Category Archives: Oaxaca Mexico art and culture

2021 Jewelry Sale #1: Mostly Oaxaca + Morocco, India, Israel

Happy New Year 2021. Over the years, living in Oaxaca, I have collected some outstanding pieces of jewelry. Some I purchased to support artisan-makers whose work I admired and respected. Some were never or rarely worn (isn’t that the definition of a collection?). Other pieces are featured here, too, that are from my travels to the American Southwest, Israel, Morocco and India. Some are made by American Crafts Council jewelry artist-innovators who showed at the Smithsonian and Baltimore Craft Shows. It’s time now for them to find new homes.

Today features all NECKLACES. Earrings and bracelets to come in another post.

I’m willing to entertain offers!

To Buy: Please email me with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#3. Oaxaca Black Clay Bead Mexican Coin Necklace, 20″ $65
SOLD. #4. Chiapas Amber Necklace, 19″ $65
#5. Vintage Morocco Bedouin Amber, Coral and Metal Necklace, 17″ $295
#6. Chiapas Maya Coin Necklace, Ties to adjust length. $25
Vintage Oaxaca Virgin of Soledad Sterling and White Heart Glass Beads, 19″ $385
#7. Vintage 1990 Yemenite Sterling Silver Necklace, 77 grams, Jerusalem, 16″ $495

Most Jewish silversmiths from Yemen moved to Israel in the early 20th century. Their workmanship with filigree is considered unparalleled. This style is called an ornate bib-necklace. All hand-wrought.

SOLD. #8. Vintage Bedouin Amber Choker Tie Necklace, Coins, Gemstones, Morocco. $195
#9. SOLD. Mexico, Sterling Silver Necklace, 19″ $125
#10. Rutilated + Druzy Quartz, gold, sterling silver necklace, handmade chain 16″ $165
SOLD. #11. Chiapas Pompom Necklace, ties to adjust length, $20
#12. New Mexico Heishi hand-cut/inlay turquoise, onyx, spiny oyster necklace, 20″ $185
#13. Inlaid shell, mother of pearl, turquoise + sterling pendant, $65 (does not include chain)
SOLD. #14. Chiapas amber necklace, 20″ $45
#15. African opal, long strand to double wrap. 32″ $65
#16. Vintage Israeli Bedouin necklace, hollow, silver (?) 24″ $145
#17. Native American bolo tie, sterling silver, turquoise, braided leather, 36″ adjustable $85
#18. India, gemstone faceted black onyx necklace, 18″ $65
#19. From London, Selfridges, Jaipur, India designer Amrapali fine silver, 18″ $225
SOLD. #20. Chiapas Maya beaded necklace, ties to adjustable length. $45
#21. Bhuj, Gujarat, India Rabari tribal necklace, adjustable. 26″ $135
#22. Oaxaca black matte clay beaded necklace, 20″ $75
#23. Oaxaca, black hand-polished clay beaded necklace, 21″ $75
#24. Vintage Navajo pearls (sterling silver, handmade), original chain, clasp. 22″ $495
#25. Iolite faceted gemstone necklace with amethyst bezel pendant, 16″ $135
#26. SOLD. Oaxaca, ceramic necklace, adjustable, $20

. . . . and, the Kitchen Sink . . . oops, two beautiful pieces of French copper cookware — jewels in their own right!

#27. Vintage Havard French Copper Flambe Pan, 12″ diameter. $95 plus shipping.
Havard stamp, made in France
#28. BIA Cordon Bleu Oval Casserole, 9 x 14 x 2. Copper and Brass. $95 (Plus shipping)

Welcome 2021! Really? End of 2020 Goodness Letter

It’s the time of year, in years past, to drink champagne, make New Year’s resolutions, watch the Times Square clock, and anticipate the joy to come. Dressing up for a New Year’s Eve party is but a distant memory. Fancy frocks adorn our closets. My body is clothed in blue jeans and a Patagonia t-shirt for warmth. The warmth of a Oaxaca December looms large in my recollections of years past when we would gather on my patio for chicken mole negro, tamales and mucho mezcal under the Sacred Mountain Picacho, the winter sun warming us. I dream of those 70 degree days.

Teotitlan del Valle atop Zapotec temple

I may still drink champagne tonight, a birthday gift from my sister. But, I will be alone with no one here to celebrate with. We are still in lockdown. Really? YES. Just because we are leaving 2020 behind us, it’s not the time to lower our defenses. Not much has changed except for the anticipation of a vaccine (that will be slow to be administered to most of us).

This year I received one annual holiday letter. You know. The many times duplicated letter that recalls all the milestones of the year, life updates (divorce, marriage, death, sickness, babies, children at play) along with photos of family and far-flung, exotic travel destinations. This usually arrives in the mail a week before Christmas, though not this year during a severely curtailed USPS funding breakdown. I’ve never written a holiday letter, but some still do.

For me, instead, I am communicating more and more, for better or worse, with WhatsApp, text and occasionally email. I can hardly keep up with FaceBook Messenger and Instagram, other sources of personal connection for many (though not so much in my age category).

I’m moved to say that we cannot overstate how difficult this year has been for us. Many of us are alone, separated from our children, grandchildren and dear friends, even if they live in the same town. Zoom and FaceTime are hardly substitutes for hugs. I’m trying to think back on 2020 to find the goodness, and there is some.

I’d like to share the Goodness Highlights with you:

  • January 2020: Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour was full with wonderful men and women who met extraordinary weavers in remote mountain areas. We generously supported them.
  • February 2020: In Chiapas, we met Maya weavers in humble homes who create glorious textiles. Their creativity and perseverance is uplifting.
  • On March 12, I left Oaxaca to visit my son for a brief week in Los Angeles before returning to Durham, NC for two months. As Covid hit, I stayed and lived with him in a one-bedroom apartment for two months! It was a highlight of the year!
Remember when toilet paper was like a rare diamond. We survived the shortage!
  • In March, panicked and twiddling my thumbs for what to do, I started the Oaxaca Mask Project. Our Oaxaca Cultural Navigator community raised over $20,000 USD to sew and distribute more than 3,000 face masks throughout Oaxaca and outlying villages.
Natividad with children, Teotitlan del Valle, May 2020
  • Then, we raised enough to buy and ship an expensive vital signs monitor for the Teotitlan del Valle public health clinic.
  • In July, I asked myself how we could more directly help Oaxaca and Chiapas weavers — the women we visit who depend on us for their livelihoods. I asked them to ship me their work, which I continue to resell, sending the proceeds to them — often several thousands of dollars at a time — to sustain them, their cooperatives and their families.
Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative, who we help with textile purchases
  • Whew! In September, I took a deep breath and a break, and embarked on a road trip to the midwest, equipped with face shield, plastic gloves, alcohol spray and plenty of hand-sanitizer for gas station and pit-stops. I packed my own food. It was wonderful to reconnect with long-time friends. Spiritually and emotionally satisfying in this year of emotional deprivation.
Mid-November hike along the Rio Grande River
  • With this experience behind me, and with some foolishness (I admit), I bought a plane ticket to New Mexico to meet up with my son, my sister, and lifelong friends. I fell in love with the landscape. With my boy, we hiked every day in Albuquerque along the Rio Grande River and the Petroglyph National Monument. With my sister, we enjoyed daily urban hiking in Santa Fe. All the while, keeping safe social distancing and wearing face masks religiously. It was a joy to be together.
Rio Grande River Gorge, Taos
  • My last two weeks in New Mexico were in Taos, where I REALLY fell in love, decided to buy five acres of high desert rolling hills dotted with sagebrush and build a casita along the Rio Grande River Gorge, down the road from those lifelong friends.
  • Oh, and a word about Covid-Hair: I decided no haircut until I get a vaccine. And, maybe not even then!

And, here we are, at the end of 2020. I’m selling my North Carolina condo in downtown Durham and will head west sometime this spring. My construction loan is approved and I’m starting to let go. I’ve been in NC for over 20 years. My friendships here are deep, and I expect the separation will be painful.

This has been a year of tragedy for our nation, but also a year of hopefulness with a new government.

My friend Kathryn gave me some reassuring words from the Poetry Fox: You have already made the decision. It’s the action that hasn’t happened yet. I’m anticipating the action and, true confession, I’m also scared. In my walking around Durham, I came across this:

And, this …

And, a favorite: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!

So, to mark my 75th birthday today, I’m taking deep, healing breaths and continue to plan how and when to return to Oaxaca. Best bet is that I’ll get there sometime this spring or summer post-vaccine. Best best is that you and I will go together on a Oaxaca Day of the Dead Culture Tour (vaccine proof, masks and hand-sanitizer required). Best bet is that we get back to the Oaxaca Coast and Chiapas in January and February 2022.

Happy Birthday, 2021!

Then, who knows.

So, I say HAPPY NEW YEAR with energy, commitment and hope for a more compassionate and caring world, one in which we are all safe and in which our confidence in government returns.


P.S. The comments section isn’t working properly. I can read your comments but others can’t. I’m sorry. It’s a problem with the WordPress template I’m using. If anyone out there knows how to fix this, I’m happy to compensate for services rendered.

Guest Post: Take (or Gift) a Oaxaca Embroidery Workshop Online

Are you looking for a last-minute meaningful gift? Are you looking for a creative Covid-19 diversion? Do you want to learn traditional Oaxaca embroidery techniques? Do you want to support an indigenous family who depends on textile sales for livelihood?

There is no tourism now, so no sales. My friend Susan deLone thought up this great way to learn and help a woman embroiderer in Oaxaca.

If your answer is YES to any of these questions above, please read on …

An Invitation from Susan deLone to Learn Oaxaca Embroidery

I am the director of a Latino tutoring program for families in New Jersey. All of our families come from the pueblos of Oaxaca.  We started a Zoom class with craftswomen from Oaxaca to teach our moms and kids.

One talented woman, Rosa, has been teaching embroidery with great success. She is originally from the village of San Bartolome Ayautla, where women make exquisite embroidered blouses and dresses.

 I attend these classes given by Rosa as well. The classes are in Spanish. Rosa is the wife of a Oaxaca doctor who was himself, infected with COVID-19 and spent two months in hospital. He had to learn to read and write all over again. He continues to improve.

Rosa is also a housekeeper for a Philadelphia family who now lives in Oaxaca.

I find Rosa to be exceptional…warm and patient, eager to teach, well prepared.  She also gives homework!  I enjoy her class very much.

I hope you will want to learn from her by Zoom.  She will send a Zoom invitation to you once you have registered. We are taking registrations for an introductory set of 4 classes for $50 USD.

How to Register:

Mail a personal check for $50 USD to Susan deLone, 4300 Church Road, Doylestown, PA 18902. Questions: send an email to Susan at Susan is looking into creating a Venmo account, too, for those who want to pay online.

More Class Info:

Each class is 40 minutes and there will be a set time depending on Rosa’s availability. There is no translator, however, Rosa’s hands are demonstration enough! It is easy to learn by watching. The figures are not as elaborate as those shown in these examples. They are very simple. Rosa draws a flower or a person and we draw on our own fabric. Rosa recommends that you use cotton. She teaches different stitches by demonstration. You have a week to do these patterns on your own, and then bring your work to the next class for show and tell.


You provide your own cotton, embroidery floss (thread), hoops, needles, scissors. White cotton is recommended.

In embroidery you can chat and have fun…it’s like having coffee with friends and also making something beautiful. This is a wonderful, meaningful gift to yourself or someone who appreciates needlework.

Moving Sale #2: Mexico Textiles — 20% DISCOUNT

First, I want to wish you a joyous and healthy season of contentment and peace. This has been an unpredictable and difficult year for us all. I hope that everyone in your bubble of family and friends are safe and secure.

23 pieces featured below!

Covid gave me an opportunity to reflect on this passage of time, my own safety and security, and how I might re-imagine the years remaining of my life. So, I prepare now to move from North Carolina to New Mexico this spring. My collection storage bins are full (still) and I need to reduce the things I will move. These are new, never worn, one-of-a-kind pieces from my extensive personal collection and also include recent purchases I made to support the artisans. Your purchase helps to support our weavers and embroiders who we usually visit each year on the textile tours. Covid has changed all that. We send funds immediately when you make a purchase!

I will take 20% off the listed price for each piece and reflect this in the invoice I send you. Price listed does not include the discount!

To Buy: Please email me with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

Still some great pieces available from Moving Sale #1 post, too!

#1. A collector’s piece from San Felipe Usila, Oaxaca. L-XL. $595
#2. Las Sanjuaneras, wild marigold. 35×40″ $425.
#3. Aguacatenango, Chiapas, Size Large. $120
#4. Las Sanjuaneras, iron oxide + indigo, size L. 30×34″ $245
#5. Las Sanjuaneras, 31×21-1/2″ Brazilwood, nanche. $295
#6. Las Sanjuaneras, Iron oxide, mahogany. 36×37″ $425
#7. Xochistlahuaca Cooperative. 31×50. Gala Huipil. $675
#8. Size Extra-Small. $100
#9. Amusgo, size L, 29×50″ $245
SOLD. #10. Chiapas, Zinacantan, infinity scarf, cotton, $65
#11. Xochistlahuaca, Native Green, Coyuchi + White Cotton Huipil, 30×46, $750
SOLD. #12. Las Sanjuaneras, beet, mahogany, nanche, almond, iron oxide. 38×22″ $325.
#13. San Mateo del Mar Palafox family, fine cotton with indigo. 25Wx48L $595
Detail #13–superfine weave!
#14. San Mateo del Mar Poncho, 100% cotton, 37″W x 31″ Size XL. $425
#15. Aguacatenango, Chiapas. Size M. $120
#16. Fancy Apron. San Miguel del Valle, Oaxaca. L-XL. $125
SOLD. #17. Very Fine! San Bartolo Yautepec, 26″ wide x 25″ long, $285
SOLD. #18. Tenancingo de Degollado, ikat shawl, $145
SOLD. #19. Pinotepa de Don Luis, Tixinda rare purple snail dye, 29×29. $225
Chiapas’ Alberto Gomez Lopez featured at 2020 NY Fashion Week
#20. Collection by Alberto Gomez Lopez, Magdalena Aldama, 22″x25″ $495
SOLD. #21. Chiapas Poncho, Oxchuc, XL. $185
SOLD. #22. San Bartolome Ayautla, 27″x44″ – finest embroidery. $195
#23. Las Sanjuaneras, 30×21″ $320

Holiday Clearance Sales: My Mexico Collection

For the next weeks and months, I’m going through My Mexico Collection, to reduce inventory to prepare for my move from Durham, NC to Taos, NM. (No, I’m not giving up Oaxaca!) I’ll be offering textiles, jewelry, rugs, ceramics, ex-votos, and other treasures that I won’t be able to transport. These sales will be intermittent, so please keep your eyes open for upcoming posts.

Today, I start with Francisco Toledo designed handmade paper jewelry from the Casa in San Agustin Etla, and Taller Teñido a Mano rugs and facemasks.

I will take 20% off the listed price for each piece and reflect this in the invoice I send you. Price listed does not reflect the discount!

To Buy: Please email me with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #1 Adjustable, 16-24″ — $65
SOLD. #2 Adjustable, 16-24″ — $65
SOLD. #3 Adjustable, 18-24″ — $65
SOLD. #4 Adjustable, 16-24″ — $65
Top to Bottom, #5, 6, 7, 8 — Indigo dyed 100% cotton
  • SOLD. Mask #5–$17
  • SOLD. Mask #6–$17
  • SOLD. Mask #7–$17
  • SOLD. Mask #8–$17
#9 Grecas Indigo, cochineal, undyed wool, 23×36″ $285

I will take 20% off the listed price for each piece and reflect this in the invoice I send you. Price listed is before the discount!

To Buy: Please email me with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #10 Sunset cochineal, indigo, natural 23×32″ $260
#11 Blue Horizon Indigo ikat + zapote negro, 22×33″. $295
#12 Montañas — Cochineal, indigo, marigold, pomegranate, 23×23″ $195
#13 Shadows –Indigo, cochineal, un-dyed wool, 23×36 $285
#14 Zapotec Dream Indigo, undyed wool, cochineal, pomegranate, 23×23″ $195
SOLD. #15. Mariposas 30×59″ wild marigold, natural $265