Thursday, July 30, 2009

Monsoon season

Typically we expect our monsoon season to be July and August, but this year it seems to have been raining since spring.  We had our two weeks of "hot" weather and that has now passed (hot being defined as low 90s days, high 50s at night).  What seems to be becoming more spectacular as the summer goes on is our afternoon display of clouds.  I stopped in town a few days ago and as I got out of the car, saw this beauty standing tall, vertically, right over the UPS Store I was entering.  I snapped this photo with my iPhone and zoomed indoors, all starry eyed, to tell everyone about the fabulous cloud overhead.  Thunderhead

They all looked at me like I had slipped a few gears.  Well...if I have, then so be it.  I'm a cloud freak.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Locks and novelties...on to their new homes

Fallingleafthreeteeswater2 I'm still working on simplifying my life, which always seems to be an uphill battle.  Some of this may be old news, but I'm putting it here in print, just to make sure I can remember that I've shared this with you already.

Novelty yarns:  As of 7/20/09, they have all gone to Monte at MyMixMix.  She's going to start de-stashing them there soon.  There are, literally, hundreds of them.  Check out her shop for more information on these...and have lots of fun!

Chiccofourwensleydale1 Luxe Locks:  When I started my Etsy shop, I had lots of support and guidance from my dear friend HollyEQQ, who is the queen of dyed locks on the internet, if not everywhere.  Hers are THE best, no doubt about it.  I put Luxe Locks on my shop because they were Wensleydale and Teeswater, two very curly English breeds that have only in the last few years been introduced into this country, and wools that Holly didn't sell.  Now that has changed and she's selling them like hotcakes...I snagged a couple of photos from her shop (hope you don't mind, Holly!) to share with you here.  So...if you love locks for your spinning, felting, or doll projects, she's the go to person for the top of the line in hand dyed locks and novelty fibers (like banana fibers...I use like silk).


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dye day for hooking

Linda'sWool I received my order of white wool yardage from Nova Scotia last week.  I decided it was time to start dyeing at least some of my wool here at home, since I have the ability to do so.  Buying dyed wools from on-line sources is certainly a great deal of fun, and I'm loving what I'm getting (well, mostly) but charity is, after all, supposed to start at home.  MartieWool

These are some of the first ones dyed.  I'm not dyeing for a particular project, just for I have no idea if these will be colors that will be important for me later in my work or not.  For now, it's just play.  The photos were taken in the brightest of sunshine, so they're a bit over exposed.  You'll get the idea, anyway. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Presents in the mail!

Being on the internet in the fiber world has given me the opportunity to meet lots of people, make some good friendships, and enjoy the exchange of information, ideas, joy, and sadness with folks I will, in all likelihood, never be fortunate enough to meet.  

Little did I know that in my cyberspace world I would meet sheep...let alone sheep that send presents.  It's true, I swear.  Last week I opened an envelope with a return address "from the Sheep" and lo and behold, there were two skeins of beautifully hand spun alpaca yarn (complete with tiny beads) and a bag of the yummiest alpaca fiber! 
This isn't the first time this has happened.  I put on my Miss Marple hat and have finally tracked them down to a farm in Wisconsin:  Homestead Wool and Gift Farm.  These aren't just any sheep...these are pampered sheep...because this farm is a place where farm animals of all sorts are allowed to go live out their lives, despite disabilities and other reasons that would have caused them to not live out full lives otherwise.  No animals are ever bred, and NO animals there are ever eaten.  While there are other farms that purport to be "animal friendly", this place is the real deal.  How do I know this?  The sheep told me!!!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Porch babies

Over a week ago, I noticed that the mama bird who nested in our porch light was spending more time out of the nest than in.  We saw her bringing in more nesting materials and that really got my curiosity going.  Had she not had her babies and was she making some sad attempt at another round of nesting?
OK.  I admit my curiosity finally got the best of me.  One day earlier this last week I reached up to pat around and see what was going on in the nest...I knew I shouldn't...but I couldn't help myself.

Warm fuzzies...several of them.  OMG.  I raced into the house, got a chair and got up there fast as I could...and there they were, a little mosh pit of fuzzies with one little beak pointing up, nibbling at my finger, looking for something I couldn't deliver.  I could barely stand it, they were so sweet.

In the meantime, mama bird is hip to my tricks, so I've been treading cautiously.  Every time I go in and out, she's on a nearby fence letting me know she's watching.  This has been good, too, because I can now confidently identify her as a Western Fly Catcher. 

This afternoon, while she was out on a bug run, I sneaked out with the camera to take these photos.  I am not sure how many are in there...I can safely say 3...but probably won't know for sure unless I catch them on the day they take their flying lessons.  Sorry this isn't a better photo.  I was hoping to get a cute butt shot...the little flipped up tails are just adorable.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesdays in Seco

For probably seven years now we've had the good fortune to participate in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm right here in Arroyo Seco.  It's owned and operated by Melinda Bateman, and is called "Morning Star Farm", so named after one of the former communes right here in our area. 
If you're not familiar with a CSA, it's an important part of the slow food revolution in our country.  It supports a local farmer and keeps you eating food that was picked right before pickup and hasn't caused a huge carbon footprint getting here.  Once you eat food like that, you'll have a hard time going back to the or not.  If you have one in your area, I highly suggest you investigate.  It will cost you a bit up front, but over the 26 weeks we have pickups, the cost averages out to equal to or below what we'd pay for groceries at the store (not to mention that it's fresh and chemical free).  In subscribing ahead of the season, you take the same risks the farmer takes...risking crop loss from weather or bugs...and if it's a banner year, you score, big time.
Every Tuesday afternoon we are able to pick up the week's selections, based on what was (or wasn't) successful on the farm.  There are usually lots of choices and frequently, more food than two of us can eat fresh (I'll freeze what we can't eat now).  We used to pick up right on the farm, but parking became an issue as the CSA grew.  Now the pickup is at a location across the road from our studio/former shop, bordering right on Taos Pueblo reservation land.  It just couldn't be a more beautiful setting. 

For more photos, please visit my Flickr page as noted in the left column here on the blog.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Freedom of speech

Yesterday I posted about what freedom meant to me.  It prompted a comment from an anonymous reader of this blog, and gave me lots more to think about as I enjoyed my day yesterday.  It reinforced that we are all entitled to our opinions and the freedom to speak them out loud.  It also was a reminder of how things get misinterpreted and how differently we all see things.  I wrote this response, and this morning decided I felt it was more of a posting than a comment. 

As always, my postings here are my own feelings and opinions and I don't expect anyone to feel the same way that I do.  It's another part of that great freedom we enjoy, to voice our opinions and not be in fear of retaliation.

I don't know about real estate prices in Santa Fe these days, but I know that things aren't great here in the Taos area right now.  Have prices gone up in the 16 years I've lived here?  Absolutely.  Has that happened in other communities across the country?  I couldn't say for sure, but I'm guessing they have in more than a few, and we're seeing the results of some of that on the news now as the house of cards is starting to fall in.

I can't speak on behalf of the entire community of Taos, but I can say that I know and am aware of more than a few people who are struggling hard to hang on to live here, both as a result of this kind of growth and the current recession/depression.  Locals who have owned their properties for generations are struggling with tax rates that increase as others move in (like we did
).  It's not just here; my son and his wife can't afford to buy a home in the area he grew up in because of this same kind of growth pattern.  It's just what happens.  The people who settled this country called it manifest destiny.  After WWII, it was called  progress.  Call it whatever you like, like it or's what people have done throughout history...they move.

I think when we visit communities as tourists we tend to be having a great vacation seeing what we want to see.  I don't think it's a good idea take a broad stroke and refer to folks as "poverty elite" without really understanding the community.

To own a fancy car certainly has always been a big part of the American's just not mine. Having lived in an area where things like that seemed to be important, I'm much happier living where they aren't.   I'm also guessing the possessions that mean so much to me (my books, rocks found on hikes, and my art supplies, for instance) might mean nothing to someone else, nor would I expect them to.

It's why we're lucky to live in this country...we can have our dreams and speak our minds, whether we do so anonymously or openly, and own it, as I do.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I've been pondering this post for the last several weeks.  I wanted to talk to someone about this while it was still happening, but decided to save it for July 4.  What is IT?  IT is what happened with the elections in Iran.  I thought about how there's so much so many of us complain about in this country, and yet, when the chips are down, we can still hold it together.  Those poor folks in Iran were hoping for a change and had someone pull the rug out from under them without even waiting a decent enough time to even pretend all the votes were counted.  What does this have to do with us?  I was, in my mind, comparing it to what happened in our election between Al Gore and George Bush.  Hanging chads, uncounted votes, and other mysterious events gave us an election result that many of us felt was wrong, but we didn't get killed trying to speak our minds about it.  It was at least one good thing out of all that.

And that, I think, is one of the many reasons why so many people risk life and limb to crawl across our borders to live here.  Must be something we're doing right, even if a lot of it is still a mess.

IMG_0361 Seco Car Freedom is what I think of on this holiday.  A while back, I was at the post office and when I came out, I found this car in the parking lot.  Freedom also means living in Taos.  It's a place where you can be whoever you want to be and be accepted.  No worries about perfect make up, clothes, fancy cars.  In fact, I would say you could possibly be embarrassed to drive a fancy car around these parts, not to mention ill advised...because it's only a matter of time before your car or your windshield get dinged or cracked (a true sign of a  local, IMHO).

I love enjoying all the freedoms in my life, and trust you do as well. 

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Destash update

Oh dear...Monte and I just spent the last two days going through the (mostly) novelty yarn stash and it was a lot more than we had guessed.  When all was said and done, we bagged, tagged and inventoried 138 bags of skeins, some bags with only one skein, but most with 2-5 skeins.  It seems my collection was a little out of control.  (Who, me?)

Anyway...we tried to start photographing more of it today (I did a few last week) and the light was, again, just terrible. We moved the set up all over indoors and out and couldn't get much cooperation from the universe.  That's just too many items for me to adjust with Photoshop, so it's going to be a harder job than I had planned.

All of that to say I will keep working on this and will do my best to make these available soon (we've had mostly rainy, cloudy days for months...not conducive for great photography).  I'll do an official mailing from our mailing list when I think I've got a handle on if you're not signed up already, please sign up now and be sure to select the  option for notifications of updates for the Etsy shop.

And this was supposed to be a fun, fast, project...