Guest Blogger - Leslie Crow

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When you asked me to be a guest blogger I thought about what it was that I’d like to share with you and I started reflecting on the last three years since I left Los Angeles.

I hit the road in search of freedom, with a desire to get back to the land and reconnect with nature in the American Southwest. I spent two years in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, and from there, migrated east to live on a 19 acre ranch deep in the heart of Texas.

Along the way I have woven the colorful and exotic tapestries and textiles of the Southwestern landscape into my art more than ever, and been enchanted over and over by the colors of the Western Skies and the stark white contrast of adobe walls and sun bleached bones. I have ridden horses into forgotten canyons and camped on the Trail of the Mountain Spirits, explored ancient cliff dwellings and ghost towns and sat by many a lonesome starlit bonfire.

Here is a collection of random snapshots from my journey, interspersed with images of my home studio workspace and of the art which I have been inspired to create there. Our newest collection features hand-painted and fringed white leather, delicate dentalium shell jewelry with recycled bullet casing, gemstone and antler bone accents as well as handcrafted leather apparel and new bag styles. Look for the new collection to be unveiled sometime in early 2013.

I’d also like to share that we have a very exciting collaboration in the works which will debut in January, featuring the work of some amazing female artists commissioned to hand-paint Heyoka Leather Pieces in their own signature styles. The first artist we will showcase is our longtime friend and talented fine artist/photographer Alexandra Valenti. Cant wait to share her beautiful visions with you all!

I’d like to end with the lyrics to a beautiful song “See the Woman” written by one of my personal heros, John Trudell, and an image from our very first Heyoka photo shoot. Native American Choctaw/Chickasaw Elder Wyvonia Riddle photographed by Sabina McGrew in Yucca Valley, CA 2008 wearing the Heyoka Leather Nomad Necklace. To me, Wyvonia personifies the spirit of true American beauty.

She has a young face
An old face
She carries herself well
In all ages
She survives all man has done

In some tribes she is free
In some religions
She is under man
In some societies
She’s worth what she consumes

In some nations
She is delicate strength
In some states
She is told she is weak
In some classes
She is property owned

In all instances
She is sister to earth
In all conditions
She is life bringer
In all life she is our necessity

See the woman eyes
Flowers swaying
On scattered hills
Sundancing calling in the bees

See the woman heart
Lavender butterflies
Fronting blue sky
Misty rain falling
On soft wild roses

See the woman beauty
Lightning streaking
Dark summer nights
Forests of pines mating
With new winter snow

See the woman spirit
Daily serving courage
With laughter
Her breath a dream
And a prayer