Friday, July 29, 2011

Studio visit

Yesterday I took the morning to visit my dear friend Monte.  Many of you may remember we worked together all those years in the yarn shop, and have had many adventures together since. 

On the wheel...
Off the wheel!
Time to visit is at a premium these days, between her being so busy with her business and my being gone so much.  Because of this, I knew that while I'd be there, she'd be busy spinning away for her Etsy shop, MyMixMix.  Her yarns are elegant and fun, at the same time.  Many of her skeins are shorter, so they're perfect for embellishing projects, needle felting, and whatever else you can dream up.  They'd also add that perfect little je ne sais quoi to a knitting, crochet, or hooking project.  I have a collection of her yarns I am hoarding for that morning I wake up and have *the* perfect project in mind for them!

If you stop by and visit Monte, please be sure to tell her I was bragging about her and her work!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The countdown

Driving home from town yesterday
Only six more sleeps until I fly back to CA.  The days have been full and happy here, so I'm torn about leaving and knowing it will be fall when I return.  I don't recall if I've mentioned this before or not, but in our little corner of NM, July 4 is considered the middle of summer in many ways.  The aspens in the mountains start turning colors in September, and you can sometimes smell that crispness of fall in the air as early as late August.  I adore fall and think it's my favorite season here in the mountains.

The monsoons are trying hard to give us their blessings.  We've had a wee bit of rain, but not nearly what we should be having at this time of year.  It's just wonderful to see the clouds building over the mountain in the afternoon, hearing a bit of thunder, and smelling the few showers we have had.  It has been enough to cool down our evenings, which is delicious.  This morning it was under discussion to put the down comforter back on the bed...a good thing.

In and around other things the last few days, I've been dyeing up some wool for my next hooking project.  I guess because I've been working with such gaudy colors, the appeal of muted colors was too big to pass up.  It has been slow going, though, doing only a couple of pieces at a time, and maybe only four small pieces in a day.  I have photographed a few to share with you.  I also over dyed some plaids and checks I had hanging around, also fun.  I think I've decided that I should probably wait and not do any more until I actually have my pattern in hand...otherwise I might just get lost in dyeing up lots and lots of colors I may never use.  It's addictive, like making magic, and almost as much fun as dyeing spinning fibers.

And to start packing, so I can spend some time hooking later this afternoon when I'm finished.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Eleven more sleeps...

until I return to see my grandchildren in California.  My time here in Taos has just flown, and as usually happens, I have not done half the things I wanted to do.  I feel so fortunate, though, to have more things I want to do than time to do them.  I have known people who get bored and I will never understand that.  I don't think there are enough hours in the day!

While I was in town last week, I popped into Taos Adobe Quilting and thought I'd just take a peek at her florals.  I fell in love with the giant hydrangea print and while I have no clues what I will do with it, I knew I needed it (a favorite word when I'm shopping).  Next thing I knew, I had a stack of goodies on the counter that ended up coming home with me.  They're getting packed to go to CA to meet the rest of my stash.

My other acquisitions for last week are some new iron on embroidery patterns.  I love to embroider, but am often at a loss for just what to work on.  I found this great site through a story on Etsy:  Sublime Stitching.   Her trademark:  This ain't your gramma's embroidery.  I had so much fun, I bought three sets of patterns and am looking forward to starting something soon as I return to CA.  Check them out, if you love to embroider, and have some fun while you're at it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Photos from my hood

I remember that to live in NM was an unattainable dream.  Then I remember having it happen, and a euphoric feeling that all but kept my feet from hitting the ground, for months into years.  Then, as may always happen, my life settled in and while I still adore NM, 18 years later I find that I don't always stop to enjoy those special things that caused me to want to live here.

This morning I was down in Arroyo Seco (the nearest village to my home, where my yarn shop used to be) and had a few moments alone with my camera.  I thought I'd go look for beautiful flowers, but alas, in this drought, they were not to be found.  Then I looked up at the beautiful clouds in the sky over the old church behind our building, and thought it has probably been years since I've shared photos of it with you.  It was a ready reminder of why so many people come here to study art and paint the local scenery.  I'm sorry there aren't any flowers for you, but hope you enjoy the rest.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Single rainbow
We've had heat and are in the worst drought in NM history, but when I watched the national news this evening, my heart went out to so many of you who are truly suffering horrible heat indexes (along with your own drought and fire situations). 

I remember someone telling me years ago that if we all took our problems and threw them into a pile, we'd probably end up taking our own problems back after seeing those others have.  I think of this often when I find myself on the verge of complaining about something.

Double rainbow (partial)
This evening, during dinner, a small miracle occurred...not only did we have a thunderstorm with some showers, but the sky put on a show that I want to share with you. 

Another reason I love NM so much...our skies are special, I'm sure of it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hooking the hens

Because of the hot and often smokey days of this past week, I've had quite a lot of time to hook on the rug I started a couple of months ago.  It's a design from the Las Rancheritas hooking project in Mexico, so I've been trying to keep that south of the border feeling to it.  I blew up the original pattern to make it quite large, and added a border; the side borders I'm doing in hit or miss with as many scraps as I can possibly use up.  It has been fun.  A couple of days ago, I decided if these girls could have pink lips (beaks), they could also have striped stockings.  I'm trying to get this finished before I return to the coast early in August. to hook.

Have a great week, wherever you are!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The smokey mountains

Well, we made it through July 4 without someone starting a fire up here with fireworks.  In New Mexico, it is not legally possible to place a ban on the selling of fireworks, but the recent spate of wildfires (at one point there were 7 burning in various parts of the state) had our governor begging people to stop selling and stop using them.  I heard a report on the radio this morning that one of the primary causes of these wildfires has been the use of heavy equipment sparking.  I know there have been drought years when I just gnash my teeth when I hear people riding dirt bikes and four wheelers up here in the forest.  Arrogance knows know boundaries.

Here are a couple of photos I took of the big Las Conchas fire while driving back from Santa Fe yesterday.  The residents of Los Alamos were allowed back into their homes several days ago, but the fire rages on, now burning approximately 131,000 acres.  It is officially the largest in NM history.  The smoke at our place hasn't been quite so bad the last few days, but it's still here.  We are praying for the monsoons to start this soon and bring us enough rain to help the firefighters (and hope we don't get more fires from lightning strikes).