Skip to main content

The Gemini Factor

Our luck is holding out because the temperature is remaining balmy although the leaves are turning colors and drying and the winds are beginning to blow. As a "feel" of fall begins to fill our senses, my thoughts are turning to my first-ever winter in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. You will be hearing more about my life and house in Ajijic when we get there and you can read earlier posts from my vacation there in 2009:

As I begin to make lists about what to take to Mexico I began to also think about what a different life it is there. I feel like my soul has one foot in Mexico and one in Chicago. I am, afterall, a Gemini, and I do have two personalities. I have clothes for Mexico and clothes for Chicago. The same goes for jewelry. There is some overlap but somehow certain pieces of apparel just work better there than here in the Midwest!

Now, don't get me wrong...I have friends here in Chicago who are Gringas that speak Spanish. We call ourselfves, "Las Chicas" and we get together about every month to taste the tastes in the abundant number of Mexican restaurants in our area.

Las Chicas at Mariscos del Mar

We also have a couples dinner group, "Amigos de Mexico," that explores Latino restaurants of all kinds.
Amigos de Mexico at our house
Hopefully, they will visit us in Ajijic, and try out their Spanish, for real!

This time of year I create a shrine in the living room for Day of the Dead, a tradtional Mexican Holiday to remember our relatives and pets who have passed on.
Someday, my goal is to have all the treasured latino artifacts in the Mexico house and all the rest here in Chicago. Dual inspiration in dual houses!

I have plans to do latino-inspired crochet designs while in my little casa in our village of 10,000. I could do that here,and have been thinking about it for month or years. I have done some of that kind of designing before but I want to do more. When I was on the blog radio show, Getting Loopy, a few weeks ago, I was gratified that one of the callers commented about my ethnic inspired works. So it shows, huh? My goal is to have that be a stronger identity for my latino-self.

"Fiesta Ole" Bracelets from Kooky Crochet published by Lark

"Famous Faces Series: Frida I" Bead-Crochet Brooch

"Mexico Motif" Flat-work Bead Crochet Brooch published in Beadwork magazine

I think the warm atmophere and slow pace of living in Ajijic will be more conducive to me getting busy and really setting my focus toward this type of designing. The sights, the sounds, the smells-they are different! I have crochet and artist friends there and I will experience exthic craftworkers. Oooh, the creative juices are starting to flow already, but wait! I have two months to wait yet and I have ideas leaking out of the Chicago-side of my brain that must come to fruition now. The fingers can't loop quick enough, but every stitch is shear joy!!


Sheila said…
We in Ajijic look forward to sharing in your Mexican creativity, too, Gwen.
Hasta luego,

Popular posts from this blog

CGOA Celebrates 20 Years ~ Part 3: Juried Crochet Art Exhibits

Saturday, March 29, 2014

In August 1994, I hosted 90 avid crocheters for a weekend conference at De Paul University in Chicago that included classes taught by Bill Elmore, Joan Davis, Arlene Mintzer and more;  a Keynote Address by Sylvia Landman (Crafting for Dollars); a lecture by Annie Potter; marketplace, meals together, door prizes a plenty. An optional tour of Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago was offered along with an optional post conference workshop with Pauline Turner. The most ambitious of all during the weekend was the Juried Exhibit of Crochet Art.
At the time, I firmly believed that crochet art was an amazing way to educate people about the vast possibilities of crochet. It is amazing to see what can be achieved with just a hook and flexible lines from many, many materials. Today I still hold the same belief: crochet is as varied as the crocheter who does it. Crochet art, however, moves and amazes even the most seasoned professionals when they see how artists apply t…

Blogging is My Comfort Zone

June 18, 2012 I have not blogged in over a month...this is very unusual for me. May was an incredibly busy family month with my birthday, Mother's Day, my dad's birthday and my grandson's baptism, plus some weekend travels. I started writing for on the Crocheting Chicago channel and I think I put all my energy into writing there instead of here. Today, I came to my blog not knowing what I wanted to write about, but I found it to be a place of comfort, of familiarity. Once I was here, I found it easy to start writing. Today I wrote about the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair for and it's where I'll be this weekend. I am excited to say that I had two art-wear pieces juried into the Garment Extravaganza: Floral Profusion shawl and Orange Sensation: Also my Coral Reef Sculpture was accepted into the Fine Art Exhibit!Coral reef Sculpture detailDetail two Of late, I've put myself on a strict diet of FOs (Finished Ob…

Wartime Crochet With Attitude, Part I

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Karen Ballard and I have a mutual love of free form crochet. We met for the first time in a class taught by Prudence Mapstone of Australia at the Chain Link Crochet Conference 2011. I admire Karen's vast knowledge of needle work history and am grateful for her willingness to share with us as my guest blogger this week.
World War 1 Attitudes About Crochet by Karen Ballard
In 2008, I coined that term, "Workbasket Campaigns" to describe the organized efforts during World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII) coordinated through the American Red Cross {ARC} and the Navy League to create needle crafted items.  These items were mostly knitted but also sewn, quilted, and crocheted for, or in support of, the military, wounded, allies, refugees, and the patriotic home-front. This effort was a significant: contribution of enormous numbers of needed items to those in war-torn areas and of improved morale for those on the home-front.  
As a crocheter, I real…