Sunday, December 11, 2016

Debbie's Visit

Diciembre 5th - 11th, 2016

Lake Chapala, Jalisco Mexico

Debbie and Frankie

My friend Debra Machida came to visit this past week.  2 souls crossing paths again.  Such a lovely week!  Full of inspiration and hope for the future and New beginnings.

Along our journeys we ran into new and old friends

Maestro Antonio Lopez Vega and his new mural

Mermaid Star Gazing 
Ospicio de Cabanas

 Conejo Tile

 Lake Chapala of Old

Salsa y Chorizo
Mercando Libertad/San Juan De Dios

 Writhing Torso
Ospicio de Cabanas

Ospicio de Cabanas

Ospicio de Cabanas

Mujer Muerte
Presidencia Antigua

 Children's Orchestra
Ospicio de Cabanas

Ospicio de Cabanas

 Paleteria Infierno
Efren Gonzalez
Presidencia Antigua, Chapala

Sergio Bustamante

Sergio Bustamante

If I Die On Monday, The Week Will Start Out Badly
Presidencia Antigua, Chapala

Monday, November 28, 2016

Seed Bomb Workshop # 1 - Gathering Group @ Huerto Cafe - Riberas del Pilar, Jalisco Mexico

On a brisk, sparkling, Sunday morning they gathered at Huerto Cafe.

Our idea was to make Seed Bombs or Seed balls, also known as "earth balls" or nendo dango (Japanese: 粘土 団子?), consisting of a variety of different seeds rolled within a ball of clay, preferably volcanic pyroclastic red clay. Into this medium various additives were be included, such as humus or organic compost. These are placed around the seeds, at the center of the ball, to provide microbial inoculants. Cotton-fibres or liquefied paper are sometimes mixed into the clay in order to strengthen it, or liquefied paper mash coated on the outside to further protect the clay ball during sowing by throwing, or in particularly harsh habitats.

Our clay came from our local merchant, Faustino in Chapala.  
Faustino mixed the clay into just the right consistency for our use.
Each member of our Gathering Group choose their materials:  seeds, compost, humus, coconut fibers, and placed these lovingly and with intent into each of their seed balls.

 Depending on the season during which the balls were to be used, 
the appropriate ingredients were chosen.

Getting our hands dirty was part of the fun.

And experimentation was key.  We want to distribute the seed balls into different terrains and conditions, to see how they fare.

 Steve and Enaj collaborate on ingredients.

 Lois chose avocado seeds to include in her seed ball production.

Members brought rain water, organic compost, a variety of flower and vegetable seeds to share.

 Even Rocio, the owner of Huerto Cafe tried her hand at seed ball making.

We'd like to thank Rocio Meillon, owner of Huerto Cafe for opening up her wonderful restaurant to our Gathering Group on a Sunday morning.

May your seeds go far, root strong and thrive.

The Gathering Group

Steve, Darlene, Kalina, Enaj, Fco. Lois

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Dia De Los Muertos 2016


Undoubtedly my favorite holiday of the year is Dia De Los Muertos.

I started the day early in Ajijic where I took in the special art exhibit in the Cultural Center, the altar creations around the plaza and the stunning tapetes.

Maestro Antonio Lopez Vega

The tapete artists start their work.

In addition to all the festivities, the school children of Saul Rodiles Elementary School wowed us all!
Their recycled material Catrinas were all the rage.

Saul Rodiles Elementary School Altars


A special tribute altar to Cantinflas

This heartfelt poem so appropriate.

Maestro Jesus Lopez Vega's work

Jose Duran created a recycled bottle cap Catrina.

Ajijic Kiosko

Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos

Our special destination this night was the town of Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos.  Their Dia de los Muertos celebration was expected to draw large crowds.  They were offering cash prizes for the best altars, Catrinas, interpretations, etc.

Entry - Papel Picado

This one entry for best Catrina should have been given an honorable mention.  This otherworldly creature pushed the entrant Catrina, who happened to use a wheel chair.

The B-52s have nothing on this Catrina.

  Special tribute altar to Gabriel Figueroa

Miniature Altar

Altar artist, Oscar tells us about his altar made for his recently departed father.

Amidst all the chaotic festivities, I found my dear friend Sergio, who was one of the
10 semi-finalists for Best Catrina.

Proudly, this 40 meter high Catrina was named the tallest Catrina on the planet
and made the Guinness World Record book.

Tribute altar to one of my favorite authors, Octavio Paz.

Amazing Paper Lanterns


Tribute altar to the heroes of Mezcala

Upon our return from Ixtlahuacan, we stopped in Chapala to experience the magic of the night.

  One of the painted, visiting pigs.

Riberas del Pillar

Meanwhile, we finished our altar at Huerto Cafe

My dear friend Ventura was also remembered.

Alondra and Erica greet the hungry spirits.

As a tribute to the dearly departed souls, Maestro Efren Gonzalez created a clay mask wall, adorned with the names of the people from the pueblo, who have left us.  It is a stunning work.

Of course, I needed to get into the swing of the evening and transformed myself into a
mischievous spirit.