Tag Archives: bags

Shop Mexico Distraction Sale

I just discovered Instacart. It’s an App. I create the shopping list. Someone else goes to the store. I stay safe inside. I pay with my credit card. The shopper delivers the goods to my doorstep within hours after ordering. No more bare cupboard. It’s a miracle. And, I’m still safe and healthy, isolated, and needing a distraction.

So, I made some beautiful black clay pottery beaded necklaces this week. The beads are hand-rolled, individually formed in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca. The artist, Adelina Pedro Martinez, is from a famous family that works in traditional high-temperature pit firing, fueled by wood. I have four necklaces to sell, listed below.

In addition, I brought with me filigree and amber earrings, a finely embroidered blouse, and an assortment of other lovely pieces made in Oaxaca and Chiapas.

Thankfully, the USPS is operational, so I can package these up and get them to you within a reasonable time from my sequestered place in Southern California. I’ll ship USPS Priority Mail.

How to Buy: Send an email to norma.schafer@icloud.com and tell me the item number, price, your name, mailing address. I will send you an invoice to purchase with a PayPal link. The total cost will be the item price plus $12 USD mailing cost.

#1, Oaxaca Finest Filigree Sterling Silver + Onyx Earrings, 2-1/2″L x 1-1/2″W, $285
#2, Graduated Black Clay Pearls with Hand-Carved Bauble, 22″ long, $145
#2 Detail, carved and incised bauble, sterling silver toggle clasp

A note about the black clay pearls: Each pearl ball is formed by hand. The stringing hole is made by hand while soft with a stick. When leather-hard, they are polished with a stone. Then they are baked in a wood-fired pit oven. Each pearl, therefore, has blemishes and irregularities, which make it an unique object of handmade beauty. If you are looking for perfection, these are not for you!

#3, Black Clay Pearls, 20″ long, sterling silver toggle clasp, $125
SOLD. #4, Coins (copper, base metal, Mexico and India) with Black Clay Pearls, 19″ long, $145
#5 Heart and Black Clay Pearls, 23″ long, w/3 unpolished accent pearls, $135
#6 Chenalho, Chiapas, densely embroidered fine cotton blouse, 23-1/2″L x 23-1/2″W, $85
#6 Bodice detail, precise, dense embroidery, soft cotton cloth
#7 Chiapas amber earrings, 2″L x 1-1/2″W, light as a feather, $85
#8 Chunky Chiapas Rare Green Amber Expansion Bracelet, $75
#9, Finest Quality Chiapas Golden Amber Necklace, 22″ long, $145
#10 Good Quality Chiapas Amber Necklace, 20″ Long, $85
#11 Pendant (top), 2-1/2″x1-1/2″, $72, and SOLD #12 Earrings, 2-1/4″x1-1/4″, $105

#11 and #12 are handcrafted in Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico by an outstanding craftsman who hand-cuts gemstones and inlays them on shell. These include onyx, mother-of-pearl, coral, turquoise and sterling silver. Selling for less than what I paid for them.

#13 Pendant Earrings, inlaid gemstones and shell, 2-1/2″L x 3/4″ W, $125
#14 Handwoven, indigo-dyed wool bag, lined, Chiapas, 10×14″ w/46″ long strap, $55
#15, Handwoven, wild marigold dyed wool bag, lined, Chiapas, 10×14″ w/46″ strap, $55
SOLD. #16 Multi PomPom Cluster, Chiapas, 7-1/2″ long, 1-1/2″ dia. $15
SOLD. #17, Peach PomPom Cluster, 14″ long, 1-1/2″ diameter, $25
SOLD. #18 (L) Magenta and SOLD #19 (R) Red, Pom Pom Cluster, 7-1/2″ Long, 1″ dia. $15 each
SOLD. #20 (L) Lavender Heart and SOLD. #21 (R) Blue Heart, 3×3″ — $10 each
SOLD. #22, finest woven bag, Tenejapa, Chiapas, 9″W x 9-1/2″ L, 44″ strap, $75
SOLD. coin purse w/zipper, Top L. #23, Top R. #24, 3-1/4×5, $15, SOLD. Bottom, #25, 5×8, $25
Zinacantan Drawstring Bags, Handwoven, #26 L, 7-3/4×6-1/4, $30, SOLD. #27 Sm, 4×4, $15
#28 and #29 SOLD. Top: 3-3/4×5-1/4″ w/zipper, $15, #30 Bottom, 3-1/4×4, $10

Mexico Monday: Clothing and Bags for Sale

Here is a selection of hand-woven agave fiber market bags and totes, a few woven purses and shoulder bags perfect for carrying cell phones and coin purses. I’ve added tops and a poncho cover-up, too. All from Oaxaca and Chiapas. Don’t miss anything: there are 14 pieces, so scroll down to the end!

To buy, please send me an email: norma.schafer@icloud.com Include your name, mailing address with city, state and ZIP code, along with the ITEM NUMBER. I will send you an invoice and add on an $8 charge to mail USPS Priority Mail. As soon as I receive payment, I will ship.

NOTE: ALL PAYMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MAY 9, 2019. The last day I can mail is May 10. I return to Oaxaca on May 11. Thanks very much.

#7, Extra-Large, Finest Agave Fiber Hand-woven Market Bag, $85

This is the finest quality hand-woven cactus fiber bag made in Chiapas. This is an original to the village of Magdalena Aldama where the men weave these and use them for field bags — to carry feed for the animals, food and water for themselves. They cut, soak, strip, and weave the agave leaves all by hand. The finest ones take three-months to make. They are strong, durable and functional. Comes with adjustable leather straps. They are works of artistry. The coffee color of the bags comes from the smoke over the wood cooking fires. Each one is different.

Detail, #7
#1, Chiapas densely embroidered blouse, finest cotton from Sna Jolobil, $145

#1 is from the famed Sna Jolobil cooperative. Measures 26″ wide by 28″ long. The fine cotton cloth is woven on a back-strap loom. The bodice is hand-embroidered in the tiniest stitches. Moss green against cream, light and comfy for summer. They will be at the Santa Fe Folk Art Market this summer and you can bet the prices will be double.

#2, from Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas, dazzling back-strap loomed daily blouse, $165

#2 is from the small family cooperative operated by Rosa and Cristobal in Magdalena Aldama. This is what the women wear for their daily attire. Each year that I go, the designs become even more elaborate. I hand-picked this piece based on quality of weaving and the density of the supplementary weft — the threads added during the weaving process to create the patterns. It takes hours to make a piece like this. Piece is 26″ wide by 24″ long.

#2 detail, Magdalena Aldama blouse
#3, from Oxchuc, Chiapas, great beach cover-up or use it for layering, $145

#3 From Oxchuc, Chiapas, and woven by Cristina on a back-strap loom. This is a wonderful, soft cotton poncho in a graphic black and white. It took Cristina 38 hours to weave this and it measures 32” wide x 28” long, $145

Detail, #3
#4, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, small shoulder bag, wool $25
SOLD. #5, Magdalena Aldama, large hand-woven agave fiber market bag, $65

#5 (above) and #6 (below) and #7 (third) are hand-woven market bags — best quality. They are originals to the village of Magdalena Aldama where the men weave these and use them for field bags — to carry feed for the animals, food and water for themselves. They cut, soak, strip, and weave the agave leaves all by hand. The finest ones take three-months to make. They are strong, durable and functional. Comes with adjustable leather straps. They are works of artistry. The coffee color of the bags comes from the smoke over the wood cooking fires. Each one is different.

SOLD. #6, Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas, medium size agave fiber market bag, $65
SOLD. #8, Tenejapa back-strap loomed small shoulder bag, $45

#8 comes from Tenejapa, Chiapas and is woven on a back-strap loom using the supplementary weft (added threads to the warp) technique to create the beautiful pattern. Use it for cell phone and coin purse or an evening bag,

SOLD. #9, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, woven wool shoulder bag, $25

#9 is a well-crafted wool bag, lined, from Teotitlan del Valle. It has a zipper. Priced at less than what I paid for it.

#10, handbag, Teotitlan del Valle, cochineal natural dyes, $50

#10 is wool dyed with cochineal red from the Bii Dauu cooperative in Teotitlan del Valle who does some of the finest work in the village. It is lined and has a zipper. Priced at less than what I paid for it.

SOLD. #11, Tenejapa, Chiapas, small shoulder bag, hand-woven, $45

#11 is a unique bag with a lively color combination. I bought it in the weekly market directly from the maker. The village is an hour and a world away from San Cristobal de las Casas.

SOLD. #12, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, PomPom Chal (shawl) or Throw, $125

#12 is a soft, soft, grey and cream stripe wool woven on a back-strap loom in the village of San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, where women raise their own sheep, then card, spin and weave. Use this for a winter wrap or drape it over a chair, sofa, ottoman or bed for Bo-Ho style.

#13, hand-woven 100% cotton bag from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Chiapas, $45
SOLD. #14, shoulder bag from Oxchuc, Chiapas, braided strap and fringes, $45

#14 is woven on a back-strap loom in a small Chiapas village. I love the color combo. It comes from Jolom Mayatik Cooperative. The braided strap is a work of art in itself and is of highest quality. Use for evening, cell phone, coin purse and cosmetics.

India Journal: Visit to Pure Ghee Textile Designs

Ghee, clarified buffalo or cow butter, is the essential cooking and flavoring oil in India. Ghee also has religious significance and is used at life cycle celebrations throughout the country. It is highly nutritious and is part of the ayurvedic system, which forms the basis of spirituality, food, and health.

Eating with one's hands, to become one with the food.

Eating with one’s hands, to become one with the food.

One could say that ghee is the foundation of Indian life and culture, just as the tortilla is elemental to Mexico. I would venture to say that Aditi Prakash carefully chose the brand name Pure Ghee for the textile design company she started seven years ago to connect what she makes to what is second nature here. Elemental. Essential. Necessary.

Trademark cloth flowers embellish zipper pulls on scrap fabric bag

Trademark cloth flowers embellish zipper pulls on scrap fabric bag

Aditi employs women who are migrants, takes them off the street, trains them in sewing skills and gives them employment. Women sew. Men complete the finish work, led by a master tailor from the neighborhood, who supervises the apprentices. There are two levels of quality control and each product is nearly perfect, just like ghee.

Pure Ghee staff member who oversees quality control

Pure Ghee staff member who oversees quality control

Aditi invited Nidhi and me to her home for a simple Indian vegetarian lunch, to see her workshop studio, so I could learn about the processes and products, and meet the staff who make the bags and accessories that make their way to shops and boutiques throughout the country.

Master tailor finishes edges of new bag design.

Master tailor finishes edges of new bag design.

First, let’s talk about lunch.

Aditi says she uses turmeric in everything. Nidhi echoes this. Turmeric has antiseptic healing powers they say. They add it to yellow lentils with salt and cook the lentils in a stove top pressure cooker for about 30 minutes.

Ghee, chili mustard and curry leaves simmer on stovetop

Ghee, chili mustard and curry leaves simmer on stovetop

In a separate spoon with very large bowl, Aditi combines about 1/4 c. ghee, fresh curry leaves, red chilis from her home state of Hyderabad, cumin and mustard seed. The bowl of the spoon goes over the gas burner until the mixture simmers and cooks, coming to a low boil.

Aditi serves lentil soup in small bowls, a garnish to rice and vegetables

Aditi serves lentil soup in small bowls, a garnish to rice and vegetables

This is added to the lentils, that now has the consistency of a thick soup.

In another cooking pot is potatoes, cauliflower and peas.

Food is ayurvedic, Aditi says. Nidhi adds that cooking is not written down but passed through the generations as part of the cultural tradition. She learned from her mother. Both are independent, creative women who prepare vegetarian meals in the Hindu tradition daily for their husbands.

Silk-cotton draw string bags worn with the sari

Silk-cotton draw string bags worn with the sari for evenings, weddings

Homemade roti, a whole grain flat bread that looks like a tortilla (they both make this from scratch), and brown rice are served as a base for the lentils and vegetable medley. Everyone uses shallow metal plates that look like a cake pan.

Aditi Prakash in her showroom. People find us, she says.

Aditi Prakash in her showroom. People find us, she says.

We eat with the fingers of our right hand, important to bring the five elements from table to body, in complete circle of life and sustenance.

Traditional plaque in Aditi's home.

Traditional plaque in Aditi’s home.

Aditi’s husband is a filmmaker. Both work from home and they built a three-level workspace where each has dominion. Aditi supports craft artisans from throughout India and as an industrial designer, has helped many refine their products to bring to the marketplace.

Bag patterns hang in small workshop space

Bag patterns hang in small workshop space

After lunch and a modest shopping spree (thank goodness Pure Ghee accepts credit cards), the three of us went off to the Nature Bazaar, a cooperative of crafts-people and textile artists from throughout the country.

Artist Nidhi Khurana, New Delhi, November 2016

Artist Nidhi Khurana, New Delhi, November 2016

Aditi says this has one of the best selections in all of Delhi, with very fair prices. It is off-the-beaten-path for tourists but well worth the visit. For me, it will need several hours. There are textiles, lengths of cloth by the meter, paintings and drawings, folk art, brass bells, sari, indigo and Khadi clothing, jewelry from Afghanistan.

Pure Ghee workshop in action

Pure Ghee workshop in action

If you haven’t noticed, India is about color, texture and sound. It is about silk, cotton and the resurgence of tradition. Both Nidhi and Aditi say that the sari is standard daily dress for women.

Lunch preparation, a vegetarian Hindu meal accompanied by Hyerabad mango pickle.

Lunch preparation, a vegetarian Hindu meal with Hyderabad mango pickle.

I’m going back to Nature Bazaar today. There are over 100 vendors with central payment stations. And, yes, credit cards accepted. Perfect for the cash crisis in play now. I’ll be writing more about this. Perhaps tomorrow.

Sneak preview of Nature Bazaar: piles of indigo and block prints

Sneak preview of Nature Bazaar: piles of indigo and block prints