Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mermaid Hurrr DIY

For the past year or so I've been a little obsessed with all the hair inspirations on tumblr.  I'm too nervous (and I don't want to add to my split ends) to bleach my whole head and really commit to full color coverage.  Instead I've been playing around with dip dying in different colors.  I tend to always use manic panic because it washes out so easily and I feel like I don't have to keep the look for too long if I don't like it.  If you want something that last longer, I would use a more permanent dye. This look is a little more complicated than a simple dip dye but can still be pulled off in a few hours at home.   

Image via tumblr

What you will need:
-Manic Panic Hair Dye (I used Atomic Turquoise and After Midnight)
-An application brush*
-Aluminum Foil
-Plastic Gloves

*I got my brush from a bleach kit. If you have darker colored hair, you may need to bleach the part that you want to dye so the color comes out true to its intended hue!

BEFORE  (yellow looks so good on me)                

1. Separate your hair into small sections. If you want to make sure the ombre is a consistent height, tie the sections off with rubber bands.
2. Place a sheet of aluminum foil under a section of hair.
3. Apply the Atomic Turquoise to the top portion of the hair with the application brush.
4. Rinse the brush.
5. Apply the After Midnight to the bottom portion.

6. After you have thoroughly applied the dye, fold the foil over the section of hair (look below). Obviously folding foil neatly is not my forte.
7. Repeat steps 2-6 for each section of hair until it is all dyed. 

8. Let the dye set in for 45-60 minutes. 
9. Rinse your hair until the water runs clear.
10. Blow dry and style.
11. Voila, you have beautiful mermaid hair!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Lady in Red

I'm absolutely in love with this print from Blu Moon (if you couldn't tell).   This is our more feminine take on pajama dressing for the Fall and the Bolsa Mediana complements this outfit perfectly.  Check out the Bolsa Mediana here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fiesta Fiesta

There's nothing like a chic, all-black outfit with a strong pop of color. We love how beautifully the antique squash blossom necklace (my newest and most prized flea market find) and this little black Stone Cold Fox number pair together. Our Blue Fiesta Weekender makes a statement with its bright colors and fun pattern. It is the perfect size for your quick weekend getaway and lucky for you, you can find it here

Dress: Stone Cold Fox
Sunglasses: Karen Walker
Boots:  All Saints
Jewelry: Vintage
Bag: Stela 9 Blue Fiesta Weekender

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mayan Ruins: El Salvador, Belize, Honduras

In the last edition of this epic trilogy of posts concerning the Mayan ruins of Central America, we take a look at the major sites of located in Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. 
Tazumal: El Salvador
In K’iche Mayan, Tazumal mens: “the place where the victims were burned”. Similarly to the Zaculeu site in Guatemala, the restoration project at Tazumal involved encasing the pyramids with concrete. However, fortunately in 2004, heavy rains caused a concrete wall on one of the pyramids to collapse. It was decided that instead of repairing the concrete, to completely remove it and go to work on investigating what lay beneath. They discovered burials and artefacts pointing to a history of invasion and Mexican influence that had not been known of before. Read more about it HERE. It makes you wonder what else lies beneath the myriad of temples strewn across Central America!
HOT TIP: Get to Tazumal from San Salvador by taking a bus headed to Ahuachap├ín. It’s only about 85 kilometres from the capital.
Copan: Honduras

Along with the Bay Islands, the real drawcard for tourism in Honduras are the ruins at Copan. The site is really close to the Guatemalan border, and it is possible to do a day trip there from Antigua if you are super keen. Whilst the size of the temples at Copan isn’t anywhere near as grand as those of other popular sites such as Tikal, the intricate detail of the sculptures and stelae there is beyond compare. One of the highlights at Copan is the hieroglyphic stairway, a temple ladened with more than 2000 glyphs forming the longest known Mayan hieroglyphic text. Maybe even more impressive than the site itself however is the neighbouring museum. It is unusual in that it is actually well put together! The one at Palenque is probably the only other one we have come across that does justice to the ruins themselves. Right as you enter the museum (through a cool tunnel) you are faced with the giant reconstructed Rosalila temple, complete with stunning paint-job. The actual temple was discovered near completely intact below another temple built over the top of it.
HOT TIP: There is an option to pay a significant amount extra to visit the tunnels in Copan. Save your cash for the museum instead, you won’t regret it.
Caracol: Belize
The largest site in Belize, it is believed Caracol once defeated Tikal in war! Quite an achievement considering Tikal is known as one of the most powerful Mayan cities ever. The tallest pyramid, Caana, stands 140 feet tall and overlooks the jungle canopy. There is a lot of archaeological work continuing at the site. It is expected to proceed into the years ahead. If you get there in the dry season, chances are you will see a few hard working archaeologists floating about. While a lot of excavation work has been completed, you can still expect many of the structures to be engulfed in jungle. Remember, this means means more wildlife and more feeling like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Get to the ruins from the town of San Ignacio.
Hot Tip: If you like your ruins with not too many people, get to this one pronto. The Belizean government has invested a substantial amount in turning this site into a tourist hotspot, probably using the success of sites such as Tikal as models. A paved road has already replaced the old dirt wreck, and a visitor centre has been constructed as well.
Thanks for getting to the end of our third and final post in the series. Now its time for you to get out there and experience it for yourself!

Friday, July 6, 2012

This Is How We Do It

As the wise Montell Jordan once said, "It's Friday night, and I feel all right 
The party is here on the West side ... 
The summertime skirts and the guys in Kani..." 
While I don't think that anyone wears Kani anymore, we're repping our summertime skirts (vintage jewels and Jade inlaid bags).  The Bolsa Grande in light brown is lightweight and complements any summer outfit while still being large enough to tote your ipad and other gadgets.  So go grab a drink after work and bring along your Bolsa Grande because it can easily transition from a work bag to a bar hopping satchel.
The Bolsa Grande is available here

Model: Spencer
Dress: Nasty Gal
Top: Free People
Shoes: Miista

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lady Luck

We're loving the feel of purple lips and vintage kimonos on these cool summer nights.  Check out the bolsita here.

Kimono:  Lenni's Vintage
Shorts: One Teaspoon
Top: Motel

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

DIY: Huipil Shorts

We were so inspired by all of our new prints coming up this Fall that we decided to dress up an old pair of shorts with a bright huipil fabric that we had lying around the office. Huipils are the traditional blouses worn by Mayan women. They consist of intricately woven patterns on a large piece of cloth. Each town has its own unique style, which is customized by individuals to represent their own artistic abilities. To read more about huipils, take a look at our blogpost on Guatemalan textiles. These summer temperatures are rising quickly, its time to whip out your shorts and this DIY is such a simple way to spruce up an old pair of cutoffs!

What you will need:
-Denim cutoffs (or any pair of old shorts)
-Huipil fabric
-A hand sewing needle

(We decided to use this bright pink multi-colored Huipil)

1. Firstly, cut the fabric into the shape of the front short panels.
Note: its okay if it is not perfect at first, you can come back and trim the sides when you are finished!

2. After you have cut the fabric out, pin it in place.
3. Thread your needle.
4. Hand sew the huipil around the edges. A simple whip- stitch will do, but if you don't know how to whip-stitch click here for a quick tutorial.                      

5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the second panel of the shorts. 

6. And they are finished. Enjoy!

Here we paired our wonderful new huipil shorts with a simple grey tank and a fun turquoise necklace. Craft on, ladies! (and gentlemen) 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mayan Ruins: Guatemala

In this exciting episode, the Mayan ruin sites of Guatemala. For anyone who missed the first part in this series, it was awesome so be sure to read it. It covered the Mayan sites in Mexico. Remember! This is by no means an exhaustive list. Give us some feedback on any you have visited that aren’t mentioned here. We already want to go back to see some more we missed.
Tikal – El Peten

If we had to recommend just one site of the Mayans to visit, this would be the one. I think everyone that visits here will find themselves on at least one occasion, standing at the foot of one of the giant temples letting out an “awwwww” (you might even get a reply from a Howler monkey). You can almost picture the Mayan rulers standing atop the monolithic structures, arms raised in the air to the gods, the people below transfixed in awe. Once you get over this moment, you can climb the rickety wooden steps, constructed to keep people off the actual temples, to the top and play the part of the ruler. Have your friends stand, no better, kneel, at the bottom for true effect. It is at Tikal that you can really get a sense of why the Mayan civilization is considered so advanced for its age. Take a tour to learn about how the structures are perfectly lined up in accordance with specific astral and solar events and also of the epic battles Tikal and its allies fought against Calakmul for ultimate rule of the region. Tikal is so grand it was chosen by George Lucas to be used in a scene of Star Wars. While Tikal is a super popular tourist destination, it is not at the scale (yet) of Chichen Itza. The site itself is quite spread-out, so even if there are a lot of fellow travellers, you could well find yourself on a temple by yourself. Take the time to check out the plazas away from the central plaze. They in their own right are super impressive as well.
HOT TIP: For a truly incredible experience, stay near the site. It might cost a few extra dollars, but it’s worth it. You can get their super early to beat the rush. Or, if you are “friendly” to one of the security guards, they might even grant you special access for what would be a truly incredible sunrise witnessed from the top of a temple towering over the jungle canopy. This is not strictly legal, so no warranties or anything on that one.
El Zotz – El Peten
This site is quite close to Tikal, within walking distance if you are super adventurous. We are proud to say that a personal friend, very recently, dug his way through a temple to find a tomb! It is considered the most important discovery in the Mayan world since that of Pakal’s tomb in Palenque. Read some more about it HERE. Pretty exciting stuff. It does however mean that access to the site may be restricted – we were not able to visit a couple of months ago. So, check out the latest before trying to get there. “Zotz” means bat, and one of the highlights of visiting the site is watching the animals depart from their cave homes on nightfall.
HOT TIP: There should be a few people that know what’s is going on with the status of the site in the lake island town of Flores. Ask around there for information on whether the site is off-limits or not.
El Mirador – El Peten
Lying in the remote Northern region of Guatemala, this very important site is beyond reach to all bar the most dedicated of intrepid explorers. El Mirador dominated the region before Tikal. Hence, the site is one of the largest with the highest concentration of structures in the Mayan world. To visit it either requires a two-day jungle trek to get there, don’t forget you have to walk back, or a LOT of dollars to get yourself aboard a helicopter. I had planned to do the trek a couple of years back. Unfortunately, after a few days spent in Flores waiting and searching for some more people to join us, we were forced to pull the pin. So I am going on reports from quite a few travellers who undertook the mission when I write this. The trek is long and arduous. You will be pounded by mosquitoes, and countless other types of insects. You may also have to contend with snakes, scorpions, crocodiles and jaguars. The ruins are mostly unrestored, overgrown with jungle. What was once a temple may now more resemble a mound of dirt. The Danta pyramid is the biggest structure the Mayans ever built. You can enjoy sunrise or sunset from atop this giant. Is it worth the effort? Some say yes, some no. The achievement of getting there and back in one piece may be the highlight. There is also an environmental issue that should be considered. A path has to be slashed for every tour group that makes their way to the site, including mules that will carry your gear.
HOT TIP: Take on the challenge from the months of January to August. Once rainy season hits, the mud mess will block your path.
Zaculeu – Huehuetenango
Bit of a weird one this site. On the outskirts of Huehuetenango (“Huehue” makes it a bit easier to say), Zaculeu is easily reached by bus. Its distinguishing feature is the way it was restored. The United Fruit Company got license to ruin the ruins back in the day, and decided to cover the thing with plaster to make it more resemble what it would have when it was a functioning city. The result kind of looks like huge concrete blocks. Visit this site to get a sense of how important it is to preserve these precious monuments in the proper way. Even still, the Mam Mayan people use the site to give religious offerings. We noted remains of fire pits in front of a few of the temples. The on-site museum may be the smallest in the world, and is kind of a joke. It is unfortunate that more hasn’t been done here, since the history of Zaculeu is quite interesting. It was the scene for many battles between the Mam and K’iche people with the latter eventually gaining control of the city. When the Spanish arrived, the Mayan rivals banded together to valiantly defend their kingdom. After months of fighting, they were eventually starved out and relinquished control. Zaculeu was immediately abandoned, and the city of Huehuetenango founded.
HOT TIP: Be ready for a chat with the friendly alcoholics out the front!

Quirigua – Izabal
Quirigua can be reached from Rio Dulce and is not a bad idea for a day trip. It is a reasonably small site that shares the same archaeological style with the more well-known Copan. Its history with Copan is pretty interesting, involving betrayal and war. Be sure to hit up wiki for some more information if you’re interested in all that stuff. Don’t visit Quirigua expecting to climb mountainous temples into the upper atmosphere. The highlights are instead the detailed, and tall, stelae and zoomorphs (sculptures of mythological animals composed from toads, jaguars, crocodiles and birds of prey). Stela E is thought to be the largest free-standing monolith in the entire New World. It is 10.6 metres in height! Unfortunately it was broken in half when trying to stand it up, though it has been patched together with concrete.
HOT TIP: Don’t eat spaghetti bolognese on a first date. Slurping of the noodles can make a real mess of a freshly ironed shirt. WHOOPS, wrong blog. Lots of mini vans pass through Rio Dulce headed in the Quirigua direction. You have to change a couple of times, but the driver and his helper will always be more than happy to give you a hand finding your way.
Takalik Abaj – Retalhuleu
Takalik Abaj, formally known as Abaj Takalik (they just couldn’t make up their minds) is located near the Pacific Coast of Guatemala and was occupied from roughly 100 BC to 1524 AD. As Pre-Classic Mayan sites go Takalik Abaj is a real “must-see.” No Joke. Construction, theft, intense rainfall, humid climate and acidic soil create a preservation rate for most sites this old that I would best define as shit.  Many preclassic sites throughout Mesoamerica no longer have or never had monumental architecture to begin with. Typically stelae and sculpture are completely unrecognizable or no longer at the site and the most important information left behind is in the trash, buried meters below the ground you walk on.
Fortunately, Takalik Abaj is visually stunning. There IS monumental architecture, ball courts, sculpture, tombs, stelae, visible glyphs and all other sorts of amazing things that are super exciting to archaeologists that I will not bore you with. Such as, obsidian prismatic blades sourced from El Chayal. Additionally, Olmec, Maya and K’iche’ iconography are found at this site.
So, if you are really into archaeology and Mesoamerican sites go to Takalik Abaj. If not, maybe the drive wouldn’t really be worth it for you.  Takalik isn’t very close to any popular tourist destinations in Guatemala so it has to be something you are really serious about if you decide to visit. For those that do, it will be something that few tourists have done and you will learn about an early period of Mesoamerican rule that isn’t as popularized as the others.
HOT TIP:  There are usually archaeologists working on the site year round.  If you speak Spanish, ask a few questions.  Usually they will be happy to show you what they are working on because tourists are few and far between.