November 01, 2023

Handpainted Journal Cover
Lori's Notebook

Lori's Notebook - 手描きのジャーナルカバー


My Scandinavian heritage is on my father’s side. My mother’s side is Spanish, Mexican and Native American. My maternal grandmother was born in northern New Mexico and my grandfather was born in southern Colorado. In contrast to my Norwegian ancestry where it is well-documented, on my maternal side there is almost nothing – only 3 handwritten notebook pages. Now that I live relatively close to New Mexico, my sister and I hoped to learn more about this side of our family, and planned a trip there.

I loved everything I experienced there, but especially the history, the landscape, the skies and the churches – all so gorgeous and inspirational. I also love the native jewelry. I grew up with many turquoise pieces, gifts from my grandmother and mother, but unfortunately, most were lost. So on a trip to Santa Fe this May for my birthday I knew I would look for turquoise. I bought an antique ring, and my dear friend Geninne offered to paint a picture of my ring on the box. It became an important treasure to me. 

Here is what I'm making for a trip to New Mexico, a hand-sewn, hand-painted journal. 

Santa Fe is the oldest state capital in the United States and the oldest city in New Mexico. Named “La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís,” or “The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi,” later abbreviated to Santa Fe, meaning “Holy Faith” in Spanish. I chose to paint Our Lady of Guadalupe, in honor of this visit. The journal is still in progress, I’m slowly adding details - I may sew on special pieces, called Milagros, small metal charms of devotional art, and medals, both joyfully chosen and collected.


Photos and Text by Lori Ann Rushfeldt