Sunset, Santa Fe

Growing up, my parents style seemed to always be inspired by the southwest. Paintings of R.C. Gorman’s, turquoise jewelry (before it was trendy) Native American pottery, and the sounds of the Eagles in the background of my childhood. Not to say there wasn’t a strong “western” feel as well, and most certainly plenty of Patsy Cline & Johnny Cash. But my parents have a love for Santa Fe, therefore that love was passed down to us girls. 

This painting of R.C. Gorman’s hung in our house all of my childhood.

The summer OneCuteCowboy
and I met, we took a trip to Santa Fe with my parents. I often say it was that trip when I knew I loved him. We had so much fun walking the square, going in and out of the shops, learning of Santa Fe’s rich history, and visiting several historical churches and sites. It was such a fun trip, and I’ve been itching to go back ever since.

My mother-in-law has been wanting us to go to Indian Market, always the 3rd weekend of August, which usually falls around my birthday. This year we decided to go. She has a deep love for Native American culture and has been to the Indian Market several times. It was enormous! I don’t think Riley and I were quite prepared for how big of an event this was. I read that 120,000 extra people come into Santa Fe for this festival/market. It was people and booths everywhere! It was a bit overwhelming!

This wasn’t even 1/4 of the people and booths.

We walked by the different booths and poked our heads into different shops. One of our favorite places to stop by on the square is Native Jackets.   I ordered a custom jacket here for OneCuteCowboy our first Christmas together. The man that owns the shop is a connoisseur of Navajo rugs/blankets. He is chalk full of interesting information and has quite the collection of vintage and valuable rugs. He had an actual weaver at the shop demonstrating her craft.

The woman working at the loom is Master Weaver, Marie H. Yazzie, and her daughter Marilyn, is spinning wool. We sat and watched and talked to the owner for a good hour. He showed us a couple of rugs from the 1890’s and one rug that was $95,000! Gulp! It was interesting and fun to learn a few things about weaving and the history of it. There’s a book I’d love to get my hands on to learn more.

We also met an incredible Shoshone and Paiute artist by the name of Micqaela Jones. She used magnificent color and painted some of my favorite things, wild animals. I’m not usually one for all those funky colors, but Micqaela is a true artist and has such a knack for capturing character in her paintings. Each one has a story to tell. We thoroughly enjoyed talking to her and hope to buy one of her paintings in the near future. I encourage you to check out her website by clicking her name above Or either picture below. 

Micqaela and my mother-in-law, Talonna

A few of her original pieces.

One thing OneCuteCowboy and I were in search of was the perfect squash blossom. That’s what he wanted to get me for my birthday. We’d kept an eye out the entire day and just never saw one we loved. There was a gorgeous one made with White Buffalo Turquoise, but was a whopping $2,500 buckaroos, but I’m sure worth every dime! Something else I’ve​ 

admired for years is a strand of beautiful “Navajo Beads” or some call them, “Navajo Pearls.”  We were meandering around one of the shops, admiring all the beautiful turquoise when I saw them, the most beautiful Navajo beads I’d ever seen up close. OneCuteCowboy asked one of the ladies to open the cabinet so we could try them on. Once I had them around my neck, I knew I never wanted to take them off! They were just what I’d wanted, what I had been admiring for years and years. 

Aren’t they beautiful? I just love them! To some, these just look like a strand of silver beads, but if one knew the craftsmanship it took to just make one single bead. In case you didn’t catch that, each bead is handmade. This necklace was made by the well-known Haley family. I was fortunate enough to get to visit with one of the Haley daughters and she said a necklace like this one probably took a total of 3 days to make. That just puts me in awe, that a factory could produce hundreds of these a day if they wanted to, and yet there are people who value this craft, this way of living, to spend 3 days making sure it is the best piece it can become. I just love that! I’m always impressed with people who can create art with their own two hands. Turquoise Skies wrote a great little article on how these are made and of the Haley family here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my stories from Santa Fe! 

P.S. If you’re a lover of the southwest and Native American art and culture, my friend, and kindred spirit, The Chanhandle also has a great love and appreciation for it. Go check her out! She goes on some fun adventures! 

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