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APRIL - INTREPID April 11 2019, 0 Comments

April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.  Christopher Morley

It is no surprise that Spring inspires us to begin anew, to take risks, be different, and fearless. The spirit of April expresses itself in many remarkable women.

 

"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." The French fashion designer Coco Chanel is credited in the post-World War I era with liberating women from the constraints of the "corseted silhouette." But Wilhelmine didn't wait for a clothes-change to begin her adventures.

Wilhelmine Reichard (April 2, 1788 -1848). On April 16, 1811, the  balloonist Wilhemine made her first solo flight from Berlin.

 

"The beginning is always today". British writer and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft  knew that every day is new, filled with possibilities. The spirit of adventure and a view of horizon is irresistible to the soul.

Hélène de Pourtalès (April 28,1868 -1945), was a Swiss sailor who sailed on the wind. She competed in the 1900 Summer Olympics and became the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal.[1]

 

"Knowing what must be done does away with fear." The strength and energy Rosa Parks offers in her quote can be seen as the engine for those who wish to engage in its truth. Sometimes, in the dark, it is whispered, like a prayer.

Odette Hallowes (April 28, 1912 - 1995) was an Allied intelligence officer: a spy, during the Second World War. Odette was one of the most celebrated members of the Special Operations Executive, the British sabotage and espionage organization, and one of the few to survive Nazi imprisonment.

 

  "Done is better than perfect." Sheryl Sandberg has a simple and profound belief. And when you're hiding, on the run, getting a job done is the only answer.

The Dutch resistance fighter Geertruida Wijsmuller (April 21, 1896-1978) was a war hero. Geertruida risked her freedom and her life, saving over 10,000 children during the Second World War when Germany had invaded of the Netherlands.  

 

The question is how to get things doneMany intrepid women have asked this question, got inspired, and got things done.


The pillows I've created are now available on  Society6. I hope you get inspired.

     

 

The pillows I've created are now available on  Society6. I hope you get inspired.

Hasta luego amigos.

Val

 


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


GREETING CARDS WILL NEVER DIE October 03 2018, 0 Comments

"To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart."

-Phyllis Theroux

Greeting cards are great way to receive and send a heart-felt thought. October 6th is World Card Making Day. Why not take the time to make a card the old fashioned way with paper, scissors and glue, OR check these three websites below where you can make your own.    

   

Society6 - This a great website to make your own cards, custom clothing and home decor.

Shopify - If you think you've got the chops for it, you can not only make your own cards, but sell them on line.

Canva - For the beginner, this site will help you choose custom backgrounds and text to produce a beautiful custom-made card.

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If you don't feel like making your own, you can order from me. Here are a few selections, and more on my website.

      

Hasta la próxima mis amores,   

Val  

 

 

 


Amo México - Inspired by Mexican Tin Hearts June 28 2018, 0 Comments

Something that has always been personal to me is the symbol of the heart. It represents, love, life, and faith. It's the symbol for February 14th, Valentine's Day, which is my birthday. Whenever I see the heart symbol, it reminds me of love lost and found, and of trips to the hospital with heart complications. On my many visits to Mexico City, I'm overjoyed when I see the beautiful tin hearts in the mercados.

For these reason, I want to share some joy with you. I've been collecting original tin hearts for some time, and I've created some designs based on them.  They are now available online, in different materials and objects for you to enjoy in your home.

 

Head over to my profile on  Society6.com to see my tin heart designs. For now, here are a few things you can buy.

 

Hope you enjoy these. More to come.

Hasta luego,

Val

 

 


Amo México May 28 2018, 0 Comments

Just back from Mexico. I love Mexico: Mexican art, Mexican colours, Mexican customs and celebrations, Mexican food. I've visited the country many times and each time I get to see something new, and see some of the same things in a different way. Mexico always surprises and delights me.

 

    

During my visit to Mexico City in May this year, two unique events were taking place at the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts)the exhibition: HYBRIDS the Body as Imaginary and a performance by the American composer Phillip Glass.

The Palacio de Bellas Artes is a prominent cultural center in Mexico City. It has hosted some of the most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography. The palace is a mixture of two architectural styles: an Art Nouveau exterior, and an Art Deco interior. And I was pleased to find out that there many Art Deco buildings and Art Nouveau buildings in Mexico City.

HYBRIDS The Body as Imaginary

This exhibition included incredible images across time from ancient Egypt to contemporary artistic works. Some of the artists included were Victor Brauner, Prune Nourry, Pieter Brueghel, and Mathew Barney.

The hybrid beings created by the diverse cultures that have inhabited the planet throughout history and their role within the western imaginary of the 19th and 20th centuries are some of the topics that the temporary exhibition Hybrids addresses: the body as imaginary.


 

Victor Brauner (1903-1966)Estereofigura (Steréofigure), 1959 
Prune Nourry (b. 1985) Squatting Holy Daughter, 2010.
Pieter Brueghel, el Joven (1564-1637) La tentación de San Antonio, ca.1625

 

On May 12th I saw Philip Glass perform with Mexican musicians Daniel Medina de la Rosa Raweri (Violin Wixarika), and  Erasmo Medina Medina ,  Kanari (Guitarra Wixárika), the work Hikuri (The Sacred Cactus).

Phillip Glass loves to experiment with many types of musicians. My Mexican friend Luis was very proud to be experiencing this moment. This inspiring performance was followed by the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.

 And this was just the beginning of my ongoing explorations in Mexico City....

Hasta luego,

Val