News

TIN HEARTS FROM A WARM CLIMATE February 21 2019, 0 Comments

I’m going down to Mexico City soon, with side trips to Zacatecas and Puebla. I’m looking forward to seeing again the fabulous art and architecture, ancient and modern, the food of course, and the music.

One of Mexico’s most appealing expressions of its culture is its folk art.

         

Although I love all Mexican folk art, my favourite is the hojalata (in English tin), the colourful charming tin art. Mexico celebrates Day of the Dead  and  Christmas with tin folk art.

In Mexico, the hojalata goes back to the 16th century to Spanish colonial times. Today, in Mexico, many people have tin folk art displayed in their homes, while other places such as cathedrals have symbolic religious tin art displayed.

Sheets of tin are cut, shaped and embossed with a pattern, then bright lacquer and enamel paint is applied. All tin folk art is handmade by Mexican artisans and craftsmen and craftswomen, who create with a sense of humour and imagination.

 

The mirrored tin heart is my favourite. Here are some hearts I brought back when I last visited Mexico.

I'll be wandering through mercados looking for more tin hearts. They'll soon be available on my website for your enjoyment and purchase. They are joyful things.

 

Hasta luego,

Val

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


LITTLE BUT LARGE: Tiny Steps Toward Your Centre December 19 2017, 0 Comments

It’s the little things that count. That sweet gesture at the right time, an unexpected smile, the anonymous kindness, favourite music drifting in, a shared memory, the ease of an extra five minutes.  This holiday season is a busy time, when the little things get overlooked. It’s a time to stand still, look around, take deep breath, pay attention to what’s immediately around you, listen to the sounds in the room that you’re in, and give thanks. It’s a great time to make connections. To give a little. It comes back in unexpected ways.

Here are three great books to help guide you through these excitable times:  


The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

A great step by step guide to centering yourself and being mindful of the world around you. Following these instructions will result in a more meaningful way of living and help identify your triggers for unhappiness.



Great Eastern Sun by Chögyam Trungpa
I fantastic read and lessons on how to be more present. After implementing these lessons, you will have a lot more focus, and live with greater intention in your daily life.

 


The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
This fable of a person on a spiritual path is loaded with riddles and lessons. While following the adventure there are cues for unpacking your own sense of self and your place in the world.

These are great books for yourself or as a gift for someone you know who might need some guidance today. Send this along with a card to let them know you care.

Take care of yourself and see you next time.

Hasta leugo!
Val


Making Connections During the Winter Holidays December 05 2017, 0 Comments

At this time of year, special memories come calling. It's a great time to reflect on the moments when you were closer, your successes, and the challenges you've overcome.  A special card with loving words is a wonderful way to reconnect with family and friends or someone you haven't seen in a while: https://valtheartistgraphics.com/. Here are two days which celebrate the value of a written card. 

 December 7 - Letter Writing Day

Letter writing is as old as written language.  Archaeologists have discovered letters written on wood, metal and ceramic plaques, leather, and fabric.

Modern means of communications has made letter writing a less popular activity, but Letter Writing Day aims to change this. The holiday season encourages people to hand write letters and send them to their loved ones the old fashioned way. A handwritten letter conveys sincerity from the moment it arrives.  Here are some tips on writing that special letter.

 

December 9 - Christmas Card Day  

Today honours Sir Henry Cole of England, who created the first commercial Christmas card in 1843. That makes today the perfect time to get started on your own cards for the holiday season. Although technology has changed delivery methods, the Christmas card tradition remains robust today because people love to receive a special card with hand-written words from those who keep the traditional celebration of Christmas.

We all want to receive special holiday cards. Sometimes we are at a loss what to say when we send one to loved ones. Here's a little guidance on letter writing to help you to express yourself.

That makes today the perfect time to get started on your own cards for the holiday season! You can see my newest Holiday greeting cards here

Te veo pronto,

Val


THE SIGNS ARE EVERYWHERE: BE PREPARED! November 28 2017, 0 Comments

 

December arrives in a few days and signs of Christmas will be everywhere: you'll hear it, you'll see it, you'll smell it, it will touch you. It can seem overwhelming with so many choices and decisions to be made.


It's important to stay healthy and strong as the season inserts itself into our lives. Here are a couple of upcoming international days to help you to remind you to stay healthy and keep active.

December 1 - Eat a Red Apple Day    

How To Celebrate Eat A Red Apple Day

There are 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world? This healthy fruit contains antioxidants that help reduce damaged cells and fight diseases and they are fat, sodium and cholesterol free. Not feeling like a pure healthy treat, to celebrate this this special day, why not try spiced-apple-nog

December 3 - Make a Gift Day

This unofficial holiday encourages people to lovingly hand craft gifts for special friends and loved ones. A special gift shows love, concern, and respect. In China, gifts wrapped in red paper are believed to bring luck to the recipient. 

Having trouble choosing gifts? A greeting card  may be just what you want to show you care. If you find yourself overwhelmed with the holiday season, here's a great survival guide.

Hasta la proxima vez,

Val

 


NEW CARDS: SEASONS GREETINGS WITH ORNAMENTS November 24 2017, 0 Comments



Hola amigos!

Have you ever wondered about the history of some of the traditions which celebrate the winter festive season? The beautiful colours and music, the customs and decorations. Christmas tree ornamentation has a long history. Trees were once adorned with apples, candy canes and pastries. Over time, glass, metal, wood, ceramics and elaborate ornaments were added to the splendid display.

To celebrate this rich and colourful history, three new ornament-themed cards are now available here. These beautifully designed cards will look great on a desk, on a mantle, or on a Christmas tree.

 

These new card designs were inspired by Christmas ornaments and Hermann Rorschach's famous inkblot test. Few devices from the world of psychology have entered popular culture quite so much as Hermann Rorschach's famous inkblot test.

 

These new cards have been added to the previous holiday cards made available. Be sure to check them out here

Stay tuned next week, when we talk about some wonderful things you can do to celebrate the season in early December. 

 

Hasta luego, amigos!

Val