Monday, December 28, 2009

HAPPY 2010! Folk Art-- a Design Trend?

Top 10 Interior Design Trends for 2010
According to a group of interior designers who were asked to make predictions, consumers will be looking for handmade crafts from here and around the world to decorate their homes. If you look at trend # 7 and #8 below, our indigenous crafts from Mexico are just the thing to bring more "personality" into your living spaces! We have known for a while that pieces of traditional art or crafts made by human beings can help to create a beautiful home, but I also believe they can give a house more character-- personality if you will. A unique, handmade piece that you fall in love with becomes a part of the family, almost like a pet. You don't have to feed it or take it for a walk, but you do have to care for it and treat it well. If you do, you will be rewarded with years of pleasure. Here is an excerpt from the article in the San Francisco Chronicle 12/27/09:
7. Artisanal goods
Just as artisanal foods have taken off, expect the same for home
furnishings and accessories. "Artisanal work will continue to be strong,"
said interior designer Benjamin Dhong. "Even modernists want to see
natural materials or the hand of the craftsman brought into their homes."

8. The well-traveled look
The Sundance Channel series "Man Shops Globe" follows Anthropologie
buyer-at-large Keith Johnson as he visits country after country, looking
for special pieces and inspiration for the company's 135 stores worldwide.
Whether you're scouring the stalls in Paris or browsing shops during a
quick weekend getaway, incorporating souvenirs in a space can give it a
bit of personality.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Holidays

I love Flor de Noche Buena in Spanish. They don't really have Christmas trees in Mexico, at least not in Michoacán, though there are plenty of pine trees around. Just not the custom, which is fine by me. One of my strongest memories of the holiday season is the Mercado de la Independencia, Morelia's largest market, and its huge section of poinsettias for sale outside. Since it was only a few blocks from our house in the Centro, and the place where we did most of our food shopping, I visited that section of the market a lot. We brought a big one home and put a few presents around it, and that and the blinking plastic Virgen of Guadalupe on the wall, plus Doug's homemade menorah were our holiday decorations that year.

Since then, we have been able to acquire a few quality pieces of artesania that are available to folks who wish to deviate from the usual. Need a menorah? How about a stunning one with black
glaze from the Purepecha village of Santa Fe de la Laguna? Or a clay Nacimiento (nativity) from Ocumicho?

The embroidered scene above has it all: the baby Jesus, a piñata, and even a Christmas tree. Looks like a wonderful time.
I have recently discovered a great new website. Lots of food info plus Mexican culture in general. Please check it out, and then of course come back here. There is great information about piñatas and some folks who actually make them on: Mexico Cooks!
El Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe is December 12th...the official start of the holidays in Mexico. It's also the beginning of Chanukah this year.
I wish you all Feliz Navidad y Chanukah and a very happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year!