Showing posts from June, 2009

last call

Today is our last day in Taos. We're up early, enjoying a new view of the world, even though it's only from our own driveway. When we step outside we see the house in a way we've not seen it before, looking back at it from an irregular angle that makes it look quite pretty. Tomorrow morning we'll scurry around, hitching, stowing, securing, and double-checking before we pull out of the driveway like turtles, slow and steady, with our home on our back. We have one last little party tonight. A dinner at Deborah and Thomas's, with Karena, Kathleen and Kat, and Julia. The core group. The small set of people at the heart of everything we do here. If we're lucky, the rains will stay away tonight so we can sit outside by the fire, drinking maybe a little too much, while we all try to pretend we're not at least a little bit sad. We keep telling people we're not really leaving, just going a little farther out on the mesa. I feel like we're some kind of travel

endings and beginnings

We just about finished up the house cleaning yesterday. Only a few odds and ends to tidy today before we go out for the evening with friends. With Karena's help, we wrangled our great big king size bed into the queen size room. Now it's truly a bed room. All bed, like a great big bird's nest. Years ago, a Native American woman at the Fremont Market in Seattle gifted me with a golden eagle feather. I've kept it hanging in my various studios over the years, and now I've decided to hang it in the Nest. It fits there, making it all the more bird-like, and adding a little bit of magic somehow. The Nest makes me feel like Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania, Queen of the Fairies, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, all pampered and sparkly. So, so lovely. I was caught a little off guard last night, when I realized there was no good reason to be in the house any longer. All our stuff is in the trailer. Clothes, food, music, booze... obviously the party had to move too. We had gone


The work we did yesterday truly kicked my ass... Our house is cleaner now than it's ever been. Almost makes me want to stay in it to enjoy it a while. But on the other hand, I may never want to live in a house again. They're so big and there's so much room for dirt to hide. And in a house like ours, with "vigas" (entire tree poles that hold up the roof), you have to clean those too. Taos is notoriously dusty. We joke about just leaving a thin layer of undisturbed dust on things, because it's useless to clean it. It'll be back in an hour. But we cleaned every speck yesterday, and now it looks just beautiful. Today we'll finish up the last bits, and then do some patch & paint where we took art off the walls. Karena's coming to help us, which is so appreciated at this point. We're about as exhausted as we can get without falling down and just staying there. Two more hands, and someone to cheer us on is just what we need today. We think we'


It's Big Clean day. The house is so empty it echoes. Weird, but not sad. We're ready to go, and now it's just a few days away. Still lots to do, but the last really hard job will be finished by the end of today. So OK... here I go!

check list number 53...

Every day is a new To Do List. Yesterday went well. The studio has been squeezed into a smaller version of itself, and I figured out that the kiln fits perfectly in the tiny bathtub, perched on a little metal table I've had around here for years. It gives it a grounded plug on its own circuit, and puts it out of the way to ramp down overnight, so I can reclaim the dinette after a day of beadmaking. I'm starting to feel like a friendly Transformer, folding and unfolding from one thing to the next. The only catch with the kiln in the bathtub is that there won't be showers on beadmaking days. We'll work it out. I'm just relieved that I was able to heat the kiln to 1000 degrees without tripping any breakers. It means I can still make a living out there, which is kind of important. Today is another round of doing , followed by a meeting with the renters and our friend/handyman, Peter, to be sure everyone knows what's what and where it all is. Tomorrow is Big Clean d


I didn't sleep well last night. Today's busy-ness was swimming in endless little circles, around and around in my head. I'm taking the studio apart today, and that's a big job physically, as well as emotionally. I started with the easy part, closing up the BeadShop. I know it's only a temporary intermission, but I worry that my customers will think I've gone for good, and wander off to buy other beads. I need them to stick around, but I can only do so much. I just have to take the leap and trust that the net will be there. (Buy this print at The Country Goddess ) And once I get the studio cleared out, I can set it up again in the trailer. I should probably do a test run before we leave too, making sure everything works the way I think it will. Going from a large creatively cluttered room full of toys to a small, temporary space that's designed to be set up and torn down the same day is going to be... interesting. But what I'm finding in all of this clear


I bought a lime green shirt... and a turquoise one too. I usually only wear black. My hair has magically turned a vibrant shade of auburn. My toenails are sparkly pink. I think aliens have taken over my body. Colorful aliens, who paint everything they see. My brain still seems to be my own, but the rest of me is doing strange things like hula hooping all the way in and out of the labyrinth, and asking Rick to buy Orange Crush, because it makes me feel like summer vacation when I was fourteen. Change can be so... changing . I think I hope it lasts...

come on in

After a small Father's Day feast this morning - just Rick and me, and fresh whole wheat biscuits and scrambled eggs - I ran for the kiln to see what new hatchlings waited for me. The new Chaos Pendants were still talking to me yesterday, so I made a few more. I have to take the studio apart now, but at least I have some idea of where to pick things up creatively once we get going. These new things are noisy in my head. I can't ignore them, and I can't really take credit for them. I'm just following and allowing them to do what they want. If there's such a thing a "bead channeling", I think that's what I'm doing. I've felt that way about other designs over the years. The Lotus mostly, but also a few others. But with most of those, I felt the need to pack as much as possible into the beads. That was probably Ego talking, saying, Look at me! See what I can do, do, do! It's hard to hush that voice, especially when you're trying to get no

the wall

I hit the Bead Wall the other day. It happens every time I have something big coming up, like a show, a vacation, or a major life upheaval. I spent all day Thursday making ugly beads. Absolute crap. There was nothing I could do about it, so I figured that was it. I was done making beads in Taos. It seemed sort of abrupt though, after eight years here in this studio, to just be finished like that. But the Wall sneaks up quickly. It's off in the distance. I know it's there. And then suddenly my face is smashed against it. On Friday morning I wandered around the house, putting things in boxes, taking pictures off the walls, checking email and Facebook obsessively, and wondering if I was really ready to take the studio apart. I went out to have a look, and my hand reached for the "start" button on the kiln controller. I stowed some stuff in the shed, visited Rick in the trailer while he finished the flooring details, and edged sideways back into the studio. Before I knew


When I was in the fifth grade, they used to give kids "IQ" tests. One day they singled me out, took me to Mrs. Roof's little closet office (literally a janitor's closet in the hallway), and eventually proclaimed me "gifted and talented". It was horrible to be separated from the herd, tagged with a number, and sent off to think great thoughts with the geeky kids. In my case, it did more harm than good. I figured since we already knew how smart I was, there was nothing left to prove. I stopped trying, and muddled through the rest of my public school years with as little effort as possible. I was so put off by the system, and its failure to see me for my individual wonderfulness, that I opted out of college, and headed for a life of creative adventure. Eventually I went from feeling like the superior smart kid, to feeling more like the ignorant vagabond hippie chick. I lost track of my own unique gifts and talents, and continued to muddle through life. I'm

i'm floored

A few weeks ago, when we were just starting on the Trailer Remodel Project, Rick asked if he could please, please, please put off doing the floor until we got to Seattle in September. It was a huge and daunting job, and he wanted to wait till he had some help. I said, Sure, honey , but I didn't really mean it... As I'm learning though, with so many things these days, letting go can be the best way of getting what we want. With the weight of having to do the job off his shoulders, Rick started to think of ways he could do it all by himself, while we're still here. He's good at figuring things out, and even better if I don't pressure him. It wasn't like he was being stubborn, or didn't want to do it. He just needed the room to do it his own way, in his own time. I just stood back and said, Anything you want , and in the process, I got what I wanted too. Yesterday was the big day. He got out to the driveway early, before the wind kicked up, and spread out th


Facebook has just added a new feature. We can now choose a username. Sounds cool, but I don't really know what good that does anyone, except to add another stupid layer of anonymous cuteness for people who like that sort of thing. I was bummed that KimMiles was already taken... shouldn't I have first dibs on that one? I decided on "kimmiles.beadist" instead. Not really sure why I'm even on Facebook, except that a lot of my friends are too. Sometimes I lead, sometimes I follow... Anyway, if you're on Facebook, and want to be my Friend, I'll probably let you in. If you're not there yet, might as well sign up. All the best people are Facebookin'. It's a fun way to keep in touch with your actual friends, to network and show off your work, and to spy on your kids (unless they block you). But watch out for the little extras... they can eat up your life. Be strong, my friends! We all have better things to do than send virtual gifts to total strangers!


The yard sale was a smash hit. Several families on the street joined in, so it was well-worth coming to our end of town, and I think everyone did well. We worked all day Friday setting things up. What a job. We had no idea we had that much un-needed stuff. Astonishing. I hope we've learned our lesson. By the time Karena came over to help, we were already pretty pooped. I said I thought we were being punished for our gluttony, and I hoped we'd be rewarded for our willingness to let stuff go. We had a Friends Preview on Friday evening, and several friends showed up to haul some of our stuff to their own houses. We love our friends. Saturday morning started at about 5:30 for me. It was a great day. People showed up, bought stuff, and lightened our load at a steady pace for several hours. After all that satisfying Stuff Redistribution, things quieted down enough that we had time to be silly. Karena played dress-up for a while... And then we spotted Big Blue, the enormous suitcase n


We've all been warned for months now. As of today, all TV is HD, and our viewing life will never be the same. We're not big TV watchers, so haven't paid much attention, but I do like to have Ellen and Oprah hanging out in the studio with me in the afternoons, and Rick is loving the Lakers these days. We have two old TVs, so totally expected to wake up this morning to fuzz and static. We tend to be resistant to being told we have to go out and buy some new technical wonder. Boy, there's a lot of money being made on this. I say, Just Say No To Tech-Bullying. But hmmm, for reasons we may never know, everything still works. Go figure. There was some mumbling a while back about this part of New Mexico lagging behind on the switch. Nobody's mentioned it in a long time though, so who knows. Maybe our TVs are more up to date than they look. After all, we are... No time for TV today though. It's time to haul all of our Fabulous Stuff into the driveway, and set it all u

want some stuff?

Did I mention that we're having a yard sale this weekend? We're nose-deep in stuff , sorting, pricing, piling it up, and preparing to spread it all out in the driveway tomorrow, hoping it stops raining for a few days... It feels really, really good to be sending all these lovely things to new homes. As the load gets lighter, my head gets clearer. Everybody wins, but mostly I'm doing this for me. I finished the Damn Curtains last night. Worked on the Evil Machine all day in fact. When I got to the last part of the project, the upholstery on the dinette, I realized duct tape wasn't going to work, so I hand stitched the new fabric over the old. I have to say, I'm really quite pleased with me. I'll show pictures soon, after it's all, all done. Rick still needs to put in the new floor, as soon as we can pick it up from Lowe's. Also need to get a couple more curtain rods there, for the bedroom... we looked everywhere in Taos to find them, but alas, Taos Shoppi

rain on the brain

Lauren calls me almost every day, to tell me how sunny and beautiful it is in Seattle... Picture this, Mom. - driving across the bridge, sun sparkling in the water, sail boats all around... Yeah, I remember. And I wonder how it's possible that Seattle is behaving this way when New Mexico, you know, the desert , has had rain every day for the last three weeks. Well, that's what I get for making weather so darned important. God loves to say, HA! I'm on my third cup of Earl Grey this morning, looking out the big windows at the drippy gray sky. I'll get motivated to do something productive in a little bit. But the project of the morning so far has been a sudden obsession with finding a pattern for a crocheted afghan or tablecloth. I have a lovely antique lace tablecloth thrown on the couch in the trailer, and my friend Anne pointed out that we really shouldn't sit on such a thing. She's right. It's much too delicate. But it looks so perfect there, and I really

farewell old friend

We sold our hot tub today. Very sad. We used it a lot, and I'm pretty sure it kept me from spinning sideways off the planet more than once. But leaving it with renters wasn't a good idea, with liability issues and all, so we found it a nice new home in Abiquiu, land of Georgia O'Keefe. You can visit it at Casita de Chuparosa. Looks like a nice place! I think some people are confused as to why we're doing what we're doing. I keep hearing references to our upcoming "vacation". That's a good one! Sure, we expect to have a lot of fun and new adventures out there, but this certainly isn't a vacation, and there's not even a glimmer of light at the end of the Retirement Tunnel. I expect to be working till I drop, hopefully at a nice healthy old age. We're putting together the mobile bead studio now, and although I know I have to work, my hope is that maybe I won't have to work as much as I do now. The biggest reason we're renting our ho

hey seattle!

Taking a break from our regularly scheduled chaos today (remember, chaos is good!), I want to talk specifically to all of you in Seattle! My daughter, Lauren, has recently moved from Denver to Seattle, and she needs a job. I'm hoping someone out there can help! She's worked for the Taos Restaurant Group since she was 15, all through high school, and back for breaks and summers through college. She has a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with an emphasis in Advertising. She's an organizational wiz, creative and artistic like her mama, great with people (including kids - the boss's kids, and Julia Roberts's kids love her), and just an all around lovely, capable, hard working person. If you own a business in Seattle, or know someone who does, please let me know, and I can send you her resume and put you in touch with her. Thanks for your help!!!

cheap trick

We have these faux leaded glass panes in the closet doors. We don't like them, so off with their heads! I have all this curtain fabric, and was thinking of making small curtains to set into the spaces on little dowel rods, top and bottom. But why sew when I can use duct tape! I'm so glad I thought of this. I had Rick cut pieces of masonite to fit the holes. Yes, I could have done it myself, but I don't care for power tools. I know that's odd coming from a woman who plays with fire and molten glass, but glass can only burn me. Saws can cut me, and cuts so often need stitches. You know how I feel about sewing... So I took my neat rectangles of masonite, placed them on the curtain fabric on the floor, and stretching the fabric into place, duct taped it all together. It's not pretty on the back side, so I'll sandwich a custom cut mirror on the back of one, and ribbon-wrapped bulletin boards on the others. (I haven't done the bulletin board parts yet - have to

one, two, three, floor

With most of the painting done in the trailer, Rick decided to do the Floor Project before we leave, rather than waiting until we get to Seattle later this summer, where he'll have people to help him. I'm really glad this will all be finished before we go. It will make a big difference in how "home" looks and feels. We have to be comfortable in our little nest. So last Friday we decided to give Taos shopping another try. We spent all day looking at flooring samples, tossing one after the other on the trailer floor, narrowing it down from five to two, to the perfect one . Back at the floor store, we were then told that, oh no, that one is no longer available ... What can I say? In my experience, shopping in Taos has never been a good use of time. The next day we drove down to Lowe's in Espanola, ordered just what we want, and it will be here in two weeks or less. Still not ideal, but at least we can get the stuff in time to install it before July 1st. Meanwhile, t

one day monday sale

Hey Bead Lovers! I'm having a SALE today! The not-so-secret Discount Code is: MONDAY. That's all you need to know to get 10% off everything in my BeadShop ! Pop the code in BEFORE you check out. I will not go back and give refunds if you forget. No time for that! There are lots of things in the Going, going, gone ... section that truly will, poof!, disappear in a few days. I also need to sell the felted bags! I can't pack them along in the trailer when we leave one month from today . Besides, I'd really like to send that money off to Project Mercy. Come on! Buy a bag ! Off and running... I feel like the Tasmanian Devil, whirling about, stirring up dust, acting just a little bit slobbery and crazy...