Monday, December 7, 2015

Tlalpujahua, a town that celebrates Christmas 365 days a year

If you are a Christmas fanatic like me I'm sure that you have already watched that movie where everyday is Christmas until the main character is finally able to celebrate it appropriately, although that sounds more like a nightmare than a gift, can you imagine in a more positive scenario being able to celebrate every single day as if it was December 25th?

Looking for directions?
This weekend I had the opportunity to visit Tlalpujahua, which is a small town located in the central region of Mexico, very close to the Monarch butterflies sanctuary; this beautiful place is most known because their primary industrial activity is the Bauble production, they spend the entire year working in the design and production of  baubles allowing us to have pretty ornaments to place over our Christmas Trees during the holidays, some sort of modern Santa's workshops.

Waiting for our Chilaquiles & Juice breakfast

We started this trip by making a stop at Quinta la Huerta, an old house that works as Hotel and restaurant, we had a huge breakfast to get the required energy to go walking up the hills to explore and look for the most beautiful decorations.

Cupcake baubles?

I was expecting to find the typical and classical baubles designs and colors so you can imagine my surprise when I found the most unexpected forms starting with some delicious cup cakes.

There were some in fruits shapes, some others resembling Hershey's kisses, candy canes, transparent baubles filled with a number of materials: branches, feathers, etc. and in a corner there was this little place that fabricates them in Batman, Spiderman, Minions, Hello Kitty and even Zombies vs. Plants forms.

Every year there is a Bauble Fair celebrated from October to Mid December, where all the local families expose their designs, you can find not only bauble's but also a number of glass-based ornaments, like Nochebuenas (poinsettias), air balloon figures, gigantic apples, among other zillion things,  and families get very competitive trying to have the best exposition of all, it's not rare to find that pictures are forbidden in certain stands as they want to avoid having someone copying their models.

Mexico's Santa Claus home

Close to the Fair you'll find the house of Santa Claus, and this magical place is like the dream of all little elves out there: Christmas carols can be heard in the background of this huge exposition of decorative objects with Christmas trees in different colors, baubles, advent calendars and any object that you can imagine in its festive version, from salt shakers and towels to small town houses and little trains.
Sorry for the blurry picture, we were like kids running from one room to the other

This was a one day visit  but it was enough to let us fall in love with the beautiful landscape,  huge trees, clear air, gentile people, good food and the feeling that the best time of the year is already here, it definitely is starting to look a lot like Christmas, my only regret, not taking more pictures!
Can you believe this is a not filtered picture?

Anyway, thanks for joining us in this virtual visit, now you should let me know in the comments section which bauble figure you would like the most and even consider to include on your tree.
P.S. Big thanks to my travel accomplices that took the challenge to go visiting everything in just a few hours (no heels allowed)

My beautiful travel accomplices!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

DIY: Coasters for the nostalgic, the music fan & the booze lover

Starting the series of quick DIY Christmas gifts to complete in an afternoon we have an all times classic: tile-based coasters.

Last year I did some coasters for my childhood girlfriends and I could tell that they were delighted by having a customized (and useful) gift, besides of the fact that we all have reached that point in our lives when we start worrying about not damaging our furniture (yes, that means young days are gone)

Today I'm sharing 3 simple recipes to create customized coasters for our loved ones that are either nostalgic, love a band/singer or simply those that find the meaning of happiness at the bottom of a bottle (hey, who are we to judge? not me considering that I used to watch The Kardashians therefore   I'll leave it to you to chose your own guilty pleasures)

Supplies needed for all versions:

-4*4 Tiles
-Mod Podge*
-Sand paper
-Clear lacquer
-Felt or Mounting tape (Scotch mounting tape is the easiest to find in stores)
*You can create your mod podge mixing 2 parts of glue with 1 part of water

Recipe 1) Nostalgic (for your mom/aunt/grandma/etc)

Additional supplies: Old pictures copies (you can always scan your old albums)

1) Print/Crop your pictures to a 4*4 inches size if you want them to cover the entire tile, or if you want them to have a Polaroid vibe I'd recommend them to be adjusted to 3*2 inches
2) Sand your tile until it's not smooth anymore (you'll feel how it turns porous)
3) Apply modge podge with a brush to the top of the tile and the back of the picture,  then place the picture over the tile
4) Apply 2 more coats of mod podge to the tile covering the picture and let it dry 
5) Turn it waterproof by applying a coat of clear lacquer
6) Once dry add little pieces of felt/ mounting tape to the back of the tile, this will avoid the tile to damage your table surface.

Repeat as required.
Can you believe those little angels are me & my big brother?

Recipe 2) Music Fan  (the easiest one)

Additional Supplies: Album covers/Illustrations

1) Print your favorite album cover or any illustration with the preferred band/singer in a 4*4 inches size
2) Follow steps 2-6 from Nostalgic coasters

Who is NOT a Beatles fan?

Recipe # 3) Booze lover's

Additional Supplies:
- Acrylic Paint
-Blue Painters Tape

1) Sand your tile to allow paint to easily adhere to the tile

2) Using the blue painter tape create a margin 

3) Paint your tile with your favorite color, 2 coats must be enough to completely cover it (you can sand your tile a little after it dries if you want it to have a "messy" look)

4) Print a design in your vinyl, I created some kind of "Booze table of elements" that includes Vodka, Whiskey, Gin, etc but you can print any beverage you prefer.

5) Place your vinyl over your painted tile pressing over until it gets glued.

6) Remove the painters tape and apply the clear lacquer

7) Once dry add little pieces of felt/ mounting tape to the back of the tile, this will avoid the tile to damage your table surface.

And voilá!, instant customized presents for your buddies.

 I love the 3 recipes and although I've received more requests of the Booze lovers version I think that my favorite is the music fan recipe MAYBE because those Beatles coasters were a gift from my boyfriend (insert love-eyed emoji here)

I will probably be doing some more nostalgic coasters for my mom, moms always love to see pictures of us when we were babies, probably because it reminds them how easy was to deal with us in those days hahaha.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this DIY I'd love to know which one you would prefer doing and which one you'd like to receive for Christmas, so please let your comments below.