This is where I have been....
And where I will always be.
This bag has been extremely satisfying to create. I have taken it from a freshly hunted (for meat) Arizona Mule Deer hide, to a piece of buttery soft buckskin, to a delicately finished functional art piece. First, there were many hours scraping the hide in the cool autumn sunshine, then the tanning, stretching, and smoking of it. Then visions of what I might fashion from it. To be honest, I kept the perfect buckskin for YEARS before I would cut into it. I thought...this just takes too much work to cut up. But knowing that I can tan as many hides as I need, I decided to finally honor the mule deer's remains by creating something useful with its precious hide. Hours upon hours in front of the wood-burning stove (sewing, beading, attaching, dreaming) to create a finished piece of bright beauty. I always use the most natural, low-tech techniques and materials in my work. Brain-tanned, cottonwood smoked, hand-stitched and beaded. The antler buttons are from naturally collected antler sheds found here in Arizona.
May you always have bright, brave beauty in your life!
xoxo au revoir, mes amis
It's been like this... mixed sun and overcast.... rain and snow dustings.... then sun again. Cold one day, then t-shirts the next. Bi-polar weather is always a surprise. 25 years of living in and loving this weather, but I must admit, I would really love some snow right now.
Recently, I walked for a few hours along the upper Verde River canyon rim. It was downright balmy! Saw a few hares, a red tailed hawk, many rascally ravens, and a barn owl swooping silently up from the canyon bottom. Otherwise, not a soul to be heard or seen.
Jackass Butte in the distance. Moki and I head down one of the many "Iron Gate" trails to the bottom of the canyon. There are a bunch of basalt boulders down here with words and pics from days past (and present.) Throughout time, people have added theirs to the mix. I would love to have seen this before modern peeps scraped their names into it.
I didn't touch the Petroglyphs, but wanted to make a quick (barefoot) move to the top of the right side. I've been visiting this boulder for twenty-five years, rock-climbing the canyon walls surrounding it and swimming in the pools. We don't climb where the Petros are, or where the birds (owls, falcons, ravens) are nesting. I sat atop this ancient boulder and watched ravens flying in and out of the canyon, black specs against and on-again/off-again deep blue sky.The back side of the Petroglyph boulder, with the "Shadowlands" side of the canyon seen behind.
It's that time.
December 15th, 2014 was a big day for me. BIG. I don't take 50 lightly, but I'm an optimist, super healthy, and I LOVE my life. So, here's to 50 more years on this incredible Planet! 3rd Annual Birthday Giveaway. Hint: what's around my neck....
I'll be picking the winner on January 1st. Three ways to win: #1 leave a comment here and a way to contact/email you. Or, #2 go to my Mountain Found Facebook page, follow me and leave your name/contact email there. Or, #3 Follow me on Mountain Found Instagram and leave name/instagram name in comments.
We had our first snow the other night. Early November in Arizona. Who would of thought, right? But here in the high mountains, it can snow as early as October, and as late as Memorial Day (late May.) I love this place. We sleep outside in very cold temps, snuggled into our winter down bags, waking to frost and frozen creeks. The critters all emerge as soon as the high desert sun hits them, and before long, temperatures rise from the night-time 20's to the 70's.
The horses break the ice at the creek to get water in the morning, then by afternoon, they are rolling in it to cool off. These are special days. Before we begin spending hours of every day next to the wood-stove, we get outside as much as we can. Walk and walk until the dark settles in. Run. Climb. Collect. Create.
Soak up the Autumn Magic.
While quiet, I've been a busy little art maker. My Jewelry and photographic art are now being shown down at the local coop: Arts Prescott Gallery in Downtown Prescott, AZ. If you happen upon our little (not so anymore) town, stop in to 134 s. Montezuma st., smack dab center of the Historic Whiskey Row. There are some amazing art makers down there!
I just added these babies to the SHOP, and sold the first pair in 30 minutes. So I promptly added another pair and will finish five more tomorrow. The Western Juniper slices are a nice rich red color: so sweet. They speak to my tree girl heart. I would live inside a tree if I could.
This is what I said about them in the listing:
".... the simplicity of the Tree Girl earrings. Deep rich reddish Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) slices finished with Tung oil and buffed with Beeswax. Inlaid with Kingman, Arizona Turquoise. Hand shaped and lightly textured sterling silver ear wires topped with copper beads."
Climb a tree. Build a fort. Honor the forest. Be brave. Roam far.
And by the way this is a great book: Tree Girl by T.A Barron about a girl who is part tree. I am that girl: who is mothered by the wild Willow; Who is torn between the human world and the world of her wild ancestors.
Are you a Tree Girl?
We brought a friend to the horse pasture and sat drinking tea on the petroglyph rocks. Here you can see the valley where Walnut Creek (coming off Juniper Mesa on the right) joins Apache Creek (coming out of Apache Creek Wilderness on the left.) The horses have a wild and rugged eighty acres to share with elk, deer, coyote, javelina, ringtail, bobcat, mountain lion and various other beauties.)
This is my land.
I don't own it, but it is mine all the same. My heart is here, with the horses and the creek and the mesa and all my wild friends: feathered and furred; hoofed and clawed.
*Kiva (right) and Avery (left) above the horse pasture
*Avery getting some Bunny sweetness
My daughter, Kiva, is now 13. She has known this land for nearly ten years of her life. Her beloved Bunny has been here with us nearly as long.
*6 year old Kiva with her beloved Bunny