By Kathy Burns-Millyard

When you think of the Southwest, what do you think of? Deserts, cactus, saloons? Well, Southwest style decor can actually combine these visions into a single decorating style. If you're wanting to use a Southwestern decorating theme in your home, a living room or den is a great place to use it. The bright colors and patterns are conducive to conversation.

When you are looking to use this style, you first want to think about what colors you want to be most prominent. Reds, oranges, yellows, and greens are traditional Southwestern colors.

Read more: Southwest Style Decorating Tips

By Eileen Richardson

If you are coming to Santa Fe New Mexico for Christmas, you may want to try some of the traditional Holiday foods. You may see tamales, posole, carne adovada, and for dessert: bizcochitos. These traditional foods are from Mexico, Spain, Latin America, and Native Pueblos. These are the ethnic groups that came to New Mexico or were originally here, and have contributed to the cuisine found in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico today.

Read more: Santa Fe Christmas Traditional Foods

By Eileen Richardson

Santa Fe has been known for its unique shopping opportunities. It still offers selections of Native American art and pieces that cannot be found anywhere else. The world's largest Indian Market occurs in Santa Fe in August each year, but the rest of the year you still can find and purchase from an extensive selection of unique Native American art forms of all kinds such as kachina dolls, pottery, weavings, stone and wood sculptures, and jewelry.

Read more: Shopping For Pottery and Weavings In Santa Fe

By Eileen Richardson

The Native American communities in the Santa Fe area bring such rich cultural contributions in their Kachina Dolls and Sculptures. There are authentic pieces to be found in the area. Please ask to be shown the authenticity by tribal affiliation and Indian heritage to be sure.

Kachinas Kachina, is a Pueblo Indian word meaning spirit or life. Kachinas represent the spirit of the gods of nature such as clouds, sky, storms, and trees. They are seen as Gods who can help people. They also represent the spirits of ancestors who become clouds, bringing much-needed rain. They serve as entertainers and discipliners of children. Kachinas can grant good fortune, such as fertility, power, and long life.

Read more: Shopping for Kachina Dolls and Fetishes

By Eileen Richardson

Glass artists in Santa Fe are numerous even if they are not as well-known as some of the other arts. Most of the studios are hidden away. Since 1968 Santa Fe has been a Mecca for the glass work arts. Canyon Road itself had 6 “hot shops” where apprentices learned and perfected the trade. We are not just talking about glass blowing either. There is a form known as “pate de vere” that is a fusion of works. The types of work done by artists in Santa Fe are assembled, hot-worked, mixed media, neon, sandblasted, slumped, stained, blown and assembled, fused and slumped, cast and slumped, blown and sculpture.

Flo Perkins is a Santa Fe Glass Artist who creates glass and metal floral displays. She is known all over the world for her work.

Read more: Glass Art in Santa Fe

by John Murray

If you have a southwestern or Navajo decor you are going to be very pleased with the rugs that are available to complete your room. Southwestern rugs are a work of art and very affordable. They are very versatile! Here are 8 styles of Southwestern Rugs that are very popular.

1. Southwestern Handmade Area Rugs Handmade are rugs will contain Southwestern colors, designs, and figures. They may use subtle desert tones are vibrant bright colors depending on the design. These Southwest rugs are perfect for a bedroom, porch, kitchen, sun room, living room rugs, or family room.

Read more: 8 Styles of Southwestern Rugs

By Eileen Richardson

The Truth on Turquoise Turquoise has been of interest to even early man. In the Western hemisphere in the burial sites of prehistoric peoples the stone was found.

The Anasazi and Hohokam mined turquoise throughout the Southwest. Turquoise is known to be a popular trade item because it was found hundreds of miles away from the mining sites of New Mexico in Mexico with the Aztecs.

Read more: The Truth on Turquoise

By Geoffrey Cook

According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, paella is a saffron-flavored dish made with varying combinations of rice, vegetables, meat, chicken and seafood. The Dictionary also explains that in the Old French and Catalan languages, paella means frying pan or pot.

The traditional paella pan is flat and of large diameter, it can also have handles on each side. In fact, paella is one of the most versatile dishes to make. Paella also has the advantage of being great to clean out the fridge and use up leftover meats and vegetables. Any combination will eventually be great the secret is in the chemistry. Paella is a dish that is generally made to feed several people. Moreover, paella is quite flavorful the next day as the tastes have had time to mix together and become stronger.

Read more: The Secret To Preparing The Perfect Paella

By Eileen Richardson

The Indian Pueblos of Northern New Mexico All pueblos invite you to visit on feast days as well as other days of the year and observe the dances, ancient traditions of song, dance and feasting .

The inhabitants invite you to share with them the beauty of all their traditions. Each pueblo is different in their rules, so when visiting them, check all posted signs as far as hours to visit, photography rules, video and film taking rules, and sketching. Please observe these rules.

Read more: The Indian Pueblos of Northern New Mexico