A House in Taos!

It looks like the desert wanted to keep me a little bit longer… And I think I’m fine with that!

I was warned the day I moved here that this is not only the “land of enchantment,” but the “land of entrapment”… and I think they are right!

I really struggled to find a place to live! I made it a part of my daily routine to look for housing that matched my needs for about a year… It wasn’t until I decided to officially stay here in the desert that I found a house in Taos that fit my needs perfectly!

The timing for this move got real tight for a bit… My contract was up April 15th, and I found this house in Taos on the 14th!

The funny thing is, Taos is actually where I wanted to move when I first started to feel called towards moving here!

I couldn’t find anything at the time, but Madrid and Cerrillos caught me and were so good to me. I hope to visit often since I’m only a few hours away, and Madrid especially has now become one of my favorite hidden treasures of New Mexico.

Before I moved here, I had a lot of people try to warn me that New Mexico was brown and boring… And while it does have it’s brown patches, it does has little pockets of lush green forests and tangled trees if you look.

I am quite happy I get to stay in the state, but I will miss my time spent in the off grid cob house in the desert. Living off grid was a great experience and challenge. While I’m not entirely off grid here, I did learn some valuable lessons for the future.

Okay… so the house I found is an adorable little adobe cottage. It’s actually outside the city, which is %1000 approved by me. I no longer have to drive an hour to get to a grocery store… but it’s still far enough out for me.

I still get to hear the coyotes sing me to sleep and watch shooting stars from the hot tub.

That’s right! This place has a hot tub!

It has been a weird adjustment to go from collecting rainwater and relying on water delivery to a hot tub! *swoon*

While I do collect rainwater for gardening… and I’m on a well again! I love being on a well system. I don’t feel guilty sitting in a big tub of water like I definitely would have in the cob house.

While I’m not entirely off grid, I’m still going to learn tons about off grid living because there are so many earth ships around here! Not only is Taos known as an artist colony, but it’s known for it’s Earthships and Biotecture! (I’ll get to the home photos in a bit! First, you just have to see these pictures!)

 
 
 
 

Oh.. and all the views!

 
 

And apparently… the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is a short drive away! We actually drove over it without knowing it was coming up… (Yikes!)

It’s very jarring to drive over when you aren’t expecting it!

Okay… Back to the house!

Endless skies in the backyard… and mountainous views from the front porch… with an aspen tree guardian protecting the house.

 
 

(Inside the studio…)

(The office, and some of my Desert Treasure Critter Collection. (Coming soon… but read more about them on Patreon!))

SO -I don’t actually have very many photos of the house after all… even though I’ve been here for a little while now, I guess I’m not quite “settled in” cause I don’t have much furniture!

I moved from a furnished house to a non furnished one… so I’m still technically living out of suitcases and totes.

The only furniture I had with me was my art studio and office stuff!

Luckily the house has a lot of built in shelves and spaces… so it’s not too bad. Plus, it will be fun to restart my furniture collection.

…I have heard great things about the thrift stores here in town… I’m excited to check them out.

And I did find a good comfy couch at a thrift store during the move process so that the animals and I could have some normalcy when we moved, so it’s not as bad as it may sound.

It’s been an interesting transition for sure, and despite not having much furniture, I have what I need and am feeling more settled and at home each day.

It's been weird to not be thinking about water and firewood! I’m now on propane heat again, and I keep the house really cool so as to not use up the propane. But it’s been delightful to walk into the house and see a cozy little fire burning in the stove with NO work on my part.

Just like magic.

 
 

I am on about an acre or so of land on the outskirts of Taos surrounded by lilac trees. The coyotes still prowl and howl around at night, but I'm close enough to town that I could actually have a pizza delivered to me if I wanted to!

I have a fenced backyard now too that is currently full of tulips and dandelions… but I’ve planted tons of new things that should be taking root pretty soon. I can’t wait to show you more pictures soon.

The landlady was looking for someone who wanted to take care of plants and help resurrect her trees and garden. I don't think I'll disappoint. 

It’s already looking hundreds of times better than when I moved in.

My pets love the new place and especially the garden too. I don't fully trust the cats outside without my supervision, but I make sure they get to go out a few times a day. The dogs love it too. I've been promising Wicket some grass for a while now… and a fenced backyard to protect him from the coyotes. (Meko I’m sure is ready to take on any coyote I’m sure)

The cats have been fun to watch. They’ve only ever been allowed on a screened porch, so the grass is new to them. Lily especially seems interested in how fast and far she can leap and jump in the grass. So, that’s worrisome. Luckily there are plenty of fence guards designed for cats like Lily and Spider-Cat. Merlin, I’m sure won’t be jumping fences any time soon.

 
 

Lily in the Garden

Wicket loves to find a spot amid the flowers and just sit and be. He's always been like that, and didn't get that chance while in the middle of the desert in Madrid. He's enjoyed himself so much he's already lost some weight and seems so much happier. He always smells like wildflowers now… instead of his usual garbage breath.

One of the best parts of this house for me so far has been the garden. This house has so much garden space and potential, but all of the garden beds have been grown over with grass and weeds.

I’ve been spending a bit of time outside each day weeding the beds here and there and planting new things. Gardening really is so therapeutic isn’t it?

I’m actually healing up from a pretty bad sunburn this week… so I gotta be careful!

I’ve planted some herbs for cooking and teas. I have some tomatoes, peppers and basil growing, and I revived and planted multiple lavender bushes around the hot-tub area. I’ve got mint plants and mint seeds sprouting too. I even have a baby pine and some lilacs I’ve transplanted. There are even a few mystery plants that I’ve resurrected… but we will save the garden for another post. 

This post is getting a bit long… I’m going to try blogging a bit more often now so I can avoid that in the future.

But, before I go, I do have a few announcements!

I’m all out of decks!

Spirit de la Lune and the Untamed Truth Oracle are both sold out!

I’m currently working with my printer to have another batch printed… this edition might have small changes to make it an anniversary edition of some kind, or I might include a free gift or something… I’m not sure yet!

The best way to hear about news on the deck is to sign up for the waiting list!

I will also be updating the website soon and returning to blogging!

It feels like my voice was robbed from me for so long… So I’ll be returning to blogging a bit more now that I’m able to… Blogging and writing used to bring me a lot of joy, and I’m finally feeling excited to get back to it.

I decided to take this year off from teaching so I could focus on finding my voice again, as well as finishing up some other projects that had to be put on hold…. But, I do want to mention that:

Today is the last day to sign up for Wild Creative Journey with Wild Sister Magazine. I’m really bummed I chose to say no, but I really wanted to stick to my rule of giving myself a break this year.

“Wild Creative is an 8 week journey in creating and bringing creation into our lives. Creating isn't just a hobby - it's also healing. In this journey, we explore various methods of creating and what it does for us, inside and out, with the help of 20+ incredible artists and contributors!

There will be art tutorials, interviews, and more! Even a bonus on creating art spaces for tiny humans, if you have them! This isn't just an art class - it's a journey in learning not only how to create but what creating can bring into our mind, body, and soul.”

(Also, you can still sign up for Book of Days with Effy Wild! I am technically teaching in 2019, I filmed in 2018… SO, I’m good on that rule.)

Alright… that’s it for now!

I’m off to do web-designy things and decide between small changes to the deck or a free gift included in the deck… what do you think?

Rachael Caringella

I am an Artist, Mystic and Oracle. I have been creating since I was little, and am constantly working on something new in the studio. I also have a passion for illustration. I have illustrated a few children's books as well as some Tarot decks and Oracle decks. Aside from creating art, I am also a card reader. I specialize in Tarot and Crystal readings. I love all things mystic, and spiritual and I delight in the mixture of creation and intuition.

In Pursuit of the Numinous | Facing the winds of change

 
Tree Talker Art Blog | In pursuit of the numinous  | Facing the winds of change
 

My time in the desert is nearly up!

I can’t believe how quickly time has flown while I’ve been out here. I am on the last few months of my contract, but I do think I am ready for a new adventure. The desert has been very healing for me and I’m going to miss this place for sure…

Being the temporary keeper of this land has been a magical and rewarding experience. Living off grid like this changed the way I look at a lot of things, and I’m thankful for the life altering lessons I’ve learned out here.

This has been such an inspiring place to live!

I am going to miss those beautiful sunsets that show up every night and the ever changing weather that rides in on the voices of the wind.

I have loved living in a place where the pine trees and the cactus mix… I’ve loved the feeling of both solitude and community that this area has provided me with.

From the mountainous views as far as the eye can see… to the oddly shaped roots and branches that beg for stories to be told about them... I’ll miss it all.

But I’m thankful for all the beauty I’ve seen, the photos I’ve taken, the adventures I’ve been on, and desert treasures I’ve found along the way.

This truly has been a magical place!

While I am sad to leave the desert behind, I do feel ready to find my new home! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me… House hunting is not my favorite task by any means, but I’m not too worried…

I have a particular talent in finding the numinous.

I’ve been living in remote locations for about 4 years now and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live in a city again!

Don’t get me wrong, Santa Fe is one of the most inspiring and beautiful cities I’ve ever been to, but I love to plan my trips into town! Especially when the drive is beautiful. Being about an hour or so from Santa fe and other surrounding cities means it’s vital to plan ahead and make lists of the things I need. Because I leave the cob house so rarely, I also have to include day trips and adventures into my normal in town errands if I’m going to explore the area at all.

Santa Fe has been my favorite city to visit and live near... so far.

It took several attempts, but Gavin and I finally were able to see the Miracle Staircase in the Loretto Chapel! (pictured above!)

Exploring the history of Old Town Santa Fe as well as the other fun small artsy towns always provided me fresh inspiration and awe.

I still have a month or so left here and a little list of all the things I want to do before I head off to my new home. So far, my list includes the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and Meow Wolf both in Santa Fe!

Santa Fe has been a great city for me… but I think I am going to miss the little town of Madrid the most. This has been one of my favorite places ever. It’s about 20 minutes from my house and the town I drive through to get into town town. (You know, the kind with a gas station.) At first it was weird they didn’t even have a gas station, but after a short while, I learned to love how remote (and strange) this little town is.

It wasn’t long before I started to get to know everyone by name at the coffee shop and post office. It’s such a fun and unique artist town.. I really am going to find it hard to say goodbye to this place. Hopefully I’ll get to come visit in the airstream one day.

Tree Talker Art Blog | In pursuit of the numinous  | Facing the winds of change |

I’m not entirely sure what is next for me… but I hope it involves pine trees and mountain views. I’ve been house hunting for the last few months, and I have faith the perfect opportunity will work out.

Living here in the desert for the last year and a half has been such a blessing despite some of the challenges I’ve had to face.

I’ve had to put a lot of projects and ideas on hold while I’ve been here so that I can process and heal, but I am hoping my next place will have adequate land for my airstream so I can finally get her up and running.

I also want to get back to that oracle deck I started a while ago! As well as a few other projects I’ve had on the back burner. I don’t like to put creative projects on hold, even though sometimes it just has to happen.

Tree Talker Art Blog | In pursuit of the numinous  | Facing the winds of Change | Tree Talker Art Journal Pages

This last year, I’ve been mostly working in my art journal. I make myself a new one for my birthday each year, and last year I made myself a very thick book.

I’m determined to fill in each page in with either art, poetry, writing or dream journaling. It’s been really healing to focus on my journal for a little bit instead of put expectations on myself with large paintings.

Since it’s a pretty big journal, I can still scan in work and make it available for patrons, or put it in the shop!

This is my second year art journaling in a journal made by my own two hands… and it really does hold so much extra magick!

 
 

My art journal is my place for both therapy and experimentation, but not much of the journal would make much sense without an explanation from me… luckily I do go into quite a bit of depth and detail behind the meanings of the ones I show, over on my patreon!

Sometimes, my patrons even get art prints or mini-originals that match some of my private journals!

I LOVE sending things in the mail… and I’m thankful Patreon gives me the opportunity to send out surprises to my patrons! I love that Patreon gives me the ability to connect with people on a more personal and even private level.

I blog over at the private patreon blog pretty often. They get to hear about my random ideas and project ideas as well as the deeper meanings of some of my work. They are also the first to hear news and get updates from me.

The support of my patrons and blog followers is so important and appreciated!

My art journal is great for relieving stress and anxiety, especially about this upcoming move… but having my circle of support is more helpful than many realize!

I’m hoping that the great house hunt will be over soon so that I can start to direct my energy towards creating the new home and other creative ventures.

I can’t wait to share my future plans with you soon! Keep your fingers crossed for me and send some good energy my way that I can align myself with the perfect opportunity.

I’m ready to put down roots and not move again for a LONG time. I can’t afford land of my own yet, but I am hopeful I can find some land and a cabin for rent that will be as inspiring and magical as where I am at now.

Tree Talker Art Blog | In pursuit of the numinous  | Facing the winds of Change |  Moving
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Rachael Caringella

I am an Artist, Mystic and Oracle. I have been creating since I was little, and am constantly working on something new in the studio. I also have a passion for illustration. I have illustrated a few children's books as well as some Tarot decks and Oracle decks. Aside from creating art, I am also a card reader. I specialize in Tarot and Crystal readings. I love all things mystic, and spiritual and I delight in the mixture of creation and intuition.

New Year, New Art, New Start

Snowed In - Desert Off Grid Life - Tree Talker Art

It seriously felt like January lasted forever!

It just seemed to drag on despite starting off so rocky. I’m not complaining or anything… it was just a really overwhelming month full of the unexpected.

Last year I had pulled a year-ahead-spread for myself with the Untamed Truth Oracle, and I feel like that gave me some perspective that I enjoyed and used last year. I’ve really missed that so far this year! I guess it’s not too late to pull a new reading for myself… cause WTF.

I did the New Moon Blog post for Spirit de la Lune for this month, and while I wrote about expecting the unexpected, it is still a tricky thing to do.

I remember last year’s winter out here in the desert wasn’t bad at all. We got a few inches of snow, and I felt a little bit bad for the desert life out here. But everyone said that’s the typical winter for this area. So,I used last year’s winter as my example for preparing for THIS Winter…

Oops!

New Mexico got hit with quite the snowstorm!

Just before the drive, I made a mental image of a hawk facing a snowstorm… I didn’t know it would be days before I would get to actually paint it!

Just before the drive, I made a mental image of a hawk facing a snowstorm… I didn’t know it would be days before I would get to actually paint it!

On our way back from visiting family for the holidays, Gavin and I got caught in the blizzard just hours away from my house. We spun out in the ice totalling a borrowed car and stranding us in the storm.

Gavin and I have been dating long-distance for a few months now, but we’ve known each other for a long time. We work together really well… probably because we worked together when we were younger. (He was one of my first crushes!)

Anyways… After hitting the ice patch it took us several days and several tows to get ourselves back to the Santa Fe area, where no one was prepared for this year’s winter either.

The trip was now lasting much longer than I prepared for, and I had cats at home! (Luckily I had cameras set up to watch their food and water levels)

By the time we made it to the Santa Fe area, I got word from a neighbor that my house had about 3-4 feet of snow up there. No tractors could get in and out, and no car rental places had any cars with 4 wheel drive!

We finally were able to secure a truck with 2 wheel drive and the determinitaion that we would be hiking in the snow to the house.

It was an adventure. We had all of our luggage from the trip, our food, and the dogs with us! This was quite a journey walking back and forth in the 4 feet of snow. I gave Gavin my snowshoes for one of the trips and he was able to smash us a path. I at least had snow boots!

When we finally reached the house I was thankful the house was relatively warm. I knew they had enough food and water, but I’m thankful my cob house has thick walls to keep the winter chill out.

Snowed In - Desert Off Grid Life - Tree Talker Art

We couldn’t stay and rest for too long, we had heard that a new storm was coming... and like I said, I was not prepared.

Plus, our rental was marooned in a snowbank and we had to go shovel it out… When we got there, we heard many of the neighbors were snowed in or needed help or supplies delivered.

It was inspiring to see a bunch of other off-grid hermits come together to help each other like that.

I love meeting fellow off-gridders. We love to share tips and advice to make our lives easier. We gave rides, and helped deliver supplies and shovel people out for most of the day, then ran into town with my neighbor for more supplies.

We had to be careful with how much we brought back because we had a long ways to hike in all the snow.

I’m very thankful for Gavin! He carried back firewood, propane and so many groceries… often at the same time! I felt pretty bad following him with my load which felt tiny in comparison to his.

He was also able to play around and fix with an old propane heater we found in my back room.

That and the firewood helped the house stay so nice and toasty… even when the snow came in through the front door!

Because of the solar panel system we weren’t able to get a full charge on a some of the days it snowed so much. This resulted in some fun cozy candle lit nights with audio books or card games.

 
Snowed In - Desert Off Grid Life - Tree Talker Art
 

I am very thankful Gavin has come back into my life. I feel very lucky to be loved by him… He’s inspiring and supportive of me and my work and I can actually create around him. (Which is big for me!) He helps me expand my ideas and encourages my creativity while helping me in so many other ways too. I finally admitted to him that he truly does make the best burritos. (A minor 14 year old debate finally resolved.)

I don’t think I would have made it through this winter without him.

He carves stone and wood himself and helped give me some of the confidence I needed to begin carving my own stuff. Carving wood eventually led me to felting and other forms of fiber sculpture. It’s been a lot of fun exploring new ideas and mediums. Carving and felting have been a lot of fun. I’ve been wanting to do them for so long, but just haven’t felt like I’ve had the motivation or inspiration until lately. Here are some samples of what I’ve been up to, but I do have more in the works!

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Felting Animals - Snowed In - Desert Off Grid Life - Tree Talker Art

I’ve been working in my art journal almost daily. It’s very therapeutic for me, and I can tell when I need it. I’m hoping to finish up this current art journal by my birthday, which actually won’t be too hard to do… I’m teaching in Effy Wild’s Book of Days class this year! There are tons of lessons and art journaling prompts to follow! This is the only class I’m planning on teaching this year, and I’m really excited about it.

If you can’t tell, I’ve really been digging glow in the dark paint so far this year! I’ve been using it in a lot of my journals and 3d works.

It was a busy month indeed, but I did get six new art prints in the shop! Two of the new prints will feature hand embellished glow in the dark paint.

Painting Titles: (Starting At Top Left) Hazy, LightEater, Smolder Out, Phoenix - Of Lighting and Flame, 3 Wolves Howling, Exhale, (Glow samples of Smolder and Phoenix)

Painting Titles: (Starting At Top Left) Hazy, LightEater, Smolder Out, Phoenix - Of Lighting and Flame, 3 Wolves Howling, Exhale, (Glow samples of Smolder and Phoenix)

I’ll be posting some new art and a new blog post next month! My plan is to check in here at least once a month with some of the new stuff that’s been going on.

I’ve got my brand new Spirit de la Lune planner to help keep me organized and on top of things this year!

(You can still order your planner here!)

Remember to follow me on instagram for more photos, and on patreon for the private blog, behind the scenes pictures, downloads, discounts and prints.

xx

Rachael



Rachael Caringella

I am an Artist, Mystic and Oracle. I have been creating since I was little, and am constantly working on something new in the studio. I also have a passion for illustration. I have illustrated a few children's books as well as some Tarot decks and Oracle decks. Aside from creating art, I am also a card reader. I specialize in Tarot and Crystal readings. I love all things mystic, and spiritual and I delight in the mixture of creation and intuition.