Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

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Picturesque Northern New Mexico

Here are a few of my favorite shots from Santa Fe and surrounding areas.

The views from our hotel room at the Inn & Spa at Loretto (Santa Fe):

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White Rock Overlook (Los Alamos)

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Bandelier National Monument (Los Alamos)

In Bandelier Monument you can take a self-guided tour of extensive ancestral pueblo ruins.  Ancestral pueblo groups occupied the Bandelier area for more than 400 years.

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The Rio Grande Gorge (near Taos)



My Bad Hair Day

Last night at our Bolton Artisans Guild meeting, Laura showed us how to do needle felting and then let us try our hand at it.

This is what happens when my polymer clay hands meet needle felting tools: My Bad Hair Day.


The hairy strands alongside the nose were originally a Fu Man Chu styled mustache but Pippin (our cat) rearranged things a little.

Sculpture in needle felting requires a bit more planning (obviously).  The art of needle felting, however, is quite meditative and the sound of the needle repetitively poking into the wool was oddly soothing.

I enjoyed the process though I think it will take a little more work on my part before it becomes incorporated into my art.  In the meantime, you can enjoy Laura’s wonderful needle felt sculpture here.


Look for the Lesson


The universe tells you what you need to focus on.  It gives you little nudges.  If you’ve learned to recognize those signals, then you quickly catch whatever in your life is not in balance.  But most of us don’t know how to recognize the little nudges the universe gives us, so then we get a stronger poke.  Eventually, we get slapped across the face or knocked down.  And some people have to really hit bottom before they are willing to look at the necessity of change and the possibility of growth.

Try to cultivate the attitude that the problems that come into your life really are gifts from your own soul trying to call your attention to the things in your life that are not in balance.  Then life is less traumatic.  You can immediately look at a problem and ask,

“What do I need  to learn here?”

-Shakti Gawain


Silence the Ding

I’m busy working away in the studio in preparation for the Paradise City Art Festival.  In order to keep myself from being too distracted by outside noises I instituted one new habit this week that has made a major difference in my ability to get work done.

I silenced the ding (i.e. the bell) on my email.

What a difference this makes in my productivity.  I’d never thought about silencing the email ding before.  Bruce Baker mentioned it in his interview with Allison Lee on Craftcast.  Then I read about doing this in an article in the United Airlines magazine Hemispheres.

Talk about having a Homer Simpson “Doi” moment.

With the computer living in my studio, the email ding was just part of the environmental noise.  I just didn’t realize how very distracting it was to me, even when there is music playing in the background.

So yesterday off went the ding. 

At first I missed the little bugger.  I could still hear him in my head “Hey, I’m here, Ding, come read your email.”  But today has been pure bliss. 


Return to Home

After a glorious week of just “being” in Santa Fe, we returned home last night around 9:30pm.  I can’t recall being in Logan Airport and witnessing such a quiet environment.  There were no more outgoing flights on United (at least in our part of the terminal.)  There were no vendors selling their wares, except for the Dunkin Donuts across from baggage claim.  I talked with a lovely lady there; she was from Morocco.   We were away from home for a week and that means a nearly empty refrigerator will greet us.  I bought a couple muffins for Sunday breakfast.  The lovely lady from Morocco worked the counter.  She told me DD is open 24 hours…because people really like their DD coffee.  I told her I didn’t drink coffee but love a good cup of tea.  She told me I must try Moroccan tea; she highly recommended it.

Returning home from vacation can be a mixed blessing.  After some vacations, I can’t wait to get home (ask me about our trip to Whistler, BC.)  At other times, I wish the vacation would continue.  Or that I could at least bottle it into a nice little container and keep it with me forever.

Santa Fe was one of those vacations.  When we were preparing to leave Santa Fe on Saturday I had this nagging feeling that I was missing something.  That I was leaving something behind.  As strange as it may sound, I think I left a little bit of myself in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe has a population of 68,000 which includes 5,500 artists and 300 galleries.  The vibe is pretty laid-back and people are quite friendly.  The sky is forever blue.

The energy in Santa Fe is interesting; a mix of creativity and spirituality, a smattering of politics and a rich history that includes Spain, Mexico, Native Americans, the French, Christians and Jews.  You see art on almost every corner.  And the food is not only regional (Southwest and Mexican) but Indian, Thai, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and traditional American.

And the scenery.  There are wide open vistas, mountains, and deep gorges.  Adobe style homes dot the land.  And that endless blue sky.  Apparently New Mexico is a prime location for painters because of the perfect light.



Santa Fe is a mecca for artists.  It ranks right up there with New York and Chicago.  Of course, with 5,500 artists in one area, the competition is bound to be strong and I’m sure some of the waitstaff we met were artists trying to make ends meet.  However, the inspiration is endless and my head is full of ideas.

I will need to remember this vacation over the next few weeks as I gear up for the Paradise City Arts Festival, a couple of small shows, and fill wholesale orders.  I will write more about Santa Fe when I can in the upcoming weeks.  There is much inspiration to share.  And if words can’t be formed, perhaps a picture will suffice.


Art Date: Santa Fe

We’re spending this week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, soaking up the sun, the outstanding art, and the excellent food. I probably won’t post much until we return home. Suffice to say that the art is very inspiring, the food is wonderful, the people are friendly, and the surroundings are stunning.

One of the coolest things we saw today was a double full rainbow on our way back to Santa Fe from Jemez Springs.

Yes, we’ve gone over the rainbow and yes, Toto, this isn’t Kansas.


Chakra Energy Angels-Heart Chakra

Along with challenging myself to create some larger art dolls, I’ve also wanted to create art dolls that I could potentially introduce to the wholesale market.  For me this typically means something that you can reproduce, possibly in production format, that is also relatively affordable.

I’ve also found myself inspired by the lovely work of both Laurie Mika and Tejae Floyde while thinking about the creation of smaller art dolls when the idea hit me.

In the past I tried to make an art doll using a removeable interior solid mold much like you use to create rock purses or vessels.  I like the surface work one can put onto these pieces but wrangling with the mold can be frustrating.  My desire was to keep this relatively simple.

Here is what I came up with:


Chakra Energy Angels.  This first one is for the heart chakra.  She is my personal chakra energy angel. 

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Fire Theme Art Exhibit: Bolton Artisans Guild

One of the great aspects of participating in an art exhibit as a guild is seeing your fellow artisans think outside of the box; creating pieces of art that may be different from their usual work.  We all drew inspiration from different areas for this exhibit.  Here are the pieces created by some of the Bolton Artisan Guild members for the Fire Theme Art Exhibit.


Brenda was inspired by the tiny dancing flames from a fire in her fireplace and recreated them in a necklace of twisted gold wire and Swarovski crystals.


Chris and Carol were also inspired by the flames of fire.  Chris recreated the multiple colors of flames in a peyote stitch ring.  Carol chose various shades and tones of red to replicate flames in bracelets.  There are 750 beads in her bracelets!

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Gayle used fire itself to create her pieces.  The tiles and vessel were placed in a pit, burned for several hours, and then left to smolder for at least one full day.  Scrubbing and hand rubbing enhance the flame effect.


Laura was inspired by a volcanic mountain which she created from natural and dyed wool fibers and needle felted into its volcanic shape and molten lava flow.


Peter drew inspiration from wood in his workshop to create a volcano inspired table.  The bottom is figured reddish wood shaped into a pyramid and is topped with figured maple with a live edge that appears to imitate molten lava.


Sheryl’s piece was influenced by her appreciation for the solar system and her respect for the sun’s heat and power.  Titled Solar Flare, Sheryl’s necklace is handcrafted from sterling and fine silver, 24k gold, and copper.


Verjik’s watercolor painting was inspired by a childhood memory of Chahrshanbeh Suri, the festival of fire, where children dance around and jump over the flames to stop the sun from setting.


Amy drew inspiration from the element fire to create her Fire Spirit Messenger.  The element fire represents Mars (“the red planet”), the south, summer, and governs heat.  Fire also represents creativity and passion.  A larger image of the Fire Spirit Messenger can be seen here.