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A Visit from Demetrio Garcia Aguilar

Milestones and Miracles


Apologies~ I was really late in getting this out to everyone for two reasons: wondering if I would be able to get through this important milestone in a celebratory mood without Jean-Pierre, and lack of a computer in the store for a week and a half. I decided that the miracle of his and your love, which has seen me through every single day since July, would get us through it. I do hope that I will be be able to say I have the point of sale program up and running again when next I see you, which will hopefully be this Sunday. There will be food, (mole!) and I will playing the best beats you ever heard, loudly. And if you’ve read other recent posts here or on Facebook recently you already know there are some equally delicious new things all of over the place, with many more on their way. Until then, saludos…

Oaxacan Spring Equinox

I went on a very special journey to Oaxaca to take some of Jean-Pierre’s ashes to Monte Alban and to buy for the store. I wanted to tell you about the great love and friendship of the artists who helped me every step of the way, making it all possible.  Armando and Antonia Jimenez (and sometimes their children Alejandro and Anali) picked  me up at the airport and drove me everywhere that I needed to go and stayed with me while I was buying, devoting an entire week to helping me in every way, even though they had very busy schedules. Victor Davila of La Teresita helped me with shopping also, saving me a trip to La Union and handling all of my shipping, as he has for years. Angelico Jimenez and Zeny, Reyna and Fatima Fuentes also came with us to Monte Alban on the morning of the Spring equinox, and together all of us shared the most beautiful moments and beauty there. Many other artists greeted me with such love and kindness, speaking of their memories of Jean-Pierre, and all were a great solace to me. Everyone graciously put up with my sad spanish and somehow we got by. No one who has ever been to Oaxaca could or would dispute the beauty and magic of this place, or the talent, generosity, heart and soul of its’ people, yet what was given to me on this occasion far surpasses even that. The land and the artists restored me with their love and warmth and beauty, and even though I came back to a cold, snow-covered morning in Pittsburgh: en mi corazon, es la Primavera (in my heart, there is Spring).  * There are 47 photos in the slide show that follows and three videos after that, so be sure to scroll! *


Catching up on things…

Yes, I know, it’s April, but better late than never; I am finally ready to catch up on many neglected things that couldn’t be addressed properly while I began adjusting to the world without Jean-Pierre. Here at last is the slide show gallery from Dia de los Muertos 2013

click on the link below to view the slideshow!

Viva la Vida ~ Dia de los Muertos event at Mexico Lindo


Dia de los Muertos Open House. In honor and remembrance of my husband Jean-Pierre Nutini, my father in law Hugo Nutini and our dog Adelita. Add the name of your beloved ones to the ofrenda. Enjoy hot chocolate from Oaxaca, coffee from Zapatista cooperatives in Chiapas, pan de muerto, cookies, candlelight and music.

“Viva la vida
Que ayer, que ayer
Se fue

Vivan las sombras
De mis voces
Llorando lejos

Vivan los sueños
Que nunca despertaron
Mi amor

¿Qué importa ya?
Si canto a la luz de tu sombra

Viva la vida
Que ayer, que ayer
Se fue

Vivan las noches
De tus voces
Durmiendo lejos

Vivan los sueños
Que nunca despertaron
Mi amor

Tomando el mescal de la luna”

Siempre Conmigo

mi Vida
On July 10th, the love of my life, (and many of yours,) mi Alma, mi Vida, Jean-Pierre, left this world, leaving all of us with a treasure chest of beauteous memories, and bounties of blessings through his generosity, his humor, his myriad talents and gifts and his boundless love for all of us, which he gave so much more easily to others than to himself.

Though his was a lifetime of struggles with sorrows and inner demons that seemed so often to torment him, he managed to do all of that and to be successful in so many ways. Many of you are asking for information for this seemingly sudden event. In truth, he was more and more fatigued for more than the last few years, and his cough was so horrendous that I and his mother Monique entreated him a million times to see a doctor but he wouldn’t do it. I think he found the energy somehow to work the punishing back to back film schedules of the last few years out of sheer love of that work and the great camaraderie that he shared with all of his union brothers and sisters when they worked together; which was possibly his greatest joy.

When we returned from taking Don Hugo, my father in law, home to Mexico to die in March, which was a supreme effort and difficulty for him, he began to get more and more tired and the cough more and more relentless, so at last he went to be seen six or seven weeks ago and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that had spread in several places. He was told there would be six months with no treatment and 12-14 with it. He wanted that time. He didn’t want so many of you to know because he wanted to be able to announce after the fact, “I am here, I have conquered it, I’m ready to get back to work”. The last four weeks saw a swift and frightening decline, and he endured unspeakable hell, and yet was still brave enough to take his first chemo treatment on Monday, but I think it was just too strong and too much for him, and that his heart and lungs couldn’t withstand it. He didn’t want a long drawn out death and so I guess this was a blessing, however terrifying and shocking it is to us now. He never liked or wanted a traditional funeral or its’ attendant traditions, and so we will plan a proper celebration of his life where we can all be together and share our love for him and one another; I want it to be a fitting tribute and will need some time to put that together and will keep you informed when all is decided and prepared. He always said he wanted to be taken back to Mexico, (just as the famous song that we named our business after describes) and his ashes scattered there:

“Mexico y lindo y querido
Si muero lejos de ti
Que digan que estoy dormido
Y que me traigan aqui
Que digan que soy dormido
Y que me traigan aqui
Mexico lindo y querido
Si muero lejos de ti”.

When we would arrive in Mexico, our first order of business was to go to the Zona Rosa and have lunch, and invariably a musician would come along and ask for a song request. He always asked for Mexico Lindo and he always cried, as he explained the words and sentiment to me, and then I would cry also, but they were also glad tears, because we were just so happy to be there and to be embarking on new adventures and discoveries together. He gave me Mexico; he gave me a whole new world of beauty and magic, and a beautiful playground in our store to create and share all of that with everyone, and so I must do that for him at some point, though the thought of going there without his hand in mine is unbearable. But he also gave to me the love and friendship of all of you that knew him even before I, and two incredible families that over the years that have assisted in so many ways in eradicating the sorrows of losses of so much of my own family too soon. So I know that somehow we will get through this together and honor and celebrate the majesty of his Being; so grand, so joyous and all encompassing, when he was happy and at his best.

And I will continue somehow, though I can’t exactly say in what way yet, to work to build a lasting legacy in his honor with our collection and to try and support the artists that we both love and admire so much.

A rare oil painting from Maestro Demetrio Garcia Aguilar

When Demetrio told us he was working on some oil paintings (as opposed to his customary world renowned ceramics) and asked if we were interested in any, we commissioned this one from him, featuring the much beloved image of the sarcophagus of Lord Pacal the Great of Palenque and the Rabbit in the moon. Sarcophagus of Pacal the Great
As with all that he sets his hands to creating, we think he managed to beautifully instill his own unique style within these two very iconic images, and are pleased to be able present it to you at last. $975

Frida and her monkey

Frida and her monkey by Guillermina Aguilar
A beautiful interpretation of one of Frida’s many self portraits with her monkeys, by Maestra Guillermina Aguilar of Ocotlan, Oaxaca. $75

In the Octopus’s Garden….

Octopus by Armando and Antonia Jimenez
“He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been, in his octopus’ garden in the shade…” (with apologies to Ringo Starr!) This beauty from Armando and Antonia Jimenez has just arrived and we don’t think he will be hanging around for very long…so if you love him and must have him (price is $230, and he measures almost 6″ in height and 13″ at the widest parts) here’s a convenient shopping cart button for you:

Sacred Necklaces

There are necklaces and then there are necklaces that are much more than mere adornment, but in fact are divine, beautiful, magical talismans. We were fortunate to find two such pieces fitting this description on our last silver shopping trip to Taxco. Both are extraordinary examples not only of superb craftsmanship but also unique and thoughtful design.
The first is made from jaguar skin and leather, mounted in sterling shapes reminiscent of lightning bolts. Indeed, the energy of the jaguar is electrifying and it has been revered in Mesoamerican culture throughout the ages. There are representations of the jaguar found in art and artifacts throughout the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec cultures. Whether a warrior, a Lord or a shaman, one had to earn the privilege of wearing the skin of the jaguar, and so it will be with this necklace.
Sterling silver, jaguar pelt and leather necklace and earrings
I have resolved that it will not be sold to anyone that does not demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the Mesoamerican concepts of the jaguar, which you can read more about in this fascinating and thorough Wikipedia article. Proper gratitude and respect must also be paid to the Italian jaguar that once inhabited this skin (It was brought by a family member who works in leather there to the craftsman/designer); still as lustrous and magical as the starry night sky that the jaguar sometimes exemplifies. $975

Our second necklace is a magnificent homage to Our Lady of Guadalupe, much beloved Patron Saint of the Americas and of course Mexico in particular. This multi-strand beaded necklace of rhodololite garnets, grey baroque freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystal culminates with a heavy weight handmade sterling silver image of Her regal visage, in highly detailed and oxidized textures, surrounded by rose-filled rays, as legend dictates. Our Lady of Guadalupe in sterling silver, garnets, pearls and crystal
When wearing this amazing piece, one is continually reminded of Her reassuring presence and comforting words to San Juan Diego: “Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear sickness, nor any other anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother?” Whether you prefer to think of Her in her original form, as the Goddess Tonantzin, or as Guadalupe, there can be no doubt that for those who are devoted to Her, She is always a guiding presence. Guadalupe detail $675