Sunday, October 2, 2016

Just Coming By

Oh my God it's been forever since I've been here.  I keep up with many of you on Facebook, but I realized that I have lost some of you too...some of my favourite peeps!!  Gloria, are you still with us??  Sorry about not coming by more often, it's just I don't get on here all that much anymore, my desk top that is.  I really don't like to do much via my Android...less is more.

I haven't been up to much this past year, oh anything spectacular I can readily recall anyway.  I have been doing some work here and there.  The Dia De Los Muertos is become a little bit too cliche for me. Don't get me wrong, I still love it, but it seems EVERYONE is doing it now.  I'm especially upset the Chinese have gotten into the act...hey, I don't make dragons, stay away from my Muertos!!  Sorry, temporary rant.  I'll post some of the stuff I have made this past year, though.  I began making a series of Loteria paintings, then I decided to come up with my own version, so I'm posting a few of those examples.

As for anything else, well, my grandchildren are growing up.  My Sean is now 16, Ryan, 14, Zach, 12 Sammy 7 and the princess Zoe, will be 5 in January.  I haven't had much of a chance to see them this year.  I did go for a short visit in August after my daughter had surgery...went to help.  The plane ride to Austin from here was a nightmare, no unpleasant weather involved, just unpleasant airline!!  I'm thinking about seeing a dear friend who lives in New York, close to NYC, but after that trip to Austin, Oh Lord, I'm having 2nd thoughts!! I'm almost tempted to drive from El Paso, to Pookepsie!!

My mom's been gone for over a year now and the whole "moving" experience was at times, harrowing.  My sis and I went through her things, much of the time I was quietly crying.  I've been back in El Paso since 1979, so there were many memories attached to lots of her stuff...I was with her for many of those purchases.  Years ago, when I married the first time, she advised me to pick a Japanese bone china set since they were less expensive than English bone china at the time, so I did and I love my bone china set too.  However, she assured me her set of Wedgewood was mine when she no longer needed it (don't remember ever eating from her china set, ever!), so I did take her entire set, packed up and decided to give half of my bone china to my daughter, keep the rest for my use and then gave my daughter and niece 2 complete place settings of my mom's china plus, the little demitasse set of her china to my niece.  I don't know if I'll ever use my mother's china's but right now, it's something I treasure.

Well, folks, I'm calling it a day.  Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and let me know how you're doing.  Miss many of you not on Facebook, which has become my only source now of keeping in touch.  I will make a a note here on my desk to visit blogger and check in.  Peace out.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hello....Anybody Out There?

My gawd, it's been forever since I've been on Blogger.  I had to check to see when my last post was and it looks like I'm way over due for the "once-a-year" post!

First of all, I hope the New Year has been kind to you.  I did mention that I had spinal surgery last summer and that went well, however, I began having problems with my left side beginning in late Dec.  I woke up one morning and my left upper thigh hurt and it's just gotten worse.  However, it hasn't stopped me from having fun, doing work in the studio and living my life as well as I can.  Compared to last year around this time, I'm good!  I've decided to take a holistic approach to this new back problem and see an acupuncturist who came highly recommended.  I haven't made the appointment yet, but I'll do that next week.  The last thing I want to do is have to go through that nightmare again and go the conventional route, but who knows, I just might have to, but for now, it's going to be the "witchy" way!!  LOL

Unfortunately, I haven't traveled at all in the last 2 1/2 years.  My travels, though, usually take me to Austin, Texas where my daughter and grandchildren live and one of my best friends.  I'm hoping to get out there maybe in the Fall, just in time for the Cedars to bloom...ugh!!  I've been busy as can be lately, making all sorts of fun things.  Again, I'm preparing for the Borderland Fridas "Dia De Los Muertos" show in Nov.  Last year's inaugural show was a great success...we had a blast. I was joined by my two oldest and dearest friends, who've I've known since we were 14 years old and my sister came to buy, but stayed for most of the show...she had a blast too, apparently!!  LOL  There was lots of traffic coming to our venue and thank goodness, it was indoors.  The weather out here in far West Texas is always a bit unpredictable.  We usually have great, sun-filled days, but when the cooler fronts come rolling in, it usually means wind, lots and lots of strong winds.  That weekend was one of those and it did cool down quite a bit, but we were safe and sound in our ballroom venue.

Speaking of the Borderland Fridas, we are attempting to have a traveling Dia De Los Muertos exhibition and hopefully, get picked up by the Smithsonian's new Hispanic Cultural museum.  There are no traveling shows like this, so just maybe.  Being of "Mejicana" descent, we add a new twist to the old Mexican traditions, but maintaining our old ways too.   It's a meld of both Mexican and our American influences on this art form.  If we don't get it, though, we'll still be displaying around the country but first at the Branigan in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  They are a wonderful group of people who run this museum and so very much wanting to work with local artists.  A couple of weeks ago, the Borderland Fridas had a retablo workshop there and it was so much fun.  Unfortunately, I was unable to partake...I was one of the Frida helpers, so I walked around, helping, answering questions and refilling water and paint pallets.  Was great fun and it was a wonderful group of people...even dudes came to partake in the fun!!

There are some changes going on around the Autrey/Diaz house too.  My hubby is going into his own arborist business and it's a little frightening that he's beginning a new business, but he's so happy more corporate crap!  However, he's applied for "day jobs," and one we're hoping he gets is the head aborist at the University of Texas at El Paso.  They are doing all sorts of great things on the campus, making it exclusively a "walking campus," and adding much more vegetation as a result.  If hired, he'll be in charge of all those trees and shrubs and what-not, plus, he'll go in early in the morning and be out earlier in the day, allowing him to take care of his private business, Pray that this works out for us...we're very excited about it.

I thought I'd post a few of my latest things that I've been busy making.  I will be turning in my nicho for the traveling exhibition and a figurine.  The nicho is not complete yet, so I won't post that, but here are some of my other little pieces of arte.

Made a few of these Calaca candles for the show and they all sold out...note to self:  make more!!

This was made for my sweet man's first great-granddaughter, Hannah Grace, born just a couple of weeks ago.

I really have more to show, but I need to get myself ready and get into the studio to finish that nicho.  I promise to return soon and let you know what other great news I might have, plus, show more stuff, especially what I'll be exhibiting for the traveling show.  Have a great week all, if you're on Facebook, come on by, friend me, Georgina Diaz, and we can stay in touch that way, as I do many of my old Blogger buddies.  Peace out.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Where Has the Time Gone

I'll be surprised if anyone even notices this post since I haven't written one in some time..  This hasn't been the best of years for me and as many of you on Facebook know, I've been laid up for a while.  I won't go into long details, but I had back surgery in late June.  I had a synobila cyst on my facet joint, or bone, in this case.  Long story short, I not only had the cyst removed, but the entire bone was also removed.  The surgeon said the cyst was "super glued" onto the bone, making it impossible for him to aspirate it, having to remove the right facet bone on the L (lumbar) 4 & 5...lower back.  I now have 2 pins holding my spine up, so I'll probably set off all kinds of alarms when I go through airport security!!  LOL

Not able to start from the beginning, but I will say that I am now involved in with a group of folks who are trying to get a Dia de los Muertos show here in El Paso,, we're called the Borderland Fridas with a couple of "Diegos" to share in the fun, and we're shooting for this to be a rather big yearly event.  Since I didn't have the entire summer to work at this, I've been burning the midnight oil trying to get as much done as possible.  Don't know if I'll have enough inventory for the show, but I'm going to give it my best shot!  I'll post of few things that I have made in the last few months, though.

I was approached by the El Paso Museum of Art to provide the museum story with some of my skelly art, and that's been loads of fun.  About a week after the surgery, I was able to get on the ol' desk top for a few minutes to catch up on emails and I found one from the director of  the store.  I had a special order for a 20"x10" shadow box for my bride and groom.  I immediately answered wrote her back and told her it would be a while before I could get it done....thankfully, the patron was in no big rush.  I spent those weeks recovering in bed as to how I would create this since I hadn't ever made anything in that large a scale and it was going to take some engineering.  Long story short, I was able to find a wonderful woodcrafter living in Las Cruces, NM, just up the road from me, thanks to my friend who lives there, and engineer this rather audacious feat, ok, audacious for me anyway.  It turned out really good, but I now look back and I could have done much time, since I ordered 2 more boxes of that size.

So here are some of the creations I've made since the late summer and will post more's late and I'm tired, so time for me to hit the ol' cama (bed).  Hope you enjoy my little slide show.  I know many of you on Facebook have seen these but for those you who don't subscribe to it, here it is.

Ok, I'm falling asleep, so time for mimis, but I do have a favor to ask of some of you.  If your Micahels's or other craft stores sell those really cute laser cut frames, the smaller ones, please let me know.  I will be more than happy to pay for any that you might find.  Our Michael's here sucks!!  Have a great week and hope I hear from some of you.  Peace out.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Saying Hello

Good Morning, my old friends.  Just coming by for a bit to say "HELLO!!"  It's been a while and lots has happened since I last posted.

First of all, I was under the weather due to a cyst growing in my spine.  I had a sycnobial cyst growing on the facet bone.  I've been in excruciating pain for about 2 months.  I knew I had to get an MRI to figure out what was wrong.  Well, as they say, the Lord provides, and I received a check from the corporation that owns two of our local hospitals and specialty labs; they over-charged me for a procedure I had a year and a half ago.  I was then able to get my MRI and the results were nothing like I expected.  Ok, long story now too long, I went for a spinal procedure Friday to aspirate the cyst and I was given a couple of steroid injections on the 4th and 5th lumbar.  I'm still not anywhere near 100%, but I'm getting there.

I went out for the first time to a store in 3 weeks yesterday, and had to maneuver the "grannie" cart around Target (discovered I was a bad-ass).  Thankfully, my son, Ian is here for the next 4 weeks, so he helped out.  I'm also trying to get back into the kitchen.  Now that we have refrigerated air, I'm able to use the oven, especially now that Hell has returned....106 today and will be in the 3 digit range all week....oey!!  I made Fideo, or Mexican noodle soup last night, which was the first meal I've made in a long time.  It wasn't easy, but I finished with the help of  sweet man and my son.  I'm also going to visit my mother in the nursing's been 3 weeks since I've seen her.

I announced a couple of months ago on Facebook, so some of you already know, but the director of the El Paso Museum of Art saw my work and loved it for the shop.  Due to my inability to get there (would have to park then walk there and right now, impossible).   Last week I suggest she maybe could come here to my home and pick it up if she was so inclined if both time time and geography made it possible.  So she is coming by sometime today to pick these little darlins'.  Sorry for the quality of the photos, but I took them last week  before the procedure, however, I doubt I could do much better now!!  LOL

She had asked for some of my box dolls, which are sculpted and boxes painted, but I was unable to complete them since sitting in the studio became impossible.  But I'm looking forward to completing them and working on new things.  There are a few art fairs that have popped up around here and I have friends who have been very successful at these shows and have advised me to work them, since my crazy stuff would fit in well.

So the only plans I have thus far, are to continue healing and getting back into the studio.  Besides I have some new tunes to listen to while working!  Also, hoping to see my grandchildren in July.  I already bought my Zoe Girl a new princess outfit for her wardrobe.  The girl is into "Princess" and "Hello Kitty" so I try to keep her well supplied.  My grandsons, I'm sure, would be happy with cash, except for my to get him something too!

Have a great day, dear friends.  Wish some of you were on Facebook so we can stay in touch, but I'll try to come by every so often to visit you all.  Peace out.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Time, Time, Time, What's Become of Me?

My Beautiful Mommy

Just to let you all know, I'm still here, alive and creating, along with doing a bit of sh-t kicking too.  I got some really upsetting news last night from my brother, Apparently, the dietitian at my mother's nursing facility has decided my mother needs to go on a diet since she's gained mucho poundage.  My mother was always very conscientious about her figure.  She used to tell me how she could eat and eat and never gain an ounce when she was a young girl and weighed 95 lbs. on her wedding day and wore a size 5 shoe ( I weighed 130 lbs. and wore a size 9 shoe, at the first wedding...second, I still wore a size 9 shoe..mum on the weight).  Unlike her daughters, who even looked at a potato chip, would balloon out.  She never really had a weight problem, unless one counts pregnancy as one, which she did when she was pregnant with my little brother.  She gained a whole 10 lbs.!  Hell, I gained 40 with all 3 of mine, that is, 40 each time.  However, I was able to lose the the weight by Christmas time (all 3 of my kids were born in the month of Sept...hmmm, perhaps losing weight before Christmas should have been a rather big hint!!  LOL).

So back to Mom.  She was always on a restricted diet due to her very delicate tummy.  I didn't grow eating things like peanut butter, sodas, corn chips, etc., not that she couldn't eat it, but my brother was allergic and she made it a point to keep all those temptations out of the house since it usually sent my folks to the ER with him after he got a hold of something he ought'n.  There were things like sugared cereals, many sweets, well, basically, all the good stuff kids love, and yet, I still had a weight problem.  I'm not a fan of pork, again, she couldn't eat it, so we didn't. Although, she did make a good pork roast now and again for my dad, but her pork chops were fit for sole replacements. She also loved making Chicken -a la-King....YUCK!  To this day, I really don't like creamed sauces of any kind.  She would buy those little Pepperidge Farm puff pastry shells and fill them up with the al a King crap and I would scoop out the creamed glop and just eat the pastry.  Don't get me wrong, my  mother was a very good cook of other things, though.  

Like I said, she was limited in her diet, but the one thing she could eat and did...a lot, are sweets, which I'm sure she stashed out of our sight.  I recall her eating many bags of marshmallows when she was pregnant with my little brother, Jaime.  I really thought, in my 10 year old brain, she was going to give birth to the Stay Puft marshmallow dude!  She inherited the love of sweets from her mother, my Machita.  My Mach  traditionally had a drawer in her dresser, designated for sweets room for undies, slips or bras.  As children, we raided her bottom drawer and after my grandfather died, she moved in with my aunt, and even their dog knew where the sweet drawer was too!!  He would come in and we'd ask, "Kaiser, where are the cookies?" and he would walk to the dresser and stare at the drawer.  He also took instruction in Spanish after my grandmother moved in, making him a bilingual cocker spaniel.

So the news received last night was that she has been forbidden from any sweets or desserts.  She's 91, REALLY!!!??  It's the one thing my poor mom loves and now is restricted to little or none.  She can't walk, she has lost most of her use of her hands and she sits in that room, day-in, day-out.  She's tired of living, she's had enough and wants to join my dad and her family.  As I told her the other day, pointing to my head, "Mom, this understands," then pointing to my heart, "But this is having difficulty accepting it."  She even lost a front tooth while having lunch the other day, what's with that??? 

It reminds me of time I went to visit my grandmother, Mamaita, my dad's mom, in the hospital.  She was 101 years old and her blood pressure had dropped a bit, so she was admitted.  She sat there and told me she wanted a sandwich.  I asked her which kind and I got silence, so I began reciting different kinds, in Spanish, "Jamon?" "No." "Pollo?" 'NO!" ...and so we danced till I finally hit on it..."Queso?" and she gave me a big grin.  So I went out to the nurses station to ask them for a cheese sandwich and the nurse told me that wasn't on her diet...WHAT!!!???  "She's friggin' 101, for gawsakes!!"  I know they can't do much about it, so I became proactive, went back to my parent's house since that was closest to the hospital, made her an American Cheese sandwich with mayo, cut the crusts (I remember as a kid, she would do that for me, even though I loved the crust) and brought it to her...she loved it...ate every bit of it.  Three days later, she passed.  Of course, the first thing that came to mind was that maybe I killed her with that damn cheese sandwich or maybe she went to her eternal life, smiling at having that delicious cheese sandwich...that's the one I prefer to believe.

So here's my mother, facing the same thing, no candy, cake, pie, no nothing.  It's just all so sad and don't think for a minute I've kept my composure while writing this post.  Large tear drops have fallen during this rant and I'm not sure if they're tears of sadness or just so pissed off at all this.  Pissed off that she's had to suffer so much, pissed off as to why she's till here and for what purpose.  I have become desensitized at entering the nursing home, all those elderly people slumped in their wheel chairs, spending their lives in that or their beds, many say nothing and many yell out for help as I walk by.  I can't help but remember that scene from "Soylent Green," with Charelton Heston, Joseph Cotton, Chuck Connor and Edward G. Robinson.  The character of Mr. Robinson was that of an old intellectual who can remember what life was on Earth before over-population and corporate greed destroyed it (sound familiar?) He's had enough and decided to go to a facility that provided "peaceful endings."  He's in a large room where he's on a bed, surrounded by a panoramic screen, showing scenes of nature, those very scenes he recalls from his youth.  He slowly and happily slips away to his death.

In speaking with my friends, one of my ol' buds suggested we store up all the drugs we can, since we'll be prescribed many as we gain time and age.  We hold on to them until we're ready to say "ADIOS" to this world, however, I told her she has one little flaw in her plan.  What if we all develop some kind of memory loss, then who's going to remember where we stashed our bye-bye pills!!  LOL  That's for later, I guess.

So sorry for this rant, but I'm so friggin' angry and sad right now, and yet, there's no one to direct this towards and nothing I can do about it.  Maybe I'll slip her a Lindt bon-bon now and then...our little secret.  Have a good one, friends, and enjoy every day as much as you can.  Peace out.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Art and Some Rants

Thought I'd post today since it might be the only time I can for the rest of the week.  This coming  Sat., Feb. 1, I'll be participating in a show in La Union, New Mexico.  I love that venue because the weather is mostly lovely (a bit windy at time, though), the people are fabulous and the coffee is strong and delish.  John and Shawn Smith are the proprietors of Johnny Lolita's in La Union, NM, and opened up their doors last year.  They specialize in their home roasted coffees, art and great conversation.  My little brother, Jaime, attended high school with Shawn and last year, when his family came down here from S. Cal, I went with him to so he could present Shawn with his award-winning photograph of their place.  I met Shawn and her very funny hubby, John...he's like the "Captain" to her "Teneel,"  maybe bad comparison since they're marriage is on the skids, but you get my point.  Through that couple, I was able to participate in my first art show in almost 20 years plus, sell my work in their shop.

Little bro, Jaime Diaz and Shawn O'Hara Smith

The Smith's also collected toys and cash for charity during Christmas and gave all the toys and proceeds to Avance, a non-profit organization that my sister is executive director.  So the Diaz family has been enriched from knowing this wonderful, giving couple....thanks guys!!  By the way, check out that blue's the real deal, folks, no photo shop trickery.

Ok, now for a tiny rant or perhaps an observation or more importantly, "Georgina needs to take a chill pill whilst watching commercials," but have you noticed all those eye drop commercials only hawk people with blue eyes, crystal clear blue eyes??  What about us brown eyed devils or green, hazel, dark blue, etc.?  Yes, I know, it's done for "effect" but come on, someone needs to stop being so esoteric and bring on some other colour eyed folks...we have problems too!  Rant said and as my father would have said, "As you were."  LOL

Speaking of my dad, an old friend of my parents just passed away, peacefully in his sleep, thank God.  He was quite frail the last couple of years and the medical professionals finally found out why his lungs were so compromised, he had stage 4 lung cancer.  You'd think with all the hospital visits in the last few years, they might have looked for the obvious, but since he was at an age that really doesn't matter anymore to these doctors, they never looked.  So farewell, Cachu, you were a wonderful man and father...had 8 kids in total, and is now enjoying the company, once more, of three of his children, two of which succumbed to cancer at very young ages.  Also, hope my dad has taken him to that "Great Bar in Heaven," to rejoin with "the boys."

Now for the art portion of this blog.  I got into Valentines Day stuff, which is a bit different for me since I'm not really into Valentines, but since I'll be doing the show this week, I know there are many who are, so I created a small series of hearts and cuties.

I love working with shadow box frames, I just couldn't resist, plus, I have a plethora of these frames, so might as well put them to some use.  The first two boxes are smaller and I used those laezer-cut wooden frame the look, now I'm really hooked on those. I also made some cute heart necklaces, stringing them on those pull chains used for ceiling fans, but for some reason, I didn't take photos of those...oh well, that will be for later. 

I'm also working on the Caged Santos doll concept, but having some engineering problems which I will figure's not rocket science!  Maybe I should have paid more attention in Algebra class during my college years...nah!

I also am very excited about being on the ground floor of a new art group/organization formed by the lovely Pamela Enriquez of Las Cruces, NM. Actually it's Pam and a couple of her fellow artists in the Las Cruces/El Paso area.  I met Pam through another mutual friend from Facebook, a Canadian lady from Ontario who's been a fan of Pam's work for some time now.  I met Pam couple of years ago at the Dia de los Muertos show in Mesilla and fell in love with her work.  I visited her booth in Santa Fe, NM last summer while the hubs and I went to Spanish Market in July.  Her painting was chosen for the poster for the contemporary artists contingency.  Frankly, that's my favorite section of the show, the contemporary artists.  I do love all the gorgeous and traditional retablos and bultos made by the very talented New Mexican artists, but those contemp. artists are incredible!  So anyway, we met for the first time last Sat. at the train depot in Las Cruces and did come up with a name, "Las Manos de Oro," (The Hands of Gold) and in a couple of weeks, we meet again, hopefully we'll decided on a logo, mission statement (oey, don't get me started on mission statements) and we will be working on establishing a 501(c)(3) status, non-profit.  One of the purposes of this organization is to educate people about our Latino traditions and holidays...there's more than just Dia de los Muertos, and to promote the arts.  We'd like to grow, bring folks in from west TX, Southern & Northern NM, and maybe take it all the way to Califas (California) and states in between.  There are three of us from El Paso and the other members are from Las Cruces, Mesilla and Silver City, NM.  I'll post more as we grow.

Well, I think I better get in that kitchen and make some breakfast, but it's looking more like brunch.  I'm in the mood for waffles (ran out of Bisquick the other day when I was going to make pancakes, so I pulled out my ol' Betty Crocker cookbook from the 70's and found a fab recipe) and bacon.  I made some tortilla soup the other night and it was amazing...tweaked it a bit since I didn't want to have to make a trip to the store just for ancho chiles...had dried pasilla and chipotle chiles on hand, so I used those instead...happy ending!!  Even made my own tortilla strips...hate frying anything, but the results were delish.  Oh, one more small rant...the Super BOWEL game, may be postponed till heard's like telling your kids Santa didn't come because he had a dental appointment (got that quote from this morning's editorial).  So they wanted to play in NY, actually, NJ, in Feb.?????????  Really, didn't think that maybe there might be a weather issue...oey.  Personally, I don't care about the game or the teams, but I love the party!!  If this goes as planned I'll be making Posole.  My friend wanted me to "share" my menudo from New Years (have a years worth in the freezer) but I don't want to share and lots of people don't like the tripe meat in menudo anyway, so I'm taking posole instead...less hassle to make too.  

Ok, now I mean it...gots to run.  Have a great week, my friends, and as always, peace out.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Emails & Friends

Dear Anne

I was able to recover my yahoo mail, finally after three months.  I have never deleted so many emails in my entire life!!  It's amazing how much crap one accumulates in an email account.  I was ready to just hit that little square and delete EVERYTHING, but as I began scrolling down to see if there was anything I should save, there it was, or rather, many email exchanges between Anne and me.  I read and re-read them, laughing and recalling what we were ranting about.  I then began to cry, cry because I miss my friend so much.  Cry because I'm pissed off she left this world far too soon, cry because the good die young, or so the song goes.  But then, I began to laugh, laugh at all the conversations we had via the phone, laugh at all the silly things we did and said and finally, just laugh.  I think that Anne was giving  me a thump on the side of my skull letting me know she's there and that I WILL NOT FORGET HER...EVER!!!  LOL  I'm grateful for the time I knew her and I'm grateful for the lesson she taught us all, life's short, so go out there and raise hell, but have fun doing it too!!  So Anne, here's to you, my friend.  I promise to NEVER FORGET YOU,  but cut me some slack if I grow old and feeble, maybe feeble before I get too much older!!  

Ok, that's about all I wanted to say for now.  Am going to head on out to visit my mom...going to surprise her since I don't normally visit on Sundays.  So peace out, my amigas.