Welcome to my blog series “My Life Along the Turquoise Trail”
The Tinkertown Museum on the Turquoise Trail. Bill and I are fortunate to call this romantic, nostalgic, beautiful and whimsical area our home. Although only a 20-minute drive from Albuquerque, this stretch of highway never fails to transport me, to make me smile, to make me breathe deeply of the fresh mountain air and tempt me to stop in to visit the warm, friendly neighbors who create unique shopping, dining and outdoor experiences. I am grateful for this slice of heaven here on earth. One of my favorite places is the Tinkertown Museum. It is so full of magic and wonder everywhere you turn. I find it impossible to describe this gem, just a short hop off the scenic Turquoise Trail. As soon as you park your car, you’ll enter a world of whimsy and wonder. The welcoming staff, including the owner and widow of the late artist, visionary and creator Ross Ward, enthusiastically shares the history and stories of this one-of-a-kind place. Lately I have been popping in often just for the burst of joy that emanates from the museum and the people who visit from around the world.
Here is the Tinkertown Story
It took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect and lovingly construct what is now Tinkertown Museum. His miniature wood-carved figures were first part of a traveling exhibit, driven to county fairs and carnivals in the 1960s and ’70s. Today over 50,000 glass bottles form rambling walls that surround a 22-room museum. Wagon wheels, old fashioned storefronts and wacky Western memorabilia make Tinkertown’s exterior as much a museum as the wonders within.
Inside, the magic of animation takes over. The inhabitants of a raucous little western town animate to hilarious life. Under the Big Top, diminutive circus performers challenge tigers and defy gravity while the Fat Lady fans herself and a polar bear teeters and totters.
Throughout, eccentric collections of Americana (wedding cake couples, antique tools, bullet pencils and much, much more) fill Tinkertown’s winding hallways. Otto the one-man-band and Esmerelda, the Fortune Teller, need only a quarter to play a tune or predict your future. Through a doorway and across a ramp awaits a big-sized surprise: a 35′ antique wooden sailboat that braved a 10-year voyage around the world.
Ever a work in progress, Tinkertown is ready to inspire your imagination and awaken your creative spirit. On a recent Sunday afternoon visit, I had one of those moments. This would be the PERFECT location for our Summer photo shoot. It captures the spirit, whimsy, history and creativity of those who love to live here, visit here and embrace the energy of this part of the world through our jewelry. Tinkertown welcomed us with open arms, and as is always the case, we discovered new hidden treasures.
Bill and I drove our cherished 1961 Turquoise Lincoln convertible in honor of the occasion, and it became the supporting star to our model Monique in our Vintage inspired pieces.
It’s hard to resist layering on the Turquoise when you take the wheel of this classic beauty for a trip along the Turquoise Trail.
Cheyenne was a very patient equine model, and so loveable that I forgive her for drooling on my new Boot Barn western shirt.
She loved it when we adorned her bridle with Native Pearl beads and a bold Naja. She seemed to be trying to get a closer look at the Western designs Monique was wearing.
Tinkerbell gave Monique a tour of the Wild West section of Tinkertown. Monique was dressed to impress her petite hostess, in a Miranda Lambert Idyllwind fringe blouse.
The colors and energy of Tinkertown inspired us to layer on the beads in silver and stone; including necklaces, bracelets and rings.
Living up to its mission, Tinkertown inspired our imagination and awakened our creative spirit.
I hope you will experience this amazing place. And save time for the Gift Shop. You’ll find toys and games that take you back to your childhood, as well as art, books and other unique gifts.
Join us on our journey along the Turquoise Trail ~in the Land of Enchantment!