Monday, May 31, 2010

Santa Fe River

This past weekend, Cullen and Grayson kayaked down the Santa Fe River, which is normally no bigger than a creek. It runs from the aquifer up near the base of the mountains, parallel to Alameda - a major east/west street, through downtown Santa Fe, past a couple of parks and out to where it must meet up with the Rio Grande somewhere.

Honestly, it is rarely more than a trickle. But, with the run-off from the winter snows, they had to release quite a bit and it was running fast and furious!

On Saturday morning, the guys got their boats ready and took off for the challenge. They had a wonderful time. For Sunday, they called our friend, Howard, who drove up to run it with them again.
I had gone to see a movie with friends and was headed downtown for a little frozen yoghurt (Yoberri - yummy!) As we crossed over the bridge into town, I was telling my friend about Cullen and Grayson kayaking the river. As we looked down into the water, THERE WAS CULLEN! We jumped out of the car and ran to the fence. I had my camera with me (such luck!) I missed getting a shot of Cullen, but here, above and below, is Grayson in his boat on the Santa Fe River on May 30th, 2010!

And, after saying "hey" to Grayson, along came Howard, who waved as he passed us! It was such a treat to see them on this "normally trickling brook - now rushing river" having such a wonderful time doing what they all love to do.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Los Poblanos

Today, I went to Albuquerque to see my friend, Penny, whom I have not seen in many years.
She walked into Curiosa last week and apparently fell in love with my little papier mache boxes and took one home. She sent me a letter inviting me to come see her. Today was the day.......

I realize that I was not quite together enough to take photos from the moment I got out of the car, which is too bad. I picked up my camera when we walked through the Cultural Center. I must say that these little metal figures on the lock plates delighted me - simple joy!

In the same room, the door, below, was carved by the artist Gustave Baumann, one of the most gifted designers I know of. If you do not know his work, I suppose you could google him and see some examples. He is very well known in New Mexico for his extraordinary colorful etchings and his hand-carved wooden marionettes. I did not know that he carved doors, as well, though it does not surprise me. The quality of the detail on the door is exquisite.

This is the floor in the room with the door and metal lock plates - isn't it spectacular?

This property is the former Creamland Dairy in Albuquerque, New Mexico - 25 acres of farmland and gardens, a pond and huge, lush cottonwood trees, not to mention the historical buildings throughout. I was so excited to be walking through this incredible oasis, seeing all the work they are doing. After years of thinking about and following their dreams, Penny and her family are adding 14 rooms to the existing 7 room Los Poblanos Inn and Cultural Center.
 (  )       

The new buildings are designed and being built in much the same way as the existing ones, so they will all compliment one another when finished. The attention to every, small detail makes such a difference and the result will be beautiful, I am sure.

I felt so lucky to be walking around, getting a private tour with Penny - meeting all of the incredible people that make the whole place hum. So many incredible things going on there.

This is just one tiny view of one little part of one of the gardens (!) The roses are so fragrant that as you walk through, the scent follows you and it can be intoxicating (just like the blooming Russian Olives and the Spanish Broom- wow!)

Until today, I had never seen a white peacock. Unfortunately this photo does not do it justice.

This guy was standing on the other side of the same rose bush - aren't peacocks the most magical birds? As we walked away, they called to us...

The Farm Shop is wonderful! First of all, the building is great! (I could live there) Tall ceilings and wonderful windows....and shelves filled with fantastic things.
This wall of shelves is filled with local products that are outstanding. Deborah Madison's cookbooks, which are "delicious"- as well as Heidi's Raspberry Jams, which are our favorite here at the Hallmark house.
This wall houses products made from lavender from the farm - scented water to spray into the air, lavender oil, lavender honey..... fantastic selection.
They have an outstanding Lavender Festival the end of to the public.
How 'bout this guy? Christina is the Animal Lady. I met her today, along with this lovely goat and several others. Christina makes feta cheese from their milk and is getting ready to try a mozzarella recipe that promises to be wonderful. I can't wait to taste it.

Hard to see, but the goats and chickens were relaxing in the shade while we were talking.

This is one of my favorite buildings - the green house. 

And lunch - wow.......heirloom tomatoes and chicken salad with watermelon radishes that had just come from the garden. It was so delicious...and fresh berry pie for dessert. 

There are workshops going on all the time and I think that it would be such a treat to stay at the Inn. It is incredible that dreams really can and DO come true. The fact that they are preserving all of the historical details of the property and making it even more special with their thoughtful additions, gives me goosebumps.

Today was a glorious day and I can hardly wait to go back for another visit - and share it with all the people I know who will sooo appreciate it. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Art Project

We had visitors from California this weekend. Our friends Rod and Tasha brought their daughters, Cassie and Lydia to Santa Fe for the first time and it was great!
(The girls especially loved Grayson!)

This morning, after breakfast, the girls were ready to "make" something. I found some paper and supplies from a project I did last summer, so we pulled 'em out and got started.

Here is Cassie choosing her papers to roll onto her paper clips to make her necklace. 

The papers were already cut out, 
so she just chose the ones she wanted and started to roll them up to make her necklace.

And, this is Lydia.

With very nimble fingers, she rolled up her "beads" and connected them to one another.

These are the necklaces that I made last year, 
though you don't quite get the "details" in this photo.

Cassie was so proud of the necklace that she made.
She had lots of fun ideas about making the "charms" and they all worked!

Lydia liked hers. too, though after a while, she came to me with two of the charms missing.
She retraced her steps and found one of them, which we re-attached.
We made another one to replace the other and glued it on, too.

Both girls had their necklaces on when they left.
What a very FUN time we had!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Trip to Texas

I am back from Texas and it feels soooo good to be home. 
I wanted to share a few photos......from the drive and Austin.

Ft Stockton is 7 hours from Santa Fe and 5 hours from Austin - just over half way between. I have loved this "monument to the road runner" for years, but never got a photo before. As I drove through the intersection, I clicked this one and though it isn't a profile, it is still pretty funny, don't you think?

About 15 minutes outside of Ft Stockton is the beginning of a huge wind farm - turbines covering the mesa tops for miles. I always look forward to this part of the drive - so cool.
There is another amazing wind farm near Palm Springs, CA, though the turbines are much closer to the highway. In both cases, it is such a surreal thing to witness these animal-like machines that "crawl" through the air.....

Thanks to Lady Bird Johnson, there are wildflowers covering the highways throughout Texas.
This photo does NOT do justice to the bright yellow that was lining the road. I was a little late for the bluebonnets this year, though heard they were spectacular, due to a wet spring. Still, I enjoyed these yellow blossoms and the purple verbena along the way. 
(it's a bit hard to take a good photo while driving!)

I was walking around the house taking photos one afternoon. This is Mom's bedroom from the backyard and I like it - looks cozy, don't you think?

And, here is the front of the house. It still looks pretty much how it has always looked, though some of the plants that were smaller when I was little have grown into big, lush bushes. The trees are spectacular and I appreciate them so much - especially after having lived in "tree-starved" New Mexico for the last 25 years (!)

It was a productive trip. Mom and I went through so many boxes and bags of "stuff" - artwork and schoolwork from my brothers and myself, old letters and notes from family and was incredible to see so many treasures. We threw a LOT in the trash, but I also saved some of the "yukkier" things to use in my papier mache - should be interesting.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Here is the final piece of art for the auction.
I think that I like it, but have looked at it too much on these past couple of days.
I enjoy this size, though. It suits me more than 8"x8".....funny.......
Hope you like it!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Almost There

Here is the latest on the "Heart" image for the auction......
I really am liking it more and more......
Almost finished!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More Process!

Okay, we are moving into the next phase....
The more color that goes in, the less confident I am!
Not being familiar with this process, I am not sure what to do next. I am relying on my instinct, which is pretty good, but it is still "untread" territory.....

I like the colors - more subtle that I usually use..... I can see that I am not that close to finishing it yet.........
hmmmm, I like the lettering, but think it is time to take a break so that I do not totally mess it up! It helps to take photos and get a different perspective..... much better than the normal "eye squint"....
I will be back later. I am going to work on some birdcages in the studio...


I am working on a painting to donate to a wonderful cause - A Place to Bark - which is a shelter that takes those sweet "difficult to adopt" dogs that have been in overcrowded, overwhelming shelters and are in danger of being euthanized. 
I have met someone through blogging who is making a book of artists' work to auction off.
Her name is Renee Troy and she is great! and has a huge heart herself.... Check her out at 

I thought that this "beginning" was so interesting. I do not think of myself as a "painter," in the sense of Fine Art, though I guess I really am. I like the process here....acrylic paint around pencil line. I did not intend to share this part of it, but I do enjoy seeing how others get through their own process, so why not?

...hmmmm, it is pretty cool to have these photos of the steps taken to reach an end product. I wonder how I will end up finishing this..........Check in later to see what happens!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

lucky ME!

When I got the mail today....this wonderful, nondescript package fell out of the box.
I saw the return address and realized that I was the "Lucky One"

My friend Taylor (in South Carolina) has been making some pretty 
wonderful booklet/journals.          ( )
She posted this one the other day....saying she was sending it off to someone.
wow .... me!
I love all the little secret little pockets and envelopes. This one has a neat "self portrait" on the envelope and a tiny card with a bird on it. The opposite page has a graphed tag in the pocket.

What a perfect little circle around this lovely face.

I adore this graph page. The stamp is marvelous and I have always loved graph paper - ledgers.

This bird really caught my eye. It was hiding under the black mesh, peeking

...And at the end, Frida Kahlo is doing a quick sketch.

Oh Taylor, thank you soooo much for this masterpiece.
I am looking forward to adding my little bits here and there - finding small places to tuck a few words. This is really going to be so much fun.

Oh, and thanks for the sweet compliment about my handwriting. Glad you like it....


I am thinking that I need to expand my horizons.......sigh.....

I was drawing all day, but the little figures on the "messy" table downstairs were calling me (I'll post that big mess tomorrow..)
This is my second little swinging girl...and I think she is pretty great. You must think she looks a lot like the first one...but she is a little different.

This is almost a silouette ...... maybe she is swinging at dusk..

Just thought I'd show you all the angles, cause it shows sooo much of her personality.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peat Pots

The other day, when it was warm, I bought some small peat pots. I thought that it would be nice to paint them. I have always liked the rough surface and how it looks when painted.

So, I got out my paints and mixed up the colors that I like so much. Painting the pots was interesting because they really soak up the paint...Still, the outcome is great!

I love the colors! They look so springy. I am not quite sure what to do with them, though they would have been nice little May Baskets last Saturday...hmmmmm...a bit late!

I think that little baskets will eventually do the trick, maybe with some tiny paper flowers. I just needed a touch of color after all the neutral papier mache I have been into lately.

ps. These little pots are only about 3 1/2 inches tall!