September 23, 2014


This past week my husband and I got away for a little relaxation and inspiration. Of course quilts were involved just a little . . .    : )

We went to Taos NM. Years ago we used to visit 2 or 3 times a year when my husband's folks lived there but haven't been back since they left about 18 years ago. Taos hasn't changed much . . . still dusty, arty, very low key. . . just more traffic and more stop lights. Our main goal was to see as many galleries as we could for a some fine art inspiration. Seeing all the great landscape paintings makes both of us want to pick up a brush and start painting. I have an art background but painting is not my main area of expertise. I'm more the designer than the fine artist.

We also spent more time exploring little side streets and just driving around. Something we didn't get to do as much of when we had toddlers in tow. One thing that struck me this time was all the gates. Most homes are surrounded by a wall of some type and the streets are more like one lane alleys so everyone has a gate. They are so charming and expressive I couldn't resist taking several gate photos.

This was one of the first gates we came across and such a perfect spot to photograph my Square Dance quilt. Just what I had in mind. I brought a couple of other quilts along too, but never quite found the right spot with the right lighting at the right time.  Oh well . . . another trip. We definitely won't wait so long to go back next time.

Taos and the southwest also have an abundance of old churches.  The first church in my mosaic is San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos which was started in 1772 and finished in 1815. Artists like Georgia O'Keeffe and photographers like Ansel Adams found inspiration in this church and it's bulbous adobe buttresses. The second structure is the mission church on the reservation where Justin taught school many years ago.

In addition to Taos, we also visited the Jicarilla Apache reservation in Dulce NM to attend their annual fall harvest festival called Go-Jii-Ya. We got to see their traditional relay foot race between the two clans and then watched a powwow with traditional dancing and music. The drums are especially powerful heard in person and the dancing was fun to see. Many years ago Justin volunteered at the local mission church where he taught school, drove the bus and did just about anything else they needed. He has many fond memories of his time there including attending Go-Jii-Ya and took along a few photos of some of his former students in hopes of finding one or two. After showing the photos around to a few people, he was able to locate one of the students and talk with her. Wish I had pictures to share but photography is not allowed by outsiders.

Taos and northern New Mexico are beautiful and magical in their own special ways. If you ever get a chance to visit, I highly recommend it. Just be forewarned that the Chimisa blooms in the fall and both of us were extremely allergic to it. It's all those yellow plants in the photo below and believe me . . . it grows everywhere. We spent most afternoons sneezing.

In parting, here is the house my in-laws used to live in. We sure miss going their to visit them.

Hope you enjoyed my travelogue. I'm busy making a baby quilt this week and must decide on my block for the guild bee and my online bee. I'm queen bee for October.