Guatemala Adventures – Part 8

When last we met, I was on my way to the art supply store for my canvases.  Suffice to say, this was a more involved process than I had anticipated and I will summarize my experiences on the road to the completion of this project.

Buying canvases involved 5 trips to the art supply store!  1st trip: Broken Spanish, help from my friend Celeste, help from clerk.  2nd trip: Broken Spanish, help from clerk (clerk & guard now recognize me). 3rd trip: Broken Spanish, a few less canvases (clerk & guard calling me a friend).  4th trip: Broken Spanish, a couple canvases (clerk & guard are considering adopting me). 5th trip: Other wall (square canvases) and a picture of the first wall to show the clerk that I actually was doing something with all the canvases (no guard now – store moved to bigger quarters undoubtedly because of all my previous purchases)!  Total # of canvases used: Wall #1 – 44 and Wall #2 – 16

Of course, some of these trips to the art supply store included trips to Cemaco, the wonderful all-purpose store where you can get anything from towels to tools.  I had to buy a staple gun and staples, nails to hang the canvases on the wall plus some other tools like a level, hammer, pliers and screwdriver.  By the way, did you know that not all staples are the same width?!  Well I’m here to tell you, they are NOT!!  After 2 return trips to Cemaco, I finally landed the right size staples.    Total # of staples used: 3,200.

As you have ascertained, I decided that I had enough textiles and variety of textiles to 8-1decorate 2 walls of the casa.  So, I spent many days laying out canvases, laying out textiles and further disassembling & cutting textiles to fit those canvases.

After I determined what was going where, I started mounting the pieces to the canvases.  This involved a lot of stapling and some unstapling but when I finished, I was happy with the results.  Now for hanging everything!

8-2The nice thing about having tile floors is that it made it easy to measure out the size of the wall on the floor with tape, lay out the canvases on the floor grid and then pencil measurement information right on the floor so as I put the pieces on the wall, I was able to refer to the floor for the measurements!  The only thing that I hadn’t counted on was the new found fact that my ceiling was sloped!!  I hadn’t realized it untl I began to hang things.   So, you adjust, right?!  A little tweak here, a little tweak there, a few larger holes than you anticipate in the plaster (we just won’t move that piece…ever) and VOILA: 8-3







I also decided that I did not want to cut the fajas (sashes) so I used them as door trim around our guest bath.8-5I

I am very happy with the way things came out.  I’m delighted to have used native Guatemalan art to bring color and life into my blank canvas of a house.  I have acquired other huipiles and decorated other areas of the house, as well as, my husband’s work office and that of his assistant, Karen.  I have also purchased other types of textiles, artwork, pottery, baskets, curtains, and furniture and transformed my casa.  In my final installment, I will put up pictures of my “new” house!

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