Tag Archives: Tempe

Frida Kahlo Devotionals


This devotional is called “Frida of the Crown.” I made it from odds and ends given to me or purchased from thrift stores or the Art Resource Center. I didn’t go out and buy anything new (other than glue) for this project. If you love this devotional in a repurposed Altoids tin, it can be yours for only $25, and that includes shipping! (Beware: this piece contains a small amount of added glitter. )

Here’s a Frida Kahlo calendar, NOLAgirl said casually.

The name of this piece is “Frida and the Children.” It’s made from a metal box slightly smaller than an Altoids tin and a litle more square. It costs $25, including shipping.

We were at the Art Resource Center (ARC) in Tempe, AZ. The ARC is a really fantastic nonprofit organization that gets art supplies in the hands of educators. Folks donate any and everything usable by young artists—popsicle sticks, fabric, greeting cards, yogurt containers, busted costume jewelry, yarn, interesting paper—and ARC volunteers give it away to art teachers. Folks who aren’t educators can shop at the ARC too, but folks not involved in teaching young artists pay a small fee or make a donation in exchange for the materials they want to take home to their studios.

Here’s another of the Frida devotionals I made from an Altoids tin and other repurposed materials. You can display this one in your home for only $25, including shipping. This one is called “Frida of the Blues.”

It was our first visit to the ARC, although I’d wanted to go since we’d heard about it at the Practical Arts charity pie night more than a year before. (The ARC is staffed by volunteers, so it has no set hours and is only open when someone is available to unlock the doors.) NOLAgirl humored me while I opened every drawer and poked in every cubby in the place.

This devotional box is called “Frida in the Night.” The tin it’s made with is slightly smaller than an Altoids tin and square. Like all the other Frida Kahlo inspired pieces in this post, all materials used were given to me or acquired at thrift stores or the Art Resource Center. No new materials were purchased for this project. That’s a genuine double-terminated quartz crystal between the two skulls on the bottom right. This lovely little shadow box can be yours for only $25, including shipping.

I got really excited when she handed me the Frida Kahlo calendar. I immediately envisioned cutting out photos of Frida and gluing them into embellished Altoids tines. They’d be like little altars, little shrines. I started thinking of what I wanted to make as “devotionals,” even though Dictionary.com tells me that’s not really what the word means.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I created “Frida (heart) Diego.” It costs only $25, and that includes shipping!

I had a couple of Altoids-style tines, but I knew I’d need more. I put out a call to my friends and posted a request on my Facebook pages. Several people donated tins and a myriad of wonderful small objects (buttons, skulls, jewels) to use for embellishment. At the end of the RTArt Camp, I snagged a bunch of leftover scrapbooking paper that had been donated. The paper was so pretty, but it never would have occurred to me to go out and buy it. Free is such a great price!

This devotional is called “Frida’s Blue House,” and like the others, it costs $25, including shipping.

Although I got my hands on the calendar before Christmas, I didn’t start working on the Frida devotionals until February. Even when I’m unemployed, finding time to make art can be challenging. Writing takes up a huge portion of my life, as does maintaining relationships. I wish I could stay in the house for an entire month and do nothing but create.

This devotional is one of my favorites! I love that crown I put on Frida’s head! It’s called “Hello, It’s Frida,” and costs only $25, including shipping.

“Young Frida” was the first devotional I made. Frida may be a young woman in this one, but already death is watching over her. I love the yellow color scheme of this one and the heart with the strange protruding arms.

This piece is called “Young Frida.” It’s the first Frida Kahlo-inspired devotionals I made. It costs $25, including shipping.

I’m really proud of the tiny Día De Los Muertos skulls present in many of the devotionals. They’re beads I had from my days of making hemp bracelets. While I was house sitting for NOLAgirl over the winter holidays, I decorated the skulls with extra fine Sharpie markers. My hand is barely steady enough for such fine work, but I think they ended up looking quite good.

This one is called “Young Frida and the Butterflies.” My favorite part is the butterfly that has landed on the head of the Día De Los Muertos skull that was, incidentally, hand-decorated by me. This entire devotional was created by me out of an Altoids tin, an old calendar, and odds and ends from thrift stores and gifts. This one-of-a-kind art piece can grace your desk, shelf, or altar for only $25, including shipping.

Of course, my heritage is not Mexican as Frida’s was. Is it weird that a Cajun woman who wasn’t even born when the artist died is now trying to capture her essence in tiny little boxes? Maybe. But I came to this project hoping to honor Frida Kahlo. Frida drank, smoked, laughed, had sex (with men and women, biographers always seem to point out), and cursed at a time when women were expected to be demure and proper. Frida lived by her own rules, and I respect her greatly for living her life the way she wanted to live it. Learning about Frida Kahlo’s art and her life helped to free me to live my life and create my art.

This one is slightly smaller than an Altoids tin (although made of metal) and more square. It’s called “Diego, Frida, and the Big Man.” It’s for sale for $25, including shipping.

Thank you, Frida. I hope I’ve made you proud.

I call this final devotional “Frida the Surrealist.” It costs $25, including shipping.


Papago Park, Tempe, Arizona


I went to Tempe to visit a friend who was in town briefly before she caught a plane. We ate free breakfast at her hotel and gabbed for a couple of hours before she had to check out of her room and head for the airport. As I was driving away from our visit, I decided to stop at Papago Park.


Papago Park is on the corner of East Curry Road and Collage Drive. It is actually on two corners of East Curry Road and Collage Drive. East Curry Road splits the park in two. I visited the side of the park with the pond and the large playground. I could see the other side of the park from across the street, and it has a much smaller playground, but larger open areas.

The park has a good size parking lot with spaces for many cars, so finding a place to leave the van was not a hassle.

I needed to use the restroom, so I headed over to the restroom building.

The restroom building.

The restroom building.

The building housing the restrooms is near the parking lot and NOT in the middle of all the park action. It’s closest to Curry Road, away from the places people in the park congregate. The women’s room is on the left.

As I walked into the women’s room, someone in the men’s room (a man, I presume) took a half step from behind the partition which keeps people from looking into the men’s room. (I think the partition blocks the view of the urinals.) The guy stood there and watched me walk into the women’s restroom. I’m not usually nervous about using public restrooms, but this guy freaked me out. I didn’t know what to do. I really needed to pee. I should have gone back to the van and used my pee bucket, but I didn’t have that idea until later. I decided that if the guy followed me into the toilet stall, I would start screaming and carrying on. Thankfully, he didn’t follow me.

What was he looking for? I don’t think it’s normal behavior to hang out just inside the doorway of a men’s room. I suspect he was either waiting for his drug dealer or he was waiting for another dude, someone with whom he could have some public restroom-gay sex-afternoon delight.


Unfortunately, the park was littered with trash the day that I visited. I don’t know if a bunch of trash had blown out of a can that morning, or if people had recently thrown a whole picnic’s worth of paper plates and bottles onto the ground, but there was a lot of rubbish on the grass and in the pond. Yuck! There were several trashcans around the park; I don’t know why people didn’t used them. (Don’t look for pictures of the trash here, because I didn’t spend my time taking any.)

IMG_1902     The pond was cool, although a pond in a desert is a little weird to me. I guess Papago Park is supposed to be an oasis. My favorite features of the pond were the ducks IMG_1916     IMG_1918     IMG_1917

and the No Swimming signs. IMG_1932     (Who decided that a bald, gender nonspecific person with his/her hands in the air would communicate a ban on swimming?)


Papago Park has a large playground for kids. IMG_1923

There are also two sand volleyball courts and a dog run. IMG_1929


Trash is visible in the grass on the right side of this picnic area.

I counted twelve picnic tables under ramadas which protect from sun and rain (mostly sun, I’m guessing). There were several other tables scattered around, not under protective covers. This park also has wide open spaces for running around and/or tossing or kicking balls.

I was in the park at midday on a weekday, so there wasn’t a lot of action. Some office types were using picnic tables for their lunch break, and an older man and his physical therapist were exercising with a large ball.

Papago Park is also the trail head for at least two trails. I didn’t hike either of the trails (too hot, no water, wrong clothes, wrong shoes), but I did see this rock formation when I stood at the trail head. IMG_1909

While trying to review Tempe’s Papago Park for TripAdvisor, I discovered that there is another Papago Park in Phoenix, at 625 North Galvin Parkway. (Lord knows why they didn’t give these two parks different names.) It looks like that Papago Park is near the Desert Botanical Gardens, and photos show that park also has a (apparently much larger) pond. An attraction of that Papago Park is Hole-in-the-Rock, which looks to me more like a hole in a mountain.

By the way, I searched “Papago” and found on https://www.google.com/search?q=definition+papago&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 that it means:

1. a member of an American Indian people of southern Arizona and northern Sonora.

2. a dialect of the Uto-Aztecan Pima-Papago language.