Sunday, February 17, 2013

Our Visit with Blue Swallow Woman

Eric and I visited artist Kat Schilke in her Blue Swallow Woman Studio today. I had seen a pin on Pinterest that featured Kat's hand made bags and luggage that are fashioned from old Navaho blankets, horse tack, beads, leather fringe, and other "bling". I called Kat at her Santa Fe Studio and arranged to meet her there this afternoon.

On the wall, arms held open by a sapling, was a stunning and obviously very old Indian leather dress.  The beadwork was intricate and beautifully made. To my amazement, Kat told us that she had made the dress herself as part of Mountain Man rendezvous – a deeply immersive re-enactment of the old fur trading days.  She and her boyfriend gather with hundreds of other enactors to re-live the lifestyle of old times, wearing Native American dress, carry tools and weapons from the hunting and fur trading era, and live with other Rendezvous enthusiasts in the mountains. As “Blue Swallow Woman,” Kat wears the leather dress for the Rendezvous.

Kat had samples of her stunning bags, hanging on an old ladder. I tried several on for size and then selected the Navaho blanket that Kat would use to fashion my one of a kind bag.

We asked Kat for a recommendation for a good, neighborhood place for lunch, and she immediately replied, "Tune-Up Cafe", a former gas station turned restaurant. She suggested we try the Cubana sandwich. We found the cafe and were delighted with the food and service. The Cubana sandwich lived up to Kat's rave review. Eric had a buffalo burger and proclaimed it one of the top 10 burgers he has ever had. Guy Fieri featured the "Tune-Up Cafe" on his Food Network program, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives", which can be seen on the following link: 


  1. Nancy and Eric,
    Fantastic... Oooo I am so glad you liked the Tune Up Cafe....Thanks so much and what a delight to meet the both of you !!!! NOW back to working on your Ooo So Santa Fe, "Naikita" bag.. :)

    Kat Schilke
    AKA Blue Swallow Woman Designs.