The 'Original' Creative Crafting Magazine written by Crafters, for Crafters

Creative Crafting magazine began in August/September 2009, when a group of crafting friends on the Creative Connections network decided that it would be a good idea to raise awareness of the crafting community. From this point they started work and the first issue of Creative Crafting was published in October 2009 and are still publishing today.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Year in Sante Fe Part 4


A Year in Sante Fe Part 4
Published in Issue 16, April 2012
Written By Jim from Kath Guitars


So March was the month we took the quantum leap.  Okay, it was only about three miles, not quite a quantum (whatever that is), but it was far enough to make our lives crazy.  We accomplished two major positive events and experienced one setback.

The railyard where we spent every Sunday since last august became a dry zone for us sales-wise.  We were lucky to make the $35 in order to pay for the rental of the spot.  So, sales being slow and the economy being somewhere on the bottom of the litter box we did what any responsible adults would do… WE RENTED A STORE!!! (Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, has ever accused me of being smart).  I don’t know how to spell wooooooooph, but, wooooooooph.  And that wasn’t the crazy part!  We also bought a house.  And no, the store and the house are not at the same location.  Again, not so smart.  We could’ve done that and killed two birds with one stone, but I like birds, so we decided against that.  

Then, comfortable that until sales grew I could cover the rent and mortgage with my salary from my computer job, one week after the deal on the house was signed, my company let go half of the employees; I believe you folks called it “Getting Sacked”.  So, God has such a weird sense of humor; he gave us everything we had prayed for but then said “Okay, you’re so smart, let’s see you REALLY make a go of this by making it pay for itself”.
Needless to say I wasn’t wearing adult diapers at the time, but it sure would have helped.
So, now we have a brand new house and a store, but it’s the slow season here and I have no income.  But always being optimistic in the face of undeniable, impending doom… I’m optimistic we’ll be okay.  There are people in foreign countries getting bombs dropped on them and haven’t eaten in a month, I have absolutely no right to complain about anything.  Maritza and I are blessed beyond what we deserve.  God saw fit to give us these things and somehow how we’ll honor that and not squander the opportunity with whining.  But we’re whiners so we probably will anyway.
We had a grand opening with food, spirits and a great band.  The turnout was marvellous; everyone ate, drank, danced, browsed… but we didn’t sell one darn thing.  Guess they were too preoccupied with the punchbowl of sangria and the cheese squares.  But we didn’t expect sales anyway so it’s okay, it was basically our “coming out” party to build awareness.  I video recorded some of the party and at the end of this article I’ll put a link where you can see it all live!!

The building was built in 1790.  I know that’s not so old a building for England, but here, that’s prehistoric.  It’s an old adobe style building and the walls are three-feet thick.  The lady that rented it to us (she’s in the video) is eighty-five years old and she grew up in this building and so did her mother!!  Most rent prices in this area are about two-thousand dollars a month, but for some unknown reason she fell in love with Maritza and gave it to us for eight-hundred a month (still a lot of money when you’re out of work ;-/ ).

But God is good and tells us to only focus on today and not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself (Matthew 6:34).  He’s been sending me customers left and right.  I have so many guitars in my shop right now that I had to build a shed in the yard to put some tools in just so I had room to hang up guitars.  If you’re not a spiritual type of person, please forgive me for mentioning God so much.  But in MY life, when I used to do things on my own volition, it never went right; I tried to force my way of doing things on everything and ultimately was wrong.  One day I decided that God does exist since he’s let a dummy like me make it this far in life without cutting off my fingers, so I figured I’d let him figure it all out for me.  I wait for signs and then I act instead of bulldozing my way on my terms.  So far so good.

I have a whiteboard in the shop where I list every project I have to do, that way I don’t forget anything.  When we moved in I had one entry in the list.  Now I have to buy a bigger whiteboard.  So, fingers are crossed.

Maritza is doing well also.  She has sold several pieces since we opened on March 2nd, but has been primarily busy setting up our new house and making it homey.  She works in the house in the morning and comes to the store about 2:00.  We have a lot of passersby from nearby Bed-and-Breakfast inns.  She has also been taking silversmithing classes and is now making the most beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry (that’s very popular in this part of the country).  She used to have long, beautiful nails but has systematically lost them all to her grinding machine.
Our house is nice.  It’s small with almost no yard, but that’s perfect for me; I don’t have time for gardening right now.  There’s enough space for a small vegetable garden and we plan on putting one in because the vegetables in the United States are awful.  They pick them too early and they have absolutely no flavor.  When I was in the U.K. once I went to a farmer’s market and bought some red peppers.  I decided to eat one right then and there and it was so delicious I wanted to marry it.  That’s what real produce tastes like.  But I digress.

So, our year in Santa Fe is constantly hitting us with challenges and blessings.  At fifty-years-old I feel like my life has just begun; my way of life has completely changed and my wife and I are more in love than ever.  I don’t have any money, but what a major difference it is not having the intense stress of working the computer job.  Computers used to be fun, but nowadays it’s a 24/7 job and you’re never secure.  I have thirty years of experience and am a very dedicated and good employee and I’ve gotten “let go” at least five times in the past seven years because companies run out of money or need to improve their budget.  I really would like to be self-sufficient at this stage in my life.  But again, that’s me whining like a baby.  Compared to lots of other people on this tiny planet, I guess I’m doing okay.


“This gentleman lives in Louisiana. He is a children's trauma surgeon with an illustrious career "behind him". Two years ago he had a tooth pulled and was given too much anesthesia and suffered a stroke. He forgot how to play guitar, walk, speak, everything. He's learning guitar again. He asked me to build him a jazz guitar that looks like a violin. I also had to make the neck with special features because his hand is curled up from the stroke. He wouldn't sue the dentist because it was his best friend. Because he wouldn't sue the dentist, his health insurance wouldn't pay for his health expenses related to the stroke. He is a wonderful man with a heart of gold. After receiving the guitar in the picture, he ordered another one from me that I'm building right now. 
In the picture he's in the hall of the music department in Louisiana State University.”



We would love to hear from our readers with your thoughts on what we're doing and what big steps you've taken to further your craft endeavours. Please email us at either jim@kathguitars.com or maritza@lalunaranchwear.com
Seriously we WANT you to email us, so do it! Do it now!!!!


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