Other Sewists, Celebrity Sightings, and Southwestern Food in Santa Fe

My last full day in Santa Fe (Sunday) began with a sewing related meet up. It’s Caroline of TigerFeet!! I first met  Caroline via email three years ago. She sent me a copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I remember looking at it thinking ‘Who in their right mind would want to *ever* go vegan nevermind make vegan cupcakes. I mean *really*. Is there even such a thing as vegan cupcakes???” I stuck the book on a shelf and didn’t think about it again until three years later. Turns out, there are such things as vegan cupcakes and they are delicious.  We met one time before IRL at PR Weekend in Los Angeles two years ago. At anyrate, turns out she moved from LA to Santa Fe and we planned a coffee meet up at vegan-friendly Teahouse along Canyon Road. She promised to wear her tablecloth cocktail dress. Pretty, right? I have friends going to Greece this summer. I think it’s time for a tablecloth garment of my own. My two friends went on to galleries and Caroline and I gossiped, talked about men (and how they can sucketh) and sewing as only the sewing obsessed can.

With only three days in Santa Fe, we had to make the most of it. On our very first day we had a celebrity sighting in Spike Lee! Just strolling down the street with his wife and kids. It’s been a trip following him on Twitter (@SpikeLee).

I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around the adobe / pueblo style architecture. I’m such a northeasterner! The colors were so warm and beautiful. The views of mountains reminded me of my trip to New Zealand.

I’m currently reading The Warmth of Other Suns about the migration of blacks from the south to all points north. So, I’m a little obsessed about trains. Trains played a huge role in where and how black people relocated. Being in Santa Fe, I found myself making comparisons to the Trail of Tears (which I hadn’t thought about since living in North Carolina as a child). Can I just say, the human capacity for evil is astounding.

I took a zillion photos but will just share a few. On our first day we visited the the local basilica. I loved the architecture.

How the saints names were written in Spanish…

The doors portray the forced migration of the Native American

I especially loved how the paintings in the church reflected a Latin American aesthetic

Saturday we took a Native American cooking class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. This trip just reconfirmed for me that my favorite foods are Southwestern / Tex Mex / Latino and Asian. Mmmmmmm. I honestly spent the trip planning my time around eating huevos rancheros.

I came to Santa Fe with one shopping purpose. I despesrately wanted a pair of authentic cowboy boots. I missed an opportunity when my parents were stationed in San Antonio. But, I left Santa Fe empty handed. After trying on (no exaggerating) over 30 pairs, I walked away disappointed. I think my price range is just too low for the styles I wanted.

Today, I am back to work. Of course, after unpacking, I went into the sewing room totally re-inspired. I miss my machines when I’m gone!


  1. Yes, I miss my sewing machine when I’m gone…but then do I use it when I return. No, not really. I’m lazy. I just talk about sewing more than I actually do. I learn too much by osmosis by going to the Free sewing demos every Monday night at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, which is where, dearie, you will be very soon! Like next month!

  2. Sigh. I have had two ‘non-shopping’ experiences in Texas (San Antonio and Dallas) where I tried to get my husband a cowboy hat and was told (no kidding here) that unless I could cut my husband’s head off and bring it with me in a box, no one would sell me a cowboy hat in Texas. Totally weird.

  3. I’m glad you had a fun time in NM. Too bad we couldn’t meet up. It would have been fun.

  4. The Mexicans sell cheaper cowboy boots in a lot of fun colors. Look for stores with clothes in the window and a spanish-sounding name. There may be one where you live.

    Sounds like you had a great trip otherwise. 🙂 The church looked very interesting. 🙂 I’m jealous of your mad photography skills, I really wish that I could take pictures that come out nice.

  5. I always love your trip reports especially since I’m a girl that likes to stick close to home. You always make me feel like I went along for the ride, too! Glad you’re home safe and sound!

  6. Sounds like a great trip. I understand your frustration of finding the ‘just right’ cowboy boots. I have been looking for a ‘just right’ pair for years.

  7. Great photos and trip report. When I worked as an account exec for a Dallas ad agency in the 80s I used to handle the marketing for a ski resort in the Sangre de Christo mountains just north of where you were. I loved to go there because that whole area is just so beautiful, isn’t it? Not at all surprised you saw someone cool like Spike Lee there.

  8. Hey, the picture came out great! I was going to tell Shirley to take some safetys but guess she has a good eye!

  9. ooh I’m feeling warm just looking at those photos!

    Except the food – oh my god that menu looks amazing! Last time we were in DC, we ate at the Smithsonian museum of the native american and I’m still getting taste flashblacks three years later. And that was just a food court! Please tell me you’ll be sharing some recipes and spicing combos you picked up there?

  10. when you consider that the Basilica was built by a French priest, it is even more impressive that so many of the paintings honestly feature Latino/Mestizo/Indian faces. The Virgin of Guadelupe (behind the altar) is as she would have been, not a blue-eyed blonde.

    Oh crap, now I’m missing New Mexico again…

  11. Oh, the quest for perfect cowboy boots. Ironically, I’ve only ever found great ones I could afford in New York and LA. (despite looking all over west texas, and parts of mexico.)

    AND I can’t beleive youre blog buddies with the vegan cupcake lady—and she sews! I had the green tea ones from that book once, and I ate three of them. And I am not a three cupcake kind of girl.

  12. What a great trip, thanks for sharing. Also, thanks for sharing your lastest read “The Warmth of Other Suns”. My father loves history and I have been looking for a book to add to his collecton. He will love having this book. I purchased 2 one for him and one for myself.

  13. Do share the recipe for Fiery Jalapeno Dressing. Sounds delicious! I’ve been wanting to get that book. Saw the author on PBS Newshour and it sounded so interesting. She’s a babe, too.

  14. There is a western-wear store in Laurel–Carol’s Western Wear on MD rte 198 in Laurel, MD. This store has a good boot selection, along with hats and western clothes.

    Just a satisfied customer.


  15. I miss my machines when I’m away too, but I love Santa Fe….it’s like a place to get re-inspired, re-charged and my artistic tanks filled up. I’m lucky tho cause it’s only a 5-hour drive from my home…that sounds like a lot, but leave here early in the morning and arrive there in time for lunch…usually something with chilies in it – Yum, yum!

    Loved your travelog, but where did you stay and where did you eat?…always like to hear the latest from Santa Fe!

  16. Cowboy boots are also out of my price range. I got a pair from the used cowboy boot store in Austin and even those were $60, and hard to wear because they rub my ankle. Boo.

    You are killing me with the food!

  17. I was in Santa Fe in February and blew $500 on a pair of Old Gringo boots – but they fit me like no other shoe or boot ever has. Believe.

    Hey, I just realized that a) you’re an ex-journalist (so am I); you own the same model Kenmore that I owned when I started sewing 4 years ago, and c) I love your taste in clothes AND food. I think we may have been separated at birth. Other than the fact that I am older than you and if I were any more white, I’d be transparent. Details!

  18. I just realized that my name links to an old blog of mine that has nothing to do with sewing–and try as I might to update the profile on LM/Blogger, it isn’t getting fixed. So here’s my sewing blog, all old-school linky style, in case you’re curious: http://dailyskirt.blogspot.com.

    I don’t update as often as I should–I just made two sundresses for a work trip to Vegas and am working on a rain jacket out of some Echino laminated fabric (like this: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1eI7tS4s_Bg/S_r3mFqESXI/AAAAAAAAZIA/B3UIeDHNKbw/s1600/a15.jpg) for a rainy Washington State spring. Next up: red leather oversized clutch and a Simplicity faux wrap dress for a cousin’s wedding.

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