creating for Taos Folk

thank you to family/friends for requesting some pictures.

here are a few samples of the collection I created for my upcoming show. the brighter colors (not natural to my taste) were a suggestion from the organizers of the show. and now that we are covered in a landscape of white snow outside, the colors seem a good idea. 

one of the unique aspects of Taos, is the large artist colony that resides here. so I do feel fortunate, that one of the these groups, the organizers of Taos Folk 2013, chose me to participate in this year's show.

I submitted for several reasons. One of those was that I needed to get myself involved in something about Taos, and something in which D. wasn't also involved. (Though, the gallery is at his theater, but that's just a coincidence of a small town). The other reason, is that I needed to spend some time creating on something focused. And I can play my creative interests all over the place... but sewing little bags is something I know how to do.

I used linen, in different colors, but from one manufacturer, therefore the texture and colorways all appear consistent. I then incorporated some different ikat fabrics, rough silks, vintage chambray & repurposed denim. I love my textures.  I added an extra touch with the zipper pull, made from strips of leather, wrapped in silver wire.

a month ago, I decided to add something unique to my hand. I picked some aspen leaves from the backyard, drew them into a series of stencils, and painted (or drew) them onto fabric. these are my aspen bags. 

I drop these off tomorrow morning. I'm ready for the what-if's to end, and the show to begin. (and then I hope to set up my Etsy shop, which is still empty, but here)


the white stuff

as much as I know I need to find a job, or worry about finding a job, or figure out what to do to make some money, today I was just fine being able to stay home. we woke up to winter. heavy snow on branches, and the sky cold blue in the early morning, grey the remainder of the day. the snow is on-time, as the ski valley is officially opening this weekend. 

I decided to be done with sewing for a few days. (we lost power three times already today, once for several hours. so I suppose not planning to do any sewing today, was mother nature's idea too). I have bags made, tagged & in tubs. ready to deliver. so today I spent some time taking them out, looking them over, and clicking a few photos. is 100 bags enough? I have no idea. I guess I'll know next week. I'm eager to know, eager to move forward from this project and figure out my next one. 

this morning after d. left for work, I put on my boots for a tromp in the snow. I walked down our road to the rio, and found myself walking in the kind of silence only snow can bring. a snow crunch underfoot, the rustle of my jacket, and the wind just barely up, knocking the occasional flurry out of the trees. el Rio Hondo is in a mighty rush with all the rain & snow the mountains have had.  

tonight we're having chicken & vegetable soup. I've got kale, onions & garlic simmering into a stock already. 


other good stuff

the plan for d's birthday was to take a drive up north to Colorado and look for antique stores. we'd be in southeastern Colorado, around Blanca, Ft. Garland & Alamosa...this is farm land amid mountains. a land of wood frame barns, towering stacks of hay bales and old farm houses...a little bit of familiarity just an hour from the land of adobe. 

one of our stops had a yard full of rusty junk, various old hunks of things, carved, wooden bears and many skulls & antlers. some of the skulls still with its hide not-yet-worn away. disturbing on one level, and interesting on another. the shop was full of curious things with a shop keeper full of stories.

continuing on, we found antiques as well as a thrift store. and spent our time exploring through shelves, boxes and cabinets of old, forgotten things. (northern New Mexico sorely lacks in these type of places...) after shopping, and a pizza lunch, we headed back down. we made our usual visit to the Stop Shop, a place owned by Polish immigrants and stocked with polish chocolate, jams and beer. which we bought a little of all things. 

then we took a back-road, country drive. a favorite pastime for the bday boy. stopped to take pictures of a herd of mule deer, they motionless at the presence of us. eventually parked in a field's tractor pull-in. there in a golden barley field under the gaze of Blanca peak, d. enjoyed one of his polish beers & I wandered with my camera. 

as we headed home through Taos County, the sun began to set. 


red glowing Fall

now in the Fall, the mountains take on a red glow at sunset. it lasts about five minutes. it can take your breath away, the sweep of red, pink & orange that suddenly floods the sky, and then quickly disappears back into autumn browns. it is assumed this is why the Spanish named these the "Sangre de Cristo" (blood of Christ).  it is a southern range of the Rockies, and contains such names as the Crestones, the Spanish Peaks, Culebra, Costillo, Baldy, the Taos Mountain, Picuris and la Jicarita (Jicarita is the most fun to roll off the tongue).

I took these from back of the house. I jumped over the still-running acequia (we are curious as to when it will stop), and into our neighbor's pasture, stood there with fingers growing cold, as the colors hit the range.

On Monday I drop off a tub of my bags and the setup up for the TaosFolk show begins. I spent the past few days putting on tags and leather & silver zipper pulls. Today I'll be sewing more, I've decided to create a new size. It makes sense to come up with a new pattern days before a deadline, really.


la cebolla

friday we were on the Cebolla Mesa (the Onion Table). it is park-land north of us, and it borders the Rio Grande, complete with a deep canyon drop. as you drive in, a sign warns you that the roads aren't safe for passenger cars. our last visit was a year ago, for d.'s birthday picnic. this time we were there to find firewood. 

we drove around bumpy, sort-of-roads. one that had such a narrow, steep decline that we actually had to back down rather than attempt to drive on forward. 

the beauty of this place is that it is open & isolated. trees, dirt, & mountains all around. this mesa is mostly pinon & sagebrush, with some amazing ponderosas & firs filling out the skyline. this is the flat New Mexico, a large, wide table of land with narrow arroyos that drop everywhere & suddenly. quiet but for the trees and the ravens & hawks overhead. you feel alone out there. you are alone out there. 

we have permits to cut firewood. but the law is that we cut the dead wood, the already fallen trees. this is one way the forest service can keep the land safer from fire. unfortunately, many folks go out and poach live trees. large trees with a lot of wood.

and it is sad & disheartening. from once tall ponderosas, pine & spruce. we come upon piles of cut limbs, trails of fresh sawdust and still-wet bark. the big tree is just a paycheck. cutting them alive is the easy way out, the lazy way. 

though we go together, d's time is spent with the chainsaw. my job is to find trees to cut, and then carry what's cut to the truck. so I find myself with alone time. I walk around and look for rocks, bones or (hopefully) arrowheads. I try to identify the trees. I count all the signs of animals I can find. I usually find rusty, old beer cans. 

the top of the canyon peaks out in the land's edge. and then beyond the Rio Grande gorge, over on the other side, are some of the old volcanoes that helped shape this enormous & dramatic tierra. being in the presence of this place, like so much of New Mexico, reminds me of just how powerful nature is. 

we headed home as the clouds were getting thick & dark over the mountains. by the time we unloaded wood at the house, a cold rain was falling. 


watching, feeling fall

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.

-Emily Dickinson

Found the prickly pears shining in purple after the last rain.

This poem inspired me to realize that my recent desire for a lovely red (&blue or purple or yellow or orange) plaid wool scarf is just my need to counteract the fading color all around me.

...Also, one disadvantage to heating a house by wood stove is burning your finger, while still groggy early in the morning, by touching the inside of the stove when trying to perfectly place in a new a log.

Last night we ate chicken/red chile sauce tacos. And I baked this applesauce cake, which is delicious (earthy, light & spicy), even without the caramel glaze (I just did a simple sugar glaze, poured all over the cake while still warm).



two of our favorite people came to visit from Kansas. they were excited to see our home, the land and the town. we did a lot of laughing, played some cards, took our backyard hike, went to some of our favorite places.  and all around enjoyed having them visit. the laughter of friends is good for the soul. 

less than two weeks until the art show. I feel like I have a lot done, but that I still have much to do. 


finding this or that

so much of what I write here, and what I think about when not here, is about what to be doing. am ever wondering if I missed my signal, or the moment, or made the wrong or right decision. but I know this is part of what living is, and that many of us wander focused or not. looking for answers, and then questioning what those answers are.

then sometimes I stop myself, and remind myself that though the future should be considered, it is actually the present that needs to be minded/enjoyed/experienced. 

this weekend we are being visited by two good souls from Kansas. and they'll pretty much keep my mind on only the fun & adventure of being together for these next few days. 

and then next week I can get back to questioning my steps for this future path.


november outside

the other morning, as the light was getting slowly brighter, I noticed from my windows how amazing the colors were outside in the still early light. the long, night rain had washed everything dark & bright. these are the colors of young november in northern new mexico.