Archive for March, 2014

Happy Spring!

March 20, 2014

Here’s a fun way to start off Spring: Visit the Getty Center to see the spectacular and huge oil painting “Spring” by Lawrence Alma-Tadema and be inspired to create your own spring floral headdress. (That’s a small detail above.) The 1894 painting depicts a traditional Victorian flower festival. The scene is set, typically for Alma-Tadema, in Ancient Rome. Even Cecil B. De Mille was inspired by the grandeur of the painting in creating certain scenes for his 1934 film, Cleopatra.

Erin Go Bragh

March 17, 2014

At least one of us here is half Irish, so I can’t let the day go by without an Irish shout-out. But get this – it also fits in with our Mexican theme today! In 1847, a group of Irish volunteers, including U.S. Army deserters, joined the Mexican side in the Mexican–American War. They were known as Los San Patricios or Saint Patrick’s Battalion, and flew the flag above – with the classic Irish harp and “Ireland Forever”. (You’re welcome, Mom!)

Benito Juarez and Zapotec Textiles

Today is a national holiday in Mexico celebrating the birth of Benito Juarez, a past president and progressive reformer of Mexico. Here’s a little cheat sheet of his accomplishments. And, because around here we love nothing more than an awesome gypsy wagon, here’s a photo of his carriage!

Juarez was born a Zapotec Indian in Oaxaca and, in his honor, we’re having a sale on gorgeous bags handcrafted in Oaxaca of leather and Zapotec woven textiles. The weaving is done with wool collected and hand dyed and woven on a traditional loom. It’s a time consuming, laborious process, but one that is a source of great pride. And, we think you’ll agree, ends in unique and beautiful results. Weaving is an integral part of the cultural identity of the Zapotecs. During the golden age of the Zapotec empire some 1700 years ago, the artisans were already well known for their weaving. The textiles were sought after throughout the empire and beyond, and traded widely. Today, you only have to visit us to own a piece of artistic tradition!