January is almost over. It is time to think of Valentine’s Day, a chance to show your affection to friends and family. It’s only two weeks away, so please check our Valentines for new ways to assure and reassure others of your feelings.
Happy Valentine’s Day… from Susan’s Christmas Shop!
PS: the beautiful pins in the photo are fashioned out of polymer clay and have crystals set into them. They are made by New York artist Billie Beads. Call us – (505) 983 2127 – if you would like to have one!
The Church of the Holy Faith on East Palace Avenue is the oldest Episcopal Church in New Mexico. It is known for its beautiful nineteenth century leaded glass windows in the sanctuary. The most gorgeous window of the church is the Good Shepherd window. Originally this window was above the altar and the church was called The Church of the Good Shepherd. Later, the church was enlarged by Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem. The window was moved to one side and church became The Church of the Holy Faith, the translation of Santa Fe in English.
This glass replica of The Church of The Holy Faith was created in Poland. A clay model was sculpted to create a mold. The mold was used to blow a glass ornament with the breath of a skilled glass blower. The resulting clear glass shape was silvered inside with a liquid silver. Artists painted the outside of the ornament. Finally, a cap was inserted. It takes almost a week to make one, every step by hand. Ten percent of the sales price will de donated to The Church of the Holy Faith in Santa Fe.
You can order your Holy Faith glass ornament at this link.
Sylvia Begaye is a talented Navajo artist from Fort Defiance, Arizona. She makes small fabric doll ornaments that represent the Navajo styles of dress, hair, and jewelry. Sometimes wooden cradleboards hold their babies. The ones with cradleboards are called “Madonna and Child“. Those with gray hair are called “Grandmothers“.
Sylvia’s faces always look like Navajo faces. Her delicate piped-on jewelry looks like the real silver and turquoise jewelry the Navajo jewelers make to sell and wear themselves. These ornaments have been sold for many years at Susan’s Christmas Shop, as well as Sylvia’s wreaths, velvet angels, and Navajo-style Santa ornaments.
Mary Ray Cate is a talented Santa Fe artist who creates southwest advent calendars for Susan’s Christmas Shop. Each advent calendar has a different theme, and Mary Ray paints the cover painting and the twenty-four scenes which are revealed when the doors are opened. The day to begin opening doors is December 1st. Each calendar celebrates and teaches about the culture of The Land of Enchantment, such as a New Mexico pueblo, a Spanish village on the High Road to Taos, or the Santa Fe Trail.
This year, 2017, the new calendar has a scene inside an adobe house decorated for Christmas. Grandfather is playing his guitar for the children to dance. One of the doors opens to reveal a drawing of Susan Weber’s biscochitos, the state cookie.
Susan like to form hers by hand. Occasionally Susan has a tin of these pretty biscochitos in the shop to offer to customers. The recipe is in Susan’s first book, Christmas in Santa Fe.
To see all Mary Ray Cate’s advent calendars click here!
This special ornament is from a series of collectible ornaments created by the New Mexico Governor’s Mansion Foundation. It features the high desert landscape of New Mexico, with a Zia symbol in the sky at the time of a sunset. Squash Blossom necklaces made of silver and turquoise are now called New Mexico’s State Necklace.
The ornament uses the pendant of this type of jewelry, not in real sterling silver and genuine turquoise stones, but imitation Rhodium plated metal and turquoise colored paint. All proceeds from the ornament sales benefit the Governor’s Mansion Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit organization of volunteers responsible for the design and preservation of the Governor’s residence.
Carolyn Johnson has been making detailed small models of southwest churches since 1981. These models have just become better and more detailed as the years passed. Carolyn now makes over fifty different churches and continues to make new ones from time to time. Her church models can hang as a Christmas ornament or they can sit on a shelf. Carolyn began selling her work to Susan’s Christmas Shop in 1991. There are two wooden shelves on the south adobe wall of my shop, by the front door. Each shelf has dozens of small square openings, each opening the right size to hold a church model. On the bottom of each church model is a paper with information about that church. Most of the churches are located in New Mexico, but a few are in what is now Texas. The most popular church models are the ones shown here: the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, and the Santuario de Chimayo, a beloved pilgrim’s destination on the High Road to Taos.
The upcoming Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta always brings lots of people to Santa Fe. The huge hot air balloons rise at dawn above Albuquerque, inspiring awe in the people on the ground. After that, many visitors drive to Santa Fe for lunch at The Shed and a visit to my shop. Already we are selling scores of glass hot air balloons.
Customers tell us how happy are the faces of those who see the balloons. Even babies like them. Tiny Lillian was enchanted with our window. Can’t make it to the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta? You can still have a gorgeous glass balloon.
Santo Domingo is south of Santa Fe, about half way to Albuquerque on the Rio Grande. Recently, the council of Santo Domingo Pueblo announced that the official name for the pueblo is now Kewa. In practice, most people continue to call this pueblo by the name of its saint, Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo is known for pottery and jewelry, especially the drilled shell beads known as heishi and mosaic on shell. This large pueblo is also famous for its spectacular dances on its long plaza with hundreds of dancers of all ages. The impressive annual feast day of Santo Domingo is August 4th.
Most Santo Domingo Pueblo people are usually prohibited from making pottery figures, but Angel Bailon is permitted to make them because she was not born at the pueblo. Angel was born at Jemez Pueblo. She did marry a Santo Domingo Pueblo man and moved to his village. Angel has made charming nativities for years, but her son recently suggested she make a Flight into Egypt. Here Joseph, with his wooden staff, guides the donkey carrying Mary and her baby on their way to safety in Egypt. The painted designs on the hand formed pottery figures are traditional Santo Domingo pottery designs.