Tuesday, September 25



[ All photos taken with my iPhone + the Hipstamatic app]

Don't miss the fantastic Words To Shoot By this week, featuring 16 guest contributions as well as many of the usual folks.

And now, after thinking about this post, I have this song stuck in my head.

Saturday, September 22

What happens when you are a film hoarder.

Sometimes you find film in the back of the fridge that you've had for a really long time. Not because  you didn't want to use it, but maybe you buy too much film and then get distracted by the newer films and forget about the stuff in the back of the fridge.

Then you decide to take said film on a day trip and get mildly bummed when the first shot comes out reddish and dark. But then you realize that the film is dated 06/2010 and  so it's not really a surprise that it's funky. Plus it is really sunny and hot. And it's your own fault for buying so much damn film and then not using it in a timely fashion.

You shoot a couple more photos on the day trip and they all come out reddish and dark so you give up on that film and switch to your other cameras.

When you get home, you decide to just shoot off the rest of the pack so you can use something else in that camera. You decide to turn the flash on just to see what happens. The image comes out slightly lighter so you shoot the rest of the pack with the flash and some of the photos come out okay and some don't.

You don't really care. You have more film because you are a film hoarder. And funky isn't always a bad thing. The reddish dark images start to grow on you anyway so you decide to scan the best of the lot and post them. Because that's what you do.

St. Thomas Church





[Polaroid Spectra + PZ600 Silver Shade film, expired 06/2010]

The last shot you take is a self-portrait and you make a funny face because you don't want the flash in your eyes and you figure it's going to come out reddish and dark anyway. Of course it's comes out better than all the rest.

Thursday, September 20

Abiquiu and Pedernal Peak.

In my birthday post, I mentioned taking a road trip north to Abiquiu and Abiquiu Lake. These are some of the photos that I took.

Pedernal Peak
[Polaroid SLR 680SE + PX680 V4C Test Film (Color Protection Formula)]

View of Pedernal Peak, also known as Georgia O'Keeffe's favorite mountain in New Mexico. This mountain is actually one of the main reasons I wanted to drive out this way. I've always loved Georgia O'Keeffe and I really wanted to get some photos of "her" mountain. She had a view of this flat topped mountain from her Ghost Ranch home and painted it frequently. I also just read that some of her ashes were spread atop of it, but I have no idea if that's actually true. Perhaps next year we'll try to hike it.

[Polaroid SLR 680SE + PX680 Cool]

Will standing next to the tree we both liked at Abiquiu Dam, overlooking Abiquiu Lake. We wanted to get closer to the water but couldn't quite figure out how on this day. It's a beautiful lake and looked quite inviting considering the temperature was in the mid-90s that day!

St. Thomas Church
[Polaroid SLR 680SE + PX680 V4C Test Film (Color Protection Formula)]

St. Thomas Church in Abiquiu. Abiquiu is a tiny, tiny village. Georgia O' Keeffe lived there as well until she found her home at Ghost Ranch. There's not much to it, although I recently found out there is a lavender farm out there that would be fun to visit. We drove around the dirt roads for awhile, but I kind of felt like we intruding on the peacefulness that the residents probably seek out there.

It was a good trip and I was really excited about Pedernal Peak. We hope to continue exploring more of northern New Mexico.

Friday, September 14

Mad Orange Sale!

Right now everything in the shop is 30% off. Just use coupon code FALL12 at check out.

I'm not going to be making felted purses anymore so this is the last of the bunch. Get them while you can!

Please visit the shop here.

Wednesday, September 12


[Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 SE + PX70 V4B Opacification Test Film]

At the Santo Niño Museum, Chimayo, NM.

Tuesday, September 11


[All shots taken with my iPhone]

Last month I took a couple trips out to Chimayo to visit El Santuario de Chimayo to take photographs. It's about 30 minutes north of Santa Fe so it's an easy afternoon drive for me to do solo.

It's also a fascinating place. The Santuario is built on a spot that is believed to be very sacred. Around Easter time, people walk there from all over New Mexico, some carrying crucifixes or other offerings. And thousands of people visit every year to take away some of the "holy dirt" that is found in a little room off of the main chapel.  People believe the holy dirt to have healing powers. Some rub it on their bodies, some mix it in with water to drink and some just take it home to put on an altar. I actually have a little vial of it that I put in my suitcase every time we travel.

In another larger room off the main chapel, there are crutches and canes that have been left because they are no longer needed by the injured. People also light candles and leave other offerings, pictures or notes written on a scrap of paper. In this room, there is also a statue of the Santo Niño de Atocha. People leave offerings of shoes for him because he is said to roam the countryside at night so his shoes are always worn out.

I don't have any photographs of the main chapel or these other rooms because photography is not allowed inside and I choose to respect that rule. But you can take photos pretty much every where else around there. And there is a lot to see. Starting from the parking lot, there are crosses all over the fences, sticks tied together, popsicle sticks and flowers woven all around (as you can see in some of the above photos). Then there are quite a few smaller altars leading up the pathway to the Santuario.

Chimayo crosses
[Polaroid Automatic 250 + expired Polaroid ID-UV instant film]

[Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 SE + PX70 V4B Opacification Test Film]


Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe
[Polaroid SX-70 w/ ND filter + PX680 Gold Frame film]

El Santuario de Chimayo
[Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 SE + PX100 Cool instant film]

Chimayo and the Santuario are also places of family history for me. My mother's maternal grandparents (my great-grandparents) settled in Chimayo way back when and my mom spent quite a bit of time there as a child.

Great grandparents - c.1937

My great-grandfather was the first Postmaster there and as such, he and my great-grandmother are buried in the courtyard of the Santuario.


[Polaroid Automatic 250 + Fuji FP-100B film]

I'm not religious at all, but I like it out there. As long as there aren't too many tourists, it's rather peaceful. And I love all the religious icons and altars and candles and everything. It's really interesting to me.

I hope to get back out there again soon, this time with Will so he can help me lug my cameras around and also so we can have lunch at the restaurant out there.

I'm quite pleased with many of the instant shots I took out there so I'll be sharing more, if not here, then for sure on Flickr. You can see the whole set here. It includes digital photos taken a long time ago in addition to the more recent shots.

Monday, September 10

The birthday.

[Polaroid SLR680SE camera + PX680 V4C Opacification Test Film]

So the birthday has come and gone and now I am 42 although for some reason, I still continue to be convinced that I am 43.

A few days before the birthday week, I was feeling a lot of melancholy. I knew I wasn't concerned about being another year older. I mean, what's 42? Not a big deal. So I finally decided it was coming from the lack of travel. We typically take a big road trip this time of year and we're not doing anything this year. And that makes my heart hurt just a little big. We need the freedom of the road, the escape from our daily routines. And some time with good friends. But finances are tight and there is some other stuff going on that just won't allow travel right now. Or even plans of travel. We're trying to make due by being a little better about taking day trips around the area.

The melancholy passed and I rather enjoyed the days leading up to my birthday.

Birthday treat #1: My husband took my vintage Raleigh cruiser to the bike shop for me because that's the sort of thing that I don't really like to do. It's a sweet bike, but I rarely ride it because the brakes are crap. But after 2 years of not riding it, I pulled it out this summer and rode it some on the bike trail where I don't have to worry about cars so much. And I decided I would like to ride it around town this fall. They put on new brake pads and cables and it actually stops properly now. Very exciting! (And I finally bought a bike helmet too.)

Birthday treat #2: I bought myself a Mint Flash, something that I've been wanting for awhile. It's a bit tricky, but in the long run, I think it'll be a nice addition to my Impossible collection.

Birthday treat #3: I made it to the top of the Aspen Vista trail. I died just a little bit, but I made it. (It's an almost 12 mile trek roundtrip, starting at 10,000 feet and going up to 12,003 feet.) And after I came home and lay down on the floor for a few minutes, showered, ate and took a quick nap, I actually felt a little like a bad ass.

Birthday treat #4: We actually made it out dancing. We almost didn't because it fell on the same day as my 12-mile run and I thought I would be too tired. But in the end, I preserved and we walked downtown to the Rouge Cat for the premiere of 80s night. It was a lot of fun (even though Will only danced with me two or three times), and we had a nice chat with the super cool bouncer lady. She made my eyes pop out with stories about seeing Led Zeppelin in 1969 and the early 70's. And meeting Patti Smith!!

Birthday treat #5: Friday evening margaritas and New Mexican food at our latest favorite place to go, La Choza.

Birthday treat #6: A short day trip out to Abiquiu and Abiquiu Lake so I could take photos and say hello to Pedernal Peak, Georgia O'Keeffe's favorite mountain.

As for my actual birthday, I kind of goofed up by not planning much of anything besides dinner out. I had a lovely run in the morning but ended up spending the day feeling rather restless. For dinner, we went to Geronimo because I've been wanting to try the elk tenderloin that is one of their specialities. And we'd never been there before so we figured we should try it. The food was wonderful, but the overall dining experience left us feeling rather dissatisfied. I shall try to make another post just about the food and the experience. In lieu of dessert, we headed over to our neighborhood pub and had a beer to cap off the evening. That too was a bit disappointing because none of the folks we like to see were there, and, well, we really didn't need the beer!

All in all it was a nice time and I feel good about my life. It's not anywhere near perfect. (Um, hello, where's that part-time job that I need?!) But it's okay. I am content. And yes, sometimes I worry that I am mistaking contentment with stagnancy, but you know what? After so many years of beating myself up for one thing or another, of disliking myself, of being stuck in a mire of depression and/or anxiety, I think I am going to go with content. I am content. And I like who I am, even the not so likable bits. And I am enjoying myself and the life that I have right now. Maybe I am just getting by financially, but that's okay, money has never been the end all for me. I have time to do what I want to do, to explore new things, to have adventures and I think it's pretty awesome. Because this time, this time might not always be available to me. So I am going to love it while I have it. And it's really quite a blessing to get up in the morning and feel good (more often than not). I guess if there's anything I can say about the last year or so, it's that I have learned a lot about acceptance and compassion.

Plus I have a really wonderful husband! But that I already knew.

Now if only I could learn how to write more eloquently...