Spread the LOVE. . .

Spread the LOVE. . .
with gifts from the artisan's soul

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Upcoming Events

Don't miss these:
*17th Annual Encinitas Poinsettia Festival - Sunday, November 18th 9a-4p on Coast Highway 101 in Downtown Encinitas
* Our 2nd Annual HOLIDAY SALE - Friday, November 23rd - Sunday, November 25th
Select merchandise marked down 30-90% OFF original price!

*South Park Walkabout - Saturday, December 1st 6-10pm
Stroll through this great neighborhood event that promotes local merchants. Visit our 'satellite location' at The Grove on 30th & Juniper.
*Hillcrest Farmer's Market - Sunday, December 2nd 9a-1p
San Diego's best Farmer's Market and Open Aire Bazaar. Lincoln & Normal Streets (park in DMV parking lot).
*Annual HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE - Thursday, December 6th from 6-9pm. Enjoy holiday festivities and food while shopping. Special additional discount for registered customers for this ONE night only.
*LEUCADIA NIGHTS & LIGHT UP LEUCADIA- Friday, December 7th from 6-9pm. Stroll down North Coast Highway 101 and visit local merchants while enjoying 'Light Up Leucadia'.
*LADIES WHO LAUNCH INCUBATOR SERIES - Wed, Nov 28th - Tues, Dec 18th (3 Wednesdays and 1 Tuesday). This is an AMAZING women's networking group that we will be hosting an incubator for during this time. Visit
www.ladieswholaunch.com/incubator-workshops.cfm/IncID/57 for details.

Always something new in San Miguel!

When we started traveling to San Miguel in 2002 I had never been to Central Mexico before. Now, 5 years later and who only know how many trips I am always searching for something I have not yet seen to discover and do! This trip I was on my own for a lot of the time while Charles was working so I had a lot of 'excursion' time to hunt and search for new resources as well as new inspiration. There are always new stores, restaurants, and galleries popping up in San Miguel every 6 months we visit there. This trip I was sad to see one of our favorite restaurants (Azafran) no longer there and replaced with a new trendy spot. I spent additional time in the 'Mercado de Artesanias' this trip where I discovered a source for something special I have been hunting for - this truly is my joy - the hunt and aquisition of new artisans creating something beautiful for us to bring back to our customers.

An afternoon with master tinsmith 'Chilo'

Spending time with 'Chilo' (Cecilio) is always an adventure for me while in San Miguel. Chilo does not speak very much English and I speak 'un poco' of Espanol (I end up using added hand gestures and facial expressions to get my point across). Jose who works in Chilo's tallere speaks some English and attempts to be a translator but it doesn't always translate exactly. Regardless, I always am amazed at his talleres' craftmanship and creativity. Sergio took me to the tienda's upstairs tallere where Jose and some of the other artisans were hand-painting the beautiful tin we do so well with at our store. It is always fasciniating to see how much additional work is put into the finished product. Usually several layers of paint are used to achieve their gorgoeus aged looks in their 'El Nido' mirrors and to see them apply by hand gold and silver leaf is incredible. I brought back several new hearts and crosses from the tallere for our customers and ordered more of the beautiful 'El Nido' mirrors that consistently charm us. We hope when we take our first 'Aesthetyx Experience' tour to San Miguel (slated for August 2008) to spend a day in both of Chilo's talleres so our customers can see and appreciate all of the hand-crafted work that goes into every one of a kind piece.

Feria 'Maestros del Arte' Show in Lake Chapala

We were so enchanted by the towns of Lake Chapala and Ajijic just 45 minutes outside of Guadalajara. We had heard about this fairly new show called 'Maestros del Arte' that would showcase many of the famous 'Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art' from the original Banamex exhibition as well as other extremely talented artisans from states ranging from Jalisco to Michoacan, to Oaxaca, and more. The event was held at the Lake Chapala Yacht Club and was a gorgeous day to shop! This was a very well organized event that really celebrated the artisans and gave them a venue to sell their artwork to many enthusiastic and eager customers. Next year we plan on hosting one of our 'Aesthetyx Experience' tours in conjunction with this show as we feel our customers who thoroughly enjoy meeting the artisans and shopping directly from them, just like we do!

La Forteleza & Los Abuelos Tequila

If you are a tequila connoisseur you must try the new specialty line of tequila 'La Forteleza' by 5th generation Sauza, Guillermo Erickson Sauza . It is a delicious line of tequila that comes in Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo and is packaged in a gorgeous glass bottle with a top that looks like the 'pina' of the agave plant (the part where the liquor is extracted from after it is roasted). Saludos!

Excursion to Tequila, Jalisco

Last Saturday Charles & I had one true 'Mexican Adventure'! We headed to the town of Tequila, 1 hour oustide of Guadalajara to visit the Sauza Family Museum and 'La Vila' - the beautiful agave plantation of friend Guillermo Erickson Sauza who is the 5th generation of Sauza's still making tequila the old fashioned way. The 'adventure' part was the movie-like bus ride to Tequila (which was not our original plan but we were on a tight schedule). The bus took twice as long to get us there but it was worth the ride. We were taken on a tour of the Sauza Family museum in the main square and then walked to 'La Vila' where agave and bougainvillea great you at every angle and rustic stone arches and cobblestone walkways pave your way. The original distillery is on this magnificent property and Charles & I were fortunate enough to get a tour of it. We also saw the 'cava' (cave) where the finished tequila barrels are stored, very fasciniting!

Special Rememberance this Dia

Earlier this year Charles and I lost 'Papa Chuck' (Charles' father) and it has been hard knowing he is no longer physically present with us. I especially looked forward to Dia de los Muertos this year as I wanted to do something special in his honor. Papa Chuck was our 'honoree' at the head of our community altar and I think he really enjoyed the Fiesta. We made sure we left out some of his favorite things for him to enjoy- Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream and a bottle of Jack Daniel's. I embrace the beauty of this celebration because it truly honors those who have passed in a very reverend manner which I personally feel is so enlightened.

Sticky Sugar Skulls!

This year thanks to Sandra who volunteered to make the famous 'royal icing' we had 10 fabulous colors of icing to decorate the sugar skulls with. Sandra, thanks for taking time to make all of the batches - everyone thoroughly enjoyed making a big colorful mess, especially the kids! Next year our goal is to offer Sugar Skull Making classes before Dia de los Muertos for groups with kids since it's SO much fun!!!!

Katrina's Competition!

Our customer Pat Ward really knows how to dress it up! Pat came to our event decked out in her fabulous hat hand-made to look just like Posada's famous 'Katrina'. Next year I think we should have Katrina hat contest, thanks for the inspiration Pat!

Dia de los Muertos Celebration Highlights

We are so glad so many of you came out on November 2nd, the true 'Dia de los Muertos' for our celebration 'La Dulce de la Vida' (the sweetness of life). We are especially grateful to all of you who participated in our community ofrenda (altar offering). It made is so special to see so many of our customers' loved ones honored on our altar. For those of you who we didn't get to say 'Adios' to we kept all of the mementoes if you would like them back otherwise we will continue to collect them and put them out again next year.