Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shopping in Taos

I was reminded this morning when I considered my topic and searched my brain for a lead photograph that when I originally began this blog I used old photos I had searched in Google for. This was one of the first ones I used. Fortunately blogspot keeps them all in Picassa albums so I was able to get it back for today's topic of shopping in Taos.

The wagons now have wheels but I don't know that the look of my fellow customers have changed much. Taos residents can be an odd lot. Especially at Walmart.

First stop yesterday was Albertson's. I had made a list of items I needed for my after Thanksgiving open studio event and I am more familiar with their layout of products than Smith's. And I was trying to avoid Walmart to be honest. I seldom, if ever, go into Walmart once the holiday season has kicked off. I am obviously not a good American consumer. Albertson's also has the bogo sales on things - buy one/get one. They had extra thick organic pork chops perfect for stuffing but I digress.

My goal was to get one or two things I was out of but all else for the green chili stew, biscochitos, cheese plate and hot spiced cider for the Friday and Saturday event. Ever notice how fast you can shop when it is your usual list but how slow things go when you have some unusual items on it? And so it was in the paper aisle yesterday trying to decide on paper bowls, plates, napkins, and hot drink cups. None of the numbers were what you would expect. Experienced shoppers know it is 10 hot dogs and 8 buns per pack. But quick what is the number of paper bowls in a package? With Hefty it is 10 or 25.

And how many might you use for an open (as in advertised to the public) event? That is highly problematic in Angel Fire and this time of year weather has a lot to do with it. I chose my menu because it would all freeze (green chili stew) or be eaten by me (cheese and rice crackers) or could be mixed in smaller batches (hot apple cider). I think I can cope with anything from one to 50 so I got fifty cocktail plates, bowls and drink cups. And an almost infinite amount of plastic spoons. Experience has shown that I use plastic spoons for everything from yogurt to go to mixing paint.

I think I am all set for the party. And the next couple of weeks of other stuff like canned dog food. My goal is to not have to drop into the local market for anything. With gas going down and their prices going up it almost becomes cheaper to drive over the mountain for more than three items. The one thing I could not find was sterno. Had planned to put the apple cider in the chaffing dish. So had to go to Walmart anyway (camping section in case you are looking for any) but they had only the little cans. Finally decided it was more economical to but a little crock pot (my big one will have the green chili stew in it). Used to have two but I think I was in a decluttering mode. Oh, well, the old one was in harvest colors (picked up at a garage sale?) and the new one is black to match the big one.

All my paper dinner wear (isn't that an interesting term they have picked up?) is in red. What does not get used for this event will be serviceable at Christmas and then at Valentine's. Small party like events are suppose to be the way to promote your art and studio these days. And what I spent on food and accessories was a great deal less than the standard booth fee at a fair. And that is without the gas and labor to get there.

Last year I was in the Rio Grande Holiday show watching people walk off their turkey dinners. This year I will be sitting in my warm studio probably painting Christmas decorations until someone shows up. Ambiance sounds better.


  1. One of those things where it seemed like a failure until you added up all the sales in the next week. And a very clean studio ready for the Christmas tree.

    I think marketing is an interesting concept and no doubt there will be blog on that here or Creative Journey in the not too distant future.


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