February 29, 2008

Leap Year Skirt

Some of my students were at Happy Hour today.

"Miss! Come look at our art project!"

"He's holding a cerveza."

Ease your feet into the sea,
my darling it's the place to be.
~Belle and Sebastian

"If you like Pina Coladas..."

Skirt 15, dry for tonight's dinner at La Palapa.

Ballet folklorico skirts on the Malecon

Cha, cha, cha!

I know I've shown this before, but I couldn't resist.

I'm wearing Skirt 15 today, because it's Leap Day, and because of this photo.

This morning I was thinking about what I was doing 4 years ago...
In my wildest dreams I never imagined that I would be here, and it's been such a fantastic ride. Sure, I could focus on the heartache and difficult times. But honestly, more opportunities and blessings have occured. If I keep this up, I wonder what life will be like in the next 4 years...

February 28, 2008

Art, Science and Birthday Skirt

And the winner is...

This caused quite an uproar... I thought riots were going to break out.

hee hee!

2nd place (the vertical black & white drawing) and Skirt 53.

Check out the little skirt holding her paper flower. I made these with her class when I posted The Love List , 16 days ago.
So adorable!

3rd place

Penney's Skirt hard at work.

Skirts in action at the egg launching contest.

How many meters can you launch an egg without it breaking?

It's my sister's birthday today; she is 19 years young. I remember when she was born; she was so pink! She is a sweetie studying her way through school, and it's been fun to watch her grow. She's still growing, even though she is legally an adult. Maybe someday I'll have insurance and she can clean my teeth.

I'm wearing Skirt 53, the one I hated the most from the original 60. The funny thing is that I loved wearing it, and now I can't get rid of it. I'm donning it today because it's sort of fancy, which is good for handing out awards and meeting parents. AND, it's full and decorated like a special cake, and that's cool with me 'cause I'm sweet!

h a p p y
b i r t h d a y
yai - yo - mi !!!
¡Muchos besos en tu día feliz!

P.S. I've really been craving hot glazed donuts from Café Donuts, but for now churros will have to do.

February 27, 2008

Mucho Trabajo Skirt

Getting ready for the Student Expo today...
Student Expo is a showcase of science, literature and art for all of the students, Pre-First through grade 12. Guess who's in charge of putting all of the art up??? That's right... me!
I'm wearing my working skirt today, Skirt 5 and a dark shirt. I get to play curator and exhibition designer today.

This is one of my favorite pieces in the expo...

This should be fun!
Whew! Finished at 4:40 this afternoon. It actually wasn't that bad!

I should have posed with a stapler in my hand...

February 26, 2008

Synchronous Skirt


Yesterday was overcast which always reminds me that I have not seen or smelled rain since last year. The next time I am where it is raining, I'm going to go for a nice long walk, close my eyes and just feel the drops on my face. I miss the way it smells, I miss the lightning, I miss the thunder, I miss the way it makes me feel. I feel like the Earth is cleansing itself and me with it. There is something renewable about it that I crave...
Anyway, that's the funny thing about being present and in the moment. It's almost as soon as it's thought, you invite it into your world. And while it's not raining physically here in Vallarta, the rain came up several times yesterday in conversation and experiences with my teachers: students and friends.

Skirt 42 reminds me of the rain, snow, Anna, NYC, wonderful possibilities. All of these experiences I hold dear to my heart. Even though my skirt is black and gray, it is so beautiful, and... (I must repeat this at least three times:)
I will not get paint on my skirt today.
I will not get paint on my skirt today.
I will not get paint on my skirt today.

If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can feel and smell what I am missing.

February 25, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

It's Starly's Birthday y'all!
and I'm wearing Skirt 32 in her honor. It's also one of my favorites.
It's getting down to the wire... only 18 more skirts and I'm home.

This just in. A bundle of joy arrived in my friend Steph's world early Sunday morning. Mother and baby boy are doing just fine. Hoo-ray!

Equine Adventure in Quimixto


This past weekend, Skirt 21 and I visited Quimixto. I went horseback riding to see the famous waterfalls. Quimixto is a remote fishing village south of Vallarta, it's easily accessed by boat, so off we went on a boat tour.

The boat: The Sarape.

We were supposed to whale watch too. I did see some whales and even saw them breech and flap their fins out of the water, but I wasn't able to capture that in photos... oh whale. It was incredible!

Mi ciudad: Puerto Vallarta

Los Arcos...

In Quimixto...
Yay! I'm on a horse! I haven't done this since I was 9!

Meet Chispa... or Colorado.

The owner told me two names for my horse, but when I first asked what his name was he told me #59... I'll call him Chispa, which means "spark".

My view from up top. Hang on!!!

Thank goodness Chispa knows the way.

At the waterfall...

Is this it?

Ahhhh... this is more like it.

Trying to capture Skirt 24 on a horse...

Car shots are easier...

The view on the ride back.
(Note the view of the ocean in the distance.)

Free as a bird...

pretty much sums up how I'm feelin' these days.

Weekend Excursions

It's still winter, but the climate here in Mexico is warm enough for tropical flowers and foliage to blossom and grow. Last weekend I accompanied my neighbors to the Botanical Gardens south of Boca de Tomatlan. It's a nice place.
Pictures to be posted later this evening, I'm out watching the whales today.

February 22, 2008

New Skirt from Mega Commercial

At at the Cultural Center of Puerto Vallarta...

where they offer classes to the public. Today there were classes in drawing and quilling.

A few weeks ago I wrote a list of qualities I prefer in my skirts. Among them were pleats, butterflies, flowers and bows. Then the next week, during my weekly grocery trip to Mega, I noticed a skirt that was on sale. Of course I thought and thought about it... for a whole week I thought about it, but then I went back to get it because it had all of my favorite qualities. Now, what size did I get? I have no idea how Mexican sizing works, so I went with size 32, my age. PERFECT! This skirt is light and fresh; fun to wear and I like all of the colors. It's a Cherokee brand, so I think they sell it in the states, but it will always remind me of Mexico.

February 21, 2008

Yesterday's Skirt Today... again

I'm wearing Skirt 34 today because yesterday was my big brother's birthday, and if you reverse his real age then it's 34...
But who's counting?

On my break today, I found a place that sells Diet Dr. Pepper.
Mmmmmmmmm. Tastes like home, where I will be in 27 days...
But who's counting?

,love & forever,
your pest

I ♥ inside jokes...

February 20, 2008


I did it!!!
Words can't describe how I feel inside. Yesterday was one of the best days that I have had in a LONG time!

Through the non-profit organization P.E.A.C.E., I went to Punta Mita to teach a few women how to sew simple wrap-around skirts.
First, we took some measurements. These skirts are custom made!

Angelica is measuring Dalia's belly. She is expecting, it's a boy, due May 25.

Next, comes the hard part... math.

It was tough to explain, but we managed. We took our measurements and created a trapezoid for our skirt pattern. One observer commented, "It's like building a house!"

Selecting our fabric...
On my last trip back home, I brought 52 lbs of fabric with me which were generously donated by my cousin. I found this fun print at a little shop that sells remnants of fabrics. It's this little hole in the wall on the way to Pitillal, and the walls are stacked tall of folded fabrics. I forgot my camera the day that I went, otherwise it would have made a GREAT skirt shot.

Cutting our fabric
For this pattern you need three trapezoids.

Manos de Mujeres hard at work.

One of the completed skirts.

This is Lucy. She is a teacher at the school we worked at.

Angelica's skirt...

The end?

I hope not!

New Skirt for a New Project

It's a big day today for many reasons. First, there will be an lunar eclipse tonight, and I'm so excited. Second, it's my big brother's birthday so...
h a p p y b i r t h d a y !!!

I don't have Skirt 43 here, but I do have Skirt 34, so I think I'll wear that one tomorrow, because today I am wearing my
NEW SKIRT that I MADE this weekend!

Back in July when people were asking me what I was going to do in Mexico, I responded by saying, "I don't know. Teach art? Sew skirts?" And I've done it! But the most exciting event for today will take place this afternoon. I am going to Punta Mita to teach a few women how to make a simple wrap around skirt.

Woo hoo! Mission accomplished!
or maybe I should save that for later this evening...

February 18, 2008

Yesterday's Skirt Today

I was sick in bed yesterday. Just a tummy thing... these things happen from time to time here in Mexico...
Anyway, I am wearing yesterday's skirt today, because yesterday was my grandmother's birthday; she was born in Monterrey, Mexico 104 years ago.

Skirt 60 reminds me of my grandmother because of the little crocheted doilies that decorate the skirt. My grandmother used to make these and they filled her house. She was 72 years older than me, and I didn't get to spend as much time with her as my brothers or cousins; I am the youngest grandchild.

What I remember most about “Huelita”
Her skin: fair, soft and wrinkly, like the waves in the water
Her hair: long, thin, silvery white
Her hands: knobby knuckles from years of creative hard work
The way she smiled when she didn’t have her teeth in
Her cooking: tacos de lengua, papas con huevos, tortillas, foffee, and champurado (So many of the flavors that I taste here in Mexico remind me of her.)
Her house: cluttered and quaint
Her posture: frail and strong
Her love for her family, especially her children.
Her stories: (Thanks Dan for the 2 90 minute tapes that one Christmas...)
Her talents that she shared with me: she taught me how to crochet
Watching telanovelas next to her in her rocking chair, desperately wanting to understand Spanish and her...

It’s not always easy to do, but I need to remember how blessed I am to be having this experience. My grandmother is probably the biggest reason that I am here in Mexico today, to feel a part of something that always seemed so distant to me: my Mexican heritage. Even though I totally look it in my physical appearance, I just didn't feel it as a young girl. I never identified with her stories, her cooking or even her language. But her blood runs through my veins, and I felt this desire to come to Mexico to connect with my family's history. This is who I am. This is part of my legacy, and one day I will instill this experience in my children and their children.

February 15, 2008

The Skirt Project

This is what I'm working on this weekend...

A work in progress...

February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had a boyfriend who used to tell me on Valentine's Day, "This is the day I love you most." I thought it was funny.

I'm a firm believer that everyday should be Valentine's Day. If you are blessed to have a love in your life; then take everyday to show them how special they are, how much they mean to you, how much you adore them. Because you never know how things will change in the future and you don't want to live your life with regrets. Love with all of your soul, all of your being, all of your heart. To have loved is better than to never have loved at all. It's a scary thing... but it's so good when you have it. So, Surrender to Cupid's arrow, don't be sacred! Just do it!

I'm someone's + 1 tonight...
hope she wears a skirt!

She wore a dress... But, that's ok...
I ♥ Jill! She is F A N T A S T I C !

At Café de Artistes tonight, for one of the best meals that I've had in Vallarta. I ate with Jill and her family. It made me miss my family so much, and makes me look forward to March... I'll be home then, and that will be nice.