Tis the Season

People were starting to gather at the Taos Plaza before the official Christmas parade and lighting of the tree last weekend. There were free cups of hot chocolate and cookies along with mild temperatures. This “lighting of the plaza tree” event seems to be the earliest of the many traditional Christmas celebrations for this ever-popular season. From down town there’s no snow visible on Taos Mountain now. The latest talk is that this Sunday there’s a good chance of seeing some.

While walking from the plaza to a nearby store I noticed this creative window design. I wasn’t clear which store it was advertising but I really admired it. Taos has its charm and the holiday season can bring out some inspiration on the part of store owners trying to lure customers. It can be another reason to get out and shop around and even take a look at the rich diversity of crafts made by locals.

Here’s another store window shot, this one belonging to Wabi-Sabi, a store that focuses on gifts, mostly imported from Japan. This store is dear to my heart because they have been carrying my cards for several years now. More recently they have some of my Goddess altars on consignment. You can always count on a cup of tea while you browse.

This Kuan Yin wood altar is one example of my work displayed at Wabi-Sabi.

I’ve got my eye on these painted wood (hand carved?) flying Hanuman ornaments on sale now at the little shop at the Hanuman Temple. They’re $15 and I really admire them. I’m assuming they are imported from India?

I you’re looking for a lovely Christmas shopping experience try Country Furnishings of Taos owned by Mary Shriver. I suspect some people go there to browse just for a pick-me-up. Those are my handmade tree ornaments, which Mary’s carrying for the first time this season. She also has seasonal cards of mine and a few retablos.

Another great store to get to know, if you don’t already, is Garden and Soul, just off the plaza. They specialize in cards and local art. You’ll recognize by now that my work is well represented there with an assortment of offerings corralled in one corner. The store changed hands some months ago. The new owners are a couple, Bob and Stephanie Deavers. I’m sure they’d love you coming in and introducing yourself. Tell them I sent you, as they say.

Because of the location of my house (blocked as I am by trees and power lines) I rarely catch photos of amazing sunsets, of which we have many. I remember when I first moved to Taos I was truly astonished at their nightly show which reminded me of times past when  I lived along the Pacific Ocean in one place or another (San Francisco, Point Arena and Encinitas, all in California, and then time spent in Mexico, especially Todos Santos). There’s no ocean here, but you sure do get the sunsets.

This one caught my attention as it seemed the whole sky was ablaze. I took this shot facing east away from the setting sun.

Wishing you all well as you plot your course through shopping, celebrating and getting those packages wrapped and cards mailed in a timely fashion. Tis the season!

 

 

Taos Folk. @ Stables Gallery

Once again the Stables Gallery marches into the spotlight of my Taos blog with another compelling art event, a holiday market of local crafts. It claims that everything is made by Taos “hands and hearts.” They even have a website! www.taosfolk.com. The story is that four women got together and conceived the idea and this is their first attempt at such a project. There is talk about doing it again next year.

I apologize for not identifying the artists who made the objects I photographed. I just wanted to share my enthusiasm for the quality and the diversity I found there. You’ll have to go there to figure it out. Also I might add that the arrangement of the space, including the craft objects, was the work of a woman in the interior design profession. It really shows.

After the strenuous adventure of having a booth for three days at the Taos Yuletide fair over the Thanksgiving weekend I was looking around town for a place to sell my own holiday crafts. The owner of Moxie, Katie Thomas, recommended I go over to the Stables Gallery and show the organizers of Taos Folk what I had. This meeting went very well and I am now part of it. I’m selling mostly encaustic tree ornaments and cards. So all the more reason to visit this lively holiday market.

Now I’ve never had a buckwheat neck pillow but these beauties in silk made it look like a very attractive idea.

The woman who seems to be taking the role of leader among the organizers is Georgia Page. She can be reached at 613-3697. I found all the women working there to be very upbeat and dedicated to their inspired project. They offer to gift wrap and also had gift baskets and/or stockings available for stuffing. And what better way to both enjoy local products and know you were supporting local crafts people? On a couple of occasions I was there for over an hour, attaching price stickers and adding my own product tags. Both times I heard praise from shoppers for the aesthetics of the space and the high quality of the crafts. Very positive energy. It’s really a celebration of the creativity inspired by the season.

And so, you might ask, what’s the big deal here? Yes, I’m devoting an entire blog to one art event. For me it has been very emotionally nurturing to both see this high quality show and to be accepted into the unofficial association of Taos craft-makers.

Taos Folk is not designed for tourists! According to Georgia they will likely never find this venue as they seem to have problems locating Stables Gallery. Thus this is more of a locals event. And I hope that helps as a description without insulting anyone reading this blog. Tourists would certainly be welcome and appreciated!

One of my offerings, a Corn Mother tree ornament. There are also ornaments designed as hearts, a “true heart” angel and a spiral hand.