The wind blew strongly and whipped the dry earth into flurries of sand.
Surrounded by cacti and arid hills, we traveled on a rough dirt road out to the now derelict mine of Pozos.
We were fascinated by the cactus fences strung together with barbed wired.
Mineral de Pozos was founded in 1576 to exploit the rich gold and silver mines nearby. During its most glorious period, there were 17 gold and silver mining haciendas, and up to one thousand men worked in each one every day. “Pozos” became one of the cities where more silver was produced in Mexico and in the world. By the early twentieth century, “Pozos” had become a prosperous city, with about 50,000 inhabitants and a strong trading network. As the veins became depleted, the town slowly faded, until the last mine was closed in 1950. Just about 300 people remained in the town.
As the town is derelict so are the mines. However, a lone caretaker stands guard. He has a horse, a dog, a run down lean to. His washing hung on the line and the dogs barked a warning as we approached.
From somewhere out of the cactus field came an old man with his knife. He walked slowly and deliberately down the worn path. One of the ladies walked up to him and then took a step back when she saw the weapon,
We were told he was originally one of the miners. now he stands guard in a lonely existence out in the countryside.
Day two of our stay in San Miguel Allende.
The days have been beautiful, the sun is shining and we wake to a cool, crisp morning.
I slept well despite my hand and arm aching. I did something to it when lugging my cases. The case thing is an occupational hazard and normally not a problem but I do remember a sharp pain at one stage, so it might be more than just a pulled muscle.
Our first stop was to the pharmacy for some strapping and then on to the craft market. We have a smallish bus and a local guide, Gregory. He is knowledgeable and very helpful, I've been here many times before, but the others are getting a wonderful explanation of this amazing city.
The roads are so narrow and steep a larger bus won't negotiate the twists, turns or cope with the cobblestones.
We still have to stop to let a taxi or local vehicle past us in the town so the trip takes just a little longer... (then again its great for photo ops)in many of the sh
The images below were at the craft market and you can purchase these colorful textiles in lots of places in Mexico. They are generally mass produced. Indeed there are others that are made by hand... and I love, love, love the colors but I'm always looking for something different or the unusual. I love collecting folk art and there is certainly plenty to choose from here.
With the ladies (and gentleman) rounded up we visited another amazing craft complex. La Aurora.
Before its renaissance as an art and design center, Negociacion Fabril de la Aurora, known as La Aurora, was a leading manufacturer of premium cotton "manta" and textiles for almost a century. The construction of the factory was completed in 1902 and is typical of textile plants in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Its façade, with twelve stone-carved arches and the impressive wrought iron gates that open onto a gracious patio, offers a sharp contrast to the functional design of the interior spaces. Its one of my favorite places to visit here in SMA.
I love the antique stores at La Aurora Votive paintings in Mexico go by several names, I've known them as Milagros (miracles) which refer to their purpose. The painting of religious images to give thanks for a miracle or favored received in this country is part of a long tradition of such in the world. As in Europe, votive paintings began as static images of saints or other religious figures which were then donated to a church. Later, narrative images, telling the personal story of a miracle or favor received appeared. These paintings were first produced by the wealthy and often on canvas; however, as sheets of tin became affordable, lower classes began to have these painted on this medium. The narrative version on metal sheets is now the traditional and representative form of votive paintings, although modern works can be done on paper or any other medium.
I have 3 of the at home, but the price gets higher each time I come here.
The images above are of the things I loved at La Aurora.
An hour away from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the quiet town of Mineral de Pozos is undergoing its own art-fueled transformation.
When people buzz about this or that newly “discovered” colonial Mexican town as “the next San Miguel,” they usually mean the pre-malls and pre-traffic city of 10, 20, or 30 years ago. In recent years, the buzz has hovered over the central highlands pueblo fantasma (ghost town) of Mineral de Pozos an hour’s drive from San Miguel itself. Pozos (the locals’ shorthand) was nearly lost to history until the 1990’s, when a handful of artists fled here from the urban overgrowth of its famous neighbor. They opened their own galleries and restaurants and were followed by other solitude and spaciousness seekers, including discerning store owners and hoteliers. By the 2000’s, the inevitable weekend visitors had arrived, and for good reason: the town was charming, small, and had far more Mexican residents than newcomers. The spectral ruins of mines strewn over cactus-thick hillsides nearby deepened the atmosphere. Pozos was still very sleepy.
We took over a restaurant and ate delicious food cooked for us as we waited.
We visited a 15th Century church. The walls were painted and the image below is of the tiles the floor.
We visited a 15th Century church. The walls were painted and the image below is of the tiles the floor.
With more than four centuries of history, Mineral de Pozos has a great architectural heritage for you to visit. Its remains tell the story of the mining boom this place went through, the fortune its inhabitants were able to gather and its gradual abandonment. Guanjuato’s arid landscape camouflages the walls of forbidding haciendas, such as the walls of Santa Brigida, of the Cinco Señores and of the Triangulo, where up to one thousand people used to work.
SanMiguel Allende Mexico. A place I love dearly.
We arrived here yesterday and the group has been on the move since then.
We're loving it.
We took a long walk today. Down cobblestone streets, past beautiful houses made of stone and bright colors. We frequented local restaurants and had the most delicious food,
Small green and yellow taxis pass by but we staunch people walk just in case we miss something gorgeous.
AND gorgeous it is.
Stunning is the word. I think all the ladies are in love with this place and to think we are here for a whole week. !!!! how lucky are we.
We watched spell bound as 50 or more Indian dancers in the most stunning costumes performed in the Jar-din. The drums were emotive, and the dancing was passionate and just fabulous. (I can't think of another word to describ
This afternoon we worked on a little design class and the rest of the time has been spent just soaking up the atmosphere.
This evening we enjoyed a Cuban concert in the Jardin. Dancing, Dancing.
The internet is really slow so I have to work patiently to get this blog out, it takes 4 times longer than normal. Grrrrr
The Magna Carta was signed in June 1215 between the barons of Medieval England
and King John
. 'Magna Carta' is Latin and means "Great Charter"
. The Magna Carta was one of the most important documents of Medieval England.
It was signed (by royal seal) between the feudal barons and King John
at Runnymede near Windsor Castle. The document was a series of written promises between the king and his subjects that he, the king, would govern England and deal with its people according to the customs of feudal law
. Magna Carta was an attempt by the barons to stop a king - in this case John - abusing his power with the people of England suffering.
Part of the Magna Carta
But what on earth does the Magna Carta have to do with a quilt?
My Quilt to be exact.
Last year I was approached by the Museum of Natural Science in Houston to display my sample piece of the 'Bayeux Tapestry to Quilt' in their exhibition of the Magna Carta. I was thrilled as you can imagine and a little taken back at the same time. However during the Houston Quilt Festival we met and I agreed they could have it for the duration of the exhibition which ends in August this year.
I knew I wouldn't get here to see it, but an opportunity came my way and I find myself in Houston and today I had the chance to visit the Museum. Blessings.
The entrance to the exhibition is imposing and covers several rooms. I was absolutely delighted to play a small part.
The first room covers really interesting facts about the day to day lives of the people who lived in Medieval England. This photo shows the products used to dye fabric and thread.
There was so much information I could scarcely take it all in. I've been studying these subjects for years and here it was all in one place, dying, weaving, daily chores and tasks. I was amazed.
I walked down a corridor into the next room.
It was beautiful, it looked forever like a cathedral. The light was low. Facsimiles of Stained glass windows and the sounds of Gregorian chanting added to the ambience. There in the centre was my quilt. I almost burst. I just thought it would be pinned to the wall as a display.
Never did I imagine it would be in its own beautiful display.
The more I looked at it, the more I thought, "its fitting" and I have a small inkling now of how the entire quilt will look on display all 263 feet of it.
My spirit soared. I'm so thrilled
The heart beats a little faster, the frown lines intensify, the tummy knots and I'm aware that my head is throbbing due to unfathonable pressure.
I tell myself, don't worry, but the body denies the fact.
It happens occasionally........
Printing patterns, ordering pens and making sure everything arrives on time.
I have to have a good system in place to make it all run smoothly. BUT, you can never predict the weather and the suppliers inconsistency and sometimes my lack of filing.
Then again its all part of life on the road.
Washing your clothes by hand, sleeping in numerous beds and wrangling luggage.
On the other side is sheer joy, excitement, enthusiasm and passion and most days are the latter.
Today was exciting and I had the pleasure of visiting the Zia Therapy Center and Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) center in Alamogordo. The staff are wonderful and showed me around their facility.
This year the funding from our Southern New Mexico Festival of Quilts will fund some of their programs.
The meet and greet was busy and lots of people signed up for the event.... wooow.
I don't have any photos but I was followed around by the paparazzi and I'm sure I'll have a record if I need it !!!!!
I'm packing for the next event in Mexico which will be AMAZING, I'm really thrilled to be sharing my love of San Miguel Allende with other quilters and my friends who live there.
Ever wonder what makes those wacky, creative types tick? How is it that some people seem to come up with all kinds of interesting, original work while the rest of us trudge along in our daily routines?
Creative people are different because they operate a little differently. They:
1. Are easily bored
A short attention span isn’t always a good thing, but it can indicate that the creative person has grasped one concept and is ready to go on to the next one.
2. Are willing to take risks
Fearlessness is absolutely necessary for creating original work, because of the possibility of rejection. Anything new requires a bit of change, and most of us don’t care for change that much.
3. Don’t like rules
Rules, to the creative person, are indeed made to be broken. They are created for us by other people, generally to control a process; the creative person needs freedom in order to work.
4. Ask “what if…”
Seeing new possibilities is a little risky, because it means that something will change and some sort of action will have to be taken. Curiosity is probably the single most important trait of creative people.
5. Make lots of mistakes
A photographer doesn’t just take one shot, and a composer doesn’t just write down a fully realized symphony. Creation is a long process, involving lots of boo-boos along the way. A lot goes in the trash.
The hermit artist, alone in his garret, is a romantic notion but not always an accurate one. Comedians, musicians, painters, chefs all get a little better by sharing with others in their fields.
7. Are generous
Truly creative people aren’t afraid to give away their hard-earned knowledge. The chef can give you the recipe because she knows you won’t make it like she does anyway.
8. Are independent
Stepping off the beaten path may be scary, but creative people do it. Children actually do this very well but are eventually trained to follow the crowd.
Combining things that don’t normally go together can result in brilliance or a giant mess. Trial and error are necessary to the creative process.
10. Motivate themselves
There does seem to be a spark that creative people share, an urgent need to make things. They are willing to run the inherent risks of doing something new in order to get a new result.
11. Work hard
This is probably the most overlooked trait of creative people. People who don’t consider themselves to be creative assume that people who are creative are magical, that ideas just pop into their heads effortlessly. Experienced creative people have developed processes and discipline that make it look easy.
12. Aren’t alone
The good news is that it’s possible for everyone to be creative. There are creative accountants, creative cooks, creative janitors, creative babysitters. Any profession or any hobby can be made into a creative pursuit by embracing and using creative traits.
Do you consider yourself creative? (Say yes.) Finding something you’re really passionate about will help you take a chance and might just result in something wildly creative.
I tend to think its thread sketching.
Simply threading the sewing machine and sewing to create an image.
Its not quite that simple, you know that when you pick up a pen, you can put it on the paper or fabric and draw an image.
Thread sketching is different, you put the fabric or paper under the needle and move it around while the needle punches up and down on the fabric forming a stitch and that stitch becomes a small part of the image.
Sounds scary and I guess it is when you look at it in that way, but 17 ladies that I admire
created these masterpieces over the past 4 days doing just that.
They are not finished and there are more to share but they said I could share them with you.
Im impressed with their efforts.
Its been raining most of the day, its almost 9 pm and time to relax.
The wind is gusting around my windows and then it relaxes with a sigh, only to whip up again. The door rattles and the leaves skip around on the path outside the windows.
I don't know why but I feel like I'm in a famous five adventure in my rustic wooden guest room. Its probably the dark wooden paneling and the heavy old door scuffed and full of character.
Asilomar Conference grounds are huge. It is situated by the Ocean and the smell of pine and sea is tantalizing. You can hear the waves roaring at times, and you might just view a deer and her young as they pass by your window.
There are probably 200 delegates and 10 Tutors and being here is an adventure in its self.
If you chose, you could sit by the fire on old leather lounges, play the piano or even play billiards. It is indeed unique.
I need to walk along the beach again tomorrow if the weather permits.
Some days are sunny and warm, others grey and ominous.
We are indeed lucky to have a fabulous classroom with glass walls and a fireplace on one side. The light is wonderful and when I returned from dinner I was surprised, yet pleased to see the place lit up like a store window as most of the ladies continued to work. I'm impressed by their stick ability. (thats the best work I can find for it)
We have a day and a half left and most people will finish their projects.
For me its just pure joy.
What a wonderful way to spend a week.
This is the wonderful work of Rhonda Bracey. Just fabulous.
Rhonda bought a packet of Tim Tams (Aussie biscuits) for each person in class and a koala pin... it was a lovely gesture.
Rhonda shared the delicate technique of sipping coffee through the end of a Tim Tam, a very culture pastime in Australia.
To have 5 days in which to create an image is pure luxury.
Begin the day with a spot of creativity.
Its 9.00 pm and I admit to not staying for the lecture tonight. In fact it's the first time I've missed a lecture at an event ever, but I wanted to go over my class notes and presentations and I'm still working on a couple of papers that need to be finished in a day or so.
I will be there to cheer on all the other Tutors in the next few days though. Just give me one night off please.
Yesterday was a long day of travel and I arrived here 11 hours after I left Alamogordo. The airlines are having it tough due to bad weather in different parts of the USA so everything was in chaos in LA.
You just have to be patient, there are a lot of people worse off than me.
I slept fitfully last night, I had too much going on in the head, so I was up early and with cameras set I braved the elements and photographed. It was wonderful on the beach, the air smelled like salt water and pine bark. The waves crashed on to the grey beach and the sun hid until about 10.00 am.
At breakfast this morning some of the ladies told me about Pacific Groves Monarch Butterflies.
This is what I went to see today.... it was breathtaking.
Every October, thousands of butterflies make a stop in a Pacific Grove eucalyptus grove, the preferred Monarch butterfly
habitat, during their migration to warmer climates. The butterflies hang in clusters from eucalyptus branches to maintain body temperature, and the resulting effect is stunning.
Monarch butterflies are not able to survive the cold winters of most of the United States so they migrate south and west each autumn to escape the cold weather. The migration usually starts in about October of each year, but can start earlier if the weather turns cold sooner than that.
They will spend their winter hibernation in Mexico and some parts of Southern California where it is warm all year long. If they live in the Eastern states, usually east of the Rocky Mountains, they will migrate to Mexico and hibernate in oyamel fir trees. If they live west of the Rocky Mountains, they will hibernate in and around Pacific Grove, California in eucalyptus trees. Monarch butterflies use the very same trees each and every year when they migrate, which seems odd because they aren’t the same butterflies that were there last year. These are the new fourth generation of butterflies, so how do they know which trees are the right ones to hibernate in? Monarch butterflies are the only insect that migrates to a warmer climate that is 2,500 miles away each year. I was thrilled to grab some eucalyptus leaves... those monarchs have good taste.
Classes began this afternoon and there was a great deal of expectancy in the air.
Trollies rattled over the paved pathways, machines, boxes of supplies and fabric stashes made their way into classrooms of all description. We are almost on the beach, I'm in heaven.
But right now I need to sleep.