Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Please go here for some AWESOME handmade prizes you could win by purchasing raffle tickets. Prizes include handmade jewelry, children's clothing, dolls, hair bows, furniture, a quilt, and more!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I wondered how I could incorporate vintage into La Chapina while maintaining the Latin American theme of my shop. Then I found two old books that fit right in! One, from 1942, is a children's book about Peru. The other, from the 1950s, is a Mexican cookbook published by a company that made Mexican food products.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I've been featured in a few treasuries this month so to celebrate this anniversary I thought I'd share one here, which includes my tagua slice bracelet. Click here for the actual treasury page, which expires tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Simply pay for the items as normal, and I will refund all of your shipping costs through Paypal within 24 hours of payment.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I hadn't used the machine at all since coming back to the US, so I took it over to my friend's house for a sewing lesson over the weekend. The reason it was so hard to sew a straight line? I had never put the foot down! So the fabric was just going every which way, guided only by my hand.
Now it's a lot easier to sew straight :)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I've enjoyed making some Easter and Springtime items for my Etsy shop...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Milagros, also known as an ex-voto or dijes, are religious folk charms that are mostly made in Mexico but are also produced in some other countries of Central and South America. Milagros are an old tradition, used for healing purposes and as votive offerings in Mexico and areas of United States. In Spanish, the word "milagro" means "miracle".
Milagros come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they might be nearly flat or fully three-dimensional; and they can be made out of gold, silver, tin, or lead.
As part of a religious ritual or an act of devotion, milagros can be offered to a symbol of a saint as a reminder of a petitioner's particular need, or in gratitude for a prayer answered. They are used to assist in focusing attention towards a specific ailment, based on the type of charm used. Milagro symbolism is not universal; a milagro of a body part such as a heart might represent different ideas such as a heart condition, a romance, or any number of other interpretations. Milagros are also carried for protection and good luck!
Milagros are often found as components in necklaces, earrings and other jewelry. They can be a basic part of your inspiration in turning an idea into a beautiful piece of art!
Friday, March 13, 2009
--wood framed craft mirror with flat front (my frame is approximately 9 1/4" X 11 1/4").
--acrylic paints in your choice of one or two bright colors
--varnish (I used Delta Creamcoat Satin Interior Varnish.)
--Guatemalan fabric scraps (you can purchase Guatemalan fabric scrap samplers here)
--Guatemalan beads with flat backs (I used butterflies; others in my shop that have flat backs include the little girls and boys, turtles, suns, palm tress, and more).
--FrayCheck or other substance used to prevent fabric fraying
--small wire cutters (optional, used if you want to remove little hoops from the top of the beads)
1. Remove mirror from the back of the frame so you can begin painting.
2. Paint the front and sides of your frame in one or two bright colors. I chose blue and yellow. Let dry and apply second coat if necessary, allowing that to dry too.
3. Use paintbrush to apply two coats of varnish (allowing to dry between coats). Be sure to smooth out any bubbles that may appear.
1. Cut out four strips (mine are about 1/4" wide) of Guatemalan fabric to frame the hole the mirror goes in.
2. Apply Fray-Check to fabric edges.
3. Glue strips of fabric to the frame.
4. Cut out 10 squares of Guatemalan fabric. The squares on my mirror are about 3/4", but you can choose how big you want yours. You could also vary this by cutting out hearts or circles instead of squares.
5. Apply Fray-Check to fabric edges.
6. Spacing them out evenly, with one in each corner, glue the squares to the frame. I set mine on an angle.
7. Select 10 Guatemalan flat-backed beads. If you opt to remove the metal hoops, use the wire cutters at this step (adult supervision strongly suggested for tweens doing this project).
8. Glue the beads onto the frame between your fabric shapes.
C. Final Steps
1. Allow glue to dry.
2. Place mirror back in the frame.
3. Hang and enjoy!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I remember the first time I saw a retablo – vibrant colors highlighted a family kneeling in prayer at the bedside of a sick relative while the Virgin Mary looked on in a circle of light up in the corner. Beneath the image was a description with specific details of the illness and the cure that was brought about through divine intervention by the Blessed Mother answering the family’s prayers.
I loved it! I loved the color; I loved the simple devotion of the family; I loved the thought that the saints were hovering over us to answer our prayers; I loved the idea of a thank-you note done in paint to commemorate the miraculous event! I was hooked and decided to learn more about this style of painting and to try it myself.
Retablos are paintings that serve as visible reminders of the power of prayer. I’ve found two general types:
- A painting of a saint, the Virgin Mary, or religious grouping such as the holy family that has been done like a portrait. These could be hung in the home just as we might hang pictures of beloved family members that we don’t see very often.
- A painting that depicts an event in which someone prayed to a saint or Jesus and received divine help in a specific situation. These retablos follow a familiar pattern with the “action scene” taking up the most room, the saint appearing higher up observing what’s happening, and a section at the bottom that describes what was going on, which saint was prayed to, and then thanking the saint for help with the situation. This type of retablo might be hung in a church or in the home as a public way of thanking the saint for his or her help.
Mexican retablos (also known as laminas) are the most well-known and reached the peak of their popularity at the end of the 19th century. Typically they were painted on tin, but could also be on wood. A retablo artist (or retablero) might set up shop outside a church with several stock images that could have the details filled in as requests for the paintings were made. These artists were generally untrained and their paintings are simple and primitive, but could also show great detail and emotion.
I’ve attempted both “portrait” retablos and “action” retablos. Many people like portrait retablos for gifts. I’ve done one for my husband who has a special devotion to St. Ignatius and have one hanging in my shop of my favorite saint, Therese of Lisieux.
The action retablos are a little more challenging – maybe because I haven’t done as many of them. I’m trying to rely less on training and more on emotion as I do them and remember that they don’t have to be perfect! Really, that’s what I liked so much about retablos in the first place. Their simplicity of faith and simplicity of style convey faith in answered prayers.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I've made two mirrors so far, using collars that I've been hanging on to for more than a year. A lot of the thick collars like these are cut from huipiles made in the town of Almolonga. I like how they're turning out... The collars are so vivid, they're just screaming to be used in craft projects!
This post featured on Fiber Arts Friday!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Still to go:
- Fill the nail holes and paint the window trim (we replaced the window in that room and haven't done the finishing details yet).
- Find or make window treatments.
- Get closet shelving (so that I can get the boxes out of the corner and organize shipping materials in the closet). My parents are giving me the wire shelving they took out of one of their closets.
- Put up a cork board so I can neatly display inspiration pictures and info I need readily accessible.
- Buy folders for storing receipts, etc.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Just click here! At the time of this posting, I've got 10 items with the keyword "last".
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I look forward to the next show!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
So far I've cleared everything out of the room, washed the floor, stacked all of the intact (and almost intact) huipiles on shelves, and begun to organize beads. I have a long way to go til it's done, but I now have our old dining room table in there (need to add the leaf) as a workspace, and I'm making use of a lot of the storage that I'd been using for my daughter's baby clothes.
The problem is, now I've got tons of other household stuff to sort through: either to find a new space for or to give away! For now it's clogging up our hallway :)
After about three hours of work:
After about six hours of work:
Thursday, January 15, 2009
As for the future of La Chapina Crafts? Don't worry, I accumulated a LOT of textiles, beads, and other craft supplies and brought them all with me! We hardly brought any of our own clothing, household items, or books home... All the suitcases were packed full of items for crafting! (And we were verrry lucky that the guy at the counter let some of our bags through without charging us for the extra pounds!)
In the coming weeks I'll be adding a lot of new items, like beads, Claudia Tremblay prints, and huipiles I've never had in the shop before. Stay tuned :)
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
So far I've filled our three largest suitcases with (heavy!) fabric, and I've still got a lot more to pack. We're going to have to buy two more big suitcases, and I need to stop buying huipiles! I don't know what I'm going to do if our suitcases go over the weight limit... Wear four or five of the huipiles on the plane, I guess!