¡Oye! A LAtina perspective on food, fashion, familia and art.


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Hiromi Paper

by Laura E. Alvarez

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Where am I? Hogwarts? Japan? No, I have entered yet another portal in Santa Monica. A little jem of a place bursting, yes, bursting with papers. My three favorite kinds of shops to get lost in are the following:

1) Book stores.

2) Art supply stores.

3) Stationary shops.

What do these three stores all have in common?

Paper.

Easy.

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Hiromi Paper has been going since 1988 on the west side of Los Angeles. Their reach is international. You can find them at paper conferences all over the world. You can find the papers they have collected in art books, prints, installations… and more – all over the world. They actually know the people who make these papers. Washi. The “wa” means Japanese. The “shi” means paper. Hiromi Paper. You can order their products online. Yes! I follow their facebook page. They also have a lovely blog here. It’s a whole world of Washi.

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This represents my Martha Stewart obsession for organization that accompanied my first pregnancy. Good times. I’m not like that anymore, but this little shelf of stationary cubbies does make my heart sing a little.

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It’s a slice of cedar tree. That you can write on. I’m not making this up.20140721-234924-85764866.jpg

A sheet of blood oranges to make a grocery list on. See what I mean? It’s another world.20140721-234924-85764100.jpg

Pop, pop, pop. There’s a little secret notebook. And pencil.20140721-234923-85763351.jpg

Okay, now. Here’s the story. My boy decided he would make a book. So he chose the above paper in the middle for the cover. Handmade in Nepal. You can’t go wrong. He loved this photo so much that it is his home screen on his ipad mini.20140721-234930-85770320.jpg

Next, he chose the above paper for the pages of his book. It’s pretty thick, kinda green, Chu Tsharsho, naturally dyed from Bhutan.              20140721-234927-85767955.jpg

Joanna and Yuki are part of the Hiromi Paper team. They are super nice, knowledgeable and helpful. They told my boy he could try drawing on a sample of the Chu Tsharsho, naturally dyed from Bhutan. 20140721-234927-85767198.jpg

The drawing on the sample worked out.20140721-234928-85768798.jpg

It’s all wrapped up so pretty. Stay tuned for Hiromi Paper, Part Two where you see how the book gets made!

Also, check out photos here from when I actually got to teach a printmaking workshop at Hiromi Paper. That was SO fun.

 


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Mix It Up, Serendipity

by Laura E. Alvarez

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Oh, how I love mixing thrift store folk textiles, men’s work clothes, Abuelita’s jewelry, Little Tokyo finds, American Apparel factory store bargains, Fred Segal gifts, AND sandals that have been forced into functioning as water shoes.   Doesn’t everybody?  It’s kind of cool when the Levi shirt you borrowed at the park because you didn’t know it would be cold becomes such a great addition to the whole ensemble.

Thrift Store Folk Textile:  I’m pretty sure this is a Mexican dress.  I’m pretty sure my mom helped me bargain (I was an embarrassed teenager!) for one just like this in hot pink… or was it fushia… in Baja back in the 80’s.  And, I’m pretty sure I love any cotton that looks like it was made on a loom.  I LOVE that.  I can feel the love while I’m wearing it.  And these colors?!  They’re SO Greek!

Men’s Work Clothes:  You will see a lot of Levi’s in my outfits because of my husband’s influence on my wardrobe.  Also, back in the early 80’s I used to take my brother’s old Levi’s when he grew out of them.  I would peg them on the sewing machine because I was SO rockabilly in my dress.  This gives the outfit a little Californian railroad worker/craftsman warmth.  Mmmm.

Abuelita’s Jewelry:  Every time I put on one of my mom’s pieces, I feel her love.  Nice.  This necklace reminds me of beautiful things growing underwater.  The beads are glass.  It’s SO pretty.

Little Tokyo Find:  Okay, these sunglasses are kind of already falling apart, but they still look cool.  Any visit to Little Tokyo is just an excuse to go to Cafe Dulce.  Oh, Cafe Dulce.  I could build an altar to Cafe Dulce… but I digress.

American Apparel Factory Store Bargain:  Lucky us to live in L.A. so we can stop at the American Apparel Factory Store on our way to Cafe Dulce – drat, did it again!  Just call this the Cafe Dulce Post, already where no one actually goes to Cafe Dulce and there are NO photos of Cafe Dulce.  Gosh.  Anyway, I found these brilliant blue leggings there for a few dollars and that is why that store is so wonderful.  A great place to shop for kids, as well.  There’s something for everyone!

Fred Segal Gifts:  Bettina Duncan gave me these earrings years ago for Christmas and I think they are just amazing.  She has a shop at Fred Segal.  She’s so smart.  I always feel a little Victorian when I put them on, even though maybe Victorian ladies did not wear earrings.

Forced Into Water Shoes Sandals:  Hush Puppies!  Colors that go with everything.  Found them at DSL Shoes when I needed water shoes to go to a tropical island, but they are not water shoes.  Shhh!  Don’t tell them.  I have walked hip boutique streets in these babies AND walked in a dark and mysterious river, as I boarded my stand up paddle board, for real I have.

Thank you, Evan Hartzell for the nice photographs.

 

 


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how to make a mexican tea mason jar

 

1.  Go to a “regular” market (not Whole Foods, etc.) and find the Mexican food aisle.  In smaller markets sometimes its just a little display full of chili powder, bay leaves in packages like this.  Buy some packages of 99 cent bags of tea.  This market had chamomile – so good for the kids before bed!  So good for everybody who lives in a city.  Calm down!

 

 

 

2.  Get some scissors and open the packages.  Cut out the cool label and name of the tea carefully from one of the packages.

 

 

 

3.  Put the tea bags and label in one of those jars you saved from last time you “made” pasta sauce.

 

 

 

4.  Put the jar next to your other jars of delicious looking items.  Here we have from left to right:  chili powder, chamomile tea – Hey!  Where did that come from?!, pickled peppers, and rice.

 

Pretty cool, right?  It’s like a Mexican Martha Stewart moment.  Feels so comforting. 🙂

-Laura E. Alvarez