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Dia de los Muertos in Old Mesilla, NM


This past Sunday, November 2, Chris, a photographer friend, and I hopped into her car and took a beautiful, back road drive to Mesilla, New Mexico, a small town near Las Cruces.  We had heard about the 3-day Dia de los Muertos celebration that takes place every year, so decided to check it out.  It is one of the many Day of the Dead celebrations that takes place all over the Borderlands area.  The plaza in La Mesilla Historic District, a National Historic Landmark since 1961, hosts the celebration, which included ofrendas (altars), an Irag and Afghanistan Peace Crane Memorial, music, dancers, art vendors, costumed people, food, fun . . . ... » Read More

Countdown to Christmas 2014 - Week 7


Week 7 of the Countdown to Christmas, graciously hosted by Julie and Blu of BlueMorningExpressions, has come and gone so very quickly.  And the Christmas clock ticking the relentless minutes until Christmas shows up on our doorsteps:  51 days, 12 hours and 56 minutes from when I posted this.  MANY wonderful handmade and vintage items were shared in this week's countdown, a grand total of 66 beauties.  A wide variety of jewelry again dominated the shares in the Countdown , but there are also knitted and crocheted items, greeting cards, gift tags, a dog toy, wooden ornaments, vintage postcards and greeting cards, wine glass markers, dog ... » Read More

Countdown to Christmas 2014 - Week 6


Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . . and Christmas gets closer!  According to the Christmas clock, there are 54 days, 13 hours and 15 minutes from when I posted this to when Christmas comes rolling around again.  Week 6 of the Countdown to Christmas, hosted by Julie and Blu of BlueMorningExpressions, has come and gone.  Lots of fabulous gift ideas were shared, 62 to be exact!  Knitted and sewn items, jewelry, lampwork, dichroic glass, vintage postcards and digital pictures, cards and tags, dog apparel, holiday serving sets and much more were shared.  When you do your Christmas shopping (hopefully from on of these Countdowns), remember t... » Read More

Seamus Models His Dia de los Muertos Skull Bandana!


Last month, as I was browsing through ArtFire studios, I noticed a skull bandana for a dog.  Now, I'm not one to dress up our dogs, especially after putting foam reindeer horns on dearly departed Pavlov and seeing how embarrassed he was.  I swore I would never "dress" up a dog again.  But a bandana here and there has been worn and the dogs haven't been the worse for wear.   I ordered our big, four-footed boy, Seamus, the skull bandana shown below to wear as Dia de los Muertos approached.  We are all into Day of the Dead here in the Borderlands and I figured Seamus wouldn't mind joining in the festivities! Black and white skull... » Read More

Dia de los Muertos - A Short History and Art of the Area


The festivities of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) are fast approaching here in the Borderlands - and elsewhere.  Because of being just a few short miles from Mexico and with the largely Hispanic and Mexican National population, calaveras (skulls) and calacas (skeletons) can be found year round everywhere:  on clothing, on bumper stickers, in art, as tattoos, etc.   It is a fascinating festival with a long, evolving history, one that celebrates the dead instead of, like Halloween, fearing evil or malevolent spirits.  I thought I'd share a brief history of the festivities and some of the local Day of the Dead art I've recently r... » Read More

Countdown to Christmas 2014 - Week 5


Week 5 of the Countdown to Christmas has come and gone . . . the Christmas clock just keeps ticking away, second by second (by the way, 65 days, 3 hours and 39 minutes from when I posted this).  MANY fabulous handmade and vintage items were shared in this week's Countdown, which is hosted each week by Julie and Blu of BlueMorningExpressions.   Seventy-seven (77) items were shared.  If you can't find something for even your most pickies of great-aunties in this or the four preceding Countdowns, you aren't going to find it!  So sit back in your comfy chair and start making that Christmas shopping list.  Heck, order now!  And rememb... » Read More

Countdown to Christmas 2014 - Week 4


And the Christmas Clock just keeps a-ticking . . . 71 days, 8 hours and 37 minutes from when I posted to this blog.  Don't wait until the masses start their holiday shopping, unless you are a glutton for punishment!  Shop in the comfort of your favorite sofa, chair or even bed!  Put on those jammies and browse the newest Countdown to Christmas 2014 - Week 4 hosted by Julie and Blu of BlueMorningExpressions.  Many handmade and vintage items were shared:  71 to be exact.  Since they encompass a wide range items, something can be found for even the pickiest person on your shopping list.  Snowman and Christmas tree holiday pin ... » Read More

Countdown to Christmas 2014 - Week 3


I am sorry that the most recent Countdown to Christmas - Week 3 post is late.  With all of the recent changes on ArtFire (most of which I am loving!), there have been more than a few glitches as you would expect with a large redesign.  One of which was the ArtFire blog.  But I tried a workaround . . . and it worked.  So here is this week's post, several days late.  Better late than never, so it's said (:Sailing ships adorn this Belize $1 coin pendant with 14kt gold filled bezel handmade by Diane of dianesdanglesThat Christmas clock just keeps on ticking.  According to it, there are only 75 days, 5 hours and 35 minutes (from when ... » Read More

Countdown to Christmas 2014 - Week 2


According to the Christmas Clock, there are only 85 days, 7 hours and 55 minutes from when I posted this to when Christmas is here again.  If you haven't already started your shopping, this would be a great time to browse handmade and vintage gift ideas and make those purchases.  Don't wait until the hectic end to buy those gifts.  Shop early . . . shop often!With Christmas quickly approaching (like a runaway freight train, IMHO) Julie and Blu of BlueMorningExpressions are hosting on their BluPrint blog a twelve week Countdown to Christmas 2014.  This week , there are 77 shares, up by 30 from last week!  The items shared cover a wid... » Read More

Countdown to Christmas 2014 - Week 1


Gosh, wasn't last Christmas like . . . last month?  Yikes, according to the Christmas clock, there is only 92 days, 13 hours, 54 minutes and those rapidly descending seconds until Christmas is here . . . again! With the approaching gift giving season in mind, Julie and Blu of BlueMorningExpressions are hosting a twelve-week Countdown to Christmas 2014 on their BluPrint blog.  The twelve week time period was chosen to correspond with the Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas".  This week, there were 47 shares by artists of a wide range of handmade and vintage gift ideas:  antique postcards, critter gift tags, jewelry, beautif... » Read More

Be Like a Tree


Tree have always held a great fascination for me - from little saplings to the giants of the world.  I think we all have an innate sense of the wonderment of trees, maybe genetically passed down through millenia from our ancient ancestors.  To me, trees seem full of wisdom . . . if only they could talk and relate what they have seen!  I also find trees immensely huggable and have probably hugged, patted and talked to more than my fair share throughout my life.  So when I found this quote by Joanne Raptis:  "Be like a tree:  stay grounded, connect with your roots, turn over a new leaf, bend before you break, enjoy your unique beau... » Read More

Labradorite - Gemstone of the Northern Lights


Recently, I created a new necklace featuring a labradorite pendant, a necklace, appropriately enough, named "Luminous".  I bought the pendant at a local gem and mineral show last December (yeah, sometimes it does take me a while . . . ) from the man who cut and polished the piece.  Unfortunately I don't remember his name but he sure had LOTS of pretties and was fascinating to chat with.  I love holding that labradorite pendant in my hand, slowly turning it back and forth to watch the myriad of blazing colors that seem to magically appear.  Knowing just a bit about labradorite, my inquisitiveness lead me to do more research on the gemst... » Read More

Christmas in July - Week 4


It's hard to believe that July has flown past and this past weekend was the last Christmas in July Weekend Showcase.  Where does the time go?  Many beautiful handmade and vintage items were shared for Week 4.  The Weekend Showcase, which made early Christmas shopping easy, was generously hosted by Julie and Blu of BlueMorningExpressions.  This week there were 57 items shared.  Shop now while many artists are still running a Christmas in July sale and/or free shipping.  According to the Christmas Clock (www.xmasclock.com) there are only 148 days, 6 hours and 28 minutes to go since I hit the "submit blog post" button! Extra larg... » Read More

Flowers in the Desert


Being an avid gardener, I have to admit that I am somewhat stumped when it comes to gardening in the Desert Southwest.  Now, mind you, I do love all sorts of cactus and succulents, but their bloom time is so very short and I would like something more . . . well . . . friendly.  Here is is July, the rain the monsoons are supposed to bring have not shown up yet in El Paso (at least at my house) and my eyes long for color.  The only thing the monsoon winds have brought have been quick moving dust storms.Photo of a dust storm taken from our back yard over the arroyo last week.  The arroyo is crispy brown right now where normally it would b... » Read More

Christmas in July - Week 3


Week 3 of the Christmas in July Weekend Showcase flew quickly by with many wonderful handmade and vintage items shared.  The Showcase is generously hosted by Julie and Blu of BlueMorningExpressions, making early Christmas gift shopping very easy.  There were nine more shares this week, making 69 total items.  Many of the artists are running sales and/or free shipping in their studios.  When you buy from one of these artists, you support small handmade or vintage sellers.  Take the "Handmade Pledge" and buy that perfect, quality handmade or vintage piece for a loved one instead of buying mass produced stuff from a mega-huge store.Â... » Read More

Christmas in July - Week 2


According to the Christmas Clock (http://www.xmasclock.com) there are only 163 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes (when I posted this) until Christmas is upon us!  Julie and Blu of BlueMorningExpressions have made pre-Christmas shopping VERY easy by hosting a Christmas in July Weekend Showcase.  Week 2 of the Showcase has come and gone and MANY gorgeous gift ideas were shared, 60 to be exact.  And many studios are running sales with various discounts and/or free shipping.  Take advantage of the selections now and get your Christmas shopping done early while supporting small handmade or vintage sellers.Purple and white Kumihimo braided bracele... » Read More
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