Sal del Mar is Feeling a Little Salacious

Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

And so we designed a Salacious Valentine bag that makes a perfect "little" gift.

One pound of our hand-harvested sea salt is packaged in a fabulous hand-embroidered bag with either a red or hot pink heart.

We've even added a gift tag with a few of the magic ways salt has been thought for centuries to enhance the matters of the heart.

It's a gift for anyone. For friends, lovers, and even a favorite Aunt.  And it's already wrapped!

A New Year... and a New Design

We decided to get "dressed up" a bit with our new Sal de Cocktail hand-embroidered bag.  And what better time than at New Year's?

It's the same salt from the Sea of Cortez that is dried by the wind and sun and hand-harvested. The taste is ideal for food or for cocktails whether it is a Margarita, Salty Dog, or a Bloody Mary because the taste of the Sal de Cocktail-rimmed glass enhances the flavors in any cocktail.

We wanted a sophisticated look so we choose a grey linen fabric and a white on white embroidered design, using sea horses holding a shell as our new label (we patterned it after sophisticated liquor labels).

They make a great gift anytime of year.  Bon Boutique in Tucson made up gift package of Sal de Cocktail and a shallow crystal bowl for dipping the salt, tied with a simple twine bow.  

We always salt the rim of our cocktail glasses in advance of the party so they have a chance for the salt to crust a bit....and so the salt doesn't drip down into the cocktail.  Another tip:   just salt half the rim so that the guests can have salt or not. I guarantee that even "non-salt people" will like Sal de Cocktail.

We wish you and yours a happy, healthy 2015!  We value you as customers and as friends and thank you for your support.  It is because of you that our embroiders are able to help sustain their families.

PS:  We still have all of our other Sal del Mar and Sal de Cocktail designs available.  Our new linen bag is another design to choose from!

Scenes from our "Office" Party

It's holiday time and a time to gather ‘round the staff of Sal del Mar and celebrate our fifth year.  We drove to the small village of Sabinito Sur, where the women who embroider our muslin bags live. It is a beautiful drive with mountains as a backdrop in a region where the desert meets the tropics.  It's only a 20 mile drive from Álamos, but takes one hour to get there by car.

Arriving at the village, we were greeted by a Christmas display in front of the children's school... a tree with colorful ornaments and a red door wrapped like a package.  It really shows how the simple things are almost always the most beautiful.

Our gathering took place at Meche's home, who has been with Sal del Mar from the beginning.  Rosario, Aide, Natalia of course were there too with their babies and young children. 

We stuffed ourselves with decorated Chrismas cookies that Phillip and I made, drank orange soda and talked about our good fortune to have made 2014 the best year yet for Sal del Mar.... and they received bonuses that reflected our good year.

Before leaving, I tried, in my awful Spanish (I promised to be better next year), to let them know what artists they are and how they should be very proud of their work. The salt is the best gourmet sea salt in the world, but it is they, the embroiderers, who make a simple bag a piece of art to treasure. 

We headed home to Álamos at dusk, but ready to return soon to work on 2015.

This Little Mermaid Has a .....

santamermaid.jpg

It's Thanksgiving week, but visions of the holidays haven been on my mind lately. This means that among many other ideas, I want to show off our Sal del Mar holiday bag design because (of course) it makes a great gift for the holiday season... for a hostess gift, a stocking stuffer or for any of the "little" gift needs that come up.

I have had the holiday Santa Mermaid bags tucked safely away . . . well, since last November/December.  When I opened the cupboard where they were "fast asleep," I immediately smiled.  There they were: all their little mermaid "holiday" faces looking up at me.

They made me smile and feel that "I love this time of year" feeling.  

As I looked through them, I saw something that I have never taken time to see before....they all have different personalities!

This little holiday mermaid has an innocent look with her blue eyes and pink lips.

This little holiday mermaid is "Hot" with her dark eyes and red lips.

This little holiday mermaid is Sweet.

This little holiday mermaid is happy...look at her smile!

There is also Bashful, Flirty, and Jolly. Each mermaid has her own special charm because  all of the Santa Mermaids are created by our embroiderers who reflect their own personal style, giving each mermaid her own special magic.

The women who embroider have a working partnership with Sal del Mar and they are able to earn money from their work to benefit their families.

You can order the Santa Mermaids on our website shop. And if you order by December 21st you should have them in time for Christmas (and you never have to pay for shipping!)

And don't forget... it's a gift that's already wrapped.

 

It's All in the Details

BonBoutiqueInvite.jpg

Getting ready for a tasting for Sal del Mar at our favorite boutique, Bon, in Tucson, Arizona.

The owners Bonnie and Crystal have created all kinds of decorative magic for the evening.

It's such a "creative high" working with them.  There will be more to show in our next blog soon.

First look at our new linen Sal de Cocktail bag!

First look at our new linen Sal de Cocktail bag!

Our embroidered bags will be presented for gift ideas, including for the hostess, for the cocktail party,

for the little holiday gift, for the gourmet cook, for the teacher......

Our New Arrival

I think I now know what fashion designers go through before they show a new line each season. Well, it might not be quite as intense, but I certainly experienced the anticipation and excitement while creating our latest bag design which we named the "Oyster Shell."

I love the design. I was inspired when I Googled “Sea of Cortez Pearl” and found that the Sea of Cortez is famous for its pearls. In fact, the Cortez Pearl was discovered by Spanish Conqueror Hernán Cortez on one of his first expeditions in 1533 (click here if you want to learn more).

I give our embroiderers in the village of Sabinito most of the credit because their intricate craftsmanship gave the design something that couldn't be drawn on paper...life and beauty.

The Oyster Shell bag is available through our website, select stores and markets throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Embroidery Ambassador Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo pic
Frida Kahlo pic

Frida Kahlo is an artist whose work I admire, but I am also fascinated by her unique sense of style. She wore fashion, not of the time, but glorious costumes from the Tehuana people that enhanced her exotic good looks. So, when I heard that there was an exhibition featuring Frida Kahlo, Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, at the Tucson Museum of Art I attended with gusto. Muray’s collection documents Frida over a 10 year period and it was noted that Muray photographed her more frequently than any other person.The reason I am posting the Frida Kahlo exhibition in my blog is that the photographs capture the beauty of the Tehuana dresses which were sewn with elaborate embroidery. It occurs to me that the traditional costumes such as the ones that Frida wore are disappearing but there is still the tradition of the women in villages throughout Mexico who embroider like the women of Sabinitowho embroider our Sal del Mar bags. Their skill and artistry is truly a work of art.

embroidery detail on orig design
embroidery detail on orig design

It is rewarding to see the tradition of embroidery continue. .. and wait until you see the new Sal del Mar bag design we are adding to the collection  -- just completed by our embroiderers and soon to be released in retail stores and on our website!

Give a Mermaid this Holiday Season

For the last 10 months, I have been working on producing a holiday bag design for Sal del Mar. It has been exciting from start to finish. It started with an off-handed comment from a retail store owner in Tucson who loves our original palm tree and sea creature design, but said, "you should have a mermaid embroidered on your bags..."

With the idea incubating in my head, I asked Paula Hamilton to sketch a design featuring a whimsical mermaid surrounded by waves holding a seashell and we added a jaunty Santa's hat for the holidays.

To make a long story short, I gave the sketches to our group of embroiderers in Sabinito, Sonora, Mexico and they created their own version of "a mermaid in a Santa hat" and voila, we had our “Holiday Mermaid.” The embroiderers are the most important part of our team -- their artistic freedom allows each embroiderer to create a unique bag that we then fill with Sal del Mar gourmet sea salt. The result is a masterpiece of naive beauty.

Well, I received the first delivery of our Holiday Mermaids, and they are ready just in time for early holiday shoppers. The unfortunate/fortunate news is that the she is available in a limited number -- one has to remember that the Sal del Mar bags are all hand-crafted and not mass produced.

Hopefully you will like the Holiday Mermaid design as much as I do. You can buy them on our website or at specialty boutiques around the country and Mexico. Feliz Fiesta!