My mother is from the small landlocked country of Paraguay. One of the most beautiful artisan work produced in this small nation is called Ñanduti or spiderweb. It is a handmade knotted lace that is created on top of a stretched canvas of muslin. Once completed the muslin is carefully cut away from the lace, the lace is washed and starched and left to dry in the sun. Legend tells of a poor guarani young man who was in love with a wealthy girl. Having little money he had no way to bring this girl a gift. Lamenting in the jungle a spider hears and asks how it can help. The spider tells the young man to come back the next day. When the young man returned the spider had spun a beautiful veil as a gift for the wealthy girl sure to win her heart. I love this legend and I love making this lace.
I have been in love with dance since I was a very little girl. At the age of three I decided that I wanted to be on pointe. Christmas was not Christmas with out the (80's) Baryshnikov Nutcracker. I was 10 and the youngest in my class to get on pointe. This was something I was very proud of. I never knew that about 15 years later I would meet him and ask him to sign my first pair of toe shoes. In high school our show choir competed nationally. As I continued on my dance journey I studied Ballet, Tap, and even dabbled in West African and Flamenco. I still practice playing castanets!
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I was not a quilt maker until our Ring Cycle at Washington National Opera. The ladies of the Gibichung chorus of Götterdämmerung were getting antsy backstage. We needed an activity we could all do together. We decided to make a quilt for our beloved chorus master Maestro Steven Gathman. I was nominated the point person for this project so I had to learn to make a quilt and fast! Backstage we kept busy sewing and laughing together while waiting to sing our 15 notes. Here are some pictures.
I love small cute things! When I was younger I loved working with clay and recently rediscovered my love for making tiny creations.
Late night, after a performance, I find it difficult to go to sleep right away. My normal routine wasn't working. I had to find a new way to channel my energy from the stage. So, I started baking pies. Creating something totally from scratch was so satisfying! Almost as satisfying as that first warm bite of freshly baked pie. That is how my alter-ego,The Kitchen Diva, emerged.
Strength training is something that many women avoid. They are fearful that they will bulk up too much. This misconception may very well have led to the increase in osteoporosis in women. Squats and deadlifts are our friends! Swinging a kettlebell is so much fun! Here is what mine looks like!
Beading was something I picked up in college. I was attending school in Baltimore a block away from what soon became my favorite bead shop. I sometimes get commissions to create beaded pieces! Here are some of my favorites.graph here.
My godmother was always using needle and thread in her spare time. She started me with cross stitch and we moved on from there. Now I love adding floral elements to some of my garments. It connects me to my Mexican roots and reminds me of the artisan work we see in Oaxaca.