my biggest inspiration however I do tend to paint with my heart so whatever is on my heart in the moment tends to come out on canvas. When I was transitioning out of nursing my youngest I went through a phase of creating more maternal pieces.
What’s your favorite thing to see/do in Alaska?
-I love flying in the backcountry of Alaska with my family. We love finding little beaches to land on and camp on Prince William Sound. There’s nothing like the sea breeze and watching otters and seals play around in the water.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
-Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The world needs your art now more than ever.
May 01, 2022
Seward First Fridays- Women in Wellness!
We are so excited to kick off the 2022 First Friday Art Walk series here in Seward AK on May 6th from 6p to 8pm at our Forests Tides & Treasures Shop. We will be featuring Seward local Wellness providers Carly Locke and Lavina Dickinson. These two women literally changed our lives for the better over these last 18 months helping us overcome some very challenging physical conditions. We believe in our hearts that they can help just about anyone live a more comfortable and complete life through their wellness techniques of acupuncture and massage therapy. We invite you to come listen to what they have to share, participate in actual demonstrations of their crafts, sample some of their wares and maybe even take something home with you at the end of the night.
Women in Wellness
Carly Locke is a board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist specializing in pain management, functional movement, and holistic facial and skincare services. She serves our community through her business Alchemy Wellness.
Lavina Dickinson is a Coast Guard veteran, second generation LMT massage therapist, and wellness educator. She is passionate about taking a holistic approach to bodywork. She loves utilizing her knowledge of anatomy, energetics, and mindfulness to affect positive outcomes for her clientele.
Starting at 6:15pm and 7:15pm, each will talk about their craft, demonstrate their techniques, and introducing you to some of their go-to products while answering any questions you might have about everything wellness.
What will they cover?
Carly: her goal is to help you understand what acupuncture is and how it can improve your life and wellbeing.
Carly will also be making a variety of natural wellness products used in her practice Alchemy Wellness shop available for purchase:
Lavina Dickinson, LMT
Lavina: her goal is help you understand how Bodywork can enhance your life and affect positive outcomes through a holistic wellness approach.
Lavina will also be making a variety of products and packages available for purchase:
We look forward to seeing this Friday- May 6th- from 6p-8p.
Our store is located in the Seward Harbor at 1317 4th Ave
You can reach us my phone wirth any questions- 907-831-1995
Please feel free to contact us via email as well at email@example.com
Thanks to all and be well!
The FTT Family
January 02, 2022 1 Comment
Tom was born and raised in Seward. He and four brothers grew up playing in the woods and exploring the mountains. Many years ago Tom was driving to Long Beach to attend a course in underwater diving for construction. Cathy was heading Outside to visit family, and a mutual friend suggested they make the drive together down the Alcan…. So they headed down the highway together and reconnected that spring - the rest became history!
Tom and Cathy Gillespie have lived decades in their home in Bear Creek, raising their two now-adult sons, Dylan and Austin, to whom they passed on their passion for the outdoors. Free time was commonly spent hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and camping.
Tom worked as a heavy equipment operator for Metco in Seward for close to three decades. During this career, he spent countless hours working in raging creeks and under the waterfall on Lowell Point Rd during floods. In the winters, he would be up at 3 a.m. clearing borough roads during blizzards. He was an amazing operator, no matter which equipment he was on. “People would often tell me how they enjoyed watching him work - with his concentration and finesse,” Cathy recalled proudly.
Cathy had retired from Seaview Community Services not long before Tom got sick. He was still working for Metco when she retired, but Tom’s retirement and travel was in their plans.
Tom, who had always been tireless, began experiencing fatigue a couple years ago, but kept on going. He had a variety of tests but none of them were conclusive. Last January, he was at work and had a difficult time holding his pen. When this didn’t get better he went to the ER in Seward, where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was shocking and rocked our worlds. "We had been thinking it might be a pinched nerve but it never occurred to us that it would be a tumor," Cathy explained.
So began the trips to Anchorage. After his initial MRI, we went up for the brain biopsy. It was supposed to be an overnight stay but he had a stroke that night in the hospital, leaving him with paralysis on his right side and inability to speak - needing 24/7 care. So began almost four months in the hospital. He was diagnosed with lymphoma and began chemotherapy by way of a port in his chest.
Originally, Cathy wasn’t able to visit him at all due to covid restrictions but later was able to have limited visitation. Cathy spent the winter hotel hopping and coming home on weekends to check on the house, mail, etc. While in Providence, his oncologist ordered a bone marrow scan, which showed that Tom also has a rare lymphoma called waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. Tom had radiation treatments five days a week during the month of April.
Before Tom was finally released in June, friends and neighbors jumped in and built a wheelchair ramp, installed a stair chair and remodeled our bathroom to accommodate his disability. Friends, to this day, bring food and help in any way they can.
“We have gotten so much support from family and friends near and far, but the community of Seward has been incredible. We’ve always loved Seward [and being able] to call it home, but the people here are truly a special breed.”
The eldest Gillespie son, Austin, works for an engineering firm in Anchorage during the construction in spring, summer and fall. In winter he commercial fishes in the Bering Sea. When Tom was diagnosed they were able to get a call out to him, but decided it was best for him to stay on the boat. He was back in Anchorage in the spring, spending much time in Seward working on ADA projects for his dad. He will be leaving for fishing this month.
Dylan had been working at Resurrect Art Coffee House and was saving up to continue on his love for world travels. But when his dad got sick, Dylan and his girlfriend Ally changed their plans and stayed in Seward. Tom and Cathy own a vacation rental next door to their home, so they canceled all reservations, where Dylan and Ally currently live.
“[I am] so thankful to have them close by. The love both boys have for Tom is heartwarming.”
Currently, Tom is on a daily chemo pill at home; he’s very fatigued but fortunately hasn’t experienced many nasty side effects. He still needs around the clock care, of which Cathy takes on the majority. Tom has an MRI every three months–his last being early December–where results showed some decrease in his tumor and no new growth; the family and community are all hoping and praying for the best.
Friends in the Seward community continue to help in many ways, from bringing food, picking up groceries, splitting and bringing in firewood, helping Cathy organize and navigate massive piles of paperwork, and financial support. The help is extensive, and the list goes on.
“Tom and I wish we could thank each and every one but there are so many who have touched our lives through this. We just want everyone to know what it means to us.
That said, I almost felt like I was writing an obituary, writing about things he can no longer do. But he still keeps his sense of humor and positive outlook through all this. Our family has always been very close but this has brought us and the boys so much closer.”Tom loves creating, and was known to have a knack for building with logs. Cathy claims Tom’s “biggest accomplishment is our log home on Bear Lake where we raised our family and still live.”
“Each winter when the lake froze over, he would put up a tree offshore and string it with lights. Tradition. This winter, our oldest son followed that tradition.”
As a nod to this tradition, and in honor of one of Seward’s finest, we’ve named our Polar Bear Jump Team “Tom’s TREEsures”. We plan to dress as trees to pay homage to his very own frozen tree on Bear Lake - with Tom’s son, Dylan Gillespie, and his girlfriend Ally, also on our team!
“He is very kind and would do anything for anyone. He has an incredible sense of humor and wit. Even through all this darkness, he continues to make us laugh.”
It is our hope and goal to raise funds and celebrate in a tradition that is very unique to Seward, all in the name of finding an end to cancer and to spread awareness of the good people whose lives are touched by its relentless hands.
We are grateful to know people like Tom, who for decades have built the wonderful community that we live in today. We are invigorated to fight against cancer, foster unity with our neighbors, and find even more ways to support the Gillespie family, and more.
We extend special gratitude for Cathy and family for their willingness to open up with us about Tom's story and allowing us to elevate cancer awareness (and its complications) on these platforms. Your strength and vulnerability is something to be admired and not taken for granted. Thank you.
December 30, 2021
To begin, we hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season with you and yours.
We began the year not sure what a post-covid year would look like in Seward, Alaska. There were so many different strategies being implemented around the US and world. It was hard to decipher what the most responsible way to navigate it all as responsible community members and a small buisness. To our surprise, however, the momentum of 2020 continued from the 1st days of 2022 and we were able to continue serving our community and visitors safely, responsibly and without disruption.
On the flip side, staffing was extremely challenging all year long for us. Having wound up with only half of the team we normally have for the summer, we were forced to close 2 days a week and open 3 hours less a day. But because of the mix of Team have and their perseverance, we still had a record season.
Familial surgeries at the beginning and end of year created additional challenges for us. Linda wound up having to shoulder most of the day-to-day duties during the height of the season. Luckily, there were lots of silver linings in all of this though; one being that we were able to stay on top of ordering and avoid a lot of the logistical challenges that so many experienced.
This year, it was especially exciting to watch one of our local staff members, Marisa Phasomsap, blossom into one of our top 10 selling artists. It's incredible to think just a year ago she started out selling hand-painted rocks in our shop. We are so proud of her. And she continues to stock our shelves with her work even now after after leaving for college in the Lower 48.
Great job, Marisa! We celebrate you and all that lays ahead for you.
Expanded Offerings & Top Hits
We were also fortunate to be able to continue to expand our reach across Alaska as a result of our expanded selections this year. Guests literally came from all over Southcentral Alaska to shop with us throughout the year. Some of the biggest hits were the addition of Salomon Shoes, Cotopaxi and Kavu clothing. We were also able to expand our selections of Salmon Sisters, Kuhl and Patagonia mercahndise with success. It tickled us to no end that Alaskiwear hats became our biggest hat line, hands-down this year.
Meg Smith and Annie Brace continued to lead the way in the Gallery, along with His Design metal wall art and Todd Salat’s Aurora Hunter photo prints. We started carrying Ivory Jacks jewelry and knives from Juneau, with their single and double Damascus axes becoming the biggest conversation pieces. We added coffee this year and enjoyed all the smells of Uncle Leroys out of Anchorage and Harborside Coffee out of Kodiak all year long..Ruffwear continued to be one of our anchor lines, so it was not surprising that adding dog treats Alaskins from Soldotna and Drool Central from Anchorage were such hits.
It’s really satisfying curating such an assortment. We are blessed to be able to work with all of these people, building relationships with each artist, artisan and vendor along the way.
We were especially lucky to grow our Team this year with a few even working remotely with us.
To say the least, 2022 is really looking good with this Team. We look forward to continuing to build it throughout the year. (We are still looking for a Warehouse manager and Retail clerks for the summer season. Send anyone interested to our Coolworks job posts: here!)
Giving back is a huge priority for us. Seward has a wide range of incredible organizations, nonprofits and businesses who put their hearts and souls back into this beautiful town, and in 2021 we strived to do our part as well.
We had the privilege of working with a range of organizations, including:
We have the groundwork laid to begin working with even more organizations in 2022 and will be unveiling a new 'Round-up" program in the Spring! It really does take all of us working together to address the serious challenges faced those living in our communities.
After a slew of cancellations in 2020, Seward was able to bring back the First Friday Art Walk Summer Series in 2021. It was so wonderful to participate in First Friday events throughout the summer, with both dear old friends and new artists alike.
One of the most unique First Fridays happened in July when we had Annie Brace (Corso Graphics) and all 3 of her kids participate together on that cold windy day. It was a mini art festival right under our awning! (You can read more about Annie, Eliza & Cooper in their Heart of Art entry: here!)
Only the 2 deliveries by Meg Smith (Meg Smith Design) made via her own bush plane could have topped the Brace Family Art-A-Palooza. Meg never ceases to amaze us with her jetsetting bada**ery in both her personal and professional endeavors, though. (In fact, you can learn more about her history with Art, Design & Airplanes in our Heart of Art blog entry: here!)
We must confess, though, that our top highlight of 2021 was when we streamed the Olympic heats of our local swimmer Lydia Jacoby live for you in the wee hours of the morning this summer. Our whole community came out and screamed oursleves hoarse crying together, hugging everyone around us as she went on to win both gold and silver medals in the Tokyo Olympics! Welcome to Seward Alaska - where we have more Olympic Medals than stoplights.
In 2022, we will be growing soon and can't wait to share all the news once we finalize everything and have signed on the dotted line. We are over the moon and deep into plans, designs and new collaborations to make it all happen.
In 2021, we were so proud to make our first foray into sponsoring local events, by being one of the co-sponsors of the 2021 New Years Eve fireworks last year. We decided to make it a tradition going forward and are also co-sponosring the Firewroks again this year. We will be streaming the fireworks live on our Facebook Page 12/31 at Midnight if you want to see!
We will also be ringing in the New Year by jumping in the frigid waters of Seward’s Boat Harbor for the Alaska Polar Bear Plunge, benefiting the American Cancer Society on January 15th. We are jumping in honour of a local dear to our hearts who is fighting cancer and also to raise awareness and funds for cancer survivors. Please keep your eye out for upcoming emails/posts on social media about how you can donate to support the cause!
As we wrap things up, it is not an exaggeration to say that none of this would be possible without you. Your patronage, support and participation make all this possible. You are our inspiration and the force that drives our FTT family. We would be less without each of you and all that you share with us. You make us better. We are forever grateful to each of you.
We always say that our store reflects all of you and 2022 will be no exception. Fun things are coming. Stay tuned… And keep on sharing!
We are better together. Always.
Thank you for being you and taking the time to share your lives with us.
All the best in 2022 for you and yours,
The FTT Family
Linda, Cliff, Deb, Mary, Cassie, Travis, Carol, Morgan, Smokey
Woof! Smokey Here!
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all the belly rubs, ‘good boy’s, and daily treats this year.
And while many-a-canine will joke and say, “Life is Ruff”, and even though I strongly believe that the shop iRoomba is secretly run by an evil feline, it’s been wonderful to share this year with you all. If you stop in, know that my resolution for 2022 is to go through 32 moosey chews - so if you want to give a dog a bone… (*wink*)
Hope your next seven (dog) years bring you lots of belly rubs, and warm couches to stretch out on. Woof!
November 22, 2021
March 05, 2021
Seward Artist in Schools Exhibit
We are so proud to present this Exhibit at FTT from March 4th- 28th. Each week, we will present new works from Seward School students ages 7-11 created while working with four local artists during Artists in Schools Residencies. These artists include Jenny Nakao (pottery), Justine Pechuzal (mix-media), Libby Ferrara (leather works) and Sea Ulman (literature). This program was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Seward Community Foundation and Seward PTA. A big thanks to J. Leslie and Tara Swanson for organizing this Residency program.
What is the Seward Artists in Schools Program?
This Program was created to foster education, understanding, and appreciation of the arts and humanities by promoting development of cultural opportunities, performances, instruction, and exhibits.
What is its mission?
The Mission of the Program is to introduce principles of art techniques and foster independent student practice through a combination of instruction and workshop sessions with professional artists. In addition, through these Residency Programs, they seek to create income opportunities for skilled, local artists. Finally, the Program seeks to inspire residents of all ages through the subsequent exhibits and performances of student art created during these Residency programs.
Come be inspired!
Join us as we celebrate the arts and nurture the possibilities created when local artist work with our students. Not only does this make them better students but it makes our schools better. And this makes us better not only as individuals but as a community too. Together, we are always better.
Want to help?
FTT will be collecting donations through the month of March to purchase much needed art supplies, equipment, and resources for Seward Schools. 100% of all collected donations will be used to bolster the Arts & Humanities programs at Seward Schools.
Wish List items: stockpiles of lino cutters (linoleum cutters for block printing), block printing pads, high-quality paintbrushes and paints (watercolor and acrylic), sketch books/drawing journals, soft drawing pencils, and T-squares. If you wish to arrange to donate these specific materials, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Artist:
"My art program with Mrs. Pfeiffenberger and Mrs. Mullaly's second grade students sampled different art history movements with a slideshow and art project. We started with Impressionism, painting lily pads and water in the style of French artist Claude Monet, then looked at the stained-glass masterpieces of American artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, and made our own 'stained glass' collages with painted paper. Next, students learned about the French abstract painter Sonia Delauny and used oil pastels to draw circular geometric designs. We ended with a lesson on African American painter Jacob Lawrence, famous for his vibrant street scenes of Harlem, recreated by students in mixed media. I wasn't sure how teaching art to a large group over zoom would go but was impressed by the students' focus and enthusiasm. Their bright smiles, waves, and expressive art made my day."
“My project with students was an introduction to working with vegetable tanned cowhide. Students each completed one of four functional projects: a wallet, card case, pencil bag or small shoulder bag.
It was a little challenging especially given the zoom aspect, but I think it was very rewarding in the end! My goal was for students to get to make something they could use in their daily lives and I think that was accomplished. “
“I taught creative writing workshops to both 5th grade classes in December and January.
Students wrote a creative project - a story, essay, or poetry - that reflected on the special nature of Seward.
They implemented writing techniques such as: sentence variety, sensory details, metaphors and dialogue.
I was extremely impressed with the students' engaged levels of imagination, descriptive writing, work ethic and focus. Their ability to generate interesting material with smart instincts was a joy to be a part of. Many truly poetic moments were achieved through dedication to improve their manuscripts.
These original pieces of writing were collected in a class book.
I knew the key to this workshop reaching great heights would be the kids wanting to write. As an instructor I can motivate and introduce fun things, but in the end each student has to decide to write. And then decide to keep working on the art, to take pride in it. I believe that their hunger to write is evident in the dynamic range of these finished products. “
Stay Tuned- Class is in progress right now!
If you would like to get more information about the program please feel free to contact Seward Artist in Schools Program organizers Jason Leslie at email@example.com or Tara Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 17, 2020
We continue to be surprised how easy Shopping Virtually is with anyone anywhere. Each Virtual Shopping experience has been a little bit different because of a particular Guest's schedule, needs or technological comfort level. It has been very easy to make it simple by using a mix of email, phone, text, and Video call. Whatever works best and is most comfortable. Here are some of the places that our Guest shopped Virtually from with us this week.
November 08, 2020
August 30, 2020
August 30, 2020
August 16, 2020
August 15, 2020