Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blue and Yellow Log Cabin's New Home


Ruth Ballen and I were roommates on a trip to Tibet 17 years ago.  We have kept in touch, I admired her guts when, as a widow, she left LA for tiny Mountainair, New Mexico and became a part of the town, immersed herself in crafts, doll making, painting, and much else.  My daughters and I visited her last week and were gape-mouthed at her craft-filled home with TWO studios, one indoors for collage and other work and the second in a semi-porch are for painting and other crafts. 

Above is just a tiny corner of a  studio with art work and, below, a photo of Ruth with my daughter, Rachel, at the Shaffer Hotel in town with a painted fireplace behind which inspire Ruth to paint her own fireplace bricks - but in a design and colors all her own.  She is nearly 80, truly going strong, very much herself and the quilt I took to give her is perhaps one of the quietest items in her house.  Visiting her was a delight from the moment we opened the door.  I will envy her two studios forever! And continue to think of her as a role model for senior-dom.

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- there certainly is a story there with your fiend in Mexico. I wondered at what age she moved to Mexico? Did she move there by herself? How long ago did she move there? Did she make the pin and hat that she was wearing in your post photo? Does she sell any of her work?Does she seem happy in Mexico? I have a feeling that this woman has really been true to herself. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Did I leave out "New" -- Ruth lives in Mountainair New Mexico -- I've just written more about her on my Calenderpages blog. Yes, she does sell some of her work. She has been there 13 or 14 years and she did make the pin and beanie she's wearing, also the shirt -- and you should have been her great batik pajamas! She was, I think, a little over 60 when she moved there. I am very energized from our too brief visit.