Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


John Michael, Ella, Martha, Bradford, Harriet, Annie


John Michael is a conductor on the Santa Fe Railroad. As a young boy he traveled to Santa Fe with his family to meet a guest at the train station. As they waited, "Mike" watched in wonder as the conductor, in his blue suit, punched tickets and helped ladies to board all the while paying close attention to his watch. The very best part, however, was when he stepped up onto the train, grabbed the handrail, and leaning out over the platform with all pomp and circumstance would yell, "All Aboard!". From that day on, Mike knew this is what he wanted to do. The power he would have, to hold that mighty train at bay until he yelled "All Aboard !". Mike is also Bradford's best friend, since they were small boys. They fished and swam together and built a secret tree house in Bradford's back yard. Bradford even asked him to be his best man at The Wedding That Never Happened.


I had coffee this morning on my back porch...with my little friend. He declined the coffee, preferring grass. He's pretty little....

Monday, August 25, 2008


Ella is married to the president of the First Bank of Pinedale. Her dresses are store bought and she wears makeup and jewelry. Ella has several pairs of shoes that match her dresses. She has a standing appointment at the beauty shop. She and Annie have been good friends since sixth grade when Ella's family moved to Pinedale. Annie was kind to "the new girl" and Ella has never forgotten. Although their economics are different, they have remained close friends.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Every year at the end of August, Mountainair NM presents their "Sunflower Festival". Although it changes some every year there is one constant that is truly wonderful. I offer you a glimpse of the Children's Sunflower Art ! This is generally the first class assignment/project of the year in the Mountainair schools and is eagerly anticipated by the students as well as the residents. The sunflower artwork is displayed in the store front windows and the children are anxious to show off their art to family and friends. The colors this year were especially bright and photographing them behind glass was a challenge. However, the effect is wonderful, don't you think? Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Bradford is a bean farmer. His face is always sunburned and his strong arms are tanned. He is a quiet man and a hard worker.
A long time ago, he asked Harriet to marry him. She broke his heart. She was sure her future was more than "a farmer's wife". She was sure she would be famous. Harriet and Bradford have never married, each other or anyone else. They do remain friends. Perhaps some day......

Thursday, August 14, 2008


This is Martha, Annie's newest friend. She is 19 inches tall and has a rather stern look. She is a thin and lanky spinster school teacher and she carries a prairie bag containing a leather journal and a small paperback poetry book. Her knees are hinged so she sits nicely on a shelf. She is wearing a rusted and stained skirt and a gauze shirt held together by a rusty safety pin. Her book bag is stained and painted and now feels much like canvas. It is held over her shoulder by a twine strap with a small rusted bell attached. She is retired now, and not sure how to occupy her days.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I did promise you photographs of our local coffeehouse, didn't I! Well, here they are. It is comfortable, welcoming and an intimate setting that makes you feel like you are at your best friends home. And, neither of you has to wash the dishes!
In addition to fantastic sandwiches and soups, you can purchase greeting cards and works by local artists. There are also books you can borrow or keep.
Today was a "free stuff" event at the coffeehouse. We are hoping this will become a regular happening. Roy and I took lots of books, some movies, some LP records (good grief we are old), some cast iron cookware that is just too heavy for me to handle with grace, and some dishes and odds and ends. Everything found a home which was wonderful! We sat and chatted with friends, drank great coffee and had scones. Mary's scones are my favorite. The best! When you come to Mountainair, NM this is the place to be. Give me a call and I will buy you a cup!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Annie (left) Harriet (right)
Both Annie and Harriet are about 17 inches tall. They are wearing skirts and shawls and Annie has pantaloons. Both are adorned with rusted safety pins and Annie has an old rusty bell. Harriet has a needle sculpted face that makes her look really grumpy. Annie loves her anyway.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


As many of you know, we live in a strawbale home with lots of straw and mud plastered walls. When we added on to the original casita, my wonderful new studio had an exterior wall as one of the now interior walls. That wall had suffered quite a bit of weather damage. Some mud had fallen off and there was straw showing through along with chicken wire and bale string. Here is a before picture of part of the damaged wall. You can see I have already added new plaster on the left.
This requires making mud pies and this is my trusty bucket of mud. The repair work took approximately 15 buckets of dirt and went on over 3 days. Progress slowed when we had several days of rain. It is really hard to sift wet soggy dirt. I sifted dirt to remove the stones and twigs, added water and mixed thoroughly with my hands. It was warm and squishy and loads of fun! Then, it was a simple matter of smearing the mud on the walls with my hands. In those places where there was no existing base, ( in the doorway which used to be an exterior window) Roy added roofing felt as a moisture barrier and then covered the areas with either chicken wire or diamond lath. What an improvement! No more straw sticking out! Some of the mud plaster is still wet but I wanted to show you the pictures right away.
So, if you don't have any walls to cover with mud, you should at least make mud pies. Go do it!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I finished the current art quilt today and am sharing it with you all. This is all hand stitched and hand lettered. The image is a photo of a wine bottle and wine glass from our pantry. I printed it off on muslin in sepia tones and then colored it lightly with pencils. Using the filter option in PhotoShop I was able to give it a mosaic look which I really like. The dimensions are 18"X 18". There are some pink glass seed beeds stitched in the glass that look a little like bubbles. Enjoy!


I have been looking at primitive dolls and I like what I see. So, I decided to give it a try. This first one is finished and I am ready to make the next!
The first thing I did was "rust" some fabric. This is easy to do by wetting any cotton or silk fabric and then putting it in a plastic bag with metal pieces that will rust. Periodically I sprayed into the bag with a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar. It took about 48 hours to get the amount of rust I wanted. Then I designed a pattern for my doll. The pattern was placed on the fabric and cut out, stitched up and stuffed. Let the fun part began!
The entire doll body was darkened (grunged) by sponging it with a mixture of coffee and vanilla. As it dried it left a wonderful mottled look that simulates what this poor doll might have looked like if she HAD been left under the porch for several years. Then I made some pantaloons and a skirt for her. The skirt was made from raw silk and you can see it took the rust very well! I painted her bodice and gave her some wispy hair using embroidery floss. Her face is done in colored pencil. The final step is to rough up her seams ( to look more aged) by using an emery board and then rubbing cinnamon into the seams to simulate years of dirt that would accumulate there. She needs a name........any suggestions?