News and Inspiration

Beaded and embroidered mandalas inspired by a kaleidoscope photo of a hairbrush

27 November 2016

The mandalas were inspired by a kaleidoscopic filter on a cellphone camera app that turns any view into a radiating, swirling pattern. The very first mandala, photo above, was a photograph of a hairbrush. The brush had black tines tipped with pink plastic, on a pad of charcoal grey rubber. The resulting photo looked like the black tines could be embroidery stitches and the little pink tips could be seedbeads, all embroidered on a dark … >> read more

Cuexcomate volcano inside

Cuexcomate, the world’s smallest volcano, Puebla, Mexico

24 November 2016

In a day of contrasts, we visited the world’s smallest volcano and the world’s largest pyramid all in one day. The tiny Cuexcomate volcano is in Cholula, a small town outside of Puebla city. It is primarily a geyser offshoot in the ridge that holds the much larger Popacateketl Volcano that dominates the Puebla horizon. The whole region is full of volcanoes.

The Great Pyramid, Cholula Mexico

23 November 2016

The Great Pyramid of Cholula, just outside the city of Puebla in Mexico, is that largest constructed pyramid in the world, with each side at the base measuring 400 meters and an overall height of 450 meters. Because the pyramid is covered in earth and vegetation, it feels like a mountain to be near it and it’s nearly impossible to imagine it as built by humans. Other archeological digs reveal further the extent of the … >> read more

Central Market in Tepoztlan, Mexico

21 November 2016

Tepoztlan is a small town of about 24,000 people nestled in a small green valley 1.5 hours south of Mexico City. The town is one of the federally designated “Pueblos Magicos“, a status it earned for its natural beauty, it is held as the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl. On the weekends the town fills up with day tourists from Mexico and surrounding areas, as well as those who own one of the many weekend retreat homes … >> read more

columns and arches repeating

Churches of Cholula, Puebla province, Mexico

18 November 2016

We spent a day being tourists in the tiny town of Cholula, just outside the city of Puebla. The village is known for the largest pyramid in the world as well as the smallest volcano in the world. It has many churches, several appear in this post. Cholula is also full of restaurants, shops, galleries, and street life.

Gold textile gateway

Metallic textile gateways photos

12 November 2016

These photos were made in June 2016 and they are early experiments in the mandalas project. The original images are below. This is what the camera actually saw while the filter was being applied for the above images.

Day of the Dead home altar

31 October 2016

Home altars are set up in Mexico for Dia de los Muertos to entice departed spirits to visit and to linger. Sweets, flowers, and food are offered. We set up our altar with existing and new objects, sugar skulls and a chocolate skull, and all on pieces of silk and linen that Magda is currently using in her embroidered mandala project. We gave our ancestors their favorite foods, art, sparkling jewels, flowers, and a merry … >> read more

Floating flower mandala

29 October 2016

October and November in Tepoztlan is the season for flowers. As the summer rainy season ends and the dry season approaches, plants use their stores of food to burst into bloom and attract pollinating insects that are also getting a reprieve from the torrential downpour and thriving in the warmer weather.

Purple pattern digital snakeskin

Every Day I’m Pickling, Tepoztlan, Mexico, with recipe

27 September 2016

Two years ago I attended a fermentation workshop with @surlyfarmer and have been fermenting my own pickles ever since. For a while I was probably putting up a new jar every day. Documenting the beautiful colors and patterns of the fermenting plants turned into the Every Day I’m Pickling project. Below is included a basic recipe for fermenting vegetables using a simple water and salt brine. Do look up recipes to inspire you with additional … >> read more

Embroidery test on a mandala

Embroidery and beading test on blue silk

20 September 2016

This chaotically embroidered mandala is the first test of embroidery with the help of a circular paper grid. The addition of beads was also tested. This is an experiment in the larger mandala project.