LA SURTIDORA DEL CENTRO. puerto vallarta, mexico

LA SURTIDORA DEL CENTRO. puerto vallarta, mexico

LS shop outside

 

LS embroidered tops
Various Mexican hand embroidered & woven tops.
LS Vignette
Otomi embroidered pillows & woven bags

Pillows

A wonderfully friendly saleswoman displaying one of my favorite Otomi embroidered textile for a photo op.
Handkerchiefs & Doilies
Embroidered handkerchiefs & doilies!

 

I happened across this shop when walking near my hotel, and what a find!  These are the kinds of shops I really cherish…full of traditional handmade products, items of days gone by.  It does not have the ambience of the boutiques I highlighted in Sayulita, but there are little treasures to be found nonetheless. Also, I love to feel like I am discovering something special, it’s the hunter in me.  🙂  I bought a dress, handkerchief, and some small embroidered gifts…definitely could have bought more!

 

LA SURTIDORA DEL CENTRO: Morelos 256, colonio centro
puerto vallarta, mexico.  phone: 222-1439

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THE COLORS. bologna

THE COLORS. bologna

When first arriving in Bologna, one of the first things I noticed were the beautiful color combinations on the buildings.  So many gorgeous, in my mind “typically Italian” colors, that might not look as beautiful set in a different context…but they work so well together in this specific country.

SUN YAT-SEN MEMORIAL HALL. guangzhou

SUN YAT-SEN MEMORIAL HALL. guangzhou

For those of you who are not familiar with Sun Yat-Sen, he was the leader of China’s republican revolution. He did much to inspire and organize the movement that overthrew the Manchu dynasty in 1911—a family of rulers that reigned over China for nearly three hundred years. Through the Kuomintang Party, he paved the way for the eventual reunification of the country.

postcards from chaozhou, guangdong

postcards from chaozhou, guangdong

One of my favorite aspects of China, especially smaller towns in China, is the ingenuity to create or modify items to more effectively suit it’s very specific function.  A great example is the double watering can system, close up below.

One recurring theme I am always drawn to is the wearing away and contrast created by time.  The door frames are ornate, but the surrounding space is now overgrown.  What did this place look like in its heyday?
Can you see the cat in the photo?
This door’s beauty is in its frequent use, and its slow wear over time.

A close-up of the village wall that has a new pattern created by weather & time.  The pattern reminds me of the rice terraces found in other areas of China.

Another aspect of smaller Chinese towns that I love are the handmade objects, especially the baskets.  Baskets are everywhere in Chaozhou: carried on shoulders of farmers & attached to both sides of a motorcycle.  The density of the weave changes with the function.  For example, baskets meant to use as a cage for chickens or to hold large items are a very large-scale open weave, while baskets meant for holding small items have a very tight weave.  The patterns created are beautiful.

A Chinese truck…it reminds me of Mad Max, very makeshift!

After a six-hour bus ride from Guangzhou, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Chaozhou, but was very happy to be there to visit my good friends and their newborn baby.  Chaozhou is a fairly small and quiet city (by Chinese standards), and I was grateful for the chance to visit the farmland and old village within the city that may soon be demolished in China’s push to modernize.

COLOR PALETTE INSPIRATION, MFA. boston

COLOR PALETTE INSPIRATION, MFA. boston

I am already thinking about my next line of shoes, and a museum is a fantastic place to find color inspiration.

I think the last is the winner!  There is a nice balance of neutrals & colors, darks and lights.

postcards from macau

postcards from macau

There are two things in the world that can’t be joked: 1. marriage, 2. potato
LONG-HORN MIAO

LONG-HORN MIAO

 I have had a long-time fascination with the Long-horn Miao, a Chinese minority that lives in southern China.

Long-horn Miao women wear such elaborate “hairstyles” for special ceremonies.  These hairstyles were once made of real hair, but now supplemented with yarn, and measures to be about 9 ft. long.

In addition to that, their traditional dress is beautiful; such vibrant colors & prints!

( photo credits: 1: ecotourchina.com, 2, 3, &5: Keren Su, 4: unknown )

ANONYMOUS. guangzhou

ANONYMOUS. guangzhou

Guangzhou is a land of layers of anonymous highrises as far as the eye can see.  Surprisingly, a lot of them have character, be it from the architecture, or from clothes or plants exploding from most windows.

It’s a helpful reminder that people do actually live here!