Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Last sale of 2009!

Its New Years Eve. I should be getting ready to go out. I have a party that starts at 8:00. Instead, I'm writing on my blog. I'm happy to say I made my last sale of the year this New Year's Eve. I have a sale going on in my Etsy store and R. Campbell of New York bought my Calico Village Handbag. Yeah R. Campbell - thanks for making my New Year's Eve a happy one. I am truly happy. I LOVE ending the year with a sale. It is almost as wonderful as a nice glass of bubbly champagne!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

get rid of 2009 & move on to 2010!

I'm so sorry its been so long since I posted anything. December has been such a whirlwind of activity. Six shows in three weeks was quite a burden / blessing to undertake. I guess it was a little of both. I was back and forth between my studio and events. The weekdays I would use to make any items I needed to fill in. I was also shipping out any online orders which I was really grateful for. My online sales weren't HUGE but I did manage to get some.

In the middle of my sales, my studio was broken into. My building has suddenly become a target for thieves. Someone used a crow bar to break into my studio. I had some items taken and my studio mate as well. What an experience. Loosing the items wasn't the worst of it. It was worse to feel that someone had been in my space. The feeling of violation rang strong. Myself and fellow artists in the building are putting some new security measures into place to prevent this from happening again. Such is life. You deal with it and then move on.

Despite all of that, I feel happy with the work I've done this year. More than anything, I feel like I worked hard at making a living as an artist in this really difficult economy. I've tried to be creative in what I offered and creative in the various prices I offered. I think hard economic times really encourage creativity. You constantly are at work both mentally and physically figuring out the best way to create and market your work so that it can appeal to a large enough cross section of people. WHEW....it's not just about making something pretty!

So to all of you artists, customer and readers....a big HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!!! We made it through this year. If we made it through this tough year we can make it through the next. At some point, the economy will turn. People will be returning back to work. People will begin spending again - even cautiously is a good thing. Stay strong, stay motivated and work hard at whatever you do!



p.s. also, a girl's got to make a living...

Having a "Let's Get Rid of 2009 and Move on to 2010" sale in my Etsy store. Handbags are marked at 25% off and home accessories are 10% off. Great stuff, great prices!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

December Holiday Shows

If any of you are just itching to buy unique and fabulous gifts for you and your loved ones, well I'm going to tell you where to find them. Just follow, memorize. tattoo or simply write on your calendar the dates where ESTUDIO MARTITA will be selling her fabulous wares. Check this out!! Oooooooo, I'm feeling tired already!!!
17th annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Sale

where: 2528 25th Avenue, between Ulloa & Vicente, San Francisco
(its a house that is transformed into what looks like Santa's Workshop!

when: December 4, Friday 12 noon - 8 pm
December 5, Saturday 10 am - 6 pm
December 6, Sunday 12 noon - 6 pm

Lots of goodies to eat and door prizes to win! I will be one of 30 artists and craftspeople showing their work. I will not be there every day but my work will be displayed for all to see! Just ask Kathy Dybeck ( the owner and cash, check and credit card taking person) where to find my work.
If you can't make it to the Sunset District, then perhaps the Mission works better for you. Here's another option.

event: Crucero Artero Navideño at Studio 24

where: Studio 24
2857 24th Street @ Bryant San Francisco 415-826-8009

when: December 4, Friday 3 to 8pm
December 5, Saturday 3 to 8pm
December 6, Sunday 1 to 6pm

Refreshments will be served: hot chocolate (YUMM!!!) and fresh empanadas. There will also be a craft making table set up and taught by a local artisan. A fabulous group of artists will be showing traditional and contemporary latino themed gift items to wow your loved ones with!!
weekend of December 12th and 13th

event: The Under 100 'H' Sale

where: Root Division Gallery
3175 17th Street (at S. Van Ness)
San Francisco, CA 94110

when: December 12th 7 to 10pm
Unique drawings, paintings & photographs, handmade jewelry, fairtrade clothing, knitwear made from recycled yarn, and much more!
And here's the best part: no one item will be over $100. We're taking the heartache out of holiday gift giving. Root Division says,"So come by, grab a cheap cocktail, listen to some beats, and be inspired to buy yourself something! And, if you really want to, we'll let you take care of everyone else on that list too."
weekend of December 12th and 13th

event: The Holiday Art Show - from the wonderful artists at 1890 Bryant St.

where: 1890 Bryant St. @ Mariposa
San Francisco CA
for more info. contact: estudiomartita@gmail.com

when: Sunday December 13th 2 to 7pm

Small paintings, calendars, fabulous jewelry, home accessories, pottery - work that appeals to everyone from hipster to Granny or the hipster Granny! Lots of treaties to snack on and some hot cider to warm your soul. We have it all! Come by, meet and greet the artists and do your holiday shopping! We'd love to have you there!!
weekend of December 19th and 20th

event: HOLIDAZE at the SF MOMA Artist's Gallery:
celebrating Bay Area Arts and Crafts

where: SF MOMA Artist's Gallery
Building A Fort Mason Center
San Francisco CA
more info contact Camille Verboort: cverboort@sfmoma.org

when: December 19th, Saturday, 11:30 to 5:30pm

Camille Verboort from the SFMOMA Museum Store states: This holiday season the Artist's Gallery will feature affordable art by more than a dozen artists as well as a fair showcasing high-quality crafts from a variety of local artisans. Support your local crafts people!"

parking is available

So that's it for now. Hope you can stop by one of these dates to view my work and do some holiday gift shopping.

REMEMBER: buy Indie, buy local and support your local artisans!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Work for the Holidays!

Frida In the Jungle -purse

Loteria Stretch Bracelet

Loteria Stretch Bracelet

La Calavera Cocktail Ring

La Luma Cocktail Ring

Thanksgiving is almost here and we have entered the holiday season. I am creating, photographing and posting as fast as I can any new items to be listed on Etsy. I have also been creating new items for the 5 sales I'll be doing in December around San Francisco.The items above are a few of the new things you can see in my Etsy Store. I'll be posting new things on Etsy throughout the next few weeks.

Hope you like them.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Ofrendas para los Muertos

The opening of Ofrendas para los Muertos opened last night in Oakland and what a great event. Rachel-Anne Palacios curated the show and once again she did a fabulous job. The work of over 30 California artists was on display from a beautifully detailed altar to art installations, paintings, sculptures and photography. Rachel also had the Danza Azteca group In Xochtil In Cuicatl perform (which she is a dancing member of) as a way of initiating the exhibit. There was pan dulce, chocolate and other refreshments brought to you by Tina Tamale of La Borinqueña Mex-icatessen & Specialty Shop. Earlier she had set up a children's craft table where dancing calaveras were being created and displayed. The people attending were so positive and enthusiastic and it was a pleasure to be in attendance at this event. As I mentioned earlier, Rachel had four of my mixed media artwork on display which made me so happy.

The pictures above are from last night's event. That's me, the first pic with some of my work. The picture of the guy alone with the beautiful calavera women paintings in the background is my husband Gary. He didn't paint those paintings. I just asked him to stand there so I could take his picture. He comes to all my shows. He's really supportive. I'm really lucky. The other people in the pics are artist friends who I've met over the past few years. I've met the most wonderful people doing my artwork. I feel fortunate. Times are very hard economically, but I feel very fortunate to have such a wonderful group of artists around me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ofrendas para los Muertos


Calavera A-GO-GO

La Virgen de Calavera

Calavera de Rosas

I'm happy to announce that four of my dia de los muertos paintings will be showing at Ofrendas para los Muertos. Come to the opening this Thursday at the Craft & Cultural Arts Gallery in Oakland starting at 5pm! If you can't make it to the opening, the exhibit runs until December 31st...so you have a few more opportunities to see it.

State of CA Bldg. Atrium/Craft & Cultural Arts Gallery
1515 Clay St
Oakland, CA 94612
When: Thursday, November 19, 5:00PM to 8:00PM
Phone: 510-508-2263


Ofrendas Para los Muertos-from Oakland, with love
Curated by Rachel-Anne Palacios
Showcasing mixed media homages in honor of our dearly departed.

Dia de los muertos is a momentous holiday in the Mexican culture that has taken on new adaptations and transformations of its traditions over the years. We invite you to behold our offerings created in reverence of our ancestors.

Rachel-Anne Palacios 2009

November 16 to December 31, 2009

Craft & Cultural Arts Gallery
State of California Office Building - Atrium
1515 Clay St., Oakland CA 94607

3rd Thursday Events:
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 19th 5-8pm
Initiation of ofrendas by Danza Mexica/Azteca group
In Xochtil In Cuicatl 6:30pm
Closing Reception & Gallery Talk: Thursday December 17, 5-8pm

Reception and Events are part of Third Thursday Oakland Art Night

Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm

Free to the public

BART, AC Transit and Wheelchair Accessible

For more information contact: 510.508.2263 or vivafrida@yahoo.com

You can also check out Ofrendas Facebook page for more information. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=156051104894

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My weekend get-away!

Went up to Sonoma County this weekend, to Sebastopol specifically, to spend time with my friends Danna, Chris and Monica. Danna lives in the hills west of Sebastopol in an absolutely beautiful and breathtaking house at the end of a lane. Her house is at the end of road called Pharoah's Lane. It over looks rolling green hills and lush grape vines. The vines are all various shades of yellow and the contrast in color against the green is amazing. Chris lives in Mill Valley and Monica in Danville. We have known each other for many, many years. We have been through births, deaths, divorces and other life changing experiences. We've worked at keeping our friendships intact and have been on Christmas eve for dinner for at least the past 20 (?) years. In the last 3 years we began to meet in November also for Danna's birthday and so just we women could hang out alone together. Well, our first get together was so fabulous (it was just one night) that we repeated it again the next year for two nights. This year we decided it was an annual event and made it number 3. When four women get together, there is lots to discuss or not to discuss. There were times we were all talking at once and other times where we just sat, listened to music or fell asleep. It was all okay. That is the beauty of old friendships. There are no strict expectations. It was a lovely weekend. We drank wonderful wine, brought by Monica. We shopped at a few antique stores, went out to lunch and soaked in Danna's hot tub. Danna hired a masseuse and we each had an hour massage. It was heavenly!! I don't get out of San Francisco enough. It was very, very special to travel to Sebastopol (even on Friday in heavy commute traffic) to be with friends, reminisce about the past, discuss the present and wonder about the future. Life is really good.

A big thank-you to Danna who offered her house and amazing hospitality.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pinata Giveaway on Etsy Spanglish Team!

I'm proud to say as a fellow member of The Spanglish Team on Etsy we are celebrating our first anniversary. In honor of this, we are offering a pinata giveaway! The pinata is filled with 15 fabulous goodies created by our Spanglish Team members. If you are at all interested in winning these fabulous goodies (and yes, a very cute pinata too), please check our blog for details on our PINATA GIVEAWAY!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dia de los Muertos, San Francisco 11/02/09

altar at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

beautiful altar at MCCLA

walking calacas at MCCLA

enthusiastic group in Mission St. procession

procession on Mission St.

- if you'd like to see more of my photos of dia de los muertos in San Francisco, please click on title or go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estudiomartita/

It was a beautiful, warm night in San Francisco with a full moon in bloom - a perfect night to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. I attended the Dia opening at MCCLA last night with my husband Gary and daughter Gaby. Gaby at 19, quickly disappeared with all the recent and not so recent friends she connected with there. My husband and I stayed together but separate as he gave me room to take pics and chat with friends. As you would expect in this town, Dia de los Muertos was a diverse, multi-cultural event. There were a few Asian influences in the altar installations as well as some more traditional venues. My favorite altar was what appeared to be a wood tree carving of a woman. She appeared to have roots with skulls and her "trunk" covered in leaves. Out of the trunk grew a beautiful face of a woman with her eyes closed. In my usual haste and without glasses, I failed to read any of the descriptions of the pieces. I have no idea who did this unusual altar but it was fantastic! Another favorite of mine at MCCLA were the walking calacas. People had made these giant skull masks and were walking around with them held to their faces. It appeared they had ENORMOUS HEADS and tiny, tiny bodies. The effect was hilarious!Just wonderful. In MCCLA's gallery, they had an exhibit of Jose Guadalupe Posada's actual newspaper prints. I was salivating over the images which I have admired for so long. It was amazing to see the originals!!

Once outside, the procession started down Mission street. The streets were blocked off to cars and an Azteca dance group began the procession. Lots of conch sounds and drums and feathers filled the streets. Really beautiful to see. Then a procession of what appeared to be very tall palms, held by various people made their way. The palms or flowers appeared to be iridescent and the image of these moving palms / flowers was breath taking. You almost expected an Aztec god or goddess to be walking behind this procession of tall palm- holding people. After that there were lots of calaveras. The couple that caught my eye were holding a sign that read, "Long live gay marriage."A wonderful sentiment. They turned their sign around for me which stated the same thing in Spanish. Ah, San Franciscans, my multi-cultural, leftie city....I sometimes just LOVE this town. Mixed in with all this were local families carrying photos of loved ones who had passed on, candles or their children on their shoulders. As the procession continued, the crowd became a little more wild and a little more like mardi gras in New Orleans. Well, Dia de los Muertos is supposed to be a celebratory event and the crazies did fit in! Whatever the reasons for the crowds of processioneers, all were welcome at Dia de los Muertos. As San Francisco is a city of diverse lifestyles and cultures, so too was our celebration of Dia de los Muertos.

There's no place like home!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

pictures from Isla de los Muertos









Yesterday, I set up shop outside the gallery Autobody Fine Art on the island of Alameda, California. What an incredibly sunny day with clear blue skies. I'm a native Californian but I was astounded by the weather. Our group of "muerte" vendors were recruited to sell to the locals. It appeared that Dia de los Muertos had not previously come to the ISLA but the Isla locals were ready for our artwork. It was a very family friendly group attending Isla de los Muertos with a fusion of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos taking place. I'm a Chicana after all - born in the U.S. with parents born in the U.S. and grandparents and great-grandparents from Mexico - and my traditions are a blend of both countries. The gallery upstairs was filled with exceptional muertos artwork from many local artists. I had the pleasure of meeting Amy George who organized the event. She is a fabulously positive woman who expressed a deep understanding of the tradition of Dia de los Muertos and an equally strong desire to bring it to the community of Alameda. Along with Amy, I met the artist Sal who signs his work with the name El Chamuco, the devil, if my Spanish or Spanglish is correct. This guy is anything but. A tattoo artists by trade, Sal began painting just two years ago. He is unbelievably talented. He is also very concerned about his own Chicano community of young men. Sal expressed to me his concerns for young Chicanos who live misdirected, misguided lives. Too many times he said, they look up to the wrong people: drug dealers, gang leaders. He stated these young men need to instead look to their ancestors: their grandfathers, uncles, community members who have worked hard to make the lives of future generations easier. Well, after that, he didn't have to say much more to me. I was calling him primo, cousin after that. If I had ever wanted a younger brother or a very cool younger cousin, well he was it. Sal is in the right space, saying the types of things that need to be said to young latinos in our communities. He's an inspiration.

While it was great to make some money yesterday and introduce folks to the tradition of Dia de los Muertos, I felt the real gift was meeting Amy and Sal. Their positive energy and abundance of good will made me happy be a part of Isla de los Muertos.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Tomorrow, October 31st, I will be participating in Las Isla de los Muertos in Alameda.This is a wonderful festival, organized by Amy George of Autobody Fine Art.

Amy describes the festival as follows:

A festival full of sights, sounds and smells of this beautifully sacred holiday, featuring traditional food, crafts and activities. Sugar skulls, laughing skeletons and hallowed offerings will envelop. Please join us on this special day and share your stories and experiences with your community.

If you live in the area, I hope you can stop by. All are welcome to come share in this wonderful community event.

I will be showing some of my most favorite Calavera artwork and gifts!

Isla de los Muertos
Autobody Fine Art
Saturday, October 31, 2009 / 12-10 p.m.
1517 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: 510.865.2608 | Fax: 510.510.865.2608
Email: info@autobodyfineart.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dia de los Muertos Altar - Andale Restaurant, Google Campus, Mountain View CA

Created Altar @Andale on Google Campus, Mountain View

I'm half asleep while writing this. I'm actually nodding off while typing. Guess I'm tired. Its been a busy time for me.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of creating my second altar for Andale - a Mexican restaurant on the Google Campus in Mountain View. The space I worked in was small but it was so much fun creating and working within a given area.

The basic idea for the altar was a Tree of Life dominating the background of the space. I placed paper marigolds on the tree to appear as if they were growing from the tree. At the base of the tree grew the altar with a plethora of calaveras, diablos, food, marigolds and sunflowers. All in all, the outcome was great and everyone at Andale seemed to enjoy it.

My husband Gary helped me so much putting it together. After all these years of setting up shows, we actually work well together. In the past, we always had separate views on what worked. We were like a dinosaur with two heads - each trying to move in the opposite direction. These days we seem to be more of a team. What a relief!!!

Hope you enjoy the pics! Please click on the title to view the video Gary made.