Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sugar Skull Mania...

One last giant post to celebrate Day of the Dead! As predicted, sugar skulls are everywhere. And as I sit here typing this post having to blow my nose every two sentences thanks to the first cold of the season, I am wishing that my head was a sugar skull so that my sinuses would be non-existent. Oh, well.

Here are some fabuloso finds to end this fun season...

First, check out this beautiful flower and sugar skull headband by Liz Miera embroidery. Isn't it bright, bold and beautiful? The perfect accessory to wear to that Día de los Muertos party, no?

And for all you crafty chicas out there, why not pick up a Tuck & Roll Organizer from Coyote Craft for all those crochet and knitting needles you have scattered everywhere? Not into the skulls? No worries, she has many other vibrant styles to choose from.

For the computer nerd, take a look at this sugar skull mouse pad by Vista Latina. Can you imagine what you co-workers would say if they saw this on your desk? Consider it a great opportunity to teach non-Latinos about Día de los Muertos.

Or maybe you are looking for some home decor? Or a little addition to your DOD altar? Well, how about one of these beautiful wallhangings by Carmela Jay? She has a ton of decorative sugar skulls. All of them so equally beautiful that it was hard for me to pick just one.

For those of you looking to add a little splash to your wardrobe, The Blue House has several sugar skull purses/totes with bamboo handles. This bag is also available in black, fuschia and red, but this beautiful tourquoise is my favorite.

For babies, check out these adorable Día de los Muertos bibs. Custom made to order by Stinky Monkey 4 Eva. I really like the colored bibs.

QueJimenez has several of these adult ladies' T-shirts available in various colors. Sizes small and medium are listed on her site, but I'm sure you can contact her directly to order a larger size if need be. The skulls are appliquéd to the front of the long-sleeve tee.

Or what about these awesome mosaic tiles? Garden Candy is offering 36 square porcelain tiles with one larger center tile. Perfect for scrapbooking, jewelry, and other art.

And finally, I'll end this post with my FAVORITE find from Scary Merry. Aren't these pairs of knitting needles the best? Unfortunately, I don't know how to knit! But they'd be worth it just for decoration don't you think? Or if you know someone who does knit, I think they would make a great Christmas present. I couldn't decide which one I liked better, so I included them both here.

Happy Halloween a todos!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dia de los Muertos Activities and OOAK Products

Everywhere I look I am running into products and activities for celebrating Día de los Muertos. Companies all over the country are jumping on the bandwagon to cater to Latinos who are celebrating this holiday, and it is pretty neat to see how popular the traditions associated with Day of the Dead have become. has a whole website dedicated to Día and one of the best areas is the Teacher/Parent Education Packet that they have put together. The 31 page packet includes a puzzle and word search, 4 coloring pages, and bibliography, as well as papel picado, mask and puppet projects for children. The original artwork is fantastico and created by Patrick Murillo (husband of the below mentioned Crafty Chica.) You can download the packet here.
In fact, Murillo's work is so appealing, that one of my favorite bloggers and etsy store owners, Claudia Marchán, hand-stitched one of his designs onto a little onesie that is now for sale in her shop. Isn't it adorable? Claudia's superb skill perfectly captures Murillo's illustration.

Under the Spanglish name of "Stichado," Claudia also has a hand-embroidered woman's T-shirt for sale that features José Guadalupe Posada's famous zinc etching, La Catrina. Check out the wonderful detail she has put into the stitched design!
You can find these and more of Stichado products here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Are You Having a Crafty Chicaween?

I am a compulsive crafter. I think many Latinas are. We can't really help it - the urge to create colorful works of art is simply overwhelming. Like the twitching of our hips when we hear a good Latin beat (Samba, Mambo, you fill in the blank.)
I mean, in the last two weeks alone, I have made 4 scarecrows with my kids, painted a small and neglected (but hermosa!) table, put together a fall door wreath, started two small quilted wall hangings, worked on a felt table topper (for said mesita,) and fashioned a "Thanksgiving" tree with some branches, a rubber band, construction paper, ribbon and a pot. The tree was placed on the (surprise!) renovated little table.

My point is, I can't stop. I have totes and totes and more totes full of plaster of paris, ribbon, yarn, fabric, glues of every shape and size, glitter, beads... the list is endless. My husband constantly complains about all the "junk" upstairs in my sewing room (to which I respond with more complaints about all the "junk" in his tool shed out back.)

Anyway, all this explains the ecstasy I felt when the Artsy Majesty herself, Kathy Cano-Murillo, came out with her own line of Duncan craft projects - now available at Michaels (select stores only!) If you are one of the unfortunate ones living near one that doesn't - no te preocupes! Most, if not all, are available from

To add to the madness, if you are unsure what you can create with all the wonderful new art supplies now in your possession, Kathy has a whole page dedicated to Crafty Chicaween projects. (Don't worry, you can even make these without the official Crafty Chica paraphernalia.) From beehive wigs to shadow boxes, pumpkin-carving stencils to hot glue masks, you can find a full set of instructions on her website here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dia de los Muertos Tees Now Available!

Today was the last day of the State Fair of Texas. A big, giant MUCHAS GRACIAS to everyone who came by and bought stuff at our booth. We sold out of quite a few things and will be busy the next few weeks preparing to restock for Christmas. We hope you enjoyed the new products that we've added to the boutique, and (if all goes according to plan) will have these new items posted on the website by the end of the week.

Time is FLYING by around here and the holidays are fast approaching. Despite how busy things have been, I have been keeping my eye out for new ideas and products to celebrate these last few months of the year. I have just listed a limited number of these fantastic new T-shirts for children that celebrate Dia de los Muertos for sale at Latin Baby. They are available in youth sizes S, M, and L. But you'll have to buy this week in order to ensure delivery by October 31st.

These super cute tees come with an embroidered sugar skull appliqué designed and created by the very talented Liz Miera. We have had people asking at the booth if we had any Día de los Muertos products for adults...SO, if you'd like one of these little gems in an adult size, email me directly and I'll see what we can do...

Un abrazo a todos!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Calling All Business Owners!

Since starting this blog, Mi Cielito Lindo has featured a vast number of products by small business owners and independent designers. While thinking about how the economy may or may not affect independent business owners like ourselves this holiday shopping season, we at Latin Baby have decided to put together a Holiday Gift Guide for Latino Families and would like to invite small buisness owners to participate. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive shopping resource geared specifically for Hispanic families.
The holidays are quickly approaching, so if you might possibly be interested in joining me in this venture, you can get more details by visiting this link to our site. However, this page is only accessible via this invitation and not through the Latin Baby website.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hearth Song Celebrates Dia de los Muertos!

Just as I predicted, sugar skulls are everywhere this season. Even one of my favorite companies is now carrying them! You can't imagine my surprise when I was flipping through the latest Hearth Song catalog, when stumbled across this super Sugar Skull Kit which includes the molds, meringue powder, royal icing mix, pastry bags, and four food colors. Not only that, but they also carry Add-on kits that include extra supplies (meringue and icing) as well as an extra three molds (the Sombrero Skulls) which are made up of three more skulls wearing a sombrero, a gaucho, and a bow/flower! Wow! I think this would probably be a great project for school teachers.
If you'd like to order one of these kits, click here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Add Latin Flair to Children's Culinary Exploits

We have been busy little bees here at Latin Baby. This month we are enjoying a booth at the State Fair of Texas, and visitors will be enjoying a sneak peek of new products. A few have been added to the Latin Baby website and we have also placed a few for sale in our Etsy shop. You can also see a sample of these last products in our side bar etsy shop widget.

I am most excited about our children's aprons. These little delantals are so much fun to make and we are going to be adding mother/daughter sets by request. Do you have a little cocinera in your familia? Why not help add a little fashionable flair to her culinary exploits?

To check out these and other products, visit our etsy shop here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dia de los Muertos Preparations

Well, preparations for Dia de los Muertos has officially started, I think. Many of this month's features will focus on projects for children and products that celebrate the holiday. And as a quick review for many who are not familiar with the holiday, or have forgotten some of the elements, here is a brief description of the day.

A blending of ancient Aztec and Spanish Catholic beliefs, Dia de los Muertos is a holiday that is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd in conjunction with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. It is basically a time during which we remember our family members and other loved ones who have passed away.

Despite its Mexican roots, the holiday is now celebrated throughout the world in various forms, but most especially in Spanish-speaking countries. Individuals celebrate the day in a variety of ways. Some visit the cemetery to clean and decorate graves. The decorations may consist of flowers – especially orange marigolds – and other "ofrendas" (offerings) such as toys, drinks, candies and trinkets.

These ofrendas are laid out in homes as well, where small altars are often erected for the occasion. The altars are not to worship, but rather a tribute or way to remember and honor the deceased’s memory. They are generally decorated with items such as the loved one’s photograph, candles, favorite foods and drinks, memorabilia, a Christian cross, images of la Virgen, etc. Skeletons placed upon the altar are intended to be silly and humorous, not scary or lacking in respect. In fact, it is believed that the dead consider it disrespectful to be greeted at the altar by a grieving friend/family.

Special dishes made up during the holiday include the now hugely popular sugar skulls as a way to honor the deads’ sweet spirit, and candied pumpkin, or "pan de muerto." The following recipe is from (an excellent recipe resource for mamis.)

Pan de Muerto
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
5 to 5-1/2 cups flour
2 packages dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon whole anise seed
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs

In a saucepan over medium flame, heat the butter, milk and water until very warm but not boiling. Meanwhile, measure out 1-1/2 cups flour and set the rest aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1-1/2 cups flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and sugar. Beat in the warm liquid until well combined. Add the eggs and beat in another 1 cup of flour. Continue adding more flour until dough is soft but not sticky. Knead on lightly floured board for ten minutes until smooth and elastic.
Lightly grease a bowl and place dough in it, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape into loaves resembling skulls, skeletons or round loaves with "bones" placed ornamentally around the top. Let these loaves rise for 1 hour.
Bake in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and paint on glaze.

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons grated orange zest

Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then apply to bread with a pastry brush.
If desired, sprinkle on colored sugar while glaze is still damp.

Of course, handmade decorations are traditional to Dia de los Muertos. And there are hundreds of projects out there for families to make. The Crafty Chica herself, Kathy Cane Murillo gives us a great several great projects at AZCentral, such as reverse glass painting, paper flower assembly, a Dia de los Muertos pin, and even a recipe for making sugar skulls. Check it out here.

The Latin Baby Book Club’s Book of the Month/Libro del Mes choice is perfect for parents who are looking for a way to introduce the holiday to their chiquiticos and includes a few links to activities for their children. You can check out the book review here. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to sign up for the club’s first giveaway. The deadline is this Saturday!

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