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April in Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a tree filled city and very lovely. All the buildings are adobe in style and the roads are lined with trees. Many neighborhoods have plum trees spaced along the sidewalks and peeking out over the adobe walls enclosing each yard. In April they fill out into purple & pink marvels! 

Alice in Wonderland

I’m a person who loves Alice in Wonderland. I’ve always felt like life is very strange. Society’s constructs make no sense and the journey to adulthood was very challenging for me. When I was in the worst years of illness I often felt like things weren’t real. One of the red flags I have for stress is I start to have a song from the cartoon run through my head. Thank you Alice for the heads up, I’ve got to take more care. I made this scarf for my niece’s birthday and used her as my model for Alice, my mom posed for the mad hatter. I was a little late sending it out, so it ended up being an un-birthday present!

Petrified Forest

On our way to see the Grand Canyon we stopped at the Petrified Forest. I can’t even begin to say how wonderful it was! Long, long ago there was a vast forest of hug trees that have long since turned to stone. Their trunks now lay in a landscape without any trees. I thought it was particularly surreal as we used to live in a temperate rainforest with trees of a similar size!

Firewood in the temperate rainforest

When I was growing up, as a teenager, we lived in the bush in Alaska. To heat our 100 year old cabin through the long winter we needed to have 13 cords of wood. Which is a lot! It was a national forest and it’s illegal to cut down trees. So we took GIGANTIC driftwood logs off of the beaches. The whole family would set out in the skiff, a picnic lunch and snacks packed. We’d find a beach with a good supply of logs that had been deposited and mostly buried in gravel by the waves. We’d start by shoveling them free, then we’d latch onto them with logging pikes and work them into a slow and hard won roll down the beach to the water. There they would be linked by rope into as long a train as we could manage. Then a long slow towing home would commence. Other days would play out the almost unending labor of bucking up the giant logs into firewood and then stacking all in the large woodshed. All this needing to happen late in the winter to give the saltwater logged wood enough time to dry before the next winter. I was reminiscing about all this when we visited the Petrified Forest recently and thought I would share it here.

Grand Canyon

We went to the Grand Canyon! For some reason I never thought I would see it. Then a few weeks ago we realized it is only a 6 hour drive from our new home! It was amazing.

Dog hazards!

👓 I’m finally able to wear my blue light glasses & sunglasses after breaking my nose Christmas morning! I bent down just as Ren jumped up to get on the daybed. His cranium crashed into my cheek bone and nose, crunch! 😭 It was not too bad. 🥹 I didn’t go to urgent care. But it’s been baseball caps 🧢 out in the sun for the last six weeks and my nose is just slightly off center now! 👃🐩

Light as a feather statement earrings

I’m very excited to share my new fabric earrings! Large with a cupped petal shape, light as a feather. Pima cotton lawn printed with my drawing of a Santa Fe Sunset. Layers of clouds, light & sky in slate blues, pale glacier, peachy/coral, mauve, apricot & yellow over mountains and landscape in deep plum.

These have Argentium silver rings and hooks, a variety of silver that’s highly resistant to tarnishing! They will also come with a polishing cloth. Just in case you ever feel like they need a rub. Put them on after applying hairspray, perfume & makeup. If they ever need a clean simply hand wash with a light detergent, rinse, air dry and iron on a cotton setting.

Childhood memory.

The memory is so strong. I’m very little and sitting on Big Meme’s lap. She’s soft & large and warm, rocking me in the blue rocking chair, singing me a French lullaby. Such a feeling of love. 💙 

January Collection Part 3 Black & Gold Hot Air Balloon

I’ve always loved hot air balloons. Not because I had seen many in real life. At least not that I remembered. When I was a baby my Meme came to visit and we took her to see a flight of hot air balloons. She took lots of pictures and brought them home to show her mom, my Big Meme. Big Meme made me a pillow with appliqué stitched balloons and a ruffle edge. It was very dear to me all through my childhood. Last October I saw my first big flight of hot air balloons, took lots of photos and created this silk scarf. Made with loving memories of my Meme s.🖤💛💙

One early morning in October we got out the door well before dawn and drove off to see the balloon flight from the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. We drove around north of Albuquerque and figured out the direction they were going, found an excellent little park to sit at as at least a hundred flew over. As the majority had past over we decided to head home for brunch but along the way we saw several balloons landing in a neighborhood nearby. We couldn’t resist a closer peek and saw this marvelous yellow & black balloon just landing in someone’s driveway!

Small Yellow Plane in a Blue Sky.

The inspiration for this one was a lovely moment when I was floating in the pool last summer. Looking up into a very periwinkle blue sky and a little yellow plane flew directly over. We live in an apartment complex on the South side of Santa Fe, somewhat near the airport and some sight seeing planes and private small planes sometimes fly over quite low. I love small planes. For starters when I was growing up in the Alaskan bush it was the only way you would ever manage to get ice cream home! Other modes of travel to our island home in Prince William Sound might take 12 to 24 hours. But a few times when my mother was in town procuring six months of supplies and things were delayed, she sent us some boxes of goodies and needed restocks to keep us going. Jim Air would leave Anchorage and arrive in our bay one hour later! My siblings and I have fond memories of ice cream, a watermelon & once a large pumpkin for Halloween!

Travel by bush plane.

In a small plane what you see out the window is so relatable. The hight your at is close enough to see details but with a large enough perspective to show everythings relationship to the rest of the world. I remember flying from my home on an island in Prince William Sound Alaska in my teens, to Anchorage via Jim Air. Taking off from our Bay we quickly flew across the sound and over the giant mountain range that encloses the top of Alaskas temperate rainforest. Down one side of the mountain ridge is wet, deep green and misty. Down the other side it’s dry tundra and then Boreal forest. Then flying up Turnagain Arm, a tidal waterway, long, narrow and showing at low tide a vast length of mud flats. The rivulet patterns looking exactly like the fine lines of the skin on the back of my hands.

This is me living in the Alaska wilderness at about 16 yrs. old.

Summer in Prince William Sound is not usually very warm or sunny. It’s a temperate rainforest and it generally rains most days. It is however supposed to be that way and you get used to living in rain gear. The precipitation starts and stops throughout the day, the waterfalls turning on and off in response. There are about 30 sea otters living between the bay and the tidal lagoon behind it. Lots of Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Ravens and Steller’s Jays are always there. Visitors include Sea Lions, Orcas, Humpback Whales & Golden Eagles. When the big migrations of the spring & fall happen, hundreds of thousands of Cranes, Geese & Ducks flew over our island headed to the north slope. When the sun did emerge you tended to stop what you were doing and enjoy it. This overturned rubber Zodiac boat would soak up the sun’s rays and create a micro climate of warmth.

Great Horned Owl in a starry night sky.

Shown here at the center of my gallery wall above my desk. The reflection shows Fin our ginger cat sitting on the window sill watching the snow. Further in the distance is the neighboring adobe tower. Through the winter Great Horned Owls make it their home. Soon they will be nesting in the deep window recesses on the South side. We spotted them about this time last year, looking like really big cats sitting up there. We call the female, who is larger Big Kitty and the other Dad. There were two fluffy chicks that we watched grow. Eventually we knew they were starting to fly because you’d see them in different windows, there are four on each side of the tower and they will switch adjusting to the weather. I never saw any of them flying but hope I might this year.

2023 highlights.

2023 was filled with change and was pretty much entirely building out our new life. At the end of 2022 we had sold the family farm where Mom, my brother Kipp & I had weathered the pandemic. We packed our two poodles & ginger cat in the car and drove across the country to New Mexico! Both mom & I have had the worst time with Lyme disease in Maine and we had hunted all over for a place where we would not risk further exposures, plus thought we would enjoy living.

New Mexico & Santa Fe! Having lived at nearly sea level in both Alaska where I grew up and Maine, high altitude was a lot to get used to, especially with a chronic illness. But living over 7,000’ has benefits for your health as well and it feels like a big plus now we are a year down the road. It also keeps the temperatures pretty close to what we had come from but without the humidity. I love low humidity! Even the hottest part of the summer was lovely. The only thing to be careful about in daily life is the UV. We walked the dogs early and late and I went through a lot of sunblock. Brim hats and bandanas also make a ton of sense. I drank lots of water, applied lots of lotion, swam in the pool nearly every day and gradually felt quite a lot better than the twenty years preceding!

Having left my glass working studio behind and conferred with my new doctor about melting glass maybe not being something I should continue doing, I considered what creative work I might do from my new apartment life. If you’ve followed me for long you know I’m a lover of colorful accessories. I have a simple capsule wardrobe myself which I accent with Rothy’s points, silk scarves & my colorful jewelry. When I started to design my own silk scarves I fell into creative flow immediately and I haven’t really come out of it since.

I had been drawing on my iPad through the pandemic and it’s perfect for my illness ravaged body. I can easily fix the many mistakes I can’t help making and can set the drawing software to smooth out the shakes my hands usually have. I still incorporate my body’s reality into my drawings. You might notice a looseness to my style and some squigglyness that I embrace.

My gallery over the years.

Blossom Studio & Gallery lived in multiple Blue Hill Peninsula locations over the 18 years of its existence. Deer Isle Village, Brooklin, Bucks Harbor & Blue Hill. All in old buildings that used to be general & hardware stores.

Studio/Gallery Days

I do miss the in person days of the gallery. So many nice people to chat with! One or two a day in the winter and a couple to many an hour in the summer. In the spring I’d need to rein myself in so I wouldn’t talk your ear off. In the Fall you’d ask how I’m doing and I’d respond with, tired.

I had a studio gallery for 18 years. I said hello to my creative space when I unlocked the door in the mornings, and I said good night with my thanks and love at the end of the day. When the pandemic began I didn’t renew my lease, packed up, and shifted to working from home and presenting my work exclusively online.

The past few years have ushered in a lot of changes. A lot of my following are very disappointed that I’m not reopening the gallery. What I share on that subject though is that I’ve also been chronically ill all those years. Many may remember the two plus years I had to close due to extreme vertigo. I dragged myself through my twenties and thirties, very grateful I was self employed and able to work in slow motion.

Shifting to online has enabled me to move to New Mexico, a place with no Lyme disease! Which I really can’t afford any more exposures too. It took 13 years to get accurately diagnosed, and I’ve done 8 years of intensive treatment. I am so much better these days, hope to improve some more, but will also probably spend the rest of my life taking gentle care of myself. Please everyone, you can’t be too careful about ticks and Lyme.

Wilderness entertainments.

When I lived in the bush in Alaska as a teenager we would get two to six months of mail all at once. It would be a huge Santa size bag. One of our favorite things to dig out and enjoy was the J Peterman catalog. The clothing is only depicted with drawings and the descriptions are a mini story about the life you might be living wearing these clothes. We would laugh for hours and imagine the very different lives those descriptions proposed. So here’s an attempt at a JP style story…🥂

Thank goodness you got it right, what to wear at this arctic outdoor wedding. The temperature is -10 degrees, a warm day here. You are standing on cardboard, on ice, above the Bering Sea. Bright red insulated coveralls with a fur trimmed hood, huge boots. Silk long underwear for warmth, chic sunglasses for the glare of the white landscape. A silk scarf in winter white and red your only “dressy” accessory!

Empowering daydream.

Suddenly you felt very Katherine Hepburn. In a well put together, confident woman outfit. Ready to whip out a mid Atlantic accent & out talk them all! How often do you have this black & white daydream? Often.  🐆 🎬.

Favorite things.

Just a quick trip through the antique mall. Utilizing your formula you’ve chosen to look for small blue items. Otherwise it’s too overwhelming and not at all quick. Forty five minutes later you’re near the end with no undeniable treasure found. Perhaps a second loop? Then you see it, a glossy glimpse of blue in the corner of a China filled hutch. Not only is it small and blue, it’s the perfect lapis blue Dala horse to add to your collection of horse figurines!

Life long dreams.

Not only are you going on that dream trip with your siblings to tour Jane Austen’s England. You are very much not doing it looking like a far too casual American. Capsule wardrobe with an English manor house in the country vibe, ✔️!

Owl neighbor

Most mornings you find yourself standing at the long bank of windows in the kitchen, mug of tea in hand. Contemplating the Great Horned Owl, looking like a large person sitting in the giant Cottonwood trees. Dose she notice you and say to herself “Oh there’s that girl looking out at me again”. ☕️  True story from my childhood.

Joy

Like everyone, I’ve always liked joy. It can be elusive, when you are stressed, unwell, or others around you are in a funk. I’ve had way more than my share of hard times. What it’s highlighted for me is that I feel that almost nothing should be allowed to steel your joy, and every effort should be made to enjoy as much of your life as possible. I love being an artisan, it puts my focus on things that bring me joy and it gives me influence to share it with others.

Rose & Ren

I have two poodles. My sister rescued a mini poodle named Jasper and for eight months when she had to take a no pets apartment, he came to us. I rapidly fell in love with him and when he went home I set about finding Rose. She is my first small dog at just 14 lbs. As a poodle she doesn’t shed and so is allowed on the furniture and sleeps in my bed. 🤎 A couple of years ago we brought home her brother Ren. He has ended up a little bigger at 22 lbs. Ren is the first puppy I’ve raised who is reactive. At about nine weeks old we thought we’d do some socializing and bring him to Mainescape, the local garden center where we lived. You can meander through the plants and meet a few people. They have a lovely friendly shop dog who was friends with Rose. So we are getting out of the car and Ren begins to yowl. And not in a small way. He quickly builds it into loud screeches, making it sound to people a mile away like we are stabbing him. 😱 I will tell you honestly I was a bit apprehensive about how he would turn out. It’s been rough but with a lot of research, I’ve learned how to bring him along and though we still have a ways to go, we think he is and will be an excellent dog and not just at home. With a slower pace, giving him lots of distance to get used to new things, many very mini outings, lots of patience  and some willingness to allow him time to mature, he is becoming a very fine dog. 🖤 Then there is the fact that he is pure love and affection making up for the many public mortifications and frayed nerves he has put us through. It won’t be long before we barely remember the trials of his puppyhood. He has come so far, including moving across the country and figuring out how to be an apartment dog. I’m really so impressed with him.

Santa Fe

I moved across the country December of 2022! For the past 25 years we lived on the Blue Hill Peninsula in Maine. Before that I grew up in Alaska. I’ve always lived in very rural places until now. The most remote was through my teens when my family ran an oyster farm in the Alaskan bush. I went to town just twice a year! My younger siblings went just once a year for a couple of weeks in the summers.

Santa Fe is a beautiful little city! Everything is adobe style and there are trees everywhere. Just last week the plum trees were blooming, all along the roads and through the neighborhoods. I love blooming trees, there are non in Alaska. There are fantastic trails everywhere, for biking, walking and even horseback riding. Lots of horses even in town.

Each weekend we set out in the car to explore an area we haven’t seen yet. There are gorgeous environs everywhere from semi arid step, rivers ensconced in cottonwoods, tree covered mountains, and striking colorful rocks.

Santa Fe sunset

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