Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Earring Giveaway!

I made these earrings using purple bear beads made in Guatemala and silver plated hooks. Great for tweens or just the young at heart! They will come in a little Guatemalan fabric bag.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post (and don't forget to leave an email address or URL so I can reach you if you win!) by the end of next Thursday, 9/4. Next Friday I will announce the winner! Earrings will be mailed during the week that begins 9/22.

If you like these earrings, I have many other cute novelty earrings and bracelets in this section of my Etsy shop :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Work in Progress: My First Quilt

I finished the top of this small quilt last night. It's made up of 25 squares (5") I cut from used huipiles. I'm pretty pleased with how they lined up - not too crooked! :)

Now it's time to work on putting the back and binding...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yellow, Pink, and Red Flowers

I cut this collar from a huipil made in Almolonga. I love the collars on Almolonga huipiles- They're very wide and sturdy - thicker than most. This one is nice and cheerful and the inner circle is lined in dark blue velvet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My First Real Sewing Machine Project

First thought upon completion? Wow, that took a long time! :)

A friend found me a free online pattern for a simple purse, so I decided to try it out yesterday. I used material from a used huipil made in Tactic and a used corte (not sure where it was made).

Who know it was so very difficult to sew a straight line? This was my first attempt at the strap. Check out the stitching - Ha!

Needless to say I tossed that strap aside and started over. This time I used the corte material (which I also used for the lining), because it barely shows stitching. There are still a couple crazy wiggles in my lines, but it was definitely better. I'm thinking of using a piece of cinta (hand-woven ribbons that many indigenous women use in their hair) as the strap next time because turning the strap right-side-out after sewing it was a major pain! It took me about a half an hour!

Here's the finished product. The second photo shows the lining, pocket, and velcro closure. My two-year-old is obsessed with coins and has apparently already put one in this purse!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Huayruro Seeds

I bought some huayruro seeds last week for jewelry making. These seeds (Ormosia coccinea) grow throughout South America and parts of Central America, and they are considered good luck. The bright orangey-red color with signature black spot reminds me of ladybugs!

I've made a couple things with them so far, a bracelet (using tagua seeds too) and some earrings (a pair to sell and a pair for me!)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Orders Shipped

If you ordered items on of before 8/18, your items shipped today from Maryland. If you are pleased with your purchase, please leave feedback on Etsy. Thank you!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Animals

I bought a huipil last week that was really beat up, but I just had to buy it for the collar. It's a machine-embroidered piece from San Andres Xecul and features quetzales (Guatemala's national bird), lions, fish, squirrels, snakes, cats, and more. Super cool.

Items Shipped

Items purchased on or before 8/15 were mailed Tuesday, 8/19, from Texas. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Featured for Fall

Etsy seller NaturalAmber put together a Top Five Picks for fall-inspired items. In it, she featured my red and brown miniature carpet. She linked to several other lovely selections too!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day of the Dead

In Latin America, Day of the Dead is a celebration of the friends and family who have passed away. Entire families go to the cemetery to spend time with their deceased loved ones on November 1st (and sometimes 2nd). They bring picnic lunches, sit down on the tombs, and enjoy the day together. Last year I spent November 1st at a cemetery in Antigua and November 2nd in the cemetery in Santiago Sacatepequez, which is famous for its giant kites. The men of the town work for months building the kites especially for this holiday.

In Mexico, especially, there is a class of art dedicated to Dia de los Muertos: skeletons dressed in bright, colorful, fanciful dress, dancing and carrying on. It is with this theme in mind that I've begun making some Day of the Dead bracelets. The skulls are tiny ceramic beads made in Peru.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Little Organization!

My beads and jewelry making supplies had been in about 50 separate little disposable plastic bags, then placed in larger plastic bags, which made it nearly impossible to find something when I needed it! So the other day I finally found some compartmentalized boxes and bought five. I still have about 10 types of beads in the little baggies, so I need to get one more box. It feel so much better to have them organized, and for only 75Q (a little over $10).

Now if I can just get my fabric and shipping supplies better organized!

Packages Mailed

If you made a purchase before 8/5, your packages mailed yesterday from Texas. Thanks!

Etsy Link Exchange

There are so many interesting handicrafts on Etsy! Here are some craft blogs from Etsy sellers; we're participating in a link exchange.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Ornaments

I found the cutest cloth at the market this weekend. I cut around the little girls and hand-sewed each to red fleece and stuffed it with polyfill. The cloth has a frayed appearance on the edges and I applied fray-check to prevent unraveling. Finally, I used red and gold glitter glue to accent each one and provide a little sparkle.

I found some other fabric I'm going to list on Etsy as well... ones for you guys to come with ideas for :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beads Galore!

I had the best afternoon - My husband watched our little girl while I headed out to the market on my own. No worrying about fitting the stroller in tight spaces or keeping a toddler occupied while I browsed!

I found a stall that carries lots of ceramic beads, different from the ones I'd been buying in another shop down the street. What fun I had, sorting through the baskets of tiny farm animals, fruits, hearts, and sea creatures! All different sizes, colors, and designs.

I was also excited because I got the owner's card and he said he would be willing to ship beads to me in the States. So if we ever manage to leave Guatemala :) I will still have a source for these great handpainted pieces!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Santa Catarina Palopo Fajas

I like the fajas (belts) from Santa Catarina Palopo because they have brightly colored people and Mayan motifswoven into them. I bought these two yesterday - such vivid hues! Because the weaving there is done in a one-sided method, and the sides are finished, there are no messy threads on the back or fraying at the sides. So pieces of these would be great not just for sewing but for scrapbooking.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Environmentally Friendly Jewelry

I found these beads at a local shop and started making jewelry with them. Also known as vegetable ivory, tagua nuts (and the seeds inside them) grow on tagua palms (Phytelephas aequatorialis) in the rainforests of South America. Use of the nut is considered environmentally friendly because once dried out, the tagua can be carved in the same way elephant ivory can be, and thus limits the killing of elephants. Furthermore, tagua palms can be grown without destroying rainforest land, so having this as a viable product lessens the need for local peoples to cut down rainforest to farm.

Tagua nuts and seeds can be dyed just like elephant ivory, and they are becoming popular for jewelry. Check out these colors; they're look like candy! I like the natural ones, too - such a lovely ivory color.

More in the new vegetable ivory jewelry section of my Etsy shop!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

So Much Fun!

One of the local bead stores is my newest obsession, because there is just so much to look at. Yesterday I purchased some earring-making supplies and went to town! I spent several hours last night making some simple ones using the colorful beads I've been buying here, like the little animals, food, and people.

I also tried my hand at a few that were a little more complicated but haven't listed any of those yet. I made some for my mom that turned out quite nice. I haven't worn earrings for over a year but I may start again.

The simple ones I've priced at $4.50, and I found cute little gift bags to put them in. Check out the new ceramic jewelry section of my shop!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Orders Shipped

If you made a purchase between 7/16 and 7/22, your items shipped yesterday from West Virginia. Thanks!