The Art of Emily Costello…

I was so excited to learn that one of my favorite artists, Emily Costello (from Arizona) would be in town having a solo art exhibit on August 9th at Chimaya art gallery in Los Angeles – and even more excited … Continue reading

new hand stitched heart ornaments!

I’ve been busy stitching up some new heart ornaments for both my Etsy shop and our website. 100% handmade, I used recycled fabrics and beautiful sheer ribbons, and embellishments like felt, mini crocheted flowers (made by my friend Annette), buttons, stamps, charms, vintage lace, and beads…

Hope you like them! Each is one-of-a-kind, and only $12 each, perfect for your special Valentine, bff, siblings, your child’s teacher – anyone!

’til next time…

new hand stitched ornaments available at www.ArtedeNuestroCorazon.com

new hand stitched ornaments available at http://www.ArtedeNuestroCorazon.com

New hand stitched heart ornaments in my Etsy shop...

New hand stitched heart ornaments in my Etsy shop…

opportunity knocked – we answered!

two weeks ago i saw an instagram post about a television show that was looking for artists to participate in an episode for their upcoming season. (we had to sign a privacy clause, so i can’t say much right now…)

much to my husband Lawrence’s surprise, i mentioned the post to him, as well as the fact that our nephew, David, had tagged me in a Facebook post about this opportunity. i figured – this post came to me twice, who was i to ignore it? we decided to pursue it; what did we have to lose?

i sent in the necessary photos of art pieces for both of us. that was followed by an email asking for some more information and photos of our booth set-up for art shows.

i was cooking dinner when the phone call came: they wanted us for the show! more information was shared, and the necessary paperwork was completed and faxed back to the appropriate people.

last week was a whirlwind of being on set: early mornings, loooong days, watching the behind the scenes action of filming a TV show, interacting with a very cool and helpful crew, meeting awesomely talented artists, making new friends…and getting lots of exposure for our artwork!

did i mention that Lawrence was surprised? i’m not the type to jump into new things – far from it. it felt really good when, driving home after our last day of being on set, he took my hand and said, “did i tell you i’m really proud of you for doing this?”

it was a good week… ❤

til next time…

papel picado

papel picado

 

Crafty Chica Cruise 2013…

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i’m back! from the Crafty Chica cruise, that is. actually, i’ve been back a week already.  just wanted to share some of the many photos i took during the week…

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we set sail on monday, april 22nd.  i got to go on the cruise thanks to sylvia of Que Milagros Studio on etsy.  her husband couldn’t make it at the last minute and she invited me to take his place!  she called me on the 1 month anniversary of my father-in-law’s death, which was a very rough day around here.  at the encouragement of my husband lawrence and my best friend annette, i told sylvia yes.

i’d never been on a cruise before, and let me tell you, the Carnival ship we were on – the Inspiration – was like Vegas!  brightly lit, somewhat funky decor, clubs, bars, casinos…just one big party!  hungry?  thirsty?  no problem – the Lido Deck offered breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day,  with a variety of delicious options.  dinner in the Carnivale (yes, Carnival with an “e”) dining room was fun: i got to sit with a group of very cool and funny women, our waiters were a blast, even performing for us a couple of nights, and the food was pretty good (desserts were yummmmy!).

our schedule was docking in Catalina Island on Tuesday, and then Ensenada, Mexico on Wednesday.  Thursday was all day on the boat; we returned to Long Beach, CA on Friday morning.

i’d never been to Catalina before and i thought it was beautiful.  fresh air, lots of beautiful mosaic tile work on the sidewalks and buildings, and of course, lots of businesses to shop at.  In Ensenada, we stuck to the downtown area and did a little shopping.  my favorite stop was at Casa Ramirez – beautiful, authentic art pieces made by local artists, with friendly and knowledgeable staff more than happy to talk about the items in their shop. if you’re ever in the downtown Ensenada area, i strongly recommend you visit Casa Ramirez!

we did some crafting on the boat –  my favorite workshops were the leather ring workshop, by Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo; the “La Chica Doll” workshop with Annette and Theresa Armas of CJ’s Angels; and the Sacred Heart workshop with Yoli Manzo of Sacred Yoli Designs.

i only completed the doll and the sacred heart workshops; i’ll share more about the workshops themselves in a later post.  i want to finish up the projects i brought home.

oh – i won a Gelli Plate! have you guys heard about them?  i first heard  of them from Yoli on her facebook page.  i’m so excited i got one and can’t wait to use it in my mixed media work!!!  check out their site and see for yourself at Gelli Arts.

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the best part of the cruise was running into old friends, meeting Facebook friends in real life, and meeting lots of new people.  i even got to meet one of my favorite artists, Emily Costello.

on Thursday evening, our last night on the ship, we had a “mercado nite”, where we had a chance to sell our homemade items, artwork, etc.  i made back a good chunk of what i spent during the week!

stay tuned for more about the projects i did on the cruise…

(btw, the last photo of the sunflowers: my mom bought them for me when i returned Friday. ♥)

so – they say things happen for a reason…

haven’t written anything since christmas day.  2012.  today is january 29, 2013.

where do i begin?

let’s see…lawrence and i were buying our first house!  EXCITING, huh?!  well, we didn’t.  to make a long story not so long, the guy selling the house didn’t want to repair the damages found during the home inspection and he backed out of the deal.  right before escrow closed.  we had already given our notice to our landlord, had rented a storage unit near the house we were going to buy, and had packed up pretty much about 90% of our belongings when he backed out.

truckpacked

actually, we went through SO much crap with this guy during the whole (almost)home-buying process that we came out angry, tired, and not sure we wanted to do it again any time soon.  we’re lucky to have an awesome real estate agent, paul (lawrence’s cousin) who explained the whole process to us every step of the way and never backed down from trying to get us what we wanted.  i’m sure we’ll eventually buy the right house for us, with paul’s help.

so – we are staying with my parents.  and let me tell you, it’s HARD to go back home.  as an adult.  with your husband.  trying to run a business.  with most of your possessions either at storage, in your parents’ garage, or at friend’s house.  yes, i tell myself we’re lucky we had somewhere to go.  we’re lucky family and friends were there when we needed them.  but once the moving was over, the reality of the situation sets in:  how long will we be here?  living in one room (a room already fully furnished with an oversized couch, a bar, a trundle bed, large screen tv, and a table with 4 chairs) and living out of moving boxes?  my brother and his family took in Canela (our dog; canela is spanish for “cinnamon”) because lawrence and his brother-in-law had to build a fence before we could bring her to my parents’ house.

move:fence:canelacollageWM

we’ve been living here since january 2nd.  it’s been quite an adjustment.  funny thing is, we wanted to move closer to our parents, and we did!  can’t be any closer to my parents than living with them (as lawrence says) and we are much closer to lawrence’s parents’ home too.

so that’s what’s going on here.  i FINALLY got internet service here yesterday, so this week will be back to work on the online shops.

speaking of shops, if you haven’t checked mine out lately, please do!  lots of new work in my Etsy art shop, and lots of new items in my Etsy supply shop –

http://www.etsy.com/shop/asucarr

etsyartshopheartscollage

http://www.etsy.com/shop/susiecarranza

etsysupplyshopcollage

hope you’re having a successful new year!

 

 

 

Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead: Honoring Loved Ones No Longer Here

Day of the Dead (in spanish: Dia de los Muertos) has become so popular recently that it often both saddens and maddens me to see the term “day of the dead” slapped onto a piece of artwork just because it has a skull or a skeleton on it.  or lumped together with Halloween.  lots of people want to capitalize on the popularity of this tradition but don’t bother to find out what it’s REALLY about.  or honestly, they just think skulls are “cool”.  last year, one online store held a “Day of the Dead” craft contest on their facebook page, where people posted pieces they’d created and the one with the most “likes” won a prize of some sort.  i still remember one of the pieces:  a gravestone, spiders, webs, and pumpkins.  and one scary-looking skull.  Day of the Dead – really?  not so much….

Dia de los Muertos is about honoring our loved ones who are no longer with us.  there is nothing scary, or spooky, or Halloween-y about it.  it’s a beautiful tradition that involves celebrating life, not mourning death.

i did not grow up knowing about Dia de los Muertos.  i honestly don’t remember the first time i ever heard about it, but i know that once i did i wanted to know more.  that was years ago.  today, with so much virtual information at our fingertips, there really is no reason not to know what this tradition is all about, if one truly wants to.

i could try to share what i’ve learned about this beautiful tradition, but there’s an awesome site that did such a great job with this, i’d rather share their page and let you see for yourself.  check out mexicansugarskull.com’s post about the history of Day of the Dead.

http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/support/dodhistory.html

and, if you’d like to check out another link, here’s an interview i did at Crafty Catholic Mamacita back in March.  maria finds artists and crafters on Etsy and interviews them for her weekly “Crafty Mamacita Miercoles” (miercoles = spanish for Wednesday).  she found my shop on Etsy and asked if she could send me some questions for an interview.  (i’m glad i did; maria was very sweet and very professional.)

the last question was about Dia de los Muertos.  you can read my interview here:

http://susiquetzalli.blogspot.com/2012/03/crafty-mamacita-miercoles-asucarr_07.html

my husband and i have an altar set up in our dining room year round.  we started it 3 years ago during the Day of the Dead season and never took it down.  it stays as a tribute to loved ones we’ve said goodbye to yet know we’ll one day see again.  we make a few changes as time passes, adding friends and family who have passed on since we started our altar, redecorating, etc.  i love having a physical place to pause, light a candle, and say a quick hello.

*our altar has artwork from several awesomely talented artists: the large candle on the right is Cathy Ashworth; the skull on the second shelf of our altar is from Cesco’s Muertos; the skeleton-butterfly piece (top shelf) and the skeleton dog (front) is from Theresa Armas; the black skull (left) and blue box (right) is from Annette Armas of CJ’s Angels and Arte de Nuestro Corazon.  the tall candle with the image of flowers (on the left) and the piece in the lower left corner were done by me.

so, tell me – do you celebrate Day of the Dead?  if you do, i’d love for you to share in the comments!