Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mosaic in Merida

This mosaic is one of my favorite sights in Merida. It's very dimensional and the use of the mirrored tiles makes it very glittery. It's located next to a store on the Prolongaucion (one of the main avenues in Merida) I don't know of any paricular purpose for it or if it's just there as part of the building. Whatever the story is, I always get a big kick out of it.

Beach Art

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Dia de Muertos

Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead is a huge holiday in Mexico. It's celebrated on Nov. 1st and 2nd and focuses on family gatherings to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. Traditions include building altars, using sugar skulls, marigolds and the deceased's favorite foods and beverages. Sugar skulls are given to the kids and there's a festive atmosphere that includes parades and parties. We found some really neat material to make a tablecloth at Parasina (one of the really cool fabric stores in Merida and the rest of Mexico). All over town you see sculptures and banners and lots of places have big public parties. As one might expect, there is a ton of religious symbolism and it's all mixed up with ancient tradition going back way before Catholicism made its way to Mexico.

Cat Report

Wonder Woman Bracelet

Market in Merida

We went to a great artisan market in Merida yesterday. There was a wealth of beautiful cross-stitching, traditional dresses, guyabera shirts (a traditional Yucatanean shirt made from sisal fiber), crocheting, straw weaving and braiding, silk ribbon embroidery, and beading. We met a lady named Alma who talked us into a bright yellow dress with hand embroidery for me and a handsome Guyabera shirt for Chief. She was very typical of the ladies in the market and quickly wrapped us around her litle finger. We also saw a lot of herbal remedies and honey products. My very favorite were the shell sculptures made with local shells like we have on the beaches here. There were religious creches, barbie doll mermaids, and a very humorous wedding couple that looked like birds. Another favorite was the hammock seller. He had hammocks of all sizes, including one that a hummingbird would fit in. Very cute! I found a beautiful loomworked bracelet in glowing rainbow colors made from transparent seed beeds; for only 85 pesos, about 6 American dollars. There were a lot of ladies wearing the traditional dress, which is a white skirt and short sleeved, thigh length tunic loaded with lace and exquisite cross-stitch embroidery. A good portion of them were doing handwork including crochet, beadwork, silk ribbon embroidery and basketry. The embroidery was gorgeous and the ladies who were crocheting were doing it without even a look at their work. I really wished I had some knitting to whip out and sit with them as they were quite social. Maybe next time!
We had gone through about half the market when we turned a corner and were treated to a delicious Mexican food smell. Of course we were instantly starving and headed down to the food stalls which were manned by waiters each beckoning us to his particular booth. We chose one that looked good and got panuchos and cochinita pibil which is the Mexican equivalent of Kahalua pig. Two cokes and both our lunches cost about $10.00! And it was delicious.... All in all, the market was a lot of fun and we even found a parking spot across the street!
Sorry about all the pictures being a jumble; next time I'll start at the end so it makes a bit more sense-but you got the idea!

Market Artisans

More market fun and food

Artesanias Market in Merida

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our beach view in Pacific Grove, California


We never see any air traffic here- once in a while a contrail. The other day we heard an airplane close by. Of course, we ran outside to see the airplane roar by our house about 200 feet off the deck and going really fast. It made a hard right over the beach road and then to the west before racing back directly overhead. We thought our internet antenna was history. Then he flew by again and we got a good shot. They were looking right at us and we were doing the same to them! Only when the pics were downloaded did we see the strange tail numbers. I guess it was some sort of experimental aircraft...Our neighbor thought they were ready to crash through her house!

Air traffic!

Flamingos on the way to Progreso


The hair keeps getting shorter!

No Hummer here!

Still too many shoes

This is a weather watcher's paradise!

The bead store in Progreso is tucked away at the back of a courtyard. At first glance it's nothing much but after you poke around there are a zillion choices, including Swarovski crystals. I had a ton of fun for $12.00!
This necklace is a Lynn Hoffman design originally published in the April/May 2006 edition of Beadwork magazine. I wore it to a party the other night and was swamped with compliments. It is really beautiful on and pretty comfortable to wear. I'm making one for a fundraiser for a new "perro y gato" clinic in Progreso that the Beach Gals are starting. The number of street dogs is staggering- somebody said there are as many as 3000 roaming the streets. The puppies and kittens are pretty much doomed as meals for packs of wild dogs. A big bummer, but the clinic should go a long way to help the problem by neutering whatever animals they can capture, then releasing them afterwards. Hopefully, I'll sell lots of raffle tickets and be able to do a little good.
But back to beads. The mercado in Merida's historic Centro district has a lot of bead vendors. Maybe after the next trip to the Merida English Language Library.....

I finally found the bead store in Progreso!

Friday, October 3, 2008

October in the Yucatan

Here it is the 3rd of October and the weather has cooled off a bit. It is still really nice everyday with an occasional shower and a nice breeze to keep the bugs away. The Gulf is warm and the water is pretty clear. All in all, it's a beautiful thing. Chief has been working on the rock sculptures; I think there are 6 of them now. The other night a couple of dogs ran through our yard and stopped to bark at them! I guess you have to be from California to be a rock-balancer.There is a whole area of them in the Carmel Highlands on Hwy 1 and people have started making them in Pebble Beach. They just appear and pretty soon there are a bunch of them....The powers that be in Pebble Beach couldn't decide whether or not to leave them be or knock them down. I guess they were concerned with public opinion and didn't do anything. Yet.
If they can figure out a way to copyright them like they did with the Lone Cypress I'm sure they would.
I've been studying some beadwork techniques that I never had time to learn. My current obsession is Ndebele Herringbone. The picture below is Zulu Popcorn. I have a bunch of beading books and I'm going through them one project at a time. Since I have lots of beads it's the perfect thing. I'll throw in some doilies here and there and figure out how to weave coconut palm leaves into something cool. Then there are the shells....
We plan to make some excursions this month, probably to some Mayan ruins or Celestun where there are zillions of flamingos. So far, we've seen lots of flamingos but they were pretty far away. I'd love to go see Placido Domingo at Chichen Itza but the tickets were sold out eons ago. Darn. I could watch it on TV but it won't be close.
We have pretty much adjusted to the slower pace of life here. I feel very fortunate to have experienced this much- and we still have 11 months to go!

What we do to amuse ourselves