Sunday, August 1, 2010

Salty Salado

Who knew it would take nearly a week to upload all the photos of Salado (and I only got about a third of the way through the town, when the heat done me in. For the past week, it's been "upload a photo, and while I wait, clean the dishes, or litter box, or rotate the tires (kidding about the tires")...I haven't been sleeping much, as I have a neurotic cat (that would be Raisenette), who awakens me several times a night, so, I turn on the computer, and continue to upload...enough of that..that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Salado was a thriving community in the 1800's; it was a Stagecoach line (there's still a stagecoach, sitting outside the, well, "Stagecoach Inn", on the famous Chishom Trail, and at one time, there were eleven mills surrounding the river, which had been dammed up to the point that a five-foot geiser shot up.

The name "Salado" means "Salty" in the Tawakoni Native American language (never heard of them..looked them up; they were a small, fierce tribe, who was absorbed by the Wichita - heard of them, as I was born in Wichita)..but, I digress...still no idea why they called it "salty", perhaps, there were salt flats there then...

But now, Salado is a many smaller communities that base their survival on visitors spending money in their shops and galleries, they are struggling in this terrible "Great Recession", so if you are anywhere near there - people come from as far as Ft. Worth, Austin, Dallas, to stay in the Inn (there are more than one), and shop - there really is alot to see and something there for most tastes. It runs the gamut from Fine Art, Antiques, Clothing, and specialty shops.

I started at one end of the main street, and decided to work my way down...There were rows of shops under one, long-tin roof, filled with things I have no interest in (many what I refer to as "Oatsy Groatsy", I don't mind "Oatsy Groatsy, as long as it is hand-made -this was not hand-made, but made in China...I bypassed them. There is a Thomas Kincade gallery, which many people love, but it's just not my taste, but never would insult his fans.

Then, I saw it...a tiny, log cabin, nestled in the trees...I had been to Salado on several occasions, but never noticed it...I wish I had asked the owner what it originally was - perhaps a tiny tavern, or even a small, log domicile. It is covered in ivy, and it beckoned to me.

I love my new camera, as I can switch, back-and-forth from color, to sepia, to black-and-white...this shop just needed sepia, in fact, shooting the older buildings in sepia made it easier for me to "see" it in my mind's eye, when it was back in the 1800's......

I fell in love with the two, what must have been church pews?

Having once had a tiny gallery/shop in a historical building, I was so impressed with how much was in this little space...and they were wonderful things...All the linens, aprons, bags, etc., are hand-made by Richard, the very nice owner, who was busy cutting out pieces of fabric on the counter. There is also wonderful, quaint fabric sold by the yard.....

There is much to see, and I couldn't resist buying a little box of notecards, as it had coral on it..the box is like a book, that says "Coral" on the binding....I have a purpose for it..which you will see in another post. (anyone want the notecards? - I just wanted the box...below, are some of the other boxes...and lovely notecards..also, a clever bowl, made out of rolled up paper.

An assortment of candles, balms, bunnies, nests, floral arrangements, are displayed on wonderful, antique pieces.

Here's the most startling thing; this tree grows right through it..I asked Richard if they put the huge limb in, and he said it was there when they moved in...In fact, there is a tree that grows through the Stagecoach Inn as well. I love this!!!

Lots of quilts, pillows, tableskirts, aprons - all hand-made, and many available custom-made.

The cases have some lovely, hand-made jewelry, as well.

I especially liked Richard, as he takes in stray animals, many who have been hurt or are starving, and nurses them back to health. He told me there is no animal shelter, so all the shop owners have a doggie piggy bank, where one can leave donations to help care for the animals..There was a pretty chubby black cat outside the door, who was taken in, and seemed quite happy.

After living the Garden Shop, I walked across the street into another culture...Oriental...a "Zen" garden...Trees seem to play a large part in this town (trees in Texas play a huge's called shade)...There were several shops but only one was open (it was Sunday)...The one that was open is owned by an Oriental lady, and is full of beautiful, imported pieces; kimonos, scarves, jade pieces, art - lovely.

Speaking of different cultures...just down the street is -Sofi's - and yes, the picture of the porch and bench is up at the top..why? Because I had it here, but it disappeared on me, so I put it wherever the heck it wanted to be...still learning here...sheesh.
Sofi's is a shop with many "owners"...spaces...and a comglomeration of just about, photographs, clothing, jewelry, antiques, children's clothing, quilts..One could spend hours in there (I need to go back)..
When I first came to Texas from Wisconsin (and the cultures couldn't be more different), I was shocked at how the Mexican population celebrated death and their dead ancestors...Now, I just think it's fun. On the "Day of the Dead", the Mexicans have picnics in the cemetary, next to the graves of their loved ones..they bring their loved one's favorite foods, and just have a party...It's their way of celebrating the lives - not the deaths of their families...Hey, we have Halloween, which can be kind of spooky...I find nothing frightening about these "gleeful dead"...wouldn't want them in the house, but sure are interesting...There are beautiful, brightly-colored clothes, bags, jewelry, hats......for me, a little goes a long way...but still, a very interesting place. Lot's of hommage to Frieda Kahlo, whom I loved...she could, however, have used a brow waxing.

I think of Sofi's as an "Emporium"....truly a fun place to be....
I bought a wonderful "Flax", white linen dress at a great sale the owner of the space, Nancy, was having...It's on my dress form in my bedroom, waiting for the special occasion...right now, it's 102 outside, and I'm just not interested in being out there...but when I do venture out, it will be in that dress - Nancy says she has tons of new pieces coming in...I love the "Flax" line of clothing.

This is "Fergie", a stray that was taken in by Sue, who has fabulous jewelry, much of which she was wearing...Sue is confined to a wheelchair, but Fergie takes very good care of her...what wonderful women I met in this shop...very gracious, very interesting....very lovely.

Just look at that incredible jewelry.! And that lovely complexion this lady has...

This is Nancy, of the Flax....I wanted to rip this jacket right off her body and run away with is wonderful! She wouldn't let go of it...

This is Barbara, who makes the jewelry displayed in the case behind her...turquoise the size of hen's eggs, unusual stones, and it...If I didn't make so much of my own jewelry, I could have bought so much of what she had.....
Walls of quilts, at wonderful prices...really fun children's clothes and accessories, lots and lots of sales going on...hurry on down!

I just inherited so much beautiful silver from Aunt Lily, but I was so taken by this fork...It is haunting me...I may need to go back for it.

This shop was across the's in the back of a larger shop ...I asked the woman there - in this space, if I could take photos, and she was kind enough to let is quite lovely, with antique china, pretty jewelry, linens, etc...The mirror behind the counter is to die for

The chandelier is huge, and probably, orginal to the space? But electrified later....
I started to go into the adjoining space, but was stopped by the woman, saying she didn't want me to photograph the space...stated that everyone was trying to steal their ideas...I will honor that gladly (although I didn't see a single idea I would want to steal, as most of what was there was resin or imported from China or India)..oh nice..

Miller Fine Art is my favorite gallery and Western Genre gallery in all of Salado...there is one down the street that is very nice, but it's all longhorns and bluebonnets...nothing wrong with that...I love both, but after awhile, it's all starting to look the, all you long horn painters, and blue bonnet artists don't get's art, and art is subjective...there are many who would love your work...k? (In fact, I am going to do a painting of a longhorn...just can't resist them)..
I love the "door" series...Judy, the owner, was telling me this artist is in his eighties, and I believe he lives in New Mexico...very etherial..

I love this bronze....There are so many in her gallery, and all of them would be wonderful in my home...I can paint, and I can sculpt a bit, but the entire bronze process is expensive and difficult....I can't affort a foundery...The wall behind it is actually brilliant red, but in a wash of light, it takes on this fabulous magenta-tone.

These mesquite tables, inlaid with turquoise take my breath away....

Judy was so gracious, she invited me to "sit and talk", so we did...I had a great visit with her, and learned alot about the various artists showing in her space....Again, it is fine art, for fine art people...She said a young woman came in one day, newly married, and looking to collect some art for her home..Judy gave her the best advice - (I say the same to my clients)...Don't get it if you don't just truly love it...don't worry if it doesn't match the sofa, or if it seems out of place for your home...if you love will find the right place...

Another gallery, built around yet another tree...I love this!

Further on down the street is a series of shops, in such wonderful buildings! However, it was 102, and I was wilting......Even sitting on the benches in the shade was too hot...

More quilts...still at good pricing...

At this point, I was melted...also, I needed to get in my car to travel across the bridge (just too hot to walk it)...It was so hot, I felt, that's the cue to blast the air conditioning, and get out of Dodge (no, Salado)..I've been to Dodge, and it's a very sad place..The only interesting things I saw in Dodge City, Kansas, were some prairie dogs, standing in front of the local Walmart, sort of waving at me....weird..
Need to go back to Salado and finish my adventure....maybe when it cools off?

Today..Hot..Tomorrow...Hot...and Salado

Hot! Hot! and more hot...104 actual degrees, and who knows what the heat index was/is...

I decided to make a trip twenty miles north of Georgetown, Texas to Salado...I stated as much on my facebook, and my friend, Cam, who is so witty, asked...what is Salado - is it a restaurant, a salad??? It's a destination...a historical, small town, full of shops, galleries, and thankfully, has a river (shallow) that runs through it....

It was so hot (Greek Chorus here..."How hot was it?") that when I poured out the bit of bottled water that I had left in my car, it nearly scalded my hand (okay, I was rinsing my hand because I had a wonderful -only one-chocolate delicacy, and was rinsing off the evidence).

It was so hot, that I only got to about half of what I wanted to shoot, along with the fact that it is Sunday, and with the economy, the heat, and families that just want to spend Sunday together, many shops were closed. Also, some of the shops that I wanted to photograph were being watched over by employees, who didn't have the position (read owner) to allow or disallow photos...I did have to laugh, as one woman refused me (which is fine), but she was rather unpleasant, saying "we can't have you stealing our ideas"...I looked around and thought, "Darlin', first, most of your "stuff" comes from China, and "B", if I had to steal these ideas, I may as well shoot myself in the head"....I do respect that some don't want photos taken, but I am polite, and they might try to be, as well...most were gracious, acommodating, and some, I just sat down with and had a great talk....I do love Texans (mostly).

I was rather taken aback by a sign by the side of the road reading: Concealed Handgun Classes, and a telephone number..scary.

But then, Texas is a wonderous place..when I recover from heatstroke, I will post "Salado, Part I)..