El Dia de los Muertos

Happy Day of the Dead!

Several years my husband and I were in Oaxaca, Mexico during the Day of the Dead celebration. And Oaxaca celebrated this holiday in a big way!

Dia de los Muertos was originally an Aztec celebration of the lives of those who had died. The Spanish conquerors tried to put an end to the holiday, but were not successful, (thank goodness). Over time el Dia de los Muertos merged with the Catholic All-Saints day and All-Souls day on November 1st and 2nd. The contemporary celebration melds aspects of Aztec ritual with Christian traditions and contemporary life.

Sugar Skulls and Marigolds

Day of the Dead

Sugar Skulls in Oaxaca

We started seeing sugar skulls in the markets about a week or 2 before the Day of the Dead celebration. Apparently the Catholic friars taught the Mexicans how to make decorations from an ingredient that was abundant and affordable: sugar. Sugar Skulls and other items are often used to decorate the ofrendas on Dia de los Muertos. As in the picture below, marigolds also decorate small home altars like this, as well as large public displays. The bright orange marigolds are said to guide the spirits of the deceased, back to their earthly homes, as they visit their loved ones.

Day of the Dead alter

Oferendas with sugar skulls

Day of the Dead Necklace

I wanted to design a Day of the Dead necklace that would  reflect these traditions, with respect and authenticity. So I started with an awesome, bronze clay sugar skull  by my friend Staci Smith.

DOD Necklace Sugar Skull I needed some beads to represent the marigolds and these were perfect!

Day Of the Dead Necklace with Marigold beads.

Day Of the Dead Necklace with Marigold beads.

I wired a “marigold” beneath the chin of the sugar skull and dangled 7 other from a strand of black, gray and silver “peanut beads”.

Sugar Skull Necklace 3I topped the sugar skull with a dark lilac handmade ceramic bead by Mary Hubbard, of White Clover Kiln and then added a strand of purple, recycled sari silk.

Sugar Skull Necklace 4Here’s some additional information of the Day of the Dead, that you might find interesting: http://www.firstpost.com/tag/day-of-the-dead

The Skull Sugar Necklace is available on my website.

I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.

Linda cursiveLinda Landig Jewelry

Views From Llano Park

One of my favorite places in Oaxaca is Llano Park.  I love to just sit in the sunshine there and watch life go by.  I hope you enjoy this photo essay of pictures from the park.

Llano Park 7

Llano Park 2

Llano Park 5

Llano Park 6

Llano Park 10

Llano Park 13

Llano Park 8

Llano Park 16

Llano Park 11I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.

-Linda

Linda Landig Jewelry

Peaceful Patio

Last week I took you on a little tour of our rental casa in Oaxaca.  Today I invite you to step outside with me and enjoy a few moments on our peaceful patio.

Patio, Yard & Plantings 6 See that poinsettia?  They grow wild here.  This one is as tall as the house and I’ve seen them grow to be like small trees.

Patio, Yard & Plantings 10You know how I love flowers, right?  There is so much to delight the eye, right here in our back yard!

Patio, Yard & Plantings 11 I don’t know what kind of flowers these are, but they are incredibly soft.  They feel like a silky, deep chenille!

Patio, Yard & Plantings 7I don’t know what these are either, but I’m smitten by their yellow to orange ombre effect. (Update:  Nan Emmett identified these as Shrimp Plants.  Thanks, Nan). I seriously want to make jewelry inspired by these, but I don’t have any beads in these colors with me here in Oaxaca.  I’ll have to wait till I get back to the states.

Patio, Yard & Plantings 12Limes!!!!

Patio, Yard & Plantings 13The yard is just as lovingly decorated with hand crafted items as the house is.

Patio, Yard & Plantings 4Good day sunshine!

Casa 6 El solPatio, Yard & Plantings 15Patio, Yard & Plantings 19I wish you could drop by for a visit.  We could sit on the patio, sip Margaritas and chat or make jewelry together!

I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.

-Linda

Linda Landig Jewelry

Spring Is In The Air

 Tuesday News Day

Welcome to News Day Tuesday –  the day for jewelry updates and snippets of life.

I’ve gotten so far behind on blogging!  My apologies.  Today’s blog post is a compilation of  items and events from the past month.  I have more catching up to do beyond this, but at least this is a start!

Happy Mango Beads

On Easter, Happy Mango Beads published a blog post featuring one of my necklaces and a handful of other handmade jewelry that is ideal for springtime wear.  My “Monet’s Garden Necklace” was their first featured piece.  This necklace’s focal piece is a beautiful watercolor-style ceramic pendant by Yolanda’s Clay, accented by Swarovski crystals, pink Peruvian opal, rose quartz and aventurine.

Pastel necklace handmade by Linda Landig Jewelry

Monet’s Garden Necklace

Historic Mexican Jewelry

In March, I wrote an Art Jewelry Element blog post about a museum I visited during my stay in Oaxaca, Mexico last fall.   The Belber Jimenez Museum has a nice collection of historic Mexican jewelry, from pre-Columbian time through the 1940’s. If you enjoy seeing historic jewelry, you might want to check it out.

Gull Harbor Arts and Crafts Show

I did my first show of the spring season on March 16th and 17th.  It was a smallish community show, with a nice  collection of locally handcrafted fine art and crafts, including watercolors, ceramic arts, jewelry, fiber arts, photography, garden art, handcrafted soap and wearable art.  It also supported a good cause.  10% of  proceeds were  donated to a local organization fighting childhood cancer.

Gull Harbor Spring 2013 - 4

Gull HarborSpring 2013 -  2

I am always delighted to read your comments!  Hope to hear from you.

Linda

Linda Landig Jewelry – ArtFire 

Linda Landig Jewelry – Etsy