Thursday

A Little Paparazzi lover


On our recent trip to Oregon we found that we had a little neighbor sharing our yurt. I had left the doors to our car open which was parked in front of the yurt and before I knew it there was someone snooping around in there. My husband had left a bag of open peanuts in the front seat which I guess meant finders keepers!


 

 I grabbed my camera and carefully slipped into the back seat and started shooting away. Our furry friend was quite a ham and allowed me to snap as many pictures as I wanted.  He repeatedly stuffed his mouth full of peanuts and made several trips back and forth from the car to hide his stash under the yurt. He was making such a mess in the front seat I had to move the bag out side. We let him empty the bag so he would have a nice supply to keep him through winter, hopefully he'll share his stash with the other little guys at the Rogue River Campsite !


* to read more about yurts and the Valley of the Rogue campsite in Oregon read my previous post "Yurt Sweet Yurt"  Click  HERE







Peanuts anyone ?




Friday

Hello Kitty in Paris



Hello Kitty in Paris - this is a project my sister loved working on. My sister Aimee is an artist and while working for Tom Sachs she made the originals of these sculptures that were then cast in bronze and  are here on display in Paris. She loves the fact that here her work is in a public place where everyone can enjoy it. I'm very proud of  her, I think their beautiful !







  to learn more about Aimee's work click HERE




Acai Berry Fruit ~ Yummmmm




The Acai seed is an eco-friendly material that I love using in my work. Through out my blog you can see the jewelry I create using Brazilian Acai seeds. Below you can see a picture of the actual berries that look very much like blueberries. Up above is a delicious Acai breakfast recipe I came across, just click on the photo for the full recipe and click here if you'd like to read more about these eco-friendly seeds. You can also see my jewelry designs at : Tania Cavenecia Torres.com ~ eco-friendly jewelry














La Tera ~ artisan Paula Ortega









Paula Ortega is the designer of La Tera ~ handmade contemporary jewelry. Paula is a self taught jewelry designer originally from Argentina and is now based in London. She creates beautiful modern jewelry using resin. I love her little square earrings pictured above, vibrant green threads encased in resin look like tiny blades of grass.  The purple cell ring is another one of my favorites with it's organic shape and purple pigment. The ring is made with sterling silver and is very light with a wonderful frosty satin finish.  Another pair of square earrings below capture fuchsia pink threads. Paula also makes a variety of modern pendant necklaces and bangles. Take a look at her website or Etsy shop.
for more information on any of the items above click on the pictures.











Wednesday

Malandrino Latin Style



Catherine Malandrino's 2010 Spring and Resort collection caught my eye because of it's Latin inspiration. Her spring collection was called "Nomads" and said it was an invitation to travel ! That alone grabbed my attention but it was also the inspiration from Peru like the dress above. The collection is said to be inspired by four parts of the world, represented by four different peoples: the Nuba of Sudan, the Berbers of North Africa, the Cashibo of Peru, and the Samoans of Polynesia. Tribal appliqués and zebra prints (Sudan); dusty-hued, languid layers (Sahara) : intricate knits and colorful beading (Peru); and sarong like draping and saturated island brights (South Pacific.)  






The dress above is from her beautiful  2010 resort collection which has a definite Spanish flair. I love the soft mauve pink color. Catherine Malandrino is a french designer based in New York. She has a great website, here's a quote on who she is as a designer : "She channels her energy into poetic designs that encourage women to express their personality. With unique craftsmanship, color palette, and innovative draping skills, she conveys a timeless femininity and “joie de vivre” that Catherine values in her own life. Infusing this idea with a youthful spirit, Catherine Malandrino delivers a chic, feminine, and recognizable silhouette."    http://www.catherinemalandrino.com



Sunday

Cafe Latte Tagua Acai Eco-friendly necklace







I just finished listing a new necklace for my Tagua and Acai collection.  I love the colors of this one, I call it Cafe Latte after the large center Tagua nut in it's own  natural color. A soft color like the combination of milk and coffee. I've kept the design simple to showcase the beauty of these natural elements. I love working with these natural materials, their smooth surface and organic shapes.





  
                                                                                                        
Each one is completely unique and the fact that they are eco-friendly just enhances their beauty.In a previous post I explained more about Tagua nuts and Acai seeds, to read this post click  HERE . To see more tagua design visit my store by clicking this





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Buenos Aires Pastry


vanilla & saffron macaroons



Buenos Aires Pastry is a beautiful bilingual blog by Georgina Manghi from Buenos Aires, Argentina with delicious pictures and recipes of  her lovely desserts and savory bistro dishes. One visit to this blog and you will want to put their Buenos Aires Pastry & Bistro on your list if places to visit on your next trip to Argentina. http://buenosairespastry.blogspot.com




Friday

KUNA ~ luxurious natural fibers from the andes



Kuna Beautiful Alpaca Collection
This video displays a combination of images from the Colca Canyon region of Peru, showing beautiful alpacas and guanacos and amazing landscapes. Alpaca Collections strives to bring high quality apparel combining the ancient Peruvian textile tradition with a modern South American design ethic. Their products are made of natural fibers and fabrics, most of which come from the Alpaca animals or pima cotton raised or grown in Peru. Alpacas are beautiful, hearty animals able to withstand harsh environmental conditions and give seasons of amazingly soft wool, supporting their owners and their families for years. The goal of  Kuna is to be like the Alpacas: beautiful, sustainable, durable and giving back to our global family. The video ends with a shot of world leaders wearing Kuna ponchos at the 2008 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, held in Peru.  for more information visit their website  http://www.alpacacollections.com




Delightful bird earrings from Eridanea




 These chirping bird earrings are so cute and colorful I had to feature them. They are made by Eridanea who is from Slovenia and has an eclectic shop of handmade and vintage treasures. Made of light weight wood with a cut out of a branch of  leaves and measuring 2" in width. Available in a variety of painted colors like sunshine yellow, berry pink, leaf green and a charcoal grey. She also carries an adorable magnet set with a butterfly, bird and heart painted in bright and cheerful colors. Each magnet has detailed floral and leaf designs in white. Stop by Eridaneas shop, she loves having visitors  www.Eridanea.etsy.com

for more info all pictures and links are clickable







Monday

Karl Lagerfeld Bear




I often reference my Peruvian heritage through out my blog but as of yet have not mentioned the other half of my heritage. This post is dedicated to my mom who is from Germany and combines my love for fashion and cute things.  I'm sure you would agree that this teddy bear is too cute ! He's also a very special bear made in the image of famous German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, his mini me you could say. This very cool and fashionable bear measures 16" in height and is made of plush alpaca wool. Wearing a miniature outfit designed in collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, including black jeans, wool flannel jacket, white shirt, Swarovski crystal-studded silk tie and KL belt buckle, leather belt and tailor-made leather boots. He even has a pair of little sunglasses in the style Karl Lagerfeld himself wears. For this reason he has been called the most fashionable teddy bear on the planet.
             
        
 This handsome little guy is made by the German toy company Steiff. If you haven't heard of this legendary company you might be surprised to know that they are said to have invented the teddy bear. Founded in 1880 by Margarete Steiff a seamstress who had to sew with one hand because of Polio. Her company is not only the worlds oldest plush manufacturer but also world renown for their top quality.  Steiff teddy bears are very collectible especially vintage ones. My grandmother brought me back a teddy bear from Germany when I was a small child. It's not a Steiff but is beautifully made and I treasure it. : )                                                

For more information all photos and links are clickable. Visit the Steiff  website:  http://www.Steiffusa.com







Friday

Tagua & Acai necklace




My favorite materials to work with right now are Tagua nuts and Acai seeds. There are so many reasons why I'm drawn to these materials. I love that they are natural elements, each one with it's own organic shape, size and markings. The fact that they are eco-friendly materials is all the more reason to make use of this wonderful resource. These seeds and nuts come from the Amazon rain forest of South America, I brought my supply back with me on my last trip to Peru. In a previous post I went into how they are harvested and why they are eco-friendly but in this post I want to explain the design process behind a particular necklace from my Acai & Tagua Collection.

The entire collection was designed with the idea of showing the beauty and elegance of these materials. The combination of the shiny and modern look of Sterling silver with the natural and organic qualities of the seeds is what makes the style timeless. The necklace design pictured here started with the color palette. Warm shades of brown, from a reddish honey brown to a dark chocolate and the cotton cord is a perfect in between neutral shade. A cluster of four, one larger Tagua nut and three smaller Acai seeds, each one attached to a sterling silver ring by a knotted cotton cord with sterling silver at the end. The smallest seed is simply attached by sterling silver making it more like a charm. The cotton cord has a special wax coating giving it durability and a nice sheen. The entire necklace is finished off with sterling silver hardware. With it's simplicity and modern elegance this necklace is perfect for everyday and a nice conversation starter, when I wear mine I'm always getting asked whats it made of.  for more info click on any of the photos or highlighted words. To read the previous post on Acai and Tagua click HERE


Tuesday

I'm in love with a Rose



I'm not a big flower aficionado but I fell in love with this rose on our recent trip to Portland Oregon. When we visited the International Rose Test Garden the colors of this rose just mesmerized me. A dream like pale soft blue lavender hue or it has also been described as  silvery  grayish lavender and  with a perfume just as alluring it's hard not be smitten with it's unique beauty.  This a Lagerfeld grandiflora rose named after Karl Lagerfeld the fashion designer and is also known as the Starlight Rose. These are just a couple of the many photos I took of this beautiful rose. There were other eye-catching roses in the garden that I'll share in a future post.















Friday

Nem Tudo O Que Luz É Ouro


Today I'm featuring an artisan from Lisbon Portugal. The above title " Nem Tudo O Que Luz É Ouro " is Portuguese for not all that glitters is gold which is the title for Susana's blog and the inspiration for her Etsy shop where she displays her creative and colorful designs. When Susana is not restoring antique art pieces or working on her illustrations she's expressing her creativity with her colorful and whimsical jewelry and accessories.

I particularly am attracted to the ceramic pieces in Susana's shop. One of my favorites is her Coral Ceramic Pin pictured at right. I love the bright red color, texture and depth of the glaze.


Another is the Ceramic Leaf Ring, pictured to the left, with it's warm orange and yellow colors and leaves which seem to be swaying in the summer breeze.

But the most charming piece is the necklace titled " Today I feel like a King " pictured below. The ceramic pendant has an adorable portrait of a happy little bird with a tiny crown on his head and clouds in the background. The description in her shop explains that the little bird had his head in the clouds that day.




Susana's blog Nem Tudo O Que Luz É Ouro 








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Mazamorra Morada ~ Purple Corn Dessert



The Peruvian purple potato is very popular today but what about purple corn? Purple corn is now said to have many beneficial properties. This may be something new to a lot of people but the purple corn dessert Mazamorra Morada has always been a favorite traditional dessert in Lima Peru. It has a pudding like texture and a mesmerizing deep purple color. It is thickened with potato flour or sweet potato flour but corn starch can be used as well. Filled with dried and fresh fruit like cherries, plums, apple, pineapple, quince and spiced with clove and cinnamon. When it's served along side arroz con leche or rice pudding it's called Mazamorra Morada Classico. If  you'd like to try and make this unique purple dessert there are several recipes available on the internet or try the recipe pictured above from Peru-recipe.com . click on any of the colored links or the picture above for more info and recipes.









Monday

Isabel Toledo ~ designer and muse


“I remember playing under a tall, heavy, black, magical sculpture that I pretended was a castle, I later recognized it was a Victorian Singer sewing machine.” I love this quote from Isabel Toledo about her childhood. It's a wonderful insight into her creative imagination and to why she's still evolving as designer. 

You may not have heard of  Isabel Toledo though she is much celebrated with in the fashion world.  For this very reason she has been referred to as a designer's designer or a cult figure in fashion. I first came across her in the 80's when she was just starting out. Her whimsical yet avant garde style and the fact that she was hispanic caught my eye immediately and I have been an admirer ever since.

Isabel was born in Cuba and moved to New York as a child. From a young age she became an avid seamstress and was quoted saying,  "I never thought of myself as a designer, I’m a seamstress. I really love the technique of sewing more than anything else. The seamstress is the one who views fashion from the inside! That’s the art form, really—the technique of how it’s done." 
In high school she met Ruben Toledo and there began an exceptional story of love and collaboration. Ruben is an artist and fashion illustrator, they both seem to be a constant source of inspiration to each other. They are rarely photographed apart. Isabel doesn't sketch her designs instead she begins by working with the fabric she says, "I think of it as fashion from the inside out, I can describe an idea or even a feeling to Ruben, and he’ll sketch it." Isabel was honored with a mid-career retrospective in 2009 Isabel Toledo : Fashion from the Inside Out at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of  Technology.


There is also a book available Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out click on the title for info
for an excellent overview of the exhibit with photos and videos of Isabel click HERE
para español haga click AQUÍ











A Great Vintage Story



This is a great story I just had to share......

Along with my handcrafted designs I carry unusual vintage sterling silver jewelry from Peru and Mexico. I'm always on the look out for unique designs with excellent craftsmanship. When I came across a pair of vintage sterling silver hand cut earrings from Mexico I noticed right away that they were special. I had never seen this style of cut out work that resembled Mayan art. Each earring had two women , two bird like creatures and a foliage design with hand etched patterns. I was anxious to photograph them and put in my shop I knew someone else would also appreciate their beauty.

 And soon they did,
a buyer from the United Kingdom. As I carefully packaged the earrings I thought about the journey they had made and would continue to make. From Mexico to California and now off to another far away continent. That's what I love about vintage, each piece has a past a great story to tell.

I then received an e-mail from the buyer in the UK, not only was she very pleased with her earrings but said that they are a perfect match for a pendant she had bought 18 years ago! She even included a photograph of her pendant and I couldn't believe how identical the workmanship was, it had to have been made by the same artisan. She explained, "I was looking at vintage silver and I found the earrings by accident ... and then I just had to have them! I bought the pendant about 18 years ago, so it was a surprise to find other work that was so similar. I haven't worn the pendant for a long time, but I think now I'll have to start wearing it again." 

So I must say I love stories with a happy ending, don't you ?



If you would like to take a peek at my vintage sterling silver jewelry visit : PuraPlata.etsy.com







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Tuesday

Travel & Style ~ Peruvian Connection


How about a soft versatile little scarf ? I think the Mohair Corkscrew Scarf , pictured on the right, would be my choice especially in the merlot color. Light weight and in an array of colors it makes a great accessory. Another scarf I love is the Meadow Scarf in warm brown with a whimsical floral design and a rich red wool fringe at the bottom. The Pima Tweed Infinity Scarf is also a versatile choice made with knit peat and pewter tweed pima.

Peruvian Connection also carries other accessories such as leather and wool gloves, jewelry, hats, purses and belts. They  have a gift & home category with lovely cotton and silk sleep wear and intimates along with beautiful vases, rugs and pillows. I've included several links in this post so have fun looking around their site. I'm also including below a video of the behind the scenes shoot of their latest collection shot in Prague. Enjoy!



video











Friday

LKA Design ~ Modern Mosaics

Lorna of  LKA Designs is truly an international designer, originally from Scotland and now residing in Athens, Greece where she creates beautiful mosaic work. She describes her mosaics as fresh, contemporary and hard wearing, with ‘a little extra something’. This could be a unique vintage button or a beautiful piece of ‘found’ sea pottery. Lorna has a wonderful collection of  sea glass, pottery, rounded stones and driftwood from as far off as the Isle of Skye to the beaches of the Aegean which she loves to incorporate into her designs.

 One of my favorite pieces in Lorna's collection is the Chocolate Biscuit Modern Mosaic Tile. A versatile one of a kind design in chocolate brown with unique accents that give it that special something and a pop of color. Each ceramic tile is painstakingly cut then set with dark grey grout and finished with a light sheen of varnish. A layer of cork is applied to the back to protect any surface it may be placed on. Lorna suggests a variety of uses from wall art to a place to rest a great bottle of wine for serving or to display a large candle.

Another great piece from the mosaic collection is a gorgeous round modern mosaic mirror. I love the asymmetrical placement of the circular mirror and the warm colors in the abstract yet playful design. I have only spotlighted a couple of  Lorna's lovely handmade designs she actually works with a variety of materials such as found driftwood and smooth stones which she turns into beautiful candle holders. Lorna is also open to doing custom work so feel free to contact her with any questions. Go ahead visit Lorna's shop and take a little look around I think you'll be pleased. www.LKAdesign.etsy.com

Monday

In a Brazilian Kind of Mood


My last post brought back a lot of memories and put me in a Brazilian kind of mood so I thought I would share with you a few Brazilian things I like. On the top of the list would be Brazilian music! I've all ready recommended a few albums from Brazilian artists on my side bar to the right. So here's another : Vanessa de Mata's album  Essa Boneca Tem Manual. It's nice, easy going and upbeat.

One thing I discovered on my trip were Havaianas ! I had no idea that Brazil had such a famous brand of flip flops that came in such great and original colors and patterns. The first pair of Havaianas was made in 1962. They were inspired by the Zori, typical Japanese sandals made of fabric straps and rice straw soles. That's why the foot-bed of all Havaianas have a textured rice pattern. Havaianas has a great website, on the Havaianas Mania page of the site you can get fun free screen savers and wallpaper full your computer.

In the food and drink category I would have to recommend the Caipirinha the national cocktail of Brazil. Just like the Mojito is made from Cuban rum, the Pisco Sour from Peruvian Pisco and the Margarita from Tequila the Caipirinha is made with Cachaça which is derived from sugar cane. It has the same refreshing citrusy taste as the above drinks and is perfect for summer. Here is a simple recipe -
ingredients: 
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 Key limes, halved and seeded, or
2 small, juicy limes quartered
2 ounces cachaça
instructions: Sprinkle the sugar over the limes, and muddle them in the mixing glass part of a shaker until the sugar is dissolved and the lime juice is released. Pour a glassful of cracked ice into the mixing glass, add the cachaça, and shake to incorporate. Return all the contents to the glass. Below is a demonstration on how to prepare a Caipirinha.


For more information on this drink and about cachaça click HERE


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