Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween is really a US import that really hasn't taken to big of a hold here. Kids will get dressed in costumes often bought at the store. You really don't see the all out costume making marathons, huge parties or trick or treating that goes on in the US. For Mexico the 1st and 2nd of November are the church holidays which are celebrated. On the first the souls of the innocents are honored. Those babies and children that have died. On the 2nd the adults are honored. Graves are visited and alters are created at home. Here death is just another step in life so that it doesn't have the fear and stigma it does in Anglo cultures. Skeleton figures are created to look and do what their live bodies would do. In fact a Mexican artist "José Guadalupe Posada created a famous print of a figure that he called "La Calavera de la Catrina" ("calavera of the female dandy"), as a parody of a Mexican upper class female. Posada's striking image of a costumed female with a skeleton face has become associated with the Day of the Dead, and Catrina figures often are a prominent part of modern Day of the Dead observances." Catrinas are now created out of all kinds of mediums and are collected. I enjoy the Catrinas that are made out of the common red clay and painted. They come in all sizes from 1/4 inch to many feet tall. I have only a few. Here are two of them. The third on is an angel made out of papermache. So then riddle me this how can an angel be a skeleton?? :c} Okay so I'm thinking there must be some kind of hob-goblin living in the camera or these Catrina's really didn't want their pictures taken today. Oh heck just pretend you are looking through spiderwebs :c}

Tomorrow LW and I will hit town with the camera and bring back pictures of some of the alters that are made to honor the dead family members.

Okay all you little Bloglandian goblins stay safe and don't eat all those Smarties at once!! :c}

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Birthday Gift and 389 Scrabble Letters

Now you might be wondering what Birthday and scrabble letters have to do with eachother. Remember a couple of post back I said I bought 389 scrabble letters on eBay?? I figure I better start finding ways to use them since they took up precious room in my luggage :c}

Our friends, Miguel and Helena (it's pronounced alana long 1st & 2nd A, in Spanish the H is silent and the e is a long a sound) started out making and selling their jewelry on Saturday nights at the Plaza Machado. With Miguel's talent and Helena's business sense they now own a wonderful gallery with Miguel's jewelry and many other South and Central American artist's work. Their shop Casa Etnika is in the front of an old colonial home, and opens up on the home's courtyard.

Helena and I also share November as our birthday month. SO I thought it might be fun to make her birthday present with some of the scrabble letters. I'm just getting started but I took the letters that spell Helena and will place one letter on a tag. Then choose a word that begins with that letter (in Spanish of course) and decorate the tag for to match the word. Here is the tag for the N. N is for Nido (nest). Then on the back of the card I wrote both the Spanish and English word. I started the A tag last night also, A is for Angel (Angel it's the same except in Spanish the A has an accent mark) I'm still working out the board, or background you know something to hang the finished tags on. Maybe a piece of old drift wood?? What do you guys think ?? Any suggestions on how or what to hang the tags so they spell out Helena are very welcome :c}??

This afternoon is a trip to Centro for LW's coffee beans and a stop at the English library. By the time we do all the visiting along the way from where the car is parked to the shops it will be time to get home to feed the crew! :c} Hope you have a good day or evening my Bloglandia neighbors depending on what part of the world you live in :c}

Monday, October 27, 2008

I See Wonderful Things

For months I have been ordering things on line and having them sent to my son and his partner's house. And to be honest with you I even forgot all I had ordered. A few months back I discovered eBay :c} and according to LW life hasn't been the same since :c}. What I discovered on eBay was that all the old issues of Victoria Magazine could be found there!!! Well now how could I pass that up?? So there was 4 years of Victoria's waiting for me, and did you know that 12 Victoria's weigh 8lbs?? Now this is important when calculating the wt of things being packed to maintain your 50lb limit for the airlines!!! I'll have you know that I had 2 bags coming home which gave me a total of 100lbs. When Anders threw the bags up on the baggage scales it came out to..... 99.5lb :c} A half a pound to spare... what can I slip in..... ;c}. There was new sewing scissors, more memory for the computer,389 scrabble letters (you just can't have to many of those you know!!), a little of this and a little more of that.

But in all the delights waiting for me the ones I was looking forward to the most was the the birdie pin cushions Laurie at Laurie's Charming Designs had made for me !!! I fell in love with the baby shoe birdies the minute I saw the one she made for Dawn, The Feathered Nest. So I asked her to make one for me, and it's more then adorable don't you think?? Well now I got to thinking it would sure be nice to have a baby boy shoe to go with my baby girl shoe. And what do you know?? she had the cutest little brown birdie shoe on her etsy site :c} I have to say that just these two little guys were enough to make me smile but Laurie wasn't finished. She painted the wrapping on both parcels then filled them with 3 charms she had painted, an adorable wire and pearl nest, the nest painting and the little plate pumpkin painting I won in one of her givaways. AND the darling painted salt and pepper shakers she had placed on eBay!!! Woooooo Hoooooo I now have the cutest art corner to create in!!!

I also had 3 books from waiting for me. I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to order Robin Brown's book "A Bit of Velvet and a Dash of Lace" when I saw it advertised on her web site Magnolia Pearl. But after hearing my Bloglandian sisters talking about it (actually it was more like gushing ;c} ) I knew I had to have it. It is everything that was said about it!! The eye candy is beautiful!! Though Robin is just a bit more into layering then I am especially in this heat and humidity There are so many ideas to use as a spring board. The other 2 books were "Lifelines, Creating Memory Art To Chronicle Your Personal Connections" by Carol Wingert & Tena Sprenger, and "Art Making Collections & Obsessions" by Lynne Perrella. Both of these are filled with the most amazing art to inspire and "Lifelines" is full of tutorials :c}

I owe Dawn,The Feathered Nest a huge thank you for leading me to these 2 books. I
don't know how many of you know that over in the right sidebar of Dawn's blog she has a button that takes you to all of her favorite books. She has an amazing list that really helps the ferreting out processes. Be sure you check it out when you have time. :c}

Please have a good day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you live in :c}

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Home Sweet Home ;c}

Oh my gosh it is sooo wonderful to be home!!! I had such a wonderful visit with my kids and of course meeting my new little grand son Dylan was so amazing!!! I won't gush to much cuz I'm sure those of you that are grandparents know all the wonderful amazing feelings that one has when they first see the tiny face of their first grand baby :c} This is one of those times when those of you that are only parents can not begin to understand. Truly not to sound too elitist BUT the feelings are "way" different. I can remember all the emotions that played hop scotch in my body with the birth of my kids. There is just no way of expressing the feelings of seeing the miracle the child you had a hand in creating, created!! These are the times you wish the gift of poetry, whether words or music was one granted to you :c}

Okay so I've been tired oh I supposes a few times in my life ;c}, and I can honestly say I AM TIRED!! I now have a whole new respect for my daughter who spends her days moving at the speed of light!! I'm going to need a week of rest just to "fight my way out of a paper bag" :c} But I am proud to announce that both Ruby ( my tiny traveling comp.) and I could maintain a power shopper pace necessary to gather everything on my list. Of course Ruby won everyone who saw her so at any given time there would be all the store clerks surrounding her oooohing and aaaaahing :c}

I was able to stock up enough at Michael's, Joann's, and Home Fabric to keep me busy for quite awhile ;c} Course that's what I keep telling LW as the charges roll in ;c}

Actually that's not a true statement. I think LW has been much more supportive and indulging then I deserve!!! Sooo in conclusion the trip was more then successful!! And I can go another 2 years before returning to the Northlands IF and ONLY IF Dylan can convince his parents to bring him here to visit !! :c}

All kinds of things to share from my trip but I think that is for another day. For now I need a cup of tea, my rocker and the stack of Somerset's magazines I brought home. Oh so many beautiful ideas, and I with no plans for my days :c}

I hope all was well for all my friends in Bloglandia, need to catch up with all the going ons with you all also!!! Have a wonderful day or evening depending on what part of the world you are in :c}

Monday, October 20, 2008

Attack of The Killer Bugs... and "Giveaway Winner"

Last night right about the time the sun was setting huge no I mean HUGE bugs were seen wondering down Olas Altas. That would be the street the sea wall is built against. In Mexico that barrier area is referred to as the Melacon. Okay back to the news: Last night the citizens of Mazatlan were treated to a wonderful troupe of puppeteers. This is a group of artists from Spain that travel to many different countries preforming with their puppets. They are made of gesso & painted canvas over steel frames. And just like all true puppets they are only manipulated by hand. Depending on the size of the bug there is at least one guy pedaling like mad what looks like a modified bicycle. He's the one who provides the forward motion. :c} Then there is a couple of guys behind the steel frame that bring up the "rear" and keep the bug from wondering to far a field. With the Praying Mantis there are also a few puppeteers walking along beside who help manipulate the legs.

This was another event put on by the Mazatlan Cultural Department. It was free to the community and a number of city buses provided transportation directly to Olas Altos. Like every event in Mexico there was a wonderful party atmosphere. People started showing up hours before the performance, Space was sorta limited. There was the sea wall on one side of the street and building on the other. So if you wanted a "good" spot you needed to get there early. Hmm what to do?? what to do?? to kill time until 7pm? Why of course you pack the ice chest, throw in a few munchies. towels and the ever present "boom box" . Head down to the beach at Olas Altos for a relaxing swim, and impromptu party ;c} Or slip on a pair of shades and bike down to the Melacon, to enjoy some cotton candy with your buds while you wait :c}

And now for the announcement of the winner of my little "giveaway". We put all the names in an empty Dutch Boy paint bucket. Don't you just love those new plastic screw top paint buckets?? :c} They are way cool and I can think of a hundred things to store in them :c} Oh Yea we shook up all the names and LW reached inside and drew out.... Karin from One Perfect Little Miracle as our winner!!! Woooo Hoooo Karin I'll get the package off to you as soon as I get to the "Northern Lands"

Thanks to all my new Bloglandian friends for making my first ever giveaway so much fun. :c} I can't wait to have another one as soon as I can convince an unsuspecting 'Mule" to take it north to post it ;c}

Okay kids I need to run. "I'm leavin of a jet plane" (who sang that remember??) in less the 23 hours, that is if I get a move on it. Projects have now officially come to an end and the packing has begun. I will do my best to post a bit while I'm gone but with only 4 days for new baby fixes so I can't make any promises. But with LW's help I'll have a little something new to see when you come a callin this week :c}

Take care my Bloglandian neighbors and have a wonderful day or evening depending on what part of the world you are in :c}

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Show and Tell Sunday...... YIKES

Why yes of course today is Show and tell Sunday and yes I said I wanted to play. But then I depended on my middle age menopausal impaired brain to remember that I was playing. I can't even say I remember all on my own. It wasn't until I was visiting The Little Pink Studio and saw my name on Cerri's list!!!! :c{

I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. I think since I drug you all the way here on false pretenses I will have to make amends. I'll extend my deadline for my giveaway until tomorrow morning. So anyone who comes a callin today to see my stash if you will leave me a tiny note in my comments I'll add your name to the drawing. If you would like to see what I'm giving drop down a couple of post :c}


Saturday, October 18, 2008

When Is A Tin Can Not A Tin Can?? When It's....

A Basket !!! This week at Awfully Big Art Adventure the challenge was to create using a tin can. I haven't attempted any of the challenges yet, thinking I would when I got home from Idaho. But I always check the blog to see the resulting creations. The tin can art was really great and very imagintive!! :c}

The other day LW and I went to the Mercado ( the big city market ) for veggies, cheese etc. I ran to my favorite stall that sells every day handmade clay plates, bowels and the like. I wanted to pick up a couple of tiny clay pots, for my little collection. It is a tradition in Mexican kitchens to display these little clay objects. It brings the kitchen good luck and many blessings. So I picked up a couple of pots and the young fellow that was working for his mom told me they had a new "value pack. They had packaged up 5 little pots and cups in a cute little basket. Perfect!!! Today I got around to finally unwrapping and emptying the basket. That's when I discovered the basket was made of a tin can that was cut to make the "stays" to the basket. Then thin plastic tubing was woven through to create the body. The handle is a piece of metal strapping cut and bent to attach it, and then wrapped in white plastic webbing material. Until you look at the bottom of the basket you have no idea it started as a tin can!!

When I was younger I use to marvel at how my Mom could create wonderful, beautiful things from "nothing" a gift she was given from her mom. My grandmother was the wife of a hard working man who made his living logging and building rail road tracks. She raised 3 sons and my Mom during the depression in logging and railroad camps. They knew the meaning of POOR. However my Mon use to say that no matter what was needed my grandmother always came up with a solution. And so it was with my Mom. When ever I asked how she did it, or how was she able to find a workable solution she would bend down and whisper in my ear, "Necessity breeds creativity" ;c}

THANKS so much to everyone that helped with my cry for help last night !!! Your answers worked great :c}
So that my Bloglandian friends is when a tin can is not a tin can. It's a basket!! Have a good day or evening depending on what part of the world you are in :c}

Friday, October 17, 2008


Why Why Why does that happen LOOK at the end of my next post. What am I doing or not doing that is causing that ungodly gap between my last sentence and the comments spot at the end of the post??????????????????? It's driving me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone out there have a suggestion PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

Okay I'm going to go to bed now. Maybe the Little Blog elves will creep into this mess and fix it for me :c}

An Afternoon at the Beach

For us the beach, sitting quietly watching the waves, reading, shell hunting, playing in the surf, and walking hand in hand, is how we remind ourselves what is important and what isn't in life. The beach we go to most often is an 8 block walk. Mazatlan is one of the very few beach communities in Mexico where all of it's beaches are accesable to the public. There is around 13 miles of beach. It starts at Olas Altos, the original beach front for the historical city. It stretches along and changes names as it goes, until it reaches the northern end of town which is now called the Golden Zone. It is where all the resorts and beachfront condos have been built. So it stands to reason that the tourist tend to populate the beaches infront of the resorts. That's fine with us cuz that leaves a whole lot of miles to the locals.

During the week days those in between beaches are very quiet, no I mean VERY QUIET!! Many days we are the only two sitting on the beach. On Saturdays and late afternoons it tend to be a bit more populated. On Sundays these beaches can get somewhat busy. Remember Mexico works on a six day work week so many families after church will pack up Grandma and all the kids and head to the beach for a day. Often having their Sunday dinner there.

Built right on the beach are these little palapas that sell seafood, beer and cold drinks. Some of these palapas have had the same little restaurant in them for years. Others are more like "musical palapas" you never know who has it or if anyone does. It's sorta like waking up one day saying I think I want to have a sea food palapa let's go see what ones are empty. When you find one you build a fire in the grill fill the ice chest with beer and you now have a sea food resaurant. What you think I'm kidding?? You see no one knows who owns these little shacks, The city, the state or the federal government. No one wants the mess of trying to regulate them but everyone would love to be the ones to charge rent. For years they have been arguing in court. The city says they belong to them the state says nope they belong to the state then the feds remind everyone that Mexican law says the beaches are owned by the Mexican people not individual groups. Well then of course they must belong to the feds. So year after year they go round and round. In the mean time these little palapas are there for who ever wants to have their own little sea food restaurant. I'm telling you it could be one sweet deal!! No rent, no taxes, no long term contracts heck not any kind of contract. I keep telling LW we should stake one out and take it over the next time it's empty. But so far he just keeps shaking his head, rolling his eyes and saying ARE YOU CRAZY??? And on second thought he could be right ;c}

Have a good day or evening Bloglandians depending on what part of the world you live in :c}

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Today LW and I managed to get the last of our Christmas shopping done for our family up in the Northern Lands. I'll take all our gifts up when I head north in a couple of days. So there will be a little bit of Thanksgiving and Christmas in October for our little family.

Tomorrow we promised ourselves a day at the beach :c} We'll pack our books, a little lunch, and cool drinks and head down the the 8 blocks to our little beach, to soak up a warm sunny day and listen to the sounds of the ocean. Cuz boy oh boy am I going to need a good dose of fortified beach day to get through the frigid days a head of me :c} I mean think about it, I have had real shoes on maybe 3-4 times in two years, The only long pants I own are my jeans, No heavy winter outerwear, nothing- nada, not even a wool sweater !! AND it has already snowed once there. Okay so it melted right away, but still it snowed ;c{ So I guess you can tell I'm not a four season kind of girl, huh??? No not me. I'm more then happy to put our Christmas tree up on the patio, and slather sunscreen on Christmas morning when we open our gifts up!! :c}

It's off to bed early for this little Bloglandian so I can get up early enough to get my chores done. I want nothing impinging on a nanosecond of my day at the beach!! Have a good day or evening depending on what part of the world you live in :c} Don't forget to leave me a comment so you are entered in my little givaway :c}

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Baby Pictures & A Few More Goodies For the "Giveaway"

UUUUUWWW Let me show you my baby pictures!!! :c}

Now don't you agree this is about the cutest new Papa and baby son you have seen in a "coon's age"?? :c}

Hmmm I don't know about you but these will never do. Nope not for my first grand baby!! I think the first thing this Grandma has to do is purchase a digital camera for Dylan's parents. That is if I expect to get pictures bigger then a postage stamp!! :c}

Here is what I have put together for my giveaway. There are some pieces of hand embroidery done by some of the indigenous women of Guatemala. There is the a dainty blue flowered beaded bracelet made by some of the indigenous women in the state of Nayarit Mexico. I also found the little hand painted cross painted by Indigenous women in the State of Oaxaca Mexico.

And then I threw in a set of Mexican "lottery" cards. Gambling is against the law in Mexico. However they have these types of lottery games which to the untrained I (me) look just like Bingo!! The set here is used a lot to teach kids the names of objects. Besides the many faces of Frida Kahlo these are the only paper art I have seen used to decoupage. There are boxes, tables, and I even have the cutest little kids red bench they were decoupaged on :c} So have a little fun in your projects with these. They are even small enough to use in ATCs :c} Lastly I made a little tote from a tapestry I had in my trusty stash pile,to put all your treasures in.

Course if you don't leave me a comment and a mailing address how will I ever know that you would like LW to draw your name as the winner?? So go ahead leave me a comment and if you let me know you posted about my giveaway in your blog I'll throw your name in twice :c
If you are the least bit uncomfortable leaving your address here on my blog just send me an email (

Have a good day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you live in :c}
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