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!
Winston Churchill said many things well. And he commented on many things. But who knew he had an opinion about color? The esteemed Mr. Churchill said, “I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”
This post is in honor of the poor browns. They tend to take a back seat to their fellow colors, especially in Mexico. These textiles were discovered at the bottom of the pile, underneath the pinks, roses, reds, yellows, bright oranges and greens. They are a quieter bunch. I do think they have a certain beauty. But they don’t always stand out. They are good listeners. They don’t talk unless they have something to say. They shine when they are on their own. They never compete for attention.
Many of these camino de mesas (table runners) or placemats are woven of a natural brown cotton called “coyuche,” a word that comes from the Nahuatl word for coyote. On the other hand, it is possible that it is white thread dyed to look like coyuche, according to research done by an amazing textile archivist by the name of Karen Elwell. Her many photos of Mexican textiles and clothing are always instructional. Her Flickr photostream is right here.
The photos below are the textiles I currently have in the shop. CLICK on the photograph to take you to the shop. Some are in the online store, but if not, just send me an email on the form at the bottom and I’ll let you know if it’s available!
I couldn’t resist with the last photo. Brilliant color with the poor brown.
Some of these items are on the website–click on the photo and it will take you there. If it’s not on the website and you’re interested in purchasing, let us know through this form!
One of my very sweet friends gave me a bouquet once per week for a month to celebrate the opening of the new shop at 50th & Bryant in Minneapolis. When she asked me if I had any Mexican vases to use for rotating the bouquets every week, I thought of the colorful red and yellow cans used by El Pato to can their tomato and enchilada sauces. Most Mexican grocery stores carry them…you can make one of these colorful bouquets to add a little Mexico to your summer life!
Viva la Vida…
Here’s a sneak peek of a small number of the items that were in the last shipment. This is from the trip I took in January and February! So unpacking everything is a little like opening Christmas presents for me. Everything will be going to the shop at 826 West 50th and will be available when we open but if you see something and can’t wait, let me know through this handy form….Saludos!
Hello New Shop! We just received these, and many more, vintage Guatemalan and Mexican huipiles, dresses and blouses. The colors are stunning and they can be worn or hung on a wall. Either way you will love the color and the amazing handwork.
Look for them when we reopen in our new location, 826 West 50th in Minneapolis, in late April or early May!
Or you are welcome to inquire before then through this form…
Because over 90% of Mexico is Catholic, one finds lots of charming and beautiful hand-made religious folk art all over the country. The saints, above, are from Guatemala, another very Catholic country. Religion is a part of every day life in Mexico, from the home altar to crossing oneself in front of every church, to the pinning of milagros, to the omnipresent image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Catholicism is not native to Mexico–the Spanish brought it with them in the 1500’s. In indigenous towns and villages one still finds religious practices that harken back to the days before the conquest.
If you’d like more about each of the pieces, click on the photo!