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Family news

Gathering of Nations Pow-Wow 2016, Albuquerque, NM

Hello my blogging friends!  I took a week off after the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque, NM to catch up with my Life Book 2016 lessons, but now I’m back.  First off:

Gathering of Nations

This event is a Federally recognized non-profit organization to promote Native American culture.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I was thoroughly in awe of all the beautifully intricately beaded garments and accessories.

For more information about this event you can go here:  Gathering of Nations.  There were dancers and singers representing more than 500 tribes in North America and Canada.  It is a three-day event, but we only went on Saturday and part of Sunday.

Here are some pictures I took of people walking around the stadium.  I asked permission to take their picture, of course.

These beauties were from  Minnesota



This young girl was on her way to the main floor to dance in the young girls competition.



Look at the beading work on these moccasins.  They were completely hand beaded.  Just beautiful!


Mexico was represented also.  Look at the long feathers!!


I had many more pictures, but somehow they are lost in my file system.

Well, you get the idea.  If you want to see more pictures. you can always go the link above.

Thanks for stopping by


A Family Wedding and a Couple of Cards

Hello, my sweet crafty friends!  Get a cup of coffee because this turned out to be a loooong post.  Last week we attended a family wedding in Phoenix.  We were invited to two back to back, but were only able to attend my nephew’s.

My nephew is a DPS officer  with a very funny sense of humor.  He wanted the wedding to be laid back and very informal.  He made all the arrangements for the wedding. He ordered the invitations, which were decorated with a ball and chain; set up the venue, at the Hardley-Davison’s of Scottsdale; engaged the bride’s daughter-in-law to be the photographer; and asked my daughter, Zonia, to officiate at the wedding at the Chapel at the dealership. Seems odd, but it worked out perfectly.

The ceremony involved the immediate family and used Native American customs, as well as Catholic traditions.  My daughter used a prayer that her grandma Chefa used to say for the family, Prayer To St. Joseph, as a guide. She thought it would be perfect because according to Catholic tradition, St. Joseph personifies the perfect family head.


She asked my nephew’s dad and his two uncles to take part in the ceremony.  Instead of the traditional wedding lasso in the Catholic ceremony; they gave the bride and groom a necklace and his dad used a feather to bless them in the Native American tradition.


She had her aunt give them the Blessing for the Journey, which his grandma used to give all of the children each time they embarked on a new journey.


And here are  Mr. and Mrs. David and Cindy Lucero, and granddaughter!  It was so cute, she didn’t want to leave her grandma, so she was also part of the ceremony.  When they exchanged rings, Cindy gave her a little ring too

That’s my daughter, Zonia, in the background.


Their first dance – so sweet!


This is the whole family enjoying the festivities.



The bride’s son and the awesome photographer!


Wedding Card Number One

Making the wedding card  was so fun.  Since Dave used a ball and chain for the invitation, I used the theme together with his law enforcement background.

I made a tri-fold card with the yellow tape and hand cuffs.


The band comes off to reveal the inside of the card.

I used a couple of Unity Stamps, George and Scarlett the couple and the sentiment from the November Kit Love is a Magical Thing.


Inside the tri-fold.


I drew the ball and chain  for each one and a pair of handcuffs for the groom.


Wedding Card Number Two

Since we weren’t able to attend my cousin’s wedding, I made them a very special card using a Unity Stamp called Cherished Moments and the sentiment from the same kit as above. I’m going to enter this in a future challenge.

The last time I was at Hobby Lobby, I saw some Joleen’s stickers for a wedding, so that was my inspiration for this card.


I colored the couple with watercolors on watercolor paper.  I bought some satin fabric and cut out each segment of the dress and pieced it together.  I added a piece of tulle and glued some gems on it as well as her hair and dress, then added the bow.  I also added stickles to each fold of the dress.


OK, folks, I hope you enjoyed a bit of family fun and pictures.

Until next time!

Thanks for visiting!


A Tribute to My Mother-In Law Josefa “Chefa” Varela Lucero


Chefa, as we all lovingly called her, was born on February 26, 1920, she died November 13th, 2014, she was almost 95 years old.

My husband, Art, wrote a beautiful eulogy for his mother and he gave me permission to  publish some of his thoughts.

“Mom was a simple, unassuming, uncomplicated person; and yet, she had an extraordinary and long life.  Her entire life revolved around two things:  Her church and her family.  Her family had a tradition of serving the church.  She even lived on the San Jose church grounds.  As a young child she helped build the old Cristo Rey Chapel.  She recalled carrying buckets of water for the adobes.  As she got older, she moved on to cleaning the chapel and later, the formal church, and eventually, washing and ironing the church linen and priestly garments.  She carefully examined, and re-examined the garments to make sure there were no wrinkles of any kind.  After she was satisfied, came the task of taking them back to church.  No easy task, being that mom didn’t have a car.  We would walk the garments on outstretched arms hoping we would not drop or the wind blow something off the hangers.”

“Years later, came the cooking at the church kitchen:  Tacos, Menudo, and the old favorites gorditas to raise money for the church.  She also washed, repaired and fixed stuffed toys to sell at the church for the young kids to buy.  Finally, came the recycling of aluminum cans.  At family get togethers, eagle-eyed mom was on the lookout.  No one could throw a can in the trash without mom commenting, “para la iglesia.”  It didn’t take long before the whole family got into the act.  Her joy and pride would always be apparent when she collected sufficient money to purchase the needed garments or linens for the annual “Fiesta de Cristo Rey.”

“In 2001, she was recognized by the Diocese for the long service to the church.  Being an extremely humble person, she was somewhat embarrassed by the recognition and attention, but very appreciative.”

“I once asked her what her happiest moments were and she quickly replied:  “When I had you kids.”  She had a total of 11 children.  Seven survived – two daughters, and five boys.  Six were a year or so apart.  What a hand full  we must have been.”

“How she cooked meals early on by herself and on a wood burning stove, we can only imagine.  Making six to eight dozen tortillas at every meal along with caldos, caldillos, papas, avenas, cereales, veggies and snacks; and my all time favorite:  Beans.  de olla, refritos, con queso, con chorizo, con chile rojo and so on.”

“She was quite the efficiency expert.  She would form assembly lines with the older kids to help with cooking, washing, and bathing.  Saturday night baths were like watching a Keystone cops movie.”

“She was a nurse extraordinaire.  Her knowledge of herbs and home remedies, taught to her by our great-grandmother, Mague, kept not only us, but some of the neighborhood kids healthy.  Scrapes and cuts, form a line, Nurse Lucero is on the job 24/7.”

“Yes, she was busy, but had time to play.  Jump rope with the girls, trompos, marbles, and catch, with the boys. We all remember the mud ball fights after a nice rain.  The clay soil could be formed into a small mud ball.  Our mom could fling a clay mud b all with the best of her kids!”

“For a significant time she was a single parent of six.  During this time, I can only describe her as a financial wizard.  Taking a few dollars a week, usually earned through the sweat of her brow, and providing us with our basic needs.  She either cleaned a few houses or ironed someone’s clothes to earn money.””

Recycling was also the order of the day, even before it became fashionable.  My sisters wore dresses made by mom from flour sack material.  I can still remember the white sacks with flower patterns.  Careful deliberation was given in the purchases so as to not select the same pattern often.  The younger boys received some hand-me-downs, everything always mended and cleaned.  Although she only had a third grade education, she would help us with our home work and encourage us to do well in school.””

Her life got a bit easier as we all grew older one by one we began to work or join the military.  Each of us helping support the younger ones, finally just mom.  Oh, but then came the 60 or so gran, great-grand, and great-great-grand kids, many of whom she helped raise in some fashion or another.  All of them gave her tremendous joy.  And, for the rest of her life, mom was showered with their hugs and kisses.””

Mom’s last few days were spent at home surrounded by all her kids, young and old.  Never alone, 24 hours a day, with sounds of family close by, just as she wished.  She passed with grand-kids holder her hands and in the presence of her two loving daughters.”

“Mom was indeed an extraordinary mother, not because she made any grand contributions to society or the world, but because she met and exceeded her everyday challenges year after year, after year.”

“Mom is no longer with us, but our memories of her will be passed on for generations to come.”

I just wanted to add, that when I met Chefa, I thought she had a formidable stature.  I felt a bit intimidated by her at first, but as I got to know her better, I understood why she had to be that way.  So many years struggling to raise her children.  All the sacrifices, and all the work she had to do were all well worth it to her because at the end one by one all children became great assets to society.

Thank you, Chefa, for your great example!

I also want to thank all the family members, young and old, who were constantly looking after our daily needs, whether, physically or emotionally, and who contributed so much by their presence, by bringing coffee, doughnuts, goodies and even food to the hospital.  And especially those who were ever-present at Chefa’s side. We don’t have enough words to say and want to show our appreciation by thanking you publicly at this time.

Love and thanks,

Art and Carmen Lucero