Rare Beaded Blue-Winged Amazon Parrot

Dear friends, recently, I returned from my annual trip to Mexico and had an amazing vacation! This was my fifth visit to the Yucatán Peninsula. On this trip, my compañero and I travelled like locals to really experience this beautiful country. We swam in the ocean, rode bikes on Cozumel, went snorkeling with barracudas, visited a Mayan Jungle Spa, and ate a lot of guavas and guacamole!

Yucatan Mexico Uxmal Ruins Pyramid of the Magician

We then took a bus to the west side of the peninsula where we visited the ruins at Uxmal. This was one of my favorite days and definitely worth the trip. This is a very important Mayan site. The best part is that it’s not very crowded, so you can really explore and enjoy the architecture at your own pace. The artistic detail of the stones used to build these majestic pyramids is mind-blowing! This is also a good place to go birdwatching as well as admire iguanas in their statuesque poses:)


We also visited the northern tip of the peninsula the day we went on a birdwatching excursion. We went Birding with Steven, and had a wonderful time. Steven picked us up before dawn. We drove north to a tiny village where we saw many hawks, vultures, falcons, mockingbirds, parakeets, flycatchers, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, and my favorite bird, the Turquoise Motmot. It was a very peaceful way to spend the morning.

Female Mexican Sheartail Hummingbird Rio Lagartos Birding with Steven Playa del Carmen
Steven then took us on a 2- hour boat ride at Río Lagartos (aka. alligator river). Río Lagartos is a fishing village located on a lagoon which is part of a natural biosphere. There we saw so many beautiful waterbirds: one pink flamingo (all by himself!), a huge hawk, an osprey catching a fish, tons of herons, a stork, a kingfisher, tons of pelicans, and a mangrove warbler. And back in the village we also spotted a Mexican Sheartail hummingbird! This species can only be found in the Yucatán. I managed to take the above photo before she flew away. Overall, we saw over 70 species – not bad for one day!

Rare blue winged Amazon Parrot bead embroidery pin Yucatan Mexico Etsy sale beaded animal beadwork jewelry brooch tropical bird beads

While I was studying Mexican birds, I also learned that a new species of parrot has recently been discovered deep in the jungles of Yucatán. This bird is a Blue-Winged Amazon Parrot! Those who have discovered them estimate that only about 100 of the birds exist, which would make them rare and endangered. So, I decided to create a bead-embroidered pin to give this bird some attention!  Rare blue winged Amazon Parrot bead embroidery pin Yucatan Mexico Etsy sale beaded animal beadwork jewelry brooch tropical bird beads

This piece is currently available for sale in my Etsy shop. Please click the pics to take a peek and share. If you are interested in a custom beaded bird pin or portrait of a different species, please send me a message! Until then, I will be dreaming about my next trip South of the Border. 🙂

Beadwork at Casa de los Venados

Dear friends, long time no post! I have been off exploring the Yucatán and I have so much to share with you. This was my 4th trip to Mexico which officially makes it the country I have traveled the most. After visiting Mérida for a few nights (an amazing city!), my compañero and I took a bus to Valladolid. This is a small city in the center of the Yucatán, but it is very important to Mexico’s history. It is also very warm there as it is completely surrounded by jungle.

Casa de los Venados Valladolid Mexico Mexican folk art museum free tour

We arrived in Valladolid just in time to visit Casa de los Venados (House of the Deer). This is a private home which contains the largest museum quality collection of Mexican folk art in the country. There are more than 3,000+ pieces in this collection. The owners are kind enough to open their home every morning for a free tour (donations welcome!).

Casa de los Venados Valladolid folk art museum Yucatan peninsula Huichol beadwork

I had read a lot about this collection of folk art and I was very happy to have the opportunity to visit! This 18,000 square foot home is really a palace complete with beautiful open spaces, fountains, gardens, and a swimming pool.

Casa de los Venados Valladolid Yucatan Mexico Huichol beadwork folk art museum bead artist

I was amazed at the amount of art which was displayed in every room (there is even an entire room dedicated to Frida Kahlo). It is really a grand example of how one can make art appreciation a part of their daily lives. Of course, I was on the lookout for beadwork and I did find several pieces of Huichol bead art. Last year, I wrote a blog post about this art form which you can read HERE.

Casa de los Venados Valladolid Yucatan Mexico Huichol beadwork folk art museum bead artist jaguar

Folk art acknowledges the importance of what is sacred as a unique expression of a people’s perception of the universe. These works of art are primarily handcrafted for utilitarian or decorative purposes. A folk artist might be self-taught, or learn from other folk artists to create their own authentic works of art. This is different from ‘fine art’ which is generally taught and legitimized in academies.

Casa de los Venados Valladolid Yucatan Mexico Huichol beadwork folk art museum bead artist

At Casa de los Venados, the goal is to share with the community and teach that folk art is indeed something which the Mexican people should view with pride. They now conduct organized school tours to teach children about the art and handicrafts of their country. This is wonderful because in many cases the local children might never make it to a big city to view fine artworks. They now have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the art that is all around them.

Casa de los Venados Valladolid Yucatan Mexico La Catrinas Cupola Roof Dome skeletons painting

If you take a trip to Valladolid, definitely make time to visit Casa de los Venados as well as other historical sites around the city. Take lots of photos and keep an eye out for the Catrinas! :O