John and I are not what one might call “interior design visionaries”. We’ve been living in Mexico for about 16 months now, and we’ve spent many a weekend wandering through various markets, stores, tianguis, etc., assessing the wares on display but unable to make any big decisions… I think we suffer from an overly analytical mindset + a need to price-compare indefinitely, despite prices inherently being much more compelling than what you’d see for anything similar in the US.
Anyway, we’ve been on the hunt for things to perk up our current lame-o apartment decor, as well as items for our townhouse once we return to Arlington, VA next year. In a recent burst of decision-making, we’ve actually managed to commit & buy a few pieces, so thought I’d share our recent acquisitions (as a means of looking for affirmation that we’ve not made any gauche purchases…) 😉
We found this trifecta of vases at the Tonalá market outside Guadalajara. Apparently everything that has shards of glass in it comes in sets of 3, so we thought it best not to question the trend.
In keeping with the "sets of 3" theme, we also found these decorative balls there... The middle ones have brown shards of glass, the right ones are some wacky crazed silver glass, and the left ones are covered in coffee beans! Don't worry; we don't plan to display them awkwardly in a big clump like this photo depicts.
Next stop for shopping: Mercado Jamaica. Plant-based purchases are a bit more temporary, but worth noting nonetheless. John & I have yet to grow up and buy real Christmas decorations, lights, the 6-foot tree, etc... So I thought we'd start out slow this year with an 18-inch Christmas tree that already has its decorations glued on. ;)
Also in Mercado Jamaica, we found this stunning flower frog. He actually has a button near his butt that emits a "ribbit" sound when pressed. In interest of full disclosure, the ribbit button has ceased to function after 5 days, but I fear that may have been due to me accidentally watering the button.
Here is the front view of my friendly frog, whose mouth is even created out of red flowers. For those of you interested in other animals, we also spotted a flower-based giraffe, horse, teddy bear, and several types of dogs.
Next up, a small non-apartment-decor purchase: lovely earrings from friend & jewelry designer Daniela!
And now for the wall hangings: we found this fun print at the Saturday market down in San Angel. The artist is Patricia Juarez. We also bought a print of a lovely, colorful market scene, but it was currently unavailable for a photo due to it being rolled up in a tube until we go get it framed. :)
And finally, our big purchase: this massive red oil painting by artist Enrique Mondragon. This puppy is about 0.8m wide x 1m tall, unframed. He exhibits in San Angel on Saturdays and Parque Sullivan on Sundays. We loved the distinctive flowers that remind us of all the beautiful flora here in Mexico (like the bird of paradise peering out at the top), and the thick, textured paint that makes it almost seem 3-D.
So those are our recent acquisitions as we attempt to take advantage of all the beautiful artesanias that Mexico has to offer. A few more details below in case anything has spoken to you!
Tonalá: just outside Guadalajara to the east off of Highway 15. The big market is on Thursdays and Sundays from 8AM to between 3-6PM, but get there early or expect to sit in a lot of traffic trying to get off the highway. Loads of furniture/home decor stores plus stands selling just about anything else your little heart might desire. Good map available here.
Mercado Jamaica: I’ve posted about Jamaica before, but just to reiterate– easiest way to get there is take the Metro to the Jamaica stop on the brown line. If you buy too much crap to get back on the metro, there is a sitio taxi stand just outside the mercado, behind the flower section. (Exit from the back, left door in the flower section & turn to the left; cross the street & the sitio stand is in the middle of an intersection (I think under an overpass, if I recall correctly). You can ask any of the merchants and they’ll point you in the right direction.
Daniela Millan: Check out her website link (click on her name) to see some of her other lovely designs.
Patricia Juarez: She does a variety of classic Mexico scenes of markets, mariachis, weddings, children playing, etc. plus amusing animal prints. All would be great for a kid’s room, but most could also be framed in black for a fun accent anywhere in your house. No website that I know of, but her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone 5848.0566.
Enrique Mondragon: In addition to the large flowers-in-vase oil paintings, he also does smaller versions + a variety of other scenes (countryside, bridges, old man w/dogs, etc.). No functioning website, but there is some info here in Spanish. Alternatively, his cell is 044 55 2152 5060, and he speaks some English. As I mentioned above, he’s in San Angel on Sat and Parque Sullivan on Sun.
San Angel market & Bazaar Sabado: also covered in a previous post; Saturday is the day to go!
Parque Sullivan: just northwest of the Reforma/Insurgentes intersection, between Calle Sullivan and Manuel Villalongin. The action is on Sundays between around 10AM and 4PM. Lots of the same artists from Saturdays at San Angel can be seen here on Sunday, but it is considerably less touristy.