Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Visit to Frida's House - Part 2

In addition to the house in which Frida lived which I told you about in yesterday's post, there was another building on the grounds of the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, one where a number of her costumes and personal items are on display.
Most interesting are the items she wore to help with her various physical ailments - the corsets, crutches and even the artificial leg she wore after her leg was amputated in 1953 as the result of gangrene.

Photo by Judy Wise

Here's a picture of Frida wearing a plaster corset that she decorated.  It certainly doesn't look very comfortable, does it?
Her jewelry, headpieces and even a tube of her lipstick is also part of the exhibition.

In 2004, fifty years after her death, a bathroom in the house was opened for the first time.  Many of Frida's outfits were discovered inside, along with this drawing:

Visiting this museum really gave me an insight into Frida's life and a much greater appreciation of her life, her struggles and her talent.  A woman I met while touring through the house told me the audio guide was very informative, I'd like to listen to that next time I visit.  Hopefully, there will be another visit some day in my future!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Visit to Frida's House - Part 1

Jane Davenport is in Mexico City this week with Kathie Vezzani, teaching a workshop based on her love of all things Frida Kahlo.  A couple of people I know are also on the trip and seeing the photos they have all been posting is reminding me of the wonderful workshop week I experienced last month and our visit to the museum that used to be her home.
She was born is what is known as the Casa Azul (the Blue House) and lived most of her life there, some of it with her husband Diego Rivera.  It is quite a large property, with a central courtyard garden area.
The kitchen is cheerfully painted in blue and yellow and decorated with patterns made with tiny ceramic mugs on the walls.
There are two bedrooms, one described as the bedroom she used during the daytime, which includes the mirror her mother had installed above the bed after her accident and a death mask of Frida lying on the bedspread.
This pretty view of the courtyard is what she would have seen, lying on that bed.
The second, "night" bedroom contains a cabinet full of her toy collection (including a collection of dolls she designed) and features a picture of Diego.
Her ashes reside in the large urn on the left hand side of this dresser that also sits in that room.
There are many of her paintings on display throughout the various rooms, including her final painting, a still life of watermelon slices entitled "Viva la Vida".

A sketch from a trip to New York City

Many of the paintings are described as being full of "tortured images", dealing as they did with the chronic pain she suffered following a bus accident when she was just eighteen.
The sight of her wheelchair in front of her easel is particularly poignant.
For me, it was very special to be in what used to be her studio and see her art supplies on display.
I was quite surprised to see all these bottles of glitter!
I would have loved to had a look inside these journals!
All in all, it is a beautiful spot and yet, not surprisingly, it is permeated with a feeling of sadness.

Tomorrow, Part 2 of my visit to Frida's home.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Journal Junkies April

Here is the journal page I made just yesterday for this month's Journal Junkies meeting at Bizzy B.  The theme was "parade" and I found this image in a magazine I was throwing out as part of my #100daysofdrawanddump project (see blog post on that topic here or check out my hashtag on Instragram).

I decided to combine the JJ theme with last week's theme for the Documented Life Project, since I'm a bit behind on my pages for that year long project.

Here's my page:

Doesn't this poor puppy look like somebody rained on his parade?  Either that or it's too wet to go for his walk!

Stay tuned, tomorrow I'll be taking you to Frida's house in Mexico City!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Haiku My Heart Fridays: Frida

Talented artist
She suffered all her life but
Found beauty in pain.
Frida as a young girl,
photographed by her father, Guillermo Kahlo
I was so glad to have had a chance to visit the home where Frida Kahlo lived when I visited Mexico City last month.
Unfinished self-portrait
Her artwork is so interesting and even more so when you realize the kind of chronic pain she lived with all her adult life, after being involved in a serious accident as a teenager.  When she was eighteen, the bus she was riding in collided with a trolley car and she was left with a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. In addition, an iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus, leaving her unable to have children.  (Source:  Wikipedia)
Stay tuned, next week I'll be sharing more details and photos of my visit to the blue house known as La Casa Azul!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The KonMari Method

A friend posted a link to this video on Facebook, which is the author of the book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" explaining how she teaches her clients to organize their stuff.  The main criteria involves what she calls the "spark joy" feeling - how does the item make you feel?

I watched the video, which is about 40 minutes long, and felt quite inspired.  The first 20 minutes is Marie Kondo (nicknamed "KonMari") describing her method and the second half is a Q&A session with audience members. The author is very cute and energetic. Sadly the interpreter is less so and isn't as fluent in English as she could be but I find Japanese to be a very interesting language to listen to, so it wasn't an issue for me.

I was also interested to realize that there are many videos posted on YouTube about this method, many of which involve how to fold your clothes and socks. Some feature the author herself and the rest are other people showing how they implement her techniques.  After watching a minute and a half video of the author organizing an underwear drawer, I immediately realized I have been doing it completely wrong for the past 53 years! No wonder I have trouble closing my dresser drawers!  (I think her folding methods would also be great for travelling, as a way of maximizing space in your suitcase.)

I'm looking forward to spending some time this weekend trying out her method. She recommends doing clothing first, which works for me, since my bedroom closet is a bit of a disaster at the moment!

But for now, I'm off to organize my sock drawer!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Mexican Bakery

One of the places we visited last month in Mexico City was a bakery.  Never before have I seen so many beautiful cakes in one place.
And never before have I seen cakes this size - they were HUGE!!
We asked about the price of the one above and were told it would cost about $2,000. Can you imagine?
Cakes of every size, shape and colour.  We walked about the floor and gazed in wonder.

Absolute works of art.
The cakes were all located on the second floor. On the main floor, there was a large bakery with every other type of pastry you could imagine.
Happy looking customers like this lady placed their selections on a plate and then took it to the counter to be wrapped.
The staff bundled up your goodies into packages like this.
Believe it or not, I left without buying a single item.  I just couldn't decide, there were too many choices. Plus we had just eaten lunch before our visit and I was feeling rather full.  Of course, I regretted not buying anything for the rest of the afternoon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Counter Cat

My beloved Maggie has recently started to spend time on the counter in my bathroom.  At first, she would sit like this:
But now, I think she has started to feel more comfortable up there: