Tag Archives: Santa Fe

Rust and Gray and a Custom Necklace

When I went to Santa Fe, NM this past spring, I went a bit crazy with my jewelry-buying. There were so many cool artisans in New Mexico and so many unique materials and designs.

silver-wrapped stone

Two stone miners/jewelry designers working at a table at an outdoor art market made this for me on the spot. They had hundreds of stones to choose from and, after choosing one, they’d wrap it in silver “while-u-wait.” I wish I could remember the name of the stone. The guys, if you’re ever in Santa Fe, work at the tables next to the Inn at Loretto.

As a side note, Loretto is a chapel in the old part of Santa Fe. It houses a beautiful spiral staircase, to which a few miracles have been attributed. I hate to break it to you, but it looks like a case of fine carpentry and sound engineering. The only miracle I can think of is that no one fell off the staircase. It was built without a railing and one wasn’t added until ten years later.

stairs at Loretto

Anyway, skeptisism aside, after I got home, I realized the stone pendant would go nicely with my rust and gray tunic. So I wore them together with skinny jeans and ballet flats.

detail of pendant

the outfit

Top: JC Penneys
Jeans: JC Penneys
Pendant: Santa Fe street vendor
Cuff: Greenbelts
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Bag: Nine West via thrifted

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Crafts, Fashion

Red Florals from Madrid

Madrid, New Mexico, that is.

On my way home from NM, I took the Turquoise Trail, as it’s known, from Santa Fe to Albuquerque. The scenic byway cuts through a 15,000 square mile area in the heart of central New Mexico. Madrid was booming during the height of the coal mining era in the 1800s, but became practically a ghost town when the industry fizzled.

Fortunately, artists and craftspeople took up residence in the Victorian homes and clapboard storefronts and now the tiny town boasts a thriving arts community. I had lunch at Mama Lisa’s Ghost Town kitchen and ate a scrumptious butternut squash and pumpkin seed taco platter.

kitchen

Then I found, among the galleries, a funky consignment shop called Redbone. I shopped the rows of vintage clothing and jewelry while listening to 80s new wave music. Redbone has a fabulous selection of perfectly broken-in vintage cowboy boots. I couldn’t find a red pair in my size though. Too bad—they would have looked great with the floral skirt I bought.

floral skirt

red t

T-shirt: Victoria’s Secret
Skirt: Thrifted (at Redbone)
Stone pendant: Street artist in Santa Fe
Sandals: Payless
Cross-body bag: Shiraleah

Later in the day, it got cooler so I thought I’d see how to make this summery southwestern look work in a Seattle spring evening. I added my Joe’s blazer and off I went, into the sunset. Is it weird that I kept humming “Blinded by the Light” as I drove to dinner?

blinded

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Filed under Fashion, Hot and Cold, Thrifty

Leaving Santa Fe

All good things must end. And so my trip to Santa Fe came to a close. It was a fabulous city, and a great location for a long weekend of art, shopping, food, and friends.

The day before we left, my friends and I tallied up the jewelry we’d purchased during our stay. It was impressive.

jewelry

We found great pieces by local designers. Turquoise was the big hit, but we snapped up pieces in amethyst and other materials too. The morning of our departure, Cheryl and I wandered from our hotel, the Inn at Loretto, to the open-air artist market next door and bought even more jewelry.

We met two artists who collect semi precious stones and polish and refine them. They will wrap any piece in silver and create a ring or a pendent. Cheryl had a turquoise ring made. They made me a pendent. Here’s my pendant, and a trilobite fossil pendant I picked up from them as well.

pendants

The jewelry shops are pricier than the street vendors, but even by street vendors prices, these guys were reasonable. The pendants were $30 each.

In my rush to get authentic Southwest jewelry while I could, I snapped up a few pieces of Native American jewelry from another artist. His prices were terrific too, and all the pieces are made by him. I bought a bracelet, two necklaces, and three pair of earrings. Their style was similar to a bracelet (also in the following picture, in the upper-right corner) I bought earlier at the Farmers’ Market.

turquoise

multi

earrings

While browsing the outdoor market, I met Takako, a Japanese expat living and designing in Santa Fe. I bought one of her fantastic silver and amethyst rings.

ring

My other pieces, that I’d purchased earlier in the trip, include a fair-trade, hand-woven bracelet by Lilybead

bracelet

And an enameled metal necklace from Dancing Turtle Studios. I found their booth at the Farmer’s Market too.

enameled necklace

I really enjoyed meeting the artists who created these pieces. The jewelry is a souvenir of my trip and will always be special to me because each piece has a story behind it.

The end of our trip wasn’t all about bling. Before we left Santa Fe, Autumn made delicious, refreshing drinks for the four of us. We named it The Blue Loretto. Here’s how to make it:

  • Four parts Trader Joe’s Sparkling Blueberry Flavored Juice Beverage
  • One part Vodka
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Ice

Directions: Throw all the ingredients in a glass and enjoy. Simple!

blue loretto

I miss Santa Fe. The sun, the art, the adobe architecture, the friendly people. All of what the city offers makes me want to go back. I hope you get to visit too.

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Filed under Art, Crafts, Fashion

Santa Fe Art Walk

Canyon Road is Santa Fe’s premier art district. It’s an old part of town and boasts over 100 galleries (and a smattering of shops and restaurants). It’s an incredible place. The rows of adobe houses-turned-galleries offer art to view and purchase. Of course there is classic Southwest art, but there are a lot of other styles too: abstract, photorealistic, sculpture, glass work, jewelry, pottery and more. Truly something for everybody.

To me, even the buildings on Canyon Road are pieces of art. I photographed the structures on the walking tour I took with my friends. It didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect.

turquoise door

blue window

chilis

On our walk, I noticed an unusually large quantity of animal sculptures. Mostly horses and cattle, with some bears and rabbits thrown in the mix. These animals seemed representative of the local fauna.

horse

burro and scooter

dancing sheep

Yes, Laura, Cheryl, and Autumn are following the herd. It takes two to tango and apparently three to can-can. Well, four can play that game.

mannequins

Dress: Forever 21 via thrifted
Wrap: NYC Street Vendor
Sunglasses: Target
Shoes: Timberland

Leave it to me to shift the conversation to fashion. Today, however, I saw a fashion/art connection, as you can see by the dresses at various galleries.

dress sculpture

dress as art

notes dress

Canyon Road was probably the highlight of my trip. At lunch, I had the best veggie burger in the world at The Tea House. It was homemade and so delicious. They make a mean latté too. On the way back, I couple of other pieces of art captured my attention: The honeycomb and bee pattern is similar to the dress Laura wore yesterday.

bees

Glass is a popular art medium in the Pacific Northwest and that’s probably why these sculptures drew me to them.

glass

Prices for art ranged from less than $100 to well into five digits. There was a variety of things to look at and a few pieces I could actually afford. Mostly, I found the day inspiring. I’ve already pulled out my paints and canvases and have a few plans. Just in case my plans fall through, I wrote down the number of one of the galleries. There’s a wonderful abstract painting at a manageable price—and they ship.

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Filed under Art, Fashion

Shopping with Friends in Santa Fe

Arriving in New Mexico was terrific. The sky was blue, and the temperatures were in the high-70s. After eight months of winter, my three Seattleite friends and I deserved a break from the rain.

We ditched our dreary, dull NW clothes and arrived in NM with our luggage full of sunny SW colors. On our first morning, Cheryl and I climbed a hill with a nice vista of Santa Fe. It was windy, but gorgeous. Cheryl wore a bright orange sun dress with embroidered accents at the waist and paired it with braided strappy sandals and a coordinating brown Hobo bag.

orange dress

Dress: Max Studio
Sandals: Madden Girl
Cross-body bag: Hobo (at Burnt Sugar)

Here I am on the same hill. I chose a sunny marigold tank top and a reversible skirt. This side, with its orange, green and gold florals, looked nice next to Cheryl’s orange dress.

reversible skirt

Tank: Wet Seal
Purse: Coach (via thrifted)
Reversible skirt: Zand
Sandals: Naturalizer
Sunglasses: Target

Later, we met up with our friend, Autumn, who embraced the southwest vibe with a turquoise tank and matching pedicure. We were on the Turquoise Trail after all! Jewelry purchases wouldn’t be far behind.

turquoise tank

We walked to the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market where we found pastries, herbs, jewelry, paintings, textiles and yarn, and lots of other neat things. Cheryl grabbed coffee that even a Seattle coffee connoisseur would approve of, and I found a giant goose egg!

goose egg

Jacket: Betsey Johnson via thrifted
Earrings: Shirazi

We walked back to Santa Fe’s plaza, where we found more street vendors, musicians and dancers, and our other friend, Laura. Laura wore a sky blue dress, white cardigan, and black accents. From afar, you might not be able to see the neat bee and honeycomb design on the dress, but check it out in the close-up. It’s really unique!

blue dress

bee dress

Dress: Smoking Lily

By the end of our day, we all had jewelry (among other purchases). I’ll devote an entire post to all the great accessories we scored in Santa Fe. But first I have to finish start tomorrow’s post about the Santa Fe art scene.

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Filed under Fashion, General

Sunshine on My Shoulder

If sunshine on his shoulder made John Denver happy, you can imagine my elation at this: I have a bright yellow shoulder bag and I just went to Santa Fe! Now, full disclosure: I was there this past weekend and I’m back already, but for the next few days, I’ll get you caught up on the happenings. I’ll start with an uneventful trip to the airport, aka, “what I wore on the plane.”

new mexico

A few weeks ago I bought a fabulous vegan shoulder bag in the brightest yellow possible. I found it at Strut, a shoe-and-accessory store in Seattle’s Phinney Ridge neighborhood. The bag is by Portland designer, Michelle Kline. I couldn’t wait to use it, and thought it would be a great carry-on bag. Plus, in Santa Fe, it would be a great purse for my shopping trips and art gallery walks.

Last week I also picked up this tunic at Damselfly in Ballard. It could be worn as a dress, but I’d probably save that for fall and pair it with tights. It will make a great bathing suit cover-up in Santa Fe, and it’s a comfortable shirt to travel in.

yellow bag

loading the car

Tunic: Damselfly
Jeans: Bluenotes
Belt: Thrifted
Cuff: Gifted
Bag: Snap Design
Shoes: Timberland
Wrap: Street Vendor in NYC

I always try to pack light (one suitcase, carry-on size). I also try to pack items that I can mix and match so I have a lot of choices with a limited number of pieces. For Santa Fe, this included: cropped jeans, leggings, tunic, casual dress, evening dress, reversible skirt, three tank tops, maxi skirt, denim jacket, cardigan, bathing suit, ballet flats, flat sandals, chunky sandals, heels for evening, two wraps, sunglasses, shoulder bag, cross-body bag, clutch.

I could have packed less, but I wore all my pieces. During the day, the temperatures in Santa Fe were in the high 70s, but in the evenings it dropped to mid-40s. I needed a variety of styles (shopping, dining, galleries), and I needed layers.

One thing you shouldn’t forget, no matter where you are this spring and summer: Sunscreen. Sunburns and premature wrinkles (not to mention skin cancer) are never in style.

Tune in tomorrow for Shopping with Friends in Santa Fe.

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Filed under Fashion