Nobody knew the day and month when Maria Julia was born, not even her. But she knew the year. Maria Julia didn’t know how to write or read and when she had to sign documents she did it with her fingerprint. The most remarkable thing that she ever did was giving birth to four children: three boys and one girl. She spent her life indoors cooking, cleaning the house and taking care of her husband and children. Maria Julia could not go out to see the sunshine because her husband wouldn’t allow her to do so. That’s why her skin became so pale over the years. Her voice was so low that it was hard to hear her when she talked. She was petit, sweet, calm, loving and fragile like a butterfly. One day Maria Julia was taken to the Dr. because of a deep physical pain only to find out that she was suffering from a terminal illness. From that day on Maria Julia lost weight rapidly and within a year she died, she was only 43 years old and weighted 47 pounds. The last day of her life her husband, realizing what a monster he had been with her for so long asked Maria Julia for forgiveness and for the first time in her life she said no by slowly moving her head to the right and then to the left. No was the last thing that she said. That’s how Maria Julia passed away, in physical and emotional pain, reduced to a small point in the huge universe that she didn’t have the chance to experience. That last no that my Grandma said passed to my Mom, then my Mom passed it to me and I will pass it to Natalie. No to anything that is unfair, NO to the lack of self-esteem, NO to letting anybody else destroy your dreams, NO to violence, NO to the lack of education, NO NO NO. It makes me mad that there are still women like Maria Julia in the world. I realize that behind everything I do there is always my Grandma telling me: Come on Elsita, be a strong woman, express yourself, don’t ever be afraid of anything, follow your dreams and experience the beauty of life. I called my Mom last night to say that I was making a dress that I wanted to dedicate to Grandma Maria Julia and she was so happy to hear that. So the name of the dress will be: El Jardin de Maria Julia. (Maria Julia’s Garden). The thing that Grandma loved the most were flowers and especially jasmine which is my favorite flower too since I was a little girl. I don’t think that this is a coincidence, I think that it is the tiny part of Grandma that I have in my blood. I love her so much; I have always had the dream of seeing her even for a minute.
Just two lines to say that I started making the dress and so far I am very happy about how is coming out. It will require a lot of work but I am pretty excited about it. Here you can see the fabrics that I am using. It is hard to get the exact colors on the computer. Now I go back to work!
HAVE A WONDERFUL SUNDAY!!!!
Yesterday on my way to Staples I saw this amazing fabric store and I decided to stop by in order to take a look at it. AND OH MY GOODNESS!!! My inner fashion designer woke up and I left the place with seven yards of three different lovely antique-looking silk fabrics. The spirit of Gianni Versace stayed with me the whole day and the whole night too so I made a commitment in his honor: I will make myself a beautiful dress for one of the upcoming fancy events. I am glad to share with you some pictures of stunning old dresses that will assist me for inspiration. These dresses are all Lanvin's old creations. And the book can be found here.
Hello hello! Here is Elsita reporting that some new tiny characters have arrived on my Etsy store today! They're not members of any criminal group. They are just decent people trying to find a place in society. To learn more about who they are you can read the descriptions :) see you tomorrow!!!
Hello Hello!!!!! I am sooo glad to be back home!!!!!
I have to say that this time with Bill and the children was important and beautiful. It was a time for reconnection and for building new memories as a family. We did so many things in these days!. And now I am sooo glad to be back home!
This is an amazing tree that I saw in our trip.
See you tomorrow!!!!!
Many of the bad and good things that happen to all of us come from other people. People that we know and people that we don't know, people that have already passed away, people that are still alive and other people that will be born one day. Who starts all the wars in the world? -People. Who do you learn all the things that you know from? -Other people. Who makes history? -People. Young people, old people, smart people, stupid people, tall people, short people... you name it. Life is all about people and about the way we interact with each other. That’s why I think that, the more we understand other people, the better we will understand life and the better we will know how to go though it. The book that I want to share with you today is exactly about that and this is what Wikipedia says about it:
“The book is a first-hand account of youth culture in America. It profiles one hundred teenagers in all fifty states. More than two hundred images show every kind of teenager from every part of the United States, mirroring census data for gender, race, religion and sexual orientation, balanced across urban, rural, suburban and small-town locations”.
Let's remember when we were still teenagers and we saw the world and ourselves in such a different way. This book (by Michael Franzini) will make you go back to that time and it will make you think a lot. This book was an ambitious project that is focused on young Americans but the content is completely universal. You will see the faces of these one hundred teenagers and through the text you will learn about who they are, how they live and how they think. Some pictures will scare you but as soon as you read about the person you will understand once again that fear many times comes from ignorance. I don’t share the same way of thinking with many of these young people but for sure each one of them teaches me something important which is: we are all different, we are not perfect but we all live on the same planet so we better understand each other instead of fearing each other. I highly recommend this book to you and I also recommend this web-site, which is an extension of the book.
Last night when I was ready to go home from my studio I got the most exciting e-mail from someone that I admire so much and her name is MEGAN AUMAN. I am sure that many of you are already familiar with her work. She offered me one of her necklaces to wear with my outfit to the Golden Globes and this was the most beautiful and unexpected surprise, I couldn't be happier. The first time that I saw her creations I just fell in love with them. Her pieces have an organic quality that I find so appealing. Ever since I discovered her jewelry I have wanted to own one of her pieces and now I will be wearing one of her necklaces to the Golden Globes! Isn’t that wonderful? I think that her style will be just perfect to complete the look with the outfit and the purse. I can’t wait to see the necklace in person! I am so honored to wear something made by such a talented fellow Artist from Etsy! Thank you so much Megan for your generosity!!!!
And I wil back tomorrow with a great book that Bill just got for me. It is basically a compilation of one hundred portraits of people that I am fascinated with. You will be surprised to know who they are!
And here is my little purse for your consideration!
Now let me tell you the story behind it: Bill and I met in Havana on December 15 of 2000. Our connection was instant and after about a month in which we wrote e-mails to each other several times A DAY we finally had the opportunity to be together in the same place for two months and that place was Vietnam. By that time Bill was over there producing The Quiet American and he just couldn’t leave the set in order to go to Havana to visit me that’s why I had to come to visit him instead. It was important for us to spend time with each other before I made the serious commitment of moving to the USA with him. I had a whole life on my own in Cuba: my own my place, my friends, relatives, career etc. Those two months were so important for the two of us. My English was impossible as well as his Spanish but somehow we didn’t have any problem communicating with each other at all. I only had problems understanding other people but never Bill. During that time together we realized that being with each other was the most natural thing ever. We just knew that we were going to be together forever and that we were going to have children and everything and that’s exactly what happened. Today while I write this post I still can’t believe how much Bill and I have done in such a short amount of time. This year in May Bill had to go back to Vietnam in some business trip and he really wanted me to go with him so I did it. It was beautiful being back in all those places where we got to know each other better some years ago. During that trip I couldn’t stop thinking about how much we have been learning from each other in all these years. Bill never thought that he was going to marry a girl from Cuba and I could never imagine that I was going to marry a “gringo”. We come from such different cultures, we grew up speaking different languages but still since we first met we knew that we were meant to be with each other. Bill has taught me so many things during all these years and he thinks the same thing about me. In some speech where we were celebrating something especial he said that his life had two parts one before Elsa and the other one after Elsa. Well Billy I have to say exactly the same thing; there is the Elsita before Bill and the Elsita after Bill. And somehow this is all connected to my purse. I got that beautiful antique gold silk fabric in Vietnam during our last trip in May. I fell in love with it at some market in Ho Chi Minh City and I told myself that I was going to make something especial with it. When I started making this purse I realized that it was just December 15 the 7th anniversary of our first encounter in Havana! I just had to make this purse dedicated to Bill and I. On the back of this purse I draw two exotic birds having a conversation with each other from their own trees. The birds are Bill and I teaching each other different things from our different ways to see the world. Then all that nature growing on the front of the purse represents the results of our human exchange. Those flowers are Natalie, Diego, my relationship with Miro, Bill’s relationship with my family, my relationship with Bill’s family…everything that was born after we met. Going with Bill to the The Golden Globes to celebrate something remarkable in his career is a great honor to me and I wanted to make this purse to express in a creative way how much I love and admire Bill and how proud of him I am. Thank you so much my friend for letting me share this with you!
I will be back tomorrow!
I am back for a second to let you know that I just read a LONG article in The New York Times Magazine about the handmade world and Etsy in particular (by Rob Walker). I found it very interesting. If you don't have the magazine at home today you can read it here. See you tomorrow!!! :)
Good Morning! Buenos Dias!
Just a quick note to let you know that I am making some cute purse to go with my Golden Globes outfit. I think that it will be finished by tomorrow, I can't wait to show you some pictures of it. The style is "Anthropologie style" with lots of handmade details. Today I will be playing a lot with the kiddies and then at night I will go back to my project!!! Have a GREAT Sunday and see you tomorrow!!!!