This month’s theme is grand old Mexico. What with Cinco de Mayo an annual festival of Mexican heritage and pride having swept over the UK and banished our winter blues, the illustrious Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe being uncovered and displayed for the first time, and Ishiuchi Miyako’s Frida-themed show opening at the Michael Hoppen Gallery, the lush and inspirational month of May has brought more colour, bigger parties, dreams of alfresco living, joyful festivals, traditional craft and culture and of course, too many margaritas to the fore. So kick back and enjoy these hand-picked Mexican treats from the best and brightest creatives and independents from around the world.
1. This little luchador from Jimbob Art is a playful take on the Mexican show wrestling tradition and is likely to brighten up just about any home. We love Jim’s hand drawn animals on ceramic products, and it’s probably no secret that we’ve got a collection of our own. This masked, macho bear is one of our favourites.
2. Not content with knock-off creations and in search of some authentic Mexican craft? This is one Etsy store that won’t let you down. With a huge selection of handmade items shipped straight from Mexico, Casa Otomi is a brilliant online emporium that we’re now totally obsessed with. The traditional Otomi embroidery on this cushion is not only beautifully cheerful but can also be found in a variety of bright colours and varying time-honoured designs. Perfection.
3. Since discovering Harriet Lee-Merrion‘s illustration (thanks Oh Comely Magazine) we’ve been lusting over this print, titled Mimosa. We’ve been dreaming of the green-leaved, walled gardens of central and south America, vast Mexican atriums and the lonely poetry of Octavio Paz. One look at this image will no doubt have you doing the same.
4. Piñata Fanzine is a fantastic new mini publication that invites international illustrators to celebrate two colours and one theme per issue. It’s then printed by its Barcelona-based editors. This issue features work by Spanish illustrators Pablo Silván and Mar Ferrer along with Jordi Ros from Mexico, and seven more illustrators from the likes of Sweden and Brazil. Yes please.
5. Here’s something new and delicious and it’s called Mexi-Cocoa beer. A secret recipe from the Rebel Brewing Company‘s head brewer has resulted in this amazing chocolate and vanilla-infused stout. Invented by a Mexican beer-expert and made in Cornwall, this little tipple is sweet, rich and totally unique. Best enjoyed in the sunshine while wearing a poncho.
6. You didn’t honestly think we’d compile a wish list filled with Mexican goodies and leave out creative queen Kahlo, did you? This lovely little brooch from And Smile Studio is the perfect way to show your admiration for the saintly artist. A cute illustration transposed onto a lightweight accessory means that you can carry a smiling Frida with you wherever you go.
7. Talking Tables has answered our party prayers and brought together every decoration and flourish that we’ve ever dreamed of. If a Mexican fiesta is on the cards, you’ll be needing this pineapple party bunting, if only to detract from all the piñatas. With jazzy little tassels at either end and a selection of colourful paper fruits suspended between them, this definitely beats that chintzy floral triangle bunting any day of the week.
8. Mexican textile crafts and traditional garments have a lot to do with our love of the country’s culture. Handmade is always best in our opinion so why not try to create something Mexican-inspired yourself? With this handy beginnings weaving kit from Hello Chiqui you can do just that. We love the minimalist design and special additions such as vintage scissors, soft yarn and beautifully designed instructions and branding. Get your loom on and create something beautiful.
Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth