Category Archives: Road Trip

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere!

ajsnursery1You know I am a gardening nut.

So I have seen nurseries, and I have seen flowers, but I have never seen a nursery or flowers like this.

It’s a new nursery in Durango called AJ’s and it alone would have been worth the trip.

Val and I found it on Thursday and Betsy and I stopped again as we headed out of town yesterday.

Both times I went to AJ’s, I was in less than a stellar mood because on both Thursday and Saturday mornings, the Inn’s wi-fi signal disappeared and I was unable to do many things that needed doing - including your blog posts.

Both times, when I went to AJ’s, I got happy.

How can you not?!?

All the customers in that place had a smile ear to ear – after they got over the initial jaw-dropping awe.

We told the folks who work there that they should have a recorder at the front door to catch the remarks as people come in.

Evidently, this new place is owned by people who know what they are doing. They owned a local nursery, which they sold 10 years ago, and there was a non-compete clause in the sale contract. The non-compete is now over and they are back with bells on – and absolutely fantastic low prices.

Huge baskets of cascading Illusion Begonia cost $22.95! BIG hanging baskets – $27.95 That was the tipping point for me!

And look at these Fuschia baskets! Yep – $27.95

ajsnursery3 You just have to take pictures. I took pictures of Betsy taking pictures – both with our iPads, of course . . .

ajsnursery2And then came the big challenge. Were all the flowers we bought going to fit in the van for the trip home?

ajsnursery4We opened all the doors and the tailgate.

We “stowed” all the seats in the floor.

We pushed and shoved and stacked and re-stacked . . .

And then slammed the doors and jumped in.

I am happy to report that Betsy and I and all those flowers made it back to Santa Fe unscathed.

Now to introduce them all to the garden!

Beautiful Colorado . . .

cottageprairespyThis post is coming to you from a cottage in a garden in an apple orchard in Durango, Colorado.

In fact, the door is open. Come on in.

It’s around 8am and the sun is shining, although it is a bit chilly.

There is a window seat in this cottage and this is how the sun is coming in through the trees and window shades . . .

windowseatI love the difference in color in the two windows.

Yesterday was an internet impossible day because the wi-fi here was under the weather, and when I drove into town, I forgot all about the computer and headed for the nurseries.

We lost our best nursery in Santa Fe a couple years ago, so I now make a yearly pilgrimage to Durango to get my bedding plants, and see my sister friend, Valerie, of course. There is a new nursery here that knocked my socks off, and Val’s. We spent most of the afternoon there. I  am going back and will try to get some photos.

My favorite flower is the Tuberous Begonia. Yes, I have a lot of favorite flowers, but that’s ok. There’s no maximum. Anyway, I literally could not breathe because this nursery had the biggest and most beautiful selection of Tuberous Begonia I have ever seen. Some of them now belong to me (grin).

The rest of this post is going to be photos, because I am trying not to think about anything but what is in the moment. All my decisions can wait til later.

Here is the view straight out from the porch . . .

viewfromporchand if you turn to the right . . .

viewtorightBetsy’s cottage is on the other side of that footbridge.

And if you turn to the left . . .


Ponds and streams are all over the property. That’s the main house where there are B&B rooms instead of cottages.

And if I just stay on my porch . . .

rockersonporchI could sit in a rocking chair and sketch in my journal – hmmm.

Yes – I think I will do that.

Scenery brought to you by the Apple Orchard Inn, Durango, Colorado.

Product Photography and a Road Trip . . .

chileearringsAs I mentioned, I used to do a lot of product photography for catalogs, brochures, etc. and I also used to act as art director on photo shoots when I worked in San Francisco.

Sets were elaborate, lighting took hours to get right, and shoots took all day. And that was only if the client was cooperating.

At one point, we specialized in jewelry because it was a “specialty” – really hard to get right – and my partner at that time was a really great jewelry photographer.

HOW things have changed.

I am creating our online Market for the gallery, and I have to make good photos of my jewelry.

I still have my professional studio lighting, tents, umbrellas, etc.

I even have a more modern digital lighting and light tent set-up.

But I’m not using any of it.

Last Saturday, my friend, Betsy, and I went to a few of the studios on the annual Art Tour in our village.

One visit was to see my friend, Sharon. Her new work is awesome and she had already sold seven pieces by lunchtime! Yay!

Our second stop was to visit Penny Truitt, another ceramic artist I really admire.

She does some amazing sculptures for a gallery on Canyon Road, but at her studio, she also had some great little tiles she does for fun, which were also affordable.

I got a set of three I will frame in a shadow box, and another that reminded me of local adobe ruins. I just thought that last one could hang out with me in my greenhouse studio, where I have other interesting ceramic things.

And that was a fortuitous decision, because as I sat there doing some jewelry photography – with ONLY indirect daylight and my iPad – my eyes landed on that last tile and I sat my chile earrings on it.

Wow. I loved that shot (top of the post).

So, I got those other tiles out (glad I haven’t framed them yet). and set some special Jasper bracelets on top of them . . .


bluemattejadeThis was such a perfect “set” for my jewelry!

NOTE: The greatest thing about this Jasper is its matte finish, which feels cool and smooth in a very unusual way. I’ve never felt anything like it, and they are hard to put down. I found a very limited supply of these in Tucson and can’t get any more until maybe next year (I hope!)

Anyway, it is truly incredible that you can now do beautiful photography this way – with just an iPad, some indirect daylight, and some artistic props. It looks just as good as the stuff that used to take us an entire day! If you had told me about this then, I would never have thought it possible. Goes to show you never know what can happen.

Betsy and I have rented a couple of cottages in a garden with duck ponds, in an apple orchard, outside Durango, CO, and we are leaving this morning for 4 days..

Sounds like a dream for art journaling, and we will also be spending time with my friend, Valerie, and her wonderful gallery.

Yes, I will be taking you along.



On the Road Again . . .


This has been such a busy year so far. That will teach me to try to simplify!

I missed my yearly trip to southern Arizona in February, and now that my Mom is recovered, and before the garden ties me down, I am taking off with a dear friend on a little Southwestern circle tour.

My friend, Valerie, owns a wonderful gallery in Durango, CO, called The Earthen Vessel.

There is nothing we love more than visiting other galleries, so we are going to go do that, and refuel our energy tanks at the same time.

But the photo above is not from The Earthen Vessel. It is from The Art Garden – my gallery.

Although we are not setting up for online sales at this time, it seems that everyone expects every business to have a website.

So, I created a one page, simple site to serve only as a show and tell. I would love to have your opinion.

If you lived locally, would this page entice you to come and visit the gallery?

I think the most interesting thing for some of you would be that I created everything on this site on my iPad – the logo, the photo collages, even the photos themselves – all iPad!

Art Journaling in Paradise

Sandy and I are both amazed at the response to this retreat. We are quickly closing in on full capacity. I think there are only five spaces left at this time. Seems like a wonderful group of folks and I am so excited.

I have added the link to the sidebar here so you can find it easily.

For those who have already registered, we will set up a Yahoo Group when I return so we can share info prior to the event.

Armchair Road Trip . . .

I don’t even know how I stumbled upon this, but I was happy when I did.

I guess some motorcyclists have been wearing helmet cams on their road trips, and posting the results on YouTube.

This one guy does such a great job that I have to share a sample. He adds great soundtracks and everything.

This video takes you on a 15 minute ride on one of the most beautiful scenic byways in the country – Highway 12 in Utah – from Bryce Canyon National Park to Boulder, Utah.

I have taken this drive myself and it is NOT one I would have the guts to do again. At one point, the road soars over a hogback (a road with no side railings and extreme drop offs on BOTH sides). This comes along at about 13 minutes into the video, but the experience is only a hint of what it really feels like! By the time I got to Boulder, and stopped in the first gallery I saw, my hair was standing on end, and the gal said “You must have just come over the hogback.” Yup.

This is a really excellent experience, so get a cuppa, and take 15 minutes for one of the most beautiful rides of a lifetime . . . hit the Full Screen mode for the best ride.


Now that I am really in the mood, it’s time to hit the road.

Although I am going to devote a LOT of my time to art journaling on this trip, I will also, try to share some of it with you!