I love that in bloggie-land there are so many fascinating things to find. I would never in a million years have thought to blog about the 10 most beautiful train stations in the world. I hope you will devote some time this weekend to searching through the blogosphere and finding new things to inspire you.
No one celebrates Easter quite like they do in Antigua. For the month of Lent, processions march through the streets each Sunday, carrying massive platform with statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary. But the real fun begins the Sunday before Easter, when local families and business begin creating alfombras, intricate carpets made out of dyed sawdust, grass, flowers and vegetables. It’s an incredible (and fleeting) sight.
For days and days, people are busy dyeing sawdust — first it’s run through a screen to weed out the rough bits. Then small bags of dye are added and it’s stirred by hand. The color is adjusted as needed and this takes some skill — a seemingly green dye was added to a fresh batch and the mixer explained that the final product would be purple. I was doubtful but he proved right in the end.
The majority of alfombras are created with the use of intricately-carved plywood stencils. I asked the manager of my hotel, Yellow House, whether these were traditional patterns passed down through the family or if each alfombra was different. She explained that they save the stencils each year but that each carpet is unique, mixing and matching designs from the past or being created entirely from scratch.
I do have to give a hearty recommendation for Yellow House in Antigua — I stayed there two weeks over two visits and found it to be the friendliest, cleanest place I stayed in all of Guatemala. The free breakfast was great, showers hot (without being deadly) and the patio had a view of all the volcanos. [Full disclosure — they did trade me three nights stay for a mention, but I wouldn’t have stayed there 2 weeks if I didn’t think it was a good value.] I can’t wait to go back.
The amount of detail that people managed to coax from sawdust and sand was stunning. I especially like the one with tiny penitents carrying an anda (wooden platform) and about to walk across an alfrombra of their own.
And that’s their fate — these beautiful, amazingly-detailed carpets have life spans of just a few hours. After being finished, cared for and admired by the crowds, they will soon be trod upon by a procession of thousands of worshipers.
Sawdust wasn’t the only material of choice, however. Many alfrombas were created from large blankets of grass, covered in flowers, fruits and other natural goodies. Some of the most popular carpets, judging from the huge crowds that hovered nearby, where made entirely of fruits and vegetables. The one you see here was at least 50 feet long and 10 feet wide — 500 square feet of fresh produce, stacked high and awaiting destruction.
This goes on for days and most groups will build several alfrombas over the course of the week. But the big night is the Thursday before Good Friday, when everyone stays up most of the night to assemble the most intricate, flamboyant carpets you can imagine. They race through the night to finish their creations before the procession rolls through in the early morning and destroys it all. Thankfully, the hotel provided snacks, coffee and rum to keep us going through the night.
And when the procession rolls through, you’d best step away. Thousands of hooded penitents roam the street with 80 of them carrying a 5,000 pound anda, moving lock-step through the cobblestone streets. A band follows close behind and more thousands of pilgrims, penitents, families and tourists follow in their wake. It’s a wave of humanity.
And after they’ve all passed by, a small crew of men scrape up the remains and shovel them into a small bulldozer that follows the procession. Within moments, the street is clean with only a few splashes of colorful dye showing that anything happened here at all.
this time their look at Rachel Zoe’s fashion office.
Fashion stylists always have the most amazing lairs,
full of exciting stuff.
You gotta love having a sneak peak…
Fashion Offices With WhoWhatWear: Rachel Zoe
CEO, Rachel Zoe Inc. Los Angeles
Welcome to RZ HQ – the heart and Louboutin-sole of all things Rachel Zoe Inc.! We teamed up with our lovely friends at Who What Wear—once again!—to take you inside the holy grail of glamness, Zoe Headquarters.
While our “office” (a.k.a. other people’s closets) are always filled with rows upon rows of fab footwear, we couldn’t help but be completely sole-struck by the sea of shoes in Zoe’s bureau. I mean, we’ve all “seen” the inside of RZ HQ on the big screen—The Rachel Zoe Project is our #1 guilty pleasure—but, trust us, there’s a whole lot more to that office you haven’t seen.
Her L.A. loft has played host to the industry’s best actresses (we’re looking at you, Annie!) and accesszoeries (the bags were BA-NA-NAS!) We died for Zoe’s vintage archives and ashtray collection—but, seriously, would you expect any less from the Queen of Decades?
From the branding office to Zoe’s personal workspace, we got deep inside Team Zoe’s wondrous workshop. And there’s plenty of creative juices flowing out of this fashion factory: Style advice from A to Zoe, our daily dose of inbox pleasure, The Zoe Report, a thriving clothing and accessories line and much more.
All we can say is that it’s a good thing she’s got Camp Zoe (or Zoe-bots, as we like to call ‘em) behind her—headed up by prez, hubby (and our BFF) Rodg—to help crank out one glam project after another. And with that, we give you, Zoe Headquarters… where the magic happens!
This is where the magic happens! My branding office is where I spend most of my time in meetings for my collection and designing.
An aerial view from the loft in my office overlooking the first floor. I love how open and airy the space feels – but also cozy, because I want all of our visitors to feel at home.
A peek into my office of vintage archives, aka, my second closet! It is the greatest source of inspiration when designing new looks. Reference the past to see what works and what doesn’t.
OMG shoes! People ask me if I get desensitized seeing so many shoes every day, but I don’t think that’s actually possible.
I am an extremely organized person at work and at home – color co-ordination (especially in one’s closet) is everything.
I am big on magazine tears for inspiration. I stick them all on these giant inspo boards in my branding office. I also spy a pair of my favorite vintage Chanel sunnies in the mix – who is more inspiring than Coco?
Sunglasses, Vintage Chanel
Obsessed with this vintage mirrored coffee table! Mirrors in every form instantly add glamour to any home or office setting.