Tag: Day of the Dead


Belated Valentine

February 28th, 2013 — 6:08pm

This year, for the first time ever, I did not celebrate Valentine’s Day…. so sad!
Marc and I had caught the most horrible flu, it truly knocked us down for over a week. Neither of us had ever been so sick. Needless to say, Valentine’s Day came and went. Now that we’ve recovered I wanted to do a little something fun to mark the holiday…
always a good excuse!
Yesterday we went to Ethnic Arts to pick out our annual “Valentine” milagro, we’ve been collecting them for years and have fun displaying them on the walls of our kitchen nook (a.k.a. The Frida Room).

Here is The Frida Room, our ever-evolving shrine room to Frida Kahlo.
And here is a closeup of a wonderful saying that I hand-painted on the wall, the rough translation is “Be Fearless, Choose Love!”.
And here is today’s project, created in the Valentine spirit!
Marc and I went to Oaxaca, Mexico for Day of the Dead in 2011. While we were there we fulfilled a longtime wish of mine; to dress up, have our faces painted, and get a professional photograph taken to look like an old portrait! Our photo session was hilarious, the photographer was so fun to work with. Above is my favorite photograph that I have painted over with encaustic medium (beeswax and resin), the encaustic gives it such a perfect ghostly look.
Today, I finally hung the photograph and hand-painted our names, place and year on the wall.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, full of love, appreciation, and playfulness.

1 comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Process, Uncategorized

Two Hands Paperie

November 11th, 2012 — 8:47pm

As a perfect follow up to my previous post on Day of the Dead, I thought I’d share a fun project that I did as a surprise for Two Hands Paperie. This gorgeous store is in historic downtown Boulder, Colorado and it is owned by one of my dearest friends, Mia Semingson, and her husband Gerald Trainor.
Two Hands Paperie is such a magical place, full to the brim with decorative papers, journals, fine pens, cards, stationary, art supplies, books…. the list goes on and on!

photos by Fran Meneley
Mia is an incredible artist as well and her talents and enthusiasm are evident in every room, corner, and display area. I especially love how she decorates and celebrates
Day of the Dead in the store.
Here is a wonderful decorative sign on the front door made out of contact paper!
So clever!                              (photo by Fran Meneley)
Every year Mia builds a beautiful altar in the store and encourages anyone and everyone to contribute to it. You can see another fantastic design, cut out of contact paper, on the window behind the shrine.

And here are the beautiful women of Two Hands Paperie in true celebratory spirit!
Mia, on the far left, has started a wonderful tradition of having everyone’s faces painted for the occasion. The very talented Jessica Quintanilla does the amazing face painting.
I so wish I lived closer so I could join in the fun!
I’ve always wanted to go and visit Mia for Day of the Dead, this year I was determined to at least be there in spirit. I created this papel picado design as a festive surprise for the store. I had fun incorporating her logo (the two hands). I silkscreen printed banners to decorate the store and merchandise bags to give out to customers.

The bags were too large and flimsy to fit in my drying racks so I had to spread them out on every inch of my studio floor to dry, they looked so beautiful!
Here’s a lovely promotional piece that Mia put together for the store.
So, if you find yourself near Boulder, Two Hands Paperie is really worth a visit….
for Day of the Dead or anytime of year.

Comment » | Process, Uncategorized

Día de los Muertos

November 5th, 2012 — 4:25pm

Today I wanted to share a more personal post on Day of the Dead, a celebration that I have loved forever. My boyfriend, Marc, and I traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico last year to revel in the festivities. We had such an incredible time, as shown in the above photograph!
I’ve always been interested and inspired by this holiday. I love the thoughtful rituals involved; visiting and decorating the grave sites of our deceased family members and friends, gathering together to remember and celebrate with delicious food and lively music, building personal altars with abundant offerings, photographs, flowers, candles, and favorite things and possessions of the deceased. In Oaxaca, these altars are in every doorway, restaurant, little shop, everywhere!
Every square inch of the city is decorated and alive. Everywhere you look, a feast for the eyes!
At night, everyone visits the cemeteries, which are beautifully decorated for the occasion. Candles are everywhere creating a welcoming and magical environment. The energy feels mindful, but at the same time, very festive and playful. People enjoy meals sitting around the grave sites while Mariachi bands play, children and adults alike parade through the streets in magnificent costumes, there are free concerts, public art displays, and performances everywhere you look!
Here are just a few examples of the people I met and photographed, taking part in the exciting procession across town!

Back at our bed & breakfast, Hotel Azucenas, the candles were glowing on the altar we had all built together (the owner, Donna, and other wonderful guests who were staying there). It was a beautiful sight and a very special experience to have created it in the memory of all our loved ones who have past away.
I don’t want to start advertising things and businesses on my blog site, but in this case, I feel compelled to say that if you have any interest in going to Oaxaca and witnessing this magical holiday with your own eyes, I highly recommend checking out Hotel Azucenas as a place to stay.
Donna Radtke, the owner, is a fantastic woman and host (that’s Marc and I with Donna above…I love the wind spirits blowing through our hair!). It is a lovely place to stay and the staff feel like family.
We had the time of our lives :)

Comment » | Uncategorized

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