Tag Archives: blouse

Post-Thanksgiving Oaxaca Jewelry + Clothing Extravaganza

I’m going to the US for an impromptu short visit before the Winter Holidays, returning to Oaxaca on December 24. Need a couple of routine exams. No worries.

So, I’m offering this pre-sale. Buy it now and I’ll bring it with me and mail by December 15.  18 Items. Just-in-time unique gifts, all made by hand and personally curated. Keep scrolling.

How to buy: Send me an email and tell me which item you want BY NUMBER.  Include your mailing address. I will send you a PayPal invoice for the cost, plus $8 for USPS priority mail. If you live outside the USA, ask about mailing fees.

#1 All natural dyes, San Juan Colorado

#1 SOLD is from the oldest women’s weaving and dyeing cooperative in San Juan Colorado, Jini Nuu. Our textile study group will meet them on the Oaxaca Coast Tour, but you can have one, too. They use the drop spindle to spin the wild, native cotton and weave using the back strap loom. This is a short blouse, 3″ long from the shoulder and 26″ wide across the front, side seam to side seam. NEW. It’s called a blusa, seams and finish work all hand-embroidered. Natural dyes include Coyuchi brown cotton unique to Oaxaca, wild marigold and cochineal. Size L-XL. $175 USD plus mailing.

#1 Pattern woven into the cloth

#1 needlework seam joinery

#2 Wool and Cotton Shawl with Indigo

#2 SOLD is Oaxaca’s version of ikat. The wool is tied and dyed with indigo. The loom is warped with highest quality cotton. Lightweight, warm and drapes beautifully. 24″wide x 80″ long. NEW. Large and long, cozy enough to wrap around your neck or use as a throw. $145 USD plus mailing.

#3 Wild Marigold and Indigo Shawl

#3 SOLD is also ikat. NEW. The wool is tied and dyed with wild marigold interlaced with indigo. The loom is warped with highest quality cotton. Lightweight, warm and drapes beautifully. 24″ wide x 80″ long. Large and long, cozy enough to wrap around your neck or use as a throw. $165 USD plus mailing.

#4 Zayzelle indigo block print tunic

#4 is a hand-stamped 100% cotton fabric, indigo on white. I bought this yardage in Ahmedabad, India and just had it made into a Zayzelle tunic. NEW. Short sleeves with deep pockets and French seams. Size L-XL. $135 USD plus mailing.

#5 Deep blue dangle earrings

#5. New. Pair these hand-carved gourd earrings made on the Oaxaca coast with #4 for Blue Pizzaz. 4″ long from ear hole, 3″ diameter. $45 USD plus mailing.

#6 Save the Turtles

#6 are hand-carved gourd dangle earrings adorned with endangered  sea turtles that lay their eggs on the coast every winter. NEW. 3-1/2″ long from ear hole, 2-3/4″ diameter. $45 plus mailing.

For Zayzelle Dress dimensions, see https://zayzelle.com

#7 Zayzelle India block print dress with deep pockets

#7 I brought this beautiful block print fabric back from Ahmedabad, India, and just had it made up into a Zayzelle dress, long sleeves, lightweight 100% cotton dyed with madder. NEW. Size L-XL with deep patch pockets. $165 USD plus mailing.

#8 Black Stars Earrings

#8 hand-carved gourd earrings, dramatic and lightweight, made on the Oaxaca coast. NEW. 4″ long from ear hole, 3″ diameter. $45 plus mailing.

#9 Vintage 12K gold filigree and pearl dangle earrings

#9 SOLD Three baskets of pearls swirled with filigree, hand-made, Mexican vintage 12 karat gold with French hooks. Dress up or wear with jeans! $265 plus mailing.

#10 Zayzelle Think Spring dress

#10 is a lovely, soft, easy-to-wear spring green linen dress in my exclusive Zayzelle design, with top-stitched deep patch pockets. NEW. Long sleeves that can roll up for a more casual look. Wear over a long sleeve T and leggings for a Think Spring winter. Size L-XL. $155 USD plus mailing.

#11 earrings from Malinalco, Estado de Mexico, crotchet waxed linen

#11 Think Pink snowflakes or a full bloom flower. 3″ long from ear hole, 3″ diameter. NEW. Fun and fancy. $45 USD plus mailing.

#12 elegant VINTAGE earrings, Gusanos, silver on gold filigree with white sapphires

#12 is a vintage Oaxaca pair of earrings with 14k gold backs and hooks, studded with sparkly white sapphires set in silver, with drop pearls. 2-1/4″ long x 3/4″ wide. $185 USD plus mailing.

#13 Lavender blue gourd earrings

#13 earrings hand carved from gourds on the Oaxaca coast, NEW, 3-1/2″ long from ear hole, 2-3/4″ diameter. $55 USD plus mailing.

#14 Zayzelle natural cotton dress

#14 SOLD our Zayzelle pattern in a soft, cream manta cotton woven in Puebla state. NEW. The fabric has a subtle cross-hatch pattern that gives it texture, luxurious and comfortable. Size L-XL.  $135 USD plus mailing.

#15A and #15B two 12K gold filigree rings, priced each. Vintage.

#15A (top) and #15 B SOLD (bottom)are $65 USD each plus mailing. They are 12K gold filigree and handmade in the state of Veracruz. Size 5-1/2 or 6. Can be sized by a jeweler. Please specify which you want.

#16 Hot Tomato Red Dangle Earrings

#16 are hand-carved gourd earrings from the coast of Oaxaca. NEW. 4″ long from ear hole, 3″ diameter. $55 USD plus mailing.

#17 Verdant Blusa from Aguacatenango, Chiapas, with extraordinary details

#17 All this smocking and embroidery is made by hand in the village of Aguacatenango, Chiapas. Blouse fits size L-XL.  $65 USD plus mailing.

#18 Unisex Winter Green Shirt, weighty cotton

#18 SOLD is a casual shirt woven on a back strap loom in Chiapas, Mexico. NEW. It will fit a Men’s Size Small or a Woman’s Size L-XL. Seams are hand stitched, secure. Side slits. Roll up your sleeves, if you wish. $35 USD plus mailing.

P.S. Two spaces open in our Chiapas Textile Study Tour, end of February 2019.

To Be Continued!

A Day in Xochistlan de Vicente Suarez, Puebla with Merry Foss and Friends

Xochitl is the Nahuatl word for flower and Tlan de Totonaco is the literal meaning for beautiful place. Xochistlan is the beautiful place between the flowers. (You can tell if a word has a Nahuatl origin if it ends in tl.)

Ducks parade across the embroidered bodice of this blouse made by Radegundis

Ducks parade across the embroidered bodice of this blouse made by Radegundis

Here in the Sierra Norte of Puebla state, a lush landscape of rugged mountains, tall grasses, bamboo, canna lilies, orchids, bromeliad varieties, fruit trees and daisies cling to stony hillsides. Waterfalls flow like abundant rivers. The region is a puzzle of caves. Humidity seeps into everything.

Xochistlan is nestled at the base of a steep valley in the Sierra Norte, Puebla State

Xochistlan is nestled at the base of a steep valley in the Sierra Norte, Puebla State

We spent the day with Merry Elizabeth Foss who took us to Xochistlan, the village she stumbled upon seven years ago in search of artisan women who work in fine beading.

The corn crib. The chicken got away before the shot.

The corn crib. The chicken got away before the shot.

When she met the women of Xochistlan, she knew this was the place for her. She started a cooperative, created patterns to fit American women (yes, we are mostly taller and broader), and invested in relationships that have provided friendship and mutual support.

Radegundis with me and Merry. Yes, I bought this blouse!

Radegundis with me and Merry. Yes, I bought this blouse!

It’s not surprising that the embroidered and beaded images here mimic the landscape, filled with birds, barnyard animals, flowers of every variety, trailing vines, in subdued and rainbow colors.

Bedroom and sewing room combo. Nothing more needed!

Bedroom and sewing room combo. Nothing more needed!

Xochistlan is not easy to get to. It’s about an hour outside of Cuetzalan del Progreso, Puebla. First you take the winding mountain road along the spine, looking down and beyond at villages tucked into the valleys below.

A 30 year old blouse with exquisite embroidery, still fine after all these years.

A 30 year old blouse with exquisite embroidery, still fine after all these years.

Then, you divert and start descending on a road that was likely once a switch back donkey trail. You have to know where you are going! Turn right, continue straight, now turn left, straight again, Merry instructs the taxi driver.

Ducks, chickens and cat wander underfoot, peck at the corncrib.

Ducks, chickens and cat wander underfoot, peck at the corncrib.

We pull into the driveway of a humble home, filled with family, love, joy and beautiful beaded blouses. Radegundis Casilda Teresa greets us with a huge smile, warm hugs and invitation to come in for atole enriched with Mexican chocolate and milk.

Making it last! Sipping atole with a spoon.

Making it last! Sipping atole with a spoon.

She runs out with a bag of whole kernels, telling us to take a seat, she’s going to the molina (mill) to grind the corn.

Hot, delicious atole with chocolate, a favorite drink.

Hot, delicious atole with chocolate, a favorite drink, made in clay over a wood fire.

We meet her husband and grandchildren, sit down by the cooking fire to sip the delicious hot drink, sing and play games, watch the ducks and chickens peck at dried corn.

Playing a singing game with the grandchildren!

Playing a singing game with the grandchildren!

After lunch at Comedor Betty where we had perhaps the best chicken mole in the state of Puebla (Betty won a prize last year), we stopped to visit Martha and her family.

Sewing the beaded panels to the blouse fabric.

Sewing the beaded panels to the blouse fabric.

They sew the beaded panels to the cotton cloth that makes up the entire blouse. Martha, her husband and daughter are master tailors who are very particular about their finish work.

Martha shows us a fine finished blouse, ready for the expoventa the next day.

Martha shows us a fine finished blouse, ready for the expoventa the next day.

Merry also helped the cooperative open a retail shop to sell beads and fabric to other artisans in the village, and created a plan to help market the blouses in the USA.  Merry honors and recognizes the work of each woman by asking her to embroider her name on the inside of each blouse. Personalized. Meaningful.

Poster in Betty's comedor recognizing her cooking talents.

Poster in Doña Betty’s comedor recognizing her cooking talents.

Merry wholesales these finely beaded blouses, known as the China Poblana style, to upscale shops in the United States whose customers appreciate fine Mexican textiles.

Barbara and Rade with finely embroidered V-neck blouse.

Barbara and Rade with finely embroidered V-neck blouse.

Radegundis and Merry Foss, dear friends

Radegundis and Merry Foss, dear friends.

The Altar Room. Most rural homes in Mexico have one.

The Altar Room. Most rural homes in Mexico have one.

I’ve discovered that sometimes the most wonderful experiences are those when you can meet talented people where they live and work. In Mexico, there is extraordinary talent hidden in often isolated, rural villages.

La Abuela Radegundis. Grandmother love.

La Abuela Radegundis. Grandmother love.

One has to be willing to be open, explore and appreciate people for who they are, what they do, and how they live. I’m grateful to Merry for introducing us to her friends and for helping bring their talent to the world.

Brightly colored beaded bodice in Radegundis' sewing room.

Brightly colored beaded bodice in Radegundis’ sewing room.

The tradition of beadwork came to Mexico from Europe with the Spanish conquest. Most were trade beads from Venice and Africa, used for ballast on the Spanish galleons that landed in the port of Veracruz. The beads were traded for food and raw materials. Women learned to embellish their garments and the these fantastic blouses were born!

A bodice strip of black and white daisies before the dressmaking begins.

A bodice strip of black and white daisies before the dressmaking begins.

 

Oaxaca expoVENTA: San Felipe Usila Textiles for Muertos

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Pop-Up expoVENTA coming Oct. 29-30, from the land of the Dance of the Flor de Piña (of Guelaguetza fame) and those exquisite huipiles of San Felipe Usila, a remote village high in Oaxaca’s Papaloapan region near Tuxtepec, 8 hours from Oaxaca City.

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Jose Isidro and his mama, will come from their village with hand-woven textiles at various prices and sizes, from complex to simple, from daily wear (diario) to fancy, schmancy gala traje (special occasion dress). They represent the weaving of their extended family cooperative.

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Big thanks to Casa de las Bugambilias B&B-Adryana Zavala, and El Diablo y La Sandia Boca del MonteMaria Crespo for their generous hospitality.

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All sales go directly to the family weaving cooperative. Please share widely. Thank you.

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