Showing posts from June, 2011

Ready for Some City Time

Tuning up for my trip to the big city (Seattle), we went to PechaKucha last night. It's fun, edgy, urban, arty. Very un-southwest. Very wonderful. It's just what we Taosenos need now and then, to help us feel like we're not on a island, isolated from the rest of the world. We love it here, but we do get island fever...

In a nutshell, PechaKucha was started in Japan, and has found its way all over the world. A pre-selected group of "Creatives" each take their turn onstage for a short presentation of their work. They get 20 slides, 20 seconds each. That's it. Talk fast, move through it, boom, finished. Next. Last night we had painters, a photographer, a yoga instructor, a tattoo artist, an architect, and a spoken word performance duo. It was fun, exciting, inspiring, and everyone I talked to loved it.

I have no plans to get on that stage, but I do plan to attend PechaKucha Taos #4 in the fall. Find one near you, or come here for ours. And now, I need to pack. I&…


I kept doors, windows, and curtains closed all day yesterday, to keep the heat and smoke out of the house. It worked pretty well, all things considered. It was cooler inside than outside all afternoon, and the air was breathable. After sunset we opened things up even though it was smokey outside. The house was hot and stuffy, so we needed some airflow, even if it was bad airflow. 
It's not so bad this morning. Hazy to the southwest, but we can see the mountains, and the sky directly above is blue with a scatter of little white clouds. The wind is calm right now, but will probably kick up later in the day, which of course is bad news for the firefighters, and also for Taos, which will likely again be filled with smoke.
I think it's starting to wear on people. It seems to make us feel edgy and cranky. Apart from the obvious physical reasons, I think it's because we're feeling, and breathing, and absorbing the fear and sadness coming from the fire. Not just form the people …

Fire and Water

The fire in Los Alamos is not near enough to Taos to be a fire danger here, but the smoke hangs in our air in an eerie way, and the news coverage is sad and disturbing. The wind tends to blow from there to here, so even though the authorities assure us that there's no danger, there's a lurking concern about what might happen if the nuclear lab were to catch fire. It's not worth panicking over, but I think it's worth wondering about, and considering what we would do if the air quality were to be... compromised. We don't really have much potential for natural disasters here. No earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes. We have Los Alamos, and right now, it has me feeling kind of edgy and distracted.

I had planned to make beads today and tomorrow, but I just can't. I can't add any more heat or flame to New Mexico right now. Besides, I can't concentrate. I'm too distracted. So next beads will be made and posted after I come back from Seattle in mid…

Banana Grand Marnier Pancakes

One of the perks of Rick's job at the Sagebrush Inn in Taos, as the guy in charge of ordering for all the bars and restaurants, is the sales reps like to give him samples. The other day he brought home a bottle of an orange liquer that's similar to Grand Marnier. And this, of course, made me think of pancakes.
Years ago, on a camping trip, my friend Roger made the most amazing breakfast for everyone in our group. Banana Grand Marnier Pancakes, cooked in a cast iron skillet over an open fire. Or maybe it was a camp stove. I know for sure we were outside... Anyway, I've made these at home lots of times since, and thought I'd try a batch with the new "orange juice."

Before we start, I want to tell you that this was not one of my biggest successes. In fact, they didn't work out well at all. But because I know this is a good recipe in the right hands, and the right pan, I'm sharing it with you anyway. If you make these, and they look pretty, please send me …

Sunday Night Beads

I was going to post these tomorrow morning, but I have time now, so might as well. Remember, I'm leaving on Friday for Seattle and parts beyond, and will be back on the 18th of July. All beads sold this week will be mailed on Wednesday. Here you go!

Taos Farmers Market

If you're lucky, you live in a community that has at least one farmers market. When we lived in Seattle, my first beads sales venues were the weekly markets. I'd make the rounds to 3 or 4 markets each week, all summer long, and grew to love market life and the people who lived it. Here in Taos we have the Red Willow Market on Wednesdays, which I haven't been to yet, the Sunday Market, which was pretty small last time I checked a couple of weeks ago, and the Taos Farmers Market on Saturdays, which I absolutely love. Over the past few years it's grown into a happening weekly event, with live music, palm readings, children's activities, and of course, loads of beautiful fresh local produce. Rick and I went early this morning, and looped through the booths twice, filling our basket and stopping to visit with friends. It doesn't look like crafters are allowed to sell here, like they do in Seattle, but that's OK with me. I'd much rather go to support the loca…

Picnic Table Upholstery

We've had this old wooden picnic table forever, since our early days in Seattle, so sneaking up on 20 years now. Rick keeps scraping it and sanding it and painting it with ever thicker layers of turquoise paint, but the Taos sun just trashes it every summer. Poor old table. We still love it, and believe in fixing and using what we already have whenever possible. It needed help, but clearly more paint was not the answer.
The first thing I did was move it over to the porch on the shady side of the house. Duh! It's not just better protection for the table, but a much nicer place to sit and eat. I have no idea why we didn't think of this before, but the thought has been thunk now, and put into action.

So yesterday I was looking at the peeling paint, and realizing that Rick will have no time to deal with it again before fall, I took the job into my own hands. Of course my hands do things quite differently than Rick's do. Mentally searching the house for something-I-already-h…

Always Learning

I ran across a website this morning that looks like it might be useful to me, and I think to some of you too. It's called Crafting An MBA, and it's something like what business school might look like if it were geared toward crafters, designers, and makers of cool things. I know I'm not the only one who's been running my little business for years, always looking for ways to improve. I have no intention of going "back to school," but since I think one of the most important things in life is to keep learning, I do plan to read more of what Megan Auman, the author of the site, has to say. I hope some of you get something useful from her too!


And now, who wants beads?
1,2,3 Bracelet Beads See the description in the column to the left. Please specify: "Naked" - $20, or "Silver" - $30

4, 5, 6 Bracelet Beads See the description in the column to the left. Please specify: "Naked" - $20, or "Silver" - $30

7, 8, 9 Bracelet Beads S…