Laura’s Blog – What’s New
June 2nd, 2012
Jamie heard about our story on Ganoskin Orchid. She decided to come and see for herself what we were doing out here and how she could help us. We had a lovely visit from Jamie King and her husband. They came for 4 days, so it was fast and short. She brought to us some glass rods for Bere, and some sterling silver settings for Janet, tools for all of us! Even some gorgeous stones from Teri! Mary a friend of Jamie even sent us some lovely things! So for us it was really wonderful! Jamie bought us a little label printer that saves us an enormous amount of time! It is really a blessing to us! I was able to purchase a few tools that Jamie handcarried to us!
These new tools and gadgets are surely going to help us improve and save time! Jamie is a gold mine of advice and helpful tips, so her guidance is going to help us move along a healthy road of growth! Thank you Jamie from all of us in the workshop!
November 12th, 2008
Well, I have been having alot of issues, mostly financial. But I was finally able to order some copper! It is at my Mom’s house in the states and she sent me a small “test” package with 82 pieces of copper. It got here just fine! about 900 more pieces to go! hehe, also I have a Kiln, some used Enameling books from ebay, and other items that she needs to send me soon (hint hint)
Metalliferious is the joint I ordered from. I also ordered a roll of tinned copper wire. But I didn’t know exactly “tinned” meant. Yikes. hehe, maybe what I got is something I cannot use. I want it for the tiny little “domed” pieces of copper for buttons, I plan on making rings and soldering them on with hard solder. I am hoping this copper wire will work. the size is perfect, 16 gauge. I hope my plans are doable and I believe that I have to use hard solder or else the soldering will fall apart once I apply the enamel. I don’t dare ask anyone in the yahoo enameling group. I have been told not to ask questions. So I won’t be doing that over there. So if someone wants to comment to help me with this idea I would appreciate it!
I had to have the copper shipped to my Mom because they only use UPS and the shipping would have been approx. $300 US to here in Mexico. I wish more companies would do US Mail because there is a flat rate box for $29.99 that can hold up to 20lbs in it. So I am going to get it little by little. I bought 1 gross each of 7 different sizes and types. I have 2″, 1 1/2″, 1 1/4″, 1″, 7/8″ round discs and 5/8 & 3/4″ domed circles. It was like $700 dollars for this order! whew. I hope they have the best prices, but it is a done deal now, so maybe next time I can find something better? Comments anyone?
So now that I have a supply I can start doing more and am so very excited. I do have a kiln here, but I can only use it in the evenings and on Sundays, the other days it is being used full time for lampworking glass.
November 26th, 2008
Originally uploaded by orange peel enamel
Aren’t these just the bomb! I am always admiring the work of others and I think these are just it! I love what she is doing and they are so much fun! I know she will do fantastic with these. I am really curious about the process that she uses, and what exactly she does to hold things together. But this is really neat and fun to see! Lovely picture besides!
January 15th, 2010
As some of you know, I just got over a brain tumor, having been operated on 3 times now for it, I went through chemo too. Ugg, I barely made it. The girls helped me through all of this, taking care of me, giving me encouragement with my recovery. I am so lucky to have them and I love all of them dearly. I now have a pretty good bill of health (other than my “other” problems)…but at least I am alive. A good thing for sure. But this cleaned me out completely. I am totally without any financial cushion and it doesn’t help the workshop at all. We are trying very hard to make it work and to keep progressing. Some of you have followed us through the past 3 years and here is what is going on with us.
Our group of workers in the workshop has grown! We were just 3 people and now we are up to 5. We have to get our act together fast or it will cave in. hehe. The workshop up to now has been able to work pretty much on its own sales (I have to help out here and there, but it is not major). The girls and Armando have to be paid, they have to eat, pay their little bills (cell phone, water, electricity), health care in some cases. So they depend on their sales to get the money they collect at the end of the week. It is sorta tough on me, because they look to me to help them manage and plan, and grow. I have to guide them the right away and not make mistakes myself. It can get stressful at times. So here is the lineup of gals and our one guy.
Damaris who is 17 years old, she didn’t finish elementary school. She does know how to read and write. She is one of 8 brothers and sisters, 4 girls and 4 boys. She is the 3rd girl in her family and so far the girls do not go to high school which is unfortunate. This is due to being hardheaded and just deciding she didn’t want to go to High School (which is now sorry about), being poor and with her mother being ill. Her mother has Diabetes and is unable to do all the work that is required of her in her family. So she helped out in the house. Being we offered her a spot in the workshop now that she is older she jumped at it. She is learning to make jewelry. Damaris is Berenice’s (Bere) Cousin. Her work is in this little store http://earringdiva.etsy.com and we hope you check it out! She is very proud of her work! She is learning enameling too! She hopes she will start to generate some money for the workshop as well.
Abigail is 16 years old, she did finish High School and she knows how to use computers. She is learning to take pictures and edit them. (Because Lulu is going to have her baby soon) Abby (as we call her) is not from our village. Her parents are disciples for their Christian Church. Anyway, Abby is in our Village for only a certain period of time, while her parents do their work here, then they move on to somewhere else. They are never in one place more than 3 years. She is originally from this state (Morelos) but another town. She is very quiet but she works efficiently all the time. She is not into “gossip” like the other girls! Hehe or at least it seems so to me?! Who knows reality!
Bere (Carmen Berenice) most of you know already. Bere is 21 years old. She is our Master Lampworker. She has been with us now for 3 years. Bere was born with a cleft palate. She was luckily operated on at a young age and is soon to be fitted with dental implants so her cleft palate is less visable. She has a tad of a Speech Impediment and sometimes I have a hard time understanding her, but I keep asking hehe until I do. I think that once she has her implants that she will be able to talk better, I hope it helps her. Bere was awarded a certificate from President Fox here in Mexico for being one of the best Students in our State. She was working in the fields when I got her to leave her job and join the workshop. What I offered her was much more than what she made bent over 6 to 7 days a week in the fields of Basil, Romero and Thyme. It was a hard switch for her to make. Within a week she convinced her Aunt Lulu to join us. She didn’t like being all alone in the workshop! She missed having her friends around her, which I understand. She also was very afraid of the torch, at over 2000 degrees well that is to be expected.
Lulu is 21 years old and had finished a Secretary Certificate with a local school nearby. So she knew computers and other things that helped us in marketing and sales. Lulu and Bere both have learned a lot of English by working here. Lulu recently got “married” (they say they are married even though there is no papers or ceremony) and she is now pregnant. She is about 6 months along, but pregnancy does not do well with her, she has been super sick the whole time. I have tried to help in different ways, but nothing seems to work. She is planning on no more kids because she has been so sick. I hope she only has one. She doesn’t have a home yet (she just doesn’t seem to want one enough to start building). So she lives with her in laws and sometimes with her sister. For now she is not working because of this.
Armando is 27 years old. The father of 4 and my “Compadre”. I am the Godmother of his second to last child Jose Armando. I have known Armando for many years. He needs to get a vasectomy in my opinion! His swimmers are too dangerous! Haha, oh well. I keep encouraging him to go that route. 4 is plenty! They are all boys and a mess! It is 5, 4, 2, 1 years old and it is a mess! Hehe (I think I said that already) they live in a little 1 room house, the outdoors is their living room and I don’t understand how they do it! I help Armando out the most. I recently gave him a GE Refrigerator I had around here, but the electric bill went up so much he decided to unplug it. I have encouraged him to build on to this little house but he really doesn’t want to live next door to his father in law & sister in law (yikes). So he is waiting on getting some money together so I can give him a piece of land to build a proper home. I hope the kids don’t get grown up by the time this happens. Hehe, it takes bricks, cement and rebar to build the homes and he would use his old bricks and stuff to build this new one too. So he is hoping his supplies & findings take off (http://supplydiva.etsy.com) and to be able to purchase more material. I hope so too.
We have had other girls in our workshop with us, but they either get married, have jealous husbands (yes, it is a mess sometimes), or just move. Rosa, Christina, Minerva among others.
Religion is a very important factor in these ladies lives. Damaris and Abigail (Dama & Abby) are the same religion, while Bere, Lulu & Armando are Catholic. We have a variety of religions in our village. I would say about 50% are Catholic, 25% are Lutherans, another 15% Seventh Day Adventists, 10% are others. I am not sure exactly if they are exactly Lutherans and Seventh Day Adventists because this is a guess on my part. I have a hard time with translations of these things, they call themselves “Hermanos” or Brothers and others are members of a church they call “El Buen Pastor”. But they all get along, they might dress differently, or act differently but they have no issues or fights over religion. Dama and Abby do not wear jewelry which is ironic (and I tell them so hehe), and they wear only clothing that covers their legs completely, some even cover their heads some. These girls are not supposed to listen to the regular music either that we all love, hehe, they only are supposed to listen to religious music. Although they always tell me to put on my music hehe, “if I want to” hehe, I always suspect they are the ones that want to listen to it especially if it is in Spanish. Here in the workshop they are more liberal in their ways, they joke, laugh a lot, and in general have more fun. They don’t do anything that is “bad” that their parents would see as wrong other than sometimes talk to Armando (he is married with 4 kids). That might be considered the worst thing they do here, talk to a man. They are very sheltered for the most part. But it is interesting to me to see their interaction. It is silly to me that the parents are like this too, because well, there is always a way to get around an overprotective parent. I would rather know my kids, know what they think, what they do, rather than have them be secretive. My own kids I think are very open with me.
We talk about EVERYTHING in our workshop. I am open to any subject, the idea is to open their own minds so they can see there is nothing wrong with anything. I also don’t want anyone to be afraid to ask questions to learn. Sometimes one of the girls will come up to me real secretive like and ask me something about sex, marriage or just with some problem she feels is embarrassing. We don’t talk about things they don’t want to talk about either, if they bring it up, we talk. I want this workshop to change their lives in as many ways as possible and in a good way. So they look forward to coming here, no one ever gets mad at them if they make mistakes, and if a tool, item, or product gets ruined, it isn’t a big deal. Well it might be, but I make sure no one feels badly. Things happen. Bere’s Mom is the one that brings them a hot lunch everyday! Lucky girls. Armando goes home eat his and to check on the boys. They enjoy each others company a lot and talk and try to think of something new that they can do together. We recently went to the moves together. This implicates me because I am the one with the Truck. Hehe. So of course I have to go. The girls had never been to the movies before! So I took them to see Avitar in 3D. So for a first movie they were amazed. It was a good choice. They are still talking about it too. Plus they got to visit the nicest Mall we have near us. This is a new Mall, very modern like the ones in the states, only a bit smaller. They enjoyed themselves a lot. I like to open their eyes to things they usually would not see, like a movie. Now they are planning that I have to take them to a movie once a month. Hehe. I sure don’t mind! It was the first time I had been to a movie here in Mexico! It was just as nice as in the states. Although her we have some theaters with waiters and the whole deal! I haven’t seen these yet and probably won’t because I can’t afford that! Hehe. But they exist here and you even get your own recliner! The regular theater is very very nice. Next I want to take them to see a nearby cave. It is a huge cave with even a theater inside it! Over 100 horses and 400 soldiers hid in this cave back in the old days, so it is huge! Hehe. Should be fun to see their faces! That is what I love the most, is seeing their reaction to things. Hehe. I am the eternal teacher. That is the idea.
Now on to what we would like to do. We would like to have 10 girls/guys in the studio, but for the most part their work has to support it. If they cannot keep it going with their own work (and my guidance of course) then we won’t be able to do it. We have gotten some donations, but they have been far and few between, but have made the world of a difference to us. We had a fund raiser in the beginning which helped us with approx $2,000 and that helped finish the workshop. We have gotten off and on some glass and tools. Things that have made a huge difference, recently someone donated a soldering torch to us. It has been wonderful. We have jumped ahead a lot with this donation. We have different stations or areas that we work. The metalwork, the lampworking, the enameling, the jewelry work, and the computer/photo work. Each “station” has its huge purpose for each individual. Basically we are trying to equip the workshop fully as possible at this point.
What we can use in the Metalworking Dept: Today we would like to get our hands on a few things, like a rolling mill, just the economic model for now, but the shipping here kills us, uggg! The mill costs $300 the shipping is $350! Yikes. So it is really priced out of our world for quite some time. Unless someone can get it to someone who will come down here and bring it to me (which we do have a community here that helps in this way a lot). We also really need some handtools. There are never enough and often we are sharing tools. I have a couple of nice tools like Lindstroms, no need for the high end stuff of course, just basic ones do the job, but the nicer ones do last a lot longer. The gals nabbed mine (the Lindstroms) real fast hehe, oh well. Just about anything I have in the house is game to them. It all just seems to gravitate to the workshop. I don’t mind if they are careful with my own things. But saw frames, hammers (oh how we need some good smaller ball peen hammers) among others, saw blades for the frames, larger files (we have the tiny ones), aviation snips, a guillotine metal cutter, a metal bender unit, a cheapie shaft tool and silicon bits, diamond bits, drill bits anything a dremel or shaft tool can use, we lust after chemicals that will turn copper a blue/green color, or chemicals for etching (in this case it would take money to buy locally), we have two grinders but no wheels for polishing or grinding, a ring enlarger because we use copper piping to make rings and well size ¾” is sorta just only 1 size! Haha, so that would be great…., Things we talk about, and don’t really need, but would be cool to have: a electroforming setup, a sandblaster. Some tools we make ourselves, like for forming rings we use different sized pipes we find here and there. But a Jump Ring maker would be very useful!
In the Lampworking Dept: a couple of hotheads, a manifold with hoses for the hotheads to use a bulk propane tank, the little brass cover guys to close a gas or oxygen line, flashback arrestors, a Japanese Torch that uses a Aquarium Pump to feed it oxygen because if our Oxygen Generator ever goes out we can at least make beads until it is repaired (but this is expensive and I doubt we will have such good luck to get one of these), glass, always, always we need glass. Any kind will do. We have Satake, Effetre, Borosilicate, Bullseye, Czech. We can use frits, powders, metal leaf (silver preferably), bead release, mandrels (we do not have welding rods down here to make our own, I have looked and what is here just doesn’t work right), any tools, presses, anything related to lampworking. Bead cleaning diamond bits for our dremel tool.
Enameling Dept: Leaded Enamels (we would like to try these out, we have most of Thompson Enamels Leaded line) or other brand enamels. Tools that others find useful that we can learn to use. Silver Foil would be nice to work with. Fine Silver too. I have not found a source for this here and we have never used Fine Silver before. We have sifters, line drawing tools, sandpaper, some trivets, we would like a copy of the books: Enamel Jewellery + – Enamelling – Denise Palmer, and Beginner’s Guide to Enamelling – Dorothy Cockrell, The Art of Fine Enameling – Karen L. Cohen ( we have others, like the one by Linda Darty)…. We would like to get some Enameling Magazines too, the pictures help the girls a lot to imagine what they can do and see what others do plus being I am not a professional enameler well I need to learn more. I purchased the enamels before we opened the workshop and unfortunately due to mistakes the shipment was lost. It took 2 years to get them to replace them partially. My then business partner didn’t want to help me with ½ of the loss so he bailed out on me and he was the one who knew how to use them. So I have all these enamels and not much education or experience with them. So all help is good in that regard.
Jewelry Work: Czech Glass Beads (no India Beads please), Fire Polish, Clasps, Chain, Anything that is useful. Brass Stampings, Seed Beads, E Beads, Swarovski Crystals, Pearls, Natural Products like Bone, Wood, Seeds, Anything Beads, Handtools.
Computer Work: Right now our two computers are working fine, but they are both 7 years old. Slow and Tired. One is a laptop that is getting on in its years, it has a key that has broken off and it is barely working. I am writing this on it. A newer laptop would be wonderful. We will move this laptop around, it goes to the shop, the house and wherever we need it, we do have Wi-Fi out here. Which is amazing, we have broadband in the middle of no where! When I moved out here 7 years ago we could not believe it that there was broadband. I had told my husband that if I did not have broadband I would not move here. He shut me up real fast with the fact that it was here and all over Mexico! We have a wonderful camera (which I purchased when I had more money,( I have no income to speak of, no pension, I am down here alone without any support , I have a tiny restaurant that I run, but it is very seasonal, right now it does not generate anything at all and when it does generate money the workshop pretty much gets it all) and we recently had to purchase a new battery for the camera but it is working well for now. Really just a good Laptop would do it and improve things a lot. Maybe some new parts for the desk unit. A new DVD writer (for backups), maybe a new Motherboard? To bring it up to date? I can do this (upgrade it) myself if I have the parts. So maybe this is an option?
The Workshop: We have a very nice table there. It is big and roomy. We can use a toilet ($30) a Sink ($20) and some tile to finish it off ($40) a door ($80). Right now the girls use my house bathroom, but they have to walk to the house and come in and sometimes Chickie Chickie (the house dog) gets out (more like escapes) and takes off to town. I am afraid I will lose my little dog one of these days. He is my buddy and it would break my heart! Hehe, so it would be nice to have the bathroom done in there. We need to put bars on the windows. I was able to get the house secure recently but frankly it killed me financially. The house has 16 or more doors and windows, so you can imagine, and they are big windows. The workshop has 3 windows (One is a tiny one in the bathroom), the door is metal which is already good! With about $100 I can get the bars on the workshop and be sure we are not robbed. It can happen. It is a poor area and it makes sense to protect it. Crime here is not that rampant. But if they think you have something they might target you. The word Jewelry makes them think of gold, which we don’t work with, but it might make something think we have something. They will rob gas tanks (we have a few), maybe tools they see. Things that they would sell for nothing but that hardly anyone can have a use for. So I can to protect it, just in case. It won’t stop real good robbers, but they will have to work at it, and that makes them think twice!
But this is the situation in a nut shell. We have a reoccurring electric bill ($300 a month), and our electricity out here is double what it costs in the US or Canada. It is very high. We also have a reoccurring waterbill ($10 a month), there are a few other things, but nothing major. Hehe. We purchase filters for the Oxygen Generator each year, these cost us $250 a year. Right now our Compressor has an issue and we need to fix it, but we are not sure what it is. It doesn’t stop pumping air into the tank on its own. It is a Cambell Hausefield, the big guy like a refrigerator, and I haven’t found anyone here who has seen one this big, they do sell them here (although I brought this one from the states) but up to now haven’t found anyone to look at it (and I don’t have money to fix it right now, a technician guy would charge a fee to come all the way out here) so we just monitor it and turn it off at the right moment for now. The Oxygen Generator is the On Site Gas Pro-4. A workhorse and gives us no problems at all other than filters which sorta kills us each year. Hehe.
I will post pictures of everything we do especially if you donate to us. We really appreciate it and want you to see what we get and use in action. So this is really a worthwhile effort. Anything you donate goes directly to them. It is something you can see in person via our website, blogs or if you want, come down here and visit! We will be sure you enjoy yourself! Every little bit helps and makes a huge difference in their lives. They are building homes, buy clothing, most of all food, they have a better life because of this project. The women often would work from 6am to 8pm up to 7 days a week for very little pay. It is really sad. It is an American Company out here in the fields, growing Basil, Romero, Thyme and other herbs. This company closes its eyes to what the Overseer does. They hired a Mexican guy and he pretty much manages the company on this side of the border how he wants to. He drives a brand new truck which is changes ever 6 months. The workers work the whole day until it gets to dark to work and they pay to get taken to the fields and back again to town. Bere was working for about $50 US a week, it was really sad. She now makes much more than this. It was just horrible back breaking work, bent over all day long in the sun, wind, sometimes the cold (right now it is so cold here!), and there is not much else out here. You either have a small business that you run yourself like selling Tamales, Tacos, Quesidillas, a little corner store, selling raw chicken, used clothes, or you work for someone else who really squishes you for all you are worth! Or you rent a field and plant your own crop and hope that works. It takes a lot of money to plant a crop. They use a lot of fertilizer and pesticide (which was what caused Bere’s cleft palate). They might get hit by a dry period and poof there goes the money they put into the crop. Sadly it is a really hard life. The American’s turn their heads so they don’t see what this Overseer guy does. As long as he produces the crops they want and how they want it, they are happy. It is against the law, but the law also turns their head and doesn’t require them to pay a minimum wage (it does exist here). Here in the workshop Bere and the Girls work 8 hours a day, period. They don’t work on Sunday. They take any days off they want to. Once that time is over off they go to home to enjoy their families and it is something they haven’t had in a long time. Bere has two little sisters and her Mom and Dad. Dama has a little sister and brother too. They now get to spend time with their familes which is a big deal.
They keep the workshop clean and pretty. They plant flowers around it and put pictures on the walls, they painted the inside of it too. It is really nice. They love the workshop and have high hopes! I do too! I am hoping some of you have something extra that you can donate to us, if so just email me for the address here. We also have a paypal account if you want to donate something to us, it all helps. Even tiny donations hehe. We appreciate it all.
Thank you for putting up with my love for our little workshop and my rambling!
January 12th, 2010
I found a place to buy metal! I am so happy! It is even cheaper than in the states! They don’t sell discs, but that is good because I should cut my own and only my own. Anyway, it took 3 years to find a place. I had been buying from the states and it was such a pain in the ass. It was so expensive too! The shipping killed the whole deal everytime. Being we don’t have much money, well it wasn’t easy either. I really need copper. So this is just a wonderful thing! They sell Bronze, Brass, Nickle Silver, Black Bronze, and Copper. So here are pictures of what it looks like. It is a hole in the wall joint, tiny, dark and pretty ugly. But I see the beauty behind all the dirt! hehe.
October 25th, 2010
I have really become Mexican. More and more I eat like one, and I like it alot. hehe. After all I do live deep in Mexico. I would take a machete and out by the steps of my house (stone steps) hack my big squashes with a very very hard skin in order to cook it. Being I did it outside well sometimes seeds would be left behind. This season a Squash Plant came up all by itself! I have a huge tree outside the living room area and it creeped up into the tree, I estimate the vine went up about 12 meters! There are squashes hanging in the tree and right above where we walk! hehe, sorta scary being they can be upwards of 20 lbs each!
Whew….Anyway, the side deal is this. You get Squash Blossums….YUMMM I just adore them and am sad now that the season is overwith! hehe, It was wonderful having them there and eating them. I would cut them in the morning when they were still open, this allows you to wash them well and to get rid of any bugs…in the afternoon they are already wilted and not as easily cleaned. Here we often use a herb that is wonderful in food, we use it in red chili sauce, beans and quesidillas, it is called Epozote, that is the green leaf you see in my quesidillas…
So here you just go to the tortilleria (where they make and sell corn tortillas) and buy Masa (the ground up corn) and make your own tortilla for a quesidilla. Then you add in Oaxaca Cheese which is like Mozzarella Cheese in the US. The cleaned and cut up Squash Flower, the Epazote Herb (optional) and you can also add in mushrooms, salsa (but I add this on when I eat it), chicken, or anything else you want, just about anything goes here….and you fry this in a pan with some oil until the masa is cooked well (about 3 min each side) and Yummmmm. It is such a simple delight! It is easy to do, once you get the hang of the tortilla thingy. I squash the masa, put the items on top and use the plastic wrap to close it, I try and seal the edges some…..
January 30th, 2011
I couldn’t find this info anywhere. In Mexico business don’t realize how important it is for them to get a webpage. Here they use these horrible “ad” sites and you can’t find anything. It is really pretty pathetic. So I got aggravated and went to the big city all alone, sorta sca
red, but I feel more comfortable. I haven’t been very much on my own, so for me this is a new thing. It is really big and bustling. It is pretty intense.
So I road the bus into the D.F. (Federal District which is Mexico City here) it was easy, just get to the buss station, 30 minutes from my place, an a 1 1/2 hour ride to the big center of buses and subways. It is called Tasquena. It drops you off at the bus center part, and you walk to the subway. It isn’t too far. I rode the subway to Pino Suarez then changed to the next to Isabel la Catolica. It was about 10 stops total to get there. When I came up to the surface it was amazing to see. Big buildings, lovely architecture that I enjoy so much from the Spanish times. I didn’t know which way to go, so I just started walking. I found a police man and asked. He was very kind and polite. He sent me in the right direction. I passed one bead store that I was familiar with in another location, and I was never impressed called “Teen” on Mesones.
So I kept going, and found Paulinas Cuentas Beads at Mesones 46. I walked in and at first I thought to myself. Is this all I am going to find? To me, it was small. It seems that here in Mexico people do not realize the amount of beads we have in the US. I looked around, and yes they had some stuff. But mostly cheap fake and plastic. I was after certain beads and I was worried I would not find them. They always have crystals (from china), usually not true Swarovski. They try and pass them off as Swarovski Crystal most of the time. If it sounds like I am complaining, well I am sorta, and well I want to be truthful too.
I found the tiny crystals I was looking for. They were $45 per strand ($4 US) which is more than what I am used to. Being these are Chinese and the strands are not your 16″ variety. These are only 8″ long and that comes out to $8 a strand, way more than in the US. I was disappointed to say the least. The cube beads which are very common they didn’t have. The bead strands were dusty but the place was tidy. The workers were very kind. I know I probably bothered the owner when I asked her if she had this or that. At the end I took out beads we make at the workshop to show them, and enamels. In hopes that someone would jump on them. And want to sell something produced in Mexico instead of Chinese Beads. Also my hope is that someone will want to support the workshop and Mexicans! They thought they were gorgeous and said so, even the daughter came out and really really loved them. But nope, there is no interest in supporting the Artist in Mexico. It is something I run into day after day.
To me it is so sad. If we had an additional market in Mexico it would be so helpful to the girls. I explained what I am doing, and how it is helping. But they would rather have plastic beads and pathetic cheap beads than something handmade. So I asked the lady (the owner) if there were other shops nearby. She pointed up the street, she said there were 2 more. I went up that way, and of course there were none. I knew I had been purposely had, she sent me the wrong way on purpose! Ugg, I hate that. I really just had a bad vibe from this shop for various reasons. So I found again another police man who was very helpful. When you are lost, or are confused, go to a police man. They are so very helpful and polite.
So I got going again and knew that if I had found Republic de Uruguay there would be more stores. Not because I found them on the internet. A police man told me so. tee hee. Time after time the police man came through. So going towards the correct street I found one more little place, very tiny. Where I did find real Swarovski Crystals. I could not see the beads behind the counter, and they would not let me go behind the counter to see the beads. I see well closeup, and with my glasses far away. But that distance really does a job on me. I was dealing with the own and explained that I wanted to see the beads but that I could not, if I could look, he said the girls will show them to you. Well I couldn’t be bothered with asking, to be shown each strand. I am a “Beadaholic” so for me, I have to look at them up close and personal. I didn’t like this setup at all. These Crsytals were expensive too. But they were the right ones, we really needed these for someone we produce for. So this was a good find.
I kept going, and found Lucero on #4 Republica de Uruguay and was in HEAVEN! For Mexico this is the best store so far. The lady that helped me was the owner again. She had a gal in there like Bere with the cleft palate who was the Queen of the joint! tee hee…..it is funny for me to find similarities. These people import Czech beads, and have a large variety of Chinese too, as well as true Swarovski Beads. Here I bought 21 strands of beads! They had some good deals too. I was really impressed, they had czech beads galore. There was lots of things they did not have, but they were helpful. They had some real Indians in there in costume purchasing, which was really neat. They have the neatest costumes and all handmade. I told the Queen girl there about Bere and she was very interested. I also showed our beads, but again. There just is not support for the handmade in Mexico. If it isn’t free they are not interested. How sad.
But this shop is a keeper. I asked the lady where else, and she sent me in the right direction!
Next I tried to go to Perla which is next door to Lucero and Mineralia. I walked in. I started looking and this store looked so promising. But right away a security guard told me that I had to check my bag. Well I am not going to leave my purse with someone I do not know. They are crazy. (I had once been robbed by these “paqueteria” joints, and they will make themselves responsible for your loss either). I have my stuff in there, my money, my cell, my IDs, all my important stuff. The bag is not a backpack and he kept saying it was. It is one of those close to the body types of bags for travelers. I refused and asked to talk to the owner and I was kicked out of the store!!! So this store is horrible. I cannot recommend it, it was wrong of them to do this. I even explained that I had came from very far away, more than 3 hours away to shop. But I refuse to leave my money and valuables with someone who I do not know. This is near 84 Republica de Uruguay. Next time I will bring a wallet, and stuff everything in that. So I can check my “purse”. It is ridiculous.
Next door is Mineralia which was wonderful. I purchased a lot of large crystal beads there that were very nice! 12 strands total. This is also almost 84 Republica de Uruguay. They are mostly stone and rock, but they also have glass beads! A very nice selection too! I recommend this store..
Then I went across the street where the lady from Lucero told me to go. I found a few places, very small, some with more than others, they were ok. Nothing fancy. Then I found there as well a swap meet type market with all kinds of things and a few bead places inside of there. I bought quite a few strands there for my customer. It was a good deal all around, more expensive yet than the regular stores, but they had some
Mineralia Store which is a keeper This was at 69a to 75 Republica de Uruguay. It was pretty wonderful the day overall. I saw a place on the way to Subway that had a load of people around it eating tacos. Since there were alot of people I knew this would be good. Well I had the best tacos of my lifetime…..I will hunt this place down again! haha, it was wonderful. I still wish I could have more….they were cheap I paid a total of $2 US for my meal. One reason why it was so full of people. You eat standing up, and a guy on the curb takes the order and charges you the money, then you tell the guy in the little window what you want….
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