Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Dancing Chicken

I found a great collar on a huipil from San Lucas Toliman. On one side is a little man working in the fields, and on the other is a woman with -- what appears to be -- a dancing chicken!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Personalized Charm Bracelets

I found two things yesterday that gave me the idea to make some of these little bracelets: tiny versions of the Guatemalan girl beads, and ceramic cubes with letters on them. I wanted to make one with my own little girl's name on it, but the shop didn't have any "Z"s. I'll have to keep checking back!

Here's the listing in my shop. They'd be great stocking stuffers for the upcoming holiday season!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I came across a stack of fotonovelas, which are comics/graphic novels illustrated with photographs instead of drawings. The ones I found range from the early '70s - early '80s, and the melodrama along with the huge mustaches and '70s clothing made them irresistable!

They have some significant wear, so I thought that the portions in good condition would make funny cards. I've made four so far, and put them in my Etsy shop.

"Julio's youth was demanding it its love..."

"I love you so much, but you're just a guy who plays pool."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Todos Santos

I showed some scraps of huipiles from Todos Santos back in May, but I thought I'd share a whole one so you could see the context. They've got four sections: 1. elaborately woven section in the middle, 2. ric-rac collar, 3. striped sides, 4. plain section below the elaborately woven section. The backs look the same as the fronts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Huipiles from Joyabaj are generally made of black or red subtly striped fabric. The collars, however, are large and colorful and feature large swirls in white. One of my favorite shops just purchased a large amount of used huipiles from Joyabaj, and I picked up about eight of them on Monday. I'm going to use the collars on pillows or as large frames for mirrors.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Feature on Fiber Focus

Rayela's Fiber Focus blog has run another feature on La Chapina, this time about my expansion into supplies. If you're interested in why my shop has evolved in this way, check out her post!

Happy Guatemalan Independence Day!

On September 15, 1821, the Captaincy of Guatemala (which was made up of Chiapas (now a state in Mexico), Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras) proclaimed independence from Spain.

This weekend we saw all the runners carrying the torch of freedom around Antigua, and today we're going to go watch some parades. Here are a few photos I took during last year's celebration!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Worry Doll Hair Clips

I made some new clips using tiny worry dolls. These are about 2 1/2 inches long and I hot-glued a small piece of corte fabric to the clip, then hot-glued the worry dolls to the fabric. Sometimes working with hot glue drives me crazy, with all the globs and strings! But I think these turned out cute.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Watercolor Artist Claudia Tremblay

After having success selling small versions of painter Claudia Tremblay's prints in my Etsy shop, I contacted Claudia to see if I could buy more of them directly from her. She and I met last Friday and had a nice discussion about her work. I find that Claudia's paintings radiate gentleness and tranquility.

Claudia is originally from Quebec, Canada, and moved to Guatemala about 11 years ago to work on an NGO project. She never left! She lives near the spectacular Lake Atitlan and gathers inspiration from the beautiful people and views around her. She has also painted subjects in other areas of Central America.

Claudia's prints make lovely scrapbooking embellishments for albums and life books, and a great focal image for handmade greeting cards. Of course some of my customers have been framing them as well. I offer many of her prints in the section called "Supplies, Embellishments" in my Etsy shop. Keep checking back, as I'll be listing several more of her larger prints in the coming weeks!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Guatemalan Yoyo Hair Clips

I found an online tutorial for making "yoyos" and decided to create some hair clips using ones I made out of huipil and corte fabric. Yoyos have a hole in the center on one side, so I filled that hole by sewing in a tagua seed, then I hot glued the hair clip to the back. I'm pleased with how these clips are turning out - They kind of look like little flowers! It's better to use relatively thin fabric when making yoyos, so corte fabric tends to be much easier to work with than huipil fabric. Here are photos of two of the sets I've made so far.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Brillante Blog!


Thanks, Om Shanti Handcrafts, for the blog award! Each recipient of this award is supposed to nominate seven other blogs and let those recipients know that they won. However, I'm breaking the rules because I'm short on time today. Here are three of my favorite craft blogs:

1. Fiber Focus - Articles and photos galore, concentrating on international textiles and techniques
2. Fieltrunguis - This blog features some of the cutest amigurumi style items you will ever see! The blog is written in Spanish, but even if you don't understand the writing you'll love all the photos.
3. doe-c-doe - Great mix of handmade items and very cool vintage finds

Friday, September 5, 2008

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Guatemalan bear earrings giveaway is commenter #9, Erin!

Not me, a different Erin :)

Thank you to everyone who entered! More giveaways to come!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

People and Animals

Here are a few neat examples of huipiles that feature people and animals in the weaving. Quetzales (Guatemala's national bird), birds in realistic depiction, and lions are relatively common to see on huipiles from places like Quetzaltenango, Santiago Atitlan, and Nahuala, respectively, but here are a few that are a little different.

The fabric with the people and with the ducks is from Tactic, and the fabric with the butterflies is from Santiago Atitlan.

Monday, September 1, 2008

New Simple Huipil Babies

Prior to yesterday, I hadn't made any of these for months! However, I had a special order and needed to deliver them today. For these two, I recycled huipiles from Almolonga (L) and Tactic (R). I really like to make a variety of things to keep crafting interesting, so it was good to work on these after so long. Right now I've only got one of the simple huipil babies left in the shop, but special orders are always welcome.