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…


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!

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.



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.