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Friday, August 31, 2007

a new view

The Window Project is pretty much finished. There's still some painting on the outside to be done, and Varathane on the inside, but the noisy bits are done, and the overall outlook is really, truly beautiful. We won't be covering them up with anything right away. I like how the outside comes in now. And I figure if anyone wants to look in our house, they deserve what they get.

So here's the BEFORE...

And now, the AFTER... even the weather improved!

Here's Peter and Rick with their power tools. Thanks boys! You do good work!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

shop new orleans

I didn't realize until yesterday, that it's been two years since Hurricane Katrina. Wow. Really??? Looks like things are still quite a mess. What's up with that, here in the grand old USA? Well, they need our money down there, and since a Gulf Coast vacation is not in my immediate future, I decided to do what I'm already good at - shop! Of course I want you to buy my beads for all your gift-giving needs, but when the bead just doesn't fit, try some of the fun and unusual websites on Shop New Orleans. I promise it'll be fun.
And speaking of fun, Anne sent me this link to the Glidden Color Test. Try it! It'll tell you about YOU!
I've also been exploring the Pantone website... the color experts there predict our color palette each season. It's interesting, but I'm not sure it applies to beads, or the people who wear them. We seem to be better at thinking for ourselves as far as what we wear and how we paint our walls. Still... it might be interesting to try some of the hottest fall/winter colors and see what happens. They are rather nice this year. None of the Dead Leaf colors usually associated with fall... What do you think?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

look out!

The window project is coming along nicely. I didn't know that replacing the old two-part windows with big, single ones would be so much more open. It's beautiful. We think we'll leave them "naked". We don't need no stinking curtains...


The eclipse got a lot of well deserved attention, but last night the moon was still full, and just as beautiful as in the wee-morning eclipse hours, peeking out above the clouds just as she came up over the mountains. It's not easy to take a picture of the moon. I thought she'd be better at holding still...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

la luna

Did you see it? The lunar eclipse early this morning? I didn't plan to... I like to sleep... but I popped awake at 4:00, so Lucy and I went outside to have a look. We sat there watching the sky for an hour. Amazing... just beautiful. The moon was a reddish color as predicted, and for a full moon night, there were a ton of stars. The milky way was splashed across the sky above our house, and there must have been a little bit of a meteor shower going on too. I saw at least a dozen shooting stars, all dancing around the moon. Quite a show. More pictures on Joe Willie's site.

This morning I opened my daily email from Ideal Bite, and was directed to a gorgeous perfume website... Strange Invisible Perfumes... I'm not usually big on perfume. None of them ever seem to be "me" for very long, so I save them for special occasions. Come to find out, most of the fancy department store stuff is packed with toxic chemicals. (check your faves out at Skin Deep) Maybe I instinctively stay away from them. But I like the idea of perfume, and I like the pretty bottles lined up on my dresser, so after enjoying a long visit at the SIP website, I ordered three samples - Moon Garden (of course!), Aramaic (it has blue lotus in it), and Trapeze (just for the name). If you try any of them, let us know what you think. I'll report back soon. I think I can smell them already...

Monday, August 27, 2007

new windows

This is going to be a busy week. That's not unusual around here, but we have something extra going on today. The old windows in the kitchen and dining room are finally going to be replaced. I'm thrilled and terrified. I do not like living in a construction zone, but these old windows are falling apart. The wood is rotted, and the seal between the double panes is broken, so all the dirt and condensation is on the inside, between the two slabs of glass, and can't be cleaned. It looks terrible, and has looked that way since we bought the house, over six years ago. Now, as we prep to sell the place, we have to do all those things we've been putting off. When, oh when will we learn to fix a house up for ourselves, and not for the next owners???

The good news is, our friend Peter is coming to help Rick with this project. He's great. He helped with the windows in the living room a couple of years ago, and they came out so beautiful... and fast! I guess I'll be the cook for the crew here today. Good thing it's a computer day, and not a studio day. Do I still know how to make food?...

Here are the "before" shots...

And this ties in... loosely...
With all these windows, the birds are often confused, and bump into them. We hung some ribbon streamers on some of them yesterday, after this little guy knocked himself out. Rick is good at rescuing them. He just holds them until they feel like flying. He's like Snow White with his little birdies.

OK - gotta fly!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

too much fun...

How many things can we do in one weekend? I worked all day yesterday, and then we dashed off to the Glam Trash Fashion Show at the Stables Gallery. A pretty fabulous fashion experience...

Our friend, Katy George, made a hat embellished with a real live dead mouse, and also a bat - gifts from her cats. I tried to take a video, but alas... no luck.. Quite a crowd though. Taos is all about unusual entertainment.

On our way to the car, we realized we were missing Music From Angelfire at the TCA. but were lucky to catch one of the violinists practicing in the parking lot. Asphalt Culture at it's finest...

We were headed for the benefit for the Lost Boys of Sudan, at Taos Country Club. Not a great turnout, since the stupid Taos News didn't mention a word about it. But it was a good, supportive group, and I think they managed to raise some money for Project Education Sudan. These guys are a true inspiration. They even humored us with a bit of dancing. They hadn't brought drums with them from Denver, and when they asked if anyone here has a drum, we all laughed and said everyone in Taos has a drum, but none of us brought them either! Someone dashed home, grabbed a drum, and we got a little taste of traditional songs from Sudan. I was going to post another video here, but it's not very good, and Blogger takes forever to load a video. So here's a not-very-good picture...

After this, we went to dinner at Bravo with Deborah and Thomas. Nice to sit in a quiet place and catch up. These guys are as "too busy" as we are.

While we were doing all this, Lauren was working at the Russian Night auction at the Fechin Inn. The necklace I donated was sold in the silent auction for a mere $250. a steal for someone. I'm really kind of insulted and grumpy about it. I'm promising myself to never ever donate a piece to a silent auction again. Never..... but at least Lauren looked cute as a little Russian Chick.

Today... I want to sit still, in the shade, and I want everyone around me to whisper if they must speak... I'm tired...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

not just another party

A while back I donated a necklace to the Taos Art Museum's annual fundraiser, A Russian Night In Taos. The big event is tonight, and we're not going to that, but we did go to the party for the artists and sponsors last night. It was at the home of Taos artist, Max Hulse. Beautiful grounds and house. Beautiful food and tasty beverages. Beautiful people. I had no idea how to mingle in that crowd. Thankfully, Rick and Lauren were with me, so we were our own little sub-party. Soon Lauren ran into another glass artist, Derek, who was kind enough to say something like, "Kim Miles is your mom??? I want to meet her". Later we spotted our neighbors Kathleen and Kat, and they brought in others they knew, and so the mingling came to us. What a relief.

The necklace that I donated is very similar to the one Lauren wore to the party. It's in the silent auction, and I was told that you'd be able to place bids online, but I just checked, and there are no photos of the silent auction items - only the live auction stuff.... you know, the "real" art. I usually find silent auctions pretty insulting to the artists, but I'll wait and see how this goes tonight. Lauren is working at the event, so she'll keep an eye on the bidding for me. It's a wealthy crowd, so maybe someone will cough up some real cash!

So, a few more pictures for you, and then I'm off to work for a while, before cleaning up for a third night, to go to a fundraiser at the country club for the Lost Boys of Sudan. Several of the now young men will be here from Denver. I'm looking forward to it. Full report tomorrow, of course!

Friday, August 24, 2007


The theme of the week is Control, or more accurately, the absolute lack of it we actually have. Sometimes life feels like such a roller coaster. We can hold on tight, bracing ourselves against the curves and screaming in terror, or we can throw our hands in the air, yell Weeeee!, and enjoy the ride.

Our buddy Karena celebrated her 50th birthday yesterday. Lots of us are joining Club Five-Oh! this year. We met her at El Monte Sagrado for Happy Hour, which of course turned into several happy hours. The place, which was once very snooty and exclusive, is now under new ownership, and has become a welcoming place for locals to hang out, while still keeping it's appeal to the celebrity crowd. Karena met Fran Drescher yesterday at the spa, and then bumped into Deepak Chopra outside the restaurant, where he wished her a happy birthday. We heard Kevin Costner was there too, but he didn't join us at the bar... ah well... his loss!

We had a good party. The Weeeee!!! theme carried over, and I made this card to go along with a few carefully chosen gifts...

Here's the Birthday Girl with her tambourine and other goodies, all arranged as a Birthday Altar. Yes, that's a Heart Bead on her neck. A birthday without a bead is just... wrong!

And here we are, all dressed up, with somewhere to go...

These guys took good care of us. Thank you Dexter and Rushan!

And here it is, Friday already. Lauren is coming come today, and we have parties to go to all weekend. There's at least one thing to dress up for every day through Sunday. I'm tired already, but all I really have to say is Weeeee!!! Here we go!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

thank you Kate

I'm avoiding work today, and wandered over to Kate McKinnon's journal page, which is always interesting, enlightening, and entertaining. Her comments about crappy telephones reminded me of my own personal mission to uncomplicate my life, and my own nostalgia for the time when phones came with the house and were built to last. The silly cordless, digital things I keep buying and replacing are worthless and annoying to the point where I just never bother to answer the thing anymore. It rings, and I know it's someplace in the house, but because it's a free-spirited cordless marvel, it hides from me like a two year old kid in a department store.

I want a phone that knows it's job and it's place in the house. I want to always know where it is, and I want to know that if I knock it off the table, it will just dust itself off and keep going. I want a comfy chair to sit in, in case I should ever decide to answer it, and a long, curly cord to get wrapped up in when I get bored with the conversation and decide to do twirls in the kitchen. I think I have found my Perfect Dream Phone. It's waiting for me at Crosley...

I'll wait until we move to the Yurt in Oregon, and then I'll give this beauty a good home. We'll give it a name, like Henry maybe, or Oscar. And it will never get grumpy if we ask it to double as a door stop now and then...

And now I feel so much better, knowing this one little piece of the puzzle is in place, I think I'll go make a bead. Thanks Kate. I hope you find your Perfect Dream Phone too.

Friday, August 17, 2007

2008 HOPE Bracelet Challenge!

It's time! I usually start the HOPE Bracelet Challenge in January, but I'm all revved up this summer, and decided to start it early. This year I'm challenging all lampwork beadmakers to donate 100 small, pretty, bracelets-sized beads to the HOPE Bracelet Project. Read all about it on my website - no time to type it all twice! I'm a busy beadmaker! I hope the rest of you beadmakers out there will join me. We're doing great things with our humble little beads! Kids in Ethiopia are eating. They have shoes. And now a nice new place to live! One day, and it won't be too far off, the good people of Yetebon will be making all their own beads, sustaining the project themselves, and making a respectable living. For now, we still need some help from our friends. Come on!

Beads For A Better World!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


My friend Deborah says she has enough ideas for new work to keep her going for the rest of her life. Wow... wish I could say the same. But for me it doesn't work that way. It's more like water. Like a deep well I trust will never run dry. As long as I keep the faucet on and running, letting the new ideas and inspirations flow like water, I know it will just keep flowing. I also know that if I try to shut it off or stop in one place too long, I'm likely to clog the pipes and muck up the waters.

I'm fortunate to have a lot of bead collectors who appreciate how I work, and trust me to follow my own creativity. I feel less and less obligated to make what some will try to demand, and more responsible - response-able - able to follow my heart. I might lose some customers that way. That's okay. If they don't understand that basic thing about me, they won't truly enjoy my work anyway. Besides, the ones who leave open a space for new ones to come in. It's all part of the flow. I have a little pendant that I bought at a craft fair. It says "move like a river". It's a good reminder for me to trust the flow of it all. The more it goes, the more it goes...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Taos Hum

I've never heard it. Not even sure I believe in the Taos Hum. Some say they can hear a low-pitched "hum", that comes from an unknown source. No one can explain it, but enough people hear it that it's worth wondering about. Rick thinks he heard it late one night. He also likes to tell about the time he went to the local offices for UNM Taos, and at first glance, thought the banner read, "Welcome to UMM... Taos", like they weren't sure where they were welcoming folks to.....

My version of the Taos Hum happens each summer, when the hummingbirds come back from Mexico. We have lots of them buzzing around this year. We have four feeders that Rick keeps full of sugar water. Three cups of water to one cup of sugar, boiled for a few minutes, and cooled to room temp. They still squabble over the favorite feeder by the front door, but that makes for some good photo ops. Here's one of the big guys, coming in for some breakfast...

And a nice zoom of a momentarily restful hummingbird. She looks to me as if she's pondering her future. Maybe planning her trip to Mexico for the winter. New wardrobe... sandals... friends to visit... stops along the way...

I can see how people get into birdwatching. There's a lot to be learned from things with wings. Feeling frazzled? I recommend a little Bird Meditation. Hmmmmmmm.......

Monday, August 13, 2007

goat's knees

Part of the prep for moving to Oregon is finding a good home for the goats. This is hard for us, because we love them so much. A lot of people here eat goats. That's just wrong...

Sure, goats are farm animals, but they're pets too. We spend a lot of time with them, and they love us right back. So what if they always think we have food for them? Dogs and cats do that too. Where's my treat, dude? You know how they are. But goats at least don't need to be house broken, and they don't poop on your pillow or eat your shoes... unless you leave your pillow and shoes in their yard.

After a long day at the computer yesterday, I went out to sit with the goaties for a while. They gathered around to have their heads scratched, and leaned on us when we got lazy. They can knock us over if they want to, but they don't want to. These are friendly goats who only want love and food. We know when they're really super happy because they wag their tails and poop and pee. It's very sweet. Last night I really felt the love... Joon was a little too close, so I sort of got splashed... and then Benny was behind me, snuggling in for more cuddles, when the blooming chamisa must have aggravated his allergies, and he sprayed goat sneeze all over my back. Yes, very sweet indeed...

Still, I know there's someone in Taos who will take them home and love them... and not eat them... because they're great to have around, they eat weeds, and they make lovely compost. And in case you're wondering, goat's knees are nothing like goat sneeze... the knobby little knees are always kind of scuffed up, because they kneel down in order to lie down.
GoatSneeze. GoatsKnees. We really need to find them a good, lovey home. But for now, we'll all enjoy each other's company.

the crack is part of the wall

Adobe walls get cracks in them, as do towns after we've lived in them for a time. I've begun to notice the "cracks" in Taos, and New Mexico in general, more than I notice the things I once loved about it all.

I woke up at four in the morning, and wandered out to the living room to look at the night sky. The neighbors had turned off their porch light for once, and the stars were blazing in the desert darkness. I was actually glad to have this bit of insomnia, so I could sit in the window seat and watch some more of the Big Meteor Shower that happens each year in August. I was rewarded with more than a dozen shooting stars in just a few minutes. As I sat there in the quiet darkness, I decided it might be good to spend the next year, our last in Taos, paying attention to the wall more than the cracks. I no longer need to concern myself with crooked local politics, ignorant dog owners, or beer bottles thrown from car windows. I don't have to fix it. I couldn't even if I wanted to. Taos wants to keep it's cracks... maybe that's how the light gets in. So I'll see if I can give myself this year to view Taos with fresh eyes again, watching for the beauty of the place, and overlooking the cracks.

Plans are rolling along, taking on a momentum of their own. We drove to Santa Fe yesterday to look at travel trailers. We actually think we can function, and even work, in an 18-footer. At least for a short time. This would be just too small, but isn't it cute?

And a trip to Santa Fe isn't complete without a meal at the Plaza Restaurant. It's one of the things I might miss about New Mexico. I'd better learn to make good red and green chile before we leave. And sopapillas. Even though we feel "done" here, there are things we'll want to take along with us to Oregon. A few favorite recipes, to be sure. And Rick even knows how to make adobe bricks and turn them into a wall and a fireplace. The big night sky will be there waiting. We just have to find neighbors who don't need flood lights by their front doors.

Friday, August 10, 2007

embellish and empower

I have more tattoo pictures for you. But first, I want to send you to someone else's website. Right now, go look at Blue Poppy. I used to babysit for the sisters who are now making this beautiful jewelry. I love the clean designs. I'm going to order some for myself and my own sisters. There's a real feeling of personal connection in their work, and hey... I'm just really, really proud of them! Go see! You can come back here after you shop!

... OK, now for the tattoo pictures. Many thanks to my pal Karena, for coming along to document for us. I certainly couldn't have done it myself! I think I'll let the pictures tell the story...

I kind of like that while I was waiting for Rick, two different people came in and asked me if I ran the place. How cool is that? I'm so hip for an old girl... If you want the best tattoo in Taos, come see Aries at Talisman Tattoo. He's really good, and as gentle as a guy with a hand full of needles can be. His wife is also a tattoo artist, and their kid spends time in the shop. A family thing. Not your typical drunken sailer tattoo parlor!