WOW! We have winners! I received 44 limericks and they were so excelente! So many funny ones and clever ones and tributes to your love of Mexican folk art..I loved them and I’m thinking you might enjoy reading them too. SO, I’m changing the rules a little bit but in a good way…I’m going to post the top 15 in reverse order. I was looking for a limerick that was good limerick AND could be used as a testimonial, so these are the ones that I thought were the best for that purpose. Everyone did such a great job and I so appreciate the work…
The first place winner may pick one of the four items above and the second place winner can either choose one of the remaining 3 items or a $50 gift certificate. As a thank you to the top 15, you’re eligible for a 10% off gift certificate…contact me with your details and I will either snail mail it to you or make arrangements for you to use online or in the shop...Again, thank you so much for participating. I hope you had as much fun as I did!
There once was some folk art from Zinnia
They always knew the end from beginnia
From Mexican crafts,
To sharing good laughs.
This shop is the best you can winnia!
A gentle young lass name of Anne
To Mexico went with a plan
Seek out artists whose art
Was crafted with heart
And thus Zinnia Folk Arts began!
Carole Humphrey (thank you for thinking I am a young lass!)
So inviting you have to go in
Radiant flowers and objects of tin
Masks and textiles divine,
Glass, ceramics sublime
It’s hard to know where to begin!
A shop full of joy to our eyes
Crafts so fine and magnifico buys
Stunning bowls talavera
Grinning skulls calavera
We find treasures that always surprise.
I stopped at Zinnia Folk Arts,
To look at strange men in a cart.
I saw bright paper mache,
And wild things made out of clay.
But t’was a mask that stole my heart.
Zinnia’s, such a great place to shop
No other Twin Cities store can top.
The items are endless,
You’ll never leave friendless
How can you pass and not stop?
One chilly morning on Cinco de Mayo
Folk art I was seeking to buy-o
When I wandered in
Zinnia’s textiles and tin
Were too much for me to deny-o!
Mexican art has such style
And “Zinnia” will bring forth a smile.
Something bright, charming, new
For a gift. Or, for YOU!
Lots to see! Plan to browse a lo-o-ong while.
Want unique craft from Mexico?
To Zinnia you must go
The shop is so fine
With shoppers delight you will glow!
A passion for Mexican art
Was how our collection did start
Smiling dogs, lovely pillows
Shining tin, boney fellows
Have all found our way to our hearts.
Sally, a girl of impeccable taste
Considered shopping a nuisance, a waste
When a Zinnia visit
Revealed treasures exquisite
She returned the day after, post haste!
We bought our first piece on a whim,
A rooster on 3 dogs who grin
We bought much, much more
From this wonderful store
Now our home’s a fiesta within!
Arts Huichol, Oaxacan and more
We found this gem of a store
Things Frida, diablos
Y muchos regalos galore!
A chic mademoiselle from Marseilles
Here to shop at our huge MOA
Could not find what she wanted
Kept searching undaunted
Til at Zinnia she shouted, “Ole!”
Zinnia Folk Arts, a place we adore
Exquisite from ceiling to floor
With color abounding
And art so astounding
We keep coming back searching for more!
Love to write limericks? Or never done it before but would like to win one of the four amazing pieces of Mexican folk art in the photo?
As you know, our First Birthday is coming up soon and to celebrate we’re offering a choice of one of the four pieces pictured here (all valued between $150-$225) to the winning testimonial limerick. Here are the rules:
1. Write an awesome limerick about Zinnia Folk Arts and what you love about it.
1.1 You may submit as many as you like.
1.2 Relatives and friends may submit anonymously by sending via snail mail to Zinnia, 826 W 50th, Mpls 55491. Put a number on the limerick so it can be identified.
2. Submit it to Anne at info@ZinniaFolkArts.com by Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 4:00 CST either in the shop or online.
3. The winner will be notified on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.
4. All entrants agree to permit Zinnia Folk Arts to use their limerick testimonial in online and shop promotion, with credit.
5. The winner chooses one of the four pieces featured in this photo–large wood tigre mask, large hammered tin mirror, large wood hand covered on both sides with milagros or the large blue (no lead) Metepec platter
6. Winner will pick up the gift in the shop at 826 West 50th St., Minneapolis. If the winner lives outside of Minneapolis, the winner will pay for shipping costs.
7. Questions? Please ask!
Here’s some inspiration!
There was a young belle of old Natchez
Whose garments were always in patchez.
When comments arose
On the state of her clothes,
She replied, “When Ah itchez, Ah scratchez.”
There was a young lady named Bright
Who traveled much faster than light.
She set out one day,
In a relative way,
And came back the previous night.
I’ve just received some lovely bracelets, handmade in Peru, and they are made from old, faded textiles. They really provide a little spring lift to the winter that will never end–it literally is snowing right now, as I look out my Minneapolis window. Yes, it’s April 12 and there is a home Twins baseball game tonight–expected temp is 34 degrees.
I wouldn’t really call these bracelets folk art, but they are handmade, they do use local materials and they are based on a weaving skill that was handed down from generation to generation. I hope you enjoy them too! Definitely a little color on another snowy day.
Click on the photo or right here to purchase!
I thought you might be interested in the most recent look at how we like to display Mexican folk art at Zinnia Folk Arts shop! We wanted to move the holiday decorations out so I decided to put the vintage (1960′s White Period) Heron Martinez tree of life in the front window and build a colorful support cast of a variety of Mexican crafts. The color is so welcome during these grey days in Minnesota…it’s actually raining today. Enjoy the photos and of course, if you’re in Minneapolis, stop in. We’ll be waiting for you. Saludos!
This is the season for pinatas in Mexico. Big ones, small ones. The pinata maker in town will make lots of different ones to be purchased by families who will host the procession of visitors who go door to door looking for shelter–just like Mary and Joseph did so many thousands of years ago. The “Posadas” started yesterday, December 16th and will proceed every night until December 24th. The party at the last house will include the pinata game for children (and some adults). The pinatas traditionally have a clay pot in the center and then paper mache surrounding the pot and the star points. They come in lots of colors and sizes and designs and they are always a treat to see. Most public spaces will feature giant pinatas as decorations and they are especially gorgeous.
I have been embellishing pinatas since I started Zinnia Folk Arts several years ago and have several in the front of the store that I use for decoration. Over the years people have asked me to make them for their parties, bridal showers or weddings. This very pink pinata in the after photo is going to decorate a very sweet young girl’s room. I thought you’d be interested in seeing the before picture and the after. It used to be a Minnie Mouse pinata and now is a pink and green confection. Enjoy!
Here’s the before:
And here’s the after!
As I’ve mentioned before, Mexico is predominantly a Catholic country (over 90%). So, much of the handmade folk art from every region is related to either the Virgin of Guadalupe, believing in miracles, wishing and hoping for protection from the bad, thanking God for the good, remembering the dead or expressing one’s faith. As we get closer to Christmas, the Christmas markets will start popping up allowing one to buy all kinds of decorations and food related to Christmas.
People buy complete nativity scenes in Mexico but there is also a tradition that happens in other parts of the world–buying the nativity scene one piece at a time. If you go to the Christmas markets you’ll see Baby Jesus in all kinds of sizes and colors as well as the lambs, cows, mangers and other nativity figures. You can purchase one or all or simply add on to your nativity scene every year. Jesus is also purchased separately because he doesn’t appear in the scene until December 24th…the Three Kings are added to the nativity on January 6th.
As always, if you have questions or would like to purchase any of these Mexican nacimientos, just let me know!
Are you unsure about how to build an ofrenda for the upcoming Days of the Dead? Here are a couple of examples from one of my trips to Mexico during Dia de los Muertos. Every ofrenda is unique and personal so don’t worry about whether you are doing it correctly or not. The main idea is to make an inviting altar that will entice the spirits of your departed loved ones to return to enjoy a few hours with you over November 1 and 2. Mexicans believe the smells of the flowers, food and copal incense are especially enticing. And the color of orange and magenta is traditional throughout Mexico. So here are a few ideas of what to include:
1. Marigolds: the color and smell of marigolds is believed to attract the spirits. But if you live in a northern climate, like I do, the marigolds are long gone! You can substitute yellow/gold mums or the magenta colored brain flower (if you can find it!). In the shop, I use lots of artificial marigolds that I collect at thrift shops over the year.
2. Candles: Whatever candles you have will suffice. I like to put out the Lux candles with the image of the Virgin on them because they color combination is so inviting. I also purchase the super long ivory colored candles in the Mexican market whenever I can so I carry those in the shop. I use them during my presentations about Dia de los Muertos 101 to give a little taste of the feeling in the cemetery on those special nights of November 1 & 2.
3. Papel picado: “Picked” paper or the cutout paper flags are found at all Mexican fiestas. The papel picado for Muertos usually has images of the catrina or skulls or says, “Dia de los Muertos” on it. It comes in multiple colors and multiple sizes. We carry it at the shop.
4. Sugar skulls: These are fabulous folk art pieces sold in the sugar markets that pop up about now in towns all over Mexico. Toluca has one of the largest and most famous but many cities have them and one can find lots of charming, unique, beautiful skulls made out of sugar. You can have the name of your loved one written across the forehead or not. I carry gorgeous sugar skulls made by a Mexican-American woman in the Twin Cities because they are so fragile and hard to get home in one piece.
5. Photos and favorite objects: Ofrendas include photographs of the deceased which in conjunction with the smells and colors of the flowers, candles and incense help the spirits determine where they should go to reunite and commune with their relatives. Many people also include the favorite foods or beverages of the departed. For children, a favorite toy may be placed on the altar.
I hope you enjoy building your own unique ofrenda to remember and honor your loved ones who have passed away. If you have any questions, just let me know! Click on any of the photos to take you to our online shop or stop in at 826 West 50th in Minneapolis.
Hey, if you’ll be around the Twin Cities on Saturday, September 1 and you’ve never tried a “paleta” or natural fruit popsicle, we have a deal for you!
Zinnia Folk Arts will be giving away 50 paletas to the first 50 customers on Saturday, September 1 who come in between 10-5. They are made by 10,000 Licks, a local ice pops maker. They are cool and refreshing AND they are good for you! Yum.
My very generous and creative friend, Marla, thought of the idea and it’s a great one! Thanks, Marla!
Many times when people look at Mexican folk art pieces in the shop, they ask about the meaning. And many pieces of Mexican folk art are derived from a long tradition of carving, potting, beading and a history unique to the particular region or pueblo from which that item came. But there are also pieces of folk art that are just fun and whimsical and may have an attenuated connection to the past and to a greater meaning but are like toys in that they are mostly for pure joy and amusement. Some of the most colorful and unique pieces of Mexican folk art are categorized in the arena of “toys.”
Though some of the pieces are not meant for children to literally play with, other pieces are. “The Mexican toy world is full of delightfully fantastic objects and peopled with fanciful animals…If all the types of toys could be gathered in one place, they would constitute a great ensemble of beauty, grotesqueness and humor. There would be clay, glass and petate (fiber) insects, birds and animals of all sizes and colors, some with whistles in their tails; animals playing instruments, pigs adorned with flowers, tin rattles…There are many household toys—furniture of all kinds, tiny perfectly formed sets of dishes, mortars and stoves. Dolls and marionettes made from wood or paper mache are common in many regions. The make believe world of children is generally like the adult world, filled with beliefs in magic and miracles…”
Frances Toor, A Treasury of Mexican Folkways
We’re getting ready for a big corner-celebrating event this weekend AND I wanted to give you all an idea of what you can do with Mexican dishes to celebrate Independence Day. Everything on the table is handmade in the great country of Mexico!
The beautiful red runner is from Chiapas, the glassware from Jalisco, the candlesticks from Puebla and the ceramics from Guanajuato…
Enjoy mis amigos!
And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask…Zinnia