Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Elf Stockings

I managed to get the heck out of dodge (dodge being Albuquerque) before a major snow storm hit. I made it to Nogales, AZ and am snuggling into my parents' house. I was able to unpack the stockings I made and hang them from the mantel. These are rather large elf stockings...

Hope your holiday preparations are going well!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Move over Santa...

...there is a new elf in town.

Just joking!

I transformed my apartment into a holiday workshop right after Halloween. I have been crafting felt flowers (used as gift wrapping above), making gifts, and wrapping everything. I decided to make everyone's gifts this year, because handmade is just more sentimental, and affordable! Since I can't share photos of the majority of items I made, for fear of spoiling someone's Christmas... I am going to share one, because my Dad doesn't read my blog, at least I don't think he does... If you do, Dad, sorry... hope you like your gift!

I took a tutorial from Women's Day Magazine for a glasses case and altered it just a bit. I added lining and left it rectangular. The lining is my favorite. I don't remember when I got this Loteria (Mexican card game similar to bingo) print fabric, or where I got it, but it's one of my favorite fabrics to use.

I have two more gifts to finish, and then I am officially ready for Christmas. I am hoping to finish the last two gifts today. My quality control manager, Douglas, seems to be exhausted from all this gift making.

Off to the crafting table!

Until next time...


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December to Remember, Part I

Without planning it... Nick and I have turned this month into a December to Remember. There have been various holiday events around the city recently, and somehow, Nick and I have managed to catch the majority of what's been going on.

A holiday stroll in Old Town Albuquerque, with the tree lighting ceremony and various Folklorico dances.

I love the movement and colors of the skirts. I think I need one of those skirts...

We caught what we could of the Parade of Lights... the snow hindered our desire to stay outside.

We caught a hay ride at the Rio Grande Community Farm to see the Sandhill Cranes migrate south from Canada.

We topped all this off with a Holiday Mariachi Espectacular. (I was scolded by the usher for trying to take photos, so all I got were these two cell phone images).

Not too shabby for the first two weeks of December... I wonder what we'll do this weekend?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Glitter Addiction

In order to celebrate that my prospectus is finished and I am ready to defend it before my committee, I decided I needed some Jeffrey Campbell Glitter Lita Platform Boots. The UPS man (who always knows ;) what gifts to bring me) delivered them on Monday and I realized, I have a bit of an obsession/addiction with glitter shoes...

I have some sequin skull ones... leopard ones with glitter embedded in the print... and some gold glitter flats...

Clearly, I enjoy the sparkle.

Have a good Friday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Small Celebrations

This week has been one where everything has fallen into place. I have a fellowship with the University of New Mexico Libraries and one of my major projects this year has been to put together an exhibit focusing on the U.S.-Mexico Border. I was able to dry mount all of the images for the exhibit, so I can install it next week. I even found some items that were exhibit-ready in our collection.

Having been raised on the border, in Nogales, Arizona-Sonora, one of the major reasons I decided to obtain a PhD, is to contribute to the amount of written history that is lacking about my hometown. Which is the source of the other small celebration this week, because I finished putting together my dissertation prospectus/proposal and the chair of my committee approved it to go out to the rest of my committee.

I was excited about the images for our collection, so I decided to share them with you. These are really just a few, because I have about 30 images total. This image is from an artist collective in Oaxaca called ASARO (Asamblea de Artistas Revolucionarios de Oaxaca), and they have a few prints that focus on the unsolved murders of women in Juarez. Their work offers a critique of the Mexican Government, and the pieces related to the women of Juarez are asking for an investigation into who committed the more than 400 murders since 1993... some say there have been close to 1,000 murders, but I am uncertain of the exact number... 1 is too many, in my mind.

This is a photograph of a migrant making his way to cross the border on the Northern Mexican Frontier by Elsa Medina.

When I stumbled upon an image of Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution, I knew our exhibit was going to be great.

I am still debating whether or not to include this photo, because I haven't been able to find the details of its creator and such. I love it, though. I don't know if it's all the sombreros that I love, or the shadows, or what... but I just love looking at this image.

Those are my small celebrations this week... the exhibit is almost ready and my prospectus is finished and ready to be approved... Now, if only I could apply enough effort to finish sewing up Christmas gifts, then this week would be perfect.

Until next time.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Some Holiday Spirit

The one thing I have experienced while living in Albuquerque, is that fall really is beautiful, but I seem to have avoided paying attention because I didn't want to believe it was going to get cold again. In Tucson and Nogales, it's either hot or cardigan chilly, so to have moved to the high desert of Northern New Mexico... well, it's been difficult to adjust. I had been in denial that Fall had arrived, but clearly Winter is already knocking at our door. It's been cold and for a girl from the low desert of Southern Arizona, I never take to the cold well. The change in the environment that Fall brings, is very beautiful though. Some of these colors are simply gorgeous.

My neighbor's wall has this ivy crawling all over it, and I couldn't help but notice the variation in the colors. It boggles my mind that this just happens naturally... it's so beautiful!

In the spirit of the change in weather and the joining in with the holiday decorating going on around the neighborhood, I decided to get to work on some of my holiday decorations. I found this fantastic tutorial over at Purl for a felt wreath (the photo below is theirs).

When it comes to crafting, I love to work with felt. I always have, and probably always will. Which means that I always have felt in my craft closet. I went through my fabrics and found that I had enough felt in red, white, and green to make my own version of the Purl wreath.

I have been cutting flowers and making textured centers for them throughout the week and then used the weekend to stitch the flowers onto the back panel.

I used pins to hold the flowers and centers in place while I stitched them onto the back panel.

I was so excited when I finished, but then... I didn't know where to hang the wreath... so, now it's hanging on the wall behind my desk. I wish I had a fire place with a mantel to hang it on, but I don't :(

Until I find an appropriate place, this is where it shall stay.

Now I have to work on the stockings I am making for the fam. We moved when I was in high school and we seem to have "lost" these awesome stockings with designs in sequins. We haven't had great stockings since and I have taken on the task of making us new ones. I am going to accent each stocking with a felt mum, which I also worked on throughout the week.

I found the tutorial over at Everyday Art. Mine aren't coming out quite so lovely as the one in the tutorial, but I really like the handmade quality of mine.

I have a few more flowers to work on and then I can sew up the stockings. I'll share photos of the fabric later, but I found some wonderful fabric with vintage holiday and santa images on them.

Until next time!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Vegan Option

I never thought that I would be giving up eating some of the things I used to, but I credit my friend, Nick, for teaching me just how good vegan food can be. The stress of being a grad student doesn't translate to healthy eating... at least not for me. Nick offered me a vegan pick me up/comfort food in the form of chickpea patties with mashed potatoes and a corn gravy. The meal was so delicious and I felt good after I ate it. Because I liked that meal so much, Nick asked me to join him for lunch a few days later, at a vegan place near campus, Mint Tulip.

The place was absolutely charming. I ordered mint limeade and I couldn't get enough! Nick ordered some carrot juice that I didn't think I would like, but it was delicious, too!

I ordered a buffalo wrap and Nick ordered a burger. I wasn't too familiar with Gardein, but Nick said that's what was in my wrap. It was delicious and with the way the ladies at Mint Tulip fixed it up... it was packed with flavor.

Nick's burger had a beet patty... it was such a lovely color of pink/magenta.

Clearly, I enjoyed my meal...

When I got home, I decided to try making mint limeade...

I made a mint infused syrup, but instead of sugar, I used agave nectar.

I thought it was the perfect blend of sweet and tart.

I may not be a complete vegan, but I definitely took some things out of my diet that were bringing me down... no more dairy and I still eat chicken. I guess that makes me more of a flexitarian than anything. We'll see how this whole vegan thing develops for me.

Until next time!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feliz Día de los Muertos

I am happy to celebrate Día de los Muertos today. I send embraces to those of you celebrating the lives of those who have crossed into the spirit world.

For those of you who know me well, you know I wear my skull rings on a daily basis. I do this because I believe in the beauty of death. Many people always stop me and say, "Kristen, why the skulls?," and my honest response is that death is just as important as birth.

People have come to know me as the girl with the skull rings... My picture was in the newspaper, not of my face, but of my rings. I would almost prefer people consider the fact that I wear these skull rings on a daily basis because of the beauty of life and death, than remember my name.

I wear skull jewelry quite often, so for me, today is unlike any other day. I honor those people who I have lost in the world of the living, and look forward to encountering them again once I cross into the spirit world. I understand that el Día de los Muertos has become popular in the U.S., but I am hoping it doesn't lose it's real meaning and importance. It isn't just about skulls and flowers... it's about honoring our ancestors and elders who have crossed into the spirit world by making their favorite food and drink, and sprinkling the cempazuchitl or zenpasuchitl (marigolds), from the grave to our homes in order for the spirits of loved ones to find their way back home.

Te deseo un feliz día de los muertos y mando un abrazo fuerte a todos.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

My darling friend, Nick, and I spent some time over the weekend carving pumpkins for Halloween! I decided to share some of our new pumpkin head friends with you.

Pumpkin guts!

Jack O'lanterns.

The indifferent pumpkin.

Nick's fairytale pumpkin as Jack O'Lantern.

Hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!