Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Last Chance" Items

I stocked up on lots and lots of beads and prints before I left Guatemala. Still, there are some designs for which I now only have one set or print remaining. So if there are items from my shop you've had your eye on, check out the "last chance" items and make sure you don't miss them :)

Just click here! At the time of this posting, I've got 10 items with the keyword "last".

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Casa de Tesoros Guatemaltecos

I lost track of just how many hours I put into this piece! But I had a great time making it. I painted and varnished it before gluing pieces of huipil fabric (different huipil for every cubbyhole) in and attaching the tiny treasures. Some of these fun ceramic beads, I sell in my Etsy shop, but many I do not, preferring to save them for special projects like these. Some of my favorites here? The little woven basket, the mermaid wearing a Guatemalan blouse, and the tiny car!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First Bead Show

I went to my first bead show over the weekend, with two of my good friends. I like to find interesting and colorful beads to use with the cute ceramic Guatemalan beads/charms when I make jewelry for my shop. We went on the second day of the show, so there were good bargain bins in several of the booths. Digging through those areas was the most fun part for me! I got good deals on crystals in several colors, as well as some semi-precious stones like garnet and orange agate. My favorite buys were the colorful Czech glass in the "Picasso" finish... Really beautiful. I did see some lampwork cupcake beads that I adored (had seen similar ones on Etsy before, too), but I couldn't justify buying things for myself (as opposed to shop supplies) right now.

I look forward to the next show!

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Huipil Name Piece

I completed this custom order a few days ago - This has the flat adornment instead of worry dolls so it can be placed in a standard glass-covered frame. Some of the huipiles used in this piece are from Quetzaltenango, Almolonga, Coban/Tactic, and Tecpan.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Craft Room Progress

Now that we're back in the US, one of my first projects is setting up a room for crafting and shipping. The room was full of toys, tools, and other things that didn't have another place... and when we returned home last week, I added piles upon piles of textiles, bead containers, and other items to the mess! So it feels good to be organizing.

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:

Stay Tuned!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We Are Back in the US!

After nearly two years in Guatemala, our family of three is back in the United States! We just arrived last night.

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


I just finished this custom piece, which I made by hand sewing a used huipil collar and letters (which I also cut from used huipiles) onto fleece. I hadn't done any "wall art" recently, having been kind of focused on Christmas ornaments, nativities, and ceramic bead/charm jewelry in recent months. But it's nice to make a variety of things, and I've stashed away lots of collars for use in projects like these!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Featured On "Our Great Green Globe"

Check it out here :)

Bracelets in Spanish

Since I have ceramic letter beads for making personalized bracelets, I recently made a few bracelets using Spanish words. I've made a few so far, with "Amor" (love), "Amistad" (friendship), and "Mi Amiga" (my friend). There are a lot of words I can't make because I don't have any beads with tildes or accents!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Packing Woes

It looks like we'll be moving back to the US in a couple weeks, so I've started sorting and packing. Each of the three of us can bring two checked suitcases and a carry-on on the plane, and already I'm worried about fitting everything! We're leaving most of our clothes, toys, and books behind, but I have a HUGE amount of beads, textiles, and various other supplies to cram in.  

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! 

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cinta from Chajul

Here's our friend, Y, braiding a cinta from Chajul into my daughter's hair.  The pom-poms can be worn in different places.