Category Archives: design

Snapshots of Casa Sierra Negra del Sur

These cell phone snaps don’t do it justice, but here’s a peek at the Hyams-Barrett family compound in San Miguel…Aaaaaaaaaah.

Steps to roof terrace.

Roof garden.

Hammock on roof terrace.

Sitting area in courtyard garden.

My mom’s kitchen and studio table topped with paintbrushes.

Day bed in my mom’s studio.

Blurry shot of our kitchen, but I love the tile.

Our living room. Note subtle product placement on coffee table.

Living room steps made with colored cement. Our house has blue, red, green, and yellow floors.

Our bathtub of stars. The wall tile pattern was inspired by a
Mondrian painting.

Soap of Money

I paid a visit to the magic supplies stall at Mercado de San Juan de Dios in search of a few lucky talismans to bless my new website. For years I’ve written with a little bottle of Mexican Wite-Out filled with “extracto original gota de suerte” (drop of luck original extract) next to my computer. Today I found three special spell-casting soaps: one for “pronto dinero” (quick cash), one for “llama cliente” (call clients), and one for “abre camino” (clear path).

Mexican Wrestler Postage Stamps

I’m in the midst of a website redesign and my designer, Heather Rose, wrote yesterday asking that I bring back a letter with my name on it and a San Miguel postmark. I don’t know what she plans to do with it graphically, but trust her instincts, so made my way to the correo this morning.

I could not believe my good fortune when the only stamps in stock were these limited edition ones depicting El Santo. I’m grateful to the post office clerk who agreed to postmark the letter without actually mailing it (which could take weeks or never to reach Massachusetts) when I explained that it was for arte.

Mexican Wrestlers Are My Weakness

Today’s purchase: This note card by Gusano de Luz.

I swore to Dave that I wouldn’t shop on this trip given the fact that we’re heading into New England winter heating bills and my economic future is hazy…but of course I had to check in on my favorite spots today…the news: we are in the midst of an enthralling Mexican wrestler moment here in San Miguel. El Santo is turning up on almost as many items as the Virgin of Guadalupe and Frida Kahlo. I even saw a puta doll wearing a painted wrestler mask. I exhibited extraordinary restraint by keeping the damage to the above note card and to three wrestler-and-glitter-embellished boxes of matches (justified because of the cord of wood that’s waiting at home to be burned this winter).

Vintage Poison Labels

Thanks to Karen Templer for this link (via Twitter…see: it’s useful!) to these fabulous vintage poison labels. Perfect to print out and affix to cocktail glasses for your next Halloween party.

Website Makeover

Betsy’s dragon fruit photo inspired an impromptu, remarkably speedy and painless overhaul of my website. Tana waved her magic wand yesterday afternoon and poof: there it was. We’re still fiddling with fonts and the magenta text color, but I feel virtually refreshed.

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