Aside from my family’s foray south for the 2011 New Year’s eve this time last year, there is somewhat of a tradition round these parts to gather together to play music on the final night of the year and to ring in the New Year with tunes and friendship.  And so we did.  There was much singing of silly songs.

And the playing of many, many tunes.

There were loads of Norwegian Dragons in attendance.  They wowed us with their fierce mystery and artful presence.

A good time was had my all until the wee hours of the musical morning.  What a way to spend the first precious hours of 2012.


After some much needed sleep, it was time for yet another gathering.  This time with a few fellow artists to celebrate a birthday (or two), to make some art and put together some traditional tamales.  New Mexico style.  Becky, of St. Theresa’s Textile Trove fame led us in this culinary adventure which is not for the faint of heart.  Tamales are an arduous process involving the creation of numerous basic ingredients from scratch.  And so we began….

We roasted hot chilies.  And steamed them in bags.  And washed them and sliced them into strips….

Becky made the sauce.  Red magical goodness that must truly be a Gift from the Tamale Gods Themselves.

She then led us in the mashing of the Masa….  I haven’t tasted corn this fresh and delicious since I was a little child in Guatemala.  The taste and smell triggered many memories….

We nibbled on Lisa’s fresh guacamole while we labored…

The dogs slinked around the edges of the kitchen just hoping for some of the meat to fall in their direction.  I think the presence of at least one dog, maybe two, is crucial to good energy in a kitchen.

(side note: I was the happy recipient of two skeins of Prince fiber, dyed in poke berry.  Prince Himself is in the photo above.  And below is the yarn.  What a gorgeous gift!!!)

And then there is Cas, with his magical one-blue-eye gaze.

But back to tamales….

We donned pretty aprons.

And continued the tedious preparation.

Eventually, it was time to roll…. first the masa.

…next some sauce (will you look at the color of that sauce!!!) and filling which includes meats, roasted veggies and all kinds of cheeses.

We rolled and rolled.  And tied and tied.  We placed a lucky olive in the middle of each tamale.

Sometimes it got a little messy.  But soon we had a batch ready for the long steam in the big steam pot.

And we had some time to make some art…

Here’s Honey’s beautiful drawing:

And Diane‘s lovely constellation painting…

And one from Lisa too.

To be surrounded for a day by artists is food for the soul.  But we also need food for the body… here’s a tamale, just opened, perfectly steamed and ready to eat.  So eat we did!!

And we celebrated the New Year.  And Lisa’s birthday.  The cake is from Eclecti Kuchen.  As Becky so aptly put it, the cake was the ‘best fu*&1ng cake we ever tasted’.  It really was….

Red velvet.  Citrus cream frosting.  Candied lime and orange.  The expletive was well deserved.

And so now we are in 2012, with all the gifts in store.  Like a present, waiting to be opened.  I am truly fortunate to be a part of such a rich community of artists, musicians, culinary brilliants, friends and family.

Best wishes to you, my online community, as you venture forth into this New year ahead.  For me there are more instruments to work on, puppets to enliven, drawings to make, artists to encourage.  I am excited share it all here with you.  Cheers! And Peace to your 2012.








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