Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spanish Revival...My Daughter's House

My oldest daughter, Camille, comes late to home ownership.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay area where real estate prices cause folks to gasp in dismay!  This month, after several years of saving for a down payment, she and her husband purchased this house...
 It is tiny!  Camille, however is rigorous in editing her possessions, and a design expert, so I am looking forward to seeing what she does with this Spanish Revival house.  I am thinking perhaps French doors and a balcony over the garage to expand the small master bedroom?  A little one like these...

Photo via
Photo Via

Or Camillle and David could address the lack of closets by adding an extension over the entire garage.  Sort of like this...
Excuse my messy drawing.  My architect son-in-law, Tim, will roll his eyes when he sees this!
Before photo in case you have forgotten.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Open Studio

This past twelve months have been difficult with the loss of my mother, Rose Lee, my sister-in-law, Linda, and my best friend and sister, Rosalind.  I have been blogging only sporadically since my sister's death in June, and I took some time this week to reflect on why that was so.  I realized that I loved my best follower, Rosalind, and without her to read (and frequently correct!) my blogs, some of the fun went out of the whole process.  I do, however, miss blogging.  Our summer travels are behind us, and I am spending more time indoors now that the garden needs so much less attention, so here I am again, writing posts.

On Mondays, I hold an open studio.  Which means to me, that I don't show folks my new work, but encourage them to bring their own and spend some time painting on the mountainside.  If someone is struggling, I give them a little help.  

In the process, I paint as well, even if I am sad, or tired, or discouraged.  

I am getting some work done again.  This is good for my spirits and good for my ministry.  I donate the proceeds of all the sales of my work to the youth programs at St. Mark's.  I am open to donating pieces to other favorite causes of friends as well.  The only pieces that I keep are the ones that I am not pleased with and I keep them as reminders of what not to do!  My children have been sworn to clean out the studio and burn all unsigned work should I die without having done it myself! 

So here are some things I am working on now.
Please note that none of these watercolors are finished, so please don't pin or share them.  Constructive criticism is always appreciated, however, so comments below are encouraged! 

And here are some of the artists who paint on Mondays with me.
Things get a little messy!

Saturday, November 2, 2013


If you do not live in a community with a lot of Mexican immigrants, you may be unfamiliar with the word "ofrenda" which means "offering" in Spanish.  In New Mexico, we have a large population of Hispanic people, some of whom came recently from Mexico, but most of whom are descended from the Spanish explorers who came to New Mexico in 1540 and only briefly stopped over in Mexico.  So it is not surprising that even with living in New Mexico since I was a teenager, I was ignorant of this Mexican custom of creating altars or "ofrendas" for Dia De Los Muertos. That is until two years ago when Fr. Christopher brought this custom to St. Mark's.  What a fascinating blend of cultural and spiritual traditions and how fun to search the internet for information about these traditions.

Here are some images of ofrendas from the internet...
Image Via
Image Via
And a link to my post about last year's ofrenda at St. Mark's here

This is my second year to help with the design of the ofrenda at St. Mark's for All Saint's Day.  Some lessons learned....

1.  Don't haul all your candlesticks to the church.  The air conditioning means wax all over the tablecloths!  Use candles enclosed in glass.

2.  Encourage folks to bring in mementos as well as photos for a more interesting altar.

3. Choose a color scheme so that there is not so much going on visually that it detracts from the important photos of loved ones.

4.  Realize that your carefully composed vignettes may be disturbed as more mementos arrive.  Take a deep breath and give thanks that this altar has deep meaning to folks who may have just begun their grieving process.

To help decorate this year, I had our Sunday school classes make various items for the ofrenda.  The ever popular sugar skulls were made by the Rite-13 class and the Seasons class.  

Kids in Joy Jungle drew skull designs.  The Seasons class made skull prints, and the Journey to Adulthood class made paper flowers.  And just for fun I made a little vignette of a miniature mariachi band 

which I blogged about here

These all came together to create...
Some of the many photos brought in by parishioners.
My parents Russell O. Womack and Rose Lee Stewart shortly before they met.
My mother, Rose Lee Stewart Womack to the left  and my sister, Rosalind Womack-Cotter (wedding photo) to the right.  The small statue is one Rosalind and I bought for our mother several years before her death, because of her incredible sense of humor.  Not visible in the photo is a brochure from Williamsburg Foundation which Rosalind and her husband supported.
Norm's family.  The dolls are from his sister Linda Gaume Jaramillo's extensive collection.  Linda is in the turquoise dress in the small photo to the left  Her parents, Dorothy and the Rev. Amos Gaume photos are at the rear.  The photo is the doll's lap shows Linda with her godfather, the Reverend Paul Saunders who was a priest in our Diocese for many years and helped start the prestigious Academy in Albuquerque.  Fr. Paul served as the Academy's second headmaster from 1960 to 1964.  The glass heart symbolizes the position that Linda held as the heart of our family and was used at her memorial service.
Even the sunsets here in October are getting into the colorful flamboyant mode...
Typical scene in New Mexico...sun and rain together!